Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Roundup

Seems like the calm before the storm. Preakness weekend will feature 14 stakes at Pimlico alone and tomorrow we'll do our best to parse through the cards and find the best plays.

In the meantime all is quiet, we've a had a few workouts from Preakness contenders but most of then contenders are taking it easy and resting up.

Most of the action this week has actually come at York, Englands northern show peice track. Epsom Derby and Oaks trials were run there this week with two strong candidates emerging. Passage of Time won the Musidora Stakes in preparation for a titl at the Epsom Oaks. She is the ante-post favorite for the race and given her 5-4-0-0 record it isn't hard to see why. She is royally bred filly from the Juddmonte farms and has already won a G-1 at 10f. She is not a flashy horse in that she pulls herself up once hitting the front but she does appear to be a class above the rest of the distance fillies.

Just this morning the early Derby favorite Authorized destroyed the competition in the main Derby prep, the Dante Stakes. Authorized, a striking son of Montjeu, was making just his third lifetime start in the the Dante. He was beaten in his first try but won the G-1 Racing Post Trophy in superlative style to close out his 3yo campaign and definitely confirmed the form today. Not as much was said about him last year because Teofilo seemed to be such an overwhelming horse but since he's been injured it has left Authorized as the only horse who has distinguished himself at all. All of the other Derby hopefuls have seemed quite ordinary. I suppose that's the reason Authorized is 3/2 for the Derby and it's still weeks away.

If you get up early on Saturday and want to get in the mood make sure to catch the Lockinge Stakes from Newbury. It is a mile race that will feature Godolphin's newest hot pot Ramonti as well as defending champ Peeress. You can catch the live audio of this race at Sporting Life at approximately 9:25 EST.

Back stateside we have a very interesting race in Belmont's 2nd today. It is a maiden race for 2yo's and the heavy favorite will be Brooke's Valentine, a Pletcher trained Fusaichi Pegasus filly who was third on her debut. What makes it interesting is that she exits the 2nd race at Keeneland on April 21st. That race could turn out to be one of the strongest maiden races in recent memory as the winner Rated Fiesty came back to win a stakes race against the boys and get a 102 Beyer in the process. The second place finisher American County came back to win a maiden at Churchill and the 5th place finisher Spin Move won a maiden at Woodbine. Three horses have run back since that race and all of them won. Brooke's Valentine will be the 4th, although she should face a tough challenge in the shape of Cannonball, a Ward/Ramsey firster.

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