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02-17-2012, 11:28 PM
  #476
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Only had been a week since her last race too

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02-17-2012, 11:37 PM
  #477
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Pletcher has that one Derby win in his corner, that is for sure.

http://espn.go.com/espn/print?id=7585614&type=story

Quote:
Union Rags was the best 2-year-old to race in 2011 and comes from a stable that has already shown it knows how to win the Kentucky Derby. It was no doubt difficult for Javier Castellano to inform trainer Michael Matz that he would not ride Union Rags in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream, but he made the right pick when selecting the Todd Pletcher-trained Algorithms.

Pletcher's strength and numbers are so overwhelming that a jockey and his agent would be insane to hop off the Todd bandwagon.

This was not about picking horses but about picking trainers. Pletcher's strength and numbers are so overwhelming that a jockey and his agent would be insane to hop off the Todd bandwagon.

It's not that Pletcher is petty and would necessarily hold it against Castellano if he had chosen Union Rags, but you still have to stick with him. To be on his good side and part of his team can be the difference between being a good rider and an elite one. Over the last 18 months or so, Castellano has clearly moved in as the No. 2 option behind John Velazquez in the Pletcher stable. That has meant numerous opportunities. Since Jan 1, 2011, Castellano has won 51 races for Pletcher from 182 mounts for earnings of $4,788,125. That included 10 graded stakes races, among them last year's $1 million Travers, which he won aboard Stay Thirsty.

This year, Pletcher Power has risen to new levels. It's not just Algorithms. In the Daily Racing Form's rankings of the leading Kentucky Derby prospects, Pletcher trains four of the Top 10 in Algorithms (2); El Padrino (4); Gemologist (7) and Discreet Dancer (10). Union Rags is No. 1.

"Javier rides four Derby prospects, four of which are with one trainer [Pletcher]," Castellano's agent Matt Muzikar told the Daily Racing Form when announcing the decision to ride Algorithms. "This was a very tough decision but Javier and I thought it was the right decision."

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02-19-2012, 07:46 PM
  #478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles View Post
Pletcher has that one Derby win in his corner, that is for sure.

http://espn.go.com/espn/print?id=7585614&type=story
One can only hope now that Union Rags wins the triple crown.

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02-23-2012, 08:22 PM
  #479
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Gr II Fountain Of Youth Stakes 1 1/16th

The serious races begin Sunday as Union Rags makes his 2012 debut in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.

He'll be giving weight to the field, which includes two Pletcher hot shots in Algorithms and Discreet Dancer.
These two both have a win under their belts already at Gulfstream. Although neither has gone two turns.

Trainer Michael Matz (Barbaro) has indicated his goal is to win the Derby, which suggests the screws are not tightened on Union Rags.

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02-23-2012, 11:34 PM
  #480
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Entries for Risen Star:

http://ntra.equibase.com/eqbRaceEntr...LE=NTRA#RACE11

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02-24-2012, 08:22 PM
  #481
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
And a very good race it is.

Pletcher comes off the plane with El Padrino, who was a close up 3rd in the Gr2 Remsen, then ran a huge number in a Gulfstream allowance race. No works over the track. They expect to outclass these.

Their are several local horses in the race who have done well.
One I like is Afford who draws the inside after winning his two turn debut, while racing very wide around.

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02-25-2012, 09:29 AM
  #482
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^ There's an article about Shane Sellers, who is riding today, that may be worthy of a read...

http://www.sportsnola.com/sports/hor...er-ridden.html

Quote:
The 45-year-old jockey was seventh in the standings at Fair Grounds going into Friday's card for the meet that started Nov. 24. From 240 mounts he had a 41-26-36 record, with $1,192,233 in purse earnings and a 17% win rate and 43% in-the-money percentage. That's a big jump from last year where he finished 12th in the colony with 255 mounts for the entire meet and a 23-20-31 standing, purse earnings of $743,742, and much smaller percentages – 9% win rate and 29% in-the-money.
Quote:
"I put myself in a predicament that looked like I might not be able to get myself out of," Sellers remarked. "When I came back in 2009 I rode my first race at Evangeline Downs and it was a very humbling experience. But this is a forgiving game; you just have to go back and do the right thing and I've done that and worked hard. I still think I can compete at this level and I just feel very fortunate and grateful for the opportunities. Every part of my life is good – personally, spiritually, professionally – and now it's up to me to take advantage of it. I have no room for error.

"All I ever knew was riding and that's all I wanted to do," he said. "I'm sure I could have done something else for a living, but this is in my blood."

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02-25-2012, 05:03 PM
  #483
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Rosie almost pulls off the Risen Star on Mark Valesky stretching out.

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02-25-2012, 06:04 PM
  #484
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A 64-1 shot? Nice.

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02-26-2012, 12:01 PM
  #485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
Rosie almost pulls off the Risen Star on Mark Valesky stretching out.

Those two really separated themselves from the rest of the field. I would expect the number to come back big.
Impressive effort by Mark Valesky coming out of sprints.

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02-26-2012, 04:19 PM
  #486
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles View Post
Pletcher has that one Derby win in his corner, that is for sure.

http://espn.go.com/espn/print?id=7585614&type=story
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valrico Gold View Post
One can only hope now that Union Rags wins the triple crown.
At least 2 of the horses named won't make the race.

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02-26-2012, 04:46 PM
  #487
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No problem for Union Rags.

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02-26-2012, 08:51 PM
  #488
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
No problem for Union Rags.
Without trying to get too excited, that was as impressive an effort I've seen in awhile for a young 3yr old.

Pletchers Algorithms scratched, and his Discreet Dancer showed his lack of two turn experience.

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02-27-2012, 09:20 AM
  #489
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Be prepared for the endless Barbaro comparisons. It could be very different in a much larger field, however Matz is a heck of a story.

Quote:
HALLANDALE, Fla. - Phyllis Wyeth was seated in her scooter by the rail, not far from the finish line, her husband Jamie standing next to her, trainer Michael Matz and assistant trainer Peter Brette just a few rows back in Gulfstream Park's outdoor grandstand.

Union Rags, the colt they had been waiting four months to see race again, was walking slowly to the starting gate for the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes. The horse, massive as a 2-year-old, had grown dramatically over the winter and towered over the six opponents that had just shared the paddock and walking ring with him.

What, they all had to wonder, were they about to see? Some brilliant 2-year-olds get to a plateau and never advance. Others go backward. The very best go forward and off into some special realm.

With new jockey Julien Leparoux aboard for the first time, Union Rags won the looks race by a mile. Then, the colt broke perfectly from the gate, eager, it was clear, to do what he was trained to do - run.

The bettors went for the Todd Pletcher-trained Discreet Dancer, making the unbeaten colt the 4-5 favorite. Pletcher's other entrant, Algorithms, was scratched Sunday morning due to an issue with a splint bone in his right front leg.

Union Rags was 6-5, which after the horses turned into the backstretch, was the bargain of the decade. Discreet Dancer was in front, but had company. Union Rags was third and then let another horse get in front of him. It was not yet time to run.

By the far turn, it was time. Leparoux barely moved his hands, but the signal was clear. It was time.
Quote:
It was six winters ago when Michael Matz had Barbaro in Florida. The man knows what a really good horse looks like. He's got another one in his barn, perhaps even another Derby winner.
Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...#ixzz1nb0Xdf6s

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02-29-2012, 07:09 PM
  #490
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Entires for the Gotham Stakes:

Race 10 - 5:02 PM

STAKES
Gotham S. (Grade III)

Purse $400,000. For Three Year Olds. No nomination fee. $4,000 to pass the entry box. A supplemental nomination fee of $4,000 in addition to the entry fee may be made at any time prior to the closing of entries. All starters will receive a $2,000 rebate. Any horse that competes in both the Gotham and Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial will have their subscription fees waived for the Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial. The purse to be divided 60% to the winner, 20% to second, 10% to third, 5% to fourth, 3% to fifth and 2% divided equally among remaining finishers. 123 Lbs. Non-winners of $150,000 or $45,000 twice allowed 3 Lbs.; $50,000; or $39,000 at a mile or over in 2012 allowed 5 Lbs.; three races, 7 Lbs. ( Maiden, Claiming, Starter, Restricted or Restricted Stake races not considered in allowances). A trophy will be presented to the winning owner. Closed Saturday, February 18, 2012 with 67 Nomintions. One And One Sixteenth Miles. (Inner track)
PP Horse Virtual
Stable A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer
1 My Adonis (KY) 3/C L E Trujillo 120 K J Breen
2 Stealcase (KY) 3/C L L Contreras 116 M E Casse
3 Finnegans Wake (KY) 3/C L K J Desormeaux 116 D L Romans
4 Pretension (NY) 3/C L J Santiago 116 C W Grove
5 Maan (KY) 3/C L R Maragh 116 E Kenneally
6 Dan and Sheila (KY) 3/R L J R Velazquez 116 T A Pletcher
7 Suns Out Guns Out (KY) 3/C L I Ortiz, Jr. 116 D L Romans
8 Raconteur (KY) 3/C L C H Velasquez 120 T A Pletcher
9 King and Crusader (MD) 3/C L M J Luzzi 116 R E Dutrow, Jr.
10 Side Road (KY) 3/C L A Garcia 116 K P McLaughlin
11 Done Talking (KY) 3/C L D Cohen 116 H A Smith
12 Hansen (KY) 3/C L R A Dominguez 123 M J Maker
13 Tiger Walk (KY) 3/C L E Castro 116 I Correas, IV

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02-29-2012, 07:41 PM
  #491
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Quote:
In the Gotham, Hansen will not wear blinkers for the first time in his career, but Maker still expects the grey colt to be on the lead.

"We wouldn't expect anything different," he said.

Hansen was made the 6-5 favorite in the Gotham and his main opposition figures to be his post position, where he drew 12 of 13.

"Somebody had to draw it," Maker said. "There's nothing much we can do about it."

The Gotham's purse was bumped $150,000 to $400,000 this year thanks to the revenue from the casino at Aqueduct, and while that didn't play in the decision by Maker to run in this spot, it made for what is believed to be the largest Gotham field ever since it was first run in 1953.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/mo...#ixzz1npE2avbV

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03-01-2012, 07:12 AM
  #492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles View Post
Substantial purse increase is fantastic.

Still prefer the old Gotham/Wood setup of 1 mile on the main, followed by the 1 1/8th miles of the Wood.

That inner track is a quirky track, hardly representative of a fair test with its always strong inside bias.
Off course, Hansen gets a terrible draw and will really have to hustle to get the lead into the 1st turn.

I look forward to looking at the PP's.

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03-01-2012, 08:41 AM
  #493
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Some numbers regarding Aqueduct as it pertains to the jockeys:

http://www.equibase.com/stats/View.c...rm=1&tb=jockey

Raconteur has A.P. Indy, Storm Cat and Seattle Slew in his pedigree.

Could be a sloppy track.


Last edited by MiamiScreamingEagles: 03-01-2012 at 08:46 AM.
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03-01-2012, 01:03 PM
  #494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valrico Gold View Post
Substantial purse increase is fantastic.

Still prefer the old Gotham/Wood setup of 1 mile on the main, followed by the 1 1/8th miles of the Wood.

That inner track is a quirky track, hardly representative of a fair test with its always strong inside bias.
Off course, Hansen gets a terrible draw and will really have to hustle to get the lead into the 1st turn.

I look forward to looking at the PP's.
The latest weather indicates a sloppy track. That could toss a monkey wrench into analyzing the race.

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03-01-2012, 08:34 PM
  #495
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The Gotham will be a class test for several up and comers.
Hansen has the superior numbers, but is compromised by the post.
In order:

1.My Adonis - should make the lead from the rail. Threat on wet track.
2.Stealcase - $320K colt was well meant in all 3 races. Still green. Longshot threat.
3.Finnegans Wake - deep closer with alot to prove.
4.Pretension - improving NY bred. Trainer 3 for 3 in the money at the meet.
5.Maan - $200K colt stretches out off sloppy track win.
6.Dan & Sheila - off the plane for Pletcher/Velazquez. Improving colt.
7.Suns & Guns - $325K colt still a maiden.
8.Raconteur - Pletcher A.P. Indy money burner has two wins over track.
9.King & Crusader - Dutrow up to old tricks. Former claimer 2/2 over trk 3 days apart. Threat.
10.Side Road - slowly getting it together. Threat late.
11.Done Talking - off since head behind El Padrino in Remsen. New rider?
12.Hansen - huge numbers advantage. May have to rate.
13.Tiger Walk - 3rd in Withers over track. Trainer doing well at meet.

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03-02-2012, 06:41 PM
  #496
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Hansen is going to the Derby regardless. Hoping for rain just to see if he can handle it. Just keeping him loose for when he does stretch to 9 furlongs.

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03-02-2012, 08:03 PM
  #497
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
Hansen is going to the Derby regardless. Hoping for rain just to see if he can handle it. Just keeping him loose for when he does stretch to 9 furlongs.
Any speed horse like Hansen will have the advantage on wet tracks.
The horses who 'can't handle it' are horses that don't like the mud splashed in their faces, which obviously never happens to a front runner.

Hansen may not make the lead tomorrow, but should be just off, in the clear, without having to deal with mud in his face. Be interesting to see if he can rate off the pace. My guess is he will.

Is it supposed to be sloppy? It looked to be in good condition today.

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03-02-2012, 08:47 PM
  #498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valrico Gold View Post
Any speed horse like Hansen will have the advantage on wet tracks.
The horses who 'can't handle it' are horses that don't like the mud splashed in their faces, which obviously never happens to a front runner.

Hansen may not make the lead tomorrow, but should be just off, in the clear, without having to deal with mud in his face. Be interesting to see if he can rate off the pace. My guess is he will.

Is it supposed to be sloppy? It looked to be in good condition today.
I'm outside Philly, and it's raining, and is still supposed to be raining until tomorrow morning.

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03-03-2012, 06:01 PM
  #499
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Hansen rated kindly, then outclassed this group on a fair track. Onward and upward.

My Adonis was a respectable 2nd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=


Last edited by Valrico Gold: 03-04-2012 at 09:21 AM.
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03-03-2012, 08:14 PM
  #500
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East Coast invader Ron the Greek wins the Big Cap. In exactly 7 months, maybe to the hour - on this track - he's going to line up for the Breeders' Cup Classic, possibly as the horse no one is talking about.

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