Opening Day At Monmouth Park for 2011!

Opening Day at Monmouth Park today

Yes, Spring has finally sprung at the Jersey Shore today with opening day at Monmouth Park!

An estimated crowd in the 5-figure range (no one knows for certain, because everyone got in free today) was on hand to fire up this 2011 meet today!
Yours truly, took in the live music in the Monmouth backyard, caught up with some old friends, eat some of this fine Monmouth Park cuisine and wagered a bob or two on the outcome of some of the better races.
The race of the day here today was race #10 in the $75,000, Decathlon Stakes ,for 4yos and up, going 6f , on the Main track!
This One’s for Phil was the even money winner with Wildcat Brief coming a closing 2nd after just an awful start, both were coming off long layoffs in this scratch laden field of 5!
It was good to see the old girl withstood any hard Jersey Shore winter as there was a lively springtime buzz in the crowd here today, everywhere I went!
So live racing is back, once again, at The Shore’s Greatest Stretch and we’ll bring you all the latest happenings from here to the Haskell Invitational and beyond!
Click here to read more on Monmouth Park’s Opening Day!
Stay tuned!

Alternation wins GII Peter Pan

Alternation (seen here) won today’s $200,000, going 1 1/8 mile GII Peter Pan Stakes over Adios Charlie by a head at Belmont Park!

Come 3rd back 4 1/2 lengths was Prime Cut and the super was filled out by Joe Vann back another 2 1/2 lengths!

Bold Deed at 31/1 set good early factions of 23.78, 47.14 and 1:11.90 with Adios Charlie in tote all the way around this 1-turn race into the stretch run. It was there that Adios Charlie took control of this race and almost held off the late running Alternation who poked his head up in time to win at the line in 1:49.53!

Take Away’s,

  1. Alternation would seem to be the only horse coming out of this race that would make a good fit for the Belmont Stakes next month, but his connection didn’t commit to that race, just yet! 
  2. The connection of Adios Charlie are thinking maybe a Jim Dandy try next for him! Sounds good to us!
  3. Prime Cut and Joe Vann both will be looking a spot in all those other 3yo contests with the name Derby on it!

As to our picks, if you box an 6-8-4-10, exacta, tri and super, you won a sweep of all the exotic’s here today, as we did give you Prime Cut, Adios Charlie, Joe Vann and Alternation as our first four names in our race preview post! 

Nice to get a 3yo race right on the money for a change!

So another Belmont Stakes prep race is in the books as Belmont Stakes looms just 4 weeks away now and who knows, maybe, we’ll get a Triple Crown winner this year! It’s been that kind of a strange year, so far!

See a race relay below!

How good is Animal Kingdom, really?

Kentucky Derby Winner

How good is Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, really? 

His pedigree is one of a modest turf horse, but his connection are first-rate with trainer H. Graham Motion and jockey John Velazquez.

His racing resume too was modest before his derby win with just a GIII win at Turfway Park, but a closer look at that resume reveals something a bit different!
Animal Kingdom had always finish first or second in all of his races and never beaten by very much either!
He had run against some very decent, derby level type company in those early races like Wilcox Inn, Decisive Moment, Twinspired and Powhatan County, so he was tested!
So yes, he did deserve a derby gate, but lets look a little deeper at this Kentucky Derby winning performance!
The winning time of 2:02.04 isn’t anything special in the annuls of Derby lure, but it was faster than the following recent derby winners: Super Saver, Mine That Bird, Street Sense, Giacomo, Smarty Jones and most of the 1990’s winners too!
To go one step further, Animal Kingdom’s winning time would have beaten the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic rivals Blame and Zenyatta by a quarter second or about 1 1/4 length!
In other words, those two monsters would have been watching Animal Kingdom go right by them in the very deep Churchill stretch!
Yes, it is a fair comparison because those races were run over the same track, at the same distances over similar track conditions and time of day, plus Animal Kingdom had this much slower pace on Saturday to run at!
No, Animal Kingdom isn’t among the great ones yet, but he has got one leg up towards that end and a 2011 B/C Classic gate right here in Louisville again, if he wants it!
So for right now, he deserves a little respect and the favorite’s role in next Saturday’s 136th Preakness Stakes as he is the 2011 Kentucky Derby champ and the fastest 3yo at a mile and 1/4 in the land!
No one else can say that right now!
So how good is Animal Kingdom, really? 
Well, very good, right now as he is the very essence of a downthestretchs adage that goes “Good horses will run well on everything, Bad horses will run badly over anything”! Animal Kingdom is that rare “Good Horse“!
We will know more on May the 21st when he takes to the Pimlico main track and takes on all comers in what now appears to be a full field of 13 other rivals!


GII Peter Pan Stakes is prep for Belmont Stakes next month!

Belmont Park readies for the Peter Pan this weekend

With the Preakness still more than a week away, we do have some important 3yo action at Belmont Park this weekend in the $200,000 GII Peter Pan Stakes, going 1 1/8 , for 3yo’s only.

The Peter Pan is the prep for the big Belmont Stakes each year!

Last year’s Belmont Stakes winner “Drosselmeyer” finished 2nd here a year ago, so it’s a race worth keeping an eye on!

So lets see who is coming out to race in this year’s edition of this important first step toward to the 3rd Jewel in the 2011 Triple Crown!

Some  Free PP’s  for you to ogle-over!

The Morning/Line favorite is Adios Charlie at 3/1 odds. This one was the victor of the GII Jerome Stakes, a mile tilt, at Aqueduct last month over some sloppy going! He’ll be stretching out to a 1 1/8 distance for the first time on just a 3 race resume. So 3/1 seems a little generous to us, but wait, there are a bunch stacked-up right behind him odds-wise. So tri’s and supers for old chuck here!

Next on the stack is Uncle Brent at 4/1. This one is up from Oaklawn with a Stakes win of a 100k race that went a mile in 1:37’3 under his 3 race belt. Again we mystified why the 4/1 as his pedigree isn’t anything to write home about either. Supers for this one, who’s stretching out here on Saturday!

At 9/2 is Prime Cut who is also x-entered in the Preakness, comes out of a good 2nd place finish in the Lex/Coolmore at Keeneland last month! Although that was a poly placing, he does have plenty of dirt experience at 6-2-2-1! If he does go to the Preakness don’t count him out there either. We like Prime Cut here an he’d be first into our exotics on Saturday!

At 5/1 is the GIII Illinois Derby winner Joe Vann whose coming off a 3-race winning streak too. For the life of us, we don’t understand why this one isn’t down at Pimlico training for the Preakness but he’s not, so right into our early exotics thinking he goes too!

At 6/1 is Alternation who finished 5th in the Arkansas Derby last trip out, but before that was one of the Oaklawn’s favorite son’s in all the 3yo Allowance dust-ups there! He’s pedigree of Distorted Humor and Seattle Slew would get your attention too! But he’s in our “show me” camp right now, so supers only until he shows us something here!

At the bottom of this Peter Pan favorites stack is Newsdad at 8/1. Newsdad finished 4th in that crazy Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last month. But this one is a poly/turf runner and lightening doesn’t strike twice! So if you are looking to add some value to a super, this one might do!

At 15/1 is Monzon who was all the early noise at Aqueduct beating JJ’s Lucky Train and Pants On Fire in the Count Fleet Stakes way back on Jan. 1st! His last start was the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs where he finished a poor 5th that day. If memory serves, he took an injury that day and if his 100% again, he could be a big value here on Saturday. Supers at least for him!

At 20/1, 30/1 and 50/1 are Bold Deed, Beer Meister, Isn’t He Perfect and Tap Attack respectively! Of the 4 bringing up the rear here, only Beer Meister should get some attention with a Sunland Derby 4th on his resume! So a super spot somewhere for him isn’t a crazy idea!

So we’d look for Adios Charlie, Joe Vann and Prime Cut to be in our first-tier thinking then Alternation, Uncle Brent, Monzon at the back end of any multiple tri’s and Newsdad and Beer Meister in multiple 10 cent supers!

So it’s not the Preakness but it is something to keep an eye on in the meantime and who knows maybe a Belmont Stakes winner comes out of this race once again this year! We will see,won’t we!

Here a little video on handicapping this race we found on youtube!