Other “Strange Happenings” from around the Horse Racing world this Saturday!

If you thought the events in New York and L.A. were strange yesterday! Well we found a few more for you to ponder over!

Dateline-Oaklawn Park,

Win Willy beats Misremembered in the Oaklawn Handicap. Willy loves to run at Oaklawn. The oddity here is the “Oaklawn Faithful” didn’t bet down their favorite son more than the 5/1 post time odds on him. Oh ye of little faith you Oaklawn denizens. I guess the Misremembered people also didn’t take notice of the signs on the wall there that says “Willy’s House”! Ah, we love these “Home Cookin” horses

Dateline- Keeneland,

Race#3 was a very good turf Allowance dust-up for a $67,000 purse. So what, you say, well the what was who showed up here. Keeneland got Al Khali, Battle of Hastings, Memorial Maniac and Grassy, all big- time Graded Stakes turf winners to gather for this event, as this could have easily been a GI field anywhere else! Kudos to the Keeneland folks for only having to pony up $67 grand for a GI race. It’s called getting your money’s worth. So over their first 2 days of operations this spring they laid out just $167,000 in prize money for 2 top-flight turfer. Shocking only in the sense that some very good horsemen let their best charges run for so little! Oh P.S. none of them won here either! Hey, it’s Keeneland we’re talking about here, where the strange is the everyday norm!

Dateline- Santa Anita,

Race #8– an Allowance dust-up with, wait for it, “First Dude”. What’s shocking here is, first, he won, something he hadn’t done since his lone maiden win early last year but still found a way to be in every major GI 3yo race and B/C Classic last year and pocketing almost $900k along the way. But it was the way he won this race that was even more shocking as he, rated”. He sat chilly here until the stretch where he, wait for it again, “closed for the win”. Who says you can’t teach an old horse, new tricks! Shocking, simply shocking “First Dude” wins by closing. No wonder it was such a strange day!

Dateline- Gulfstream,

Race#10– the return of the D’Funnybone to sprinting in the Sunshine State Stakes and again he still couldn’t beat Coffee Boy! This time with no board hit either! Save your money on him until he returns to his mid-2010 form. Startling that he didn’t win, no, just how bad he was yesterday! Did you get D’boned yesterday?

Dateline- Penn National

Race# 9 featured the return of 8-year-old Graded Stakes winning sprinter Fabulous Strike in a 6f allowance outing over the slop. Winning in 1:09 and chg where he bested an early 3yo Fav from the NYRA circuit last year in Peppi Knows! Just remarkable that an 8yr old can still run a sub 1:10, 6f race in the slop after being away from racing for a year and a half!  A horse-racing Phoenix rises from the retirement Ashes here? Strange days indeed!

And our, “Grande Finale”!

Dateline- Keeneland again,

The GI Ashland Stakes,

Once again, Keeneland shows us why we’ve renamed this place “Krazyland at this blog! A 48/1 long shot named Lilacs and Lace went wire to wire (a truly odd event here) in beating one of the best 3yo filly prospects in the country in Kathmanblu (who finished an Uncle Mo 3rd here) in the process! Think this outing was crazed, the GI Toyota Blue Grass Stakes is upcoming this Saturday. In what we refer to around here as “America’s Crazy” race. It’s a show we never fail to miss!

So in another sobering reminder from the“Racing-Gods” that we meer morals are but passing-bit-players on the greater stage that is the thoroughbred horse racing scene, they were just toying with us again this weekend!

Later is week we will do a refresher Editorial on Big Race day wagering and why they are so wild!

So to borrow a line from our old friend “John Lennon“, “Strange days indeed, most peculiar momma, roll”!


“Midnite Interlude” is surprising winner of GI “Santa Anita”Derby!

Midnight Interlude (seen here) was supposed to be the rabbit in this race for the other Bob Baffert horse in Jaycito! Well Jaycito along with Premier Pegasus both were early scratches this week and I guess Midnight Interlude didn’t get the memo that said “your front running services not needed today”!

So he sat chilly here today then turn on the speed “downthestretch” to win by a neck the $1 million GI “Santa Anita” Derby  in a very fine time of 1:48.66!

2nd by that neck was Comma on the Top who redeemed himself today after several poor efforts with a front-running effort that almost worked!

The 3rd spot went to the John Shirreffs/Mike Smith connection of Mr. Commons and the super-spot was filled by the poly running Silver Medallion!

Here’s our take aways from this race!

  1. So another strange ending to a 3yo GI derby prep this year! After the Uncle Mo debacle, we hit the doors for home and a good thing too because Midnight Interlude wasn’t on our radar here at all. But on an upside-down day it does make sense somehow. Is he a Derby-horse? Why not, with 600k in G/S earnings, a grade I title race that he covered 1:48 and 3 for 1 1/8 mile run coming from way back, why not?
  2. Comma on the Top did everything but win here today and redeemed himself somewhat after some rather dismal performances of late. He should have enough G/S earnings for a derby berth too!
  3. We weren’t even close here with our orignal picks but with all the scratching of this races favorites, you might have found it a tough race to handicap which is why we hit the door early today and let the chips fall where they may here!

So on another bizarro racing day for 3yo favorites as this Santa Anita Derby served as a punctuation mark on this very strange Derby Trail season!

Got a 3yo to run this year, try getting him into any of the available Derby preps because you may have a derby winner. No one else seems to want it!

See race replay Below!

“Toby’s Corner” out-runs “Uncle Mo” in GI “Wood”!

Toby's Corner wins in an "Upset"

In a wake me up when it’s over moment, Toby’s Corner ( seen here closest to the fence) did the unthinkable at Aqueduct today in the Million Dollar , GI “Wood Memorial” and soundly beat, by a full length, the much-vaunted 1/9 favorite in “Uncle Mo”, who finished a very unimpressive 3rd with the 2nd spot going to Arthur’s Tale just a neck behind Toby’s Corner.

Now that you know the facts of this race here are a few take-aways to ponder!

  1. Toby’s Corner is on his way to Churchill Downs on May 7th and his connections must be overjoyed at the prospect too. Congrats on this startling turn of good fortune. Your horse ran one heck of a race!
  2. Arthur’s Tale probably won’t make the Derby field but a Preakness run should certainly be on the table now!
  3. To “Uncle Mo”, Todd and Mike read our editorial on “Are 3yo’s getting enough Preps” see we’ve even linked it for you! Read It!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. We said there was too much noise here! I’ve had this feeling before, 2008 Belmont Stakes day where Big Brown was supposed to win the Triple Crown that day. Had the same feeling here too.
  5. We did say put Mo and all in your exactas and tri’s and if you boxed them like we hound you to do at this blog. A $158 exacta fall your way and a $183 tri too!

So this Wood Memorial day is in the books too or should it be called the Wood MO- morial day as it won’t be forgotten anytime soon!

See a race replay Below!

“downthestretchs” is now on “Facebook” too!

downthestretchs and Facebook a match made in horse racing heaven!

“downthestretchs” is now on “Facebook” just search the keyword downthestretchs on any facebook search or click any Facebook logo in our posts like this one here and presto your on our Facebook page. See our connections and a whole lot more. So check it out as we reach out to you the Thoroughbred Racing fans thru Facebook! oh and if you would reach out to us with a “Like” click too while you’re there! “You asked” and “Buddha Provides”-