Horses-to-Watch: Ed Meyer
The summer goes by faster than when we were kids yearning for just one more weekend. – You know the end of the season is around the corner when you start hearing the words Travers Stakes. – If you didn’t catch the weekend action, or were living under a rock. You may have missed one of the greatest performances of the year as Beholder became the first female to win the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Trainer Dick Mandella is 64-years-young, and his runners do the talking. When you hear the words “she’s one of the greats.” – Etch that into stone and take it to the bank. – Around the country there were other races of note, and here are some runners you’ll want to keep an eye on when they make their next start.
Saratoga – 8/19/15 – Race #2 – #9 – 6f
Governor Malibu = Joel Rosario had the call, and was bet down to (5-1) and beaten by a solid (3-5) shot. This fits the angle of “running a winner’s race and finishing 2nd.” – Todd Pletcher does very well with second up runners and if the first race is any indication, I think we’ll see plenty of upside with his second outing.
Belterra Park – 8/20/15 – Race #6 – #3
Como Luz = There was a gate malfunction, and the #2 & #3 gates did not open on time. Como Luz was forced through the gates by his rider Christian Rojas after spotting the field about 15 lengths. He was far back in the field, and I dismissed the race to toss in the trash heap until they started nearing the 1/4 pole. – Como Luz had made up ground very quickly and finished strong to run third. This handicapper is waiting to see the Angel Quiros barn wheel the runner back to the races. He appears to relish the oval, and after he was declared a non-starter. I’m going to dive deep into multi-race exotics to find value.
Belterra Park – 8/22/15 – Race #6- #6 – 5f on the turf
Draw Nigh = First off the layoff, and the colt was cutting back in distance and making the dirt-turf switch where the barn wins (25%). – He was in perfect striking position and was fighting to work off the rail. Perry Ouzts kept him in the pocket forcing him to seek a spot along the rail that never opened. The rider choked up on the reins, and appeared to wait for another day. I think that day will be his next start on the greensward.
Saratoga – 8/22/15 – Race #6 – #5 – 1 1/16 on the turf
Life Imitates Art = Irad Ortiz was in the irons for his go-to-man Chad Brown. They do really good work as a team, and this two-year-old led all the way around and was running green down the lane. – Ortiz couldn’t convince his mount to stop tossing his head about, and cocking it to the outside down the lane. He was bet down as the big chalk, and you can bet dollars to donuts that Chad Brown will have this all worked out for the next start. Oh, and after looking around and acting like a toddler, he only finished a neck back from the winner.
Saratoga – 8/22/15 – Race #10 – #4 – 1 1/4 on the dirt
I’m a Chatterbox = Florent Geroux had a rough trip, and his filly is ready for another chance to fight. – She lunged at the start and bobbled a bit, and in a quality field that can put out your lights quick. Once she got into the bit, she looked all systems were go until she was fanned out wide making her run. She lugged in down the lane and just couldn’t get to the winner on this day. – Most handicappers will dismiss her effort and look elsewhere. I’ll be keyed on her in a big way hoping for a better price and a cleaner trip.