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MY COMMENTS ON THE PACIFIC CLASSIC
As far as last week, was a shame Lexicon and Captain Jack scratched. Not that necessarily either would have beaten eventual winner El C, but I would've liked to have bet on quality horseflesh rather than the also ran I landed on. I know all about 20/20 hindsight, but had I just concluded it would be a two horse affair, one could've bet Swept at 9/5 and then bet El C in the MU vs Swept at an enormous price of 8/5, locking up a nice price with a nice hedge.........if you can conclude it was a genuine two horse race. El C ran very well and could be a factor later even though I'll probably avoid him in his next.
Pacific Classic G1 1,000,000 1 1/4 mi 8/19/01 Del Mar Race #5
Skimming-Frankel frontrunner loves the Del Mar strip and because of that gets the slight lean from this corner. Skimming buried last year's BC Classic winner Tiz Now in the last rendition of the classic. He figures to make the lead and go as fast as necessary to stay there, no doubt there will pressure from Dixie Dot Com and eventually Futural. Skimming is a much more successful animal on the front, rather than stalking and Gomez is sure to keep the meal ticket on the lead as long as he'll go..........the feeling here is all the way. Lastly, one should not Skimming vs Futural is 2 wins a piece in 4 head to head battles alternating turns(DQ not withstanding) accordingly it figures to be Futural's turn.......I'm looking for this trend to reverse in this spot.
Futural-As is typical of the young Dollase this animal rarely throws a clunker, winning 4 of 7 with 3 places. Pace analysis would dictate he may be up against it in this spot. Chrissie will inevitably take up, and unless he back stretch moves, Skimming could be long gone by the time Futural stretches his legs. Unlike the other four encounters there is virtually no speed to challenge Skimming early, a very dangerous problem for all coming from behind.......as Skimming has proven he can win from the front even when pressed. Neturally, with the Mill. on the line pre-mature moves and a hotter pace than the form suggests is likely, but Chrissie will steer Futural 3 wide and attempt to grind down the leaders, certainly good enough to pull off such a plan, but how many times can he win giving away ground from a chasers position. Seems this may be a two horse race..........and Futural is the other horse.
Captain Steve-Not even Baffert can shake Dubai-itis, Silver Charm suffered the same affliction and Baffert still has no cure. He is simply not the same horse as before he went in the Dubai Cup, the feeling here is the Foster is vastly overrated as Guided Tour never saw a Beyer that high and probably won't again. The Captain's last two were extremely blah, pretty much non-efforts as chalk. The money backing him is sure to dry up soon, propelling his odds back into the realm of reality, but he's going to have to beat someone of note or at least run a good second before I use him again. The Dubai-itis has been a very dependable bet against in recent years. This coupled with the fact he'll have to pass some very good grade 1 winners makes him a virtual non-entity here......at least in my book. The optimists that see the the hook-up and blazing early fractions, theoretically setting the plate for the Captain will still have an open seat at the table. Looking for another clunker from my perspective. Should note Stevens booted, Espinoza up, could mean he'll be closer than usual, but I prefer Stevens.
Dixie Dot Com-Graded stakes winner has feasted upon lesser competition, but has struggled mightily when faced with the heavy hitters. Dixie's having a great year, 5 outs 460k in winnings at 3 different circuits. Dixie has been razor sharp, note the 46 flat half work. Flores will sit second or third, probably wait for Chrissie to move and try to outmove him first. The problem being, first he'll have to catch Skimming(he won't blow by to the lead as at LS or PRM) then if he can muster the courage to get by he'll have to hold off Futural outside of him. A very tall order to fill. I thinking a chase and fade ala the Berkely is more likely, especially at level weights, had this been a handicap he'd be getting at least 6lbs. He's a nice horse, a good tryer, but I don't think he's up to these.
Dig For It-picking up 11 lbs off a scintillating (not) 5th in the San Diego, should be a million to one here as they'll all need to fall for him to win........am moving on.
Until Sundown-The only youngster in the race, getting 7lbs from his elders, he probably needs 17 to get the job done. I'm sure trainer De Seroux was ecstatic Stevens was availible as he's guided him to 3 wins and 2 seconds in five outs. Sundown earned his shot here via the 2nd to Congaree in the Swaps, a very creditable race as meeker types would've tired of chasing and folded up tent, Sundown held his ground. I think his future is more likely headed down the Dixie road, that of a useful graded stakes runner, just not necessarily grade 1's. Steven's will work his magic in the battle for position........there is no way, he will end up pinned to the rail chasing. Stevens will certainly get him outside into the clear and give him a shot at Skimming, but he's going to need that oft mentioned yet unforeseen horsepower to contend here.
Dixie Dot Com 15%
Captain Steve 12%
Until Sundown 3%
Dig For It <1%
One other note, if you do not have an account at WSEX, you are missing out on some excellent match-up betting. They have put them up for about 2 months now, usually once a weekend there is one that is great value.....last week for example Swept Overboard -180 vs El C +160, even if you loved Swept Overboard there is virtually no way to justify this huge price.
Best of luck!
[This message has been edited by The Actuary (edited 08-18-2001).]
In 1998 the Department of Justice brought charges under the Wire Act against 22 American citizens involved in managing foreign-based sites. "You canít hide online," Janet Reno, the attorney-general, warned Internet betting operators, "and you canít hide offshore."