Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jockeys Rosario, Nakatani, Fallon, Hitchcott and Buick have hot weekends

This has been a head-spinning weekend. There has been a boatload of Graded action in America, England, Germany and Ireland. I am having a lot of difficulty in determining what the important races are and what the no-so-important races are.

The order I am adopting does not have any logic. We will begin with the $200,000 Grade II Barnard Baruch run on Friday at Saratoga. Seven answered the starter’s call in the 1800-metre grass race. Get Stormy was coming off an easy win in the Grade II Fourstardave Stakes a month ago and was the 95/100 favorite. Jockey Javier Castellano had the chalk in second position as National Kid set the pace. With 250 metres to go, Get Stormy, a Thomas M Bush trainee, sailed past the leader to win by two and three quarter lengths. The time was 1 46.70 seconds.

Jockey Castellano commented. “He relaxed and that was the key in the first part of the race. I put him behind the one speed horse. When I pushed the button, he took off.”

Get Stormy is a four year-old colt by Stormy Atlantic by Storm Cat. The dam is Foolish Gal who is by Kiri’s Clown. Get Stormy’s next race will be in Keeneland’s Shadwell Mile on October 9. The Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill on November 6 is on the table.

I want to write about jockey Joel Rosario who plies his trade in Southern California. The talented Rosario won the Alabama with Blind Luck last week at Saratoga. He won the fourth race with the 2-1 Skippy Due in the Friday twilight card at Del Mar in San Diego. Rosario was on fire on Saturday. He won the second race with Bradium who returned $10.60. Rosario clicked with Pride Of Wilshire in the third for a $6.00 payoff. The fourth race was won by the Rosario-ridden Enriched (a Graded event) who paid $6.40. El Brujo made it all in the tenth race ( a Grade I contest)with jockey Rosario and paid $9.60. Rosario ended Saturday with five winners when he steered Pleasing Sunrise to a come-from-behind win in the 11th race. Pleasing Sunrise returned $17.20.

Jockey Rosario had one winner on Sunday at Del Mar but it was a significant one. Champ Pegasus, the 3/2 favorite, justified the public confidence with Rosario aboard in the Del Mar Handicap.

Sunday at Del Mar belonged to Corey Nakatani. Caught in the waning yards in Saturday’s Pacific Classic when riding Crowded House, jockey Nakatani was red hot on Sunday. He won the first with the 9-1 Celestic Night. He rode the 7/5 Imco Spirit to victory in the fourth. The fifth race saw Nakatani return to the winner’s circle with the 3-1 Delahoosie. The 6-1 Leandros (6th race) gave Nakatani his fourth winner of a glorious afternoon.

Jockey Nakatani relocated to Kentucky this year but is back in California for the Del Mar meeting. Incidentally, Delahoosie reminds us all of Eddie Delahoussaye, the Hall of Famer, who rode Gato Del Sol and Sunny’s Halo, back to back Derby winners in 1981 and 1982.

Let us take a look at what Kieren Fallon has been doing in England. The six-time British champion jockey is having a productive campaign this year. He is riding with renewed dedication. On Saturday, Fallon won three races at Goodwood. He was aboard the Luca Cumani-trained Axiom, a 10-3 chance. He won with Drunken Sailor, another Cumani pupil and the 5/4 chalk. Fallon won with Alice Alleyne, a 4-1 chance from Sir Michael Stoute’s barn. Fallon went to Windsor for a twilight meeting. He won the 7 10 PM 1700-metre race with Autumn Riches, a Mark Johnston trained runner and the 3/1 joint favorite. However, there is a storm in Fallon’s tea cup. He has received a ban and we will see in our next blog what he is encountering.

Two races at Goodwood deserve mention. There was a four-runner field in the Group II Celebration Mille. The 4/5 favorite was the Khalid Abdullah-owned and Michael Stoute-trained Main Aim, ridden by Eddie Ahern. Poet’s Voice, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Godolphin runner, was the 2-1 second choice. Main Aim sat second and Poet’s Voice stayed in range. Main Aim was the first to commit and Poet’s Voice came calling. The Celebration Mile was put to bed in a matter of strides. Frankie Dettori sat chilly as Poet’s Voice showed his rivals a clean pair of heels. The margin was four and three quarter lengths and the time was 1 39.22 seconds.

It was the third win in nine outings for Poet’s Voice, a sophomore colt by Dubawi out of Bright Tiara by Chief’s Crown. The Sporting Life tipped Poet’s Voice. On August 12, the Dubawi colt was beaten a nose by Sea Lord in the Group III Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury and was ridden on that day by Ted Durcan.

The English (2011) 1000 Guineas market had an addition after the Group III Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday. Theyskens’ Theory, from Brian Meehan’s yard, made it all in the 1400-metre contest in a time of 1 28.9 seconds. Seven ran. Martin Dwyer rode the freshman filly who is by Bernardini out of Heat Lightning by Summer Squall. Theyskens’ Theory was the 11/10 favorite and won by a length and a quarter. She was ninth in her debut in early July. She broke the duck in her second start when she won a maiden race by five lengths. The Prestige Stakes was the second win in three starts for the Brian Meehan charge.

Again, two items are worth writing about from the Saturday afternoon card at Newmarket. Jockey William Buck, who rode winners of two Grade I races in two countries last weekend, was aboard three winners. Buick won the 2 15 PM race for John Gosden with the 6-1 Bullwhip. The pair combined for another win in the 5 00 PM race with the 7/1 Golden Taqleed. Buick won the 4 30 PM with the 11/1 Angus Newz, trained by M Quinn.

The Richard Hannon-Hughes team chalked up another win in the freshman division. Zebedee, the even money favorite, came through late to put his head in front of the 40-1 Button Moon in the 1200-metre Tattersalls Millions Auction Stakes. Eleven ran. Zebedee, a colt by Invincible Spirit out of Cozy Maria by Cozzene, has now won five races from six starts. Here is an interesting fact. Zebedee’s only loss came at Royal Ascot, his third outing. He won the other race at Ascot and has won at Windsor, Sandown, Goodwood and Newmarket.

Do you remember Sam Hitchcott? He had a dream weekend in England. He was in action in the Saturday afternoon card at Beverley. Jockey Hitchcott won three races and consider the odds. Kalleidoscope won at 20/1, Aattash scored at 11/1 and Mister Hughie won at 7/1. All three winners were trained by M R Channon.

I want to stop here. Given the volume of information, I will have a report every day for the next few days. I do want this to get too long.

What did Overdose do at Baden Baden? Did Rachel Alexandra win the Personal Ensign at Saratoga? Did Memory carry her lofty reputation to a loftier level in Curragh’s Moyglare Stud Stakes? We will look at Saratoga’s Graded races and Del Mar’s Pacific Classic, among others, in the next blog.

Chicago, Sunday, August 29, 2010

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