When the mud stopped flying at the end of the 2400-metre (Group I) Rheinland-Pokal at Cologne Race Course on Sunday, a five year-old had won back to back Group I races in Germany. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor had a great Saturday in England with four winners at two tracks. Lady luck continued to shower her blessings on the Godolphin camp whose Campanologist struck the front 400 metres out and ran on to win by three and one half lengths. The time was two minutes and 40.81 seconds and it is quite understandable given the rain-sodden track.
Campanologist was coming off a win in the Group I Grosser Preis von Lotto Hamburg. Wiener Walzer, the 2009 German Derby winner, was withdrawn. Another scratch was Titurel and five horses went postward. Frankie Dettori did not get to Cologne and he was replaced by Adrie de Vries who became free when Wiener Walzer was taken out because of underfoot conditions.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor spoke. “He (Campanologist) liked the ground. Jockey Adrie gave a great ride. I asked him to get the horse relaxed and he just did that. Next is the Grosser Preis von Baden on September 5.”
Jockey de Vries was excited about how his mount responded. “The race went like a dream. He was going very well. When I asked him, he picked up like a class horse.”
Here are some wagering facts. With the British bookmakers, Campanologist was the 5/4 favorite but the German tote returned 30 euros on a 10-euro ticket. In Germany, Zazou, who finished third, was the even money favorite. Campanologist is England-based. In racing, familiarity influences betting patterns and decisions.
Jockey Dettori was scheduled to fly to Dusseldorf from London. He had to take a 25-mile taxi ride to the airport. A crash on the expressway held him up. What a way to miss out on a Group I win!
Kieren Fallon rides at York on Friday. He takes a plane from London to get to Chicago. He will be in action in Chicago on Saturday, August 21. From O’Hare airport, he heads to Arlington Park. This is walking tightrope because Fallon arrives in Chicago on Saturday around noon. Sleeping, if any, must be taken care of during the flight.
Suraj Narredu is writing a blog. Please take a look. He was kind enough to let me know. The address is http://blueapple.asia/Suraj_Narredu and please write a comment. There is an underscore between Suraj and Narredu. Was I impressed? Yes, absolutely. May be, as I type this text, he has reached the 1,000-win milestone.
Mr Sagar of Bangalore has written a comment about Sidney’s Candy. . He liked Sidney’s Candy in the Kentucky Derby. When the John Sadler-trained colt could not get up in the Swaps Stakes, Mr Sagar’s optimism wavered marginally. In Saturday’s Grade II La Jolla, Sidney’s Candy, making his grass debut, bolted to win by five and one half lengths. A course record was set when Sidney’s Candy clocked 1 39.52 for the 1700-metre race. Mr Sagar must be mighty pleased.
According to the Daily Racing Form, Sidney’s Candy covered the first 400 metres in 23.1 seconds. The first 800 came in 45.81. The time for 1200 was 1 .08.91 seconds. The 1600-metre mark was reached in 1 33.09. Remarkable fractions indeed! At the eighth pole, the lead was 13 lengths. Sidney's Candy carried 121 pounds.
I watched the race on a TV monitor at Balmoral Park. It was the fourth win in a Graded States for Sidney’s Candy, owned by Jenny Craig who runs a chain of weight loss centers. Sidney, Jenny’s husband, passed away recently.
Macias and Martin Garcia put early pressure but Joel Rosario, riding Sidney’s Candy for the first time and substituting for the injured Joe Talamo, was intent on being on the lead. Around the far turn, Sidney’s Candy saw Macias off and the La Jolla had been put to bed. Kid Reward headed the beaten brigade.
John Sadler said, “when I put the saddle on him, I could feel he was a little tensed up. I told Joel not to fight the colt. Joel let him relax. We were wondering if the fast pace set it up for a closer. I think he’s one of the best three year-olds in the country.”
Trainer Sadler had been making positive noise about his colt’s chances in the La Jolla in the days leading up to the race. Sidney’s Candy is by Candy Ride out of Fair Exchange who is by Storm Cat. The morning line was 7/5 and the win payoff was $4.80. You talk of a perfect line and there was one!
There is an item about jockey Russell Baze. He became the first jockey to win 11,000 races. He rode Separate Forest, a Richard Mandella pupil, to a winning debut at the Sonoma County Fair on Saturday. Jorge Ricardo, the Brazilian jockey who was the first to reach 10,000, now has 10,872 wins. Ricardo missed seven months in 2009. Laffit Pincay, Jr, retired with 9,530. The incomparable Bill Shoemaker rode 8,833 winners. Pat Day is fifth in the list with 8,803. Day is involved in church activities and offers spiritual solace to jockeys and backstretch workers.
Russell Baze, who has 226 wins in 2010 against 283 for Ricardo, stated, “this is a milestone but I want you to know that it is not the last milestone.”
We will take a look at the Sword Dancer (Grade I) Invitational run at Saratgoa on Saturday. The 2400-metre grass race was won by Telling, a six year-old son of A P Indy, who had also won the race in 2009. Last year, Telling paid $68.00. On Saturday, the return was $22.60. Recent races of Telling did not generate enough optimism and Expansion, who looked good on current form, was sent off the 3-1 favorite. The time was 2 25.29 seconds. Steve Hobby was the winning trainer. Marsh Side, the Canadian invader, was withdrawn and eight ran.
Garrett Gomez had Telling fifth and then fourth. Marlang set a brisk pace. Grand Couturier brought up the rear. Telling went round a tiring Marlang and Gomez chose the inside path. With 200 metres out, it was anybody’s race but Telling came up with telling strides along the fence to take command and won by a length and a half.
Telling, according to the NTRA website, became the fifth back to back winner of the Sword Dancer. Majesty’s Prince did it 1983/84. El Senor accomplished the feat in 1989/90. With Anticipation proved the best in 2001/02. Grand Couturier, who was unplaced in his fifth consecutive Sword Dancer appearance on Saturday, won the race in 2007 and 2008.
Steve Hobby was thrilled. “It is tremendous, It is indescribable, something we thought of from the last time. To make it work is really amazing a year later.”
Jockey Gomez speaks like a college professor. There are no ‘ahs’ in his repertoire. “When he dove to the fence, it’s like he found new life. It is like his heart jumped up in him and he went running.”
To Gomez, the Sword Dancer win was special. “My first ride was a horse trained by Gerald Hobby, Steve’s father. I lost. I said you can tell dad we want this one front and center.”
I will have my next blog Tuesday morning Chicago time. We will look at the Jacques le Marois. We will preview the Juddmonte International at York. There will be a comment on Overdose, the Hungarian sprinter. There are stories about Ryan Moore, Nash Rawiller and Gary Stevens. There is a freshman colt who is three for three. He has been winning by wide margins. He won a big race at Saratoga on Monday. You will know who he is.