Thursday, October 29, 2020
Rainbow 6 will go on Saturday . . .

    MIAMI GARDENS - A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 pool has been scheduled for Saturday’s program at Gulfstream West.

    Heading into Friday’s program, the multi-race wager has gone unsolved for seven programs following a $249,204 jackpot hit on Oct. 18. Multiple tickets with five out of six winners today were each worth $843.22. The jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $175,000 for Friday’s program.

    Friday’s sequence will span Races 3-8, kicked off by a mile optional claiming allowance on turf for state-bred 3-year-olds and up. Sassy But Smart, who was beaten by less than two lengths in a fourth-place finish in the Palm Beach during the Championship Meet, and Till the End, who has been 1-2-3 in his last four starts at the level, appear to be the key contenders.

    Race 4 is a six-furlong race for $50,000 maiden claiming 2-year-old fillies. Terry’s Dream, a daughter of Jess’s Dream who finished second in her recent debut, will be taken on by a pair of first-time starters by California Chrome and Not This Time, and four others. A five-furlong turf dash for Florida-bred fillies and mares follows in Race 5, featuring the return of Daddy’s Joy, who graduated in her first start for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. in her first start at Gulfstream Park last time out. In only her third career start, the daughter of Daddy Long Legs will concede considerable experience to her eight rivals.

    A seven-furlong maiden special weight race for fillies and mares will start off the second half of the sequence in Race 6. Todd Pletcher-trained Abilene Trail, a 3-year-old daughter of Curlin, will return from a 13-month layoff while facing five rivals, including Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained Cozy Café, who finished a troubled third in her  recent debut. The sequence will be wrapped up with a mile race for $8,000 claimers in Race 8 and a 1 1/16-mile turf race for $16,000 maiden claimers, 3-year-olds and up, in Race 9

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Journeyman sire leads Bucchero by 20 . . .

    Journeyman Stud's Khozan is No. 1 on the list of mares bred by Florida stallions this season with 181, and with good reason. The son of Distorted Humor ran away with Florida's leading freshman sire title in 2019 and is the runaway leader again on this year's general sire list with progeny earnings approaching $3 million.

    Khozan currently has bred 20 more mares than Pleasant Acres' Bucchero, whose second crop breedings have reached 161. The statistics supplied by The Jockey Club are not complete, awaiting late reports. Journeyman also has the No. 5 sire on the list, St. Patrick's Day, the full brother to American Pharoah, with 116.

    There are 72 Florida stallions on the U. S. list and Ocala Stud leads among the Floridians with seven in the top 23. Pleasant Acres has five. 

The top 23:   

1 - Khozan (Journeyman Stud) - 181

2 - Bucchero (Pleasant Acres) -161

 3 - Adios Charlie (Ocala Stud) - 138

 4 - Girvin (Ocala Stud) - 124

 5- St. Patrick's Day (Journeyman Stud) - 116

 6 - The Big Beast (Ocala Stud) - 84

 7 - Awesome Slew (Ocala Stud) - 71

 8- Neolithic (Pleasant Aces) - 61

 9 - Brethren (Arindel) - 60

10 - Jess's Dream (Ocala Stud) - 57

11 - Cajun Breeze (Stonehedge Farm) - 45

12 - First Dude (Double Diamond) - 44

13 - Valiant Minister (Bridlewood) - 41

14 - Katz My Song (Champagne Farm) - 37

15 - Rogueish (Oakton Farm Stallions) - 34 

16 - Greenpointcrusader (Ocala Stud) - 33

 17 - Bahamian Squall (Double Diamond) - 29

        Noble Bird (Ocala Stud) - 29

 19 - Long On Value (Pleasant Acres) - 24

 20 - Big Drama (Oakton Farm Stallions) - 21

 21 - Handsome Mike (Pleasant Acres) - 20

        Chitu (Bridlewood) - 20

 23 - Ride On Curlin (Pleasant Acres) - 19

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Blue Gator takes New York Breeders' Futurity by 4 1/2 . . .

    Three Diamonds Farm’s Blue Gator is two-for-two and a stakes-winner after pressing the pace from the outside in Monday’s $218,075 New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes, taking command after straightening away in the stretch and drawing off to win by 4 1/2 lengths.

    Trained by Mike Maker, the 2-year-old colt by Liam’s Map has earned $159,445 to date. Consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, to the 2020 OBS Spring Sale, he went through the ring after breezing an Under Tack quarter in :21 2/5. 

    A pair of 2020 OBS March graduates broke their maidens in Japan on Saturday, followed by a third on Sunday.

    Kazumi Yoshida’s Russian Samovar scored at first asking at Kyoto, taking over in mid-stretch, then holding off a late charge to score by a head in an 1800m maiden test. The 2-year-old daughter of American Pharoah, trained by Mikio Matsunaga, earned $66,667 USD for the effort. At the March Sale, she sped an Under Tack quarter in :20 2/5, then was purchased for $650,000 out of the Wavertree Stables consignment. 

    Trainer Hideyuki Mori unveiled Yui Matsushima’s Super Wooper for her first start at Kyoto in a 1200m turf test and the 2-year-old daughter of Overanalyze did not disappoint, taking the lead at the start and never looking back en route to a two-length score worth $66,667 USD. At the sale, she turned in an Under Tack eighth in :9 4/5 and was sold by Golden Rock Thoroughbreds, Agent, for $150,000.

    Yukio Baba’s Olympic Day scored on Sunday in his second start, posting a two-length victory in a 1200m maiden test at Nigata for trainer Masayuki Nishimura. The 2-year-old colt by Medaglia d’Oro, who has earned $55,238 USD to date, was consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, and sold for $420,000 after breezing an eighth in :10 1/5 at the Under Tack Show. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020
Second start for Gladys . . .
    MIAMI GARDENS - Dede McGehee’s Gladys, a 2-year-old full sister to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, graduated today at Gulfstream West with an 11-1 upset victory in a one-mile maiden special weight event.

    The filly by Medaglia d’Oro-Lotta Kim roared from off the pace to score a three-length victory in her second career start and first around two turns. In her Sept. 18 debut at six furlongs, Gladys encountered trouble leaving the starting gate and was never a factor. Trained by Kelsey Danner, she ran a mile over a sloppy track today in 1:38.80 under Angel Arroyo.

    Gladys, who was bred by Mc Gehee’s Heaven Trees Farm, is Lotta Kim’s eighth foal of racing age. Of course, Rachel Alexandra, who captured three 2009 Gr. I's, the Preakness, Haskell and Woodward, on her way to being crowned racing’s champion, is by far the most accomplished offspring of the eight.

Wednesday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $125,000

   The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $125,000 for Wednesday’s program. First race post is noon. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the fifth racing day since one lucky ticket-holder hit for a $249,204 jackpot. Multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $773.58.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
More tidbits from around the ovals . . .

    (1) In another of those bizarre finishes much like reported in the last 'Notes' where the numbers of the five horses in one race wound up 5-4-3-2-1, here's one that occurred on Oct. 16 at Gulfstream West.

    The winner in the six-horse field was Swaggy George, who was the even-money favorite. Finishing second was Heavenly Blessing, who was the second choice at 4-1. Third was Exchange Day, who was the third choice at 9/2. Fourth was Savatiano, the fourth choice at 5-1. Fifth was Osprey, the fifth choice at 6-1. Sixth and last was Gege Conquest, the sixth choice at 9-1. 

    Congratulations to the betting public that day; they got it right on the money in this one. 

    (2) I'm far from being a trainer and I'm certainly not familiar with many of the little nuances of entering a horse in a race, then keeping him or her in the race instead of scratching due to weather or track surface changes. However, I wonder why, in certain cases (with big purses), a trainer wouldn't let a horse run if that race came off the grass and there were so many scratches that remaining in the field would wind up in an easy payday even if the horse didn't run well.

    Here's one instance to illustrate the point. When Circle 8 Ranch's Dur a Cuire was making her 2-year-old debut at Churchill Downs, the one-mile maiden special turf race with a juicy purse of $95,000 was switched to the main track. From an original field of 16 - which included also-eligibles - there were 12 scratches, but owner Troy Levy and trainer Michelle Nihei opted to leave Dur a Cuire in to make up a four-horse field.

    The filly was off last with Channing Hill and was never a threat, finishing 28 lengths behind on the sloppy track. And the check for fourth place was $4,750. That's about three months or so of training bills, and Dur a Cuire certainly wasn't hurt by the effort; in fact, she was probably ready to race again in short order. Something to think about.

    (3) It's no secret that the number of mares being bred in Florida has plummeted in recent years, making it more and more difficult to bring stallions in at the end of their racing careers. Proving that point is this season's Florida freshman sire list, which consists of just three names, one of whom is inconsequential. The number of Kentucky stallions who get books of more than 100 dwarfs that of Florida, where the 100+ types are few and far between. 

    One who has bucked the trend is Bucchero, the first son of Kantharos to go to stud and who started out with a bang at Pleasant Acres Stallions last year. Despite arriving late, the near-millionaire proved to be very popular and Joe and Helen Barbazon were able to get 130 mares to him in his initial book. It was going to be very interesting to see what the second year brought, and it turns out it has been even better - Bucchero bred 161 mares this season. 

   (4) Kentucky Downs has announced its schedule for 2021, and there will be six racing days again for the meeting that has been featuring the highest average field size in the country in recent years. The meet opens on Sept. 5 and takes in the Labor Day weekend, with purses averaging about $2 million a day. 

       This year, there were 62 races contested over the six days and it produced a record handle for the track - $59,828,444. Last year, for five days, 50 races produced a handle of $41,239,699.

    There are several major benefits for handicappers making wagers at Kentucky Downs.

(1) The huge pools make it rare for a horse to drop three points as the race is in progress as happens at so many other tracks.

(2) The competitive fields make for very few 3/5 and 4/5 shots.

(3) Some of the best jockeys in the country show up for the festivities. 

(4) The seemingly interminable stretch run gives late runners a much better chance to be competitive than at tracks where if they're 8 or 10 lengths behind at the top of the stretch they have very little chance to win.