Notes From North and South
Friday, August 14, 2020

Here are some of the latest tidbits from around the country:

(1) The problem of significant odds drops after races begin continues to plague bettors everywhere. A couple of recent examples:

    At Gulfstream Park on Aug. 8, the 2-year-old Handsome Mike filly Yafa from Tropical Racing - in her second start after a poor debut - goes to the gate at 21-1. She gets beaten a neck by Monorail after a monster late run, and she's 13-1 on the board. 

    At Prairie Meadows, Valla goes into the gate at 5-1, and when they cross the finish line she's 2-1. 

    This one is just about the morning line: I Am The Boss at Gulfstream is 20-1 in the line and goes off at 7/5 and romps. In her first start on July 11, she was 23-1 and finished 10th, beaten 15 1/2 lengths. A real question mark. 

(2) In the fifth race at Gulfstream Park last Thursday, a real rarity in the order of finish: the winner was No. 5, followed by 4, 3, 2 and 1. Doesn't happen often.

(3) On sparse Monday, Double Diamond Farm stallion First Dude has three winners around the country, without the benefit of Gulfstream. Miss Star Lo wins at Parx Racing and pays $7.80. She's the second First Dude winner in the last week bred by Marti Haught, owner of the Tack Shack in Ocala, just north of OBS.

    At Colonial Downs, Dude's Secret wins and pays $39, and three races later, Do With Pride wins and pays $17. First Dude has re-taken second place from Brethren on Florida's sire list in a battle that has been changing weekly. 

(4) On the day Yafa finishes second by a neck for Handsome Mike, she begins what was nearly a career day for the stallion. Following, in order, La Flamenca is second by 1 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park; John's Promise wins at Delaware and pays $9.40; Sir Seamus goes wire-to-wire on the grass at Gulfstream and wins by a nose despite announcer Pete Aiello calling Til the End the probable winner; With the stallion looking for his first stakes-winner, Blue Mistress loses the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Gulfstream in a photo that takes the placing judges two minutes to decide. She's the longest price on the board at 18-1. The photo shows she lost by an inch.  

(5) Last year, Brent and Crystal Fernung, owners of Journeyman Stud, publicly stipulated that if their stallion, Khozan, didn't wind up 2019 as Florida's leading freshman sire, the first 25 breeders who sent mares to him last season would be accorded freebies. That could have cost them $100,000. Of course, there never was a moment during the season where anyone got even close to Khozan; he led the field in number of winners and progeny earnings. 

    It was going to be intriguing to see just how the son of Distorted Humor would follow it up as a sophomore, and, again, it has been no contest since Jan 1. Khozan has been well ahead of Double Diamond Farm's First Dude in the earnings department and now holds a lead of nearly $400,000, an insurmountable margin.

    First Dude has led in the winners department all season, but that is understandable because he has 104 runners to 71 for Khozan. However, a late run by Khozan has moved him to where he's now just one winner behind First Dude - 44 to 43. Quite a feat and kudos to the Fernungs for their confidence in the stallion. 






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