Monday, February 27, 2012

Drought Report 2012 - Catch-Up

Since the last report, the whole picture has changed in the search for the Drought Breaker. A fresh face stunned in the Lewis. The clubhouse leader came back from his layoff to suffer a loss to stubborn rival. Some horses fell off the trail. All that and Bob Baffert won everything in sight. Let's get to a bullet-point style recap of what has happen since the last report...

(Please forgive the time since the last post. I have been dealing with some personal issues that has made hard to blog at all.)

  • I'll Have Another came off a five month layoff to spurt away from the field in the Grade 2 Robert B Lewis S. back on Feb. 4th. He tracked the pacesetter, made his move turning for home and drew off. His pedigree says that ten furlongs shouldn't be a problem, but the fact that his next race will be the Santa Anita Derby is off-putting. Two non-consecutive preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby is serious uncharted territory . He came back to work on 2/23, going four furlongs in 48.60 over at Hollywood Park.
  • The runner-up in the Lewis was Empire Way. This full brother to champion 3yo filly Royal Delta closed from last to get second, picking off the rest of the field without being a threat to the winner. Another horse without distance limitations, he should only get better as the year continues (based on his sister's campaign). He has worked twice since the last race, most recently on 2/25 at Hollywood Park, going six furlongs in 1:14. He is pointing to the San Felipe Stakes.
  • As for the other runners from the Lewis, Sky Kingdom was subsequently hurt and is off the Derby trail.  Liaison bounced off his subpar effort (he was going nowhere when he fell in the stretch) with two works since the race, the latest being on 2/22 at one mile in 1:43 at Santa Anita. His rival Rousing Sermon came back from his 4th-place finish (moved up to 3rd via DQ) with three works, the latest on 2/27 going six furlongs in 1:13.20 at Hollywood Park. Groovin' Solo, who was placed last via DQ after originally finishing third, came back from the race to post on 2/26 a bullet five furlong work in 58.80 at Santa Anita.
  • The Grade 2 San Vicente on President's Day weekend marked the 2012 debut of Creative Cause. The winner of the G1 Norfolk and 3rd in the BC Juvenile, he was the heavy favorite in what turned out to be a four-horse field. He was a little flat and ended up third in the race. His trainer Mike Harrington (who also trains Empire Way) said that he will be headed to Oaklawn Park for the Rebel Stakes for his next start. His nemesis Drill was looking to right the ship after a disastrous last few races, and today was his day, as he ground his way past the pacesetter American Act in the stretch. Drill's trainer Bob Baffert said that he will be kept around one turn for foreseeable future. Maybe a possible start in the Met Mile?
  • In other races at Santa Anita, Bodemeister dusted a maiden special weight on 2/11. Named for Baffert's son Bode, his stylish win has his trainer putting him into stakes competition next time out. He worked on 2/26 going six furlongs in 1:14 at Santa Anita. Fed Biz (another Baffert trainee) won a first-level allowance race on 2/9. He is headed for the G2 San Felipe in his next start. He worked on 2/22 six furlongs in 1:16 at Santa Anita.
  • On President's Day at Oaklawn Park, the Bob Baffert show continued, as he won both divisions of the Southwest Stakes. In the first division, Castaway attended a soft pace and kicked away to win. In the second division. Secret Circle sat right on the pace and ground his way to a win. Their trainer said he would be back with a runner for the Rebel Stakes, but no guarantee it would be either of his entrants.
  • Other workers of note are Sabercat, Delta Jackpot winner, who worked on 2/26 five furlongs in 1:00.80 at Santa Anita; Midnight Transfer, San Pedro Stakes winner, who worked on 2/26 seven furlongs in 1:24.80 at Santa Anita. Both of them are being pointed to the San Felipe Stakes
There is a brief recap of most of the possible contenders for the Drought Breaker. With the San Felipe in two weeks, the picture will hopefully become clearer. Good luck folks.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fake Racing Movies Gone Wild

On Tuesday, a racing-based hashtag swept over Twitter with a rush. Following in the footsteps of other hashtags such as #PopSongJockeys and #PopSongHorses before it, #FakeRacingMovies flooded the Twittersphere with funny, pun-charged titles of movies. Everything from the venerable classics of multiple Academy Award winners to absolute bombs of movies that went in and out of theaters in a flash. As of this blog posting, it was just now starting to fade. Here are some of my personal favorites, with fake movie plot synopsis for each:

Fly So Free Willy - The heart-warming story of boy who helps to save a horse from being gelded in order to save his family.
Denman on Wire - This thrilling documentary about the steeplechase star Denman search for the wire against his rival Kauto Star.
The Mucho Macho Man Who Knew Too Little - In this remake, Mucho Macho Man mistakes a spy's ring tone for the call to the post and falls into an international espionage thriller.
Win Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory - In this twist to the classic Roald Dahl novel, 5 people get a chance to win the man behind the famous brand itself as their own personal servant along with his factory of wonderment.
Sex and the City Zip - The four ladies talk about a recent dry spell in the love department.

A Street Cry Named Desire - "Who's Stella?" is the tagline for this imaginative interpretation of this classic story.
Million Dollar Yearling - The story behind how a little filly with a no-name pedigree becomes the sales-topper at the Keeneland September sale.
Under The Tuscan Evening - A divorcee mare hopes a move to Italy will restart her love life. A powerful performance by Diane Lane throughout.
Pletch - Intrepid trainer Todd Pletcher is offered a yearling with an allegedly ho-hum pedigree to train. But after digging into the horse's past, he discovers things may not be what it seems...
Sunday Silence of the Lambs - A young FBI employee is sent to a prison for the criminally insane to befriend a former horse trainer with a medication-positive filled past in a desperate attempt to help stop a vet who is pushing a "killer" performance drug cocktail.

Raiders of the Lost Arch - An venerated racing historian is called upon to stop evil and discover the mysterious Arch of the Covenant, a horseshoe that could change the fate of history.
Yours, Mine and Half Ours - The story of two jockeys who have figure out how to divide their children and possessions during a bitter divorce.
Comma To The Top Gun - A hot shot bush-league jockey is promoted to the McCarron Jockey School, where he tries to overcome his brash attitude, his father's fatal past errors and his inability to use an apostrophe correctly.
Not For Love Actually - Loosely interconnected vignettes about how relationships fall apart, with the racetrack as a backdrop.

Saving the best title for last (via @shesunskippable: )

Weekend at Bernardini's- Two up-and-coming stable-hands discover that their star stallion is dead right before open house weekend at the farm! With the farm in dire financial straits, these two have to pretend their stallion is still the life of the party, with comedic results!

Go ahead and post some of your favorite titles (with plot previews if you want) in the comments section.