Friday, March 6, 2009

The Gotham S. (G3)

Aqueduct Racetrack
The Gotham S. (G3)
1 1/16 - Three Year Olds - $250,000
The synthetic surfaces of California are responsible for a few earlier than usual west coast invaders. The connections of I Want Revenge and Axel Foley are eager to see if their horses will
adjust to a real dirt surface.

Jeff Mullin’s I Want Revenge brings the most accomplished resume to the Gotham. His last two races, the Cash Call Futurity (G1) and RB Lewis (G2) were both excellent efforts. In the Cash Call he finished second by a nose to the formidable Pioneerof the Nile. In the RB Lewis he stayed close to the pace and made the lead before fading to third behind Pioneeof the Nile and Papa Clem. If this race was on a synthetic track he would be my choice. I think Pioneerof the Nile may be the premier colt of his division at this stage and I Want Revenge measured up well against him. But it is too much to expect a horse to run in top form in his first appearance on a new surface. He is by Steven Got Even and in my opinion they tend to run better on turf than dirt. Perhaps that is why he takes to the artificial surfaces. I don’t expect him to run to form on the dirt and will leave him out of my picks.

Two hometown runners, Haynesfield and Mr.Fantasy will figure prominently in the running of the race. Mr. Fantasy’s two races resulted in impressive speed figures. However, both were earned in state [NY] company. He has yet to be challenged but it’s certain he will be here. There is quite a buzz surrounding Mr. Fantasy and the connections are very excited about this colt. His team is an easy one to root for. He is also a half brother to Tin Cup Chalice, the winner of last year’s NY Big Apple Triple. But I feel this spot is a little too ambitious for him at this stage of his career; but I’ll be rooting for him.

The Steve Asmussen trained Haynesfield has more seasoning and boasts a 5-4-0-1 record but has run against suspect competition thus far. Asmussen always has them ready and with C.C. Lopez up I would expect Haynesfield to break well and run his usual race, up close or on the lead all the way around. And while I see him fighting for a show check with I Want Revenge, show may be the best he can do.

Masala, is an interesting horse. In three races he has, for all intents and purposes, run on three different surfaces: turf, wet and fast. He ran well on each of them. In his last he ran second to Take the Points. That horse shipped west and finished second to The Pamplemousse in last week’s Sham S. (G3). I expect Masala to move up going two turns. He’s had five weeks between races and great works at Palm Meadows. Coa is making the trip and I figure this pair will finish well and pick up a check.

My choice to win is Imperial Council. In his debut last summer at Saratoga he ran second by a neck to Hello Broadway. His next appearance was in October when he broke his maiden going 7f. at Belmont in a key race. Shug gave him a little time after that. They brought him back at GP Feb. 14th in money allowance conditions and he gutted out a tough victory. This is a signal to me that he has matured nicely. It’s been only three weeks since his return but McGaughey wouldn’t bring him back if he had any concerns. He’s by Empire Maker out of the Thunder Gulch mare Jaramar Rain so he will appreciate the added distance. He’s coming off a bullet at Payson Park. His works there assure he has a bottom in him. He has to overcome stretching out and a talented field but I see all systems ready to go.
The Picks:
Win: Imperial Council
Place: Masala
Show: Haynesfield

1 __ Naos________M.Luzzi______ T. Pletcher____116_ 20-1
2__ Russell Road__T.Dunkelberger_ J. Casey_____116_ 20-1
3__Masala_______E.Coa________T. Pletcher____116____5-1
4 __Axel Foley____R.Migliore____K. McLaughlin__116___15-1
5__ Mr. Fantasy___A. Garcia_____K.McLaughlin__116___7-2
6__Haynesfield____C.Lopez_______S. Asmussen__120___5-1
7__Imperial Council_R. Maragh___C. McGaughey__116___5-2
8__I Want Revenge_J. Talamo_____J. Mullins_____116___ 3-1
9__ Giant Ryan___J. Sanchez______B. Parboo____116_____50-1

1 comment:

Amateurcapper said...

Russell Road in a big upset! They all have questions, so I'll take the 20-1 on a horse that's based in the same region as the race.

Good Luck.