NOVEMBER 9, 2012
by John Mucciolo
There was a trio of graded races during opening weekend at the Big A.
Red Smith H. (G2): Phipps Stable's homebred BOISTEROUS (Distorted Humor) lived up to his 1-5 odds with a commanding tally for trainer Shug McGaughey. The five-year-old went 1 3/8 miles on the yielding turf in 2:19 1/5 to win by three lengths beneath Edgar Prado.
Tempted S. (G2): Michael Dubb's MY HAPPY FACE (Tiz Wonderful) got the better of a long duel in a graded race this time by finishing a neck clear under the wire for Rudy Rodriguez. The impressive juvenile filly endured one mile on the fast main oval in 1:36 1/5 with Ramon Dominguez in the saddle.
Nashua S. (G2): Black Rock Stable's VIOLENCE (Medaglia d'Oro) swept to the front in early stretch and inched clear to a solid two-length score under Javier Castellano. The juvenile colt sped one mile on the fast main strip in 1:35 1/5 for conditioner Todd Pletcher.
A total of 25 races were held at the Jamaica, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 28 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 64 percent of the wins during the week. From 19 races on the main oval, five animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (26 percent), while one of the six races on the lawn was taken all the way on the front (16 percent).
There was simply not enough grass racing to have a say on how the lawn is playing up to this juncture.
The main oval seemed fairly kind to forwardly placed runners, but we need a bigger sample of races to work with before we start making assumptions about the dirt oval.
HORSES TO WATCH
2ND -- PEARLS FOR GIRLS (Greeley's Galaxy) ran a big second at first asking in here for trainer Michael Matz, and since this barn is better with experienced runners, we'd expect a tally for this miss in the very near future. She overcame a slow break to be clearly second best in this dash.
5TH -- NORMANDY INVASION (Tapit) left little doubt in this one with a powerful 9 1/4-length romp for trainer Chad Brown. The juvenile colt came home in a solid time beneath Jose Lezcano and could be one to keep an eye on leading into his sophomore season.
4TH -- We didn't expect HOBBS (Put it Back) to win a stakes race the last time he was mentioned in the notebook, but the Florida-bred proved he was up to the task in here on the "good" turf oval. This already is a fine claim by Kathy Mongeon, who grabbed this one two back off Pletcher.
A Look Ahead
The Grade 3, $150,000 Long Island Handicap on Saturday is the lone graded race of the weekend.
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