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Location: Stockton, California, United States

Some call me OlRailbird.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Curlin up with Oak Tree

Will the Jockey Club Gold Cup be Curlin's last race?

His connections are leery of artifiicial racing surfaces, especially the one at Santa Anita where the Breeder's Cup Classic is to be raced next month.

If Curlin wins today, he will be the richest horse in history, cracking the $10 million mark in career winnings. He has already won a Breeder's Cup Classic, why risk his reputation on a surface not to his liking?

Speaking of Santa Anita's surface, my opinion is that there is something seriously wrong with it. In three days of racing, Oak Tree has been a graveyard of favorites. Some of them had bad racing luck, but most just seemed ordinary losers. The fields look spread out on paper, but bunch up in the stretch and anybody can win. Monstrous prices have posted.

Maybe the real test comes today with four main track stakes races carded. If the solid horses are overrun by longshots, we'll know there is a mystery to unravel.

There are only five horses in the Lady's Secret and if the winner is either SUPER FREAKY or SANTA TERESITA, the rumblings will begin for me.

The six furlong Ancient Title stakes is a bit competitve on paper, but the winner should come from the top 3 on the tote board.

Two year old fillies are usually pretty formful, and that's what I expect in the Oak Leaf. The only long shot on the morning line that could surprise me is WILL O WAY, who was a good 3rd to the favorite last time at 7f and could like the stretch out.

When they're running for half a million dollars, I don't expect surprises. That doesn't mean I expect a favorite to win, just that if a nice price pops up I expect one of my contenders to suprise other handicappers.

The $500K Goodwood could be where the money is today. The lukewarm morning line selection is WELL ARMED at just 7/2. I figure SPIRIT ONE, TIAGO and MAST TRACK all slightly better than the favorite. Whoever wins should pay a nice price, but if the winner comes from the bottom 2/3rds of the board, something is rotten.

Today's races look like a dry run for trainers eyeing the Breeder's Cup. They're all wondering what is up with the surface. If today is anything like the last 3 days, they will probably still be wondering what is going on here, tomorrow.


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