CHELCEE’S HOPE: This was one strange race for a 11/8 turf route. Chelcee’s Hope had no hope as she was lagging behind a snail’s pace of 26, 51, 1:40 and a final time of 1:51 and change. The winner walked around the track. In the sixth race, a bunch of maidens ran the same 11/8 on the grass in 1:48 and change.
COST OF FREEDOM: Hadn’t seen the starter since August 2006 at Del Mar, but there are few better than Carla Gaines bringing a horse back from a long layoff. And, she had this guy ready to roll. He took plenty of action and was sent off as the 2-1 favorite. Freedom stormed home, winning by four lengths. It will be a move up and another score.
JUSTICE IS BRIEF: Showed good early foot, but was taken back off the lone speed to be next to last. She then made a quick three-wide move into the stretch and got up for the place while widest of all on the line. All this girl needs is a little pace to run at and she will be in the winners circle in her next start. $$$
BROUGHT IT: Trained by Frank Monteleone and ridden by Victor Espinoza, who have become gold together. I was surprised to see this girl at better than 5-1. She sped to the early lead, responded to a couple light taps of the whip, then eased home in a big-time win. Had plenty left in the tank and looked like she could go around the oval another time. $$$
RIVER GLOW: Off since last March, she broke a little tardy. Pulled hard when wanting to be let loose, but got stuck between horses. Was in tight and had to be checked, but re-bid on the turn. Just did miss the place in what was a good try.
SYNDICATOR: Bobbled and threw his head at the start. Was sent up inside, but shuffled back leaving the backstretch. Shifted out for room, but got in tight again. Continued willingly till the end and was clearly second best. May have been the best in this race with a good trip.
ZOEMEG: Was very unlucky to lose her last race. Got stuck down on the inside, while chasing one of those super slow lone speeds on the grass that have been popping up of late. Settled for the place money, losing by the slimmest of noses.
LITTLE SINGER: 32k maiden claimer looked to be making a winning move when she got in tight midway on the second turn. Had to wait for room and checked off heels into the stretch. Once clear, she split rivals and was a very good third. Looks like she is sitting on the maiden breaker.
MINISTER BLAIR: Made a big middle move in this 1½ turf route, but could not follow through. Look for him to get a shorter distance for his new connections and a trip to the winners circle at what will be a good price.
VICTOR’S CRY: This was one strange race and a reason I don’t bet on the pick six. There was a huge carryover and a standout that a lot of players used as a single or one-of-two if they used two horses in this race. For some reason after the pick six had started, Lotacat got scratched. Now everyone that had him would get the post time favorite. That looked like a horse called Wine On the Porch, a HTW in last week’s GT. For some reason, there was a ton of late money that went on first time starter Victor’s Cry, making him the slight favorite. Wine On the Porch eventually won the race, giving one sly bettor the only winning ticket of $645,097.20 in what could be one great sting. I am interested to see how Victors Cry will run in his next start.
ICE LADY: Set all the pace, turned back several bids and then suddenly bolted. Rider lost his right iron, but the horse somehow came back and got the win going away. I would love to know what kind of feed Steve Sherman is giving his horses to run like that!
IRON DUKE: Was very unlucky to lose as he stumbled badly at the start. Somehow got going late and just did miss while seven lengths clear of the rest. $$$
MEDIA MAN: Looks like this one can move up and repeat.