Sunday, January 9, 2011

Something in the water at Calder?

The recent success of Calder shippers continues to go beyond ridiculous, as another two runners won at long odds in Saturday's 4-race card on Public Handicapper. If I recall correctly, at least one Calder-based horse won a Breeders Cup race, and I remember being beaten in a late-2010 NHC Tour online contest by 21-1 shot Gourmet Dinner in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot.

The first of two Calder shippers yesterday, 33-1 Dream of Atlantis, regained mid-2010 form to upset in Race 5 at Gulfstream. The pace scenario played out entirely as I had anticipated (21.4 opening quarter, sub-45 half), though my choice, maiden breaker Royal Straight, simply did not have enough in his first time versus winners, but finished a respectable 4th by less than two lengths.  In Race 7, my top choice, Grande Shores (who finished second to the aforementioned Gourmet Dinner in a restricted stakes at Calder in August, scratched, defaulting to my "backup" selection, Cane Garden Bay, who finished a tight 3rd to Determinato, another Calder shipper who regained earlier form to win at double-digit odds.

Otherwise capping an 0-for-4 day, Eibar Coa failed to get my choice in Race 8, Jimmy Simms, out fast enough at the start and, after settling in, got boxed behind others in the homestretch and finished 6th by less than 2 lengths in a blanket finish, while my Race 10 selection, 11-1 Mustang Sally, got a great trip from Joe Bravo but simply did not have enough in finishing a faltering 4th to favorite Cozy Lion.

One closing thought: Olympic Election (Brazilian) is worth a watch. This is a horse I mentioned briefly yesterday in the 8th at Gulfstream ($80k optional claimer, mile on the turf) as a bomber play at 20-1 M/L. I think you have to respect a horse that shipped to Meydan and went against the likes of Midshipman, a creditable Breeders Cup participant in 2009. Anyway, Olympic Election got a great stalking trip and stayed in the top 2-3 runners before tiring in the stretch to finish mid-pack. This is one I'll keep my eye on moving forward and am willing to give a pass for finishing out of the money yesterday, since it was OE's first race since February 2010 and first ever in the United States.

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