Today in Racing, Feb 26, 2014

I wanted to post a video of the smashing win by Untapable in the Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds on Saturday, but I don’t see it on You Tube, and even if I could figure out how to do it myself, I’m sure not messing with Churchill Downs and their intellectual property.  (Plenty of videos of Rachel Alexandra though if you are in the mood to relive those wonderful days of her connections making excuses to avoid Zenyatta.) So, we’ll have to settle for a link to ESPN.com.

As mentioned in the prior post, Untapable earned a TFUS speed figure of 105.  While we’re all about figures, sometimes raw final times can tell a story too, assuming that no hanky-panky was performed on the surface between races.  Her final time of 1:43.64 was not only better than the 1:43.86 run by her male three-year old counterpart Intense Holiday in the Risen Star, but it also bettered the time of the Mineshaft for older horses (Bradester, 1:43.80).  Can’t say that either of those colts lost any more ground than did Untapable.  And, as the chart comment says, she won “as rider pleased.”

Here’s our result chart for the race:

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.16.15 AM

Her pace line is a pretty wonderful thing.  She started out fairly quickly to keep up (90 – 97) and just got quicker from there (98 – 105).  Meanwhile, 3-2 favorite Streaming ran into some unexpected front-end pressure from 85-1 Army and faded to last.  That longshot had closely stalked some extremely quick splits three races back (before adding Lasix), so it was actually not totally out of the blue.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.22.07 AMSome interesting form here for a $12,000 yearling (a daughter of Corinthian) who may be worth following once properly spotted.

But I digress. If you throw out her debacle in the Breeders’ Cup, when she had to avoid a spill, Untapable is unbeaten on dirt.  She’s by Tapit (surprise) out of a stakes-winning Prized mare; and she’s a half-sister to Paddy O’Prado, twice a winner at a mile and a quarter on the turf, and third in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.  And if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, trainer Steve Asmussen is not.  Yet.  She’ll be pointed to the Fair Grounds Oaks on March 29.

While the 105 is the best figure earned in 2014 by a 3yo filly going two turns, the impressive sprinter Gracer has the highest overall numbers amongst her peers, earning a 109 in the Marshua at Laurel, and a 111 in the Dearly Precious at the Big A.

Bradester ($15.40) got a TFUS rating of 104 for his win in the Mineshaft. He’s a four-year old son of Lion Heart who’d added blinkers in his prior start after a sluggish effort in a slow-paced race at Churchill.  This time, he added Rosie Napravnik, and showed his handiness rating in third behind Grand Contender (who, despite finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner, also earned a 104 figure for his effort on the lead).

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.33.55 AM

Bradester had also encountered some strong closers biases (denoted by the dark blue shading in the race rating) and a troubled trip at Saratoga.  He has a ways to go to compete with the top of the division (recall that Lea earned a 117 for his win in the Donn), but he seems to be a nice colt headed in the right direction.

– Another morning of racing from Dubai tomorrow; and once again, you can access all of the races, with our best-in-class foreign running lines, for free right here.

The feature tomorrow is the Grade 2, and I quote: “Zabeel Mile Sponsored By Al Naboodah MEP & Engineering Group.”  The morning line favorite is Mushreq, the second choice is Mshawish.  I don’t know diddly about either, but I’d sure love to see them hook up in a three-way stretch duel along with Mustaheel, and hear how the track announcer handles that!

Mshawish is a US-bred and a Group 1 winner in France.  Our long comment indicates that we may not yet have seen the best from this lightly-raced four-year old.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.59.27 AM

He’s by Medaglia d’Oro out of a winless Thunder Gulch mare, and this is the distaff family of the two-year filly champ Halfbridled (whose second dam is the third dam of Mshawish, whose name I can’t even type without stumbling over it).

– Our Horses in Focus post is up now, with horses on which to focus on our product features at Gulfstream and Tampa Bay.  Best of luck, and have a great racing day.

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