Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lake Believe makes believers at Fairplex

Since the third time wasn't quite charmed, Lake Believe made good on her fourth lifetime start Thursday at Fairplex, drawing off to win by five lengths as the 3/5 favorite among $32,500 maiden-claimers.

Lake Believe becomes the 26th horse from my 187 juvenile sales tips of 2010 to clear her maiden hurdle.

The dark bay filly by Ford Every Stream-Learn to Hope, by Moment of Hope was third in her debut at Hollywood Park and second twice at a similar level during the Del Mar meeting. She found a bit softer and smaller group, perhaps, at Fairplex, and I think she likely moved up a bit on dirt versus her prior efforts on synthetic.

Lake Believe and Fairplex's all-time leading rider, Martin Pedroza, were beside 62/1-shot One More Palo through moderate fractions of 22.97 and 47.45, before the latter faded to last, beaten nearly 20. Lake Believe was two lengths clear of Chaturunga after six furlongs in 1:13.27, and finished a confidently handled five lengths ahead of that second-place finisher, covering seven furlongs in two turns over the Fairplex bullring in 1:26.70. Lemon Drop Ridge was third.

Peter Miller conditioned the winner, who runs in the colors of Altamira Racing Stable, Bruce Chandler, Jeff Fink and Mark Umeda. Lake Believe was bred in Louisiana by Bill Langford and Eva Lydick. She has now earned $23,720 from four starts.

I recommended Lake Believe as Hip 32 on the first day of the OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training, where she sold for $37,000. I noted after the sale that I might not have paid so much, especially since it was announced upon her entering the ring that the filly had a bone chip in one fetlock. But I still thought she was promising.

"This filly goes against just about every rule I've developed on selecting foals for the races," I wrote. "Let's count 'em off: (Unproven) sire; no blacktype under the first three dams; second dam raced poorly. ... But she'll be a racehorse."

Why was I so confident? Because Lake Believe's dam ran 67 times, winning 14, and had produced six foals, all to race, and five winners. This filly's 21-flat quarter at the under-tack show -- "really looking the part almost every step of the way" -- made it seem she could be the best of all her siblings (none of which have exactly broken the bank in earnings), and I still think she will be.

But, she sure isn't getting to go about it the easy way. In recommending her, I noted that the filly, "as an accredited Louisiana-bred ... gets to run in some comparatively light company for some pretty fair purses." It has to be much tougher racing among open company in California.

After missing at Hollywood and Del Mar, Lake Believe broke maiden for a tag in a Fairplex race with a $16,000 purse. I think she'd have already broken through by now among LA-breds, probably in special weight company, and at Evangeline Downs, for example, that would have meant the winner's share of a $30,000 purse.

So, as I'm occasionally wont to do, I'm going to offer advice in this space:

Altamira Racing Stable, Bruce Chandler, Jeff Fink and Mark Umeda, please give serious consideration to a trip back to the bayou state for the autumn stakes season. It's highly unlikely you could wheel back Lake Believe in the $100,000 Louisiana Stallion Stakes at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 25, but on Nov. 20 at Delta, the Louisiana Jewel, restricted to LA-bred fillies, carries a breathtaking (for statebreds particularly) purse of $250,000. And Lake Believe certainly seems capable of getting the mile distance in that race. I think she also would fit just fine in the six-furlong Louisiana Champions Day Lassie S. at Fair Grounds on Dec. 11, with a purse of $100,000.

Fair Grounds also has a $50,000 statebred sprint for fillies on New Year's Eve. (C'mon! The Big Easy on New Year's Eve! How can you beat that?)

Not to mention the filly could greatly elevate her residual value of all she did was hit the board in one or more of these races.

Unsolicited advice aside, Lake Believe's victory pushes the total record for my sales touts that have raced thus far to 31 wins from 168 starts, a strike rate of 18.5 percent. Combined earnings have now topped $950,000, though I don't have a final earnings report from Camarero on the purse won Wednesday by maiden-breaker Goldenrod Road. With 72 of 187 sales tips having made at least one start (38.5 percent), the 26 winners equates to a solid 13.9 percent of all sales tips, and 36.1 percent of those to reach the starting gate.

Follow along with the careers of my sales picks, and a handful of pans (none of which have raced) in the list at the end of this former post.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome comments, including criticism and debate. But jerks and the vulgar will not be tolerated.