Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finding the bright side in a disappointing weekend; Delightful Mary now graded stakes-placed

Heading into the Columbus Day weekend, I had high hopes for my blog's sales-tip Class of 2010.

Beginning Thursday, the class of 187 runners -- which have already achieved a few impressive accomplishments -- had 15 maidens going in 12 races on two continents, two winners seeking their second and third lifetime victories, respectively, and five horses with live chances in six stakes races, four of those graded.

After Saturday's racing, the group had gone winless from a dozen starts. There were a couple of good efforts in the mix; three maidens finished second and another third, for instance. And the two winners were each beaten less than a length for third place in steps up against tougher, non-stakes company.

But from three stakes starts, a trio with real potential came home empty-handed (win-wise, anyway) with Pulgarcito a distant fifth in the Kip Deville Stakes at Remington Park Friday (a race won in barely more than 1:09 flat for six furlongs) and Rough Sailing a wide and troubled sixth in the Grade 1 Dixiana at Keeneland on Saturday.

The only stakes-placing was a new addition to the stakes-horse list, Delightful Mary, who finished second as the heavy favorite behind Wyomia in the Mazarine S.-G3 at Woodbine in Canada.

Delightful Mary was the $500,000 sales-topper from the April Ocala sale of 2-year-olds in training. She came into the Mazarine off two victories by open lengths at Woodbine, going six furlongs among maidens and at a mile-seventy while hand-ridden in allowance company. But Wyomia got the jump on everyone Saturday -- after a late veterinarian's scratch at the gate caused the field to be unloaded and reloaded -- and after setting moderate fractions, she had plenty in the tank to hold off Delightful Mary at the wire.

The Grade 3 placing did pay more than $44,000 in U.S. currency, elevating Delightful Mary's earnings from three starts to a tidy $112,377. ... A start, at least, toward paying back the sum plunked down for her at OBSAPR on behalf of owner John Oxley. And she should have plenty of good, winning days ahead.

We'll discuss her more at length on those days.

On Sunday and Monday of the holiday weekend, eight more maidens get a chance to collect their first victories, one of those in stakes company. Rockin Heat is 3-for-3 at finishing second, including his last start in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes on turf at Woodbine. Today, he'll take a shot at breaking maiden in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes on Woodbine's Polytrack, though he seems to be drawn-in amongst the toughest company of his life.

Other stakes starters include FISCAL POLICY -- one of the class' three stakes winners thus far -- trying to run her overall win-streak to three in the E.L. Gaylord Stakes at Remington, and dual-winner Hold Still in the Grade 2 Clasico Dia de la Raza at Hipodromo Camarero in Puerto Rico.

The class of 2010 includes 33 winners. Through 243 starts, they have combined for 42 wins (17.3 percent strike rate), 46 second-place finishes (36.2 percent in the exacta) and 23 show finishes (45.7 percent in the money). Collective earnings have reached $1,495,772, or $6,155 per start.

Follow the entire sales-tip Class of 2010 in the list at the bottom of this former post.

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