Thursday, July 31, 2008

Off The Turf

Very unusual for me to blog this close together, but the rain has come to Central Minnesota and the races have been taken off the turf. I would guess that this is more a precaution with the Claiming Crown this weekend than the condition of the course itself. We've had rain, but it allegedly is over for the day and it is my guess that the course would be listed as 'good' at worse, but just in case... I can certainly understand the decision. Of course I would prefer to stay on the grass, but this does change the complexion of the race.

We're guessing that both Joni's Justice and Classic Trouble will scratch out of this race. Ideally that would set things up great for Fiz. However, the switch to the main track will enliven the chances of Esau's Thunder and Variance. Both have had solid performance on the dirt with both scoring comfortable wins over $17,000 allowance company at a mile and 70 yards and earning high 70's Beyers.

Fizzy has won on the dirt before. He even scored at this level on a wet fast track at Calder last July and earned an 89 Beyer for the effort, albeit at 7 furlongs. That being said, a year is a very long time and his 80+ Beyers since then have all come on the grass.

So why run him here? Well, Bernell Rhone and I went back and forth on this over the phone in the last hour and here were the deciding factors:

- Fizzy has run and won on the dirt before;

- Though his first start at Canterbury on the dirt was dismal, this was a complete change of scenery and routine for him. That is over and he has a comfortable and solid routine now;

- He has trained very well over the dirt surface;

- It looks like the track will probably be 'fast' tonight as they will turn it all day to air it out and the heavy rain has supposedly passed us. A sloppy track would have been a no go as he has run awful on sloppy tracks before;

- There is a good chance we wouldn't get another race at this level on the grass for up to 3 weeks. You can only keep a thoroughbred sharp for so long.

So we run with a concern that speed holds very well on the dirt. My hope is that there is enough of it so that Fiz has something to run at and that he'll settle early enough for Dean to be not too far off the pace. Of course both Variance and Esau's Thunder come from off the pace a bit, too. What's a race without some worry though, right?


Jack said...

Congrats on the win, hope we can do the same on Sun.

Anonymous said...

Turf, schmurf. Fizzy wins! Hahahahaha!

I knew he would get put up via DQ. It's nice once in a while when luck smiles on you.

Man Karma is a great thing.

Ted G said...

Thanks, guys. I'll be pulling for you, Jack!

However you slice it, Lloyd, a win is a win! We'll take it!