Sunday, November 30, 2008

Third Place

Well, it doesn't pay the bills, but it wasn't a bad race either.

Frankie Alvarado took the 7, Sidepocket Cat out quickly and played catch me if you can. No one could. By six furlongs he was up 7 and coasted to 2.25 length win over favored Candlestick Park. Porter managed to close from 5th to 3rd, about 9 lengths off the winner.

It was hard to get a read on the race with Cat just taking it to the field. Remembering that it was a $10,000 claiming race and he dropped in from $20,000 it seems a bit flat, but the winner came up from Hollywood - allegedly a lateral class move, but a think it could be considered a drop and Candlestick is a solid performer at this level. In fact, Candlestick Park was claimed back by Jerry Hollendorfer. If this horse could stay in a barn for a while, I think he could move up the ladder a bit.

So now the questions begin. Is it the Tapeta surface? Could be - Porter's dirt races at the Fairs have been very good, even winning at $25,000. What about the turf? Two starts with one fourth. That said, his last turf race was a $32,000 Optional Claiming race. A fourth there was not too bad and he was only 5 lengths off the winner. What about down south? Well, he ran in two $40,000 Starter Allowances at Del Mar last year finishing fourth (missing third by a head) and fifth. So, maybe he likes the Cushion better than the Tapeta.

What if he's all about the dirt? Do we turn him out until Fair season? Does he go to Turf Paradise and try and pound up against allowance company there? What about north to Portland?

A lot of interesting questions that need to be answered in time. Right now it's nice to be back in action and in with a good group of folks in a nice horse. We'll get our answers, Armando Lage will work on him and we'll keep on moving forward. It appears that Porter came back fine and we'll have another race. That's all we can ask for...


PEM said...

Ted--what do you have to do to qualify for the weeds out there? I think here you gotta be placed for at least 16K to make the list--and the AE list is always about 6 deep here (TBD).

Tough spot-a 10 claimer off the SOCAL circuit is always a class opponent-he just whistled--but no disgrace at 19-1 for 3rd. If that winner is not in that field (and he was obviously much the best) you're 2nd and the pot covers the monthly nut.

Let's face it--in claimers-lots of times it's luck of the draw. Two 10K races are drawn up on one fine card-- first one the top 3 come back and all win for 16K next out--the second the winner can't win for a nickle the rest of the year. Myself, of course, always seem to draw into race #1!

Anyway-nice to get a little taste-take a look at how the splits and finish times look according to the rest of the charts-take some solace-go from there.

Lloyd said...

I think the races Armando wanted for him just didn't fill and so he had to run him here. Two factors that didn't help VP were the Tapeta surface, which in his PP's he just doesn't seem to like very much, but also that this was only his second time facing older horses. I know it's late in the year, but I still think 3yr olds facing older are at a big disadvantage and unless they are a good horse, they are the underdog.

Maybe a Cal-Bred race for his next run.