TOPO DOES SARATOGA – EARLY, EARLY, EARLY EDITION
Topo pounding out his opus on the computer.
Prior to getting down to business and making our selection for the featured 9th race at Saratoga (The Whitney) to be contested at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday August 5 Topo will provide the loyal Nation three mice morsels (these are tidbits in humanoid language) emerging since our latest post.
Firstly, one of the flock severely reprimanded your Roving Rodent Reporter for not reporting on what was considered a noteworthy event. The loyalist –a renowned equine artist in her own right probably would not want her name mentioned (Elaine MacPherson) took Topo to task for not recognizing the fact that she also an Albertan is the breeder of what appears to be a very nice 2 year old filly foaled in Kentucky. In Topo’s defense Item 5 – Two Guys From Lethbridge of our post, was focused on praising Alberta owners who have invested in bloodstock outside the province with successful results. The piece was not about recognizing all breeders not that there anything wrong in acknowledging matings which turn out well especially when one is working with a small broodmare band and produces an individual that can compete at the “big show”. Also there are some 25,000 foals born every year and Topo’s database contained in the mouse computer (brain) does not yet have the capacity employed by those who use actual computers to research bloodstock information. As it turned out Gorgeous Ginny and the Elaine bred filly Surrender Now met in the Landaluce at Santa Anita on July 2 with Surrender Now throttling Ginny and the remaining four runners. For their encores these two fillies are going different directions – the California bred Gorgeous Ginny finished a respectable third in Wednesday’s CTBA Stakes while Surrender Now will race at Del Mar on Saturday in the Grade 2 Sorrento. We are about to find out the mettle of Surrender Now who will face the Baffert trained Smith ridden Diamondsandpearls, a $1.7 million purchase and is unbeaten in her only start. A win by Surrender Now in this race would stamp her ticket to this year’s Breeder’s Cup.
Secondly, Topo made a trek to Hastings Park a couple of weeks ago and ran into many of his friends at the west coast race course. While touring the backside Topo noticed lots of traps around the barn area suggesting that our resident rodent friends are in a whole heap of trouble out there! Topo is pro-life so less of his kind around is not a good thing. Notwithstanding this we ran into an old friend from Ravenscrag Saskatchewan – 2017 Canadian Racing Hall of Fame Inductee – Harold Barroby who was leading trainer in Alberta in the late 60s and early 70s. His primary client from Calgary – Canada West Ranches moved their stock to Exhibition Park (now Hastings) never to return except to participate and win many Alberta Stakes with horses like Love Your Host, Pampas Host, Delta Collen, Fortinbras and so on and on. Harold won the annual training title on numerous occasions in Vancouver but you may not know that he also mentored leading Alberta trainer Dale Saunders and two keep in touch to this day. Harold wondered if we knew who tagged the name “Colonel” on Dale since his surname was not Sanders nor has there ever been any suggestion that he had anything to do with the 11 secret herbs and spices that go into the world renowned fried chicken recipe. According to Harold it was rider Kenny Whittle (many of our current followers would have no clue of who he was even though in his day he was one of the leading riders on this circuit) who hung the name on Dale and it has stayed with him for over 50 years.
Finally we hate bringing this up yet again but we see the end of the Chris Roberts (Topo’s co –creator) era at Casino Nova Scotia coming soon which means the racing industry here would have an opportunity of grabbing this guy to be the Czar of Alberta racing supposedly starting in July, 2018. Topo does not believe that there will actually be such a job opening at said time but if any of our followers do, Topo would be willing to sell to those who think so a piece of prime oasis real estate in the middle of the Saskatchewan prairies that he has a ROFR on. Consumption of the Roberts promotion of “all you can eat lobster tails and prime rib for $9.99” is reportedly going thru the roof. As a matter of fact for the 5 month period since the promotion began – 141,000 lobster tails have been consumed by the GPs. It’s tougher apparently to get a good read on the beef eats but safe to say it’s been extremely high. So in an environment where the credits need to exceed the debits or there is no business, we just can’t see positive things coming out of these type of results. The guy who came up with the idea has to be the scapegoat. Hopefully we will provide an update on this unmitigated disaster in the near future.
THE PLAY – SARATOGA RACE 9, SATURDAY AUGUST 5 – G1 Whitney Stakes – $1,200,000 Purse
Your RRR is on a roll. Last weekend Topo played the Jim Dandy at Saratoga and the Haskell at Monmouth tagging the winners in both races – Good Samaritan ($19.20) and Girvin ($20.40). Topo is perplexed though at letting the exacta in the Jim Dandy slip by since he plays everything Italian. Giuseppi the Great was second best resulting in a $145 Exacta.
The bad news is if Topo goes 3/3 it will not result in a payout anywhere near $20 for a $2 wager. The crystal ball sees only one choice in the Whitney – Gun Runner. Topo was so confident that Gun Runner would best Arrogate in the March Dubai Cup he wagered on him only to Win. Arrogate showed he was the best that day however, since all horses eventually lose, his performance in the San Diego a couple weeks ago was less than stellar finishing 4/5 in a race that was supposed to be a walk in the park. Topo is very confident that Gun Runner will be up to the task in what is also a relatively weak field. Keen Ice has showed some brilliance during his career where he has started 22 times but has only amassed 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 5 thirds. On the other hand Gun Runner in 15 starts is 8/3/2. No matter how one slices the provolone, there is no Arrogate in here thus Gun Runner is strictly the horse to beat. Topo is cognizant of the fact that Saratoga is the graveyard of Champions, but it should not happen this go around. There will be none of Topo’s customary $5 Win, $5 Show bets and we are also going to play Exactas thus the following wagers:
#6 Gun Runner – $50 Win; $5 Exactas: #6 Gun Runner with #1 War Story & #5 Keen Ice – Total amount at Risk – $60.
BONUS PLAY – RACE 11 – SARATOGA Saturday August 5 – ALLOWANCE NW2X
There is a horse in this race – #7 Neolithic that has run 3rd to Arrogate in both this year’s Pegasus and Dubai World Cups. This seems to be a very easy spot to make a return to racing in the US. Topo is confident that this horse has no equals in the race thus will parlay any and all winnings from the Gun Runner bets and wager it all to win.
Remember Topo will be betting real US dollars thru the mutuels on his selections.
Topo is on his way to attend the races at Saratoga. Trainer (Zio) Robertino Diodoro and his able bodied Assistant Wayne Dehr (The Wayner) have assured Topo that the red carpet will be rolled out for the impending visit. No area of the Plant will be out of bounds with attendance at morning workouts, racing in the afternoon and fun and frolic in the evenings. Our next post will be upon our return to reality.
While in Saratoga Topo promises to dig up as much dirt on the dirt on the track as is rodently possible.