# Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hello All!

For all the rumors, all the hype, all the innuendo, all the inference that Churchill Downs hammers its track for big races and soups up the surface to have grand times explode onto the tote at their finish...for all that...it might be true!

I say that because the fall meeting just ended and when I went back to see what races I could look at to find my next group of superstars...or maybe I should say SOUPerstars, I was quite surprised at what I found:

Just one race.

One lousy race with splits worthy of Slew's note. That race was run on 11/22/2012 as race #4 on the main track at 1 mile as an AlwOC. There were 4 notable splits in that affair with the front running winner Infrattini (Include - Casa Frattini, by Mr. Greeley) finishing in a slightly geared down fashion in 1:33.31 after clocking 6F in 1:08.83 and running the 7th Furlong in a very nice 11.89 seconds. I certainly hope the owners, Z Thoroughbreds, stuck a winning ticket into the boot of Mr. Rosario because he paid $14.20 while the favorite Rule and 2nd favorite Hamazing Destiny took most of the money. They finished 4th and last respectively with both seeing nothing but the rump of the front running winner.

Two notes about this race. First, the next two horses, Majestic Harbor who made a late bid and Colizeo who wilted in the stretch won't likely see fractions like that again for a while. Second, Infrattini had come out of a race at Keeneland which he won (10/24/2012 Race # 4) and from that race the 3rd place finisher - Wyomia - came back to place in a 150K stake at Woodbine on 11/24. Note 2A: a front running victory without a creditable challenge. Note 2B: a front running victory without a creditable challenge BUT with Mr. Rosario aboard.

That is different than a front running victory without a creditable challenge.

The only other race that caught my eye was a MSW affair run at 1 mile on the turf on Friday, 11/02/2012. In rather stark contrast, the 6 furlong timing was 1:12.15 but the 7th furlong quickened nicely into an 11.48 split and the race finished in a very professional 1:35.60 with Bold Challenger (Exchange Rate - Best Mom, by Chester House) drawing clear in the stretch. He becomes the first next out winner out of his last, a Keeneland affair run on 10/10/2012 at 1 mile as race #6.

That's it! We're done.

I would keep an eye on these two as they move down the road. Probably not for a start or two, but at some point they will come up again. Especially if Infrattini catches a paceless field and retains the services of one J. Rosario, smart thoroughbred jockey.

Keeping an eye on horses as a meet closes is what we do. I just can't believe that out of the entire fall meet at Churchill Downs, there is only one horse per eye!

Not very souper if you ask me. But I guess if we want souper...we'll just have to wait until May!

That's how I see it. However you see it, good luck and good 'capping!

- Slew  

posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:44:46 PM UTC  #   
# Friday, September 7, 2012
Hello All!

Much like the Belmont meet, the Saratoga turf ran quick all summer with the weather, for the most part, being hot and dry. Of 197 turf races run during the meet, only 27 were taken off the grass. In the Adirondacks, they call that spectacular weather.

Let’s begin at the end.

Race # 1 on 9/3 was a MSW for 2 yr. old males at the distance of 1 1/16th miles and was NOT a FHF fast race. But races for maiden 2 yr. old's are where you find your future investments, and Saratoga is the place to find the best two yr. old's. From that race, Noble Tune stands out. After a pedantic pace the last quarter was run in a quick 23.22 and he personally cut the last 16th in a sizzling 5.65 on his way to the wire after splitting horses in deep stretch. This son of Unbridled’s Song running for the amazing Chad Brown will need to be reckoned with down the road. And that road leads no doubt, to Belmont, Keeneland and Gulfstream Park. I should also make note of runner-up Draw Two, who remained covered up until deep stretch, was swung 5 wide and accelerated very well in a short time to win the place photo. The son of Macho Uno (Holy Bull) should be a short price in his next start but if not, I’ll be on it.

A race of lesser note but still interesting was the 5th, a restricted claiming 20K affair on the turf at 5 ½ F for girls. Lea the Punisher was no doubt, placed into this race with intent by David Jacobson, only to have a tough trip while recovering late into fast fractions to pick up the show position. Her history is to disappoint as the favorite, a knock on the handicapping public more than the horse. Regardless, be advised and watch the tote…and consider yourself warned! But between her failure in an off the turf affair 2 back as the favorite, and her 3rd place finish here, she may be a little bit of a price downstate. Just remember that the purses at the Spa were inflated, and the company in these races reflected that. A rise in class this fall may be an illusion, which will likely help our price.

Another maiden affair to keep in mind was run on 9/1 as race #4 and was fast. My eye is on Evening Garden, another offspring of Unbridled’s Song but this time, with the king, Storm Cat on the dam’s side. The rider lost the whip in deep stretch while she attended fast fractions the entire way, and even re-rallied to gain the 4th spot. She was 50-1. I would check out the chart for this race and keep an eye on the top 4 runners.

Race # 4 on 8/22 was an optional claimer for fillies and mares and was run fast late with Adjacent setting all the fractions, and while pressed by a familiar foe in Sylvestris (Ire), was able to accelerate and hold her off by the a neck. Sylvestris stumbled out of the gate and still almost won. Further, Ramon ‘I can win anytime I want’ Dominguez saw fit to ride Sylvestris for Robert Barbara, a rare trainer-jockey combo. If he decides to stick with her in her next start downstate, take a long look.

Lastly, I’ll finish up where I began back in June and July. As I posted back on July 7th, my horse to watch out of the Belmont meet was Madame Giry. She won both her starts at the Spa in impressive fashion and if she continues to move forward, isn’t done winning. In her last start on 8/24 she ran against a horse I had written about back in June, Ballistic Sue. who just came back to win on Memorial Day at Monmouth Park.

From the Saratoga meet, my horse to watch is Revolutionary. A colt by War Pass out of the A.P. Indy mare Runup The Colors, he runs for Todd Pletcher and Winstar Farms. War pass stands for $15,000 but this colt sold for $235,000 and looked the part in his first start. The chart says he was "clobbered at the start and forced hard into MONSIGNOR then checked..." and spotted the field six or seven lengths at the start...as the favorite. No question his price will be short but this horse looks to be a runner, and we are looking towards the future and not just the next race. I have already marked him in my notebook, and he will be a Slew key horse down the road.

Of the 46 races that Slew finds were the fastest of the fast, only 10 were on the dirt. I’m not sure what that will mean for big Sandy, but beginning Saturday September 8th expect more of the same on the turf at Belmont.

That’s how I see it. However you see it…good luck and good ‘capping! - Slew http://SlewsFastHorses.com
posted on Friday, September 7, 2012 9:47:45 PM UTC  #   
# Monday, August 13, 2012
Hello all! Back on March 11th, we wrote on our Facebook page about two maiden horses coming out of the Santa Anita meeting that merited attention. One of those horses ran today at Del Mar and was beaten by a nose.

That colt is named No Silent and still merits attention.

By Silent Name (Sunday Silence) out of a War Chant mare (Two Names), No Silent broke his maiden in his 4th MSW race after being beaten a length, head and neck in consecutive races. His 2nd race on 3/10/2012, he was beaten by Achilles who came back to win his next start in optional allowance company. The second horse we spoke about, Late Night Sky, came out of the same race to drop into Mcl company to come out a winner.

No Silent's next race was on May 5th at Hollywood Park where he was beaten a neck by Canuletmedowneasy who went on to win his next start, also in optional allowance company. In fact, there were exactly 4 next out winners from that May 5th race, one being No Silent who next broke his maiden on the 7th of July at Hollywood Park. It is quite possible that the 5TH winner out of that race will be Fable Haven, who ran 2nd in his next start to My Best Brother, who just lost by a nose in the La Jolla Hcp (G II) to Old Time Hockey.

It is a tangled web, isn't it?

The horse is managed by Gary Mandella and has a pedigree of champions, with Sunday Silence being Sunday Silence and War Chant the victor in the 2000 Breeders Cup Mile (he beat my beloved King Cugat that day at Churchill and broke my heart). Today, the only horse that beat him was All Squared Away, who was entered out of the allowance condition and was in for the 80K tag, and the only horse in the race out of conditions. He was not eligible except for the tag because of his win in the G III Lexington back on 4/21 at Keeneland. All Squared Away has outrun his humble Mcl beginnings and is managed by the white hot Peter Miller who is winning at a lights out 27% at Del Mar. In case you missed it, that's THEEEE DEL MAR!

No Silent looks to be a runner and while he only has 1 win in 5 starts, his 4 place showings were of the fighting variety by a combined length and a whisker. This guy can flat out run and compete, is young and still learning, and as a late foal has some development ahead of him. Today's mile race was run in 1:33.43 with No Silent taking over in the lane having run 6F in 1:09.60 plus a tick.

My suggestion is to watch him carefully. Today's race was taxing and I suspect he will be given some time to recoup and clean up his feed bucket. But he is still eligible for first level allowance and while he won't be much of a price next time, he merits a long look and will be a key horse for Slew down the road.

That's how I see it. However you see it...good luck and good 'capping! - Slew

posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 9:45:26 PM UTC  #   
# Saturday, July 28, 2012

Exit 105 on the Garden State Parkway takes you right to the Atlantic Ocean, which was made famous by the Jersey Shore, of course! However, one spot to stop and check out on your Jersey Shore vacation en route to the surf, beaches and boardwalks is a landmark erected in 1870. The intention was to bring commerce to an area that was the summer playground for the wealthy New Yorkers looking for an alternative to the Hamptons. The proximity to Manhattan Island made for an inviting and quick trip by ferry or rail. In fact, you can still hear the train between races if you listen closely enough, and you can still smell the surf if the wind is right.

Monmouth Park was a great idea then. It still is.

Since then however, the plant has experienced several capital improvements, with the latest being the erection of lifeguard stands to replace the judges towers that ring the track. In conjunction with that move, the racing committee has also changed the conditions of the 2012 Haskell, Monmouth Park's premier event of the summer, to be a freestyle. However, horses will not be allowed to wear nose-clips.

If the weather on Haskell day is anything like it was for most of Jersey and the surrounding area today, and the sky is once again, as we speak, looking grey, the event will be perfect for Mr. Baffert’s substitute star, Paynter. The Monmouth main track, famous for it’s love of front running speed, is an inviting locale for this all of a sudden budding big-shot in search of a graded stakes win. And so very young and early in his career, no less.

Having had success in the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs on a sloppy and sealed track with a 100 Beyer figure in only his third start, and having shown no distance limitations by making every pole in the Belmont a winning one…except the most important one that is, this son of the original and very awesome Awesome Again looks to have both the weather and the competition playing to his strengths.

While Jerry Hollendorfer’s Nonios presents a very strong form cycle, a dirt track is something that he has yet to experience. And at a morning-line of 7-2, I’m not sure surprises in the form of wet clumps of dirt being kicked in your face is the way you envision your relaxing trip to the Jersey Shore. Even on a workday.

Dullahan is an interesting sort. His job application presents quite a bit of experience in graded stakes races. Seven to be exact, with wins in both the Breeders Cup Futurity as well as the Bluegrass Stakes. Both at Keeneland. Both on the phony stuff that looks like dirt. But these are smart horses. You cannot fool them, and he has yet to win on the stuff your mother told you not to get on your best Sunday go-to-meeting clothes. Did you listen?

Nope! And look where it got you!

But back to Dullahan. While he has a limited but vocal fan club, as does Snookie by the way, I’ve never been convinced. Certainly not today. Not on this track. Not in this race. Maybe some other time. A good presentation today, and maybe we see him in the Travers? I’d take another look there.

Gemologist has much going for him. First, Todd Pletcher. Second, Todd Pletcher. Third, a win on a wet track. If they go back to running at or near the lead, as it appears this race will allow them to do, he should hound Bejarano and Paynter all the way around the track. Can he pass them when it counts? That question will be answered sometime around 6:18.50 PM eastern time. I say no.

Handsome Mike, son of Scat Daddy and running for Doug O’Neill and Mario Gutierrez is in fairly deep here. After all, this ain’t no beauty contest, as the winner will be determined on the racetrack. Note to Handsome Mike: good looks don’t cut it at this level pal.

Finally, there is Stealcase. Running for Mark Casse with Mr. Bridgemohan in the irons, this horse is actually a single on my Slew’s Fast Horses listing for this race and should show some chops today. Experience in all the important departments: dirt, wet track, graded stakes – he was only a neck behind Paynter in the Derby Trial – and a tractable running style that should keep him about mid-pak through the entire swim meet, he seems like a reasonable exacta partner. Especially if his odds drift up thanks to Mr. Pletcher.

In a race that might very well feature more of a chance for a deep water rescue than equine drama, odds will dictate whether you bet on the participants order of finish, or whether you bet on which swimmer gets the most style points.

Wet or dry, I’m looking at Paynter / Stealcase if the exacta is reasonable. If not, the best bets of the day will be the world famous hotdogs at Max’s in Long Branch, just a furlong or two from the track, and a long and slow ride home on the Parkway.

And at the end of the day, if I’m all wet…I hope it is from the weather! Enjoy the racing and as always…good luck and good ‘capping!


posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 10:03:18 PM UTC  #   
# Saturday, July 7, 2012
The turf at Belmont Park has been running fast. Very fast. But fast in a curious way, because it doesn't appear to be restricted to only the better grade of race. I'm seeing rather fast times across the entire spectrum of races. And since it is the horse that runs fast and not the turf, and with Christmas in August fast approaching (Saratoga), I pay attention.

For example, on July 5th, the fifth race on the turf for 3 yr. old's was a 60K Starter Optional Claiming won by Quantity in 1:40.70. The final quarter was run in 23.71 and the last 16th in a strong 5.96 seconds. One race prior, a high level Maiden Claiming race was run on the inner turf course for 3 & up at the same distance. And while the shape was a bit different (slow early) based on the inner course configuration, the resulting finishing times were curious when compared to each other.

The Maiden Claimer ran the final quarter in 22.54 and the final 16th in 5.81. Both faster then the more accomplished 3 yr. old horses one race later. What raised my eyebrows even higher was a comparison to race 8 on the same day. Race 8 was another 1 1/16th turf affair also run on the inner. That race was won by Street Game, who's been running against some nice foes. That race saw the final quarter run in 22.64 and the last 16th run in 5.80 seconds.

So while the 8th is a race to watch, so then is the 4th. Dominguez rode Last Starter to a nice win while in for 45K in a 50K claimer. If she goes to Saratoga, she will be facing some tough allowance company or claimers (and winners) worth much more. The place horse, Wandering Kitten ridden my Rosie Napravnik had a trip true to her name and with a straighter course would have made a better impression on the charts. She lost by 2 lengths as the slight favorite and may also show up at the Spa. But she will be a maiden still and probably a favorite given the troubled trip. The next two were separated by less than a length. Watch for Lion Prince in a paceless race if he is the only front runner. He was five lengths behind the winner which won't look good in the PP's. But considering the swift closing fractions, and the general swiftness of the turf course, that might work out just fine if the company is the right kind next time out.

As for horses to watch, I would keep an eye on the winner of the 7th, Madame Giry. Winning her MSW in fine style after being risked in a 65K MClm race, she has a pedigree that gives her license to be a good racehorse. By Castledale, she has the Nureyev blood. Her grand sire Peintre Celebre, won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in which he broke the track record by more than 3 seconds. She had not shown precocity in her 3 prior MSW races but that may just be her taking a bit longer to learn the game. She was a late (April) foal and may need a bit more time. But on the 6th she was spotted well, she got a field she could handle and more importantly, stayed in easy striking position with little effort and understood what to do when it was time to do it.

So however you see it, good luck and good 'capping!


posted on Saturday, July 7, 2012 9:43:06 PM UTC  #   
# Friday, June 22, 2012

Hello all! Those of you familiar with my "Slew's Fast Horses" listings have seen on one or two occasions a "key Horse" listed at the top of the daily file. This does not happen often because these horses come from my own evaluation of fast races that merit a closer look. I don't pick many but one or two get selected and when they run, get added to the daily file. Tomorrow (Sat.) is one of those times.

The Sands Point, a Grade II turf event run May 29th at Belmont Park produced a flying finish that involved three horses: Better Lucky, Regalo Mia and Zultanite. The favorite, Somali Lemonade was a curious 4th and was never really involved. The race ran quickly with the exception of the 1st quarter. Better Lucky and Regalo Mia came home dead tight in 1:42.75 with the last 16th run in a nice 6.09 seconds. The track record was set by Roman Envoy in 1992 at 1:39.38 carrying 117 lbs. It was his best year, with 6 wins from 10 starts with earnings in excess of 450k. He was bred and owned by the venerable Fred W. Hooper. It should be noted that in the Sands Point all carried 117 lbs except Somali Lemonade who weighed in at 121 lbs.

While both horses, Somali lemonade and Zultanite are dropping into the Grade III level, and while I tend to look to horses that finished together to reverse themselves the next time they face each other, I think not this time. Zultanite has held his from since his maiden win in November and showed courage on the rail as he was headed in deep stretch by Better Lucky. If he isn't dead tired, he should be tough in this spot, with rider Paco Lopez winning at 22% for the meet.

I will be at Monmouth Park tomorrow and barring anything unexpected in the paddock and walking ring, Zultanite will be my key horse in that race. I will probably hedge just a bit using an exacta box with Somali Lemonade in case she wakes up. But the listing in Slew's file stands:

SLEW'S FAST HORSES for (06/23/12) v1.0


Zultanite - MP (11) 05/28/12 # 7

For whatever YOU do, good luck and good 'capping!


posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 9:41:31 PM UTC  #   
# Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Slew has Two Races to Watch...

Hello all. I normally post in the guest handicappers section but today, I find that two races merit attention and possibly some horses who have yet to run as well.

There was one race at Belmont Park today (6-20) that strikes me as a bit strange. Race 4, a Maiden Claiming affair for the girls at 6F was run in a quick 1:08.57 on what was no doubt, a dry and glib turf course. The winner, Vindicated Ghost had run previously in an Optional Allowance affair on June 1st as a MAIDEN. That race was won by Ballastic Sue in a quicker 1:07.65. True to her name, Ballastic Sue paid $33.00. That June 1 race now has 2 next out winners, as Strategic Missle came back 6 days later to win a SB AlwOC and paid $80.00. That horse was a single on Slew's list that day and is no stranger to the winners circle.

It seems to me that the seed race (the 6th) on June 1st has yet to see the entire story unfold as it was fairly contentious, and the 8th race on June 7th needs to be watched. The first 5 horses were separated by less then 1 1/2 lengths.

Keep an eye out for runners from these races.


posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:40:10 PM UTC  #   
# Friday, June 1, 2012

Welcome! You have found the official blog for Slew's Fast Horses.

In this space, we will from time to time post information, horses to watch for, random thoughts and musings, and other items that may (or may not) be of interest to race fans.

So stay tuned...and WELCOME!

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And of course, Slew's website: http://SlewsFastHorses.com

Good luck and good 'capping! - Slew

posted on Friday, June 1, 2012 11:58:48 PM UTC  #