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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Notes From the Second Weekend in September

Doctor Butch became a millionaire on Sunday, when the five-year-old won a WO25 from the rail at 3/5 at Harrah’s for Tim Tetrick. Butch became the 7th millionaire by Art Major in North America; there are also a couple Down Under: For A Reason and Sushi, Sushi. Art Official, JK End, Santanna Blue Chip, Hypnotic Blue Chip and Feel Like A Fool are the males; Handsoffmycookie is the only filly on this stretch of land.

Butch made quite a bit of his million in the NYSS. The Rooney, which he won as a $30,000 supplemental entry for George Brennan, is his only open stakes win. On the other hand, he earned almost $370,000 on the open circuit between last year and this.

He’s a complete horse, but it’s unlikely there would be much of a market for him as a stallion. Paternal brothers Art Official, Santanna Blue Chip and Hypnotic Blue Chip have all failed at that endeavor to this point.

David Miller, who won a pair of $225,000 Ohio Sire Stakes finals at Scioto on Saturday, jumped over Tim Tetrick and into the second spot on the driver’s money list. Yannick Gingras still has a $525,000 lead on him. And Jason Bartlett, who took a pair of NYSS Night Of Champions finals with Band Of Angels and Betting Exchange, plus a second with Wings Of Royalty, moved ahead of Brian Sears and into third place. Corey Callahan, who was hanging around second until a month ago, is now in sixth.

Jim Morrill Jr, who took the winter off, as usual, won NYSS finals with Habitat and Jewels In Hock. He’s in twelfth on the money list, with far fewer drives than those ahead of him. The smallest difference is 421 drives with Brian Sears; the largest is 1837 with Aaron Merriman—who has almost three times as many.

Yonkers Trot and Night Of Champions winner Habitat is the third NA based millionaire by Conway Hall. Windsong’s Legacy and Wishing Stone are the other two. The latter, a double millionaire, banked almost $660,000 racing in Europe.

Obrigado, who recently won the Crawford Farms, is fighting an uphill battle in his quest to garner an invitation to the Yonkers International. That was only an elimination round on Saturday, but his competitors for an invite, Resolve and Natural Herbie, both pulled off impressive wins. Yonkers would like to see Svanstedt and Yoder in the race. The latter won the International Preview last year. Obrigado needs a win, from the ten slot, in the Maple Leaf to be invited. Simply finishing ahead of the other two won’t get it done.

Roger Walmann apparently had no interest in getting D’One and Magic Tonight into the MLT final. What else are we to think? Someone as successful as he has been can’t be that clueless.

EL Titan might qualify as the saddest waste of a quality trotter that we’ve seen for a while.

Four horses from last week’s Top Ten Poll lost over the weekend: State Treasurer, JL Cruze, Bee A Magician and D’One. It was BAM’s 3rd consecutive loss—in an elimination, notwithstanding. And JL Cruze failed to make the board once again, after his stretch of R&R.

Pinkman, Mission Brief, Southwind Frank and Wakizashi Hanover were all impressive winners. They should move up in the poll, although I doubt that any of them will dislodge Wiggle, who has another week and a half off, from the top spot.  

Bettor’s Delight had a good day Saturday as LA Delight crushed the opposition in the Champlain and Betting Exchange won his class final in the NYSS for Jason Bartlett and Tom Fanning. Bob McIntosh sheepishly admitted that he didn’t think enough of the former to nominate her to the BC, and he apparently has no plans to go to Lexington. It will be a Gold and a Super Gold end to the season. Sire stakes racing has killed the Grand Circuit. She’ll be voted division champ in Canada off the two GC wins at Mohawk and all that OSS Gold, but let’s hope another filly steps up in Lexington and in the BC and takes the Dan Patch away from her.

Nine of the 20 starters in today’s three splits of the Liberty Bell at Harrah’s were by Well Said, and fiver were by SBSW. The latter had one win, but Well Said, despite his numbers advantage, was shut out. Trading Up was the SBSW winner. The Tony Alagna pupil went a strong mile for Scott Zeron in the first split. Pennsylvania castoffs, Dragon Again and McArdle, sired the other winners, Wakizashi Hanover and Allbeef N Nobull, respectively. Waki was the only Dragon Again, while there were four by McArdle.

After that stellar performance in the Simcoe Saturday night, Tony Alagna and the connections behind Artspeak will take a ration of shit a mile long if they fail to show up in Delaware, Ohio. Privileging some phony race in Indiana over the Jug, like the Captain did, would really draw the ire of the public. Not that they’re under any obligation to pay attention to that.

There were a few huge upsets on the sire stakes landscape over the weekend. Barn Doll, who came in to her New York final with ten wins in twelve starts and more money earned than any in her class, with the exception of Wild Honey and Mission Brief, lost to Jewels In Hock on a very nasty night at Yonkers. And the undefeated Triumphant Caviar pair, Kanthaka and Kestrel, were beaten at Scioto Downs.

Joe FitzGerald

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