There’s plenty of variety in this week’s trip notes column, as we’ll make stops at Belmont, Gulfstream and Santa Anita. Let’s get right to it.
Belmont Race 6: #6 D’YER MAK’ER
Of the four horses that finished in a blanket photo for the win in this allowance turf sprint, D’YER MAK’ER clearly got the worst trip.
D’YER MAK’ER raced under stout restraint from Nik Juarez, dropping out of a spot between horses early to race as an isolated trailer. Whether Juarez was following orders to make “one big run” or came up with the plan on his own, it probably cost D’YER MAK’ER the win.
Once Juarez finally cut D’YER MAK’ER lose, he had to take his mount eight paths off the rail. He finished with a full head of steam to get third beaten just a neck.
D’YER MAK’ER clearly has ability at these conditions, so look for him to resurface soon as a logical contender in a similar spot. It will be interesting to see if there’s a tactical change for him.
Santa Anita Race 4: #13 PALI HIGH
PALI HIGH was fortunate enough to draw in off the AE list, but that’s where his luck ran out.
He was off a beat slow from his far outside gate under Mike Smith, who did well to get his mount over to the two-path into the first turn. PALI HIGH was guided to the three-path once on the backstretch and stayed there around the far turn. Smith was then forced to steer PALI HIGH six-wide to avoid a traffic jam at the top of the stretch.
PALI HIGH checked in fourth behind runaway winner #11 RESTRAINEDVENGEANCE after a respectable rally. But with a cleaner trip, PALI HIGH might have been able to secure place honors instead (he was less than a length behind runner-up #5 BIG BUZZ at the wire).
Like most two-year-olds, PALI HIGH will benefit from experience. If he gets a better starting position for his third career outing, he might be able to graduate.
Gulfstream Race 13: #8 PANTYHOSE
PANTYHOSE has been aggressively campaigned of late, running in some lucrative Florida-bred stakes races as a maiden. Her trouble in this roughly-run race might get overlooked next time she runs.
PANTYHOSE did not get over quickly and entered the first turn five-wide. The pace in front of her was dawdling; 25.52 was the first quarter time. Sebastien Saez decided to follow the flow of traffic and catch up to frontrunning #1 REGAL ROMANCE, taking the three-path for the backstretch run.
PANTYHOSE remained three-wide on the far turn before drifting out five-wide as #3 AWESOME MASS abandoned the rail turning for home. She was unable to match strides late with #10 STARSHIP BONITA and the highly-troubled favorite, #5 DESSERT HONEYS, who photo’d for the win.
A cutback in distance and a drop in class would do wonders for PANTYHOSE. We’ll see where she lands next; she could be a contender at a price if spotted well.