Lawyer Ron is one of four nominees for trainer Todd Pletcher. Joining Lawyer Ron on the list are A. P. Arrow, Fairbanks, and Magna Graduate, all of who qualify for the $100,000 bonus. As a multiple Grade 1 winner this year, Lawyer Ron is the lone nominee who qualifies for the $200,000 bonus. With the bonus, the total winner's share of $500,000 for Lawyer Ron would be the largest of any Classic division race for older horses until the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on October 27.
Student Council, winner of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in his first start for trainer Vladimir Cerin, and Midnight Lute, winner of the Forego Handicap at Saratoga for trainer Bob Baffert, are also among the Grade 1 winners on the nominations list. The others are Brass Hat ('06 Donn Handicap), Evening Attire ('02 Jockey Club Gold Cup), and Hard Spun ('07 King's Bishop).
This would be Evening Attire's third MassCap start. The venerable grey finished second to Macho Uno in '02, and also ran in the '04 MassCap (which Offlee Wild won in a three-way photo finish with Funny Cide 2nd best and The Lady's Groom 3rd.)
Last edited by Barnfairy; Sep. 23, 2007 at 01:07 PM.
“When racing resumes on September 21, Hawthorne Race Course will once again offer dirt racing in Chicago … a 3-inch limestone base with 4 inches of fine sand, and a small amount of clay, evenly distributed from rail to rail, because it is the safest surface for the elements.”
“It’s still safety first here, and we’re committed to the health and well-being of our horses,” Carey said. “Because we are one of the few tracks in the country to offer dual racing, we are required to strip the track entirely every year. This ensures a perfectly even base which has allowed us to be the safest track in the state for many years. We have no expectations of ever changing our racing surface.”
Although Hawthorne's days are numbered with Arlington Park which has had to embrace the polytrack ...
I digress. It is great to see the beloved old warrior, Evening Attire, and his connections taking a look at the MassCap but he was struggling at Saratoga [but took 3rd] against a few very good horses in the last race who were themselves well below the likes of a Brass Hat. Put that attorney horse in there and no one has a prayer in heck of seeing anything but his tail a furlong away in front ...
All I've seen on LR in September was "record-setting 4-year-old colt Lawyer Ron could hook up in the Jockey Gold Cup". From the estate owning Lawyer Ron and Todd Pletcher they must take into consideration a few factors: (1) More money comes with a Lawyer Ron victory in the MassCap [the JCGC is $750k total but the winner's take is less vs. the guaranteed direct to Ron payments made in the MassCap if he wins], (2) how taxing of an effort it may be and (3) the JCGC is a Grade 1 and adds more value - if its even needed - to his long term breeding fee vs. an ungraded MassCap.
Having a fresh Curlin in the JCGC (not raced since the Haskell vs twice for Ron in the same time) could make for a burdensome effort for Lawyer Ron. You don't want to come out of that last prep race - the BCC being the ultimate goal - drained if its unnecessary. Not to say the MassCap will be a cakewalk or that Curlin is running at the level of Lawyer Ron (he isn't in my view) but if you can take an easier route and make more money .. why not?
Then again this could be more like the 1960's racing where trainer/owners loved the fight and would nothing more then going right at the competition A very sound defeat of Curlin in the JCGC by LR now could just give his connections reason to avoid going to the BCC with him and thus Pletcher's AGS and LR would enjoy one less competitor in New Jersey.....
Popping into this thread to say - not only do I hope Lawyer Ron shows up! - but also: anyone coming to the MassCap, please stop by the CANTER NE booth in the grandstand area! We will be there all day, selling merchandise to benefit both CANTER New England and the TRF. We'd love to catch up with some COTHers.
Looks like a good field, although not quite the level of competition the organizers wanted but next year hopefully they'll get it awarded a Grade 2 status.
Look at the Penn Derby and the fat, big-name field it drew for this year. Three years ago none of those horses would've been running there so with a big purse and the grade they will come. Now if only the Boston fans come out to see a good day of racing!
Had Lawyer Ron or Street Sense been entered I suspect there would be about 4 less horses entered. So the upside is a larger field and more betting action ...
When Joseph and Mary Grant of Quincy, who along with T.J. Kelly have had the gelding since he was born, attempted to retire the thoroughbred a while back, Evening Attire let them know what he thought of the idea.
"When we say he loves the track, people say, 'What are you, crazy? Horses want to go out and run around the pasture,' " said Joseph. "Not him."
"We tried to retire him," added Mary. "He was like, 'I don't want any more of this. I want to work.' "
Also worth pointing out - a reflection of all those little New England tracks long gone and not so long gone:
The Grants have been involved in horse racing for decades and hope the progress at Suffolk Downs, in no small part because of the addition of Richard Fields to the track's ownership group, will mean a resurgence for racing in the state.
"We used to breed in Massachusetts, we don't any longer," said Joseph Grant. "We just shipped a horse from Kentucky to New York so she'd foal in New York. People miss the fact that there were farms here. We'd like to breed here. It's an industry that people want because it saves farmland. Everyone is complaining about farmland being eaten up by housing developments."
Pletcher's stable is so deep that Fairbanks is clearly a third-stringer behind barnmates Lawyer Ron and Any Given Saturday, yet he is the 7-5 morning-line choice in the Mass Cap.
"Since we are always looking for opportunities to separate our horses and place them in big races, this race was a welcome addition," said Pletcher. "We were trying to decide between the Hawthorne Gold Cup and this race and we thought the shorter shipping trip made more sense for Fairbanks."
Fairbanks, who will have regular jockey Richard Migliore aboard, has been at his best on the front end, earning three of his four wins wire to wire, including the Grade 3 Tokyo City Handicap at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita in March. That plan failed in both his Grade 1 races this summer, the Suburban and the Woodward.
"He has been successful from just off the pace, so I will leave those tactics up to the Mig," said Pletcher. "With a second-place finish in the Suburban, he showed us that he fits in Grade 1 company."
As a graded stakes winner at longer than a mile this year, Fairbanks is eligible for a $100,000 bonus from Suffolk Downs if he wins the Mass Cap. Palladio is the only other runner in the eight-horse field eligible for the bonus.
And I must say, there is a renewed optimism here today. Everyone is dressed in ties and dresses, the pony's all look spectacular, especially Kathy's! Although she always sends her ponies to the races gleaming, they are all braided and wearing bright white and green fluffies and polos. We even have 4 buglers calling the horses to the track. Every one is sooo excited about having the Mass Cap back! Even though we don't have any real big name horses here there are some classy horses running. The weather is perfect, sunny and probally about 75 degress.
Lovely effort by Brass Hat to take the upset victory! Fairbanks while the even-money favorite tried in the stretch to get up to Brass Hat, there was no fire to make victory happen. Wicked slow pace for most of the race which didn't set up well for the old man Evening Attire (making his 61st lifetime start) who ended up 4th.
Barnfairy is still recovering from her day of fun but wants to share these pictures:
65th MassCap (Dr. Pleasure is the first pic, just keep clicking "next" to see all 13 .)
Jess, I am sooo sorry I missed you! The Terrace was clearly unprepared and understaffed for the amount of patrons there were yesterday and as a result Eric and I were "held captive" at our table waiting for service. It was ridiculous --took 45 minutes just to get our drinks, 2 hours for dinner!-- which is unfortunate because in the past I have been so pleased with the level of service there.
Still, the setting was fanTAStic (nothing like a day at the races under clear blue skies with a delicious sea breeze to boot!!!) and the place looked like a million bucks. They even buffed and polished the floors!
Wendy, What a bummer that the service was slow! Those are great pictures.. I've got to get mine uploaded!!
Did you see the CANTER crew (including Bruce and I...what an unexpected honor!) in the paddock area during the CANTER NE race? And we presented the cup to the winning jockey afterwards... very cool
I'm hoping to hear soon how the two geldings are that got shipped off the track... Jingles to both them and all their people!!