JC / Railbird

Music Note

Back in the Picture

Received Watch Mail yesterday that Music Note had worked four furlongs in :48.24 at Belmont, a move that seemed much improved from her lackluster six furlong breeze the week before. Reporting in DRF, David Grening confirms my impression and writes that the filly is once again likely for the June 13 Ogden Phipps Handicap, which will be her first start since finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup. The Phipps may come up a short field, as only three other starters are confirmed: Apple Blossom winner Seventh Street, going for her second consecutive G1 win, Shuvee winner Seattle Smooth, and Color Me Up. [6/10/09 Update: Entries in, seven to start. Music Note highweight at 122, in post six. Seattle Smooth gets 121, post two.]


Reports David Grening in the Daily Racing Form (scroll down):

Music Note put in what Mettee called a “subpar” workout Tuesday morning that could put her status for the Phipps in doubt. Usually a strong work horse, Music Note went in fractions of 25.80, 38, and 50 before finishing her move 1:14.80. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:28.80.

“Usually she gallops out a lot better,” Mettee said. “That’s unlike her, she’s usually pretty consistent. She’d have to come back and work better than that next week to justify running in the Phipps.”

Here’s hoping Music Note just had a bad morning and that her poor work isn’t an indication of a physical problem. While the distaff division doesn’t lack for stars, this is one filly I’ve been eagerly waiting to see return.

I’ll be at Belmont on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. More posting to come …

Notes for 2009-04-13

– Few changes to the top 10 this week, with all adjustments in the second tier. Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem, who’s been bumping around the lower third since February, moves to #6, replacing runner-up Old Fashioned, now off the Derby trail and likely done with racing due to a slab fracture of the knee. General Quarters appears at #8 following his win in the Blue Grass, making him the second to come out of the Tampa Bay Derby and take a stakes. I had trouble coming up with a tenth prospect, narrowing the possibles down to Chocolate Candy, Musket Man, and West Side Bernie, all on the cusp. Although Twitterverse sentiment was 4-to-1 for ‘Candy, I settled on Musket Man, who followed up on his Tampa win with another in last week’s Illinois Derby.

Top 10 for 4/14/09 PDI: 1. I Want Revenge 2. Quality Road 3. Pioneerof the Nile 4. Desert Party 5. Friesan Fire 6. Papa Clem 7. Dunkirk 8. General Quarters 9. Regal Ransom 10. Musket Man

– Chocolate Candy worked yesterday morning with new rider Mike Smith up, going five furlongs handily in :59.20 at Santa Anita. “I was happy with the work, said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Of course he was. Trainers are almost never quoted as anything but thrilled with their charges, especially three weeks before the biggest 3-year-old race of the year. The colt does look pretty good in this video of his Sunday move, though.

Dunkirk and Quality Road also worked over the weekend, with Dunkirk breezing four furlongs in :49.06 at Palm Meadows, and Quality Road doing the same in :48 at Belmont Park. He then galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.85 (according to DRF; Belmont clockers credited Quality’ with a five furlong breeze in 1:02.19). NYRA posted a short video of the work, showing the Jimmy Jerkens-trained colt going fine, apparently untroubled by the quarter crack found earlier in the week.

On the distaff side, watch mail brought notice that Music Note, third in her final 2008 start, the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Classic, is back in training. The 4-year-old filly breezed three furlongs in :37.40 at Keeneland on Saturday. No news yet on where she might debut this year. Possibly Belmont, in a race such as the June 13 G1 Ogden Phipps Handicap?

– It might be too early to start speculating on possible Derby pace scenarios, but with Old Fashioned and The Pamplemousse out, who goes to the front? There’s not a lot of early speed among the remaining probables.

– BSFs: 99 101 (upgraded) for Papa Clem, 95 for General Quarters.