Weekend Pick 3 Recap--3/7/16

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Jason Beem

March 7th, 2016

Another race and another paid workout for Songbird who just continues to crush her foes. This race was almost a carbon copy of her last win where she goes to the front, receives not much pressure and then buries her competition on the turn. This time she galloped easily down the stretch as Land Over Sea closed the final margin to 3 and ¾. But Songbird could have easily poured it on if there was any need to. I find myself continually saying “If only someone will go and push her early maybe she’ll have to work hard for one of these wins.” I’ve continually said I think Cathryn Sophia will beat her at the Oaks but even bitter old me is starting to have to realize that Songbird is just so good. I think the question I should be asking is not “when will someone go and push her early?” but rather “Can someone go and push her early. She has that American Pharoah running style where she sprints up front and then just keeps running fast the entire time. She breaks her opponents hearts on the turn. They’re all digging in and she’s not breaking a sweat and pulling away. Cynical ol’ Jason might just have to admit he’s wrong on her come Oaks time.

2. Shagaf and the Golden Rail

Shagaf overcame a huge speed and rail bias to win the Gotham Stakes on Saturday. It should be noted though that he stayed on that rail for much of the race until it was time to go. Eight of the ten races at Aqueduct were won in wire to wire fashion. One of the ones that wasn’t saw the second place horse early on win and the other race was Shagaf in the Gotham. Shagaf was never more than a couple lengths back and had to grind every inch of the race to push by Laoban, who is a maiden. Laoban was very game but if there was ever a day to think a good performance was track bias aided, it was Saturday. The time came back pretty slow but I have a weird suspicion this race might not be as bad as many think it is. Shagaf showed heart closing and getting the win and even Adventist and Sunny Ridge both ran decently against the bias.

3.  Mubtaahij and Keen Ice Disappoint in Dubai

As I said on Friday’s Barn Episode (Listen HERE) I really think Mubtaahij is massively overrated and overbet. He had that one big win in the UAE Derby but other than that just looks very much like a plodding average stakes runner. And Keen Ice, well, I know he means well, but man I just think he’s way behind the Grade 1 types. I know he beat American Pharoah and maybe he’s capable of another big win, but I just don’t see it. One interesting thing about Saturday’s Dubai races though were how friendly it was to speed there. That course is usually pretty darn fair, so maybe Mubtaahij will move up on a more fair surface and maybe they’ll have him fully cranked for the World Cup. But he won’t have my backing.