Monday Morning Trainer: Remember When

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Monday mornings are always kind of busy and especially so now that we’ve inched past the midpoint of the month. Some are spending the time talking about and filling out NCAA brackets. Others are feverishly working away on their day’s duties so they can shove off a little early and knock back a few pints, green or otherwise. Maybe both.

So what to do on a day when no brackets are busted yet and everyone is Irish, or wants to be? Well, we need to be fast so how about a quick recap of the weekend that was in Thoroughbred racing. What did we learn or not learn, what were we reminded of, what do we need to remember and what do others want to forget?

We need to remember that when Bob Baffert sends a 3-year-old to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a Kentucky Derby prep that there’s a pretty strong chance he’ll win. Hoppertunity joined the likes of Bodemeister, Lookin At Lucky, Secret Circle and The Factor with a graded stakes win at Oaklawn, taking a rough and tumble edition of the Grade 2 Rebel.
Watch Hoppertunity win the Rebel.

We learned the possible fields for the Dubai World Cup and its supporting program over the weekend.

Check them out here.

We needed a reminder that Americans seem less and less interested in said Dubai World Cup every year. The above-mentioned sheet contains only three horses based in the U.S. with aspirations on the world’s richest racing program – Twilight Eclipse in the Sheema Classic, Zee Bros in the Golden Shaheen and Berlino Di Tiger in the Al Quoz Sprint.

We didn’t learn the buyer of an interest in hyped classics contender Social Inclusion just yet. Ron Sanchez said it might not be until Wednesday.

We need to remember that when Centre Court is on her game she’s as good as any female on the grass in the U.S. Even though she broke through the gate – never a good sign – she was still good enough to handle a top-tier field in Gulfstream’s Grade 2 Honey Fox.
Watch Centre Court win the Honey Fox.

John Sadler might want to forget his weekend. It was one marked by a rough trip by Kobe’s Back in the Rebel and runner-up finishes by Iotapa in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita and Magic Union in the Grade 2 Azeri. Magic Union was 32-1 and second to Close Hatches, though, so not altogether forgettable.

We need to remember to read our own stories and take our own advice. Last week’s Saturday Special said, “Todd Pletcher might spoil it for all with Golden Lad” in the Razorback. Bingo. $12.

We were reminded to never to count out the longer-priced half of an uncoupled entry in a good allowance Saturday at Oaklawn, won by the Kellyn Gorder-trained Joy Boy in an upset over the Gorder-trained Bourbon Courage.
Check out the Equibase chart.

Rival horsemen might want Kiaran McLaughlin to forget to make entries at Aqueduct. He’s batting nearly 30% and won another stakes there over the weekend with Mamdooha in the Cicada.