06 June 2008

Some old favorites in the Slipton Fell

Just a quick note to alert those of you in the area that on Saturday, the card at Mountaineer includes the $75,000 Slipton Fell Handicap (past performances). Last year, Mountaineer fans had a chance to see Calvin Borel ride Go Now in this race; Go Now and Borel finished last in the field behind Bernie Blue and rider Deshawn Parker. Since that time, Bernie Blue's gone on to win the Mountain State Stakes, the WV Legislature Chairman's Cup, and the Mountaineer Mile, finishing out of the money only twice -- both on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs. Some folks (like the King) may believe his recent second place finishes in the Waterford Park Handicap and the Panhandle Handicap indicate that the 6 year-old is slowing down in his mature years, but I'm of the mind that the off-track was to blame. The weather guys are calling for lots of heat this weekend, so I'm optimistic about Bernie's chances.

And really, what does the King know about aging horses? After all, in the WV Governor's Stakes, the King thought another of my favorites, M B Sea, had lost a step and put his money on Mr. Pursuit. As readers may recall, M B Sea romped to a 7-length victory. Since then, M B Sea has won Mountaineer's Fall Handicap and in November finished second to ... Bernie Blue in the Mountaineer Mile.

At 9, M B Sea is the oldest horse in the race, and unless there's been some sort of "equipment change," he really is a horse, not a gelding. Surely there's a breeding shed somewhere that could use a $700,000+ winner still able to run a 104 Brisnet speed fig?

At any rate, I'm finding it hard to root against either Bernie Blue or M B Sea, even though Scott Lake's Coyoteshighestcall looks like a formidable opponent. Fortunately, the racing world offers a solution to this dilemma. It's called a quinella, or as they say in West Virginia, an exacta box. Of course, since this will probably be the chalk, it's ok to pass on this one, and simply jump up and down wildly when M B Sea comes roaring 'round the turn and catches Bernie Blue in the stretch.


Neal said...

Thanks for the update on the Slipton Fell. I hadn't looked at Mountaineer for awhile. Too busy watching hockey.

Looks like a competitive race between the three you mentioned: Bernie Blue, MB Sea, and Coyoteshighestcall. On quick glance, those big BRIS speed figs stand out for Coyoteshighestcall. It's pretty rare to see three figures on those ratings at MNR.

It may be too chalky for my tastes.

Valerie said...

Yea, Bernie Blue! Nice win :)