mardi 20 mars 2012

Deep Ocean wins one

Trainer Gina Rarick on Deep Ocean,
Maisons-Laffitte, December 22, 2011

I nearly opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but, since I am alone, I decided to opt for Hard Way's nutritional supplement of choice, a Guinness in honor of the son of Sinndar, Deep Ocean's victory today at Lyon Carré de Soie in the 8th, the Prix Président Buffaud. And not just any victory: a victory by four lengths.

If you're going to win, you might as well do it in style. 

Deep's usual jockey Gérald Pardon was on board and stayed warm and safe just behind the front runners until the final turn, when he asked Deep to step on the gas on the outside, and Deep made it look like a romp in the park, accelerating easily and overtaking, little by little, everyone in front of him, like a stealth bomber, until there was no one between him and Gérald and the post and room for three good-sized horses between him and everyone else. 

He looked like Usain Bolt in the last few meters, and if he were a man and not a horse, I swear he'd have looked over his shoulder and pumped his fist on his well-muscled chest as he loped over the finish line. 

It was Deep's day, and whether Paris-Turf keeps up with all the horses or just the several solid favorites, we in and around trainer Gina Rarick's yard at Maisons-Laffitte knew that it was but a matter of time before the four-legged and feisty ATM carried the day and brought home the biggest check. 

Let's take a look, though, at Paris-Turf's prognostics. 

In a field of 15 runners, 7 were given favorite. In order of finish, they were: Caroz, trained by Jean-Pierre Gauvin; Le Falgoux by Cédric Boutin; El Mulino by Thierry Larrivière; Successful by Bernard Goudot; the venerable El Vettorio, a 9-year-old German gelding trained by Cédric Boutin; the nearly as venerable L'Impressioniste, both in terms of age and prize money won, by Fabrice Chappet; and the equally venerable Théorique by Mathieu Boutin.

And, what did Paris-Turf have to say, quite precisely? I translate:
Caroz has had a chance to rest up since his last race and seems capable of fighting for the victory. Le Falgoux, who's back on a race track on which he has never disappointed, the regular El Mulino, and and Successful, capable of good things on his best days, can get in his way, barring his success. The eldest, El Vettorio, L'Impressioniste and Théorique, also deserve credit. Blamar and Poletto are not to be neglected.
And Deep Ocean? Where is Deep in all this? 

Deep, as it concerns him, was mentioned as a "regular chance". He and I snort in their general direction because Deep, as it concerns him, did indeed leave them all in his dust.

And, Paris-Turf, what did they have to say about this, once everyone had a chance to taste Deep's dust? 

For Caroz, favorite for the win, and who didn't class: "Among the front runners until just after the last turn, conceded midway up the homestretch and was clearly dominated."

Le Falgoux, in 9th place: "After waiting in the middle of the pack, didn't finish badly on the inside, just behind the leaders."

El Mulino, who did not class: "Front runner after the first turn, maintained his lead until the last 400 meters and then fell back."

And, Successful? He finished 2nd: "After waiting in the middle of the pack, on the rail, had some difficulty breaking out in the homestretch, and then finished fast, but well behind the winner Deep Ocean."

As for El Vettorio, L'Impressioniste and Théorique, they finished 3rd, 8th and 6th, respectively.

Reserved for Deep, the winner: "Coming up on the outside line, in Livia Noire's wake, took the lead just coming into the homestretch and flew to the post, winning brilliantly."

Deep Ocean and jockey Gérard Pardon pass the post

So, do not, I say, forget this fils de Sinndar, Sinndar, qui, portant les couleurs de l'Aga Khan, a été vainquer de l'Arc de Triomphe 2000, beating the favorite Montjeu and denying him his chance at back-to-back Arc victories. 

My partner in Elbow Beach, for her time racing with us in France, pointed out that Sinndar is racing under the number 5 in the Arc, like Deep Ocean and three other of the horses who won in the nine races yesterday at Lyon Carré de Soie.

I can recognize that there are many horses out there racing, many horses with excellent papers, some who have exploded onto the scene, others who have more quietly taken their place, racking up the places without lighting up the boards with victories like so many diamonds in a rivière, who have, nonetheless been oh so thoughtfully paying their bills and making a little extra to slip under the straw bedding, but, now, Paris-Turf, and everyone else, take notice: Deep Ocean, on the right track -- ideally, right-handed --, in good form (which he is, make no mistake, trained by Gina Rarick) and ridden by Gérald Pardon is no "regular chance"; he is a favorite.

Still, this is a horse who, at 5  years old and in 2 years and a month or two, has run 20 races, won 3 and placed in 10, which means he has won or placed in 13 of 20 starts for a 15% win percentage, 50% place and has a 65% chance overall to bring home his oats, straw and trainer's fees.

Enjoy his dust. 

In the story of thoroughbred racing, it's royal dust. Pure gold.

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