Don't Discount Liaison

He may not be flashy, he may not be brilliant, but Liaison always gets the job done. The son of Indian Charlie was going for his third win in a row, in last night’s CashCall Futurity, and his first grade one. Last seen winning the Real Quiet Stakes by a measured half a length, there was no question that the jump from ungraded to grade one stakes competition would pose a big obstacle for the colt. Baffert however, was confident enough to take on the challenge and when he shows that type of confidence in one of his charges you know that they are good.

Liaison broke from the gate and settled in fifth on the inside.  He looked comfortable through a solid pace set by Drill and Handsome Mike. Rounding the far turn it was clear that Liaison had plenty of run, but had no room to use it. He did not get rank, instead he remained cool and professional, and as they turned into the stretch, Liaison jumped at it.

He surged past Brother Francis to lead by just over a length, content to hold that advantage over his opponent. But, things were far from over as Rousing Sermon, his friend from the Real Quiet, came charging gamely on the outside. Liaison, again, sensed the other horse and had plenty in reserve, holding off the charge by a measured neck.

The race while not visually stunning was nothing short of solid. The son of Indian Charlie may get criticism from many, claiming he cannot possibly get the 10 furlong trip of the Kentucky Derby. His sire is known for siring sprinters and milers, with only grade one winning classic distance performer to his credit. However, sire only contributes half the genetics, so I caution those who point fingers to his sire to disprove his distance abilities to look at his dam, a daughter of Victory Gallop. For those of you who don’t know or have forgotten, he won the Belmont Stakes, Whitney, and Stephan Foster, while running second in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Haskell, and Travers. That is a major stamina influence, major enough it may counteract Indian Charlie’s speed influence.

Another thing to like about this colt is his professionalism. He was down running on the inside, horses in front of him, in back of him and to his outside. Most young horses would get claustrophobic and become rank. He remained cool and calm, and when a hole opened up he went for it, no hesitation. That is what you want to see in a young horse. You want a horse that can run in traffic, that won’t get too bullish or intimidated. That will be very useful when he is surrounded by 19 other horses, in a cavalry charge to the first turn.

One also has to remember that typically Indian Charlie’s have tons of speed, and are always on or very close to the pace. This horse has shown he has the ability to sit back, but also stay close enough to get enough of a jump on other closers. Just watch the Real Quiet and CashCall and see how he was able to hold of Rousing Sermon, who was much farther back. That ability gives him a huge tactical advantage.

Lastly, anyone who wants to question his ability on dirt should look no farther than his maiden victory over Santa Anita DIRT. He is bred to relish the dirt, he is bred to relish the distance. He may not be the most visually impressive, but neither was Real Quiet, Silver Charm, or Lookin At Lucky, some of Baffert’s horses that went on to be the best of their generation. Don’t make the mistake of counting this colt out.


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Older Comments about Don't Discount Liaison...

Im one for the longshot, but one of the horses has taken my eye from the others...
1/20 chance. Take it or leave it.
I meant to say maybe I'll have another winner this year.
Don't use my name in connection with a troll. I had AK last year and maybe I'll have the winner this year too. CoCo Loco you really are okay, even if the other bettors here don't think so.
Racism strikes again.
Better bet is Amazon. And yes Donerail won. Yes the Tsar. He was unable to train in the us because of Jim Crow laws, do he went abroad. Great biography. But if you have to get one book, get David Alexander's book. You will truly love it.
Buckpasser, did Donerail win? Oh, and only the Czar? No pressure there. =d
so many books! Are they all on ebay/amazon?
TBDF. I am sure you are kidding, but the Joe Oalmer book is not that hard to find. The David Alexander book is in the used section of amazon go under $12.00 for a decent hard cover. Arcaro's book is very good, also I would recommend Wink about Jimmy wink field. Who was a top jockey in the Us and worked as a trainer and jockey for the Tsar of Russia and was a trainer in France when the German invaded in 1940. Also Golden Goosebabout Roscoe Goose who rode Donerail the largest long shot in derby history.
Oh looks like me and cocoa might have ourselves a biddin war!! And to anyone who can get it, i would highly suggest Arcaro's "i ride to win" hard to find, but well worth the money.
cocoa, I hear the real money is in being a caddy. a little inside humor.
For Cocoa and Tampa Bay or AnnaK. I will be on the lookout for you for a book for you. David Alexanders A Sound Of Horses: the world of racing from Eclipse to Kelso. One of the stories in it formed the basis for Lauren Hillenbrands Seabiscuit. It is one of my favorite books. If I find a copy of it , I will let all of you know.
This book is a compilation of his writings. There are short sections about Twenty Grand, part of Greentrees Gas House Gang. They were compiled by Red Smith after palmers death in 1952.
I have $ taking my empty wine bottles back. ( just takes awhile)Sounds like an excellent read, hope it doesn't make me pine for younger gentler days. And t_vic's about Brown's only being an out runner. Damn you guys, so good!!
I have some $ from mowing lawns, I'll be bidding.
For Cocoa and Tampa Bay Downs Fan. I am not sure if either of you would be interested in this book. It is on eBay for about $7.99. It is Joe Palmers This Was Racing. Joe was a leading racing writer in the 40s and earlier. He was the racing editor of the NY Herald Tribune which at the time was a great paper, especially for racing. His particular favorite was Stymie. I mention the book if either of you might be interested.
oh darn. Ill be sure to nominate you an Eclipse!
Well... I'd rather trainer of the year, but I'll take this one
an award as good as any!
An award nonetheless.

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