Peter Pennypicker’s peerless picks for Block House Steeplechase 2008
&bsp;Block House 2008 will feature excellent fields with some of the best horses ever; and I, the fearless, peerless prognosticator and established evaluator of equine excellence, herewith offer to you the valorous victors at this Saturday&squo;s Block House race meeting:
1st Race – The Quest (Carter Brown Memorial), $15,000 Maidens:
2. Remy Christine
3. Frosted Face
Maiden races (for horses who haven&squo;t won) are tuff to call. My pick is Cuse, a second and a third this year and three seconds last year ($10,000 in winnings), with Remy Christine, the lightweight, and Frosted Face, the only other money winner, following in that order.
2nd Race – Cannon Harmon Memorial, $10,000 Maiden Claiming
1. Reigning Count
2. Happy Seamus
3. Impressive Return
Another maiden go … the Count has two seconds this year and a third last season ($5,200 in winnings), while Happy Seamus has a third in his only start. Impressive Return is my &dquo;upset special,&dquo; just a big, leggy 4-yo colt, but I like his looks.
3rd Race – The White Oak (Bradshaw Memorial), $15,000 Claiming
1. Pleasant Pick
3. In Pursuit of Love
My pick won this race last year and has a record of a win, two seconds, and two thirds in eleven starts and earnings of $32,255. Junood is batting 1.000 with two Ws in two starts. The Lover has two wins, a second and a third the last two years plus $27,950 in purse money.
4th Race – The Block House, $25,000 Allowance
2. Mon Villez
3. Pals Pride
Any one of five horses (maybe six) could win this one. I like Underbidder for consistency. A former 3-yo champion, the 7-yo has been well-placed, winning five races in four years. Mon Villez is the highweight at 156 pounds. Perhaps nearing the end of a five-year career with $128,750 in earnings and the winner of the prestigious Noel Laing Sweepstakes the past three years in a row, I would love for him to prove me wrong&bsp; in this race. Pals Pride was also a 3-yo champ, in 2002, but has been beset by injuries. However, he is making a comeback this year, winning the Sandhills Cup at Southern Pines just two weeks ago.
5th Race – Foxhunters Cup I (Thoroughbred), $2,000
1. Greystones Squiffey
3. No Hesitation
Suzy Kocher, where are you when I need you?! We&squo;re so used to Suzy winning this race, it&squo;s tuff to pick without her. Well, the only form here is Squiffey, who ran second last year. I go with Channel as the only youngster in the race (5-yo) for the place, and the show? Well, the name sez &dquo;he who hesitates is lost.&dquo;
6th Race – Foxhunters Cup II (Non-Thoroughbred), $2,000
1. Lola&squo;s Quarter Moon
2. Rocky J Squirrel
This race is only 6 furlongs (3/4 of a mile), so it&squo;s a dash. Thus, I&squo;m going with the younger ones … not a very sound method. Anyway, you gotta love all of &squo;em … but, since the lady riders won last year, I&squo;m going with the guys this time (another unsound idea).