Golden Stripe, Balooga Bull ready for upcoming stakes

Jun 29, 2013 | Handicapping, Live Racing


Golden Stripe after winning 2012 Canada Day Stakes.

Golden Stripe seeks repeat in July 1 Canada Day Stakes.

Golden Stripe seeks repeat in Canada Day, Balooga Bull heading for Wheat City

by Rob

I don’t think Balooga Bull is the same horse. Actually it’s confirmed that he’s not the same horse, but he keeps winning regardless. Golden Stripe is not the same mare either, but she’s still as tough as ever.

The two defining horses of Assiniboia Downs over the past five years are both going to run in the next week in short fields, and each will be one of the two favorites.

Golden Stripe runs Monday in the $30,000 Canada Day Stakes and even though she has pounded on those fragile legs over the years she still flies around there, and if it weren’t for the super barn of Jim Meyaard she would have added the 30,000 La Verendrye Stakes to her impressive resume.

Lil Missknowitall drew off impressively to win the La Verendrye but she is untested going two turns. I think she should go a route of ground, but Golden Stripe, now seven, is a major threat, and more than likely will be my pick come Monday afternoon.

Golden Stripe broke her maiden in the R.C. Anderson Stakes and hasn’t looked back since winning two Canada Day Stakes and the last three runnings of the restricted Distaff Stakes. She’s going to be on the front end come Monday for as far as she goes and I’m one previous non-believer that’s going to be rooting for her down the lane.

Golden Stripe was supposed to be retired, but she came back to battle her eyeballs out in her last race to finished second. The 87 Beyer she earned in her multi-length win in the 2012 Canada Day Stakes was supposed to be the final piece in a puzzle that created over $250,000 in earnings.

Now Golden Stripe will try to win her third Canada Day, and if LilMissknowitall doesn’t fire it becomes her race to lose. She won’t go down as the best Manitoba-bred ever, but Golden Stripe goes down in my books as the best I’ve seen saw in my short time at the track for a filly whose heart takes her a lot further than her legs.

Balooga Bull on the other hand has not been as dazzling. He was supposed to come back even stronger as a 4-year-old but in two starts he has yet to impress me. Yes he did win the Free Press Stakes, but that was in a dawdling 1:11 4/5. Horses as a rule tend to improve and peak somewhere near the end of their 4-year-old season. He should be maturing and Ardell Sayler and Paul Nolan both said in an interview that he is a different horse this year, that he didn’t seem as happy, although he did seemed more relaxed.

It’s a well-known fact that Balooga Bull is not a good eater and I’m sure that remains an issue. For one reason or another Pleasant Closing is a nose away from being up 2-0 on Balooga Bull this year. Now the boys stretch out next Saturday night for the Wheat City Handicap.

Only six horses nominated for the Wheat City, and a field of five should hit the gate. Ran the Man had a poor trip in his last down on the inside and he could improve going two turns. Pleasant Closing is the main threat, as he should track Balooga Bull. Obviously the “Bull” is the horse to beat, but this year he has raised more questions than he has answered. His victories have not been as impressive as they were last year.

Balooga Bull will get a chance to prove himself again in the Wheat City, just as he did last year in the Manitoba Derby. If he hasn’t found his old a game, I think he could be ripe for an upset.

Rob’s Best Bets and Weekend Longshots

Record-to-Date: 8-4-1 from 25 starts

Wagered: $150.00 Returned: $127.30 Profit: $-22.70

Saturday Best Bet: Race 3 – She’s Regal

Saturday Longshot: Race 4 – Grand Vision

Monday Best Bet: Race 2 – Bett on Ruthie

Monday Longshot: Race 3 – Gear Shift

Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 2013