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FAIRPLEX

He's Had Fast Company

September 17, 2002|MARK RATZKY

If you judge a horse by the company it keeps, you have to be impressed with Pine For Java in the featured Beau Brummel Stakes at Fairplex today. A winner in his fourth race, he has since chased home a nice one in Crowned Dancer in the Hollywood Juvenile, and in his most recent start, at Del Mar in August, he finished second to Bob Baffert's rising star Vindication, who came back over the weekend to win the Kentucky Cup Juvenile in impressive fashion.

There are no such heavyweights waiting to greet Pine For Java today, and he should be hard to deny in the 6 1/2-furlong race with anything near a repeat of that last seaside effort, where he bobbled at the start but made a solid move to finish only a length and a piece behind Vindication.

Of course, these are 2-year-olds racing around tight turns, so anything can happen. That said, the Pine Bluff colt is trained by Caesar Dominguez, who knows a thing or two about getting them ready for this meet, and will be ridden by the veteran G.F. Almeida.

Hell Cat is also getting away from the big guns for this assignment and goes for a hot combination in trainer Jack Carava and bullring king Martin Pedroza. The son of Tabasco Cat came from out of the clouds to win his debut at Del Mar last month, then was thrown into the deep end in the Best Pal Stakes and got into gear much too late to make a serious impact.

The picks: 1. Ima Sparkling Man 2. Spiritaki 3. El Depressa 4. Flylikethewind 5. Alessandria 6. Sharon's Beau 7. Wild Carson 8. Larkwood 9. Pine For Java 10. Going Going Gone

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