- In his analysis of the race for the Form, Dave Liftin points out that the last four furlongs of the Gotham went in 51.02 seconds and:
the late-running Survivalist needed the entire stretch run to get by Pavo, Galloping Grocer, and Naughty New Yorker, with Byanosejoe close behind after altering course to the inside late.On this basis, Liftin throws out all of them and likes Bellamy Road and Going Wild. He may be right of course, but I’m sticking with Naughty New Yorker, unless he’s bet under 6-1. The two turn Wood is a different story than the mile out of the chute, and I do think the change benefits him greatly. And if Going Wild and Bellamy Road do outclass the field, I won’t regret not having that short exacta. It’s just one race, after all.
Any Nascar fan will tell you 51.02 seconds is enough time to change all four tires, fill the tank with gas, and shoot a 30-second promo for next week's race on the circuit. Garcia could have dismounted for a hot dog and a Coke, climbed back aboard, and still beaten half the field. [Daily Racing Form]
Naughty New Yorker’s trainer Pat Kelly was at the Derby once before, when Laser Light ran second to Gato Del Sol in 1982. Even though I like his chances in the Wood, that is based more on how the race figures to be run and his consistency and improvement more than any thinking that he’s a Kentucky Derby winner. "This was our objective all along," Kelly said of the Wood. "He would have to run first or second or there is no Derby." [NY Daily News]
George Steinbrenner wasn't too upset about Mariano Rivera's struggles yesterday because he was in a good mood about his horses.If Bellamy Road runs up the track tomorrow, I wonder if that would “be equal to” how the Boss feels when the Yankees blow 3-0 series leads to the Red Sox.
One of the Boss' colts, Bellamy Road, is an early 2-1 favorite in Saturday's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and is a Kentucky Derby hopeful.
According to Boss spokesman Howard Rubenstein, Steinbrenner said that winning a Derby would "be equal to" the joy he feels when the Yankees win the World Series. [NY Daily News]
Bill Handleman in the Asbury Park Press is not at all skeptical of Steinbrenner's colt, who currently would likely be ranked 4th on the Zito list, though that could change with another blowout win tomorrow.
The race [his GP allowance] blew me away. I don't care what the speed figures say, it was the most impressive race by a 3-year-old so far this season. And I don't want to hear that he didn't beat anybody either. Dearest Mon, scratched out of the Fountain of Youth the week before, was regarded highly enough to be sent off as the 3-1 second choice in the Holy Bull Stakes in February. [Asbury Park Press]
- Shug McGaughey has been quite reserved about the chances of Survivalist; don’t know if he’s just trying to temper his own enthusiasm, is being coy, or genuinely has doubts. You would think that the colt’s abilities would at least extend to the Wood's distance, but McGaughey, as he has maintained all along, says
”I still don't know if my horse wants a mile and an eighth. There are a lot of places to run down the road if he isn't good enough to make the top flight of 3-year-olds." [LA Times]