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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Nice Work for Alex

- Nice workout by Afleet Alex today, getting 5f in :59, easily the best of 29 works at that distance today – the second fastest was 1:01 1/5.

"Everything went very well," said trainer Tim Ritchey. "We started out a little slow with his work and he actually picked it up as he went along. He pulled up fine, came back to the barn, and really wasn’t breathing hard.
He’ll just have an easy breeze next week. I think we have him right where we want him," [Thoroughbred Times]
Actually, some people caught him in :58 3/5, including Steve Haskin.
The clockers got him in splits of :12 2/5, :24, :35 2/5, and :46 3/5. For whatever it's worth, I caught him closer to :47, with a final eighth in :11 3/5…..What was to be taken from this work was the way Alex cut the corner turning for home. Horses running that fast often naturally drift three or four paths off the fence, but Alex hugged the rail and switched leads right on cue. You don't often see that kind [of] agility, and when you do, you certainly take note of it. [Bloodhorse]
I do pick on Haskin sometimes; don’t get me wrong, I think he does a great job, though he does seem to try and be on around 20 sides of the fence. I just really try not to get caught up in his, and others' enthusiasm over nearly every horse during these last 2 weeks, and we'll be seeing daily reports from him from now on. Today, Flower Alley was a picture coming down the stretch with fluid strides and his ears straight up. High Limit: Some who have been observing him say he has had made great progress since the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

It just seems to me that you have just 20 3 yo’s still standing here, and even those I think don’t belong are still better than around 99.9% of the rest of their crop; so with very few exceptions, I figure they’re all going to look great, they’re all progressing physically at this point in their lives, and their workouts are going to be mostly great. So I just try to not get too caught up by these reports, though a particularly stellar work like Alex’s apparently was is hard to ignore and certainly worth noting. But if it was the 5th at Aqueduct on a Thursday afternoon, you wouldn’t know nor care that Bandini...walked the shed this morning between 5:30 and 6. And it don’t mean much to me here either.

Nor does Haskin’s attempt today to make a case for Coin Silver. He points out that Prove Out makes a rare appearance in his pedigree, adding class and stamina, but in doing so just furthers the case that he liked the Keeneland slop, since Prove Out is by Graustark, one of the great mud influences. That, combined with his broodmare sire Conquistador Cielo, says to me: he liked the slop. If he’s in the money on a fast track, I’ll be ripping up a lot of tickets. (That’s really just a figure of speech these many of you will actually have tickets to rip up?)

- Some people, including yours truly, think that the foot bruise that kept Bandini out of the 5-week-before-the-Derby Florida Derby was a blessing in disguise, but Todd Pletcher says he was confident in that plan [Thoroughbred Times]