- Jay Privman writes in the Form that it still looks like a full field of 20 for the Derby, despite some disappointing performances and the most unfortunate withdrawal of Royals and Blues, or whatever his name is. Looking at the top 20 list of graded earnings, Andromeda’s Hero is actually 21st and would need a defection for Zito to get all 5 of his in. But there are names in front of him like Spanish Chestnut, Giacomo, Storm Surge, and Closing Argument that seem like hopeless cases to me. I guess if the horse is doing well, with the $2 million purse and being able to say your horse finished even 4th or 5th in the Kentucky Derby, we may not see many dropouts. In fact, the Lexington Stakes will allow horses like Going Wild and even Sort it Out, who has $0 graded earnings, a chance to get in with the winner's share of the $325,000 purse.
It’s too bad that we, the fans who provide the industry a portion of our hard-earned income, can’t call 1-800-NO-DERBY and vote some of these guys out of the race at this point. I’d hate to see Spanish Chestnut have any kind of profound impact on the race by going :46 to the half, knowing that he’s a great bet to finish last. And some of these other ones would just be taking up space while an improving Greeley’s Galaxy, who I just recently (and wrongly) scoffed at his even being in Pool 3, can’t get in and lays in wait at the Preakness (actually that would be a pretty attractive scenario too).
- Greater Good didn’t like being saddled in the infield, according to Bob Holthus.
"He hates that centerfield....He hates it, and I hate it. It's such a foreign element. I know they saddle outdoors at Keeneland, but that's behind the racetrack. There's no comparison." [Daily Racing Form]. That is why he was all washy in the post parade. Bad excuse for a horse being pointed to a race attended by 150,000 people. 1-800-NO-DERBY. I’d sooner accept the excuse that the pace was simply against him; he’d never had to close into closing fractions like that before.
- Afleet Alex got a Beyer of 108; Bandini 103. It’s a lifetime best for both and for Bandini, it continues a trend of improving figs every time. (He actually has 4 races this year, not 3 as I wrote earlier.) It’s a step back fig-wise for High Limit, but perhaps it was something he needed; it was only his 4th race. Don’t know what Sun King got, but I imagine it’s close to the controversial 91 he got at Tampa.