- Andy Beyer on the Derby, which he says will rank among the worst Derbies of recent decades, along with Sea Hero's win in 1993 and Gato Del Sol's in 1982.:
. Spanish Chestnut did his job, zipping the first two furlongs in 22.28 seconds.. In the six other Derbies when the first-quarter mile was run between 21.8 and 22.3 seconds, the speed collapsed and the winner rallied from ninth place or farther behind. The fast pace takes a toll not only on the leader but on all the horses in proximity to him. In 2001 the horses running 1-2-3-4 after a quarter-mile finished 13-14-16-11 [Washington Post]Giacomo got a Beyer of 100, the slowest in at least 20 years, according to Beyer, who hastens to point out: Two years ago a horse named Buddy Gil earned a figure of 100 in the Derby -- and finished sixth.
Kevin Modesti has some more facts and figs:
The pace set by long shot Spanish Chestnut and chased by a group that included favorite Bellamy Road produced the fastest three-quarter-mile split (1:09.59) in any Derby except the 2001 running, in which Point Given was fried and Monarchos came from 13th to win.
This year's final quarter-mile (26.87 seconds) was the weakest in a Derby held on a "fast" track since 1971, when Canonero II rallied from 18th. [LA Daily News]
- Nick Zito says that two of his horses will run in the Preakness, but he but did not identify them. I say Bellamy Road and Noble Causeway, just a guess. He also told the NY Post: "Bellamy Road and High Fly were perfectly positioned to win. We had every opportunity. We have no excuses.”
- B. Wayne Hughes says that Greeley’s Galaxy will be entered and possibly Don’t Get Mad as well. I don’t know what Mr. Hughes does in real business, but if he was his own boss in this case, he’d be fired. He screwed up and didn’t nominate Greeley’s Galaxy, insisted on paying $200,000 to take a nice colt and rush him into a race that historically he had little chance in; indeed, he finished 11th, despite what his jockey Kent Desormeaux said was a good trip: `The only incident I had was breaking a little flat-footed, but it put me in perfect pace scenario .... I liked where I was. It was a nice spot.'' [Yahoo Sports (recommended link)].
Now he’s going to run him 2 weeks later in the Preakness? I just don’t get it; he's eligible for allowance races and he could prep for big races later in the year. (I know, he wants to make back the 200K.) And Don’t Get Mad had already shown he loves Churchill, so here’s a second guess for running him a week before in the Trial; the Preakness would be his 3rd race in 22 days.
Steve Bischeff of the Orange County Register has a suggestion.
There is a simple way to make the Kentucky Derby less of a fluke and more of a true, equitable test for the best 3-year-olds in the world.
Just limit the field to a not-so-dirty dozen.
Cut it down to the 12 leading money earners coming in and, just like that, it will turn back into a Derby again instead of an equine version of the Firecracker 500.
In no other sport but horse racing do they add so-called contestants before the climactic event. In baseball, basketball, football and that other game they used to play, you know the one where they utilize skates and sticks, they don't grow the fields larger.
The playoffs and even the NCAA's clumsy BCS all manage to narrow things down.
The Derby multiplies. It bloats up like the hotel prices in Louisville on the first weekend in May. [Orange County Register]
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