- Consolidator’s injury leaves an even 20 for the Derby, including Don’t Get Mad and Greeley’s Galaxy, as well as Sort It Out. Jay Privman in the Form points out however that Greeley’s Galaxy could be bumped if any surprise, nominated entrant appears. So a rival owner could enter a nominated horse - any horse, even a maiden, if he wanted to get rid of Greeley’s Galaxy; or at least make B. Wayne Hughes scratch Don’t Get Mad. Talk about a rabbit, this is more like the Killer Rabbit with long pointy teeth - you can just eliminate an opponent from the race. Is that any more unethical than running a hopeless speedball? The fact is, there's a spot open in the Kentucky Derby, and you never know when someone will want to take a shot. For Hughes, who has maintained that he favored Greeley's Galaxy, I'm sure it's a decision he doesn't now want to face, since Don't Get Mad is 3-3 at Churchill, and he probably has visions of him rallying through the stretch to a huge upset, which would leave me disenchanted with the sport, and looking forward to spending more time at the beach this summer reading books about humans.
Unfortunately, Consolidator’s injury is career ending, and a sobering reminder that any of these horses are susceptible to a similar fate with just one bad step. For those of us who questioned why Lukas persisted with Going Wild, maybe it was because he’s been around too long to take anything for granted. Consolidator’s absence means one less horse to possibly mix things up front before too long. The article by Privman contains a good wrap-up all the recent works if you need to catch up.
- Thanks to reader Jerry for passing along this story from the Philly Inquirer concerning a couple of new books about Smarty Jones. One of them, Smarty Jones: Forever a Champion, by Billy Valentine, uncovers some unreported tidbits,
including the story that top trainers Bobby Frankel and Nick Zito stopped speaking to each other after Frankel told Zito, the trainer of Birdstone, the horse that beat Smarty Jones in the Belmont: "You could race against that horse 50 times, and never beat him again." [Phila Inquirer]Wow, Nick, a little sensitive, are we? First of all, it’s not like Frankel was boasting about one of his own like he's wont to do; and secondly, he’s most assuredly right. Perhaps not on a wet track at a mile and a half after he went too fast early in his 3rd grueling race in 5 weeks, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that under more normal racing conditions, it probably would have been 50-0! I think a mile and a half race is a freak distance in this country, especially on the dirt, and it’s unfortunate that Smarty’s career had to end on a losing note, when in fact, he ran an incredible race.
- I saw Wilko's workout on TVG, it looked mighty impressive, and Frank Lyons is touting him big time. I'm holding strong. For now. How about this: his dosage index is way over 4.0, at 7.0!