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Friday, September 16, 2005

A Poorly Placed Prep

- Despite criticism of its revised stakes schedule in 2005, Gulfstream announced that the 2006 Florida Derby will once again be held five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, a virtual no man’s land of a race that is historically too long before the big race to be an effective final prep, and too close to get another one in, at least here in the 21st century.

In a rationalization so ridiculously absurd that perhaps he should apply for a job at the White House, track president Scott Savin defended the placement by saying “Nick [Zito] brought Bellamy Road back from more than a three-months layoff to run second in the Travers, so it shows a layoff of five weeks doesn't hurt.'' [Miami Herald] Last year’s 1-2 finishers High Fly and Noble Causeway not only performed poorly in the Derby, but neither of them has won a race since. Is that latter tidbit irrelevant? Perhaps. But certainly no more so than Bellamy Road’s Travers is to the wisdom of holding Kentucky Derby preps five weeks out.


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