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Monday, October 10, 2005

S-L-O-W at Keeneland

- Have you noticed how agonizingly slow the times on the main track at Keeneland were this weekend? It took Pampered Princess 1:53.91 to win the Grade 1 Spinster for older fillies and mares at a mile and an eighth on Sunday; as noted the other day, the two year-olds in the Breeders’ Futurity on Saturday went in 1:48.77 for a mile and a sixteenth, and their female counterparts went 1:49.07 the day before. And these are the good horses, folks. A 10K claiming race on Saturday took a glacial 1:56 for the nine furlongs – and that horse won by 13 lengths!! What’s going on down there?

So I wasn’t surprised when I read this comment by trainer Chuck Simon, in which he expressed no regrets whatsoever for prepping Battle Won for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in Sunday’s grassy Woodford Stakes, in which he finished 5th at 3-5.

"As slow and as deep as the (main) track is, I think all the horses who ran here and are running back in three weeks are in trouble….The track is very deep and very tiring. That's what I wanted to avoid: a hard prep race." [Louisville Courier-Journal]
Something to keep in mind if any horses come out of any of the abovementioned dirt stakes and go on to Belmont (as if you didn't need further reason to bet against Stream Cat). Simon is forging on to the Sprint with his five year-old son of Honour and Glory.
"Now I hope he got enough out of it… I thought we were going to win, but he just got a bad trip. That's one thing Lost in the Fog avoids -- bad trips -- because he's in front all the time.”
- Motivator finished fifth in the Arc, but his trainer Michael Bell is going on to the Breeders Cup Turf. "We feel the tactical speed he has will stand him in good stead at Belmont." [Sport.Telegraph]


SantaBarbarian said...

Have they redone the track? I know that sometimes the new "recipe" for the track is a little off....

Alan Mann said...

I don't think so. I've read that Keeneland is a candidate for polytrack - they have it on their training track.