- The 6-1 morning line on Strong Contender (Maria’s Mon) was a pipe dream to be sure; try $6.60 for a $2 win bet, and even that may turn out to a bargain in retrospect. Edgar Prado was duly impressed. "Other horses could come to him and he would just take off again ... a really nice ride. And he did it easy, and that's the scary part." [Sun-Sentinal] He was able to lope along through a very easy quarter of :23.81, and when Big Lover rushed up on the rail, he looked like he repulsed him easily. But as Walter pointed out in the comments section, covering for me as I traveled back home to chilly New York, he was actually zipping the second quarter in :22.08. Trainer John Ward would prefer another allowance spot, but the Rebel or the Gotham are possibilities, and we’re obviously rooting for the latter, which would set up a compelling match with Achilles of Troy.
Still, this is a horse with only two lifetime starts, so it’s a bit surprising to see a horseman like Ward, who is not generally subject to flights of fantasy, so insistent on rushing him up to the Derby, which would likely be only his 5th career start. He must either think he has an absolute freak on his hands, or has fallen victim to Derby fever like the rest of us.
- This quote by Winstar Farm’s Elliot Walden shows part of what’s wrong with the game.
"The thing that makes [Bluegrass Cat] so exciting is not just the ability he's shown on the racetrack, but the ability he's going to have in the stallion barn. You don't get horses bred like he is very often that can match the stallion potential with the racing performance.” [Thoroughbred Times]Five races into his career, and you can already hear the pencils being sharpened on calculating his stud fee, determining desirable broodmare matches, and plans for shuttling. Don’t expect to see this one around at four; nor later this year should his Triple Crown campaign turn out to be a success. Why take the risk on something as trivial as the Breeders Cup or an Eclipse Award if a fat stud fee is already assured?
- Great job by Brad of Brad Buys A Yearling in catching this story on Thoroughbred Times about an improper dose of Lasix administered to eventual Eclipse winner Intercontinental last September. The CHRB didn’t release information on the incident until last week when it slipped the official ruling onto their website, which made any official protest, required within 72 hours of the posting, unlikely, if not impossible given the fact that the announcement lacks useful details such as the race and horse involved.
My only problem with Brad’s post is that he actually seems to have taken the time to make some calls and dig into the story, revealing, among other things, an inaccurate statement by CHRB Executive Director Ingrid Fermin in the TT article to the effect that a protest would have to be lodged within 72 hours of the race, not the posting. I thought racing writers didn’t have to do things like that! What, are you trying to make us all look bad?