- I know that Patrick at PHBH popped the bubble on Keyed Entry (Honour and Glory) (and then wished he hadn’t). And the obvioius scenario for the Gotham is that he’ll catch some heat from the sprinter Like Now on the inside of him, and from Sweetnorthernsaint to the outside, setting the race up perfectly for Achilles of Troy (Notebook). I hope that is what happens, since I’m no huge Pletcher fan, and, especially, since Achilles of Troy is the home team.
The problem is that I don’t see either Like Now nor Sweetnorthernsaint running six furlongs anywhere near the 1:07 3/5 that Keyed Entry did in the Fountain of Youth, with a bad start no less. I know that the track was sloppy and that that time isn’t necessarily relevant here; but they could be hard pressed to keep up with him even if he runs two seconds slower than that. He looked like a possible freak, and I tend to take the attitude for wagering purposes that a freak is a freak until proven otherwise – exactly the idiotic logic that got me into trouble with Bellamy Road last year.
Having said that, his Hutchenson is hard to forget, and even Patrick, who was there, admits that he was hardly blowing afterwards. Pletcher is talking about rating, and if he can do that, it will change a lot of peoples’ perceptions about who the Derby favorite should be. (But having said that, I have my doubts about a mile and a quarter in a 20 horse field….any prospective rabbits out there this year?) Personally, I don’t see him rating in the Gotham; I think he’ll be in front as far as he can go, and I don’t see myself wagering my hard earned money that he can’t get this trip around the inner track. In perhaps the most idiotic statement of the year, Pletcher remarked:
... everyone seems to be presenting the question `can he get a mile-and-a-sixteenth in the Gotham?' If he can't do that, then we're going to have trouble getting a mile-and-a-quarter." [AP]Achilles of Troy will certainly be the one to pick up the pieces if Keyed Entry falters. He can get a perfect trip here, and remember he was geared down when earning his 104 in the Whirlaway. Owner Ernie Paragallo, who we can only hope for the good of the sport gets to bring his big mouth to Kentucky, said “If he runs his `A' race, he's as good as anybody in the country." [Bloodhorse]
Sweetnorthernsaint was 12th by 24 lengths in his debut (on the turf), and trainer Michael Trombetta told the Washington Post that he made one of the great mistakes of his life when, figuring nobody would possibly claim him off that race, entered him for a $40,000 tag in his next race, which he won by a mere 16 lengths. He got away with that error, but who, really, would claim him with that running line? It's like if someone claimed Highland Cat (whose race for Sunday did not fill). I’ll just take a looksee at Sweetnorthernsaint in the Gotham, but this gelding could be a compelling Derby story if he acquits himself well here.
- Good to see that the folks at the Breeders' Cup have their priorities straight.
The [NJ racing] commission approved placing pari-mutuel machines in Monmouth Park's track kitchen on the condition that they would be operational only during live racing hours and during special events, such as Triple Crown races. Dowd said the request initially was made by Breeders' Cup Ltd. as one of the conditions for hosting the 2007 Breeders' Cup. [Thoroughbred Times]