- After a week of reading useless information about the Derby horses walking the shedrow and galloping a mile and a half the wrong way around the track, the serious workouts got under way this morning. And though I’ll be glued to TVG’s The Works later today and all week long (though with most of the field having worked today, I don’t know how they’re going to fill the expanded one hour show as the week goes on....probably with horses walking the shedrow and galloping a mile and a half the wrong way), I think you have to take what you’re going to see and read for what they’re worth. These are good horses who are in the process of maturing physically and mentally, and most of them are going to work out very well. And you’re going to read a lot of comments like the ones already in the Bloodhorse.com account of this mornings works:
“It was perfect" – Michael Trombetta on Sweetnorthernsaint, six furlongs in 1:11.79.
"He bounded off the track....so you can tell he is really doing good here." – Frankie Alvarado, on Steppenwolfer, six furlongs in 1:13 1/5, final 1/8th in :12 4/5.
"...just what I wanted." – Bob Holthus on Lawyer Ron, five furlongs is :58 4/5, gallop out in 1:11.
"He could not be doing any better. He (Guidry) couldn't get him to pull up.” – Dale Romans, on Sharp Humor, five furlongs in :59 2/5.
I recall last year all the ooo’s and ah’s over how great horses like Bandini, Bellamy Road, Wilko, Noble Causeway, High Limit and Sun King all looked; as well as questions about the physical appearance of Afleet Alex. So, when you’re subjected to all the media overload, and everyone from Frank Lyons to Haskin to Mike Welsch drooling over this horse or that one, just try to keep in mind that the race will be won or lost on Saturday, and the outcome will very likely be dictated more by the pace and just plain dumb luck then anything you see or hear this week. No workout will overcome a 45 second half, or an inpenetrable wall of horses.
- I saw a comment by Andy Beyer that if anything, Sinister Minister’s Beyer for the Blue Grass might have been too low. Just keep in mind that he said the same thing last year about Bellamy Road’s number for the Wood.
- After a brief slump, Steve Asmussen won another two-year old race at Keeneland on Friday when Joangel won in her second start at 4-5. She’s a daughter of Abajo (Robyn Dancer), who now stands for $1,250 in California. You may recall Abajo; he was a moderate stakes horse in sprints at – I don’t like to say “minor” tracks, but let’s say not the ones considered the “majors.” Talk about obscure sires; there are no sire stats available on either of the stallion sites, and his stud farm doesn’t have a website.
You may have read about the 6th at Keeneland in the comments section, as Sanibel Storm tossed Julien Leparoux over the rail.
He hit the safety rail, did an acrobatic roll and hit the turf course but was on his feet in a matter of seconds. Sanibel Storm stayed on her feet and was picked up by outriders after the race. [Louisville Courier-Journal](Sanibel Storm’s trainer, Graham Motion, also bounced back by taking the 7th with favored General Jumbo.) The favorite was Come Together at 8-5, and it was yet another losing favorite for Garrett Gomez and Pletcher. Winner Cowgirls Don’t Cry ($52.20) was the first winner for freshman sire Pure Prize (Storm Cat).
Then, in the 9th, the G3 Fifth Third Elkhorn, Gomez/Pletcher had to settle for second with second choice Go Deputy, to longshot Pellegrino. Finally, in the final race of the meeting, as the action shifts to Churchill today, the pair got into the win column with Zinzan, a $1.3 million Grand Slam colt graduating in his third start.
- Bruce Gumer is getting his Derby tickets back, but he was also slapped with 241 additional counts of scalping, carrying potential fines of up to $60,000, based on records that listed prices for different tickets and the people he sold them to. [Courier-Journal]