- In the Met Mile, I came up a bit short of what would have been a really nice triple, considering that it paid $190 with Silver Train, the 2-1 favorite, holding off Sun King, who opened at 7-2, but drifted up to 6.90 to 1. I ended up using Silver Train instead of Greeley’s Legacy, who I picked for some minor awards here. For someone who makes most of his decisions within five minutes of post time, I’ve been really good about betting what I pick on this blog, but in this case, I changed my mind. Greeley’s Legacy seemed a bit dead on the board, and I just wasn’t getting positive vibes about him. Bandini looked magnificent in the paddock, but I don’t think this distance and one-turn route is his best game.
It was a frustrating beat for me, and Zito sounded rather flustered as well, referring to some of his recent close calls in a rambling statement.
"It's a little frustrating. In the Donn, we finished second. In the Pimlico Special, we finished second. In the Met Mile we finished second – and we beat (trainer Todd) Pletcher all three times....It's like the freakiest thing ever. The horse ran great. He ran his guts out. This was a tough beat. We lost to the horse that won the Breeders' Cup Sprint over this track. We're there all year in these Grade 1s, we need to win one. I'm grateful to these horses for trying so hard. This race just adds to Sun King's legacy.” [Bloodhorse]Sun King is growing on me as a racehorse; I was amongst his detractors prior to the Kentucky Derby and I remained skeptical during his brief revival last year. But his last two have been dynamic, and I'm always a sucker for a good closer. However, I wouldn't exactly agree that he has a legacy at this point. For Silver Train, it’s his second major stakes win over a Belmont track over which he’s now four-for-six. Richard Dutrow acknowledged that “If this race were run at Aqueduct or anywhere else in the world, I'm sure he would have gotten beat.” He said that he may point Silver Train to the mile and a quarter Suburban on July 1.
- In the fifth race, a maiden special for three and up, Habsburg (Old Trieste), 5-1 for his debut at Gulfstream for Darley, was 10-1 today, no doubt due to a really nasty past performance line in his only race. He did break poorly that day in April, but showed nothing, fading to 24 lengths behind the winner. This time he broke well, got the lead, and then dug in to repel the Nick Zito-trained Orlov by a neck – another freaky second for Nick! This horse is out of a Nureyev half-sister to Barbican, the Darley colt who was briefly on the Derby Trail before being sidelined with a fractured sesamoid; and also the champion filly Tempera.