- A surprise opportunity for Highland Cat, as an extra race came up for Friday. It’s the 9th race; a seven furlong maiden claimer ($45k-40) on the grass, and he breaks from the 2 post. Now I’m just hoping that it doesn’t rain..
- Some interesting tidbits from the Courier-Journal’s Jennie Rees' final thoughts on Derby 132:
- Last year I vowed never again to go against my theory that horses who win the Derby run the last eighth-mile of their final 1 1/8-mile prep in under 13 seconds and the last three-eighths in under 38. I’m getting closer but still picked A.P. Warrior, who qualified on the three-eighths but was at 13.1 for his final eighth-mile in the Santa Anita Derby. Meanwhile, Barbaro became the 10th winner since 1994 to qualify on the three-eighths time and the 11th winner to do so on the final eighth-mile split.I’ll have to keep that one in mind. I suppose that 40 1/5 for the final three-eighths just doesn’t cut it under any circumstances.
The last quarter-mile split for Brother Derek, who was 16th at the quarter pole while nine wide: 24.17 seconds. Jazil’s was 24.That’s surprising at first glance, since Brother Derek closed strongly at the end to dead-heat Jazil. But in fact, with a quarter mile to go, Brother Derek was 10th and Jazil 17th. However, like Steppenwolfer, Jazil was able to save ground on the final turn, while Brother Derek was nine wide. You gotta give the latter a good shot in the Preakness with a smaller field and a pace he should be able to attend.
Kudos: Churchill announcer Luke Kruytbosch just keeps getting better. His Derby call was terrific.Well, most of us wouldn’t know, since his call was just a murmuring in the background to Tom Durkin’s on NBC. Nothing wrong with Durkin’s call, but it wasn’t one of his most memorable ones either. And one note to TD: A Caribbean sunset is “sublime.” A fine meal accompanied by a glass of vintage wine. A cool, clear morning on the backstretch at Saratoga. The Smiths’ first album. But Barbaro in the stretch of the Kentucky Derby? Impressive, imposing, dominating….but ‘sublime’ is not a description that I personally would use for a horse race. Of course, I’m not in the announcers’ booth, and he is.