- I'm seeing other negative reports besides Nick’s on Sweetnorthernsaint. I haven’t yet seen yesterday’s version of The Works, but Kentucky Joe related that Gary Stevens spoke about how Sweetnorthernsaint's hind legs look "stiff." Mike Welsch in the Form wrote:
Sweetnorthernsaint also looked particularly rough throughout most of his 1 1/4-mile gallop, his strides short and choppy, in contrast to the way he had moved so fluently during several excellent training sessions leading up to last Saturday's five-furlong work. He also didn't appear to travel as fluidly on Tuesday morning as he had earlier, albeit over a wet and uneven surface. He still has a couple of days to get back on the right track, but these observations are cause for at least some concern for Sweetnorthernsaint's ever-growing legion of supporters.Well? Too much information? Or important visual clues? There was a time before the internets and TVG that we wouldn’t have even known this kind of stuff. I do remember that Swale had a slow final workout in 1983 that got a lot of press, and some discounted his chances based on that; he won the Derby ($8.80), and since then I’ve tried to inure myself to this kind of stuff. As Nick pointed out, “this could be significant or it may [be] the way he always looks after he works a 1:11 6F.” I’ve already decided that I would not use him on top, but I’ll probably retain him on the bottom of tickets. For now, anyway. We still have one more edition of The Works to check out.
- Welsch also raised some questions about Point Determined, saying he did not have the "same energy level" as Bob and John. His action would best be described as sloppy, and he also failed to change leads down the stretch or around the clubhouse turn. Baffert doesn’t seem too concerned.
"Point Determined is coming up to the race in perfect shape. He reminds me so much of his grandfather (Thunder Gulch, the 1995 Derby winner)." [NY Post]I think that Point Determined is one of the horses that could be bet lower than we expect, and therefore not present value in the win spot. He seems to be getting a lot of support.
- If I was to make a hunch bet on the race, it would be on Steppenwolfer. He’s named after the 60’s band Steppenwolf, and they were the first band I ever saw live in concert.
"His dam's name is Wolfer and being children of the '60s, we went for Steppenwolf and didn't get it," said Robert Low, who owns Arkansas Derby runner-up Steppenwolfer with his wife, Lawana. "We got a very nice letter from (lead singer) John Kay and his manager wishing us good luck in the Derby and they said they'd be cheering for their near-namesake."
The Jockey Club didn't give the Lows any reason why the name Steppenwolf was rejected. [NY Daily News]