- Tom Albertrani told the Albany Times-Union that no decision will be announced on Bernardini's future beyond the Breeders Cup until after the Classic.
"It's always good when you have a horse like this; more people focus on racing when they might normally not.....I would love to have him next year, but no one has mentioned anything to me at all."I wrote in the comments section earlier that I'd be 'pleasantly surprised' if he raced next year, but I think that 'shocked' would be a more accurate description.
- Lawyer Ron worked a half in 48.02 yesterday at Belmont; his first work for new trainer Todd Pletcher. The 3-year-old could start next in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic. [NY Daily News]
- Steve Haskin writes of the Spinster and the other weekend stakes at Keeneland:
Speaking of Polytrack, it looks as if you can throw form for the most part right out the window judging by some of the weird winners over the weekend, most of whom had either run or trained over the track, and the number of good horses who didn't run their usual race over it, such as Happy Ticket and Spun Sugar in the Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I), and a host of others in the Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. II) and Alcibiades (gr. I).Well, for one thing, don't we have to wait until the Breeders Cup before we decide that the preps were no good? Spun Sugar may have finished 8th, but after the 2 1/4 length winning margin, the margins from 2nd to 8th were nk, nk, hd, nk, nk, no; so it wasn't like she was trounced (the way she was at Belmont in the Phipps). And I think Mr. Haskin is just mistaken about Happy Ticket; she was checked severely midstretch while moving up the rail. And besides, her trainer Andrew Leggio told the Shreveport Times: "..she loved the surface. She literally glided over it."
As for the other races Haskin mentions, I already provided a perfectly reasonable explanation for the Alcibiades result. The Phoenix Breeders Cup result was a little weird, but no one was mistaking any of the runners for legitimate Sprint contenders anyway. And the winner, Kelly's Landing, had performances in his not-too-distant past that supported this performance, and who knows, maybe it's a case of a horse being revitalized on the kinder track.
Keeneland should be a huge story in our sport. This is the first major meeting to be run over Polytrack, and a successful meeting - one with competitive, full-field racing and a minimum of injuries (and not necessarily one in which form complies with anyone's standards of 'normal') - is a potential bonanza, if not a downright savior for the game. We all talk about how what the sport needs most are stars who stick around and race, and a track that causes less injuries and happier horses should translate into less early retirements. Who knows, if horsemen gain confidence that their valuable steeds are far less likely to sustain a life-threatening injury on the racetrack, perhaps that in itself would lead to more stars racing at four or beyond.