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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Corinthian Crackles!

- The Derby futures pool is open, and the real time odds are here (don't be startled by Ken Asher). Right now, a couple of horses are 6-1. It's worth pointing here out that Barbaro was 6-1 at post time last year (quick, who was the 5.50-to-1 favorite?)

But the three-year olds are not the only game in town this year. The defending Horse of the Year made a memorable early season appearance. And there's the almost unfathonable prospect of an impending showdown between Invasor and Discreet Cat, which will captivate us one and all, even though it will take place exactly 6,849 miles (as the crow flies) from South Ozone Park, NY.

And on Thursday, Corinthian made a return to the races that can be properly described as electrifying. Sure, he got to stalk a slow pace that forced Fernando Jara to take Jazil out of his game, moving towards the lead to the inside of Corinthian as they entered the final turn. But just like that Corinthian repelled the challenge with ridiculous ease, accelerating away; he was already up by five or six by the time he turned for home. Javier Castellano kept him busy, and he got the last 3/8ths in 36.33 seconds; the final time of 1:48.04 was nearly two seconds faster than the other division of the race.

And unlike the immature three year old we saw last year, he kept his mind on business, changed leads on cue, and kept a straight path home (though he did check out the scene in the grandstand a bit). Jimmy Jerkens said that "with three weeks (plus) to the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) (Mar. 3), that might work out." [Bloodhorse]

Jazil (Seeking the Gold) was 4-5 and easily hung on for second. It's entirely possible that before the year ends and he happily goes off to stud, he'll be in a race in which the pace is fast, the distance is right, the track is favoring closers, the wind is at his back, the rail opens up, the stars are properly aligned, I have a bet against him, and Corinthian is nowhere to be found, and he'll actually win. But I wouldn't count on it.

- I've heard from a couple of people, and read on the Blogger issues page that some people are experiencing problems posting comments on the new Blogger. I presume that they're working on fixing that.

4 Comments:

Jim L said...

Jazil reminds me of Lukas's horse which won the Belmont in 2000, beating Aptitude who had a horrible ride by Solis. Jazil is a plodder. He can run forever, bred to, but he needs a wicked, wicked pace in order to beat anything of Grade 2 or better quality at 9 furlongs.

Alan,

Don't take my mention of this as anything wrong. Jerkens has no "i."

You have one of the best damn racing blogs in the country!

Jim

alan said...

>>Don't take my mention of this as anything wrong. Jerkens has no "i."

I'm getting scolded left and right for this. :-/ It won't happen again!

Green Mtn Punter said...

Call me old fashioned, contrarian, an old fart, whatever, but I get a lot more excited about the prospect of an Invasor vs Discreet Cat showdown than I ever do about the Derby. Wake me up for Belmont Week, the Derby and Preakness are just the prelims to what this old guy still considers the Main Event, Triple Crown on the line or not.

Steve D said...

If we're going to say who Jazil reminds us off, the only appropriate comparison in recent years seems to be Strike The Gold (or, as my 9th grade biology teacher referred to him as, "Strike the Pig"). Jazil is wholely dependent upon the shape of the race and the quality of the field. When it sets up for him, he'll look like a superstar. When it doesn't he'll look like...well, a pig.

Alan, I agree that it will be darn near impossible for a handicapper to avoid betting him in the 8 starts he will likely lose this season, while picking him to win in the 1 start he inevitably will win. I'll take 8 shots at victory with one heartbreak, rather than the other way around.