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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Free Steve Haskin

- Steve Haskin writes exhaustively of Ketchikan in his column today, explaining:

The reason this section is going to be quite long for a Louisiana Derby runner-up who is ranked just behind the 12th horse Cobalt Blue on the Derby Dozen, is because he looks at this time to be the most live dark horse for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). If you’re a future book player, this is the time to get him. [Bloodhorse]
The real reason I see that he would write so extensively about a horse with four career starts, who didn't debut until Xmas Eve, and who ran second in a race two weeks ago is that the man has far, FAR too much Derby Trail Time on his hands. Really, there's only so much you can analyze this stuff before you start to wig out. We know that the colt was on the lead in a fast pace in surprising fashion; whether it was caused by jockey error, an overanxious horse, or, as Haskin speculates, he was trying to get out of a tight spot, the fact is, HE RAN TOO DAMN FAST! Unless he does something really spectacular in the Arkansas Derby, he's not a serious Derby contender anyway at this point in time; in my opinion anyway.

Haskin's obsessing over the contenders, and non-contenders alike, is why the man, after months of writing about the Derby Trail, cannot actually pick a winner when the times comes. Come May 5, we'll read something like this: Street Sense is the most likely winner but he presents no value so keep an eye on Cowtown Cat at a price but if the track is favoring front-runners watch Adore the Gold but if there's too hot of a pace watch out for Circular Quay and if his Polytrack form is no fluke beware of Hard Spun and if he's over 30-1 you gotta take a shot on Belgravia and if the temperature is below 68 degrees then watch Nobiz Like Shobiz because he's run well in New York and even though he didn't win the Wood he didn't change leads until midstretch and then he changed them back and changed them back again and he blinked his right eye indicating that he might have gotten some dirt in it and his ears were pricked at the wire and he's inbred to Northern Dancer....

And I'm not writing this to criticize him, really. I love the guy, and actually feel bad for him because he obviously goes through a major meltdown as all the weeks and months of writing and speculation come to a close, and he actually has to make a decision on who's going to win. I don't think that anyone should have to spend so much time analyzing a single race. Haskin is an excellent writer who could be spending his time more productively than watching Derby preps over and over, frame by frame. It's bad for the brain. I think he should be freed.


Anonymous said...

"Street Sense is the most likely winner but he presents no value so keep an eye on Cowtown Cat at a price....and his ears were pricked at the wire and he's inbred to Northern Dancer...."

Here, Here!

I love the guy's work too, but I also agree that at the end of 11 months of analysis and Derby prep-watching, each player and writer should make his own, singular rock-solid pick to win, rather than his 'scattergun' approach.

Mine hasn't ever won. Damn you Lemon Drop Kid, China Visit, Read the Footnotes, et al. This year is different, however.....

Calgary, Alberta

El Angelo said...

Haskin's best attribute is that he says that EVERY horse looks spectacular, dappled, well-coated, and on their toes. If you ever hear him say a horse looks bad, watch out.