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Monday, March 19, 2007

Street Sense A Wrap?

- Ed Fountaine of the NY Post is a bit skeptical of Street Sense. Not because he's found the shortest way home in his last two races, but because he came out on Saturday wearing front bandages, as he did in the Juvenile in November.

One explanation for the Breeders' Cup Jinx is that nine Juvenile winners never even made it to the Derby. Might "Sense" fall among their number? When he wore front bandages for the first time in the BC Juvenile, trainer Carl Nafzger said it was to protect him after he bruised a foot. When Street Sense came out wearing them again 41/2 months later, you had to wonder if the rumors over the winter about his physical condition had substance.

Now, front bandages on a Triple Crown contender don't make him an automatic toss. In recent years, Fusaichi Pegasus won the Derby, Smarty Jones the Derby and Preakness, and Afleet Alex the Preakness and Belmont Stakes with front wraps on. Then again, none of them lasted long after that. Fusaichi won one race after the Derby; "Smarty" and "Alex" never raced again after the Belmont. [NY Post]
- Hard Spun continued his preparation for Saturday's Lane's End with a five furlong move in 1:00.60 on the Polytrack at Turfway this morning.


Anonymous said...

Very astute observation on the front bandages. As you point out, the recent history suggests that these horses are by no means tosses when they are on the track, and STREET SENSE is obviously a very talented individual. But the excellent horses you cite were unable to stay on the track. It's clearly a sing of fragility. I wouldn't be surprised to hear Nafzger announce he's training this one right up to the derby.

Alan Mann said...

My astuteness is limited to spotting Ed Fountaine's column. But if Nafzger announces that he's training him up to the Derby, then I'd agree that something is wrong. I still maintain that the horse should not unduly bounce out of this race if he's sound. He really only had to run for a quarter mile on Saturday, and given the not-too-fast Beyer of 101, I just don't think he's as much of a bounce candidate than others fear. Personally, I'm interested to see if Pletcher announces that he's training Any Given Saturday up to the Derby.