- Joe Drape reported in the NY Times on Sunday that Nobiz Like Shobiz' owner Elizabeth Valando turned down an offer of $17 million from you-know-who after he won his first race; I don't recall seeing that figure reported before. In addition, Ms. Valando has refused to insure Nobiz because she does not want to profit from any injury. I don't think anyone would think any less of her for having coverage on the horse, but you certainly have to respect her for that as well as for turning down the Royal Checkbook Horseman.
Also in the Sunday Times was an interesting column by Jim Squires, the newspaper editor turned breeder who bred Monarchos and wrote a really worthwhile book about the experience. He points out:
Of the 35 most expensive colts from this year’s 3-year-old crop purchased at public auction, only the $1.5 million Cowtown Cat is still on track for the quest. And his early odds are 20-1 in the Derby. This means the other $88.5 million spent on 34 others may be hard to recover.Squires writes that the popularity of certain bloodlines in the commercial market has kept breeders from producing in substantial numbers horses physically capable of enduring the Triple Crown grind. He names Curlin, Nobiz Like Shobiz, Street Sense, Circular Quay and Tiago as examples of products of matings planned without market considerations.
And breeders are finally realizing that stamina attributed to three leading modern sires — Storm Cat, A. P. Indy and Gone West — was for the most part inherited from their Secretariat dams and is most often passed on through their daughters — not their Triple Crown-nominee sons.- And here's just a couple of ways in which times on the Derby Trail have changed:
Dust Commander won the 1970 Derby with a foundation of 22 starts. Cannonade won the centenary 1974 Derby after 21 starts. Spectacular Bid had 14, Affirmed, Sunny's Halo and Bold Forbes had 13 each, Secretariat, Riva Ridge, Gato del Sol 12 apiece, Foolish Pleasure, Swale and Spend a Buck 11. [NY Post]
Once upon a time, colts raced in the Derby Trial on Tuesday, then came back four days later and ran for the roses. Five times they won both races; seven other Derby winners made the Trial their last prep. [Lexington Herald-Reader]