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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Derby Top Ten

- Here's the LATG Derby Top Ten of horses and people who I think will be making headlines on or about the first Saturday in May:

1) Pyro - Jessica linked to Dick Powell's column, noting that she shares his reservations about Pyro being a "counter-puncher." And that observation strikes me as the latest stretch in trying to find a reason to be skeptical about Asmussen's colt. Pyro is about as clear-cut of a Derby favorite at this stage that I recall in recent years, especially with the unceremonious flop of War Pass last weekend (and notwithstanding that of Z Fortune, who Pyro defeated in the Risen Star). Powell wrote:

He responds to what the other horses are doing but doesn't dictate his own circumstances. Until we see him in the Kentucky Derby (G1), where against a large field he'll get a fast pace, we won't know how he'll respond. [BRIS]
Seems to me that the ability to respond to different race situations is a very good thing for any horse in any race, especially one, like this year's Derby, which apparently lacks anything approaching a dominant animal. What will he do in a large field in which he'll get a fast pace? Personally, I don't see any reason why, based on his races thus far, he won't come flying down the middle of the track. He will, of course, be subject to the vagaries of racing luck, but until I see a horse who I believe has the innate ability to overcome any such misfortune on his or her own, Pyro remains in my opinion the clear and logical favorite for this year's Run for the Roses.

2) Denis of Cork - Ugh, this means that I have the same top two as Haskin....but it's slim pickins out there to be sure. The decision to skip the Rebel, with the accompanying admission that he's "not robust," doesn't exactly inspire confidence, and he'll go into the Derby with just one race in 11 weeks and just four lifetime starts. But he was surely flattered by the stakes results of last weekend, and again, it's slim pickins out there....

3) New York Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco becomes the latest acting Governor to resign due to sexual indiscretions after his admission that he rubbed up inappropriately against his official State office furniture. Previously, Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith admitted to having amorous thoughts about Sheldon Silver, who himself was forced to step down after being observed in a compromising position with the New York State Seal. David Paterson had been forced to resign after his list of affairs expanded to include those with the entire Democratic conference, after which Joe Bruno served for three days before admitting that his love of horses went far beyond breeding and racing.

4) The Breeders' Cup refuses to back down from the fierce criticism of its Filly/Female/Femme Fatale Friday program, and defiantly announces a third Cup day, this one restricted to races for geldings, ridglings, horses of uncertain sexual orientation, and former Governors of New York State.

5) Elysium Fields - To be perfectly honest. I don't really have more than a Top One or Two at this point; the rest of these are just horses that seem to have the potential to improve between now and then. This one looks as if he has as much of a chance to do just that as anybody, even though he finished behind a horse I don't care for at all in Cool Coal Man. But he continued on gamely after being passed by that one in the FOY, and has worked spectacularly for Barclay Tagg since then. The Florida Derby is next.

6) Visionaire - He may have benefited from good trips and pace scenarios, but he's done little wrong and, like the above choice, has a trainer with winning Derby experience. Michael Matz is said to be deciding between the Illinois Derby or the Blue Grass.

7) New York Governor Charles Hayward announces the finalization of the franchise deal with NYRA President Charles Hayward, and denies any conflict of interest.

8) Ready's Echo - If we're ever going to see a horse with just two career races, and one win, as of March 22 win the Kentucky Derby, this could be it. Late runner needs to pass many tests - winners, two turns, the Pletcher Derby jinx - but at least he didn't finish last at 1-20 in the Tampa Bay Derby.

9) Senator John McCain takes his Bullshit Express to Louisville. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, who is against lobbyists (but includes several as senior staff members), is now in favor of overturning Roe vs Wade (after being against it), is for extending the Bush tax cuts (after originally voting against them), and who now criticizes the original conduct of the war (after praising it at the time), changes his Derby pick from War Pass, to Pyro, to Visionaire, to Proud Spell, to Tale of Etaki, to Majestic Warrior, to Rudy Giuliani, and proudly accepts the endorsement of Patrick Biancone.

10) El Gato Malo - Pedigree questions abound for this son of El Corredor; but, like Pyro, he's raced well given differing pace scenarios, and finished extremely well against an unfavorable one when he determinedly chased Colonel John in an 11 4/5 closing furlong in the Sham.


Mutaman said...

Welcome back. You were missed.chac

John said...


Anonymous said...

Alan - you get too political here. John McCain's bullshit express - please. You want bullshit - vote democratic. How is your racist buddy Obama. Nice church he belongs to. Both racist and anti semetic. He spends 20 years there and McCain is bullshit ? Obama is a Marxist. Do some research Alan. Stick to the horses please.

Handride said...

Anon please google Hagee Mccain and just read whatever you want. Guilt by association lost its mojo in the 60's w/ McCarthy. You should stick to being anon... Go TOMCITO

steve in nc said...

If "too political" isn't what you want friends, don't read this.

Anon - I thought the word from the slander mill was that Obama is a Muslim. But he's now in trouble for, ahem, being a regular at a church!

And he's a Marxist? Even though he alas won't back single-payer healthcare? Marx wrote that religion is the opiate of the masses (he lived before TV). So I guess that makes Obama a Marxist Christian Muslim junkie, right? Go call Sean Hannity!

Research, research. I heard white parishioners at Obama's church interviewed on the radio last week who feel well loved there. Wright, by the way, isn't the preacher there now. They said they didn't recognize their church from the media reports.

Has McCain ever given a speech distancing himself from the outspoken segrationists he shared a caucus with in the Senate (racists like Thurmond, Eastland, Stennis, Helms)? Has the white media ever demanded it? If you think that's no longer relevant, then you agree with Obama more than you know. But I guess tolerance and common sense is only allowed for white people, no?

I'm a Jew and have no fears about Obama. I read that he's actually been to Israel. And he noticed that there is more debate over the (lack of) wisdom of Likud policies than there is here. That's not anti-semitism, it is wisdom & courage. I challenge you to present evidence of Obama anti-semitism before making that terrible charge. If you, can, you'll peel this man's vote away from Obama in the NC primary in May.

There are lots of legitimate concerns about Obama, Clinton & McCain. I heard not a whimper from any of them about the Fed providing welfare for the millionaires at Bear Stearns while poor and middle class people with health calalmities get evicted. Does opposing corporate welfare make me a Marxist, too, or a free market champion?

I'm no McCain fan, but frankly, any of the three contenders would be a breath of fresh air. Anon, you voted for Bush, I trust. If so, you voted for a guy who spent his tour of duty in the National Guard not showing up because he was busy partying, and who has now tolerated, if not commissioned, torture. And McCain, who knows better, is tying himself to that man's disastrous policies because he thinks that's his ticket to power. Bullshit is a kind term for that.

Sorry for going on so pressed my buttons big time. I HATE it when people who haven't done a thing to combat racism slander others with that label.

alan said...

>>Alan - you get too political here.

That's from a week of pent-up frustration from spending a week with a hotel TV on which the only news station I could get was FOX. Every time I put it on, they were talking about Obama and Jeremiah Wright. No talk of course about McCain, who appeared with John Hagee to proudly accept his endorsement. Hagee is a freaking raving lunatic, and check this out if you're not aware of that. McCain has gotten a free pass on this from all the media, including the so-called liberal outlets; as he has on all of the hypocrisy that I mentioned in the post.

Anonymous said...

WOW!The Liberals are angry.

I like when people point out bad behavior of others to justify the behavior of there own.

It's OK to critize your own.

Who will be the first Liberal to criticize Obama for attending a Church for 20 years with such a hateful(and racist)Pastor?

And please don't tell me he had know idea.

Anyone know when the Democratic Mayor of Detroit will step down?

Anonymous said...

Thought this artile was great - from Marilyn Lane at Saratoga Today -

"Governor Paterson’s great grandfather on his mother’s side was a blacksmith. Like many blacks of his era, he worked with horses. He put shoes on them and one of the horses he shod was Upset. Upset delivered Man 0’ War his only lifetime defeat, right here in Saratoga, in the Sanford Memorial on August 13, 1919. Upon recognizing the significance of defeating “de mostest hoss that ever wuz”; Upset’s owner, H. P. Whitney staked all of the people responsible for the horse. It was not the usual stake; he bought the trainer, the breeder and three or four stable-hands houses. One such house was for the blacksmith, Patterson’s great-grandfather.

The new house enabled Governor Paterson’s ancestors to move from, “not necessarily squalor, but certainly a giant step forward.” The brownstone was in what is now the Fort Green section of Brooklyn. It is the home where Governor Paterson returned after his birth.

Now, these are the kinds of stories that exist all through this great sport. Horses can and do change lives everyday. If it were not for horses and some of the acts that people with horses perform there are a lot of us who would be differently placed. Whitney’s generous acknowledgement to Upset’s blacksmith may well have been the conduit which provided opportunity for Basil Paterson, the Governor’s father to forge his own illustrious political career. "

Full article at:

Anonymous said...

A little more than guilt by association handride. Obama has been going there for 20 years. He takes his children to hear this kind of garbage. I guess that if where his wife learned not to be proud of this country. If guilt by association lost its mojo in the 60's why did Bush HAVE TO appologize for giving a speech at Bob Jones University. Why does every republican live in fear of being labeled a racist ? Here is a little about Hagee and the Jewish community.

Hagee has received numerous honors and accolades from national Jewish organizations for his support of Israel. Hagee was awarded the "Humanitarian of the Year" award by the San Antonio B'nai B'rith Council. It was the first time in the history of the San Antonio that this award was given to a gentile. Hagee was presented the ZOA Israel Award by U.N. Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick. This award was given by the Jewish Community of Dallas, Texas.He was presented the ZOA Service Award by Texas Governor Mark White. Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire issued a special proclamation in his honor declaring Pastor John C. Hagee Day.

Hagee has been to Israel twenty-two times and has met with every Prime Minister since Menachem Begin. John Hagee Ministries has given more than $8.5 million to bring Soviet Jews from the former Soviet Union to Israel. Hagee is also the Founder and Executive Director of "A Night to Honor Israel", an event which expresses solidarity between Christians and Jews on behalf of Jerusalem, the State of Israel and the United States.

On February 7, 2006, Hagee and 400 leaders from the Christian and Jewish communities formed a new national organization called Christians United For Israel (CUFI). This organization is focused on communicating the need to defend Israel, in light of Biblically based matters, with members of the United States Congress.

Obama's mentor Rev Wright went with Farrakham to Libia to meet with Gadhafi. The parish also gave an award to Farrakham. Enough said.

To Steve in NC. I beieve the senators you mentioned are gone now. Two of them are dead. The only remaining ex KKK member is Robert Byrd of Virginia. He is a democrat so he gets a pass. Also - you don't know anything about me so don't say I have never done anything to combat racism.
See what the Obama camp did to G. Ferraro. Is she a racist ?

Bob from NJ

Anonymous said...

I am proudly Roman Catholic and therefore no supporter of Hagee, but if you can not see the difference between accepting an endorsement from a crazy man and worshipping at the Church of a crazy man for 20 years (including calling that man a friend as close as family) then I can not help you.

No comparison.

It's a matter of judgement, and Obama showed poor judgement befriending and defending this man.

alan said...

Bob - You're quoting excerpts on Hagee that appear without sources on Wikipedia. The thing about him being the first gentile in San Antonio to receive an award from the B'Nai Brith is almost laughable. I'm confident enough in my Googling ability to wonder aloud if the San Antonio B'Nai Brith even exists. The Christians United For Israel you mention as if it's a mainstream organization is a Christian evangelical Zionist organization made up by loonies like Hagee. They oppose any two-state solution and oppose any division of Jerusalem because they believe that a Christian Messiah will appear there.

The trip to Libya with Farrakhan you mention was a mission, along with Jesse Jackson, to negotiate, successfully, the release of a pilot shot down over that country. President Reagan praised the mission afterwards.

I'm not defending Wright's statements, but I think your comments were one-sided and needed to be clarified. They've both said some wacky things, they've both done some good. But the press coverage has been overwhelmingly one-sided.

Anonymous said...


The reason press coverage has been one sided is because there is on comparison between the two.

McCain met Hagee once when he accepted his endorsement, has not worshipped in his Church for 20 years and was not married by the nutcase.

Religion has no place in politics to begin with, and this controversy has nothing to do with religion.

Wright's message is socialist and anti American at its root, so its relevant that a candidate for president is his congregant and family like friend.

There is no comparison, and therefore no reason press coverage should be "balanced".

alan said...

>>The reason press coverage has been one sided is because there is on comparison between the two.

Well my friend, at least we agree on one thing. There is no comparison. McCain appeared with and proudly accepted the endorsement of a nut whose beliefs are well outside the mainstream, and he did so merely to pander to the right, as he is doing with his sudden rightward shifts on other issues. On the other hand, Obama has repudiated the remarks made by his former pastor that were considered to be offensive (anti-Americanism can be in the eyes of the beholder, and I personally found some of his statements less objectionable than others may have). But I absolutely support his refusal to disavow the man's record over 20 years over a couple of minutes posted on You Tube and shown (repeatedly) on FOX. I can't profess to be an expert on his sermons, but he has apparently has earned a great deal of respect amongst whites and blacks alike, including President Clinton (which may not mean as much to you as it would to me).

Anonymous said...

Alan said-"I can't profess to be an expert on his sermons, but he has apparently has earned a great deal of respect amongst whites and blacks alike, including President Clinton"

So does David Duke,Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson and many other haters.