- A few workouts this morning, and nothing at all earth shattering. For the most part, just the usual nice works with the obligatory effusive trainer comments afterwards. I liked Joe Drape's observation from Churchill:
Of the hundreds of horses here going through their training paces, the Derby contenders are Adonises — they are ripped, with shiny coats and do not look like ordinary horses. [The Rail]As I've said many times, these are all good horses who are generally going to train and appear very well. So I'd be wary of the glowing reports, unless they have some particular relevance, such as with Colonel John's first drill on the dirt. Or perhaps if Pyro turned some heads (he didn't).
A couple of items worth mentioning here: Z Fortune worked rather slowly, a half-mile in 51 seconds flat. Asmussen mentioned something that has concerned me about this colt.
Noting the slower time for Z Fortune, the trainer said one concern was how hard son of Siphon ran from the 13 post position in the Arkansas Derby. “We want to put a little bit back in him and have him at his best for the Derby and not for the work for the Derby.” [Bloodhorse]Not thrilled when a trainer articulates one of my own concerns like that, especially when it seems to be affecting his workout regimen.
Denis of Cork is in, as Pletcher declared Behindatthebar out. Interesting to read Calvin Borel's comments after the colt worked 48 flat this morning (and before he knew he was in the race).
“The Derby comes only once a year....The way the colt is doing right now, it’s a shame; it’s kind of depressing, the way he worked this morning. He was unbelievable. He was just like I wanted him to be, and he finished up good. The colt’s peaking right now, that’s what’s so sad about it." [Bloodhorse]You could probably swap at least the gist of those comments with the way Borel spoke about Street Sense last year and not know the difference. This ain't no Street Sense though. He's a colt I might have liked had he been campaigned differently; but he really was not given a chance to develop and build on his Southwest Stakes victory; a race which is not quite as impressive as it looks when you consider that he closed into a final half mile of 52 3/5 after they sped in 45 1/5 to the half. In the Illinois Derby, his one effort since that race over two months ago, he basically spun his wheels against an impossible pace scenario. He's getting some attention for the way he's training, but it seems to me that he has a lot of catching up to do. I'm putting him in the same category as Court Vision regarding the works, and not buying the hype.