- It's amazing to me how much has changed just in the relatively fleeting time I've been writing this blog. I was thinking about Z Fortune, and his excellent second in the Arkansas Derby; and tempering my enthusiasm a bit is the fact that he'll be running on "only" three weeks rest. Considering how wide he was, I imagine that he'll earn low numbers on the sheets, and that the sheet guys won't like the relatively short layoff. I was also looking at Smooth Air on the recommendation of reader and fellow Ranger fan Jeff. I like what I see there on closer examination; he's never run a bad race, comes off a career best effort in the Florida Derby, and has built himself a pretty solid foundation. And, I'm thinking, he'll have five weeks to recover from the Florida Derby, and that's good.
But if this was three years ago, I'd probably be thinking exactly the opposite - that Smooth Air has been off far too long, and that Z Fortune is right on schedule! Didn't take long for that perception to change, at least for me.
- I think that Eight Belles would vie for third choice in the betting if the Derby was run today. And if she was in it, of course. I neglected to mention earlier that the filly will work on Friday, after which a decision will be made. Though I suspect it already has been.
"I know Mr. Porter's leaning to wanting to do that. They'll get to crunching all their numbers in the next couple of days. But the way the races shaped up [Saturday], it looks like he may be leaning that way." [Daily Racing Form]I'm told that Larry Jones talked Porter out of running in the Arkansas Derby, but I don't believe that the owner, having coming close last year, will be unable to resist taking another shot.
Big Brown clearly is the likely post-time favorite and, though I could be wrong about this, I think that Colonel John looms as the second choice despite his lower figs and the synthetic question. I'd seriously consider betting him if I'm wrong and he's more like 8-1. After that, there should be a third tier amongst Pyro, Gayego, and, I think, Eight Belles. I must say that I'm not really put off by the idea of this filly taking on these boys at that time. She has a lot of things going for her - consistency, class, tactical speed, and some solid foundation with nine career starts. I also think that she answered a big question in the
We also know that she'll have a decent post, or at least not a fatal one, since Porter has indicated that he'll cross-enter her in the Oaks.
- The Albany Times Union Capitol Confidential blog reports this morning that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver informed his conference that he plans on meeting with Gov. David Paterson soon, possibly in hopes of averting the closure of NYC OTB.