- The track is sloppy and the turf races are off at Pimlico today. It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow morning, and I'd guess that the track will be fast....certainly it should be for the Preakness. I'm listening out for any comments about the track by Jerry Bailey on ESPN. You may recall that he nailed it two Fridays ago, when he emphasized that the track would be very hard due to all the sealing taking place.
Like NBC, ESPN will have a "roundtable" discussion tomorrow; they're calling it a "frank discussion." They also said that Jerry Bailey will have some interesting things to say about use of the whip tomorrow, and I have no doubt that those remarks will be pretty fascinating. The roundtable participants will be Veterinarian Dr. Scott Palmer, NTRA President Alex Waldrop, Larry Jones, and Randy Moss. In an excerpt, Jones was asked if Eight Belles would still be with us if the track was synthetic. And though he pointed out that she stumbled and could have done so on either surface, he admitted that his experience is that horses are less likely to stumble on the synthetics while pulling up.
Bailey earlier said that all of the jockeys from the Preakness, "except Tyler Baze" will be contributing $7500 towards equine research. Sounds like Baze must have once tried to put Bailey over the railing.
They showed a replay of Big Brown's debut, his runaway on the grass at Saratoga in September. I went back into the archives, and this is what I wrote at the time:
If it looked like that 14-1 first-timer Big Brown was motoring down the stretch at Saratoga yesterday, that's because he was. After getting to the 3/4's in 1:11.84, he got the subsequent quarter in - get this - 22.62 seconds, and the final sixteenth, when Jeremy Rose finally stopped whipping him - in 5.87. As I mentioned yesterday, he has some interesting inbreeding for turf, and we'll certainly be interested in following him down the road.(Funny, just as I'm writing this, Rose just got caught on MJ's Enchanteur by Termsofengagement in the Woodlawn.) I certainly wasn't thinking about him in terms of the Derby. I guess we'll never see him on the grass again, something they could have explored if he was a gelding and returned to race next year. The Arc could be fun, but I'm sure they won't do anything out of the ordinary with him. Do you think he'll race more than twice after the Belmont?