- Cowboy Cal became the fifth Derby horse to win his next race when he was moved up to first via DQ in the G3 Bryan Station at Keeneland. Seaspeak, widest of all on the turn, came in and bumped Cowboy Cal lightly three times or so on his way to a narrow hard fought win. I imagine that none of the bumps by themselves would have caused a disqualification, and that it was the persistent nature of them that led to the decision. Still, Cowboy Cal seemed to give as good as he got in the bumping, had the lead inside the sixteenth pole despite everything, and Seaspeak was able to battle back late. I think it was a borderline call.
Cowboy Cal could make his next start in the Hollywood Derby (G1) on November 30 and the McNairs will keep him in training as a four-year-old. [Thoroughbred Times]For Pletcher, who we mentioned was lagging at Belmont, it was just his second win of the Keeneland meeting, out of 18 starters. The Toddster had an absolutely miserable day at Keeneland on Saturday, with Splash of Color (9th at 8-5); Frame of Reference (12th at 3-1); and Understatement (11th at 3-1) - oh man! But the Bryan Station was his 21st graded stakes win of the year. Long ways from the 57 he won in 2006, but not too shabby still.
Seaspeak has never run poorly in his five career starts, all on grass. He was 12-1 off a third place finish in a key allowance race (four subsequent winners). He's by Mizzen Mast (Cozzene), out of a Gone West mare who's a half sister to the Grade 1 grass winners Cetewayo and Dynaforce.
- Casino Drive absolutely toyed with the allowance field that he faced on Sunday. Three wide or more for the entire turn for home, man, he was just cruisin.' Victor Espinoza got a bit busy at the end to hold off Dakota Phone, but the overall ease with which he won was rather startling considering his inexperience, layoff, travel, quarantine, etc., etc., I still believe however that the notion of him winning the Classic is ridiculous, and that it wouldn't be a good thing for the sport in this country in any way. So I expect to be both betting and rooting extra against him in the big race.