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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Derby Morning Notes

I Want Revenge is out of the race.

- I had to laugh when I picked up the Times' sports section this morning, and saw a blurb for a Derby column by Harvey Araton on page 3 that reads: In Need Of Good Press. Seemed rather ironic considering that, in the two days leading up to the Derby, the Times print edition ran exactly two articles on the race (plus one on Rachel Alexandra, and wow, eh?): the front page story on drugs by Joe Drape that I discussed here, and yesterday's column by William C Rhoden, a piece on horse slaughter that he probably had sitting in his laptop for months. In it, he calls for the ban of the practice without, of course, proposing any alternative for this.

However, Araton's column is an interesting one that's well worth reading; it discusses the fact that today's generation of trainers does little to promote the sport (as you may well have noticed this week). And, in fact, even the guys who, not too long ago, helped to liven up the scene, are not doing so anymore. “I’m much more boring than I used to be," says Bob Baffert. Indeed, despite saddling one of the favorites, we haven't heard much from him this week, and that's the sport's loss. Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito are there too; perhaps they're embarrassed by their no-prayer entrants. Or maybe they and others are embarrassed by something else.

“The guard is changing, you’ve got a different breed of trainers and I think the press has intimidated a lot of them,” Baffert said. “They see what the press can do, how they can cause a lot of harm and so you get a little bit — ”

He didn’t finish the thought, which, sorry, would have to be: defensive and hopefully embarrassed about some of the misfortune — not all — that the industry has brought upon itself. [NYT]
Well, enough of the gloom and doom (as if I Want Revenge's scratch doesn't have you grinning already as I am). I'm on some mailing list that's "courtesy of Bodog" and got some proposition bet odds this week that I thought you'd get a chuckle from:
How many different horses will race caller Tom Durkin (NBC) call as the race leader?

Over/Under 5

Will NBC best its previous Kentucky Derby Nielsen rating high of 9.3 achieved in 2001 with its presentation of the 135th Kentucky Derby?

Yes +155
No -225

How long will it take Leann Rimes to sing the national anthem at the 135th Kentucky Derby?

Over/Under 1 minute and 54 seconds (1:54)
[DiscreetPicks found a video of her coming in well under.]

Who will NBC Horse Racing Analyst Gary Stevens pick to win the 135th Kentucky Derby?

I WANT REVENGE 7/5 (refunds on this??)
Any Other Horse 2/1

Will the winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby win the 2009 Preakness Stakes?

Yes +225
No -350

What will be the time of the first quarter mile of the 135th Kentucky Derby?

Over/Under 0:23:00

How many lengths will the winner of the 135th Kentucky Derby win by?

More than 2 lengths 6/5
2 lengths 15/2
Less than 2 lengths 5/6

Which will be greater, the margin of victory between the Derby winner and second place finisher or the second place finisher and third place finisher?

Winner - 2nd Place -180
2nd Place - 3rd Place +140

Will 2009 Kentucky Derby all sources handle exceed the 2008 Kentucky Derby all sources handle of $114,557,364?

Yes +350
No -700

Will Todd Pletcher have a horse finish in the Top 3 of the 135th Kentucky Derby?

Yes -190
No +150

Will a horse win the 135th Kentucky Derby wire to wire?

Yes (Horse Wins 135th Kentucky Derby Wire to Wire) +550
No (Horse Wins 135th Kentucky Derby Wire to Wire) -1100


Anonymous said...

I'd say that William C. Rhoden is an embarrassment except that the NYT itself is an embarrassment. Rhoden knows nothing about horseracing and doesn't write well. The NYT is going to pursue political correctness right off a cliff. And good riddance.


DiscreetPicks said...

Leann Rimes way under @ 1:49

Anonymous said...

Wayne Lukas finished dead last in both the Oaks and Derby; beaten by a combined 100 lengths!

Anonymous said...

910am on Sunday, DRF STILL does not have a story on IWR's scratch on the front page.

Sure it is included in the body of the article, have not gotten that far, but you would think there would be a headline story.

Hope everyone enjoyed the Juleps, nothing much else to enjoy on a dreary first Saturday of May, except of course the remarkable performance by Ole Reliable Einstein who just keeps running his race every time over any surface. Think they may enter him next in the NYC Marathon.

Anonymous said...

There were exactly five graded stakes winners on dirt in the race, none Grade 1. Has to be the first time in history this race had no prior grade one winner on dirt.

So in a race that is probably the worst group of horses to line up in history, run over a sealed muddy track (could they not have harrowed the thing before the big race?) is it really that amazing that a no chance on paper horse freaks going 10f in the mud and wins?

No different than an off the turf maiden claimer in that regard, whichever horse happens to like the track prevails.

As for all the debating over which Derby prep was key, it turns out to be the Breeders Cup Juvenile. If you box the three particpants that ran in that race you have the exacta! Wish I thought of it sooner.