Post positions will be drawn on Wednesday morning for the.....
I see it as a two horse race, as you may have noticed. Though I suppose I could have made that point in a more mature manner. I'm already on record as saying that Orb will not win another race this year, and I'm sticking with that, hyperbaric chambers and spa treatments notwithstanding. The Derby champ worked a half in 47.66 seconds on Monday. Gary West, writing for ESPN.com, noted:
Beneath her [exercise rider Jennifer Patterson], the horse glided over the surface, contracting and then springing and reaching forward with each stride so that for an instant he would seem parallel to the earth, contoured like an horizon, and all the while, for the entire half-mile and beyond, he pointed his ears skyward, alert to the morning's birdsong or maybe to the cameras' shutters.Oh, jeez, for heaven's sake.
He's back, alert and focused, his bright eyes shiny as marbles.Yeah, I don't really go for that kind of literary flourish when it comes to workout reports, but I'll presume that the horse worked well. That's fine; still, my gut tells me the horse won't bounce back from his Triple Crown journey even with his marble eyes, and won't win another race until/if he races at four. But even if I'm wrong and he runs quite well on Saturday, doesn't mean he's gonna come close to beating Palace Malice, who my gut tells me is ready to move further forward and ultimately be a strong contender on Breeders Cup Saturday.
“He seems to be thriving,” Pletcher said. “The more he does the better he gets.” [DRF]Here's hoping he's not the favorite. I'd like to see the odds on who will be.
- In the 10th on Wednesday, Cielo Soleggiato (6-1) has a good name, goes second off a 149-day layoff, and stretches out to nine furlongs on the inner turf for trainer Dominic Schettino. This barn has not been tearing it up at the meet (25-3-4-2), but did have a winner on Monday, and earns a perfect 100 TimeformUS trainer rating in the Second Since Layoff category. (We define a layoff for these purposes as a minimum of 90 days.)
He had the rail at seven furlongs in his last, his turf debut, couldn't keep up with the speedy Gentle Jim, and faded to 6th. Still, he finished less than five lengths behind the winner, Orino, who went on to be first under the wire in a state-bred stakes only to be questionably dq'd. Stretching out here and breaking from a more strategic post, Pace Projector has him with a clear lead, and Cielo Soleggiato has a lot of turf-distance influence in his pedigree that suggests he can take them all the way around. He's by Sky Mesa, out of a Dixie Union mare who's a half-sister to Moments of Magic, who won the mile and a half Dowager Stakes at Keeneland in 1999. His second dam is a half to Fortnightly, who won the mile and a quarter Secretariat and was second in the 11 furlong Manhattan, and Ten Below, who won the mile and a half Lawrence Realization at Belmont in 1982 (as reported then by Steven Crist of the NY Times). He also attracts the services of jockey Joel Rosario (second in the jockey standings, five behind Castellano), who doesn't often ride for this trainer. Best of luck and have a great day.