Yeah, I flaked on doing picks for Saturday's Breeders' Cup, sorry, whatever, I didn't really like anyone anyway. I wrote about how happy I am that it's all over at the TimeformUS blog.
In all the many years I've been writing this blog, I don't know if I've ever been more right about a horse than I was about Otb. Not that that's necessarily saying that much; and indeed, I was convinced, prior to and in the immediate aftermath of his Derby win, that he would win the Triple Crown, which I don't think I ever put in writing here.
Nonetheless, I had him in the Derby. I did like him in the Preakness though didn't bet him at 3-5. Afterwards, I bought the excuse that he was trapped on the worst part of the track, and I credited Oxbow for a better performance than some others did. But I soured on him as the Belmont approached, and cleverly used him only at the very bottom of my winning trifecta tickets. A few weeks later, I wrote that he won't win another race this year. Probably somewhere I wrote, or at least thought, that he'd be retired before he ever won another race.
So, now, Orb has indeed been retired. Used to be that owners would at least offer some lame excuse, usually in the form of a minor injury, to justify a retirement which has no justification from a sporting sense. But, that is surely no longer the case.
"He is sound, looks about as good as he ever has in life, if not better," McGaughey said by phone. "They just felt like it was the right time to maybe retire a young horse to go to stud.I have to say that I thought that Shug was different from the rest, and that he wouldn't sacrifice this horse's long-term prospects in an attempt at Triple Crown glory. But I guess I was wrong. Well, it's too bad - I was especially looking forward to betting against him in the Cigar Mile - but we're used to it, and what does it matter anyway? Would take an extreme change of culture to keep these horses racing and produce the kind of long-running rivalries that are a relic from the past. We don't really even hear the "keep the stars on the track" mantra much anymore, mostly because of its sheer futility I suppose. And what difference does it make anyway, when network coverage is virtually non-existent (we'll see what the FOX broadcasts do next year), the entire post-Triple Crown season is reduced to a prep by the BC, and the ultimate showdown takes place on a freak show of a dirt track at a time on a Saturday night when nobody is watching.
"The decision to retire Orb was made with mixed emotions," Janney said in the press release announcing the retirement to Claiborne. "While I believe he would have had a very successful 4-year-old campaign, and Phipps Stable and I would have loved being a part of that, Orb is a wonderful stallion prospect." [USA Today]
which I'm willing to give him a pass; winner Red Doctober would be a distinct favorite against these. Gelded son of Street Sense has some good numbers at this six furlong distance on dirt, and the TimeformUS Pace Projector predicts a fast pace into which In the Beat (#1) should be in good position to close into. Running Tap (5-1) looks to be the best of the speeds, and trainer Steve Klesaris has good numbers second time with the barn. Be tough if he can shake loose. Dan and Sheila (15-1) tries a distance as short as six furlongs for the first time, but has some good back figures and good liven up the exotics. Best of luck and have a great day.