Pretty busy at TimeformUS these days, happily. And quite busy and distracted with the Rangers opening their Finals series in LA on Wednesday night. Add in one of my favorite bands in town, and I don't know that I'll be able to post here again before Belmont day. I will be at a TimeformUS "Pop-up" event at the track on Saturday. It runs from 11:30 until 1, and we'll be there demo-ing the product on a big screen, and trying to pick some winners. Would love to see you there; please stop by to say hi if you're around. More details here. It's on the second floor of the clubhouse. And the bad news is that it's on the second floor of the clubhouse. That's fine on any other day and we certainly hope to do this again. But it'll cost an extra 20 bucks to get into the clubhouse on Saturday, so I certainly understand if you can't make it. I may have a couple of passes to give away though, so please check back here or on my Twitter feed.
One thing for sure, I am definitely NOT attached to the idea that his winning would be "good for racing." Sure, there might be a short-term boost for the possible remaining three or four starts in his career. But what will it mean when he's whisked off to stud after the season? These owners care only about themselves as far as I can tell, and they're not going to miss out on another chance to cash out, I'm sure. And I might actually argue that it would be better for the game if, come this time next year, we were still attached to a reality in which there hasn't been a Triple Crown winner in
Could be Wicked Strong. I don't think it will be Ride on Curlin, who got his clear shot in the Preakness; though I wouldn't be shocked. I wouldn't be completely shocked if it was Commanding Curve. I would be if it's Medal Count.
Or maybe it will be Tonalist who will be in control turning for home. I do like this horse, though I'd prefer to see him more like 12-1 than the 8-1 at which he is listed in the morning line, considering his lack of seasoning and just how much he needs to improve speed figure-wise. Though at a mile and a half, never sure just how relevant those numbers are at this point. I do know however that his figures are surely moving in the right direction. And that I very much like his pedigree. He’s a son of Tapit out of a mare by the Derby/Preakness winner Pleasant Colony (Derby/Preakness winner who was 3rd in the Belmont) who’s a half to the dam of Havre de Grace, and to the dam of the classy Riskaverse, who won turf stakes up to a mile and a quarter. This is also the distaff family of Christiecat, another graded winner on grass at ten furlongs; as well as Petroski, who won a Grade 1 jumping race at Saratoga at 2 3/8 miles. So, there's some stamina for you! And to top it off, it's also the female family of the classy Florida Derby/Wood/Jim Dandy winner Plugged Nickel, who didn’t win beyond a mile and an eighth, but who is one of my favorite horses of all time. So he gets some extra credit for that. So Tonalist is my pick, at least as of Wednesday afternoon.
If not he, than I think the winner will be someone else who's not named California Chrome. And when the smoke clears and the fans slink away in disappointment, the fact is that the sport will be no worse off for it, at all.
- The Los Angeles Kings are said by many to be as much as a sure thing as California Chrome. I'm not going to be quite as bold in saying that they won't win either! But I do think the Rangers have a solid shot at the Cup. By all accounts, the Kings just survived a series that was historically grueling; their third seven game in as many encounters. So I'm optimistic that New York can get the jump on them and gain at least a split in LA. I believe that observers around the league that have not watched the Rangers play regularly don't realize just how impeccable the team's defensemen are; two shutdown-quality pairs, and a third pairing that is rock solid as well (especially once John Moore returns from his suspension in Game 2). The scoring has been timely and well-balanced. And the goalie needs no introduction. Seems to me that the team in Blue has the edge in goal for sure. Man, I sure saw a lot of pucks flying past the Kings' goalie in the last two games! So, I'll say, the Blueshirts in.......well, I don't care how many games. Let's Go Rangers!