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Monday, February 14, 2005

Don't Get Mad

- I just saw a replay of the San Vicente, via TDN, and I see why people are talking about the way Don't Get Mad (Stephen Got Even) closed for second. Around mid-stretch, I'm thinking that I'm watching the wrong race if that horse finishes second, and he takes off and closed strongly, and did it into a fast final furlong. Steve Haskin in his latest Derby Dozen roundup in the Bloodhorse:

Trainer Ron Ellis, who also has Declan's Moon, says the son of Stephen Got Even is a natural distance horse and he is surprised he's done so well sprinting. He told jockey Tyler Baze not to tighten the screws and make him do too much in this race. This was just a prep to get him started, and he also was at a big disadvantage, with only three other starters.

But as he did in his previous two starts at Churchill Downs, he demonstrated an explosive turn of foot, coming home his last eighth in a blazing :11 2/5, with Baze only hitting him once down the lane.
Haskin has Scipio up to number 2 in his rankings; you see a horse close like that in a Derby prep, and you know people will be all over him. Even if he doesn't win any more preps, it will probably be attributed to a slow pace, or a speed favoring track, or traffic problems, and he'll still get bet down on Derby Day.