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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Read It If You Dare

- If you think that you have a handle on the Derby picture (quick: where is Afleet Alex, when’s his next workout, what race is he aiming for, is he a dual qualifier, who’s his sire, his grandsire, his broodmare sire, his broodmare sire’s broodmare sire’s sire?), don’t read Steve Haskin in the Bloodhorse today. I did, and my handle on the situation now is as tenuous as Ayad Allawi's hold on his job. In taking a look at some longshots in the futures pool (50-1 or more), he makes a case for about a third of the foal crop of 2002 and half of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and provides a handy excuse for any contender you may have liked who’s finished up the track this year. Disappointed by Dearest Mon’s fifth in the Holy Bull? He broke bad, slipped, and got hit in the face by the Gulfstream dirt. Despondent over Iced Out’s fifth in the Risen Star? He ran into traffic on the turn and was all over the track through the stretch. Ready to move to Canada over Vitruvian’s distant second to Bandini? He was six wide on the first turn, 4 wide on the second, and still continued on through the stretch. So, here it is, read it if you dare.

- Some of the horses discussed by Haskin will be racing Saturday. There’s a one mile, one turn allowance race at Gulfstream which was split into two divisions, but the three horses of most interest, Nick Zito’s Sun King (Charismatic), Shug McGaughey’s Survivalist (Danzig), and Todd Pletcher’s Monarch Lane (Maria’s Mon) will meet in the 10th race. There’s also an extraordinarily badly named horse in the race called Spongbobhorsepants, they couldn’t even spell the name right. I liked the Spongebob movie as much as anyone, but have a little respect, please! What’s next, Bugs Horsey? Zito will also send Andromeda’s Hero (Fusaichi Pegasus) in the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay.