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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Notes: May 11

- I wonder if the writer of this article had the Derby winner!!

- Via Albany Law School Racing and Wagering Page, comes this column by John McGrath of the News Tribune of Tacoma, WA. He has some words for a couple of prominent trainers.

You’d assume such Hall-of-Fame trainers as Bobby Frankel and D. Wayne Lukas would understand how casual fans might be fascinated by the saga of a 50-1 long shot winning the Kentucky Derby. You’d be wrong.

“The only thing this will ensure is 20-horse fields in the Derby from now on,” Frankel, a mope who could find the thorns in any bed of roses, told reporters Sunday. “You had people saying those horses didn’t belong, but now it will ensure a 20-horse Derby for the next 10 years, until they forget about it. Now, when everybody says a horse doesn’t belong, they belong.”

In other words, quit believing in those impossible dreams, people. Quit buying into the ridiculous notion that anything can happen during the Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.
“You can chisel this in stone,” Lukas said during his day-after-the-Derby chat with the media. “There won’t be a Triple Crown winner.”

Thanks for the fearless forecast, D…..But Giacomo still has a chance to win the Triple Crown. Slight though it may be, the chance will remain intact for the next 10 days. Why would one of America’s most accomplished trainers – a racing Hall-of-Famer – discourage the public from embracing that chance?
“You wouldn’t think he’s a Triple Crown horse,” Frankel said of Giacomo. “You’ve got to like the horses that didn’t fire in the Derby to win the Preakness.”

Wrong. I’ve got to like the horse that fired in the Derby. Of the more than 30,000 thoroughbreds foaled three years ago, Giacomo is the only one with a chance to win the Triple Crown. []

- Matt Graves points out that NYRA officials are likely not pleased with the Derby outcome: With the prices NYRA is charging for seats, combined with a new ban on coolers this year, NYRA must have a Triple Crown on the line to put fannies in those seats. Giacomo? [Albany Times-Union]

- In case you’re wondering, as I was, exactly what exactly is the “popped splint” that Bellamy Road suffered:
The long, narrow splint bones, one on each side of the cannon bone, which is the major bone of the lower leg, begin at the knee and taper as they descend, ending in a small knob about two-thirds of the way to the ankle. When it "pops," the splint bone becomes separated from the cannon bone. Such injuries, considered minor, are caused by concussion trauma and are most common in 2-year-olds in the early stages of training.

"You see this in young horses when there's a lot of stress on their bones," said Dr. Kristian Rhein, a New York-based veterinarian. "It's like a remodeling of the bones. There's a lot of force coming down, and the bone pops out quickly. It's like an overreaction, and it's painful." [Newsday]

- Some horse named Golden Man is being supplemented to the Preakness at a cost of $100,000.