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Friday, May 06, 2005

Notes: May 6

- reports that You Had Your Chance: Seventeen of the twenty Derby horses entered were offered at public auction. The most expensive: Going Wild at 600K. The cheapest? Buzzard's Bay was once a $6,000 buyback. Forbes Magazine (everyone gets into this come Derby time) has the sale info on the last ten winners.

- You read Haskin's Derby picks and tell me who it is he really likes. It sounds like he's planning on using at least half the field. He took a look at the California horses this morning and reports that you couldn't ask for Buzzards Bay and Wilko to be looking or acting any better. He also likes Don't Get Mad as a long shot. And says that Giacomo looks good. I think he may still be betting Sweet Catomine too. (OK, he likes High Fly as his "key value horse.")

- Today is the last day of Florida's legislative session and things are looking grim for slots. House Speaker Allan Bense made it clear that he wasn't going to work hard to make a deal.

"I just don't like gambling, sorry," he said, speaking to reporters.

Asked what he would do if the Legislature couldn't agree on a bill, he said, "I'm not going to go jump off a building, nor will I cut my wrists." [Sun-Sentinal]
That's a nice attitude. The people in Broward County voted for this, and the owner of Hollywood Greyhound said "They're going to end up with a lawsuit...I just wish the Legislature would act on the will of the voters."

- This is from Brad Free's (subscription only) Derby analysis:
Bellamy Road is the fastest horse by about seven lengths, and he benefits from the pace scenario. The field includes several pressers, but only one other outclassed front-runner to his inside. [Daily Racing Form]
THAT's what I've been talking about, and what I was trying to say when I, before Spanish Rabbit was entered, tried to make a case for him as lone early speed. I'm still reading people write that horses like Sun King and High Fly are going to make things rough for Bellamy Road up front early, but they are pressers - at best in Sun King's case, not early speed. We saw how much Going Wild was a bother to Bellamy Road in the Wood, and it seems likely that High Limit will once again sit behind. And with Spanish Chestnut entered, doesn't that make it even less likely that anyone else is going to try and rush to the lead early?

I'm not the type to say so-and-so is a lock and you're an idiot if you don't agree; and I do have second thoughts about picking the Derby favorite again (it's my third year in a row doing so after spending much of my life telling people how bad a bet that is). There's plenty of ways he can get beat - but I really don't think one will be because he's ganged up on in front in the early going. I think it really sucks that the presence of Spanish Chestnut threatens to change the complexion of the race, and again this is sentiment taking over from reasoning, but I just really hope he ends up being inconsequential. If Bellamy Road gets beat; if he bounces or if it turns out that he indeed just romped on fast tracks against hopeless fields much weaker than this, then I'm wrong and I'm fine with that; but if he loses because he's too headstrong, goes after the lone rabbit, and tires from those efforts, then I'm going to be disappointed and annoyed.