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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sunday Night Notes

- Nick Zito was his usual gracious and humble self in talking to Kenny Rice of NBC after the race. You’ve seen the same quotes in the papers I’m sure. “I thought I was in good shape....I was waiting for one of my closers to close....that’s what makes the game great.....great expectations bring great disappointment.” And he added, “When you think about what happens in life, this ain’t that bad.” No, it’s certainly not, and there are plenty of people in this country and around the world that can attest to that. It was only a horse race. It’s an important enough horse race, however, that one owner decided to enter a horse that had no chance and have him set a suicidal pace that certainly had a huge impact on the outcome of the race. Zito, however, declined to blame the fast pace for Bellamy Road’s loss.

- I said this before but I’ll say it again: What a call by Tom Durkin. 20 horses and he did not miss a beat. He gave only the positions without the lenghts behind in order to get the whole field in the first time around. “45 and 1, one of the fastest half miles ever in the Kentucky Derby.” As they headed into the turn, he picked up the moves by Buzzards Bay and Closing Argument, and expertly noted, “Afleet Alex trying to thread his way between horses; he will go inside.....Three quarters in a bruising 1:09 and 2.” Then he picked up the moves to the lead by Bellamy Road and High Fly, who, after everything that transpired up front, may have finished one-two if it was a 9 furlong race. Durkin was dead on as they came to the wire, even catching the late move by the 4th place finisher: “AND DON’T GET MAD, LATE CHARGE ON THE FAR OUTSIDE!”

- Speculation starting about the Preakness already; the top three finishers plus others from the Derby are expected to start. High Limit seems to be back from the dead; earlier Frankel said he had a foot injury, but now he says that a positive report from a vet later Sunday morning and said High Limit was now possible for the Preakness. Even Going Wild is a possibility according to Lukas. What's next, Spanish Chestnut?? What's the number to vote horses out of the Preakness? They'll also be some newcomers: Hal's Image, who won the Unbridled Stakes in Florida; Malibu Moonshine, the winner of the Tesio Stakes; and Scrappy T, who won the Withers. [Daily Racing Form]