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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wednesday Night Notes

- On The Works, Frank Lyons and Tom Amoss explained that by working High Limit closer to the race than he has in the past, Frankel is hoping to take some the edge off and help him relax in the race. He looked nice, but I dunno, I think I’m watching too much of this stuff. I need to take a short breather, so I’ve decided to take tomorrow off and go to Belmont. A vast, empty park, short fields, that should do the trick.

Bandini was out for a gallop, and these guys on TVG are absolutely ga-ga over him. “..couldn’t be more impressed with the way he’s trained since the Blue Grass.” “I see him improving yet again.” “Look how disciplined he is beneath the rider; that’s so important, I can’t stress enough the right mental attitude come the first Saturday in May is as important as soundness as limb.” (That could apply to us bettors if you substitute “soundness of wallet” for “soundness as limb.”) As you may remember, not too long ago I wrote that I thought Bandini was sitting on a huge race; now I’m leaning towards not using him, but seeing how good he looks gives one pause. I’ve been through this before, thinking that the Blue Grass winner wasn’t that hot - and this race fell apart worse than many others - and considering that Strike the Gold in 1991 was the last Blue Grass winner, I’ve been right lately. On the other hand, since two horses since then, Sea Hero and its Thunder Gulch, have finished 4th in the race and won the Derby is just another indication of the Blue Grass’ unreliability. So while it means I may have to reconsider Sun King, I’m standing against Bandini. This could be a mistake? It seems a lot of the smarties don’t like him now either, that makes me even more nervous.

The thing about this Derby is that if I’ll really be surprised if anyone other than the top three win; and there’s only another say, 3 or 4 besides them that, if they won, my surprise would be less than absolute shock. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to use some of those others at prices in exotics, but I would be stunned if any of them won. If the top three choices weren’t in the race, there wouldn’t be all that much separating the remaining 17, in my opinion. That would be a wide open race, but this doesn't look like one.

- Jay Privman reports in the form that Nick Zito was “relieved” that Patrick Biancone selected a post inside Bellamy Road when he could have taken the number 17 hole.

"I'm not racing against Bellamy Road," Biancone said. "I thought 13 is a good number." [He’s obviously not superstitious.]
"I wanted Bellamy Road outside. I think we got everything we wanted," said Zito [DRF]