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Friday, February 16, 2007

A Crowded Trail This Be

- Seems like anytime a three-year old with prominent connections wins this time of the year, he's mentioned as a candidate for the Derby trail. So when Cobalt Blue won on Wednesday at Santa Anita for owner Merv Griffin, BRIS declared that he had punch[ed] his ticket for the Triple Crown trail. Oh man.

Cobalt Blue won his debut and then ran up the track in the Best Pal against Principle Secret, Great Hunter, and Stormello. He broke a bit slow that day, but not fatally so; he just never ran a step. That was his last race until Wednesday's, and once again, he was a bit slow to get in stride. But this time, he settled into a perfect stalking position behind a blistering pace, and rallied smartly for the win in a brisk 1:09.12. Doug O'Neill's brother Dennis told BRIS that his $325,000 price tag at last year's Ocala sale makes him the most expensive purchase ever for Merv. "He would have gone for a lot more, but he's by Golden Missile, who's not in vogue."

"I told Merv when I bought him that he was a mile and a half horse, and we're not going to win anything early," O'Neill continued. "But we won first time out, and then he kind of fell apart on us at Del Mar.

"But now Doug's got him going right, and he's going to be a really, really important horse."
Perhaps, but he has a long way to go before being a legit contender, and there's not much in his distaff family (he's out of an El Prado mare) to get all excited about. And can't we have a rule that a horse that hasn't won beyond six furlongs at this stage of the game is barred from the Trail until he or she does so?

And how about Stevie Whatshisname? I Googled him and I obviously missed this story from the Form saying that he could be back this spring. (And I also didn't know that Wild Fit died of colic.)