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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Early Decision

- Gary West writes that Ravel will win the Kentucky Derby, and he's a smart guy, so let's take a closer look.

In winning the Sham, Ravel ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.91, or about 1 1/2 lengths slower than the older horses in the Strub Stakes two races later. But to win the Sham, Ravel had to overcome a dawdling pace, and he did so with uncommon acceleration, running the final three furlongs in about 36 seconds (35.91). While winning the Strub, Arson Squad ran the final three furlongs in 37.38 seconds. [McClatchy)
As I mentioned previously, Ravel (Fusaichi Pegasus) earned a Beyer of 102, as compared to Nobiz Like Shobiz' 98. And, as Mr. West mentioned, it was only his third career start, for the Pletcher barn. It was also his first race on a real dirt course.

However, I must say that I didn't quite see the race the same way. I thought that he was close enough to the slow pace that it helped rather than hurt, and he worked out a ground saving trip with Garrett Gomez, until they swung out three wide turning for home. So I'll be a bit skeptical of this one for now (he's 9-1 in the early wagering for the futures pool). You would think that the Sham would be a good early indication of who could get the Derby distance, but the last three winners, Bob and John, Going Wild, and Master David, all fared quite poorly at Churchill.


Jim L said...

Going Wild! Did Lukas think he was going to turn that Derby performance into an Azeri-like rebound in the Preakness?

What will happen if Pletcher has the top three finishers in the Derby this year?

He won the Eclipse while banned, and I'd probably guess that all of his Derby prospects have starts this year under one of his assistants. So much for the discipline levied in racing....

I guess the NFL has instituted a policy in which no player shall be eligible for the Pro Bowl or reap any contractual benefit of being selected if he is caught using illegal substances. Maybe racing should have a similar policy. Make it bolder, too, any horse stabled under a specific trainer who is caught will be barred from Eclipse consideration. If any horse is drugged at any point in its career, and the horse is still racing, said horse is barred from any Breeders' Cup Championship Day race.

I'd like to see horse players have a say in writing a uniform code of medication rules.

Anonymous said...

Ride(s) of the Day - Alan I know you are posting races of the day when you see fit, but if you have not already seen these two races they are works of art and worthy of "ride of the day" honors. The 9th and final at Gulfstream and the 7th at Santa Anita. Check them out! Guidry wins from the 12 hole and Blanc shows why he is one of the best on green. Also note Dennam's call as he saw Blanc's horse had a ton - man he does not miss much. I was a keen and happy observer of both rides.

Anonymous said...

So about Ravel, I guess I will be putting him in my virtual stable once Road to the Roses Fantasy game starts...should be very soon.