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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Top Two Workout

- The probable first and second betting choices for the Derby have had workouts this week. And wow, a nice one for Street Sense this morning!

The Churchill clockers caught Street Sense in 59 seconds for the five-eighths of a mile, reflecting a final eighth-mile in a sparkling 11 1/5 seconds and the last quarter-mile in an eye-popping 22 3/5 seconds. His gallop-out time for six furlongs was 1:11 2/5. [Louisville Courier-Journal]
Hmmm, maybe he thinks he's still on Polytrack with those closing fractions! Carl Nafzger said: “We’re done....All we’ve got to do is stay sound.”

Curlin worked out on Monday at Keeneland, getting five furlongs in 1:00 4/5. Haskin reports from the scene:
A powerfully made chestnut, the son of Smart Strike did everything on his own, without the slightest bit of urging. The most impressive part of the work was the way the colt dropped his head and shoulder in the stretch and leveled off. He just glides over the ground, while generating a great deal of power. Once he got into that long, efficient stride, he came home his final eighth in :12 flat. [Bloodhorse]
Haskin also notes that Any Given Saturday looks as if he’s going to have different tactics in the Derby....which in one person’s opinion [ed.- mine?] is the way he’d be more effective, enabling him to use his turn of foot and closing kick.
In his five-furlong work on Sunday with Garrett Gomez aboard, Any Given Saturday broke about two lengths behind stablemate Pleasant Strike, who actually extended his advantage at the five-sixteenths pole and turned it on coming into the stretch. He came a bit wide turning for home, forcing Any Given Saturday to go three or four wide, which is nothing unusual for him. Although Pleasant Strike still was going strong in the stretch, Any Given Saturday pinned his ears, dug in, and seemed determined to catch him. He dropped his head nicely and cut into Pleasant Strike’s lead with every stride, finishing a head in front in :58 4/5, while shading :23 for the final quarter. This was a near-perfect work for this colt, and it’s always reassuring to see a horse bounce out of a disappointing race with a sharp work such as this.
I recall that previously, Haskin had noted that the colt ran with his head up, so this report of him dropping his head in going after Pleasant Strike reflects a change. The bad news here is that he writes that he put him on top in the Derby Dozen this week, and feel even more secure in the decision after seeing this work.

Can I change my mind now?


Harl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harl said...

After STREET SENSE's workout, I'm turning my allegiance to this one. Nafzger is one of the best and I expect him to have this horse ready for a big effort in 12 days.

Anonymous said...

For those, like me, who have voiced support for Hard Spun, the posting today on the Clocker-1 website that Alan linked to earlier in the week is discouraging. Maybe he just didn't like the track, and we'll see where he goes from here, but a workout like this for a layoff horse at this point certainly doesn't inspire confidence.

Anonymous said...

I really do not want to fall in love with a horse again, but Curlin will be hurlin over the finish line first!