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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Curlin Saves The Day

- Curlin is in for the Preakness, and that's a good thing. The list of probable challengers to the Derby top three are not exactly giving me goose bumps of excitement, and Curlin adds some intrigue to what I think would otherwise be a one horse race disguised as a two horse race. Even if I'm wrong about Hard Spun's Derby being overrated, I still don't think that he's going to beat Street Sense in this race. But Curlin remains almost as much of a wild card he was in the Derby, and this time he figures to be third choice. [Asmuusen] said he is hoping for the Preakness to unfold differently, and that "we're planning on winning it." [DRF]

Larry Jones is still agonizing over the fact that Borel got through so easily to beat Hard Spun. He's obviously been replaying the race in his mind, hoping for a different result (just as I've repeatedly replayed the final seconds of regulation in Game 5, with no good result). Jones says the horse is doing great - "almost too good to be true" - and that he probably will not have a workout. “If he needs to blow off some steam well let him do it, but right now no workouts are planned."

That's too bad; it would have been interesting to see how he worked this time after the fast drill before the Derby. It's been widely presumed and assumed that the work didn't hurt him since he ran second, but who's to say that's true? Perhaps he would have held on better without such a fast work so close to the race?

Street Sense has been galloping and, according to Carl Nafzger, may work out on Monday or Tuesday at Churchill.

As for the rest of the possible runners, Michael Matz didn't sound at all anxious to tangle with Street Sense, and my guess is that he'll run Chelokee in the Barbaro Stakes (formerly the Sir Barton) instead. I'm sure there will be a lot of emotion at play either way, whether he runs in the race in which Barbaro broke down, or in the race named after the late Derby champ. I can just hope that Lukas doesn't run Flying First Class. C'mon man...he's had two dynamic wins at one turn sprints, why would he run in this spot after getting thrashed in the Rebel and Arkansas Derby? King of the Roxy is a horse that I like, but he stopped cold inside the sixteenth pole at Santa Anita, so I don't expect him to last here. And besides, I'm not betting anymore Pletcher horses in Triple Crown races. Except maybe for Rags to Riches.. The rest - CP West, Mint Slewlep, etc., - look like filler.

- One of the many cool things about Formulator is being able to access the past performances of horses that have not yet run back. So I've seen the lines of Derby horses like Scat Daddy, and man, it ain't pretty. And that one was done long before the eighth pole, so I don't think you can just say it was the distance.

While looking up Chelokee, I ran across Barbaro, and realized I'd never seen his running lines since the Preakness. When a horse runs its last race, whether due to retirement or injury, you might not see the past performances until, I dunno, the ten year anniversary of his greatest win? But there it was, a dash where the Beyer should be, followed by a 6, and five more dashes. He went off at 1-2, and the comment line reads simply Broke down, which doesn't quite convey the whole story.

1 Comment:

Michael said...

I heard Bob Baffert say on Wednesday or Thursday that he thought Rags to Riches was Pletcher's best 3-year old this year. Male or Female. I think he may be right.