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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Street Sense Workout Makes More Sense

- Street Sense had his final work this morning. He worked five furlongs in 1:01, over three seconds slower than Hard Spun's drill yesterday. But take a look at the two works in more detail. Street Sense's fractions, according to (providing almost instant updates from the scene these days) were :13 ¾, :26, :38, and :49 4/5 for the first half mile. He galloped out six furlongs (three quarters of a mile) in 1:13. That means that he went 13.75, 12.25, 12 seconds flat, 11 4/5, and finished up in 11 1/5 seconds, galloping out in another 12. Each furlong prior to the gallop out was faster than the previous one.

On the other hand, Hard Spun' eighth mile splits were 11, 11, 11 2/5, 11 3/5, 12 3/5, with a gallop out in 13 4/5.

Now, which workout do you think was more useful? As you may know if you've been following this website, I've liked Hard Spun's Derby chances a lot. But this work has me scratching my head. I know that some others were ready to toss him because of his slow work at Keeneland; I'm having second thoughts now based on the fear that he went too fast. Larry Jones had said he was shooting for 59 seconds. Some recall Seattle Slew's fast final work before his Derby win; but he was Seattle Slew. Hard Spun has only lost once, and dominated in his other races; and personally, I think that his loss in the Southwest at Oaklawn was in some ways his most impressive effort. So maybe, Hard Spun is just really good. But I dunno, I think that when you start hearing these works debated and overanalyzed, then there's potential trouble. I'd rather just see smooth and easy with not much else to say, as in Street Sense's case. I was looking back at last year's pre-Derby posts, and I see there was much debate about works by Brother Derek, Sweetnorthernsaint, and Point Determined; and where did they all finish? I couldn't really find any such discussion about Barbaro.

The most impressive worker from last year? Perhaps Bob and John, based on what I saw in these pages. He finished 17th, and I'd actually forgotten that I picked him. All in all, I'm glad the workouts are now over. Let's draw the post positions and get this race underway.

- Mike Welsch reports for the Form that Cobalt Blue, scheduled just to gallop as an audition for Doug O'Neill, was full of run and was timed going seven furlongs from the three-eighths pole to the half-mile pole in 1:26.17 by Daily Racing Form. Sounds like bad news for Teuflesberg (though probably good news in the long run).

- And, no doubt under pressure from those maniacal Fiends Friends of Barbaro, NBC has granted a prime-time spot to the Barbaro documentary that was scrapped when the Rangers game went into double OT on Sunday. It will be shown at 8 PM on Derby night, and we certainly hope that the race is over by that time.


Anonymous said...

Cobalt blue is out- Tueflesberg is in. byanose

Anonymous said...

Remember that SS worked similarly "as a closer" before the Bluegrass, and in that race, he did have enough time to close on the competition, but he did not.

Hard Spun routinely trains with Larry Jones, who weighs 180. It seems people don't like Hard Spun when he trains too slowly, and they don't like it when he trains too quickly. Seems to me that his path to this big race is SO unorthodox, that maybe we just don't understand the horse and the trainer and the regimen.

We are comparing horses across years, tracks, conditions, trainers, and it is probably pretty counterproductive. Personally, I have not been influenced one bit by watching the workouts because I see that it is way too easy to critique a horse on whom I will have no money.

I stick (subject to Post position draw) with HS and Curlin, and maintain that the biggest surprise performance will... could... might... come from Liquidity. Wow, maybe I don't really believe that after all. However, any performance at all from Liquidity will be a surprise since he seems like a universal writeoff at this point.

Anonymous said...

>>It seems people don't like Hard Spun when he trains too slowly, and they don't like it when he trains too quickly. Seems to me that his path to this big race is SO unorthodox, that maybe we just don't understand the horse and the trainer and the regimen.


Could be. Or maybe Larry Jones is showing his inexperience in preparing for a race of this magnitude? I must admit I'm confused about this. I like the horse a lot, but personally, I prefer orthodox to unorthodox when it comes to the Derby. And I think his slow/fast workouts are obscuring the fact that he's going in with six weeks off. I may prefer him for the Preakness?

Harl said...

Doesn't Larry Jones have something like a 70% ITM percentage when it comes to stakes races (I thought I read something like that somewhere). Just because he has never had a Derby horse doesn't mean he can't get them ready. He knows how to place his horses and won't run them in big races if he doesn't think he can win (i.e. the Blue Grass). I wouldn't toss HARD SPUN because of an "inexperienced" trainer. Larry Jones is a horseman in every sense of the word.

Harl said...

That said, I still like DOMINICAN.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Robin, if Curlin has a good post position, he could very well pull off a win.

Anonymous said...

It's a mile and a quarter race out of a chute people, psot position really isn't that important.

If you like a horse and are dissuaded by his PP, I think you're nuts.