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Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Guess He Likes The Dirt

- A week to go, and as I'd mentioned, online coverage has really reached the saturation point as the racing media finally figures it out. So, no need for me to report on every little workout, gallop, and walk around the shedrow here. I've listed some links over in the right sidebar. (I'm not happy with the physical appearance of that section, and anxiously awaiting the return of Handride so he can help me fix it, but at least it's functional.)

From those resources, I'm sure you can find out more than everything you need to know. In addition, a couple of TBA blogs will have reports from on the scene - Michael is down there all week for Curb Your Enthusiasm; and Ed DeRosa takes time out from belittling and ridiculing those who don't agree with him to report live for Railbird. As for me, I'll be in Queens. But on Friday, I'll be home and blogging all day. We'll take a look around the online world to see who likes who, and live blog the races from Belmont and from Churchill up to and including the Oaks (at least once ESPN checks in from the latter at 3 PM). Remember the Oaks?

As I've mentioned in years past, I believe that the scrutiny of the workouts are way overblown except, of course, when they're positive and involve horses I like. So while I'm not going to mention the drill by Adriano today, I will point out that Mike Welsch noted the other day that Z Fortune made an awesome physical appearance on the racetrack.

And I'll certainly mention the awesome workout by Colonel John today. Er, I guess he might like the dirt. Five furlongs in 57 4/5. What was that the other day about him being tentative on the surface?

He was clocked in splits of :12, :23 1/5, :34 3/5, :46. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 1/5. His final quarter was in a snappy :23 1/5.

Looking on was Elliott Walden, a former trainer and vice president of WinStar Farm.

“He went very well,” Walden said. “I don’t think it was too fast considering we’re six days out (from the Derby). We feel very comfortable about it. [Bloodhorse]
Walden also pointed out that the track was "live," and that Proud Spell, now out of consideration for the Derby, worked in 58 flat, and Eight Belles in 58 1/5. "Good horses work fast," Walden added. And since all of these horses are good, if not great, most of the remaining workouts this week are going to be good. So be wary of the hype.

-And back to those Derby resources, a special shout-out here to The Rail at the New York Times. And no, not (only) because they're letting Patrick and me post there. But mostly because of this: A lot of the mainstream and industry press have blogs these days. But, with an exception or two, none of them have made any effort whatsoever to even acknowledge the existence of a thriving independent blogosphere. Why, if I didn't know better, I'd think that many of them are jealous. But over at the Times, in addition to letting some of us participate, Joe Drape has started a feature called Blog Rolling, where he features and links to members of our own TBA. It's the first effort of its kind I've seen, and one I think is way overdue. So thanks for that, and be sure to check out the site.