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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No Filly, No Problem

I'm hoping that, perhaps by the time you're reading this, Mine That Bird has been declared into the Travers after his five furlong work on Tuesday. [UPDATE: Damn.] I'm sure that NYRA officials are watching nervously, because it's a pretty big deal I think when the Derby winner runs in your signature race of the meet. Me, I just wanna bet against him. He worked well and scoped clean afterwards, so let's just hope for the best

My first reaction to the announcement that Rachel Alexandra will run in the Woodward was that the Travers could be overshadowed to an extent. But upon further review and thought, the Travers stands pretty well on its own with a talented and competitive field this year, and probably does so just on its tradition in any event. NYRA is expecting a crowd of 50,000; that would be a 25% increase over the 40,723 last year. With Mine That Bird in, it's an unusually definitive matchup of the best three-year old colts in the country, at any point in the season nowadays. And while it might not feature the best overall three-year might. Quality Road has shown freak potential with three 110+ Beyers in a row, and certainly could be any kind if his feet hold together.

Between the potential of Quality Road and the extra distance of the Travers (actually one of the reasons I'll be opposing him as well), there's no doubt in my mind that owner Jess Jackson has picked the easier spot. Looking at some of Rachel Alexandra's possible opponents - Bullsbay, Macho Again? Asiatic Boy and Cool Coal Man? DA'TARA?? She'll kill these horses, are you kidding me? And she gets weight too. I might not like her owner, but I'm not an idiot. She won for fun with a 116 Beyer after pressing a fast pace in the Travers Haskell...none of these guys have a performance even close to that. This promises to be a historic tour de force, so who at the NTRA is working on getting it televised?


Jackie said...

If the NTRA can't get the Woodward televised it will be a shame. But I don't think ESPN, ABC or CBS will air it because it's the first weekend of college football. Notre Dame is also playing so I think that knocks out NBC. And God help us if BRAVO steps up again. The sport needs to show off it's #1 commodity on a channel other than TVG. I would hope ESPN could squeeze 30 minutes of coverage in between two college football games, instead of showing a studio show giving scores of all the games.

El Angelo said...

Equally disappointed MTB isn't running. He had bet-against written all over him. I like Warrior's Reward.