It is being reported on The Handicapper's Edge that King of the Roxy is now skipping the Derby, and will be pointed to the Preakness. Barry Irwin, president of owner Team Valor, says "He ran well enough to compete in the Kentucky Derby and he has more than enough graded earnings to make it into the starting gate. However, due to an insufficient preparation, we feel it would compromise the colt's future to run him back on the first Saturday in May."
Insufficient preparation? What the heck kind of excuse is that? It is four weeks to the Derby, and, prior to the Santa Anita Derby, King of the Roxy only raced once this year. How sick was he?
"I have said all along that I did not consider him to be a Kentucky Derby candidate," Irwin continued, "because, after getting sick following last fall's Breeders' Cup, he became ill and was not able to make his initial start at three until the first week of March. The extra two weeks will give Todd Pletcher a better chance to get him ready for the Preakness. We think he belongs with the horses that will be in the Kentucky Derby field, but that is not the point. The point is that we want to run him when the timing and the race conditions better fit him so that he will be able to compete throughout the year, not in just one race."
In other words, King Todd has decided King of the Roxy is not on par with his other trainees, so, like musical chairs, he's out here to be plugged in later...unless he isn't prepared by then either (or another Pletcher trainee offers a better option). I was never a King of the Roxy fan, but...my head is starting to spin trying to keep track of who's is,and who's out! Frankly, it's beginning to look like Pletcher's horses are not the dominant collection one may have once thought. I really hate this corporate approach to manipulating your training stable, plugging horses in here and there, like chess pieces. In my humble opinion, Pletcher's possibilities of winning the Derby are shrinking exponentially as each day passes, and the prep races continue onward.