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Monday, May 7, 2007

Random Musings, May 7

• The Preakness should have a much more manageable field, as only Street Sense, Hard Spun, Curlin, Teuflesberg, and Sedgefield will move on from the Derby. Doug O’Neill’s Great Hunter and Liquidity are heading back to California, and Todd Pletcher has taken his five-horse contingent back to New York, although he will apparently try anew with King of the Roxy. Slew’s Tizzy is opting for the Lone Star Derby, leaving Xchanger, Chelokee, C P West, Flying First Class and Starbase as possible Preakness starters. Nobiz Like Shobiz may run in the Peter Pan.

Tiago, whose running style and staying power neatly fit a 1-1/2 mile race, may reappear in the Belmont Stakes on June 9, but trainer John Shirreffs says the Preakness Stakes is definitely out of the question. While his seventh place finish in the Derby was disappointing, he has impressed me as a horse that is still developing. With more seasoning, by fall he should be coming into his own as a dominant distance horse.

• About entering Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes, Pletcher said, "We'll see how she comes in here. We have plenty of time to make a decision. She's by a Belmont winner out of a mare who produced a Belmont winner, so her pedigree suggests she's bred to get a mile and a half. At the end of the day, she's not a stallion prospect, so there's not much to gain by running against colts other than for the sake of doing it and winning a race. We'll let the dust settle, get her in, and figure it out." Okay, this kind of attitude pisses me off. I may be taking this the wrong way, but it sounds as if the sole goal of entering and winning big horse races is to increase the potential value of them as sires, period. That somewhat overly cautious attitude is probably why you are 0 for 19 in the Derby, Todd. RUN THEM!

• Derby TV ratings were up 12% compared to last year, but all-sources wagering on the Derby dipped for the first time in 16 years. Did Magna’s refusal to permit Youbet and TVG customers access to wagering bite them in the pocketbook as well as the publicity ass?

• Finally, I finished reading T.D. Thornton’s Not By a Long Shot, and absolutely recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about life at a track like Suffolk Downs. Thornton did an amazing job bringing the place, people and horses to life. It left me wanting to read more similar accounts about other tracks. Interestingly, MassCap winner Running Stag (who plays a prominent role in the last part of Thornton’s book) had a daughter Candy Box who broke down and was euthanized at Belmont today.


Superfecta said...

I don't really understand Pletcher's attitude either - isn't the whole reason we're here for 'the sake of winning a race?'

I'd love to see her in the Belmont, I think she'd be a tough contender.