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Monday, January 26, 2009

Calm Before the Storm

Here it is, the last week of January—and the Kentucky Derby is just three short months away. Thankfully, the buzz emanating from the hype-o-meter is still a low drone, with only some promising allowance and two stakes prep races completed thus far. However, from this point forward, the action promises to come fast and furious so check out the new “Road to the Roses” tab on the TBA homepage widget, another proud creation of our ringleader Patrick (aka Handride).

On Friday, the G2 Hutcheson at Gulfstream features a field of seven, including G3 Nashua winner Break Water Edison who may very well be Alan Garcia’s ticket to the Derby—this son of Lemon Drop Kid promises to stretch out. Also entered is the Candy Ride gelding Capt. Candyman Can who, like Break Water Edison, is out of a Storm Creek mare. He’s got a lot of positives: he has already won at Churchill (G3 Iroquois); he finished a mere half length back running a route (8.5f) last out and that was only because he jumped shadows towards the finish line; and since being gelded, he’s posted two bullet works at 5f, including a sub-one minute work most recently. Another potential Derby contender is Hello Broadway, half-brother to G1 Wood Memorial winner Nobiz Like Shobiz. He does lose Eibar Coa (who apparently has chosen to stick with Nick Zito’s Rocketing Returns), but picks up Edgar Prado (or has Tagg replaced Coa with Prado as his go-to jock?). His young sire Broken Vow has thrown some nice routers, including Unbridled Belle and Cotton Blossom, so distance shouldn’t be an issue. As for Rocketing Returns, his dam Spring Meadow was a G1-placed sprinter so it will be interesting to see if he can route—my gut says “no.”

Saturday’s G3 Holy Bull entries should be out early this week (the nominations are here), and the name I’m most looking forward to seeing there is A.P. Cardinal. He worked a bullet 5f 1:01 (1/18) at Palm Meadows on Friday.


Handride said...

Thanks for the link, and you should pat yourself on the back for helping me keep it updated ;-D

Anonymous said...

That is indeed a very nice tab.

Was there ever any explanation as to why the Holy Bull was moved to so late in the meet last year? It kind of defeated its purpose, even if it did give an MI-bred a chance to race on a national stage (and run dead last. Oof).

Valerie said...

Last year’s Holy Bull was moved to April 12 (after the Florida Derby and three weeks before the Kentucky Derby) and lengthened to 1-3/16 miles, with the hope that it become a major last-minute alternative prep race. However, it used to be in January, and was 8.5f in 2004, then to 9f in 2005-06, and only 8f in 2007. The Bloodhorse reported late last year that change to the earlier date this year was to make the Holy Bull “an early stakes for trainers whose newly-turned 3-year olds are ready for routes” while last year's change was "to attract trainers seeking late graded-stakes earnings and a distance race three weeks before the Kentucky Derby."

Let’s just blame Frank Stronach for being an idiot (even if it's not his lame-brain idea) :)

Interesting, Hello Broadway’s big half-brother Nobiz Like Shobiz won the Holy Bull back in 2007 when it was just one mile, and held in early February.