The DRF is reporting Old Fashioned suffered a "non-displaced slab fracture to his right knee" during the Arkansas Derby, and will be shipped Monday to Rood & Riddle for surgery. While not life-threatening, we may have seen the last of Old Fashioned today. Obviously, this is heartbreaking news for his connections, and I offer only best wishes for his recovery.
That said—and please understand the context in which I say this—perhaps it is for the best that he won’t be running in the Kentucky Derby. While he has always be high on my contenders list (and how could one not acknowledge his talent), I have grown increasingly convinced that he couldn’t get the Derby distance.
Papa Clem’s win bodes well for his Derby chances, and how about his sire Smart Strike? First Curlin, and now Papa Clem (don't get excited, I'm not claiming Papa Clem is in Curlin's class...yet). Along with I Want Revenge, I’m still ranking these two above fellow West Coaster Pioneerof the Nile based not only on their proven success on dirt, but also the tough races and improvement they have demonstrated, as opposed to Pioneerof the Nile not particularly moving forward.
And how about 24-1 longshot Summer Bird flashing home late to fill out a $1 trifecta that paid $271.80? Gotta love those Birdstones! (Don’t ask if I actually played the trifecta I advocated...my Twinspires account went dry after the Blue Grass and I decided to sit out this race, not wanting to “curse” Papa Clem).
General Quarters shocked in the Blue Grass, with Hold Me Back and Massone forming the tri. Terrain’s fourth was okay, but Charitable Man was a huge disappointment as was Mafaaz—both were beaten by 93-1 longshot Loch Dubh (who I love).
Finally, with the lackluster performances of Danger to Society (9th, Arkansas Derby) and Patena (10th, Blue Grass)—and barring IEAH getting to replace Jeff Mullins as trainer of I Want Revenge—it appears karma has come back to bite Dick Dutrow on the ass this year. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.