Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad...

Why on earth three Derby prep races had to be held on the exact same day, I'm not quite sure, but I successfully selected two winners.

At Santa Anita news of The Pamplemousse's scratch caused me to select Baffert's colt, Pioneerof the Nile.

Normally, I would penalize any pick that was in such blatant disregard to the rules of grammar, but, hey, can't argue with Baffert's skill. I was vindicated.

In an interesting aside, the number two horse was named Chocolate Candy and owned by weight-loss mogul Jenny Craig. No word on whether she would have ate the horse if it performed poorly. (Low Carb! Mmmm!)

I hope The Pamplemousse gets better. I understand he had a sore leg and was unable to run. Railbirds seem to think Pioneerof The Nile is 'learning how to run' and I'll be the first to admit he ran an awful race, despite winning. I interpret it not as immaturity, but rather a willingness to listen - he was in the lead, pulled back, and then urged forward and maintained the lead for the win. It was a strange race that just didn't go the way the jockey and trainer wished it to, yet he won. But the immaturity angle has a solid basis, he's much younger than the other horses and supposedly lost two teeth in the race! Awww... baby teeth. How cute. Glad he didn't choke on them or something.

In the Illinois Derby, I kind of liked Al Khali (Plecher), but it was Musket Man for the win. Really, though, can I trust ANYTHING that takes place near Cicero, IL?? Not really.

But over at the Wood Memorial, great things were happening, and I wish NBC had televised that one as featured instead of Santa Anita. One glance at the card and I had picked my horse based soley on his name: I Want Revenge. I mean, really, how could you not bet on that? Only after a closer inspection did I learn of his great pedigree and home: the same stable that owned Big Brown. I Want Revenge had a tough race and came back from a slow break to penetrate a wall of horses at the end for the win. I was very impressed, and right now he's my Derby pick. Amazingly enough, he lost his first six races but flourished when he was moved from a synthethic track to an old-fashioned dirt surface.

Seems the jury is still out on whether synthetic surfaces reduce injury. I'll be watching for more data as it develops. I want to get over to Arlington more this year, but at the rate the weather is going, I will never see sunshine, much less pull my Vette out of the garage. Right now? April fifth? Big snowstorm. I hate the Midwest. Is there a little anti-heart symbol for that??

I Want a Derby Victory!

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