Shadow Play won the Little Brown Jug easily today. It was a fine performance for a horse who has not gotten much respect. I have said a few times here that I thought the Confederation Cup was much tougher than the Cane Pace, and many other races, since this colt was a part of it. I think that is true. He is a good horse.
Phil made a comment after the elim that if Art Official is anywhere near favorite status in the final that he would be loading up the truck. He was right. I for one can not believe that Art Official was anywhere near 2-1. He would have had to improve by around 20 lengths to win that final. He had virtually no shot on paper.
When Art broke scoring down I took a sizeable shot on Santanna and pitched Art from the exotics. As well I bet Santanna to show, as Art had a full $50,000 on him to show. I can not believe that Sanatanna could not pace away there. He only paced 52.3, which for him is a terrible mile. Jeff Gillis posts on the Harnessdriver site from time to time, so maybe we can find out what was bugging him. Santanna is far too fine a horse to not be able to pace at least 51.
All in all a fine day of racing. I think we learned a few things today: 1) Somebeachsomewhere is a clear favorite for 3YO of the year (he should be a slam dunk for horse of the year too, but we are tired of trumpeting that) and 2) These are horses, not machines. Even horses like Art have a bad day.
As Phil mentioned in his comment that Art was flat in the Cane, we thought so too. I am actually not surprised he raced poorly today. I had a feeling that after the Cane something was not quite right. He is far too good a horse to be life and death to come home in 56 seconds like he did in the Cane.
Will Art and Beach meet? Let's hope so, and let's hope they are both at their best. In racing, especially in the 3YO division it is pure murder. These horses, week in week out go hard against each other and they have to withstand adversity. Very few do. Right now the Beach has, and believe me, we are watching history.
I am glad Shadow Play got to show what he can do, however. He is a nice horse, and in any other year he would probably be the horse. Just not this year.