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Derby 2011 - Common Sense Prevailing

Today with the launch of Kentucky Confidential, Claire Novak reports on "Derby Fever". The fever, which I am sure would grab any of us slugs if we owned a horse like that, grips you hard, and sometimes it makes your decision making process cloudy.

Not so for two ownership groups and one trainer. Jaycito was pulled earlier this week from Derby consideration, and it is reported now that The Factor has also been pulled.

Co-owner of The Factor George Bolton: "We're doing the right thing."

Jaycito, with a sore foot and missed time might be the quintessential 10f horse in this weak crop, but he is still pulled. The Factor, a speed threat, probably had a punchers chance to take them home, but with minor palate surgery and a decent future as a miler or even Preakness starter, it was the right thing to do.

That's horsemanship, and common sense, and those connections should be commended. I feel better about horse racing this morning than I have for some time.

We complain (rightly) that horses are chewed like meat and race only a handful of times in this day and age. They do, in part, because they are pushed to win races like the Derby, for both prestige and extra millions in the shed. Baffert and crew said no, illustrating that more than ego is alive and well in racing.

What of Mo? He too has serious question marks. I am unaware of how he is doing after his work today and of course we are not privy to his general health, but as a horse owner I would be pretty scared to race a horse like this in a few weeks off treatment for a GI infection (and the dismal Wood). You have to be fit, 100% primed and have a ton of luck to win a Derby; in effect, everything has to go perfect and on schedule. If he is not fit, nor 100%, two out of three strikes are against you, in my opinion.

On the blog we have expected The Factor, Jaycito and Mo to all be pulled and we'll see with Mo. Repole wants more for this colt than a Derby "effort", and if there is a question mark in his mind, I bet he'll pull him. He's a special horse when he's right and he could have a monster second half. Why take the chance?

Notes:

Bill Finley looks at the GP meet and compares it to CA's recently concluded Santa Anita meet. I agree, there could not be two more opposite results.

There was about $50k bet into the Calder pick 5 yesterday, which was not too bad. Unfortunately for me I could not find the leg three winner with a magnifying glass, crystal ball and Patrick Jane. Three lucky winners walked home with about $14,000 each. Nice handicapping, whomever you are.

With the release of the Betfair report by Christansen, where they addressed with hard numbers the pari-mutuel effect (i.e. it enhances, does not cannibalize wagering), the detractors have pivoted and gone back to the integrity argument. For those who have looked at the actuality of such, it's something that won't stick. But it seems to be the new (old) strategy now.

I agree with Alan. Versus is a tremendous opp for racing.

Nick Boyd, one of our stable trainers looks to be featured in a new show with Brett Wilson from Dragon's Den. Way to go Ralphie! If I hit the Derby superfecta, we'll stake the horse :)

Darren Rogers is doing a hell of a job on Twitter updating folks with Derby news and works. Follow if interested.

The Derby overround at Betfair is still high, but there is some action. Funny, after announcing Anthony's Cross was heading to CD, he traded at 200-1. Someone really wanted that $6. Money to buy Mo disappeared after his work at 7 and 8. He is now wanted at 9.6 only.

A big congrats to Jessica Chapel for getting Kentucky Confidential off the ground. Bookmark away folks!

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