I admit it, despite watching racing do some completely bizarre things to not help itself, I love this crazy sport.
Last year, Zenyatta was a joy to watch and I cheered for her each and every time, because she was good for racing. Rachel was similar and regardless how she looked early, where most of us were sure she was a shadow of herself, we hoped we were wrong. I find I am having the same feelings with Uncle Mo.
The Derby is my day to bet. The pools are very large and it is where on an annual basis I try and make a life changing score. Uncle Mo was causing me some trouble, because I think he's an amazing talent, and not only feared betting against him, I did not want to.
I have had several sharp handicappers, a couple who do this for a living, tell me since last year that they thought Mo has soundness issues. One who can play legally on betfair has been laying him beyond belief. Although I take everything in, I have constantly resisted that thought and looked for every opportunity to argue with them. Because I respect them as players I watched the Timely Writer no less than ten times looking for soreness and I could not find any (other than the somewhat odd way he carries his head). But maybe I just did not want to see it. Regardless, as today seemed to prove - where he raced erratically and was all done at 7f with zero ability to separate - it appears it was game, set and match for their astute opinion.
What this does is open up the Derby for me as a serious horseplayer. I again can go searching for the elusive bomb in the one, two or three slots, looking for that blanket super that pays $200k or more. Hoping, wishing for that Derby score as a yearly rite of passage.
I should be happy, but I'm not. I wanted to see that colt roar, for the good of racing; the good of our sport because he is such an amazing talent with a mind-boggling cruising speed. Unfortunately because horses are tendons and flesh and blood, and not manifolds and pistons and fuel lines, it's simply the way it goes sometimes. Regardless, kudos to the cappers who saw what they saw. This game is very difficult and to have that talent and will to stick with your minds-eye convictions on a way a horse moves, it's why you are doing this for a living and I am working for one.