Off we go on a Sunday.....
Yesterday's racing proves how exciting the sport can be, and illustrates nicely the intersection of big events and betting that tends to drive it. The sport is simply an old boys club running for each others stakes cash without people betting their opinion.
In the Blue Grass, Dullahan proved his fantastic turn of foot is not a mirage with a super-close to win, going away. If you like this horse for the Derby, you certainly have a hot colt. I am still not convinced he's 100%, and I'm not sure that's a bad or a good thing, but that was one of the more exciting moves of the Derby season.
Keeneland proves once again it is the premier racing venue in the land (in my opinion). For years folks slammed them for poly, but that is one big mirage. Put on awesome events, care about customers, allow ADW's - even small ones - to have your signal, and innovate. You'll be fine. Yesterday's BG card provided them with a record handle and a record attendance.
The Oaklawn weekend was not quite a climactic as usual, I thought. The Apple Blossom wasn't very interesting, and compared to the BG the Derby was not quite up to snuff for me. But the races themselves did not disappoint. If I wrote in three weeks we're looking at a monster with a shot at the Triple Crown by the name of Bodemeister, would anyone be shocked? I thought Dullahan was impressive, until that horse annihilated them in a fast time.
Can anyone remember a more contentious Derby season? Just think, Alpha, who any other year would be a talked about colt, is relegated to an afterthought. The Juvy winner, who garnered all the headlines, could come 14th in three weeks, and no one would be surprised. Union Rags, everyone's Derby pick and after doing virtually nothing wrong now has his name followed by "but". Amazing! What a first Saturday in May we're up for.
DeRosa ate some crow on the Twinspires blog today regarding his
thoughts regarding Dullahan. We were chatting on twitter last week and
he said the horse had "no chance" in the Derby (he might be right, the
Derby hasn't been run yet), and then he got into it with a bunch of
folks. I remember five or six years ago now, Ed commented on my blog,
and it was caustic and odd. I had never even heard of the dude, but my
thought at the time was "who is this goof?" Over the years I have come
to know him better, and although he is opinionated on racing (not unlike
yours truly), he has become someone I chat with fairly regularly. There
are a ton of people out there in racing who won't take a stand on something
because they have no guts. DeRosa had to eat crow because he had an
opinion he was willing to share. That's never a bad thing.
yesterday I think I'd have to have my head read not to move Bodemeister
to the top of my Derby list. Right now I'll bump him to #1, followed by
Union Rags, Alpha, Dullahan and Creative Cause.
Ron Burke on twitter mentioned that Sweet Lou uncorked a nice 152 training mile. He looks on track.
Balmoral's handle continues to sky. We'll talk about that next week on Harness Racing Update.
Speaking of HRU, today harness handles - the ups and downs - are looked at (pdf).
Bob Marks joined twitter and started tweeting. He's @bobmarks3
For all of yesterday's stories and updates, they're all on Goatzapper.com.
Have a great Sunday everyone