Yesterday's Florida Derby card was a whopper, with almost $50 million pouring through the windows. I don't know what it is about the prep races, but they constantly amaze -- the Pegasus World Cup card, with lots of good racing, can't seem to hold much of a candle to some of them.
The two main stories - Maximum Security and Hidden Scroll - caused quite a reaction in horse racing land.
Sometimes I wonder the conversations trainers have with owners.
"Your colt doesn't seem like much, so we'll start him in a maiden $16k claimer."
Sure, Maximum Security strolled through pedestrian splits, but he did storm home like a decent horse should, and deserved the chocolates. Twitter was slightly impressed, but once again, the race's chatter was more about the trainer, than the horse. This fellow is a lightning rod, as most bazillion percent trainers are.
Adding a little conspiracy and fuel to the fire, Servis's interviews, prerace, about two of his charges (including Maximum Security) mysteriously seemed to disappear.
Frankly, I didn't have much of a problem with his comments about his Florida Derby entrant. He didn't know how his horse would do, and saw early pace in the race that might result in his charge laying just off it. That seems common sense. And, we have to remember, this is the trainer who debuted the Florida Derby winner in in a 16 claimer.
In terms of storyline, I find Hidden Scroll much more interesting. And I think it exhibits the worst characteristic of Derby season - namely, sometimes odd things occur when there's a bouquet of roses at the end of the very abbreviated road.
Yesterday, Hidden Scroll's team used a $1M race to try and teach him to rate. I feel like typing that again, because it sounds so bizarre to me. We all saw his Fountain of Youth where he was mercilessly run at by a 140,000-1 shot, and he needed to for seasoning, yes, but in a prep race trying to get Derby points?
I like Hidden Scroll. I think he has a giant motor, but rushing him to make a Derby with a fragile mind doesn't seem optimal to me. Knowing full well I am judging this without "walking a mile in another's shoes" because I've never had a Derby type horse, it still feels creepy to me. When the Derby is involved, people, in my view, do some strange things with their horses; things they'd otherwise not do.
Hidden Scroll was terrible yesterday - he was all done after 7/8's - so he wasn't winning even if they used his speed like they should have, in my view. And in the grand scheme of things where Derby horses get chewed every year, it might just be another example of the Derby's Medusa. But with this talented guy, I hope he's given some time to get his head on straight and is allowed to become a racehorse on his own terms.
That's my 2 cents...... typed with full realization that's probably all it's worth.
Have a nice Sunday everyone.
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