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With the cancellation of the Jerome, the Sham is the first points race for the 3 yr. old crop. It looks like a Baffert exacta, though I'm not sure which will finish first. Mourinho has an unusual work pattern for a Baffert youngster, going 6f. then a slow work prior to the race....not sure what to make of it, but he is battle tested and could pick up the pieces after a hot pace. All Out Blitz will go with McKinzie I think, and may last longer than what is expected....and we need to see how much McK can take, though he should last the 8f. We'll learn a lot after the race. At this point I am thinking McK is a bit over-hyped as one of the faves for the Derby, but perhaps he'll prove me wrong. Shivermetimbers may get in at a price for Hollendorfer.
I am actually more interested in the GP race going off an hour earlier. I am eager to see how Mask does. If I am right, he romps here for Brown and announces himself a major player in the GP preps. I am going against Dak, can't understand starting here when his last was against very little in Aug. at Ellis. I'll be playing an exacta with the Dialed In colt....he may be like his father and love the track!
Don't underestimate Dak Attack's race at Ellis. He defeated Ten City who seemed poised to blow open the Claiborne Futurity(Gr.1), when he unfortunately broke down.
Neither the Futurity nor the Iroquois became key races....those horses will not be competitive on the Derby trail in my opinion. Ten City may have been able to win the Futurity, but his 3rd in the Iroquois was unimpressive. The 2nd place horse can barely hit the board in a starter allowance, and the 4th place horse out of that Delaware horse is still unable to even hit the board in a maiden race. This is not to say Dak cannot win tomorrow, but I'm betting elsewhere.
I was impressed today by the return of Supreme Aura, however.....I look forward to his next around two turns.
i looked at the pedigree for the Mucho Macho and from that group
i thought Mask had the best pedigree and put a ten on him..
Mckinzie was a no brainer, picked him in the twin spires 3 yr old prep contest...
The Mask was the most impressive horse I saw today!
I was able to get a futures bet on Mask at 45-1 today....he looked quite good, as expected. Now if he can carry his form around two turns next month, he could be contender in May.
As for McKinzie, yes, he won today, but I don't expect him to be the best in the west. I think both Bolt and Solo are better, and there are a few others who may turn out more competitive as well. Baffert is trying to figure out what to do with him....different equipment today, tried to hold him back, etc. I actually think Ax will be his more prominent 3 year old.
If you like Beyer figs, Mask got a 91 and McKinzie a 97.
I liked McKinzie's race although he didn't appear to beat much. Broke well and didn't get rank this time. Raced 3 wide and ran fairly straight. Probably will run in the San Felipe next (March) and against the Bolt.
Both impressive colts yesterday. Congrats on cashing
I don't think either horse beat much, but I definitely liked Mask's race better....his acceleration was impressive, and it was only his 2nd race after a long gap. McKinizie should have romped more easily against his group, and I just don't think he'll get better as the distances get longer, especially against more formidable competition. If he goes in the Robert B. Lewis, he'll have to face Solomini again, and probably Bolt too in the San Felipe on Mar. 10th. And somewhere Baffert will have to choose a place for Ax Man to race. He could be good enough, but I'm betting against, especially at 9f and over.
From what Baffert said this morning it seems that they have some concern keeping weight on him. Talked about one or 2 more preps and possibly shipping out of town.
This could be a red flag for me if they limit his preps and foundation due to weight concerns. I've seen too many horses do poorly in the derby for this reason. Regarding your point about distance limitations, I don't see it in his pedigree for 1 1/8. Not sure about 1 1/4.