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Before we wind up the Belmont talk, I want to give a little "shout out" to Hofburg. Not a lot of talk about him since the race. He didn't exactly embarrass himself in the Belmont. Keep in mind he has run one less race than Justify, with his first coming last September. The Belmont was only his fourth start this year. Not too long ago horses routinely prepped three times in their sophomore year, before the Derby. He will be heard from!
Agreed. He was 2-3 lengths farther back than Mott wanted him to be, then made a four wide move on the turn which doesn't fly at Belmont.
Yes, not at 12 furlongs unless there's a collapse up front. In one turn races, it often works especially if the outside is good.
IMO ...when Hofberg was 20/1M/L and went off 9/1in Florida Derby against prohibitive fav and winner Audible (d) penned him the Delta runner in 9 horse field and 2 runners in that field were locally bunked in stalls there at final getting odds of +114'~1.
Give him a surface mudski & bumpkski trip Rose run at Derby time. Alibi.
Ran much better than I thought he would In Belmont run for the Carnations.
Obviously must skip a mile and an eighth Haskell where high weight is 122 perhaps.
Come Travers, mile & quarter and perhaps a purse bump to $1.6 to 2 mil~ yon for Triple Crown winner in it.
Predict the speed, pace and jockey jujitsu too much. One redeeming factor is Irad the jock is the complete NYRA circuit man.
Will emulate last year's Delta Lookin At Lee. Tailed off.
If... they do not run Hoffy til the very late August Travers, then where?
And then if, how much rest. Perhaps.. there is a race Hask day or early Spa 2018.
He could surprise, but there is a lot of $ on the table. A win now against the champ is not so much a loss of gaining a TC individual race win on one's colt resume.
Irad might just make a difference, but the Trav. purse let alone, small t trumps beating the ?undefeated colt that Spa Mid~ Summer Derby race..Travers.
Interesting riff, Dogs.
Mott's creative & can think outside the box. I'm not as sure as you are that Irad is a good fit for this horse. Had to steady twice briefly on the backstretch. Irad may be a little too aggressive for Hoffy.
Not questioning Irad's skills...just the fit.
Horse is a natural closer with a nice turn of foot . Not a one-paced plodder. Heck, I'd try him on the turf for an experiment over the summer & see what the horse tells me. At the worst, puts some conditioning in & then goes turf to back to dirt. Or, he shows that's his surface.
Heck, I'd try him on the turf for an experiment over the summer & see what the horse tells me.
We are of the same mind on that one. Just thinking that when I was posting about him.
The other option, aside from staying the course at the classic distances is to try shortening him up on dirt where the early pace is usually snappy & would be a nice set up for his late run. Could actually amplify it.
Sometimes the run style & the horse on the ground eclipses what we see in the breeding.
BTW, I have a ton of respect for Mott so all I'm doing is thinking out loud here in the cyber wilderness. Little armchair trainer action. :)
Hofburg looks to be coming into the summer just as Keen Ice did. He should get another chance to continue Saratoga's tradition of being the graveyard of champions.
That would work if Hofburg remembers to play his part. No way he's the price of Keen Ice, though.
BTW, I don't know if you saw the Trakus for The Belmont but the difference & then some between Gronk saving ground early & cutting the corner late & Hofburg taking the overland route added up to about 5 standing lengths.
Thanks Steve ...The Dogs sees it that the colt Hoffy got rambunctious and Irad had to pull the reins in.
That is in the backstretch, guessing, the colt wanted to go sooner.
I had actually predicted this based on anecdotal info I read, was a bad boy gate load and change of mouth hardware. Plus the rateabllity needed for long ball distance of mile & half.
Not taking anything away from his last two...for sure. He performed very well, regardless.
Just that shorter G1s ahead of stature Haskell = field contenders too fast, running with less weight, distance short 9 panels. Travers doesn't look likely as they would have planned and discovered any improvements or needs to be fixed if and a run in the Haskell. And not the Eddie Haskell!
As my Godfather would say to me after sound advice and direction, "the last guy who listened to me is batting 4th on skid row."
Hoofnote: Grass for Hoffy will show if this one has a mind of his own, or all the stuff I wrote is just in my mind. Well, there's an opener for dah boys and girls.
Dwyer, Px Derby.
Say, in a lawn race, if Hoffy equibas e notes say raced early and tired or faded that to me would close the deal. End of story. BTW I obviously have not left him out of Fl Dby, Preak & Bel Stks.?