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Given the way the race played out, and the issues each horse had to overcome coming into the race, who looks to move forward the most in your opinion?
Highly Motivated, without a doubt......terrible trip, ran on well. Though Crowded can certainly improve as well....
Prep race photos this weekend:
Gotham Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct
Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs
San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita
Thought you might say that. I thought he might have been a little short. As for his trip, I didn't think it was as bad as everyone says. He didn't finish as strong as I expected. His trouble was early enough for him to recover, I thought. I'm biased towards CT. I thought for his second race, he took a big step, and still may be a bit green. I think he wasn't crazy about passing Weyburn, and was happy just catching him. He got the lead, lost it, and then was coming back at the end. They need to work on that in his works.
I remember a while back we used to talk "angles" that pointed to the true contenders in the Kentucky Derby. Nowadays, trainers have largely abandoned the old way, and many of those angles have gone by the wayside. No more Apollo jinxes, or even beyer figures are discussed much. Remember when we looked for those 105+ beyers in preps? They seemed to be an extinct species. Enter Life Is Good! He was awarded a 107 beyer figure for his San Felipe, which he won pretty much without being asked. Sure didn't look to have distance limitations unless you count his drifting out, which may have been simply a loss of focus due to sheer boredom with the lack of competition. Is this guy really that good?
IMHO he has the Pedigree to be that good.
Bellamy Road had a big number and fizzled in the Derby. A good one turn Prospect
and he didn't have a classic distance pedigree Imo,
What bothers me Baffert has him and it gets old, Baffert against the World.
There are 5 or 6 Very Good Prospect Pedigrees this year that have Classic distance
Pedigrees with different running styles.
Yeah, this Baffert thing is getting old, especially since I wonder about him using the Super Chicken Super Sauce! It will make me want to root against the horse, which I hate to do, because I'm always anxious to see the next great one!
Bill Casner doesn't name names but this Op-Ed has stood the test of time. The top end of the sport is where the sophisticated cheats operate. They can afford the cutting edge stuff for which no current tests exist.
"One drug that has decades of continuous use is EPO. There is no doubt that it has been used at the highest level. There has never been a horse to test positive for it post-race because everyone knows that it can only be detected in the first 24 to 36 hours after administration (requiring a sophisticated expensive test) and it is always given days or even weeks out. The only way it will ever be caught is with Out-of-Competition Testing, which is virtually non-existent in North American horse racing. "
"Today, the selection and availability of designer drugs produced in clandestine labs is unlimited. Computer models have given the underground chemist the ability to modify a known drug, whether anabolic, narcotic or stimulant, tweaking the molecule and making small doses even more powerful, and guess what–it doesn't test because it hasn't been identified and there is no organized effort to develop the test. "
The entire column is here & worth the read. There is no reason to doubt Casner.
Happily, the HOrse Racing Intergrity & Safety Act is now law & the USADA will be in charge of anti-doping. That outfit has the experience dealing with high-end undetectables. They freeze samples for 10 years so the tests can catch up with the cheats & they perform out of competition testing.
We deserve clean sport as bettors & so do the honest trainers who do not cheat.
I hope they eventually catch someone and make an example out of them. Banned for life, and no entry into the HOF! Maybe even a stint in jail too! I've been in sports all my life, and have always wondered how people can feel gratified by a win they had to cheat to get.
After Life is Good run in the San Felipe, I was ready to throw this year out. Still not a fan of Into Mischief at 10f, but the dam is not all that bad, better than some BBs I've seen in recent years. So, was he really injured? A Justify SA result? Makes one wonder. Have to see if a BB has another cranked up. Essential Quality is still the only on my list, except he has not ran a good pace yet that I want to see, but he has not had too. LaD and FD winners both had good runs in their wins, although FD had the perfect trip. Looking forward to BG with EQ and Hidden stash, I kind of liked his Tampa Bay race. Has the obvious TF.