Sunday, April 3, 2011

Florida Derby - That's Why They Call It Horse Racing

In today's Florida Derby only two horses ran to their strengths and styles. Not surprisingly Shackleford (pace setter) and Dialed In (flying from the back of the pack) finished one, two. The rest of the field were relegated to roles that were either unfamiliar, uncomfortable or both.

Starting from the last to third place...

  • Bowman's Causeway was simply overmatched. If he can get his head back maybe he'll make some noise at Monmouth or Saratoga this summer.
  • Stay Thirsty was given blinkers off a win and finished miles behind due to the equipment change and tougher competition. Derby dreams dashed???
  • Arch Traveler was never close enough to contend traveling further back they usual.
  • Soldat was given the task from running off the pace and with enough graded earnings to make the Derby gate his human connections were given such a luxury.
  • Flashpoint either purposely screwed everything up (asked to take back by his trainer) or his right hand veer when the starting gate opened was too much to overcome. Either way he never ran to his pace-setting or pressing style. 
  • To Honor and Serve was reserved by Garret Gomez and basically quit because he wasn't allowed to go after Shackleford earlier. 
Will lessons be learned and Derby plans altered due to the less than desirable outcomes from the six mentioned above? Most likely. I hope that Shackleford makes the Kentucky Derby gate because following the winner, he's the only horse to have earned anything today. Unfortunately he'll need either defections, injuries or cooler heads from those horses in front of him on the Derby earnings' list.

1 comment:

  1. Soldat was the one that really surprised me with his poor showing. To Honor and Serve looks like he has distance limitations, he keeps flattening out this year when he hits the homestretch.

    I heard Pletcher will take the blinkers off Stay Thirsty in the Derby but he'll really have to improve a lot to make a dent in the Derby.