So you watched, wagered and likely lost bets on the Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial Stakes. Now what? Before I try to make sense of what's left of the likely field for Kentucky Derby 137, allow me to briefly recap the two big surprises today.
Uncle Mo's Wood loss was a head scratcher - taking the lead under a hold through moderate fractions only to spit the bit and give it up in the stretch. It was as ugly a 1-9 performance as you'll ever see. According to trainer Todd Pletcher, his main Derby threat stepped on himself leaving the gate, but did not offer the minor mishap as an excuse for the loss. Distance concerns and questions will hound Uncle Mo's connections over the next four weeks. Good luck with that.
On the Left Coast, Bob Baffert continued his magical ride through the Santa Anita meet with a maiden, yes a maiden under his care, Midnight Interlude, winning this year's Santa Anita Derby. Imagine losing the post time favorite just the day before with the scratch of Jaycito and then coming back with Midnight Interlude, just a few weeks away from his first win, taking it all by just a nose. Despite such a steep leap in competition Baffert's charge was well below his morning line of 25-1, a sign that the betting public was either unsure of the rest of the field or was happy to find the meet's leading trainer with a horse to saddle up and bet on. (I had $10 on his nose because I couldn't find another horse to back.)
I can't help feeling Baffert's map to Churchill is watermarked with the word Destiny. He's going with at least two, maybe three, colts and it says here that somehow, someway he wins a fourth Derby trophy.