Monday, March 9, 2009

Upping The Ante

If the 2008 crop of 3yo's left something to be desired in terms of ability and intrigue, the '09 lot look poised to make up for it.

Another weekend, another sensational performance.

G3 Gotham

What a race for I Want Revenge. He got a great trip, a clear target to aim for and when asked was ready to pounce. I question Mr. Fantasy as he is pretty much the run of the mill Aqueduct speedster with class issues, but there was no way to predict that he was 8+ lengths inferior. The Beyer figure of 113 for the effort is astronomical in comparison to other two turn preps from last year.

Alot of talk about this effort and Quality Roads last week which received the same impressive speed figure, but they are in different leagues in my opinion. Quality Road got his in a glorified sprint, I Want Revenge earned his around two turns.

(Will cover Imperial Council's effort tomorrow in the Derby Top 10)

G1 Santa Anita Oaks

You know the expectations are high for a filly when winning a G1 race by a nose after going 8 wide is considered disappointing.

I understand the sentiment, but not entirely.

She did concede way too much ground early and ran the risk of losing touch with the race before it started. With that said when it came time to run she was rolling as usual. We can talk of the slow final time for the effort but consider the following...

1. She closed into a slow pace
2. She went 8 wide
3. She had to check halfway down the stretch as she was starting to inhale the field (which cost her winning by a more comfortable margin)

Deep closers inevitably get trips like this. Generally, deep closers cannot overcome them.

She has dropped a peg in my book to be fair, but the idea that she is now damaged goods and should not be given the opportunity in the Santa Anita Derby is laughable. She is proven over the course, has nothing to gain racing against her own gender in California and can always go the KY Oaks route if she fails in the SA Derby. (Where she would figure to run into the buzz saw that is Rachel Alexandra) To back out now after a G1 win, would be unfortunate.

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