Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend Review

It was an interesting weekend of racing. Keeneland got into full swing and the last of the major Derby preps are over. Aside from the Coolmore next weekend at Keeneland, which will feature the ultra talented latecomer, Hull, most of the business is done and its time to start over analyzing the Run For The Roses.

Bluegrass Stakes

What a difference a good trip made for General Quarters. Here were my thoughts on the Tampa Bay Derby as posted a couple weeks back…

“He had a poor trip, being checked multiple times into the turn and blanketed to the wire by other horses. I was actually proud of his effort all things considered, as he was still trying with a sixteenth to go when he finally found room to run… I still think he has a shot of factoring in another prep”

Its not that surprising the General could beat this crowd handily. He had the most dominating effort in Stakes company of the bunch, whereas most of the field were question marks in class and ability. The tough colt has handled multiple surfaces and trips almost to perfection and should get enough out of this race to move forward in three weeks time.

Hold Me Back ran a useful race. The pace was non-existent; the fact that he made a rally and was able to circle all but the winner shows at least one thing, he has some class.

Arkansas Derby

Old Fashioned ran an ugly race and its unfortunate he was injured (and will likely be retired) in the process. After running rank chasing a brutal pace in the Rebel it was quite surprising to see this horse bolt to the lead and tick off a quarter in 22, and the half in 46. Going in the race looked to have little pace so it was not out of the question Old Fashioned would lead them around the track, but the rank manner in which he bolted for the lead and set the track on fire without the slightest hint of pressure was puzzling. Especially considering Larry Jones has shown a real knack for getting horses to relax in the past.

Papa Clem was expected to challenge for the pole position and after an awkward start found himself fluttering mid pack. It would be impressive to me that he could win the race with a less than ideal trip but when you consider he was the only horse that showed up and Old Fashioned was damage goods down the lane (both literally and figuratively) the race is somewhat slighted.

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