Derby Preps

Jackson Bend, Awesome Act, EightyFiveinaFifty, Schoolyard Dreams, Eskendereya, Sidney’s Candy, Backtalk, American Lion, Lookin at Lucky, Caracortado

That’s what I can remember.  Noble’s Promise, Endorsement, Conveyance did not run this weekend.  Next week: Arkansas Derby, then the Blue Grass and the Lexington.  No one pays attention to the Derby Prep.

Was very impressed with Blink Luck in the Fantasy Stakes.  She pulled it out.

Eskendereya and American Lion ran on dirt.  Sidney’s Candy ran on wax.  Times for the same distance: e- 1:49:97; al- 1:51:31; sc- 1:48:00    Last eighth:  e- 11:24;  al- 13:07;  sc- 12:05

All three won by daylight, Eskendereya and Sidney’s Candy were visibly eased.    Of the competition, I think the Santa Anita Derby was probably the best field (certainly the fullest).  If you accept that one second equals five lengths, then Sidney’s Candy was roughly ten lengths ahead of Eskendereya and fifteen in front of American Lion.  Does the track make that much of a difference?  The final eighth for Eskendereya was a half-second faster than Sidney’s Candy.  I don’t think that matters.  Neither was seriously challenged.

So, Lookin at Lucky was third after a trip that would have stopped many horses at the eighth pole.  Much has been said of Gomez and Espinoza’s contretemps.  IMHO, I think Espinoza ought to be suspended for a month for irresponsible riding.  He badly (and I think purposefully) interfered with Lookin at Lucky coming into the stretch and could easily have caused a disaster.  The horse had to stop, lose ground, regroup and come back.  He did it and got up for third in what I think was an athletic and courageous performance.  The horse wants to win and understands it; I’m not ready to say that about Sidney’s Candy.

No trainer of a quality horse will now run his horse again before the Derby, so this is what we have to go on.

Disregarding the clock, Eskendereya was visually the most impressive, but I’m having a lot of trouble with the pro-ride time coming out 2 seconds faster than the aqueduct sand/dirt.  So, on balance, I have to like Sidney’s Candy better for the mile and a quarter.

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