Kentucky Derby Preps

‘k.  Yesterday showed us new players in the Blue Grass and the Arkansas Derby.  Stately Victor (who is the first Ghostzapper I’ve noticed) and Line of David  (a Lion Heart) I hate it when you accidentally hit a key and it changes things, but you don’t know which key, or how to undo it. Gack.
Not to diminish either winner, but I didn’t see anything in either performance to persuade me that either will be a factor in the Derby.  Which is a salient feature of the yearly confusion in the weeks between the final prep races and the big race.  It’s hard to know what will be the determining factor.  I’ve heard a lot of discussion regarding surfaces.  The most interesting is Jay Privman’s assertion that horses do better on dirt after racing and training on synthetic.  Another interesting remark was that the synthetic surface at Keeneland was faster on cool/cold days because the wax firms up.  It’s a nice break from the remarks about track bias.
I don’t think Endorsement will follow Mind That Bird’s path after winning the Sunland Derby.  I do think there is something to the notion that conditioning a horse in high altitudes improves their performance closer to sea level.
I was impressed with Odysseus’ effort in the Tampa Bay Derby, but he quit in the Blue Grass after 3/4 mile and ended up last, which means that something is wrong (maybe he bled?).  What makes me somehow crazy is that I can’t find out what’s going on with him.  Apparently, how a horse comes out of a race is not newsworthy.
So, in the run-up – I still think it’s between Lookin at Lucky, Eskendereya, and Sidney’s Candy.  Physically, I have to say Eskendereya looks like he’s got the motor and physique to run 10 furlongs the fastest.  If Sidney’s Candy gets loose on the lead, he might outlast, especially in a 20 horse field.  (I still wish they would limit it to 15 horses)  Just on sheer determination, I think that Lookin at Lucky must be considered.  A frontrunner, physique, and determination.  I don’t know which factor will out.  In the next three weeks, there will be defections, injuries, bad workouts and then a 20 horse field and 10 furlongs.  YUM!

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