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Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Aftermath

If you're a Rachel Alexandra fan or just the IT guy in charge of the live stream at the NTRA....please....just step away from the ledge. It's going to be ok.

Lots of folks would peg me as an East Coast homie for Raitch, but to be honest, I'm just a fan. I had a feeling (and called it...well kinda) based on the way his connections were talking ("she's not 100 percent fit") that they were setting us up for a not so Rachel-like performance. But that's racing. I don't believe for a second that they will retire her like some folks do, only 'cause there's 3 million reasons for her to give it a go on April 9th in Hot Springs. Zenyatta, who I think is fantastic and awe-inspiring, still has questions away from her sweet spot on the West Coast, won going away today. Of course, she has been training terrifically and split the seems beautifully in winning the Santa Margarita for her 15th straight win. Smith was magnificent guiding her through traffic (I do wonder if he was riding at Aqueduct in the 70s if the NY jocks would let him through like that) and she showed her championship form in winning. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the Race for the Ages doesn't fall apart at the seems. JJ was talking about a triple tiara of races, so to back out after a prep race seems a bit absurd to me, so I'm not buying it.

As for the NTRA's much ballyhooed live stream of the races by his and Easy? You get what you pay for, I guess. Did you really expect it to come off smoothly? It's not any different when you post a comment over there, it shows up about a week later, so why would anyone think it was going to go smoothly. Just another feather in our fearless leader's cap. Thank goodness for ESPNews, who decided today to, at least, pick up Zenyatta's race. I am fortunate (and semi-smart enough) to have a TwinSpires account which enabled me to see the Fair Grounds on HD live. Which was lucky today since my live stream of my HRTV internet account was interrupted by bad weather in NYC. Speaking of lucky.....

My #1 pick in the Derby Dozen poll, Lookin at Lucky showed the recent west coast form on Oaklawn dirt (see Gayego and Papa Clem - h/t to sidfernando) winning the Rebel taking out a game Noble's Promise (another synth horse) in the stretch. If not for the bad post position in the BC Juvenile Lucky would be undefeated right now. Let's hope he stays healthy. My pick, Dublin, ran a decent race, but I'll have to go back to the drawing board to see what went wrong.

Odysseus showed his muster in an incredible stretch run (those were some tired horses) to grab victory from the jaws of defeat from Schoolyard Dreams at the wire to win his first try in a graded stake. The king of Ithaca didn't take 10 years to get home in this one in battling back after losing the lead in the stretch. One to watch.

The Space Gal Stables RTTR squad had a tremendous day with 3 winners (Odysseus, Lucky and Sidney's Candy in the San Felipe) and a third (Caracortado) with a win from both Gomez and Baffert. She's en fuego. As for yours truly, welcome to Buffalo (queue You're as Cold as Ice from Foreigner).

Remember....don't jump.


Ernie said...


The_Knight_Sky said...

Q: at this point why should Jackson/Asmussen want to still point towards The Apple Blossom ?

I understand Shirreffs is singing "Double Vision" this morning but clearly Oaklawn is not in the best interests of the Rachel camp at this time.

I've maintained over the winter that this matchup is not going to happen quite simply because it's difficult to bring back two horses off layups to their peak fitness in early spring.

After last year, I think Rachel put forth an 85% of what she had already exhibited. The Asmussen camp simply have to be disappointed if not wary after the New Orleans' Ladies.

The Zenyatta camp? 90% efficiency. That was an uncharacteristic grind-it-out performance. That wouldn't fly in a race like this year's Big Cap.
She's not "even better this year" even if Mike Smith employs mega-bellhorns to get the message out to the press.

The bottom line is that both of these gals are past their prime or on their way to it shortly. You'll see.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering when it is going to dawn on the giddy members of Camp Shirreffs, that…

Zardana beating RA ended up costing them a LOT of money - now that the Apple Blossom purse has lost 90% of its cash value.

(Mike Smith, in particular, having received nothing from what happened at the Fair Grounds, is now looking at a $500K race instead of a $5M race. Imagine his private thoughts!)

It’s assumed that Zenyatta would have beaten RA in the AB…

The only way to break even on “good” news like this would have been a big anticipatory/hedge win bet on Zardana (to cover what would be lost in the event that the Apple Blossom purse reverts to $500K).

Scenario: John gives Alex The Twit $50,000 and sends him to the betting window, to bet on Zardana.

Outcome: ATT either loses the bag of cash in the men’s room, or bets it all on a Rachel “Front Wheel Subset Exacta.”


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