Catching up

Who ever thought it would be a good idea to have the end of the school year nearly exactly coincide with the Triple Crown season? Not this teacher/writer, that’s for sure! It’s an exciting month: we’ve got a compelling, interesting Kentucky Derby winner, a horse that offers the hope that he won’t fall into the…

A Tale of Two Races

Wandering around Churchill Downs last week, anticipating a big race, I thought about the last time I was there: last November, for the Breeders’ Cup. That was, of course, the Zenyatta Breeders’ Cup: no matter what else happened that weekend, it was all about her, all about the Classic. She was the story on the…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs: The Grade I, $2 million Kentucky Derby at 1 ¼ miles #1 Archarcharch (10-1 ML): Derby post positions are more overrated than Derek Jeter’s glove at shortstop, with one glaring exception and that’s the rail, where this GI winner landed. The good news is he’s taking back and making one run anyway, so…

Getting there

In retrospect, I should have known. The indicators were there, but I ignored them. I delighted in the auspicious and ignored the ominous. espite rain in New York, my nearly empty plane left New York on time and landed 40 minutes early – EARLY! The smooth, quick flight did much to mollify my outrage at…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Lexington

A quick look at the Lexington… Keeneland: The Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington at 1 1/16 miles DERBY KITTEN impressed mightily when flying late to just miss against a nice 3yo turfer in Longhunter last time in a grassy GP stakes; should take to the Poly and gets the call to upset this modest crew with…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Arkansas Derby

Oaklawn Park: The Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby at 1 1/18 miles #2 Nehro (5-2): Surprised many with a fine second at big odds in the GII Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds and now tries to prove that wasn’t a fluke while securing some important graded earnings for the Derby. No knock on his…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Blue Grass

Keeneland: The Grade I, $750,000 Blue Grass at 1 1/8 miles #1 Newsdad (20-1): Solid third in the grassy GIII Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park behind a pair he meets again here, and he’s got the right kind of late running style to handle this course. Keeps improving with each start, there still seems to…

Secretariat and Uncle Mo

We heard a lot about Secretariat over the weekend. Secretariat lost the Wood and won the Triple Crown; Uncle Mo’s owner Mike Repole told reporters Saturday afternoon that on Friday night, he watched Secretariat (“It was probably a stupid idea,” he added). I wondered about the reaction to Secretariat’s loss in April of 1973, wondered…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita: The Grade I, $1 Million Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Offlee Wild Boys (30-1): Enters off two sharp allowance wins at Golden Gate over the Tapeta surface, and though he drew well here, he’s unproven over conventional dirt. Well-bred runner should get the trip, but this is a huge step…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Wood Memorial

Aqueduct: The Grade I, $1 Million Wood Memorial at 1 1/8 miles #1 Starship Caesar (50-1 ML): Beaten a country mile in the GIII Gotham, the local prep, and while he drew extremely well tomorrow, there’s no real reason to think he can turn the tables on those who beat him, not to mention that…