Racing is at a fever pitch this week with all of the works, changes, and defections that will come in the next few days. You could say this is like a week long holiday for punters. I spend most of my time perusing every article, and focus on the racing networks that bring you all of the up-to-the-minute doings. I become a hermit leading up to the post draw that takes place on Wednesday afternoon. But I love every minute. From the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home,” to the post-race interviews. Here are some of the conversations that have begun over the last few days from fans of all walks.
It seems to be overwhelming that many love the magical grey Hansen. He looks like a ghost, and I think many have fallen in love with his color, tail set, and owner Dr. Kendall Hansen who has brought an infectious energy to Derby 138. When Mike Battaglia said that he would have probably been the post time favorite with a win in the Bluegrass, I know this resonated in the ears of the new fans. Not to say he only belongs to new fans, as many seasoned players love the way he rates and has matured.
The Seasoned Players
This category is a bit broad. I have heard many that still love the style of Union Rags, and if it weren’t for a bad trip in the Florida Derby I think they would have given him the roses already. He is working great and trainer Michael Matz couldn’t be happier. He is the colt with something to prove, and could even-up the score. Bodemeister is also being talked about in a big way. How many times has Bob Baffert named a runner after his son? He has to overcome the Apollo jinx where a horse unraced as a two-year-old hasn’t taken the roses since 1882. Creative Cause hasn’t done much wrong, and don’t think the players haven’t noticed. He beat Bodemeister in the San Felipe, and trainer Mike Harrington loves the way he is acting.
The Derby is a race where even Aunt Millie and grandma can be happy. Many play names, odds, and connections. But here is some of the talk I have been hearing in the Kentucky area: Daddy Long Legs for super-trainer Aidan O’Brien. He comes in from Newmarket, England. He could easily be a part of the picture. El Padrino could get his picture taken if the track gets some rain. He is a closer, and the off going may fit his bill. Dullahan may not be a huge price, but he could be a casher. He has ran on every surface known to man. Dale Romans is a very good trainer.
This week if I could ask the racing gods for a couple of things they would be: please let my runners get a clean break into the first turn, and let me be lucky. This race is hardly ever won by the best horse, and this year handicappers are saying there could be some nine different runners who could score. I wonder if there is an over/under on the weather report in Vegas…. as they have struck a deal with Mother Nature for sunshine. So, post time is drawing near, and there couldn’t be a better week to be a racing fan. Good luck to you this week!