The picture of the Derby trail looks like the black and white TV we had in our room. But at least we could see the action if my brother held the antenna on one leg facing west. – To say the run to Louisville is murky would be a nice way of saying you can see a thing. After the complaining subsides and the trail continues the payoffs could be blockbuster. With 26 days and counting, I would advise you to start seeking a large odds possibility. You are in the right place as Winning Ponies is always on task for marquee events and have $2,295,520 in exotic payouts to date. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !
The Toyota Bluegrass Stakes – 1 1/8
A field of seven went to post with the undefeated McCraken coming back off a 56 day layoff. This was a race supposed to come up the toughest of the season, and after the race went official it lived up to the billing making the Derby picture tougher to see.
McCracken showed glimpses of his old self and with the pre-race notes and interviews I was not sold the connections needed to see a run off win. As long as a solid effort was shown I think they would evaluate from there and try and make up for lost time. Jo Boys Echo bobbled and bumped at the start and ran a dismal 4th not showing much. This far down the road the winners in the Derby have the ability to shake-off bad trips. – Tapwrit looked to have peeked in the Tampa Bay Derby and a clunker did not surprise. Wild Shot looked like a player who could jump up and run a big just folded like a deck of cards as did It’s Your Nickle who should have run in the Spiral Stakes over the poly. – When the maiden (Irap) from Sunland jumped up to shock the crowd. I tossed this race. Maybe that will come back and bite me but you can’t bet them all.
The Wood Memorial – 1 1/8
A field of eight assembled in New York and lightly raced Battalion Runner led the field as the morning line chalk.
After watching this race there are plenty of “toss-out runners” and the race showcased the lightly raced Battalion Runner who ran a perfect effort and had to settle for 2nd money. He showed the way and dictated the pace going 23.2 / 47.1 / 1 11.4. – John Velasquez was aboard for his first start in two months. – The New Jersey-bred Irish War Cry came back in fine fashion. If you tossed the clunker in the FOY, you saw an undefeated colt by Curlin get better with time.
Santa Anita Derby – 1 1/8
The gates were packed with 13 three-year-olds going to post. This was supposed to be the most wide-open prep with the luke-warm (7-2) morning line favorite Iliad breaking from post #9.
It looked like a pretty quick pace with three doing battle with fractions of 22.3 / 46.2 / and 1 10.4. - Battle of Midway did his thing on the front end giving a good account of himself battling with Royal Mo breaking from the #13 post. They battled it out tooth and nail and were tracked in fifth along the rail by the fast closing Gormley who had a clunker in the (G-2) San Felipe folding down the lane. Gormley showed another dimension settling off the pace and getting busy down the lane to score under Victor Espinoza. – The troubled trip runner was Reach the World under the guided hand of Mike Smith who was forced to steady at the 7/8th’s pole and was six wide. I think we’ll see this son of Tapit down the road.