Another tough day at the office. Maybe I should stick to my other highly lucrative endeavors, like making abstract paintings or playing drums in small jazz combos.
Nobiz Like Shobiz proved the naysayers wrong, including me, by turning back Any Given Saturday in the Wood Memorial. Still, I think Nobiz isn't a great bet in the Kentucky Derby next month; 1:49.46 is not a bad time for 9 furlongs, but it didn't shatter any records either.
Interestingly, finishing 3rd today will probably not provide Any Given Saturday enough earnings to get into the Derby; only the top 2o earners are allowed in (here is the earnings list for 3-year-old Derby contenders as of 4/1/07). Steve Crist pointed out the folly of this system in his column in the Daily Racing Form today: Jack Junior is a horse who has never won a race, but was fortunate enough to be beaten by 9-and-one-half lengths in the $2,000,000 UAE Derby. His 2nd place purse money from such a rich race qualifies him for the Kentucky Derby easily, while Any Given Saturday, who has won half his races and never finished off the board, may not qualify.
As I mentioned in my last post, there were two other big Derby Preps today: The Illinois Derby at Hawthorne, and the Santa Anita Derby.
Cowtown Cat, the stretchout sprinter who upset Summer Doldrums in the Gotham last month went wire to wire in the Illinois Derby. The pace was dawdling (24.85 seconds for the quarter and 49.42 for the half), and the final time for 9 furlongs was 1:51.21. It makes me wonder if a Hong-Kong style tranquilizer-dart device was installed near the gate.
The big upset of the day happened in California, where Tiago won the Santa Anita Derby at 25-1. Not surprisingly, Tiago is full brother to Giacomo, who took the 2005 Kentucky Derby at 50-1, the second-longest odds in Derby history. The longest odds ever, by the way, happened way back in 1913, when Donerail came in at 91-1.