My last four visits to the Big A consisted of two tremendous outings immediately followed by two horrendous ones. As I've said in these pages before, this game has a way of keeping you humble.
In other news, and believe me when I tell you that I'm dying to change the subject, the Derby hunt heated up today with four major prep races in which many of the contenders and hopefuls ran.
The G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn saw a stunning upset as the presumed Derby favorite, Old Fashioned, was beaten by a 56-1 shot named Win Willy, who swung 4-wide into the lane. The colt must have eaten his Wheaties this morning, or maybe something else entirely. Was Rick Dutrow in Arkansas today? Silver City finished fifth in the race.
At Fair grounds in New Orleans, Friesan Fire crushed the G2 Louisiana Derby by open lengths. The victory was made even more impressive by the fact that three other Derby contenders ran: Papa Clem, Giant Oak, and Patena, finishing 2nd, 4th, and 8th respectively.
Pioneerof the Nile (no, I didn't forget to hit the space bar) was heavily favored to win the G2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, and he did. There were six horses there, but it was basically a one-horse race.
Musket Man was shuffled back and came 5-wide into the lane to take the G3 Tampa Bay Derby by a neck. Nowhere to Hide, General Quarters, Bear's Rocket, and Sumo finished 4th, 5th, 6th, and 9th respectively.
The Professor's next trip to the track will be April 4th to see NY's big Derby prep, the Wood Memorial. Tune in to No Hassle at the Castle for details and save the date!