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Changing Plans

While I cannot agree that this year’s Wood Memorial is ‘the last major Kentucky Derby prep race — and the biggest‘ (that honor goes to the Blue Grass) it will still be fun to watch. Although I’ll be out of town and will miss watching the race live, I fully expect my TiVo to show me a tough Nobiz Like Shobiz. I’m not thrilled that Circular Quay will be skipping the race to train right up to the Derby (an eight-week layoff?), but it will be a welcome return for Any Given Saturday who is taking his spot in the gate (and you can’t blame him for wanting to defect from the Blue Grass).

This year’s Blue Grass has been described as ‘basically the Derby‘ since it should feature so many heavy hitters — Great Hunter, Street Sense and Hard Spun are just the main headliners — but there’s word that Hard Spun could skip the race as well. It’s definitely still fluid at this point.

Avoiding that field in the interests of gaining more graded earnings is Sedgefield, who will be running at Keeneland in the Transylvania this weekend. He certainly seems one to watch, and it’s presumably not his fault that he’s named after Tony Blair’s constituency. It will be interesting to see in the future if he really takes to dirt (as opposed to Polytrack) as he’s a full brother to turf enthusiast English Channel. Let’s hope this move proves smarter than the Transylvania College students who stole manuscripts from their college library and tried to sell them at Christies, apparently not realizing that when you steal rare books everyone in the field knows about it and is on the lookout for them. They could always watch the race from prison.

In non-Derby-prep news, Funny Cide returns to the races on Friday at Keeneland. He’s been having great workouts — hopefully he feels like running in the afternoon as well.

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