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Sensible Workouts

Street Sense had a fast workout today and it seems all systems are go. The Blood-Horse questions the perceived detrimental effects of fast workouts and ‘harder’ training techniques in light of Street Sense’s victory with a solid 2-year-old foundation and Hard Spun’s bullet work setting him up nicely for second — compared with the rest of the mostly lightly-raced field (Teuflesberg being the exception, naturally).

Indeed, many scientific studies show that when horses train harder during their 2-year-old year, they tend to develop stronger, harder bone as a consequence (just look though PubMed for many examples of this), although it is clear that the surface plays a role as well. Finding the balance between working ‘too hard’ and potentially leading to injury and ‘not hard enough’ is not an easy task. It would be interesting to see a real comparison of historical data against modern trends to see if it is possible to pinpoint that equilibrium.

But back to the Preakness — not to be outdone by Street Sense, Hard Spun may breeze tomorrow before shipping to Pimlico. Said trainer Larry Jones:

“None of the media has criticized me since the Derby, so I’m getting worried,” Jones said. “Everyone criticized us when we pulled out of the [Toyota] Blue Grass [Stakes (G1)] and talked about skipping the Derby. Then no one liked our one-mile work on Polytrack … then we worked him too fast before the Derby. I’m starting to get the heebie-jeebies that no one’s criticized me.”

It’s also possible that Larry Jones is simply employing some Jedi mind tricks here — at least that’s Beyer’s suggestion, if not his terminology.

Steve Haskin weighs in on the addition of Circular Quay to the field — I also like him a lot and think he’ll be an interesting addition to the mix, although I wasn’t bowled over by his workout this week — but it can be easy to give too much weight to what is essentially just stretching his legs at this point. He obviously needed his last race, so perhaps he’s trying to tell Pletcher that he wants to run more often. I would certainly be in favor of seeing a talented horse run more than three times a year.

2 comments to Sensible Workouts

  • QQ

    OK, not only do you have that fab little “horses in history” feature on your blog, but you also found a way to fit PubMed into a posting! You’re my hero! (Of course, I’ve been a fan since Ranganathan way back when…)

  • Superfecta

    I am such a PubMed geek. When I worked at Nature I always found them hard to deal with, but I appreciate what they do!

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