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A Most Peculiar Blue Grass

Joe Drape of the NY Times describes the Blue Grass as ‘strangely run‘ which is perhaps the best way to sum it up — it seemed part turf race, part training exercise. Without taking anything away from victor Dominican (about whom there is an interesting feature article here), Street Sense looked less tired and more a bit green — almost taking a page out of Nobiz Like Shobiz’s pre-blinkers book insofar as he kept ducking in. Great Hunter had some bad racing luck and seemed taken out of the end of the race, while Teuflesberg would have surely gotten away with the snails-pace-runaway scenario on a dirt track. (There is an interesting piece on Teuflesberg and his trainer/part-owner Jamie Sanders here). The first five finishers in the Blue Grass (including Zanjero) are all Derby-bound at this point. Wouldn’t it be exciting if all racetracks had Trakus (or an equivalent) like Keeneland?

Curlin’s utter destruction of the field in the Arkansas Derby has made him the favorite in the final Derby Future Wager; he certainly looked impressive, but the field he beat wasn’t quite as talented as the Blue Grass and there’s always the worry that his outstanding performance could prove to be shades of Bellamy Road — particularly since the Derby will only be his fourth lifetime start.

Chelokee worked a bullet at Palm Meadows today, so here’s hoping he makes the Derby field; he certainly seems like a very talented horse who is just coming into his own and I would rank him above quite a few currently pointing in that direction. The Sports Illustrated article on trainer Michael Matz reinforces the point that relying on graded earnings is a useful indicator of who deserves to run in the Derby, but by the time the first weekend in May rolls around, the picture of which developing three-year-old is ready for the big dance may have changed dramatically.

Finally, I’d like to welcome all readers of Tim Woolley Racing who may be stopping by — I hope to be an able deputy for Alex while he’s away. I’ll be blogging there next Saturday through the following Wednesday — perhaps I’ll see some of you at Delaware Park.

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