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A Zed & Two Noughts

There’s plenty of action on the Derby trail this weekend; Z Humor (right) is the big name in the Sam F. Davis and the Southwest is almost a weekend race (for those who actually have the day off) featuring the much-hyped Denis of Cork. Cowboy Cal is sticking to turf for the time being in the Hallandale Beach Stakes (which means no points in Road to the Roses, although I have him active ‘just in case’ they decide to retroactively count the race or something else equally improbable happens), but he’s an interesting one to watch.

Beyer weighed in on whether or not Pyro’s win in the Risen Star was the real deal (given the low figure, but ludicrously-fast final quarter — see Randy Moss for more on that); I’m still not convinced he’s a mile-and-a-quarter horse, but we’ll see.

There are some older horses at work as well; Circular Quay makes his 4-year-old debut in the San Carlos against the tough Greg’s Gold and Surf Cat, who is looking for a repeat win in the race.

It was nice to see that Blood-Horse editor Dan Liebman and I were on the same page regarding the decision to give Santa Anita two Breeders’ Cups in a row, almost by default, since no one else really stepped up to the table. It’s a shame that Churchill Downs (or, really, any other track capable of hosting) couldn’t work out a deal with the Breeders’ Cup powers that be, since in my view sticking with Santa Anita (or any single track two years in a row) makes the event ever more provincial and uninteresting to top international competition. Given the well-known problems with the synthetic surface, why would someone in Europe bother shipping their best horses to run over what will still be a relatively unproven surface?

There is also something of a collective annual amnesia in California about what happens to the weather in the fall and winter — specifically that water tends to come from the sky, and quite often too. As a former California resident, I looked forward to this with dread since everyone would panic and forget how to drive, causing even more traffic chaos than usual. Given what a pain flying is now, I can’t really justify flying anywhere for a Breeders’ Cup — I’d happily fly to Dubai, Australia, Japan or various places in Europe to watch racing, given the higher caliber of international competitors big race meets get in those places and there’s more to do in terms of interesting travel; it’s simply not worth flying to a state I’ve spent too much time commuting through. Frankly, I’d rather they held the Breeders’ Cup at Emerald Downs, since I’d much prefer to visit Seattle again (cheaper, better food and beer, much more to do — I even prefer the weather). Looks like I’ll have to wait for them to bring it back to the right coast again…

But hey, they are still hoping War Emblem gets his head into the whole breeding thing this year! We can all dream.

1 comment to A Zed & Two Noughts

  • Anonymous

    Kentucky was great this year , as a horse fan I am a bit sad after the death of Barbaro not only was he my favorite horse but he also came through for me when I bet on him.

    The horse racing and betting scene wont be the same without him

    Horse Race Betting

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