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Nothing Definitive

Last weekend’s racing may have produced more questions that answers; Albertus Maximus (pictured) was a worthy winner of the Donn (although Einstein overcame a terrible post position and a rough trip to hang on for third on his less-than-favorite surface, so at least he picked up a check) and is off to Dubai for the World Cup. I’m not ready to put him in Invasor’s shoes just yet, but he does seem to be hitting his best stride now – and the more good older horses running, the better.

Kip Deville may also head to Dubai for the Duty Free after edging out Just as Well and Court Vision (who may be better suited to turf miles) in the Gulfstream Park Turf, but given that his last international outing (up the track in the Hong Kong Mile – given the Dutrow connection, I’m sure many draw their own conclusions about that, but equally he may just not like travel) was not so encouraging, he is just as likely to head to Kentucky next.

The three-year-olds were a mixed bag; I was impressed by Capt. Candyman Can’s professional win in the Hutcheson over a slightly greener (but not unpromising) Hello Broadway – and as a gelding, there’s every chance he’ll stick around for a while. However, the Holy Bull was entirely confusing; while you can argue post position had a lot to do with the West Side Bernie and Beethoven finishing mid-pack behind longshot Saratoga Sinner, I still didn’t see much to get terribly excited about from this field – yet.

The Derby trail horses I am most looking forward to following to have yet to start this season, but one should appear on Saturday: Stardom Bound makes her 2009 bow in the Las Virgenes. If she wins there, she is likely on to the Santa Anita Derby – and potentially the other one in Kentucky. Following in the footsteps of Winning Colors is no bad thing. Here’s hoping she doesn’t pull a Halfbridled and discover boys first.

I am still waiting for Old Fashioned to make his first start of the year as well – he’s been working like crazy, but the plan to send him to Oaklawn for the Southwest had been up in the air after trainer Larry Jones had run afoul of stewards there in an unrelated situation – apparently everyone is friends again, and we should see Old Fashioned follow the Smarty Jones path in a few weeks.

Check back later in the week for more on the Las Virgenes, the Robert B. Lewis and the Risen Star as we start hitting the Derby trail proper…

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