This is an exciting time of the year for me, and this year's prep races continue to amaze me. I'm a horse racing fan. I want to be amazed. I guess I'm slightly stunned at how no one horse in the 3 YO division has clearly separated himself from the others, perhaps with the exception of Old Fashioned, but even that is premature. I would love nothing more then to be sitting here in early May with 4-5 horses I could make a strong argument to win the Derby for. One more set of big prep races for these horses to go through, The Florida Derby, The Santa Anita Derby, The Wood Memorial, et al and then pencils down. To me, this has been a very exciting early season.
Yesterday's Gotham was another example of the topsy turvey nature of trying to clearly identify the best of the 401 Triple Crown Nominees. I Want Revenge is a fine horse, and him leaving the synthetics, shipping all the way to New York, and putting in a dominant 8 1/2 lengths victory should make everyone take notice.
There was much to like about I Want Revenge. He's lost to horses that were better then this field. He's faced G1 and G2 fields. He's consistently working at 5F in mid :59's. He's worked a 7f in 1:23 3/5ths and a 6f in 1:10 4/5ths. Those are good numbers. What I didn't like was he was 1 win in 6 tries and he had never raced on dirt. Throw that out the window!
Imperial Council answered the distance question yesterday as well, closing out the final 1/8 in good fashion.
Aqueduct Race 9, The Gotham Grade III: 1 1/16 on the inner dirt for 3 YOs.
The Turk spent an afternoon at Buffalo General Hospital, amused at the contradictory information that has been given to my father in the span of two days: Going home,not going home; Heart fibrillation/No fibrillation: prognosis/different prognosis. I have an awful lot of respect for the medical community, but I can't say the group that's punching the clock while working around Papa Turk has inspired much confidence. I placed no bets on the Gotham, and studying it today, I don't think I would have cashed any tickets with my conservative style. I needed Haynesfield to be in the top four.
On an unrelated note, I am so excited about Einstein. His Big Cap win really cements his place in the older division and the consistency to his efforts would have in a past era made him an American hero, albeit a Brazilian born one. 10 wins now in 24 starts for the 7 year old and over 2.6 million in earnings.