Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Wireplayers Dirty Derby Dozen Poll IV and Comments on the State of Racing from a Living Legend

Here at The Turk friends, when the going gets tough, we dig in and get tougher. We are now six weeks away from the Kentucky Derby, but the way the runners are babied, errr prepped, these days, the contenders have only one more race in them (or televised workout in the case of The Timely Writer)to show us what they got.

At the Turk and the Little Turk, we need all the information we can gather on the horses that will enter the starting gate if we have any chance of returning a profit. As a service to my readers, The Turk was able to gather Mr. Lawrence Taylor's thoughts on the matters at hand.

Mr. Taylor, a champion himself and noted sportsman, has been a bit distracted this spring and I encouraged him to review the latest edition of the Dirty Derby Dozen Poll, voted on by some of the best and brightest names in horse racing, and me. His reaction and his body language was one of a confused and frustrated pedigree expert, and literally mid interview he stopped to review his vast database of files and gather his thoughts.

While the whole transcript, and possibly video, will be available later, some of LT's comments are very hard hitting and you aren't going to want to miss them if your a horse racing fan. We appreciated his candor and his willingness to challenge some of the conventional thinking within the sport. Without further delay, here are some excerpts of our discussion.

Turk: What do you think of the 3 Year old Crop this year as a whole?

LT: “Have a nice day. I don’t know. You never know what you’re gonna get. If it’s going to be a pretty girl, and ugly girl, or whatever it’s gonna be. You can only ask."

Turk: But what about the 3 YO colts, I guess we can talk about the fillies later?

LT: Are they 3 years old? "I don’t card them. I don’t ask for a birth certificate.”

Turk: Moving on LT, much has been made about the way Trainer Pletcher is preparing Uncle Mo. Have you had a chance to reach out for Todd and discuss his approach?

LT: “It happens, you know…," he knows what he knows, you know? "I had been on the road from about 10/11 days and stuff and I came into town and actually I made a phone call to a friend of mine that I … and he made a phone call....”

At this point in the interview, Lawrence scribbed out notes on his Fair Grounds past performances for the LA Derby and sat in quiet reflection for ten minutes.

Turk: How do you compare a horse like Soldat or The Factor to Uncle Mo?

LT: "that’s not my M.O."

Turk: Do you mean they don't compare to Uncle Mo favorably?

LT: "sometimes I make mistakes and I may go out there."

Turk: Are you saying you can't see anyone challenging Uncle Mo?

LT: "I got caught up in all the fray—all the aftermath and stuff but now all of the sudden it’s something different. I guess it’s soup time now so it’s a different story. I don’t get down like that. I don’t play games like that.

Turk: Do you do your own handicapping Lawrence? Do you use the sheets at all?

LT: “I have used the services before, you know. And I guess it is one of those crimes and you never think you’re gonna get busted with, because everybody does it until you get busted for it. And then it’s just more embarrassing than anything else.”

Turk: Does your wife ever complain about the amount you put down on the ponies?

LT: "But now, it is what it is. I don’t really worry about that. My beef is not with her. I take my punishment like I should. My problem is at home with my wife. So that’s the only one I really have to answer to.”

I hope friends that you were able to gleen something from that like I did.

Until I can distill the rest of LT's wisdom on the subject, I give to you the Wireplayers Derby Dozen IV.

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