I scrapped the blog entry that I wrote, just hit the delete button, right after the news that I'll Have Another was scratched. I considered not blogging or betting at all. Just numb. If you're reading a horse racing blog, I'm betting you know exactly what I mean.
Secretariat doesn't belong to me. In 1973 I was seven, and while my parents saw Secretariat race, those feelings aren't first person to me. Affirmed, different story. While hard for young people now to believe, horse racing was on television, was covered in Sports Illustrated, was in the daily newspapers. I remember like yesterday sitting at a family first communion party for my little cousin watching Affirmed win the Kentucky Derby. I remember vividly coming home from school to check the mail for my SI magazine. I experienced that Triple Crown as a horse racing fan, not a bettor, and the thrill of it is still deep set within me. I was convinced Big Brown was going to win. Take Desormeaux off and I would have declared it a lock. I liked I'll Have Another coming out of Santa Anita Derby, but I wasn't sold until the Preakness stretch run. My deleted blog entry singled I'll Have Another in the Superfecta, I thought he would win the Triple Crown. I had his summer mapped out in my mind. I saw him winning the Goodwood G1 before winning The Breeders' Cup Classic. Hope dashed, yet hope still springs eternal. Another Triple Crown season will come next year and another chance to fall wildly in love with a horse, a jockey and even a trainer and connections that while flawed, are really just a mirror of society in general.
I think this is a decent betting race still and I've built a 10 Cent and $1 Dollar Superfecta that has some value. Let's get after it!
A Baffert/Lucas Exacta- Is this 1999 or 2012? I like Paynter on top, but more gut feel than anything. Less polished that Dullahan or Union Rags, he's sharp and rested. Quite a class jump, but 4 of the last 5 Belmont Winners were starting their first Triple Crown race. Not singled, but solid value and a legit shot.
Optimizer is me being a bit, optimistic. Trainer Lucas finally broke his year long Graded Stakes slump. This English Channel son should still be running with a 1/4 mile to go. What a story this would make: Lukas, freshly stitched up, in a late career swoon. Storybook.
Dullahan has winner's credentials and I mean him no disrespect, I'm just thinking a bit different today. Roman's training regime, especially the the 4f :45 4/5ths run blow and the 1 mile work is mastercraftsman like. Winless in four tries on dirt.
Union Rags is a nice horse but not a great horse yet. I think he could be a very good handicap division horse and if he comes out of today healthy he still has a late summer and fall to make some noise with. I can't see a win, but just too good to ignore. I like the jock switch as Leparoux didn't seem to get the best of him this year.
Street Life goes for Chad Brown and has lots of talent. Five Sixteen is a gelded son of Invasor. Gut call.
After such a let down, today will just be about what could have been and a bit of fun with who's still left.
Have fun friends, Turk out!