Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Nomination Is In: The Lecomte at Fairgrounds: 10 Point Kentucky Derby Prep Race

I wasn't sure I was going to talk about Lance Armstrong today, but I think it's important to tell my story. In 1986 I became enamored with International Cycling and The Tour de France. I loved the drama of Greg LeMond, as well as the American 7/11 Cycling Team, taking on these dashing, eccentric and seemingly unbeatable Europeans, like the badger, Bernard Hinault, Thierry Marie, Laurent Fignon, and a youthful Pedro Delgado. It was an American coming of age story with Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney and of course the eventual winner, LeMond. If blogging were around in 1986, I'd be blogging about the classic races, the Tour and the World Championships. Then, drugs ruined it for me. It wasn't overnight, but I didn't need to be a drug tester to realize the feats I was witnessing were chemically fabricated. The ability to attack constantly on the mountains, stage after stage, the ability to recover so quickly, the ability of middling riders to suddenly become superstars was disgusting to the sportsman in me and in response, I quit the sport cold, sometime after 2001, when Armstrong attacked my hero, Greg LeMond viciously, even forcing his bike sponsor Trek to shutdown their affiliation with LeMond. I am repulsed by what Armstrong did, not only to the sport, but to the people who dared challenge him. I thought less of him when he left the mother of his children, starting women hopping, and I never believed he cared much at all about the cancer patients he made so much money claiming to care about. It took his 13 year old son defending him to finally stir some sense of manhood in him and admit his lies and deceit.

I don't want this to happen to horse racing. I quit betting the local track in the 1990's when I heard rumors of rampant drug use and screwy results. I have faith that horse racing has drug use and cheats under control, but I don't really know for sure. If my faith gets shaken I may shift blogging back to cycling, where clean athletes seem to have retaken the sport again. Go away Lance Armstrong and please don't bother with your attempts at public reconciliation, I don't care.

The Kentucky Derby Prep Season continues today with the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fairgrounds. Let's get after it!

Charles Fipke, like fine diamonds, finds gems like Golden Soul. Comes in off a strong route race here in late December. I expect similar results today.

Elusive Quality son Avie's Quality, trained by Josie Carroll, with Rosie Napravnik up, will provide a serious challenge. The race's sole 90+ BSF rated and the money earnings leader, a first trip across dirt for this Woodbine snowbird.

Trainer Lukas brings in Oxbow, an Awesome Again son from Tizamazin, with J. Court, up. Well traveled so far, looking for him to assert himself at some point on dirt at two turns.

These prep races aren't my betting cup of tea in January, more like handicappers homework. No bets for me, but if I were I'd assemble a trifecta with my top 4 boxed.

Have fun with this friends, Turk Out!

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