If not for this colt, a Virginia-bred would be going for the Triple Crown. Whether or not of his own doing, this trainer got in a tiff with the Virginia owner of Secretariat. This jockey walked into Louisville virtually invisible. Rooting for the Triple Crown? You bet I am.
Although I've cashed some big tickets on the Derby, I've only outright picked two winners in the last 17 years; Barbaro and I'll Have Another. Yet my pick in this year's Derby might not have occurred if Bodemeister wasn't the ML favorite (nobody bets chalk in the Derby, Yogi) and the selection of my radio co-host Derby Bill. Another 5 minutes and I might have changed my mind.
Now it's as if I have more than a wager on the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years. I've eyewitnessed the outcomes of the last five, often bizarre Triple Crown threats, Charasmatic ('99), War Emblem ('02), Funny Cide ('03), Smarty Jones ('04) and Big Brown ('08) never casting a ticket their way. "I'll Have" something on this one, thanks to his nemesis.
On Kentucky Oaks morning Baffert stood outside his barn and divuldged that he thought that the strongest horses in the Derby were from California (after several lean years) and that this year's Derby field was the best in years. How prophetic.
Now Baffert, who has been in this situation three times with Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem, is in prime location to play foiler with Paynter. Maybe he's a better evil scientist than caped crusander. O'Neil is the guy you could meet at a backyard BBQ. I'll Have Another? I'd love to have the first one with O'Neil.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Let us look beyond the ears of our own horses so that we may see the good in one another's. "
SKYRING who won the James Murphy on the Pimlico turf on Preakness Day is running in the Easy Goer on the dirt at Belmont Saturday afternoon as Lukas leaves his options open with the Virginia Derby possible. Ken and Sara Ramsey won one microscopic photo with his two year old filly GO KITTEN GO and then lost another with KITTEN'S GIFT to HAMP in the test of two year old colts.