Wednesday, May 04, 2005

May 4 Derby Ink

There’s a rumour that Spanish Chestnut’s been entered to be “the rabbit” in the Derby. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, when a horse is referred to as a rabbit, it means the horse likes to start fast, but tends to fade before the end of the race. He’s entered to pressure and/or exhaust the favorite(s), trying to make him (them) use himself up too early and another horse to grab the win. A smart horse and a seasoned jockey can circumvent (in every sense of the word) a rabbit.

For Spanish Chestnut’s sake, I hope it’s only a rumour. It’s a rotten thing to do to a horse – yes, horses can get depressed when they lose. At the current odds of 99-1 – you know my policy of always betting the longest shot on the board, especially if it’s 50-1 or more. I may toss some money in his direction – just because. Because this is horse racing, there are no absolutes, and a part of me would be delighted if a horse dismissed by all won.

Jeremy Rose will ride Afleet Alex. They make a good team. Best wishes to them. I still don’t think I’ll bet on them, but I wish them well.

Bellamy Road’s getting most of the press. He seems to be handling it quite well. I’m interested to see how he responds to the cameras as they flock around him later in the week. If Bandini is anything like his dad, he’s going to demand his share of the attention – or else!

The draw will be today at 5. The majority of bettors rabidly disagree with my contention that post position means very little. So, perhaps I should amend it to say it means very little to me. As far as I’m concerned, a good jockey will break his horse well and then place it in the best position during the course of the race. That’s why you hire the jockey – to do that kind of thinking on his or her feet so the horse can do his or her best. Whoever says horse racing is not a team sport doesn’t understand the partnership that has to exist between jockey and horse – not just for winning, but so they come home in one piece. Every time the gates open, there’s no guarantee any of them will come back alive.

It’s not yet assured that Greeley’s Galaxy will get in to the Derby. If he does, I’ll take a serious look at him. If he doesn’t, I’ll add him to my virtual stable and keep tabs on him throughout the year. I like him.



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