Now that AP won the TC with only a two race prep season and a pretty long layoff (unintentional but still) between the juvenile and three year old seasons I would think that's the model for getting ready for the Derby. Sure they shouldn't' make the jump from a perfectly manageable 7 to a much riskier proposition at a 9 furlong Derby major prep but like you said they probably want to remain optimistic about the horses TC hopes and not test the distance until later. Also seeing as many think Nyquist might not be able to get the longer distances I can see them thinking that they should give Nyquist as much time to develop as possible before throwing him at those distances and that he might have a better chance that way. Don't know why they picked a 7f race with Exaggerator though a horse that could actually beat Nyquist possibly you'd think if they'd pick a safe distance they'd go for the safe field to.
Nyquist is brilliant at 7 but Exaggerator could potentially beat him anyway I'm not sure who wins this tbh. I understand your point that many of the greats look like if they can't go another furlong after hard fought wins against closers and turn up with no stamina limitations whatsoever (Affirmed and Silver Charm) However these horses didn't have the history that Indian Charlie and Uncle Mo had brilliant horses that just hit a wall. I know Secretariat's sire Bold Ruler also had a can't get the distance stigma but that horse won the Preakness and with a slower pace could have gotten 10 in the Derby that year. Uncle Mo was TC caliber at a mile or less but simply couldn't go more than 8.5 furlongs and faded in the Wood and BCC (where he got a pretty good trip). Indian Charlie was better and could run 9 really well (has a share of the Santa Anita record) but couldn't get the Derby distance. If Nyquist had some other sire it would be different.
Couldn't agree more. Besides the elite horses who appear to be migrating to the UAE will be back by the summer. Maybe even FL will return. In the meantime Bob Baffert isn't going to risk the horses health and I have immense respect for that decision.
Well to be fair not all stakes not even G1's are created equal. KI might be the worst of the bunch but KI still faced down not only AP (who he beat once) but Dortmund, Frosted and Firing Line also. PM might have won a lot more stakes races than KI but in my mind that's not an acturate representation of their skill set. Frosted only had two wins going into this season but he's a better horse than PM for example. I will say that PM is probably better than KI but IMO it's still close as KI had a valid excuse for many of his losses (which is why he's been taken so seriously up to this point with only one stakes win) Palice Malice didn't and besides the Belmont (which KI might have been able to win in 2013) and Jim Dandy PM didn't win any of the other big stakes. At 4 he went on a nice winning streak. We'll see how KI does at 4 at 10 furlongs he should be better if not win. He just needs things to go his way and they haven't the last few races.
Okay I can see Palice Malice being the best Curlin over KI especially after this race. It is close though and you guys are right PM had natural speed KI simply doesn't have. The main point of the post was to critique KI as being overrated(especially last season post Travers) not dub KI the best Curlin. PM is the only Curlin to win a TC race after all (tbh not a huge fan of Curlin as a sire though) So yes I'll grant you guys the point that PM is the best Curlin.
KI is a good closer but this race makes it even more clear that he's not going to win unless the situation is tailor fit for him. Just right off the pace, a distance of least 10 furlongs and a really fast pace that burns out the leaders. If one of these things isn't there he doesn't win it's that simple. This was a relatively weak field to what KI has faced (I know some people like Msawish but cmon) and on class alone he should have won or at the very least hit the board. Truth of the matter is KI hasn't been in the trifecta the last three races. After the Travers KI was put on the same level as Frosted and Dortmund because he actually beat AP. This race reveals that the reason for his win was the perfect conditions and that of the big four AP rivals (Frosted, Dortmund, FL and KI) KI is probably the worst horse by far. Don't get me wrong KI is the best son of Curlin yet but in the end he hasn't been in the trifecta his last three starts (as impressive as the Clark was and as tough as the BCC field was)
The rest of the field were gassed Upstart and a Competive Edge. KI is a pure stamina horse and is more than a plodder but he needs the leaders to tire to pass them. At 9 furlongs even at the insane Haskell fractions he couldn't catch AP and even with this weaker field in the Donn it's likely he won't win simply because the race isn't long enough for him. Even in the Travers which was 10 if the fractions had been a little less insane and Castellano had kept him another length or two off the pace KI wouldn't have won. Even in the 12 furlong Belmont Frosted was able to hold KI off for second (though KI was gaining rapidly at the wire). This horse can run longer than any horse and he's faster than a plodder but without the best horses in the world being gassed IMO he simply can't beat them.
Couldn't agree more. Frosted and Dortmund are a combined 3-0 so far and KI is making his four year old debut in a few days. I know neither has faced any serious competition yet (and the Donn has a pretty weak field too compared to what we were expecting) but I think AP's old rivals will put on a show this year.
I love Frosted but I have to agree with you about the strength of the field. Still that being said Frosted still broke the track record and theres nothing more we could have expected from him. After all Frosted did nothing but face the best competition last year so we all have a pretty good idea just how good he is and seeing him beat up on a weak field affirms that rather than takes away from it.
This should put some perspective into how much of a beast AP really was. Frosted is a once in a lifetime horse simply born in the wrong year. No way CC beats him at 10.
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