You're missing the big picture. Bob Baffert wasn't dodging Midnight Storm and Dalmore. That's laughable. The bottom line is you don't run a horse like Arrogate unless the conditions are exactly to your liking or you're running for the big money. Neither of those conditions existed in the San Pasqual. Midnight Storm and Dalmore are grade 3 horses that are picking up checks while the big horses are away. That's good for them but they don't scare off top contenders.
Nothing like Bodemeister and Creative Cause. These horses are nowhere near as fast/good as those 2. Creative Cause actually showed up in the BC juvenile. This is more like Dortmund/Firing Line from a couple of years ago, but Dortmund and Firing Line were better. We'll see how they progress.
Running the final 1.5 furlongs in 32.03 is not finishing strong. He ran fast early and slow late at 8.5 furlongs, which doesn't bode well if the goal is to get 10 furlongs in May. Also the 3 furlong work nearly 3 weeks after the race is an indication that he didn't come out of the race full of energy or that he possibly had a minor health setback. He looks like the next really good Bob Baffert sprinter, but he doesn't look like a real Derby prospect right now.
I think you may have buried the lead. Working 3 furlongs 19 days after racing 8.5 furlongs is a sign that something is probably not going well. If the goal is to stay on the Derby trail, 3 furlong works are very odd. He runs like a sprinter and it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up in the Pat Day Mile, Woody Stephens, and or Kings Bishop.
He likes slop and controlled the speed in the last 2 races. Santa Anita's track produces fast times as it dries out. Del Mar too, and I'm sure many tracks are the same.
He'd get used up on the lead in the Pegasus like he did in the 2015 Pacific Classic. I hope he gets back to turf soon.
I guess some habits truly do die hard DerbyDoc. If you keep picking against Arrogate eventually you'll be right. In this case, Midnight Storm has caught 2 wet tracks in a row in CA (an amazing feat) and has yet to beat 1 decent horse except for maybe Accelerate. Midnight Storm has also been loose on the lead in both races, this time in a short field. Midnight Storm on dirt with pace pressure equals the 2015 Pacific Classic.
He's a free space in the double, pick 3, pick 4, and pick 6 so yeah, I'd say it's worth wagering.
I see what you did there, but I agree. Saint's Fan is sprinting 2 against LA state breds 2 starts into his career. Golden Soul, Commanding Curve, & even Tale of Verve were already running a mile or longer. I don't think the Kentucky Derby is where his connections think he'll end up.
I'm not an expert on track configurations, but I do know that GP's short run to the first turn at 9 furlongs puts any horse that draws wide in a full field at a disadvantage. I would hope with this amount of money at stake, GP could do something creative like allow horses that have won the most graded stakes earnings from the prior year to select post positions first, or something. If GP really wants this race to work going forward something has to be done about this IMO.
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