GREAT CALL! Yet another reason HRN has become the best horse racing website.
Her workouts are mind blowing. Playing her with Unbridled Forever, who loves one turn.
I've believed since 1989 that a horse had to be hard ridden in his final Derby prep to win the Derby. Sunday Silence was ridden out thru the wire, while Easy Goer cantered in the Wood. California Chrome also was ridden out to the wire. But here's the most important difference between CC and these previous "rompers" - none of them were trained by old school Art Sherman. None had the bottom this horse has, with ten starts, including six at age two. Several of them: Bodemeister, Afleet Alex, Point Given and Bellamy Road - got cooked by a grueling pace. Hopefully Chrome is tractable enough, and Espinoza crafty enough, to avoid that. Lastly, Empire Maker's final prep was not the FL Derby, but rather the Wood, which he won by a half length on a sloppy track. Funny Cide turned the tables on a fast track.
There's nothing like playing with "house money." When you're playing with scared money, you spread your bets and include favorites you know you should toss, but you're afraid to do so. When you're on a roll and playing with house money, you toss bad favorites more readily and bet more heavily on stone-cold exactas.
Brian, thank you for introducing us to Averie, who is a most deserving winner and reminds us all of why we love the game so much. Congratulations Averie!
Of course it's not yet time for a coronation; we need only look back to Eskendraya (and all the other recent pre-Derby favorites who got hurt just before the race) for proof of that. I think many - including me - believe, or at least hope, that the difference this time is Matz, who professes not to be squeezing the lemon dry on this one, just as he did not with Barbaro, and that there is plenty of room for improvement from him. Clearly if he moves forward off that effort, and stays healthy, he'll be a formidable force at CD, and possibly through the Triple Crown races. When I see a horse trained by Pletcher, Baffert, Dutrow, etc. I know they are due to run out of luck soon. When I see a horse trained by Matz, I think the horse could keep going for the foreseeable future.
Sure, the Zenyatta folks can be overbearing and lose all sense of perspective, but they will fade soon, and these days, it's heartening to see any discussion among passionate fans of the game.
Visually awesome; most impressive was the racecaller spotting her while she was still in about 7th place; enthusiasm for her performance tempered a bit by the 26 4/5 last quarter. The field collapsed.
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