Monday, May 7, 2012

I'll Have Another

I wish I wouldn't have been scared off by the post. In the end he had enough tactical speed to save ground around every turn. What an amazing ride by Mario Guitierrez who last year was riding at Hastings Racetrack in Vancouver. A track most have never heard of. When he first jogged I'll Have Another last year his agent told him not to get attached, that he'd never get to ride a horse like that. The owner, Paul Reddam, saw the connection the horse and jock made and gave him a shot. Reddam has charted an unlikely course but carried his conviction through and ended up accepting the trophy from a somewhat stupefied Bob Costas. When I'll Have Another hurt his shins in the Hopeful even the trainer didn't think it was wise to get him on the Derby trail, then there was the two month layoff, and finally the decision to stick with an inexperienced 25 year old jock. I usually don't give owners much credit for much of anything, but this guy is very deserving.

Bodemeister did what he does, though he did it in sparkling fashion coming up a furlong short of smashing the recordbooks. I don't think anyone will be able to beat him going 9. I'm not sure if he's going to the Preakness, but if he does he will be the number one threat to a Triple Crown. Until the Belmont then it gets much harder for IHA. But let's just enjoy the moment.

The usually classy Michael Matz excoriated Leparoux for the ride he gave Rags. It's hard to tell if Julien deserves all the ire, but it's a part of his game that has always been somewhat lacking -- and it's the part of the game I like least. Gate riding a horse means you risk not allowing the horse to get comfortable and lengthen his stride in exchange for the tactical advantage of getting the best chance at first run. It's an ugly way to ride, but it's effective. Leparoux is a finesse rider with great hands; he is the very best finesse rider in this country. But trouble came early as Dullahan swept Union Rags back, dashing the colt's hopes very early on. Union Rags, however, was moving the fastest in the last furlong of the race.

Finally Dullahan and Went the Day Well also finished with a flourish. I think Went the Day Well is a big threat on ole Hilltop.

Through the We're getting a hot tub and professioral referencing of Wittgenstien. The acceptance speeches were fun this year; the connections beamed under the Kentucky sun that threatened but in the end shone gold waves over the dais, the 25 year old jock and the dirty colt.  

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