Consider this a formal warning. He is at it again. Quiet for more than 3,000 years, Odysseus the Cunning has returned to carry out a new master plan. Once again he will use the form of a horse to pull the wool over the eyes of the unobservant. A quick recap of history, or Greek mythology, whichever you prefer to call it, reminds us how Odysseus masterminded the plot that took down Troy. Seeking to gain entrance into Troy, Odysseus ordered a large wooden horse to be built. Its insides were hollow so that soldiers could hide inside. Once the horse had been built, many Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the Greek fleet sailed away to deceive the Trojans. One Greek, Sinon, was left behind. When the Trojans came to marvel at the giant horse, Sinon pretended to be angry with the Greeks, saying he had been deserted. He convinced the Trojans that the wooden horse was safe and would also bring them great luck. The Trojans celebrated victory, and dragged the wooden horse into Troy. That night, after most of Troy was sleeping or drunk, Sinon let the Greek warriors out from the horse, and the Trojans were quickly defeated. He may be using a different type of horse to complete his agenda, but the end game is very much the same.
A half brother to multiple stakes winner Once Around, Odysseus rallied for second in his debut at Aqueduct last Fall, after getting away slowly in the maiden sprint. His connections were patient with the chestnut son of Malibu Moon and he returned with a hard fought half-length win at seven furlongs in a January maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park. It was after that maiden win that I first became very aware of the Thomas Albertrani colt and the threat which he represents. After Wednesday, I am now even more weary. The Padua Stables’ Odysseus romped home 15 lengths clear of an allowance field at Tampa Bay Downs in near-track record time. This was a field he was expected to handle, but the way he accomplished the task was eye-catching, as he stalked the leader, and then blew his doors off with mild encouragement by rider Rajiv Maragh. Notice that Odysseus the Cunning has stayed off the mainstream radar to this point, but he did not earn his moniker for nothing. He knows he will need to rack up some graded earnings before his raid on Louisville. With that end in mind, expect Odysseus to reappear at Tampa Bay Downs for their upcoming Derby. Following that, you can expect the meticulous plan to continue on, all the way to the Run for the Roses.
Will Louisville be wiped off the map, much the same way Troy was thousands of years ago? I certainly hope not, as I have many friends in greater Louisville. In the end, I believe the city on the Ohio River has nothing to worry about, it is the other fine horses and their connections that I fear for the most. Odysseus is most cunning, and much like he had his sights squarely on Troy, he now has Louisville all lined up for a sacking unlike anything seen since the last time he schemed. Does he have the horse to succeed? After Wednesday, I would not be surprised if he does. Consider yourself warned.