April 10, 2010

Derby Day in the Natural State

D. Wayne Lukas once ruled over the Derby-Preakness-Belmont landscape with a confident and steady hand that saw him win an incredible 13 times. Such a consistent threat in the Triple Crown races was Lukas, that he once won six consecutive crown races with Tabasco Cat, Thunder Gulch, Timber Country, and Grindstone in 1994-96. His last win came in 2000 with the longshot Belmont winner Commendable. In the ten years that have passed since the Hall of Fame trainer last found himself in a Spring classic winner’s circle, legitimate opportunities have been notably slim. Lukas hopes to end that streak with either of two colts that he has starting in today’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. In Dublin and Northern Giant, Lukas has a two-prong attack that could well send him onto Louisville on a winning note, and possibly a return to Triple Crown glory.
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LDP said...

Dublin ran a good race yesterday, and so did Super Saver, but when a horse is alone on the lead, even when the pace is quick, they end up becoming very brave and very dangerous turning for home. Dubin had a good trip yesterday, but it surprised me to see him in third, when he has been closing in his last couple. He closed in the Hopeful and in the Southewest, and personally I think he should stay as a closer. The pace was quick at Oaklawn yesterday and he was maybe about 4 or 5 lengths from it, so he ran some pretty solid fractions himself, which may have softened that closing kick of his. In the Derby I hope he will sit mid pack, farther away from the pace then come with that unbelievable final run.

Super Saver looked good, but should've pressed Line of David more. It is much easier to run the fractions he did w/o any pressure. Had SS been a little closer, just enough so that Line of David could sense the presence of him, he may have gotten a little more tired and given way. On the plus side, we know SS can rate, which will come in handy when they go to the Derby.