April 24, 2010

Time Trials at Churchill Downs

With a name like the Derby Trial you figure the race would be an important stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby. In the past, that was the case. The Derby Trial used to mean something. It was a common occurrence to see the Derby winner come out of the Derby Trial. Horses like Black Gold, Assault, Whirlaway, Citation, Ponder, Dark Star, Iron Liege, and Tim Tam, prepped for Kentucky Derby glory, and in some cases even a run at the Triple Crown, in the Derby Trial Stakes. But alas, times have changed. No longer in vogue to run horses so quickly back, the Derby Trial stopped becoming a major prep race. Although in more modern times it has been a reasonable prep for the Preakness or Belmont Stakes…maybe the Preakness Trial would be a better name. There still is reason to be hopeful that a Derby Trial runner could someday again where the roses. With the recent overflow of horses wanting in to the Kentucky Derby, and the accompanying graded stakes earnings rule, the Derby Trial may become a sort of “last chance saloon” for potential Derby contenders.
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LDP said...

Both 85 and Funny were upset, dang! 85 had to use a lot more speed than normal after his not so sharp start, which is probably the reason we saw him tire so badly.

Dutrow really needs to learn to shut his mouth until after the race. The Withers looked like a shorter version of the Belmont with BB. Funny was victim to yet another not so great start, got pinched back when he tried to move up on the fence in the first, what half mile, which went in 43? He made another move and got through, but by then was sitting off a 1.07 for six furlongs. It may have been wiser to just let him sit off that kind of a pace, rather than trying to have him catch it. By the stretch he was done.