I'm feeling particularly bummed right now about the loss of Quality Road from Derby contention. If you haven't heard by now, the son of Elusive Quality has been battling with quarter cracks much like Big Brown last year, and we were led to believe his "weren't as bad" as Brownie's. But when one of the recently patched quarter cracks was found to have bled a little after today's workout, the connections of the Florida Derby winner decided to sideline him until he's 100% healed.
First Old Fashioned, now Quality Road. Both horses were in my top five and had been #1 on my list at some point of the year. I had just made the decision to favor Road in the Derby last week, after I got "a feeling" about him, much like I did about Papa Clem before the Arkansas Derby. So it goes in the horse racing biz.
I liked Road so much because of his running style, the ease in which he fended off Dunkirk in the Florida Derby, and because of his pedigree. There wasn't much going against him but those darn quarter cracks. And so now, I'm back to the horse I waffled off of in favor of Road, I Want Revenge. I did hear that Friesan Fire had a sizzling workout today, and since these pre-Derby workouts will tell us so much about the performance come race day, I can't wait to see these horses in action. Apparently, General Quarters didn't look very comfortable on the Churchill track the other day. I wouldn't be surprised if he finished somewhere at the back of the pack come the first Saturday in May, but he's got such a wonderful story, you'd be one cold soul not to want to root for him just a little.
A ray of light in the weekend for me was watching the San Francisco Mile. I've been following Mr. Napper Tandy for a little over a year, since I heard and instantly fell in love with his name during a race I happened to flip through on TVG one day. I don't know what it is about it, maybe the fact it's Neil Gaiman-esque, but the name stuck in my head like a wad of bubble gum to a desk. He lost that day, and lost every race thereafter until Saturday. The thing I admire so much about this horse is how he's entered in all of the big stakes races against all of the best horses, and somehow, he almost always manages to eak out in the money. According to an article in Blood-Horse, Mr. Napper Tandy had been on a 10-race losing streak. He has finished in 2nd place in 11 of his 22 starts. I am in love with this horse. You would've thought I was cheering on a horse with the Triple Crown on the line the way I was screaming my head off and bouncing on the couch, flailing my arms air-jockey style. (You can air-guitar, so why not air-jockey?)
I didn't make a dime from Mr. Napper Tandy winning the San Francisco Mile, but his win made my day. I can't wait to see him in his next start. He seemed to really like the turf, but with the California tracks, the synthetics also cater to his late-finishing style. It probably helped he wasn't going up against a Well Armed or a Cowboy Cal this time around.
Now if only Mostacolli Mort could get himself a win.