Right, I know, this isn't Part II of my Kentucky Derby overview. Please excuse the time lapse-- it'll be up for tomorrow. I couldn't not comment on these several bits of news that cropped up over the past two days.
1. I Want Revenge's injury is more serious than previously thought. Hearing this news made me almost ill. Thank God his connections did the right thing and kept him from running in the Kentucky Derby. I would rather the horse be safe and sidelined for several months than meet a tragic end on the path to glory.
I am worried, however, that he will be retired even if his therapy leaves him completely capable of having a comeback. If he does recover completely, and will be able to race at the caliber that he had prior to the injury, I hope his people consider racing him as a 4-year-old. We need more older horses to root for, and I Want Revenge is a horse with a heart worth following. By the comments David Lanzman, breeder and co-owner of the colt, made in this Daily Racing Form article, it seems the chances of him racing at 4 would be great if he should fully recover.
2. Desert Party injured himself in the Kentucky Derby. A bone chip in his left front ankle will be surgically removed, and the horse will be sidelined and Godolphin hopes to return him to racing in the second half of the year and continue racing him in 2010.
Maybe this is a clue to why Desert Party faded in the few final furlongs of the Kentucky Derby? I had him highly-rated after re-watching the 2000 Guineas and the UAE Derby. Desert Party is a fine colt and hopefully is able to come back and prove his talent in America, his birthplace.
3. Rachel Alexandra has been sold to Jess Jackson (Stonestreet Stables) and some other dude (Harold T. McCormick, whoever that is). Not only has the ownership transferred hands, but the Daily Racing Form says the trainer will, as well-- to Steve Asmussen.
Now, I've been as bitter as anybody about Alexandra's current trainer's (Hal Wiggins) adament stance on fillies racing against colts: keep 'em separate; I think she deserves better competition, and she will find it racing against the boys. I'm sure this is what Jess Jackson, the sportsman is also thinking, because he created a stance a year ago when he decided to bring Curlin back as a 4-year-old to help improve the complexion of the sport. I don't think, however, that means he should mess with a good thing.
Hal Wiggins has trained Rachel Alexandra into her winning ways, and whatever he's done, it's working. I don't know one thing about training differences, but I'm superstitious, I guess you could say. I don't think it's good karma to rip a filly out of winning connections when she's just raced the best race of her life, and place her into a new environment, under new hands, with different people caring for her. Even though they have their differences, couldn't Jackson and Wiggins reach some sort of agreement?
Whatever the case, Wiggins had her targeted toward the Grade I Acorn on the Belmont undercard for her next start. This disappointed me, since I believe she could've blown away the competition in the Kentucky Derby. Will Jess Jackson pave a new road for Alexandra, toward the Preakness and the Belmont? Could it be move over boys, the princess is coming to town? I, for one, hope so.
How amazing it would be for the sport to have a "super filly" (as Durkin dubbed her) take the Preakness and Belmont? Obviously, she will have plenty of competition, but it would once and for all silence the critics who made the ridiculous accusation that Eight Belles never should've raced in the Kentucky Derby.
Rachel Alexandra racing against the boys? I'm so there!
4. Musket Man is confirmed for the Preakness, with Eibar Coa sticking to the irons. Musket Man will not go on to the Belmont, says his trainer, Derek Ryan; he will target toward the Haskell after the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
I think this is a pretty good decision. A lot of horses are opting for the Belmont instead of the Preakness, surprisingly. Musket Man doesn't have the breeding for the Belmont, though he's been pretty much making up his own blueprint as far as distance goes. He'll have a nice, long rest after the Preakness and be fresh for the late summer meet.
5. Don't forget to pick up the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, where Mine That Bird becomes the first horse since Smarty Jones to grace the cover!