I’m really not sold on anybody as being a standout, this years Kentucky Derby is totally a wide open affair. I wouldn’t think the morning line favorite will be under 4-1. At least 10 of 20 runners will be over 30 -1 with some well over 50-1.
1: IRISH WAR CRY – I had to pick someone and I have flip flopped several times and the Graham Motion trainer runner is today’s top pick
2: ALWAYS DREAMING – The Todd Pletcher trainee has run the fastest 1 1/8 miles so far but Pletcher’s Derby record stops me from picking him as #1
3: CLASSIC EMPIRE – I have picked Classic Empire in the third spot but not convinced his return after a layoff because of a foot injury that the field he beat was far from stellar.
4: McCRAKEN – My thoughts on the Ian Wilkes trained son of Ghostzapper is that he will go the distance and is improving after an ankle issue set him back a few weeks. One really wonders if that ankle issue will be a problem going forward?
5: PRACTICAL JOKE – The Chad Brown hopeful is an outstanding looking individual, large, strong and will be charging at the end. I don’t think the mile and quarter will hurt him, actually it could help him.
6: GIRVIN – He has trained well since the Louisiana Derby and has Mike Smith named as the rider. I might have him ranked too low but any one of my picks are ranked higher by some experts.
7: J BOYS ECHO – This horse was in a ton of trouble in the Bluegrass and should improve going further but the big field could hinder him and needs a perfect trip. I’m surely going to add him to my tri’s and super tickets.
8: IRAP – I have him picked 8th but you could say this is a bit of a sentimental pick as the Doug O’Neill trainer will have Mario Gutierrez aboard. Irap was a maiden when he won the Bluegrass at Keeneland and will be a big price.
9: Hence – This horse has been moving forward since his last start in his am drills. The Asmussen runner will be another with some value and that is the reason I have him in my top 10.
10: ROYAL MO – Like Irap he is California based and I have only two California based horse in my picks. Since Mastery went down I don’t think this is the strongest bunch of Cal based horses in some years. He was in a ton of trouble in Santa Derby and could move forward in the Derby.
Riversedge Racing Stables Ltd.’s Jakobs Rocket Girl steps up from her maiden special weight victory to Saturday’s Game Face Stake going 7 furlongs for $75,000US on the Gulfstream Park dirt. She drew the one hole for trainer Ralph Nicks with Edgar Zayas in the irons.
Sal says it’s a bad year to be an NHL playoff team from a city that starts with a C as Calgary, Chicago and Columbus were the first teams eliminated.
“It’s just unbelievable,” the owner said. “I don’t know how this can be true. It’s a long ways from Canada. I’ve got a lot of friends in Alberta up there watching. This is just incredible to win this. I should be home planting beets. But my son and wife are looking after things at home. I think they probably thought I was on a wild goose chase, but I had a pretty good day.”
“This horse has just been getting better and better, training better, working better,” said Diodoro. “He’s a horse that just made the step to the next level, and he proved it today. Can’t say enough about the horse. Franco suits him. I give my assistant, Rob Atras a lot of credit. It was his idea two starts back to take the blinkers off him. I think that’s helped the horse a lot, helped him relax. Awesome win, that’s all I can say. Great for the owner, Randy Howg. Can’t say enough about him. Twenty-three years I’ve trained for him. He’s a great man, and he deserves it.”
Howg, a sugar-beet farmer from Alberta, Canada, was also winning the biggest race of his career as an owner. “It’s just unbelievable,” he said. “I don’t know how this can be true. It’s a long ways from Canada. I’ve got a lot of friends in Alberta up there watching. This is just incredible to win this. I should be home planting beets. But my son and wife are looking after things at home. I think they probably thought I was on a wild goose chase, but I had a pretty good day.
“We did win the Oklahoma Derby with another horse, but I had four partners,” Howg added. “I’ve been with my trainer since 1995, so it’s kind of a love affair. We’ve been together a long time. He’s been great to me, and I think I’ve been good to him too.”
Sal says them’s sugar beets he should be planting not borscht beets. Pretty good day alright. Randy and Robertino had no idea how much their day would improve from Tizfun’ssecond place finish in a $80,000US MSW to being in the winner’s circle for the $750,000US GII Oaklawn Handicap.
Finishing second to Pletcher’s record setter was another southern Albertan Terry Hamilton’s Heart to Heart, a son of English Channel bred in Ontario by another Albertan Darrell Bauder’s Red Hawk Ranch.
Sal says let’s hope that the Alberta interest in thoroughbred racing can survive the currently pro-jiggie regime at Horse Racing Alberta and sustain itself until the Century Mile opens a new era of thoroughbred racing in the province on western Canada’s only mile thoroughbred track. Yes, Sal knows that Alberta Downs was an almost mile track, but Sal says he heard rumours that the Doukhobors were going to be plowing up the track and turf to plant row upon row of borscht beets.
but Jackson made it clear he thought Anthony should consider accepting a trade to a team on the cusp of winning the title.
Jackson said he would be looking for a significant return in any deal and that Anthony relayed to the Knicks some of the teams he would be willing to accept a trade to before the deadline. The Knicks talked to at least three teams about trades involving Anthony, but Jackson said they didn’t find a trade that was “rational” for the club to pursue.
Sal says that Phil Jackson must think that every other NBA GM can’t read and can’t hear. If he’s looking for a substantial return for Melo then why does he continue bashing him in public.
Sal says the Knicks would be a hell of a lot better sans Phil than sans Melo.
Sal says that Julien Leparoux’s choice of mounts for the Kentucky Derby was rendered obvious by Classic Empire’s performance on Saturday stopping the clock at 148.93 for the 1 1/8 mile only .53 seconds slower than Randy Howg’s Inside Straight in the GII Oaklawn Handicap.
With Conquest Mo Money finishing a staggering second in the Arkansaw (Phonetic) Derby and Irap winning the Blue Grass Sal says that suddenly the Sunland Derby seems to be a key 2017 Derby prep.
Sal says that all the naysayers whining about the lack of quality in the 2017 Kentucky Derby field remind Sal of the old song Hello Mudda Hello Fadda. Well guess what it’s time to kindly disregard this letter.
Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.
I hate politics and what are considered their appropriate measures. I hate notoriety, public meetings, public speeches, caucuses and everything that I know of which is apparently the necessary incident of politics—except doing public work to the best of my ability.