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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Kentucky Derby 2014 recap

Under a flawless ride by jockey Victor Espinoza, favored California Chrome proved he was best with a 1 3/4 length victory.  The way 'Chrome can put his foes away entering the stretch is impressive though the final time was not at 2:03.66.  They ran the final quarter in a slow 26.21 which may be a sign this is not a good crop and/or thoroughbreds just are not bred to excel at 10 furlongs anymore.

There were a few horses who did not have clean trips led by my selection Candy Boy.  He was wiped out entering the first turn by Wicked Strong and he never had a chance to run to his best.  At least it appears he came back OK.  

Jockey Joe Bravo nearly caused a mid-stretch accident when he swerved Danza in front of Wicked Strong and Medal Count.  Danza did prove his big Arkansas Derby win was no fluke as it took him a while to get going, but once in the clear he really leveled out.  As for Medal Count, it appeared that he was just finding his best stride when Danza cut him off.  Thank goodness he did not go down.

Want to watch a strange ride?  Watch Calvin Borel aboard Ride On Curlin.  Breaking from the far outside, Borel took 'Curlin immediately to the rail as they passed the stands for the first time.  Entering the stretch, Borel decided to stay along the rail even though there were two horses right in front of him.  Borel had to check, he finally decided to swing him widest of all and he rallied while way too late. 

California Chrome was not as dominating as he was at Santa Anita earlier this year and the first 12 runners were only separated by about seven lengths.  That seems to leave little margin for error for 'Chrome if he goes to the Preakness Stakes in two weeks.  However, his name is in the record books and his name will be in full view between the famous twin spires for the next year.

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