Florida Derby - Recap
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Lentenor, First Dude, Pulsion, Game On Dude, Soaring Empire, Radiohead, Miner’s Reserve, Best Actor.
Louis Prima used to sing a song called Jump, Jive and Wail – which seems very appropriate for my feelings about this past UPSET Saturday we witnessed not only in Horse Racing but in NCAA Basketball – (my brackets are wrecked – you suck Kansas!).
I find that song apposite because as I watched this race unfold I JUMPED when I saw Icebox go 7 to 8 wide coming out of the final turn as he blew by seven other horses to win by a whisker over Pleasant Prince.
I realized I had already JIVED – by not giving much credit before the race to Pleasant Prince who could have easily won this race.
And I was left to WAIL – with how poorly my predictions had turned out (again – you suck Kansas!).
Of course Jump Jive and Wail also had the lyric – “Papa’s in the Icebox looking for a can of ale……”
Similar to my brackets (and the fact that I did say Cornell would go this far!) I take some comfort in that I did see trouble for Radiohead and Miner’s Reserve – both of whom had rough outings.
As I watched the beginning of the race – it looked to me like Radiohead’s post position was too much for him to overcome. He goes wide in the entire first turn, and I believe he wanted to catch up to the brisk early pace that was being set by both Rule and Pulsion.
Radiohead needed former Florida Derby Champion Big Brown’s ability in this outing – and he just didn’t have it.
I believe the pace which Pulsion set – may have also thrown off Rule. By the half mile mark the pace was a little hot for a 1 1/8 mile race – and I think Rule may have just run out of gas as Pleasant Prince and Ice Box stormed by.
If you take Pulsion out of the equation in this race – perhaps Rule could have set a more comfortable pace for himself and had more umphff (yes that’s official horse racing terminology) for the final stretch.
According to ESPN – Rule, Pleasant Prince and winner Ice Box are all headed to the Kentucky Derby, so in six weeks we’ll see what kind of repeat performance they’ll have in store.
As we head to that fateful day in May – I don’t know whether Rule peaked early and is now just an above average horse, probably suited best for 1 mile – or if Pleasant Prince and Icebox pose a real threat in the Kentucky Derby – this could be Mine That Bird all over again….
One other note - Barbaro's baby brother ran a solid race, and I believe his owners will focus more on turf races for this horse. Lentenor is a soild horse with some upside - but he just isn't Barbaro.
If you watch until the 4:00 minute mark – when Icebox gets a refreshing douse of water on his head…..if he could speak I think he’d say something like –
“Oh yeah – that’s the stuff!”
Video to Follow