We will start our Kentucky Derby leader’s list in a few days, please stay tune in…
Everyone knows the Florida Derby was run in a surprising way. The expectation was that Hidden Scroll would roll on the front end. That seems a “FOR SURE”, but it wasn’t. Meanwhile in a pre-race interview, Jason Servis discussed the probable positioning of Maximum Security being allowed to settle some lengths off the early pace. Then the gate opened, and as the expression goes, “Man plans and G-d laughs!”
Max Security broke alertly but wasn’t being ridden in any way, and every other horse seemed to be on SLOW! Max Security went on to the lead without effort and only Bodexpress took up position about a length back on his outside, while Hidden Scroll seemed to be under hold in 3rd and down on the inside. Max Security felt good and kept running, the outclassed Bodexpress continue along in as game an effort as he could muster, Hidden Scroll showed that he wasn’t fit today and totally was empty, while Bourbon War was both dull and compromised by the trip.
This was an unusual Prep race, in my opinion, simply because the horses raced as if they hated the track or were exhausted from the prep series or simply not recovered from the Fountain of Youth and needed another couple of days to get their mojo back. Keep that in mind, especially if you have a liking for either Hidden Scroll or Bourbon War. I for one and not particularly excited by Hidden Scroll at this moment, and if you have followed any of my comments, I never have. I always thought his opening race was way over-rated and his 2nd race was a “corker”, but showed he is really more of a miler by nature. Bourbon War, might be worth a little forgiveness here, just a bad race on an unsuitable track – a throw away – and then interesting again on the “1st Saturday in May”. Bodexpress, while trying very hard seems way to slow, he just got his gold and for the time being, that’s probably all the gold he will take home… 2nd money in the Florida Derby is a nice chunk!
So how do we view Maximum Security. It’s actually a tough one, he ran a 74.5 in winning on my Figs, which leaves him about 4 lengths behind Game Winner, Anothertwistoffate, Improbable and several others… but that’s all and that is not an impossible amount of development. I would have wished for a more difficult race, the race itself broke so much in his favor with slow fractions on a Speed Favoring track and he was never even momentarily in competition. It was just such a stroll in the park.. This puts some real pressure on Jason Servis to figure out the “how” in how to get him to improve to and thru the next level of competition… but then their is the unknown question, is he way better than he showed, and just winning easy without even trying… that is also a possibility!
As everyone knows this horse was offered in a cheap, cheap claimer, and there were no takers. Which tells me he might be one of those unique horses that is “crazy talented” but never bothers to show it, until the gate latch is sprung. He might have worked sluggishly, acted indifferent and then when he got to the gate for the first time, ran some. Surprising his connections and the clockers. And then we see the same behavior continuing on…. maybe next time when he races faster horse, he simply outruns them as well… I love this game, especially this time of year as we learn about this amazing part of creation, both our game, but understanding (or mis-understanding) our competitive equine athletes, just is the best!
Gulfstream Park — Jerry J’s Power Page Classic (only)
Santa Anita— Jerry J’s Power Page and Jerry J’s Power Page – PLUS