There is little to say now that wasn’t said before, these are very mediocre group that was beaten by a nicely handled Grade -III. type horse that was managed very well. One caveat, on the Power Page, Ruler On Ice was the only horse with an “m” listed in the entire field, so the Power Page (as it usually is) is better than me. And I make the Power Page, this is something we can talk about at another time. Those are the facts, Ruler was the ONLY HORSE LISTED with an ‘m” indicating he improves in the WET going. As it happenned, on my morning spot on Ralph Siraco’s Race Day Las Vegas show, I still stuck to my guns on Nehro, but I did add Ruler On Ice in as one of my exacta/exotic-turn horses, because of that littel “m” and the wet track we now knew we were going to have for the Belmont.
The Sloppy condition is clearly a smoke screen, we won’t know for sometime if a horse ran poorly because of the SLOPPY condition or did it run poorly because of the grueling Triple Crown road, these horses have travelled. Clearly, the historicaly bias suggest it’s the grind. I thought it was really interesting how Dale Roman’s felt the sloppy condition really favored Shackleford and yet when the real running started, Shackleford was simply empty. Animal Kingdom lost almost all chance at the start, raced valiantly up into position after his near catastrophic start – and cudo’s to J.R. Velasquez for not falling off! But the apparant time was slow and if AK was in the same condition today that he was in on May 7, he would have run over this field again. But to my way of thinking, he was also spent and with the bad start, he lost all chance. I would not argue with anyone who might feel that AK would have won, had he had a fair shake at the START, but my feeling is he would have been 3rd of 4th at best, but I definately do feel he would have beaten Shackleford with a decent start, so on that count, my handicapping wasn’t as good as I would have liked. Maybe Nehro would have raced better if he caught a fast track, we shall see, but it is possible that I over-rated te ark Derby or it’s also possible that he ran his best that day, I caught the number correctly and he just isn’t ready to recover… But I think it might well have been just the SLOPPY going… Congrats to Ruler On Ice, Kelly Breen and Jose Valdivia on a job well done and the smarts to take a shot here…