The Brock Talk

Monday, April 12, 2010

Zenyatta and Kentucky Derby Thoughts, Comments and Questions.

Thoughts, comments and questions while wondering what Zenyatta would play on her iPod during a race... Only Oaklawn Park track announcer Terry Wallace can pull off "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's Zenyatta!" Wallace is a classic... Do you suppose Jess Jackson, principal owner of Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, enjoyed the Apple Blossom as much as we did?... Watching the replay of the Apple Blossom, I noticed Zenyatta actually pricked her ears long before she got to the lead at the top of the stretch. I'm not sure I can remember a horse doing that... Daily Racing Form reports that owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs are considering the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June as a possible next race for Zenyatta. The race is attractive because it will give Zenyatta experience at Churchill Downs, the location of the 2010 Breeders' Cup which is the expressed long-term goal of the Zenyatta team. It also gives team Alexandra two months to prepare for Zenyatta coming into their house... Rachel Alexandra worked six furlongs in 1:12 Monday but trainer Steve Asmussen declined to reveal any plans telling Daily Racing Form "We're just trying to get her back to where she was."

Derby Odds and Evens
Near the end of the Arkansas Derby and Wood Memorial telecast Saturday, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands morning line maker Mike Battaglia said Wood Memorial Stakes winner Eskendereya will be 2-1 or lower in the program. Not a big surprise considering the average win pay-off was $20.40 in the four other grade 1 Derby preps, (the Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby, Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes)... Last year Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby as one of the last horses to qualify off the also eligible list. Currently ranked just below the qualifying standard of $250,500 in graded earnings are Uh Oh Bango, Jackson Bend, Backtalk, Make Music For Me, Odysseus, A Little Warm, Setsuko. Pleasant Prince and Caracortado... Mike Maker, trainer of Blue Grass upset winner Stately Victor, said Sunday that had he not won the Blue Grass at 40-1 odds, he would be looking at "probably a conditioned allowance race for the colt." A nice twist of faith I'd say... Santa Anita Derby winner Sidney's Candy, Eskendereya and Florida Derby winner Ice Box top the TBA 3-Year-Old Colt Standings sponsored by OCD Pellets.

Baffert in Arizona Sports Hall of Fame
Trainer Bob Baffert (top left), fresh off induction into the National Racing Hall of Fame in 2009, was recently inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony in the Phoenix Convention Center.

Baffert, trainer of three Kentucky Derby winners, joined an illustrious induction class that included legendary University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson (bottom left), former All-American and National Basketball Association Champion Sean Elliott, five-time Professional Golf Association winner Billy Mayfair and University of Arizona softball pioneer Billie Harris, the first African-American to play on the school's women's softball team.

Baffert, a native of Nogales, Arizona and a University of Arizona alumn, jokenly said upon being honored "I wore my Lute Olson wig tonight."


Maddie4361 said...

Nowhere for Rachel Alexandra to run and hide now.

John said...

This is Zenyatta's hour and rightfully so. But I think what may be good to also keep in mind is the fact that Rachel Alexandra started eight times last year, three against males, the last against older males. She had a long, tough campaign and it seems to me, this may be a big reason why she isn't ready to take on Zenyatta while the mare, who raced less in 2009, is ready to take on the filly. This is no knock against Zenyatta, but I think it's very understanding when a three-year-old filly did what Rachel did last year, and winning on so many different tracks, she needs a little more time.

Anonymous said...