Is The Factor, The Fastest? So often, speed wins races. This is one of those rare moments when I will just accept the fact. The Factor is, the speed of the speed, and whether or not he needs oxygen at the wire won’t matter, because there is simply nothing in this race that can stay with him. He knows only one way of running and he will be on the front end. He can run away and hide from this field, and though a few will come running in the end, I think The Factor could be long gone. I do not see him as a Derby horse. But I think the Rebel is within his reach. I can hear Bob Baffert telling Marin Garcia “Ride ‘em like you stole ‘em.”
Let’s put it this way, the others have to catch him, to win. The 4 horses that should come running in here and could pick up the pieces would be the 1-2-3 horses from the Southwest. All three of these horses seem to have some talent and are going in the right direction. The other horse in here that is intriguing is Alternation. He is improving, and coming in with a few zippy works. Is he good enough to take the next step forward?
The Azeri is, by far, the clash of the divas. Is Blind Luck tailing off and in need of a rest? I’m not going to second guess a sharp trainer, but has this great, little mare been given a break since she started her 2 year old career? Amazing that she just keeps on going.
Havre de Grace has been freshened and has had a trainer switch from Tony Dutrow to Larry Jones. In my mind, Mr. Jones is becoming one of those trainers who excels with any kind of horse, but especially with fillies. This is the first start of the year for Havre de Grace, but she has run well fresh before. She beat Blind Luck last year, by a neck, in receipt of 10 pounds; today they are running at equal weights (115).
I love both these fillies and would be happy to see either one of them win. They lay over the rest of the field. But I think that Havre de Grace has the advantage. She is fresh; she has a home court advantage, and does not have to ship. Larry Jones gets them ready to win. His horses are not in need of a race or two. The jock switch to Ramon Dominguez won’t hurt either.