Just when you think the three year old picture might start to clear, it doesn't.
The head bob results of Sunday's Florida Derby left more questions than answers about just who has any talent in this group of boys that are trying to become men.
The winner, Dialed In, certainly ran the race that most hoped he would. Lagging behind early, he circled the field to get up in the final strides to beat the very game and vastly improving Shackleford. The latter ran much too good to lose.
I have heard and read several times since the race that Shackleford ran "the race of his life". Almost as if he didn't belong.This was his 5th lifetime start with two impressive allowance wins. Three year olds, can and hopefully will, improve race to race. But a clunker in his last, made him ignored by the betting public, going off at 63-1.
At the same time that he was showing improvement, several colts were not.
Looking back, others who appeared more worthy according to what the handicappers thought, decided Sunday wasn't their day. According to the connections of To Honor and Serve, he ran better than his last. Well at this rate, maybe they should set their sights on the Midsummer Derby instead of the one in 4 weeks.
Though they are not using it as an excuse, the blinker experiment didn't work out for Stay Thirsty. And Soldat apparently didn't appreciate being down inside and getting dirt.
This is why young horses need racing experience. You can't replicate in the a.m., what happens during a race. Young horses need to be tested and if they have any heart and courage, raceday is when it will materialize.
To me, Shackleford ran huge. He is a big, strong horse who looks like he may be putting it together at the right time. He made all the pace and his gallop out was strong. Look back at the replay and watch the one-two finishers gallop out and jog back next to each other.
This horse will win some big races.
Dialed In, with the emotional Nick Zito is easy to root for. As big as Dialed In ran, he looked like a tired little horse.Can he move forward from Sunday to bigger and better things?