Eight Belles. We all send condolences to her connections, whose dreams were shattered only moments after such an exhilarating performance.
The event will be examined from every angle over the next many days: industry insiders will whisper about the breakdown of "another" high-profile runner from the Unbridled line... anti-racing advocates will lob accusations about training methods and overly-medicated racehorses... Thoroughbred fans and animal lovers will mourn. I will end my comments about Eight Belles here by saying it is an upsetting loss and one that we all hope will not be repeated.
Big Brown lived up to his hype and looks to be a strong shot at the Triple Crown. It won't be an easy road, though -- if he gets through the Preakness (against fresh competition), he still has the biggest hurdle in front of him. The Belmont Stakes (gr. I) is probalby my favorite of the series and is known as a giant killer. If he does make it, his owners will be able to set his stud fee somewhere in the stratosphere -- and it'll probably be worth it. (He's going to need some outcross blood -- and amazingly, Mr. P is a total outcross in the first five generations, and Seattle Slew/A.P. Indy returns only a duplication of Round Table. He'll have a lot to work with, without looking too far!)
Two weeks ago, we looked at juvenile racing ("What are the effects of racing 2-year-olds?") and more than half the answers included loss of soundess in the breed, more breakdowns, and loss of stamina in pedigrees. On the positive side, track handle and overall interest in the sport scored some points. See the full results here
Last week, readers shared their choices for best pedigree of all Derby runners. One out of five selected Colonel John (pedigree
), followed by Adriano (pedigree
) and Monba (pedigree
), all above 10 percent. We fared poorly: Colonel John placed sixth, and Adriano and Monba were the last across the finish line. See the full results here
We Are Family: And finally, the new poll for this week: Does the female family influence your purchase decisions? Vote here!