Clearing Justify and Bob Baffert's name...
https://sports.nbcsports.com/2019/09/25 ... drug-test/
^ Someone from the NY Times and the veterinarian is probably good friends with Mike Repole. It was environmental contamination. Still salty about Restoring Hope.
I didn't think Nyquist, Always Dreaming, and Justify would win the Kentucky Derby until after they won their last major prep in April.
Sole Volante could be another Gunnevera. Since California Chrome, the last 6 horses who crossed the finish line first (can't say winner because Maximum Security got DQ'd) all had tactical speed. Even I'll Have Another had tactical speed. Animal Kingdom and Orb weren't deep closers.
You really have to go back to 2007 to find a horse with a similar running-style to Sole Volante and there were times when Street Sense wasn't always that far back. So my chances watching Sole Volante winning the 2020 Kentucky Derby looks like slim to none and that's without considering the fact the track could up sloppy again for a fourth straight year.
Last year, my picks were actually Maximum Security and Omaha Beach. But unfortunately, we all know OB got scratched like 2 days before the race. Proved he was a quality horse returning to win the SA Sprint. I can imagine had he run it, I would've won money for that race even if say he finished 2nd and not Country House.
I wasn't feeling Omaha Beach yet until March. I made the mistake not to pick him to upset Game Winner which he did by a nose. I was already upset by the first Rebel race before when Improbable lost to Long Range Toddy. That's when I started to sense Improbable was a pretender. The Arkansas Derby made up for that Rebel fiasco when I correctly had OB over him.
I should've known my chances got slimmer when Omaha Beach got scratched. If only OB didn't get entrapped epiglottis, entered, and either won or run 2nd, I don't think the outcry for OB being the 2020 Kentucky Derby winner would've been as upsetting as it did for Country House.
OB was my missing piece. I got him at 16-1 before he won the Arkansas Derby. Then saw his odds drop to 6-1 days before the big race. I was forced to scramble and use Improbable as a backup. In typical fashion like his two Arkansas preps defeats, he disappointed. And I backed Improbable around Christmas 2018.
Wasn't too excited by any of the Baffert horses last year and not once did I back Game Winner and Roadster. I have a little more faith in Charlatan as he's already hit a 105 BSF. He fits the typical profile of more recent Kentucky Derby winners. Highest Beyer and tactical speed. Even Maximum Security only got a 102 BSF at best. Omaha Beach was a 101.
The raw talent and running-style is there for Charlatan but he can easily get exposed in his very next race or the most important prep right after in April. Or he may not make it at all like what happened to Omaha Beach. Speaking of that horse...
1:08.79 - 2019 SA Sprint (103 BSF)
1:08.85 - 2020 Charlatan's debut (105 BSF)
1:09.00 - 2019 BC Sprint (111 BSF)
1:09.07 - 2018 Justify's debut 6F split (104 BSF)
Charlatan seems to be faster than Justify and Mitole being geared down. Let's remember Ghostzapper started from the sprinting ranks.
Rock Hard Ten. Free House. Soul Of The Matter. Lit de Justice. Zenyatta. Justify. Cigar. Ghostzapper. Lava Man. Silver Charm.