The 2012 Kentucky Derby is in the books and Southern California racing came out smelling like roses.
Santa Anita Derby winner I’ll Have Another ran down another locally based horse Bodemeister in deep stretch to capture the big prize for owner Paul Reddam and local trainer Doug O’ Neill. In fact, Southern California based horses finished in 4 of the top 6 placings (Creative Cause-5th, Liaison-6th).
West Coast Handicappers may have been rooting for locals, but they loved Union Rags.
Local radio handicappers were touting Union Rags as their selection, pointing out that he got less than a stellar ride in the Florida Derby. I wonder what they thought of his ride in the “Big” Derby? Maybe he is not the super horse they think he is. Nonetheless,look for a jockey change if Union Rags continues in the Triple Crown races. As for the local handicappers who touted Union Rags (ah, you know who you are).
What if that was Mario Gutierrez on Bodemeister?
A few Twitter friends were a bit confused as to why Mike Smith was not criticized more harshly for allowing Bodemeister to set such wicked fractions. After hearing Smith and trainer Bob Baffert address that publicly in post Derby interviews, I could clearly understand what went on. Of course I did not bet on Bodemeister, so its easy for me to accept their explanation.
Now if that would have been Mr.Gutierrez aboard, well lets just say there would have been a whole lot more written on the subject of why Bodemeister set the 5th fastest half-mile fractions in the history of the Derby. It would not have been pretty either.
On to the Preakness! Thanks for reading.