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Best Laid Plans

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 6/7/2010 3:41:54 PM

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

The phrase is contained in a poem by Robert Burns about him running over a home of a domestic mouse.

Burns used this illustration to show that despite the best-laid plans by the homeowner, the lady could not have foreseen the vermin in her wig. No matter how well you plan something, "stuff" happens. So relax and get over it, it isn't the end of the world.

The Belmont Stakes, completed in 2:31.57, the slowest in 15 years, is a case in point.

The pacesetter was obvious as First Dude figured to make the lead and he did. The thing that many handicappers did not factor in is the concept that trainers and jockeys can read past performances too and First Dude, although he ran his heart out in defeat, never got a breather on the front end.

He was only a length in front pretty much the whole way and yet still only gave up the ghost very late.

Todd Pletcher’s charge Interactiff was gunned to the top briefly from his marooned post 12 and the only other voice beside this one that gave prominent performer Game on Dude a chance early was the commentator Randy Moss.

Even the connections of Uptowncharlybrown burned the midnight oil and tried to change their runner’s style by putting him in the race early but you can’t start throwing fast balls if you have thrown knucklers you entire career in the majors.

Charly was about 2 and a half off the lead turning for home when the extra lead weight in his saddled slipped out and he was eventually Dq’ed.

The fact winner Drosselmeyer was in the race was a tip off in itself as Bill Mott is super patient. The runner had fought off foot problems early in the year and was a perfect picture of fitness.

The son of Distorted Humor verified the result of the Dwyer, as Fly Down was very hard to get by at the end.

As far for the chalk, Ice Box just never fired. He was far back as expected and although the pace was somewhat contested, he just never kicked.

For winning rider Mike Smith, it was a bit of a revenge theme. He had plied his trade in New York for most of his early career and has established himself there as the Hall of Famer that he is but things soured and the call to go ‘West Young Man’ was too loud to ignore.

Stamina and perseverance wins the Belmont Stakes, and those are also two prominent traits of Mr. Smith too.

Next stop for all three of this year’s Triple Crown winners could very well be the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 28.

THE FASTEST HORSE EVER?

Chinook Pass died last week at the age of 31. He was the 1983 Sprint Champion and I had the great privilege of seeing him run often in Southern California.

He still holds the record for the fastest 5 furlongs on dirt of :55 1/5 and none other than the great Laffit Pincay Jr. gave him high praise. Pincay: “Affirmed was the best horse I ever rode, but Chinook Pass was the fastest.”

For the record he won 16 of 25 races including double digits stakes and earned nearly $500,000 when that was real money back in the day.

How great was his 1982 world record? Consider this that only 7-world speed record that are still intact were set early and that roll call, with names like Kelso, Swaps, Spectacular Bid and the great Dr. Fager.

Chinook’s true racing asset, although he sometimes broke first from the blocks, is that he really did not get in gear until the 2nd quarter and often after the half mile.

His turn of foot once he got his feet under him was the fastest I have ever seen in my over 40 years of watching races.

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