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Game On

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 4/12/2011 9:16:44 AM

Toby’s Corner proved Saturday that you still have to run the races when he upset previously unbeaten Uncle Mo in the Wood Memorial and now the game is on.

People will be diving off the Uncle Mo bandwagon quicker than you can say mint julep and considering the fact he had no apparent excuse Saturday, you can’t fault the jumpers.

Mo was bet off the charts at ten cents to a dollar and he had what looked like a very comfortable lead after getting a half in :47.98 and 6 furlongs in 1:12.28 but had nothing left when collared after having a length and a half at the top of the lane.

Considering that sophomore fillies went :46 flat and 1:10.09 in the mile Grade 3 Comely 3 races prior, the splits Mo got away with were pedestrian.

The only redeeming thing about Mo’s beat is that maybe his connections can point to the fact that he was short after having just the one prep this season.

As for Toby’s Corner, he recorded a 94 Beyer while running his record to 4 for 6 with two thirds. He got the final furlong in a very sharp 12:67. Interestingly, Toby’s sire was the brilliant Bellamy Road, who also won the Wood when posting a 120 Beyer in 2005.

Last year, Eskendereya surely would have been the favorite in Kentucky after posting a winning 109 Beyer but unfortunately was injured.

Toby’s dam only won once, a sprint, and was out of the money in her lone route attempt. All three of Toby’s siblings won routing.

With two meaningful preps left in the Arkansas Derby and the Blue Grass this weekend, the Triple Crown picture is as murky as it has been all year.

Buckle up.

On the other coast, the Santa Anita Derby was a matter of defection as the top two choices, Jaycito and Premier Pegasus were scratched and that made what was already a wide-open affair a total scramble.

Comma to the Top ran super to be second. He really does not want to go the classic distance but he held up well to be beaten a head by Midnight Interlude, who was making only his fourth career start. Interlude posted a 95 Beyer as compared to last year’s winning Beyer of 100 by Sidney’s Candy, who went on to run 17th in Kentucky.

Interlude did not get the best of trips, he was forced to steady, but showed he was game by finally wearing down Comma and he showed a new wrinkle by coming from a bit off the pace.

He broke his maiden by 8 and a half-lengths at 3/5 but had trained very fast for the SA Derby. By millionaire War Chant and out of Midnight Kiss, who won twice in New Zealand, the last at a mile and three-eighths on grass.

She dropped 2 others, one won and neither was sent long.

The best thing Interlude may have going for him is his trainer Bob Baffert, who knows how to get a horse to peak the first Saturday in May.

Baffert will be hoping to saddle his fourth Kentucky Derby winner to go along with his 5 Preakness trophies and one Belmont Stakes win.

Bettors have to pay strict attention to what happens this weekend and look for a horse in Kentucky that is going good, but has yet to peak and who could be set for a historic run



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