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WHO’S ON FIRST

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 4/21/2010 3:27:50 PM

D. Wayne Lukas: “Dublin is Charismatic.”

Assistant trainer to Lukas: “Dublin is charismatic but he’s not Charismatic.”

Lukas: “Wrong banana breath, Dublin is both Charismatic and charismatic because he is a grinder just like the winner of the 1999 Kentucky Derby winner.”

Sorry for the attempted take on Abbott and Costello’s famous Who’s on First routine but there could be some meat to this theory about the current Lukas Derby hopeful and here’s why.

Charismatic took a long time to figure it out and connections gave up on him putting him in a claimer but the runner was put up in his third race of his sophomore campaign, posted his career best Beyer figure in the race right before the Derby and took his grinding style all the way to the pinnacle not only winning that first Saturday in May at 31-1 but coming within a length and a half of winning the Triple Crown.

He eventually was out gamed in the lane in the Belmont Stakes by Lemon Drop Kid.

Okay, Dublin has never been in a claimer but he did post his career best Beyer figure in his final Derby prep when putting up a 97 digit running third in the Arkansas Derby but most importantly, he has the same running style as Charismatic.

Mine That Bird proved last year there are no tried and true angles about winning the Kentucky Derby, as he was not in the same area code of the leaders last year before blowing up the tote.

In Charismatic’s success, he pretty much just grinded out the splits, went along at his own pace and generally just put in a sustained run to nail Menifee on the wire at Churchill.

Dublin has a very similar ‘put in the work’; ‘cut out the same kind of splits every time’ style that just may be rewarded in a couple of weeks.

He’s consistent, usually makes his mark in the lane every time and he has been agile enough to overcome bad trips.

Horses and people too, are creatures of habit. Before the 1986 Kentucky Derby D. Wayne worked his charge Badger Land fast at Churchill with 2 consecutive best of the morning bullet drills before he ran decently but was not up to the class of Ferdinand in the Derby.

Lukas had Dublin out for his drill on April 19th and again, the bullet was locked and loaded.

Dublin posted a best of the morning :59.13 drill under mile encouragement.

How good was the work? The second best drill at that distance was posted by Ventana, a Grade 2 winner that has earned over $250K so far in his career.

Dublin will be a price in May and he just may be worth a huge look.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

If you like anybody besides the top 3 horses, Eskendereya, Lookin at Lucky or Sidney’s Candy come Derby Day, you will get paid.

With the pace likely to be very hot and heavy, a rank outside just may come rolling from the clouds but there are a couple of quotes from John Sadler’s assistant trainer Larry Benavidez that must be heard.

Quoted on Horse Racing Nation website Benavidez was besides himself about the April 17 drill from Sidney’s Candy.

“It gave me some goose bumps. I had (Bob) Baffert up there with me at the finish line and I could tell that he was interested. That work was phenomenal.”

For the record Candy was clocked in :59.80 and galloped out 7 furlongs in 1: 27.40.

“When he broke his maiden, he was off the pace. He’s not really a speed horse. He can rate: he shuts it down pretty easily. He’s a smart horse and actually kind of acts like an older horse. Today was helpful in that being prepared for the Derby he can lay second or third. He passed with flying colors today.”

As for Benavidez, he is the man behind the scenes who is highly respected and does a lot of the day-to-day hands-on stuff for Sadler.

Stay tuned.

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