While we discussed the ability of a three year old to improve dramatically, 21 Rich Strike had no chance on paper. I dismissed him in about 10 seconds. An improvement is one thing. But this horse improved about 40 Beyer points to a 101 for the Derby. Unheard of. Additionally, he got a dream trip from his jockey as he was never stopped when closing inside for the win, passing essentially the entire field. Crazy.
Our choice, 1 Mo Donegal needed everything to go his way because he is a deep closer. I had hoped he would get out of the gate and at least get position around 14, in front of about 6 horses. Unfortunately, it looked to me that he got stuck in the gate for at least two steps. Irad said it was a slow start. During the week, there was an interview with Mike Smith who said that the new 20-horse gate was narrower than other gates and large horses had trouble pushing off in the gate at the start. He said that Zengatta wouldn't even fit in the gate. In any event, Mo Donegal ran a great race after the start closing on the outside to finish fifth. Irad had to go wide, because there was a wall of horses in front of him, with Rich Strike getting the inside path. I had hoped that Mo would get the kind of trip that Rich Strike got, but it wasn't to be.
Everything else followed what we thought would happen. A very quick pace with 3 Epicenter keeping his rail position, then moving out. Zandon followed that move but was never going to get past Epicenter.
Had multiple Oaks/Derby double tickets with the four horses we had, so lost everything. Would have cleaned up if Mo had won. But woulda, coulda, shoulda - lost big time.
Onto the Preakness.