Wednesday June 21, 2006
Now that another unpredictable Triple Crown campaign has come to an end without giving us a 12th winner, join Steve Haskin as he takes your questions about the campaign that began with all its attention on 2-year-old standout Stevie Wonderboy, brought the tragic injury to the Derby winner followed by the absolutely unprecedented outpouring of public interest in the recovery of the fallen hero, and ended with a different winner in each of the three races for the first time since the 2000 quest for the crown.
Senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse since 1998, Haskin is an award-winning Turf writer renowned for his Kentucky Derby commentary.
During his nearly three decades at Daily Racing Form, Steve made a name with his "Derby Watch" columns.
Haskin--who has won four Red Smith Awards for his Kentucky Derby coverage--is the author of Horse Racing's Holy Grail - The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby and biographies of Dr. Fager, John Henry, and Kelso—all published by Eclipse Press.
If the three winners of the Triple Crown races this year were to run over a set distance, say one mile, who do you think would win, given all things equal?
That's an odd distance to choose for three horses who won at 1 1/4 miles, 1 3/16 miles, and 1 1/2 miles. Obviously, you allow no shot to choose Jazil at that distance. Although it is the popular response to say Barbaro, I feel Bernardini is a potential superstar. I've been around this horse enough to see that he is something special, so I am going to commit blasphemy and say Bernardini would have won at any distance, although there is no way to tell how good Barbaro was getting when he got injured. I just think Bernardini is an awesome individual with an unlimited future. It's just too bad they never got a chance to meet under normal circumstances.
Ozone Park, NY:
Thanks for stopping by. We appreciate it. Would you have any idea why (Garrett) Gomez placed Bob & John up on the front in the Belmont and very wide off the rail? What would that do when he's been successful in the past rating? I doubt Baffert instructed Gomez to do so.
Actually, those were Baffert's instructions. He told him to go to the front and keep the horse wide, hoping it would deter the other jocks from pressuring him, but it didn't work. I was surprised he told him to go to the front because of the strong headwind down the backstretch. I would have wanted my horse to have cover. Notice the quick opening fractions, with the tailwind, and how they slowed down on the backstretch. That's a long way to go with a stiff wind in your face, especially going a mile and a half.
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