Derby Also-Rans (Cont.)

Startac ran a good race, but it's back to the grass with him, said trainer Simon Bray. "He gave a good account of himself," Bray said about the son of Theatrical who finished 10th. "We had to take a shot. We knew we could run him back on the turf at any time."
Startac broke his maiden on the grass. He won his first start on dirt in the Turf Paradise Derby. Bray, who trains for the Allen Paulson Living Trust, will ship Startac back to California. The colt is nominated to the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) and the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT). -- E.M.

Trainer David Hofmans said his horse was too close to the pace in the early going (fourth for the first half-mile), then two separate collisions compromised him. He also said his concern with the inside post was justified; Laffit Pincay Jr. couldn't move the horse to the outside. At the three-eighths pole Millennium Wind almost clipped heels with another horse, then got bumped. His back right hoof was stepped on and bruised. Then another horse's shoe hit his right front ankle, which left an open sore. Hofmans said after that, Pincay backed off and cruised home. Millennium Wind will get a break in California. -- K.J.I.

Trainer Tony Richey said he was just as proud of his colt's 12th-place finish as he would have been if he had walked away with the roses -- although he would have preferred to win. "I thought he ran great," Richey said. "He just got tired and that was the trainer's fault. You can't win a race like this without having a mile-and-an-eighth prep race and we just didn't have it. But we learned a lot." Richey said Arctic Boy, who came out of the race without injury, would remain at Churchill Downs and "knock out a couple more conditions before making any more moves with the big boys." -- L.D.

Blasting from the No. 1 post, Songandaprayer set a blistering pace -- :22.25, :44:86, and 1:09.25 -- but faded in the race's closing furlongs. Trainer John Dowd had hoped the colt would tuck in behind the swift Balto Star and relax, but Songandaprayer didn't follow the game plan. "He was a little rank early, and he obviously went faster than we wanted him to go," Dowd said. "Balto Star came up next to us and tried to get by us. That just made our horse more rank. When he went in :22 and :44, we knew that was too much to ask." Dowd was leaning toward not running Songandaprayer in the Preakness. -- D.B.B.

To Pletcher, it was no mystery why Balto Star finished so far back.
"The fractions were blazingly fast," he said. "Balto got cooked up in that. He couldn't have survived at that pace. Those were six-furlong-type fractions." When Balto Star got back to the barn he had a touch of heat stroke, but Pletcher said once he was out of the sun and got some water on him, he recovered well. Both Balto Star and Invisible Ink will join Pletcher's Belmont barn around May 8. Pletcher said it was too early to say anything about the Preakness for either horse. -- K.J.I.

After troubled trips in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Blue Grass, Dollar Bill experienced more bad luck in the Run for the Roses. The colt nearly collided with Jamaican Rum around the three-eighths pole and got turned nearly sideways while stumbling over that rival's heels. "That ended it," said Dollar Bill's trainer, Dallas Stewart. "The race was over for him after that. It was very frustrating. I don't know the answer to why everything happens to him, but I do know that giving up isn't one of our options." Stewart wasn't sure where Dollar Bill would run next, but the trainer ruled out the Preakness. -- D.B.B.

Keats showed speed early, then faded and finished 16th. Trainer Niall O'Callaghan thinks he knows why. "He grabbed his quarter; really took a good slice out of his quarter. There was lots of blood," O'Callaghan said. "I think he may have done it at the gate because he didn't relax during the race. They were going quick and maybe he was fired up by the large crowd, but he never dropped the bridle and relaxed." If the foot heals OK, O'Callaghan said he would look at the Met Mile (gr. I) as the possible next start for Henry Pabst's Keats. -- D.M.L.

Trainer John Scanlan said he was happy when Talk Is Money was eighth after a half-mile. However, that was short-lived. "Just as I started rooting for him, he started moving backwards." Scanlan said he used up too much energy before the race -- he didn't want to go through the tunnel to the racetrack, and when he did, he left the post parade. He started well, then faded when he began overheating. After an alcohol bath he was back to normal within an hour. "To come here and run last -- not even finish the race -- it's depressing," Scanlan said. Talk Is Money was scheduled to ship to Laurel on May 9. He will not run in the Preakness. -- K.J.I.