Beyer: Is there a star among this year’s Derby hopefuls?

by | 03.29.2012 | 7:14am

At the Washington Post, Andrew Beyer draws might be considered an obvious conclusion – Thoroughbred racing badly needs a 3-year-old star to emerge in this year's Triple Crown.  Could it be Union Rags?  Or a West Coaster?  Or even a runner that hasn't stepped forward yet?

“Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but I expect Union Rags to advance to a new level Saturday. Trainer Michael Matz doesn't ask his horses to deliver too much too soon; he proved with Barbaro in 2006 that he knows how to prepare a horse to produce a maximum effort in the Derby. When Union Rags captured the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream last month, he looked as if he had plenty left in the tank. Despite his modest speed figures, he has the potential to stamp himself as a genuinely top-class horse.

“Another crucial prep-race confrontation will occur April 7 in the Santa Anita Derby, when Creative Cause has a rematch with Bodemeister. The 3-year-olds in California appear to be a deeper, more talented group than their counterparts in the East, and Creative Cause ran a strong race — earning a speed figure of 102 — to beat Bodemeister by three-quarters of a length in the San Felipe Stakes last month.”

  • Cassidy214

    Don’t overlook, I’ll Have Another,smart connections.

  • Randy in Lakeland

    Union Rags is the next Triple Crown winner. Javiar took off the best 3 year old in the country. Pin Head!! Winner the Derby and the Triple Crown would get more business than sucking up the Todd. Matt you are not that smart and I can say this as you really know who is typing here.

  • Barry Irwin

    Nice campaign to make connections appear to be legit.

  • Ohio Bred Girl

    I appreciate what speed figures have done for handicappers, but there’s so much more to developing a winner than building speed.  How well does the horse handle adversity?  If he’s bumped (or slammed), can he recover and press on?  Does he have the stamina?  Can he adapt to the way the race plays out; i.e., can a dedicated frontrunner rate if necessary or regroup if shuffled back?  Does he have the mind to listen to his jockey and dole out his speed over the distance?  Does he have the mind, period?  Can he handle the uproar that is the Derby?  Some things can’t be measured by speed.


    What are you trying to say Barry????

  • 1/8shortofamile

    You seem to have an agenda with the connections of I’ll Have Another. I read a blast you made against Doug O’Neill on an earlier thread and now here. 

    I’ll Have Another looks like a solid contender in the Santa Anita Derby and will earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby based on that race as he is currently 20th on the Graded Stakes earnings. 

    Regarding the connections of the horse. Are all your dealings so legit that you can afford to be pointing fingers? There are plenty of stories around the backside that question your horse dealings. 

  • 1/8shortofamile

    Union Rags appears to be the best horse at this time. We all know that the best horse doesn’t always win the Derby. Last years race proves that as many will agree that Animal Kingdom wasn’t the best horse. The fact that Shackleford beat him in both the Preakness & Belmont proves that point. 

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