Things were a little slow for my stable in the Derbyologist Triple Crown fantasy league, but it’s the calm before the storm. The big Derby and Oaks preps have wound down, and everyone is bearing down for the Derby and the Oaks in a week and a half. Still, big things are afoot, and the April claiming date is this Thursday. So, here’s one last look at how my stable stands, before a probable personnel (horsonnel?) shake-up later this week.
- General a Rod – It looks like the General is progressing nicely toward the Derby. He has shipped out to Louisville, and finally worked back after the Florida Derby. On April 17, he fired a bullet over the Churchill Downs training track, five furlongs in 59.80. Per Jay Privman of the DRF, Mike Maker is planning on taking him (as well as barnmates Vicar’s In Trouble and Harry’s Holiday, who have also made it into the gate) to Churchill Downs proper, where he should post a work before the Derby; he may work on the Churchill main track as soon as Wednesday. Joel Rosario, who rode him in his Gulfstream Park Derby win as well as his third-place finish in the Florida Derby, has the mount for the big race.
- Ride On Curlin – Ride On Curlin is in Kentucky, where he shipped right after the Arkansas Derby. He has been doing some galloping around the track, but hasn’t posted any works since the race. This is no surprise, given how infrequently he has been actually posting works all spring. According to this morning’s Kentucky Derby barn notes, he is slated to hit the worktab Saturday or Sunday, depending on weather. However, according to some comments Steve Byk made on At The Races this morning, he looks great, and ready to run. I hope he’s right!
- Tamarando – Tamarando posted another work this week: on April 19, he went six furlongs in 1:13.oo on the Santa Anita turf. Tamarando has also been entered for a race this Saturday. He is running in the Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita, over 1 1/8 miles on the turf, for California bred three-year-olds. This will be his first career start on the turf; all his previous races have either been on dirt or synthetic surfaces. This also suggests that he is more than likely off the Triple Crown trail, and back on the California circuit.
- Please Explain – I haven’t found any further information last week about the medication violation for which Please Explain was disqualified from the Honeybee. There was a bit of information about Please Explain, though: she worked on April 19, five furlongs in 1:01.20, at Churchill Downs. She has raced at Churchill Downs twice before, with two second-place finishes in maiden special weight company there last fall. I haven’t seen any clear indication of where she’s going next, or if she’s going to a particular race next. She’s definitely not racing in the Oaks, since she has no points; the question is whether her connections are going to try and run her in the Eight Belles, or if this is just because her barn is moving up to Kentucky for the season. I’m extremely worried about the medication violation, though, and would really like to see her have some time on the bench to heal up from whatever she was being treated for.
- Shared Belief – Stop the presses! Shared Belief is back on the worktab! In fact, he has worked twice since my last Fantasy Stable update! He worked on April 15, as Jerry Hollendorfer said he would, going three furlongs in 38.40 on the Golden Gate Fields synthetic. He then returned to the worktab on April 20: three furlongs in 35.80 over the same track. There’s no information about the next race, though all signs point to it being after the Triple Crown. It’s so good to see him back on the track, though.
- She’s a Tiger – She’s a Tiger is still working toward her first start of the season. On April 17, she worked seven furlongs in 1:26.00 over the Santa Anita dirt. Today’s Churchill Downs barn notes list her as possible for the Eight Belles Stakes on May 2; the same document also states that she’s slated to fly from California to Churchill Downs today.
- Conquest Titan – There’s no new news about Conquest Titan this week. He hasn’t worked back since the Arkansas Derby. His nine points are not likely to get him into the field, though there’s a part of me that hopes he is there waiting in the wings just in case, because he has so far been a horse for the course at Churchill Downs. We shall wait and see, but I am definitely not holding my breath that he will get in. Currently, he is not listed as probable for the Derby Trial, or any other race coming up.
- Stopchargingmaria – There has been nothing new about Stopchargingmaria. She hasn’t worked back since her fourth place finish in the Fantasy, and I haven’t seen any information about why she has scratched off the Oaks list: only that she is, in fact, scratched off. It’s kind of a shame: she had ten points from the fourth-place finish in the Fantasy, and given how many horses have already defected off the Oaks trail already, there’s a decent chance that she would have made it into the field with ten points. As it stands, she is a question mark.
Since it’s a claiming week, there will be an update on Thursday evening or Friday, once the claiming results for the fantasy league come in. It’s getting late in the game, and my stable has quite a few horses who are pretty clearly off the trail. Everything, of course, depends on whether I win my bids for the horses I try to get. There are still several horses who are unclaimed who are heading to Triple Crown races, so hopefully I won’t be outbid on everyone I try to get.