by Kim Thomas
Billy Clyde G-whiz-pee is gone. It's all over but the crying...and the contract litigation.
Now it's time for all Kentucky fans to lick their wounds, get down and dirty -- or down and polytrack-y -- and become one with the racing form. After all, we can't dwell on basketball seasons past when the Kentucky Derby is quickly approaching.
Yep, the Dogwoods are blooming at Keeneland, which means at Churchill, the buds are on the roses, and all over Kentucky, the ladies are shopping for hats and heels to wear for the greatest two minutes in sports. In my effort to watch every last basketball game in the NCAA tournament, I've admittedly not tuned in to every Thoroughbred race, stakes or otherwise, this past week. A few things happened, though, that caught my eye.
Nicanor, the full brother to the much-beloved but ill-fated 2006 Derby winner Barbaro, ran second in a one mile race at Gulfstream on Saturday to Glittermans Cartel, who set the pace and led throughout the race. His jockey at Gulfstream was Jose Lezcano, who commented that the horse is still a bit green and down the stretch was behaving like the young colt that he is -- being playful, looking around at the other horses. What's not to love about a horse like that, huh? Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but it's intriguing that Nicanor is being entered in a mile-long race -- he certainly seems to be destined to follow his brother's hoof-steps. Let's hope he improves over the next four weeks or so, since the Derby is just a little over a month away. It would be a nice booster shot of excitement for the Kentucky Derby and the world of Thoroughbred racing if Barbaro's little brother were to make it on the racing card for the First Saturday in May.
The only newcomer on my list this week is a horse with another name that I love. Theregoesjojo is out of a Seattle Slew mare, the unraced Slewie Blues (this is her first foal to race). Theregoesjojo sire, is Grade 1 stakes winner Brahms. He ran third in the Grade I Florida Derby when he was squeezed back and sandwiched out by Quality Road, whose battle against the mighty Dunkirk was appreciated by the Gulfstream enthusiasts who were chomping at the bit to see the two face off.
Quality Road's determination won out in the end, as the son of Elusive Quality edged out Dunkirk in the final furlong.
Quality Road now has three wins, and one second place finish in four starts, and has earned over $600,000 in his career, which more than qualified him to be entered in the Kentucky Derby, even though running second may not be good enough, for Dunkirk, son of Unbridled's Song.
We shall see.