Triple Crown 2021

Just announced.

Churchill Downs is moving the Derby back to the first Saturday in May…



Glad that it is moving back to its normal placement.

I’m not surprised.

But I also wouldn’t be surprised if something happens in the meantime to make them rethink that decision.

I hope that if they rethink it is it because of COVID (although I don’t want to think about what the really means :frowning: ) and not some other ‘strategic’ move to a permanent later date. .

To interject a horse note in here :slight_smile:

Life is Good… interesting race at Santa Anita today in the Sham (GIII).

5 horse field, two of whom are trained by BB. Life is Good went off as the race favorite at 1/5 and broke from the 5 post position. Mike got Life is Good out of the gate decent and went for the lead. About a 5 length lead on the field turning down the front stretch. Mike was doing a hand ride and Life is Good was running easy. As they flashed by the infield TV monitor, Mike looked to his left and saw Medina Spirit (the other BB colt) closing in a hurry. All of a sudden, Mike goes from taking in the sunshine to working and scrubbing and fanning the whip at Life is Good. Life is Good did win the race and a second faster than Authentic last year. But, it wasn’t an easy win going away.

Mike claims that Life is Good saw the infield screen and got distracted but I’m not sure I’m buying that. Post race interview had both BB and MS being interviewed and I sure got the feeling that both were being careful with what was said. BB said he was happy with Life is Good’s race but I’m in the camp of what does he do next outing…

Interesting. :slightly_smiling_face:

Edited to fix Medina Spirit’s name :blush:

The interview made it sound like Life is Good was interested in the infield TV display which may be true… I know I wasn’t on the horse, Mike Smith was.

What I saw on the replay is horse and rider coasting a bit (they did have about a 5 length lead and Mike had the horse to beat) until I saw Mike glance to his left as they were flashing by the TV display and all of a sudden got down to race riding; never noticed Mike checking under either arm to what the rest of the field was doing behind him. I think if Mike hadn’t gotten down to race riding, Medina Spirit could have passed Life is Good.

Sure would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in the BB - MS ‘in private’ conversation post-race :rofl:

So what are you saying? That Smith was almost caught asleep at the wheel until the last second? Or was there more to it?

Personally, I’m just glad to see successful riders who are not exactly spring chickens in any part of horse sports. Lol.

I don’t know. I know what Smith said in interviews. I thought I saw an easy ride until Smith looked to his left and saw the big TV screen in the infield. Replays of the race can be found so I would be of the opinion to read the interviews and watch the replay and form your own opinion? :slight_smile:

Yes, I think that Smith was almost caught asleep at the wheel.

I don’t see what his age has to do with the matter.

It has to do with the fact that he’s still riding and winning in a very tough sport when he’s eligible to be a member of the AARP, or close to it. Very encouraging for those who are not kids anymore.

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I think it is amazing that he is riding at the highest levels at his age. While that is a tribute to his talent, it is even more of a tribute to his work ethic. I have seen videos of how hard he works at maintaining his fitness–amazing and wonderful.

I still think he was almost caught asleep at the wheel.

Looked like a young horse getting a bit bored and/or distracted out on the lead all alone.
He was drifting a bit & did seem like he (the horse) looked around as they came off the turn into the backstretch.
Who knows what really happened :woman_shrugging:t2:
Guess we’ll see how things go on his next race.

It was interesting to see the change in the ride from one second to the next. He was practically standing in the stirrups with a loose rein, like he was going for a canter in the park. And then suddenly he was not.

For the record, he’s 55 years old now, and as of this moment, he’s the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown, which was with Justify in 2018 when he was 52.

And anybody who complains about having to wear a mask to walk around the grocery store should watch these guys ride a mile with their masks on.

Here’s the video:

If anything, age and experience help make the good riders excel. There’s a reason the apprentice jockeys get weight breaks… they’re still learning to ride the game.

TVG did a short video on an informal ‘competition’ between Flavien Pratt (France) and Umberto Rispoli (Italy) working out on the beach at Del Mar with the same personal trainer. Both those guys are ripped and in seriously good shape. Shows what is required to be a top rider in the bigger races.

I have no trouble believing that pound for pound, they are the fittest athletes on the planet. And probably the bravest. I don’t believe there’s any other sport that has an ambulance following them around every foot of the way.

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I am not saying that Smith is not a great rider. Yes, age and experience coupled with working hard to stay fit have enabled Smith to stay successful long after most.

I also think that even the best riders can make mistakes. (How about Willy Shoemaker blowing the 1957 Kentucky Derby when he misjudged the finish line on Gallant Man ?)

I think Smith made the mistake of easing up on Life is Good too soon, realized it (maybe because of age and experience), and was lucky enough (or skillful enough) to get the colt going again enough to win.

Actually there is… not as closely but bicycle road racing such as Tour de France also have a few ambulances follow the peloton as they race as well as a mobile Dr that can treat things like road rash or other ‘ills’ with approved medications while the racers are still racing along with the peloton.

Add another to the landscape… Prevalence looked very nice in a 7f maiden race for 3YO with an easy lead over Stage Raider, Justify’s half brother.

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Almost forgot… Caddo River in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn on Friday. He looked good and, IMO, another to watch as we move toward the first Saturday in May

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