Pictures Top to Bottom:
Bollinger with her foal, Frisian Fire
I Want Revenge
I Want Revenge is the current favorite, although the weather in Louisville may change that. Joe Talmo rode a fabulous race in the Wood Memorial. The horse had a horrendous start and conceded two or three lengths to the next to last horse. Talmo steadied his horse and rated him. He made a number of moves, threading him through the second pack about half way around and fighting his way near the final turn to get out four wide around. He took charge in the stretch and held off a very credible challenge by West Side Bernie by a length and a half. He ran the mile and an eighth in 1:49:49. His grand sire is A.P. Indy. His mother was Argentine, sired by Roy—a top notch sire with blood lines including both speed and stamina.
Dunkirk is an intriguing entry. He ran second, a length and a half behind Quality Road in the Florida Derby at a mile and an eighth. I estimate he ran it in just over 1:48, at least five lengths better than anyone one else in the field ran that distance.
Had he not had cracked hooves, Quality Road would have been the favorite.
You can see this dappled gray in Bob Coglianese picture. His grand-sires have both won the Belmont (Unbrideled and A.P. Indy.) His mom, Secret Status, won the Kentucky Oaks. Garrett Gomez has chosen to ride Prince of the Nile rather than Dunkirk which some see as a negative signal. Dunkirk gains Edgar Prado. Dunkirk may be better off.
The Aussie Connection
The Land Down Under has a horse to back. Andrew Eddy writes in the Age, "THERE will be plenty of Australian horse owners and breeders tuning into this weekend's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs as victory in the classic by one of the race favourites, Friesan Fire, would create quite an impact in the breeding barn down under."
Friesan Fire is Bollinger's second foal. The second picture shows him as a youngster. Gai Waterhouse trained Bollinger. Among others, the the mare won the Group One Coolmore Classic in Australia six years ago. Vinery Stud, which used to own Vinery Study in New South Wales, brought Bollinger, to America. Colitis cut her racing career short. Ray Thomas tells us in the Daily Telegraph, "Friesan Fire didn't sell as a yearling but Vinery Stud aren't complaining now."
Friesan Fire's father is A.P. Indy who was scratched from the Derby, but won the Belmont and the Breeders' Cup Classic. His grand father is the Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. Friesan Fire has had a long layover (seven weeks.) His last race was impressive winning the Lexington over a mile and a sixteenth in the slop. You could see the water on the track, it was so wet. I would prefer to see my horse run a mile and an eighth, but with the forecasted rain over the next twenty four hours, I think I am going with the Aussie connection.