Ahhh…a pic so very relevant this week, too.
I’ve not set one single foot on the campus of the University of Louisville. Nor, have I ventured inside the house that really sh#tty, pepperoni, mushrooms and onions built.
I have, however, spent some time under the Twin Spires, a hired hand in fact. I know pizza and I know horses, and when State hits the turf course on Saturday, the field will be comprised of some pretty well seasoned thoroughbreds.
The Cardinal barn probably has more 4 year olds on the 2 deep than there are promising foals on the entire length of Versailles Road.
Seasoned handicappers, such as yourselves, also know that the Card speed bias is off the charts. They are some daunting ponies, to say the least. With speed on the rails, speed on the outside, and a talented trainer, the Cardinals warrant the prohibitive numbers placed by the oddsmakers.
To say the Red & White silks are stepping up in class for a second straight race is truly an understatement.
However, the Wolfpack farm is not exactly saddled with B meat runners and glue factory shippers. Indeed, they have more than a few studs of their own. Reading the Form leads us to believe this stable is on the improve since the first Maiden race of 2016.
A look at past performances shows that two years ago, at Louisville, the Pack stayed in that race until tiring down the stretch. Note several key horses were forced to remain in the barns back in Raleigh. Last year’s stakes, on a muddy surface, saw the Wolfpack lose early footing in a bad break, just out of the gates, with a bit falling to the turf, but managed to stay in it, failing just enough fire to close on the winner.
How the race will be run:
Obviously, the Cardinals will use that speed to try and get to the lead out of the gate. They will want to stay there and force the pace. While the Pack must break cleanly, it is tantamount that they rate early, yet not save so much ground as to lose sight of the frontrunner. They must set a pace of their own, and not get caught up in a speed duel.
If the Wolfpack can manage a clean race and find themselves only back by a few lengths at the far turn, they are capable of making a run at the top of the stretch. Whether they have enough to close and overtake the Cards at the wire, may depend in the accuracy of a rumor going around.
Has the ol’ cowboy, Tom Booker, been hired to work with one of the Wolfpack barn’s most fractious colts? Or, someone like him at least? Hopefully, the answer is yes, because the Pack is gonna need that particular hoof to be sound.
While on the Ohio River, the gravity of the stakes still looms. Don’t forget.