The TCI boys take a week off from making picks and bring in special guests me and Ray Paulick for a rectangle table discussion about some of the hot topics related to this year's Kentucky Derby.The so-called hot topic I'm most interested in is the likely entry of Trinniberg, who will be a longshot to take the field gate to wire, but regardless of his perceived chances to win, he is an imposing presence for anyone handicapping the Derby from a pace perspective.The big question: Does he go right to the lead, and if so, how long will he stay there? If he doesn't make the lead in the first quarter mile will he ever?I do think he makes the lead early and likely gets on the rail because of it. The two questions then are: How does this effect the pace, and if you think he starts backing out of the race by the half-mile pole (i.e., six furlongs into the race) then how does that affect the run into the far turn?To the question of pace, I think Trinniberg actually helps horses like Bodemeister, Hansen, Take Charge Indy, and Union Rags (assuming he stays closer than in the Florida Derby). A faster pace means deep closers have to work harder to stay in touch with the field.If you think Trinniberg has no hope to last the 1 1/4 miles regardless of pace (even if it's 1:15) then if you're on a horse who can press that pace why not let him lope along and then take charge on the far turn? Trinniberg sets up a dynamic where maybe a horse like Hansen or Take Charge Indy or Bodemeister can be "alone" or relaxed on the second tier and run away from the field turning for home.To the question of Trinniberg's action in the final half-mile of the race, if he is in fact on the rail entering the far turn then horses making a move at that point will either have to go way wide for clear run or hope a hole opens up at some point. The rail is the place to save ground for sure, but you also don't want to run into a backing up horse.So obviously I don't love Trinniberg's chances to win, but please don't mistake that for thinking he doesn't belong. That's a topic for a future blog.
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The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.