WARNING: Derby Fever Can Cause A Philosophical Tizzy

Winning a Kentucky Derby prep in April can undermine even the most firmly-held philosophy; witness the words of Greg Fox, trainer of Slew’s Tizzy after the Coolmore Lexington.

“Our philosophy is that we don’t run horses back in
two weeks, this horse took a big step
forward today. You generally don't see a horse take
two big steps forward in two weeks."

The next morning, probably after a one-sided chat with owner Joseph LaCombe, Greg made no mention of his philosophical objections:

"I am thrilled to say he is doing excellent," "I believe he actually moved forward from the experience.”

In twelve hours Fox went from philosophical certainties to what appears to me to be hedging or maybe this is an outright flip flop? Owner LaCombe has succumbed to Derby Fever before when he ran HOTY Favorite Trick in the 1998 Derby although it was obvious to all that the horse could not handle the distance. Now he has a horse peaking at the right time who looks like he can go the distance, never mind that the Coolmore Lexington produces mostly also rans in the Derby with two notable exceptions of late, Charismatic and Proud Citizen

On the Derby trail, philosophical beliefs almost always take a back seat to graded earnings reality.

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