Will There Be A Quorum For The Blue Grass Stakes?

In law, a quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative body necessary to conduct the business of that group. In racing no such rule exists but when the connections of leading Kentucky Derby contenders defect from a Derby prep like the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, what does it mean? I'll tell you what it means, fear. Just a week ago the Blue Grass was shaping up as a meeting of the three-year old titans. Street Sense, Great Hunter, Any Given Saturday and Hardspun were all aiming for the race and it should have been the kind of race that the sport sorely needs and the fans would love. Four talented thoroughbreds willing to put the rubber to the road (yes that's a polytrack pun!) to determine who should go on to the Derby and who should think twice. But sportsmanship has taken a back seat to a strategy of avoidance where horsemen hope to win the Derby by avoiding the competition and hoping that bad luck or traffic issues keep the best horse from running his best race on Derby day. Yes it seems sportsmanship is in short supply, as major contenders opt out in search of softer spots for graded earnings and lose sleep over surface concerns. Will Hard Spun's connections really know if he likes the surface at Churchill after a gallop? Maybe. Wouldn't running against Street Sense and Great Hunter have given them more insight into their colt's abilities? Will it matter if he likes the surface and can't get within ten lengths of Street Sense? And what did Any Given Saturday gain by running in the Wood Memorial, third place money in a $750,000 Grade 1. Chances are he could have earned that and we'd know more about his abilities if he had run at Keeneland this Saturday.

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