05/09/2006 12:00AM

BreezeFigs Quick-Pix, Kentucky Derby Follow-Up


Well, here's what we said about Barbaro, one of the horses we really liked in the Kentucky Derby:

"Barbaro had an unconventional breeze at Churchill - fast and a very long stride (over 25 feet). His internal speed figures were super, best of the week, but he showed little power - that means he may be the type of one-paced horse who can go on like the Eveready Bunny and wear them all down, which is typical of his sire's offspring. Very dangerous....Barbaro will be tough if he can stalk close to the pace - if he does, no one will get past him in a drive to the wire."

To which one can only add, "indeed."

Barbaro never really quickened--he simply extended his long stride down the stretch and showed complete superiority. He had a stride length of 24 feet going into the first turn, on the backstretch and on the far turn. He maintained the same basic speed for each quarter to the end--but when he hit the stretch, he extended his stride length to 24.9 feet. Thus, he covered the last quarter in fewer strides than he took for each previous quarter. For another horse to beat him that horse would have to have been on even terms at the quarter pole and had a stride length of a minimum of 25 feet down the stretch. And that would have been a real stretch.

Even though we were impressed with how Sweetnothernsaint accelerated on the backstretch (he has the best kick in the field on his workout and showed it in the race) and thought he had a real chance at the half-mile pole, in the end he moved too soon and probably would not have passed Barbaro, but may have finished second.

Still, based on our feelings that six horses stood out based on past performances and overall BreezeFigs compatibility, finishing 1-3-4 with Barbaro, Steppenwolf (our "Giacomo" pick, "a logical horse to use in the Superfecta"), and Jazil ("should be in the top four") is not all that bad for a first shot. Lawyer Ron was compromised by a rough trip but simply did not have it anyway, and Sinister Minister did what we expected but could not last ("best bet to run off with it like Spend a Buck, or he will be nowhere").

A word about Bluegrass Cat: He had a BreezeFigs profile in his work at Churchill that was similar to that of Barbaro's with one major exception: Very good stride length and a steady way of going without quickening, but not nearly as fast internal speed numbers, and he ran to his numbers.

As for Top Notch Lady in the Oaks, well, it was a bit of a "lemon" of a race, no?

Back to the normal pix next weekend