1. Creator – Irad Ortiz Jr. gave a Hall of Fame worthy ride…this was truly one for the ages. He saved all ground down the backside, made a move on the turn while also saving ground and getting in position, and then still saved ground heading down the stretch to just nose out Destin in the end. The ground saving move on the turn was critical as he was able to get Creator in position to where he would have a good chance. From that point on the horse has to get you there, and Creator was good enough to do just that. Very good horse…very fantastic ride. 16-1 was pure bliss for his backers!
2. Destin – He got the perfect stalking trip as he sat right behind Gettysburg the entire way around. He easily put him away in the stretch, and ran a winning race but just couldn’t hold off the late charge form Creator. There is not much you can do about a loss like that…crushing to his connections and the people who bet on him.
3. Lani – The cult hero known as Lani ran his best race yet…too bad he’s going back home to Japan after this one. Lani dropped back like normal, and basically made one long sustained rally all the way up the back stretch, on the turn, and down the stretch. It was one of the longest sustained moves you’ll ever see and he also was the widest of everyone as well. This was actually an incredible race out of him considering he had already ran in the other two legs of the Triple Crown. His supporters should be proud.
4. Governor Malibu – This is the only horse that has much of a complaint as far as trips go. He was in a great position for much of the race, but tried to make an inside move in the stretch and was shut off hard by a fading Gettysburg. This made him alter his course and probably cost him a shot at getting third. I do not think he could have beat the winners, but his momentum was stopped enough to think perhaps he would have been battling with Lani for the minor awards.
5. Stradivari – This just may have been a bit too far for him as he looked like he could be a winner turning for home. He was placed in a pretty solid stalking position and looked ready to roll in the stretch, but flattened out just a bit as he approached the finish line. This lightly raced horse has been asked to do a lot lately, but could reward his owners soon if spotted right next time out.
6. Brody’s Cause – Sat in a decent position on the back stretch, but was a little wide all the way around. No real excuse though as in the end he just didn’t have much punch when the real running began.
7. Cherry Wine – Changed his tactics in this race and ran closer to the pace, but ended up running a very flat race. On the backstretch he looked like he might become a threat…but just could never get any momentum going in the stretch. Look for him to go back to his normal style after this effort.
8. Gettysburg – Did what he was supposed to do…go out to the lead and keep company with the front runners for awhile. He faded when the real running began, but even though the fractions were slow he at least made Destin work a bit. His presence could have cost Destin the race.
9. Suddenbreakingnews – Was able to sit a little bit closer like we all wanted to see early on, but just didn’t have his normal kick this time around. He was parked out sort of wide throughout the race, but there really is no excuse for him this time around.
10. Trojan Nation – Fell extremely far back…laughably far back actually. Gave himself absolutely no chance which was ok because he didn’t have in the first place.
11. Exaggerator – Kept good early position once again as he sat closer to the pace just like he did in the Preakness. He did have to run fairly wide on the turn, but there really was no excuse for his poor performance. Perhaps the Triple Crown trail took its toll. Towards the wire he really slowed down which almost makes me think something minor happened injury wise.
12. Seeking the Soul – Dropped towards the back of the pack and never made a move.
13. Forever d’Oro – Had decent early speed which did land him in a pretty favorable spot early on. He had nothing left though once the real running began and faded badly.