Sunday, March 14, 2010

Odysseus - My Obvious Choice

Sometimes you pick a Derby horse. Sometimes they pick you. Odysseus has picked me this year. I have been touting Malibu Moon and his progeny here for a long time. Not since Declan's Moon in 2005 has Malibu Moon put forth such a promising Kentucky Derby prospect. How can I not be on the bandwagon of this colt?

When the list of Triple Crown nominees comes out every year, I scour it for Malibu Moons and New York breds. This year, like most others, was pretty light in those categories. When it came time to assemble my Road to the Roses stable, I chose to include the best of the bunch, and that was Odysseus (as an aside, I have all 3 parts of this Trifecta in my R2tR stable).

It's also easy for me to root for the connections. Rajiv Maragh is a very good rider here on the New York circuit, trainer Tom Albertrani is one of the good guys and I like a lot of what Satish Sanan is saying about the sport and how to save it.

It wasn't just Saturday's win that got me hooked, it was the way he did it. Odysseus was rattled by Schoolyard Dreams blowing by him and he lost his stride. He showed that he wanted to win by pulling it together and giving it his all to the wire. I was so impressed that I had this blog post in mind even when I thought he lost. The fact that he got the nose in the photo just makes it better.

Was this a weak group competing in the Tampa Bay Derby? Perhaps. But Odysseus has improved in each of his races since his debut. I expect that his progression will continue. Also remember that last year's Tampa Bay winner, Musket Man, was very successful in the Triple Crown races.

Glad to hear this morning that the next race for Odysseus may be the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. My friends and I will be there to root him on. And check out new Odysseus fan page on FB put together by superfan Aspiring Horseplayer.


Amateurcapper said...


Odysseus is a better than average 3y.o. but IMHO, lacking the seasoning to be a serious Derby contender. Super Saver, has a bigger chance of moving forward off this effort than Odysseus because he has a better juvenile foundation.

Later this year, Odysseus has a chance to meet the expectations of the expanding bandwagon. At Saratoga or Monmouth Park, he will be a compelling alternative to the best of this class.

By my eyes, the deserving Derby favorite and most likely winner at this point is Lookin at Lucky.

Isn't differing opinions fun?

Valerie said...

With all due respect, Amateurcapper, is "lacking seasoning" an issue any longer? Two names immediately spring to mind: Big Brown and Curlin.

Like Odysseus, Big Brown raced once at 2 (in Sept, vs. Odysseus' Oct), then an ALW on March 5, and on March 29 in the Florida Derby. That's it. Three races total, two as a 3yo.

Curlin ran three races prior to the Derby, beginning with a MSW on Feb 3, then in March's Rebel and April's Arkansas Derby. No 2yo form whatsoever.

Maybe the old "rules" about having a juvenile foundation have changed?

That said, I've been an Odysseus fan from day one, and couldn't be more pleased to see him in the position he is now. Glad to see him aiming for the Wood.

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Alan H. said...

Amateurcapper - you said...
"By my eyes, the deserving Derby favorite and most likely winner at this point is Lookin at Lucky."

I do not disagree. However, I'm not trying to pick the most likely winner. I'm just pleased to find a horse and connections that I want to win. I am more of a fan than a gambler, so I tend to be more attached to the stories than the payoffs.

Valerie - Great points, as always. Thank you.

Kevin Stafford said...

Alan, you said it exactly as I would. I'm not trying to pick the most likely winner - I'm picking a horse that I WANT to win.

I'm a bit worried about the Blue Grass though - I'd prefer the Arkansas Derby, all things being equal.

I'm sure the doubters will be out in force should he falter, waving their fingers at us who dared to support a horse other than the obvious top two, but then again - they probably did the same to the 5 people out there who believed in Mine That Bird when he "lost" the Sunland Derby last year. :-)


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