I’m hoping for a hot pace, as the Gotham marks the return of my current Derby horse--Done Talking (Broken Vow). I already laid out his merits a while back here, and while I’ve seen some impressive performances in the interim that have caught my eye, I’m still sticking with Done Talking as my number one for the time being.
That he’s been off a while due to an illness is less than optimal, but he’s made up for lost time with a string of long-distance works at Laurel and trainer Hamilton Smith appears to be pleased with how his charge is doing. The conditioner has had decent enough recent success with horses coming off similar breaks over the past year, posting a $2.61 ROI with three wins from 19 tries.
The most flattering development for Done Talking has been subsequent performances turned in by El Padrino (Pulpit), who finished a head in front of Done Talking in the Remsen with a significantly better trip (closer to a very slow pace). This year, El Padrino has run a 100 Beyer (up from a 79 in the Remsen) to take a tough Gulfstream allowance Jan. 29, and then he scored at 4-5 in last weekend’s GII Risen Star S. with a 98 Beyer.
My biggest concern, despite the pace not materializing, could be the distance (I’m not worried about a wet track--Done Talking has a 412 Tomlinson rating and plenty of runners in his family have done well in the slop). He has won twice going shorter than this, but the Remsen was nine furlongs and he seems like the type who will always do better with more ground.
At worst, I’m expecting a late-running third or fourth that sets him up for better going forward. At best, I’m expecting Done Talking to blow by the field late at double digit odds. Since a victory for Done Talking will depend on Hansen being softened up, in addition to a win bet I’ll also play some exactas with Done Talking and other closers--namely Tiger Walk (Tale of the Cat), My Adonis (Pleasantly Perfect) (who may or may not be a closer), Suns Out Guns Out (Empire Maker) and Stealcase (Lawyer Ron).
|Done Talking works at Laurel last Saturday|