There seems to be an immutable racing law, one that continues to confound both handicappers and fans: The better the race, the slower the pace.

There were two Grade 1 races on Memorial Day, one on each coast, one on each surface. On both occasions the early fractions were a joke. Why slow down fast horses, taking away their best weapon? Why allow the competition to get comfortable, letting them stalk in slow fractions? Thought the idea of speed was to bottom out the competition?

These werent the best renewals of the storied Met Mile and Shoemaker Mile ever run, even if the latter featured a storied nine-year-old West Coast legend who won at a distance short of his best while making his seasons debut.

The Met always has featured fast horses. Running a flat-out sprint for a mile makes the race what it is, for fans and breeders alike. But :23 1/5 for an opening quarter-mile? There was some serious early gas signed on, one a supposed designated pacesetter.

What the hell is the point of running a rabbit for a late-running mate if he doesnt act like one? Did it make any sense whatsoever to apparently rate the overmatched sprinter Mr. Umphrey?

Corinthian got his Grade 1; Sun King did not and probably never will, although hes probably a better horse rounding two turns. Nick Zito should have started Commentator in the Met instead of bringing him back against state-breds sprinters. He would have given this group all it could handle.

Certainly cant make excuses for perfect tripping Lawyer Ron. Todd Pletcher doesnt run short horses and Lawyer Ron was undefeated at the distance before Monday. Corinthian is a talented horse, but he received a holiday gift. He works faster than he had to run (1:34.77).

The fractions in the Shoemaker Mile were :24 and :48. Twenty-four and forty-eight! The Tin Man is a wonderful racehorse; Richard Mandella is amazing when pointing for stakes engagements. But when a filly--even a talented Grade 1 winning filly--goes in :23 4/5 and :47 4/5 at a mile and an eighth in the Gamely on the same card, whats the point in handicapping a race?

Sour grapes? You bet it is!