As for me, I knew he couldn't go nine furlongs. Wrong!
Sweeping to the lead from the middle of the Santa Anita track, he did so like a natural router that would win its nine-furlong debut. He finished second and not because he didn't stay the distance. He lost because Tiago was relentless under machine-gun left-handed whipping from Smith. Tiago grabbed the Pletcher runner right at the finish post.
Because of training time lost early this winter, Team Valor spokesman Barry Irwin indicated yesterday that King Of The Roxy would skip the Derby and instead point for the Triple Crown's second jewel, Pimlico's Preakness. A sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Derby's 10 furlongs, the suitably shorter distance makes sense, as does the extra two weeks of preparation.
And if his Santa Anita Derby effort is any indication, King Of The Roxy is not that far behind top class 3-year-olds right now.