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Is having a tooth knocked out an "excuse" for a bad race?

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There are a lot of good races to handicap for this weekend, aren't there?  We've got Dubai, which is an incredibly challenging card (at least to me), the Louisiana Derby, Sunland Derby, Spiral Stakes, plus nice, full cards at the Fair Grounds, Gulfstream and Tampa Bay.  Lots of places to spend some money this weekend.

I'll have a big weekend preview post up on Friday morning, but until then, here are a few tidbits that are making news:

  • The Daily Racing Form reported earlier this week that The FactorSway AwayCaleb's Posse, and Archarcharch are all probable for the Arkansas Derby.  
  • Sway Away, who performed just dreadful at Oaklawn last Saturday (at least in comparison to how I thought he would run), had a tooth knocked out as he was leaving the starting gate.  

    A tooth knocked out leaving the gate.  I've never heard of that before.  

    I suppose you've got an excuse for a bad race when you get popped in the mouth just as you begin to run.  
  • The Factor received a Bris Speed Rating of 106 for his win in the Rebel.
  • Dialed In zipped a half-mile in :47 and 2/5 at Palm Meadows this morning in preparation for the Florida Derby on April 3rd.  Nick Zito told the BloodHorse that he ripped off the final 1/8 in :11 flat.  

    While Dialed In's last effort was disappointing, perhaps it was better to get a clunker out of the way before his final two preps?  
  • The Super Derby at Louisiana Down will move to September 10th this year, two weeks earlier than normal.
  • If you watched Santa Anita last weekend you saw the impressive debut of the Steve Asmussen trained Maclean's Music in the 8th race on Saturday.  (Video via  The race earned the winner a 114 Beyer, the highest debut Beyer number ever awarded since the DRF started publishing the figures in 1991.

    Maclean's Music clicked off the following fractions on his way to destroying the field of maidens:

    1/4: 21.24
    1/2: 43.48
    5/8: 55.05
    Final: 1:07.44

    Mike Smith never so much as showed him the stick.

    We'll see what the rest of the horses running behind him do in the future before we get too excited, but Maclean's Music was mighty impressive first time out.