Originally Posted by RolloTomasi
The main closers were Zandon and Mo Donegal.
Ahead of the race, much was made of the former laying closer than he had in the Blue Grass. That proved to be a somewhat faulty strategy as they went :45+ and 1:10+ and that horse was only 5-6 lengths or so away. Prat also starting advancing a bit early (with a 1/2 mile still left to go). Shades of Point Given perhaps.
Mo Donegal didn't make a move until the top of the stretch (the winner was already advancing and awaiting room while saving ground) and when he did he got the patented 15-wide run that's always good for a "split the field" effort. The minor closer Barber Road chartered a similar course.
As someone who bet Mo Donegal, I keep wondering - would Mo Donegal have won if Sonny Leon was riding him instead of Irad? At one point in time, those two horses were basically at the same spot on the track. They took different approaches/routes and we see what happened. Not sure Irad really gave him a shot to win.
Iím still in shock from that race.