Banned Probably Not the Best Bet for the Triple Crown
At 163rd in graded ranking according to Horse Race Nation, Banned certainly seems not to be a strong contender for the 2011 Kentucky Derby. However, last year, this colt provided some reasonably strong rankings in the racing circuit. With two firsts and two fifth places out of four starts, it would seem more like he is a rather shaky competitor. Although he runs modestly over firm turf, a last-quarter-mile of 23.40 seconds in Keeneland last October definitely shows finishing strength. Trainer Thomas Proctor is starting 2011 with a great deal of confidence in his horses, having trained them for numerous conditions on the track, although his confidence may not be directed towards Banned for contention and more geared towards some of his top horses.
With strong training background, and as one of the top trainers in the nation, Proctor was wise to take this direction of training with this year’s crop of horses. It has been a bit since he has seen a winner, and being prepared for different sets of weather conditions will help each horse he has on this circuit. That being said, Banned still shows a lot less promise than the others in his brood, like Inflation who is a more mature and faster runner.
Banned is a stronger turf runner, taking after his sire in this area, though he had strong pedigree as a potential dirt runner as well. His first dam won two of twelve stake races, her half-sister was a placed dirt sprinter, and his second dam was a multiple stakes winner on dirt tracks. Again, if pedigree could lend the best of sire and dam traits, these would be the best that Banned could hope for. Combined with the all-condition training provided by Proctor, this could very well help him in this year’s standings.
Looking at the best arena for the debut for Banned based on his starts from last year, is all there is to go on at this point. As is the case with many of the underdogs, a long layoff and no starts this year leave it hard to gauge potential for Derby standing and the arena for the debut of this colt. So, based on last year’s performance, turf would make the best start for Banned. That being said, the Gotham would certainly make sense here. However, there has been no indication of this at all at this time. That leaves many questions and much anticipation for the fate of this team and of Banned for 2011.
Regardless of his outcome this year, Banned has had several months of solid, dedicated training by a true professional on the race scene. He has surely been given every advantage in training that will help him in the 2011 season. Perhaps Banned will surprise in his debut, but the question is whether or not he can hold his own through the preps this year.
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