Versaki finished just 7th today, but he was beaten by only three lengths, which is frustrating. According to the Paris Turf, he finished “honorablement,” or honorably. He did run well, but didn’t show a turn of foot when the hole finally opened, so in the end it was one of our typical 20-horse pile-ups. I have to say the handicappers do a pretty good job, because these big fields usually show a very close finish. If he is ridden a bit closer to the pace next time, or even in front, he will do better. The distance and ground were good for him, but I know he can be a bit lazy, so putting him closer next time will help.
Hard Way, meanwhile, will go to Longchamp on Sunday, shaggy as he is. I can’t find a decent comeback race for him elsewhere, so it’s either this or wait another three or four weeks, and he seems relatively ready to go so we’ll give him a spin. I have no idea how he will do, but my primary goal is that he doesn’t try to do too much. Blessing Belle has a good entry at Longchamp next Thursday, and she should have a shot there.