by Nick Hahn/TheRacingBiz

Here’s a handicapping angle you can’t find in the program.  How long has a horse been on the grounds prior to the race?  In the Virginia Derby, recent history suggests early arrivals get a jump on the field.  Last year Silver Max arrived on Wednesday evening prior to the contest.  Paddy O’Prado ruled the stakes barn in his early week arrival in 2010.  In fact, both Paddy O’Prado and Battle of Hastings (2009) arrived early in the week for both sides of their sweeps of the Colonial Turf Cup and Virginia Derby.  On the contrary, in 2011, Air Support arrived, ran, won and departed in a 36-hour stopover when he nosed Banned at the wire. Banned was on the grounds for 5 days and went off the favorite, missing victory in the last stride.  Still, though it may not mean as much in the Colonial Turf Cup where only older horses are involved, for 3 year old colts, it appears to be a useful angle…

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