In some ways you’d like to come back with some sort of excuse for a disappointing effort. You never want to see a horse hurt, but something straight up like “his ankle is aching”, etc. gives you a firm excuse and something to work on. But we have no excuses. Tens Wild came back just fine.
Jockey Chris Emigh thought he had a winner at the top of the lane but there just was no punch. The way he loomed large into the lane and then backed off, Clay thought maybe he had bled. When Tens got back to the barn Clay had him scoped to check on his throat and lungs but all came back clear which, of course, is a good thing.
The closest thing that I have heard to a possible explanation from a horseman I respect greatly was that Hawthorne has not been kind to horses trying to close in the lane and that Tens came right up against that bias.
Another is from Clay himself. He said that Tens is just not an every two weeks kind of horse. That he really needs that third week before he starts to get his optimal effort. We’ll give him the 3 weeks and get one more start. Most likely it will be at the lowest level possible since we need to be horseless by 12/31.