Weekend Overview: On a weekend with so much other racing it's hard to imagine one race overshadowing them all, but the Preakness did that and more. A classic in every sense of the word. Pimlico itself has to be thrilled with the racing on display, nearly everything went to script aside from Street Sense losing and Mending Fences marring the Dixie with his unfortunate demise. Fans were treated to super stretch drives in nearly every stakes race both Friday and Saturday as well as the emotional victory by Chelokee. Belmont featured some decent races of their own and both the Peter Pan and Shuvee were excellent contests but I think they were lost in the shuffle.
Performance of the Week: To me Curlin looked unimpressive or at least uninspiring in the paddock and post parade. Boy did that change once the gates opened. The ground broke out from under him and he nearly went to his nose right from the gate. He did not seem to be going that well around the far turn. Albarado was asking him pretty hard and the response really wasn't there until Street Sense blew by him. Street Sense made the same move in the Derby and horses like Any Given Saturday were left toiling in his wake. But Curlin was awakened by the challenge and I was very impressed that he was able to come back and get past him at the line. This was an extremely fast race, one of the fastest two turn races of the year thus far and the scary thing was, Curlin did everything wrong. With a good break and a more steady, professional drive he may have delivered a performance for the ages. If Curlin gets any better he'll be too hot to handle, maybe even for Invasor.
Race of the Week: The Preakness is sometimes maligned as the least of the Triple Crown races and many writers spoke about how the past few runnings have been less than classic. Seems like the contestants were out to prove them wrong. It was a thrilling contest that was nearly too close to call at the line. Both of the top two entrants ran top quality races. For Street Sense it was confirmation that he can huge without his Churchill rail.
Flop of the Weekend: I have to give this dubious distinction to Circular Quay. I did not think he would fare very well in the Preakness and unfortunately he confirmed my worst suspicions. The pace was blistering and he failed to close any significant ground. He did not get any where near the top pair despite having roughly the same setup. He needs to go to one turn races.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Street Sense was a nose away from blowing open the 3yo division and taking top spot overall. Instead Invasor's reign continues atop the standings and Curlin has inched right up behind Street Sense and there is definitely all to play for in the 3yo division. Even Hard Spun could surpass the top two with a win in the Belmont. It will be very interesting to see this plot play out over the next few months. Sugar Shake let a golden opportunity slip by her. She had the chance to move into the #1 spot for fillies and the top 10 overall. Instead she finds herself still behind Ermine. Although Diabolical only moved into 6th in the sprint division with his win this weekend I think the race served as a notice. He is going to give his sprint rivals all they can handle this year, especially at 6f.
Tip O’the Cap: I'm not really a sentimentalist, but I thought it was very nice to see Chelokee win the inaugural Babaro stakes for Michael Matz. Sure he beat a bunch of nobodies and the race was a tad anti-climactic even before it was run. But there was something very satisfying about his victory. All was as it should have been.
KC Handicapping: Another very tough weekend on the handicapping front. Street Sense suffered a tough beat in the Preakness and Curlin was the one major contender I was opposing. Mending Fences broke down in the Dixie and took out Einstein and made Cosmonaut jump him. All three selections blighted by a singular stroke of poor fortune. I really think that Cosmonaut was well positioned to take the race. Winning Point goes down by a scant head, again to the main contender that I was throwing out. Quite incredible really that both the Black Eyed Susan and Preakness were settled by narrow margins and all of the top 3 hit the frame in both races.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 21(7)-3-3-5 (-$24.20 -57.62% ROI)
Overall record: 230(88)-42-34-38 (-$45.60 -9.91% ROI)