Weekend Overview: This weekend featured mostly formful races aside from the Ohio Derby. Since the races turned out mostly as expected it gives the impression that those horses really are as good as we think and therefore maybe could into horses worth following. Fabulous Strike, Strike Softly (by the way, is it possible for a sire to be hotter than Smart Strike is now?), Lady Joanne and Buzzards Bay could all be major G-1 factors later on this year. In fact many of them may step up into G-1 company immediately. In England fans were treated to a dominating Derby win by Authorized and an edge of the seat thriller in Light Shifts Oaks. Both winners look to be of good class and quality.
Performance of the Week: The 3yo sensation Jiggs Coz continued his dominance in Woodbine's Plate Trial stakes. He is now 4 for 5 lifetime with his only defeat coming in Canada's championship race for 2yo's last year. He finished third that day and it was just his second lifetime start. This year he has been spectacular and the Plate Trail was his last tune up for the Queen's Plate where he might be odds on. He tracked a moderate pace until the head of the stretch where he simply assumed command without being asked. It looked almost like a staged workout, David Clark was motionless on his back and no one got anywhere near him. Although he has never been on the dirt before he almost looks like a horse who could win a stakes race in America.
Race of the Week: The Ohio Derby was a rather pleasing race to watch. Not for a tight finish but for the explosive move by Delightful Kiss around the far turn. If you haven't seen the race then go and watch it here. Delightful Kiss was well back early and seemingly in an instant he was a length in front. It was a monstrous early move that he sustained all the way to the wire. You don't often see acceleration like that in Graded Stakes.
Flop of the Weekend: I'll bet Todd Pletcher was not very popular with the good citizens of Ohio after sending out a flat Cowtown Cat in their Derby. He was last in the Kentucky Derby and might as well have been last in the Ohio Derby. In the end he was 4th but he was well beaten and never threatened. He looked bad all the way around and it seems like the Derby took something out of him. Cowtown Cat was certainly the biggest flop of the weekend.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Both of the filly dirt divisions have new leaders, and oddly enough both of them came out of the same race and neither of them were winners. Balance narrowly gets past longtime leader Ermine in the Older Female division. Just 3 points separate them and Sugar Shake is only another 3 points back in third so it is a wide open division at this point with no one really asserting themselves. Unbeaten Nashoba's Key may have the chance to do so. She became the 4th ranked older mare with her win in the Milady. Hystericalady also edged past Pussycat Doll in the Female Sprinter division despite the fact that the race she just competed in was a route. With the TCR an entire horses campaign is taken into account. The division they end up being ranked in has to do with the majority of the races they run. At seasons end a horse must have at least 3 races in a division to be ranked as a part of that division.
Tip O’the Cap: I'll give a combined tip of a top hat across the pond to Henry Cecil and Frankie Dettori for their respective wins at Epsom. Henry Cecil won his record tying 8th Oaks when Light Shift out gamed an O'Brien runner. The Cecil barn has waned considerably in recent years, much like the Lukas barn and it was great to see the old champion trainer win once again. He may be the most loved flat trainer in England. There is no question that Dettori is the most loved jockey in England. The effervescent Italian finally ended his Derby nightmare by winning with Authorized, his 15th ride, in the storied classic. His trophy cabinet is now truly complete as this was the lone major race that had eluded him. Congratulations to both winners, it was an emotionally satisfying weekend at Epsom.
KC Handicapping: The handicapping in this space finally got back on track. The winner was selected in all 4 races and just one of the 7 horses picked finished out of the frame. It was Boboman who ran 4th. Lady Joanne and Strike Softly won as they should have and Buzzard's Bay gave his backers a few anxious moments as he narrowly held off Sun Boat. The Ohio Derby worked out beautifully for my selections. Delightful Kiss was completely overlooked in the wagering and the winnings from him nearly gets us back into positive territory overall after 250 selections in almost 100 races.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 7(4)-4-1-1 (+$52.20 +372.85% ROI)
Overall record: 250(97)-48-38-39 (-$1.00 -0.002% ROI)