Weekend Overview: So who missed Street Sense this past weekend? Racing fans should applaud Todd Pletcher for making the Belmont into a truly memorable affair. Curlin beat the colts by an easy 5 1/2 lengths and still lost the race to a filly for whom nearly any superlative applies. Let's not forget the undercard though. 8 year old Better Talk Now rallies up the rail to take the Manhattan. Pletcher takes another G-1 with Cotton Blossom as favorite Dream Rush ran out of gas. Lava Man looked sharp on his return from Dubai but couldn't deal with the improving After Market. Wait A While seems to have lost some of her flash and dash, My Typhoon outran her in the Just A Game. And Sealy Hill might be one of the best Polytrack fillies in North America after winning the Woodbine Oaks in fine style.
Performance of the Week: I like to try and highlight performances that maybe slipped below the radar but how can I ignore a performance that will be talked about for decades? Rags To Riches was phenomenal in the Belmont. She earned a career high 107 Beyer speed figure which is the highest since Empire Maker's 110 in 2003. She stumbled just a bit at the break and raced wide most of the way around. Neither of those things would have cost her that much but they are still worth noting. Then in the lane she simply out gamed a very tough horse in Curlin. Many people expected a big race from him including me and to be fair he did run a big race, Rags To Riches simply ran a better one.
Race of the Week: The blanket finish in the Manhattan was great, it's really a shame that ABC decided not to air it. The race had relevance (something point standings could have accentuated) and was fantastic to watch. Better Talk Now finally got his first win at 10f after being well behind a slow pace. English Channel, Cosmonaut and Shakis all gave good accounts of themselves as well. Cosmonaut kept his underachiever tag and I think Shakis showed that he will be a horse to contend with over the summer. I have a soft spot for the grand old warriors in this game and it was certainly a satisfying finish to a great race.
Flop of the Weekend: What on earth happened to Keyed Entry? He's a talented sprinter on his day but he completely blew it in the True North. No injury has been reported and there was no equipment problems like a broken reign. He simply bolted and completely wiped out Bordonaro. I wonder if they will even try to get him back and in the right frame of mind.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: We have a new overall leader, and for the first time in TCR history it's a 3yo filly. Now there is still much of the season to go and if Invasor even runs 3rd in the Suburban he will retake the top spot but I think it is a fantastic accomplishment for Rags To Riches even to get to the top at this point in the season. Unlike other point systems that have a built in advantage for fillies, the TCR grades them on equal scale so it is very difficult for fillies and mares to be ranked #1. If I had to make a prediction I'd say that Rags will give Invasor a real run for his money. Curlin also became the top 3yo colt and Lava Man has now taken the top Turf spot.
Tip O’the Cap: This week's Tip O'The Cap goes to John Shirreffs for the wonderful work he has done in transforming After Market. After Market got off to a hot start in his career under Bill Mott with 4 consecutive wins. But it all went wrong in the Kent BC last year and After Market went 4 straight races without even hitting the frame. Shirreffs also had a hard time getting him right as he lost his first two starts back but he figured him out in time for the Inglewood and now he's parlayed that form into a G-1 winning performance. There is a fine line between success and failure, even with talented well bred horses like After Market. It is good to see him fulfilling his potential.
KC Handicapping: Only 4 of the 6 selections from this space actually made it to post. The Woody Stephens was a debacle. I think the performances of Tueflesberg and Stormello were not noteworthy, it merely showed how bad the sprinters actually are. I was shocked to see Dream Rush cut down in the final furlong. In hindsight I should have included Cotton Blossom, whom I selected to beat Rags to Riches last out. Better Talk Now was the real gem and with Sky Conqueror scratching he became a single in the Manhattan. I had that race almost spot on. You can find picks posted all over the place but rarely will you find accountability. Kennedy's Corridor believes that the readers deserve to see actual results so you can decide for yourselves how valuable the advice is. Now after 100 races handicapped in Kennedy's Corridor we've had 49 winners from 254 horses selected, exactly 50% of our win selections hit the frame and we've lost just 30 cents overall based on a straight $2 win bet on each pick. Public handicapping at least a day before the races is no easy feat. I'm rather pleased to be so close to even.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 4(3)-1-1-0 (+$0.70 +8.75% ROI)
Overall record: 254(100)-49-39-39 (-$0.30 -0.00% ROI)