Weekend Overview: There was not a lot of racing to keep us occupied this weekend so the sad news of Invasor's retirement was all the more poignant. There was little doubt that he was the best horse to race in North America last year and he looked even better this year. It's a shame for racing that he got injured. However one of the great things about this sport is that tomorrow is another day and there is always another "next big thing" just waiting around the corner. Maybe it will be Molengao, maybe it will Flashy Bull, possibly its a horse we've never heard of. We'll just have to wait and see.
Performance of the Week: Gotcha Gold did not look capable of beating Lawyer Ron on paper. Luckily for him the race was on the dirt. It was just one of those days where a horse runs out of their skin. Gotcha Gold earned a lofty 108 Beyer Speed Figure for the performance, his previous career best was 101 and that was the only time he earned a triple digit figure.
He led every step of the Salvator Mile clicking off fractions of :22.95 :45.43 and 1:09.39 and just had enough to hold off Lawyer Ron by a neck. Lawyer Ron is certainly still the better horse but this day belonged to Gotcha Gold.
Race of the Week: Despite the pedestrian final time in the Queens Plate I thought it was a marvellous race to watch. Alezzandro came on quite a bit for his losing performance in the Plate Trial and was a stubborn foe in the lane. I don't think any horse in the race truly stayed the 10f but it was visually exciting to see Mike Fox just get to the front after it looked for a moment like Alezzandro had stolen the race.
Flop of the Weekend: Stradivinsky was odds on in the Highlander at Woodbine. He had been extremely impressive thus far but he simply got outrun by Smart Enough and disappointed his backers. Lawyer Ron was a loser at a much shorter price but at least his fans had something to cheer for in the lane. Stradivinsky was beaten at the half way point.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Really nothing to report this week in terms of significant movement. With Invasor retired he obviously is now just sitting there to be overtaken in the second half. His score of 225.00 would have been enough to put him in the year end top 10 in 3 of the last 8 years so more than likely his name will be up there for a while still. Worldly became the top ranked Turf 3yo but only by .92 over Inca King. It should be interesting to see them match up in the Virginia Derby along with Duveen and Summer Doldrums who are right in the mix as well.
Tip O’the Cap: Emma-Jayne Wilson is without a doubt the best female rider in the world at the moment. She has been one of the best riders at Woodbine ever since her apprentice days and now she's taken her first career Queen's Plate. This 25 year old is still getting better and it would not surprise me to see her win many more Queen's Plates before her time is up. Hopefully she'll even get a chance to ride in the US a bit. Well done Emma, anyone who has been to Woodbine knows that she is extremely popular with the fans. I bet the place went wild when she got up.
KC Handicapping: Ice cold weekend for me, both of my selections in the Arlington Classic were beaten out of sight. In the New York Stakes my horses ran 2-3-4 and the winner was a horse I respected but I chose not to select her so no points for that one. My horses ran 3rd and 4th in the Queens Plate but neither looked like a winner. Jiggs Coz did not handle the distance and Daaher (who was bet down from 15/1 to 3/1) closed belatedly to be a non threatening 4th.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 7(3)-0-1-2 (-$14.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 277(111)-52-44-44 (-$18.20 -3.29% ROI)