Weekend Overview: It was a week that saw the identification of emerging contenders and the disappointment of a few logical contenders. Sunriver confirmed his form on grass and won the Bowling Green in adequate style earning a 106 BSF. Pletcher might be able to turn him into a legitimate G-1 grass horse, which is good. We're short of those in America. Unbridled Belle put in a sterling performance in her second start this year and all of the sudden she looks like one of the better Older Females in the east. Tiago, like Any Given Saturday is giving the 3yo division the appearance of real strength and depth. If that weren't enough First Defence won the Long Branch as he pleased all the way on the front. He is still inexperienced but he gives the impression of being a very very talented horse. Smart And Fancy also took the Light Hearted at Delaware to win her 4th stakes race in a row and stay undefeated on the Turf.
Performance of the Week: Although Posted put up an eye popping 111 BSF in his second career start he is not going to be my selection for performance of the week. Rather I thought I would give the honor to a horse I've never been a huge fan of. Tiago was a plodder early in his career. He was a non-winner, but he has really come of age and is a much better horse than his more famous brother. The way he shot through that opening on the rail was very professional and the pace was not really the type you'd expect to play into his strengths. It was a very solid performance and Tiago looks to have his best days in front of him.
Race of the Week: No race stood out to me this weekend as particularly noteworthy in the excitement department. There was a general lack of stirring stretch duels but I suppose the Round Table at Arlington was one of the best races of the weekend. Personally some luster was lost when Dominican failed to show anything close to his best but Pavarotti gave a good account of himself.
Flop of the Weekend: I'm going to be slightly more harsh on Asi Siempre than Indian Vale. Both flopped but Asi Siempre finished behind Indian Vale and had to be considered the more consistent of the two. Indian Vale has always been prone to bad performances so her backers could not have been all that shocked. But Asi Siempre had been the model of consistency. Since moving from Turf racing she had never crossed the line worse than second and that included a good second in the BC Distaff but she was simply flat at Delaware. It can be a quirky surface so that's a partial excuse but she still ran badly.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Silent Pleasure sidled into the top 10 overall with a win in an obscure stakes race in Louisiana. Silent Pleasure has not really stepped up into the tough races yet but he is 7-6-1-0 this year and is making a nice living with lower grade stakes. If he stays in mostly listed class races he has an outside chance of being in the top 10 at years end but he'd have to win a whole lot of races. Tiago displaced Hard Spun for third in the 3yo Colt standings. Besides that many of the divisions stayed as they were. Indian Vale and Asi Siempre continued the current trend in the Older Mare division, the unfortunate trend is for promising horses to fail badly.
Tip O’the Cap: 38-11-6-8, it is not the record of an all time great but Funny Cide gave fans their share of thrills and with $3,529,412 earned over the course of his career he certainly was a useful producer for his owners. Funny Cide did decline quite a bit with age but I commend his connections for taking the opportunity to go out like they did. My personal favorite Funny Cide memory was his victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. At the time it was said that he has not good enough to win and that he could not stay the distance. He appeared beaten at one point on the turn but battled on gamely to take the laurels. For me that will always be the race that best exemplified what he was about.
KC Handicapping: It was looking like another dire week after the first two races. I was excited about playing Sprung in the Toronto Cup but she scratched and the other two ran poorly. Then Royal Highness somehow got beaten. I was surprised that Safari Queen did not put more pressure on Rosinka. In the lane Rosinka was taking Royal Highness outside. Personally I thought there was a slight shout for a DQ. But there really wasn't much bumping. Rosinka kept coming out as Royal Challenger would get to her and then the favorite would shy to the outside. If they had kept a straight course Royal Challenger would have won. Unbridled Belle saved the day though and made it a profitable week as she displayed her affinity for Delaware and a route of ground. She absolutely romped in the Sunday feature.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 6(3)-1-1-0 (+$6.60 +55.00% ROI)
Overall record: 310(129)-58-50-50 (-$42.10 -6.79% ROI)