Weekend Overview: Octave, After Market, Cosmonaut and Sky Conqueror made the weekend pretty chalky as a whole but Red Giant's thrilling victory should have been enough to wake Rip Van Winkle. Octave was her typical professional self as was Sky Conqueror. After Market looked a bit more workmanlike until the final 1/8th when he woke himself up and blazed past Out of Control. After Market is the real deal.
Performance of the Week: I don't think any horse really stood out as a spectacular performer from this week so it'll be a toss up from events during the weekend of my personal life. The first nominee is myself for a spectacular come from behind victory in a backyard Bocce tournament. My wife and sister in law had my partner and me on the rocks but we came roaring back and took the last 11 points in row to claim victory. I think the feeling was more one of relief rather than adulation. Losing at any sport to your wife and sister in law would have most men donning a paper bag until the redness of their cheeks subsided. The other nominee is Jimmy Stewart, the king of the silver screen. I was watching an old favorite of mine this weekend, Harvey, and was reminded just how good this guy was in front of a camera. He is one of the few actors who can (or could) completely carry a movie all by himself. I think James gets the nod for the performance of the week.
Race of the Week: How often does it work out that the main feature race of a new broadcast initiative ends up being a barn burner? Well it worked magically for CBS, if anyone happened to watch the race they were in for a huge treat. It was nearly impossible to separate them with the naked eye. I wrote prior to the Virginia Derby that class usually tells in this race and although Red Giant was 35/1 I do suspect that we saw the two classiest horses together at the wire. Red Giant is very inexperienced stakes wise but he is now 5-4-1-0 on the grass and has already beaten older allowance horses. Don't write him off next time he turns up. Strike A Deal was my pick and I thought of him as the classiest horse in this division. I think he made his case, Red Giant looked as if he was going to blow by him at one stage, but Strike A Deal dug in and I don't think Pletcher's horse got in front until the last jump. It is somewhat worrying that he has now lost his last two photos but this is a very nice horse. He seems perfect for middle distances.
Flop of the Weekend: Despite the fact that I love her I can't avoid giving Arravale this dubious honor. She ran the worst race of her life in the Dance Smartly Stakes. She looked very fresh and quite rank. She ran on the lead, which she never does, and set pretty quick fractions. But the worst part about her race was that when she was challenged she offered no resistance at all. She went from first to last in a matter of shortening strides. This was not a performance worthy of her.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: It was the week of the turf horse and two Turf Horses made names for themselves this week and had a huge impact on the standings. After Market is now the #1 Turf Horse in the nation and is 7th overall. Sky Conqueror is close on his tail and managed to make it to 10th overall. Red Giant catapulted past all his 3yo turf rivals and is now ranked 10th in the Turf Horse division. Octave moved into second place in the 3yo Filly division. She passed rival Christmas Kid who could only manage third in her weekend engagement. The only other significant move came from Masseuse who just got past Safari Queen for third in the Female Turf division. She is a long way off the leaders but she is a solid second tier kind of horse.
Tip O’the Cap: This weeks Tip O'the Cap goes to chicago gerry, for those who are not regular readers of the comments section on this space you are missing out on some of the most valuable advice you'll find. Gerry frequently outperforms the selections made by yours truly and this week was no different. For anyone interested in Arlington Park he is the go to guy. Keep up the fine work gerry!
KC Handicapping: Not a good week of handicapping. My best bet of the weekend, Bees, scratched out of the Virginia Oaks and the race was won by a horse I was intentionally going against. Then in the Virginia Derby my primary selection was beaten in the last jump by a Pletcher. I won the Del Mar maiden but I won it with the shortest priced option, from 3 selections in that race they ran 1-3-4. I would have still missed the exacta but I nearly had all the right principles.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 8(3)-1-1-1 (-$11.80 -73.75% ROI)
Overall record: 318(132)-59-51-51 (-$53.90 -8.47% ROI)