Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Invading A Track Near You

It has been a great year for Canadian bred horses in open competition with Americans. Being Canadian myself I have a real soft spot for Canadian breds that are good enough to race with anyone. Past Champions like Chief Bearhart and Dance Smartly seem like distant memories after quite a long drought when Thornfield and Judiths Wild Rush were the best we Canadians could boast about but now we've got quite a few that need to be taken seriously.

Jambalaya - The Arlington Million winner has been a revelation this year going 6-3-0-3. Ironically the course that has given him the most trouble this year is Woodbine. Connections are suspicious that he may not like Woodbine at all as he is 13-4-1-5 on that course and 4 for 5 on all other turf courses. In fact his only defeat on a Turf track other than Woodbine was his 2007 debut at Gulfstream. He ran a close third in an 8.5f stakes race. Look for him to stay away from Woodbine in the lead up to the Breeders Cup.

Sky Conqueror - Most people who have seen he and Jambalaya acknowledge that he is the better horse. He has finished in front of Jambalaya in all the 5 times they've met, however all of those races were at Woodbine. Away from Woodbine Sky Conqueror is not nearly as accomplished however he did manage to win the Woodford Reserve after having a very tough trip. He will likely stay at Woodbine for the Sky Classic and Canadian International so another trip to American is unlikely but if plans change he'll be very tough.

Daaher - The hottest new Canadian sensation, his latest race at Saratoga was sublime and discussed more in depth in the previous posting. As a commenter points out he is also a full sibling to Spun Sugar the Go For Wand winner last year. He may get some time off but look for him to tackle a stakes race like the Super Derby.

Maryfield - She is not the model of consistency but she is capable of big performances when you least expect them. Almost the sprinting version of Miss Shop. The Ballerina is a huge feather in her cap. Don't expect her to win much between now and the Breeders Cup but she has be included on your tickets if she shows up in Jersey.

Indian Vale - Perhaps many people did not realize that she is a Canadian bred. She is a pretty well known name. I think many people now would look at her as an inconsistent horse who can';t be trusted. I on the other hand see a horse who is totally consistent. If the race is 9f she wins, if it isn't she doesn't. Good thing for her that the Distaff is run at 9f. Her best race may even be good enough to compete with Rags.

Sealy Hill - An all around good horse. She is not fantastically quick nor does she post big numbers but this term she has been very consistent. If you count her Bison City DQ she is 6-4-1-0 this year. She does not appear to be as good on conventional dirt as she is on Polytrack or Turf but I would not rule out a race like the Spinster for her. Casse often ships to Keeneland and she might offer great value depending on which of the big name east coasters show up.

Sugar Swirl - She just got beaten into second in a listed stakes race at Saratoga but she was on a ridiculously fast pace and it left her with no chance. She is not a horse that is quite ready for the limelight but give Frankel some time with her and she could still develop much like stablemates Ginger Punch, Cittronade and Sugar Shake have done.

Strike Softly - Strike Softly is unfortunately injured and has not worked since June but if she does come back she'll be a good one to watch. She can sprint or run middle distances on Turf or Polytrack. Although she has never accomplished anything of note away from Woodbine I think she is more than talented enough.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice list of Canadian Breds /

Jambalaya last victory at AP ruined a lot of pick fours / one thing about following a good horse is that we tend to take the 'what has he/she done for me lately' too much so and give up on them the very time you wish you wouldn't have //
Further, I have just started the DRF free horse watch service and in fact have only one horse listed there who came back to win Sat., last // I regret not developing the list, because I would have definitely included Daaher who won big the other day at Saratoga I believe // This is a fine Canadian Bred whom I first heard about from this blog really during one of the KC postings leading up to one of the big races for Canadian 3 year old's // Maryfield is another one of those who I have supported vigorously since she raced in California and and of whom I lost track so to speak / Maryfield as has been mentioned by KC, won big and unexpectedly the other day // I think if a person finds something interesting, redeeming and special about a particular horse, barring injury, class level issues and etc., one should not be so quick to jump ship because, if there was something that really attracted you about the horse in the first place, more than likely it will be there for a while and in the meantime one doesnt have to regret not having stayed on the horse a little bit longer // In any event a great list of Canadian horses//thanks // chicago gerry