Weekend Overview: The Canadian Cajun takes his third American Graded Stakes race of the year. Between Jambalaya and Sky Conqueror Canada may have the two best Turf horses on the continent. Citronnade was finally found out and Red Giant was perhaps undone by the ride he got. He was sent to the front rather early and the winner did not get to him until the last 50 yards. With a more patient ride he may have held on, he is still the best 3yo Turf horse out there as Worldly missed his chance to capitalize on his defeat. Worldly was second in the La Jolla which is now his first loss in North America. It must also not escape our notice that Mach Ride, the horse who destroyed the best sprinters in the land in the Smile Sprint was seen this weekend trying to win a Turf dash at Calder. He finished second and I have to say it was a very curious spot for him.
Performance of the Week: Maimonides made his debut on Wednesday at Saratoga and it was something special. He cruised all the way around and showed off his flashy turn of foot in the lane when he was finally asked to do some running. I think that was more for the owners to get a look at him in full flight because he was never in any danger. This son of Vindication could easily be one of the best 2yo's in the nation. His Beyer Speed Figure of 89 was not all that impressive but I think it sets him up well. You'll find that many big figure maidens have a hard time running back to that form. I much prefer a solid fig coupled with the easy manner of victory that this colt showed.
Race of the Week: The Beverly D was the most exciting race of the week for me. Lady Of Venice, Irridescence and Royal Highness all looked like they had a shot at the 1/8th pole. Lady of Venice flattened out a bit but Royal Highness kept digging and barely got past Irridesence at the wire. I think was a bit of a coming of age for Royal Highness. I think she has always been good enough for a race like this, the chips had just not fallen her way until now.
Flop of the Weekend: Todd Pletcher was the bet against trainer of the week. He's usually Mr. Stakes Race but this week he went 13-0-2-1 in stakes races and his charges had average odds of 4.9/1. So his horses were essentially 5/1 on average and that's even with Ramazutti who went off at 24/1. He sent a lot of contenders postward and all of them got beat, some like Honey Ryder were well beaten for no apparent reason. It was not a great week for the Todd squad and the news isn't much better at Saratoga where he is 4 wins adrift in the trainer standings. He is usually being unofficially crowned by now. The stable is off form a bit.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Jambalaya zoomed into 6th place overall and first in the Turf division. After Market and Sky Conqueror both paid the price for skipping both of the major turf races this weekend. Things are still very tight though. Even The Tin Man who is ranked 6th has a legitimate shot of being first overall by years end. Citronnade's reputation took a hit but her standing in the division remains unchanged. She has a nice cushion on her rivals for now.
Tip O’the Cap: A tip of the cap goes to Digger, he was quite maligned earlier in the year on message boards when his owner Lawrence Roman indicated he wanted to put him in the Belmont. Perhaps some of those negative feelings stayed with the bettors because they sent him off at 10/1 in the 3rd race at Saratoga on Sunday. His performance was as breathtaking as allowance races get. He moved strongly into a quick pace on the turn and was 5 lengths in front before his rivals had a chance to react. It was a very nice race from a nice little horse.
KC Handicapping: The Beverly D worked out exactly as I'd scripted aside from Honey Ryder not running third. The Arlington Million surprised me, not that Jambalaya won but that the pace was slow enough to play into his hands. In my analysis I commented that Jambalaya needed a to stalk a slow pace to win but I discounted the possibility of a slow pace. Danak never got a run and Sunriver ran well but did not handle the going nearly as well as he did at Belmont. In the Sword Dancer I was on the right track in opposing English Channel but I went with the wrong choice. This has been a decent week at Saratoga, if I can add just one winner on Monday I'll have had 20 winners for the week and so far for the meet you'd be making a 24% flat win bet profit.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 5(3)-1-1-0 (+$10.40 +104.00% ROI)
Overall record: 332(140)-62-53-52 (-$46.40 -6.98% ROI)