Weekend Overview: This was really the start of the Breeders Cup prep season. Any top flight horse who runs from here on out is possibly getting their last BC prep so pay close attention not only to the winners of these races but to the horses who run behind the winners. Smokey Stover, Lawyer Ron and Midnight Lute all made strong cases for the BC but so did horses like Benny The Bull, Attila's Storm and Park Avenue Ball. The 2yo's have also started in earnest, enough with the impressive maiden winners. Now we get to see how their class truly stacks up.
Performance of the Week: In my opinion Midnight Lute was more impressive than Lawyer Ron. The move he made around the turn was fantastic. He blew the doors off some pretty good sprinters and achieved the highest BSF of the season (125). He may just be as talented as Baffert has been saying. It's hard to get him into a BC race that would suit him perfectly. The Sprint might be on the short side. The Mile is likely right up his alley but Baffert seems to think more highly of the Cigar Mile than the new BC Mile. It would be a huge loss for the BC not to attract this horse.
Race of the Week: The Hopeful may only have had 4 horses but it was a very good race to watch. The much hyped Maimonides was sent to the front and 3-5 favorite Ready's Image had to try and keep him honest. They hooked up at the top of the lane and just as Ready's Image started to edge away Majestic Warrior came running hard on the outside and went right by him. Not unlike Circular Quay's move past Scat Daddy in last year's renewal. In my opinion Majestic Warrior and Ready's Image are both superior animals, they're the best of the crop so far and it would not surprise me at all to see one of them named champion at year's end. Majestic Warrior is by AP Indy out of G-1 winning Dream Supreme so he has every right to be a superstar.
Flop of the Weekend: Has Makderah finished the Glens Falls Handicap yet? Sure she had a little trouble at the head of the lane but she was just awful and that's now two straight flops by a filly who was supposed to be the best Turf Female in the nation by a country mile.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Lots of lead changes at the head of the divisions. Lawyer Ron has passed Invasor and Lava Man at the top of the Older Male category. He fully deserves his ranking and is now within shooting distance of Street Sense for the overall lead. Precious Kitten also eclipsed Cittronade in the FM Turf division. She has been quietly racking up the wins. Smokey Stover took control of the weak Male Sprint division with his listed stakes win at Monmouth. A race over the track will hopefully serve him well. 2yo divisions have also been added. Salute The Sarge is the top ranked juvenile as of today, he is unbeaten and favored for the Del Mar Futurity tomorrow. He may further solidify his lead. Rated Fiesty is the top ranked 2yo Filly. Unfortunately for race fans she will not run again this year so once this division takes more shape she'll be passed.
Tip O’the Cap: Bill Mott deserves a hearty congratulations for his performance at the Spa. At the start of the meet there looked to be no way past Todd Pletcher for the training crown but Mott had a very solid meet that Pletcher would have been hard pressed to surpass even if he had not gone cold. The final feature of the meet seemed like poetic justice as Pletcher's Ready's Image was run down by Mott's Majestic Warrior. Bill Mott is one trainer you just can't help but cheer for. He's quiet, humble and does right by his horses.
KC Handicapping: Nobiz Like Shobiz proved me wrong. One thing about this 3yo classic crop is that the main contenders seem to be of such class that they are able to step outside their division and win. Teuflesberg won the first big event where classic 3yo cut back in distance to sprint, Hard Spun followed suit and now Nobiz is 2 for 2 on the grass. Strike A Deal had every chance he simply doesn't have what it takes. The Forego was spot on, Midnight Lute looked every inch a winner right from the start. To the degree that I was right about the Forego is the degree that I was wrong about the Woodward. Both my choices ran very poorly and the favorite romped impressively.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 5(3)-1-0-1 (-$2.80 -28.00% ROI)
Overall record: 344(147)-64-54-54 (-$52.20 -7.59% ROI)