Weekend Overview: Injuries are unfortunately tainting what was otherwise a fantastic weekend. As they crossed the line in the Gazelle I loved Rags To Riches chances of coming back to full form in the BC Distaff, and hopefully not at 3-5 because of this loss. Then the sad news emerged that she'd miss the rest of the year. I really hope she comes back next year. Global racing was also dealt a blow as Manduro sustained a career ending injury while winning the Prix Foy. Manduro was undefeated in 5 starts this year from 8f-12f and would surely have been heavily favored in the Arc. These injuries have cast a pall over the brilliance of Shakespeare, the promise of Prussian, the improvement of Digger and the turn of foot from Tale Of Ekati.
Performance of the Week: It simply has to be Shakespeare. I couldn't believe he cut down Kip Deville so decisively. He absolutely flew in the final furlong of the Woodbine Mile. Shakespeare might be the best Turf horse we've seen in America for a very long time. He's now won G-1's at 8f and 12f and has only lost once in his life. The injury that kept him on the sidelines for two years was a cruel one. It robbed us all of perhaps witnessing greatness. Shakespeare won't be a lock in the BC Mile, there is no such thing as a lock in that race but he will be a deserving favorite and a very tough horse to beat.
Race of the Week: I loved Tale Of Ekati's bursting move up the rail in the Futurity. This horse missed the break but recovered well and Coa was really just waiting to be crowned the winner. The way he came up the fence reminded me of AP Valentine when he won the Champagne over Point Given. The closing splits were very good and this was a genuine first tier juvenile performance. Kodiak Kowboy gave his standard average performance, and I'd be shocked if he won again this year, because from here he'll likely step up in trip and it won't serve him well.
Flop of the Weekend: The Leopard was pathetic, Todd Pletcher's juveniles seem to have gone to seed. On paper he looked ready for a big performance, but he was hugely disappointing. Obviously I was well off the mark in thinking that this was one of his best (if not the best) juveniles. The Leopard isn't done as a racehorse, in fact he was so bad that its possible something went wrong but clearly this horse needs time.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Not much action amongst the elite this weekend. Rags To Riches was the only top 10 contender in action and the news of her career ending injury actually leaves the door open for Octave. A win in the Cotillion and BC Distaff might be enough to overhaul Rags To Riches in the standings, but it's easy to speculate about that and not so easy for Octave to actually do it. The juvenile divisions are still a mess, they don't really take shape until the last round of BC prep races.
Tip O’the Cap: This weekend belonged to Kiaran McLaughlin as he swept the Gazelle and Woodbine Mile. McLaughlin has had a great year despite losing Invasor and will likely be a major player on BC day. You never hear a negative word about this barn that seems to always do right by their charges and pick spots well.
KC Handicapping: The slide continues from a profitability standpoint. Six races handicapped and just one winner however there was still some value in the analysis as 8 of the 9 horses selected ran in the frame. It doesn't pay if you're playing to win only but exotics players could have done decently. Now I just need to start getting winners.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 9(6)-1-4-3 (-$15.00 -83.33% ROI)
Overall record: 359(156)-65-60-57 (-$77.20 -10.75% ROI)