Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend Review

Weekend Overview: Well of the 4 races that looked to contain locks going into the weekend only 1 race turned out as planned and the winner of that one didn't look very good. Octave continued the odd streak of never having won a two turn race. Fairbanks ceased to be a racehorse of any merit and Grasshopper looked like a horse who is going to be good down the line but is not really Classic quality yet. Any Given Saturday did win his race but he was facing the worst field of the quartet and he made hard work of it. Tasteyville set a quick tempo and AGS was forced to make up a lot of ground but his closing splits and final time were average at best and worst of all he did not seem like 10f would be up his alley. As a side note I'd also like to say its nice to see Afrashad back on track an in the winners circle.

Performance of the Week: I have to give this to Bear Now, Octave was a big disappointment in this race but that should not detract from the fact that Bear Now ran very well indeed. Her connections will likely send her straight to the BC distaff off this 101 Beyer Speed Figure performance. What was most impressive was not the fact that she won but that she was actually pulling away in the end. She appeared as she could have gone around again. Some had her pigeon-holed as a Polytrack specialist but this race puts those fears to rest and with the general parity in the Distaff division this makes her a contender.

Race of the Week: Perhaps it was just because I have a thing for Silver Source or because not a lot of other big races were exciting but I loved watching the 3rd at Belmont on Saturday. That is until 1 jump from the wire. Silver Source and Les Grandes Trois put on a good show and I think that both horses could have a nice future.

Flop of the Weekend: I would be fine with nominating Any Given Saturday, Octave or Fairbanks as all of them ran well below expectations but I think I'll pin the dubious honor on PJ Campo and NYRA for A) messing with the stakes schedule to the point where the Brooklyn is virtually an allowance race with and B) Failing to attract any horses for their stakes races. I wonder if it has ever occurred to them that they have too many stakes races and that the overnight stakes race program takes horses away from Graded stakes which are the greatest source of betting revenue.

TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Octave missed a huge opportunity to close some ground on 3yo Filly division leader Rags To Riches. With Rags on the bench Octave is really the only one close enough to prise the top ranking away from her but she completely blew the Cotillion and that will surely be the last easy field she faces. Pussycat Doll moved up narrowly in one of the worst division in existence. The Female Sprinters have not had a strong inaugural year and Pussycat Doll's campaign is almost a microcosm of the whole division. The odd good performance followed by terrible unexplainable results and mixed in with flat performances. Any given Saturday becomes the 12th ranked horse in the nation and the 4th ranked 3yo overall. His ranking is sure to slip over the next two weeks though as a ton of G-1 races are run.

Tip O’the Cap: I hope racing fans have taken note of the campaign put in by Cloudy's Knight thus far. The TCR has him at 6th in the Turf division, some would say it's case and point why Point systems don't work. I say it's exactly why a point system is needed. Is Cloudy's Knight more talented than Shakespeare, The Tin Man, Remarkable News and Crossing The Line? No, he sure isn't but he's definitely had a better campaign than all of them up to this point. The 7 year old Lord Avie gelding has run 8 times winning just twice but he's hit the board 6 times and has never been beaten by more than 1 3/4 lengths. His win in the Sky Classic Stakes at Woodbine was well deserved and it sets him up well for the Canadian International. He will likely never be a true G-1 level horse and by the time all the big turf races are run he will likely be fortunate to stay in the TCR Turf Top 10, but I love the fact that tough old warriors like this can be more readily recognized for putting in a solid season.

KC Handicapping: Another disappointing week without turning a profit. We were just a head away from success though. Great Intentions ran very poorly after she was pushed too hard early on. Silver Source on the other hand put in a monstrous performance, the trouble was he was poorly ridden. He was stalking the early speed so there was no reason to be 4 wide the whole way around. The winner who just edged him out had a perfect trip saving ground in the pocket. You have to think that the ground loss cost Silver Source.

Cumulative record of selected horses: 2(2)-0-1-0 (-$4.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 361(158)-65-61-57 (-$81.20 -11.25% ROI)

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