Weekend Overview: I never like to see the Breeders Cup run on the slop but it still ended up as a top class renewal. Favorites and second choices dominated the day and many champions were crowned. Curlin will be the Horse of the Year and he fully deserves it after that dominant win. Now racing can only pray that he comes back to run next year. I was pleased to see Pletcher get a win and silence many of the boo-birds. Also very pleased for Bobby Frankel, a little bright spot for him in this dark time.
Performance of the Week: Take your pick, Curlin, Corinthian, Midnight Lute and War Pass were huge in their respective wins. Curlin honestly looked as good as any horse I've ever seen. I sincerely hope they run him as a 4yo because he might go down as one of the greatest ever. Midnight Lute is just a sprinting freak. I thought the distance might get him beat but he was much the best. War Pass may not inspire confidence regarding his ability to go Classic distances but it could be that this horse is simply in another world. No horse has ever gotten near him nor have they looked like they ever would get near him. He is easily the best 2yo out there and the rest are far back.
Race of the Week: I thought the Distaff was a barn burner despite coming out on the losing end of the stretch duel. Hystericalady was one of my keys and I thought she was home free once she edged past Ginger Punch but the distance seemed to get to Hystericalady as she started weaving a bit and finally fading in the last 70 yards. Octave's late run added to the visual splendor of the race's finish. Ginger Punch was just the toughest horse on the day and a deserving champion.
Flop of the Weekend: Street Sense was a huge disappointment but Dylan Thomas gets the nod. I was never really on him as a winner of the Turf but it's still a shock to see such a quality horse go down in flames. Put him along side Dancing Brave, Mark Of Esteem and Rock of Gibraltar. He was a huge flop in America.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Lots of action atop the TCR leader board. Curlin stamped himself as the definitive choice for Horse of the Year. He also became the highest scoring TCR horse on record. TCR rankings go back to 99' and only Azeri, Mineshaft, Saint Liam and Point Given managed to crack the 400 point mark in a single season. Curlin was well past them all with his 460.20. English Channel and Kip Deville moved into the top 2 spots in the Turf division. After Market continues to be hampered by his connections reluctance to run him on off ground. Had he run in the Arlington Million and BC Mile and finished well in either of those he might still be a contender for top Turf Male but he skipped and now he has no chance. Ginger Punch, Indian Blessing, War Pass and Midnight Lute all moved into first spot in their respective divisions with Breeders Cup victories. Two BC races winners that didn't were Maryfield and Lahudood. Maryfield is still ranked behind River's Prayer and Dream Rush. While Lahudood is behind Nashoba's Key and Cittronade. The Matriarch might be a deciding race for that division.
Tip O’the Cap: Steve Asmussen has taken a lot of flack over the way he runs his operation and the drug suspensions that he's served in the past. But on the day when the eye of scrutiny was focused the most he went 3-1-1-1 with a win in the Classic and a second and third in the Juvenile. A fantastic day for his barn and he looks to have plenty to look forward to next year.
Lost In the Shuffle: I bet no one was watching on Sunday but Darley's stable's hot pot Etched annexed the G-3 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct to remain undefeated and unchallenged in 2 starts. I don't think he could beat War Pass if they faced each other tomorrow but he is far better than War Pass was after 2 starts. Etched is one serious racehorse who could end up as a major contender next year if connections leave him stateside.
KC Handicapping: A tough week for me as the majority of my value plays never ran a lick. I did hit the Mile squarely (both Turf and Dirt editions) as well as being on the right track in the Turf. The juvenile races were a bomb for me as I sided with Polytrack horses and dirt horses thoroughly dominated. I felt kind of robbed in the Sprint as 3 of my 4 keys ran 2-3-4. I had the right idea in the race aside from tossing the favorite. So my bankroll is still slightly negative after 401 selections in 179 races. Considering the fact that I'm making my picks at least a day beforehand I think this is a decent performance but I'm going to fight hard to get it back in the black.
The Keeneland meet also came to a close this weekend and you can see my picks and results for the whole meet by clicking on the link on the sidebar. I had 36 winners on top and showed a flat bet loss of $10.60 or -3.40%. Again not a great performance but decent on the difficult Polytrack surface.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 19(9)-3-4-0 (-$2.20 -5.78% ROI)
Overall record: 401(179)-72-70-58 (-$35.20 -4.32% ROI)