Weekend Overview: A good mix of top form being confirmed and some upsets. We saw some 2yo's to get excited about in the stakes at Aqueduct and Churchill and some top quality Turf racing at Hollywood. Pure Clan stayed undefeated with another solid performance in the Golden Rod. Cowboy Cal and Sea Chanter quietly made cases for being the top Turf 2yo's for their gender and Daytona swept the two fall Turf Derby's in California and was strangely reminiscent of Sweet Return.
Performance of the Week: Well this has to go to Daaher doesn't it. This colt has been a favorite of mine for a while now and even he surprised me with this performance. I thought Midnight Lute would carry all before him but little Daaher just shot away at the head of the stretch and looked as if he could have easily gone further. He's just a tiny little guy but this Canadian bred has me really excited for next season. If he is capable of this already he could be untouchable next year. The Lute is no pushover and it was a massive effort from the pocket rocket to claim his scalp at this stage in his career.
Race of the Week: The Remsen was a real nail biter, most of the attention goes to Court Vision because of the real determination he showed to fight off the traffic problems and nail Atoned at the wire but don't forget that Atoned had some real trouble in this race as well. He nearly fell down on the back stretch when he clipped heels with Big Truck. He was still able to circle the field and open up in mid-stretch. I think both are superior colts and ones to watch in the future.
Flop of the Weekend: It's a toss up between Nobiz like Showbiz and every horse in the Clark Handicap aside from the winner. Nobiz was just woeful and looked nothing like the horse who reeled off three straight wins in New York. I think he was likely over the top after a long season but it still was a massive disappointment for his fans. I will try not to disparage AP Arrow but when he is winning a race like the Clark Handicap it causes you to question the quality of every other horse in the race. Istan had no kick at the extended distance, Magna Graduate was simply dreadful and even Diamond Stripes did not perform anywhere near to his normal level despite plunking up for yet another 3rd place finish.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: With upsets in many of the big stakes races we did not have as much movement atop the leaderboard as predicted but we did see one massive change. Precious Kitten put herself in the pole position to be named top Female Turf horse. Lahudood, who will also get a lot of votes, slipped down to 4th place. Precious Kitten may not be a media darling but she's been huge all year. She's had a solid campaign and has compiled a record of 9-4-4-0. Her only poor race came in the the Breeders Cup where she was taken out of the running by Simply Perfect. All her starts have come in Graded Stakes company and she has a pair of G-1 wins. She is definitely the kind of champion I could get behind.
Tip O’the Cap: I'd like to tip my cap to sporting connections who have decided to keep promising horses in training. Fans get pretty frustrated when owners decide to take the money and run and some start to take a permanent negative view of the sport. But we have Midnight Lute, Daaher, Precious Kitten and even Wait A While coming back for another campaign. Let's not forget that Wait A While is a 3yo champion and her connections are bringing her back at 5! Those are just a few of the horses who were in action this weekend who are coming back. There are still plenty more and we have much to look forward to.
KC Handicapping: It was a heavy week for handicapping at KC. We had 15 selections in 10 races and thankfully we were slightly profitable. Thorn Song is making himself into a blog favorite pretty quickly with his gutsy performances and generous prices. Mushka was also very impressive with her last to first rush. Midnight Lute turned out to be not so easy money as Daaher improved much faster than I thought. Wait A While also ran into a buzz saw in Precious Kitten. City Attraction was also a narrow loser and had any of those 3 managed to win we would have made even more money for the weekend. It almost feels like an opportunity lost when so many of my choices ran great races but we still only managed a narrow profit.
My public handicapping continues to be poor as the CD selections went 12-1-4-1 with Old Man Buck the only winner. We had some tough beats but it was simply a poor day.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 15(10)-3-2-2 (+$1.80 +6.00% ROI)
Overall record: 430(195)-78-73-61 (-$44.40 -5.16% ROI)