Weekend Overview: Evening Attire was the highlight of the American racing weekend, most of the other big news came from Hong Kong where once again they staged a top class meet that featured fantastic fields and classy winners. Sacred Kingdom is officially the new king of turf sprinting. This once beaten budding star was fantastic at Sha Tin, hopefully his connections decide to go international with him. Maybe even a tilt at the new BC Turf Sprint, we can always cross our fingers.
Performance of the Week: How about the gallant old Evening Attire missing the break and appearing to be not doing enough in mid stretch only to come alive and run down the loose speed. This was one of those moments I wished I could have witnessed live. It's not a race that will go down in history as one of the greats but it will likely live on as the defining race of Evening Attire's storied career. Every fan of racing in NY will remember this race forever. It may even result in him getting his own stakes race at Aqueduct. I think it would be fitting if they renamed the Queen's County.
Race of the Week: The race of the week was definitely the Hong Kong Mile. For those who haven't seen it follow the link provided. A top class field of milers going to post and just a nose to separate the top two in a very fast finish. Good Ba Ba just got the better of improving European Creachadoir with the fantastic filly Darjina back in third.
Flop of the Weekend: Ravel was supposed to have a coming out party in the Native Diver, instead he looked uncomfortable all the way around and he had no kick. Perhaps it's a good sign that he ran 4th without showing much but a 4th place finish still stands out as a terrible underachievement for this "superstar to be".
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Not much action atop the standings as you'd expect from a quiet week. Doctor Dino did move to 11th overall with this win in the Hong Kong Vase. He is not eligible to win any TCR awards because he did not make a minimum of 3 starts in North America but he did start here at least once so his name appears on the overall ranking. For comparison's sake he would rank 4th in the Turf Male division. Sunriver moved to 8th in the Turf division with his big win at Hollywood. He might be the American horse to beat in the Breeders Cup next year.
Tip O’the Cap: Evening Attire deserves a standing ovation for his gutsy performance in the Queens County but I like to try to be original so this week's tip o'the cap goes to Frankie Dettori who plainly out rode Mick Kinane in the Hong Kong Gold Cup. It was the biggest race of the weekend by far and Dettori on Ramonti showed Kinane a thing or two about timing and judging the pace. Viva Pataca was brave in defeat and Kinane did not necessarily ride him poorly it's just that Frankie rode a textbook race on a very brave horse who has stuck his neck out and reached for the line on more than one occasion this year.
KC Handicapping: Another tough week of handicapping. The surface and conditions switch did not help Isipingo or Champs Elysees to get out of their funk. Ravel and Cave's Valley simply ran poorly and Spring House did as well as could be expected with a bad ride and the level of competition he was facing. I got the pace all wrong in the Hollywood Turf Cup I though for sure the other Frankel horse would press Sunriver but he didn't put any pressure of note on him and Sunriver is too classy to leave alone.
My Hong Kong Analysis worked out much better. It's a shame those bets don't count. I selected 12 horses over 4 races and the cumulative record was 12-2-2-1. My top picks went just 1 for 4 but Doctor Dino was about a 7/1 winner, he was my best bet of the meet as well. Ramonti was about 4/1 so all in all I would have made money flat betting those selections to win.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 5(3)-0-1-2 (-$10.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 437(199)-78-74-64 (-$58.40 -6.68% ROI)