Weekend Overview: Steve Asmussen continued his hot streak in Louisiana. He dominated the Fair Grounds stakes races again topped off with a win by Z Fortune in the LeComte. This Zayat Stables 3yo is still undefeated, it seemed to be the weekend for undefeated horses to continue their streaks. El Gato Malo, Indian Blessing, Zenyatta, Z Fortune and Euroears all stayed unbeaten. Perhaps the most impressive individual performance at the Fair Grounds this weekend was by Euroears. He won a 6f listed stakes race and earned a 106 Beyer for the effort. It was a breakout performance for the Bret Calhoun trainee who is now 4 for 4. Watch for him in up coming graded sprint stakes.
Performance of the Week: With all due respect to El Gato Malo this has to be about Zenyatta. She looks like a combination of Rags To Riches and Nashoba's Key. A relentless racing machine with unquestioned talent and poise well beyond what her 3 career starts should entitle to her. She must learn to break, or maybe she doesn't because despite spotting the field again she circled them with some measure of ease. Flores did have to get into her a bit on the turn and leading into the stretch but I think that's more because her mind was not on the task, not because she was struggling. She's quite large for a filly and once she hits top gear she's relentless and Flores wrapped up on her again nearing the line. Just a hunch but I have to think that this filly will start scaring off lots of horses from the Santa Anita filly and mare stakes program.
Race of the Week: For pure excitement the nod has to go to the San Fernando where Air Commander nosed out Johnny Eves and paid $106.80. Tiago looked like he'd get involved for much of the stretch but I think he was too close to the pace. Johnny Eves ran his heart out and continues to overachieve while Air Commander has never looked so good. A few people may look at the result derisively because on paper Air Commander had no business doing as well as he did. But big longshots scoring always has an air of excitement about it and who can sit down during a photo finish like that one?
Flop of the Weekend: Molengao looked nothing like a horse on the cusp of something better. On the contrary he looked more like a horse who will never run again. He broke last, trailed the field, made a move on the outside when on the far turn but came up completely empty in the stretch. The horses he was chasing were not all that good. It would not shock me to see Molengao either sent to the farm or get a surface switch to wake him up.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: The 2008 standings are still in their infancy. Air Commander has jumped into the top spot with his win in the San Fernando. The standings will not be updated on the sidebar until the TCR Awards winners have been named. We still need your votes so if you haven't weighed in yet please do so here. This is the last week for voting.
Tip O’the Cap: Helen Pitts did a great job bringing Einstein back to full form. He was a nice horse last year and in the opinion of some he was one of the best, if not the best, Turf horse in the early part of the year. The fall on Preakness day derailed the campaign but he was back in earnest on Friday at Gulfstream where he beat a stakes quality field at a mile. He did not earn a massive speed figure for the effort (97) but this was always a tune up and the distance didn't suit him that well.
KC Handicapping: A few of my selections went pear shaped this weekend but luckily our faith in the Canadian Turf program came through and we had a nice winner in French Beret. Sterwins ran a bit below form but was just nosed out for second. Gunfight and Molengao never ran a step in their respective races. After a long period of ineptitude last fall I've finally begun to get come momentum back. Hopefully I stay hot long enough to climb out of the whole. Over a period of about 14 months I've selected winners in 82 of 209 races and shown a flat bet loss of 3.72%. Considering the fact that I'm picking the horses at least a day beforehand it's not a terrible record but I would love to climb into positive territory.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 4(3)-1-0-1 (+$16.60 +207.50% ROI)
Overall record: 449(209)-82-74-67 (-$33.40 -3.72% ROI)