Weekend Overview: It was supposed to be the unveiling of a new superstar instead it was just the recognition of an under rated horse. Daaher turned out to be not so super and Spring At Last is no longer the best horse you've never heard of. I don't believe that he's true championship quality but this is a solid little horse who has been running very well since last spring. Even his effort in the Big Cap last year was a good one, he just doesn't have enough stamina to go 10f. The BC Mile and Dirt Mile could be realistic year end targets for him.
Performance of the Week: I loved the swashbuckling ride Flores gave Monterey Jazz. He went straight to the front and ran his rivals right off their feet in impressive style. Everyone else in the race assumed that he was going far too fast to sustain that pace but the Jazz had plenty in his tank. After a slow start to his career Monterey Jazz is now a stakes winner on two different surfaces and he gives his connections tons of options for his campaign.
Race of the Week: I thought the Whirlaway was quite a good contest. Roman Emperor and Barrier Reef both ran great races and earned very solid Beyers for a race of this class. Roman Emperor did most of the donkey work early on but Barrier Reef caught the eye with a nice quick move on the turn. I loved how Roman Emperor would not quit once passed by Barrier Reef who still seemed full of run. I was quite a stretch battle.
Flop of the Weekend: Both G-1 races produced massive flops. Daaher simply looked terrible. He went way too fast early on but he also never showed any fight at all. I have to think it just wasn't his day or something else was bothering him because horses who come to run stick around a bit even if they go too fast early. Daaher was a major disappointment and he's got a ton of rebounding to do. Hystericalady was perhaps less of a disappointment because less was expected of her. But she was also facing much easier horses. She didn't go that fast early and like Daaher she was struggling as soon as the real running began. It was not an encouraging performance by a filly who pretty much started the year being regarded as the best in the West.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Spring At Last is our new overall leader eclipsing In Summation and his pair of stakes wins. Spring At Last is not a really a realistic candidate for Horse of the Year given the type of campaign he is set to have. Despite the huge money on offer in Dubai only one Dubai World Cup winner has managed to finish a top the TCR Standings. Pleasantly Perfect did it in 2004 but then his main competition stateside failed to run enough to get past him. Intangaroo was a surprising winner of the Santa Monica and is also the surprising leader of the FM Sprint division. Given the relative weakness of this group last year it's not hard to see this underdog stay atop that division for a while.
Tip O’the Cap: I've got a soft spot for fellow Canadians. Horses like Daaher, Buffalo Man and Leonnatus Anteas will get a fair bit of mention on this space if they continue to have success but for this week I'd like to recognize another top Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson. This brave jockey took on the boys at Woodbine and was a huge success and she's now turned her hand to Hong Kong for the winter becoming the first women to be licensed there. I wish her all the best and I tip my hat to her courage and pioneering spirit.
KC Handicapping: Another slight profit was made thanks to Eaton's Gift. He looked every bit as good as I hoped he would. Unfortunately his connections will stretch him out and try to make a Derby horse out of him. I say start looking at the King's Bishop as the target. Daaher was immensely disappointing and Mr Napper Tandy ran his habitual second. It's a shame I lacked the confidence to go with Monterey Jazz. I like him a fair bit but decided not to highlight him here. Faint hearts never won big money.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 4(3)-1-1-0 (+$1.60 +20.00% ROI)
Overall record: 463(218)-87-76-67 (-$30.60 -3.30% ROI)