Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend Review

Weekend Overview: From a running style perspective this was a bit of a backwards weekend. A lot of the big stakes races on the main track went to closers while the two big turf races of the weekend were won by speed horses. Euroears remained undefeated with a win in the Colonel Power and Daytona remains the hottest Turf horse in the nation with his 4th straight win on the sod. Hendricks has done a great job with him. Indian Blessing also remained undefeated and while Proud Spell flashed a warning shot I think it's impressive that Indian Blessing just keeps on winning. Georgie Boy, Pyro and Grasshopper all showed some serious intent in their 2008 debuts. The trio look set to have a good year.

Performance of the Week: Although Pyro did not receive a big Beyer Speed Figure in the Risen Star his performance is definitely getting the most attention. He was dead last coming into the stretch and had to weave in and out before finally getting clear sailing. Once he hit top gear the race was over and Bridgmohan was congratulating him before they hit the line. A very impressive race that was better than the figure will suggest. It is extremely difficult to close into a slow pace on the dirt but Pyro made it look simple.

Race of the Week: There is nothing I love more than watching closers mow down a field after looking hopelessly beaten. Pyro's performance in the Risen Star was, to my eye, the most exciting race of the weekend but we can't make this whole review about Pyro so I'll give the nod to the Mineshaft Stakes where Grasshopper came through a bit of a tight seam to blast by Silver Lord. Grasshopper is a real horse for the future. Howard basically said the Mineshaft would just be a prep, he wouldn't be fully cranked. I think most people who saw the race are now looking forward to what he could do at his best.

Flop of the Weekend: I hate to rag on the old champ Better Talk Now but his performance was well below par. I know Motion would not necessarily have wanted to win the race but it has to be discouraging that he never really lifted a hoof. In virtually all of his previous seasonal debuts he was at least flying in the end but he showed nothing here. I would not be shocked if this changed the Dubai plans.

TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Spring At Last is still the #1 ranked horse in the nation but the top 10 has become an eclectic mix of the various divisions. Seven of the eight divisions are represented in the current top 10. The only division not represented is the Female Turf which has had very few races thus far and there have been no dual stakes winners at all. G-1 winners Double Trouble and Golden Doc A moved to 5th and 6th overall while Indian Blessing remained second in the Three Year Old Female category. The decision to bypass a G-1 for a G-3 is the cause. The standings are remarkably accurate but they would reflect the on track quality even more if trainers campaigned as if they wanted to finish atop the standings.

Tip O’the Cap: I'm going to salute the solid Bsharpsonata and her small time connections for the recent run this filly has had. We know that Timothy Salzman knows his way around a sprinting filly but he so rarely gets a good one. Bsharpsonata has quietly won 4 of her last 5 starts, all of them in stakes races. She has won both sprints and routes on turf and dirt. Her most recent success came this past weekend when she won the G-2 Forward Gal at Gulfstream in the slop. She moved quickly through a gap on the rail and out dueled the even money favorite. She may not be the next Oaks winner but she's a fantastic little horse.

KC Handicapping: Not a great week to go cold at the windows. I had been doing well recently, in fact this is my first losing week of 2008. But from 6 picks in 5 races I failed to net a single winner. Z Fortune, Proud Spell and Silver Lord all managed runner up spots but that is hardly a consolation. Sometimes it just goes like that. My longshot plays in the turf races did not pan out at all.

Cumulative record of selected horses: 6(5)-0-3-0 (-$12.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 469(223)-87-79-67 (-$42.60 -4.54% ROI)

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