Weekend Overview: Big Brown won as he should and it's on to Belmont. I think the race went exactly to script. It was a weak bunch against him and he didn't have to run very hard to dispose of them. This paid workout sets him up perfectly for his next task. It'll be exciting to see if he can manage it. Good old Student Council once again showed that in races near or at 10f he is still not to be overlooked.
Performance of the Week: All eyes were on the Preakness but the best performance definitely came in the Dixie Handicap. He went to the back of the field and sat behind a very slow pace. I suppose the strategy was to track the favorite Shakis but entering the far turn Castellano must have realized that he had enough horse to take on anyone. He sliced his way through the pack on the turn and got up to the leaders. This is usually when horses who have made a big move level off a bit but he had another gear and put another 7 lengths between himself and the pack. It was a huge performance. Not only was it the most visually impressive performance on the grass it also received the highest Turf Beyer Speed Figure (107) this year. Pays To Dream was a decent 3yo. He won his first three starts in state bred company before stepping up against the likes of Nobiz Like Showbiz. He was not disgraced when facing those horses and David Donk was likely hoping to have a decent year with him. He ran evenly without showing much in his 2008 debut so it really was hard to see this one coming. I'm not sure if he could ever repeat this level of performance but if he can he is a legitimate threat, even to Einstein.
Race of the Week: I was personally quite intrigued by the Hirsch Jacobs where Lantana Mob ran down Silver Edition in the last few jumps. The 3yo's outran their older counterparts who ran a few races earlier. Force Freeze very much has a "Fabulous Strike" look to him but he hasn't learned how to control his speed yet. Lantana Mob seems to be the consummate professional. He just keeps coming. I feel for Silver Edition who has had a very rough campaign. He just about got the job done after sitting a textbook trip but Lantana Mob would not be denied.
Flop of the Weekend: I think Shakis underachieved more than any other big horse this weekend. It's true that Pays To Dream ran out of this world and no one was likely to beat him but Shakis failed to mount a real rally at all and finished 5th beaten almost 10 lengths. That is a significant margin for a turf race. I think he's lost a step.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Just like in his race Big Brown is running away atop the TCR standings. His score of 280.68 already guarantees him a permanent spot in the top 10 all year long without even running again. If he wins the Belmont he will likely be unreachable. We have never had a year where two horses have broken 400.00 and a Triple Crown victory for Big Brown would send him over that threshold making him a virtual lock for the title even at this early stage in the year. Curlin has hardly had a chance to really do anything, it may be too late by the time he conjures a response.
Tip O’the Cap: After the nightmare of the Derby aftermath one could excuse Jones and Saez from wanting to run another filly on a day when the worlds eyes are on them but they teamed up to capture the Allaire Dupont Distaff with Buy The Barrel. Jones is going through a real purple patch with his fillies lately. Buy The Barrel has now won 3 stakes races this year and might be a horse who could step up against the heavyweights. For Jones and Saez it was likely a monkey off their back of sorts. Winning the race just before the Preakness with a filly was a nice touch for all the PETA protesters.
KC Handicapping: It has now been a very long time since I've had a winning week. Something like 8 or 9 weeks long. I've given out some live value horses but the chips just haven't fallen for me. Speed was having difficulty in all the races so that played against Sherine. It was a mistake to include Grasshopper I suspected he was vulnerable but still used him.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 5(3)-1-0-2 (-$7.60 -76.00% ROI)
Overall record: 526(266)-96-91-76 (-$98.20 -9.33% ROI)