Weekend Overview: The Shoemaker Mile lived up to it's billing as a top class clash of Turf milers. Daytona should be applauded for the fantastic run he's on. It was nice to see Precious Kitten get back on track. Some feared that she may have lost a step but the Jackson's decision to purchase her and keep her in training looks like a good one. Divine Park might not have been the best horse in the Met Mile but he continues to give the impression that he might be the best middle distance older horse out there at the moment.
Performance of the Week: I don't often give this to a losing horse but Commentator deserves the plaudits this week. All his career he has been a horse who is brilliantly fast but was easily done in by rabbits. He'd fold the tent whenever he had to face other legitimate speed. But on Monday he decided that was enough of that. Commentator did eventually get passed by Divine Park but he never gave an inch despite being pushed hard by First Defence. He ran the best race I saw all weekend.
Race of the Week: Watch the Dallas Turf Cup by clicking on the Race of the Week subject. It really is hard to see who won the race with the naked eye. Storm Military is unlucky not to be the winner but take nothing away from Church Service who absolutely came and got him. It was a fantastic stretch run. Red Rock Creek made some eye catching progress of his own despite having traffic problems. For pure entertainment value I think this was easily the best race of the weekend.
Flop of the Weekend: I don't want to be too harsh on Dream Rush since she was coming into the Vagrancy off a long layoff but her loss seems almost inexcusable. Perhaps the blame rests with Eibar Coa who made a hash of more than one assignment this weekend. Dream Rush blew the competition away for the first 5 1/2f but you get the feeling that Coa thought she was untouchable and he would show off a bit. There was no real reason for the blazing fractions or even to ask her for her best a long way out. She had the race by the throat but she was pressed too hard by her pilot and seemed to hit a wall in the final furlong. Coa was likely not a popular man with the connections after this one. He could also scarcely run to the Tagg barn for solace after he guided Tale of Ekati through a 6f work in 1:18.97. A good 6 seconds slower than what the trainer had asked for. Ouch.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: The Turf Female division has finally sprung to life. The best Turf distance filly in the east is surely Mauralakana. She was extremely impressive in the Sheepshead Bay and that victory was enough to take her to the top of the division. Costume forfeited a chance to make her presence felt in the division when she failed to get on track in the Ouija Board Distaff. Nashoba's Key and Wait A While have still to throw their full weight around but Precious Kitten got off the mark in the Gamely and looks set to have another strong year. Interesting times ahead for the Turf Female division.
Tip O’the Cap: Aiden O'Brien gets the nod this week for sweeping the Irish Classics as well as taking the Tattersalls Gold Cup. All three G-1 races at the Curragh this weekend went back to Ballydoyle. When his stable is fit they seem to sweep every race they contest. He sometimes comes in for criticism for developing horses too quickly but it often gets forgotten that this man can simply train any horse you give him. From precocious juveniles to Yeats the 7yo champion stayer to Istabraq the phenomenal jump racer.
KC Handicapping: Daytona is a win machine. It's a shame that I repeatedly go against him. Ever A Friend ran a good race but Hyperbaric ran like a horse who needs to grow up. Thousand Words ran like a horse who needs to give up.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 1(2)-0-0-1 (-$4.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 527(268)-96-91-77 (-$102.20 -9.69% ROI)