Weekend Overview: Even the toughest East Coast supremacist has to be casting an envious eye at the talent California is displaying in the older horse ranks. Heatseeker was phenomenal in the Californian and Zenyatta still as if everything is a stroll in the park. No matter what happens in the first three quarters of her races she still gallops out as if the race was a staged workout for her. No one has even been able to close ground on this big striding filly and it doesn't look like they've got to the bottom of her yet. If not for Tiago residing in the same stable I'd be thinking Classic, not the Ladies version in October. The plucky little Smooth Air continued the feel good story of his connections and confirmed that the Kentucky Derby was an aberration. He's a tough little horse who will be a match for most of the others from this crop.
Performance of the Week: Heatseeker is starting to remind me more and more of his sire. I was a massive Giants Causeway fan, that horse did not quit and it seemed like he could run every weekend and still bring his best. Earlier in the year I liked the look of Heatseeker for the Big Cap but decided he wasn't fresh enough to produce a big effort. Turns out that rest is overrated for some individuals because he went on to run the two biggest races of his career. He did get that much deserved break after Oaklawn and looked better than ever in the Californian. This was not just a dominant performance in terms of the winning margin, the track record or the ease with which he dispatched some really nice horses. He was also a picture physically. If Hollendorfer can keep this horse together until the fall the Big Brown vs Curlin match up may get overshadowed by a spoiler.
Race of the Week: It was a heart breaker for me but it was a heart stopper for anyone who watched. I was desperately rooting for Quiet Jungle to get home but Callwood Dancer just would not quit. It's the must watch race of the weekend.
Flop of the Weekend: Criticism for Harlem Rocker's demise in the Plate Trial will be brought against his connections but for me the flop was still up to Harlem Rocker. Yes it was a mistake to try a different surface and two turns at once (for less money) when there were so many other good two turn options on the dirt. But even if you think the connections chose the wrong spot you still have to point at the horse for the reason behind his failure. He simply didn't fire despite having every chance to do so. The Queen's Plate is now up for grabs as Harlem Rocker will likely be sent to the Dwyer.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Big Brown remains on top overall and he may just stay there indefinitely if he captures the Belmont. Heatseeker continued his superb season in the Californian and is now the top Main Track Older Male and 3rd overall. Zenyatta forged her way to the front in the Main Track Older Female division but is far from having an unassailable lead. Despite her dominance there is still all to play for from her competitions point of view.
Tip O’the Cap: Bernie Stutts has laid the groundwork for Smooth Air to have a throwback type campaign. He's already had a full spring and these days a bad race in the Derby spells at least a few months on the sidelines. But Stutts has a healthy horse and he is not afraid to run him. Smooth Air rewarded him in spades with a nice win in the Ohio Derby. I wish these two all the success in the world for the rest of the season.
KC Handicapping: I'm tired of losing. I thought I had a nice one in the Nassau only for the line to come up one stride too soon. Quiet Jungle had some up and down fortune in the Nassau. She sort of got squeezed back in the pack and didn't have a clear shot until the stretch. At first it seemed as if Sealy Hill was going best of all but Quiet Jungle accelerated nicely and looked sure to run down the longtime leader but the pacesetter dug in and the wire came too soon. Defeat by a nose and a continuation of my personal losing streak.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 2(1)-0-1-0 (-$4.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 529(269)-96-92-77 (-$106.20 -10.04% ROI)