Weekend Overview: Favorites struck with alarming consistency this weekend. I'm having a hard time remembering a more formful weekend. The all stakes Pick 6 at Churchill Downs paid just $48. The longest priced winner in the sequence was Tizdejavu who paid $8.00 as the second choice. Curlin punctuated a top class weekend where the stars lived up to their billing. No one could get near Jess Jackson's star. The 1-2 finishers in last years BC Distaff also confirmed that they're still near the top of the class. Ginger Punch and Hystericalady both galloped off to easy victories. Unbridled Belle made her seasonal debut in the Obeah Handicap and looked much better than she did last year. She will be tough this summer. Dreaming of Anna continued her remarkable run of form on the grass running her record to 11-8-3-0. Triple Crown challengers Golden Spikes, Pyro and Cool Coal Man all got back to winning ways with minor stakes wins as well.
Performance of the Week: I think most people would likely give this to the powerful Curlin, the stylish Ginger Punch or maybe the speedy Hystericalady but for me the most visually impressive performance of the weekend belonged to Tizdejavu in the Jefferson Cup. He broke on top and established the lead and never looked back. But the decisive moment came on the far turn where he put a clear five lengths on the rest of the field and powered to the line. He thoroughly crushed this group and it appears like the Turf division has a possible new star. He's got speed but he's bred to get more distance. Perhaps he's the new Kitten's Joy? We'll have to wait and see.
Race of the Week: It wasn't a graded stake but the Scottish Monk Stakes at Belmont was a phenomenal contest to behold. Perhaps the only favorite to lose this weekend was Cosmonaut. He was 3-5 in this listed 8f stakes race and it appeared as though he'd have the field at his mercy. Godolphin's Tam Lin had other ideas. He challenged Cosmonaut as they swung for home and the two battled all the way down to the line. Cosmonaut seemed to hold the advantage all the way until the last stride where it appeared that they had dead heated but the photo showed a slight preference to Tam Lin. They were as tight as two horses could be.
Flop of the Weekend: It's hard to find a case where a well backed horse did much worse than expected. All the favorites ran quite well and there were no major disappointments. But I think one could point to Grasshopper as a general disappointment this year. He ran so well at Saratoga in the Travers and the world seemed at his feet. Since then he's gone 6-1-3-0 while being favored five times with just a single G-3 victory to his credit. Grasshopper was supposed to be the new kid on the block who could tackle Curlin. He never got anywhere near him in the Foster.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Curlin finally gets added to ranking and debuts in the #2 spot behind Big Brown. His races in Dubai to count towards his total TCR score but a horse needs to run at least once in North America to be included. For year end award consideration Curlin would need three starts in America and that looks by no means certain at this point.
Tip O’the Cap: I thought it was a poor decision to thrown Einstein to the wolves against Curlin and company in the Stephen Foster. He had some form on dirt but nothing to suggest that he could win. Einstein however is identifying himself as a thoroughly classy individual. He did appear to struggle in the Foster but he still managed to run second. I love seeing a tough old warrior like this perform at a high level even when they're struggling.
KC Handicapping: This is pretty frustrating, it was not a good week to go against the favorites and that's what I was trying to do. All my picks ran well but only good enough to fill the bottom of the exotics.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 3(2)-0-2-1 (-$6.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 547(277)-99-97-79 (-$121.60 -11.11% ROI)