Weekend Overview: Curlin showed us one again why it's a bad idea to take a heavy favorite who is doing something new for the first time. He did not run badly, but the old pro's on the surface were too much for him. It was by no means a bad race for the reigning Horse of the Year but I do believe this should see his plans for the Arc scratched. Red Rocks will have no chance in the Arc. Curlin should likely take on a race like the Woodward. Give the fans at Saratoga a chance to see racings current version of Big Red. Somewhat in the shadows of Curlin's turf test Benny The Bull and Kip Deville kept right on winning for Dutrow and IEAH. Both horses have turned into winning machines since the Breeders' Cup and they ought to keep on rolling right up to this years event. Golden Spikes and Indyanne both looked like useful sorts at Calder although I suspect Indyanne has the brighter future. Indian Blessing will have her hands full at Saratoga. Tizdejavu is looking more and more like a top class turf horse in the making. No one has been able to seriously challenge him yet although he has never run a big race on the Beyer scale, he still has plenty of time to develop before he takes on his elders.
Performance of the Week: I have to give this to Mistical Plan. She produced a spectacular performance which was far better than likely even her connections thought she was capable of. It seemed as though sprinting on the dirt would see her produce a career best effort but the way she took it to the speedy Dream Rush right from the off was unexpected. She ran a very good filly right into the ground and still had plenty left for the stretch run. There isn't a female sprinter anywhere in the world who could have beaten her on Saturday and I suspect she likely would have shown Benny The Bull a thing or two as well. Well done Mistical Plan.
Race of the Week: It did not turn out the way fans expected but the Man O'War was the top race of the week in terms of hype and I think it lived up to its billing. Three Breeders' Cup winners facing off and all of them ran very good races. Red Rocks loves North America, three races on this continent have produced two G-1 stakes wins and and another third in the BC Turf. Why they don't leave him here is beyond me.
Flop of the Weekend: Most of the big name horses performed quite well this weekend. Dream Rush was a disappointment as Curlin in a way but I think the worst of the under performers was Unbridled Belle. She looked nothing like the filly who dominated the Obeah Handicap. She was rather jaded and never got in the race at any point. She will hopefully bounce back at Saratoga but this was the race connections really thought she could win. This is what they geared her up for and she didn't respond at all.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: Big Brown's 10 week reign as the top horse in America is over. Curlin, despite failing to win the Man O'War, did just enough to usurp him for the top spot. Big Brown still has every chance of taking back the top spot though when he run in the Haskell next month. Curlin's next engagement is undecided. The sprinters continue to be very strong this year and Benny The Bull is the pick of the lot. He is now the 4th best horse in the nation after taking his 4th straight stakes race. Proud Spell has finally made the Three Year Old Female division her own with a nice win at Delaware and Tizdejavu has been quietly climbing the ranks unnoticed. He is now the 3rd ranked Three Year Old Male in the nation and the 6th ranked Turf horse. He still has not lost on the sod.
Tip O’the Cap: I was pretty critical of Dutrow and IEAH's decision to leave Kip Deville in the barn following his win in the Makers Mark Mile. The original plan called for him to be rested until the Woodbine Mile in September. They decided to shorten up his rest a bit and run in the Poker this past weekend so despite the fact that he is still going to have a light campaign I do applaud them for deviating from their ridiculous original plan. Fans want to see the stars run and Kip Deville as a defending BC winner is definitely one of our current stars. The more he runs, the better.
KC Handicapping: The losing streak is over, after weeks and weeks of solid selections without nice paying winners it finally paid off. Mistical Plan is the hero of the weekend with a very solid score in the Princess Rooney. Although I selected her I had no idea she'd run that big. That was a huge new top. I was quite disappointed with the way the Delaware Handicap turned out. Neither Spring Waltz nor Unbridled Belle did much running. Hystericalady obviously CAN get the distance.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 4(2)-1-0-2 (+$10.20 +127.50% ROI)
Overall record: 559(284)-100-98-81 (-$119.00 -10.64% ROI)