Weekend Overview: This is the road to the Breeders’ Cup season and those with a keen eye will have picked out several horses who will have big chances at Santa Anita this fall. Well Armed oozed class all the way around in the San Diego and if Curlin does not show up to the Classic he may be the horse who gives Big Brown his toughest challenge. Music Note was scintillating, clearly a top rung horse with a future. Spring House showed no ill effects from his journey to Dubai and should move forward as well.
Performance of the Week: There really has been a changing of the guard in the last two months in the Three Year Old Female division. It looked as though Proud Spell and Eight Belles has everyone by the throat and Indian Blessing was likely to dominate all the one turn races. Now Zaftig and Indyanne have emerged as some of the most dangerous one turn fillies and Music Note looks more than a match for Proud Spell and even looks better than the ill fated Eight Belles did. Music Note was dominant in the CCA Oaks this weekend but the most impressive part was not the fact that she beat a decent filly in Little Belle. It was the way she accelerated so quickly once she was already clear. Her cruising speed was enough to stalk the pace and get to the front but her acceleration once asked was breathtaking and she really does look like a most special filly. I’m not sure that any dirt filly will be able to handle her once she develops. Even Zenyatta may have a tough time with her if she takes to synthetic tracks.
Race of the Week: The Virginia Derby was heart stopping but for me a race like the Eddie Read where multiple horses have a shot is more exciting. Monzante finally broke through with a top class win but Whatsthescript was somewhat unlucky. Both horses have found new life recently and there is little between them. Regular readers likely know that I’m a big Spring House fan. I personally thought this race was perfect. He was flying at the finish, maybe better than the winner. He’s a 12f horse so don’t put too much stock in the fact that he was just 4th. This was a perfect race for both Spring House and Monzante. Whatsthescript’s connections will perhaps feel slightly aggrieved that he couldn’t hold on for a few more yards.
Flop of the Weekend: I don’t want to pile the pressure on Lava Man’s connections but his was definitely the worst performance by a top class horse this weekend. To finish last after looking like he was full of life last time has to be very disappointing. I’m not sure what the future should hold for him. I’d be inclined to give him a few more starts simply because he has looked quite good on occasion. This might have been just a bad day.
TCR Mover’s and Shakers: The biggest news maker of the week has to be Music Note. Despite having only 3 starts and despite some very stiff competition in the Three Year Old Female division she has leaped into 3rd place and is closing in on the top spot. Well Armed moves into the #10 spot in the overall rankings just ahead of Surf Cat (#11) whom he defeated on Saturday. Monzante has moved into 13th overall and 4th in the Turf Male rankings.
Tip O’the Cap: Not too many horses are as popular as Evening Attire. His price always gets knocked down a bit simply because race fans love the gallant old grey. This weekend he was actually a little value at 2/1 as he crushed his opposition in the Greenwood Cup earning a possible trip to Santa Anita. His connections may not want to send him out West again but racing fans a surely hoping he’ll show up. The Breeders’ Cup Marathon could use a popular horse like this to kick off it’s first running. The connections of Evening Attire deserve congratulations for keeping him fit sound and happy this late into his career.
KC Handicapping: Well it turns out the Gio Ponti is better than I thought. I loved the look of Old Man Buck in this spot but I did recognize Gio to be the better horse. I even liked Court Vision to finish well underneath, it’s a shame you don’t get anything for being on the right track but making the wrong final decision. Old Man Buck was not well served by going to the front. Expect him to be ridden from off the pace next time. Gio Ponti was at the limit of his stamina. He’ll be a top class miler once his connections figure him out fully, although there are few mile races open to him now.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 1(1)-0-0-0 (-$2.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 560(285)-100-98-81 (-$121.00 -10.80% ROI)