Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Review

Weekend Overview: The popular Commentator notches another tally for the venerable old geldings. As much as we mourn the early retirements of many stars it is worth mentioning that just in the last few years we've been treated to some great performances by Commentator, Lava Man, Evening Attire, The Tin Man and Perfect Drift. There has been plenty to cheer for if you've been watching. The unfortunate part about the Whitney is that it really seemed like a dash of cold water to the aspirations of horses like Rising Moon, Solar Flare and Notional. None of them look like top class. A few horses who might have gotten lost in the shuffle are Storm Mesa and Wayzata Bay. Both are having very solid seasons out of the limelight and I hope they continue with their good form.

Performance of the Week: Commentator and Ginger Punch were both very impressive but Commentator had things his own way and Ginger Punch was facing inferior horses. Street Boss on the other hand was facing good horses and had to deal with some adversity. As is now his custom he dropped right out of the back of the Bing Crosby field and had no say in the early tactics. Once he got going around the far turn he was forced to go extremely wide since about 5 other horses were launching bids at the same time. You hardly ever see a horse go this wide by design but it didn't seem to bother Street Boss one bit. Down on the inside In Summation had a bit of traffic trouble to deal with but he still finished with vigor and confirmed the class of Street Boss's effort. In Summation is the classiest synthetic sprinter there is and Street Boss was superior on this day.

Race of the Week: I thought the Henry Walton Stakes, a listed event on Sunday at Saratoga was the most captivating race of the weekend. It's a race designed to cater to late developing three year olds who might want a shot at the Travers. This year's running might have produced a pair of Travers contenders. Mambo In Seattle and You And I Forever both came into the race riding win streaks in route races and they battled it out all the way down the lane. Mambo In Seattle proved superior and really looks like a top rung horse in the making. These two went faster than the Jim Dandy competitors just a race later.

Flop of the Week: There are a lot of flops to choose from but I was likely most disappointed with Wait A While. I know the course had some give to it and she likes it hard. But she showed very little against a well matched but not overly tough group of fillies. I'm sure her connections will either hope for a hard course in the Ballston Spa or send her to the Palomar in California. They really have no other option with this horse now that she's proven to be so picky.

TC Mover's and Shakers: Street Boss, Commentator and Ginger Punch were the biggest movers in the TCR standings, I suppose it stands to reason as they were the highest profile G-1 winners this weekend. All three of them made it into the top 10 overall. Forever Together could only manage to take 5th spot in the Turf Female division on the back of her first graded stakes turf win. It's the first week of the brand new TC Power Rankings being calculated live. The biggest gainers were Commentator and Ginger Punch as they made it into the top 10 overall. Street Boss still has quite a bit of climbing to do if he's to get to that level. Wait A While dropped from her perch atop the Turf Female Power Rankings with her poor effort in the Diana. Precious Kitten now takes over top spot among the active horses in that division. Not many changes in the power rankings aside from those.

Tip O'the Cap: A few people deserve a congratulatory nod this week and I'll just mention each one briefly. Kent Desormeaux got his 5,000th win this week. Nick Zito finally found Commentator a two turn race, and Aiden O'Brien continues to win every G-1 race in sight. He took the Phoenix and the King George this weekend and I'm sure some trainers are considering coming to America just to get away from the guy.

KC Handicapping: Not a good week at the windows. All four of my selections ran poorly. I was basically way off track in both races.

Cumulative record of selected horses: 4(2)-0-0-0 (-$8.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall record: 564(287)-100-98-81 (-$129.00 -11.44%)

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