Weekend Overview: I truly hope every racing fan enjoyed this weekend as much as I did. Forget for a moment who you might have bet on, go back and watch the big events. They were simply fantastic. Race after race with tight finishes exciting closing kicks and for the most part the cream rising to the top. I know the thought of having the Breeders' Cup on a synthetic frustrates and worries a lot of people but really just consider the Sunday card at Del Mar. Would you really be disappointed if the Breeders' Cup was that exciting and even formful? As a side note a few of the best horses to run this weekend, Hystericalady, Mr. Nightlinger and Spring House are virtually off the radar.
Performance of the Week: I get down on her quite a bit and just a few days ago I was quite confident that I could beat her at a short price but hats off to Ginger Punch. She looked like she was struggling a long way out and with the added distance and hormone problems she had every excuse to lose. But champions keep on going and find a way. That's what Ginger Punch did, no matter how many times I watch that race I can't see how she got her head in front. It was an unbelievable effort.
Race of the Week: Is anyone still down on the quality of the Travers? Quite a few people were talking about it being a weak renewal. I think the top two horses put in a really top class performance. The field was well matched on paper but Colonel John and Mambo In Seattle distinguished themselves from the pack. They're the two best main track three year old males behind Big Brown. Both horses were ridden well from a tactical standpoint and for the last 100 yards it was just a matter of who wanted it more.
Flop of the Week: Synthetic tracks get blamed for a lot of things but they cannot be to blame for Midnight Lute's flop in the pat O'Brien. I know he had a horrendous trip but part of that was his doing. He broke terribly and didn't seem to have the speed to find any gaps. He showed very little in the lane as well. This wasn't the track, the horse for whatever reason did not come to run. I really wonder what Baffert will do with him, I sure hope they keep on going.
TCR Mover's And Shakers: Intangaroo retook top spot in the Female Sprinter division with yet another G-1 victory. She seems to only show up in the biggest events. Colonel John and Go Between obviously jumped a few spots up the standings but neither really has a shot at leading their division. Big Brown and Curlin are almost runaways at this point. The Main Track older Female Division is still up for grabs. Ginger Punch showed the heart of a champion to win the Personal Ensign and she's staying with Zenyatta step for step in the standings.
The power rankings had an interesting weekend. Obviously they have changed now with the latest results but going into the weekend you could have had some interesting winners if you had played power rankings. The Pacific Classic trifecta was made up of the top 3 ranked horses (although they technically finished 2,1,3). Colonel John, Ginger Punch, Intangaroo, Hystericalady and Dearest Trickski were all the top ranked horses in their respective races. Obviously you don't need a system to come up with Ginger Punch but Colonel John and Intangaroo were both mild upsets.
Tip O'the Cap: How many G-1 races does Intangaroo need to win before she'll start being regarded as the best Female Sprinter? I must admit I didn't pick her to win but part of that was because I handicapped on Friday and figured she was staying at Del Mar where I did like her chances. She has now won three G-1 races on three different tracks at average odds of 15/1. It really is quite unbelievable. Congratulations to her small time connections who have her spot on for every big race.
KC Handicapping: I managed to break even with Colonel John and Whatsthescript. The Personal Ensign turned out nothing like I had hoped. Ginger Punch is one serious filly. I had considered playing Visionaire because of the speed in the Kings Bishop but I suspected he was just a mudlark. I was impressed with the race run by Global Hunter, he was not beaten very far in third. He could be a nice turf horse. I was also quite glad to see Colonel John hang on after Cool Coal Man got completely wiped out at the head of the stretch. I feels good to win a photo every now and then.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 8(4)-2-0-2 ($0.40 +2.50% ROI)
Overall Record: 579(295)-103-98-84 (-$135.80 -11.73% ROI)