Weekend Overview: How many reports of Big Brown's triumph can you stand to read? I'll limit my commentary on the subject to simply this. Big Brown ran well and got what he needed to move forward. He will be favored in the Classic unless Curlin shows up off a win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. I was not all that impressed with the Matron although the winner looks solid enough. The rest of that field was not very good at all. Music Note had a paid workout at Belmont and although this race doesn't really change what we already knew I have a hard time swallowing Jones's assertion that Proud Spell already has the 3yo Filly division sewn up. Music Note is having a huge year and deserves a ton of consideration, she also may have some interesting chapters still to write. Charitable Man looks like a good horse and I love the fact that McLaughlin is hoping to give him another race before the Breeders' Cup. It's a smart move and he'll have a good shot in the Juvenile. It was sad to see Tin Cup Chalice lose his unbeaten record at Belmont. He ran a good race but just didn't have enough. Wild Gams is looking like a solid outsider for the FM Sprint. She took the Presque Ilse Masters. Over in Europe superhorse Zarkava continued her excellent form. She'll be tought to handle in the Arc.
Performance of the Week: I guess I could give it to Charitable Man. He was not overwhelming but it was an underwhelming week. He broke right on top and once again flashed the fact that he's got great speed but you have to love how he willingly took back and sat off the pace. He didn't show any special type of acceleration but good dirt horses don't really need to. He persevered well in the lane as Flying Pegasus was not stopping at all. It was the perfect learning experience for him. He learned to rate, gave away a ton of ground and showed he has the stomach for a little fight. All that remains is to get some dirt in his face.
Race of the Week: I suppose the Arlington Washington Futurity could qualify as an exciting race. Not only did you have the excellent drama of the stretch ran but then you had to stick around to find out who the judges would place first. I think Terrain was lucky to get the win. He didn't run as well as the horses who finished in front of him. Although the DQ was more or less justifified you could clearly say that the best horses were either denied a clear run or taken down. Jose Adan should be a fun horse to follow. I'm not sure if he'll ever be G-1 class but you have to love a horse who finishes with so much vigor and somehow manages to get in front.
Flop of the Week: I think I'm actually going to give it to the connections of Dream Rush. This talented filly is now 0 for 3 this year and while she hasn't been particularily poor in any of her starts the fact that she has failed to find the winners circle is a shame. Halsey Minor could be congratulated for keeping her in training but what is she doing in the barn of William Phipps and being ridden by Dale Beckner? They need to get her to relax a bit. Those fast fractions in the Presque Ilse Masters were just ridiculous. Why not get someone with a proven track record to train her or at the very least a top class rider to try and harness her speed? So far Dream Rush has been a flop in 2008.
TCR Movers and Shakers: Big Brown leap frogs Curlin again for the overall top spot. Curlin will get it back though barring a major catastrophe in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The Breeders' Cup Classic would truely be a decisive race if both were to show up. Music Note is second in the Three Year Old Female Division as she should be and Doremifasollatido shoots all the way to second in the weak Two Year Old Female Division.
The TC Power Rankings still have Curlin on top. In fact Big Brown's score actually regressed a bit after his win in the Monmouth Stakes. Music Note retook the lead in the Three Year Old Female Division. The rankings suggest that she's one of the best fillies we've seen in the last 10 years aside from Rags to Riches and Ashado. Her 20.54 rating compares very favorably with Silverbulletday. But of course we'll have to see how it plays out. A few losses and she might look no better than Balance. The Power Rankings also suggest that the Two Year Male Division is extremely wide open. There are 5 horses within 1.05 points of each other. Charitable Man is among them. It will be interesting to see if things stay tight all the way to the Breeders' Cup or if someone pulls away from the pack.
Tip O'the Cap: Aiden O'Brien's Septimus won the Irish St Leger giving him a clean sweep of the 5 Classic Irish races. It's a feat that not even the great Vincent O'Brien managed. No one since 1935 has completed the sweep. O'Brien may have lost a bit of momentum with Henrythenavigators 5th place finish but he's still have a bang up year the the record for G-1's in a season is still very much in danger.
KC Handicapping: Well I think I had the right idea. I respected Big Brown's chances but hated the price. Proudinsky gave it a grand old try but just wasn't enough horse. Kiss The Kid was a major disappointment as something went wrong with him.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 2(1)-0-1-0 (-$4.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall Record: 591(301)-106-100-86 (-$120.60 -10.2% ROI)