Weekend Overview: A typical winter weekend, not a ton of action but it was intriguing nonetheless. It was the kind of stage that was built for horses like Marchfield, Acoma and Strike A Deal. Some of this weeks winners are still in the process of finding themselves, Acoma definitely fits that description. While others like Strike A Deal were finally getting rewarded for a solid season but still an underachieving one. Titan in the making Ginger Brew came back to races and was visually spectacular although her figure wasn't great. This filly is 8-5-3-0 and has never been beaten by more than a length on all three surfaces from 7f-10f. She could be huge as an older mare. Seaspeak continues to be a tad unlucky with a narrow loss in the Commonwealth after getting DQ'ed at Keeneland last time. He is one to look out for in the Mile division.
Thoroughbred Championship Rankings: No major changes to the upper echelon of the standings. Searching back through past years we find that in comparison this year seems a touch weak. Only 11 horses have managed to break the 200 points threshold. Only 2005, which had just 7, has had fewer horses with 200 points or more. Although Curlin broke 400 for only the third time in the last decade overall we've seen less strength on average in 2008 than we have seen in many recent years.
Power Rankings: Acoma looks like she could be a budding turf star but the Power Rankings say she is still a bit behind top class. A Power Ranking of 20 points or more is the sign of a real G-1 class horse. 15 points or more and you're likely a solid G-2 type. Acoma is at just 7.11 which is decent for a Three Year Old Female but probably indicates that she isn't quite G-1 class yet. At the moment if she were to step into open age company she'd fit far better with J'Ray and Hostess than Dynaforce and Mauralakana.
Performance of the Week: If you follow this blog at all you likely remember that I'm a very big fan of Ginger Brew and she looked oh so sharp when winning a restricted stakes at Woodbine but even my bias can't obscure the breakout performance from Strike A Deal. He looked nothing like the pattern loser who had conjured defeat in his last 10 outings when many of them should have been wins. CC Lopez wasn't taking any chances once he hit the front he rode like they might get caught any moment. With this horses history of throwing races away you can hardly blame him. Strike A Deal was actually an unlucky loser to Red Giant when the Pletcher trainee enjoyed his own breakout win. With Red Giant now retired and the mental blocks cleared this horse has every chance to go on and become one of the top Turf Males. Let's face it, it doesn't take much at this point.
Race of the Week: I look at races like the Autumn Stakes and wonder why so many people are against Polytrack. Many complain that the races finish like turf races, my answer to that is "So what, they're exciting!" Maybe it's because I was pulling for Marchfield but I thought the race was a barn burner. Stunning Stag was unlucky to be a loser but Marchfield flaunted his class with that massive late move. Racing may have it's problems with all the changes that have happened and still need to happen but the drama a single race can produce remains undiminished. That is racing's greatest asset and the reason why this blog turns a blind eye to most industry issues. We've got some great stuff going on right on the track.
Flop of the Week: My Princess Jess was supposed to be better than the rest of her rivals in the Mrs. Revere, she simply wasn't. Maybe it's the rigors of a long season or maybe she is a fraud. Time will tell but for now she is definitely the flop of the week.
Tip o'the Cap: 18 wins in a row is nothing to scoff at even if it comes in restricted company. Peppers Pride is a great story and I hope her connections decide to keep on running her through next year. Maybe even step up into graded stakes company.
I also wanted to mention Steve Crist's remarkable run of Pick 6 success. For those of you who don't follow his blog at the DRF, you should. My own personal attempts to master the Pick 6 are very much being influenced by the style and advice he gives. He has now hit 3 five digit tickets in the last two weeks.
KC Handicapping: After months of losing money consistently would you believe that we've actually had a 3 week winning streak. I'm surprised the public allowed Marchfield to go as the 4th choice I thought he was the horse to beat. Poor Torquay and Wheels at Noon looked outclassed in their respective races. Not all longshots are going to come in. It's nice when you can cover those bets with the obvious horses.
Cumulative record of selected horses: 4(2)-1-1-0 ($3.40 +42.50% ROI)
Overall Record: 655(340)-114-105-88 (-$95.70 -7.31% ROI)