Weekend Overview: I thought there were two good things to come out of the weekend. Cowboy Cal, despite the light Beyer figure, could be a nice horse in the handicap ranks. He's always had talent and with another Breeders' Cup on synthetics he might develop into one of America's best hopes. It certainly wouldn't be shocking to see him at or near the top of what is a division lacking a standout. The other positive to me was Mutadda. I know the time of 1:09.87 was not very good but he was a full second faster than the best time at the distance that day and in the last 5 days only one other horse ran a sub 1:10 six furlongs. Of all the stakes winners at the Fair Grounds on Saturday I consider him the most likely to win another stakes race. The rest of the winners were really not that good.
Thoroughbred Championship Ranking Awards: If you haven't already voted for the TCR Awards I'd encourage you to do so. We've already received a fair number of votes and there are tons of tight contests at the polls. Zenyatta currently leads Curlin by one for Horse of the Year. Benny The Bull is three votes ahead of Street Boss for champion Male Sprinter and then Proud Spell is one up on Indian Blessing with Music Note a close third in the ultra tough Three Year Old Female division. Make sure you have your say. Just visit this link and register your votes.
Performance of the Week: Nothing really caught the eye this week. Friesan Fire doesn't look like a Derby horse and neither do the pair of allowance winners at Gulfstream although I would prefer the inexperienced McPeek pair over Friesan Fire. I'll give it to Mutadda but only because of the lack of another alternative. Mutadda's race was the best of his career and it should be a springboard to several more listed stakes wins and maybe a few G-3's as well. He evidently loves the dirt.
Race of the Week: It's always nice to see a Canadian prospering south of the border. French Beret has had some tough breaks in a career that has generally disappointed but that only added to the excitement for me as he battled his was down the lane. The one place many horses don't like to be in a battle is sandwiched between your two rivals. It takes a brave horse to stick to his task if things get tight. Great finishes make even weak races thoroughly watchable.
Flop of the Week: It would seem as though Well Armed either has a physical problem or a mental one. He isn't the same horse he was last year. With all due respect to Cowboy Cal this was not a performance that would have truly stretched the Well Armed of mid-2008. It's a shame because as a gelding he is one of those that you hope will perform at a high level for years to come but this was not a good sign.
Tip o'the Cap: The McNair's may have sold nearly everything to Godolphin but they opted to keep just one horse, Cowboy Cal. That decision might pay off nicely as it looks like the best days are in front of this already four-time stakes winner. It's not that easy to outpace Ball Four early on and still have enough to hold off all comers.
KC Handicapping: My first week of handicapping in 2009 and it's a narrow loser. To be fair I would have lost just $1 instead of $3 because of the price on Mostacolli Mort. I said I really only wanted him above 10/1 and he was bet down but that is one of those changes you can make while playing live. Whereas when you pick a day beforehand you just have to stick with what you wrote down. I was quite surprised and disappointed that Ginger Brew was defeated at Gulfstream. Perhaps it was the wide trip or maybe she just needed a race. In any event I was more disappointed in her than I was pleased with Mutadda.
Weekly Record: 5(3)-1-0-1 (-$3.00 -30.00% ROI)
Overall Record: 679(357)-116-108-92 (-$128.50 -9.46% ROI)