Weekend Overview: For a week where very little was expected to happen on track it ended up being a pretty decent week of racing. Criticism and Winter View have at long last provided at least the appearance of depth in the Turf Female division. Aside from Forever Together things had been looking pretty weak. Hull and Mr. Fantasy won some decent middle distance stakes races and confirmed the notion that they're both animals of quality that could have a say in major three year old events in the future. Mr Napper Tandy and Madeo gave Arcadia winner Dixie Chatter a great form reference as they both came back to win nice stakes races by narrow margins. The biggest news of the weekend is the unfortunate bulletin that early Derby co-favorite Quality Road is out of the race. It's a shame that so many of our brilliant stars are plagued with physical issues. Hopefully he gets in shape in time for the Preakness. This will send many people back to the drawing board taking a closer look at how both the pace and the race itself will play out.
Thoroughbred Championship Rankings: Not much to report other than the rise of Criticism. She takes over top spot in a Female Turf division that has taken quite a while to get any structure at all. I'm hopeful that over the next two months we'll be treated to some real quality other than what we've seen from Forever Together. This Ones For Phil just missed out on a chance to move into the top 5 in the Male Sprinters division. Remember that 8f races on the main track can count as routes or sprints for the purposes of the divisional rankings.
Power Rankings: Spice Route took 6th spot in the Turf Male division with his win in the Elkhorn. He has been a quietly effective horse for some time now and other than Midships he might be the best turf horse beyond 9f in action right now. He just may be able to break into the top 5. Criticism narrowly takes over top spot in the Turf Female division. It's interesting to see the top 5 Three Year Olds that are heading into the Derby. According to the Power Rankings the top 5 are Pioneerof the Nile, Friesan Fire, I Want Revenge, Hold Me Back and General Quarters
Performance of the Week: I have to give this to Mr. Fantasy who always appeared to be in control of the Withers. Perhaps there was a brief moment of concern as he seemed to break in a tangle but he quickly got up near the pace and from there he merely improved his position. This Ones For Phil has proven to be no slouch since switching to Dutrow so the form of this race is more than decent.
Race of the Week: I think I have a soft spot developing for Madeo. I found the Inglewood Handicap to be the most exciting race of the weekend. It was a close one decided between the three favorites and Madeo just got to the front in time. It was great to see him pick up another stakes win. I'm sure the neutral could find many things to appreciate about this race as well. The classy old Storm Military just about took them wire to wire but Madeo got him with just about the last jump. US Ranger also made a game of it finishing another neck back in third.
Flop of the Week: I thought Dress Rehearsal had things pretty much her own way in the Bewitch Stakes but she couldn't get it done. The pace and tactics set up well for her but she seemed to flounder in the final furlong. Odds on favorites shouldn't get caught like that when they've been able to do everything well within themselves. Although she did manage to get third I don't think this bodes well for her if it's an accurate revelation of her quality.
Tip o'the Cap: To all the Keeneland meet winners I want to say well done. Julien Leparoux, Bill Mott and George Strawbridge all had excellent meets and contributed heavily to the success of the spring meet. I know handle was down slightly but the racing was captivating and a fan can ask for nothing more. There would have been a new attendance record had this been a 16 day meet as opposed to a 15 day meet. Keeneland continues to do so many things right in a sport where so many others make poor decisions.
KC Handicapping: It was quite a relief to see Hull pay $8.80 to win. It secured a narrow profit for me which I was most thankful to have considering how most of my other selections performed. Admiral's Cruise and Mr. Wolverine were both complete busts. Musketier ran well at long odds but was outdone by his stablemate. I thought his stablemate was slightly weaker. Hull got the job done though and kept my decent run of form barely alive.
The week at Keeneland was a disaster. Just 6 winners in three days of racing. It was enough to tarnish my record which had been slightly profitable up to that point. The final week aside I was pretty pleased with my results at Keeneland. It was definitely my best Polytrack effort to date. 37 winners would have put me third among the six professionals performing offering their picks for the Keeneland website. The best of them had 40 winners. My flat bet total return was slightly negative for the meet (-$3.60) but there were definitely pockets of success that were encouraging. Two year old races went extremely well for me with 6 winners from 11 races and a 110% ROI. I also managed to turn a 4.91% profit on all Polytrack races. It was the Turf races (-31.25%) that dragged me down into overall negativity. You can check out a breakdown of all my results by visiting the spreadsheet which is also linked on the sidebar.
Weekly Record: 4(3)-1-1-0 ($0.80 +10.00% ROI)
Overall Record: 734(401)-128-118-95 (-$101.30 -6.90% ROI)