Monday, July 06, 2009

Weekend Review

Weekend Overview: The reason the buildup to the Breeders' Cup is so awesome is because it's a confluence of so many contenders and divisions. We can get excited about sprinters and turf horses just as much as the classic routers or three year olds. Presious Passion ran one of the most impressive G-1's you'll ever see as he blitzed his rivals in the United Nations by opening up a crazy 20 length lead early on. Kudos to Elvis Trujillo for knowing his horse and knowing how much he can handle because they were getting to him late and he would not have lasted another furlong but he rationed out his speed for the 11f and it was perfect. Monterey Jazz flashed some speed of his own in the American Handicap. Ditching Storm Military that easily in the opening furlongs is not a simple task. Monterey Jazz is very dangerous when he's good. The three year sprinters seem to be of above average quality this year. Munnings and Zensational were extremely impressive, both beat older horses in Graded Stakes and they looked like killers. Munnings went from 2 lengths behind to a pair in front in about 100 yards on the turn and just cruised through the lane in a fast time. He looks unbelievable right now. Zensational was faced with trying to beat older horses at 7f but it seemed like no problem for him. Cat Moves was also pretty impressive when running her unbeaten streak to 3 in the Prioress. Horses don't usually win G-1 races in their third start unless they're two years old. Cat Moves was very professional. Kensei also looked like quite the pro in the Dwyer. I think he'll be a useful miler. Speaking of miler's how about Coal Play running his rivals off their feet in the Salvator Mile? You have to play that horse at Monmouth, he might be unmatchable again in the Iselin. No review of the weekend is complete without mentioning Gozzip Girl. I'll talk about her more a bit later but she is something special.

Thoroughbred Championship Rankings: Big races from Zensational, Presious Passion and Munnings were not quite big enough to give them the lead in their divisions but they moved into contention for the top spot among their peers. Gozzip Girl was the only one that did enough to eclipse her rivals and take over a #1 slot. She looks like the real deal but her campaign may not be solely Turf focused so a championship will be hard to nail down. Informed Decision solidified her status in the as the best Female Sprinter. A G-3 at Arlington was never going to prove much but she was more impressive than she had to be and will take a lot of catching.

Power Rankings: Cat Moves looks like a very good horse in the making. Her Prioress win sees her burst onto the scene with a 10.00 power ranking. That's very solid for a Female Sprinter and puts her only behind Informed Decision and Ventura. Musket Man is no longer listed among the top 5 in the Three Year Old Male division because the power rankings are tracking the active horses in each division. Musket Man is unfortunately no longer active.

Performance of the Week: I won't say that I'm Gozzip Girl's biggest fan but there would certainly be few that think more highly of her. She really caught my eye at Gulfstream and then again in the Ashland. Her versatility in the Sands Point was impressive but nothing compares to her latest triumph in the American Oaks. Before the race I compared her to Wait A While when she was at the same stage in her career. Little did I know that she'd do a great Wait A While impression in the American Oaks. Her connections decided to ride her from the back of the pack on this day and she adapted easily. She broke well enough and settled before gradually picking her way through the pack. By the head of the stretch she was right with the leaders. I think the quickness and power of her move was best summed up by my wife when she was watching the race. As they came in the straight she said "It's going to be a close it's not!". I'm a sucker for horses with a devastating turn of foot and Gozzip Girl has that in spades. It only took a few strides to settle this race and with a weapon like that she'll take a lot of beating. This horse has Breeders' Cup winning potential, I know Forever Together is a monster but she can be one as well.

Race of the Week: I'm not sure if the form of the Firecracker was championship quality but the race was a great one to watch. Inca King and Mr. Sidney had an all out battle through the lane and the winning margin of 1 1/2 lengths doesn't do the battle justice. Inca King came to run, and he hadn't been up to that kind of performance since he was a sophomore. But Mr. Sidney has never lost at a mile and he wasn't about to give one to his rival here.

Flop of the Week: I think Todd Beattie and the owners of Fabulous Strike deserve this dubious distinction for chickening out of a meeting with Munnings. It was the matchup of the weekend and you knew it was coming for over a week. They also knew the weights back when they were released. If your horse is healthy run them in the races you had picked out and forget the competition, in fact welcome a bit of competition. I think Fabulous Strike would have lost the race to Munnings but now he's lost a lot of respect too. There is nothing wrong with coming second in a well fought duel.

Tip O'the Cap: Racing often gets slammed for not treating fans to the perks they think they deserve so I thought I'd take the chance to highlight a one thing that has been going well for the fans. Video replay access is available like never before. We've all used Calracing for years, but it has limited access. NYRA has now added the race replays to their site and the Bloodhorse, DRF and Thoroughbred Times all offer stakes races at a minimum and in some cases like the Bloodhorse they offer much more. Fans can get virtually any race for free. It's something to be thankful for.

KC Handicapping: Two winners from 5 races and unfortunately it was just not enough to break even. The bettors really came in for Gozzip Girl and she was a much shorter price than I thought she'd be. The scratch of Fabulous Strike also played against my chances of getting more than 3/5 on Munnings. I think Munnings was a winner anyway so it's disappointing not get a better price because of the scratch. Seaspeak was not good enough, Noble Court just ran out of ground and while Stud Muffin was worth a shot he was never a horse you'd really bank on.

I'm lucky to be alive in the Survival at the Shore contest. I worked very hard to earn an extra life preserver then I blew on the first day when I forgot to get my picks in. I barely survived Sunday only getting through with a third place finish from my last pick. Still I'm 296th overall which I kind of pleased with. I never thought I'd last 31 days.

Weekly Record: 5(5)-2-0-2 (-$0.30 -3.00% ROI)
Overall Record: 785(441)-135-124-101 (-$160.20 -10.20% ROI)


Megan said...

I certainly respect your opinion, Ken, and while I agree Gozzip Girl was impressive I was surprised you did not give 'Race of the Week' to Presious Passion.

His race in the United Nations had to be seen to be believed and you hardly ever see horses opening those kinds of big leads early and setting those quick fractions (think of Kip Deville in the Colonial Turf Cup) -- and still winning (and breaking the course record by almost full two seconds).

Kennedy said...

Presious Passion was impressive but everyone is writing about him. Also the track record thing is a bit overblown. Sure it was the fastest 11f turf race run at Monmouth but those stats are measured since the track had a major renovation. Since then only 5 races have been run at 11f on the turf.

Megan said...

That's a good point, Ken.

My next question is: Do you move Goldikova up the list after easily taking the Falmouth or did she perform about where you expected?

Kennedy said...

I expected Goldikova to take the Falmouth. But she'll need better form than that. In order for her to move up I need to see either brilliance that surpasses last year or total incompetence from those above her.