Overview: I was rather shocked to see Gozzip Girl beaten in the Garden City but after seeing her almost go down around the first turn I'm just happy she made it back in one piece. It seemed like she was simply going much faster than her rivals but there was no seam to allow her to do so. It could have been extremely messy. She did not run all that well in the final reckoning but I'll give her another shot for sure. Swift Temper seems more like a blue collar horse to me. She is never supposed to run quite as well as she does but I think she's a horse I can really cheer for. It will be interesting to see her back on synthetics in the Spinster. Informed Decision is all class as always and I thought Game Face was visually good enough to give synthetics another try. She missed hitting the board but she did have a bit of a tough trip. I think she would have done better with a more courageous ride. Prado seemed to be waiting for the field to magically collapse into his lap. Game Face would have been better served by attacking the pace setters on the far turn because she's not a horse that accelerates all that quickly. It was a fairly light week of stakes action despite the fact that there was a pair of G-1's. Nobody really knocked the lights out this week in stakes company.
Thoroughbred Championship Rankings: Rachel Alexandra has built a lead that is practically unassailable but mathematically she's not free and clear yet. Conceivably horses like Einstein, Gio Ponti or maybe even Summer Bird could match her points tally but from a practical and realistic standpoint it's quite unlikely. Rachel Alexandra is just the second horse to break the 400 point mark in a single season. Curlin is still the single season TCR record holder with 442.35 in 2007. These records are only kept from 1999 to the present. Swift Temper is shaping up as one of the surprises of the season. When a horse has that many "flukes" in a row one begins to think that she might actually be that good. She holds the lead in the Main Track Older Female division at present but she'll probably need another big race win or two to stay there.
Power Rankings: Informed Decision proved once again that she's peerless on the synthetic surfaces. Diamondrella, Game Face and Flashing were all up against it once Informed Decision set for home. Kudos to John Sheppard for keeping her on form all year long. Seventh Street missed a chance to claim the top Power Ranking for Main Track Older Females but that result seems just about right. Although she has been winning I get the feeling that she's not true championship class.
Performance of the Week: The horse I was most impressed with this week was Girolamo. He was a highly touted horse after a sparkling 2yo debut at Saratoga last summer but he failed to follow up that effort with any form of not. Godolphin took him to Dubai and he was only put back to the races a few weeks ago at Saratoga where he was again impressive. This weekend he stayed in allowance company but he was facing some pretty good horses for the class level. This performance suggests that he's done with allowance horses. He tracked the pace for the first 5f but moved very easily to the front without being seriously asked. Garcia shook him up a bit in the lane and he opened up willingly. You get the impression that he's capable of much more and Godolphin really is having a very hot run at the moment. Girolamo is probably not developed enough to be in a Breeders' Cup race but look for him in a graded stakes race next time out. His star is definitely on the rise.
Race of the Week: I really liked the match up in the Palomar. Lethal Heat coming off 11 days rest against males to face Gotta Have Her, Carribean Sunset and Wild Promises. I admit that I was cheering for Lethal Heat and was a bit disappointed when Gotta Have Her went past but I thought the top two put on a pretty good show. Carribean Sunset did not really live up to expectations in third but she may not prefer the hard California surfaces.
Flop of the Week: After beating Forever Together it seemed logical to respect Diamondrella greatly. She had never been on synthetics but her closing style and turf proficiency suggested that it would be no problem. It turned out to be a pretty big problem indeed. Diamondrella never really got going in the Presque Ilse Masters and that most assuredly ends her chances of being seen in a main track BC race. The Turf Sprint or the Mile would seem like the only Breeders' Cup hopes for Diamondrella now but it's more likely that she just won't go to California at all.
Tip o'the Cap: I reserve this little spot to say at least one nice thing about racing every week. This week I'm tipping my cap to HRTV's program Pursuit of the Cup. I love the build up to the Breeders' Cup and this show only fuels the fire. I can't watch HRTV in my region but both the Bloodhorse and Breederscup.com carry this show on their websites. It's worth checking out. Much of the advice they give about specific horses chances in the BC is useful and I simply like the way they present the show. Good job to the Pursuit of the Cup cast!
KC Handicapping: It was not the best week for me. I did feel a small sense of satisfaction when Keep the Peace failed to live up to expectations once again. But that joy quickly faded when my pick, Fearless Leader, couldn't keep up to the winner either. It was a bad result for my speed ratings. They missed out on both the top pair. Gozzip Girl's result seemed more like bad luck to me while Diamondrella just did not handle the surface while the favorite predictably did. The results tallied below also include my selections from Alabama weekend. Milwaukee Appeal was indeed better than the Americans but it was the other Canadian she couldn't handle. Careless Jewel is looking monstrous right now.
Weekly Record: 5(5)-0-1-1 (-$10.00 -100.00% ROI)
Overall Record: 800(453)-138-125-102 (-$166.50 -10.41% ROI)