Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Second Jewel

It’s the Third Saturday in May and that can only mean one thing. It’s Preakness Day and time to get your Preak-on!

Whatever that means.

You have a number of public handicappers saying it’s a two horse race. The Derby winner – I’ll Have Another – vs. the runner-up Bodemeister. Everyone else is running for third money.

Then you have the other half of the touts saying both horses have every right to bounce off their Derby efforts and it’s a good time to look for a new shooter who is moving in the right direction.

I think there’s another way to go. And his name is Creative Cause.

Consistent as they come, his 5th place finish in the Derby was still a good effort, despite some traffic problems and being 8 wide at the quarter pole. Yes he has been accumulating frequent flyer miles, but if he was not a good shipper, I doubt they would have put him through that. He was beaten a nasty nose by I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby and beat Bodemeister in the San Felipe, so he certainly fits with the “top two”. There should be plenty of pace for him to stalk and pounce.

The second jewel could be his today.

Across the pond, in moments, will be the 2012 debut of the “best horse in the world”. That would be Frankel. In the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, we may see him stalk the speed of his half brother, Bullet Train, who it is said, will be used as a rabbit. A year older and stronger, Frankel’s race should be exciting to watch.

Frankel could indeed be today's Saturday Afternoon Horse.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Derby Day

I love the Kentucky Derby for all of its elegant traditions, historic importance, and unbridled excitement. I also love it for the wagering opportunities.

The best horse does not always win the Derby. But in the end, the roses go the best horse, on the day. So sometimes you have to use a little more imagination when wagering.
With a 20 horse field, all kinds of things can happen.
It’s a tough race to win, and a horse and rider need a tremendous amount of racing luck.
This is one of the most formidable fields in quite some time. You can study pedigree, analyze workouts and gallop outs, way of going ,confirmation, mental attitude and have all the inside info from the backside, but with three year olds in the spring that have never run the classic distance…well, no one knows what any of them will do when faced with that last extra furlong.
Still have more studying to do. But I will tell you who I am alive to in the Oaks -Derby Doubles wager.

Union Rags – loved him since last year. Not sure if daddy Dixie Union will get him there, but he has the class, the mind and the willingness to get the job done. Has been educated in previous starts, and for a big colt, he is pretty handy. Has tactical speed to stay within range. Had the best work of Derby week and is sitting on “ready”. Has the right connections, and J Lep will make no mistakes.

Dullahan - Respect Dale Romans. Talented colt can run on anything. Will need to work out a trip from off the pace. And that’s never easy to do.

Daddy Nose Best – Longshot play. May be a much better horse on dirt, has shown gameness. He likes to fight.

Alpha – this horse has always impressed me and I don’t think we’ve seen his best. Has had a small setback, and I hope his gate behavior has improved. But he has the class and I think he will get overlooked.

Gemologist – Undefeated, son of the great Tiznow, out of a Mr. Prospector mare. Stamina over speed. A lot to like. Connections will have him primed to do his best.

Creative Cause – Played my ticket early, before all the “buzz.” If he’s 100%, he will run his race. Never off the board, he’s a good feeling horse who loves his job.

Other pre-Derby races not to be missed:
Race 4- Souper Spectacular, Zenyatta’s baby brother
Race 7- Shackleford going 7 furlongs in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs
Race 9- Sassy Image going for back-to back wins in the Grade 1 Humana distaff
Race 10- Get Stormy going for back-to-back wins in the Grade 1 Turf Classic

Enjoy Derby Day, good luck if you are wagering, and safe trips to all our equine friends.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fillies First

Oaks Day is here, and it’s lilies for the fillies.
Here’s my quick look at the $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks.
It’s a full field and wide open.

On Fire Baby – 2 for 2 at Churchill, 2nd time Lasix, but does she want the extra distance?

Grace Hall – Already an Oaks winner at the distance and has a Grade 1 at Saratoga to boot. Was 2nd at Churchill last year. The deserving morning line fave.

Summer Applause - Harlan’s Holiday filly, coming in with a bullet and will love the added distance. (Is she really 15 to 1?)

Eden’s Moon – Baffert speedball from the West Coast.

Hard Not to Like – first time dirt

Broadway’s Alibi – A length from being undefeated in 5 starts. She is the speed of the speed and would love it wet.

Sacristy – One for one at Churchill, but will she stretch out?

Jemima’s Pearl – Has been Bodemeister’s workmate while at Churchill.

Believe You Can – Larry knows his fillies and has the Rosie factor.

And Why Not – yes, and why not? Talented filly put a line through last.

Karlory Vale – may have turned the corner, but is dirt her game?

Colonial Empress – great pedigree, but form shows nothing.

Amie’s Dini – a win over the track, very consistent, has some class

Yara – beat the chalk, but distance may be a problem

Summer Applause could be the one that benefits from the speed dual up front. Lots of speed in here which could set the race up for a filly who can relax and wait.

Broadway’s Alibi is legit speed and could take them all the way.

And Why Not may have grown into herself this year, and if she puts it all together could be a big threat.

Have a great Oaks Day!