It was an entertaining weekend of racing for the ‘capper, albeit not a profitable one. Took a beating at the windows, as I had a ton of multi-race sequences but couldn’t squarely connect.
Most Impressive- Tom’s D’Etat – right now to me, old tom is the best horse in training, and was faster than the ultra impressive Midnight Bisou a race before. I think we may get the chance to see them match up at some point.
Mean Mary has run perhaps the two best races I have seen this year. She keeps getting dismissed as a ‘speed horse’ but I think what most are overlooking is that great horses run fast. She’s on the lead because she’s so fast . . . and hasn’t stopped yet.
He’s back – Firenze Fire cashed in at short odds in the True North. It wasn’t a field of world beaters, so I would hesitate to put him right at the top of the sprint ranks, but he certainly rates a call as it looks as though the trainer change has not been a significant obstacle.
Over the Top ? I’m done with Serengeti Empress as a serious win contender. I’m sure there’s a race she can win somewhere, (which may be at 7F, and/or against less that G1 G2 quality), but I won’t be backing her when she does. Clearly she was at her best on Oaks day last year when we scored out in the exacta, but I have given too much of that back on her since.
Next Time is the Time: By My Standards got at best a mediocre trip in the Stephen Foster loss to Tom’s D’Etat. No shame in losing to the top one, but was 3-4 wide on both turns. Lanerie subbed for Gabe Saez this time. I’ll wait for Gabe to get aboard, and will give By My Standards another good look, as he is just behind Tom’s D’Etat and in the conversation for top older horses. Uni is another one to watch – she may have needed the start for fitness, and couldn’t catch stablemate Newspaperofrecord. I’d like Uni better at a two turn mile than the winner.
The Ohio Derby looked ripe for chaos, and didn’t disappoint with the Amoss claimer winning. I didn’t go deep enough there, and busted out of the XC P5 in the opening leg. I had a couple of playbacks not run well enough, and the big disappointment was Stunning Sky. Overall I think the Maker barn is cycling down in the moment . . . perhaps later this summer.
The Future is Now
I waded back in on The Kentucky Derby futures, looking for what I believe will be overlaid prices come derby day. I’m trying to turn a toothpick into a lumberyard. (I’ll also admit an unnatural fascination with the future bets, but I think there’s also a bit of method to my madness).
With Tiz The Law’s big win in the Belmont, he’s now pretty clearly overbet in every market. Even as the most likely winner, who wants to take 9/5 in a 20-horse race, especially when there’s three months between now and him actually getting in the gate.
Go west, young man, is the fable of the Horace Greeley story, and exactly what we will do in looking for a nugget of gold. Honor AP ended up the second choice at 6-1, but even that price wasn’t attractive – but some of the exactas were. I part wheeled Honor AP with Cezanne, Tiz The Law, Thousand Words, King Guillermo, Dr Post And Basin – essentially the list of remaining contenders that I think are really suited to get the 10 furlongs of the derby. I’m very confident Honor AP will relish it … and a little luck underneath with have me skipping to the window afterwards.
I placed a straight win bet on Thousand Words. Perhaps the forgotten horse in the baffert barn after the Oaklawn debacle, he’s been training forwardly at Santa Anita, and is slated to run in the Los Al derby next weekend. A big run there vaults him solidly back into the picture (and likely the derby starting gate.) he’s bred to get the distance, his grinding style can play at 10f, and he’ll be pounded at the window in the remains pools with a Los Al win. I saw a 100-1 in Vegas on him a few weeks ago. Anything close to that at your book is value.
I also have a little Tiz, Thousand Words, Guillermo box – the two really overpriced horses suited for the distance.
But as they say, you can’t eat value. I’m likely done with the future plays for this year, but I’m confident I’ve created a hand that I’ll look forward to leveraging either for or against on derby day – whenever that may be.