Beware of the Second Wave

We are all aware of the big names in the 3-year-old division who won or competed in one or more of the Triple Crown races - names like Lookin At Lucky, Super Saver, Drosselmeyer, Ice Box, Fly Down, First Dude, Uptowncharlybrown, Paddy O'Prado, Jackson Bend, Make Music For Me, Dublin, Stately Victor, Game On Dude, and Mission Impazible.

But could it be that many of those horses are about to get swept away by what looks to be a tsunami-like second wave about to hit the 3-year-old division?

You have to go back pretty far to recall a more exciting group of late developers than what we've seen so far this year.

Concord Point - This Bob Baffert-trained speedball ran his opponents dizzy in the Iowa Derby (gr. III), winning by 8 ½ lengths under a hand ride in a sizzling 1:40 1/5 for the 1 1/16 miles, earning a lofty 107 Beyer speed figure. With Lookin At Lucky having missed a week of training due to a fever, it will be interesting to see what Baffert does in regard to the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 1. Baffert could run both, but at this point, Lookin At Lucky would barely make the race after his setback. If Concord Point, a son of Tapit, has one little issue it is changing leads. Although he's fine in the morning, it's a different story in the afternoon. Jockey Martin Garcia tried several times to get him to change on Saturday, but sometimes horses are simply running too fast to change leads. He did change briefly going by the stands the first time, but once he began to pour it on he just kept rolling on that left lead. The way he galloped out past the wire, he might have won by 20 lengths had this race been longer. His pedigree is a good mixture of speed and stamina, with most of the stamina coming from his tail-female line, which is where you want it.

Baffert also unleashed a monster first-timer by Closing Argument on June 26, sending out Capital Account to a 7 ¾-length victory in 1:15 1/5 for the 6 ½ furlongs.

Afleet Express - This colt needed time to build up his constitution and he's now all man. He's also had problems breaking from the gate, which will get better with maturity. After winning a seven-furlong allowance race at Belmont by 7 ¾ lengths in 1:21 3/5, earning a 105 Beyer, he got his first two-turn test against a small, but classy field in the grade III Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth, in which the other five starters all had won or placed in graded stakes, including Jackson Bend, second in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. III) and third in the Preakness (gr. I), and Afleet Again, winner of the Withers Stakes (gr. III). The track was extremely slow that day, which presented a further test for him. After bobbling at the break, he tracked the leaders in third before drawing off under a hand ride to win by 1 ¾ lengths, showing a second gear in the final furlong. The son of Afleet Alex made a grand appearance in the paddock and post parade and appears to have a limitless future.

Afleet Again and Soaring Empire - the second- and third-place finishers in the Pegasus both were compromised by the slow track and slow pace and a very stiff headwind in the stretch. Both colts are strong stretch runners who want more distance and should relish the 10 furlongs of the Travers. Afleet Again, also by Afleet Alex, has a tendency to drift out in the stretch, but does finally get his act together in the final furlong. He is a long-striding colt who is much better with a fast pace. Soaring Empire, a son of Empire Maker, is still a work in progress and is steadily improving with every race. He was coming off a fourth in the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) to the eventual one-two finishers in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), in which he was way too close to the pace over a dead track. In the Pegasus, he dropped back to last, made a big run on the far outside to challenge for the lead, but ran evenly in the final furlong after being bumped by Afleet Again.

Golden Itiz - This improving son of Tiznow has made only four career starts, but has won his last three, including a hard-earned victory in the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) June 19, defeating the far more experienced Skipshot and Alphie's Bet, both of whom also have to be included on a list of second-season 3-year-olds. After breaking his maiden by two lengths in a sharp 1:15 flat for the 6 ½ furlongs, Golden Itiz romped by 11 ¼ lengths in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race, winning wire-to-wire. But in the Affirmed, he rated back in fourth and was relentless in the stretch, running down Skipshot to win by a half-length. He is trained by Ron Ellis and owned by Jay Em Ess Stable, who also have the top-class 4-year-old Rail Trip. This is another colt who should love stretching out in distance, and being by Tiznow, should only keep improving.

Our Dark Knight, Miner's Reserve, Gallant Fields, Morning Line - These are all Nick Zito-trained 3-year-olds who have shown a great deal of brilliance and could all be major players by the end of the year. Our Dark Knight, a son of Medaglia d'Oro, has won three of his last four starts, including a strong second to graded-stakes-placed Ibboyee in the Spend a Buck Stakes at Monmouth, followed by a dominating score in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Monmouth, in which he ran the same time as the grade III Pegasus Stakes later on the card. Miner's Reserve was being touted as perhaps Zito's most talented 3-year-old until he was rushed into the Florida Derby (gr. I) off a rousing maiden victory. He finally got back on track in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Belmont May 31, in which he drew off to a 5 ¾-length victory in a snappy 1:41 flat. Gallant Fields, a son of Smarty Jones, broke his maiden by 8 ¼- lengths at Belmont in his second career start June 20. Morning Line, a son of Tiznow, out of the A.P. Indy mare Indian Snow, a daughter of Alabama (gr. I) winner November Snow, broke his maiden by eight lengths at Monmouth June 27 going 1 1/16 miles.

Trappe Shot - No one who saw this son of Tapit capture a seven-furlong allowance race by four lengths on Belmont Stakes day will argue that he could be one of racing's next major stars. His brilliant, but professional performance, in which he went in 1:22 flat over a dead track, followed a 12 ¾-length allowance win at Gulfstream and a 10 ¼-length maiden score, also at Gulfstream. In his Belmont race, he ran a like a seasoned pro, and once he got in gear, he dominated a strong field of allowance horses. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, he seems to have all the tools.

Friend or Foe - Forget the fact that this undefeated son of Friends Lake is a New York-bred, which means nothing these days anyway. The John Kimmel-trained colt broke his maiden by two lengths in his career debut at Gulfstream in open company before winning a state-bred allowance race at Belmont in 1:08 4/5 for the six furlongs, earning a 93 Beyer. In his last start, the seven-furlong Mike Lee Stakes for state-breds June 20, he was up against the Spend a Buck winner Ibboyee, who also placed in the grade II Swale and Hutcheson Stakes and grade III Withers Stakes. Also in the field was the highly regarded General Maximus, a winner of three of his four career starts, including a state-bred stakes at Belmont. Friend or Foe tracked blazing fractions of :45 flat and 1:08 4/5 before drawing off in the final furlong to win by 2 ¾ lengths in a sharp 1:21 3/5.

Shrewd One - Another New York-bred, this son of Smarty Jones romped by 12 ½ lengths in a one-mile allowance race for state-breds at Belmont, earning a whopping 96 Beyer. He then ventured into open company for the first time, finishing a strong second to the dual grade I-placed Aikenite, who had also finished second in the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) and third in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) this year. The time for the one-mile allowance race was a solid 1:35 1/5.

Exhi -- Adding him despite his apparent need for synthetic surfaces, giving him limited opportunities in the major fall races. But he has won four consecutve stakes, all on Polytrack, at three different tracks, so one would think Todd Plether will keep him on that surface for as long as he can. It is possible he's just getting better, as his margins of victory increase. He didn't beat too much in the Victoria Park Sunday and was 1-5, but he did win like a good horse.

107 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Rachel

I was thrilled to see Concord Point...grandson of a horse I really liked a lot: Boston Harbor, who I still miss having here in the States...nice to have a grandkid to root for...

28 Jun 2010 5:40 PM
Tim

I think both A Little Warm and the streaking Exhi deserve mention, especially the latter.  I wonder if he's not in line for races like the Swaps and Pacific Classic given his fodness for synthetic surfaces.

28 Jun 2010 5:43 PM
Rachel

I forgot to add, it's nice to see this group of "late bloomers" from stallions we watched grow up, race and loved a lot!

28 Jun 2010 5:43 PM
Jodie

Did you forget about Exhi who ran a lights out race at Woodbine this last weekend?

28 Jun 2010 5:58 PM
Kibble

I'd be interested in hearing what the thoughts are on Take Control.  He's back on the work tab and with his very impressive maiden win, plus his pedigree I can see him being a major force to reckon with this fall and next year...

28 Jun 2010 5:59 PM
anna

what about take control. he has the pedigree to become champion 3yr old colt at the yr's end since he's by a hoy and out of a hoy and plus he's back on the workout tab at santa anita park

28 Jun 2010 6:40 PM
sodapopkid

Oh goodness,

Now Lucky has a fever, Gosh, I guess now he will retire or go out for awhile...  

28 Jun 2010 6:45 PM
Steve Haskin

I have bowed to public pressure and added Exhi, even though he has much to prove on the dirt. This was meant to expose up-and-coming horses who could be serious players in the major summer and fall stakes. There arent any major summer and fall races for 3-year-olds on Polytrack in the U.S. If Pletcher keeps him on synthetics he could go in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway against older horses. But as I said in the comment, maybe he's simply getting good. But he has to show he's as good on dirt.

28 Jun 2010 7:05 PM
Mindy C.

Morning Line and Golden Itiz...

Cannot wait for their next races !!!!!

28 Jun 2010 7:08 PM
Steve Haskin

Soda pop kid, do you really want me to keep this comment on here? I mean really want to keep it? Think about it. If you're being flippant it's not working. If you're not and youre serious, please tell me to delete it for your own good.

28 Jun 2010 7:09 PM
Steve Haskin

The horses on here have all accomplished something special recently, within the last month. Once Take Control actually runs and is as impressive as he was in the winter, then he will belong on this list.

28 Jun 2010 7:12 PM
2:24

Very hopeful that Afleet Express is the real deal.  I love Afleet Alex.  He had a truly explosive turn of foot.

28 Jun 2010 7:38 PM
LadyValtaya

Woohoo!! More of Tiznow's kids to watch!!! Yay!! I love that horse and I get all excited about his babies too!!

28 Jun 2010 7:46 PM
Ida Lee

Concord Point really looked great in the Iowa Derby. He's one of my new equine crushes - I'm very partial to beautiful greys, especially when they win stakes races by over 8 lengths. Also, some people mentioned Take Control. Talking about a beautiful and talented TB!!! I think he's going places although I wish they would have kept his original and more exotic original name instead of this really boring and uninspired Take Control. Also, Lucky was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and from what I understand he's doing fine so why would he be retired? It was a low grade fever for goodness sake. If the comment was a joke, it wasn't funny. I love me my Lucky...

28 Jun 2010 8:19 PM
txhorsefan

Yes!  Just when we thought racing was slowing down a bit, more excitement seems headed our way.  I was disappointed in Winslow Homer's return, but for all his time off and recovering from his injury, I didn't think his race was really awful and hopefully he can go forward from there.  Going beyond the three year olds, I'm looking forward to the return of Mine That Bird also.

28 Jun 2010 8:32 PM
PMAC14

Get em Steve!

They have to prove it.  

This second wave does look to be talented.  Concord Point  WOW!  I also like Afleet Again.

28 Jun 2010 9:01 PM
Freetex

Wow, what an exciting bunch!  Concord Point and Friend or Foe, can't wait to see how they fare.

28 Jun 2010 9:20 PM
sodapopkid

Steve,  I happen to be a big fan of Lucky,  and no I wasnt being flippant,  I was thinking that things like this happens and sometimes it can be a serious situation that causes horses to have to retire.  I guess horses are like humans, they can have a sick day too and it doesnt mean the end of the world or their careers.

28 Jun 2010 9:33 PM
John T

I saw Exhi win at Woodbine on Sunday and although he did not beat

much,he won in a very nice manner.

If he does need a synthectic surface then it usually means he should be able to handle turf also

but we will see what Pletcher decides to do with him.

28 Jun 2010 9:39 PM
HollywoodHit

I know you're pointing out up and comers for the longer races, but if none of them put a dominant streak together, what about a 3yo Sprinter? I think Comedoro has to be on the watch list for 3yo of the year, but he does need a few thing to fall in place. They all do however.

28 Jun 2010 9:52 PM
willy

Lucky still having bad luck? Must be time for another jockey change.

28 Jun 2010 9:57 PM
Karen in Indiana

Concord Point & Golden Itiz were both pretty impressive in their wins. Given that Golden Itiz is a Tiznow and they are later maturing, he's one I'll keep an eye on.

Do you think that maybe that first wave might have gotten a little burnt out from being pushed so hard for the TC races? These that are coming in now are fresh and have been given more time to develop. It will be interesting to see how the batches differ long term.

28 Jun 2010 9:59 PM
Virgil Fox

Steve,

I'm glad you added EXHI.

I understand your concern regarding the synthetics but he has been very impressive.

We'll see.

It was very gratifying to see the sons of Afleet Alex run so well in the Pegasus.

As I mentioned to you previously, Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex were the horses that really sparked my interest in TB racing.

As Rachel mentioned earlier, this is my first experience watching runners of the horses that first hooked me a few years back.

Its like completing a circle.

- Peace

28 Jun 2010 10:00 PM
Karen in Indiana

txhorsefan, I'm looking forward to Mine That Bird's return also.

28 Jun 2010 10:00 PM
COURTLAND SIMMONS

 GOOD forum

and I have said "ALL ALONG this is

a  NICE group of  3YR OLDS, DESPITE

the "no T.CRWN "on the line" or

"RUBBER MATCH" in the BELMONT

The Pegasus winner looks like

a real intersting play and

I was excited to see the curiosity

of what kind of horse Concorde

Point could be

well find out more as to whether

he  can go 9- 10 FRLNGS

interested to see GAME ON Dude

and how he will be spotted and if

he "builds" on his BELMONT 4TH

plce showing - COULD BE

a "Classic" contender no

matter how things go with "Lucky"

Im GLAD to see that there's

a "savvy" knowledge about

Take Control possibly being

emerging and being a "factor"

at some level in 2010 and

a horse to "look at" barring

INJURY in 2011 -  he has a wonderful pedigree no doubt

and I DONT THINK NAME is THAT

BAD, but regardless, with any

luck , Baffert certainly could

have a "strong hand" by B CUP time

and CONVEYANCE  could be a " DIRT

MILE / SPRINT candidate if  he

still proves to be a

little "light" on going LONG , but

all in all, it looks promising for

the "colorful" one Mr Baffert

Zito seems to be loaded as well

I think FLY Down IS his best

charge though this new "FAB 4"

that has emerged at Belmont and

Monmouth will PROBABLY yield

another STAR if percentages hold

up  - maybe JACKSON BEND and ICE

BOX will, at some point run back

to their best races  while

something is bound to "pop - up"

out of the already "deep"

PLETCHER barn , and / or a "re -

emergence" of his charges that ran

on the pre - Derby / Triple Crown

trail will surface , most notably

the DERBY winner - let' see what

he can do

But "the DUDE'S" will be ARGUABLY

the MOST INTERSTING OF the bunch

to return since THEY TOO fit  the

'semi late bloomer" category

in addition to the mentioning of

a lot of 'early spring "returnees"

re - appearing

IM NOT SAYING this will be

a DULICATION of 2007 when the

Triple Crown series was split

THREE WAYS and the group went on

to DOMINATE the handicappers

because the older set has some

FIREPOWER w / ZENYATTA and QUALITY

RD and RAIL TRIP and Rachel as I

expected was and will probably

continue to PICK IT UP and make

their camp have to CONSIDER

the cLASSIC, BUT nevertheless

but they have a CHANCE to do

VERY well,  u never know WHO

MIGHT TAIL off  in 2000

LEMON DROP KID and Behrens

were going pretty well as

was BEAUTIFUL PLEASURE and

RIBOLETTA and after the

BELMONT races in the fall

they all fell off form against

an already SOLID bunch of 3YOLDS

SPAIN and SURFSIDE RRAN 1- 2

in the DISTAFF and

without FUSAICHI Pegasus hitting the board, the three year olds ran  1- 2 - 3- 4

TIZNOW , Giants Causeway ,CAPTAIN

STEVE and ALBERT the GREAT

sort of like 07

CURLIN , HARD SPUN , STREET SENSE

1 - 2 - 4

SO IT's going to be interesting

   GREAT BLOGGING w you guys

e- mail ME

love TO SEE U  AT THE Breeders Cup

or the 2011 Derby and / or the

DERBY  / OAKS prepS

  E- MAIL me @:

CSSUPERSTAR2000 AT YAHOO.COM

T avers

then

The fever that "LOOKNG @ Lucky

HAS SUSTAINED dosent surprise

me; the DERBY took a lot out of him

and Baffert was taking a bit of

a "chance" to run him back in 13,

14  DAYS like he did, so he did

"right" by his horse to skip

the BELMOMT and  it would seem

that though he will probably

or LIKELY "miss" the Haskell,

an "alternative plan"  WHICH would

entail a more safe, not shippng to

the East approach and / or not

UNTIL the (Jockey  Club) Gold Cup

would be in order

But who knows maybe he goes

in an allowance, still makes the

Travers

Pacific Classic or something like

the Super Derby and the GOODWOOD

28 Jun 2010 10:06 PM
Katherine

I am so excited about Afleet Express, Afleet Again and all the other Afleet Alex kids coming along!! Afleet Alex is exceeding my fondest hopes for his newest career. Congratulations to all his connections. Can't believe I haven't seen a comment from Fran yet, but I know we'll be hearing from her soon.

I think you're right Steve, the second wave is beginning to look like a tsunami. This is going to be so much fun to follow.

28 Jun 2010 10:09 PM
Heather

Speaking of sons of Medaglia d'Oro, one I'm really watching for is Laus Deo.  He was my early Derby pick before being sidelined in Jan.  I'm hoping to see him return to stakes competition this year.  His Count Fleet win in Jan. was nice.  He hasn't done much, but I think he's got a whole lot of potential.

28 Jun 2010 10:44 PM
Bill C

I was very impressed with Exhi this weekend if he runs on dirt like he does on polytrack he will be a major player I think he will be a major player on any surface he runs on including turf he's just a very good race horse. Concord Point looked great. Lots of good ones coming up.

28 Jun 2010 11:03 PM
john jay

Do not forget about Hunters bay. He will make some noise before the year ends.

28 Jun 2010 11:09 PM
Mike985

Steve,

Thanks for helping us sort through the "second wave" of 3 year olds. How many more waves are we going to have?  I have only been following the throughbreds for maybe 5 years, so I'm new to the sport. Im fascinated at the seemingly endless supply of great horses that can possibly emerge in any given year.  A big thrill for me would be to identify a champion very early in the season and follow him all the way to the BC Classic and maybe HOY. But I have found that it is very hard to do unless another Secretariat comes along. Do you remember all of the anguish we went through on the road to the Kentucky Derby?  All we had to do was pick 20 horses.  Now we find out that we were looking at a partial list. And these are only the 3 year olds. What about all of the others? Last year I got excited after Mine That Bird won the derby. I picked him to do many great things.  The fact that he did not win another race only made my connection with him stronger. (I love underdogs). My heart was pounding today when I read the good things Lukas and Borel said about him.  When he wins a grade 1 this year I think I'm going to explode. I can't wait to tell my friends that I was right about him all along. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

29 Jun 2010 12:14 AM
Todd

The track man had the track hard as blacktop friday and sat. nite, a filly went 55 flat to the 5/8's and finished 1:07 and 3/5's friday nite going six.  Not tring to say it was not a break out, but i'd like to see him do it again vs one of the three classic winners of his crop.

29 Jun 2010 12:48 AM
GunBow

Thanks Steve for pointing out these up and coming 3 year olds out. I was familiar with the Cali horses, but hadn't been able to see the Monmouth and Belmont performances.

I have been a supporter of Concord Point since I saw him break his maiden in fast time on opening day of Santa Anita late December.  I most recently saw him in Hollywood Park's gr.3 Laz Barrera at 7 furlongs when he ran a close 2nd to the classy comebacker Smiling Tiger(speaking of 3 year olds to watch for, especially milers), running up on a 1:08 and 3 pace.  Concord Point finished ahead of Skipshot and Macias in the Barrera, and those horses came back to place in graded stakes races.  

The move to dirt for Concord Point in the Iowa Derby was an absolute non-issue for me given how similar Hollywood's Cushion Track plays to dirt and the past success of horses moving from Cushion track to dirt.  My biggest concern for Concord Point was distance, and while he proved in the Iowa Derby he can get up to 8.5 furlongs, I'm not sure he is a classic 10 furlong horse.  However, even if he's not, there is plenty of money to be made at 9 furlongs.

I look forward to seeing Golden Itiz in the Swaps about 19 days away.  That race should let us know exactly how good Golden Itiz has become because he's likely to face not only Skipshot and Alphie's Bet again, but the aforementioned Smiling Tiger and possibly a Triple Crown veteran, with Sidney's Candy the name throw around most.  

29 Jun 2010 2:07 AM
berttheclock

As for Our Dark Knight, aren't the sons of MdO supposed to get better as they mature, as they do not appear to be as precocious as the females of MdO's.

How apt for Concord Point to have a tie in, of sorts, with Citation.  Concord Point named after the light house above Harve de Grace, is out of the mare Harve de Grace.  The tie in with Citation is that Citation broke his maiden at the old Harve de Grace race track.

Just love those late bloomers.  So many last far longer than the more precocious types.

29 Jun 2010 8:00 AM
Fran Loszynski

Hi Katherine, here I am.

What a race for Afleet Express and Afleet Again. It has to be a rarity for two sons of the same sire to come first and second. Maybe they weren't in the K. Derby but boy for the kids to run like that and win. Great article Steve. I like to keep informed about other racehorses that are their competition and you hit each horse solid. I think it was a great achievement for Afleet Again to beat Soaring Empire, especially when that horse is out of Unbridled Song. Unbridled Song's foals have pizzazz and I'm proud of Afleet Again for beating him. Afleet Again has Afleet Alex's heart and Afleet Express has Alex's speed and killer instinct for that final turn. I hope they both are in the Breeder's Cup.

ALEX'S KIDS----A  W  E  S O  M  E !

29 Jun 2010 8:47 AM
anna

steve take control proved he has back class since he crushed line of david a few months before line of david came back to win the gr1 arkansas derby while upsetting the ky derby winner. so take control does belong on that fact alone.

29 Jun 2010 9:20 AM
Giddyup

There is no question that this is the best "second wave" we have seen in some years but Lucky, Super or Paddy will not be swept away. I think the only 3 year old that could have dominated this season was Eskendereya and unfortunately he had to be retired.

29 Jun 2010 9:53 AM
Steve Haskin

Anna, I stated the criteria I used to make up the list, otherwise I'd have to put every highly regarded 3-year-old early in the year. So, once again, this list is made up ONLY of horses who have done something of note within the last month or so. Take control would no doubt make the list if he comes back and runs a big race, which I fully expect him to. But as of now he hasn't and didn't want to dilute this list by naming too many horses. A Little Warm, who has accomplished a lot more than Take Control, is running today against Miner's Reserve. I dont have him on either, but if he should win impressively, he definitely would deserve to be included.

29 Jun 2010 9:59 AM
Bill Daly

Steve, this second wave is really getting me interested.  The Haskell is shaping up as an intriguing contest. You've got Super Saver looking to prove that his Derby win wasn't just about his affinity for Churchill Downs and Calvin Borel's magic.  The new shooters have some real talent and they seem to be running faster than the first wave did, although it's unfair to make that comparison since 3 yr. olds progress rapidly as summer approaches.  Trappe Shot was very impressive on Belmont Day and beat a stakes quality field.  Concord Point was simply awesome the other night. Kimmel's horse is another one that stirs the imagination.  Too many to count in this second wave.  Berttheclock: Another interesting fact about Havre de Grace and Citation - he sufferred his only defeat as a 3 yr. old at "The Graw" on a muddy track to a horse that would sire a Kentucky Derby winner.  Saggy sired Carry Back.  Citation won 19 out of 20 starts in 1948.  Simply amazing!

29 Jun 2010 10:27 AM
mz

Mike 985: welcome to the sport.  If we could all figure out who the great ones were before they became great, we would all be retired by now, watching our own horses running around the farm!  

Join the rest of us who suddenly fall in love with a horse and follow that horse forever -- eg. just on this blog: Fran Loszynski and Afleet Alex.  It happened to me about a billion years ago with Northern Dancer (and Fran: you could only hope that Afleet Alex lives up to the Dancer's standards!)

And Mike: I'm with you on the little brown horse.  As soon as he explodes, I'm gonna rub Jason's nose in it.

Re: this blog: Exhi looked very nice.  And does everybody think this is going to be a Tiznow year?

29 Jun 2010 10:37 AM
It aint easy being the truth!

I still think that First Dude will rise to the top as a three year old. He is just getting better and he will figure it out soon and will be tough to beat. Got to love afleet express ran a 105 his first time around two turns ....yikes! This horse is scary good and was still driving at the wire....

29 Jun 2010 11:01 AM
steve from st louis

Steve, do you think breeders will shy from Eskendereya because he couldn't stay in training or was his brillance enough to overlook that typical injury which can happen to any horse?

I mean, some young, injured horses have proven to be great sires such as Danzig or even Graustark, while others, numerous to mention, have stumbled.

29 Jun 2010 11:38 AM
Footlick

mz- mine were Buckpasser and then later in Europe Allez France

29 Jun 2010 12:11 PM
Fran Loszynski

Thank you mz, sometimes I don't even realize how big a fan I am of Alex. I'm writing a book about him and me as a fan. I hope if I can publish it and it is good, you all will read it. You certainly know where I am coming from with Northern Dancer. What a pedigree! If you noticed in his pics he has such great shoulders. That was one thing I noticed about Afleet Alex and I truly believe they use those wicked shoulders around the final turn. With Alex too, I've said it before- he has a rump like a jackrabbit!

To steve from st louis.

Eskey was awesome racing he had the precision of Barbaro and I don't think his early retirement will have anything to do with breeding-that's a racing fan's opinion. I liked Eskey's style this year so much I wish he and Alex could have raced-years ago. WOW!

29 Jun 2010 12:28 PM
Spicer Willits

Steve,

Great article on what should be an exciting second half of the year with these newcomers joining Rachel, Zenyatta, Quality Road, I Want Revenge (hopefully), Rail Trip, Mine That Bird, and others.

The successes of the two Alex's still make me wonder what might have been had their sire not been injured. I will never forget that overhead shot from the blimp showing him flying past Giacomo in the Belmont Stakes.

But not the first time: I remember when Raise A Native was hurt, and really felt devastated by Graustark's injury a few years later. The 1966 Kentucky Derby would have been quite a race if both Graustark and Buckpasser had been able to make it!

An interesting exercise to reflect upon who were the best horses that were injured (or died) before they could come into their prime.

29 Jun 2010 1:10 PM
Icy Truth

I'm a BIG fan of Smarty Jones.  What HEART that horse had.  Watching him come down the stretch in the belmont I could see in his eye he just COULDN'T let Birdstone beat him.  He put everything into it and never gave up.  I'm real interested to see how his kids do.  Shrewd One looks very good as well as Gallant Fields.  I'll be watching to see how they do.  I was disappointed in Backtalk's finish in the Derby.  What HAPPENED???!!  He did much better in WVA, but still wasn't up to par.  What's going on with him?

29 Jun 2010 1:20 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I think the Pegasus is going to be a key race. I love the top three from it, and I like the second wave of 3yo better than the first wave. Afleet Alex has caught my attention as a potential great sire, and a potential sire of a Triple Crown winner. Bluegrass Cat is another sire to watch. He is already doing well. If I had a mare to breed, Afleet Alex would be my top choice of any sire. Stamina, speed, and heart. Here are some of the 2yo sons of Afleet Alex if you want an early start on 2011 Triple Crown: Sway Away, Afleet Smile, Tricky Afleet, Two Story Town, Canada Fleet, Elite Alex, Extra Fifty, Reflation, Smart Alex's Posse, World Champ.

29 Jun 2010 1:21 PM
Bill Daly

Fran, I saw Northern Dancer once when he was quite old. He was standing in his paddock very still and seemed to be posing.  I was struck by his presence and the way he regarded those watching him. He was built like a little battleship or bulldog and didn't look like a horse to be trifled with. In adjoining paddocks were some of his sons, none of which seemed to have his presence.  Small, but powerful horse.  Very impressive.

29 Jun 2010 1:26 PM
Pedigree Shelly

         Tapit is turning into one helluva sire ! He gets runners on dirt, turf, and synthetics !He also does well with his colts and fillies . I was wondering when and where Trappe Shot will be making his next start ?

29 Jun 2010 1:53 PM
mg

Thanks for the update Steve. I've been watching several of these develop and certainly agree that a number of those mentioned have the talent to make waves over the summer. Looks like this 3yr. old crop is going to be heard from for quite a while. If I had my choice of the those mentioned to make the biggest moves forward it would have to be Trappe Shot, McLaughlin may have a monster, and Afleet Express who is getting real good at the right time. Best of luck to all.  

29 Jun 2010 1:56 PM
Greg J.

    Just wanted to add Lentenor, While having a little growth spurt, He should be back mid to late summer and I see him having some impact later in the year, IMHO...

29 Jun 2010 2:41 PM
thederbydream.com

Trappe Shot, Comedero, and D Funnybone have sure made the 3 yr old sprint division very interesting this year. The rest of the crop has seemed a little avg overall but with the emergence of Concord Point and Afleet Express things could heat up this fall. Looking forward to the Spa and Del Mar plus BC at CD

29 Jun 2010 3:26 PM
SPLITS OF 12

I feel Nick Zitos FLY DOWN is going to be the top three year old to emerge from the 2010 class. He has demonstrated the ability to rate and finish up strong. I think the classic distance will be a perfect for him. He should get better as the months go on. A son of Mineshaft out of the mare Queen Randi by Fly So Free, who was the two-year old Juvenile champion in his day, is one who looks very promising to me. The way he romped in the Dwyer, was very impressive not to mention, he has finished ahead of First Dude, the three times he's faced him. If your looking for a horse who is flying under the radar presently, look no further than FLY DOWN.

29 Jun 2010 3:37 PM
Fran Loszynski

Thank you Dr. D for the Afleet Alex 2's list. I know in my heart his son or daughter is going to win the Triple Crown someday. I will always believe that. I personally hope the trophy is on the Cash Is King Mantle, their loving hearts started it all with Alex Scott.  When I petted Afleet Alex at Gainesway, his body was as hard as a rock. Stamina , Stamina, Stamina! Tim Ritchey should be applauded for the wonderful training he gave Alex and made him strong.

Bill Daly- Northern Dancer for you must have been an experience of a lifetime seeing him in person. I wish I could have met Seabiscuit too. To me these racehorses were good solid "farmhorses" with speed.

mz, I hope you got to see your Northern Dancer up close too. I have a Smarty Jones t-shirt, Ruffian, and Afleet Alex shirt hanging up in my closet. I'm hoping Afleet of Angels will do well this summer. I have a special interest in her. She was named with kids that are special in mind. Tapit's kids are going to be something to watch also. White lightning!

29 Jun 2010 3:46 PM
mz

Fran, unfortunately I only got to see his gravesite at Windfields.  However, I do have t-shirts and sweatshirts as well as Richard Stone Reeves prints and Christine Picavet prints and Fred Stone prints and a bronze by Lisa Todd.....you get the picture.  When the Dancer died in 1990, I even got condolence calls from all my friends (who, BTW, all know the correct answer to "who was the greatest Canadian of the 20th century").  

Footlick: I remember the Allez France / Dahlia arguments in the 70's - the equivalent of the Zenyatta / Rachel arguments of today.  

and of course, Buckpasser, Priceless Gem, Mocassin / Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Damascus.

Mike 985: if you happen to be able to see some of the videos of newbies, sometimes you find a horse to follow early enough that you feel you knew about greatness before everyone else -- eg.  if you had been able to see Curlin's first race ever (I have no video - attachment - ability or I would include it here), you would have just KNOWN.

And speaking of Damascus, didn't he really streak in the second half of his year?  The Belmont, on, right?

29 Jun 2010 4:39 PM
minnesota kid

pedigree shelly--

The trainer of Trappe Shot stated after the spectacular performance on Belmont day that they probably will point him to the Long Branch at Monmouth Park on July 10. (1 1/16 m)

I am really looking forward to his next start, wherever and whenever it may be.  Wondering if Kiaran felt like they wasted a race running vs. ALW company that day, since Trappe Shot was certainly as impressive as D'Funnybone, probably even more impressive.

29 Jun 2010 4:50 PM
Steve Haskin

I think breeders will be all over Eskendereya. His injury should not deter them at all.

mz, Damascus got better as the year went on, but he was pretty darn good early in the year as well, winning the Bay Shore, Wood Memorial, and Preakness.

29 Jun 2010 5:04 PM
Steve Haskin

Well, it looks like A Little Warm has to be added to the list. He looked good at Delaware today beating Miner's Reserve, who went way too fast early on that track.

29 Jun 2010 5:16 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Fran Loszynski

  That of course is not a complete list. He has many more 2yo. Those are just the ones I decided to follow so far. Afleet Alex is my top prospect to sire a Triple Crown winner.

29 Jun 2010 6:58 PM
Slew

Although I'd really like to see some RH10 colts stepping up a little better, he himself did not really mature until 4...so New Madrid and Doubles Partner have to hang in there.  Of the late bloomers, I like Exhi and love Our Dark Knight.  But I'm anxiously waiting the return of Take Control because I haven't seen another colt win with such intensity since Sea The Stars (although the post parade and most of the race, he looked very green...until the last 2 furlongs..then he was a bullet).

29 Jun 2010 7:06 PM
tomm

3 weeks ago when everybody was talking in the blog about lucky and all the other 3 yr olds i mentioned afleet express.his monmouth race was only a progression from his monster allowance win at belmont in early may.folks this is not a fluke.this is the real deal and will prove so in the upcoming 3 yo stakes.hopefully they will let jerkens keep this one and develop him into the monster he is.please don't turn him over to todd,like they did with quality road.jerkens deserves to celebrate

tom m

29 Jun 2010 8:28 PM
Nice list

This is a very nice list and gives some hope for the three year old class of 2010. Do you have any information on Buddy's Saint?

29 Jun 2010 8:50 PM
Deborah

So happy to see Afleet Alex's boys doing great; Afleet Alex is one of my favorite horses of all time!

29 Jun 2010 9:01 PM
TJLuvsTizs

I love the mention of the Tiznow boys!  I was wondering if anyone has heard how Tiz The One is doing, and to what extent his injury was prior to the Arkansas Derby.  

I am anxious to see American Lion's next start and Golden Itiz's transition to the dirt.  This looks to be like one of Tiznows stronger crops!

29 Jun 2010 9:04 PM
Footlick

mz- those were all great arguments because they were all great horses.  But in Europe, there was no Dahlia/Allez France argument.  Allez France beat her everytime they racesd against each other.  Dahlia was a better horse when she left Allez France's shadow-lol!  Allez france dominated her in France.  Sort of like Zarkava dominated Goldikova.

29 Jun 2010 9:14 PM
Matthew W

Steve I agree with you--this is a deep crop--also loved Bodark, a May foal, who won on the turf June 19th at Holly--ran huge, real nice horse....also love Sidney's Candy....gone are the days when top three year olds like Foolish Pleasure and Wajima would get in light vs Ancient Title/Forego, both of whom were packing in the 130's--in the same race! (Gov's Cup at Belmont)--gone are the days of Kenny Noe! Somewhere someone started to write the races easier for the great ones--too bad! Anyway, bring on the "new wave" of three year olds--I have a feeling we ain't seen nothing yet!

29 Jun 2010 9:40 PM
Matthew W

Not sure Zarkava dominates Goldikova at a mile--also Dahlia was some tough mare, I saw her most days for a couple of years--top class, but of the three I would rate Goldikova higher on the miler list than I would rate Dahlia/Zarkava on the stayers list....just my opinion...

29 Jun 2010 9:47 PM
LAZMANNICK

MZ

You're a Great Canadian, right?  I was born in Toronto and left there years ago, but not before I fell in love with Northern Dancer.  He's the one that got me into horse racing.  He was offered as a yearling for 25K with not takers because he was so small.  I honestly believe that if he wasn't retained by E.P. Taylor he wouldn't have had the chance to develope into the sire he became and what a loss to the sport that would have been.

Speaking of Damascus.....do your remember another great Canadian bred that never really got the chance to show how good he was?  I'm talking about Cool Reception.  He finished second to Damascua in the Belmont.  He was leading at the top of the stretch and finished the race on a broken leg.  They operated and might have saved him for breeding purposes, but he died when he thrashed about after coming out of surgery and they had to pout him down.  What a shame that was.

29 Jun 2010 9:49 PM
Rondo

OMG! Lenny where are you when we need you??? 1st Stable Boy and now I think you have "Bandwagon Boy". :-} Stevo, I thought your last article was talking about all these horses running at 2nd tier tracks qualifying or basically "backing into" the B.C. Cup and now you tout Concord Point after he beat such a crack field? I have to say, I was also very dissappointed about pumping chances of Stately Victor (S.V.) in T.C. races. (S.V.) did look the part but fact is only ran 1 decent race on a quircky Keeneland track. He could not break a NX1 class in 4 attempts? How come the "experts" did not find fault in that? I still love to read ya man but don't be so quick to move on these horses winning now because they aren't facing the big boys who are in the barns getting second wind.

29 Jun 2010 9:53 PM
Footlick

Matthew- watch the Pouliches.  Zarkava beat Goldikova easy as she pleased.  That was at a mile.  Then she dominated her even more in the Prix de Diane.  Goldikova, as good a miler as she was , was not a match for Zarkava.  Not sure Zarkava was ever put into a drive.  Dahlia was greatest when out of Allez France's shadow.  Goldikova was greatest out of Zarkava's shadow.  But I guess that's just my opinion.

29 Jun 2010 11:54 PM
mz

Laz: I always wondered what could have been re: Cool Reception.  I thought he was gonna win that Belmont.  Another good son of Nearctic.

And getting into "the other Z" vs. Goldikova discussion, I gotta agree with Matthew W. about miler vs. stayer.  I think that if Zarkava, good as she was, had continued to run as a 4YO, I'm not sure she would have been able to dominate Goldikova at a mile.  Goldikova just seemed to get that much better as a 4YO.

Sort of like Holy Bull and Cigar.  Holy Bull was hurt in the Donn (or just before the Donn?) and Cigar started his run for HOY in that race.  Could he have dominated Cigar that year if he had continued?  I don't think so.

30 Jun 2010 1:03 AM
logan tyree

put all of the above colts in the gate , add twirling candy he will be gone.

30 Jun 2010 6:37 AM
Rachel

Mike985, you keep that faith, baby! Go read about John Henry...his fans had to really, really love and believe in him a long time before he became the John Henry of legends.

He would never have survived unscathed by bloggers nowadays!

Holy Bull and Tiznow are my most memorable "second wave", though Holy Bull had some good early season wins, but he owned the latter part of the year (eventually beating out Preakness and Belmont winner Tabasco Cat for honors), and both he and Tiznow beat both 3 yr-old peers and older horses.

30 Jun 2010 6:55 AM
Footlick

Well, Zarkava never ran at 4 so we only have to go by their 3 yr old form against each other.  You can't compare 4 yr old Goldikova to 3 yr old Zarkava.  Zarkava had no trouble with her at a mile as a 3 yr old.   As I said, when Dahlia and Goldikova got out of their respective rivals shadows they shown like the sun, but not when they ran against them.  That has to count.

30 Jun 2010 8:37 AM
berttheclock

Er, Rondo, remember the thrilling campaigns in the Triple Crown of 1997, when Silver Charm, Free House, Captain Bodgit and Touch Gold dueled?  So, was the Travers any less because they all were in the barn taking a breather, while Deputy Commander and Behrens fought tooth and nail down the stretch?  Yes, the time of 2:04 was not as spectacular as many other years of the Travers, but, few have witnessed such a thrill watching those two late bloomers duking it out.

30 Jun 2010 8:43 AM
Steve Haskin

Logan Tyree, thanks for mentioning Twirling Candy. I forgot all about him. He could be special if he can stretch out.

30 Jun 2010 9:15 AM
berttheclock

@MZ, Holy Bull broke down in the backstretch of the Donn, as he was galloping with Cigar.  The reason I remember this, is due a fellow player at SA hitting the large trifecta.  He had looked at the record of Holy Bull, which had him, I believe at 13-0-0 for 15. So, he thought, if he runs out, for whatever reason the tri should be large.  He put Cigar on top and wheeled all, except Holy Bull.

30 Jun 2010 11:38 AM
jon

I perked up at the mention of Trappe Shot, because Uptowncharlybrown beat him in morning workouts by several lengths. We all know what happened in the Belmont so we really don't know what Uptowncharlybrown can on a level playing field.

Lentenor is pointing towards some of the fall classics and may yet be the contender his fans hope he can be. He wasn't disgraced in The Florida Derby, and is a month or two away from a comeback.

You didn't mention any fillies-Blind Luck is still untested against the males.

30 Jun 2010 1:05 PM
Matthew W

Footlick--we'll never know--when they hardly race at all--we just will never know--what we DO KNOW is that Goldikova overcame trouble over here--and still won two BC Miles--one season wonders are just that--here's to the multi-year wonders! Taking nothing away from Zarkava, but she was gone in a flash....

30 Jun 2010 1:25 PM
Footlick

Matthew W- I'm not going to keep going back and forth about this.  If that's how you view Zarkava, then that's how you view her.

30 Jun 2010 2:09 PM
jayjay

Nice article Steve.  I tend to agree that we have a great 2nd wave of late bloomers that might prove to be tougher or better than the TC horses.  I'm still high on IceBox and am counting on Dross to continue to get better.  I commented in another blog that the rest of this years 3 yr old races could very well have 3 different colts winning the Haskell, Jim Dandy and the Travers.  Would that be a first ?

30 Jun 2010 2:22 PM
SPLITS OF 12

Berttheclock,

I remember that race vividly. Cigar was the five horse that day and was 5-1. A horse by the name of Mahogany Hall placed at 99-1. I had Cigar front wheeled in that race. The exacta was astronomical. After Cigar ran Holy Bull into the ground, it started his ascent to be one of the all-time thoroughbred greats, with 16 straight victories. Whats strange is the three times I watched Cigar run live, he lost twice on the turf and once in the Pacific Classic to Dare and Go, after setting a blistering pace with Siphon, in a 1:33 mile on Del Mar's infamous deep track. After the race you could hear a pin drop as the crowd was in utter silence. A great day of racing though. Earlier in the card, I watched a Maiden Special Weight race and witnessed a horse get second place to the winning horse Deed Not Words, trained by D.Wayne Lukas. The place horse was Bob Baffert's, Silver Charm, the eventual Kentucky Derby Winner, the following year.  

30 Jun 2010 2:55 PM
steve from st louis

One of my favorite "second wave" runners was Wajima for Steve DiMaurio. He jumped up and won the Travers (gr. 1) and Monmouth Invitational Handicap against 3-year-olds and then beat both reigning and three-time Horse of the Year Forego and Derby (gr. 1) winner Foolish Pleasure in back-to-back starts in the Governor's Stakes (gr. 1) and the Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap (gr. 1).

He was named 3-year-old champion that year, 1975, 35 years ago. Man, I feel old, but that copper bulldog won my heart when he beat my favorite, Forego, in consecutive starts.  

30 Jun 2010 4:13 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Minnesota Kid thanks for the Info :) I have a feeling that Trappe Shot is going to be a sprinter .

  mz , I happen to be a Holy Bull fan ,and I think he would have given Cigar a run for his money if he didn't break down in the Donn :(

30 Jun 2010 5:12 PM
mz

steve from st. louis: wasn't Wajima the highest priced yearling from his year?  $600k, I think, at either Saratoga or Keeneland (when Keeneland had its select sale).  I remember that I really really hated the Bold Rulers because it seemed no other horse could ever be champion sire and boom, he gets Wajima in '75 (?).

Except for the Seattle Slew's, though, I don't think Bold Ruler has bred on .. or am I wrong about that (too)?

30 Jun 2010 7:52 PM
Pedigree Shelly

     mz , Bold Rulers sire line continues through

Glitterman by Dewan ,son of Bold Ruler

Yes It's True by Is It True , son of Raja Baba by Bold Ruler.

Bold Ruckus by Bold Reasoning by Boldnesian by Bold Ruler .        

30 Jun 2010 10:21 PM
Pedigree Shelly

        mz , I have another Bold Ruler line stallion for you -

Florida based , Tour d'Or by Medaille D'Or by Secretariat by Bold Ruler . By the way that was an excellent question !

30 Jun 2010 10:45 PM
Matthew W

Yes Wajima beat Forego--he got more than ten lbs--when they raced weight for age, Forego outfinished him in the JC Gold....Wajima was a top horse and a stayer...another one season wonder who has been lost through the historic cracks---another reason to honor the multi season wonders--not that easy to repeat a great year--I've seen many who could not--hard to know how great they were when they retire early--never hard to figure out a horse like Forego--he was great then, great now, and he will be great long after I'm gone....

30 Jun 2010 11:37 PM
Matthew W

Steve, Key to The Mint did not run in a Triple Crown race--and almost won HOY in'72--'cept fot that big red two year old, of Meadow Stable, and did they ever get that right! I just hope they get that movie right cuz I was around then and Secretariat was all that--did everything but give weight but do they really do that anymore? When you cut your teeth on Ack Ack toting 130 in the Big Cap/134 in the Hol Gold Cup--kinda hard to get excited about Quality Road toting 124 in the Met--giving one whole pound to the 2nd place horse--and if Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra get less than 130 v fillies? Back in the 70's all three as well as Rail Trip would be proving it carrying 130....

01 Jul 2010 1:06 AM
Slew

Speaking of 3 year olds, Steve, what ever happened to Mendip.  There has been no news on him since the meet at Meydan.  I know they declined the Kentucky Derby, but I thought he was supposed to race in England.  Can you find out his status?

01 Jul 2010 9:21 AM
Steve Haskin

Matthew W, Key to the Mint finished third in the Preakness.

Slew, good question about Mendip. I will find out this weekend.

01 Jul 2010 11:31 AM
Footlick

and fourth in the Belmont

01 Jul 2010 11:34 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Very interesting race July 3rd, Delaware -8th race, 2yo MSW. Debut race for Elite Alex-Sire-Afleet Alex, Broodmare Sire-Unbridled. Also debuting is Gaither Draw, sired by Smarty Jones. They are facing a Pletcher colt-Volcker who had a 93 Bris speed figure in his debut.

01 Jul 2010 12:40 PM
Carlos in Cali

Any latest updates on Odysseus who annihilated Exhi @ Tampa the race before his gutsy TB Derby win?

01 Jul 2010 12:50 PM
Eric

Thank goodness there's a second wave because the first wave were the definition of slow. We are talking about the slowest Derby and Belmont in years and beyers that high priced claimers could get. Here's to the second wave!

01 Jul 2010 12:50 PM
MonicaV

Matthew W,

You've been around as long as I have!  The weight carrying days are over.  You must remember when horses carried over 130, my gosh, Round Table carried in excess of 130 several times and set records doing it.  If I'm not mistaken, I believe he carried 136.  Weights are getting less and less.  The 3 year olds still carry 126 for the TC races but that may change too.

The weight differences are one of the reasons I find it difficult to compare horses of today to the horses of 40 to 30 years ago.  They carried a lot more weight then while horses of today carry 10 to 15 pounds less.

01 Jul 2010 1:00 PM
Cheryl (Alex'sBigFan)

Steve,

Thanks for the info on the second wave, I've been out of the country and just reading this.  Yes, Hangin' With Haskin - we all wish we could gather 'round and hear horse tales and be enchanted by your stories.  I loved your account

of Cigar at MSG!!!!!! I can't wait until Aug. 1 to see Lucky in the Haskell.  Steve, Rachel is running at Monmouth July 24, why did they move the race from the Haskell Undercard day? And I agree with you about Zenyatta being something we have never witnessed before, as you stated in "And They're Off."

Fran L,

I am so happy you are in your glory with Alex's 2 kids!  Don't forget I belong in your book.

I also feel Alex will be the sire

of a Triple Crown Winner, Alex all but was one, all but for one length in the 2005 Derby.  If I had mares I would breed to Alex, Street Cry, and Hard Spun.  I had high hopes for Dublin this year, but, alas, little Dublin thought the Preakness was run in the grandstand!!!!! (Referring ofcourse to his veering right out of the gate,poor baby).

Slew,

Where are you? Rachel is running in the Lady's Secret Monmouth July 24th.  C'mon, write more funny stuff!

Happy Haskell everyone!  It's coming!

01 Jul 2010 7:26 PM
Matthew W

AND Quality Road carried 7 lbs more that Musket Man--but why, pray tell were Quality Road and Musket Man so lightly weighted? I know Whittingham and later Frankel were famous for challenging the handicapper in public--and it (obviously) worked! Affirmed (Laz) shunned 130 v Spectacular Bid--I get that, but Forego would've been in that starting gate! Just wish they ran them like they used to--weights are the great equalizer, and they were a barometer for greatness--either go all equal or weight them--but don't meet 1/2 way--there is no 1/2 way.....

01 Jul 2010 7:52 PM
Matthew W

I would bet on Melair over Housebuster--but in no way would I even consider her in his shadow---Housebuster was, to me, an all-time great....same goes with Zarkava--maybe she was best, but she will fall through history's cracks--Goldikova will be talked about for generations....because what they do on the track trumps everything....

01 Jul 2010 7:56 PM
Big Ric

Steve,

Rachel Alexandra should be running at Saratoga in the Ruffian and not in the Lady's Secret at Monmouth.  This is a travesty and needs to be addressed.  A Grade 1 at Saratoga the same weekend where she is stabled ????  Please investigate this and discuss.

01 Jul 2010 7:58 PM
drfager01

splits you silly! cigar was a fit horse going against a 80% fit horse holy bull. cigar went 16 in a row beating less than stellar compettition. holy bull was that, broken down, have you sprained your ankle, well when a horse sprains his ankle it could be life threatening. last i remember holy bull with his big heart was being sent to the lead by mike smith when he got hurt. if holy bull dont get hurt, they would be no cigar. sadly even today cigar is not known for anything out side his streak 16. its a shame he couldnt run a lick on turf either.

01 Jul 2010 11:19 PM
PattiShuvee

Steve, I think you missed a good late blooming 3YO:  KY-bred Sporty (trainer: Carl Nafzger; owner James Tafel; rider Calvin Borel...yes, the Street Sense gang).  Just grabbed a NW1x $54K turf allowance 1 1/8m at CD today (July 1, Race 8) after finishing a good 2nd in his prior CD outing. Was 6th through the running until moving into 4th at top of stretch, then pulled away to win by 1 1/4.  Off odds 3.20 (3rd choice)  He's by Smarty Jones out of a Quiet American mare and is gelded, so he may be around for a while.  

Sporty should definitely be on your watch list!  

02 Jul 2010 12:30 AM
berttheclock

@Matthew W, interesting the mention of Charlie and Bobby complaining to the racing secretaries.  Yes, Charlie could storm the offices of Jimmy Kilroe?, the boss of Lew Elkins and demand weights be lightened.  However, weight almost cost him the day Herat got away at 110 pounds and Charlie's steed was all out to nose him in the Big 'Cap.  Or, Charlie complaining that Greinton should have less than Hooper's great runner.  But, the funny thing about this, when Charlie and Bobby were asked by a LA Times reporter to comment for his article on weight, they both pooh poohed extra weight.  Charlie spoke of the horses being large animals.  Bobby said weight might make a difference out of the gate.  So, it was one thing to the paper and, quite another behind closed doors of the respective racing secreataries.

Speaking of Melair, I still remember the day she was to run at HP.  There was a buzz around the track and all tout sheets raved about her.  All, except for Baedecker's, where the father picked another.  The day following her fast victory, I stopped by and asked one of his sons why she had not been picked.  His comment was "Can't pick 'em all".

However, if it had not been for tout sheets, Loesser would have never come up with "Can Do" for his great "Fugue for Tinhorns", fondly remembered by one and all as "I got the horse right here. His name is Paul Revere".  

02 Jul 2010 9:22 AM
Footlick

Matthew W- I hate to burst your bubble but Zarkava is firmly cemented in history.  If it isn't American racing history, or your own personal history, then it isn't. But I can assure you there isn't a historical crack big enough in European racing history to swallow her up and be forgotten.

02 Jul 2010 11:29 AM
Gary

Afleet Express looks like he will only get better and I know Golden Itiz looks like he could be a monster. If he takes to real dirt, Watch Out!!

02 Jul 2010 1:30 PM
Exactabox

Afleet Alex had 2 winners yesterday - both trained by Tim Ritchy, Alex's Vision in an ungraded stakes at Philadelphia Park and Elite Alex the 2Yr old - (Take him to Saratoga Tim!) won!!  There were also at least 3 second place finishes on the first crops..Syo Defenceman for one.

I have never been attached to a breeding line...but as a huge fan of Alex's...this is getting interesting!

04 Jul 2010 5:11 PM
Fran Loszynski

Dr. D. after reading your blogs and reading your expertise I'm so glad you too feel Alex will have a Triple Crown foal someday. Could even be next year folks!

Cheryl: You're in it as a true fan of Alex. I'm editing it and will get the okay from  the owners (to be sure everything is correct) before I publish it. I'm hoping to have  proceeds to go to Alex's Lemonade Stand and the owners of Alex. I have everything I could possbily want in life. I met the fastest racehorse in my lifetime-Afleet Alex.

mz---I never met Ruffian but when I made my first trip to the Belmont track I knew she was there. What a fitting tribute to be buried under the Belmont flag.  A Fred Jones -Wow!

Deborah- Plan in advance the hat you'll wear come Triple Crown Day. I would think a nice "peppermint-color!"  for Alex.    

05 Jul 2010 6:37 PM
katherine

TRAPPE SHOT!!! TRAPPE SHOT!!!

29 Jul 2010 11:24 PM

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