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Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Now?

Oh no, the Sheikh's taking our stars away to train them in Dubai!?! Curlin is retiring without a farewell race!?! The Euros are winning our championship races!?! I can't tell which horse it is because the cloths are purple!?! More and more retirements announced every day!?! We can't bet on our favorite tracks!?! Everyone's got their hand out for a bailout?!? Ford and GM are both below $3/share?!? Tina Fey's looking for work (not really). Sounds like time to call the Wambulance.

OK, so things aren't that bad. Hey, get your chin up, the Derby is just a mere twenty four Saturdays away! All is not lost, I say! It's not like pirates have ravished the women and children and stole all of our worldly treasures...the Big A is alive and running. NYRA's on Facebook and MySpace. The TBA continues to grow (43 blogs and counting) and prosper (check out the super cool free PP's from all the tracks!!!!). New stars will emerge. Our mainstream network, ESPN, just picked up the BCS, a year after grabbing the Breeders Cup.

So let's take a quick look at some 2009 Derby hopefuls as we've probably seen the 09 winner somewhere along the line. Never has a horse won the Derby after skipping a 2yo campaign.

My Early Picks...

1 - Midshipman. Winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders Cup Juvenile at Oak Tree. Will have the graded stakes to be in on that win alone. Acquired in September by Sheikh Mohammed, trained by Bob Baffert (to date).....he has to be the early pick based on his win, his other two wins coming on the poly at Del Mar and a placing at Santa Anita. The big question will be can he handle the dirt at Churchill.

2 - Vineyard Haven. Skipped the Juvenile after winning the Hopeful at the Spa and the Champagne at Belmont this Fall, both in rather convincing fashion. Purchased by Sheikh Mo Money for $12M large. Personally, I think he's the horse to beat at the moment, but lots can happen between now and the FSIM. The Sheikh is due to win it one of these days, maybe if you consider the Law of Truly Large Numbers, though he really hasn't had a contendah since Street Cry, who succumbed to an injury just before the Derby.

3 - Street Hero. Speaking of Street Cry, his offspring out of Squall Linda, finished a solid third in the Juvie and has been a bridesmaid to Midshipman three times in his career. A threat as he matures and tries the dirt.

4 - Terrain. This Sky Mesa gelding has won twice on dirt, in the money twice on poly, and finished fourth in the Juvie, after encountering some bad traffic. His pedigree suggests he can get the distance and with maturity could best the poly-specialists at Churchill.

My Hopefuls.

5 - West Side Bernie. Was looking for him to upset them in the Juvie, but it just wasn't his day. Lightly raced (only 3 races), he finished a disappointing sixth, but shows two solid dirt wins on his resume, keep an eye on him during the prep races.

6 - Break Water Edison. Lemon Drop Kid's have been on fire as of late. This one won the G3 Nashua and placed in the G2 Saratoga Special this summer after rough trips in both the Hopeful and Champagne in his two G1 starts. Sure would be great to see John Kimmel in the winner's circle on Derby Day.

7 - Stardom Bound. Gotta get the talk goin' early. If there is something exciting Derby-wise brewing, this might be it. Will the Juvenile Fillies champ take on the colts? How about IEAH repeating? Oh boy, this could get really interesting.

Keeping a Close Watch On.

8 - Square Eddie. Runnerup in the BC, this Smart Strike colt came over from England to capture the G1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland. Not sure if he'll take to the dirt, as he's only run on poly three times (once in GB) and on the turf for his first three races abroad. Didn't disappoint at Santa Anita, but will they test him on the real stuff before Churchill?

9 - Charitable Man. I like this horse a lot also. He won the G2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont in September after a huge debut at the Spa winning by 11 1/4 lengths. Another Lemon Drop Kid offspring who is currently sidelined by injury, but trainer McLaughlin was quoted as saying: "It's not a long time. It's just bad timing. Hopefully, we'll bring him back at the first of the year and he can make the Triple Crown trail one way or the other.''

10 - Fill in the blank hoss!

So don't get down folks, there's lots to look forward to and a nice crop of 2yo's ready to capture our imagination and wow us right up until the big day!

1 Comment:

SaratogaSpa said...

As Artie Lange would say "Waaaaa"


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