It's that time of year again. Time to put on my prognostication glasses and figure out what's in store in racing for the year 2011. First off, let's take a quick look at last year's predictions and score it at home.
We were almost Kreskin-like in some areas, not so good in others.....
2010 Predictions and Self-Scoring
1) Year of the Dude. Score = 1. We said the colts would take back the Preakness, Haskell, Woodward and BC Classic. Goaaalllllll.
2) Post Time Favorite Wins the Derby. Score = 0. We thought we were looking good with Eskendereya a week prior to the Derby, but an injury and then a poor post position on the rail for Lookin at Lucky gave us the big goose egg here.
3) No TC Weather Issues. Score = 0.67. As Meat Loaf used to say 2 outta 3 ain't bad. A soggy Derby was offset by beautiful weather in Baltimore and Elmont.
4) A Sub 4 hr Trek to the Spa. Score = 0. A 4:02 and a 4:12 were the closest I came in four trips to the Springs. The record will fall in 2011. I don't give up easily.
5) No TC Winner....again. Score = 1. Ok, so I threw a gimme in there.
6) NTRA Accreditation % is Perfect. Score = 1. Sure has been quiet on this front. I gave up beating on this drum.
7) National Pick 4 Returns. Score - 0. You know the drill.
8) Rachel Alexandra Loses. Score = 1. Three times a lady.
Final 2010 Tally = 4.67 out of 8. Not bad.
Ok...here goes our 2011 Predictions and we won't be so easy on ourselves this year while summoning our inner Kreskin......
1) A Derby/Preakness Double. So what I'm saying here is that there will be a Triple Crown shot in June. We haven't had one since Big Brown in 2008, so playing the law of averages here.
2) A Filly will be ITM in a TC Race. The fillies have been stepping up in the past few years, why not in 2011?
3) The Belmont will be won by a horse with double digit odds. The Belmont seems to be the race where a longshot tends to upset the field. I'm projecting it to happen in 2011 and that I won't have said winner.
4) Fly Down will win a Grade 1. Back in early March, I was the lone pollster in the WirePlayers Derby Dozen (see others receiving votes) to give Fly Down a vote after I watched his allowance win at Gulfstream. In 2011, he'll grab his first G1 somewhere down the line.
5) The Arkansas Derby will give us the 2011 Derby winner. Oaklawn Park has provided us with some solid Derby horses (Smarty, Alex, Curlin) in the past ten years. They're due to give us the Derby winner.
6) Sub 4 hour trek to the Spa. We had our all-time best in 2010 with a new back route. If I have to leave Buffalo at 5am, I'm getting this done next year.
7) Santa Anita is awarded the 2012 Breeders' Cup. This means they'll make the decision before New Year's Eve 2011, but the return to dirt and the return to the nice weather will entice the BC board to be westward bound.
8) A 3 year old wins the BC Classic. I'm betting on a solid group of 3 year old colts who will dominate the older horses late in the season. No, I haven't been drinking.
9) Haskell Hat is green. I've studied the past 12 years worth of hats, and I'm going green in 2011.
10) Garret Gomez wins his first TC race. He's got his first Classic, now it's time to add a Classic, don't you think?
So those are my predictions for 2011, let's hope it's a great year for racing!