Thursday, April 12, 2012
I continue to work on Space Sheet 3.0 (you can find it on the right sidebar) for Derby 2012. The official unveiling will be next week as the field starts to settle in after this weekend's big preps at Oaklawn and Keeneland. This spreadsheet will come in handy prior to any Kentucky Derby betting for this year's Run for the Roses.
So here are some things I'm really looking forward to over the next couple of weeks as the Triple Crown season approaches...we're 23 days away from Kentucky Derby 138! Bring it on....
1. The Return of the Pimlico Special. I'm not sure why, but in my eight plus years of following the sport intensely, this race has always been one I've followed closely. Run only once in the last five years (won by Student Council in 2009), the Grade 3 $300,000 race for older males will be run on Black-Eyed Susan Day on the Friday before the Preakness. Some terrific horses have won this race over the year such as Cigar, Mineshaft, Strike the Gold and of course, War Admiral and Seabiscuit. Here's hoping it draws a quality field.
2. Charles Town Classic Night. I know. I know. I'll be breaking one of my top 5 handicapping rules in playing a track I don't follow regularly. But I always enjoy buckling down on a Saturday night with the old ADW and the bullring. I've taken it on the chin a few times at CT on Classic Night, but they always draw some quality horses. Make sure you don't ignore the hometown team, they're tough at ole CT. I also get a kick out of the fact that Race 8 is the Confucious Say Stakes. Confucious say two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.
3. The Kentucky Oaks. I've had my eye on the 3-year-old fillies this spring and I think there is a good chance that we'll have three or four decent fillies to enthrall us through the TC season and into the summer. I really enjoyed last year's group of Plum Pretty, Royal Delta and It's Tricky. Plus, I don't have too much to do on Oaks Day so I'll be able to have some fun and play the ponies all day long.
4. The Queen's Plate BBQ Lunch. Yum. I enjoyed my first ever one last year and was able to interview the winning connections Josie Carroll and jockey Luis Contreras (got lucky I guess) at the BBQ about their talented filly Inglorious. My top pick for the Woodbine website QP2012 Hard Not To Like ran a decent race on Saturday in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland finishing second against a quality field that included BC champion Stephanie's Kitten. I hope she will point to the Plate. The folks at Woodbine know how to do it right, so I'm looking forward to the Canadian Triple Crown season.
5. The Belmont with a TC on the line. A guy can wish, no? I'm also hoping to avoid the betting bloodbath that has(unfortunately) become an annual tradition for me.
Enjoy the weekend, and if you have a moment stop by the Sports, Ink blog on Friday for my thoughts on the Arkansas Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes.