I was right! I was right! You heard it here first, that I’ll Have Another would not win the Triple Crown. Obviously that was not the way I wanted to be proven right. It’s bad for the sport and just sour in general.
Look for many of the top 3-year-olds to come back in three races, the Dwyer at Belmont, the Haskell at Monmouth and the Jim Dandy at Saratoga. That all leads up to a likely Travers Stakes matchup between the best of the best.
I really think that if Bodemeister or Union Rags wins out (Haskell, Travers, Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Breeders Cup Classic) there is no way that they cannot be Champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year. The handicap division is weak this year, but should sort itself out somewhat on Saturday at Churchill Downs in the Stephen Foster Handicap under the lights. I like Ron the Greek and Nehro in there.
Locally we have a big weekend that finishes off with the Free Press Stakes on Sunday. I definitely think that Schillerthekiller will be tough in the Free Press, as well as Ask Eddy and U R Burnin Daylite. A longshot I think has a big shot to light up the triactor and superfecta is Mr Exspeedient. He has tactical speed, has battled with these types before as a younger horse, and always tries.
The fifth race on Sunday also offers a $5,000 open claimer for the boys and there is some definite speed in that race. I think it sets up for Del Mar Drama to rally down the lane. He should be able to get up in time. He chased two tough horses, Quaker Shaker Tony and Payment Approved, in his last, and those two will hook up again on Saturday night in the third race. They dueled all the way around the racetrack last time and they figure to duke it out again, along with Nervous Marvin, who drops in class. Pivot Pad also has some gas from the inside. The Phenom is moving up from $3,500 off the claim and he adds yet more good speed, which leaves Takehome Asouvenir. If the track doesn’t have a pronounced speed bias he could be the only one running late.
Saturday also features the first 2-year-old race of the year and it is wide open. The Sayler barn is normally very good at winning 2-year-old races, so my guess is that they’ll end up being the favourite in the first race. Sharp A has shown speed in the mornings, working in 36 seconds flat for three furlongs. I definitely think she is the main competition for whoever ends up being the favorite. Remember last year Pelee Island ripped it up in the mornings for Clayton Gray, only to be bet down to below even money and have Balooga Bull come flying late to catch him, so it’s difficult to tell with 2-year-olds. But they sure are fun to watch!
My handicapping tells me that Friday will be a slightly tricky night. The wide open $15,000 claimer is a tough race with Lake Sawyer, Fresh Ice and Galloping Gulch being the main contenders. Fresh Ice might make an easy lead, which could make him the one to beat. The fourth and the seventh races are both wide open Manitoba-Bred affairs. The seventh features Hurrionby as the favorite out of the Darrell Lawson barn. She was impressive crushing a field of maidens earlier in May. The other horse that will be tough in this race is The Time is Right, making the drop from open to restricted claiming. He did defeat some of these in his first race of the year. The Time is Right will have to negotiate the one hole however, which has only produced 8% winners. Hurrionby is featured in the photo above and he definitely chased some decent horses last year in Mosaico and Dance the Dance.
The race for leading rider has tightened up and Rohan Singh is gaining on Paul Nolan, but Nolan figures to win two or three races Friday night. Singh is also very live on a number of mounts throughout the weekend though, so it should be a fun battle to watch!
Best Bets of the Weekend
Friday: Race 1 - #6 Miss Money Train
Saturday: Race 5 - #6 Stick Em Up
Sunday: Race 1 - #5 Troy Weight
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7 p.m. Friday, June 15, 2012