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Video still of Travers & Whitney winner Will’s Way, who showed a surprising docile side to me and my camera. From his earlier antics, I feared he would grab either me or my camera from my position on the fence!

Video still of Travers & Whitney winner Will’s Way, who showed a surprising docile side to me and my camera. From his earlier antics, I feared he would grab either me or my camera from my position on the fence!

Cutest couple: Red Down South (foreground) and Zippy Chippy at Old Friends Cabin Creek

Cutest couple: Red Down South (foreground) and Zippy Chippy at Old Friends Cabin Creek

Harpoon and John Velazquez

Harpoon and John Velazquez

Going to Saratoga Springs this weekend

Yay Ponyland! My documentary crew and I will be filming at some special places in Saratoga to show off some special horses. I’ll let you guys wonder about which ones. I even bought a book to help my crew out:

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I didn’t have much time this week to do a full-out handicap, but you guys can assume that I think very highly of Bayern and hope he wins the Arkansas Derby (I) tomorrow. Tapiture and Strong Mandate follow that pick in order.

For the Blue Grass, it gets harder in a way. I do not think Bobby’s Kitten will handle the poly as well as he does turf (*thinks about Stephanie’s Kitten in the Ashland*)… I thought very very highly of him last year and still do, but very forwardly-placed horses like him do not fare well at Keeneland. He is definitely one to bet against. I’ve always liked Casiguapo, but will be most keen on Coastline and Dance With Fate to work their magic, the latter of which has the best shot to do well in the Derby should he win. Third choice is probably Medal Count, who turns back after a week break to try to win again on Keeneland’s main (*thinks about Brilliant Speed some years ago*).

Me and my sound guy Patrick at Aqueduct this past Saturday. I was really cold after being outside all day in the blustery wind and was really not looking forward to driving for 3 hours again. We’ll have some “pickups” we took at Aqueduct appearing in the final cut of our documentary, Roughshod. Photo courtesy of our DP, Shea Brennan.
But alas! It was indeed a really nice day to be at the track! Even if I do look like I want to strangle somebody! 

Me and my sound guy Patrick at Aqueduct this past Saturday. I was really cold after being outside all day in the blustery wind and was really not looking forward to driving for 3 hours again. We’ll have some “pickups” we took at Aqueduct appearing in the final cut of our documentary, Roughshod. Photo courtesy of our DP, Shea Brennan.

But alas! It was indeed a really nice day to be at the track! Even if I do look like I want to strangle somebody! 

Central Banker, that handsome devil

Central Banker, that handsome devil

Loki’s Vengeance after the Bay Shore Stakes (III). GO FROST GIANTS!

Loki’s Vengeance after the Bay Shore Stakes (III). GO FROST GIANTS!

Derby Handicap Winners!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Derby Handicap contest! Without further ado, we have our winners following yesterday’s hectic Wood Memorial:

First place: Le—pamplemousse, with $104.30. Her Wood pick was Wicked Strong (1st with a $2 WPS of $32.20)

Second place: Iadoreunna/Teamchlorine with $79.60. Her Wood pick was Samraat (2nd with a $2 WPS of $7.90)

Third place: Marioangel, with $71.20. His Wood pick was Wicked Strong

I will message all winners in the next day or two regarding shipment and selection of prize boxes. Congrats again you guys. I did not win any money yesterday while at Aqueduct, but I had a fantab day seeing my pick Wicked Strong win the big race and had a great time with everyone.

Social Inclusion rushes up to meet Samraat at the start of the Wood Memorial (I), with Noble Moon and Schivarelli up behind them.

Social Inclusion rushes up to meet Samraat at the start of the Wood Memorial (I), with Noble Moon and Schivarelli up behind them.

"Before the Weekend" Derby Top 10

This will probably be my last Derby list before the profiles are started for the big race. This was a bit tougher to make since there are still a lot of major points races left to be run and things could easily get complicated. Ranked in order:

10) Commissioner - Got going too late after a bad start in the Sunland Derby to be up for second. If he can get a clear run to get some point gains in the Arkansas Derby, he’s a candidate.

9) Hoppertunity - Gets a big boost if Mike Smith sticks around as a horse who clearly wants more ground. 

8) Social Inclusion - If he shows something in the Wood— and by something I mean a first or second place finish— I’ll become a believer. Fast, late-improving son of Pioneerof the Nile.

7) Bayern** - Hope he goes to the Arkansas Derby and wins. He’s talented enough for it. I’m stubborn to completely drop him out of sight.

6) Samraat - Stays on the list if he can show me something in the Wood tomorrow. I need to see him not immediately go to the lead and try to hang on.

5) Strong Mandate - Whether or not this Tiznow colt shines in May, he’s a legitimate 10-furlong horse who doesn’t really display any pickiness in regards to surface conditions or what kind of trip he has to make.

4) Candy Boy - His win in the Robert B. Lewis told me all I needed to know. He’s been in my top 10 for the bulk of the year and there’s little telling me he won’t yield at 10 furlongs. My biggest concern is the Candy Ride curse…

3) Tapiture - This horse just needs a better jockey and he’s very game to do well and even show yet another dimension. His off-the-pace style and tactical speed speaks for itself.

2) California Chrome - Brilliant horse who I’ve been watching for a while… but I admit, I was too stubborn to include immediately in the very first top ten list as he hadn’t shown me enough to include a California-bred. He looks like he just needed some time just like another really good California horse who won a couple years ago…

1) Ring Weekend - I can’t really explain this one much more beyond a good feeling and all the right subtle winks. He’s chestnut, he’s by Tapit, trained by Graham Motion, and the thing that really sold me after his impressive Tampa Bay Derby (II) win was the fact he’s being sent to the Calder Derby instead of the Blue Grass. They’re giving this colt time to develop— not throwing him into a huge field in a big points race— and chances to boost his confidence before shipping to Churchill. He’s getting better and better and has some tactical speed to boot.

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Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.


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