Robert B. Lewis results: Unsurprising, but Flashback kind of had it easy. Big deal, he was spurred in the stretch by Leparoux and beat three horses. He didn’t open up quite as impressively as he could have, BUT, he looked very happy the entire race which says a lot.
Withers results: A great turn-of-foot and an exciting win by Revolutionary, but I will go into detail in a post later this week why this gorgeous hunk of colt will not be my #1 on my updated Derby Top 10 just for that. I do have a new horse for the #1 spot though.
Hutcheson results: Not feeling like we have any amazing sprinter types like we did last year with Trinniberg and Currency Swap. I was glad to see a Tapit win it though!
Sam F. Davis: Interesting race, but I’m not that excited about Falling Sky or Dynamic Sky, who had no excuse to really lose in a field that wasn’t that good. I wouldn’t put away Speak Logistics yet though. Watch race replay below
Tiffany Lass results: AS IF ANYONE COULD ADVISE ME AGAINST ROOTING FOR BELIEVE YOU CAN! I really hope we have some good distaff competition again this year to challenge her Royal Deltaness.
Strub results: After watching him fly late last time out, it was great to see Guilt Trip get a G2 win over Fed Biz and Tritap. We see a lot of speed horses nowadays, so it’s refreshing to get a new dynamite closer and another of my Saratoga ponies get a turn in the limelight.
Dynamic Sky engaged Falling Sky in the stretch and had plenty of time to get clear of him but didn’t. Greenness? Maybe. Either way I don’t think I hear about too many legitimately good offspring of Sky Mesa, as much as I hate to admit I judge them just by their sire. Speak Logistics looks like he’s come a long way since racing at 2 at Calder and got stuck in there and couldn’t move. His connections were very upbeat talking about him before the race, and unlike in his two prior wins he was rated here. His pedigree is also interesting with High Cotton as his sire, who also sired Currency Swap, and is out of a Summer Squall x Miswaki cross. Or ya know, maybe I’m talking out of my butt considering Speak Logistics…
February is kind of a slow month for Triple Crown contenders, and trainers who have loads of great hopefuls are frequent winners. I glazed over the 369 early Triple Crown nominations and didn’t see much from the Zayat family, who I believe had 4 or 5 horses entered last year, and usually has a horse I really, really like for this big races.
As I mentioned in the Racing Beat yesterday, because it’s a quiet week for the Triple Crown preps I would like to try a couple different experiments. One will involve me just picking horses based on how they look in the paddock, which is often what I won’t do and will instead research the f—k out of them and pick at their past races. It’s not that I’m bad at it or think it’s irrelevant, but I am fearful I will fall victim to my tendency to pick the prettiest pony sometimes!
My other experiment is more an exercise of creativity. A lot of times a horse that I didn’t expect to make a case at all wins a race (like I’ll Have Another for sure!) and I wonder where I went wrong in immediately tossing them out. At what point do I throw them out? The experiment here is to random select three top finishers in a given race and argue how they might win. Except for maybe a few out there (GENNADI DOROCHENKO!), trainers will never put a horse in a race if they think they’re totally outclassed and will be humiliated. It should be fun.