Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Classics (Con't)


The middle of summer is upon us and the three-year-old races are heating up once again. The two stakes races this weekend are going to give us a clearer picture of who belongs in next month's Midsummer Classic as well as the Breeders Cup Classic.

Jim Dandy (G2)


Alternation: Did not run in any of the triple crown races. Showed promise by coming from behind and taking the G2 Peter Pan after running a disappointing 5th in the Arkansas Derby. Look for him to step into the spotlight, finish in the money and upset the ML favorite, Stay Thirsty.

Brilliant Speed: Has finished in the money 5 out of his 6 starts. The only race that eluded him was the Kentucky Derby. Likes to come from behind as well and should add another finish in the money to his resume this coming Saturday.

Haskell (G1)


Shackelford: With a see-saw year for the three-year-olds, it's his turn to be the front runner of the group again. The Kentucky Derby and Belmont proved to be too much for this gritty horse, but the mile and an eight distance seems to be right in his wheelhouse. With a spot in the Breeders Cup Classic on the line, look for Shackelford to capitalize on the opportunity this coming Sunday.

Pants On Fire: Another horse that has talent who skipped the final two legs of the triple crown races after finishing a disappointing 9th in the Kentucky Derby. Already has proven he can run with the best by beating the runner-up in the Derby, Nehro back in March at the Louisiana Derby. Look for him to step back into the spotlight Sunday and don't be surprised if he comes away punching a ticket to the Breeders Cup Classic in November.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Classics


It has now been over a month since the shocking results at Belmont Park. The heat wave is sweeping across the east coast and summer is in full force. Not only have some two-year-olds already begun their quest on the long, unprecedented Derby trail, but the three-year-olds are ready to take to the track again. Unfortunately, the latest news from the track is that long shot Derby winner, Animal Kingdom has been ruled out for the year due to his disastrous start at last month's Belmont. So, if the race for three-year-old of the year was not wide open before I don't know what you want to call it now.

This coming weekend brings two anticipated stakes races to set us up for the Midsummer Classic or as most know as the Travers Stakes at the end of August. Saratoga will host the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes on Saturday followed by the G1 Haskell at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

This year it seams like each horse that is ready to step into the gate and take the reins of the rest of the field, something goes wrong. Will Ruler On Ice prove that he was no fluke on the muddy track at Belmont, is Alternation ready to step up in class and contend with the best of the best, or will one of the early contenders be able to come back and reclaim this unpredictable class of three-year-olds? It is anyone's guess as of what will happen between now and that cool night in November under the lights.

*Check back mid-week and I will have my picks for the two stakes races this weekend.