Always hidden in the shadow cast by his super star stablemate, Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty now has a shot to turn everything around and show America just what he can do. Uncle Mo dominated last year, and while Stay Thirsty was a talented individual it was Uncle Mo who was more talented, it was him who brought home the championship at the end of the year. Now with the division being so evenly matched and it possibly being too late for Uncle Mo to steal away with the lead, Stay Thirsty has a window of opportunity, all he has to do is step up and show us all that he can fulfill the potential we saw in him as a Juvenile.
Even as I say this I can hear the snickers and the sneers and I get it. Why shouldn’t we be skeptical? Stay Thirsty has been a disappointment this year, thus far. He has won only once and that was over a weak field in the Gotham, right? He tanked in the Florida Derby and then again in the Kentucky Derby. The only other race he ran well in was the Belmont and that is the race of the longshots, right? Here’s the thing, even though on the overall scale Stay Thirsty disappointed, if one reads between the lines you will see reasons telling you to give this horse one more shot.
Reason one, this horse has shown promise this year, once in the Gotham and again in the Belmont. The two times he ran clunckers he had good reasons as to why. In the Florida Derby he was shipped from the cool crisp climate of NY to the hot mugginess of FL and was given virtually no time to acclimate. He also was experimenting with blinkers which also didn’t help. So, being as he ended up getting absolutely nothing out of the race, it is not hard to see why he was probably behind the eight ball in the Kentucky Derby. After that catastrophe he was given five weeks off to rest and regroup and get a chance to run in his favorite state. After receiving the proper preparation and going back to where he feels his most comfortable we all got to see the real Stay Thirsty run huge in the Belmont.
Another thing going for Stay Thirsty is that many of the defining races for his age group are right in his backyard. Stay Thirsty loves NY, this is evident by seeing that his two strongest performances this year came in NY. There is the Jim Dandy, which he is entered in, then comes the Travers and then after that he will have the chance to take on his elders in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. All these races are in a state that this colt clearly thrives in, giving him a big edge that he is very capable of taking full advantage of.
Lastly, Stay Thirsty being by Bernardini comes from the AP Indy line. AP Indy is known for producing offspring that get better with age and distance. This is another thing that bodes well for the long winded Stay Thirsty. He has already proven that distance is not a problem when finishing only half a length shy of the win in the Belmont Stakes, but if the other half of the genetics starts to push through, Stay Thirsty will only just be hitting his best stride this summer and fall.
I know all of this is far from a sure thing and that in order to take a firm hold of the division Stay Thirsty would either need to win all three of the races listed above or at least run well in one and win the other two. Again, I know that his chances at performing to those standards are 50/50 at best, however with how muddled this division has become 50/50 is as good as shot as any.