Photo: NYRA / Adam Coglianese
I know, I
know, it’s too early for Kentucky Derby talk. BUT…The horse that I’m keeping an
eye on in that early hunt for the Kentucky Derby is Honor Code. This horse, not
only is a co-leader in the Kentucky Derby 2014 Points Series, he has a better
bloodline than Prince Charles-plus his ears are smaller. His dad is AP Indy, grand
dad is Seattle Slew and one of his great grand dads is Secretariat. And that’s
just his father’s side. Mom is equally as impressive.
He has strong runs at the three NYRA tracks, the last
being an impressive stretch run with Cairo Prince. That duel ended in a winning
photo for Honor Code in the Remsen at Aqueduct, in November. Trained by Shug
McGaughey, Honor Code finished second in the Champagne Stakes to Havana, the
other co-leader in the road to the Derby.
The points race begin again in earnest on
January 4th with the Jerome Handicap, again at Aqueduct. The points awarded
for wins through fourth place will be paid out in 10-4-2-1 increments for nine
more races. Then the points increase by 50% and 8 more races after that the
points are doubled to a total payout of 100-40-20-10. Can you believe that I
said that all in one breath?
are close to the two present leaders in a list of top, soon to be three year olds.
Tapiture, Bond Holder, and We Miss Artie all are within an
a few points of the top of the board. Some pretty good horses are lagging in
the early going and will be looking for big finishes next time out. Strong Mandate, Cairo Prince, and Wicked Strong could all make big
gains in points races after the New Year itself.
I know it’s early to get into the Kentucky Derby right now, with May so far off and all, but that’s why I’m the following the points leader board. I’m points racing right now, and in the cold of winter, it’s the right thing to do because it warms me with the promise of weekly stakes races that I can follow. And it will take me all the way into May with a working knowledge of every horse that makes it into the field. I am making a statement that by following the points racing this year I will win some money on the Derby or at least that’s the lie I’m telling myself. Happy New Year, sports fans.