Excellent article and fantastic photos, Matt! Thank you for the insight into HK racing. Beauty Flame certainly does look gorgeous in that photo.
Jeff, love your updates! Keep up the good work. :)
Fantastic article, as usual, Mary! Good to hear more about a part of the industry that few people ever talk about, and Applesauce is certainly a gorgeous horse.
Curlin is already a classic winning sire. Palice Malice won the Belmont Stakes.
Pretty excellent and unexpected that, as of now, only 3 of the BC winners will be retired. However, winning at the BC requires being in career form, which by definition is hard to maintain. I will be interested to see whether more than a few of these excellent runners can maintain their health and form until next October. Here's hoping!
Thanks for sharing, Truth. This guy sounds like a real dirtbag and it's unfortunate to hear that someone who cares so little about the welfare of his horses and family has been the recipient of such good racing fortune.
Agreed, but I don't think there's any way he's not on the lead heading into the first turn versus this group.
I agree - I think Beholder and Pharoah both got excellent posts for their styles. Beholder in particular should get an ideal trip - Stevens will have plenty of time to get over with a quarter mile to the turn, and the lack of true speedsters means there probably won't be enough horses up close where she likes to be to keep her more than 2-3 wide on the first turn (Smooth Roller, maybe Frosted or Gleneagles, who might break slow anyways? Pharoah will be in front).
Do you really think Rick Porter will ever run another filly in the Derby after Eight Belles?
I made this list about a month ago, before any of the major final preps:
Turf Sprint - Lady Shipman
Sprint - Private Zone
Dirt Mile - Gimme Da Lute/Red Vine/Lea/Dortmund/Stryker PhD
Mile - Ironicus
Turf - Flintshire
JF - Songbird
Juvy Turf - Euro
JF Turf - Euro
Classic - Beholder
FM Sprint - Taris
FM Turf - Euro
Distaff - Don't Tell Sophia
Here's my updated one after this weekend (parentheses would be my second choices):
Turf Sprint - Lady Shipman (Ageless)
Sprint - Private Zone (Runhappy)
Dirt Mile - Lea (Red Vine)
Mile - Territories (Tepin)
Turf - Golden Horn (Flintshire)
Juvy - Brody's Cause (Exaggerator)
JF - Songbird (Rachel's Valentina)
Juvy Turf - Euro (Calumet Kitten)
JF Turf - Euro (Acapulco?)
Classic - Beholder (Honor Code)
FM Sprint - Unbridled Forever (Judy the Beauty)
FM Turf - Euro (Secret Gesture)
Distaff - I'm a Chatterbox (Stellar Wind)
I definitely would put a lot of stock into the Keeneland preps - it's one of those horse-for-the-course type places. Tepin really blew me away but that was so far and away her best performance it's hard to know if she won't be able to reproduce it or if she's just coming into her own. I generally go against Arc runners in the turf and like The Pizza Man but Golden Horn and Flintshire outclass the Americans by a mile this year, I can't see both of them losing even if they regress a little. I thought Brody's Cause was very impressive - he looked like he was barely getting started when he mowed them down, but the prep should also set up the runner-up well and he showed a lot of professionalism. I think Judy the Beauty was definitely getting a prep for the big race and expect her to be better there. As for the Distaff, Wedding Toast has looked a monster at Belmont but I have a feeling her affinity for the track has a lot to do with that. I'm a Chatterbox always runs her race, no matter what, and I have a suspicion Stellar Wind may actually be the best 3yo dirt filly although I don't like her lack of a prep for this.
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