Gambling is all about trying to predict future outcomes. As 2015 draws to a close, I thought it would be fun to take a look in the crystal ball to see what 2016 may have in store for us. Without further ado, here are my five bold (perhaps crazy) predictions for 2016.
1. Chaos Reigns Supreme on the 2016 Kentucky Derby Trail
The road to this year's Derby was a smooth trip. We saw very little in the way of bumps and upsets. The cream rose to the top in February and never came down. Favorites won just about every event. Even on Derby Day, three of the four betting favorites made up the trifecta. I don’t see this happening two years in a row. The two-year-old crop is a competitive bunch. They are going to test each other and beat up on each other in the coming months. So hang on tight and get ready for an exciting winter and spring.
2. The Four-Year-Olds are For Real
Dortmund, Frosted, Texas Red, Keen Ice, and Runhappy … just to name a few. The three-year-old crop of 2015 is extremely talented and I expect them to continue to improve. They no longer have to live in the shadow of American Pharoah. They will make a statement in the older division in 2016. I will go as far as to say, a four-year-old will win the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
3. California Chrome Fails to Win a Race
California Chrome is back! The former Derby and Preakness winner is set to return to the track early in January, but can he get back to the winner’s circle? He has just one win since that heartbreaking loss in the 2014 Belmont Stakes. I get the feeling that he is just a step or two behind. I would love to see this guy end his career on a high note, but I just think his best days are behind him.
4. Jockey Florent Geroux Moves On Up
It will be hard to top his 2015 with $10 million in earnings and nearly 200 wins including an Arlington Million and two Breeders’ Cup victories. Even with all of this success, he still flies under the radar. He just missed out on a chance to run in the Kentucky Derby with the late scratch of Stanford, but I expect to see him in the 2016 running. I think this will be the year that Florent Geroux cements himself as a top tier jockey.
5. Young Trainers Make a Statement
I am always excited to see new trainers find success. Trainers such as Joe Sharp and Anthony Hamilton Jr. are both coming off impressive 2015 campaigns. They both got their first graded stakes wins and I have a feeling they are just getting started. Legendary names like Zito and Lukas are nearing the end of their careers. With up and comers like Sharp and Hamilton, 2016 may be the start of the changing of the guard.
The one thing I know for certain is that 2016 has some big shoes to fill after the year we just experienced, but I look forward to see what it has in store. I hope y’all have a Happy New Year!!