Class of 2015 Top Ten (#1 American Pharoah)

June 14, 2015 07:47am
Class of 2015 Top Ten (#1 American Pharoah)

The Triple Crown season was certainly one for the history books! 2015 is off to an exciting start for racing fans and the competition only heats up from here. The summer and fall offer some fantastic races and this year’s three year old crop promises to keep delivering some highlights. A lot of talk heading into the Derby was focused on the amount of 3yo talent this year and personally I feel they did not disappoint. There are a lot of talented 3-year-olds out there this year whose only problem is that they were born the same year as American Pharoah. As we prepare for the 2nd half of 2015, here are my top ten 3yos.


1. American Pharoah

Was there really any doubt?! He is far and away the cream of the crop. He is now part of an elite club and I look forward to watching him run again later this year. He has shown that he can sit just off the pace, set the pace, run in slop, take an early or late challenge, break from the far outside or along the rail. He is a monster talent!


2. Frosted

This colt was my top pick heading into the Derby and even though he didn’t win, he did not disappoint. He had a rough trip and little early speed to run at, but still finished fourth. He was clearly second best in the Belmont Stakes, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Unlike many of the horses in this year’s crop, he can come on late, which should continue to play to his benefit in future races. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.


3. Firing Line

I am throwing out that Preakness run. It could have been the quick turnaround or the slop or just a bad day, but I still think he has a talent. Firing Line is a hard horse to pass late and gave American Pharoah his toughest challenge of the year. With some rest and additional training, I expect to see him right back in top form.


4. Dortmund

In a way, he reminds me of Shackleford. He is extremely talented but is best suited for races at a mile or less, thus he will not have many “classic” wins on his resume. Nonetheless, he is a gritty competitor that refuses to go down with a fight. He posted his work this morning (4F in 49.20 @ SA) since the Derby and may take on his usual foe, Firing Line, in the Los Alamitos Derby next month.


5. Fame and Power

After faltering late in the Lexington at Keeneland, he bounced right back in the Sir Barton at Pimlico. He is trending in the right direction. Baffert has a talented duo of colts at CD right now with this one and Whiskey Ticket (#9), so his decision to enter just Fame and Power in this weekend’s Matt Winn suggests his confidence in this horse. 

6. Lady Eli

Another runner from the Chad Brown barn, has made her way into the top ten thanks to a gutsy effort in the Wonder Again Stakes. She overcame slow early fractions and traffic troubles to gain her fifth victory in as many starts. This turf star is headed to the Belmont Oaks Invitational next, which would be good timing for the Beverly D. in August, just sayin’ and hopin’! J


7. Carpe Diem

He had as good of a Derby prep season as you could hope for, but that inside post position for the Derby did him in. He is still loaded with talent and I believe in any other year, he would be top 3. After defecting from the Belmont, he is now pointed towards the Jim Dandy or Haskell in August. Rest should do him well and he has already proven that he does not “need” a race after a layoff.


8. March

One of my favorite performances from Belmont Racing Festival, this son of Blame is really coming into his own. He has now won 2 graded stakes in a row and like Frosted, he has the ability to sit off the pace. He is based in New York, so keep an eye on him for Saratoga this summer! After all that is where his dad really came onto the scene late in his 3 year old campaign.


9. Whiskey Ticket

Here is a Baffert horse that you don’t hear too much about right now, but I think that may change in the second half of 2015. This lightly raced colt can win on or off the lead.  He was impressive in victory in the Illinois Derby and has been working perfectly at Churchill since that time. I was expecting him to run in the Winn but Baffert has plenty of options on the horizon for this guy.


    10. (TIE) Texas Red/Take Charge Brandi

Both of these horses were sidelined earlier this year due to injury, but on the road back to the track. They have both shown that they are talented runners and I see no reason to believe they will not return in stellar form. Texas Red is already working again and is being pointed toward the Dwyer Stakes in early July, while Take Charge Brandi is expected to post her first work back any day now. I am looking forward to both 3yos getting back on the track!


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Meet Jason Wood

I was born with an endless love for horses and racing. My dad owned several horses, so my favorite memories are either at the track or in the barn. I always tell my friends that I could read a racing program before I knew the alphabet! The Illinois racing circuit was home for many years. The majestic weeping willows along the backstretch of Arlington soon gave way to the warm winter nights under the lights at Sam Houston. I spent some time in Maryland and now find myself back at Sam Houston Race Park! Just like a stakes winner, I seem to always be shipping somewhere new!

My dad has passed on to the big track in the sky, but this sport allows me to carry a piece of him with me every time I walk around the track. I feel like I am a winner every time I get to be a part of racing, even if my pick doesn’t leave the starting gate!

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