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Breeders' Cup 2017

Can Stay Thirsty Step Up?

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.


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Older Comments about Can Stay Thirsty Step Up?...

Thirst has had the talent all along and had very good reasons for his subpar performances. As I said, being by Bernardini, who is by AP Indy I would expect him to get better as the year goes on and as the distances stretch. Now it is time to see what goes on in the Haskell. IMO the only horse that can win there and be of a threat to him in the Travers would be Ruler on Ice.
Interesting comment about "great" Stay Thirsty looked in post parade? Curious what you took notice of?
Great call Dani! I didn't get a chance to come over and read/comment before the race but I knew you were supporting him. I was initially going for Dominus and Alternation but ended up changing to Stay Thirsty after seeing how great he looked in the post parade. He could look even better on Travers day. :)
Well I guess Stay Thirsty answered that question. Unless someone goes crazy in the Haskell, Stay Thirsty has to be the favorite for the Travers.
Joe, Thirsty had pretty good reasons as to why he perfored so badly in both Derbies. Moving from dry cool weather to extreme humidity is jarring. Heck ask any native Californian how they feel when they come to the east and they will porbably say we are even worse just because our humidity goes through the roof. After such a bounce type of performance how can you expect him to run well in the Kentucky Derby when he got virtually nothing out of the FL Derby. In the Gotham, over a dry track he dominated Toby's Corner, who was many ppl's longshot for the Derby before his injury. I would agree that he relishes slop, but he also dominates NY and has show that he can there even over a dry surface.
I agree with you, John, but, he is dominating when he's been in NY. I would think that his "privilege" of hitting the off track, and responding, might be a fluke, but he reminds me of Albert The Great or Easy Goer. In other words, don't come into my neighborhood is what he might be saying? I'll try and beat him, nonetheless.
Stay Thirsty wasn't in the same zip code in his two races before the Belmont. Suddenly he steps it up for The Belmont. I got a feeling the wet conditions moved him up.
Yes he can! I think he is the best of this particular field.
I think Alternation might be the one to take over this three year old division or what's left of it
The horse who can stay within 5 lengths of the lead or less w/o being on the lead has the best shot IMO. Thirsty loves the Spa and should be "ok" with the distance. I do believe Shackleford has distance limitations, anything above 9 and he is very vulnerable. Dominus has a good shot if he stays awa from the pace. There are a few who have shots to jump up in during the summer.
Shackleford is not entered in the Jim Dandy. Stay Thirsty has a very good record in NY(a la Albert The Great or Easy Goer), so he has a chance, but I believe Will's Wildcat will be out on the front end, setting it up for Brilliant Speed or Dominus. The reason he didn't run in the Wood, was more to accommodate Uncle Mo. Uncle Mo switched places with Stay Thirsty, moving from GP for the Wood; thus, making Stay Thirsty go in the Fla Derby, because he didn't want to enter two stablemates in the same race.
Hindsight is 20/20, but why didn't he run in the Wood? and yes, this is the worst group of 3yo's ever, it keeps declining every year as all the top shots get injured.
This doesn't seem to be the best group of 3 year olds, Stay Thirsty looks as good as any except for maybe Shackleford, and Shackleford might have distance limitations. If Stay Thirsty beats Shackleford and wins the Travers, he should have a big chance to be champion 3 year old. The Jim Dandy will be tough though, I think he is beter at 1 1/4 miles and might have a better chance to win the Travers than the Jim Dandy.
It could boil down to who thrives at Saratoga ... from last year, we know Stay Thirsty likes the Spa.

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