An Updated Kentucky Quatorze
2. Old Fashioned
3. I Want Revenge
4. Break Water Edison
5. Quality Road
7. Flying Pegasus
8. Indygo Mountain
9. Silver City
10. Hello Broadway
11. Musket Man
13. Friesan Fire
14. Pioneerof the Nile
Thoughts from last weekend:
Nicanor looked good and strong until something obviously went awry with him. I was worried that he would have the action of an ordinary horse, but the way he ran was exceptional until the incident. Watch out next time.
Gulfstream was a sandbox of a deep surface, with nothing moving from the back of the pack. This should especially make (my pick in the Donn) Great Hunter's run look that much better. He and Capt Candyman Can were two of the few horses I saw making up any ground on that course.
In the Hutcheson (which I am so glad that it is back in its traditional late January position), Capt Candyman Can proved once again that he's a very, very classy miler. I will be very surprised if he stretcheds beyond 8.5 furlongs, but I am often wrong. Candy Ride, his sire (of whom you know that I am a big fan), looked the same way and could run up to 10 furlongs. He has his sire's fast, efficient action, but his female family is laden with sprinters and milers.
The real story of this race was Hello Broadway. He becomes a huge shot after running on the lead, and obviously being a closer. What I liked was his grit in defeat. He was out of place and still ran credibly. I doubt Broken Vow's sire stamina influence, but I'll give this colt a lot of credit. Something was obviously amiss with my (previously #1 Derby pick) Break Water Edison. Nothing has surfaced in the press, but I am sure something was wrong. Even before, when running poorly, there was a huge excuse for him. I'll keep him in my top tier.
C.S. Silk, who ran one of the most impressive juvenile filly races last year, looked once again like a horse who disliked the track in the Forward Gal. Perhaps it was that she was stuck back in an unfavorable position, but I am prone to think that she likes it on the lead on a synthetic course. Frolic's Dream proved once again that under 7 furlongs is her turf in the division. That is, until she rematches with my projected best filly sprinter of 2009, Elusive Heat, who ran off the screen on January 29th.
In the Holy Bull, Beethoven ran credibly, but I worry still about his endurance capacity. The race was one of the more boring Derby preps I have ever seen, but there were a few horses who are definitely dangerous next out. Most notably, West Side Bernie, who kept coming, despite the distance being too far too soon.
The Donn Handicap was nearly as boring as the Holy Bull, with a miler wearing down a sub-par pacemaker. As mentioned, Great Hunter ran a credible race, and Einstein proved again that he is not a fan of Gulfstream. He needs more to grab ahold of, and that course was obviously very loose and slow.
Kip Deville proved once again that American turf horses are sub-par, when winning at what is not his optimal distance. He looks about 2 lengths slower at 9 furlongs, and his number reflected it. Court Vision, who has always been a bit overrated, ran well, but was poorly ridden. He should have been dropped to the tail of the field and given a wide run. The big disappointment was that Red Rocks, who has the best kick in the field, did not show up. He ran like a bothered horse, but will be tough next out if all is well.
On the west coast, the beautiful Jibboom ran a better race than she got credit for when being passed by her outstanding stablemate, Ventura, but digging in to chase her hole and lose by a length. They drew off from the field and really put on a nice show of talent.