Fantasy Road to the Triple Crown…it begins.

This past Friday night, we had our draft for Derbyologist’s fantasy horse racing league.  I have been slightly delayed in my recap of it — Shmoocon was this weekend, and when I’m not geeking out about the horses, I’m geeking out about computers.  However, the draft did happen, and I’m pretty happy about my stable.  These are the eight horses I’ll be watching like a hawk (though not necessarily like a Midnight Hawk or like a Gold Hawk), listed in order of when I drafted them:

  • Shared Belief
  • She’s A Tiger
  • Conquest Titan
  • Ride On Curlin
  • Tamarando
  • Stopchargingmaria
  • General a Rod
  • Noble Cornerstone

Given the way the draft is structured, there are fewer filly races than open ones, so I decided I wanted to shoot for two fillies and six colts/geldings/ridglings/horses generally considered as male.  That’s exactly what I ended up getting.  In fact, the two fillies I got were two of the four in my very top echelon of choices, so I’m happy with that.  (The other two, just to satisfy any curiosity, were Streaming, and Sweet Reason.)

The only time during the draft when I started yelling at my computer was the second round.  I was torn between She’s A Tiger and Top Billing.  I decided She’s A Tiger would be likelier to go first, and grabbed her.  The very next pick?  Top Billing, of course.  I feel like I fumbled that one…not that it’s a lock that She’s A Tiger would have lasted until my next pick, but Top Billing being taken next just plain stung, especially given the smaller-than-expected percentage of fillies versus colts who were taken in the league, since I was expecting each stable to take at least two fillies, and yet there were only eleven other fillies taken other than the two I drafted.)

Who is the pick I feel the best about?  At this point, Conquest Titan.  He doesn’t have the best record of my horses; the dead last in the BC Juvenile isn’t super exciting.  However, he has no shortage of classic or classic-distance horses (Birdstone?  Grindstone?  Unbridled?  A. P. Indy?)  in his pedigree.  Also?  I kind of love that he broke his maiden in a stakes, whose field included one Ria Antonia.  I am hoping that the promise he has shown as a two-year-old, combined with his pedigree, will lead to good results this spring.

On a happier note…I do love me some Curlin.  He’s one of my favourites.  I’m glad I got one of the promising Curlin babies on the Derby trail, in Ride On Curlin.  If there’s any of these horses I hope pans out more than any other, it’s Ride On Curlin.

I will admit that I am a little worried about the top rungs of my stable.  My top two picks were the two-year-old horses of the year — which is pretty exciting the day after the Eclipse awards, though knowing the history of two-year-old stars as three-year-olds, I am nervous as all get out, and will be shocked beyond belief if either of those remain stars.  A taunt in the chat room, comparing me to Dreaming of Julia, hit a bit hard…especially since I love Princess of Sylmar like crazy.  Dreaming of Julia was the horse everyone was buzzing about early in the season…and she sort of fizzled.  Here’s hoping that at least one of my fillies won’t, or I will find a diamond in the rough and acquire her via one of the monthly claims for the league.

However, I am still trying to figure out how to do this, and how to work within this draft format.  All I had to go on were PPs, and the list of races that count for points.  Among colts I drafted, I think I did that pretty well…all my colts’ PPs are decent to excellent, and they are all pointed next toward points races, with no more than two in my stable pointed to any given point race.  Fillies, I ended up going far more on PPs than points races — I still have no idea where She’s A Tiger or Stopchargingmaria are pointing next (other than vaguely being on the Oaks trail), but they have both shown a ridiculous amount of talent.  She’s A Tiger particularly scares me since she’s not back on the work tab yet, so I may end up seriously regretting this, but I figured she is worth the risk.

(As much as I love Ria Antonia, and am dying to see her do well on the Derby trail, I still think that so far She’s A Tiger has shown more, and was afraid to draft Ria Antonia because of the riskiness of her possible trail against the boys.  I would love more than anything to see Ria do well, but felt that She’s A Tiger was the safer pick for the sake of fantasy points.  We shall see.)

Anyway, that is my draft-related brain dump.  I will continue to write about works, plans, and musings related to my stable.

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