fantasy stable: week 10 postmortem

Somehow, it’s already ten weeks into the Derbyologist Triple Crown fantasy league.  The same eight horses remain in my stable from March, putting me into a possibly slow position at the moment.  However, since I have the most claiming money left, this puts me in very good position to snipe any late-storming Triple Crown candidates coming into May.

Without further ado, let’s see how all my horses are doing!

  • General a Rod – Saturday, General a Rod finished third in the Florida Derby, behind Constitution and Wildcat Red.  He dueled with Wildcat Red, as has been the recurring theme this winter at Gulfstream — but Wildcat Red got the best of him, as did the stalking Constitution.  This gave him twenty points toward the Derby, putting him at 40.  This currently places him 14th among nominated horses on the Derby leaderboard.  His connections are pointing him toward Kentucky, and 40 points should be enough to get the General in the gate, but it hardly feels like a lock yet.  At this point, I am hoping he works toward the Derby, and is trained to rate a little better between now and then.
  • She’s a Tiger – She’s a Tiger returned to the worktab on March 27, going five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Santa Anita.  For once, however, there’s more than just a work to report.  The good news is, She’s a Tiger is now being pointed toward a specific race.  The disappointing news is that this race is not a Kentucky Oaks prep: it’s the Eight Belles Stakes, a GIII sprint on the Derby undercard.  This is a points race for the league, though at the same level as an early-period prep, not a classic race.  Distance-wise, it’s a good first race of the year: seven and a half furlongs on the Churchill Downs dirt, and in plenty of time to possibly run the Acorn if all goes well.
  • Please Explain – Please Explain is one of two horses in my stable who are pointing to the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn this Saturday.  She has ten Oaks points from her third in the Honeybee; first or second should get her in the field in Kentucky, and third will give her a possibility to go.  She posted another work there on March 30, four furlongs in 48.80.  It’s her second posted work since the Honeybee, and a good sign that she has stayed at Oaklawn for her works instead of shipping back to Tampa Bay, and then back.  The scuttlebutt says that apprentice Drayden Van Dyke will have the mount again.  He normally rides at Santa Anita and Turf Paradise, but shipped to Oaklawn to ride her in the Honeybee as well.  Hopefully after a ride on her, he’ll know how to best run her this time around.  I’m hoping not to see her as far back early as she was in the Honeybee.  Depending on the likely pace of the field (not yet announced), I’m not sure she needs to try a wire-to-wire like the Suncoast, but I’m not sure ten lengths back early is exactly how she wants to run.
  • Stopchargingmaria – Like Please Explain, Stopchargingmaria is also pointing to the Fantasy.  She just shipped to Arkansas on March 31.  She is in a similar place points-wise; she currently has 12 points.  First or second should secure a place in the starting gate for the Oaks, and third should keep Stopchargingmaria in the running pending how other preps go.  She hasn’t posted a work in Arkansas, though she did go 4 furlongs in 49.65 at Palm Meadows on March 29.  It was only about median for the horses who worked that day (34/65).  However, she’s coming off a bullet on March 23, and it was probably wise not to expend too much energy in that last work before the ship.  Her jockey had not been announced yet.
  • Conquest Titan – Conquest Titan returned to the worktab on March 29, going 5 furlongs in 1:oo.70 at Palm Meadows.  He is still pointing toward the Arkansas Derby on April 12, and Calvin Borel has been named to the mount.  He replaces Shaun Bridgmohan, who has ridden him four times, including his last three races.  After the ride in Tampa, it is encouraging to see a jockey change, and encouraging to see a change to a jockey who has made some big closing moves in some big races.  It will be Borel’s first time aboard Conquest Titan — though they will be racing against Ride On Curlin, who Borel has ridden in five races.
  • Ride On Curlin – On March 30, Ride On Curlin put up the ever-so-rare published work.  He went 5 furlongs in 1.00:60 at Oaklawn.  According to trainer Billy Gowan, he’ll be back out to work 7 furlongs on the track next week.  Jockey Jon Court, who has not ridden Ride On Curlin in any of his races, rode him during this workout.  He also has the mount for the Arkansas Derby.  I keep my fingers crossed that he will try a big late run like he did in the Champagne, though after the Rebel I am less nervous about him running a frontrunning style.  It will be interesting to see the field announced in the middle of next week, and figure out how the races he is capable of fit in with the likely pace.
  • Shared Belief – Shared Belief is still off the worktab, although David Grening of the Daily Racing Form mentioned March 31 that Jerry Hollendorfer said he may return to the tab next week.  However, this is not the first time Hollendorfer has suggested such a thing, and I will believe he’s returning to the worktab when Horse Races Now alerts me that he has returned to the worktab, and not a moment before.
  • Tamarando – The biggest news about Tamarando this week is that there is no news about him.  He hasn’t returned to the worktab yet after the Spiral, which isn’t particularly surprising since it has only been just over a week since the race.  However, Blood-Horse reported on a list of probables for the Blue Grass on Sunday, and Tamarando’s name was nowhere to be found.  I haven’t found anything reliable to indicate where he is; not seeing him in the Blue Grass probables list, though, makes it sound like he is probably back in California.  It hurts to say this, given that he’s a solid and promising horse, but it sounds like the Derby trail may be over for Tamarando.

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