Another week, more tough cookies.
Two of my horses raced last weekend. One of them looked, at least from my handicapping perspective, like he would bring some points. One I did not like given the field, but I sat back and hoped for the best.
Neither hit the board.
However, a once-familiar face did. Frosted, who I drafted first overall. Frosted, who went from “sure winner of the Fountain of Youth” to “surely off the Derby trail” in the matter of a moment. Frosted, who Kieran McLaughlin figured out how to get right and get to the winner’s circle in the Wood. The Derby remains a question, since his best efforts have come from the Big A so far. No matter what, his dominance of the Wood made me look a little silly, and my decision seem a bit questionable. I stand by it, since horse racing is a game of opinions; I disliked his Fountain of Youth enough that I decided he had to go. It may have been rash, but I can do nothing about it now.
Here is hoping none of my other decisions end up being as questionable as that one. To be fair, there is very little in the way of decision making that can happen in the short term; the next claiming day is just before the Derby. At this point, I wait to see which horses are pointing toward points races, be they Classics or others.
With that known, let’s check in with my stable.
- Curlin’s Fox – Curlin’s Fox tried dirt in the Santa Anita Oaks (GI) last Saturday. Especially with the scratch of She’s a Big Winner, the pace did not look the greatest for her; she has been a closer so far, and the race had little in terms of speed. She tried to be a bit more forwardly placed in the Santa Anita Oaks, a wise move in light of that. However, she could not sustain a run down the stretch, and crossed the wire fourth — 11 1/4 lengths behind the other Curlin daughter in the field, Stellar Wind. Though Curlin’s Fox got ten Oaks points for her fourth-place finish, she has been recorded on the leaderboard as out of consideration. This makes sense, since she may well be better on the grass.
- Tiz Shea D – Tiz Shea D disappointed in the Wood Memorial (GI). He tracked a few lengths off Toasting Master’s pace early, but could not keep up late. He finished fifth, beaten 12 3/4 lengths. This meant he earned no more Derby points, and will not likely turn up in the starting gate. Despite being nominated late for the Triple Crown, Bill Mott has announced that Tiz Shea D will not be pointed to the Derby. This makes sense. Hopefully word will come out between now and then as to whether he will point toward a different three-year-old stakes race, or if he will go N1X instead.
- Eh Cumpari – The Transylvania Stakes (GIII) was a rainout last week at Keeneland, but he did not enter either the Arkansas Derby or the Lexington. He has not worked since the cancelled Transylvania, so seeing him in the rescheduled version looks questionable, but it looks like he is pointing turf in general. Unless word comes out between now and then that he will point to a points race (which, oddly enough, would include the American Turf…), he may be on the chopping block.
- Ami’s Flatter – Ami’s Flatter had a great run in my stable, earning points in both the Tampa Bay Derby and the Florida Derby, but he looks to be diverging from points races from here on out. Trainer Josie Carroll announced this week that Ami’s Flatter will point toward the Queen’s Plate, not the Kentucky Derby, despite the fact that he had enough points to get in the gate if his connections wanted to go. Since the fantasy league does not cover the Queen’s Plate, there will be an opening in my stable.
- Ekati’s Phaeton – Ekati’s Phaeton still not worked back yet from the Gulfstream Park Oaks, but for fantasy purposes that may not matter. She has been transferred to the barn of Bill Mott, and her camp has let Churchill Downs know that she will bypass the Kentucky Oaks. This makes sense, since her better game will likely end up being sprint races. With this news, I will likely be looking for someone to replace her in my stable.
- Keen Ice – The news has started to get better for Keen Ice. He did not enter One Final Derby Prep this weekend, but his team has shipped him to Churchill. Keen Ice trains with the Derby as the goal. Heading into this weekend he sits twentieth in the standings, with a few Arkansas Derby runners sitting just under him. Bolo may defect to focus on the grass, and another defection or two may be necessary if the Arkansas Derby does not chalk out completely. Still, with the defections this week, the Derby picture has gotten a bit rosier for this Curlin baby.
- St. Joe Bay – He still has yet to work back from the Louisiana Derby, and is listed on the Kentucky Derby rankings as being off the trail. Things are quiet on the St. Joe Bay front; I will likely look to replace him in the pre-Derby claim period.
- Taylor S – Why you gotta be so mean? There remains no news from the Taylor S camp. She has not worked back from the Any Limit. I hoped she would possibly work and enter the Beaumont, a sprint stakes that offers fantasy points this weekend, but her name did not appear in the draw.