Week 3 was a relatively quiet week for my stable in the Derbyologist Fantasy Triple Crown League.
Only one of my horses ran: Gordy Florida. He was a gutsy second behind Discreetness in the Smarty Jones. He was a rather speculative draft, but I was hoping that with a little luck, his grit and his liking of the Oaklawn track could get him a share of the Southwest.
Not so much.
He got very wound up going into the gate, not the sort of thing you like to see before a race when you have either money or fantasy points riding on that horse. They finally loaded him. Well in line with his running style, he was forward, though he did not settle on the front. That role went to Siding Spring, with American Dubai situated closest. The pace was sharp, and Suddenbreakingnews rallied from the clouds to win going away. However, it wasn’t all bad for frontrunners: American Dubai managed to hold on for third, and Siding Spring even got home fifth. Gordy Florida, however, could not keep up when the going got tough. He dropped out significantly in the late stages, and finished a very well-beaten tenth.
That gamble on Gordy Florida (as with many of my gambles, so far, in the league this year…) did not pay off. That sort of performance (particularly given how American Dubai and even Siding Spring finished) is the sort of one that dashes Derby dreams.
Thus, off to the claim box I went.
I figured I needed a colt — my stable was sitting at three colts and five fillies, despite the fact that most of the points are in males’ races. I had the really solid fillies I wanted, after all. It was tough to hunt for runners, since so many of the more proven Derby prospects were owned, and I wasn’t too keen on any of the recent stable drops from stakes races.
Finally, I decided to take aflyer on Dazzling Gem (Misremembered – Dazzler, by Vindication). He has only raced twice, but both of those were wins going two turns at Oaklawn. Last out, he won a nice allowance over the likes of Gray Sky, Get Jets, and Unexplained. He is lightly enough raced to have upside to improve, but done everything the right way so far. I only bid $1 of my claiming budget on Dazzling Gem, and knew there was a chance I would be outbid. But, if no one else was willing to take a swing, it made sense to take him as a new face for something like the Rebel.
No one else bid for Dazzling Gem, so I got my wish.
This week, action moves to the Fair Grounds. I have no one in the Risen Star, but a pair of fillies in the Rachel Alexandra: Stageplay and Midnight On Oconee. They were the 1-2 finishers in the Silverbulletday. It would be a welcome shot in the arm for my fantasy stable if they both hit the board, and I find that perfectly within the realm of possibility.