Dialed In's performance in the Holy Bull puts trainer Nick Zito on the road to the 2011 Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
This past weekend was one of the more enjoyable racing weekends in quite some time. A very nice Sunshine Millions card, NHC XII, and a Derby prep that produced a noteworthy performance. Here's a few of my thoughts following last weekend's racing action.
-Below is a look at the internal splits for Dialed In from the Holy Bull (according the Formulator interactive charts) along with where that fraction ranked in relation to the rest of the field.
Dialed In ran the slowest opening quarter mile and the fastest 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters.
-Yesterday evening I scratched out a list of pros and cons for Dialed In following his win in the Holy Bull. This is what I came up with:
- A son of Mineshaft out of a Storm Cat mare, Dialed In shouldn't have an issue stretching out in distance.
- Dialed In made the jump up from Maiden Special to stakes company very nicely, and while it's tough to really know how deep a particular race is right after it's run, he wasn't facing a glorified allowance race - there were some quality colts in the field.
- You don't find a lot of young, inexperienced colts that are able to close effectively early in their careers. They might do it here and there when there is a pace meltdown but it's a tough running style to employ consistently. To Dialed In's credit (and Zito alluded to this in a pre-race interview with HRTV), he seems to already have a good understanding of racing, a huge bonus for any horse.
- As much fun as it is to watch deep closers run down the leaders in the stretch, it's a tough running style to successfully use in the Derby. The pace is usually fast enough to set it up for a late charge but trying to pass 19 other horses in the final quarter mile is no easy task.
- Dialed In needs to prove he can replicate his performance in a two-turn race. Pedigree wise, I don't think that will be an issue, but you never know until they prove it on the track.
-Speaking of the Kentucky Derby, at last glance Dialed In's Vegas odds were sitting at 25/1. Anyone want to take a guess as what they'll drop to following the Holy Bull?
-The "Dominating Stakes Performance of the Weekend" has to go to Switch, who simply ran away from her foes in the Santa Monica. The three-wide move she made on the turn while completely in hand (with her rivals already being asked for more run) was a thing of beauty.
The time of the Santa Monica was fantastic...but pretty much every time at Santa Anita looks great these days. I think I might be able to run seven panels in 1:20. Well...maybe not.
-The Beyer numbers are in for the Sunshine Millions races and it's a bit of a surprise as to the high and low figure on the day.
Turf (Caracortado): 102
Sprint (Amazombie): 101
Classic (Tackleberry): 100
F&M Turf (Trip for A. J.): 93
F&M Sprint (Aegean): 91
Distaff (Evening Jewel): 89
While it was nice to see Evening Jewel make her way back into the winner's circle, it wasn't exactly an eye-popping performance on her part. She's going to need to step it up to be a major player in the Distaff division this year.
Speaking of stepping up, how about Caracortado on the lawn? I'm going to take a wild guess that we won't see this colt back on the dirt anytime soon. If he goes in the Kilroe Mile for his next start (a definite possibility) he'll likely face off against Sidney's Candy in what could be a very entertaining match-up.
-It may be all Super Bowl, all the time next weekend, but there is some excellent racing on tap around the country. The Donn, Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, and Las Virgenes take place on Saturday, while the San Antonio and Hallandale Beach vie for viewers on Sunday. Super what?