Weekend Ramblings: The Wise Dan is Ridiculously Awesome Edition

It's Fourth of July Weekend! Or wait, is that next weekend? What? The Firecracker isn't on July 4th? What's going on? What year is this? - USA TODAY Sports

After a weekend jammed packed with Grade (or Group) 1s, Breeders' Cup Win and You're In races, another seemingly impossible win from the defending Horse of the Year, and some really good racing from Iowa, I presumed (which, granted is a leap of faith on my part) that it would be time to reflect on the weekend. So here goes!

How did Wise Dan run through the hedge?

No seriously, he was basically running inside of the hedge at Churchill.

I'm hoping you watched it (and here it is just in case you didn't) because believe you me, Dan was literally in the hedge. Bottled up as they came into the stretch on an extremely wet turf, it just didn't look like Wise Dan could get there. But as Wise Dan is wont to do, he just won. I mean I don't mean to be overly effusive about his victory, but it is remarkable how Dan just absolutely refused to lose. Wow. I'm actually surprised that Dan was even still in the race. Not that he can't handle the yielding turf, or the rain, or the weight, but simply because of the risk of injury with those rapidly changing weather and surface conditions was higher than normal. So let's hope he comes out of it at 100% (and all initial signs point to that he's perfectly fine).

Did anyone see the show payouts yesterday for the 1st race at Delaware Downs? What the heck?!? Payouts of $60, $47, and $89? That's some serious bridgejumping there on the 3, who was a 1-5 favorite at post time, who then turned around and finished 5th. Ouch. Brad Free apparently takes that angle all the time to go against bridgejumpers in lower class races. He'll play all others to place and hope that you get a good break.

Who saw the Irish Derby? I did! It was really really interesting with two colts, Ralson Road and Cap O'Rushes set a torrid pace for Euro racing. Trading Leather stalked third and took control of the race in the final furlong to pull away to win by nearly 2 lengths. Really a nice race. Post time favorite Ruler of the World, winner of the Epsom Derby, failed to menace and in fact loks completely out of sorts. And most importantly? I had Trading Leather to win. Score one for me! Also, a big weekend for the European stallion Teofilo with Trading Leather's win and he also had Havana Gold win the G1-Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly. This son of (guess who?) Galileo stands at Darley Europe for 35,000 Euros, which is either $6.50 or $42,000-ish, I can't remember. He now has 4 G1 winners, two this weekend one on June 2nd, also at Chantilly. On top of that, he only has 3 crops on the track, the latest being 2yos, so they've clearly not hit the turf in full force yet. Darley supports their stallions very well, so expect Teofilo's profile to continue to increase.

Man Starformer is good. When I went through the G2-New York I saw the daughter of Dynaformer as primarily a lover of soft turf. Boy was I wrong. She went off at 16/1 and made me look foolish. But then again, at 16/1 the vast majority of us punters looked foolish. I really liked Lady of Shamrock, since I figured she'd have a strong pace to run into. And she ran very well, moving from last to 2nd in the stretch run. But Starformer, after stalking 3rd the whole way round, got the jump on the field and won by almost 2 lengths. Starformer's won like her last 14 races now (I just made that up, but she is on a hot streak).

Obviously is good. But I don't see him even touching Wise Dan right now. Maybe that changes, but come Mile time at Santa Anita, I don't see him beating Dan. Obviously was a free square though, so that made the day at Hollywood a bit easier.

The G1-Triple Bend. Love you, Centralinteligence. Had the winner. Saved my day, basically. And had I bet it, I handicapped the Exacta and the Tri correctly too. Smart move by me!

I totally underestimated Debt Ceiling. What a dumb move by me. I focused on the numbers instead of visually impressive his wins thus far have been. Ugh. He was such a good price too. But he took to that slop like it was what he was bred for and blew his fellow juveniles out of the water. Now the "HE"S MY TOP PICK FOR THE DERBY!!!" talk is utter nonsense, but he is really good. Let's see how he looks in, oh I don't know, how about March.

And then there was Prairie Meadows. Stupid me tried to beat Fiftyshadesofhay. That hurt. Then the Iowa Derby kicked me in the ass too. I knew Manando was more than beatable, and my picks were, as is par for the Tribe Course, 2-3-4. Didn't think the 6-Looking Cool had the class to compete. Wrong. Then the Cornhusker comes round and I actually had the winner, Prayer for relief, but he was only a $3.80 winner. Yay. But man, I usually do pretty well at Prairie, since oft times in June it can be really speed-favoring. Yet last night I stunk.

Here's fun exercise: How close were we at ADTSTC in our Initial 3yo Kentucky Derby Contender Poll to the final 2013 NTRA poll from June 10th?

Here's NTRA's final Rankings:

  1. Oxbow
  2. Orb
  3. Palace Malice
  4. Itsmyluckyday
  5. Mylute
  6. Revolutionary
  7. Normandy Invasion
  8. Verrazano
  9. Princess of Sylmar
  10. Beholder

And here were our initial rankings from March 3rd:

  1. Itsmyluckyday
  2. Super Ninety Nine
  3. Verrazano
  4. Orb
  5. Goldencents
  6. Revolutionary
  7. Shanghai Bobby
  8. Vyjack
  9. Flashback
  10. Code West

4 of 10 ain't bad. Plus we had Normandy Invasion at 11 and Palace Malice at 14. So we were in the hunt for 6 of the top 10. I'll take that everyday of the week.

Ok, that's all for me. Time to delve into eNicks, and Goldmie, and Equineline. I'll be on vacation for the next couple weeks, so I'll be in and out. If anyone has any hot tips, let me know, since I always need as much help as I can get!.

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