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Around the Backstretch

A washout in SoCal on Saturday, a freeze out in the northeast, horses crashing through railings, and a dominating performance in the Donn; here's a quick look around at some of the items making news in the world of horse racing, along with the Top 10 speed figures from this weekend's stakes action.

News Links

Top 10 Weekend Stakes Beyers (from the DRF):

121: Quality Road (Gulfstream / G1-Donn Handicap)
102: Cosmic (Oaklawn / King Cotton)
101: Racing Bran (Oaklwan / Essex Stakes
100: Richard's Kid (Santa Anita / G2-San Antonio)
99: Musket Man (Tampa Bay Downs / Super Stakes)
97: Court Vision (Gulfstream / G1-Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap)
96: American Classic (Sunland / Budweiser Stakes)
96: Royal Express (Fair Ground / Black and Gold Stakes)
95: John Charles (Delta Downs / Premier Night Sprint Stakes)
94: Star Guitar (Delta Downs / Premier Night Championship Stakes)
89: Bim Bam (Gulfstream / Hallandale Beach Stakes)
87: Tottie (GB) (Gulfstream / G3-Suwannee River Stakes)
86: Peppi Knows (Aqueduct / Whirlaway Stakes)
83: Redsugar (Delta Downs / Premier Night Prince Stakes)

Other Notes

  • The three stakes races from the cancelled card at Santa Anita on Saturday have been rescheduled for this Saturday.
  • Going through the list of Triple Crown nominees and then reading their past performances, I always find several horses where I have to do a double take and ask myself "why on earth did the connections waste $600 nominating this horse?"  I realize the easy answer is either a) because it's only a $600 fee, or b) just in case the horse runs a big race at some point in the next month or two.  

    Obviously, the Derby is the most prestigious race in American and I'm sure that most people if they owned a talented three year old couldn't help but dream of winning the big one.  On the other hand, year after year we see the racing careers of talented colts ruined simply because they were pushed towards the Triple Crown far before they were ready to run at that level.  Every year there are horses that finish 30 lengths behind the winners in the Derby and the Preakness and then spend the better part of the next year trying to regain their confidence on the track.  

    From a betting perspective, I've found that many of these Triple Crown hopefuls that either don't make it to the Derby, or make it and finish well behind the winners, become absolute underlays when they attempt to drop into softer stakes company (something like the Iowa Derby or a similar race).  The general betting public see a horse that ran in the Derby and immediately throws a bunch of money in their direction but the truth is that many of those colts will take long while to get back to their early season or even their juvenile form, if they ever make it.