It tends to happen each year (I've relayed it several times on the blog), unless the horse is a true superhorse. The modern trainer has the screws tightened in April, and a couple of months later the horse's do not develop quite as much as people think. Sometimes they even regress.
This prompted a tweet from a bettor:
@GregReinhart 1st week of July and this "strong and deep" group of 3yo's are already "corked and diminished"Whether that turns out to be true or not, we'll see, but there is certainly something going on.
— Inside The Pylons (@InsideThePylons) July 8, 2012
The jury is definitely out on Sweet Lou. Apparently he trained in 49 and change last week, so the tightener excuse is out the window on that one, but he still raced like he needed one. A lot can change in a week with the modern racehorse with a modern trainer, so count him out at your own risk. But any way you slice it, on your hands and knees off cheap fractions in 149 is not a stellar effort. He was likely 8 lengths worse last night than he was as a two year old in the Breeders Crown at cold Woodbine.
I thought A Rock n' Roll Dance was good, even though Gingras noted he did not have quite as much pop as he had last week at Pocono. Who I think is the fastest horse in the division - Hurrikane Kingcole - has a no try trip, hoping to qualify. He had too far to come to make the final, and probably was not 100%.
Horses that were considered also rans a month ago, are starting to get noticed. Simply Business raced well from off the pace, and even State Treasurer (a horse some thought 10 lengths worse than the 2012 best) is in the picture off a first up effort.
In the second elim, the antithesis of the modern trainer won her elim with Heston Blue Chip. Linda Toscano is not one to care what the teletimer says, she seems devoid of muscle flexing, and she points them to big races rather well. This was the first real test for Heston Blue Chip and he passed, leaving in 26.2, and pulling pocket to win nicely. Thinking Out Loud was really good, coming home in 26 flat, and Bolt the Duer was locked and blocked with Pace. Pet Rock - the horse who is always there but gets few headlines - was a nice third.
Who is going to win next weeks big one? Holy moly I don't know. If we are handicapping on paper and on paper only, I surmise Heston Blue Chip, A Rock n Roll Dance and Thinking Out Loud look to be the three who had some pop yesterday. But like I said, holy moly.
Googoo Gaagaa broke twice last night in the Yonkers Trot, and Hambo potential chalk Stormin Normand looked like that last tough mile took something out of him.
Game on Dude won the Hollywood Gold Cup, but he came home about as fast as a turtle stuck in a mixture of mud and mollasses.
Conversely, Mucho Macho Man won in a fast time, and looked like he is nicely on form.
Last night's Meadowlands Pace handle was short of $2 million.
The Gold Rush card at Georgian had some good racing, with over $1m in purses given out. The handle was $254,000.
I really love Daylon Magician, and I tend to like Jackie Mo. But I wonder (maybe you are too?), why does he insist winning by 7 or 10 lengths each time he races, in a fast time? Why not say "whoa" and win by one?
I was never a huge Tetrick fan early on, because I thought he made some odd decisions, but I have been of late. He leaves something in the tank, and it's marvelous to watch. That guy would win by an inch each time if he could. He along with Linda Toscano, have a real shot with Heston Blue Chip.
Mel Mara has two wins under 1:50 this year, with Luc Ouellette and Mike Lachance, the latter grabbing the colt's lifetime mark, where he likely could've went even faster. To think, the two sub 150 dudes are considered "washed up". Take some time and look at what driver holds the lifetime mark on some of your favorite horses. It may surprise you.
Have a great Sunday everyone.