Last weekend was huge racing for the 3-year-old division with the best of the crop showing up for the Jim Dandy and Haskell Invitational. The interesting part, at least to this observer, was how one of those races contained one of the most exciting performances of the season by a 3-year-old and how the other was a real snooze fest. Here you had two top-tier fields, lots of money on the line, but two different results.
Let’s get the boring part out of the way first. In the Jim Dandy, the 9-5 favorite Dominus sat off of a mild pace and had absolutely no excuse for losing to Stay Thirsty. The fact that Stay Thirsty won by 4 lengths also shows that this field was not exactly a stellar group. It’s not that I’d like to knock Stay Thirsty, he’s proven to be a much better horse than anyone thought after running in the shadow of his stablemate, Uncle Mo. It’s just that while his victory in the Jim Dandy was a technical accomplishment, I didn’t see anything extra special in the workmanlike performance. Now Stay Thirsty will try to capture the popular Jim Dandy – Travers double, last accomplished by Street Sense in 2007. In case you missed it, you can check out a replay of the Jim Dandy here.
Now for the exciting part, if you didn’t see the Haskell on Sunday check out the replay below. While 3-1 second favorite Coil wasn’t expected to run poorly, he won the race after overcoming considerable trouble and looked to be out-of-it almost the entire race.
Coil ran a visually impressive race that even someone who has never seen a horse race before could appreciate. He literally looks like he’s running in fast-forward while the other horses are powerless against his huge move on the outside going from dead last to first place. While he only received a preliminary Beyer speed figure of 96 for the performance, you can’t put a number on overcoming adversity. Oh, and did I mention the fabulous duo that brought you this performance? None other than trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia, the same two who teamed up to give Lookin at Lucky his outstanding campaign last year.
On another topic, WinningPonies got off to a great start to the season at Saratoga with a big hit on opening day. In the $75k James Marvin Stakes, we correctly picked the longshot winner Jackson Bend ($18.80) and also had the second place finisher Hamazing Destiny for a cold Exacta worth $111. This weekend’s stakes action at Saratoga includes the Whitney Handicap for older horses and the 7-furlong Test Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.