I’ve been on the “D.L.” for a few days, and I’m back in full form. Or, at least back in training. But I digress. – I missed some of the live action this weekend, and this is a bad time to go to sleep at the wheel. I’ve read, watched replays, and taken part in chat about racing to get back on target. Every so often as we head into the spring season, we need to drop back and ask ourselves if what we’re seeing is real or just overly hopeful. – This lead me to grab a few runners and deeply look into the crystal ball. – You need to do the same, and all you have to do is take a look at the prep race replays right here on Winning Ponies. You’ll find every major prep race for runners making their way to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. – We all learn in various ways, but if you take a good look at the replays, you may see the future more clearly.
This son of Tapit is a perfect 4/4 with wins, and hails from the red-hot barn of Kiaran McLaughlin. I’m sure no matter how dazzling this colt runs we’ll start hearing the background gab of “can he get a 1 1/4.” – If you’ve been in doubt, just watch the Holy Bull paid workout, and your doubts will start to diminish.
If there has been a more impressive runner, you’ll be hard-pressed to find them at this time. – It is still early, and the big tests are coming quickly. – Trainer Doug O’Neill has a son of Uncle Mo in his care, and it looks like Mario Gutierrez is starting to dream of Louisville in the Reddam Racing colors. – Take a hard look at the BC Juvenile. – Breaks from post #13, bumped around like a pinball, and covers at least a 1/4 mile more than many others. If you’re on the fence, here’s a little refresher to bring back the race in full color. Oh, did I mention he is a perfect 6/6 with wins ?
Bob Baffert is the “KING” of the west coast. Now, for another example of the obvious, Gary Stevens knows how to find the winner’s circle. The Robert B. Lewis has always been on the resume of runners coming from the left coast, and it has to be respected. – This game effort shows me he is learning as he goes, and there may be some late maturing that will show another gear. – Hard to knock this Pennsylvania-bred. He is 5/5 ITM with three wins and two seconds. If you like apples, how about these apples ?
Every year there are fast starters, late bloomers, and wise-guy runners. I’m going to toss in a couple that need some “love” when you go back and peruse the Winning Ponies prep replays. Trust me, they may be coming along at the right time. – You take a look and let us know how you feel.
This runner may not fit the wise-guy model and he certainly is on the radar screen of horse players. Thom Amoss is one heckuva’ horseman, and he may have an ace up his sleeve here. – He is 5/5 ITM with two wins to his credit. “If it weren’t for bad luck, he has no luck at all” may be his new war cry. Take a peek as he was far back in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, and was shut off hard inside the 1/8th pole. – The best part for my eyes was when he picked up his tools and went right back to work accelerating nicely. – The top three deserve big props, especially the winner Gun Runner. Just take a look at the huge late strides of Mo Tom and keep that in mind down the road.
The Southwest Stakes
Plain and simple, this is a key race. You can highlight the top four finishers and keep tabs on their progress. There have been other performances that left me in awe, but this blue collar battle has me intrigued. You be the judge.
If there is a “hard fighter” prize, this guy may win the award. – With seven starts, five hard fought seconds and a win and a third. – Swipe brings his game every time he hits the track. Trainer Keith Desormeaux and brother Kent team up well, and this son of Birdstone may get real good at the right time. – Take a look at his last effort in the BC Juvenile at Keeneland as he followed Nyquist the entire race.