Buddy’s Saint, potential star and confirmed New York hype horse! (Melissa Wirth)
While it was a great long weekend of racing of every kind, I decided to pay more attention to 2yo racing than normal. Thanks to Val of Foolish Pleasure / Fillies First for alerting me to the Stars of Tomorrow card on closing day of Churchill, there were definitely some notable performances there.
In my opinion it’s too early to hop on any bandwagons for Kentucky Derby 2010 but it’s never to soon to put a horse in your watch list! Here’s what caught my eye this weekend generally speaking, not necessarily just from a Derby perspective.
Carrington Village – Debut Winner at Churchill 11/26th, 8th race:
This gets my vote for most impressive effort overall and most impressive win. He pulls an Evening Attire out of the gate (#5), and remains unhurried down the backstretch. Coming very wide into the stretch he made up ground quickly and once he cleared the leaders Desormeaux stopped asking and he kept right on going. I’m looking forward to seeing what this McPeek trainee does next out.
Down with Dixie – 3rd in a MSW at Churchill on 11/28th, 7th race:
Watch gate 11, Down with Dixie stumbles and then gets squeezed out. He drops in at the back of the pack and you’ll see him start his run on the outside going into the far turn (white hat). Fly Down’s effort should be noted too, but I thought Down with Dixie was the more impressive. However, both showed that they can deal with traffic and that they have heart. While that was Down With Dixie’s 5th start it’s only his 2nd start on dirt, a surface he definitely seems to like more than than synth. It was Fly Down’s second start and first time with blinkers.
Sassy Image – Golden Rod at Churchill
Sassy Image sat off a solid pace and came wide to duel with a game Decelerator but had enough left to kick at the end and look great doing it. She’s owned by Dale Roman’s brother, who was advised by Roman’s precocious son Jake to shot a with her.
Super Saver – Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill
If it wasn’t for Williams Kitten putting in a decent run himself you’d think the rest of the field was just falling off but Super Saver, who was getting leg weary going into the stretch, kicked again after setting solid fractions. I think this Winstar colt’s win was more impressive than American’s Lion Hollywood Prevue.
Buddy’s Saint – Remsen at Aqueduct
While Buddy’s Saint was nothing to sneeze at, I think Super Saver’s performance was more impressive. Buddy’s Saint sat behind a dawdling pace and was the beneficiary of a front end hook up between Homeboykris (who should definitely learn to rate!) and Citrus Kid. Yes, Buddy’s Saint did it insanely easily, but I’d like to see him overcome adversity before I get super jazzed… the good news is that there’s plenty of time for that!
Tizahit – Demoiselle at Aqueduct
Similar to Buddy’s Saint, Tizahit was the recipient of a very patient ride and a pace meltdown up front, this time courtesy of Oh Diane. What was more impressive about Tizahit’s win was 1) the pace was faster than in the Remsen and 2) she held off closing rivals in Protesting and Fuzzy Britches. And not to pick too much on American Lion but in my opinion Tizahit was the more impressive Tiznow offspring of the two of them this time out.
It was also interesting to note the difference in coverage between Super Saver and Buddy’s Saint. I thought the Super Saver article at DRF seemed almost too understated compared to the Buddy’s Saint article which was lavishly entitled “Buddy’s Saint sure looks like a Derby Contender”. Within the same article the sub-head for Tizahit was “Tizahit gets dream trip”… and Buddy’s Saint didn’t? It’s interesting to note the difference in reporting both between reporters and even between very similar races by the same reporter.
Update: Here’s another you can file under ‘it’s only just begun’, The Saint Makes a Heavenly Statement. I’d have to do a little research before I named what I thought was the best performance by 2yo male all year but I’d take Carrington Village’s debut win of the ones I have listed here!
Not to continue to rain on the parade but Crist provides some fractional comparisons between all the Aqueduct races from Saturday:
The Demoiselle was slow-early/fast-late while the Remsen was the reverse. Buddy’s Saint was not under pressure winning the Remsen but any enthusiasm for his 4 3/4-length victory has to be tempered by his unimpressive final furlong of 13.49 and final three-eighths in about 39.50.
At any rate, a special thanks to Churchill for making ALL of their replays available AND embeddable on YouTube!