Spring House took the San Luis Obispo for the second time over the weekend (I keep saying he’s under-rated) and while it’s fair to point out that heavy hitters Artiste Royal and Champs Elysees both scratched, his solid victory was nothing to sniff at. British invader Zambezi Sun didn’t seem to love Santa Anita, but I was pleasantly surprised to see NZ-bred Bonjour get up for fourth. Trainer Julio Canani will point the gelding toward the San Luis Rey next (who needs an expensive trip to Dubai in this economy?) – it seems a sensible choice, given that Spring House (pictured) has taken to California racing.
It’s a bit of a shame Champs Elysees scratched (in favor of the Santa Anita Handicap) – he could have shown nephew Zambezi Sun how to turn left. While we’ll get more into Big Cap news next week, it sounds like it’s going to be a good one – Einstein and Tiago are both pointed toward the race. March 7th is going to be a big day at Santa Anita.
In other older horse news, Georgie Boy continues to prove that he’s back and better than ever – clearly, sprinting agrees with him. Despite his success at shorter distances, conditioner Kathy Walsh wants to see how he does around two turns (and perhaps on grass) – it should be a fun experiment.
Of course, the 3-year-olds still steal the spotlight at this time of year; here at Superfecta HQ we were pleased to accept an invitation to contribute to the Paulick Derby Index. While it’s entirely possible (indeed, likely) that this weekend’s featured Derby trail races, the Fountain of Youth and the Sham, will shake things up, here is my list as of this week (and of course you are more than welcome to disagree with any of it):
- Pioneerof the Nile
- Old Fashioned
- The Pamplemousse
- Friesan Fire
- Stardom Bound
- Capt. Candyman Can
- Papa Clem
- Chocolate Candy
- Hello Broadway
We’ll have more on both races later in the week, but in the meantime I’ll say I’m looking forward to seeing more of Capt. Candyman Can in the Fountain of Youth and The Pamplemousse in the Sham – I’m hoping to keep both horses on my list as we move inexorably toward the first Saturday in May.
Before we go, I urge you to check out Turf Luck (and a hat-tip to Brooklyn Backstretch for the link) this week for the story behind the Aaron Gryder bookmark which featured in last week’s episode of ‘Jockeys’ – it’s a good one!