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And So It Begins…Again

Steven Haskin has written his first list of Triple Crown contenders for 2007. On the whole, his list has the horses you would expect – Nobiz Like Shobiz, Circular Quay, Hard Spun and Street Sense are all legitimate names to bandy about at this point. He also mentions Belgravia as an up-and-comer — I always seem to do well when I bet horses named after parts of London (notably Limehouse to finish 4th in Smarty Jones’ Derby triumph) — although I have yet to test that theory with a horse named, say, North Cheam or Tooting.

Obviously, Hard Spun looked good in his win over the weekend (above) although I’m still concerned that he likes to be on the lead and haven’t had a chance to see what sort of figure he earned. Still, I am keeping an eye on him and the other ‘local’ horse, Great Hunter (overlooked by our local mainstream media, but that’s probably to be expected) — another who made Haskin’s list.

In the ‘not just for studs’ category, 3-year-old filly Point Ashley is being bred to Storm Cat this year, rather than bothering with that pesky racing business:

Point Ashley is already an accomplished grade I winner by Horse of the Year Point Given, which is why we went to $1.8 million to purchase her,” said John G. Sikura, owner of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm.

“It was uncertain if she could make the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) with the time off that she had, so we felt it prudent to breed her this year.”

Notice she does not have any sort of career-ending injury or (public) soundness concern…she just ‘might not’ make the Oaks — and hey, she’s by Point Given! (I should probably disclose at this point that I found Point Given vastly overrated — not a bad horse by any means, but not the second coming of Secretariat).

But sometimes the reverse does happen — High Limit is back in training rather than beginning his stud career — and he’s returning from a severe ankle injury. I’ll let both of those instances speak for themselves.

Finally, the Jacksons and New Bolton Center have been honored with the 2006 Special Eclipse Award for all their work with the again-improving Barbaro. Well done, all!

Updates may continue to be sporadic this week…I’m off to a conference in Baltimore. Hopefully something decent will be on tap at the Wharf Rat or Capitol City Brewing…

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3 comments to And So It Begins…Again

  • wendyu

    Hard Spun did look good on Saturday and you raise a good point. In all of his races he’s been in front. What would he do in traffic?
    Also, as an FYI, Rick Porter mentioned on his website that Hard Spun earned a 95 Beyer in the LeComte.

  • Superfecta

    Thanks for the tip – a 95 is definitely an improvement and it’s a good sign if his numbers are moving up as his competition improves.

    It sounds like he has a good schedule outlined and we will get to see how he rates. Hope he stays healthy and on the fast track!

  • Tote Board Brad

    I too have long felt that Point Given was over rated. I think it’s a function of an average crop and more importantly a Bob Baffert loving press coupled with his perpetual jaw boning of his colt.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Bob and his jaw boning. I think characters like him make the game more fun. I also think certain personalities have an effect of perception.

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