Friday, July 31, 2009

Royalty Returns (Weekend Preview)

G1 Haskell

Rachel Alexandra heads the lineup for the Haskell, which will feature four of the top ten 3yo’s in the country. (Rachel, Munnings, Summer Bird and Papa Clem) The question are…

1. Can Rachel avoid a speed duel
2. Can Summer Bird prove he is not a one hit wonder on a speed-favoring track?
3. Can Munnings carry his speed over a distance of ground?
4. Can Papa Clem put his abysmal last race behind him?

I like Rachel to win and decisively. Munnings might be the next great horse but there is a lot of class in this race to be trying something for the first time. The track should aid him in staying the trip, but I don’t think he’ll have enough fight late to turn back the leading lady.

Summer Bird will make a nice run late, but will run out of ground to finish second.

G2 West Virginia Derby

This is a two-horse duel between Kentucky Derby hero Mine That Bird and speedster Big Drama.

The connections of Birdie chose this race because of the lucrative purse and the fact that the track generally doesn’t favor speed the way Monmouth does. The plan might have backfired as the “other” Birdie (Summer Bird) drew into a race loaded with pace to make a run at, while Mine That Bird faces a small field with the primary speed being one of the most dynamic horses in the division.

I like Big Drama to win and win big. He is one of the most versatile and brilliant horses in the division and unless he has unforeseen trip issues he should run off with the race heading into the stretch. Mine That Bird is a consistent, honest, horse; but he’s about to run into a buzz saw. He’ll get no trip issues in such a small field, but making one deep run in a small field sounds disastrous. As disastrous as running second in a $750,000 race could be!

Have a good weekend everyone!

1 comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

Mine That Bird's aura will be shattered if he loses in Chester, WVA.

At 1 win in last 9 months, I wonder why he hasn't already lost that aura.

PS: David Fawkes is a great ship-in trainer. He sent Duke of Mischief to take the Iowa Derby at a price and apparently he plans to make some noise again this weekend.