Tuesday, September 1, 2009

3yo Top Ten

1. Rachel Alexandra (1)
2. Summer Bird (5)
3. Quality Road (3)
4. Munnings (6)
5. Capt. Candyman Can (5)
6. Mine That Bird (2)
7. Kensei (New)
8. Big Drama (4)
9. Charitable Man (9)
10. Papa Clem (8)

No change at the top and no reason to believe it will for the remainder of the year.

Summer Bird takes a sizeable leap from the last poll off his score in the Travers. He is simply the most accomplished two-turn male in the sport and he looks better and better every race.

I didn’t feel compelled to move Quality Road. I still believe he is the most gifted 3yo colt in the division and his Travers performance could be blamed on a number of things from the sloppy going, erratic scheduling, first 10-furlong race or a bounce off of his track record sprint. It’s worth noting he could very well be the best 3yo sprinter as well, though he has nothing of note to prove in that division and will likely not sprint for the remainder of the year.

Munnings moves up a couple spots. Now this might be curious off of two losses but hear me out. One, the top ten hadn’t been updated for a while and he was very much deserving of this spot going into the weekend. He gets a mulligan from me on Saturday because he was dropping back in distance and the track conditions were less than ideal. (As was his post position) I simply don’t think the Captain is as good a sprinter as him on a fair track. He now has to prove he can overcome a couple losses, but the ability is there.

Capt. Candyman Can moves up a few spots with the Kings Bishop score. It’s only fair as he is the most consistent sprinter in the division. To be fair he has only stayed in this division while other freaky sprinters have tried more ambitious races, but there is something to be said about sticking with what your best at. I actually think there are 3-4 sprinters that could be better than him, but he is the most accomplished in the division and deserves to be ranked as such.

Mine That Bird makes a big fall. I hate to say he is increasingly looking like a one hit wonder, but perhaps a better way to put it is he is looking like a horse that got hot at the right time. Now, he has not run a bad race since his Derby score, but he has a bad case of second-itis. The company line is he has had a handful of bad rides of late. I somewhat agree to an extent, but the fact that the horse has to have a certain ride and a certain setup to be effective speaks of his deficiencies as a runner. He’s a threat in any race he runs in, but until he shows some consistency others are more deserving of higher rankings.

Kensei is the new boy on the list because of the infrequency of the list of late, but his scores in the Dwyer and Jim Dandy make him deserving. His Travers effort was poor but again that could be based on a lot of different things. He is an emerging horse and could be force late in a variety of different races/divisions.

Big Drama falls big-time based on his clunker in the Kings Bishop and underwhelming effort in the West Virginia Derby. Talent isn’t enough at this point to rank him higher and my concern moving forward is his handling and how he’ll be used in the future.

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