With closing weekend at Canterbury Park last week, I was a little too overwhelmed to get a post up prior to last week’s Hello Race Fane/Breeders’ Cup Fantasy ‘Capping Contest. Turns out it was too bad because 1) I totally nailed it and 2) totally wussed out on my wager.
To recap briefly before moving ahead to the Summer Stakes at Woodbine, last week’s race was the Louisiana Super Derby for 3-year olds contested at a mile and an eighth. I thought there was a lot of speed in this race and that it was going to be tough for the favored Blueskiesandrainbows to carry the field the entire way and Bourbon Courage looked to be the most likely closer to be able to win. Sure enough, Hero of Order hooked up with Blueskiesandrainbows and that was all she wrote…eventually. Bourbon Courage exploded in the stretch and won by 5. Should have been a nice score paying $7.20 – if I had the nads to bet him to win. After being blistered a bit early in the contest, it turns out I should have had a shot of bourbon for some courage before placing the wager. I made my wager to place and it cost me 32 points and, while I moved into 4th place, I would have edged Teresa Genaro and sat in 2nd had I the courage of my convictions.
Ernie Munick still sits atop the leader board on the strength of the 1st week exacta, Teresa is in second and Bobby Flay is in third. I’m not shut out AND within shouting distance. I really can’t ask for more at this stage.
On to the Summer Stakes.
In my opinion, these 2-year old stakes are tough. There is a lot of improvement and development that goes on through the 2 and 3-year old years and many times these races can be decided on who has improved the most since last out.
Only Archer Hill has gone a mile or more (this race is at a mile on the turf) and he did it splendidly, taking an overland trip in a mile and a sixteenth maiden at Saratoga on August 2 to win under “hand urging.” Given that performance it’s easy to see why he was installed as the 5/2 morning line favorite.
Sentimentally I’m rooting for I’m Boundtoscore, an Even the Score progeny who hasn’t seen longer than 5.5 furlongs yet. That said, other Even the Scores have had no trouble with a piece of ground and he has competed at higher levels than the others – and hasn’t missed the board in 4 career starts. I also like his proclivity to close. There are a lot of horses in this field that want to be on or near the front end and, as in last week’s Super Derby, there could be a pace battle up front that could fry several contenders. Unfortunately, Archer Hill doesn’t look to be one of them.
Some of the speedsters have a lot to commend them: Indiano Jones broke his maiden in impressive fashion after trouble in his opener; Mercenary has had nothing but trouble but still has been able to score; Are You Kidding Me has been able to win from slightly off the pace and been impressive moving longer; and Bear’s Furr won at first asking on the engine while having trouble in Monmouth’sColin Stakes last out, moving up to 3rd after being bothered.
I would like to be able to split my wager into a $10 exacta key with Archer Hill over Are You Kidding Me and I’m Boundtoscore but I can only use an extacta box so I’m going with the more accomplished runner and hope that he can get the distance.
WAGER: $10 Exacta Box – Archer Hill and I’m Boundtoscore