July 30, 2008

Can Big Brown put his best foot forward?

With a victory Sunday in the $1 Million Haskell Invitational, Big Brown can put his troubled past behind him and leapfrog Curlin to become the "it" horse again. This seems likely after a steady foundation of improving workouts, especially against his projected competition. While Atoned and Fountain of Youth upset winner Cool Coal Man are legitimate threats, the better lot of three year-olds wrestled in the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga this past weekend. One time top sophomore Pyro couldn't quite catch Macho Again (2nd in Preakness) for the win in that race, while Belmont Stakes shocking winner Da'Tara was a factor again on the lead, before being pressed and finishing last. Tale of Ekati and Anak Nakal were also off the board finishers, but any of these would have been a strong second choice if entered in Sunday's Haskell.

In the other top race this weekend, Tough Tiz's Sis tries to finally get the better of undefeated (6 for 6)Zenyatta for trainer Bob Baffert in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap over Del Mar's Polytrack surface on Saturday. Many of you based at Oaklawn Park will recall the incredible performance by Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom Handicap (Grade I), while blowing past defending Breeders' Cup Distaff winner and Eclipse Mare Champion Ginger Punch. The latter mare strolled to another Grade I vicoty in the Go For Wand at Saratoga last weekend. Thus, these two are set for an epic rematch in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita this fall.

And to finish with Curlin... still no definitive word on his next start. This leads me to believe they are re-thinking the European foray and trying to map out the best three race sequence possible which ends with a Breeders' Cup race (I'm just not sure which one!).

Happy Racing,

Horse Racing

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