With Keeneland and Aqueduct finished for the spring, my attention turns to Churchill Downs and Belmont, as the girls are meeting at the OTW facility this Wednesday. Thankfully, these two tracks stagger their races nicely so we should have plenty of time to look the fields over without missing a race.
I’m also finalizing my Derby selections, but awaiting the post position draw on Wednesday before coming to a decision. I don’t recall ever being this torn before between so many horses. Usually I’m down to one or two by now, but my short list at this point includes (in alphabetical order): Any Given Saturday, Circular Quay (?), Great Hunter (?), Nobiz Like Shobiz, Scat Daddy, Stormello (?), Street Sense (?) and Tiago. Those with question marks are maybe just a tad lower than the others at this point. Then again, everything is still fluid at this point.
A couple horses I have been keeping my eyes on did well this weekend. At Pimlico, Southwestern Heat emphatically won the fifth race, an AlwOC going 5 furlongs on turf. Ironically, his race immediately followed a $60K stakes race named for his mother. He is the first progeny of multiple graded stakes winner and 2001 Eclipse Champion three-year-old filly Xtra Heat. According to the Pimlico website, his next start will be the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes on Preakness Day. I mentioned the Barclay Tagg-trained three-year-old filly Bit of Whimsy on April 1, as a first-time starter I was impressed with (she finished second in her first race out at Gulfstream). After very good workouts, the daughter of Distorted Humor broke her maiden at Aqueduct today going 1-1/16 mile on the turf.