Talk about a weekend of racing ups and downs, personally made all that more agonizing by my week-long bout with an ear infection that has turned into a full-blow head cold. Ah, ignore my self-indulgent whining—
I’m devastated by the injury and retirement of Tough Tiz’s Sis. After her spectacular performance in the G1 Ruffian, I was looking forward to her being my super-upset winner of the BC Filly & Mare Classic winner, but, alas, not to be. Now I can only look forward to her babies running. I’d love to see her bred to Kingmambo or Smart Strike (the TrueNicks result on both matings produces an A++).
Also disappointing (although not quite as unexpected) was Proud Spell’s defeat in the G2 Cotillion. She looked uncomfortably placed throughout the race and forced quite wide around the final turn. Plus, why the hell was this slight filly imposed with a 124 pound handicap—giving away 5 to 10 pounds to the field? Seriously...the 7-year-old Commentator “only” carried 122 pounds in the MassCap, while his veteran competition carried 110 to 112 pounds.
At least Indian Blessing got the job done with ease in the G2 Gallant Bloom. Her sire Indian Charlie was doubly-blessed when My Pal Charlie pulled an upset in the Super Derby—in near track record time.
It was worth staying up late on Friday seeing Australia’s superstar 3-year-filly Samantha Miss win the G2 Tea Rose Stakes. If she wins the G1 Flight Stakes on October 4, she’ll become only the second filly after Angst (1993) to win all four legs of the Princess Series races. Her most prominent goal, however, is to become only the second filly in history to win the $3 million G1 Cox Plate on October 25.
Just a week after her close second-place finish to Dan Baroness in the G3 Champagne Stakes, the 3-year-old filly Ortensia impressively won the G3 Thousand Guineas Prelude wire-to-wire. I warned you to watch out for her. She too has a ton of talent and could give Samantha Miss a real run at champion 3-year-old honors.
And finally one of the world’s best horses, 4-year-old gelding Weekend Hussler proved it again, winning his third race in four weeks (and stretched out to 9 furlongs for the first time), the G1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield. When Timeform updates their Global Rankings on October 8, don’t be surprised if the Hussler hustles pasted Big Brown into third place, and by year’s end he could be THE best horse in the world (if he isn't in reality already).
After a three-week break, he’s expected to reemerge on October 11 in the G1 Yalumba Stakes before making a run at the three biggest prizes—the G1 Caulfield Cup (October 18), G1 Cox Plate (October 25) and G1 Melbourne Cup (November 4). Not one or two of those races, but all three! All run in 2-1/2 weeks’ time. And the Melbourne Cup is a two mile race. Extraordinary!