After the excitement of last night’s Stradbroke card, I awoke this morning to the absolute joy of watching See the Stars impressively capture the second jewel of the English Triple Crown, the Epsom Derby. As the progeny of the great mare (and Arc winner) Urban Sea and half-brother to the great stallion (and Epsom Derby winner) Galileo, Sea the Stars could become the first English Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky in 1970 if he wins the G1 St. Leger on September 12. Awesome!
Don’t you just hate it when you second-guess your handicapping? Big mistake. Last night I kept missing my trifecta picks—like getting Black Piranha and Ortensia in the Stradbroke, but no Bank Robber—so by the time the Brisbane Cup went off I played my three picks individually but not as a tri. What a moron! Scenic Shot, Ready to Lift and Tinseltown—in the exact order I had chosen—paid a very nice $689 and change for $1. Urgh! In the Guineas that followed, I had money on Marveen and La Etoile, but never considered the longshot filly Express Air.
For today, I haven’t changed my thinking about any of the undercard races:
True North: Fabulous Strike, Desert Key, Two Step Salsa
Just a Game: Forever Together, Carribean Sunset, My Princess Jess
Woody Stephens: Munnings, Hello Broadway, Everyday Heroes
Acorn: Funny Moon, Justwhistledixie, Dream Play
Manhattan: Cosmonaut, Wesley, Court Vision
As for the Belmont Stakes itself, I love gutsy Mine That Bird, but it’s the other Birdstone I’m going with here—Summer Bird. I’m a little concerned about ESPN reports that he is acting up in the detention barn, but on the other hand, Kent Desormeaux is having the most amazing day thus far. I was for Summer Bird in the Derby and he closed well. With today’s drier track, he should be better suited. I also look for a surprise from Miner’s Escape—I’m a big fan of Jose Lezcano, who displays great patience for such a young jock. Flying Private is an intriguing longshot, especially with Julien Leparoux who is such a great big race rider. I’d like to see Mr. Hot Stuff perform well, but not excited about Edgar Prado up, and Dunkirk is just overhyped. Chocolate Candy is another one I like, but just not sure the rail is the place to be, or that he can get 12 furlongs. I’m a bit sick of hearing the hype about Charitable Man too, but he I like, with young Alan Garcia who won last year with Da’ Tara. I’ll probably waver as the race nears, and how the jockeys are performing in the lead-up races, but for now I’ll go:
4. Summer Bird 7. Mine That Bird 9. Miner’s Escape