August 19, 2009

Oh ... To be 2 Again

Well maybe as humans we would not want to go back to being two years old again, but for a thoroughbred race horse, this is when all the running begins. As fans we get a whole new crop of horses to follow, anew and fresh, the possibilities are limitless. Anyone of these youngsters could be the next Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Ruffian, John Henry or fill in the name of one of your personal favorites. Future titans of the sport. Then you see them break their maiden and look out. You begin a journey with that horse to see what heights they can reach, for you will be forever intertwined with this magnificent horse because you were there when it all began. You can say “I was there“, or “I knew she was going to be a good one” adding joy to your bond with this horse. Most of them will not go on to be champions, but that’s OK. They will still be your ‘friends’, you will always look at them fondly and there is always the hope that the next one will become truly great. It all begins at 2.

For me the 2-year-old season begins in earnest with Saratoga. The Sanford and Schuylerville, the Saratoga Special and Adirondack, the Hopeful and Spinaway. All rich with tradition and consistently filled with young talent. Today and tomorrow fill me with excitement as I see full fields in the Adirondack for fillies and the Saratoga Special for colts.

In today’s Adirondack, I am partial to Dashing Debby. I saw her first start, a stakes race on the ‘Summit of Speed’ card at Calder. She dominated her more experienced foes that day with a combination of speed and power and I expect her to be very tough to beat in the Adirondack. As you probably already know, I tend to love the Medaglia D’Oro fillies and she fits the bill. I think Dashing Debby has a very bright future with her new connections, Jackson and Asmussen.

In the Saratoga Special, I’ll be looking for a bit of a longshot. Listed at 8-1 on the morning line is Tiny Woods. A Bob Baffert trained son of Roman Ruler. This is Roman Ruler’s first crop and I believe he is a sire to keep an eye on. A son of Fusaichi Pegasus and a brother to El Corredor, Ruler was a very talented horse who accomplished a lot considering the short amount of time he was in training. His 2-year-olds look like they have come out running and if Tiny Woods can improve upon his only race, a maiden win at Del Mar, he could get all the money. He is working very well and might appreciate the switch to a dirt track.

The stars of tomorrow very well may be racing today and tomorrow at Saratoga. Enjoy them and I hope their talent and potential gets your juices flowing for horse racing like it does mine.