Recap: From the Swale to the Big Cap, a Great Day of Racing

I kept a live diary of the big races today, including the Big Cap and the Kentucky Derby points races. I’ve added in the videos as well — scroll down for a list and embedded videos.

1:10 P.M. MT: Ready for Rye upsets odds-on Daredevil in the Swale. Ready for Rye ran within a head of Carpe Diem in his debut and a solid second to Barbados last out. Had more than Daredevil in the end; perhaps too short for him, although pedigree would seem to suggest otherwise. You never know how a horse is going to come back between 2YO and 3YO.

Speaking of the layoff, Carpe Diem from Tampa in a couple of hours.

1:50 PM: Here’s the workspace. Kentucky Derby whiteboard is coming this week.


Here’s what’s on tap:

  • Gotham, 2:50 MT
  • Gulfstream Park Handicap, 3:00 MT
  • Tampa Bay Derby, 3:23 MT
  • San Felipe, 3:57 MT
  • Santa Anita Handicap, 6:17 MT

In order of most anticipated:

  1. Santa Anita Handicap — anytime Shared Belief runs, it’s a must watch.
  2. Tampa Bay Derby — Excited for Carpe Diem, huge performance today, puts him possibly ahead of Dortmund.
  3. San Felipe — does Dortmund do something spectacular again?
  4. Gulfstream Park Handicap: Only a field of 6, but quite a top 4. Many familiar names, including Wicked Strong.
  5. Gotham — Should tell us more about the Withers. Competitive field.

2:50 P.M.: El Kabeir just changed my opinion of the Withers. I really liked him in the fall, but thought he was plateauing. But he ran great right there — looked great moving up the track, never seemed to be in doubt. May not have beaten anyone, and Secretariat is the only horse to pull the Gotham/Derby double. Muddy track wasn’t an issue, which bodes well for the possibility of a rainy day in Louisville. Very good looking horse and he deserves his place at Churchill Downs in May.

3:15 PM: Honor Code! That was thrilling — maybe the best thing in racing when a horse comes barreling down the stretch. That’s one serious animal and certainly deserves place at or near top in the handicap division.

3:30 PM: Tampa Bay post times are always late. Approaching the post for the Tampa Bay Derby. Danzig Moon is big potential. Ocean Knight could be the best of these now. Carpe Diem was just awesome last year. If he’s improved, watch out.

3:35 PM:  Carpe Diem! Sensational. He is a push-button horse — jockey just told him when he go. Loved what I saw. Depending on what Dortmund does, he possibly could be the new number #1 on the Top 5 next week.

4:15 PM: Dortmund was very solid and just won’t lose. He’s a stamina machine. Bolo really took to the dirt — I was impressed and think he will continue on to the Santa Anita Derby. Prospect Park really closed in nicely and continues to improve. He’s likely to be the new #5 with Bolo close behind.

6:30 PM: Shared Belief is an amazing animal. I actually think he’s getting better. He was best on paper; wow on track.

Nothing like a great day of racing! Have a great week.