A Return to the Good Ole Days
Racetracks in Ontario, and across North America, are facing tough challenges as the government is pulling the ripcord on the long time arrangement known as the Race Track & Slots programme. Slots joined in with race tracks years ago when the race tracks were having difficult times; money was an issue and the slots were the answer! Now that the slots are going to be abolished and the race tracks will not be receiving their cut anymore, these race tracks are going to have difficulty remaining open.
Over the past fifteen or so years it’s been a strategy to have the slots take on centre stage, and all advertising has been focused on the casino part of the race tracks. It’s time to go back to the good ole days, where the race horse was the product, and the reason why people came to the track; the beautiful and powerful equine athlete!
Speaking of which, Creative Cause pulled off the victory in the San Felipe Stakes. He is once again going around two turns and seems ready to peak at the right time. Bodemeister ran a game second, Midnight Transfer third. With only 6 weeks until the Kentucky Derby, most hopefuls likely have one more race to prep and to increase their Graded Stakes earnings to become one of the twenty starters.
The Canadian combo of Casse and Contreas teamed up for a big win in the Tampa Bay Derby with Prospective! With a great stocking trip, Contreas decided to let the horse run what seemed a little early as he took the lead in the middle of the turn. As they straightened out for the home stretch the announcer even called Golden Ticket as the likely winner with a big move up the rail. With some determination Prospective fought off Golden Ticket all the way down the stretch and beat him to the wire by almost a length. Looks like Casse has himself a derby horse!
In the Palm Beach stakes on the turf, Howe Great went off as the favorite and Dullahan second choice and that’s just how they ended up. The pair likely to run on the turf again will have to switch to the dirt for the Derby.
Other hopefuls hitting the board and increasing those ever-so-important Graded Stakes earnings were Trinniberg winning the Swale, then Hello Prince and the heavy favorite Ever So Lucky. These horses need to stretch out from 7/8 of a mile to 1 ¼ if they want to wear the roses in May.
Arkansas hosted the Rebel Stakes over the last weekend to see Baffert win another races with his horse and the favorite Secret Circle. Optimizer run on to catch Scatman for second. Scatman is a horse that peaks my interests as he run a very good race on the lead off of a few months rest.
This weekend does not seem to have the cream of the crop horses running although there are three prep races. The Sunland Derby is being held at Sunland Park with a big purse of $800,000. Three of the biggest trainers are bringing horses to try and get a piece of the pie, Baffert has two, and Pletcher and Assmussen each have a horse running. Also at Turfway Park in Kentucky there are two prep races being held on Saturday and neither race seems to have a super star but this is also what was thought last year. This is where Animal Kingdom won his first stake race and then later ended up winning the Kentucky Derby last year.
With there being only one more prep race before the Derby, for most hopefuls this is their time to shine. These horses are in tip-top shape, trainers and owners hoping for the best, wanting their horse to pull off the victory. The excitement is really heating up in the Sport of Kings, and before we know it the first Saturday in May will be upon us. Gamblers will have their bets in place and a new King will be crowned!!
…and that is the last word