Not Over Yet

We are a little more than halfway through the racing year. The three year old male division is still pretty much up in the air. It is ripe for someone to step up and take all the honors.

We had a different winner in all the Triple Crown races, including a rare disqualification in the Kentucky Derby. We lost the winner who was put up, Country House. The horse who was disqualified, Maximum Security lost a prep race for the Haskell. Omaha Beach, the early Derby favorite scratched and is just now returning to training. Nobody has really stepped up and asserted any dominance of yet. That can change fast however.

Maximum Security runs in the Haskell on Saturday. I won’t be betting the Haskell, but I will be watching closely to see how things may look going forward. I expect a rebound good race from Maximum Security and without actually handicapping the race I suspect he will win. I don’t think Servis will send him out short or tired again, at least not now.

I love being in the minority in the Sport of Kings. Not much pleases me more then liking a horse not many others give a chance or are talking about. That happened in this year’s Kentucky Derby when I landed on Code of Honor. Again, I don’t mind being in the minority when I say this; I believe if it didn’t rain on the first Saturday in May he would have won the Derby. We will never know the answer to that. Code of Honor impressed me in his last race at Belmont. I like how he split horses in the stretch without hesitation and accelerated. Derby stuff wink wink. If he wins the Jim Dandy and Travers he is in the picture.

I don’t know what to expect from Omaha Beach coming back. I’m not sold he moves forward from where he was in the spring. Logic says with his breathing issue behind him he should, but is this a logical game?

Tacitus is another who can really step up and make noise in the division. He checks a lot of boxes on his resume. If he can win a major race to pair with his Wood Memorial victory, he can be heard from as a possible three year old champ.

I am not as fast as most to discredit a crop and label it weak or bad. I don’t think we truly know that yet. There is a lot more racing to be done and parody doesn’t automatically equate to weakness. Let’s see how that all plays out and how any of these may do against older horses a bit later in the year.

For now, most of this is subjective. Who knows it may remain that way. This column can age poorly or brilliantly. I think the two most likely to assert themselves in the second half of the year are Code of Honor and Tacitus. The filly Guarana can be better than all of them if she can strut her stuff around two turns the way she does around one. We will find that out this weekend barring a heat wave.

One mystery to me is where has Monomoy Girl been and why? It’s far from too late for her to be a major force in her division but Midnight Bisou and Elate really have the jump on her.

This is a good weekend to avoid the outside heat, log onto your AmWager account and create a different type of heat. We should have plenty of opportunities for some big swings. Enjoy and get lucky!

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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