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Top 5 Star Horses Returning in 2017

Michael Spector
Michael Spector

These five horses have me “giddy” about 2017!  So many super stars are preparing for a campaign next year, and we even get to see California Chrome next year in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 28th.  I did not count California Chrome on this list as he will only run once, but the five I have listed are  gearing up for year long success in 2017.

1. Arrogate

Any list like this that doesn’t have this horse number one is crazy!  He might be the most intriguing horse we’ve had in decades.  A three year old running in his second ever stakes race ran down the North American leading money earner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  It’s hard to believe…and he did it while California Chrome ran the fastest race of his life.  The ceiling on this horse is so high…there is just no telling how good he could turn out to be or how many races he can win.  This year was the year of California Chrome, but next year will be the year of Arrogate as long as he can stay healthy.

2. Songbird

She lost nothing in defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff losing by the slimmest of margins to champion and future Hall of Famer Beholder.  You would imagine her connections will give her a nice break after her big effort in the Distaff with the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Distaff set as the long term goal.  It’s always tough to swallow losing a winning streak like Songbird had going, but it’s not hard to believe she can start a new winning streak as soon as she starts back up again.  At this point only Stellar Wind looks scary in her own division, and really other than Arrogate nobody looks too scary on the male side of things.  Songbird is going to have a big time year.

3. Tepin

It’s hard to believe she’s lost back to back races, but I wouldn’t be concerned as she’s ran very well in defeat both times…especially in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile.  It was announced right after the Breeders’ Cup that Tepin would indeed return in 2017, and her owner even commented she could go back overseas to run a race in December.  That would be an interesting decision one way or another, but if she does do that you’d think she’ll need some time off before getting back going next year.  Either way it’s thrilling to know she’ll be back so we’ll keep an eye on what her schedule is going to look like.

4. Stellar Wind

Don’t forget about this horse!  She lost all chance in the Breeder’s Cup Distaff with a very poor start, but lets not forget she handled Beholder twice before the Distaff so we know her talent is very high.  The simple fact is the winning speed figure ran in the Distaff was slower than Stellar Wind’s best race so theoretically she “could” have won the race if she would have showed up with a normal effort.  She’ll probably get a nice break so don’t be expecting her anytime soon, but when she shows up again in 2017 she should be taken seriously.

5. Lady Eli

She might be number five on this list, but she’s number one in our hearts!  When you think about 2017 it’s hard to not get excited for Lady Eli as she was only able to run three times in 2016.  The opportunities will be plentiful with a full year at her disposal, and she proved at the Breeders’ Cup that she will be a very tough match up for any filly or mare on the turf.  We can all dream of a match up somewhere down the road in 2017 that features her and Tepin going head to head…that would really be something to see.

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