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2022 Racing Dudes Fantasy League Update: Calm Before The Storm
Epicenter (Credit: Hodges Photography)

2022 Racing Dudes Fantasy League Update: Calm Before The Storm

Each week, this important article will provide the standings, power rankings, and recent transactions for every league member. Not only will you see the latest claims in the league (which will show you what horses might be up-and-coming), but you will also get updates on the Kentucky Derby contenders as they prepare for their next starts along the Kentucky Derby Trail.

Let’s check the updates and see the latest news on all 50 horses in the league as we patiently wait amidst this calm before the prep season storm:

Current Standings

RankTeamScore Current Team Members
1The Magic Mike Show337Doppelgänger, Epicenter, White Abarrio, Strava, Gilded Age
2Jon White/Ryan Stillman251Secret Oath, Tawny Port, Early Voting, Rich Strike, In Due Time
3Geist 206Mo Donegal, Make It Big, Dean's List, Barber Road, Gunite
4Austin Elsey/Evil Steveil 173Zandon, My Prankster, Ethereal Road, Cyberknife, Chasing Time
5Real Dynasty 151Pappacap, Crown Pride, Nest, Tiz the Bomb, Zozos
6Aaron Halterman102Jack Christopher, Messier, Unpredictable Bay, Sir London, We the People
7Jared Welch 96Emmanuel, Commandperformance, Taiba, Stellar Tap, Wit
8Kelby Von Hemel67Blackadder, Rattle N Roll, Call Me Midnight, Armagnac, Creative Minister
9Paul Withrow 65Smile Happy, Charge It, Echo Zulu, McLaren Vale, American Icon
10Dan Waite/Michael Myers3Set Sail, Slow Down Andy, Golden Glider, High Oak, Electability

Recent Claims

– Dan/Michael CLAIMED High Oak and DROPPED Unified Report

Power Rankings

The “Power Rankings” feature teams’ odds to win the contest, as well as an update on every horse on each team. Here we go:

1. Paul “Free Beers” Withrow (4/1)

  • Smile Happy –  He’s been good so far, picking up 2 easy wins as he eyes his 2022 debut.
  • In Dreams – A recent allowance win at Oaklawn Park has hopes high for this horse.
  • Echo Zulu – She might be the best overall 2-year-old in the crop, but will they try her against the boys? And will she come back just as strong as a 3-year-old?
  • McLaren Vale – This Bob Baffert trainee was a debut winner on New Year’s Eve, though the figure didn’t come back all that high.
  • American Icon – The newest addition to the team was a sharp debut winner at Gulfstream Park for Todd Pletcher.

2. The Magic Mike Show (9/2) 

  • Doppelgänger – The recent Bob Baffert debut winner looked like he could be a good one. He will be in a stakes next.
  • Epicenter – His Gun Runner Stakes victory was ultra-impressive.
  • White Abarrio – We’ll see if this Saffie Joseph Jr. runner can make some noise on the Florida circuit. He has a steady work pattern at Gulfstream Park.
  • Strava – This impressive maiden special weight winner at Keeneland is working well at Fair Grounds and will make his 3-year-old debut Saturday in a 6f optional claiming event.
  • Gilded Age – It took him a while to break the maiden, but he did it nicely last time out for Bill Mott.

3. Real Dynasty (5/1)

  • Pappacap – This horse was consistent against top-level horses as a 2-year-old and ended 2021 as the official Derby points leader.
  • Newgrange – He looked very impressive in his Sham Stakes (G3) victory at Santa Anita.
  • Home Brew – He was a complete no-show in a poor Smarty Jones Stakes performance at Oaklawn Park.
  • Varatti – This horse was impressive in a maiden special weight win at Belmont Park back in September. However, he does not have a recent work.
  • Tawny Port – He made it 2 for 2 with a narrow allowance win at Turfway Park.

4. Jon White/Ryan Stillman (6/1) 

  • Corniche – He’s the clubhouse leader after an impressive 3-for-3 campaign as a 2-year-old.
  • Tiz the Bomb – He’s great on the turf, but we don’t know what he will look like on dirt until he tries it in 2022. He has returned to the track and is breezing for Kenny McPeek.
  • Early Voting – Chad Brown won with this horse on debut at Aqueduct in impressive fashion. He is one to watch off of that effort.
  • Classic Causeway – He’s lost a couple of tough races, but his early speed makes him dangerous and there’s room for improvement.
  • Oviatt Class – This horse closed well in the Sham Stakes (G3), finishing a tough-luck third after a nasty head bob.

5. Aaron Halterman (6/1)

  • Jack Christopher – One of the most talented horses in the group heads into 2022 not knowing if he can handle two turns. Also, can he return quickly enough from his injury? Chad Brown recently hinted that making the Derby is a longshot.
  • Messier – His Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) effort was disappointing, but he will likely rebound for Bob Baffert. His last workout at Santa Anita on 1/2 was solid.
  • Unpredictable Bay – It took a while to break his maiden, but he did it in style last time out and could be figuring things out.
  • Sir London – His maiden special weight win at Los Alamitos last time out was very impressive.
  • Kid Corleone – He beat Sir London in a maiden special weight score at Del Mar last time out.

6. Jared Welch (8/1) 

  • Emmanuel – He missed his scheduled start at Tampa Bay Downs because he spiked a fever. His next start is now in question.
  • Commandperformance – He’s still a maiden but faced top-level competition as a 2-year-old.
  • Rockefeller – He disappointed with a distant second in the Sham Stakes (G3).
  • Stellar Tap – This horse was great on debut at Saratoga but has done little running since.
  • Wit – He has terrible trouble out of the gate but has talent and should do well going longer.

7. Austin Elsey/Steve “Evil Steveil” Ronchetto (8/1) 

  • Zandon – This horse ran well in his two-turn debut last time out, finishing second in the Remsen Stakes (G2), and is now with Chad Brown’s main string in Florida.
  • My Prankster – He has a lot of ability and picked up a recent allowance win at Gulfstream Park.
  • Trafalgar – He showed a lot of ability in his last 2 races and is ready to move up in class.
  • Cyberknife – He broke his maiden impressively at Fair Grounds in his last start.
  • Chasing Time – We’ll see if he can rebound from a lackluster effort last time out at Oaklawn Park when he runs back this Friday against allowance foes.

8. Kelby Von Hemel (10/1)

  • Giant Game – The Dale Romans trainee ran ok in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and should like going longer.
  • Rattle N Roll – He could be one to keep an eye on in 2022 – if he returns strong from injury.
  • Cogburn – This horse looked solid last time out for Steve Asmussen and could move up to stakes company next; however, we haven’t seen a work from him in awhile.
  • Pinehurst – The Bob Baffert trainee had a nice 2021 but must rebound from a poor season-ending effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
  • Forbidden Kingdom – Trainer Richard Mandella will give this horse plenty of chances if he’s good enough.

9. Geist (12/1)

  • Mo Donegal – We’ll see if the Remsen Stakes (G2) winner can actually make an impact on the Derby Trail this year.
  • Make It Big – Ditto with the Springboard Mile winner. Can he make an impact after winning that race?
  • Winning Map – At one time, he was a top contender, but he must rebound from a poor effort in the Bob Hope Stakes (G3). He fired a bullet workout at Santa Anita on 12/26.
  • Nakatomi – Might be more of a sprinter, but his effort last time out at Keeneland was very strong.
  • Gunite – Let’s see if he can bounce back from a poor effort that ended his 2021 season.

10. Dan Waite and Michael Myers (15/1) 

  • Rocket Dawg – Oh boy… he was dead last in the Gun Runner Stakes. Not what you want to see from your first round pick before the season even starts.
  • Slow Down Andy – He wasn’t overly impressive, but his Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) win was a big improvement.
  • Major General – He went 2 for 2 in 2021 before missing several months, but he finally returned to the worktab in Florida on January 7.
  • High Oak – The teams newest claim is working well down in Florida, which will likely lead to a race soon.
  • Spin Wheel – He looked solid breaking his maiden last time out at Churchill Downs.