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2022 Racing Dudes Fantasy League Update: Let The Games Begin
Ernie Belmonte

2022 Racing Dudes Fantasy League Update: Let The Games Begin

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 runners as they prepare for their next starts along the Kentucky Derby Trail. Let’s check out all the teams as the games are set to begin on January 1:

Current Standings

Standings coming next week when the season officially begins!

Recent Claims

The claiming period begins next week!

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 – The unraced Bob Baffert trainee has worked well leading up to a debut that should happen soon.
  • Got Thunder – He’s still a maiden but looked good on debut and should break the maiden soon.

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.
  • Strava – This impressive maiden special weight winner at Keeneland is working well at Fair Grounds, eyeing his 2022 debut.
  • Gilded Age – It took him a while to break the maiden, but he did it nicely last time out for Bill Mott.

3. Jon White/Ryan Stillman (5/1) 

  • 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.
  • 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 has been a little disappointing against tough company, but he showed some class as a 2-year-old.

4. 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.
  • Messier – His Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) effort was disappointing, but he will likely rebound for Bob Baffert.
  • 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.

5. Real Dynasty (6/1)

  • Pappacap – This horse was consistent against top-level horses as a 2-year-old.
  • Newgrange – This Bob Baffert trainee looked like a quality horse when breaking his maiden on debut at Del Mar.
  • Home Brew – He was impressive in 3 starts so far, including an allowance score last time out at Oaklawn Park.
  • Varatti – This horse was impressive in a maiden special weight win at Belmont Park back in September.
  • Tawny Port – We’ll see if this Brad Cox trainee can make a name for himself at Turfway Park.

6. Jared Welch (8/1) 

  • Emmanuel – This impressive debut winner at Gulfstream Park for Todd Pletcher looks like he could be the real deal.
  • Commandperformance – He is still a maiden but has faced top-level competition all year long.
  • Rockefeller – The Bob Baffert trainee won the Nashua Stakes (G3) impressively at Aqueduct.
  • 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).
  • 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.

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.
  • Pinehurst – The Bob Baffert trainee had a nice 2021 but must rebound from a poor season-ending effort.
  • 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).
  • 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 but hasn’t worked in a while, which might start to become a problem. The talent seems to be there, but is the health?
  • Unified Report – This Louisiana-bred won 3 in a row impressively and could face better competition soon.
  • Spin Wheel – He looked solid breaking his maiden last time out at Churchill Downs.