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Every week, you can keep up with the latest standings and power rankings of the Racing Dudes Fantasy League, as well as updates on each team’s horses. Even if you don’t care about our fantasy league, you can still get an update on the latest happenings with the 3-year-old crop when reading this weekly post. No team has earned points just yet, so the standings are meaningless, but further down, you can find the Preseason Power Rankings!
1. Jared Welch – This team had an all-around solid draft. With each passing day, Solomini seems like the best Bob Baffert-trained horse, which is a big deal, while Dak Attack is working like a beast heading into this week’s Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Zulfikhar, another Baffert horse, is working lights-out and is pointing towards the Grade 2 San Vicente for his 3-year-old debut. If Sporting Chance can get rolling again, this team is deadly, and I didn’t even mention the Springboard Mile winner Greyvitos, who might just be the best horse on his team.
2. Ryan Stillman/Jon White – Their hopes ride on trainers Baffert and Todd Pletcher, and that’s not a bad thing. McKinzie is a horse that Baffert loves, and Pletcher seems to be very high on Montauk. If those horses develop like their trainers believe they will, then this team possesses a big 1-2 punch on opposite coasts. The wild card of the team is Untamed Domain, as he has yet to make a start on the dirt, but his sire, Animal Kingdom, could run on anything and was successful in the Kentucky Derby without making a start on the dirt. Enticed and Mask add more east coast intrigue for a team located out west. No bias here!
3. Dan “The Fan Man” Waite – This stable’s star is Catholic Boy, as he took home the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes just weeks before the draft. Vino Rosso is actually the only horse in the league that has won a race SINCE the draft occurred, as he went to Tampa Bay Downs and won an allowance contest with ease. However, this team may lack a bit of depth. He’ll have to hope that two maidens, Concur and Nero, can round into form at the right time. Hollywood Star is the other member of his team, and you can bet that trainer Dale Romans will enter him in a lot of Derby preps as long as the horse is healthy.
4. Aaron Halterman – In Steve Asmussen I trust! The Hall of Fame trainer seems loaded, and as of now, his star could be Principe Guilherme, who’s pointing towards the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes on January 13. He also has Combatant, who finished second in the Springboard Mile and is headed to the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn on January 15. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Instilled Regard looked like a promising colt in the Los Alamitos Futurity and might get even better as the distances get longer. The Baffert-trained Mourinho finished second in the Bob Hope Stakes to Greyvitos and could run in the Sham Stakes this week. Rounding out the team is Pletcher’s Noble Indy, who won nicely on debut.
5. Curtis “Magic” Kalleward – He has the very early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, Good Magic, so his hopes should be high right off the bat. However, Good Magic is not the only Breeders’ Cup winner on his team, as Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn is also on his roster. If he takes to the dirt, then he could be a real sleeper in this league. Depth could be a problem for Magic: his other three horse have all recently broken their maidens and have no other victories. Those horses – Vision, Curlin’s Honor, and Marconi – could end up being stars… or they could end up being duds. His fantasy hopes rest with them.
6. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector – The first FLOP in the league happened last Saturday, as the highly-hyped Restoring Hope ran a very disappointing third in a maiden special weight at Santa Anita. It’s hard to see him making an impact on the Kentucky Derby trail anytime soon off of that effort. Another big problem for Slim at the moment is the lack of workouts from his second-round pick, Copper Bullet. We need to see something from him soon. However, it’s not all bad for this team. Bolt d’Oro is probably the most talented horse in the crop up to this point, and Avery Island looks to be a solid horse that he can rely on for points on the east coast. Pletcher’s recent maiden-breaker Navistar is also one that could develop into a nice colt.
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