All aboard the upset train! First it was Bravazo at 21-1 in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, and then it was My Boy Jack at 9-1 in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The biggest loser from a fantasy perspective was Team Halterman, who was ranked first last week with all five horses running in the two Kentucky Derby prep races, yet couldn’t win either race. Let’s take a look at the latest standings and power rankings:
|Ranking||Team||Score||Current Team Members|
|1||Jared Welch||1,390||Solomini, Greyvitos, Justify, Sporting Chance, New York Central|
|2||Curtis "Magic" Kalleward||270||Good Magic, Mendelssohn, Marconi, My Boy Jack, Magnum Moon|
|3||Aaron Halterman||256||Principe Guilherme, Instilled Regard, Noble Indy, Bravazo, Combatant|
|4||Mike "Saratoga Slim" Spector||175||Bolt d’Oro, Audible, Hofburg, Restoring Hope, Navistar|
|5||Ryan Stillman/Jon White||146||Mask, Flameaway, Untamed Domain, Enticed, Quip|
|6||Dan "The Fan Man" Waite||31||Catholic Boy, Nero, Lone Sailor, Vino Rosso, Free Drop Billy|
1. Ryan Stillman/Jon White – At the moment, this team may not have a lot of depth, but they probably have the top Kentucky Derby prospect in McKinzie. My Boy Jack’s win in the Southwest flattered McKinzie, and he continues to prepare well for his next start in March. Untamed Domain and Enticed really need to bounce back from their lackluster 2018 debuts to give this team a 1-2 punch outside of McKinzie on the West Coast. Montauk will likely be dropped during the claiming period on March 1, and there is still no news on Mask after an injury has forced him to continue to miss valuable training time.
2. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector – There’s not much new to report for Slim’s team this week. Bolt d’Oro continues to train at Santa Anita for a probable start in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes, and Restoring Hope also seems to be working very well towards a potential Kentucky Derby prep race next time out. Copper Bullet is slowly picking it up in the mornings and seems to be a real wild card for this team. The two very minor concerns could be Avery Island and Navistar. Neither has worked out since their most recent races in early February. This could be by design, though, so we shouldn’t read too much into this as of now.
3. Aaron Halterman – Things looked great going into last weekend… now, not so much. This team had three horses entered into the Risen Star, but only one hit the board, as Noble Indy finished third. Instilled Regard was a decent fourth in the race, which at least gives him some hope, but Principe Guilherme was not even close. Two more runners from this team entered the Southwest last Monday, but Combatant crossed in second and Mourinho finished fourth. Combatant’s effort was solid, but Mourinho faded like a horse that doesn’t want to go longer. Halterman has a 70-point lead going into March, which is great, but he lacks a star prospect.
4. Curtis “Magic” Kalleward – The Magic man continues to rise up the rankings. His stable star Good Magic is now less than two weeks away from his 2018 debut, which brings plenty of excitement. Marconi is likely to run against him in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on March 3, and trainer Todd Pletcher would not enter him there unless he was doing well. More great news for this team came from overseas when it was announced that Mendelssohn is targeting an early March start in one of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby races. Even MORE good news is that Curlin’s Honor is entered in an allowance race at Fair Grounds on Sunday, his first start since breaking his maiden on debut in October. The only downer for this team is Vision, who is finally back in training with Bob Baffert but is probably going to target more of a summer/fall campaign.
5. Jared Welch – The news is good and bad for this team heading into March. Solomini will likely be the key to success, and he’s getting closer to a race after coming down with an illness. Sporting Chance returned from a lengthy layoff to run a respectable third in the Southwest, which is something on which he can build for his next start. However, Zulfikhar was a disappointing fourth in his return to the races, an allowance event at Oaklawn Park, and Greyvitos is still 50/50 as far as making a Kentucky Derby prep race. Finally, Dak Attack is officially off the trail and will be dropped during the claiming period. Whichever horse is claimed will be vital to this team.
6. Dan “The Fan Man” Waite – He’s ranked last again this week, but things really aren’t that bad for him. The Pletcher-trained Vino Rosso ran well enough in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes to give him hope, and Catholic Boy could bounce out of that race with an improved performance next time out. Hollywood Star will also be much more fit for his next start as well. The real wild card for this team is Nero, who ran well enough in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes to give him hope and will most likely try a Kentucky Derby prep next. The only definite downer is Concur who, once again this week to nobody’s surprise, is still a maiden.