At this point in the racing season, we do not have a clear-cut number one horse in training. With the big summer races approaching, and of course the Breeders Cup, we’ll take a look at seven horses that we believe will have the opportunity to grab ahold of that number one spot by years end.
Race Record: (6) 2-4-0
The Good News: He’s the fastest horse on the list. Bodemeister’s natural speed is incredible, which will always make him dangerous no matter who he faces. If it weren’t for I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister would have had a legit shot to win the Triple Crown. He’s also been consistent in three straight Grade 1’s, and has run speed figures that can match up with anyone.
The Bad News: There’s still a little question about him getting the mile and one-quarter distance. He’ll have to get that distance effectively if he wants to become the top horse in the country. The Breeders Cup Classic, Travers, and Jockey Gold Cup are all ran at that distance. Also, his one-dimensional running style might get him in trouble down the road if he happens to run into another speed demon.
Racing Dudes Prediction: Look for him to dominate the Haskell, and if they try the Travers he should win there as well. Beating older horses at a mile and one-quarter might will be a challenge, but at a speed favoring Santa Anita we believe he’ll have a great shot at winning the Breeders Cup Classic.
Game On Dude
Race Record: (17) 7-4-1
The Good News: His two performances in the United States this year have been awesome, and he almost won the Breeders Cup Classic last year. This year the Breeders Cup will be ran at his home track, giving him even more of an advantage. He’s a tough horse who always fires; have to love his consistency.
The Bad News: The competition he’s beaten hasn’t been much as of yet. That will most likely change as the Summer goes on, but right now that is a definite knock on him. You can also question if his talent level is good enough to win the top-notch races. He’s always on the board, but can he break through and win a race like the Breeders Cup Classic?
Racing Dudes Prediction: He’s going to have a huge summer in California, but we’re thinking it’ll be another second or third in the Classic.
Race Record: (11) 6-2-1
The Good News: Wow! She returned to form in a huge way last Saturday night at Churchill Downs in the Fleur de Lis Handicap. When she’s on top of her game she can beat anyone in the country; male or female. She also has trainer Bill Mott on her side.
The Bad News: Every once in a while she can throw a clunker at you. For her to become the top horse in the country she’ll have to win almost everything she enters, so there won’t be much room for error.
Racing Dudes Prediction: She’s going to dominate the older filly and mare division, and we do believe she will run in the Breeders Cup Classic. She’s a wild card in that race, but we don’t think she can win it.
Ron the Greek
Race Record: (19) 7-4-1
The Good News: He’s accomplished more than any other older male horse this year as he has now won two Grade 1’s, and had solid second place finishes in two other races. Like Royal Delta, he also has the training of Bill Mott on his side.
The Bad News: None of his speed figures have been extremely fast. Royal Delta ran the Fleur de Lis a full second faster than Ron the Greek ran in the Stephen Foster.
Racing Dudes Prediction: He’ll use Saratoga and then the Jockey Gold Cup to prepare for the Classic. He’ll most likely fly under the radar, and will be a very logical choice to win the race. The speed favoring track will most likely do him in though.
The Good News: Even with the off the board finish in the Stephen Foster, Alternation sill has had a great season so far winning four of five races. Earlier in the year he beat Ron The Greek by two lengths, so that shows you that on his best day he could have competed very well with the top two in the Stephen Foster.
The Bad News: The Stephen Foster was definitely a set back, and like Ron the Greek his speed figures have not been out of this world fast. Also, Bodemeister’s Arkansas Derby time was a full second faster than Alternation’s Oaklawn Handicap time.
Racing Dudes Prediction: Look for him to bounce back and run better than he did in the Stephen Foster. It looked as though he never cared much for the Churchill Downs surface. We still believe he’s on track for the Breeders Cup, and he will be competitive in that race.
Race Record: (16) 9-1-0
The Good News: He ran a solid race in the Stephen Foster, and he’s proven in the past that he can run faster than what he did in that race. It was a tough beat, but in our eyes it validated him in a way. He’ll be able to compete with any of the top older males as the season moves forward.
The Bad News: That nose loss was hurtful to his 2012 resume. With a first place finish he would have been the top older horse in the country right now.
Racing Dudes Prediction: It’s extremely hard to predict where he’ll go from here. He’s done his best racing in the state of Kentucky, and has never ran at Saratoga or Belmont. You’d have to think he will be making at least one start there this summer.
Race Record: (8) 5-1-1
The Good News: He got the all important Triple Crown race win in the Belmont. While winning any Grade 1 race is big, winning a Triple Crown race gives you instant credibility. Also, he had a legit excuse in the Kentucky Derby so if he has a big second half they can always point to that loss as a throw out.
The Bad News: He still has not run a triple digit beyer number, and his Belmont time was very slow. At this point you still must rank Bodemeister ahead of him, and it’s questionable if he could beat Paynter at a shorter distance.
Racing Dudes Prediction: He’s going to have an impact on the three-year old races this summer, but is most likely not good enough to become the number one rated horse.