The handicap division is a total crap shoot this year and the road to the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic yielded another surprise when Flat Out (113 BSF) dusted his rivals in Belmont’s G2 Suburban on July 2.
Awesome Gem beat him in the Lone Star ‘Cap and Pool Play bested him in the Stephen Foster but the Suburban belonged to Flat Out. He sat a wide stalking trip and loved the sweeping turns at Big Sandy, leaving quality rivals Rodman and Hymn Book in his wake.
Was the Suburban for real or was it more of a case of Flat Out taking advantage of an oval that typically flatters his wide rallying style? We will find out more about his true talents at Saratoga this summer.
The G1 Hollywood Gold Cup will be run on July 9 and Twirling Candy is the marquee name. He meets the likes of Big Cap 1-2 finishers Game On Dude and Setsuko, along with defending champ Awesome Gem.
Impressive G1 Met Mile hero Tizway will try to stretch his speed nine furlongs in the G1 Whitney at Saratoga on Aug 6, and he may meet Pool Play and recent WinStar/Pletcher purchase Sidney’s Candy.
Overseas runner Await The Dawn reportedly has his sights set on the BC Classic for Aidan O’Brien, and he has dirt influences in his pedigree with Giant’s Causeway on top and Dixieland Band on the dam side.
The sophomores are much like their older counterparts as the keep taking turns beating each other. I have been covering the 3-year-old-crop of 2011 on Pick 6 Blog since last September and posted my latest Top 10 list on June 29th.
The 3-year-old division could get a much needed shot in the arm if Uncle Mo makes it all the way back from illness. He will head to Saratoga next week for Todd Pletcher and if everything goes perfect he could show up in the Aug 27 King’s Bishop.
Some late blooming 3yo’s to watch include Bold Warrior, Raison d’Etat, and Bob Baffert’s Smash, who goes in Saturday’s G2 Carry Back at Calder.