In racing, we as fans are rarely treated to races where the best clash head on with the best. We are not often treated to Grade one races that have more than one standout lining up in the gate. However, this weekend we will be treated to some of the best racing we have seen in a long, long time.
The Test Stakes may have lost it's main attraction when Fanny Freud was scratched and retired, but still sports an impressive and extremely competitive field. Bonnie Blue Flag and Champagne D'Oro will more than likely take most of the betting attention and deservedly so. The former was on a three race winning streak until halted by none other than Franny Freud. Champagne D'Oro may not be at her preferred distance here, but only in one start this year has she misfired and that was in the highly contentious Kentucky Oaks. Other than that she has been very competitive, coming in first or second her other four starts.
Some new shooters coming into the Test are Ash Zee, who has never been worse than third in three starts and has won her last two. Belle of the Hall, coming in to this race three for three, and the brilliant but lightly raced Love Lil. Of the three, I'm liking Love Lil. She has only raced twice in her career, once as a juvenile and once this year and has been one impressive filly each time she stepped onto the track. She has yet to be challenged, winning by a combined margin of 15 lengths. The only negative I can see is that she is taking a huge class hike and will be running against some battle tested opponents, who will not go down when eye to eye.
The Whitney Handicap is already being billed a the race of the year, and who can argue when you have a field where 50% of the starters are Grade one winners and 50% of the starters are coming into the race off a win in their last start. This bang up field is led by Quality Road and to be honest, unless Quality Road spikes a fever or freaks at the gate and has to be scratch, he will come away the victor.
If an upset were to happen the two best horses for the job are Blame and Musket Man. The latter has never run a bad race in his life. This year, Musket Man is only one for four, however he has run some huge races, running second to none other than Quality Road, last out and, Warriors Reward, who stole his glory only by a scant nose. Blame was good as a sophomore, but has returned as a monster in 2010. He has won both his starts this year and both impressively. Last out he demonstrated a devastating turn of foot that made up over four lengths in the final eighth of the Stephen Foster.
After today, the fun does not stops, but only continues in the Honorable Miss and Vanderbilt. The latter includes Big Drama vs Gayego vs Majesticperfection. If a weekend including as this much star power does not get your blood boiling, then I don't know what will. I wish you all lots of luck with all your bets, and please enjoy sit back and enjoy the show.