Whenever Sharp Azteca ran I was concerned. I felt the same about Private Zone while he was racing. Sometimes those “all in” sprinters just run so hard the whole way I worry about them. Maybe it is unfounded and I would like to think so, but I trust my eyes and experience so I will continue to be cautious about those types. Sharp Azteca has now been retired with a respectable resume, and nobody doubting his speed.
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming has also been retired and will stand for 25K. I don’t know that I am on his bandwagon as a sire, especially at 25K, though that is a reasonable number for a Derby winner. His Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby wins were with ideal set ups and trips, and he couldn’t find the winners circle after his Run For The Roses. Maybe I will be proved wrong and all the best to the connections, especially his owners whom are Great people, but we will habe to see how things play out at stud.
Despite horrendous weather for much of the meet, some small fields, off the turf races galore, a few gate incidents, some questionable steward rulings, Saratoga showed just how special it is, and how much players and fans love the historic track. Saratoga checked in with the second highest all source handle and broke the one day all source handle records for Travers Day and Woodward Day. You have to conclude with better weather and less incidents so to speak, the numbers would be even more impressive.
Say what you will about Mick Ruis he does things his way, and puts up his money. Further, when racing hit him hard after his first big investment, he went back out, made his money again and came right back for another swing at the Sport of Kings. You’d have to call the second run a win if for no other reason than Bolt D’ Oro. Now Mick, despite his investment can’t get enough stalls at Santa Anita, can’t get a tack room, and can’t even get all the stalls he is being allotted in the same barn or connected. Now most of us realize stall space can be limited, especially in Southern California, but we also know most all circuits have their “favorite sons.” Apparently Mick is not one of them. Will he follow through on his threat to leave Southern California with the bulk of his horses? I don’t know but the circuit needs more horses and more trainers not less. True Mick does not run a lot, and offers some legitimate excuses, but I would think a friendly meeting should be able to solve this problem and keep Mick at home which is better for everybody.
Mendelssohn appears to have used the historic and prestigious Travers Stakes as a prep for his long term year end goal of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. You have to admire the tenacity of his connections in trying to get him a major Grade 1 win on dirt in the US. There are not many sharper outfits than Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien so I am keeping Mendelssohn on the radar. Speed is always dangerous.