December 28th 2017
With 2017 coming to a close, its time to look ahead to another interesting season of thoroughbred horse racing. To put it mildly, 2017 wasn’t one of my favorites as it was marred by inconsistency and the retirement of two great stars of the sport: Songbird and Arrogate. And another star, Gun Runner, will be retired after the Pegasus World Cup that is coming up in 5 weeks.
The sport seems to be heading into an era with no huge star. We’ve had a great run the past four years with California Chrome, American Pharoah, Beholder, Arrogate and Songbird.
Where will the next star of the sport come from? Most likely the 2018 Kentucky Derby class that appears to be a better crop than last year. Who are the leading candidates for stardom? Bolt d’Oro, Good Magic, Copper Bullet, McKinzie and St Patrick’s Day.
But perhaps the next star will be born in the Pegasus World Cup. Along with Gun Runner, the confirmed entries are West Coast, Collected, Gunnevera, Toast of New York, Seeking the Soul and the 6 year old mare Stellar Wind. West Coast seems to be the most likely candidate to take a huge leap forward.
At any rate, I will preview and provide updates for the Pegasus World Cup as well as major races on the 2018 Kentucky Derby trail in weeks ahead. The Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on January 6th will most likely be the next race I preview but I will keep an eye on entries for the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day. The Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn is scheduled for January 15th. All three of these races are point-paying races for the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
Have a great New Year!