If it's possible for a Grade 2 win to get upstaged by an allowance race and a listed stake then that certainly happened this weekend with Gemologist winning the former and Street Life winning the latter before Secret Circle captured the Rebel Stakes.Triple Crown Insider talks about the weekend that was (or wasn't if you're either a Sabercat or a Najjar backer).MY TAKE: Gemologist certainly is who I thought he wasn't. In a year where fans have gone nuts over allowance wins (e.g., Animal Kingdom, Nehro) this was a legit eye opener for me considering I wasn't in Gemologist's camp at all, and I feel lucky to have only lost .75 units betting Currency Swap across the board. I moved Gemologist to eighth on my Top Ten Derby list off this effort.Street Life did not impress me as much. Some pointed to him running down a pacesetter who set soft fractions, and while that certainly made him best in the Broad Brush, I just don't see him as capable of running down a horse like Hansen or out-running Alpha or even Our Entourage on the far turn. Overall, I chalk it up to a horse looking impressive winning a slow race, but going forward that still makes the horse slow (e.g. Winter Memories).Secret Circle continues to impress as one of the most consistently fast members of his generation, but it's tough not to view his Rebel Stakes win as a regression considering it was his first-ever race not to eclipse the 100 BRIS Speed Rating threshold. That said, he never really looked comfortable out there and still won.More importantly for 17 players in the TwinSpires.com Triple Crown SHOWdown promotion, Secret Circle keyed a trifecta that included Scatman, and everyone who was alive for the $1-million prize going into the week still is.The Spiral Stakes and Sunland Derby are this weekend, and the winners of each race will have enough earnings to get into the Derby, which means six weeks of "Can <insert name of Spiral winner here> be the next Animal Kingdom?" and "Can <insert name of 4th-place Sunland Derby finisher here> be the next Mine That Bird?"
Welcome to the TwinSpires Blog. Our contributors will be continually updating posts to offer commentary, insight, advice and expert opinions on horse racing and wagering. The goal is to help you win more and become a better all around horse player.
TwinSpires' horse racing author, handicapper, and podcast host, Derek Simon of Denver, Colo. offers his insightful, humorous and sometimes controversial take on the horse racing industry. He even publishes the ROI on the picks he gives out.
TwinSpires' harness racing expert, Frank Cotolo follows all of the big North American circuits throughout the year, providing the best value picks and latest news from the sulky.
The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.