I did a bit of backtracking for the first couple of horses on the list below so there is a bit of overlap with the last entry of this type. As of last week I had not quite come to appreciate just how severe the bias on the turf course had become and in retrospect I have to upgrade the efforts of So Outspoken and Crown Queen on Sunday and Monday of Travers week. As for the other additions, they are almost totally comprised of horses who were hindered by the bias on the turf courses during the first part of this past week before the rains came.
The only horse I’m adding to the list who ran on dirt is Honor Code, whose debut performance (replay) was like nothing I’ve ever seen in my years at the racetrack. Perhaps this isn’t the most appropriate place to discuss him since he’s not likely to be a very appealing price when he starts next in the Champagne (G1), but he fits all the other criteria for inclusion on this list. Having seen the race in person, I can tell you that not only was he far off the television screen down the backstretch, but he was legitimately 10 or 12 lengths behind the second to last horse at the half-mile pole. He made up a seemingly insurmountable deficit (over 22 lengths) into a race that did not feature a very fast pace or a major collapse at the end. A little quick math reveals that he ran his final three furlongs in an almost inconceivable 34 and change.
As a relative youngster in comparison to most horse racing fans, I never got a chance to see the truly great thoroughbreds of 30 and 40 years ago, but I imagine it must have felt something like what I experienced while watching this race. I spotted Honor Code as he came running by my vantage point at the three-sixteenths pole and I can honestly say that I have never seen a thoroughbred finishing off the end of a dirt race with that much raw power. Maybe he won’t go on to build on this effort, but based on what I saw Saturday I believe he could be the best two year-old we’ve seen in quite some time.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, here are this week’s additions to the list. Browse through and click on the links to watch the replays:
August 25, Race 8 — Crown Queen (#10)
August 26, Race 5 — So Outspoken (#10)
August 28, Race 7 — Caribean Beat (#10)
August 28, Race 9 — Hyman Roth (#3) / Fourseventeen (#10)
August 28, Race 10 — Present Course (#6)
August 29, Race 9 — Roses for Romney (#1)
August 29, Race 10 — Tiger Bourbon (#3) / We Miss Artie (#7)
August 30, Race 4 — Archer Queen (#1) / Honeychild (#3) / A P Johnson (#6)
August 30, Race 5 — Captain Keon (#4) / Tiu (#6)
August 30, Race 7 — Aesthetique (#8)
August 30, Race 8 — Miss Lamour (#3)
August 31, Race 3 — Honor Code (#6)
September 1, Race 2 — Ameliatheaviator (#3)