10/04/2014 10:56PM

Giwner: Random thoughts from Lexington


With just one day left in the Grand Circuit meet and the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale in the books, I began to ponder what we have learned over the previous two weeks.

The market for standardbreds remains strong as new markets (Ohio) add alternative gaming to aid racing. The five-day yearling sale finished up 10.6% year over year.

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Somebeachsomewhere continues to be the dominant pacing sire with his 30 offspring costing $89,167 on average. It will be interesting to see how that figures tails off when the foals of Captaintreacherous and even Sweet Lou hit the sale in the years to come. The next closest pacing sire averaged more than $30,000 less than Somebeachsomewhere, so there is certainly a calling for new blood.

Will the best 3-year-old pacing colt please stand up? With about two months left in the stakes season there remains no clear leader. He’s Watching dominated for a period, but he can barely get around the track lately. McWicked closed well in a get-around-the-track start at Yonkers on Saturday. If he wins the Messenger, that should put him at the head of the class. Both Tattersalls winners—JK Endofanera and Always B Miki—both figure into the equation. Just for you Moira, it all comes down to the Breeders Crown.

Someone approached me in the stable area asking my opinion on Artspeak prior to Saturday’s disappointing effort where he broke. I simply replied that I’m not willing to crown him champion without seeing more. It is so difficult to judge 2-year-olds. But even with his miscue from Saturday, he is still the divisional leader, but now far from invincible.

A pair of 2-year-olds that did impress where JK She’salady and Mission Brief. The former came uncovered and blew by a pretty good horse like it was nothing. I had her ranked above Artspeak in my Top 10 poll and she did everything to prove me right for once. Mission Brief is simply a freak of nature. At least as a freshman, if she behaves I can’t ever see another filly coming close enough to beat her. Whether or not she will mature and be as good as a 3-year-old is the $64,000 question.

Derick Giwner   Sweet Lou tries to right the ship on Sunday.

Last year I stopped by the barn of Jimmy Takter to take some pictures of a lightly raced colt with some talent named Trixton. We all know what he went on to accomplish. This year I went searching for another high-priced youngster to photograph as I wondered if lightning would strike twice with an early Hambletonian prediction, but Whom Shall I Fear had already left the grounds.

There is still one day of racing left at the Red Mile and some questions need to be answered. Will Sebastian K rebound from a subpar effort? I have to think the answer is yes. Can Sweet Lou regain the form that saw him win an insane 10 straight races? If you asked me Friday I would have said no, but I stopped in the Burke barn Saturday morning and “Lou” sure seemed lively.

One more thought to ponder . . . if Sebastian K loses on Sunday and Father Patrick wins the Kentucky Futurity, does the good “Father” take over as the top ranked horse in North America? Didn’t someone write about that happening a month or so ago? I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.

Speaking of Father Patrick, I would love to see him at Yonkers Raceway in three weeks for the Yonkers Trot. That would put the cherry on top of a card that is already expected to have McWicked, Sebastian K and more. I could be wrong, but the chances of that occurring are certainly slim and none.

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