08/16/2010 3:12PM

Let's See A Little More


Kantharos could be every bit the superstar his past performance suggest he might be. He just won Monday's Saratoga Special about an hour ago by 7 1-4 bulging lengths, which goes along very nicely with his 9 1-2 length score in the Bashford Manor, and his 11 3-4 length maiden romp in his prior two starts. And what's nice about Kantharos is, he is not a speed crazy juvenile. He already knows how to rate, as he showed in both of his stakes wins.

But even though I have Kantharos ranked #1 in the new Watchmaker Watch juvenile rankings (that's either a compliment or a curse, depending on your perspective) over three-time California-based stakes winner J P's Gusto, you'll have to excuse me if I don't run right out and buy a Kantharos t-shirt and fitted hat just yet. Kantharos might be a very special horse, but you just can't tell off of the Saratoga Special, a four horse race (including one first time starter) run on a tricky, slow, sealed, muddy track. I want to see more, against better, on a fast track, before I start thinking about Kantharos being the next great savior.

BombsawayBob Grant More than 1 year ago
I found it funny that NYRA moved the G3 to the 3rd race, & their 8th race scratched down to 5 with a 1/5 shot, anyways! Karma can be a real witch!
TK Lawless More than 1 year ago
I agree....Kantharos beat us (Big Bentley) by a pole in the mud at CD, so the off track may have helped him.....granted, he has looked like a world-beater, does seem sensible and rateable, but 2 turns, fast track and a full field will be the real test. I, too, am rooting for him, but will also wait before canonizing him as the next great one!
RipVanWinkle More than 1 year ago
Is it true that Kantharos is now being considered for Horse of the Year by the east coast media? After all he's raced in New York, Undefeated, and owned by Jess Jackson. Sounds like HOTY material if he wins one more race and then skips the Breeders Cup.
adam More than 1 year ago
While I agree that it is too early to stamp his as the next "star", I do not get how you people could think poorly of him. He won yesterday in hand over a nice Violette horse, has drawn an off track twice and been bumped around repeatedly in 2 of those races. I expect this horse to win a major graded race over a full field (if they dare) barring injury.
Ownie More than 1 year ago
I have to go with those who don't think he's bred for the classic distance. I watched Lion Heart fade after equally impressive two year old efforts. Lets wait til Churchill.
Susan More than 1 year ago
Hi Mike, From what I saw, the horse did not really appear to like the race track. That really didn't look "effortless" to me . I think the sealed tracks are more difficult for some horses. He moved a lot differently in his other effort on Churchill's sealed track, but as we know, all tracks are not created equal. But I think you could say he had some guts, to win off the way he did, despite the track. I agree, I'm not buying the t shirt yet ,either.
Pete More than 1 year ago
Mike, speaking of the Watchmaker list, for 3 year olds you list A Little Warm, Drosselmeyer, but no Mission Impazible, who beat those two AND Fly Down and Discreetly Mine in the La. Derby. You didnt like that race before, suggest you reconsider after the subsequent accomplishments of the four I referred to.
woodridgephil More than 1 year ago
Mike, He looks smooth alright. What about his pedigree will he want the classic distances? Wasn't Lion Heart a miler and his momma the same? But he sure looks like something special.
adam More than 1 year ago
Am I missing something? Yes lion hearts are speed bread but did he not win the Haskell at a mile and 1/8th and finish second in the mile and 1/4 derby? Yes and Yes...so why can't Kantharos who has shown the ability to rate do the same?
Ryan More than 1 year ago
agree with you completely, but as you said ............................. he is still #1
SteveStretch More than 1 year ago
Kantharos looked as good as he could have possible looked, given the circumstances. Maybe Assmussen scared everyone away. Why didn't Sovereign Default (94 Beyer) tackle him? In terms, of 2yo racing, we need to look no further than one or two barns for the cause. Pletcher, Assmussen and a few others have effectively monopolized the game. The reason racing offices cannot card 2yo races in Apr-Jul is because few trainers have all the 2yos prospects. Look at the entries at Keeneland, Belmont, Churchill-Pletcher, Assmussen, Ward dominate. Pletcher was overheard saying, "they just don't have enough spots for me to run my 2yos at Saratoga." What? They card about 7 2yo races a week! The whole game is a self promoting circle...250+ horses equals more winning, more winning attracts more owners who falsely believe these trainers are better than everyone else, more owners more horses, and the cycle continues. How many trainers with 20 horse stables would win like Pletcher with his stock? The answer is probably a lot more than you think. Greed is driving the game to it's knees. These trainers should recognize that their own inability to turn away business is killing the very sport that they earn a living from.