09/09/2011 3:22PM

Three-Year-Olds vs. Older at Belmont

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If a 3-year-old stays around long enough, he or she will eventually have to face older horses. That said, there is still something very exciting about the big prospective matchups of 3-year-olds against older horses at this Belmont Park fall meeting, which begins Saturday.

If everything holds together, Travers and Jim Dandy winner Stay Thirsty will face Whitney and Met Mile winner Tizway in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Alabama winner Royal Delta will tackle Havre de Grace, who was so impressive beating males in the Woodward, and possibly even Blind Luck (although it appears highly unlikely) in the Beldame. And Uncle Mo, last year’s champion 2-year-old male who was so courageous in narrow defeat in his comeback in the King’s Bishop, will meet his elders in the Kelso. Each of these races, by the way, will be run on October 1.

Of course, anything happen between now and then. But if everything does hold together, which is always a huge “IF,” then we’re going to find out a lot about how good this year’s 3-year-old crops are, don’t you think?

wilson More than 1 year ago
Mike, I think you're right for the most part although I still hold the belief that Animal Kingdom demonstrated his quality during the Triple Crown series and despite injury is still the class of the crop. I guess that one has to decide whether they think Stay Thirsty finishing in front of the the severely compromised Animal Kingdom in The Belmont Stakes means he is the better horse. Stay Thirsty is on top right now due to his improvement and attrition of the crop so his durability and breeding should be saluted but also some luck is involved in these matters. Stay Thirsty beating a distance question mark in Tizway could or could not change that, in my mind, but it would certainly help his resume quite a bit. If Tizway can get the distance and both he and Stay Thirsty continue to improve with time then the showdown could be outstanding. I'm looking forward to it.
Mike More than 1 year ago
Mike: Since it 9/11 I want to not let us forget this call by Tom Durkin "Tizway wins it for America"
Lori Piccin More than 1 year ago
Yes we will definitely see who keeps going forward and who will be the best of the 3 year olds. With so many of them injured from the triple crown series, it is still very much up in the air. However, I have always been a fan of Stay Thirsty and believe is he developing at the right time.
jef fawell More than 1 year ago
Yes Lori---I would definitely have to agree with you on Stay Thirsty. I had a win ticket on him, I just wish I'd bet more!!! What a beautiful race Javier ran. If he can duplicate that kind of position again (depending on the pace) he can win again!!!
Dennis More than 1 year ago
Mike, we already know this is an average group of 3 year olds. I think we will find out how good the older bunch is.
Scott More than 1 year ago
Hi Mike. I expect the elders to win. This is a good 4 and up class. And by the way, I was as depressed as you were on Tuesday, with Ellis Park playing Taps and Saratoga dropping their curtain on Monday. Summer is over, but we will make it to Derby Day!
RoMo More than 1 year ago
Mike .. .. Difficult to apply "how good this year's old crops" .. to any kind match ups with older runners ..? So many one or two race wonders .. and so many sidelined.. On the other hand .. so many older runners, where members of crops that where also crops .. that where not so well thought of .. or at the top of their respective crops ..? .. I like "Thirsty" .. but he'll have to win a big one on a surface other than the Spa (outside NYS) .. for me to see him at the top of his crop ..? .. As to three year old runners .. it's as much "last colt or filly" .. still running as anything else ..?
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Read your entry last night Mike, then spent a few hours watching old pre Breeders Cup fall championship races from the '70's and early 80's. Wajima going up against Forego, Ancient Title and others in the Marlboro Cup. On and On. If we can get a pale shadow of some of those great races I'll count us lucky. Fingers are crossed, it would be great to see. I'm particularly interested in see what the connections of Winter Memories do. I'm hoping they will be bold and go for it, while obviously keeping the interests of the filly paramount.