Horses to Watch

Get in on the ActionIt’s never too early to start thinking about 2014. That’s what the best trainers are doing now, so it’s something that the top handicappers should be doing, too. While it’s impossible to account for all of the variables in thoroughbred racing—think injuries, jockey error, and trainer judgment—it never hurts to keep a short list of horses to keep an eye on.

Princess of Sylmar is one of those horses. She’s the favorite going into the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga, and it’s pretty likely that this will be the last race of 2013 for her. Trained by Todd Pletcher, she has one the best resumes for a filly so far this year, and she might not have even had her best race yet. Pletcher has stated that the 1 ¼ mile distance will probably be her best race, and she hasn’t yet run this far. If you watch her victory in the Kentucky Oaks this year, you will see that she had a slow start and progressively built up speed. She didn’t hit her top gear until the last furlong of the race. Still, she’s a young horse and a lot can happen, but 2014 looks like it will be very promising if she can target a few of the big stakes, longer distance, races. This might include a trip to the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic if all works out.

Speaking of Todd Pletcher, the two year old Corfu has already shown that he’s a 2014 Kentucky Derby contender. Corfu has won both of his races, including the G2 Saratoga Special, and has an impressive pedigree, with Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew in his blood line. He hasn’t proven himself at routes yet, but he has shown that he is dominant up to 6 ½ furlongs. Time will tell if this horse has what it takes to follow in his great-grandsire’s footsteps.