Trying to Find the Winning Horse

This past weekend was a big one as far as prep races for the Kentucky Derby go. For a lot of the horses that competed, this will be there last tune up before the premier race for three year olds. Perhaps the biggest news from the weekend was Toast of New York winning the United Arab Emirates Derby. The horse was not a favorite going into it, and ended up returning $25.20 for winning bets. Giovanni Boldini had been the pre-race favorite, but ended up finishing fourth. Toast of New York had been a relative unknown before this race, but the purse here was large enough to guarantee a spot in the Derby since entry is based upon earnings.

Toast of New York won by a convincing 2 ½ lengths, and he was never challenged throughout the entire race. Before this race, the horse’s earnings were just over $8,000. Now, they are over $1.2 million.

He had won a couple races coming into this one, but wasn’t really on anyone’s Derby radar. Whether or not this momentum will be enough to do well in May remains to be seen, but this is definitely a big splash, especially when you consider that Giovanni Boldini was the runner up at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf race last year. Any good Breeders’ Cup performances as a two year old makes an impression upon handicappers, and Giovanni Boldini was considered a mid-pack horse for this coming Derby.

The bottom line is that one race does not make a horse. Success in the Triple Crown takes a lot more than one previous major win. At the very least, we do now have one more horse to consider for the Run for the Roses in a few weeks.