The Grade 2 Remsen Stakes
As part of the last blockbuster afternoon on the New York Racing Association, NYRA, circuit for this year, the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes brings a field of ten juvenile colts together, all full of their owners’ and jockeys’ dreams, hopes, and potential.
The event, with a US$250 000 purse, not only represents what would be an enormous, in fact, the biggest, career victory up until now for the winner, but also with it brings intensified hopes and aspirations for the first Saturday in May 2018, The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports!
With the 2018 Kentucky Derby a mere five months away, the Remsen will no doubt go a long way in determining which of these horses will be able to handle the rigours of the Derby, or if they should focus on races a level or two below for a while still.
After a mediocre debut at Churchill Downs as the favourite, this son of Creative Cause has woken up in his second start, and has caught the attention of not only punters who enjoy Australian sports betting, but those from around the rest of the world as well.
His second sharp win came over a careless track at Keeneland going 1 ? miles. The question is whether it was the wet track, the distance, or some experience that caused this huge improvement.
Either way, this polished Calumet runner steps up once again here, and will certainly require a comparable move forward to become a contender for the one of the top places.
2. Triple Dog Dare
Although Triple Dog Dare has not yet managed a win, he has made an incredible improvement in his second go, and this followed a significant debut.
Running a flat mile at Belmont Park previously, Triple Dog Dare rallied well for Rudy Rodriguez and split two promising colts to claim the runner-up position. It is not sure whether he will receive another powerful pace to run into this time, but the increased distance, and the fact that it is his second turn, could work in his favour.
3. Avery Island
Avery Island is strictly the one to beat. He is the son of the winner of the Kentucky Derby of 2007, Street Sense, and has a lot going for him.
Not only has he now won two in a row, one of which was a commanding victory in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes, he is also a confirmed front-runner.
When you add in that he has been bred with the added distance of the Remsen Stakes in mind, and that he is working under trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, you will quickly see why he is so hot to handle. While this may be a deeper field than that of the Nashua, it will be hard to get past this logical top pick.
After being clobbered with nine-lengths-plus by Avery Island in his second start, Biblical, champion filly Princess of Sylmar’s half-brother, managed to come back with an outright victory of the well-regarded Marconi previously at this distance.
5. Catholic Boy
If the Remsen Stakes were taking place on turf, Catholic Boy would no doubt be your favourite, odds-on. This horse has made a name for himself as one of the top juveniles in the USA on grass, thanks to three straight strong efforts beginning his career.
The son of More Than Ready still begs the question, however, of whether he can transfer this ability to the main track.
The horse’s workouts, and the fact that his owner and trainer are happy for his dirt debut to be at the Remsen Stakes is promising, and he is the probably second-favourite.