NICK’S THREE-YEAR-OLD TURF TOP TEN

We have gotten some flack lately for not updating our three-year-old Turf Top Ten list from Nick Hahn. Those FOB folks are sensitive and they wanted to know why Nicanor wasn’t on the list. He was, but we weren’t getting the list thanks to a cyberspace gremlin.

That particular gremlin has been captured, sedated and incarcerated for now…so here is Nick Hahn’s latest list with comments.

The first post-Colonial Turf Cup Top Ten (June 23rd). Three year olds that have made at least one start in the United States on the turf. Colonial Turf Cup/Virginia Derby nominated (*)

1) Giant Oak * (pictured below right) – First ‘09 turf start convincing in the Arlington Classic. Money may not be enough to move him from Arlington to Virginia.
2) Battle of Hastings* (pictured middle left) – It’s not Baze’s fault he got a perfect trip in the Colonial Turf Cup. A match with Giant Oak would be worth seeing.
3) Straight Story* – Alan Goldberg will win a twin turf major at Colonial, perhaps with this Smart Strike who ran the gamest in the Turf Cup.
4) Lime Rickey* – His rally was too late in the Colonial Turf Cup. Should he be more forwardly place, the VA Derby distance would suit him.
5) Affirmitif* – No penality for finishing 2nd in the Hill Prince slop. Pletcher’s Woodlawn winner is a big horse and is looming.
6) El Crespo* – Another solid outing for the A.P. Indy colt in the Jefferson. Might have won with an extra half furlong or so.
7) No Inflation* – Might have put his head in front of El Crespo in the Jefferson stretch. Proctor’s colt has seen some tough foes.
8) Florentino* – When he wins, he wires as he did in the Jefferson Cup & 2 previous allowance wins. El Crespo might have had him at 1 & 1/4.
9) Nicanor* – The live VA Derby candidate earned a Turf Ten place with his Delaware allowance win. He just has some big horseshoes to fill.
10) Orthodox* – Draw a line through the Arlington outing. The American Turf winner needs firmer ground.

OFF THE LIST: Sleepless Knight* – the Lamplighter winner at Monmonth Park is the best of the rest-First Alternate. Haven’t heard much of Smart Bid whose Smart Strike breeding would be an asset on the Virginia turf.

NEWCOMERS: Straight Story* has Smart Strike breeding. Goldberg’s other Smart Strike, Strike A Deal missed both the Turf Cup and Virginia Derby in 2007 by a comined nostril. His Turf Cup showed that he is very adaptable to pace and doesn’t quit. Nicanor* – The attendance of the Virginia Derby might double over the baseline if this full brother of Barbaro starts.

PREVIOUS RACE: Tough to gauge the Colonial Turf Cup win of Battle of Hastings considering that Al Khali rode Straight Story well wide and he still came with a neck of the winner. The following day Irish-bred Oil Man* won the $100,000 Cinema Handicap at Hollywood Park.

UPCOMING RACE: The talent that doesn’t start in the $350,000 American Derby (gr. IIT) at Arlington Park on July 11th will likely come to Colonial for the $750,000 Virginia Derby.

SECOND BASE: Mike House, Battle of Hastings owner, and his wife Dawn thoroughly enjoyed the Colonial Turf Cup and the half-week they spent in Virginia. With Del Mar around the corner on the calendar and street map from the Houses’ it still may take a little prompting to get them back for the Virginia Derby.