Horse Racing News on January 15, 2011
Blind Luck overcame so many challenges racing coast to coast in 2010 that expectations are excessively high for 2011.
Last January, Champ Pegasus was a maiden. By July, he was a two-time winner and stakes-placed. By October, he was a two-time stakes winner. A month later, he nearly won the nation's biggest turf race in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.
Grant Jack, who is proven class as a stakes winner at two turns, and Archarcharch, who showed raw talent in winning his maiden in a stakes race, meet for the first time Monday in the $100,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park.
Santa Anita's return to a dirt surface this season prompted trainer Steve Asmussen to finally send a string of horses to the West Coast, and California fans are quickly realizing that wherever Asmussen runs, he wins.
Tar Heel Mom appeared home free at midstretch in last year's $100,000 Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream Park only to falter in the final strides and finish third, beaten a head by Pretty Prolific.
Trainer David Fawkes said it would have been a little embarrassing to show up at Monday's night's Eclipse Award ceremonies had his Eclipse Award candidate Big Drama lost his 2011 debut 48 hours earlier in Gulfstream Park's $100,000 Mr. Prospector.