MIDTERM "OAT PAIL" AWARDS
After racing Friday night, we will be at the midpoint of Colonial's 2012 thoroughbred campaign, one that has seen racing under the lights in relatively comfortable nights, field sizes that a little below Colonial's high standard and a speed favoring Secretariat Turf Course-one that Todd Pletcher's Turbo Compressor took full advantage in the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup. Midway up the meet's backstretch, here are my Nick's Picks "Oat Pail" midterm awards.
Jockey - Forest Boyce has13 wins in 59 starts. Sure I could take Sheldon Russell who has won 24 races in 83 starts and is a frequent guest on "Off to the Races," but that's like voting "Stairway to Heaven" every year as the best song of all-time. Besides, the last time I left Boyce of Nick's Picks, she shredded my tipsheet with three unpicked winners.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
A good rider can hear his horse speak to him, a great rider can hear his horse whisper, but a bad rider won't hear his horse even if it screams at him.
Among those nominated to the Independence Day stakes at Colonial are Ferris Allen's DEPUTY FLING in the $50,000 Punch Line (turf). Last year's Bert Allen Stakes winner has a win at Colonial this summer. The $50,000 Chesapeake (dirt) has 2011 winner IMMORTAL EYES along with Midwest's ESCORT (5 straight wins) and GUAM TYPHOON (3 straight wins) trained by Jamie Ness.