BARN Weekend Pick 3

Profile Picture: Jason Beem

April 18th, 2016

1. Arkansas Derby a scramble at the end

A big finish to the season at Oaklawn Park on Saturday as Creator pulled off a double digit odds upset in the $1,000,000 Arkansas Derby. The minute the gates popped and Cupid got left behind a little then sandwiched I thought he was toast. He then rushed up into a 22 and change opening quarter to get into position. It was a rough opening quarter for the heavy favorite who was totally empty by the 3/8ths pole and finished tenth. Afterwards a lot of the chat on social media was about what a bum Cupid was and how empty he came up. I thought the start would be much more of a big deal but folks didn’t seem to think it was too big of a factor. I did. With Cupid fading down the lane it became a wide open affair down the lane and Creator and Ricardo Santana Jr. got up to win over Suddenbreakingnews who closed to finish a good second. It seems there are a lot of deep closers going into this years Kentucky Derby and while they’ll need a set up, it could be a very interesting stretch run in the Run For the Roses. We debated in the BARN Jury last week (Listen Here) about whether this year’s Arkansas Derby would produce a Stud or a Dud for the Triple Crown trail. I tend to think that Creator and Suddenbreakingnews and maybe even Cupid will make some noise somewhere along the trail. We shall see.

2. Effinex rebounds in the Oaklawn Handicap

Effinex turned the tables on Melatonin in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap and recorded a big 106 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort. My buddy Raider Mike bet Effinex at 40/1 for the Breeders’ Cup Classic future bet in Vegas last week and Effinex was down to 16/1 for the Classic after his big score on Saturday. He stalked nicely and then edged away late over Melatonin who was very game and battled bravely. I think Melatonin validated his Big Cap win a bit in this race, even in defeat. This win also brought back the hives conversation that came up during the Big Cap for Effinex. Pictures of him in the paddock showed Effinex broken out in hives and he finished a non-threatening third in the Big Cap. Many folks who know more about horses than I do thought he should have been scratched by the track vets or trainer that day but wasn’t. Many bettors saw those pictures of the hives and were upset they didn’t know about the hives outbreak. I know nothing of horse hives and how severe or irritating they are. I know as a human they suck. Whether or not they effected him that day is up for debate. I mean he ran 3rd in a 10 furlong Grade 1 off a layoff, which isn’t totally abnormal, even for a favorite. But it’s certainly something to keep talking about.

3. Tepin does it again

I think we’ve run out of plaudits for the mighty Tepin as to quote Keeneland announcer Kurt Becker “she made the Keeneland lawn her own personal playground” when she crushed her rivals in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley. She’s become not only one of the best horses in the land but one of the most popular. She was trending nationally on twitter after the win and almost singlehandedly drowned out the conversation about the Arkansas Derby for a while. Everyone was in Tepin amazement and people said “oh by the way a million dollar Grade 1 is coming up.” Norman Casse who trains the horse with his dad Mark Casse said that she could run next in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day. Lots of fans are rooting for a trip to Ascot. As always, I tend to enjoy when the horses run here in the States but that’s just me.