Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem for Feb. 7, 2022

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February 7th, 2022

Good morning everyone and hope your week is off to a good start. 

A busy weekend here in Beemie land, but happy to back on the podcast and writing grind here for TwinSpires. I went into this weekend thinking that by Sunday night we’d start to have more questions answered in regards to this year’s Road to the Kentucky Derby. 

But after watching the Holy Bull, the Withers, and the Robert B. Lewis, I think a lot of us are still kind of scratching our heads about this year’s class. Not in a bad way though, just more in a ‘Who are the real leaders right now?’ way.  

Certainly this year’s Road to the Kentucky Derby is a bit more confusing with many of the preps being won by horses ineligible for points. Mostly, I think we just haven’t seen a lot of real dominance thus far, and it feels like that’s something we’ve seen for a stretch here. From I’ll Have Another in 2012 all the way through Justify in 2018, the Kentucky Derby winners all had perfect three-year-old campaigns leading up to their win in the Run for the Roses.

I think for a lot of horseplayers, maybe we just started to think after a while that you couldn’t have a step backwards or even just a defeat and still be a contender in the big race.  

As expected after the Holy Bull, most of the talk was about the top three finishers, which is how it should be. These early preps people are seeing if they have what it takes to move on towards the Derby.

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White Abarrio winning the Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park (Lauren King/Coglianese Photos)

I think with White Abarrio’s good winning trip, he’ll obviously get some plaudits for the win. But lots of people will be forgiving towards Superstition for running on after the bad start. And Mo Donegal got going late, so I’m sure folks will back him next time out. You would think the waters will only get deeper going forward in terms of talent they will face, so I’m going to be very interested to see how much backing these three take in their next starts based off their Holy Bull efforts.

I don’t say all this to diminish the overall class, or any of the top horses in this three-year-old crop. It just feels right now like a murky picture that’s ripe for anyone to jump up and grab the brass ring. Which in horse racing is a good thing.

I’ve long said that I think ours is one sport where dominance is a bad thing because it makes the betting much less interesting. Give me a wide open group and wide open group of preps, and personally, I’m a lot more excited about it.