The connections of Well Said must be wondering if they have bad karma. Unlike Muscle Hill, whose connections refuse to try any oval smaller than a mile track, the connections of Well Said have said "Bring it On", racing in the Adios at the Meadows (5/8 oval) where they won their elimination but lost the final after being saddled with the nine hole. They have now made the decision to try the half mile oval in Delaware, Ohio for the Little Brown Jug. Their reward for making the decision to try their luck on the half mile oval? They drew the eight hole in a nine horse field (a trailer) in their first heat elimination facing Vintage Master who just went wire to wire to win the the Cane Pace at Freehold in 1:50.4. Yes, that Vintage Master who has blossomed of late, defeating Well Said in the Adios Final, finishing third to Well Said in the Battle of Brandywine (starting from the eight hole), and winning the aforementioned Cane Pace. Make no mistake about it, while Well Said may prevail, Vintage Master has hit his stride and will be dangerous. Expect it to be a long afternoon on Thursday as we may be seeing a third heat race off.
A win in the Little Brown Jug puts Well Said back into contention for the Horse of the Year award; especially if he wuns the rest of his races this season. No, Well Said is not undefeated (10 starts 8-0-1) like Muscle Hill but Well Said has taken on the best in his division on all size ovals; something that Muscle Hill's connections can't say. My guess is if both horses 'run the table' the rest of the way, expect to see the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs being added to Muscle Hill's card in an effort to seal the deal.
Who knows? Perhaps good deeds do get rewarded after all. It may not come down to the Breeders Crown. If everything goes to plan, the championship season may go into overtime.
Bill Finley writes an interesting article how the Keenland yearling sales' collapse may mean some of the runners figured to head to the breeding shed may find their racing careers extended. With the standardbred yearling sales about to begin, it will be interesting to see how sale prices go and if there will be a similar impact on our racing stars. While we don't wish misfortune for the breeders, the breeders' loss will be the fans' gain.