After the second week of the Grand Circuity at The Red Mile, it has become clear, Sebastian K, who once had a lock on Horse of the Year honors all of a sudden looks vulnerable with his second place finish in the Allerage Farms Stake yesterday, finishing second to Creatine.
In the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown poll, Sebastian K will likely remain in first but some of those first place votes will peel off. The question is where will those votes go to? Father Patrick? Nope, he lost yesterday to Nuncio in the Kentucky Futurity. Sweet Lou? Nope, he ran out of steam in the Allerage Farms Pace to finish fifth. Trixton? Not likely since he is retired. Artspeak? He was on his way to victory in the International Stallion Stake when a costly miscue relegated him to a third place finish.
The Red Mile usually cements the leaders of the various divisions by the time the two week stand ends. This year, it leaves things wide-open. For Sebastian K, wins in the Yonkers International and Breeders Crown against his nemesis Commander Crowe becomes more important if he wants to go into awards season with Horse of the Year sewed up. Sweet Lou, his win streak is a thing of the past is going to have to pick things up once again to be a contender. As for Father Patrick, it seems the Takter trio of Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton are taking turns winning so while the stable is doing well, their success may be hurting their chances for Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year.
Of course, Shake It Cerry and JK Shesalady come out of Lexington with stronger credentials than before, not enough to get to the top of the poll yet but are possibilities if they keep on going and the others continue being mortal. So while The Red Mile pretty much cements who will be taking home honors, this year racing leaves The Red Mile with more questions than answers. We will see how the voters look at this past week's performances when the new rankings to come out.