In just a week, the first signs of fever will begin. The 2yo Thoroughbreds I have watched this summer and fall will turn 3 years old on January 1. The next day, the first 3yo stakes will be run at Golden Gate Fields, the Golden Bear stakes (ungraded) at 6furlongs. Normally the first 3yo race is the Tropical Park Derby on New Year’s Day, but due to some crappy problem the race that started Barbaro’s career won’t be run in ’09. The first major 3yo stake will be on Jan. 3, the Count Fleet at Aqueduct. Smarty Jones came out of the Count Fleet, I remind myself. And just like that, my obsession will pick up where it left off last spring, as strong as ever.
I like a lot of horses right now. Midshipman, Vineyard Haven, Square Eddie, Big Drama, Beethoven, Old Fashioned, Well Positioned…the names are brimming with potential. Could one of these colts grow into a legend in the next 5 months? Or will it be the filly, Stardom Bound, who will finish the job EIght Belles nearly did this year? There could be some maiden winner just waiting for the right race to make his big break, a horse I’ve never heard of but will be shouting his name at the top of my lungs come the first Saturday in May.
Ahh, it’s exciting, and I will try to blog each major stop on the road to Louisville. Next week I will debut my Top 10 Derby horses list. I have had the winner 7 times in the past 12 years I have done a January list. Those past lists have been on scraps of paper stuck into magazines. This time, it’s gonna be out there for all to read. Next week. January 1. Because it is never too early to talk Derby.