Horse racing is a never-ending process of finding new stars to replace those who retire to the breeding shed. Blame and Zenyatta are already in our rearview mirrors.
Two young stars showing unlimited potential are Dialed In and Turbulent Descent.
Dialed In was an exciting winner of the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park on Sunday for trainer Nick Zito.
The 3-year-old son of Mineshaft was making only his second career outing. An awkward start, spotting the field 15 lengths, showed his lack of experience. But Dialed In then flew home to win going away in the one-turn, one-mile stakes.
Zito has won the Kentucky Derby twice with Strike the Gold (1991) and Go for Gin (1994). He knows Dialed In still needs to prove himself around two turns before being deemed Kentucky Derby-ready.
Turbulent Descent is a 3-year-old filly who is further along in her career, having won all three starts.
She’ll head the Grade I Las Virgenes on Saturday at Santa Anita. Trainer Mike Pupye is hoping she will be his Kentucky Oaks filly.
A bit of trivia about Turbulent Descent’s rider, David Flores: He was Zenyatta’s regular rider but switched mounts early in her career. Flores would probably be pretty pleased if Turbulent Descent becomes half the racehorse that Zenyatta was.
If you like a Derby horse already, check for future book odds at Wynn Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Hilton or Lucky’s racebooks.
n TOURNAMENTS — Congratulations to John Doyle, winner of the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship. He earned $500,000 for winning the title at Red Rock Resort.
Remember, the Horseplayer World Series is coming up at The Orleans from Feb. 17 to 19.
n NAMATH’S PREPARATION — Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, who led the New York Jets to a 16-7 upset of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969, was on ESPN Radio with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday and was asked what he did on the Tuesday before his Super Bowl win.
“I went to the racetrack (Gulfstream Park),” Namath said.
That’s my kind of Super Bowl preparation.
n MAGNA 5 — The Magna Pick 5 bet started in 2004 and was an instant hit with horseplayers.
Its popularity spawned the $1 minimum, low-takeout Pick 5 bets offered at many racetracks today.
But Magna, in its infinite wisdom, stopped offering the wager this year.
Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.