The Experimental Free Handicap was released today. The Experimental Free Handicap is a winter guideline of two-year-olds (now three-year-olds) based on their two-year-old season and has been considered a gauge as to who should be the best considered entering the spring prep season for the Triple Crown races, although they are not necessarily meant to be used for that purpose. The weights given are based on handicap weights for a mythical race at a normal two-turn distance.
For the first time since 2004, there are co-high weights. 2009 Eclipse Award winning two-year-old male, Lookin At Lucky, and the only horse to beat him, 2009 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, Vale Of York, topped the list at 126 pounds. Among the other colts and geldings who might be easily recognizable entering the spring are Noble's Promise at 124 pounds, Buddy's Saint at 123 pounds, Super Saver at 122 pounds, and Piscitelli at 120 pounds. Lecomte Stakes winner, Ron The Greek, was weighted at 100 pounds. As far as the ladies, She Be Wild, the 2009 Eclipse Award winner for two-year-old fillies and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies champion was also a co-high weight with Blind Luck.
By the way, in case you are curious, the last time the high-weight in the Experimental Free Handicap went on the win the Kentucky Derby was Street Sense in 2007. So, what does this mean? It does give us a bit of a yardstick as to who we should be looking for as the First Saturday In May draws nearer, but you also need to remember that Winslow Homer, winner of the Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Saturday over the 116-pound weighted Jackson Bend, isn't even on the list and he is on the fast track to Louisville even as I write this. It is a good barometer, but really, it is nothing more. It is fun to think about what might be in the offing, though, and this is as good a place to start as any.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!