In November, the Racing Kreskin reviewed his 2014 racing predictions as he returned to the bar set in 2012 hitting five of 10 selections for a solid .500 batting average. The 2014 results were a huge rebound from the prior year’s dismal 2-for-10 performance.
As we approach the New Year’s Day, it’s time to pull out the crystal ball and start channeling our inner Kreskin to take a look at the upcoming 2015 racing season. We’ll keep some of the staples in the mix (you’ll recognize them) and add a few new twists this year. So without further adieu, Mr. Kreskin…
- California Chrome will defeat Bayern for 2014 Horse of the Year (by less than 30 votes). Double edged sword right off the bat. I think it will be a close vote for the major honor for 2014, which will be announced at the Eclipse Awards in late January at Gulfstream. I think Main Sequence will play Ross Perot and split some votes, but the popularity of Chrome and his duel-Classic season will prevail.
- The Kentucky Derby winner will come from gates 8 through 12. Middle of the road, people. We nailed Chrome last year from the 5-hole and the roses can show up on one of the horses coming out of the middle gates based on history.
- The Derby winner will come out of the Florida Derby. It’s been too long for the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita has claimed two of the last three, but Gulfstream has produced a decent number of winners over the past decade. Sunshine in the winner’s circle in Louisville.
- Todd Pletcher will win his second Derby. Playing the odds, yo. You know he’ll have at least three entries.
- A filly will show up in one of the Triple Crown races. Since the change in the Kentucky Derby points system, we haven’t seen a filly try the boys in any of the Triple Crown races, except for Unlimited Budget’s 2013 Belmont Stakes where she finished sixth.
- Mark Casse will win back-to-back Queen’s Plates. Casse got the monkey off his back and broke a Pletcher-like 0-for-17 skein with Lexie Lou’s victory in last year’s Plate. The Racing Kreskin projects he keeps the mojo going and goes back-to-back at Woodbine.
- Chad Brown will overtake Pletcher to claim the 2015 Saratoga training title. He made an impactful run at the 2014 title, closing to within one of the Toddster with a day remaining before Pletcher snatched his fifth straight title. It's Chad's time.
- The Haskell Hat is Green. The Racing Kreskin sticks with last year’s selection even though he’s whiffed on this selection every year for the past six years. Have I mentioned the Racing Kreskin is stubborn? Green has been off the rotation since 1997 and it just has to be back this year. It has shown up on the brim in 1999 and in the stitching in 2001 and 2007, but that doesn't count.
- Saturday’s 2015 Breeders’ Cup High Temperature will be less than 52 degrees. The Racing Kreskin hails on the East Coast, so he knows that the temps can plunder at any moment. The mean temperature for Lexington, Ky. on October 31 is 52 degrees. The high temperature for that date the last four years has been 58 degrees. The Racing Kreskin says bundle up at the track.
- Upset in the Classic. Double-digit odds for the Classic winner in 2015. The Racing Kreskin sees a topsy-turvy season in thoroughbred racing with the glut of 4-year-olds coming back. This leads to chaos in the Classic. You heard it here, first.
That’s it for the Racing Kreskin, 2015. We made some bold predictions, but no one said this job was easy. Look for my year in racing review in print editions this weekend.