In November, the Racing Kreskin reviewed his 2017 racing predictions which ended up being a respectable .500 batting average. That matched his high water marks of 2010 and 2012, but stalled in getting that elusive 6-out-of-10 that would set a personal record.
It’s time to start channeling our inner Kreskin to take a look at the upcoming 2018 racing season. We’ll keep some of the old predictions in the mix and add a few new picks this year. What say you, Mr. Kreskin?
- Gun Runner wins the Pegasus by five lengths or more. A romp in the Pegasus! Last year we picked an upset, this year we’re looking for the Horse of the Year to blow the field away. The 9 furlongs is his specialty and he’ll get the big check from Big Frank.
- Collected wins the Big Cap. The Big Cap makes its first showing in the Kreskin selections. My pick in last year’s Classic will dominate at Santa Anita, while Gun Runner heads to Dubai to improve on last year’s finish at Meydan.
- The Kentucky Derby winner will come from gates 2 through 6. A bit gutsy to go with an inside horse, but after last year’s outside pinball action, we’ll go with a horse with speed on the inside to take us around the oval on the First Saturday in May.
- The Derby winner will come out of the Santa Anita Derby. The West Coast horses have dominated over the past few years and this year’s juvenile class from the left coast is just as impressive. It’s a Santa Anita type of year.
- First Derby win for Asmussen, McLaughlin or Stewart. Repeat selection that we almost hit last year with Lookin at Lee taking second for Asmussen. These three trainers typically have a horse in the gate at Churchill on the First Saturday in May. It’s time one of their horses donned the roses.
- The Derby winner backs it up in the Preakness. After two straight years of Belmont losing out on a Triple Crown bid, this year the Derby winner wins the Preakness convincingly and the sport regains the front pages for a weekend in June once again.
- The Queen’s Plate winner will feature a female trainer. It’s Josie Carroll and Catherine Day Phillips in the winner’s circle on June 30 at Woodbine. Carroll’s won two Plates and Phillips is seeking her first after having two entries in last year’s race.
- The Haskell Hat is Orange. The Racing Kreskin usually cowers at the Haskell Hat pick. After whiffing on this selection for eight straight years we finally hit it in 2017. Blue has been a regular and green finally made an appearance last year. Can the racing Kreskin pull off two in a row. We’re going with the hometown color of Orange.
- Surprise in the Travers. A horse going off at odds greater than 8-1 will win the Travers. Likely a horse that was on the Triple Crown trail that finally finds his stride in the midsummer Derby and wins Saratoga’s signature race.
- Going with Under on an Over/Under of a high of 55 degrees at Louisville’s Breeders’ Cup Saturday. No Farmers’ Almanac cheating on this one. It’s going to be cold, so dress warm under the Twin Spires.
That’s it for the Racing Kreskin as we head into 2018. He went out on a limb on a couple selections for the new year, we’ll be back next November to check on the results.
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.