The annual Racing Kreskin predictions made on New Year’s Day wrapped up two weeks ago at the Breeders’ Cup. It’s that time of year to see if the Racing Kreskin would perform like Carnac the Magnificent or your local weatherman.
After a year when the Racing Kreskin was on the precipice of greatness, 2020 hit like a vengeance, stalling his crystal ball sensories and driving his typically solid prognostications into disarray. And no, he didn’t predict a pandemic would throw the racing calendar and season into complete flux. That would’ve been something amazing.
It is really ugly folks, but you have to take the bad with the good and without surprise, 2020 was very bad.
I’ll even try to put some lipstick on this pig, but it’s likely not going to matter … so here goes:
Omaha Beach triumphs in the 2020 Pegasus. His career came to an end Jan. 23 as X-rays detected the start of a cannon bone fracture in the son of War Front’s front ankle. Just days before the Pegasus, he was scratched from the $3 million race. This should have been an early indication on how this year was about to go. 0-for-1.
Hometown horse wins the Dubai World Cup. At this point in the year, the pandemic hit and the race was canceled, with horses already shipped in to Meydan for the $10 million race. A new prediction for 2020 that a Godolphin horse would win it was stagnated by coronavirus. No contest, so still 0-for-1.
Big Cap field is no larger than six. Small California fields, with the big Cali horses shipping to Dubai, right? Wrong. A field of seven competed at the Great Race Place with Combatant winning the Santa Anita Handicap. Thought this one was a gimme, but we lipped out. 0-for-2.
Kentucky Derby winner will come from an inside gate from 3 through 8. We had to wait four months to get this answer. Inside gate, huh? How about the furthest outside, No. 18. Sorry race fans, it’s a new world. Count: 0-for-3.
Derby winner will come out of the Florida Derby. Another near miss as Florida Derby winner Tiz the Law finished second as the race favorite after wins in the Belmont Stakes and the Travers. What was the correct answer for Authentic? The Haskell. Go figure. 0-for-4.
Asmussen, Romans or Casse will saddle the winner in the Churchill paddock. Bob Baffert. Again. The Kreskin won’t take the layups ever. Always looking for the glory. Closest he came here was trainer Steve Asmussen with a fifth-place finish with Max Player, who has a Buffalo connection. Mark Casse finished seventh and Dale Romans 14th, so the mighty Kreskin had three cracks at it. Still not off the duck: 0-for-5
Filly wins the Queen’s Plate. The Kreskin obviously meant the trainer. Well, not actually as Mighty Heart started his Canadian Triple Crown run with a win at odds of 13-1 in the Plate. Trainer Josie Carroll won her third Plate. The two fillies in the race finished fifth and sixth. Forecast is bleak at 0-for-6.
The Haskell hat is black. What’s the opposite of black? Yep. O-for-7.
Here it is -- the 2020 Haskell Hat -- Monmouth Park, Saturday, July 18! pic.twitter.com/elH8gAXx3n— Matt Shifman (@AndyScoggin) July 9, 2020
Chad Brown wins the Travers. An elusive Travers is still not on the hometown trainer’s resume. He entered Peter Pan winner Country Grammer in the Midsummer Derby, which was held before the Kentucky Derby for the first time. Tiz the Law captured Saratoga’s signature race; the Grammer finished fifth. O-for-8 and needing a win in the final Breeders’ Cup prediction to salvage total disaster.
Keeneland temperature doesn’t top 60 degrees on Nov. 7. The last time it was held in Lexington, BC Saturday was on Halloween, when the high tickled 61. With it seven days later in the Bluegrass, the racing Kreskin thought the under was a solid selection. But it’s 2020 and a high of 72 graced the venerable racetrack and sank the Kreskin into his first recorded 0-fer since inception.
As they say in Chicago, there’s always next year. Stay tuned for 2021’s Racing Kreskin around New Year’s.
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!