Six years ago, a Southern California invader named Kela shipped into Lone Star Park to race in the Texas Mile (gr. III). I recall that the turf writer for the local Dallas rag was quite smitten with Kela and proclaimed him a cinch to win the race.
Now at the time, I was new and pitifully naïve to horse racing; I could, I think, name three horses (Smarty Jones, Funny Cide, and Seattle Slew - I warned you it was pitiful!) so the significance of Kela was lost on me. For all I knew, "Kela" could’ve been the name of the Viking ship that Leif Eriksson used on one of his great explorations.
Leif: Men! We shall set forth tomorrow aboard Kela in our quest to discover Greenland! Smorgasbord will be served on the Lido deck at 1:00!
So, Kela shipped in and on that miserable rainy Saturday afternoon, charged down the sloppy track and won the race by 5 lengths. That race made a strong impression, so much so that when Kela returned to Lone Star Park later in the year to race in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, I confidently included him in my exacta with Speightstown and declared myself a handicapping genius.
Anyway, last week Gary West posted a brief story about a very promising – and speedy – 2-year-old, Aces N Kings. It’s only the middle of April and I gleaned from the Professor’s observations that one should “take note.” The juvenile race lured me out to the racetrack on Friday night; that, and the dollar beer.
After bobbling the start and bumping around like a typical 2-year-old, Aces N Kings “drew off under steady urging”, completing the 4 ½ furlongs in 52.78, winning by 6 lengths.
Dreams and possibilities swirl around juvenile races – are we witness to the start of something special? Future champions? Next year’s Derby winner? Is Aces N Kings – a Texas-bred sired by a teaser – on a path to be a champion sprinter? Could this be the name included in my exacta in the 2011 or 2012 Breeders’ Cup Sprint?
And since I'm busy asking all these questions, here's one more: Will I ever take a decent picture of a horse in the Winner's Circle??