By Gene Kershner
Let's take a little tour around the thoroughbred racing world after last weekend's big day at Gulfstream Park…
- Lea and Lochte were the big winners on the debut broadcast of the Jockey Club Tour on Fox on Sunday. The initial show was heavy on handicapping with TVG's Simon Bray and Greg Wolf and NYRA's Andy Serling and Richard Migliore all part of the show. Overall, the show was a win for racing anytime you can showcase the sport. The next broadcast on Fox Sports 1 will be the $10 million Dubai World Cup from Meydan Racecourse in late March.
- I thought Will Take Charge gave a valiant effort finishing second in the Donn on a track that certainly doesn't assist his late running style including the short stretch. He will be a force to be reckoned with down the line.
- Good news for the border oval last week as Ontario Racing Commission announced that there will be a full 2014 racing system at Fort Erie Race Track. The Commission notified Ontario Premier Wynne that the funding has been secured for the meet scheduled to start sometime in the spring of 2014.
- The 10-4-2-1 points phase of the Road to the Kentucky Derby will wrap up this weekend with races at Golden Gate (El Camino Real Derby) on Saturday and at Oaklawn (Southwest Stakes) on President's Day Monday. The Southwest will include solid Derby contenders Strong Mandate, Ride on Curlin and Tapiture.
- Things will start to heat up next weekend with the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream which should have a loaded field including Top Billing, Medal Count, Commissioner, Conquest Titan and We Miss Artie to name a few. This race has typically been a big steppingstone for the winner. The points increase to 50-20-10-5 for the first four finishers. So a win more than likely puts you in the Derby gate.
- Finger Lakes-based trainer Jeremiah Englehart will send Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies champion Ria Antonia into the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at the Fair Grounds next weekend. Her connections had considered next weekend's Risen Star Stakes against the boys but thought otherwise so she will head down the road to the Kentucky Oaks on the first Friday in May.
- The fifth annual Wireplayers.com Derby Dozen poll has issued the initial 2014 poll, of which I am a panelist. Cairo Prince, winner of the Holy Bull, heads volume I of the poll which is released every three weeks up through the Derby draw.