Jason Beem's Thursday Thoughts Feb. 15, 2024

February 15th, 2024

A good Thursday morning to you all! Hope everyone’s had a good week and had a nice Valentine’s Day. I got to interview Joe Kristufek for my Valentine’s evening for my podcast, so thanks for being a good date Joe! 

When I started doing these written columns back in 2021 the plan was for Monday to be something I liked from the weekend and Thursday was just going to be kind of open ended. I’ve done some interviews, some opinion pieces, some blogs, and just kind of whatever I wanted. I remember originally titling Thursday’s pieces as my “Thursday Thoughts” and it’s since kind of morphed into just Jason Beem’s Thursday Column. But I thought it might be fun for this week and maybe beyond just to actually do some thoughts. So here goes. 

–The Risen Star (G2) is the best prep race so far for the Kentucky Derby (G1). I feel like the last couple years that has kind of been the case. The Holy Bull (G3) has drawn some of the bigger names, but it feels like each year the Risen Star is loaded with horses who go on to fare well in the Triple Crown races. Angel of Empire won last year and Two Phils was also in that race. Prior to that Epicenter won and Mandaloun the year before that. 

–Michelle Lovell is one of those trainers I always find myself rooting for and it’s exciting that she appears to have another good prospect on her hands in Doncho. He’s 2-for -2 now after a couple wins at the Fair Grounds and could be any kind. The last few years she’s had some nice ones with Just Might (running Saturday at Fair Grounds), Change of Command, and Damon’s Mound. I’ve had her on the podcast a few times and she’s a really good interview. I think I have some burnout from the top trainers in the game constantly winning all the big races, so it’s so nice when other trainers get to shine a little bit. 

–Brickyard Ride retired this week at the age of seven with nearly $1 million in his earnings bank. A very cool Cal-bred who was blazingly fast and always seemed to run to that ‘catch me if you can’ style. He did win a few graded stakes in addition to his many Cal-bred successes and was just such a cool horse for trainer Craig Lewis. 

–Sunday is the Sunland Derby (G3) and I feel like sometimes it’s a bit of a forgotten prep. I say that because I forgot about it until today. But it is a points race and a race with some good history. I’ve had the chance to visit Sunland Park on a few occasions and it’s a fun place to take in a day at the races. If you ever get a chance to go make sure and go into El Paso to try Chico’s Tacos. They’re like little rolled up taquitos and they look awful, but I promise they’re super yummy. They’re a very divisive El Paso food stop. 

–I don’t know how many of you reading are Quarter Horse fans, but I saw that Remington Park’s annual Quarter Horse season is starting up. I started watching Remington Q’s during the pandemic when they were one of the few tracks that kept on running. It’s a really good circuit for the Q’s and I recommend checking them out. Big fields and some prices to be had! 

Have a great weekend everyone!