Lost And Found Presented by Horseware: Class Of 2017

by | 11.14.2017 | 1:06pm

As the dust clears from the 2017 Breeders' Cup and the racing world's attention shifts to the 2017 Eclipse Awards, a lot of people are looking at the 3-year-old male category somewhat wistfully. For a couple of seasons, we were spoiled by Triple Crown trail stars like California Chrome and American Pharoah, but not every 3-year-old class has a standout.

This year, the default winner would appear to be Bob Baffert's West Coast, who did not run in the Kentucky Derby but found his feet in the summer and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

This had us wondering—where did the top finishers in the Triple Crown this year disappear to, anyway?


Kentucky Derby

  • Always Dreaming – After winning the roses as the betting favorite, this Todd Pletcher trainee seemed to fizzle out of the winning streak he was on in the Derby, finishing eighth in the Preakness, third in the G2 Jim Dandy, and ninth in the G1 Travers. Pletcher said after the Travers he was stumped by the horse's performance and sent him to WinStar Farm in Central Kentucky for examination. Shortly before the Breeders' Cup, the farm announced the son of Bodemeister had one of the worst cases of gastric ulcers Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's Dr. Steve Reed had ever seen. Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar, said the colt is recovering and is expected to resume training this winter and rejoin Pletcher's string at Palm Meadows.
  • Lookin at Lee – The Steve Asmussen trainee finished second in the Derby, fourth in the Preakness, and third in the G3 West Virginia Derby before a disappointing tenth-place effort in the G1 Travers. Since August, the son of Lookin at Lucky has been on vacation at Rebecca Maker Equine Therapy in Central Kentucky. Asmussen said Lookin at Lee is scheduled to return to the barn Nov. 13. It's too early to commit to a next start, but Asmussen thinks he could appear at Oaklawn Park if all goes well.

    “He's as cool as a horse can be and we're just excited to have him back in the barn,” Asmussen said.
  • Battle of Midway – Anyone wondering what Battle of Midway was up to lately had their questions answered when he won the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said the colt was originally purchased for the Kentucky Derby and while his third-place finish was nothing to be embarrassed about, he realized in the Shared Belief Mile the horse wanted a shorter distance. Battle of Midway won by six, prompting Hollendorfer to focus on the Dirt Mile instead of the Classic. WinStar announced Battle of Midway will begin stud duties in the 2018 season.
  • Classic Empire – The 2016 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner was plagued by problems after running second in the Preakness. He got a hoof abscess and was scratched from the Belmont, then refused to train at Saratoga and was diagnosed with a back problem. He continued to battle more hoof issues through the fall. In October, his ownership announced he had been retired and would stand at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Central Kentucky.
  • Practical Joke – Also shortened up for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, where he was fourth behind Battle of Midway. Earned his third Grade 1 win last summer in the H. Allen Jerkens at Saratoga as betting favorite over Takaful and American Anthem.


  • Cloud Computing – After winning the Preakness in his fourth career start, the Chad Brown trainee was somewhat disappointing in subsequent starts, coming in fifth in the G2 Jim Dandy and eighth in the G1 Travers. After a September workout, he was found to have a chip in his front ankle. His connections announced he would have the chip removed and spend the fall recuperating before resuming training over the winter for a 4-year-old campaign.
  • Senior Investment – Still in training after switching surfaces. The son of Discreetly Mine was fifth in the Belmont, then tried turf in the G1 Belmont Derby Invitational, where he was tenth. Trainer Ken McPeek sent him north for the G3 Ontario Derby over synthetic, where he finished fourth. The colt worked a bullet at Belmont Park on Nov. 2 – on the dirt.
  • Gunnevera – The Antonio Sano trainee was back in the winner's circle in August for the Tangelo Stakes at Gulfstream, was second in the Travers but finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.


Belmont Stakes

  • Tapwrit – After finishing fourth in the Travers, Tapwrit's connections announced he had shed the frog from his right front foot in the race. Eclipse Thoroughbreds' Aron Wellman reported recently the colt is healing well and enjoying daily turnout at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Fla.

    “Tapwrit is in great condition and in high spirits,” Wellman said. “We absolutely intend for him to race in 2018 and he will likely return to Todd Pletcher at his winter base at Palm Beach Downs sometime around the first of the year.”

  • Irish War Cry – Finished second in the Belmont and fourth in the Haskell but has been on the shelf since an eighth in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby. Trainer Graham Motion said Irish War Cry has been on layup near Motion's Fair Hill base and is expected to resume training over the winter with Motion's Florida string.

  • Patch – Everyone's favorite one-eyed Kentucky Derby contender was 14th in the Run for the Roses but third in the Belmont. After a fourth-place run in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby in early August, the Todd Pletcher charge resumed training at Belmont Park in the fall. He has since taken a vacation at Calumet Farm. Pletcher expects the son of Union Rags will mount a 4-year-old campaign and should be back in the barn soon to resume training.
  • Gormley – After a fourth place run in the Shared Belief Stakes, the son of Malibu Moon was retired to Spendthrift Farm, where he will be part of the Share The Upside program in 2018. Gormley's fee will be $10,000 for non-Share The Upside breedings.



  • jhn

    and what gives gun runner a second to west coast???????

    • Natalie Voss

      In the 3-year-old Eclipse Award category? Probably the fact that Gun Runner is four years old.

      • David Juffet

        Bingo! Nice article.

      • Whynotwest

        But he was third in the Derby!

    • June Glick

      Gun Runner is a 4 year old.

  • David Juffet

    Most likely Triple Crown horse to shine in 2018? Tapwrit.

    • Always Curious

      I’ll take your word for it. Lol I don’t have a clue after this year’s crop of 3 yr. olds. Who ever showed up consistently? I won’t bet money on my guess. I could only guess by pedigree, brain drain.

    • Whynotwest

      Always find it interesting when three year olds who were on the Derby trail get to do what they are best at when they get through the TC and into their four year old season. Some need a turn/cut back, some a surface switch. It’s difficult to say who will prove best. Whitmore comes to mind. Placed in some major Derby preps, ran nowhere in the Derby and then finally got to do what he wanted to all along: become a closing sprinter. Although he didn’t fare too well in the sprint this year.

      • David Juffet

        Running him in the True North was a mistake. I believe the horse was mismanaged second half of the year. He’ll be back at Oaklawn and should do well. Needs a break.

  • OopsyDaisy3

    Cannot keep quiet, i simply enjoyed following Union Rags, and as to
    Patch his son, how can one not appreciate him.
    Thank you for the photo of Patch. Linda in Texas

    • Joe #StillAmerica1st

      his mother is a monster also :) so he’s got a Belmont Stakes winner on both sides :)

      • OopsyDaisy3

        Thanks, had never looked up his pedigree. Shame on me as it is my
        favorite form of learning about horses. Some have very little in their
        pedigree yet are winners, then to the contrary, other’s are full of successes
        and live up to their expected potential. Linda in Texas

  • Bella

    Love Patch..will be looking for him next year and my cheers will all be for him! Thanks for that wonderful photo above. He is just so special!

    • Minneola

      It seems as if Patch is just about everyone’s favorite. To see a horse that can race well and with only one eye seems astounding. There is another horse that I have followed a bit and, today, he won in race 4 at Del Mar: Tough Sunday. I haven’t heard much about him in the past year or so but, from the reports at that time, this horse was born both deaf and blind. I don’t know whether challenge was resolved but how can a person not admire these horses when they have more to overcome in order to win?

      • caesar17

        Tough Sunday just returned from lay off and won his 1st race back!!! He is no longer deaf or blind, that resolved when he was a baby…

        • Minneola

          Thanks for the info. HRTV did a nice feature about the horse but it never gave us a “part 2” explaining his current condition. Since that time, he’s been in my Virtual Stable; and, I was more than just a bit happy to see the news in this morning’s email: first start for this year and a win! While so much is usually written on the big name horses, it seems a shame that a few more stories couldn’t cover other horses. I would really like to know more about this horse, especially, how he overcame those early challenges. After all, how does one overcome blindness? And, why the long layoff? Tough Sunday needs a story on BH!

          • caesar17

            He has a Facebook page that tells much of his story and how he recovered. It also follows him day to day. Believe he was off for awhile with a stress fracture?? And just returned from that. Definitely a Disney story.


    What a sad picture of Patch. Tongue tipped out and pretty tired looking. Of course, he could not see the camera. Might have perked him up.

    None of this should be taken as criticism of the horse.

  • Ida Lee

    Many of our favorites are coming back for 2018 so that should be fun….I really enjoyed watching these guys ….thanks for the photo of Patch….I was wondering if he would be racing next year…so glad he is …. and then there’s my Irish War Cry….. let’s see what he does at 4 …. should be bigger and more mature since the last time I saw him….I still believe he was one of the best of his crop and has the talent to have a nice career….

  • StrideBig

    I wonder what’s going on with Girvin?


  • SteveD

    There shouldn’t be a 3yo eclipse award this year because no horse deserves it.
    But it will go to West Coast, anyway.

  • rockybudgeboa

    I LOVE Patch

  • TimTamTed

    So good to know Patch is healthy,and will be racing next year ! Looking forward to this courageous colt winning some graded stakes races,in the months ahead.

  • ctgreyhound

    Glad to see so many 3 year olds returning to the track. Why shouldn’t they? So many questions about ability & perseverance. Maturity should settle many scores. Everyone is anxious for Patch’s return. His story resonated with so many; we want him to succeed.

  • Semet Short

    Thank you for the report. Looking forward to seeing Patch race again next year.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram