When the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic was over, it looked like Collected was poised to be the King of the Mountain in 2018. Gun Runner was set to retire after one more race. West Coast had the look of a major force in the handicap division, but Collected had simply outrun him in the Breeders’ Cup. And there just wasn’t much else standing in the way of Collected it appeared. I think if you had told people that Collected would race four times after his 2017 Pacific Classic win and wouldn’t register another victory in either start, most people would not have believed you. But that’s where we sit with Collected.
Like a sucker, I bought the excuse that he just didn’t break well in the San Antonio and I then made him a big part of my wagers in the Pegasus. Big mistake. And then off the long layoff, he ran a dud at Parx. But now we get word that Bob Baffert absolutely loved his last workout, and that Collected is back to his old self. So what do we do with that? With West Cost and McKinzie also set to break form the Classic gate for Baffert, would buffer run him here if he didn’t truly think he could be a factor? Wouldn’t the Dirt Mile be a logical spot for Collected with so much other firepower coming from the same barn? Personally, I’d rally rather Collected not be in the race at all. At his best, he’s a major win candidate and maybe even the most likely winner IF (and that’s a big if) you believe he’s past all the issues and ready to fire. But if you believe he just isn’t the same horse he was a year ago, then he’s an easy toss, right?
Let’s see what the clocker reports have to say, but for now, it seems unlikely I’ll make the same mistake I did when betting the Pegasus and include Collected in my big wagers. Too many questions.