09/05/2010 3:47PM

Arlington: Era of the false pace


If I never see another opening quarter-mile split in 25 seconds and change, it will be too soon. What blows my mind is how many times everyone takes back in these Polytrack races at Arlington and the horses in hand well behind the standard-issue AP false pace have no chance. Yes, there are certain Poly-specialists who can rally successfully into a slow pace, but there may be just as many horses who handle the stuff well enough to take advantage of being on or just off slow fractions. What prompts this rant (other than my current Arlington selecting haplessness) was the 25.79-second opening quarter-mile through which Hurta clearly led in race 4. No one wanted to keep the front-runner in range at this pace? Really? No surprise Hurta pounded this field of $10K claimers. He ran the second turn well, and then its a hop, skip and jump to the sixteenth pole finish line. Game over.

Vicary Rose, a 9-1 shot, led all the way in race 2, a $10K maiden-claimer. It has not been a bad thing to stick close to the lead on Polytrack this week.