06/10/2009 3:18PM

Belmont bias?


Dan, Mike Watchmaker says there was a bias at Belmont om Belmont Day, do you agree?

Many handicappers believe there was a strong inside bias that compromised the chances of wide ralliers on Belmont Stakes day.  While the inside two paths seemed like the places to be, I'm not completely convinced that the bias was as powerful as it is being made out to be.  Let's look at the results of the nine main track races:

Race 1:  Inger Management (2-1 odds)
Race 2:  Just Ben (5-2 odds)
Race 3:  Convocation (11-10 odds)
Race 6:  Fabulous Strike (9-10 odds)
Race 8:  Munnings (7-2 odds)
Race 9:  Gabby's Golden Gal (13-1 odds)
Race 11:  Summer Bird (11-1 odds)
Race 12:  Brave Soul (10-1 odds)
Race 13:  Wanda's Double (4-1 odds)

The first five results weren't shocking at all.  All were logical horses, and not the surprises that one would normally associate with a biased track.  Some analysts will point to Gabby's Golden Gal's rail-skimming, gate-to-wire upset in the Acorn as evidence of a bias, but I'm not so sure.  The Acorn featured a couple of fillies that had missed significant time leading up to the race.  Justwhistledixie had been compromised by a foot problem.  Livin Lovin was returning from surgery.  Funny Moon simply gave a perplexing performance, and the other runners either just aren't very good, or had been exposed at this level. 
While Summer Bird's win shocked some, most would say that he was the fourth of four logical contenders in the Belmont Stakes.  The way the race set up with pace and trip, Summer Bird was the horse to capitalize, and he did.  He also got off the supposed golden rail on the turn to commence a wide rally on the final turn.
Brave Soul's win at 10-1 in the race following the Belmont didn't exactly point to an inside bias.  While he did run in the two path for the first three and one-half furlongs, he angled to the three and four path turning for home, and still ran strongly to the wire.
So, was the track very fast at Belmont on Saturday?  Yes, it was.  Was the inside the place to be?  Yes, but I don't think the bias was as severe as many think.


Dan! I read on a blog at The Bloodhorse Summer Bird had added toe grabs for the Belmont. I thought that toe grabs were outlawed last year, any help?

Toe grabs are banned in California as well as the tracks operated by Churchill Downs, Incorporated.  NYRA banned toe grabs on front shoes last October.  Summer Bird wore toe grabs on his rear shoes.  Here's a link to a 2007 study on toe grabs from The Jockey Club.  Feel free to make your own conclusions:


Haven't heard from Tedmur for a HandiGambling race so our official scorekeeper, cayman, has chosen the eighth race at Belmont on Thursday. 

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."   Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but let's remember why we began the HandiGambling races in the first place.  The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses, and why we're betting them the way we are.  I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought process about wagering, it would be appreciated.

Here are the past performances:

Download HandiGambling 137


Hello all, no posts for a while, had to put down my blackberry for a while or risk sleeping on the couch. A few thoughts about the weekend.  First off we should all be thankful that we made it through the crown without a Barbaro or Eight Belles situation, its great to make some new fans instead of lose them, I think we can all agree that we want this sport bigger and better and I thinks this years TC was a step in the right direction.

The racing industry breathed a sigh of relief when there weren't any fatal breakdowns during the Triple Crown series, but the trail left many, many casualties.  Both Godolphin entrants in the Kentucky Derby, Desert Party and Regal Ransom, are injured.  Friesan Fire suffered a stress fracture in his left front leg and and a non-displaced fracture to his right front fetlock.  General Quarters just had surgery on his right knee.  I Want Revenge has ligament damage. Midshipman, the 2008 2-year-old champion, has a soft tissue injury. Patena had ankle surgery.  Quality Road suffered from quarter cracks.  Saratoga Sinner, the winner of the Holy Bull at Gulfstream, had knee surgery.  Square Eddie's cannon bone kept flaring up.  Add The Pamplemousse, Theregoesjojo, Win Willy, and now Dunkirk as other three-year-olds on the disabled list, and we have a startling number of injuries to our better three-year-old males.  The fragility of the modern thoroughbred continues to be exposed due to lax medication policies as well as breeding for speed instead of stamina and soundness.


Hi Dan,
Can you post the lifetime pp's of the great Alydar!, I'm not sure, but I think he was 5 th in his debut to Affirmed.
Thank you so much!

Here they are:

Download Alydar


Back tomorrow with HG.