11/10/2009 7:12PM

Breeders' Cup by the pace figures

EmailA look at the Breeders’ Cup main-track races from a pace figure perspective. All figs below are on the Moss Pace Figure scale.  Included are pacefigs for this year’s running, par pacefigs associated with that final figure, plus the pacefig lines from last year’s running and the local prep race at Santa Anita, at the same distance when applicable.

The Juvenile Fillies came up a tad faster than par from start to finish, but slower-paced at the first call than the Oak Leaf Stakes (one reason Always a Princess was well-supported) and not as strongly run as last year.
  Juv Fillies ’09 (She B Wild):         58-72-83/88
  Par:                                              55-67-79/88
  Juv Fillies ’08 (Stardom Bound):  69-77-87/90
  Oak Leaf ’09 (Blind Luck):           70-69-79/88

Meanwhile, the Juvenile (Vale of York) had a slow-early, fast-late shape compared to par, compared to last year’s running and especially compared to the Norfolk Stakes. This makes runnerup Lookin At Lucky look even better in hindsight.
   Juvenile ’09 (Vale of York):       52-62-77/89  
   Par:                                           57-67-80/89
   Juvenile ’08 (Midshipman):       55-66-80/89  
   Norfolk ’09 (Lookin at Lucky):    67-70-82/89

Last year, the Filly & Mare Sprint had a swift pace that aided Ventura’s late kick.  Without Indian Blessing to push the pace this year, you could see the handwriting on the wall.  There wasn’t actually a seven-furlong prep at Oak Tree, so I went back to the Santa Monica Jan. 31 for another comparison.
   Filly & Mare Sprint ’09 (Informed Decision):  70-81-92/94 
   Par:                                                                76-84-93/94
   Filly & Mare Sprint ’08 (Ventura):                   79-89-94/95
   Santa Monica ’09 (Ventura):                          68-79-90/92

The 2008 Sprint, won by Midnight Lute, was also faster-paced - at least at the quarter-mile call - than this year’s running, which stayed close to par.
   Sprint ’09 (Dancing in Silks): 84-91/95
   Par:                                        84-89/95
   Sprint ’08 (Midnight Lute):     91-91-97
   Ancient Title ’09 (Gayego):    87-88/93

The Dirt Mile was slow-early, fast-late.  Albertus Maximus last year won a race that was fast-early, slow-late.
    Dirt Mile ’09 (Furthest Land):     56-72-86/95
    Par:                                             63-74-86/95
    Dirt Mile ’08 (Albertus Maximus): 75-82-90/93

Need any further evidence that Careless Jewel was a runaway train Saturday?  No wonder Life Is Sweet looked so strong with her 107 Beyer.  That race, plus Zenyatta’s victory in the Classic with a 112 Beyer, demonstrates just how much the crawling pace in recent filly-and-mare preps in Southern California was affecting the final figures.
   Ladies Classic ’09 (Life Is Sweet):             66-88-95-94/95
   Par:                                                            58-68-82-93/95
   Ladies Classic ’08 (Zenyatta):                    55-62-80-90/94
   Lady’s Secret ’09 (Zenyatta at 1 1/16m):   39-56-77-xx/92

 And Zenyatta’s mad dash through the stretch in the Classic came after a pace that was not substantially quicker than the 2008 running.
   Classic ’09 (Zenyatta):             52-63-77-89/97
   Par:                                          56-66-81-91/97
   Classic ’08 (Raven’s Pass):     53-61-73-87/96
   Santa Anita Hcp ’09 (Einstein): 46-61-72-86/94