04/12/2010 5:51PM

Karelian, Sire info, Questions

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He may be the most underrated turf performer in the country, but it's about time we start showing KARELIAN some respect.  The nine-year-old gelding finally nailed down his first Grade 1 win in Friday's Maker's Mark Mile over the Keeneland lawn.  Karelian had come close before at racing's highest level; he was nosed by COURT VISION in last fall's Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland before finishing an even sixth behind GOLDIKOVA in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita. 
The veteran has been handled with care by the excellent trainer Rusty Arnold as he missed almost a year of racing following a dead-heat victory in the Grade 3 River City Handicap going nine furlongs at Churchill Downs on November 22, 2008.  Since then, he's won two of five starts including a game nose victory over champion GIO PONTI in the Tampa Bay Breeders' Cup on February 20. 
In the Maker's Mark, Karelian patiently prompted longshot pacesetter PICTURAL (arguably entered as a "rabbit" for stablemate Court Vision) while two and three wide, took over at will on the far turn, and dug in grimly to turn back favored Court Vision in stakes-record time. 
Karelian has now won 10 of 21 starts, on both dirt and turf, at distances between 1 mile and 1 1/8 miles.  He's a classy old campaigner and deserves watching over the next few months.

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Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's racing action:



Here are the lifetime past performances for last week's top Beyer earner:

Download Custom for Carlos

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Hey Dan,
Love the blog, but it's been a little while since I've posted here. Since the comparisons are inevitable, would you mind posting Bellamy Road's PPs so we can compare with Eskendereya? Maybe we can catch something to suggest things will be different/the same come Derby Day?
Thanks,
Aaron

Aaron, thanks for the kind words.  Here they are:

Download BellamyEskendereya

 

You'll note that BELLAMY ROAD earned the first triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure of his career (as well as a 24-point jump from his previous top) in his Wood Memorial romp.  I'm not a big "bounce" guy, but I could certainly understand if many cycle handicappers were expecting a major regression in the Derby. 

ESKENDEREYA, on the other hand, earned a 90 Beyer at two (Bellamy Road didn't), and has now reached triple-digit Beyers in his last two races (both also at the demanding 9-furlong distance). 

There are certainly differences here.  Bellamy Road's Wood win was a sight to behold, but it was way out of character of his previous performances.  Eskendereya hasn't run a "slow" (sub 90-Beyer) on dirt yet.

What do you guys think of the comparisons?

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...You guys need to review the figures for Santa Anita, because they are not adding up!
Leon

Leon, you may be right.  Steve T., Alan, and several of our other learned posters have done studies showing that the SoCal Beyer Speed Figures may be too low.  If you remember, Andy Beyer, himself, had to adjust many of the numbers last year.  I wonder if we have enough data to assign proper and accurate "par" times for these races.  Synthetics have only been around for a few years now and, with the tinkering of surfaces (especially at Santa Anita), I would think it has been difficult to find enough races to establish "true" pars.  That may be the problem, but it is sheer conjecture on my part.

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Dan, Anyone.
I read a while back how only 2 horses in the last 20-30 years have actually passed horses inside the 1/8th pole to win the Roses. Is this true? Who are the 2 horses?
I believe Mine That Bird and Monarchos were leading at a mile and eighth. Could one be Giacomo?  Thanks
law2

law2, here's what I found since 1980:

*GIACOMO was sixth at the stretch call of the 2005 Derby (about three lengths behind leader CLOSING ARGUMENT). 
*MONARCHOS was second turning for home in 2001, but was only a half-length behind leader CONGAREE.
*CHARISMATIC was second at the stretch call in 1999, but was only a half-length behind leader CAT THIEF.
*GRINDSTONE was fourth in 1996, three lengths behind leader CAVONNIER.
*LIL E. TEE was second in 1992, but only a half-length behind CASUAL LIES.
*STRIKE THE GOLD was second in 1991, but only a head behind SEA CADET.
*ALYSHEBA was second in 1987, but only a length behind BET TWICE.

All of the other Derby winners were in front at the stretch call.  Considering all the hype about the long stretch at Churchill Downs, it is amazing that only two horses in the last 30 years have made up deficits of over a length in the last 30 years. 
I wonder if the mythical "wall of sound" that jockeys and horses supposedly hear when they reach the top of the lane intimidates the late-kickers.  I spoke to Richard Migliore before last year's Derby and he told me that the "wall of sound" is a real issue.  Mig thought he was going to win the whole thing in 2000 with Wheelaway when they turned for home battling for the lead with Fusaichi Pegasus and More Than Ready, but the horse may have shied a bit from the roar of the crowd.

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Could you please help me to compile or locate, lists of the best juvenile turf,the, best mud and slop and best turf sires. The drf used to publish them but I haven't seen them in the last few years. Thank you for your help and your great columns.
don

Hi don,

Here's what I found from our DRF database:

Here were the top sires of 2yos in 2009 by earnings:

1.  OFFLEE WILD
2.  ROMAN RULER
3.  SMART STRIKE
4.  POLLARD'S VISION
5.  CITY ZIP
6.  CUVEE
7.  YES IT'S TRUE
8.  MARIA'S MON
9.  SPEIGHTSTOWN
10. WILDCAT HEIR
11. TAPIT
12. KITTEN'S JOY
13. STORMY ATLANTIC
14. JOHANNESBURG
15. BROKEN VOW
16. STORMIN FEVER
17. RAHY
18. PROUD ACCOLADE
19. DIXIE UNION
20. MALIBU MOON

Top sires of 2yos in 2008 by earnings:

1.  TAPIT
2.  UNBRIDLED'S SONG
3.  SKY MESA
4.  BERNSTEIN
5.  LION HEART
6.  SMART STRIKE
7.  CANDY RIDE
8.  MONTBROOK
9.  MEDAGLIA D'ORO
10. SMOKE GLACKEN
11. GIANT'S CAUSEWAY
12. SPEIGHTSTOWN
13. EXCHANGE RATE
14. MALIBU MOON
15. MORE THAN READY
16. STORMY ATLANTIC
17. CITY ZIP
18. SONGANDAPRAYER
19. STORM CAT
20. CHAPEL ROYAL

Top sires of 2yos in 2007 by earnings:

1.  CHEROKEE RUN
2.  INDIAN CHARLIE
3.  POSSE
4.  HARLAN'S HOLIDAY
5.  PROUD CITIZEN
6.  DISTORTED HUMOR
7.  MALIBU MOON
8.  TALE OF THE CAT
9.  VAN NISTELROOY
10. PULPIT
11. MR. GREELEY
12. MIZZEN MAST
13. DIXIE UNION
14. MACHO UNO
15. WHYWHYWHY
16. FUSAICHI PEGASUS
17. MORE THAN READY
18. EMPIRE MAKER
19. DONERAILE COURT
20. STORM CAT

Top sires of turf horses in 2009 by earnings:

1.  DYNAFORMER
2.  UNUSUAL HEAT
3.  GIANT'S CAUSEWAY
4.  STORMY ATLANTIC
5.  A.P. INDY
6.  TALE OF THE CAT
7.  LEMON DROP KID
8.  CHESTER HOUSE
9.  SMART STRIKE
10. RAHY
11. LANGFUHR
12. ROYAL ANTHEM
13. MIZZEN MAST
14. EL PRADO
15. PULPIT
16. DISTORTED HUMOR
17. ROYAL ACADEMY
18. STORM CAT
19. BELONG TO ME
20. VICTORY GALLOP

Top sires of turf horses in 2008 by earnings:

1.  CHESTER HOUSE
2.  UNUSUAL HEAT
3.  STORMY ATLANTIC
4.  BELONG TO ME
5.  DYNAFORMER
6.  RAHY
7.  GIANT'S CAUSEWAY
8.  SMART STRIKE
9.  GONE WEST
10. LANGFUHR
11. GRAND SLAM
12. LEMON DROP KID
13. TALE OF THE CAT
14. WAR CHANT
15. ROYAL ACADEMY
16. PULPIT
17. EL PRADO
18. STORM CAT
19. MORE THAN READY
20. MARIA'S MON

Top sires of turf horses in 2007 by earnings:

1.  SMART STRIKE
2.  GIANT'S CAUSEWAY
3.  DYNAFORMER
4.  LEMON DROP KID
5.  LANGFUHR
6.  ROYAL ACADEMY
7.  RAHY
8.  STORMY ATLANTIC
9.  THEATRICAL
10. DISTORTED HUMOR
11. LORD AVIE
12. KIPLING
13. STORM CAT
14. UNUSUAL HEAT
15. CHESTER HOUSE
16. WAR CHANT
17. PULPIT
18. SKY CLASSIC
19. CATIENUS
20. EL PRADO

Hope this helps.

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Bo Shizzle,
I cannot remember ANY horse in the Derby being favored at less than 2/1 WITH a full field (which everyone expects this year).  I am not saying it has never happened, but I surely cannot remember it.
Dale

Just for trivia buffs, but you'd have to go all the way back to 1974 and the coupled entry of CANNONADE and JUDGER to find an entrant under 2-1 in a field of 20 or more.  They were sent off the 3-2 favorites in the field of 23 (it must be mentioned that there were only 12 betting interests due to a 10-horse mutuel field and another coupled entry).
Before that, the great WAR ADMIRAL was 8-5 in a field of 20 in the 1937 Derby (only 10 betting interests due to a pair of coupled entries and a nine-horse mutuel field). 
The coupled entry of BURGOO KING and BROTHER JOE went off at 1.84-1 in a field of 20 in the 1932 Derby (only 10 betting interests due to another coupled entry and a nine-horse mutuel field). 
The coupled entry of BLUE LARKSPUR and BAY BEAUTY went off at 1.71-1 in a field of 21 in the 1929 Derby (only 10 betting interests due to a 11-horse mutuel field).
QUATRAIN was 1.95-1 in a 20-horse Derby in 1925 (only 11 betting interests due to two coupled entries and a seven-horse mutuel field)

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HOW DO I POST AN ENTRY INTO YOUR CONTEST?
DAN BUDEN

Welcome, Dan.  To enter the HG contest, just post your plays to the blog before post time.

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And the fact that no horse has won the Wood and Derby since before 1989 (Crist didn't say when exactly) is something I can't necesarily throw all the way out.
(Which brings me to a bone to pick with the DRF: DAN-some tracks in the DRF don't even have an analysis and only the "marquee" tracks have the "closer look" feature. Since at least 3 handicappers are posting picks and I hope they're at least looking at the pps a little bit, how hard would it be to post their thoughts, etc. at the smaller tracks. (If not in the paper version, at least in the on line version) The selection chart in the form is of almost no use to me without reasons to back up the picks.
Dan-
Found out today we claimed a horse by the name of Galloping Gulch. Could you please post his lifetime past performances plesase?
Stephen Taylor

Again, for trivia buffs, other than FUSAICHI PEGASUS in 2000 (Thanks, ThoroGreats), PLEASANT COLONY was the last horse to win both the Wood Memorial and the Kentucky Derby.  That was in 1981. 

The lack of analysis and "Closer Looks" for smaller tracks is more of a space and time issue.  We only have so many handicappers and a full analysis for several tracks would probably be too much for them to do considering their other tasks here at DRF as well as the deadlines that they're under. 

Stephen, here are the past performances for GALLOPING GULCH.  Best of luck with him!

Download Galloping Gulch


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I would have liked to have seen the Apple Blossom live, as advertised, on DRF.com as the ROTD. What happened?
eeebayou

I, too, would have liked to have seen the Apple Blossom on drf.com.  From what I heard, there were technical difficulties.  There's only one word to describe this debacle:

Embarrassing

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And Dan...what about #3 in the 2005 Derby?  D'ya think that horse will ever have a fan club?
Alan

Poor SUN KING.  He already does have a fan club.  It's just me and a couple of other saps, but we still love him!

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Hi Dan!
Would you please post the pps for the 2001 and 2002 Derbys? I have been following the derby since 2001, and I started saving the pps since 2003. Now that I have derby fever, I have been reviewing them...and am dying to look at the two I am missing! I would appreciate it very much. Thanks
Alexis

Hi, Alexis.  Here they are:

Download 2001 Derby

Download 2002 Derby

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109 beyer for the wood,the sa derby was run faster by almost 2 seconds unless im wrong i sa 149.77 to 148.00.could you please explain beyers in a way to make it simple.im a believer in them but am confused at the same timd
hugs

hugs, please click on the following link for more information on Beyer Speed Figures:

http://www.drf.com/products/beyers/beyers.html

Remember that the time of the race is measured against the speed of the track and par time for the class of race.  A 1:49.77 may be faster than a 1:48 if the 1:48 track is faster than usual. 
I would suggest reading any of Andy Beyer's earlier works for an entertaining and informative view on Beyer Speed Figures.

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Dan, last fall I asked you who would be this years Big Brown or Pioneerof The Nile.  A horse that starts their career at 1 and 1/16 miles on turf at Saratoga then goes on to the Derby.  You said Eskendereya.  Freaking awesome! You think there could be something to starting a horse off in turf routes as a 2yo that helpes their Derby chances?
I don't think anyone ever answered my trivia question... Who is the only horse to ever record a Beyer speed figure of 120 or more THREE years in a row?
Captain Bodgit

Even a blind squirrel, Captain Bodgit.  Even a blind squirrel.  I'm not sure that starting a horse off in turf routes gives that horse an advantage as it pertains to the Kentucky Derby.  In the case of BIG BROWN and Eskendereya, while it's possible that their connections felt they were "turf" horses, it's also just as likely that they had no alternative but to run long on the grass.  There are no dirt routes for babies at Saratoga so if you have a horse that you think is a long-winded type, it's turf or out-of-town.

The Beyer horse you're thinking of is KELLY KIP (1997-1999)

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I'm wondering why Informed Decision's DRF pps don't list any workout times?  Typo?  How the heck can someone make an informed decision without workout times (pun intended)?
Joe Private

Joe Private;
Trainer Sheppard (Informed Decision) generally trains his charges at a private facility, hence the lack of published workouts.  This is not at all unusal for him.  I understand that it will be announced at the track that she did put in a 5 furlong workout in around 1:03.  Rest assured this mare has been training, and presumably well, otherwise she would not be entered, in my opinion.
Van Savant

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Of course, Zenyatta does to fields what Tom Fool did.  There's a reason the Apple Blossom field was what it was; and that reason was Zenyatta.
GunBow

GunBow, thanks for mentioning TOM FOOL.  He was my father's favorite horse and had an unbelievable four-year-old campaign in 1953.  He was 10-10 that year and the competition was so afraid of him that he won two match races as well as two races against only two other rivals.  My father always laments the fact that Tom Fool never matched up against the younger NATIVE DANCER (9-10 as a three-year-old of 1953, his only career loss came by a head in the Kentucky Derby). 

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What would she have to do to make the hard core handicapper just say "She's the best there is and we are blessed to have seen her in our lifetime?"
Cgriff

When the dust is settled and ZENYATTA is hopefully nursing her foal while grazing in a lush field, no one will be able to deny her accomplishments.  She will undoubtedly go down in racing history as one of the greatest performers of our generation (if not of any generation). 
While we watch her perform her amazing feats on the racetrack, it is important to dissect her races with precision.  There is a difference between being a fan (I am) and a handicapper (I thought I was until the beginning of this year). 
How could anyone fault her race in the Breeders' Cup Classic?  It was an example of her perfection.  Here's what I wrote after her Classic performance:

Zenyatta answered all questions, save one, with her authoritative late rally in the Breeders' Cup Classic.  The undefeated Amazing Amazon lagged far behind the moderate fractions set by Super Derby winner Regal Ransom, then roared by them like they were standing still in the final eighth of a mile.  She is unquestionably one of the most special specimens we've seen in recent years.  Superstar?  Check.  Undefeated?  Check.  Champion Distaffer?  Check... 

After the Santa Margarita:

Rachel supporters could easily sum up the New Orleans Ladies as a case of "anyone can be beaten on any given day," but that statement holds little water when her great rival, the mighty Zenyatta, has never been defeated. 
After a crowd of 20,315 at The Great Race Place were wowed by the Equine Orchid's typical last-to-first win in Saturday's Santa Margarita Invitational, many found it hard to conceive a situation in which Zenyatta can lose.  She is that dominant in her races
.

After last year's Lady's Secret:

She is the Equine Orchid.  The Toast of the Coast.  The Reflection of Perfection...Perhaps a more appropriate nickname for Zenyatta is Hambone.  The Zenyatta Experience begins in the paddock, continues into the post parade, and doesn't conclude until she is led off the track for her victory bath and victuals.  Like all great performers, she's there to give the people their money's worth, and she has a wonderful habit of putting smiles on the faces of her many fans. 
It starts in the walking ring where the undefeated one paws the ground as if recreating her resume,.  One.  Two.  Three.  Four.  This little piggy is for when I smoked Ginger Punch at Oaklawn.  This is for when I ran past Hystericalady like she was tied to a tree.  This is for when I dominated the Ladies' Classic. 
Once through the tunnel, and onto the racetrack for the post parade, Zenyatta doesn't gallop, jog, or merely walk.  Rhythmically and methodically, she struts as if the Pro-Ride is her personal catwalk.  Knee up...Extend...Repeat.   Heidi Klum couldn' do it any better.
When the gates spring, the huge mare (17.2 hands) is all business.  There is no game plan.  Everyone in the world knows where Zenyatta is going to be when the field hits the clubhouse turn.  Absolutely last.  Then, when the real running begins, here comes the fastball.  Try to hit it.  So far, everyone that has stepped up to the plate against Zenyatta has taken their cuts.  They've all walked back to the dugout scratching their heads.  Every single one...The naysayers ask, "who has she beaten?"  The answer is simple.  She's beaten every horse that's ever faced her.  Most times, she doesn't break a sweat.  Some great horses have been defeated because of bad trips, or physical issues that compromised their performance.  Some, like all athletes, simply had a bad day.  Not Zenyatta.  Not yet.

And on and on and on and none of the above words can even do Zenyatta justice!  I don't think that anyone that is a fan of the sport can disparage Zenyatta's accomplishments.  She's undefeated, for goodness sake!  She literally gave me chills when I saw her up close and personal at the Breeders' Cup. 

As a handicapper and separating oneself from being a fan, it is important to discuss quality of competition, time, trip, etc.  This is a gambling game, after all. 

But when the history books are written, none of that will really matter.  The Big Z is something else.  What else can you say?

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Dan, any idea what Zenyatta's Beyer was?
FunnyCide

She received a 95 for her facile win in Friday's Apple Blossom.

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And I still can't seem to get a answer to a question I have been asking myself for a long time now; When was the last time Todd Pletcher has won a G1 dirt race with a colt going 10F?  NEVER
matt

Incorrect.  Pletcher's record is an abysmal 1-35 ($0.22 ROI) with male runners in Grade 1 dirt races at 10 furlongs over the past five years, but he did win the Travers with Flower Alley in 2005. 


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When did this Blog start?  Did it take a while to build up the readership?  I've been a reader/participant for about three years, so I know it was longer than that.  I know I'm rambling, and I'm sorry.  This has been said many times, but this is by far the best Blog I've ever seen, and I sure hope it stays that way forever.  Thank you for all that you do for us.
blackstone

I am extremely humbled whenever I see the amount of comments from our many intelligent and passionate posters.  This blog has nothing to do with me.  It is a family of folks that love the challenge and the pageantry of horse racing.  FormBlog started in 2006 and it just snowballed into the forum it is right now.  Thank you for the kind words, but all of you deserve the credit.

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But, what do I know? I always thought Dan was a nice guy, too (although he can certainly hold his own in an argument, can't he?)
vicstu

vicstu, I'm a Nova Southeastern guy.  How can I be nice? : )

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And, of course, we have such a fine leader. Dan is, of course, one of those kind, humorous, knowledgable and interesting people.
Annie

Thanks Annie, but you forgot "extremely good-looking."


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HG180
Interesting race, playing the 2 and the 7, they have raced each other closely before, have top beyers that put them at the top of the race, two tihngs that make them a logical exacta.
$100 Straight Exacta-2-7

HG181
For this weeks HandiGambling I am going to choose the eight race on Keenland's Wednesday card.  A nice 5 and 1/2 furlong turf dash...
Mike

Congrats to Mike for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Here are the past performances for this week's race.

Download HG181

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the races, 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.  Prospective entrants may submit their plays to the blog up until post time.  One entry per person please.  I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.

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 processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

Best of luck to all

 

I'll be on double-secret work detail this week, but will do my best to put in a HG entry.

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Bigjc More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the response on the payoffs.Most make sense.Especially the shorter fields and lower base bets.I don't agree that handicappers are any better though. I know I'm not,lol. I wonder if there are any links available that show avg. win/ex/tri payoffs at different tracks over the years.
Steve T. More than 1 year ago
HG-181 $20 Trifectas: 1-4-5, 1-5-4, 4-5-1, 4-1-5, 5-1-4
C. Warner More than 1 year ago
HG 181 $20 EXBX : 1/5 = $40 $20 EX : 5/1-4 = $40 $5 TRI : 5-4-1 , 5-4-2 , 1-5-4 , 1-4-5 =$20 TOTAL = $100 I believe that Spanish Baron tries to steal the race. Evacuation Route has the best turf/sprint form and Affirmatif needs longer.
TonyP More than 1 year ago
changing my original play in hg 181 $50 exbox 4-7
americashorse More than 1 year ago
Vicstu, Do you ever sleep? Or work? Loved the way Super Saver ran on Saturday. He's beginning to remind me of an Any Given Saturday type. That Phipps family bottom half and Maria's Mon on top should get him the distance no problem. Moved forward off his first start, and seemed to get a little tired deep stretch which you would expect from a colt who has raced only once in the past 5 months. Really like his chances come derby day. Think he has the strongest chance of the Pletcher charge. Eskendereya sure looks good but I've never supported the favorite leading up to the derby before, and I've seen others who are just as spectacular leading up to the race who get lost on the turn and aren't heard from again. -americashorse
C More than 1 year ago
jrzingg, Personally, I tend to think no. vicstu, "... we all use BSFs to judge form and speed." Not all of us, lol. "Of course, strip the BSFs away and you see BR won by almost 15 lengths and 17 lengths in his Derby preps." Strip away the BSF and Bellamy Road tied Riva Ridge's track record, so you didn't need BSFs to know his Wood was fast. What the BSFs didn't suggest was that the track was rolled to the point of being a smooth highway that day. Alan, Track condition can also change throughout a single day. Also, I'm not quite getting your "camera" angle. Stephen Taylor, I think I asked about this earlier, so sorry if you responded and I missed it. You, and others, use the (abstract) term "bounce" pretty often and rather freely. There has to be a tangible reason for a clunker after a big race. Why, for example, would SoCal horses be expected to "bounce" in their second race on dirt as a rule? One has to come up with a reason, or at least a theory, if they are to believe this... don't they? Tinky, "a small, muscular type is unlikely to be suited to longer races, etc." I would be even more specific. Bigger horses are said to able to handle the rigors of training better than smaller ones. A large rump is always a good thing, as that is the horse's engine. In car terms, it's like comparing a V-8 to a 4-cylinder. It may also partially explain the theory that most fillies are at an ADVANTAGE when facing colts as juveniles. Females typically develop a bit faster at 2, but the boys, as a whole, catch up shortly thereafter. However, I've always been taught that the big, blocky shoulders and chest are a sign of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are characteristic of sprinters, but are a disadvantage when going long. A smaller chest is better suited for routes, as it is a sign of slow-twitch endurance fibers. What say you about the most ideal dirt/turf physiques? For the heck of it, I'm also curious how far you think Sidney's Candy is likely to go in the Derby, based on this discussion.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
DALE, If you are the guy I want you to know that you, me and Psycho still hold the record as the oldest team to ever win the Alumni Assoc. over- the- line charity tourney by far.
Ted Murawski More than 1 year ago
HG 181 I Like the recency edge of the #1, Affirmatif may develop into a nice horse but I will take 100$ Win on the #1.
Frankie M. @ Toyota in Texas More than 1 year ago
Hg 181- $100 straight ex. 4/9. Hi everyone! Thanks Dan
vicstu More than 1 year ago
Bo Shizzle, My reference to BSF figures were just in reference to the dependence people place on them, and the manner in which some "experts" break down races. In context, of curse. I do not need to see a high BSF number to see that Z is beating everything that is lined up against her. However, if you have read my posts over the past few years, I am no big fan of BSFs (but I do like reading Andy Beyer). As C said, it's not Beyer, its a combo of the turf media and laziness. However, what is good for the goose... Bellamy Rd. and Esky: I notice that many are breaking down the difference between Bellamy Road and Eskenderaya by BSF figs, and not mere racing form. Take the BSFs out of the equation and what you have is Bellamy Road winning his two Derby prep races, one an allowance, and one The Wood, by double digit lengths (almost 12 and 17). That is something that Esky has not done yet. Sure one was an allowance, but many here have already argued the FOY this year was a glorified allowance. If you take the reliance of BSFs out for Zenyatta, take them out for Bellamy Road and Esky as well: What you get is BR and Esky both head into the Derby with back to back blowouts over questionable fields. The only difference is, according to the breakdown, the jump in Beyers. Which is it? Are they a gauge of how fast a race is run or not? If not, than BR and Esky head into the Derby on similar footing. After all, Zito used to always use allowance races as his first Derby prep for his 3 year olds...