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Meet the Pre-entrants
It's 24 hours of sporting sensory overload, with the NBA season tipping off last night, Aqueduct opening a six-month stand this afternoon and the World Series starting tonight. For horseplayers, though, the shiniest toy to start playing with is the Breeders' Cup pre-entries, which were released this morning. Full past performances will be on newsstands tomorrow and online here tonight, and if you're still not using Formulator, I can't think of a better time to try it out, given the value of seeing lifetime pp's of these horses and being able to click through to the full results charts of any of their last five races.
Here's version 1.0 of the pre-entries with some bare-bones stats on the entrants. It's pretty self-explanatory except for the HWL column -- this stands for Highest Winning Level, meaning the highest grade of race each horse has won -- maiden (Mdn), allowance (Alw), non-graded stakes (Stk) or graded and group stakes (G1, G2, G3). I'll be revising, resorting and reposting this list between now and next Tuesday, when final entries will be drawn for the Nov. 6 and 7 cards.
Horses are listed alphabetically within each race, with their stats listed in those races for which they were entered with first preference; 37 of the 166 horses were cross-entered in two races. The races are listed in the preliminary order they are scheduled to be run, with six races Friday and eight on Saturday.
For those fellow obsessives who want to make their own spreadsheets and cheat sheets, feel free to use this link to access this Google Doc, which you should then be able to copy: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AlJeMLWyKUIodDNncTB4MERTMV9WMnVDUlA5aG8tMGc&hl=en
And now the list, followed by a mini-leaderboard:
Here are the leaders among the 166 pre-entrants in career earnings, starts and victories:
Zenyatta reminded me of Forego storming down the center of the track like a runaway freight train in the Marlboro Cup---she must have run that last eighth of a mile in 11---what a turn of foot---when shes in gear i wonder what her stride lenght is she covers an amazing amount of ground---those who say she can only run on synthetics--she won on dirt-and my guess is she would have been an awesome turf horse with that high crusing speed and deadly turn of foot--pity she wont be around next year racing needs her---shes one of the special ones that would win running over broken glass
Zenyatta, "Horse of the Year"? Not even close. She has not raced outside California this year let alone on the dirt. Rachel Alexandria was undefeated this year winning eight races at seven racetracks in six states. She beat the boys twice, first in the Haskell, followed by a Woodward victory against older males...No doubt Zenyatta is a great mare. On Saturday though, she beat six horses that had never raced on an all weather surface. The remaining five had a combined twelve wins from twenty-six all weather track starts. When examined closely, the record shows that two of the horses that raced on all weather tracks had eight of those twelve wins. When people say "Zenyatta ran the Greatest Race of All Time", or "She is the Greatest Horse of All Time", or cry out "She is the Horse of the Year" and other similar outbursts reinforces and exemplifies how short sighted the American people are, and how they tend to live in the moment, and forget and overlook facts that are there for all to see, that is if they chose to look…
Steve, It's unfortunate that the BC Preview edition published by DRF did not list Dancing In Silks as a supplemental entry while, after his victory, the article on drf.com focuses on the fact. You must admit that this is an important piece of information for people interested in owner/trainer intentions. It certainly influences my handicapping. Love your work, but very disappointed in such an error in the "paper of record".
Those of us posting "I will not bet because of poly or pro-ride" should not bother. If you don't care why post. And if you don't follow you will never catch on to 'capping horses for courses.
I'll take Neanderthral for 43k Alex! After Life Is Sweet's impressive finish my friend and I locked on Zenyatta for a single! Tiked with Goldie and Conduit allows us to go deeper in other tough races. Caught the Silks going 5 deep and Yorkie going 4 deep with the Euro angle! Furthest Land blew us out but still live on two singles for Cons. Went three singles with 5x4x3, same singles in twos with a second on each then didn't have enough for all so we had to trim some! N E Way if you watched the classic, it was nothing less tha spec! I was almost hoping for an outsider so I could cash some four of fives on a manditory pay day but She was so determined and we cash on 9 - 5 of 6 tix! 43.401.
Grasslover... no offense and none taken, but Rachel beat mediocre males; not these types: http://community.drf.com/files/handicap-stars.pdf You're telling me she would have handled Skip Away? In the post steroid era, Rachel is the defacto Mac Momma, but I'd still like to see her heads up against Summer Bird right now on dirt. Zenyatta (who I will admit I'm partial to) is in over her head in the Classic and as such, there is no "free space" on Friday's Pick 6 or Pick 4. She has put up a 108 on the Pro Ride before and that might be enough to win this year's Classic.
I didn't play the cup races last year and won't this year. The two day format kind of sucks to me (BC day used to be my favorite gambling day of the year). Also, I play synthetics a lot (and actually do fine), but to be quite frank, they really have hurt the sport as, imo, they are partly responsible for the downturn in handle and interest in racing. The big problem with synthetics is consistency. The trackman can make huge changes in them in simply one or two passes over them with their equipment. Sure, dirt surfaces can change throughout the day, but to a much lessor degree. From a handicapping perspective, when you see a track clearly favoring front inside speed for 3 or 4 races, decide to play heavy, only to see the track make a drastic change where wide closers dominate for the remainder of the day, really turns people off (I've also seen the reverse). Maybe if you are at the track and can observe how it is being worked, you can compensate. But hey, this is the day of simulcasting (which w/o, the sport is dead), so all efforts should be made to inform simulcast players of what is occurring. Anyway, good luck to those of you playing the BC races. I would prefer to make my money on the "Hawthorne and Aquduct" races, because as you all know, it spends the same no matter where you make it ("bragging rights" because you picked a BC winner is not why I gamble, and is really a sign of an inadequate something:) Unless you are a whale (which I am not and neither are the overwhelming majority of players) the pool size of the BC races is pretty much irrelavent. My $100 bucks a race limit certainly doesn't do much to the odds at tracks like aqueduct and hawthorne.
Thanks for your objective analysis of the 10 Division Eclipse Award Winners appearing in today's DRF Column....your article displayed an open minded sense of balance and fairness for Horses running and winning a BC Race and for those Horses who will not Run for a variety of reasons. Trying to predict the Winner of Horse of the Year is a complex and difficult issue. My judgment leans toward Summer Bird and Zenyatta if either Wins the Classic! I look forward with great anticipation to the BC Races and the betting opportunities they will provide for the Professional and Casual Racing Fan...
don reed, Your most recent post went too far. OK, the letter thing from MP is bizarro, but the crack about the 2007 BC is ridiculous. It would have been a fabulous day, except for the rain! The damn rain probably ruined the chance of any "smaller" track getting the BC and that is a real pity! It still upsets me that the rain ruined what would have been a great day at the track where I grew up!
"...I don't think the quality of horses she (Rachel) has faced is much better than what Zenyatta has faced..." Jeff, you have got to be kidding!