05/27/2008 2:54PM

Moral Victory


They don't pay off on moral victories, but Commentator could not have been more gallant in defeat than he was while finishing second to Divine Park in the Met Mile Monday.

After being pushed by First Defence to run very strong fractions (22.48, 44.52) on a tiring track, Commentator appeared cooked in upper stretch when First Defence ranged up on his outside and began to go past him. The old boy rose to the challenge, however, digging back in and regaining the lead, refusing to let First Defence go by him and crushing his bid. He reopened some daylight and looked like he might gut it out, but then along came a fresh Divine Park to go past him.

The extremely strong pace and dull surface led to a slow final time of 1:36.91 and very slow final quarter of 27.30 off a pace of 1:09.61. There were only four dirt races at Belmont Monday, three of them at a mile, but it was nearly four hours between the Met and the previous one-mile races. The final times of the three mile races are very hard to fit together because the first two were slow-paced events, but they make a little more sense if you look at both the six-furlong splits and the final times:

Race 2 (maiden claimers): 1:12.84/1:40.19
Race 3 (statebred Alw N1x): 1:11.77/1:37.43
Race 10 (Metropolitan H.): 1:09.61/1:36.91

Think of it this way: While the final time of the statebred N1x was only three lengths (5-6 Beyer points at a mile) slower than the Met, it was 13 lengths slower (33-34 Beyer points at six furlongs) slower to the six-furlong call.

Commentator now will be pointed for the Whitney and a possible date with Curlin while Divine Park -- who has now won the Withers, Westchester and Met, all one-turn miles -- looks like a strong Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile candidate.

I had singled Commentator on a small pick-six play that died one leg earlier Monday. The $238k double-carry drew a hearty $1,028,157 in new money, producing a $45,376 6-of-6 payoff that feels a little high for a $12.40/$12.20/$8.60/$10.60/$6.40/$12.40 sequence. On the other hand, the parlay works out to a suprisingly high $34,201, and all six favorites lost.

Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Mike, Excellent post!
jeff More than 1 year ago
Want to see what kind of people are behind Big Brown? Click the link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601170&refer=home&sid=aGle6KcO9IJ0#
AndyScoggin More than 1 year ago
It still amazes me that people feel Big Brown is a sure thing. You better really think about whether he will even run in the race!!! If he does run, he has to go a mile and a half with a quarter crack!
BPM More than 1 year ago
Re Big Brown, IEAH, etc...have there ever been connections as distasteful as IEAH and Dutrow? To say they have a shady past doesn't even tell half the story. Plus, I am not yet convinced that the public knows all there is to know about Iavarone and IEAH, particularly concerning their role, if any, in the A One Rocket milkshaking. While I bet against both Funny Cide and Smarty Jones, I was rooting for the horses as a racing fan and because their connections were good people. Unfortunately, when the time has now come to actually believe that there is a triple crown winner in the offing, some of the most distasteful people are involved. Oh well.
Chicago Steve More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve. What adjustment,if any, do you make when the takeout is hiked one percent? Are there any stats that can prove to the "pols" that the reduced takeout increased revenue? Thanks.
Mike More than 1 year ago
C: What was harsh about your posting? I just think you're misguided, and I want you to apply some of that advanced math to racing, not just your vocation. How did I calculate the pace figure? First, I paid $4 to pull down the Beyer from DRF.com. Once I had the Beyer, I opened up my well worn copy of "Beyer on Speed" and turned to the one-turn speed ratings (raw Beyers) table. From that table, I calculated the variant for the race. At that point, I turned back to the chapter on the "Mathematics of Pace," which contains a handy table listing raw Beyers for half times. I found DP's half time and applied the variant. Steve and others might object to this calcualtion on a number of grounds: (1) pace figures are more useful in shorter races, (2) my method applied the final Beyer variant and not a specific pace figure variant (meaning a head-on wind down the back stretch could totally compromise this approach), (3) I used pars for a generic racetrack, not pars specific to Belmont (but I was comparing his pace fig in the Met to his pace fig in the Weschester, so this point is moot). Why calculate the pace fig? Because pace makes the race. A horse that typically runs 90 Beyers accompanied by 50 pace figs will usually lose to a horse that runs 85 Beyers and 70 pace figs. In 7 furlong races or less, I would go so far as to suggest that the two figs (final Beyer and pace) be added together (comparing the sum for each horse; but use Moss pace figs if the horses have come in from various tracks, not my approach). In any case, I claim horses and I've haven't claimed one in five yrs without first adding his/her pace fig to final Beyer (I only claim sprinters that possess speed). And it's worked out well over time.
Tim More than 1 year ago
Hey jeff: Thanks for sharing the link. These Big Brown guys arent exactly a great rooting story, are they? None of whats in the article surprises me. I want to see a Triple crown winner as bad as anybody but I just wish it would have had a better story behind it. Somebody genuine you could want to root for. Sorry, I just cant. Problem is theres not a chance this horse can lose the Belmont unless something goes bad and I dont want to see that. Crown this horse the king. Its not his fault hes owned by this guy.
Florida-Larry More than 1 year ago
Michael Iavarone (with newly reported suspicious past), Rick Dutrow (with reported suspicious past in & out of racing),Paul Pompa and Big Brown (a super horse on steroids) make for an interesting convergence. There has to be a 'story' underneath this meld ...
Angus Buck More than 1 year ago
Sorry folks, Big Brown could run on three legs backwards and still beat the crew he is expected to face in the Bel. Just try to find some value on Belmont day in your pic3's(now doubles),pic4's (now pic3's) and the one day only pick5.
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Flipper_Dawson: Your superfecta numerology reminds me of a guy who used to tell me to forget the Form and play my DD based on the number of buttons on the pajamas of the guy running the Chinese laundry in a NY Daily News comic strip. He was serious. I'm thinking your half kidding, no?