08/19/2007 7:43PM

M.P.H. Madness


The only thing goofier than the results of some of the Grade 1 races being run on not-ready-for-primetime Polytrack these days was ESPN's use of a "miles per hour" Trakus statistic on the leaders during its Sunday telecast of the Pacific Classic and Del Mar Mile Handicap.

For a portion of each race, the odds display disappeared from the chiclets showing the running order, replaced by an ever-changing readout of how fast each horse was supposedly running. What possible interest or purpose was served by showing that horses were (allegedly) changing from travelling 35.4 mph to 38.2 mph and back to 36.8 mph in the course of two strides? It just looked like the work of a demented child playing with a new toy he didn't understand. It would have been far more informative to use Trakus's capability of showing the running order of the entire field, rather than giving completely useless info about the four leaders.

Kudos to commenter Bochall and others who liked Student Council ($48.80) in the Pacific Classic, and to owner Ro Parra, who bought him from Will Farish earlier this month on the advice of Thoro-Graph's Jerry Brown. The 5-year-old by Kingmambo, a disappointment on dirt, grass AND Polytrack in 20 previous starts back east, clearly took to a new kind of California racing where a Grade 1 race at 1 1/4 miles is run in 2:07.29.

In case you were wondering, though you probably weren't, that works out to 35.35 miles per hour.