04/16/2008 4:35PM

Northern Dancer, Pulpit, other 'figs'

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Can't believe in between all of the talk about El Corridor, Cherokee Run and Boundary no one has discussed Pyro's distance challenged sire.
svhill

Let's take a look at the lifetime past performances of all of Pulpit's winners at ten furlongs or longer:

Download PulpitProgeny.pdf

I wouldn't call Pulpit distance challenged.  He was lightly-raced, yet still won at nine furlongs, and he has sired more 10 furlong + winners than both Cherokee Run and Boundary.

Plus, it seems like his progeny love the jumps!

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To All,
I'm looking at what people (either among us at FormBlog or outside of here) consider measures of successful handicapping.  Is a measure of "successful handicapping" having a certain percentage of winners, a certain ROI (and for what wagers?), or something else entirely?I ask because I'm looking for a way to organize and quantify my results.  To summarize, my question is not "What makes a good handicapper?" but "what is a measurement of good handicapping?"
pGM

If you're playing the game as more than just a hobby, then the bottom line is profit.  It doesn't matter the kind of bets (multi-races, exotics, straight win).  You're a good handicapper if, at the end of the day, you turn the past performances into cash. 
I'd rather win 10% of the time with a positive ROI than 30% of the time and be down money.

Now, if you're playing the races as a fun hobby, then picking winners is a great ego boost as it's very sastisfying to solve the hieroglyphics of the form.  Plus, it's a good way to impress your friends when you spend a Saturday at the track.

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I have an idea on how we can deal with the explosion of "legal" drugs - specifically Lasix and Butazolidin. What if we did a "reverse condition" - that is if you run on Lasix you carry an additional 5 lbs and if you use Bute, add another 5 lbs. So a horse running on both carries 10 extra pounds. It would have to be implemented nationwide, but if you wanted to run your MSW in a 121 carry weight, you would have them out there at 131. What do you think?
Steve T

I think it's an interesting idea, and one that the jockeys certainly would love.  Plus, I bet you wouldn't hear trainers complaining about weight assignments anymore.  I wonder if the breed is too far gone with all the medication.  Is it possible that after years and years of breeding medicated runners to each other that our horses can barely stand up without some sort of drugs coursing through their veins?

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Hey Dan
Did you check out Z Fortune's gallop out in the ark drby?  Looks like he may relish more ground.  What do you think?
Mark

Wow!  Some of our posters have given the gallop-out a bad name over the past few days.  I think it has its place as a handicapping tool along with speed figures, and trip and pace handicapping, and pedigree analysis, and all the other good stuff we look at when attempting to ferret out a winner.  Z Fortune galloped out nicely, but I thought Gayego also galloped out well.  Will I upgrade these horses due to this gallop-out?  Probably not. 
I like to watch inexperienced maidens gallop out after their races.  Sometimes, they are very green during the running of the race, but will show a good deal of energy in the gallop-out.  In my opinion, that's a sign that the young horse has some talent, and they often do better with that experience under their belt.

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Dan,
Could you also post Adriano's past performances?  Sorry for the double dip man, I'm cheap.Adriano is interesting to me.  I loved his Turfway race, it wasn't the greatest field ever assembled and Medjool (another Monarchos!!!) and Halo's Najib didn't flatter it by doing nothing in the BG, but I loved the way that colt powered home.I am inclined to throw out all results from GP this winter except turf races so I'll excuse his fountain of youth flop.  it just seems like horses that did well there are flopping and horses that didn't do well there are excelling.  That track is always strange, but this year seemed worse than usual.I trust Motion and my curiousity is peaked further by him skipping the Lexington and going straight to derby, and it was real interesting to me that Prado was up for Adriano's last work at CD.  He has to choose between Monba and Adriano, if he chooses Adriano, I'll be even more interested.Dan curious as to your thoughts and others on this mystery horse.
Jason G

Here are Adriano's past performances:

Download Adriano.pdf

Adriano has a beautiful way of going, and is certainly in the right hands leading up to the Derby.  The obvious question is whether or not he's a turf/synthetic horse that will be sorely tested on the real stuff.  I don't think his defeat in the Fountain of Youth had anything to do with his terrible post position.  If you watch the race closely, Eddie Castro was able to save some ground going into the first turn, and Adriano simply didn't have any run when called upon late on the backstretch. 
He does seem to have the right running style for this Derby, and the pace should be to his liking.  Plus, he's bred to run all day.  He's by A.P. Indy, and his second dam is the Theatrical mare Golden Treat (won Santa Anita Oaks, and is half-sister to Bet Twice). 
At a big price, he may be worth a play  I'm not saying I love him, but I'm not saying I love anyone this year.

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Dan,
I was wondering if you could post (or know where I can get) results from past Derby day Pick 4s.  I'm getting a syndicate together and it would be nice to have some historical info. 
Thanks
Brian

Here are the Pick Four payouts for the last few years:

2007 (Street Sense) - $4,783.40 (odds of winners were 9-2 ,7-1 ,8-1, 9-2) ($2 payout)
2006 (Barbaro) - $1,534.80   (odds of winners were 5-1, 4-1, 7-2, 6-1) ($2 payout)
2005 (Giacomo) - $164,168.60 (odds of winners were 5-1, 10-1, 17-1, 50-1) ($1 payout)
2004 (Smarty Jones) - $38,594.20 (odds of winners were 19-1, 5-1, 9-2, 4-1) ($2 payout)
2003 (Funny Cide) - $7,017.50 (odds of winners were 2-1, 4-5, 24-1, 12-1) ($1 payout)

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Also, last year on this blog, I believe you tracked pre-Derby workouts. It looks like this year that will play a huge role again. Can you repost what you posted last Derby?
jbecks

From the 5/1/07 Blog:

Here are the final workouts for the last 11 Derby winners (no workout information available for Thunder Gulch, Go for Gin, and Sea Hero).

2006:  Barbaro - (seven days out, Churchill Downs) 4f - 46.00 b (1/69)
2005:  Giacomo - (six days out, Hollywood Park) 6f - 1:11.80 h (1/17)
2004:  Smarty Jones (seven days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 58 b (1/34)
2003:  Funny Cide (four days out, Belmont Park) 5f - 58.43 b (1/24)
2002:  War Emblem (four days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 1:00.40 b (7/34)
2001:  Monarchos (four days out, Churchill Downs) 4f - 48.80 b (6/26)
2000:  Fusaichi Pegasus (six days out, Churchill Downs) 6f - 1:14.60 b (3/6)
1999:  Charismatic (five days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 1:02.80 b (12/27)
1998:  Real Quiet (four days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 59.20 h (1/29)
1997:  Silver Charm (five days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 1:00.60 h (1/34)
1996:  Grindstone (five days out, Churchill Downs) 6f - 1:14 b (1/13)

So, is Jones crazy, or are we being slow to realize a trend?  Seven of the last 11 Derby winners had a bullet workout immediately before the Derby. 

Street Sense worked 5f - 1:01.00 b (5/22) at Churchill four days before the 2007 Derby.

So, we have seven of the last 12 Derby winners with bullet workouts immediately before the Derby.

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Quick question. What year did NYRA begin allowing horses to race on medication such as Lasix, (legally)?
rcarce

New York became the last state to allow Lasix use...in 1995.

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We've talked a ton about synthetic Beyers, and if they're legit or not.  I say we look at speed the old-fashioned way...for now.  Here are the old-time DRF speed ratings (+ variant) for some of the Derby preps:

Recapturetheglory - 119 (Illinois Derby)
Eight Belles - 110  (Fantasy)
Big Brown - 109 (Florida Derby)
Gayego - 106 (Arkansas Derby)
Big Truck - 104 (Tampa Bay Derby)
Colonel John - 104 (Santa Anita Derby)
Cool Coal Man - 104 (Fountain of Youth)
Z Fortune - 104 (Lecomte)
Cowboy Cal - 103 (Tropical Park Derby - Turf)
Salute the Sarge - 103 (San Miguel)
Adriano - 101 (Lane's End)
Monba - 101 (Blue Grass)
Visionaire - 100 (Gotham)
Tale of Ekati - 99 (Wood Memorial)
Pyro - 97 (Louisiana Derby)
Smooth Air - 97 (Hutcheson)

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Have some more questions to answer, but they're going to have to wait until Thursday or Friday evening (depending on when I can get my laptop up and going in the Hotel).  I'm looking forward to seeing FormBloggers at Keeneland on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and will update the rest of you on my progress (i.e. losing bets) during the evenings.

Take it easy,

Dan

johhnyz More than 1 year ago
So we have a hack amongnst us. Even though you have messed with 2 of my computers, I have a third and, a back-up. Listen SMUCK-FACE, in the state I live in spyware is legal, messing with someone's Ipo address and, or content is not, it is a class C Felony. You can correct what you have done and, stop pronto or I will by tomorrow P.M. not only know who you are, where you live but, also probably will know the color of your hair and, eyes. While my political involvement is a pain in the rear sometimes it also has its perks; such as being personal friends with the Attorney General, and the Director of the FBI in the State of Kansas. You might think you are being cute and, have a smile on your face now but, when your dumb ass has to fly to the state of Kansas for a court date I bet the grin is gone. Correct what you have done and, stop it or I PROMISE YOU THAT YOU WILL REGRET IT!!! Calibob, thanks for all the great photos. While I love the betting aspect of this game, it is really the horse that I love. Steve T., I am sure sometime in the last year you have read a post about my grandad, and great uncle Frank bred, raised, and sold Belgium Draft Horses, and Clysdales. They were always happy when a yearling had broad shoulders, as that meant he or she would be a good puller. For them it meant more bucks. I have no idea how this relates to Thorough-Breds, but your theory makes sense to me. Sripa1212, good luck on Saturday. I am really pulling for Tomcito to make the big Dance, as he will be an unknown commidity to the general public. Great chance for some of us to make some big bucks! I love super workouts before a major race. In 2005, Stevie Wonderboy if I remember correctly worked 4F in 46 & change the week before the Breeders Cup Juv. Went off at 10-1 or alittle higher. I made a ton. I sharp workout to me means a horse is on his toes and, wants to go. This is my top Derby 12, I won't post anything different untill I see post positions. Have spent considerable time on charts and, watching replays the last few days. #1 (3) Big Brown, History says he can't win. In my view is way the fastest and, most talented 3 yr old. Does that mean he will win? No, but he does deserve the respect to be ranked #1 at this time. #2 (1) Colonel John, This Tiznow colt, out of a Turkoman mare has everthing in his favor. I don't feel the syn. will be a problem. Actually think he will be better on CD's dirt. #3 (8) Court Vision, Has the pedigree, the connections, has won @CD, has already showed a tough mental side that is so important in the 20 horse Derby field. Has Gomez aboard, and a lights out workout today! #4 (nr) Adriano, one of the better 10F pedigree's among contenders. Also Prado picking this one-you better pay attention. #5 (nr) Eight Belles, what the heck. The preps have not meant much this year IMO. Why not stick your neck out. I really feel unless she has somewhat of a chance to win the Derby, L. Jones will talk Mr. Porter to running her in the Oaks. #6 (nr) Monba, This one will cherish 10F. Also looked very well conditioned in the Blue Grass. Also, Pletcher is due. #7 (nr) Z Fortune, ran a very good race in the Ark. Derby. With a good trip would have been the winner. Have to consider the OP impact in the TC series the last few years. #8 (7) Tomicito, I know this one can get the 10F. I feel this is the #1 hndcp angle for this years Derby, as there are several that will be done at the 9F mark or before! #9 (nr) Gayego, was impressive in his Ark Derby Win. Imo, really sheds a light on the talent of CJ, Bob Black Jack. Again, you can't discount the OP factor, after the last few years. #10 (6) Smooth Air, will use this one in some way. Is a steady horse and, think he being trained properly to run a good one. #11 (2) Pyro, really don't know what to think of this one at this point. The Blue Grass was really a stinker. I think Asumessen is a top notch trainer. If his ship can be righted in two weeks he may be a contender. #12 (nr) Bob Black Jack, this ranking comes from video study. This is a really good horse. Can he get 10F? Probably not, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Is really a talented horse. Mark it down, if he doesn't shine in the Derby, he will be a superstar somewhere down the road! Best of Luck To All!
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Some corrections =(operating from memory) Atoned finished 4th in his start rather than 5th Adriano has won over two surfaces, but I don't believe he has won yet on the dirt I don't believe Giacomo won his late February to Mid March race but closed very well to be second Thanks/
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
Larryk, I could not find anything to like about Boss lafitte and he cost me the pick4.How fare did you go back? grand sire?
larryk More than 1 year ago
Cayman01, I gave out the dbl with St Joe and Boss Laffite on opening day at Kland. I went to St Joe because of syn. and connections:Silverton/DarrinMiller is a strong angle. And I liked the Boss for his breeding and chance to improve. IMO sometimes handicappers only look at recent form(more the public, casual player)when if they went back to further they would've uncovered his liking for the surface and whom he raced against.
Sun G More than 1 year ago
Looks like Steve Haskin thought that Larry Jones' mile lung-opener at Keeneland last year for Hard Spun, followed by that one's 5 furlong eye-opener in 57 and change at CD was just the ticket to first put bottom in the colt, then to put the speedy HS on his toes. Haskin believes this was key to HS almost winning the Derby on the front end. In essence, he is backing up everything vicstu has said about what signaled to him that HS was going to run huge last year. I also can recall the jockey of Risen Star and the trainer of General Assembly, two horses who ran "too fast" breezes before the Belmont and Derby respectively both contacting Jones before the Derby. And both told him to ignore the pundits, they did not know what they were talking about, and HS was sitting on a huge race. And he was... Here is a part of the Haskin Q and A on Bloodhorse.com. The question was what is the best way to get a horse ready to run the rigors of the Kentucky Derby, and what trainer is the best at it? A. "Barclay Tagg and John Servis certainly didn’t train conservatively when they won. You need to give a horse a stiff work before the Derby, and so far, these easy half-mile and five-furlong breezes aren’t getting it done. We’ll see if that changes. It was Larry Jones giving Hard Spun a tough mile drill over Polytrack at Keeneland and then a :57 3/5 eye-opener at Churchill that got the colt to run as well as he did. I’m not talking about working 6 furlongs in 1:09 a week before the race, like Old Trieste did. I’m talking about a good solid work that they do on their own without any urging." I, for one, will be watching which trainers are serious about their horse training well leading up to the Derby, and note that Stutts has Smooth Air doing mile lung-openers, an old fashioned way of running similarly paced furlongs over a mile breeze to build stamina. Big Brown recently fired a bullet as well. We already know the CV and ZH are training harder than they were last month, and that Tomcito fired a bullet 4 furlong breeze the other day from Keeneland. Yet one more angle to explore. I should note that to be "good" the work does not have to be lightning fast, but the horse should have gotten something out of it and on his or her toes afterwards.
svhill More than 1 year ago
van savaant, larryk, I agree with you about Hard Spun, he seemed to be getting better with age (and he was a May foal) as was Curlin. He had tons of heart and I have missed him and SS (and AGS) since they have retired to stud. At least we have Curlin, but will he even be pressed this year? Last year C used to say that vicstu and myself should be the co-Presidents of the Hard Spun fan club. I liked a ton of other horses, but to me HS was old school, a throwback, versatile, ran every furlong, hardy and sound as they come (do you hear that Danzig bashers?). I predict he is going to make one heck of a sire. I would love to see a Hard Spun-Rags to Riches colt or filly hit the track...talk about class, speed and bottom (and heart). Blue Horseshoe, You say tomato, I say tomatoe! I get alot out of your posts but am going to disagree about Curlin's breeze before the Derby...thought it was ill advised and too slow. I wish I would have paid more attention to it at the time, but Asmussen normally works his charges nice and easy. Curlin's fractions in that breeze might have suited the colt if he were running on turf, but it was wrong in the case of such a lightly run colt in the Derby. Curlin was in the 2 hole, and Asmussen knew there was a chance of a adverse draw. Curlin needed to be put on his feet and Asmussen should have worked him at the gate and worked him fast. That way, Curlin possibly could have avoided being shuffled back and outrun the the rail and to the first turn by 3/4 of the runners. Curlin was visably shaken going into the 1st turn, and Albarado later confirmed Curlin was overwhelmed by the intensity and the speed at that point. It was a testament to the heart and talent of Curlin that he came running late at the end. But he was well behind Street Sense and HS. The Derby is unique, 20 horses and it is a mad rush to the 1st turn that will grind a good horse up and spit him out if they get caught in the middle of it like Curlin did. Street Sense's work, on the other hand, was pretty much consistent with how they wanted to run the colt in the Derby. Slow and at the back of the pack early, increasing speed later on after relaxing. Curlin was just too green to benefit from such a scenario. Hard Spun, on the other hand, had his fast breeze for the sole purpose of securing the lead and holding it. HS was in company (a sprinter filly from his barn), and HS had already been given a lung opener at Keeneland with Jones on top for 1 mile. The Cowboy goes 6 feet and about a buck-eighty or eighty five. That would have put some bottom and opened the lungs up on Secretariat. I remember some yahoos carrying on after HS had his lung opener at Keeneland saying he was breathing heavy and ran slowly. Dopes. With Jones up top breezing at 1 mile on that surface, only a machine would not have been breathing heavy or working fast. One more thing, while I respect your angle and rationale, it is rare, IMO, for a trainer to use a 5 furlong breeze as a lung opener. Usually a good grade 1 or 2 horse needs between 7 to 8 panels to really serve as a "lung opener". IMO. Starting slowly and finishing fastly doesn't do much as far as conditioning, either. It certainly does not put any bottom in a colt (the colt is only running hard for 3 or 4 furlongs at best-and one is the gallop out). However, working a horse for 1 mile at evenly paced fractions all the way around the track will do wonders for a horse's bottom ( see Smooth Air's last 2 works). To me, all the SS's workout showed me last year was that he was ready to repeat his Breeder's Cup Juv. run. And Curlin's workout should have alerted me he was ready to get shuffled back with too much to do in the Derby. But I, like many, was caught up in the hype. Tactical speed and stamina rule on Derby day, baby! Good luck to eveyone who is connected with any horse running this weekend. And I agree that El Gato Malo and Bob Black Jack belong in the Derby over at least 4-5 horses who have not done squat as 3 year olds. Connections really screwed up, but hopefully at least 1 will get in. Am enjoying Col. John's workouts on video. He is a specimen.
Laura More than 1 year ago
Steve T, I think my old timer Uncle mentioned a similar theory to your grandfather's. The concept is actually based on conformation. It comes down to conformation. The pullers, a/k/a stamina horses, have long, sloping shoulders, a narrower angle between shoulder and humerus and tend to have more sloping pasterns and a longer hip, with a more acute angle in the hind quarters. A long shoulder and a long, horizontal rump enable the legs to swing forward with a greater range of motion because there is more room for complete extension. Note the long sloping shoulder: http://www.lanesend.com/stallions/stallions/a_p_indy/index.html Here is the best complete extension I have ever witnessed: http://www.circledhorses.com/Secretariat_Preakness.jpg The pusher a/k/a sprinter, has upright shoulders that are short and steep, with a wide angle between the shoulder blade and the humerus. He will generally have short, upright pasterns and a short hip with a wide hip angle. He won't have as great a range of motion as a horse with more sloped shoulders. In a short shoulder, the muscles must be tighter and tend to become overdeveloped in order to withstand the increased jar and concussion. Good example: http://www.paduastables.com/delawaretownship.shtml The position of the neckbones and muscles come into play as they determine the swing of shoulder and amount of forward reach in the forelegs. The ability of a horse to propel himself swiftly is greatly affected by the movement of his shoulder and front legs. In both types of horses, the hindquarters are significant in providing speed, agility and are often referred to as the horse's motor or engine. The angles in the hindquarters help to determine the length of stride. The sharper the angles, the longer the reach. Like the shoulder, if the angle is too wide, there will be less forward reach of the leg. A horse with narrow hindquarters lacks speed and power. A horse with acute angles and longer swing of the leg has more agility. He can typically outrun a horse with wide angles and a shorter stride and won't have to work as hard while doing it. Ideally, the angles in both the shoulder and hindquarters should be close to an equilateral triangle. This is considered the balance of the horse. In racing, a horse's size has nothing to do with how well he performs. (oh, I bet you guys are loving this!). A well balances short horse with better range of motion can outlast a taller, unbalanced horse.
vicstu More than 1 year ago
Thanks to larryk, Riley and Johnny Z for their comments. Thanks also to C and Blue Horseshoe for responding on Hard Spun's 5 furlong breeze before the Derby. Did either of you guys actually watch the breeze by Hard Spun? Were you aware that HS already had a lung opener at the Keeneland track on April 23, a 1 mile lung opener that had HS actually blowing hard as Jones took him off the track? Also, Jones had breezed HS at the Churchill track before deciding to run at CD, this was a 5 furlong breeze on April 12 done in 1:00 and 1/5 with a gallop out to 1:13 flat. As was the norm for HS, all of these works were bullets. HS's "questionable" and "too fast" breeze was actually done in the company of stable mate and grade 1 sprinter Wildcat Bettie B. The 2 actually trotted together for 1 furlong before they actually hit the first timed furlong in 11 flat. It began from a roll (they backtracked along the backside, then rolled). Further, the entire purpose of the drill, which was done quicker than Jones would have liked (he told Pino to keep it between 58 and 59 seconds) was to put HS on his toes early. Hence, that was why he was running againt a grade 1 sprinter with late speed. If you watch the video, which is at the Fox Hill Farms website, you can plainly see that it was Bettie who set the pace for the first 3 furlongs-she tore out of there with HS shadowing her to her outside. Then, Pino gave HS some encouragement and he began to draw clear coming out of the turn into the stretch. Then he began to pour it on opening up on her by 10 lengths as they hit the wire at 5 furlongs. During this entire time, gentlemen, HS's ears were up and he was well within himself. Pino said he was pushing him a little in the stretch in order to keep his attention (because he can get to looking around). Pino also said that, "I wish she would have stayed with me, because once we drew clear by a few lengths his ears went up and he began looking around. But he is just way too fast and strong for her. Had she stayed nearer, he would had remained much more focused, especially during the gallop out." BTW, Hard Spun hit the 6 furlong mark during the gallop out a full second before Bettie B, and clockers credited her with the 2nd fastest breeze of the day at 59.60 and a gallop out to 6f in 1:13 flat. HS is still 8 lengths in front of her at that point, and several other clockers had HS galloping out to 6 in 1:11-2/5. So, if you watched the video, you knew the gallop out time was bogus. Further, Jones said when HS came off the track following the work he was no blowing at all. The jock on Bettie B, Thompson, said that it was one of the most powerful displays of raw speed and stamina by a horse he had ever seen. "He wasn't even working hard, his ears were up and he wouldn't of blown a candle out when he left the track." Later, back at the barn, HS ate all his food and was kicking down the barn later on to graze with Jones. I watched all this on video before the Derby, so I knew exactly what the breeze was for, that HS had destroyed a grade 1 sprinter in a 5 furlong breeze, and did so while well within himself. Further, he ran so fast so easily, he was not tanking out at the end, he was looking around and getting distracted. He wanted some competition. This was all very evident on the tape. You should watch it right now. Go to http://www.rockportharbor.com and go to the Hard Spun section under the archived videos, for the 4/30 breeze. The bottom line is, sometimes you have to look beyond the plain numbers. I did, and was rewarded on Derby day. I knew full well the horse had plenty in the tank for the Derby and would run anything near him off of their feet because Bettie B was as fast and as good as some of those speed horses chasing HS in the Derby. In any event, sometimes you need to look between the lines. And you would always want to work a speed horse to bring out his best asset while slowly ramping up the fractions on a Curlin or Street Sense. Different style of runners. Horses like HS develop their stamina from how hard they run, because they run every furlong during the race. Curlin and SS have one big run for about 3 or 4 furlongs, so when you are breezing at 5 you work up to it just like in real time race conditions. IMHO. BTW, C, I am not flipping out over CV's fractions, I just thought that quickening the horse a little bit was a step in the right direction. Haskin is constantly overreacting IMO. Heck, he has Monba as the top horse in the Derby. That is very knee jerk (and makes me mad because I was hoping that one might keep some value to him). Riley, I am not connected with Maren's Meadow, just close to those who are are also frequent their websites. I agree that it was an outrage with Larry and also in the example you gave. Good luck with Riley Tucker on Saturday. He seems to run well on poly. I like Big Glen, Tomcito, RT and Salute the Sarge. May just box all 4 but will be pulling for you and Sergio to do well. It also would not surprise me if Atoned does well, he has run well and his last race may have been a quasi bounce.
Smash More than 1 year ago
BigEasyBigChok, I don't really know what to do with the synthetics. Last year, Street Sense was 3rd in a blanket finish; he could just as easily be the winner as 4th. He did get enough out of the race despite the low Beyer, and popped back up to win the Derby with a good number. Hard Spun came in off a 6-week break from a win on Poly to run a great second; he was a pretty classy horse, as it turned out. I wasn't expecting Pyro to win the Blue Grass--I think Asmussen just wanted to see him run a bit, which, as we all know, did not happen. If he doesn't come back with some sharp works, then I would be leery of betting him come Derby Day. But he will be a square-enough price, and I think I will be using him in the exotics. I think I'm currently on Col. John as my pick; the Cushion-only aspect is a concern, but--like some of the other posters--I think that Cushion-to-dirt is not as much of a problem as Poly-to-dirt. And those are my 2 cents. Good luck!
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
I'm going to take a stab at the surface issue. and I'm going to go at it from a different direction. When a horse is running on turf do any of you poly -haters look at his dirt form to handicap him? Of course not. That's the way you should approach poly racing. It's not dirt, never was and never will be. It's a completely different surface and should be treated as such. Some horses are going to like it and others not so much. Just like dirt. Just like turf. For example, let's take Adriano. A wise guy horse for some of the formbloggers.Looking at his PP's I'm thinking this is a poly/turf horse. Two wins and a second on the green. A decent 4th and an awesome win on the poly, and a non effort on dirt. He was never in the FOY and didn't run a lick. Go a littel further and look at his works. Bullet and near bullet on turf. Very mediocre on dirt at CD (!) this weekend. I think Edgar Prado made a mistake getting off Monba and getting on Adriano. To me, he's a toss for the Derby unless he really improves his works in the next two weeks. Now let's take a look at St. Joe who's running Saturday in the Lexington. I gave him out on Opening day at Keeneland and he paid $31. His dirt form is really not good. Seven starts and he's got one second and one third. But on Poly it's a different story. Two daylight wins, one over Racecar Rhapsody, and a debut 2nd in three starts.He's live at a price on Saturday, and could win if he can avoid a duel on the lead. C, I think you're absolutely right about Beyer and adjusting figures for horses going to Poly or any other synthetic. They shouldn't be adjusted. They don't adjust numbers for horses that go from dirt to turf and improve/regress 20 points. Why would they do that for Poly? Let the number earned stand alone. A horse may just be a 70 on dirt, but an 85 on Poly or vice versa. Just like turf. Few horses can do any surface with equal agility (except LIGHTMYFIREBABY :)!). What I think needs to be done is to go back to the old dirt figures and see what the par BSF's AND times were for each race level. If the par time for a AOC 32k race was 1:09 and it would get a BSF of 84. Then what ever the par time is now for a AOC 32k race it should still get an 84.I do not think that's happening. Make sense? Anybody? steve T, For all the talk we've done about the California 3YO's this year it's starting to look like there might only be TWO in the Derby. Injuries have taken Sierra Sunset, Georgie Boy and Into Mischief out of the race. Salute the Sarge is on the fence leaning towards not going. And then there's two deserving horses that probably won't get in because of earnings ( Bob Black Jack and El gato malo). I do NOT understand why the trainers of BBJ and EGM didn't send their horses east for their final prep. They would have gotten dirt experience and would not have had to face CJ in the SA Derby. Taking on CJ in the SA Derby guarenteed that at least one of the two connections may be disappointed and maybe both. It turned out both got put on the fence. Gayego went east and won. Sierra Sunset went east and won. I don't know why BBj and EGM couldn't have gone to Illinois and NY, made it a clean sweep, and then take on CJ in the Derby.