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Year of the Bird!
In this strange year of The Bird, it was only fitting that Kent Desormeaux, like the Phoenix, rose from the ashes to drive away the albatross that clung to his neck When Desormeaux's Summer Bird reached the midway point of the far turn in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, Desormeaux found himself chased by the ghosts of Real Quiet and Big Brown, two Triple Crown hopefuls that brought nothing but heartbreak to the rider in the "Test of the Champion." Blame Kent D. all you want for moving too soon on Real Quiet, or for pulling Big Brown up to a walk last year, but redemption is always sweet. Frankie Dettori has won thousands of races, but until he slew Curlin in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, the energetic Italian was best known for his puzzling stretch drive on Swain in the 1998 edition.
It took Desormeaux and Summer Bird a little less than two and a half minutes to exorcise Desormeaux's previous Belmont failures. This was an excellent and patient ride. Desormeaux was able to get his newly-blinkered colt into the race early. After steadying behind Charitable Man on the clubhouse turn, Desormeaux found the rail heading onto the backstretch. Then, the waiting game begun. Saving every inch of ground, Desormeaux had his eyes peeled on the Belmont's Big Three. As the field moved into the sweeping final bend, Charitable Man and Dunkirk were rolling along on the lead, and Mine That Bird was in the midst of an early wide bid. Desormeaux had to go, and he maneuvered his mount for clear sailing on the outside. Summer Bird responded, and he wore down his tired competitors in the taxing final furlong.
Credit not only goes to the ride, but to Summer Bird's youthful trainer, Tim Ice. The lightly-raced Summer Bird had shown a tendency to lag far behind in the early portion of his races, so Ice added blinkers in the hope of injecting tactical speed into the colt. It worked. Fifteen lengths behind the lead after the first call of the Arkansas Derby, and fourteen lengths behind in the early portion of the Derby, Summer Bird was only six lengths back in the Belmont. The equipment change may have made all the difference.
John Velazquez, perhaps realizing the lack of true speed on paper in the Belmont, gunned Dunkirk to the front from his inside post. It was a gutsy gamble, and it almost paid great dividends. Dunkirk ran a corker as he carved out solid fractions for this demanding distance. Not one of the reported crowd of 52,681 at Belmont Park would have faulted the gray if he called it quits turning for home, but Dunkirk refused to let the pace-pressing Charitable Man surge past him, and he re-rallied to deny Mine That Bird his place in an all-fowl exacta.
Calvin Borel, widely complimented for his wonderful rides in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, is bound to receive some criticism for perhaps moving too soon in the Belmont. Borel gunned Mine That Bird to the front at the quarter-pole, and the plucky gelding had every chance to drop the hammer on his foes only to come up short in the last eighth of a mile. Perhaps the difficult Triple Crown campaign finally took its toll on Mine That Bird. It's questionable at best that a more patient ride would have catapaulted Mine That Bird to the winner's circle, but the betting favorite validated his previous two races with another rock-solid performance.
Desormeaux served notice that he was sitting on a big day when Convocation won by the length of the stretch in the third race, a maiden special weight at 1 1/16 miles. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Convocation is out of a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Tempera, and is likely headed straight into stakes company.
Desormeaux came right back to steal an allowance race on the grass with New York-bred Pennington. Allowed to dictate fractions of 26.13, 51.10, and 1:15.81 over yielding ground that had been battered by rain earlier in the week, Pennington had more than enough in the tank to fend off favored Expansion in the drive.
The all-Desormeaux Pick 3 returned a whopping $399.00 when Sette E Mezzo rallied from off the pace to win an entry-level allowance on the turf.
Munnings finally lived up to the hype that has surrounded him since the Speightstown colt sold for $1.7M as a two-year-old in training. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Munnings showed a different dimension by relaxing behind the leaders before uncorking an explosive rally from in between rivals in upper stretch. The final furlong was merely a formality as Munnings streaked under the finish line. He has the look of a King's Bishop horse this summer at Saratoga.
Fabulous Strike found the cutback to six furlongs to his liking in the True North Handicap. When he's sound, Fabulous Strike is one of the fastest sprinters in the world. With the Breeders' Cup over synthetics once again this year, and considering Fabulous Strike's Pro-Ride flop in 2008, trainer Todd Beattie has some interesting decisions to make concerning his fleet veteran's future. Benny the Bull didn't win, but his connections have to be heartened by the solid performance in the first start after an injury-induced layoff led to an aborted retirement. Benny the Bull seems on track for the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder next month.
Diamondrella likes to win, and she made it six in a row in the Grade 1 Just a Game for trainer Angel Penna Jr. Champion Forever Together lost nothing in defeat over the testing going. Gio Ponti's strong late surge makes him a threat in any turf race that he participates in, and his punch is as devastating at a mile as it is at ten furlongs. Just Ben demolished his field earlier on the Belmont Stakes card, and looks like an intriguing sprint prospect for Nick Zito.
Although the Belmont Stakes featured some very good three-year-olds, it isn't unreasonable to conclude that the best three-year-old in the world ran half a world away on Saturday. Sea the Stars, arguably an overlay at starting odds of 11/4, achieved a 2000 Guineas/Epsom Derby double with a good-looking score in the 1 1/2 mile classic. Nashwan was the last to successfully complete the double in 1989. A half-brother to the wonderful Galileo, Sea the Stars is out of the all-world broodmare Urban Sea, and seems like an extremely professional performer. Trained by the wily John Oxx, Sea the Stars served notice that he is a colt of the highest class.
Some Belmont Stakes quotes courtesy of the NYRA Press Notes:
Nick Zito: "Brave Victory - I don't know where he got stepped on, but he's got a big gash on his knee. He'll be okay..."
Edgar Prado (rode Mr. Hot Stuff): "When Summer Bird made that move on the far turn, no one was going to catch him."
Chip Woolley (on Mine That Bird): "He looked good coming off the track. He was tired, he was used, but he looked all right...I thought he might have moved a hair early...I'll give him a good eight weeks off and let him freshen up. We'll aim at something on the East Coast."
John Velazquez (on Dunkirk): He was definitely tired when I pulled him up, and he tied up. I hosed him down, and he seemed to be okay. I couldn't believe I was on the lead early. There was no pace. The way he broke, he was already there on the lead, so I didn't want to hold him back. I didn't see Mine That Bird, and he came at me at the eighth-pole..."
Calvin Borel (on Mine That Bird): "I thought I had it won when I got to the quarter-pole...No excuses...He took me a little earlier. When I eased him out, the horses in front of me kind of stopped. He got outrun, no excuses...He ran his eyeballs out...He ran a good race...Don't take anything away from the little horse..."
Kiaran McLaughlin (on Charitable Man): "It was a pretty fast pace going that far. I was confident he was going to run well. He ran well, but I thought he was good enough to win, so it's disappointing."
Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races:
*True North (Bel): Fabulous Strike (T. Beattie/R. Dominguez) - 111
*Woody Stephens (Bel): Munnings (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 110
*Longfellow (Mth): Go Go Shoot (B. Levine/E. Castro) - 109
*Woodford Reserve Manhattan (Bel): Gio Ponti (C. Clement/G. Gomez) - 106
*Hill Prince (Bel): Despite the Odds (M. Trombetta/J. Rose) - 104
*Just a Game (Bel): Diamondrella - GB (A. Penna Jr./R. Maragh) - 104
*Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern Pa. (PID): Street Magician (M. Trombetta/J. Pimentel) - 102
*Charles Whittingham Memorial (Hol): Midships (R. Frankel/V. Espinoza) - 101
*Brooklyn (Bel): Eldaafer (D. Alvarado/J. Chavez) - 100
*Belmont (Bel): Summer Bird (T. Ice/K. Desormeaux) - 100
*Woodbine Oaks (Hol): Milwaukee Appeal (S. Fairlie/S. Elliott) - 99
*Ack Ack (Hol): Noble Court (J. Sadler/J. Rosario) - 99
*Rumson (Mth): Great Love (J. Robb/J. Bravo) - 98
*Satin and Lace (PID): Libor Lady (M. Pino/M. Pino) - 97
*Redondo Beach (Hol): Tuscan Evening - Ire (J. Hollendorfer/R. Bejarano) - 97
*Hollywood Oaks (Hol): Carlsbad (J. Mullins/T. Baze) - 96
*Acorn (Bel): Gabby's Golden Gal (B. Baffert/J. Castellano) - 96
*Tin Man (AP): Silverfoot (D. Stewart/C. Emigh) - 96
*Eatontown (Mth): All Is Vanity - Fr (C. Clement/J. Bravo) - 95
*Early Times Mint Julep (CD): Acoma (D. Carroll/C. Lanerie) - 94
*Eclipse (WO): Ice Bear (M. Benson/C. Sutherland) - 94
*Victoria Park (WO): Awesome Rhythm (J. Ross/J. McAleney) - 93
*Steady Growth (WO): Michael's Bad Boy (N. Gonzalez/E. Da Silva) - 93
*Washington State Legislators (EmD): Gadget Queen (B. Wright/R. Frazier) - 93
*John Longden 6000 (Hst): Bank Emblem (R. Gilker/F. Fuentes) - 92
*Slipton Fell (Mnr): Crimson Comic (M. Shuman/R. Feliciano) - 92
*Senate Appointee (Hst): Wind Storm (D. Forster/R. Hamel) - 91
*Alyssum (Bel): Malibu Beach (S. Klesaris/R. Dominguez) - 90
*Brooks Fields (Cby): Spider Power - Ire (M. Biehler/J. Ferrer) - 90
*Manhattan Beach (Hol): Strawberry Tart (J. Bonde/M. Garcia) - 88
*Panthers (PrM): Don'ttalktome (J. Hicklin/T. Thompson) - 87
*Liberada (Crc): Eclisse - Fr (M. Wolfson/J. Santiago) - 87
*Coin Collector (CT): Gabriel's Smile (R. Schiano-Dicola/L. Reynolds) - 87
*Prairie Mile (PrM): Proceed Bee (S. Becker/T. Thompson) - 86
*Glowing Honor (Bel): J Z Warrior (W. Mott/J. Velazquez) - 85
*Free Press (AsD): Monsoon Rain (C. Torevell/C. Marquez) - 85
*Alywow (WO): Woodsmoke (M. Keogh/T. Pizarro) - 85
*John D. Marsh (Cnl): Hugo (H. Smith/R. Homeister Jr.) - 84
*Hoist Her Flag (Cby): Adhsilver (G. Scherer/T. Hebert) - 81
*Nicoles Dream (AP): Taylor Madison (M. Dini/J. Campbell) - 81
*President's (NP): Robo Willie (G. Tracy/R. Walcott) - 80
*Candy Eclair (Mth): Reata's Quik Punch (J. Orseno/C. Marquez Jr.) - 79
*Its Binn Too Long (CT): Beware of the Bop (T. Grams/L. Reynolds) - 77
*Willard L. Proctor Memorial (Hol): Classical Slew (D. O'Neill/M. Baze) - 75
*Golden Boy (AsD): Theglow (C. Torevell/R. Singh) - 75
*Oakley (Cnl): Trophy Collector (R. Jenkins/E. Camacho) - 75
*TTA Sales Futurity (fillies) (LS): Tin Top Cat (W. Calhoun/R. Zimmerman) - 73
*Mount Royal (NP): Tricky Temper (K. Grieves/D. Bryan) - 69
*Helen B. Anthony Memorial (Yav): Beautiful Holiday (D. McFarlane/E. Garcia) - 68
*TTA Sales Futurity (colts) (LS): Majestic Vintage (C. Asmussen/T. McNeil) - 68
*State Fair Breeders' Special (Lnn): Reach One More (D. Anderson/M. Ziegler) - 68
*Lois Rollins Memorial (Yav): Ride the Bull (D. McFarlane/S. Duarte) - 62
*Chantilly (AsD): Lady Countdown (C. Smith/R. Singh) - 58
Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest and lowest Beyer stakes performers of the week:
Never tire of watching that stretch run between the two monsters....Affirmed & Alydar!
Anybody know what the attendance figure was that day? Just curious.
Joe Hirsch reported the 1978 Belmont Stakes crowd as 65,417.
Has a son of Unbridled's Song ever won an important 10 to 12 furlong race? I can't think of any off the top of my head.
Political Force (Unbridled's Song - Glitter Woman, by Glittmerman) won the Suburban Handicap (Grade 1) at 1 1/4 miles at Belmont Park in 2007. A filly, Octave, won the Coaching Club American Oaks at that distance. The point is well taken, though. He is more a sire of middle-distance perfomers than a true classic stallion.
Can you post the career PP's of Better Talk Now? I saw them once and I believe he started as a dirt horse.
The old man still has a puncher's chance if the pace is legitimate. Here they are:
Congrats to Tedmur for finishing first in the Belmont Stakes HandiGambling contest. We're awaiting the selection for this week's race.
TBTA, I will list an email address in Dan's weekend thread on this Blog. Sammy, Perhaps, Yes and Yes to your poll. I am not sure there are sufficient numbers to draw conclusions either way. However, if I proceed with the presumption that Tinky has (and he follows Euro racing pretty closely), the number of entries at a particular distance would be as dispositive as any ongoing win percentage. It would indicate to me that the trainers are more comfortable placing them at lesser distances. I must confess, however, I would have assumed the exact same things you did, it seems reasonable to me (more entry levels at sprints, coservative trainers, etc). Tinky, I am not trying to argue about anything you have posted but wish to raise a point. I know that you (like myself) use AWD's with caution, if at all. Having said that, many pedigree buffs, including Euro ones, have trotted out his AWD's which are superior to AP Indy's as evidence that Kingmambo is a stamina influence. I can almost anticipate what you will say, but say it anyhow because that has always bugged me...and I do think Kingmambo throws runners who stay better than he did (a miler).
Blue and C, Name me the last speed horse to win the Belmont Stakes rating back in 5th place or so behind late speed along the backstretch. That would historically support your position that the horse with the highest cruising speed is best served rating off of solid fractions rather than being up setting those fractions or pressing the leader. BTW, the pace was fast in time only. Those fractions added up to "the second slowest BS ever run since we have been doing speed figs"- Andy Beyer. There was a bias playing to horses on the front end last Saturday and the fractions were fast in every race. Brisnet rated the pace as avg. They were running that fast pretty effortlessly (comparatively). Horses were not winning coming off of the pace, the track had a bias towards speed, and CM had no business being 4th or 5th trying to run down late runners. The BF video was merely to show how Cordero had guts and played catch me if you can. BTW, BF was challenged on the backstretch and repelled the bid and shook loose. Contrary to assertions to the contrary, that was no walk in the park for jockey or horse. You both know I respect your opinions, but I can find flaws from my vantage point as well. And Blue, no one (including you) thought Da'tara would wire that Belmont field. BB won the Florida Derby from post 12 wire to wire (a rarity) crushing Da'tara by some 29 lengths, roaring past him to the first turn. Cheap speed. You know it, I know it. Zito did not reveal his strategy until post-race. He stated that he kept it close to the vest, because Dick Dutrow had publicly said BB was going straight to the lead, and he and G Stevens told Kent D to go to the lead. Kent D had other plans for those first 2 furlongs. A healthy BB pressing Da'tara in a speed duel and Da'tara would have finished dead last, like he usually does when pressed.
BigEasyBigChok, I have mentioned Mike Helm’s “Sire Ratings” as a reference tool a few times previously on this blog. Obviously the info was proffered in light of the discussion of whether Charitable Man and/or Lemon Drop Kid progeny are better suited for 9f races. I just assumed everyone understood that…oh wait a sec, clearly I gave everyone too much credit because not everyone did…
Cayman, You must mean the 8th at Belmont on Thursday? 7F Turf Allow? Annie
laura – “It isn’t too farfetched to believe a horse sired by him can get that additional furlong, especially with other stamina influences in the pedigree. Just because Charitable Man has speed doesn’t also mean he can’t have stamina. One race at 12F is hardly a reliable indication as to whether a horse can get that distance.” I agree completely, and said nothing to the contrary. The CM case is a close call, but nevertheless one in which a distinction can be made. I’ve provided clear statistical evidence – which would be far more lopsided if U.S. results were included – that LDK sires a rather small percentage of runners which compete successfully at 12 furlongs. For you to say that “Lemon Drop Kid is siring winners at 12F” is not a serious argument. Many sires sire winners at 12 furlongs, but that doesn’t mean that their typical offspring can be expected to be suited by the distance. And once again, my tone is being used as an excuse for not addressing the substance of my posts. That’s not not to say that I shouldn’t consider the tone of my posts, but they are all substantial. I’m glad that you are producing something positive, and that others appreciate your efforts, but that has nothing to do with any specific disagreement that we may have on a given narrow topic. And it would seem to me that your fans would be interested in seeing you carry through specific arguments to their conclusions. Sammy – Based on what you stated above, you apparently aren’t very familiar with European trainers or racing. The trainers are, with very rare exceptions, extremely cognizant of the implications of both pedigree and physical type – two of the most important factors when deciding the correct distances to race horses. And much more so than U.S. trainers as a group. You are also incorrect when you say that “90% of horses are bred for 7-9 furlongs”, as that is far off the mark in Europe. In fact, the most important stallions (e.g. Galileo and Montjeu) are sires of 10-12f. runners. When you say that “Opportunities are still a major factor in why the sample size for 10-13 furlong races is small”, it suggests that you haven’t seen a condition book, or reviewed the results of racing in the U.K. There are plenty of regular opportunities for horses to race over 10-12f., and at all class levels. Trainers aren’t somehow forced to run horses at inappropriately short distances because of a dearth of opportunities at 10-12f. On Saturday, for example, there were no less than 12 races run from 10f. to 2m (13 if you include the Derby) at various courses throughout the U.K. and Ireland. With regards to statistics, 300 may well be considered a small sample in broad terms, but when assessing the offspring of stallions it is hardly insignificant. And I never suggested eliminating the sprint races from the sample, only that the winning percentage in that group is even less meaningful than in the others. There is absolutely no reason to believe that there is any correlation between the winning percentages of the various groups, and the suitability of distances. There are simply too many other variables to arrive at that conclusion. Now, as far as my tone, which obviously irritated you, I regret having distracted you from the substance of the issue. However, the only comment that I made that warranted a an emotional reaction was the first one, and the rest of the post was pure substance. When I said that “"…what you would choose to do with a horse is obviously even less relevant.", that is a simple statement of fact. How on earth is what you would do with some hypothetical horse relevant to the discussion at hand?
C, I appreciate your point and it is true that we will never know. I think if Dunkirk goes 48-48&1, he would have won. I don't believe he was at his natural cruising speed during the first quarter and was hurried. All opinion and to each his own. C, Tinky, I realize there are more opportunities in Europe to run 10-13 furlongs and acknowledged that. Now, between the both of you will you acknowledge that there is still FAR more 7-9 furlong races carded in Europe than 10-13, which was my point. It is all relative and though the Europeans HAVE more options at 10-13 there are still times that they have to change strategies because of race availability. That is not debatable, but, a fact. Just because it isn't the norm as it maybe considered in the U.S. doesn't mean it is a non-issue in Europe, it is. Because of that it is likely the 10-13 furlong numbers of LDK's have been skewed, if even slightly. Also, just because Europeans don't start all maidens out on 5 and 6 furlong races doesn't make that the RULE in Europe and there are still plenty of potential 10-13 furlong horses starting off at 6 furlongs. Let's not take this to the extreme ( as if all European trainers have all the options they will ever need in terms of distance races and that they never race potential 10-13 furlongers in 6 furlong races to start ). They don't have unlimited options and they do run maidens ( of 10-13 furlong quality ) 6 furlongs. Tell me there are NO trainers in Europe who run 7-9 furlong races with horses the trainer feels better suited to 10-13 furlong races because of scheduling, none, nada, zip. Tell me there are no trainers who have started an LDK in a 6 furlong race as a maiden that ended up being capable of success at 10-13 furlongs, none, nada, zip. With a sample size of 162 7-9 furlong races and 105 10-13 races it would only take a slim few in the cross over category ( the two examples above going my way ) to skew these statistics completely. C, you know stats and you know it wouldn't take much. Are the trainers perfect in there decision making in Europe? C, "In fact, regarding Tinky's stats, I think the number of attempts is actually the most important variable in this debate, even more than the win percentages. The 10-12 furlong winners were obviously the ones who were well-intended for the distance. But the fact that there were so few attempts compared to the other groups is not meaningless. Posted by: C on June 09, 2009 at 11:06 PM This clearly implies that you find the win % important, although not as important as total starts, yes? That is the point I am making. While Tinky says the win % is irrelevant, ( regardless of truth, just to make sure his main point meets his main conclusion )I never took that stance on total starts ( because I evaluate and then conclude ). Of course the starts are relevant, but, they are not the whole story as Tinky seems to think. The fact that the win % is a third higher in longer distance races is completely relevant and to argue otherwise is close minded. That win % helps to make up for the lack of starts a bit, does it not C ( in terms of LDK's progeny getting 10-13 furlongs ) Of course it does and you more or less admitted there was value to the win %. C, I know you understand statistics and if I am right even a few times on my examples above then the numbers could be much closer in terms of number of starts. I still think the 6 furlong races are a throwout because most if not all are maidens, I am guessing. With trainer error and just plain not enough information I am sure trainers raced potential 10-13 furlongers in these races, once again skewing the numbers ( I only need a few to even this up ). The winning % combined with the skew factor could easily tilt the scale in favor of longer distance. One thing is sure, it isn't obvious, as Tinky tried to access.
laura – One other relevant point, which clearly demonstrates the need for you to think these things through more carefully. You said: "...Kingmambo, who, I’m sure you will agree, is a known sire of stakes winners that easily win at 12F and beyond." That is extremely misleading. Kingmambo, as you should know, would never be characterized as a sire which typically got 12f. runners. In fact, less than 15% of his runners in the U.K. and Ireland ran in such races. His runners ran most often (and by a wide margin) in 7-9f. races, with a smaller number raced over 10-11f., and an even smaller number from 12-13f. So while Kingmambo is not really relevant given the available data on LDK, even if you were to consider him in the case of Charitable Man, he would arguably undercut, rather than bolster your case!
First, a quick FormBlog story. I had a birthday a few days ago. Incidentally, I received the “tencentcielo”-donut collar for my birthday (all my bets lost). I never thought it would happen to me on my birthday, but it did. Maybe there is something to his birthday “jinx” theory. Anyway, one of the things I told my wife I wanted when she asked me about possible birthday gift ideas was a set on binoculars. I even showed her the type of binoculars I was looking for. You know, something small that I could take to the track to watch the horses as they load or run down the back strecth. On my birthday, I open this box that has a monstrous pair of binoculars inside it. They are the type you would see some crazy bird watcher or an artillery officer using. They even claim to have night vision capabilities (but I think it is just green tint on the lenses). Wives (or spouses), you got to love them. I think she got them because the last few times I have come back from the track I have been talking about some of the great fillies I saw there. Honestly honey, I was talking about the girl horses. I guess she thinks these huge binoculars will stamp me as a nut job and scare away everyone. The more I have thought about it over the past few days, I think I am actually going to use them. I have tried to incorporate a version of Steve T.’s “howitzer” plays into my wagering strategies. I am thinking I will try them out as a good luck charm when I call in the “heavy artillery.” So, if you are ever at Arlington Park and you see some 30-something horseplayer whip out the biggest binoculars you have ever seen, please do not be afraid to come up and say “hi.” If you are brave enough, you might even ask which one I am “leveling the howitzer at.” And, if this same horseplayer happens to be standing next to an attractive lady, please tell her what a wonderful woman she is to put up with a degenerate horse prognosticator like me. ---- This past weekend, I think I missed my first day of the races at AP. However, my selections were so bad on Friday that I think I deserved some days for “recklessness.” I am itching to get back into the grove. I am looking forward to another week at AP, but thought I would add some thoughts to the DRF/PGM race of the day. Woodbine #4 #1 DANIEL BE GOOD – Could be a good one, but I read that his connections said he still does not know what he is doing and they think he will be better at longer distances. #2 FIRETHEEXECUTIVE – Layoff combined with his works tells me to watch a race before backing him #3 WIN AND REIGN – Got to like the turf work, his company lines, and previous turf race (the only one in the field), but I think the front end will be tough today. #4 ME THE SEA AND G T – Has caught my eye. Six furlongs should be his thing. First race this year was a prep; his last two were too long. Cuts back to a sprint. His trainer is 0-21 at the meet, but has “playable” stats in the applicable categories. He gets a solid jockey (at least in terms of the jockey stats – I really do not know much about WO jockeys) who had a mount on the #2 before (both were in that race and this one finished ahead of the #2). He must have seen something he really liked because he is taking his second mount for the trainer in 2008-09. He looks like a possible sleeper pick if he takes to the turf. #5 THE BOY’S RING – Sports a nice turf work, but enters a tough field for his second start. Jockey/trainer combo is 5-13, so I will watch the board and definitely consider. #6 PASO DOBLE – Seems poised for a win, but I think I am going to take a shot against him in the win spot because it likely will mean taking a short price first on the turf. #7 BARE WITH ME – Do not like his history with races beyond five furlongs. Hope he cooks everyone trying to stay with him on the front end. The (possible) plays (no go if off the turf): W/P #4 EX #6 / #4 Will consider adding #5 to some tickets (add possibly adding a TRI ticket) if he looks good and/or catch a positive time from the tote board. Midwest Ed
laura – You took exception to my characterization of your pedigree analyses of Charitable Man. Let me be a bit more specific. You stated: “…within the first three generations of his pedigree, Charitable Man carries the bloodlines of two Belmont Stakes winners and Kingmambo, who, I’m sure you will agree, is a known sire of stakes winners that easily win at 12F and beyond. As I mentioned above, the pedigree includes Halo, a stakes winner at 12F who sired winners of 12F stakes races (Goodbye Halo) plus his sons Strodes Creek and Sunday Silence placed in the Belmont. As for Saint Ballado, his son Sunriver won at 11F and also placed in the Belmont. If you wanted to add in the fourth generation, Charitable Man’s third damsire Sir Ivor won past 12F as did Herbager, St. Ballado’s second damsire.” Now, technically speaking, I agree that you did do more than tick off the names of sires, as you also included some information about those sires. But your approach to analyzing the data is demonstrably wrong, which is what I have been pointing out during every one of our disagreements about particular pedigrees. The first problem is that you fail to make distinctions between generations. The importance of the sires that you mention in this case, other than LDK and SB, is relatively small. Furthermore, as LDK and SB have gotten sufficient numbers of runners to judge them on their own merits, it renders the stud records of their ancestors relatively unimportant. Another mystifying mistake that you continue to make is using one or two examples of runners in an effort to prove that a given sire passes on stamina. Don’t you understand that Sunriver was an anomaly, and that Saint Ballado’s typical runners were best suited by around a mile to 9f.? So when I characterized you as having “ticked off some sires”, that was, for all practical purposes, what you did. I say that because you not only failed to provide context, but implied the wrong things by failing to do so. Now, if you want to argue that LDK is actually a 12f. influence, or that SB was actually a sire of 10f.+ runners, then I’d like to see your supporting evidence. But pointing to second, third and fourth-generation sires only clouds, rather than clarifying the issue.
Alan – While I appreciate your main point, it is amazing how the hyperbole takes over when I the odd one of my countless posts includes an emotionally charged phrase or two. I'm not excusing it, just pointing out (yet again) that it is exceedingly rare for me to include "nasty" or otherwise personal attacks in my posts. It obviously strikes a few chords amongst some forum readers on the rare occasion that it happens, but let's dispense with the notion that the odd sarcastic or harsh phrase somehow defines even my on-line personality. If you (or anyone) were to argue that I come off as being arrogant, I would understand completely. But again, you'd be hard pressed to find more than a smattering of examples of what could reasonably be construed as personal attacks.