12/19/2012 2:32PM

Jerardi: Lasix hard to figure regarding performance at Breeders' Cup

Emily Shields
Executiveprivilege (2) got the best Beyer Speed Figure of her career, a 93, when she was second to Beholder in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, her first race without Lasix.

As I made my way through the past performances of the Eclipse Award candidates, I was searching for controversy. Where was Rachel Alexandra/Zenyatta or Zenyatta/Blame?

Really, is anybody passionate about Wise Dan/Royal Delta for Horse of the Year? Is anybody even thinking about it?

So, in the absence of controversy there (and I will get to my thoughts on Horse of the Year and a few other categories later), I went searching in other places. My eyes stopped on the 2-year-old categories. A few days after the Breeders’ Cup, I had taken a brief look at the form of the horses with and without Lasix. Now, I lingered.

Was there a pattern with these 2-year-olds who had been running with Lasix before having to do without it in the most important race of their lives? And equally as important to me, what did it mean for bettors who clearly had not been considered in this decision.

I just looked at the three BC dirt races for 2-year-olds. Grass, I thought, was just going to complicate an issue that was already complicated.

Beholder got a 108 Beyer Speed Figure in her race before the BC. She got a 95 while winning the Juvenile Fillies. I would have expected a drop from that amazing Beyer in the allowance race. Not sure if I was thinking 13 points, but that was the difference with Lasix and without it.

Executiveprivilege actually got the best Beyer of her career when she ran second in the BC, a 93. Her previous stakes wins had been with Beyers of 84, 85, 88, and 84. Back with Lasix in the Hollywood Starlet, she ran the worst race of her life, finishing fourth at 2-5, getting a 78 Beyer.

Dreaming of Julia, third in the BC, got an 86 that day. She earned a 78 in the Frizette when she was in that match race for a mile. She had previously gotten a 90 in the Meadow Star Stakes.

Coming into the BC, Kauai Kate’s numbers were 100 (in her first start), followed by an 84 and an 88. She got an 82 when fourth behind Beholder.

Verdict: confusing.

Shanghai Bobby’s numbers entering the Juvenile were 68, 93, 88, and 94 in the Champagne. He was life and death to win the race, getting an 82, his worst figure since he won his maiden in April.

Power Broker got a 90 when he won the FrontRunner on Sept. 29. He got a 73 when he was fifth in the Juvenile.

He’s Had Enough got a 74 in the race before the Juvenile, got an 82 when he was a strong second in the Juvenile and then got a 75 when no factor in the CashCall Futurity.

Verdict: Interesting in the cases of Shanghai Bobby and Power Broker, counterintuitive in the case of He’s Had Enough.

In the Juvenile Sprint, Hightail got a 78 on the Polytrack at Keeneland, a 90 in his upset win at Santa Anita, and 77 in the Delta Jackpot a few weeks later. Merit Man got a 92 before the BC and a 90 in losing a photo in the Juvenile Sprint. Sweet Shirley Mae got 75 at Saratoga in early September and an 84 when third in the Juvenile.

Verdict: Baffling.

Given the sample size and other vagaries of Thoroughbred form, my little review was an interesting exercise that proved or disproved nothing. Without getting into the Lasix or no-Lasix debate (I am not qualified to render an opinion), I do know that it makes an already difficult job for players even more difficult. And that can’t be a good thing for America’s two best days of racing where the players are so critical in determining the success of the event.

As for 2012, it was a year that had tremendous promise and went poof on the morning of June 8. If you have to ask what happened then, you are reading the wrong paper/website.

So, which horse was best in 2012? And should it be the most accomplished (the horse who won the most important races) or simply the best horse. I always go with the best horse. And, to me, that is Wise Dan.

I don’t particularly care that Wise Dan’s three Grade 1 wins were all at a mile on grass. I do care that he was a photo away from being unbeaten, and if he had won the Stephen Foster, he would have won graded stakes on dirt, turf, and synthetic. I also care that his 117 Beyer Figure when he won the Ben Ali is the highest synthetic figure in history. This was just a really good and really consistent racehorse, very deserving of Horse of the Year.

So how can I vote for Wise Dan as Horse of the Year, but Little Mike as champion grass horse. Well, nobody says I can’t, and any horse who wins the Turf Classic (at Churchill), the Arlington Million, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf deserves something.

Point of Entry deserves something too, but almost certainly won’t get anything. That is a shame for a horse who won three consecutive Grade 1 races and absolutely ran a winning race finishing second in the BC Turf.

Royal Delta can get her second consecutive divisional championship and go for Horse of the Year in 2013.

Trainer is close, but Dale Romans won nine Grade 1 stakes and his top horses won major races on grass, dirt and synthetic. That is enough for me.


Barry Mitchell More than 1 year ago
Where is Fort Larned in the discussion. He had just as great a year. IHA had a great year as well. Both ran great Dirt seasons. In my opinion, no miler should ever win the HOTY. The level of competition is not the same. Wise Dan duck the Big dance and should not receive HOTY.
Win_4_Fun More than 1 year ago
I don't know. Never heard of it.
Steve McCulley More than 1 year ago
What is Lasix?
raymond More than 1 year ago
Thoroughbreds should be trained for competition on Hay,Oats & Water only! Those who incur problems causing them not to compete competitively, should not.
Robin Cardoza More than 1 year ago
Before you sound dumber than you already do I recommend you buy a pleasure horse, ride it a year with some galloping occasionally. Then come back and tell me how you did with your horse on hay, oats, and water. Your horse will probably be extremely ill by then but good luck.
BigBear More than 1 year ago
Have you noticed today's human athletes are bigger, faster, & stronger ? They take supplements. Steak & baked potatoes & honey just isn't enough anymore.
GOODWIN More than 1 year ago
Who thinks they should turn a profit in owning a race horse? Ha! That is few and far between, and should not be expected, because the reality will get you down. This is why it is called the "Sport of Kings". The profit attitude is a pathetic excuse to try to wring every dime out of the unfortunate animals, and leads to the abuse of considering the money involved before the horses' welfare....go ahead and have your own BC. Lack of a universal non-drug policy, enforced by a NATIONAL entity (like the big 4 sports) is what is causing the racing industry its prolonged death. Way to go!
Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
If versatility means anything Wise Dan has to win. I can see voting for HOY and selecting Wise Dan while awarding the turf Eclipse to Little Mike. If distance means anything then Little Mike is a deserving winner. He won the classic distance turf races while Wise Dan was dominant at one mile. The juvie divisions leave me scratching my head. Royal Delta is a very decisive distaff winner and the best sprinter award should go to ????? Your guess is as good as any.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
These smoke and mirror arguments about what exactly lasix is used for by people who know exactly what trainers use it for are a little annoying.they try to make the issue more confusing than it should be.yes we all know lasix helps with bleeding in horses with a tendency to bleed by removing liquid from the arteries and alleviating pressure on the lungs,but this can be achieved by giving the horse lasix say 4 days before the race or more the withdrawal period of lasix is about one week.the issue is race day lasix,lasix applied on race day serves in my opinion only to mask other drugs and create a source of extra revenue for vets trainers and the pharma industry.we know racehorses are medicated to improve performance the trick is to stay within the withdrawal periods and not be caught by testing.so if you give a horse a banned substance 12 days out from a race you will get some benefit and it probably won't show up in tests,but if you can medicate the same horse say 4 days before a race you will get a bigger advantage but it shows up in testing.enter lasix by eliminating between 12 and 15 lb of liquid on race day it also eliminates a lot of the evidence of the meds in a horses system but not the advantages.so it shortens the time of withdrawal.that my take on the whole lasix issue.those who disagree can answer why people are willing to pay for a treatment that supposedly only helps bleeders but is used by almost all.it would be like non smoker buying a nicotine patch just in case they decided to take up smoking in the future.since only about 10 to 20% of racehorses are bleeders one wonders why 95% use lasix.with vet fees as high as $1000 a month in New York it's strange that owners are willing to pay for bleeding medication for non bleeders.but of course that's not all they're paying for.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Ray. I love your passion. Lasix is given within a four hour window of the horses post because that's when it is most effective in preventing bleeding and the negative health side affects of bleeding. We have to eliminate the race day adjunct bleeding meds like Kentucky is trying to do with their new lasix administration rules. Also follow NY as they are passing stricter laws for joint injections and clenbuterol use amongother things. Its a process.
geno More than 1 year ago
Kyle Newcomb More than 1 year ago
How is it that Dick Jerardi doesn't understand what a speed figure is? Dick, just for your edification (and to disabuse the reader of any false impressions you may have left), a speed figure is a post-facto, final time only based, figure expressed relative to par. In the absence of proper context it is not predictive. To have "expected" any certain figure from Beholder on the stretch-out is foolish....without regard to pace or other dynamics - astoundingly clueless. The fact that she beat the favorite, a proven runner, by a clear margin even as that one posted a career best figure, is strong evidence that Beholder's performance was unaffected by the lack of lasix.
Gene More than 1 year ago
Read my comment below please
Judy Lasher More than 1 year ago
hey kyle.. 859 7223
Tony Regalbuto More than 1 year ago
I love horseracing, and back in the day.... (50 years ago), horseracing was the greatest sport ever. I loved the game literally. Today the luster has worn off, and I contribute that to the use of drugs. It's killing the sport. Past performances are as chaotic as they can get, and for a horseplayer it doesn't get any worse. I agree with Mr Jerardi that Wise Dan will be the 2012 "Horse of the year".