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Monday, September 12, 2005

Oh yeah?

- “How did In The Gold get to first place in her division of the Blog Standings? C’mon, she’s not the best 3 year old filly, what are you kidding me? She’s always been a bit short against the best fillies, like Smuggler and Round Pond and Summerly. And the Gazelle, gimme a break!? That was no Grade 1! Pish! She had a perfect trip behind two sprinters for godsake, are you kidding me? And she freaking WALKED home in over 13 seconds; if there was ANYONE in the field she never would have won!”

“But she’s in first.”


Ok, ok, maybe I’m getting a little carried away. But when you have standings, you have the teams, or horses in this case in order by wins and losses, or points earned in stakes, and you can discuss, argue, and damage long term relationships over it. That’s what makes sports simmer, and that's something that's missing for most of the year in our game. My team is better than yours. For most of the last century, Red Sox fans could tell Yankee fans that their team sucks, but the Bronx fans could always point at the standings – yeah, but who’s in first? (Have I mentioned that there were a lot of Red Sox fans at Saratoga, far, far more than I’ve ever noticed before?)

Sports fans know that the best team doesn’t always finish first. Sometimes, factors like injuries and luck can help a team slip through. I don’t think In the Gold is nearly the best 3 yo filly we’ve seen this year, but unlike many of the others, she’s answered the call to the post 8 times, three of those in Grade 1 stakes, and she may just be getting going. Round Pond and Spun Sugar are gone for the year; Smuggler and Summerly missed the Alabama due to infirmities, Sis City has faded and others such as Sweet Catomine and Letgomyecho are long, long gone. So In the Gold may not be the best, but she’s done enough to be in first place at least in this system; and while this system, or any other means of assigning points to racehorses may not be perfect, neither is the one that allows NFL teams to play schedules of wildly varying difficulty and award playoff spots based on won-loss records alone. Nor the one that allows someone to lose the popular vote yet be elected president.

- Perhaps unbeaten Alabama winner Sweet Symphony will ultimately turn out to be the best of the 3 yo fillies. She's not the only unbeaten graded stakes winner in Billy Mott’s barn. His 4 year old Shakespeare is also 4 for 4, with his impressive win in the G2 Belmont Breeders Cup on Sunday. He established a course record despite being under wraps under the wire. Yes, the turf is hard and fast, but Jerry Bailey cautioned, ``don't take too much away from this horse; he's a good horse.'' [DRF] And remember, it was only his second race off a 16 month layoff to recover from a fractured knee. He’ll go next in the mile and a half Joe Hirsch Memorial Turf Classic, which should be an excellent springboard to the BC Turf.

1 Comment:

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