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Friday, February 17, 2006

Derby Prep Tests Beyers

- It’s a travel day, as the Head Chef and I head down to Longboat Key, FL for a long weekend with our younger (nice) daughters, so I’ll have to keep it fairly brief (or as much as I know how) as I struggle to wrap things up at the damn day job, yuck.

The Sam F Davis will be run at a mile and a sixteenth at Tampa tomorrow, and this one is begging for Grade 3 status for sure. Todd Pletcher’s Bluegrass Cat is expected to be the favorite; he won three in a row to close out 2005, including wins in NY in the Nashua and Remsen, the latter around two turns. This seems like yet another interesting test of the Beyer figs. The Remsen went in a slow 1:52 1/5 over a track that didn’t seem particularly sluggish, other than that race and the Demoiselle, a two-year old filly stakes contested at the same nine furlong distance that went in 1:52 4/5, and the only other two-turn race of the day. Yet Bluegrass Cat earned a Beyer of 95, just a point below what he got for the Nashua. He also took a lethargic 13 4/5 to complete the final furlong.

So I imagine the Beyer boys were ‘projecting’ here again, and I don’t think even they would object to me characterizing such projections as a guess; an educated one, to be sure, but they do go back occasionally to revise those numbers if they prove to be way off. If you look at the BRIS figures, which are “raw” speed figures, Bluegrass Cat was downgraded to a 95 in the Remsen from a 101 in the Nashua (BRIS numbers are not to be compared with Beyers, it’s a different scale); and that 95 was actually slower than his maiden win on BRIS. Now, my main question about the horse’s Beyer in the Remsen is this: how do you project a speed figure for a horse going around two turns for the first time? How can you say how fast you expected the race to go when the horse is doing something he’s never done before?

On the other hand, you have Hesanoldsalt, whose Beyers have not broken 79, even though his winning time of 1:50 2/5 in his last race was nearly two seconds faster than that of Bluegrass Cat. On BRIS, Hesanoldsalt earned a 94 for his last allowance win, which makes him quite competitive with Pletcher’s horse. So there you go. As you know if you read my Derby Top Ten, I’ll be going with Zito’s colt, and I hope the low Beyers translate into a fair price. Of course, I usually end up acknowledging the accuracy of the Beyers; but I’m hoping that after this race, the boys will have to go back and take a second look.

Don’t ignore R Loyal Man (More Than Ready), extremely impressive at shorter distances over this track, his last a seven furlong win in 1:22 2/5 in the Pasco; he tries two turns for the first time. His second dam is a half to successful sire Halo’s Image. Laptop Computer (Notebook) also stretches out; his last was a second to the impressive subsequent winner Barbican.

- More on Round Pond’s amazing comeback win from Robert Yates in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, whose local coverage from Oaklawn is as good as anything you’ll see around the country. He reports that in recording the fastest six furlongs of the meeting, she was never asked for her best by regular rider Stewart Elliott.

- Go west, young Polytrack!

- And Sue over at Post Parade takes on Pamela Anderson, telling her that as a member of PETA, rather than boycotting the Derby she should be tackling more important issues, such as:

Organizations that allow testing of silicone implants into animals to ensure the safety for human use, or testing on animals with hair-bleaching chemicals to ensure human use, or the American Kennel Club that allows whippets to run around JFK airport without the appropriate boarding passes, or at the very least, proper leashes.
Woo-hoo, cat fight, lol!!! You tell her!!

- That’s it for today, see you next from sunny Florida!

6 Comments:

Walter said...

...Longboat Key?...that's Bradenton, right?...my dad lives there...small world...

...as for the Beyer figs, here's something you can look for in DRF Simulcast Weekly (which IS out now, but i honestly haven't seen it yet)...you mentioned last weekend that a MAIDEN had run than Rockport Harbor, over the same track/distance just a half-hour earlier...i'm guessing Rockport Harbor received a Beyer figure signifigantly higher than the maiden, for running SLOWER...incidentally, for those of you who don't know, the way you check Beyers in the Simulcast Weekly is to go to the index, where they list all horses that ran during the week...all winners are listed in bold type, with their Beyer figure listed in parentheses (non-winners' Beyer figures don't appear in print until they show up in the Form for their next race)...

...also, in regard to the Form...i was just looking at Point Determined (Golden Gate, Race 5), and Chuck Dybdal says in his race analysis that Point Determined "comes north in need of a race"...what?...he just ran two weeks ago!...he also mentions that Baffert is using this race race to "prep for the Santa Anita Derby"...what???...okay, on to the comment line in the PP's (which is usually taken straight from the charts)...it says that Point Determined "bobbled start"...that's just wrong...the horse STUMBLED pretty badly, and definitely lost early position because of it (looked to be about two lengths worth)...also, Steve Grabowski notes in the "Closer Look" section (located in the right-hand margin next to the PP's) that he "doubts the trouble at the break cost him much"...to me, that indicates that he didn't even watch the race...again, i have to wonder just how much research these DRF guys are doing...

alan said...

Yeah, it's right between, and connects Bradenton and Sarasota!

I'd love to see those figs on Rockport Harbor and the maiden race, if anyone has seen them.

Walter said...

...just read that Bob Lewis died this morning of heart failure...he was 81...not that she'll read this, but thoughts and prayers go out to Beverly Lewis...it seems everyone loved the guy a lot...i'm glad Point of Impact could win for him yesterday, i'm sure he got some pleasure from that...and here's hoping Point Determined gets it done today...

Walter said...

...a few points...first off, i missed the Point Determined race, but according to the charts, he had a pretty rough time beating 4 overmatched Golden Gate horses???...looks like he broke slowly, so maybe that had something to do with it, but it certainly looks (on paper, anyway) to be a disappointing performance...

...secondly, i was in Bally's tonight, and grabbed their latest Derby sheet...in spite of the fact Your Tent Or Mine has yet to record a single workout ALL YEAR, Bally's has seen fit to DROP him down to 12/1 (he had previously been listed at 18/1)...is that incredible, or what???...incidentally, that purported March return is looking pretty dubious right now, isn't it?...i've always had the utmost respect for Drysdale, but i've come to the conclusion he's an outright liar...there's obviously something wrong with this horse, and i'm guessing it has something to do with him getting body-slammed by Brother Derek i the Futurity...

...and speaking of Dysdale, his big client Mr. Sekiguchi is unveiling his record 8 million dollar colt tomorrow in Race 3...and what did Mr. Sekiguchi name the horse?...why, Mr. Sekiguchi, of course!...let's hope Mr. Sekiguchi has more luck with this one than he did with his 4 million dollar colt, Fusaichi Samurai...that one broke his maiden at first asking for Drysdale, then dropped completely off the map, ala Your Tent Or Mine...to this day, the horse has a grand total of TWO career starts...that's 2 million dollars a start, for those keeping track... 8^P

Walter said...

...uh oh...i just looked at the workout reports on Mr. Sekiguchi (who happens to be the 2/1 ml favorite, btw), and well, they're not very encouraging...on the flip side, Popsa Yankee (12/1 ml), well, let's just say i expect him to finish in front of Mr. Sekiguchi...

Walter said...

...well, i took a beating on the Mr. Sekiguchi race...lost 2 units on Popsa Yankee, who DID pop the gate and assume early command, as expected...but he was passed on the turn by Mr. Sekiguchi, who made really nice move to take the lead, and appeared to have the race won in early stretch...however, he tired as well, and was run down late by his uncoupled stablemate Rising Rate...i also lost half a unit on a Rising Rate/Popsa Yankee backup exacta...ugh...

...as for today's San Carlos, wow, the race has come up exceedingly tough...i'm particularly interested in Surf Cat, who i think is a FANTASTIC sprinter, and who i gave a decent chance to last year of winning the Breeders Cup Sprint (assuming Headley would turn him back in distance, which i guess he chose not to do)...not sure if sprinting is in the plans this year either, as this 7-furlong race could very well be a prep for some subsequent two-turn efforts...but i think the horse is capable pof winning today, if he's fully cranked and ready-to-go...he certainly has no trouble firing fresh, so i don't think that's an issue...this is a VERY tough spot for him, but i'd become interested at anything above his morning line of 4/1...another with a chance in here at good odds is Imperialism, who's 3-for-3 at 7 furlongs, and won impressively in a nearly identical situation back in August at Del Mar...same jockey aboard today, btw...