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Monday, November 20, 2006

Little Miss is Quick at Hollywood

- Quick Little Miss is the first horse that I've noticed running back after having competed in the Breeders Cup, and she won the seven furlong Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood on Sunday after running 10th in the Juvenile Fillies. For those convinced that there was a rail bias on Breeders Cup day, it was, perhaps, the first payoff, as she started from the 13 post at Churchill at 23-1 that day. Her trainer Mel Stute said afterwards: "I wasted a little money going back east with her....I'm hoping it was just the post position and the track because I believe she's something special, I really do." I had picked her in the Juv Fillies, and bet her even though I knew that her being selected by Andy Beyer likely doomed her chances.

Even though the entire crew of Beyer/Crist/Davidowitz/Watchmaker/et al have written definitively that the rail was indeed golden on the big day, there are still some who feel that it was a coincidence that all of the dirt winners other than Invasor came from the rail post, given the different running styles that prevailed in the races. Quick Little Miss' win probably doesn't add much to either argument. She was a longshot on BC day, and on Sunday, she sat in last and benefited from a fast pace and a lethargic final furlong of almost 14 seconds to run down 7-10 favorite Jump On In. I did not like her in the race; my whole logic in picking her in the Juv Fillies was the way she improved around two turns, and here she was cutting back to a sprint.

Rider Jon Court said: "It just shows the track's playing favorably, it's not biased." [LA Times] But to me, it just shows that pace makes the race.

The Cushion Track was a problem on Sunday, and the start of the program was delayed for 40 minutes due to what was called "unevenness." General manager Eual Wyatt Jr. described the problem as "waves" in the composite surface. [LA Daily News] And in the morning, Circle the World, a Todd Pletcher-trainee, broke down on the Cushion Track and had to be euthanized. Nobody ever claimed that there would never be fatalities on synthetic surfaces. But the breakdown occurred amidst the problem with the track (which was first noticed late on Saturday), and shortly after there were concerns with the Polytrack at Woodbine. The events seem to put the industry on notice that we have not yet reached racetrack nirvana, and that the jury may still be out on the long-term future of synthetic surfaces as we see them play out over time, and under different conditions.

- Quick Little Miss is by the NY-based stallion Freud. She's out of an Unbridled mare who's a half to Greater Good; her third dam is the champion sprinter and Black Eyed Susan winner What A Summer. For the second-year sire, whose fee will remain at $10,000 for 2007, she's one of two career stakes winners.

3 Comments:

Pete from Gowanus said...

Alan:

Please do me a favor and encourage the people who thought the CD track was fair on BC day to bet a lot more money in the pools! They're also welcome to let me book their action at 5% less than the tote take any time!!

Hmmmm. . .maybe I should make the same offer for those who'd pick Barbaro over Bernie for HoY. . .nah, I like Barbaro too much ;)

Pete

davidrex said...

oh please put the bias thing to sleep already.
The damn animal didn't run that day and if you can pinpoint the problem I would worship the ground [SYNTHETIC OR REAL}....
HOW SOMEONE CAN WRITE SO WELL AND PICQUE MY INTEREST WITH WORDS;AND THEN ESPOUSE "conspiracy and/or theory" to the track is LEMMING....what cliff?

alan said...

davidrex:

I'm not really taking a position either way in this post, just pointing out that many if not most of the prominent handicappers who we all read are considering a rail bias to be a fact that's absolutely beyond dispute...while others, like yourself, disagree. Perhaps you should to take up Pete from Gowanus' offer. I admit to have gone back and forth on this, and I think that there are reasonable arguments either way. I think that the issue should be settled on the track and in the pari-mutuel pools.