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Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday Night Notes - May 7

- Larry Jones said something that I've certainly been wondering about:

"He's great, I'm not taking anything away from Calvin, but you would think some of these guys would think, 'Calvin might be riding the rail back there.' That's the first thing we learned when I was race-riding myself as a kid on the bull rings - you guard the rail. No one comes through the rail. [Palm Beach Post]
Remember, Jerry Bailey said on ESPN that the riders would be conscious of him, but if they were, they sure didn't show it. The fact is that they probably couldn't have done anything even if they wanted to, because most of them were on horses that were already tiring, as Borel himself noted.

- Here's a stat I've never seen before:
From 1989 to 2006, horses who won the Derby after running in the front eight early in the race have gone on to win the Preakness seven times in 11 tries (including Barbaro, who broke down in the Preakness). Horses who won the Derby from farther back in the pack have a Preakness record of 0 for 7. [LA Daily News]
I really can't say if that means a damn thing other than to confirm the fact that speed generally rules in American racing, but there you go.

- Steve Crist had the winner and writes that it was an extremely satisfying one, and not just for those of us who managed to pick their first Derby winner since Strike the Gold in 1991. I certainly did not have Strike the Gold. His dosage index was like 9, and I was a leader of the Dosage Brigade; I had 4.0 tattooed on my butt. So to speak. Crist was always outspoken in his ridicule of dosage, and there was virtually no discussion of it in the Racing Times; I think they may have published the number without explanation in the Derby issue. So I'm sure that must have been one of his more satisfying winners. My world was shaken a bit, but I still did not bet a non-dosage horse until Real Quiet in 1998 (and yeah, I've told you how Victory Gallop blew all my exotics in that race).

Crist also commends Tom Hammond for blasting Yum! over their silly bonus, and I mentioned that during my spontaneous live blogging during the Derby...and that's certainly worth a second mention. Not often you hear a sports commentator, or any TV talking head rip one of the sponsors, and it was certainly well-deserved in this case.

I've actually had two Derby winners in this century - Smarty Jones and Monarchos...but my record in the three Derbies I've picked on this blog is just horrendous. I suppose deep, deep down, I knew Street Sense was the best horse. But there were enough reasons to oppose him, and besides, I kinda like to be contrarian. (As if picking three Pletcher horses was contrarian.) I suppose my reasoning in opposing him was wishful thinking, and the 9-2 price was fair I'd have to say. But if someone with Larry Jones' attitude was riding in the race, maybe we'd be having a different discussion here. Like, why I decided to go off Hard Spun.

5 Comments:

Brett said...

I think each year you should pick on pure skill. Don't look at odds, well rather ignore the odds and just pick the top three horses. And then make your handicapping selections based on odds.

Also picking two winners in this century is pretty good. I have four in my life Thunder Gulch, Fusachi, Grindstone, and Barbaro. Then again I have only be alive for 20 years so I guess hitting at a 20% clip is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Unbridled, Go For Gin, Monarchos, Funny Cide and now Street Sense are my recent winners.

Had Canonero II way back when I was a little tyke (got stuck with the "field" price at the brand new NYC OTB", think I would have stayed away after that!). Loved Secretariat and Affirmed, did not have Slew.

Anyhoo, the final results of the Storm Cat - Mr. P challenge are in, and the not surprising winner is Mr. P again!

Mr. P in pedigree
FP - 1,3,5,6,8,11

SC in pedigree
FP - 9,10,16,17

MR. P and SC in pedigre
FP - 18,19,20

Neither
FP - 2,4,7,12,13,14,15

Note that the top two SC's were Sam P, by atypical SC sire Cat Thief, and NBLS with a route influence sire and SC in the dam.

Lesson to be remembered for next year kiddies, through out completely EVERY entrant bred on the fashionable SC-Mr P cross, no matter how good their form. They are sprinter milers.

Also downgrade any entrant from the SC sire line, (unless by Cat Thief or Giants Causeway with a distance influence through dam).

Dennis said...

Thanks for that Pedigree analysis, anonymous. Very interesting.
I'm too lazy to go back and check out the past Derbies....do you have summaries of those that you can post as well?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, first year I really analyzed in such detail.

I will try to get some time to look back at the last few years, but without the pp's in front of you its not that easy.

Superfecta said...

I've had a run of luck lately; after Winning Colors I had a long dry spell, but then had Charismatic, Smarty Jones and Barbaro.

I'll concede that I only picked Street Sense as my second choice this year, but that's some sort of weird payback for having Afleet Alex, right?