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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Making Stuff Up

- My favorite stallion ad of the week is for Pavarotti.

"If you see me once, you cannot confuse me with another," - Luciano Pavarotti
Pavarotti, the man, has been gone for just three months, and already his name is being invoked in a crass commercial appeal. I wonder what his estate would think of that. You probably couldn't confuse the opera singer with anyone else - he was a strange looking dude. But you could certainly confuse Pavarotti the horse with any number of multi-million yearlings who didn't hold up its end of the bargain on the track. Pavarotti went to Smith/Tabor & Co. for $2.5 million at Keeneland in 2005, but didn't make it to the track until early this year. The son of AP Indy ran poorly only once, in the slop at Churchill. He won the Round Table at Arlington, his first and only stakes try, and it was a game effort in which he battled back after getting headed by Time Squared in the stretch. That was his last race.

So he showed some potential to be sure, but even at a modest $6500 fee, at Hartley DeRenzo in Ocala, it was apparently determined that he'd be a better bet to earn more on the farm than he would have on the track. If he's bred to, say, 75 mares, that would gross nearly a half million dollars. So here's a three-year old being retired despite not having to prove much at all.

Stakes winner and NTR at Arlington - the ad reads. That's a bit deceptive to say the least, as his track record in the Round Table was merely the fastest time to be run on the Polytrack that was installed just this year. But the funniest part of the story can be seen on the colt's Stallion Register page.
Triple Digit Beyers of
105, 107 & 108
That's pretty impressive. The only problem is that it's not true. I'm looking at his past performances, and his highest Beyer was the 97 he earned in the Round Table! Besides that, he never ran faster than an 87. We see a lot of exaggerations on the stallion pages, but this is just making stuff up, right out of the Rudy Giuliani playbook. Next thing you know they'll say that he spent more time at Ground Zero than most of the rescue workers did. Or that he sang as Radames in Aida and performed as one of The Three Tenors.

I imagine it's some kind of innocent typo....if you go to the Hartley DeRenzo site, it says that he earned "Triple Digit figures," so perhaps they're really BRIS figures. But with all due respect to those numbers, which I know some players do prefer, I think that if one refers to 'figures' these days, the assumption is that they're the Beyers unless otherwise specified.

Ravel is another Smith/Tabor purchase, he for a mere $950,000, and unlike Pavarotti, he is forging on despite already having a graded stakes win - this year's Sham Stakes - to his credit. In fact, he's the only North American graded winner this year for Fusaichi Pegasus, standing at a bargain basement $45,000 at Coolmore in 2008. Besides this colt's potential, which he displayed in his five-length comeback win at Keeneland in October, his third win in four career starts, the connections are likely hoping that he can give a boost to his fading stallion (the subject of a two-page spread ad in Bloodhorse this week).

Ravel is entered in the Native Diver at Hollywood on Saturday. He's the only three-year old in a field which includes some sharp older horses in Bold Chieftain, Racketeer, and Isipingo, as well as Buzzards Bay, looking to bounce back after a disappointing run over the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate. Trainer Todd Pletcher is looking for big things for the horse in 2008.
"We felt like he was one of the best 3-year-olds in the country....And based on everything we've seen from him in the mornings and in his races, we think he's potentially one of the leaders [among older horses for 2008]." [Dallas-Ft Worth Star Telegram]


Superfecta said...

Very nice! I've always suspected there was more than just minor inflation going on in some of those ads.

Who knew it was on Rudy's scale?

steve in nc said...

I grew up avoiding the blasts of opera from my parents big stereo. They have a picture of themselves with Luciano P on their bureau -- they'd be outraged at impugning his memory with such crass distortions. The publications should get that ad corrected before the ghost of Maria Callas returns and begins shrieking at all of us.

No pick yet? Tough card. How about New York Moon grabbing the lead and mooning the field the whole way 'round in the nightcap?

alan said...

>>No pick yet?

Nah, not today, was too busy watching the Rangers get killed last night. Great line about Maria Callas.

Warstone said...

Thank you for the article. This is discusting and an outright lie on behalf of the stallion owners. I think I need to write them an email or maybe better I may write the bloodhorse.

Warstone said...

By the way I sent a letter to the bloodhorse and T-Times and got a call from Walmac about the horse. They will make the claims on the add more specific in terms of signaling what figures they are speaking about.
On the issue of the track record, the horse ran the fastest race that since they installed Poly a few months before at 1 1/8th miles. The record only lasted a few days and in the end the fastest time at the meet was 2/5 better than what Pavarotti ran.
This situation is even worst if you consider that only a handful of races are actually ran at that distance. They say that if you pull out the report from the Jockey Club it will tell you that the horse did break the track record.

However, I though there was a rule that at a new track the fastest time has to stand for two full seasons before declaring it a track record. Any thoughts?

Under their theory every horse that won on the first few days at a different distance set a new track record. Does that make sense to anyone?

Walmac was actually very concerned about what I stated which I think reflects well on them. They said that all they are trying to do is to set their horse in the best possible light and that they did not expect anyone to make any decisions about the horse based on their add.