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Friday, September 26, 2008

Ranting A Bit

- No racing at Belmont today. ESPN News is picking up tomorrow's Jockey Club Gold Cup; according to this article in USA Today, you can tune in at 5:52 PM. Which is also the listed post time for the race. The race will be merely a blip on the screen, that's all. Pretty damn pitiful for the home of the Breeders' Cup. The network has just totally dropped the ball on the sport this year; racing might be better off on Versus. Certainly the biggest pre-Breeders' Cup weekend of the fall, and the network is nowhere to be found. Just shameful.

If you're in the NY area, check the race out instead on MSG, where Gary Stevens will join the NYRA simulcast crew. And if you're around, check me out for a live blog, as I will be watching the proceedings from home.

Mambo in Seattle, as the 7-2 second choice in the morning line, is the only horse rated lower than double digit odds in a field that features some quantity at least.

Gary West, writing in the Dallas-Ft Worth Star Telegram, feels that Curlin (3-5) should be guaranteed Horse of the Year should he win the Gold Cup and break Cigar's earnings record; that no matter what happens when and if he runs in the Classic.

When Affirmed displaced Kelso, he was named Horse of the Year. When John Henry, Alysheba and Cigar moved to the first chair, they all were rewarded with horse racing’s highest honor.

And that precedent should be infrangible, especially this year, when the Classic will be run over a synthetic surface that diminishes the championship importance of the Breeders’ Cup races.
I couldn't disagree, respectfully, more; even if I don't know what infrangible means. Horse of the Year means horse of the year, not horse with the most cumulative earnings over two years or more. The four horses mentioned above earned their awards on the merit of what they did in those respective years. Curlin's campaign shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath in my opinion. Do I have to recount what the other four did in terms of the horses they beat, the frequency with which they raced, and/or the weight they spotted? Curlin's campaign has been little more than his owner passing some time against a bunch of relative bums while he clears up the ownership issues that have prevented him from going to stud. Big Brown certainly hasn't beaten much either, that's for damn sure. However, I believe that he's achieved plenty enough in 2008 to earn a legitimate shot at the title should he defeat the defending champ in the Classic, and I don't care if the race is run on AstroTurf.

12 Comments:

Handride said...

It should come down to the Classic, in the TBA standings (which aren't perfect) a win this week will put Curlin @ 560 vs BB's 635, the BC is 240 for first 160 for second, 120 for third, means a win for Curlin would be a 5pt win even if BB comes in second, and I'd say that's pretty fair comparing their seasons. Settle it on the track, I don't care if they're running on fabricated dirt, or fabricated stories about having international experience.

just settle it on the track.

BitPlayer said...

To counterbalance your ranting, I'd like to say something nice about about someone. DRF notes that Turfway rejiggered their post times so that the Kentucky Cup Classic (a) could be seen (via TVG) on the regional Fox network and (b) would not be run on top of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. What a refreshing dose of common sense!

El Angelo said...

The JCGC actually looks betable: I think you can concede the race to Curlin and try to beat the 2nd and 3rd choices underneath in tris and supers (Mambo in Seattle and Merchant Marine, both of which are quite vulnerable).

libby said...

'a shot at HOY should he defeat the defending champ in the Classic', that is correct and that champ is Curlin. When the 2008 Classic comes around Big Brown will have run 7 races and Curlin 6. Curlin in the money every race he has been in, Big Brown not. Big Brown needs Curlin not the other way around.

How can you mention number of races horses run when the best of Curlins class went to the shed at the years end of age three? Big Brown has no chance to prove he will ever be anything more than a good horse in a mediocre year.

Curlin, as a four year old, won the Jaguar, Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster, Woodward, placed on turf in the Man o War (grade 1 against champions hello) with the Jockey Club Gold Cup coming tomorrow. The Classic or the Japan Cup is up next, that is a lot on a plate.

You understand I am sure for last year at Monmouth I read all about what was on your plate and not one word about Curlin winning the Classic..in great style I might add, in case you have not seen it.

Zenyetta has it all over Brown as the best three year old.

alan said...

>>You understand I am sure for last year at Monmouth I read all about what was on your plate and not one word about Curlin winning the Classic.

Well Libby, I don't know if that's totally true; but if it is, it was probably because I was freaking pissed that Brad Thomas talked me off of him at 4.40 to 1! $10.80!?!?!? :-|

libby said...

Ohh...I..uh..please do not take Brad's expertice anymore.

Anonymous said...

TBA standings.

What a Joke!

Anonymous said...

Infrangable......I think it means unmentionable

kevin morris said...

Alan, it's a pleasure to be able to write that I agree with you on something-pushing the needle past 10,000,000 doesn't mean squat in HOY consideration. To make that point obvious, what if Curlin comes in second in the JGC, then races next in a G3 in January, then retires? HOY for 2009?

o_crunk said...

Zenyatta's a 4 year old, no?

Earn a legitimate shot? BB is the favorite, IMHO.

So there's Wanderin Boy again. Look down at the bottom of the PP's there...second to Bernardini in this race 2 years ago. Still racing.

Never quite found out how good Bernardini really was. Think Curlin and Bernardini share some things in common. Both hard to get excited about. Both probably are/were being overrated a bit. Just a bit. At least Curlin draws a tougher field than Bernardini did in the JCGC (both times actually).

And really...112 last time for the Woodward. That can't be right, can it? Didn't think much of that last one.

First time in a long time that I'm intrigued by a Cali card on a big day rather than the NY card. The Goodwood is a very intriguing race. Certainly more juice than the JCGC...but that won't stop me from going to Belmont.

libby said...

Bernadini could have been a great i think.

oops, Zenyatta is four, my bad, hope she takes horse of the year, would serve me right.

Great day for racing fans, I am going to Turfway today - good luck to all!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, perusing Curlins lifetime pp;s he really has the look of a bum :). 14-10-2-2 for 10 million, almost entirely G1's.

A quick look at Well Armeds' pp's provides a good idea of just where Curlin stands vs. the best of the west.

As for wagering today, I think the switch to Johnny V. will make all the difference in the world to Mast Trach who should be very tough today.

Anyone but me wonder how good Tiago could be if they shipped him East to run on dirt tracks with a "super trainer"?

He clearly does not prefer the artificial crap.