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Monday, October 04, 2010

Haynesfield

I kinda liked Haynesfield; he seemed to be the clear speed of the field with the only question being if Rail Trip would be able to press the issue in his real dirt debut and wearing an aluminum pad. But everyone was saying that a son of Speightstown couldn't possibly win at a mile and a quarter, and I chickened out and passed the race.

I might argue that a mile and a quarter at Belmont isn't a true classic distance test because it starts on the turn, and is therefore not a pure two-turn route race. But Haynesfield cut a solid, steady 24 second-and-change pace and put the field away turning for home before cruising home in 25.46 with Ramon sitting chilly at the end, earning a Beyer of 107. So it seems a pretty legitimate performance. As dominant as he was on the Big A inner track (before his ill-fated Gotham) back in 2009, who woulda thought at the time that we were looking at a future Breeders Cup Classic contender?

Speightstown may very well be a speed sire, but go back to Haynesfield's third dam, and you'll see enough stamina to explain his ability at a distance. This is the family of the Belmont winner Touch Gold and his half-brother, the Bowling Green winner With Approval (the third dam of Haynesfield is the second dam of Touch Gold); and the Queen's Plate winner Izvestia.

Rail Trip opened at 10-1, went off at 3-1, and was done not long after they entered the turn for home. Blame rallied for second, and I don't see how you can blame Garrett Gomez for the loss. The horse pretty much ran his race but just didn't have much to offer in the stretch this time. Still he reliably rallied for second, thus saving the bridgejumpers who poured more than $400,000 into show pool. Maybe he prefers two turns. Blame is a pretty steady fellow who likes Churchill Downs, and maybe he'll now be a nice price come Breeders' Cup day.

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and the Flower Bowl both featured dawdling early paces, but was that because of a soaked turf course, or the results of cat-and-mouse games by the jockeys? After all, the final portions of both races were run in legit times. Winchester came home in splits of 24.43 and 24.25 to take the Turf Classic, and Ave closed in 23.95 to take the Flower Bowl.

In the latter, Japanese invader Red Desire seemed like the universal bet-against, yet she was sent off as the 9-5 favorite. A look at the tote showed that she was bet on the nose in the win pool, so I imagine she was taking a lot of hometown yen. Shared Account was the surprise second choice, leaving Forever Together at 7-2, her highest odds in some time. It was the first time in 14 races that she finished out of the money. Ave (Danehill Dancer) is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and her connections would therefore have to cough up the dough. Don't know if it would be worth it, really. I'd attribute her win more to strategic aspects then her being ready to tackle the best of Europe.

23 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Forever Together was the underlay of the century. Who keeps betting on this horse to win? And why do they keep running her? Haynesfield will be toast in Louisville. You won't get a price on Blame, especially since I don't think Zenyatta will go. Isn't it fairly clear that Zenyatta has lost a step? I might have to (gulp) bet against her if they ship her to the Classic. Sorry Dirty. -jp

El Angelo said...

Define "price". Blame is going to be no worse than 5-1 if Zenyatta runs, and she'll run if healthy. I'll take 5-1 on the horse that was everyone's front-runner for HOTY a month ago.

After Haynesfield, the best looking horse on the day was To Honor And Serve, who walloped a maiden field in the 5th and looked great doing so.

Anonymous said...

JP - Not a chance she's lost a step. If anything she's not fully cranked by the connections, who will have her absolutely ready to explode in KY. What's lost on many people is that she's gonna get a REAL pace and more distance than this - both a huge plus to her. And I'm with DC about the competition here, I think switch was good enough to win the JCGC. In fact, I've bet against Zenyatta twice, Switch and Model. Here's to hoping she stays healthy until race day.

Dirty

mshutty said...

Best thing that happened to Haynesfield was the scratch of Mythical Power. Took the next best quality early speed out of the race and allowed Haynesfield to secure the comfortable lone lead. Blame was the better of the two and will no doubt finish ahead of Haynesfield in the Classic.

DiscreetPicks said...

You don't think Zenyatta will go?

"If" Zenyatta runs?

Are you guys serious? The only way she misses the Classic is via injury. Possible, always, buy very unlikely with her final prep behind her and the race barely over a month away.

DiscreetPicks said...

Sorry EA, i missed the "she'll run if healthy" part of your post.

Nihilator said...

Quote from jp:

"Isn't it fairly clear that Zenyatta has lost a step?"

Listen "Shit for Brains" (AKA: jp)

Who the fuck are you?

If we wanted your opinion, we would ask for it.

Are you pickin up what i'm putting down?

You just don't get it, do you?

Zenyatta is a fuckin train (a 1,217 pound - 17.2 hand train). Zenyatta thinks these slow paced 1 1/16 mile events are elongated sprints.

It takes Zenyatta a while to get her feet underneath her at the elongated sprint distance of a mile and a sixteenth.

Do you under fucking stand this?

Listen sweetheart... (let me put in in layman's terms for you):

When Zenyatta has 3/16 of a mile left in a 1 1/4 mile race, guess what's going to happen when that 1,217 pound train is running at full-speed down a 1,234.5 foot stretch (Churchill Downs)?

Nihilator said...

Quote from jp:

"Isn't it fairly clear that Zenyatta has lost a step?"

Listen "Shit for Brains" (AKA: jp)

Who the fuck are you?

If we wanted your opinion, we would ask for it.

Are you pickin up what i'm putting down?

You just don't get it, do you?

Zenyatta is a fuckin train (a 1,217 pound - 17.2 hand train). Zenyatta thinks these slow paced 1 1/16 mile events are elongated sprints.

It takes Zenyatta a while to get her feet underneath her at the elongated sprint distance of a mile and a sixteenth.

Do you under fucking stand this?

Listen sweetheart... (let me put it in layman's terms for you):

When Zenyatta has 3/16 of a mile left in a 1 1/4 mile race, guess what's going to happen when that 1,217 pound train is running at full-speed down a 1,234.5 foot stretch (Churchill Downs)?

Anonymous said...

Define "price". Blame is going to be no worse than 5-1 if Zenyatta runs, and she'll run if healthy. I'll take 5-1 on the horse that was everyone's front-runner for HOTY a month ago.
__________________________________________________

What the fuck are you talking about? If by "everyone," you mean the same jerk-offs who voted for Rachel last year, then sure (I think we quickly learned who was better). But everyone else (read: winners) is pretty sure Zenyatta will win and be HOTY.

And why don't you look up future odds before you beg to take 5-1 on a piece of shit you can get 10-1 or better on right now, and probably the same race day. Regardless of odds, i'll give you all the action you want @ 10-1 on race day if Zenyatta starts, because that stiff has no chance.

You wanted someone to "define price"? There it is buddy.

Dirty

Figless said...

Dirty, show me the legit wagering location that is offering 10-1 on Blame.

He was 1-4 Saturday and will be no more than 6-1 on BC Day. He is a local favorite with a proven fondness for the track, and until Saturday had beaten everyone he faced.

I believe Z will kick his butt as I mentioned in prior thread,and Blame will not be on my tickets for the reasons I stated, but he will not be 10-1 in that race. He is the logical third choice behind Z And LAL.

Anonymous said...

Double-post spaz (aka Nialator) wrote:

"(Blah blah blah, zenyatta's a large mare...blah blah blah, freight train)"

To which I reply: Settle down and shut the fuck up, big mouth. -jp

El Angelo said...

Dirty, I hereby take you up on your offer for 10-1 on Blame if Zenyatta runs. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

EA -

Sounds great. We'll set it up closer to race day, but I think we'll have fun with it. I'm down to take whatever action.


Dirty.

DiscreetPicks said...

I think Blame has a better shot than Quality Road. Hoping to see that matchup posted somewhere, and I'm sure I probably will.

As for Zenyatta losing a step, I'm not sure what horse that guy has been watching all year. Besides, as my friend Crick likes to say, Zenyatta runs as fast as she has to. That pretty much sums it up. She's never been one to win by 10. I even saw an interesting quote from Mike Smith over the weekend, saying that she seems to know where the wire is, and likes to make it exciting. Wouldn't be a huge shock if that were true. The big mare definitely knows what she's doing out there, and you can see from her pre-race antics that she also has a bit of an ego.

Btw, I've just learned that Crick and myself might be on a Breeders Cup podcast with Beyer. That would be interesting, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

"As for Zenyatta losing a step, I'm not sure what horse that guy has been watching all year"

This is the horse I've been watching all year. The one that was life and death to beat St. Trinians. The one that struggled with mediocrity Rinterval. The one who had trouble with Switch (the horse that Dirtydufus laughably said would have won the JCGC). While it's true Zenyatta is obviously an intelligent mare who does just enough to win, there is other evidence that makes one wonder:

2008 Average BSF: 102.4

2009 Average BSF: 103

2010 Average BSF: 99

Thorograph also indicates that she might have lost a step or two from her top form. And it makes sense. She's a six year old right now and most would argue that a horse reaches their peak physical condition at 4 or 5.

God forbid someone would ever question this equine diety! For the record, I give her a big chance in the Classic. How could you not? She's never lost. But victory is not a foregone conclusion. -jp

DiscreetPicks said...

Those low Beyer Speed Figures are the same ones that led Andy Beyer to label Zenyatta a non-contender in last year's Classic. You know, the one where she was much the best.

Btw, St. Trinians was an exceptional filly. I believe she went favored (or very close to it) vs. males in the Santa Anita Handicap earlier this year. Switch is no pushover either. Go back and look at the replay, and focus in on the late acceleration that Zenyatta showed to run down Switch. That's not a horse who has lost a step.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see. So I show you how Zenyatta might possibly have lost a step as a six-year-old and your retort is to say essentially, "well she sure kicked butt as a five year old," and boy she sure showed great acceleration reeling in Switch. More brilliant "logic" from the blogosphere. -jp

Anonymous said...

JP -

I know very few people who show a profit betting horses. Me and DC take this very seriously, combing through workout reports, watching replays, and understanding class. When I'm at the track it's spending time with trainers, paying these dirtbag grooms for info, and being very selective with my wagers. I often say things to get a rise from people, but don't overlook the valuable information i've been giving you. (The most recent example being the fixed breathing problems of Joe Carl who came right back to win.) And finally, every hall of fame horseman at the track realizes what a monster zenyatta is. They know more than jp from sd does about horses, so I'm gonna side with them.

Dirty

Anonymous said...

Dirtymouth, it makes perfect sense that you hang out with the shit-shovelers of the world, given the way you carry yourself on these forums. I always appreciate the on-line bigmouth who assures you they are a pro gambler and make a living playing horses. There's one in every forum. 99% of the time, they are full of shit and I'm thinking you are probably not among the 1%. Every Cali horse is the second coming in your eyes. Your comment on Switch is all I need to laugh you out of the building. Switch has never run remotely fast enough to challenge the likes of Blame, Haynesfield, Rail Trip, and Fly Down at any distance, let alone 10 panels, but because she was close to your beloved Zenyatta she's suddenly elevated to something special. Look dork, obviously Zenyatta is a monster. Even JP from SD can see that much. But most monsters lose a race now and again. If Zenyatta doesn't, I will tip my cap to her, but I'm thinking she's vulnerable in Louisville. Either way, it's been a heck of a ride. Say hi to the shit-shovelers for me, dirtbag. -jp

Anonymous said...

Jp -

You're more than welcome to point out any winners you've posted here. Or anything useful.



































Yea, we're still waiting right?



















Ok, you never have.







Dirty

Anonymous said...

Let's play "My Breeder Cup Pix" with your host dirtydunce!

The Classic: Zenyatta by 35 to 40 lengths, in a canter.

The Distaff: I have to go with St. Trinians. She only lost to Zenyatta by a head, which means she's 6 to 10 lengths faster than any distaffer in the world.

The F&M Turf: Rinterval should be able to handle Europe's best grass fillies and mares by two authoritative lengths.

The Turf Mile: Switch should have her hands full with champion racemare Goldakova, but it's clear Goldi can't possibly be in Switch's league after the effort put in by the 3 year old filly against the best four-legged creature of all time.

The Turf: I don't think there are any California horses running in this event, which means it will be a slowly run race and a blanket finish. However, if Neil Drysdale decides to send a horse then that is my pick. I'm good buddies with Drysdale by the way.

Anonymous said...

Somebody getting emotional? That's a lot of typing for a not funny joke....

DiscreetPicks said...

Switch is good, definitely an up-and-comer. FWIW, she's already beaten Blind Luck. I was surprised to hear she's being pointed to the F&M Sprint, rather than the Ladie's Classic. She hasn't been one turn in quite a while.