California Chrome, The World's Best Horse
Posted 05 November 2016 - 06:58 AM
In the showjumping world, mares and geldings compete on equal footing. There's an old saying: "Mares: 100% effort 80% of the time. Geldings: 80% effort 100% of the time." A few people compete stallions, but they are generally viewed as too behaviorally challenging for most riders.
Posted 06 November 2016 - 09:20 AM
Wow, Folsom Trails, you are a true fan. And so knowledgeable. Here's something I've wondered about: colts versus fillies. Sometimes they go head to head, but it seems like most races are divided by sex. Are most colts faster than most fillies, and if so why?
In the showjumping world, mares and geldings compete on equal footing. There's an old saying: "Mares: 100% effort 80% of the time. Geldings: 80% effort 100% of the time." A few people compete stallions, but they are generally viewed as too behaviorally challenging for most riders.
Thanks for the kind words BCF, I wish it did me some good though lol....Was not a profitable BC this year. I lost $100 dollars over the two days which is a lot for me to bet these days but BC is but once a year. Apologies to all for not posting pre Classic yesterday but real life babysitting took priority. As most know by now California Chrome was defeated by Arrogate, trained by top horseman Bob Baffert who also trained Triple Crown winner American Pharoah last year. Bob always gets the good ones and he knows what to do with them.
The result was a shocker though. Not betting wise..Arrogate had strong support as the solid second choice. Many did think he was this good.
The shock came when California Chrome had things his own way on the front end with a modest pace. Nobody had gotten to him under that scenario until yesterday when Arrogate just kept coming and wore him down nearing the wire.
Only one thing can be said after that, Arrogate IS the real deal. To defeat CC as a 3 year old against a 5 who had it all his own way shows Arrogate is the better horse. Plain and simple. No he has not accomplished what CC has in his career but CC is 5.
Arrogate, in breaking the track record at Saratoga and then capping it off with this effort has now earned Horse of the Year. One can only hope they will bring him back as a 4 year old to run.
The Pegasus, the worlds richest race (12m) will have it's first running in January in Florida. Chrome's trainer has said CC will run in that one and then be retired. I am sure he wants a rematch and a chance for vindication. Maybe CC was not his usual self yesterday. Who really knows...They are flesh and blood animals and have their off days. We'll see. For now though one must say that Arrogate is the better horse and a new Super Star. CC had no visible excuses...in fact he had the dream trip and still got beat.
As a long time player, after watching the replay I have to say Victor Espinosa did NOT look like the pro he usually is, constantly peering over his head both ways looking for Arrogate to join him. It's not an excuse but if the rider just stays focused and rides his own horse the result may have been different. These two are close in talent and while sneaking a quick peak may be acceptable, Victor crossed the line into amateur hour with his constant gawking behind imo..
BCF, Fillies are always banging heads with colts in Europe. Not so much in America. There without drugs in the game they race longer distances on grass and fillies win regularly. Beholder was second by 5 lengths to California Chrome this summer. She had beat boys last year though in the same race.
It's not about being faster.
A horse like Rachel Alexandra was faster than most colts. Ruffian before her was as well too...It's not about talent but durability. Colts are stronger day in and day out. As with humans they are just made tougher than fillies and this is why fillies get a 5 pound break when they meet colts.
They can beat colts but couldn't last a whole season competing. Rachel Alexandra may be the exception. In 2009 she beat colts including older colts in the Woodward Stakes, 3 out of 3 in an undefeated season where she won Horse of the Year. A rare honor for fillies although Zenyatta was HOTY the following year too.
Rachel's Preakness (from extremely wide post too)
Rachel in the mud at Monmouth Park NJ
Rachel's tour de force at Saratoga ( the call from now retired Tom Durkin was classic, pure goosebumps)
1 Joker, thanks for the input. It would have been nice before the fact though.Especially if you and Bob are indeed friends...Your use of 'Ha' implies like you knew something all along. We call that kind of person a Redboarder..A guy who says so after the fact..jus sayin
As for the title of this post it no longer applies. Arrogate is now the World's Best horse. That's the game and it could change again in January. In the stud world though Arrogate's people stand to lose a lot if Arrogate runs and loses..I'd bet he goes right to stud and skips the Pegasus. I do hope I am wrong. Would love to see a re match.
Posted 12 November 2016 - 07:47 AM
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Posted 07 January 2017 - 02:25 PM
That was a great race and an upset with both horses at the wire after a grueling 1 1/4 mile trip. Arrogate prevailed and showed he is an up and coming monster. He already is, breaking a track record at Saratoga in August. His prep for the Classic where he beat Chrome.
There was plenty of controversy though. Mostly on the poor ride California Chrome got from Jockey Victor Espinosa. Espinosa is no upstart and rode Triple Crown winner American Pharoah the year before. He just had a bad day imo with Chrome. Now it's game on for Chrome's very last race before going to stud duties. There will be heavy drama too as Horse of the Year for 2016 will be announced a week before the race on Jan. 21st. Although beaten narrowly by Arrogate, most think Chrome will be named HOTY based on his Dubai World Cup win among others. He just had an overall better year BUT...there is huge support also for Arrogate to be named HOTY based on his defeat of Chrome and his track record win in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. I have to think Chrome will still get it but we'll see. No matter the outcome this will all be settled on the race track January 28th.
A little back story. Arrogate has not started since his win in November as they are choosing to train him up to the race. Chrome had a recent start at Los Alamitos and romped by a dozen lengths against lesser caliber horses but did it easily and from the extreme outside post too, bouncing back nicely off his defeat in the Classic. The race is a perfect prep and he will be tough to beat. I am convinced Arrogate does not beat Chrome in November had Chrome gotten a proper ride. That said, Arrogate today is now 4 years old (ages change in January for all horses) and is stronger and more mature. He just might be this good now and beat Chrome again anyway. That's why this race is Sooooo anticipated. It's a great match up.
Another thing is that these big races, The Kentucky Derby included are run at 10 furlongs. 1 1/4 miles. The Dubai race and the Classic as well are run at 10 furlongs...The Pegasus is being run at 9 furlongs. 1 1/8th miles. A HUGE difference for these specialists. The advantage definitely will go to California Chrome. In fact even with the bad ride Chrome would have won the last race if it had been shorter by one furlong.
1 1/4 miles being the Classic American distance usually allows horses a slight breather as they can "rate" a bit before kicking home. At 1 1/8 miles though it will be a grueling all out sprint from gate to wire with no such luxuries. It'll be a mad dash run in sprint like fashion though still covering a good distance of ground. VERY hard on these horses and a handicappers delight in gauging the possible outcome.
Oh, did I mention there will be 10 others in the race to join these two? ANYTHING can happen and in horse racing usually does lol. This race will be huge for the sport and as said one of the most highly anticipated match ups since Easy Goer and Sunday Silence had their famed rivalry in the late 80's.
Check this thread out as time nears. I will be breaking down all the runners and potential outcomes. California Chrome arrived in Florida yesterday to acclimate and resume light training. As said he's had a good tightener under his belt at Los Alamitos. Arrogate on the other hand is training harder without benefit of a prep. Normally not as good a scenario but with these caliber horses they do get them ready. It should be a real humdinger.
Posted 09 January 2017 - 08:37 AM
I'd like to talk a little about the new concept of this race and want to keep it real at the same time. There is something great imo about owners putting up the money, big money too. Putting their money where their mouths are. Everyone wants to think and say they have the best horse. This has been the case since the 1700's.
12 slots, 1 million per, no refunds. Seems like a no lose situation. At least for the bettors and fans BUT...The problem is there are usually NOT 12 horses who are considered top horses in one year. Only 3 are nominated for HOTY (horse of the year) each year. That's not to say you cannot get 12 and that the worst of the bunch cannot beat the best under the right scenario. He can. History has proven that many times over.
The problem with this race being a success and continuing after this year is that the big money stables will have most of the influence. Some stables with money to burn bought slots without even having a horse worthy and are now selling those slots to horses that are. Arrogate himself had to buy a slot from racing and breeding giant Coolmore.
Keen Ice, conqueror of Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah in 2015 although losing by 11 lengths to Arrogate in the 2016 Classic also bought a slot from the Frankel brothers who had purchased a slot without a horse..Who knows what deals are being made and what profit there is. In Keen Ice's case I think the brothers let him in cheap and made a deal to split the purse IF they win. I guess they lost a million already so they are giving it a shot.
Eragon, a South American horse was another purchased by the owner of another slot. And this is how it is going. Right now I think only 5 or 6 horses are committed so there is a lot of politics and back room smoke. This part of the whole idea stinks to be frank. It reeks of the elite pulling strings yet even they may now realize a million is nothing to sneeze at.
Slots have to be purchased when owners have no idea what state of fitness and condition their horses will be in. Maybe the money will win out and the race will be a success anyway. This is the Sport of Kings after all. The other side of that coin is the race will be a bust and not continue. Why put up 1 mil to win 12 when you can go to Dubai for peanuts and win 10?
We'll see how it plays out. Either way right now it looks like a two horse race on paper. Chrome and Arrogate. They have the class and the figures. That said there have been thousands of so called two horse races and they get beat by long shots while they are busy wearing each other out with a horrid pace. Long shots pick up the pieces. That's how Keen Ice beat American Pharoah.
Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:51 AM
As you seem to suggest, I could see them having trouble finding 12 owners who want to gamble $1 million. I wonder if the Pegasus can offer something in the way of prestige, marketing etc. that makes it worthwhile even for a horse that probably won't win.
Posted 09 January 2017 - 11:00 AM
Thanks for the interest BCF. As a handicapper and bettor I have to claim ignorance to much of the business side even though I do have a general idea. I can tell you that owners usually pay nominating fees and entry fees for the big races such as those you mentioned. Usually they have to cough up well in advance just to nominate their mostly royal bred two year olds for the Triple Crown races run at age 3. That makes them eligible but then they still have to earn their way in points wise by winning prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby. They still have to cough up along the way and pay entry fees.
There is still no comparison to the Pegasus and it's one milllion entry fee. I am sure it can run in to the tens of thousands though. Peanuts for these rich owners. The game is not kind to owners at all, most losing money and in it for hobby and glory. Some hobby but they can afford it.
That's the beauty of California Chrome and his connections. Although made rich by the horse, they were a blue collar operation and Chrome a pauper breed wise. California Chrome has been sticking it to the Blue Bloods for 4 years now being age 6 for this race.
From what I understand the 12 million is there for this race. I assume we will still see a full field. Not sure though really. There is prestige alone for a losing horse just being in with the best horses in the biggest races. The real payoff though is in the breeding shed but a lot of these people will not get anything out of this as losers unless their horse goes on to perform in other big races. Resumes are a big thing to the breeders who buy these racehorses.
There IS plenty of money in the game so it remains to be seen. They couldn't ask for more having these two have their rematch in this inaugural race. People remember big races and the horses for a lifetime. If the buzz is there after the race it will probably continue. The buzz is certainly there before it right now.
Here are three of the best races I have ever seen. They want something like this.
Easy Goer and Sunday Silence in the 1989 Preakness. This one was one for the book! Race caller Dave Johnson with his signature "And down the stretch they come"..Goosebumps
Famed rivals Affirmed (TC winner) and arch nemesis Alydar (2nd in all 3 races and never gives up) in their epic Belmont Stakes
Legendary mighty Forego coming from the clouds in the Marlboro Cup while spotting 19 lbs (a handicap race) to the most excellent Honest Pleasure. A sick amount of weight to spot. Especially to the caliber of Honest Pleasure. I still can't believe he won this one
Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:34 AM
Ok, It was only when I watched the replay several times that I then realized Victor Espinosa, the jock on Chrome blew it by constantly looking around instead of pumping and driving his own horse. He also seemed to wait for Arrogate before really getting in to Chrome. Those not familiar with racing may not realize that with such a close margin in defeat that the above stated tactics are MORE than enough to have made the difference.
So while Chrome did indeed have an uncontested lead Victor blew it for the horse imo. Next was me saying Arrogate was now the best horse in the world. Well he really might be. It's very close between the two. None of this is to take away from Arrogate but I should have known better than to be so definitive. Especially under the circumstances of the ride.
I also said Arrogate should get HOTY and he might indeed get it. Add also the comment that the Classic winner usually determines the HOTY and I have to say that is really not the case.
It depends on the year a horse has had too. Famed California super mare Zenyatta, LOST HOTY to the legendary Rachel Alexandra in 2009 despite having won the Classic defeating males (Rachel was not in the race) because Rachel had a much better year while defeating colts the 3 times she faced them including becoming the first filly to win the Preakness since 1915.
The same Zenyatta then WON HOTY in 2010 over Blame, the colt who beat her is the 2010 Classic. It seems Zenyatta won as more of a lifetime achievement award at the expense of Blame who not only beat Zenyatta but had an equally good year while beating her in the big race. To be fair to Zenyatta she lost just once in 20 lifetime starts, that loss to Blame by a neck after literally coming from the clouds to just miss! So much of it is politics and bias. It remains to be seen how it will be on Jan. 21st.
Back to the upcoming race. People may think Trails is nutz but this is what we horse players do lol. We obsess over The Kentucky Derby from January to the first Saturday in May all for a two minute race known as the most exciting two minutes in sport. We do this for other big races as well though the Derby takes the cake. Speculation actually starts when they are still two year olds so even well before January. Anyway I hope anyone reading wont call the men in the white coats on Trails
This upcoming race SHOULD have been a Match Race imo. THATS how superior the two look so far to the rest. It may indeed play out like a Match Race too. The problem with that is it is not and the other horses have to be watched and feared in the event of a suicidal pace between the two.
In a match race there is no such fear. The two go at it and the horse on the lead usually has control and wins. Here are 3 famous match races.
Many of you saw Seabiscut. War Admiral was the Blue Blood and a Triple Crown winner and Seabiscut was modestly bred and the people's horse in 1938. It was a HUGE event. I also put the movie race in there.
In 1955, California speedster Swaps upset Blue Blood Nashua in the Kentucky Derby. It was game on after that in the match race and legendary Eddie Arcaro put the pedal to the metal getting the better of future legend Wiillie Shoemaker.
In 1975 was the ill fated filly Ruffian who died facing the Derby winner Foolish Pleasure. She was a magnificent horse who was undefeated. She was so good they all wanted a match race against the best colt. She actually hit the side of the gate in breaking but still made the lead. After a bad step she still wanted to keep going, even with a shattered leg. Totally heartbreaking. RIP
Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:12 PM
It seems there are more probables than I thought. This one makes nine with the three owners without horses at this time listed at the bottom of the article. I'm sure deals will be made. Still looks like the big two tower over this group. I hope any deals that are made will not ruin the quality of the race.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing has reached a deal with Gunpowder Farms and West Point Thoroughbreds to run grade 3 winner Breaking Lucky in the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
Gunpowder Farms owner Tom Keithley added that West Point Thoroughbreds and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing have also purchased an interest in Breaking Lucky, a 5-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky . Reeves Thoroughbred Racing has partnered with RA Hill Racing and Eric Young in their stakeholder position for the Pegasus World Cup.
"We bought in earlier this week knowing it was a good chance to run in the Pegasus," said Terry Finley, president and CEO of West Point Thoroughbreds.
Added Keithley, "We are thrilled to partner with Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds for the Pegasus World Cup."
Bred in Ontario and out of the Sky Classic mare Shooting Party, Breaking Lucky won the Seagram Cup Stakes (G3) at Woodbine Race Course last August and captured the 2015 edition of the Prince of Wales Stakes. The Reade Baker trainee was most recently second to Gun Runner in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25.
Breaking Lucky has won three of 16 starts and earned $612,376 to date.
Horse Owner Stakeholder
Arrogate Juddmonte Farms Coolmore Stud
Breaking Lucky Gunpowder Farms, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing Reeves Thoroughbred Racing
California Chrome California Chrome LLC California Chrome LLC
Eragon Jim McIngvale Jim McIngvale
Keen Ice Donegal Racing Jerry and Ronnie Frankel Neolithic Starlight Racing Starlight Racing
Semper Fortis Reddam Racing Reddam Racing
Shaman Ghost Stronach Stables Adena Springs
War Story Loooch Racing Stables and partners Dan Schafer
Stakeholders without a horse through Jan. 11: Rosedown Racing Stables, Ruis Racing, and partners Moustapha Fostock, Earle Mack and Chester Broman Sr.
Posted 14 January 2017 - 02:50 PM
Horse Workout Notification
January 14, 2017
California Chrome (6-Year-Old Horse)
Date: January 14, 2017
Track: GULFSTREAM PARK
Distance: Five Furlongs
Time: 1.00:72 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
The above is Chrome's latest workout and it was basically what is known as a maintenance drill. Nothing too fast. Just keeping a horse already in shape sharp. For those who don't know the distance is 5 /8ths of a mile. This work was run at a 12 second clip per furlong. Just a very good work though not spectacular. Remember, Chrome had a prep race recently so is already quite fit.
Here is the Classic again. Arrogate's first try against older. This horse is the real deal BUT note the jock on Chrome and his looking all around while also waiting for Arrogate. I think Chrome wins that with a more serious ride. That doesn't mean he will beat Arrogate this time though. Even with a great ride. Arrogate is tough.
Here is Arrogate's work on January 8th.
Posted 17 January 2017 - 07:39 AM
Here are some thoughts on the race from Mike Watchmaker, longtime handicapper for the Daily Racing Form (see: Below). He certainly has his doubts on this race and it's future and you can see he doesn't think much of the field after the big two.
In other news Arrogate worked out Sunday going 1:12 for 6 furlongs (3/4 mile). A very solid 12 second per furlong clip. On top of that he worked in company with another horse who had a 10 length head start. Arrogate caught the lesser talented horse easily and drew clear. He then galloped out two more furlongs after the work and was timed at 1:24.82 at the 7 furlong mark and at 1:37.80 at the mile (8 furlongs). This falls in to the phenomenal category. Many horses can't even go that fast in a real race and they say he did it easily. Trainer Bob Baffert is known for working his horses hard at their home track and shipping in sharp. The noise I am hearing is that Chrome doesn't have much of a chance!
Let me get past the hyperbole. Most times a horse with a prep has the advantage over one who does not. Assuming they are close in ability. Races are not won in the morning working out. They are won in the afternoon in an actual race and there is a HUGE difference in the effort that must be put out. In a work out a horse is un bothered and well within himself. A race is an entirely different story. IMO the distance of 9 furlongs still favors Chrome as does the fact he had a splendid prep race under his belt.
That said this is NOT to take away from Arrogate who is obviously a MONSTER! Chrome will have his work cut out for him no doubt. When post positions are drawn a lot more can be surmised. Posts can force tactics. One horse may be forced to go out for the lead or take back off the lead. Both horses perhaps. There are ten others in there. We don't know yet until they are drawn AND we don't even know if they will all break cleanly!! What a game huh? Even with a clean break there is the trip each horse gets. Wide, blocked, boxed in, speed duels etc etc..This is why I love it. It's not easy. In fact it is extremely difficult to handicap and play horses. You never know where you stand.
The Watchmaker article.
Pegasus shows lack of depth in many stakes divisions
Mike WatchmakerDRF National Handicapper
Full disclosure: I was a Pegasus World Cup skeptic when the concept was announced last May. Although I knew some big-time racing connections would certainly pony up the $1 million buy-in, I doubted there were as many as 12 horses anywhere in the world who were worthy of such a commitment. I also wondered who might be willing to accept this level of risk in a 1-1/8-mile race such as this at Gulfstream Park, where the configuration of such a race means a very short run to the first turn, spelling almost automatic doom for any horse breaking from at least posts 10, 11, and 12.
Well, even if the horses in total aren't really there, the starting spots for the Pegasus sold in a blink of an eye, and this thing is going to happen, one week from Saturday.
When I say the horses in total aren't really there, I mean nothing has happened over the past several months to alter the storyline that this inaugural Pegasus is strictly a two-horse affair.
Of course, that's not a bad thing if you have the right two horses, and the Pegasus certainly has them in Arrogate and California Chrome -- the first two finishers in the Breeders' Cup Classic last November, certain divisional Eclipse Award winners, and the principal protagonists in the 2016 Horse of the Year award.
Moreover, we have these added layers: This will be the final start for California Chrome, Horse of the Year in 2014, when he won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. And while California Chrome was caught late by Arrogate in the Classic after having everything his way on the lead, poor weather in California forced Arrogate to miss his Pegasus prep. How much of an impact will that have in what will be their second and final meeting? This suspense is good.
The unwanted aspect of the Pegasus -- that it looks on paper like a two-horse race -- is that it shines a harsh light on the painful lack of depth in many of our stakes divisions, including the handicap division. Can any of the others known to have intentions of starting in the Pegasus actually compete with Arrogate and California Chrome? Do some of these other entrants even belong in the same starting gate? Lets take a quick look.Editor's Picks
- Award winners can settle it on the track in Pegasus
If nothing else, the Pegasus race will present a rare opportunity to find out which awards ceremony got it right, since both California Chrome and Arrogate are hurtling in that direction.
- Everything you need to know about the Pegasus Cup
The racing world is laser-focused on South Florida right now, where 12 of the best horses in the world will square off in just a couple of weeks at Gulfstream Park for a whopping $12 million.
-- Eragon is certainly the wild card here. He has won three Group 1 races in his native Argentina, but it's anyone's guess as to how he'll class up in his U.S. debut. He could be beaten a long way, and I don't think it would surprise anyone.
-- Keen Ice, of course, capitalized on a surprise pace battle when he upset Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers, but hasn't won in eight starts since, one of which was his distant third behind Arrogate and California Chrome in the BC Classic at 32-1. Keen Ice is, in fact, still eligible to a second-level allowance race.
-- Shaman Ghost and Breaking Lucky finished first and fourth in the Grade 1 Woodward last summer, but that was the race in which Frosted suffered a terribly overconfident ride, clouding the outcome. Shaman Ghost was a soundly beaten third in the Clark in his one start since. Breaking Lucky, who was 48-1 in the Woodward, was 46-1 when second in the Clark.
-- Neolithic earned triple-digit Beyer Figures finishing second in the Grade 3 Discovery two starts back in his stakes debut and winning an allowance race most recently. But that allowance win came at the first-level allowance condition.
-- Ralis is yet another eligible to a second-level allowance race. He hasn't won since the Hopeful in September 2015, 12 starts ago.
-- Noble Bird surfaced Sunday morning as a Pegasus hopeful, though he doesn't have a starting slot and must make a deal with someone who does own one to run. Noble Bird won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster in 2015, but none of his three stakes wins last year was at a higher level than Grade 2.
-- And then there's War Story, winner of the listed Queens County most recently. War Story was also in the BC Classic field and, though he didn't break well, he finished eighth, beaten more than 25 lengths at 104-1.
Look, I want the Pegasus World Cup to be successful because even though $12 million races are ostentatious, this race might prove in time to be good for the game, and anything good for the game is good for all of us who participate in it in our own way. In that spirit, here are three suggestions that I think will improve future editions of this event:
** The distance must be increased to 1-1/4 miles. It is still the classic distance in U.S. thoroughbred racing, and if next year's Pegasus doesn't move to Santa Anita and remains at Gulfstream, a distance increase will negate the post-position issue.
** The murkiness surrounding deals for ownership slots must be addressed. A clearinghouse, a website, should be created, keeping real-time track of the ownership of Pegasus starting slots, deals or lease arrangements made by the owners of those slots and, most importantly, the horses involved. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it is critical to the success of the Pegasus that the racing public knows without any ambiguity which specific horses have intentions of competing in the race, and how they got there.
** The Pegasus and its undercard will be drawn on Monday, Jan. 23, two days before a Saturday card at Gulfstream is usually drawn. I don't think that alone is quite enough, though. The Pegasus should borrow -- okay, steal -- a page from the Breeders' Cup and institute a pre-entry stage, say, 12 days or so out, and then have a final-draw stage. A final draw on Monday such as where it is now is perfect. But a publicized pre-entry stage will only stimulate public interest in the Pegasus.
Posted 18 January 2017 - 08:38 AM
We talked a little yesterday about the draw for post positions and the trip that each horse may get in a race. We also talked about the difference in energy and effort needed between a workout and an actual race. Each horse has just so much fuel if you will to expend in a contest. It must be used wisely and efficiently.
Regarding that there have always been what we call Morning Glorys in racing. Horses who dazzle the clockers in the AM while galloping well within themselves and eat a lot of public money at the windows in the PM at race time. In other words they look like sure things in workouts and they lose anyway. Saying this is NOT to imply Arrogate is a Morning Glory just because he is working so well.
Arrogate's trainer, HOFer Bob Baffert pushes them hard and gets them ready. If there is any critique of the Hall of Fame trainer it's that some of his horses don't last as long as they do for other trainers. Often forced into early retirement from wear and tear. Most injuries in racing actually occur in the AM working out. There is some evidence of this too but many are just jealous of Baffert and the seemingly endless supply of top horses he always seems to have.
American Pharoah one year and Arrogate the next is the usual fare for Baffert while most trainers wait a lifetime for such a horse and never get one. Of course when you are good and produce results the clients tend to send their horses to you as they do for Baffert.
If you read the Watchmaker article in the last post you will note his displeasure not only with the field but with the 1 1/8th mile distance AND the outside posts who's occupants will be at great disadvantage going in to the first turn with it's short run. This is why he and most think a race of this caliber should be at the classic American distance of 10 furlongs. 1 1/4 miles, not 9 F's and 1 1/18th. At 10 F's there is more of a straightaway before the turn and thus more fair to all the horses trying to get good position. The extra furlong also tends to separate the men from the boys.
If you want to really be fair both Arrogate and Chrome should be put in the outside posts to even the chances of the lesser horses and even then they would most likely win. That's the edge they seem to have...BUT, what if Chrome gets post 12 and Arrogate post 3? Or the other way around.
As I am writing this I see how we may not get a proper answer after this race as to who was really best. It makes me think how this REALLY should have been a two horse Match Race. It is what it is though and hopefully the two will get decent posts from the draw and clean trips without any real advantage over the other.
This would be a good time to also mention that many times horses, long shots mostly are often GUNNED to the lead hoping for clear sailing and not to be challenged right away. This tactic giving them some chance at least though most usually fizzle being taken out of their comfort level and or style.
That could happen here and spoil someone's day big time. Supposing Chrome breaks from post 10 or 12 while Arrogate is comfy inside so that Chrome must expend valuable energy to get to the front, only to see a long shot with zero chance up there fighting with him. Horses going at it expend greater energy. The different scenarios though are endless. Noble Bird for instance is a horse who DOES have speed so he alone may have a huge impact besides any Kamikaze longies going out. There may also be other speed I am not aware of until I get the sheet for the race. All this will need to be gauged.
Anyway Trails is not really THAT lol. These are things that actually go through my head or any handicappers head really and I am just happy to be able to share that now along with the anticipation and excitement of a big race. What with my retirement giving me the time and opportunity. Stay tuned. Horse of the Year (2016) will be announced Saturday and with that expect the trash talk to start too
Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:32 AM
A late development. Gun Runner, 3rd in the Kentucky and winner of his last race in late November (Clark Hdc.) may be entered in the Pegasus in place of War Story, a horse with no chance. It depends on whether he is permitted to leave Louisiana where he is in quarantine as the state deals with a breakout of an equine disease. Florida must also accept him in. We'll see.
Although beaten soundly by Arrogate in the Travers stakes in August, Gun Runner a horse with all kinds of potential and winner of 6 of his 12 starts rebounded nicely and won his last race beating both Breaking Lucky and Shaman Ghost. This could be a legitimate upset horse. Many horses who are rushed as 3 year olds to make the Derby often fill out nicely and become great 4 year olds which he is now. His last race was an indicator of that possible scenario. He's been working out steadily too since his last and may have one more "Blow Out" workout.
It's quite possible that Gun Runner COULD pick up the pieces of an Arrogate / Chrome speed duel. If he does get in i'd wager that he will be a solid 3rd choice in the betting pools.
Posted 22 January 2017 - 04:41 AM
California Chrome was named Horse of the Year for the second time in his career. He received over 200 votes and Arrogate only 40 which was a bit surprising to me. Chrome had previously won HOTY in 2014 when he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness among other races. Interestingly enough he lost the Classic that year as he did this year but still was named the winner. This is a blow to the Breeders Cup and it's relevance. Many horse players do not like the Breeders Cup as it seemed to overshadow season long accomplishments for one day of championship racing. I among them. So this was a good thing imo. Arrogate was named 3 year old of the year and Chrome was also named best older horse along with his HOTY.
So it's game on now. Arrogate's people feel their horse is the best. Chromie's feel Chrome should have beat Arrogate with a better ride. I feel the same but am not a Chromie. I do admire the horse but in my line it's counter productive to fall in love with any horse or to marry one. That term means you stick with a horse no matter what. There are many people like that and I usually eat their lunch money. If I go with Chrome and put him on top of my exotic bets ( exactas and trifectas) it will be because he figures.
The Past Performances will come out this week and the draw for post positions as well so there will be a lot to report as post time nears for this EPIC CLASH!
In other news Gun Runner, a horse that would have added intrigue to this seemingly two horse race will not be in the starting gate. A victim of that equine disease quarantine. It seems Florida wisely insisted on more tests and they realized they could not make the race. You never know if a horse will pass the disease to others and infect an entire state's racing as in Louisiana.
Meanwhile Arrogate had his last workout before the Pegasus and it was another goodie. 1:12 for 6 furlongs (3/4 mile). This is 3 weekend workouts in a row for the colt and all were sparkling. This one over a wet fast / sloppy surface. HOF trainer Bob Baffert said after the workout that Arrogate was super fit and ready for the challenge. I am sure he and Arrogate's fans want revenge for the HOTY vote. At 9 Furlongs he will have his work cut out for him.
Remember, He beat Chrome in the Classic at 10 furlongs (1 1/4 mile) and needed every bit of that real estate to catch him.
The fact that Chrome got a lousy ride, the fact that this distance favors Chrome on paper and the fact that Arrogate is older now and more mature really make this race a classic in itself. Weighing all these factors are difficult for a handicapper and one must not forget there are 10 others in the race. One of those can upset the apple cart if the big two burn each other out and every other horse will be factors in the actual running. Post positions are going to play a HUGE role. I believe they will be announced on Wednesday. Don't hold me to that though.
Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:44 AM
Here is a listing of the field with also eligible included. It appears the post position draw will be today rather than the usual Wednesday for a big race. I will post that when it comes in.
Jay Privman , Gulfstream Park , 2017-01-23 - DRF Live Posted : 2hrs 37mins ago
The field for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup will be drawn at 5 p.m. Eastern, but here's a list of the runners entered, with jockeys, for the 1 1/8-mile race on Saturday at Gulfstream Park:
Arrogate, Mike Smith the rider
Breaking Lucky, Luis Contreras
California Chrome, Victor Espinoza
Eragon, Edgar Prado
Keen Ice, Javier Castellano
Neolithic, John Velazquez
Noble Bird, Julien Leparoux
Prayer for Relief, Florent Geroux
Semper Fortis, Tyler Gaffalione
Shaman Ghost, Jose Ortiz
War Envoy, Luis Saez
War Story, Antonio Gallardo
Madefromlucky (sub for California Chrome)
Sea Raven (sub for Breaking Lucky)
Stanford (sub for Arrogate)
Those AEs are expected to be entered in the Poseidon on the Saturday undercard and would only run in the Pegasus if something totally unforeseen happened at the last second to the respective horses listed parenthetically.
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