Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Sue Kawczynski
Greetings and happy Sunday
everyone! We have just less than
one week to see if we will have our first Triple Crown
winner in 36 years!
is shaping up nicely as the big race and the under card surely will
not disappoint. I think many of us are holding our breath
optimism and wondering if California Chrome
can get the job done. I sure hope
he can! However let’s put things into perspective, there are many streaks
worse than the 36 year drought of the horse racing Triple Crown. This week’s
Dark Report contains contenders, indices, breathing, rainbows
, streaks, and
some impressive winners. Let’s jump
COULDA BEEN A CONTENDER
In looking at the contenders for next Saturday’s Belmont
Stakes, I’m starting to think about who might have a legitimate shot to beat
Two furlongs longer than the Kentucky Derby
, the mile and a
half run at the “Big Sandy” is the ultimate test
of stamina. Does California
Chrome have what it takes to get the distance? Art Sherman
, trainer of
California Chrome, said he “got chills
” watching his horse work out at Belmont
yesterday. The horse seems to be in very good form! My question is, who has the
best chance for an upset bid? Here are a few horses I’m considering:
: One of the two horses really bred for long distances;
in my opinion Wicked Strong has the best chance in the field at the Triple
The issue with this horse is that he likes to come from the back
of the pack, make one move, and score. In the Belmont Stakes, typical winners are just off the pace, not more than a handful of lengths behind, from the beginning.
(Above: Belmont winners - points of call. Thanks Scoggay
I think this colt will have to alter his
running style to have a good chance.
: This horse absolutely destroyed the field in the
Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont back on May 10th
He took the
lead early on and never looked back, winning easily by 4 lengths. A couple
other possible Belmont stakes runners such as Commissioner
out of this same race. Tonalist’s impressive win at Belmont was also over the
sloppy track so that might have been a factor
as well. Does he have what it
takes to win this race? Possibly. He is by Tapit, and if you remember my Kentucky Derby recap
, I am skeptical of Tapit’s being able to get the distance. He has
the right running style for the race and I’ll be keeping my eye on him.
: Yes, a lot of folks have tossed out this horse
already due to his dismal showing at the Kentucky Derby. I however haven’t
given up hope on Medal Count. If you watch the Kentucky Derby again, you may
notice that Medal Count was starting to make a move when he was bumped by Danza
and couldn’t recover. With about half of the field size in the Belmont, Medal
Count should have a somewhat cleaner trip. Like Wicked Strong, this horse has
to go all day. The issue though, his running style also isn’t conducive
to what the most typical Belmont winner running style has been.
: Here’s another horse that I think has a good shot
at the major upset. With five lifetime victories out of seven races, Samraat
loves New York
and has the front-running style that makes him a challenger
here. He has fought hard in every race he’s been in and he never seems to give up
. My only issue with this horse is that he is out of an Indian Charlie mare
and in the years I’ve been covering racing, I’ve noticed that offspring of
Indian Charlie sometimes has issues with getting the longer distances. The 1 ½ miles
might be too much for him, but I’m anxious to see how he does.
BACK TO THE DOSAGE
As I stated in my Kentucky Derby recap, I still think the
dosage index and profile are valid handicapping angles. Sure, a lot of folks,
like Andy Beyer
, think they’re outdated and/or invalid but I think it gives a good indication
of the horse’s pedigree and ability to get longer distances. When it comes to
the Belmont Stakes, most winners have a Dosage Index of less than 4.00, with
many of them even under 3.00.
Let’s look at this year’s contenders and see how
they stack up:
As you can see, four horses in the Belmont Stakes have a
dosage index above 3.00. One of which is, yes, California Chrome. So what
though, right? There have been horses with a dosage index above 3.00 which have
won the Belmont before, right?
The answer is yes, but not many; only nine
have accomplished that feat
. (I also give a pass to those who have any non-zero numbers in the
last two places on the right of the dosage profile; indicating that there is
still some distance pedigree)
Still, he’s going for the Triple Crown. How have previous
Triple Crown winners stacked up against the dosage index?
Can California Chrome win the Triple Crown? You be the
AND THAT’S A WRAP ON NASAL GATE
I just had to put the final touch
on nasal-strip-gate. The
actual Breathe-Right company had this to offer in reply to my tweet:
Wow a free sample! Apparently Breathe Right is taking full advantage of California Chrome's historic run!
So why not support California Chrome's breathing, right? Go get 'em champ!
SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW
Yep, I was one of those people too. I was about to join a
syndicate to try to nail the Rainbow Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park on closing day
this last Monday. With an enormous carryover, I had dreams of what I was going to do with all the cash our
group was going to win. Capper
, and I started putting together
the winning ticket. With good handicappers all putting our heads together, this
was a sure thing.
Then this happened the day before the mandatory payout:
And yet another horse racing dream of mine had been shattered
. My congratulations go out to the winner for playing the ALL x ALL x
ALL x 2 x ALL x ALL ticket paying over $6.6 Million for a mere $7,603 wager. For those calculating it’s about an
OK so the Triple Crown hasn’t been won since 1978. It’s
quite a long time, but that’s not as bad as some other sports streaks that
we have endured. Let’s put things into perspective:
** The NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers had lost 26 games in a row to
start off the franchise!
** In 1980, the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets had lost 30 games in a row!
** From 1989-1998 a college by the name of Prairie View lost 80
straight football games!
** The city of San Diego hasn’t experienced a professional
sports championship in 49 years!
** Make that 48 years for the city of Cleveland too!
** The Cal-Tech University Beavers basketball team had lost 207
games in a row from 1996-2007 and also had lost 310 consecutive conference
games from 1985-2010!
But still, nothing will ever compare to the misery that
Chicago Cubs fans had been experiencing since 1908. Yes folks, as if you didn’t
know, that was the last year the Cubs won the World Series. Here is a list of things that have happened since the Cubs last won the World Series:
** Both radio and TV were invented
** Haley's comet passed Earth, twice
** The NBA, NHL and NFL were formed, and Chicago teams won
championships in each league
** The US fought in World War I, World War II, Korean War,
Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War
** Man landed on the moon
** Eleven amendments added to the Constitution
** The Titanic
was built, set sail, sank, and was re-discovered
** Wrigley Field was built (yes before the Cubs moved in) and becomes the oldest park in the
** Flag poles were erected on Wrigley Field roof to hold all of
the team's future World Series pennants, which have since rusted and been taken
** Swing music, bell-bottoms
, and disco came in style, went out
of style and came back in style
** Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma and New Mexico were
admitted to the Union
(List credit to Sean Parnell of the Chicago Bar Project 2010)
So let's not lose perspective if California Chrome doesn't get the job done this year.
DOMINATION IN CHICAGO
First, in the 3rd
race at Arlington Park
yesterday, a Speightstown filly named Pirate’s Trove
absolutely destroyed a
field of maidens during a 6 ½ furlong sprint, winning by over 12 lengths under
a hand ride
by Florent Geroux
. The horse broke sharp out of the gate and never
looked back. You really need to watch the replay
to appreciate the domination.
(I Got It All - Thanks Four Footed Fotos!)