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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Watch the Withers Replay With Me

The first time I watched the 2013 Withers on television I found myself wanting to shout at the screen as Revolutionary ran into one difficulty after another. “He broke slowly again. What’s going on with the way he is running? He’s climbing. He’ll never get through.” Yet miraculously jockey Javier Castellano found a way to get the War Pass colt running smoothly and, at the same time, found a hole between horses through which they accelerated just in the nick of time.
 
I was so impressed with the victory that I decided to go back and watch the Withers replay several more times the next day. It seems that Todd Pletcher’s New York assistant, Michael McCarthy, had the same idea. McCarthy, too, was amazed by what had transpired. “I was watching the replay of the race a little while ago, and there was nothing good about it except for the last two or three jumps. That may have been one of the worst winning trips I’ve ever seen.”
 
I needed to learn more about the race so I went the Daily Racing Form’s chart and found one of the longest and most descriptive running lines that I have ever seen. I watched the race over and over again and tried to match the chart with the video, in order to get a complete idea of everything that had happened to Revolutionary and Castellano. Here is the chart from DRF into which I have inserted  times that match the events from the You Tube video that was posted at the “NYRAvideo” channel.  I invite you to rewatch the race and read the chart of this eventful running of the Withers.
 
Revolutionary was sent over to the rail (:15) soon after the start, (:20) contently took the inside route early in the going, (:34) pulled noticeably on the right side of the bit at intervals while making his way down the backstretch, (1:03) after climbing for a few strides near the top of it, (1:20) took the two path for a good portion of the way to the half mile pole but re tucked (1:28) along the rail at that station, (1:35) got mildly shuffled, racing at a slight distance behind the runner up in the vicinity of the five-sixteenths pole, found enough room and was soon eased back into the two path, (1:36) spun into the lane once more pulling on the right side of the bit, (1:37) was forced to idle in traffic behind rivals during the run through the furlong grounds, (1:38) saw a newly-created seem between rivals open up at mid lane and was angled outwards toward it, (1:40) kicked in with a good display of acceleration after completing this maneuver, (1:43) split rivals in the final seventy yards en route to (1:48) grabbing the lead and edged away.
 
 
The more times I watched the Withers replay the more impressed I became with the effort of Revolutionary. The Beyer Speed Figure came up as a not particularly impressive 86, but the early pace was slow with quarters of :24-1 and :48, and Revolutionary did not have a chance to really start running until the very end of the race.
 
The experience that Revolutionary gained in his Withers adventures should help him run more professionally the next time out. Look for Revolutionary to make a big move up my New York Top 10 Derby Contenders list when it comes out in a couple of days. 

 

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Older Comments about Watch the Withers Replay With Me...

When I shouted Holy s*** at the television I realized that I had found my Derby favorite
please,they came home so slw.it was plow horse time.the reason he got into so called trouble is that he has no early lick.trust me,if javie thought he had the horse you all think he did,he would of fired him wide on the turn.he never would of left it to chance to find room on the inside and win by a nose against less than allowance foes.hell,i could look super dunking on a 7 ft basket if no body paid attention.the point is,when he drops back against race horses.he will be no where in sight.definately the most overrated 3yo of this years crop.
Let's welcome new poster, lturlish, to HRN!
Very nice format, emphasizes just how fast all that manoeuvring was. Hope you do this again.
I had mentioned I Want Revenge's race, but, I was incorrect on the race. It was the Wood Memorial, not the Gotham Stakes. Here's the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUUdR0fXCNo
for a colt who had SO MUCH advantage over that field, that final move was an un-necessary surprise.
What a great race. Thanks for posting.
Not trying to be a wise guy here but I've seen horses recover from a lot worse than he did to win . It was impressive for him to fight and weave his way through for the win for a young horse and I will give him credit for that part.I need to see another race out of him to be convinced if he is indeed that good.
My first reation to this article was, where did he get this chart, I want one? Nice level of mental maturity shown here. When a horse gets a trip like that, many horses quit at some point. Nice article, thanks.
You know, I found myself watching the replay several times as well, and thought the bit or something was distracting him but now I'm doubting that because it seems like while JC had a good hold of him throughout the race he was kinda mosing on then down the stretch it's like he said " Ok, you wanna see what I got...watch this" and off he went.
Awesome horse to overcome that and still win. I'm a fan and hope only the best as he matures and gains experience. Great jockey on board.
Thanks, CauseForConcern, I had a lot of fun puttlng the piece together!
Yea, Brian, there are ten commas in that sentence.
Awesome point of coinciding time with the Racing Charts. I'd never seen an analysis from that viewpoint. Thanks. The remembrance of this race strikes somewhat of a similarity with another recent NY race. I Want Revenge in the Gotham Stakes.
That running line may be the longest sentence I've ever seen ;-)
I think his "point and go" style of pulling will suit him in the Derby...
Ditto! I am a "Revolutionary"!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

 

Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

 

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