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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Are the Effects of the Santa Anita Time Trials Beginning to Show?

What a difference a day can make. Yesterday at this time, I was writing about the talent and accomplishments of Sidney’s Candy. Today he has been scratched from the San Fernando Stakes with soundness issues. It’s a shame. I truly believe him to be a unique talent. Hopefully with a little time, he will be back healthy, and as good as ever. In the meantime, I have to wonder about his unsoundness. My biggest question is how fast is too fast?
 
I am afraid that the new dirt track at Santa Anita may well be on the verge of displaying the answer. Twirling Candy ran 1:19.70 in winning the Malibu. Switch ran 120:33 in winning the La Brea. Sidney’s Candy ran 1:33.70 in winning the Sir Beaufort. Topnotch horses one and all, but are those times simply too fast? The answer is yes.
 
Too much strain is placed on the athlete when they run that fast and when they run on a track that allows them to run that fast.
 
Sidney’s Candy is now on the shelf. For how long is yet to be determined. Twirling Candy has not had a published workout since his track record. Switch has come back with one workout, and for good or for bad, it was fast.
 
These three grade 1 winners were not the only ones to blister the Santa Anita dirt course recently. For example, look at a couple of inexperienced and newly turned three-year-olds who broke their maidens recently in unreal times before turning leaving the age of two. The much talked about colt, The Factor, blazed six furlongs in an unheard of 1:06.98, while Rumor, a filly, broke her maiden slower, but just a little. Her maiden time of 1:07.97 is as fast as I have ever seen a juvenile filly run. It’s yet to be seen what effect running these times will have on their careers, but I know if I had a promising young juvenile, I would not want them to run on a surface this fast for very long.
 
Truth be told, I was for the replacement of the synthetic surface and the return to dirt. What I was not in favor of was the installation of an unsafe speedway.

 

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Older Comments about Are the Effects of the Santa Anita Time Trials Beginning to Show?...

I love that they changed to dirt, but again if it is at the expense of the horses I don't want it. However, I wonder if the times are just an affect of the track being so new. Remember the times the Pro ride put up when it was first installed. Zenyatta, a closer ran a 1.46, by far her best time at 9 furlongs. Stardom Bound, again a closer ran 1.40.99 for 8.5 furlongs. Is that not to fast for a maiden to run too? It took months for that track to settle to where the times began to look more normal.
I'm glad you raised this question. I don't know enough to make an educated decision. I learn a lot from your blogs. With your help, I'm sure I'll come to a conclusion!
Another track record time today at the speedway.
trivia question : There is but a single RIGHT handed turn on any race course in North America. Where is it??
Bid at Anita Jan 5 1980 120 at 7 furlongs, Feb 3 1980 1:57 4/5 10 furlongs
Maybe 1:18 and change ish, don't you think? ;-)
I wonder what kind of time Spectacular Bid would have posted on Santa Anita's new dirt track?! :)

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.