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Palace Malice to Carry 121 in New Orleans

Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice, hero of last spring’s Belmont Stakes as the final jewel of racing’s 2013 Triple Crown, has been assigned the top impost of 121 pounds for next Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade II New Orleans Handicap on Louisiana Derby Day at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Weights for the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap, Fair Grounds’ showcase race of the season for older horses on the main track, were released Thursday.  The nine-furlong test, along with the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies and the $400,000 Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap for older horses to be contested at about 1 1/8-miles over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, is one of three Grade II races that will accompany the 101st running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby, annually the centerpiece of the winter racing season in the Crescent City.

Three stakes races restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds – the $75,000 Crescent City Derby, the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks and the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes will also be run on Fair Grounds’ 2014 Louisiana Derby Day March 29 program.

Palace Malice, a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin trained by five-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Todd Pletcher, finished seventh in last season’s Louisiana Derby and 12th in the 2013 Kentucky Derby before reaching mental maturity.  Following his Belmont Stakes score, however,the Kentucky-bred colt won Saratoga’s Grade II Jim Dandy, was beaten less than a length for the win when fourth in that upstate New York oval’s Grade I Travers and was the runner-up in Belmont’s Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup.

In his lone start this season as a 4-year-old, Palace Malice returned to competition to win South Florida’s Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 8.

Next in the weights for the New Orleans Handicap among those expected to start are Joseph Sutton’s Bradester and WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary, both assigned 117 pounds.

Bradester, trained by Eddie Kenneally, won Fair Grounds’ Grade III Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 22 as the final designed prep for the New Orleans Handicap, while Revolutionary, another Todd Pletcher trainee, won last season’s Louisiana Derby and finished third in the Kentucky Derby before returning this season with a win in an allowance and optional $100,000 claiming event on Jan. 11. He most recently finished seventh in Gulfstream’s Grade I Donn Handicap Feb. 9 after breaking tardily and racing wide.

Fox Hill Farms’ Normandy Invasion, trained by Chad Brown, Jim Tafel’s Fordubai, conditioned by Greg Geier, and Gallant Stable’s Majestic Harbor, trained by Sean McCarthy, are all expected to start in the New Orleans Handicap and are all assigned 115 pounds.

Normandy Invasion, fifth beaten a length and a half for the win in last year’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, bypassed last year’s $1 million Louisiana Derby in favor of a start in Aqueduct’s Grade I Wood Memorial in early April, where he finished second by three-quarters of a length after being bumped just after the start.  A subsequent start in the Kentucky Derby, where he was once again forced to steady, resulted in a fourth-place finish when beaten less than four lengths at the wire.  After being taken out of training following the Run for the Roses, Normandy Invasion returned to competition at Gulfstream Park Feb. 22 and galloped home 7 ¾-lengths in front of his nearest rival.  The New Orleans ‘Cap will be his second start of the season.

Fordubai finished third in the Mineshaft but won Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Handicap before that on Jan. 18, while Majestic Harbor was most recently fourth in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Antonio Feb. 8.

Lothenbach Stables’ Mister Marti Gras, conditioned by Neil Pessin and assigned 114 pounds, was ninth in the Mineshaft in his first start of the year but runner-up in the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup last fall, while Charles Fipke’s Golden Soul, expected to make his 2014 debut in the New Orleans ‘Cap, gets in lightest of all with 114 pounds despite finishing second in last year’s Kentucky Derby and fourth in last year’s Louisiana Derby.

 

 

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Older Comments about Palace Malice to Carry 121 in New Orleans...

Just my opinion of course, but in this race I see the post positions and weather as having a far greater effect on the outcome than the weights assigned. The weights are just not high enough to have that serious of an effect on the placings, especially at 9 furlongs. I'm going with Golden Soul because I think PM will have a hard time overcoming his outside post and the slop. Bradester would not surprise me either, but I'm expecting the speed to break down some in the final furlong, especially if Smith fights to get PM out front and they battle early. Of course I'll wait to see how the track plays out, if it's good or better then I'll have to consider NI.
I apologize if I have not explained this clearly. Ratings in Hong Kong are not speed ratings for races like Beyers are here. Think of them more like rankings in the BCS system for college football. But in your specific example, a horse that races in graded stakes will be rated in the top tier of horses in HK, as its a prerequisite. The priority for filling stakes races is the rating system. So a G2 caliber horse would likely be rated in the 90-100 range, however if the field will be filled based on the ratings of the horses nominated. So if a specific horse carries a rating of 90, he will be entered into a graded stakes field only if it does not fill with horses that are rated higher than him. if the field is full with horses rated higher, then that horse can be an AE or opt to run in high class handicap to try and increase its individual rating. The HK system is specially designed so that "allowance" (aka ratings 0-80) cannot openly engage in competition against stakes level horses (typically ratings 80+). They have to increase their ratings through continually improving agains their own level of competition and "rising through the ranks" so to speak.
Correct me if i am wrong in my understanding your point,if we used that system here. A horse can run in 4 G2 races in a row and lose them all.Using Beyers as the barometer.He has run 100/101/100/14 while losing 3 in a row. An allowance horse wins 4 in a row ,in allowance races. His 4 racesare wins and his Beyer numbers are 87 /89/ 91/96. Are they now to carry the same weight ,because one lost 4 in a row and the other won 4 in a row.
It does make more sense than some of the peculiar allowance conditions that are used here Ambitious… and soften the tracks and raise the scale of weights while you’re at it.
tmallios, I am not disagreeing with what you're saying. I'm only stating that more than just the conditions of the previous race need to be considered when evaluating weights of a handicap. I think we both agree to that. Amino, racing in HK really is that simple. As an example, for a Class 3 handicap, which races horses rated 60-79, a horse in the race with a rating of 79 will carry 133lbs while a horse with the rating of 60 will carry 113. Usually the fields are full at 14 horses, and the HKJC does a good job of filling them with a full range of the ratings within a given class. That being said, if a horse is on 4 race losing skid and has dropped 20 points to their current 79, and a horse has won 4 in a row and has increased their rating to 79, they both carry 133lbs if they were entered in the same race. Its not that particularly agree or disagree with the way that Hong Kong assigns weights, but its just very different than here in the USA.
tmallios, I am not disagreeing with what you're saying. I'm only stating that more than just the conditions of the previous race need to be considered when evaluating weights of a handicap. I think we both agree to that. Amino, racing in HK really is that simple. As an example, for a Class 3 handicap, which races horses rated 60-79, a horse in the race with a rating of 79 will carry 133lbs while a horse with the rating of 60 will carry 113. Usually the fields are full at 14 horses, and the HKJC does a good job of filling them with a full range of the ratings within a given class. That being said, if a horse is on 4 race losing skid and has dropped 20 points to their current 79, and a horse has won 4 in a row and has increased their rating to 79, they both carry 133lbs if they were entered in the same race. Its not that particularly agree or disagree with the way that Hong Kong assigns weights, but its just very different than here in the USA.
I think he'll do fine. It should make for a helluva race, though.
Ambitious listen to what you are asking. What was the competition and the distance??????? Both were at 1 mile,one was a GRASE 2 STAKES RACE. The other was a NON WINNERS OF 1 RACE ALLOWANCE. In what race do you personally think that the tougher competition ran in.
Rather than “no opinion is involved” isn’t Hong Kong just substituting one opinion {overall rating} for another opinion more specific to the given handicap nominees? I reckon the pace/speed/%energy factors would warrant weighting them after the field was drawn if you truly wanted to “bring them all down to the line together”.
the abilities of the horses involved are what is important. ANy wieght shift less than 15 pound can be disregarded. The big problem today is that there are NO rides capable of getting in at the lower end of the scale. Look at old races and there were always a few with 107 or less up.
I don't think its entirely encompassing of the handicap weight if the previous level of race is the the only variable used to assign the weights. Who was the competition in each race? What was the distance of the race? Where they coming off long layoffs, or has there been a recent body of races to accurately reflect their form coming into the race? And I'm fairly certain the people assigning the weights are handicappers. That is the reason its called a handicap, right? As an alternative, if you want a strictly rule based weight assignment, that is exactly how Hong Kong assigns their weights. Each horse's individual rating is determined by on track performance, both as an individual, and against their competition. When they face similar rated horses, the difference in rating translates into handicap weights. No opinion is involved. The top rated horse carries 133 lbs. They can get weight breaks by having an apprentice jockey. Their handicap races do not include horses with more than a 20 point (or lb) rating difference. If folks want to know more about this system, I'd be happy to write about it.
Dr. Willima Quirin PROVED that weight was a very very OVERBLOWN factor via thousands and thousands of review. No different today since significant weights are a thing of the past today.
Ok Ambitious let us use your logic.A horse wis a G2 Stakes race at 1 mile and a horse wins an Allowance race at 1 mile. Do you think it is fair that they both carry the same weights. Who is to decide on current form. The racing Heads who can't control their own game. Now you want them to be handicappers
Whether or not you think weights are relevant to a horse in a race, I do believe that they should be assigned based on the horse's current form, not his/her previous accomplishments of their career. I've written about the physical influence of weight in a previous blog here on HRN, and I stick to my conclusion. The race is too short for 6 lbs to the be the deciding factor. There are far more relevant impacts on a race that have a much more significant impact on the outcome. http://www.horseracingnation.com/blogs/furlong/How_much_does_weight_really_matter_123
You nailed it with the What the_________ Jenna. The horse won so many races.Then he runs 2nd in the JCGC.During the racing,they wanted to be credited with consistency .Even at one point wanting to be named Ecliipse 3yo of the year. Now they are facing horses who do not come anywhere near his accomplishments,and they are complaining about giving weight. Maybe N.I. should spot him 3 lbs. based on reputation. They can always scratch and await the Alysheba at CD. Even with the weight,he should be able to run circles against this bunch. If he can't do that,then he sure is not ready to take on the big boys at scale weights.
I thought Bradester would be the favorite
121????? What the.....??? Yet Honor Code (a 3 yr old) gets 124 lb (at another track true) in an allowance.....what a joke.
Laz, Cot and his Posse keep chirping how good he is.121 lbs is a feather in conjunction to the money they are going for. I am sure he put it in the ear of the acing Secretary ,that if they were given more they would pass. Sure they will bitch and moan publically as the race approaches. But if they run,they are happy with the assignment. Imagine Forego,in the JCGC at 12 furlongs. He gave Honest Pleasure,one of the top 3 yos that year 19 lbs. Can you imagine any of these guys doing that today.
In some so called high profile handicap races maidens are actually assigned more weight in their maiden races than the so-called handicap stars are assigned in theirs. Many horses don’t even carry scale anymore. IMO a pound or two is more significant when a horse carries a high weight close to 130 lbs. When carrying lesser weights I can’t see where a couple of pounds would make any worthwhile difference. I guess that’s why the bug allowance levels off at 5 lbs. 5 lbs. should make a difference at the lighter weights.
Handicaps are a joke ,especially for the big Bucks. An up and coming star who has not run through conditions is getting a tremendous weight Allowance. Even though he might b better than those conceding the weight. If they are so willing to accept the charitable weight Allowance,let them take away from the purse money won. Handicap them in the percentage of their weight Allowance. See how fast these con artists zip heir lips. Since that can't be done,they must live with the ruling.I never saw a Handicap race wheras all partys were ecstatic about their weight assignment. Therefore ,if you are not happy.Please save me the crying a River.Pack your gear up and run somewhere else.

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