The comment which I was responding to was saying Man O War was the undisputed GOAT and my argument. Thus my argument wasn't questioning Man O War as a great horse but his status as the greatest or one of the greatest ever. To do that you have to hold things that weren't in his or his owners control.(such as crop size and competition)
Will have to disagree with you about their being the same amount of quality horses in 1920 as there were during the 1940s despite the crop sizes. Until the 1960s the elite breeders were still running things. Also out of curiosity what is your definition of a "good pedigree".
Without a doubt Man O War faced weaker competition than Citation and Secretariat. Citation for example faced a wide array of Hall of Famers Noor, Coaltown, Bewitch and Armed (possibly more) over the course of his career. Secretariat beat Sham, Forego, Riva Ridge and Tentam. Man O War on the other hand only faced Sir Barton. Can't argue too much about the superiority of Count Fleet's class but it's best of the rest (Blue Swords and Occupation IMO) were at the very least every bit as good as Paul Jones and Upset.
I don't understand how my Derby points are made invalid. At the time Eastern Owners didn't want to run three year olds 10 furlongs in early May (disguising it as sectionalism and instead usually opting for the 9 furlong Preakness). Once the TC series came along they very quickly changed their mind.
Two major disagreements I have are Zenyatta and Exterminator. I do think Moss shielded Zenyatta and while there's nothing shameful about doing what's right for your horse in terms of being the Greatest Zenyatta is just a joke running against joke opposition and losing the only time faced with top handicap horses. Man O War faced the best of his crop and Zenyatta sure he never faced a Hall of Famer but he beat the best horses except Exterminator. Zenyatta didn't.
In regards to Exterminator I disagree that 5 pounds wouldn't make a difference in a close race which I think it would have been. Man O War shouldn't have been treated as a normal three year old when at that time (meaning 1920) he was the greatest.
Look I understand the defense of Man O War and he was a great horse. My main point is and always will be in regards to him there is just little evidence to put him above Secretariat, Citation and Fleet. Secretariat holds all three Triple Crown races. He is and will forever be Top 10 and probably Top 5. I was just replying to someone writing Man O War was the undisputed GOAT in capital letters when IMO he clearly isn't and to almost anyone else including you (you said Dr Fager was GOAT) there is at the very least a debate.
You're right that I did make several mistakes in my argument. First off yes Man O War did have the same amount of starts as Secretariat my bad. Also yes 1,680 foals is closer to 2000 foals than 1000 but it doesn't take away from my main point that far fewer horses were born back then.
However that's all I'm conceding. You have a great point about horses being bred better in the old days but it's irrelevant. Horses were bred better in the eras of Fleet, Citation and even Secretariat. The erosion of sire lines has only gotten really bad in recent decades although obviously the foundation for it was laid long ago.
I stand behind my claim Man O War didn't beat any competition of historical note. Paul Jones and Upset were among the best in that weak class and Constancy was a fine filly but aside from Sir Barton Man O War never beat any worthy competition. Also while the win over Sir Barton is impressive despite being given 5 pounds on a hard surface (Sir Barton had really soft feet) and he probably would have won anyway it would have been far less impressive. When we're talking about a horse being GOAT without question as Creighton said that matters.
In regards to Exterminator denying the match race due to the conditions why wouldn't he? It was weight to age and no owner in their right mind even with a horse of similar abilities would give 5 pounds to Man O War (except J.K.L Ross who inherited a great deal of money and managed to throw it all away in a little over a decade)
Again I made a technical mistake with the amount of weight Man O War was ducking by retiring at three but the point still remains Riddle was protecting the horses legacy despite it being more reasonable than I made it seem accidently. In regards to the World Records Man O listen I know Man O War is a great horse I'm not an idiot he's just been boosted by his legend (the same is true to a lesser extent with Secretariat).
One last point what you're saying about Sam Riddle and Easterners views towards the Derby at that time is true. However beneath the surface I simply don't think many of the eastern owners though colts should run 10 that early in the year. Also with War Admiral by then the TC had become an established concept and War Admiral going into the TC season was not nearly as well regarded as his father who had a 2 year old season for the ages. (War Admiral went 3-3) If you put these factors together Riddle had a lot more to lose and nothing to gain by running Man O War in the Derby with War Admiral the opposite was true.
I will respectfully disagree about Dr Fager being the GOAT although I think he might very well be the best ever at the 8.
Sorry there's actually almost no question Man O War isn't the best. While Man O War has only lost once (to Secretariat's five times and Citation's two in their 2 and 3 year old campaigns) Man O War also ran the least.
Their are many more holes in the Man O War GOAT argument. There's the severe lack of horses born in 1917 (barely over 1,000). As a result besides Sir Barton (who he beat with very favorable conditions) and avenging his fluke loss to Upset Man O War didn't beat any competition of note. This was partly intentional Sam Riddle went to great lengths to pad Man O War's record keeping him out of the Kentucky Derby because as Native Dancer would prove in 1952 10 furlongs that early against the best of a class no matter how weak has a certain degree of risk. Riddle also went out of his way to avoid Exterminator. Whereas Secretariat and probably AP will avoid 4 year old racing for lucrative stud fees Riddle avoided it due to the 135 plus outposts that were certain to result in losses.
So to me not only is Man O War unquestionably not as good as Citation and Secretariat but Count Fleet. IMO War Admiral also surpassed his father. (although the Seabiscuit mythology will forever make that impossible to convey to the racing masses. )
No problem with the name itself after the Triple Crown "Grand Slam" is the next logical step. In regards to the Royal Flush idea yes it is mostly possible with the Haskell and Travers being a month spaced out. However this raises other concerns. Saratoga has preps for the Travers (Jim Dandy and Whitney)and with the hypothetical Royal Flush system Saratoga would be basically ensuring the death of it's second and third most important races for three year olds.
JCGC and BC would be unable to join this system because they're not 3 year old only. BC is the BC an event where all the best horses regardless of crop race at years end for a boatload of money. BC might become the fourth leg anyway of a grand slam due to media sensationalism but it doesn't make sense.
Interesting idea though. If the BC does get artificially added I would prefer a "Royal Flush" with the Travers to be implemented because it's kind of messed up they're forgetting the Travers which was always the "de facto" fourth leg.
Grand Slam is(unofficially of course) the Triple Crown and the Travers. The Breeders Cup being the fourth leg of a "grand slam" is only now in play because today outside the TC it has the most mainstream appeal and is seen as Horse Racing's year end title (it used to be Jockey Club Gold Cup in the age of the previous TC Winners).
However how can the Breeders Cup be the last leg of a Grand Slam if it didn't exist for the other 11 to win? Even the Travers has a shaky claim as only 3 TC winners have even run it.
Interesting enough before the TC was official their actually was a Grand Slam with the Withers(2 TC Winners did it and another 1 or maybe 2 attempted it) in between the Preakness and Belmont however that has faded into history.
All this talk of a "Grand Slam" is simply marketing to extend the uniqueness of AP's achievement by tying in the Breeders Cup to the TC. Unlike the Wood Memorial (biggest Derby Prep) and the Travers (biggest summer race) it is a more feasible fourth leg because unlike those races it is THE year end race that all TC winners racing to the end of the year will enter (that has more to do with the huge purse than any "tradition it might have). For example AP ran the Arkansas and might very well run the Haskell passing over their more prestigious alternatives.
Frosted shouldn't race AP again until the Breeders Cup and should be pointed wherever AP isn't. Right now that probably puts him in Saratoga. If Dortmund runs the Jim Dandy it's doubtful in my mind Frosted will beat him but if AP doesn't run the Travers watch for him to win big. Besides AP there is not a horse in this crop that can outrun Frosted at the 10 and that will be even more true later in the year. Only reason Frosted wasn't second in the Derby was a horrible trip not to mention it being so early in the year with their not being as much separating the best from the very good as later on. Looking forward to the Jim Dandy.
Up to 10 furlongs Dortmund's a great horse. He's the gold standard of what a breeders ideal foal is today (a horse that can dominate the two year old distances and maybe go 1 1/4 for the Derby). I even picked him to beat AP in the Derby. Obviously in the Derby both AP and Frosted proved to be better horses at a mile and a quarter but if the track was fast at the Preakness I'm convinced Dortmund could have given AP a run for his money. If Dortmund and Frosted both run in the 9 furlong Jim Dandy that's shaping up to be an awesome race as both colts won their 9 furlong Derby preps in style.
This is a good crop but its not the kind of class where if AP hadnt exsisted there could have been a TC winner. Before the Derby however it didnt look like this was the case and im not proud to admit i thought Dortmund was better than AP pre Derby and was even more suprised that Firing Line beat him. In the summer and fall program with longer distances however Frosted should be the clear No.2. If i were the owner I would run him in classics where he doesnt have to run AP down and get some wins and maybe challenge AP in the Classic. Still thinm Dortmund is third best though and he just ran into bad luck especially in the Preakness.
4) Firing Line
5) Texas Red
All hail the grandfather of the new champ! I am firmly convinced that EM is larely responsible for AP having the stamina to not only win the Belmont at 12.0 but with gas in the tank. It's such a shame this horse is in Japan American racing needs him and his progeny to create more distance runners. Watch out for his other great son Bodemesiter's first crop in a year.
IMO his stud fee( and that of Empire Maker perhaps) should start higher than AP. AP might very well be a great sire but winning the Triple Crown in itself doesn't ensure success for a horses offspring and until we see a few crops AP's stud fee will be purely intrinsic value. POTN and Empire Maker however should be able to demand Tapit level stud fees due to being instrumental in the lineage of the first Triple Crown Winner in 37 years and another great horse in Bodemeister respectively(was Alydar to I'll Have Another one of the best horses of the drought era). Sadly since EM is in Japan more of his progeny wont be in the US in the near future but POTN's stud fee should be higher than AP's due to being proven in the Breeding Shed rather than just on the turf.
Copyright © 2010 -
other passionate horse racing fans!