Well said, Tony. And I couldn't agree more. Furthermore, Moreno himself was just DQed from 4th to 9th in the JCGC for a similar incident. Granted that was at a different track and the incident occurred further into the race, but as you stated, Tony, one part of the race should not be more or less important than any other part because they all contribute to the outcome in some capacity. To take it one step further, Espinoza was just suspended for a lesser infraction...deliberately floating Shared Belief wide throughout the entirety of the Awesome Again. If THAT earned a suspension, then all the bumper car action in the Classic should have earned a DQ for both Bayern and Toast of New York as well as suspensions for Garcia and Spencer.
Game On Dude, Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge and Palace Malice are all retired. Moonshine Mullin and Wicked Strong are both out with issues. That still left the Pacific Classic and Awesome again winner (Shared Belief), the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner (California Chrome), the Belmont Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner (Tonalist), the Gold Cup at SA winner (Majestic Harbor), the Suburban winner (Zivo) and the Whitney winner (Moreno). So I would say "it was Bayern who proved the best of the best" is not absurd. You can only beat those that show up, and it's not Bayern's fault that all the top handicap males retired prior to the Classic. If they had all just skipped the race, then your criticism would hold water, but it's hard to count them among the best in terms of who the winner could beat when they are not in a position to run due to their retired status. Now that still leaves a group of very good 3-year olds, contenders that are now at the top of the 3-yo and upward group due to the retirement of their elders.
While you are most certainly entitled to your own opinion DJ, there is one very important fact that you are missing: Up until very recently I was not convinced that Shared Belief was/is the real deal. Additionally, while he's proven me wrong at every step, he is still not one of my personal favorites. Am I enthusiastic about his BCC chances? Of course. I would have to be crazy to not be excited about the possibility of another undefeated BCC winner, but I can assure you this is far from gushing.
I've been loath to get excited about Crown Queen on account of Empire Way and Carnival Court, but happily, she has been disproving my doubts. Lovely and impressive win today.
Now that, folks, was a horse race! Very happy for Team Plesa, especially after the injury "Lucky" had to come back from.
I figured Bayern wouldn't be able to stretch his speed out that much, but I never dreamed he'd wind up finishing last.
I have to agree with Brian, Wicked Strong ran too good of a race to lose, and V E Day's victory really throws a monkey wrench in the division.
Ed Stanco is considering retiring Princess of Sylmar after her 5th place finish yesterday, though a good bit of that decision hinges upon what Todd Pletcher thinks. I was rooting for Princess, but it's been fun to watch Close Hatches develop into the monster that she is this year. At this point, I hope she wins out for the rest of the year.
Pletcher wouldn't have been my first choice for a turf filly like Euro Charline, but I'm sure he'll have her ready to fire big again come QE II Challenge Cup day.
I found it extremely intriguing that he was meant as a steeplechasing prospect, but flat racing obviously suits him just fine, too.
Adelaide may have been the best horse in the field, but Tourist sure gave it his all. Very determined, even in defeat.
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