An undefeated career makes people ascribe potential that may be higher than reality. I think the general question most people have about Songbird re: the Distaff is can she or can't she beat the older mares, and I'd wager that more than a third of fans/bettors think she can (I'm not one of them). The money of those who disagree will be pretty evenly split between the older mares so each of them will probably get less action than Songbird.
Songbird was definitely pushed in her last 3 - she may have won by daylight but she was not being saved and she was tired late.
Good analysis although I don't know if the older female Eclipse is as wide open as you think. I think it's down to Beholder and Stellar Wind - whoever wins the race will win the award. If neither runs well, it will go to Stellar Wind unless Forever Unbridled produces something dominant and sublime. I'm a Chatterbox has two G1 wins this year in name only and has ducked the top fillies to face short fields in all her races. Cavorting's only shot was to beat the California mares who are both currently thought higher of than her, and that disappeared with her injury.
Can't think of a better argument for eliminating the Dirt Mile than this article. The BC is supposed to be the championships, not "championships and lesser consolation prizes in case you think you're not good enough."
Alex this is a really excellent article and the kind of stats I wish more people would do and popularize in the industry. Successful Appeal (along with Northern Afleet and City Zip, who finally is getting some recognition now) has for his entire career been probably the best value of any Kentucky stallion. He gets fast, game, durable horses, some of whom can even route. I am definitely interested in seeing your data!
Well theoretically whoever buys her can do whatever they want with her, but unfortunately the people that play at the level where they'll be able to afford her don't usually keep them in training. It's a shame because she's improved mightily this year and I was looking forward to hopefully seeing her take on males next year.
There have been some amazing Distaff fields. We had a pretty spectacular one a few years ago with three champions in Royal Delta, Awesome Feather, and My Miss Aurelia. And 95 had Serena's Song, Inside Information, Heavenly Prize, all in there....
Cavorting and Melatonin ahead of Dortmund? Really? Melatonin was all out to beat the well beaten Win the Space in the Gold Cup. And Cavorting is having a good year has never shown anything that would make me think she can beat males.
4. Stellar Wind
10. A.P. Indian
I think you're right on the money. Everyone saw his Met Mile already, they have little to gain from a BC Dirt Mile victory but a whole lot to gain from a Classic win.
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