Good article Scott - I agree on all counts. Another reason: she's on an upswing. Her last 3 races have been progressively faster and three of her best, on numbers. She is my favorite horse in training and I'll be very sad to see her go but I have confidence she can give us a finale to remember.
I think the only one who can is Arrogate. Frosted just isn't good enough and is better in NY, like most of McLaughlin's horses. But I think Chrome will win as well.
Maybe the best Distaff field or close, but 3 champions is not unprecedented. Royal Delta (winner), My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather all lined up together in 2012(?).
Likewise! Good luck and safe trips to all.
True, and in this case the question is whether or not Arrogate is that kind of heavyweight, one we can't answer yet.
Despite their favoritism, a lot of these horses had questions or visible chinks in their armor prior to the race. Chrome is in the best form of his life (unlike Cigar '96, Skip Away '98, Curlin), has shown no signs of regression, is adequately prepared (unlike Fusaichi Pegasus), is not at the mercy of pace or traffic (unlike Turkoman, Zenyatta, Game on Dude), and is on his preferred track and surface (unlike Easy Goer, Curlin, or Game on Dude '11). All that said, he can still lose despite lacking any visible knocks (like Bernardini and Game on Dude '13 did) but he could also win like we expect him to.
McCraken is by Ghostzapper, not Birdstone.
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.
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