So you're saying one of less than a handful of sub-2:00 1 1/4 mile races in the last decade was "tremendously over valued?" I won't stop you, I just think it's ridiculous. And for the record I can't remember anyone who said GoD's 10-length Pacific Classic win was not mighty impressive.
How will running in a race she should win easily (or maybe, god forbid, have to run a little bit to win) ruin her? She's a race horse, not a china doll.
Songbird and Beholder both ran five times last year. Also Hoppertunity just finished third in the Dubai World Cup.
Beholder has decimated top males at a mile and a quarter. No contest at this point.
Songbird is freakishly talented and may well be one of the all time greats at the end of her career but she's not gonna get there by beating overmatched fields of 5 fillies in a canter over and over. Sorry, but this race is not on the "march to greatness" path - that would include the Santa Anita Derby.
Generally in these instances I would give the nod to the distance horse coming back in distance. With the way our breeding industry is nowadays, many 1 1/8 mile horses are basically horses bred to be sprinters who somehow got lucky and have the ability to carry their speed - the reason they don't usually sprint is because the routes are more prestigious and worth more money, not because they wouldn't win the sprints if they tried. Stopchargingmaria (Tale of the Cat o/o Montbrook mare) and Sheer Drama (Burning Roma o/o Notebook mare) both fit this profile - I'll take Sheer Drama. That said, Wavell Avenue was starting to look very good at the end of last year and we know she likes the track. And Birdatthewire has been a different horse at 7F and I like the trainer change to Proctor (although maybe less at Keeneland where McPeek is king).
Excellent tribute that fully captured what was special about this horse.
"The hearts are pounding! The whips are cracking!" What a great race! Thanks for writing about this classic.
His pedigree (by a champion sprinter out of a mare by a Met Mile winner) doesn't exactly inspire the thought, "Hey, I bet this horse would improve if I stretched him out," so I'm willing to give his connections a pass on waiting so long. Honestly, I'm flabbergasted that he improved but every horse is different.
Effinex was a mess all over - he had one of the worse cases of full body hives I've ever seen in a horse on race day, which certainly had to be painful for him and related to his antics. He probably had some sort of reaction to something new in the environment, or else they were psychosomatic, but whatever it was I'm actually impressed he managed to hit the board in that condition.
Also gets her an all important G1 win.
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