Where did everybody go? I read the message boards with interest in the days leading up to the Belmont. A few points to make... The person or people bashing Tapit as a sire dont know anything about pedigrees or breeding. All you have to do is look at the record to see that Tapit is able to sire classic winners. Tonalist is loaded with stamina from his dam, so of course he can stay 12 furlongs. Stamina usually comes from the dam. California Chrome is a great racehorse, but 12 furlongs is not his best distance and he was in deep in this Belmont, with 5 horses who could beat him based on the stamina in their pedigrees (Tonalist, Commissioner, General A Rod, Medal Count and Commanding Curve). As somebody who has seen a lot of Derbies and a lot of Belmonts, this years field was loaded with top class distance runners. California Chrome did not disgrace himself at all - had Espinoza finished up instead of easing the last 20 yards and costing Chrome 4th place (and making me split the superfecta). Chrome was just not a good bet at 4-5, but he's stil the best horse in the race. As soon as I saw Commissioner in front and Chrome behind a couple horses I knew Chrome was in trouble - jock shoud have gone to the lead and dared them to come get him - at least then the owner would have had nothing to complain about.
Not sure how the rest of you guys who analyze pedigrees feel about this field, but I think there are many stamina laden types in this field - it is a deep field - and if California Chrome beats all of these, he will have earned it. This field easily exceeds most of the Belmont fields from the last 20 years, because there are a bunch of runners in here who should handle the 12 furlongs.
He was flat in neither race. He raceived two bad rides by Castellano, particularly the Preakness, where the jock took him off the staking spot on the rail and got him boxed in behind the filly who was stopping badly. Unless you expect a horse to jump over a horse in front of him, there's no way out when that happens.
If you really watch the Preakness, you will see that Castellano put General A ROd in a terrible box, from which no horse could escape. I think it is fair to say Castellano cost General A Rod 5 lengths or more. To say General A Rod was "empty" turning for home is ridiculous. He flew down the stretch once Castellano pulled his head out of the fillies rear. Chrome shot ahead of General A Rod in the turn (at "go time") because the General had to slam on the brakes to avoid the filly, directly in front of him. One of the worst rides ever in a big race.
Castellano's ride on General A Rod was one of the worst I've ever seen in a big race, probably second only to Julie Krone's disaster on Forty Niner in the Breeders Cup Classic. He cost General A Rod 5 lengths, which is pretty painful when you have the Cal Chrome/Ride On Curlin/General A Rod trifecta and the superfecta with Social Inclusion 4th. I don't understand how these trainers/owners can leave Gary Stevens without a mount when there are jockeys like Castellano costing you $50k in lost purse money. General A Rod re-rallied very strongly and would be a threat in the Belmont, but if the new owners are dumb enough to go with Castellano, they're probably dumb enough to pass on the Belmont. Social Inclusion is going to the Belmont and there is zero chance that he could beat General A Rod at 12 furlongs. Of course if General A Rod is tired, thats a different matter, but he seems like a distance horse to me.
yes, the myopic east coast writers can't see whats going on at Oaklawn or the Fairgrounds
The 3rd place finisher in the Bredders Cup Juvenile should get AT LEAST as many points as the horse that wins the San Felipe or the Tampa Bay Derby. We're talking about a Grade 1 champioship race versus a couple of Grade 2 races, one of which (Tampa Derby) should be a Grade 3.
The San Felipe is not at all a good indicator of success in the kentucky Derby. In the last 25 years, only 2 winners have won the Derby, those being Sunday Silence (who won the Santa Anita Derby) and Fusiachi Pegausus (who won the Wood). Alysheba ran 2nd in the 1987 San Felipe to Chart The Stars.
The new point system is stupid, as I have been saying since the day they released the details. Trainers can not take the top 2 year olds and PREPARE them for the Derby. Now all their efforts at age 2 are worth squat. If anybody really thinks that the third place finisher in the Breeders Cup Juvenile is less deserving than the winner of the Rebel or the Risen Star, that person is just clueless.
Also looking forward to the chaos that will occur when Juvenile Champ is given a 3 month break, comes back to win a minor stakes and then gets disqualified when trouncing the Santa Anita Derby field, so he doesn't go to Kentucky. Not good enough.
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