Blinkers on/off makes a difference in how I handicap a horse for his next race, or how I consider what his net value may be versus another horse. Blinkers on/off makes no difference whatsoever when judging who should win an annual or lifetime award. What they do on the track, regardless of location, equipment, track condition, is what I consider, for better or worse. The great things WTC did this year make him a clear cut winner of the 3YO colt Eclipse when you compare his record against 3 YO colts. But when you compare it to all North American thoroughbreds, there are at least 4 or 5 horses who have done better than WTC, including Wise Dan, Mucho Macho Man, Game on Dude, Beholder, Princess of Sylmar, and you could even make a case for Points Offthebench.
I'm not saying she deserves it, I'm just saying I'd rank her ahead of WTC on the depth chart.
I can accept that argument. I just don't see an argument of ranking WTC above MMM. MMM won two G1's against open competition including the biggest of the year in which he beat WTC (not by much, but he still won) and finished no worse than 3rd all year (except for the race he was injured). GOD won 5 graded and 3 G1's against open competition. WTC only won one G1 against open competition and one other against 3YOs (a big one to be sure). You can argue that maybe WTC is more deserving that GOD because he beat him twice, but there is no argument for ranking him above MMM.
One could argue that the reason Wise Dan has not faced G1 winning competition is that he keeps winning all the 1 mile Turf G1 races. Maybe he is facing top competition but he really is that much more dominant than the rest.
WTC deserves the 3 year old colt championship. He will win that. Let's not go overboard by pretending he deserves more, because the fact is that while he deserves credit for his tenacity, his win/loss record is not all that great. It's the best of the 3 year old colt division as far as how he did in races of importance after the Triple Crown season was over. But that is all. Wise Dan was great all year. I would rank Beholder and even Princess of Sylmar ahead of WTC as far as year-long dominance. WTC has shown he has a great 4 year old campaign in him, let's let him prove he is HOTY then.
I can't help but wonder how much his potential stud fee went down after this. And whether WTC's win yesterday pushed it down even farther.
This one's my early favorite for the Oaks. I like how she was able to win despite giving up 6 pounds to the entire field. For a baby that's a lot of weight. Unfortunately unless they send her to Santa Anita (and this is a Repole/Pletcher filly, so that won't happen) there are no Grade I's to put her in until the Oaks. And I'd like to see her win against some Grade I competition, which she has not done yet.
The entire field should be carrying 5 pounds more. My opinion anyway.
To me a vote for Monzante only casts a spotlights the dark side of the industry. I'm not saying that's a bad thing or that shouldn't be done, but I don't think the committee in charge of the Vox Populi is interested in using their award to do that. For that reason I don't think they'd want to award it to Saginaw either, but at least he was winning races and garnering fans before his fatal injury.
The older mares were no factor in the Distaff, so having that second win over elders is really meaningless. I do agree that Beholder should edge out Princess, but mainly due to how they finished in their losses. Beholder was second by less than a length in the Oaks while Princess was 16 lengths back dead last in the Distaff. That is the only distinguishing difference in their two seasons. I leave biases out of the results because that's a risk the owners take when they bring their horses to different tracks. Beholder was just lucky that Princess was brought to her home track and her owners did not have to bring her on the road to get a G1 win after her loss at Churchill.
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