Well I'm glad you got that off your chest.
Seriously though, you can cherry pick any great horse's record and make him seem less than he is. Big Brown gave up in the biggest race of his life. Curlin lost to a chick. Street Sense ducked the Belmont. Barbaro and I'll Have Another were injured before we could really determine whether or not they were the real deal. And of those you mentioned, only Curlin had any sort of diversity in opponents. Does that make them any less great? No, of course not. But no great racehorse's record is beyond criticism.
Love the idea, but has any horse even ran in 3 of the 4 in a given year? It's so rare for a champion horse to change surfaces once he starts winning on one surface.
Don't like the idea of the first 2 being 9f instead of 10f. How about the Pacific Classic and JCGC instead?
I don't think so, considering I did say that I would be willing to put Arrogate ahead of Affirmed and AP. But Slew was not just a TC champion but an undefeated TC champion (though of course he did lose later) and he beat Affirmed. I give Arrogate credit for beating CC twice, but I would rank Affirmed ahead of CC. You might be able to forgive the Belmont loss due to the injury at the start, but he's had other losses that weren't as forgivable.
And I would consider how healthy a horse can remain as a part of the criteria as to his greatness. Slew certainly had his own health problems, but his connections managed them well enough to amass quite a legacy.
Times are important but who you beat (and when and how you beat them) is more important. The simple fact is that great times are a function of several thing, which include track speed, weather, and how the rest of the field is faring. Why run a 1.59.4 when a 2.01.0 gets the job done? You don't get extra purse money.
Arrogate has more work to do to really earn Baffert's claim, but keep in mind Baffert isn't exactly a non-biased observer, and that he's judging the horse and not his career accomplishments. I think before all is said and done, Arrogate could very well be better than all the other non-TC winners, and maybe even Affirmed and AP, but without the TC I can't see a scenario in which I'd rate him as high as Slew. Unless he beats another TC winner (which Slew also did), and AP isn't going to come out of retirement to help that happen.
I'm just saying watch how you try to prove your point. Doesn't matter that Gun Runner was only a few lengths off, GR ran a great race and still Arrogate won easily despite the awful start (which btw BB deserves an F as a trainer for not preparing his horse properly).
Secretariat may be the best racehorse in our lifetimes, but he was far from perfect. Secretariat ran a 10f race at the same course faster than Prove Out did in their race and carried 7 pounds less than PO. If PO ran a 2.25.8, then the best racehorse of our lifetimes should have run a 2.25.6. Does the fact that he didn't disqualify him as the best racehorse of our lifetimes? No. But what it does do is make you realize that strange things happen in horseracing, and that anytime a great horse beats a decent competitor in a huge race it should be a credit to that horse, no matter how many lengths the victory turned out to be.
Rather than insult the great horse, give the competitor credit. Which I see you did in PO's case, and rightly so. There was no need to insult either Arrogate or Gun Runner for their performances. Arrogate (and Mike Smith for that matter) performed spectacularly despite what I will call BB's failings as a trainer. Gun Runner ran moderately better than expected.
And besides, no one is arguing that Arrogate is better than Secretariat. The quote is "best since Secretariat". That means he unequivocally acknowledges Secretariat was better.
If Prove Out can BEAT you at your best distance, then guess what you're not the greatest horse since Secretariat.
There always seems to be a longshot in the Oaks and Derby who hits the board (and ruins everyone's exotics) because that horse is training better than ever and that horse takes to the CD track better than most. This year I'm thinking those will be Mo D'Amour for the Oaks and Tom's Ready for the Derby.
Oaks exotics will be combinations of 7,11,12,13. Derby exotics will be 11,12,13,19. All subject to change depending on track bias, etc.
For the win I like Land Over Sea and Nyquist, respectively.
Aside from the fact that CC is facing open competition and not F3YOs, his races have been far more competitive. Until she at least beats older mares (or CC throws in a clunker) I think she should be ranked lower.
It's still $250k more then the other two, plus the PA Derby still does not have G1 status. The Travers is safe for the moment. The prestige of the other two may be increasing, but that is a good thing, and they do not (at least at this point) infringe on the prestige of the Travers any more than the Preakness or Belmont infringe on the prestige of the Derby. On the other hand, the Whitney has plenty to worry about. Aside from the fact that you've got the Woodward at the end of the meet, you've also got direct West Coast competition now that Del Mar is going back to dirt, not to mention the Stephen Foster, the SA Gold Cup and the JCGC all on different tracks which may suit different horses better. And what if success at the BC convinces Keeneland to jump into the million dollar race competition?
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