If the Santa Anita track plays the way Parx did today and Monmouth did in July, Bayern would win any of those dirt races including the BCC. There's no way he loses 6 lengths in an extra furlong the way plowed through the finish lines in the Haskell and PA Derby. Distance is not a factor with this colt, it's ALL about track bias. It's just pure coincidence that the races in which he received the bias he loves happened to be 1f or more shorter than classic distance races.
The 3YO colt Eclipse is very much wide open now. VE Day, Wicked Strong, Tonalist and Shared Belief all can win it if any of them win both their respective preps and the BCC. Chrome and Bayern can win it if either of them wins the BCC. If Bayern passes the BCC for the Dirt Mile and wins, he can win it if all of the rest lose the BCC. Many, many scenarios now.
She still has to withstand the inertia of a 2 time defending HOTY still very much in the running despite battling a major medical issue this year.
If Bayern had to go another furlong in this race or the Haskell he still would have beat any other horse on the planet. It has nothing to do with being able to get 10f or not, it has everything to do with track bias. Put him on a track with a strong early speed bias and he'll win every time no matter who you put him in with and no matter how long it is.
I'm as big of a Shared Belief fan as you are, but if Bayern goes in the Classic and you get the same speed bias as last year's Friday BC, Bayern will win by open lengths again. If they fix the speed bias like they promised they would, then Shared Belief would likely win.
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. It was just an unfavorable track bias, Untapable struggled on it too. Let's see how Santa Anita looks over the next couple weeks.
Hopefully she'll get a nice breeze in by tomorrow or Monday.
She was much the best today even though the track did not favor her racing style. That tells me her head is in the game, which was my big question mark. The question is whether Rosie held her back some, which is quite possible, or whether she went all out to win comfortably but not blow out her over-matched competition. If she went all out then her Distaff chances are shot, though she's more than won the Eclipse at this point (even if SCMaria should win out, which won't happen). If she was held back, then she's got a great chance.
Another thing, it was not the plan to have Close Hatches sit out all of the summer of her 3YO campaign. They wanted her in the Alabama. But she spiked a fever after the Mother Goose and her training didn't get underway in time to be ready for the Alabama. So I don't think the spacing was planned, it just worked out that way.
I honestly don't think they were ever planning on racing her past age 4, so I think the mindset was to get the most out of her in that amount of time. At least it worked for the 4 straight G1's she scored last year.
From her Facebook page:
"We also want to thank the connections of Beholder, Royal Delta and Close Hatches, because without them we wouldn’t have had the world class competition that made racing the Princess so much fun.”
That was a classy thing to do.
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