I copied and pasted your quote. You changed it to save face. You didn't even bother to change it before you disputed my comment, that's how I was able to copy and paste..
You're exact quote was "Chrome hasn't won a race since the Preakness if we are talking about Consistency...", no mention of dirt. If that's what you meant, then fine, you stand corrected. But why does Tonalist get a pass for his lack of consistency after the Belmont and CC does not? Making up ground does not win brownie points, all that does is demonstrate the differences in running styles. I have nothing against a good closer, but he was nowhere close to the winners, CC was.
And you are basing your opinion over what you THINK will happen as they develop into 4 YOs, not based on PPs. That's fine, I'll wait patiently to see which one of us is right, but keep in mind that CC and SB have shown what they can do as 4 YOs, and Tonalist and Wicked Strong have not.
I don't think it's so much a lack of willingness to ship as a lack of need to ship that people are noticing. With already a win against CC, he can just stay in Southern CA and race its 4 G1 route dirt races until September. Winning 3 out of 4 of those plus a single shipped win at Keeneland pretty much guarantees HOTY, barring a Triple Crown winner.
Actually Chrome has won a race since the Preakness. And while he hasn't won consistently, his performances certainly were consistent. Forgiving the Belmont after having won two classics in the previous 5 weeks, he lost the PA Derby badly, but was competitive in the BCC, won an easy Turf G1, and was competitive against Shared Belief. And he did win consistently from 12/13 to 5/14.
I agree with your criticisms about Bayern. He needs things to be at least near perfect to win. But if all the best dirt horses were in a race and all had everything they wanted by their own standards coming into the final stretch, Bayern would win that race. Shared Belief would be the only challenger I can imagine who might prove me wrong.
Tonalist is good. Really good. A deserving Belmont Stakes winner. But he hasn't really proven himself outside of his home track. He's great there, just plain good everywhere else. At least Shared Belief has won over other Southern California tracks. And the fact that even after Shared Belief's nightmare trip in the BCC he still finished well ahead of Tonalist tells me that Tonalist just isn't in his class.
Wicked Strong just hasn't overly impressed me. He's a bit of an enigma to me. I almost want to classify him as the best of the Grade 2 horses. But he did technically win a G1, and though I have my opinions as to whether that race ought to retain it's G1 status, he did beat a good field for that race. But he also had to go all out to beat that field, a field that the Cali horses would have beaten geared down.
All a cut below Bayern, Shared Belief and California Chrome. And none have shown any true consistency. I'd place Constitution above all of them, and I think he's a cut below the Cali horses as well. He lost to Hopportunity after all.
Such a silly comment. All of the best 4 YOs are based in California this year. He beat two of them in one race already. Bayern is the only other challenge he needs to worry about. The only horse out east worth worrying about is Palace Malice, and we don't even know whether or not he'll get his groove back as a 5 YO. And he was never the model of consistency anyway.
That argument might save the Big Cap, Gold Cup and (maybe) the Pacific Classic from G1 demotion. But not the Awesome Again.
I absolutely agree with that. But if doing what's best for the horse is your goal, then you basically saying that the Eclipse awards are less important. That doesn't mean they aren't important at all, but it means that you are hoping that the easygoing season for your horse will allow your horse to win enough to overcome all other competition in those awards. In SB's case, if his easy season amounted to racing every open dirt route G1 race in CA then putting all his marbles in the BCC, then that's an achievable goal that would guarantee HOTY if he goes undefeated. But it also means that if another horse does the same thing on the NYRA circuit (plus maybe a win in FL and KY) and wins the BCC, then SB has no chance at HOTY. It also means that if another horse does travel and perhaps loses a couple along the way but wins enough big ones including say the DWC and BCC, even if he does lose to SB once or twice during the season he would likely win HOTY.
You can make both arguments, but in the event of a stalemate, that means both sides basically agree to settle everything in the BCC. And if things do not go the way SB (or any other horse for that matter) wants in Keeneland, they only have their owners to blame for not chasing the competition throughout the year. A little like last year, though last year SB had his injury to contend with more so than an owner not willing to ship.
Most trainers of G1 level horses plan their years to end at the Breeders Cup (except for 2YOs). I don't see many trainers, especially those based in the East, changing that to just give the West Coast the year end deciding race for HOTY. Especially considering the West Coast BC fatigue from the last three years.