Materiality also had an inside trip, with a clearer path to the wire. If you watch the replay with about a 1/16 to run Keen Ice was behind 2 horses, barreled between them, and only found his best stride on the outside a few jumps from the wire but was traveling better than Materiality at the point with a worse trip. I'm not saying either will win the Belmont or they won't but that Materiality's troubles in the race have been slightly exaggerated and Keen Ice's troubles ignored because people expected him to finish way up the track anyway. That's a classic case of confirmation bias.
The problem with your rankings is that you assume 9 - 10 furlong form matters at 12 furlongs when it doesn't. Imagine running the 10 furlong distance of the Kentucky Derby, and then running 2 more furlongs. Now you've got the Belmont Stakes. If you were following horse racing at the time, you probably thought Sarava, Birdstone, maybe Jazil, Da'Tara, Drosselmeyer, Ruler On Ice, Palace Malice, etc. had no shot to win either.They won very few races leading up to Belmont and some didn't even compete in the Kentucky Derby. Either there are a lot of flukes that occur in the Belmont or there's something else at play. Either all these horses attempting to win the triple crown run into a lot of "bad luck" in the Belmont, or Kentucky Derby success is not predictive of Belmont success. We'll get another data point in about a week.
Only 1 of the last 30 Kentucky Derby winners (Thunder Gulch) won the Belmont . Even if you adjust for the Derby winners that didn't run in the Belmont that's an overwhelming number.
Materiality has become a popular alternative to American Pharoah and while I think he has a chance to win I think those chances are being overstated. First, as brilliant as Afleet Alex was in the Belmont, in 7 crops to reach age 3 he's produce no triple crown race winners and none have finished in the money. He's thrown a couple of horses that won beyond 9 furlongs but not many. Secondly, Materiality's damside is a little weak on dirt, especially at the 12 furlong distance. Thirdly, his late rally in the Derby wasn't really as strong as some have stated as he had an inside trip and clear sailing. Keen Ice had a rougher, wide trip and was rallying as least as good as Materiality. Finally, he seems to be a pace presser of sorts, which means he could get caught up in a contentious (hopefully not fast) pace or have to do too much too soon to fend off premature moves from other horses like Paynter and Commissioner had to do and might not have enough late to win. Being loose on the lead in the Belmont is great but being part of a contentious pace is not so great.
The plot thickens.....
Makes sense. A few weeks ago "the reports" said Blofeld outworked him, and then the 6 furlong listed stakes race prep was an indication that he wasn't where he needed to be in order to compete in the Met Mile. I think they should just retire him. It's hard to keep a horse at the grade 1 level for several years. He had a great career.
I'd be surprised if Palace Malice runs. You don't prep for the Met Mile in a 6 furlong listed stakes race; to me that was a sign that all is not well for him at this point. Having said that, the race seems easy. The race sets up for a closer. Tonalist is undefeated at Belmont in 4 races from 8 to 12 furlongs. I'd say he's a horse for the course. Bayern benefited from a golden rail and weak competition last year in the Woody Stephens, but this race is loaded with speed and he'll have to be running from jump 1with no breathers. He should have hit the work tab last week but didn't so he might not be running anyway.
I hate "I told you so's" because they don't put money in anyone's pocket and anyone can be wrong. I've been on this site at least 2 years and don't have my profile blocked like some of these keyboard handicappers. I liked Palace Malice in 2013, Matusak and Commissioner last year, and I like Keen Ice & Frosted this year.
I don't know but Curlin lost by a nose and Dunkirk ran 3rd. It may not have happened but it's not impossible.
I made a subjective comment but supported it with facts. You made a subjective comment and supported it with subjective information. The facts are AK, MMM, & Shackleford ran in all 3 Triple Crown races. Nehro ran in 2. Shackleford went on to win the Preakness at 9.5 furlongs and ended his career with a win in the 9 furlong Clark Handicap. All 4 of the top 4 finishers in the Kentucky Derby that year were bred to be route horses, with Nehro being the most injury prone, most went on to win or place in routes ranging from 9 - 10 furlongs over the next 2 years. The top 3 this year were not bred to be route horses but were able to get to the Derby. American Pharoah is obviously the best of the 3 and has more stamina than the other 2 as a sire side descendant of Unbrilded. Since Dortmund & Firing Line have already played with house money and run beyond their pedigree they are sitting the Belmont out and hoping to regroup later this year. The Derby trail and Triple Crown races can ruin horses not built to run beyond 9 furlongs and some horses never run again after the Derby. Some never again after the Preakness. You are correct that time will tell the complete story but I made this
same point last year about this time about Samraat and Uncle Sigh, the
Firing Line and Dortmund of last year, and I'm still waiting for their
racing careers to restart.
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