What did $$$ Mike Smith do in the 2009 Preakness with Mine That Bird? Where was his handicapping genius in that race?
I wasn't aware of dirt only. However, Private Zone and Rock Fall, even though both sprinters, have proven themselves more than once in G1's and I don't see where they aren't eligible. Either way, they are a much better choice than Effinex based on the quality of their work. Just my opinion.
Rjem I like your post.
IMO, American Pharoah walked the walk and danced most of the dances (three year old, not necessarily against older). Horses definitely aren’t made the way they used to make them and for all that AP accomplished in his career we must also remember that he too was injured and was laid up for quite a period of time, which is one of the reasons why he missed the BC Juvenile.
Drugs/meds mixed in with this so-called breeding for speed instead of endurance has changed the sport.
Then there is the big money being offered in so many stakes races, which is resulting in five horse fields for a half million dollar pot, which ultimately means that the quality of horses competing in these races is low. The demands aren’t as great and yet for the elite, the rewards are greater than they have ever been and so is the sense of accomplishment.
AP’s so called grand-slam, the TC plus the BCC, has only been tried once so in a way it is a poor measuring stick though it is an extremely lofty goal. A much better
measuring stick would be Easy Goer’s Belmont-Whitney-Travers-Woodward-JCGC (he missed the BCC by a neck) duplicate which could be tried every year though they would have to change the Woodward date. IMO,
that is much more difficult to win than a Triple Crown.
When looking back at Triple Crown history and discounting Sir Barton, who at the time ran before the Triple Crown was even thought about, when beginning with Gallant Fox, whenever a TC had been achieved there have been a flurry of them in that decade. In
the thirties we had Gallant Fox 1930, Omaha 1935 and War Admiral in 1937. In the forties, Whirlaway 1941, Count Fleet 1943, Assault 1946 and Citation in 1948.
In the seventies Secretariat 1973, Seattle Slew 1977 and Affirmed 1978. If we should get a TC winner or two in the
next 5-7 years then it will dampen down the enthusiasm of AP’s TC. If not and say we have to wait another 20
years or so and, and with so many new fans that don’t go back all that far, then the legend of American Pharoah will grow exponentially and when we have a top 100 horses of the first half of the 21st Century, AP will be voted #1 and his status dating back to 1900 will probably put him in the top three all time. A similar situation that we have with Frankel, a great horse, but he never ran against truly great horses.
Just my opinion.
I agree. I forgot about Tonalist. The others, simply put, no.
I agree. For many, the bar seems to be set lower and lower each year. Now that we're done with the "let's shorten the Triple Crown races so that we can get a Triple Crown winner" B.S., we're now looking at some who actually believe that a champion handicap horse could have its name added to a list of real champions on the strength of a pathetically weak campaign. There are others with much better qualifications like Honor Code and Liam's Map. If they aren't considered then don't declare a winner of the award this year.
I totally agree. With the defection of Liam’s Map and then the scratching of Beholder, the race was totally AP’s and as far as I’m concerned has to be among the weakest BCC’s ever. IMO, Honor Code on his best days was a
brilliant colt, but there has to be some reason why he only raced 11 times in 3 years and for his clunker in the made to order Kelso. This horse always had issues, but I believe they were much more profound than most of us think.
I still love American Pharoah and think that he is brilliant
and believe that if anything, he was cheated out of a legitimately high rating because of the weak competition he faced. But I’m not going to look through rose colored glasses and put him in he top ten, in fact, not even remotely close to it. He fits, based on his competition, somewhere between 25 and 50 (Bloodhorse, not HRN), but with the potential to be rated much higher if he would have faced some tougher competition with the
credentials to go along with it, the likes of a Cigar or Holy Bull or Easy Goer or Ghostzapper. And to think that some believe that if Effinex, a horse with a lone G2 win to its credit, lifetime, wins the Clark he could be voted the handicap champ this year just shows how muddled
horse racing is at present.
I rate this year's BCC field as the weakest ever.
Nice work Goblin. It sounds like they might have run that 10F race to have a reference time.
American Pharoah at12? Maybe, and that’s based on conjecture but definitely not on the competition that he ran against though that’s not to say that he couldn’t have beaten better, which I definitely believe he could. Still, as much as many might want to deny it, he ran against an average group of three year olds that, as far as I can see, still hasn’t won a G1 race against older horses going a route distance so far this year.
Many say that he is the best since the Bid. Again that’s very laughable. I would love to have seen him presented with the
same challenge that HOY Ghoszapper and future HOY Saint Liam were confronted with when they ran their 2004 Woodward neck and neck throughout in 23.66; 45.70; 1:08.75; 1:33.35; 1:46.38 seconds, both carrying 126 lbs. Ghostzapper then ran the fastest BCC ever and after leading all the way proceeded to run away from a very strong field that included HOY winners, Dubai World Cup winners and a winner of TC races with a
powerful move in the stretch.
AP never faced a horse even remotely close to the quality of
Easy Goer or Sunday Silence, each of which would have been a Triple Crown winner but for the misfortune of being born in the same year. Their Derby was run in 2:05, but that was on a muddy track. Their Preakness and Belmont were both faster than American Pharoah’s with SS winning by a nose in 1:53 4/5,
almost 5 seconds faster than AP’s time; their Belmont in 2:26, the second fastest ever and three lengths better than AP’s time. They topped off their year finishing necks apart in the BCC in 2:00 1/5.
There is definitely no way that I would rate AP in front of
Easy Goer, who in his three year old year won three G1 races against older, the 9F Whitney, 10F Woodward and 12F Jockey Club Gold Cup; won the Travers between the Whitney and Woodward; won the Gotham by 13 lengths early in his three year
old year in 1:32 2/5; and after a nose loss in his first race, a MSW, would only be defeated by champions, Yes It’s True the 1988 BC Juvenile Champion, Sunday Silence the 1989 HOY and Criminal Type, in the 1990 Met Mile, that one going on to be named HOY that year.
This isn’t meant to put down AP who’s bandwagon I jumped on
after his Del Mar Futurity win, the race that I believe was the key two year old race that year. I particularly found it amusing when people trashed him for his slow Derby time. He has always shown the demeanor of a great horse, which he definitely showed in that Derby when it looked like he might be vulnerable, but to put him in 12th after what he faced
is ludicrous, IMO, especially since Easy Goer, after what he accomplished, is only rated at #34.
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