HRN Original Blog:
Dueling Down The Stretch

(Video) Recapping the Weekend Stakes

Intense Holiday Risen Star 615 X 400
Photo: Hodges Photography


This past Saturday probably left most fans with more questions than answers, in regards to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Oaks pictures. Favorites fell, and overlooked foes flourished. Here is what I came away with after the day of upsets.



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Older Comments about (Video) Recapping the Weekend Stakes...

Tell me where i said variant is not important? I NEVER did. I said variant is dependent upon time which is true. You proved that point of mine in your fifth sentence. You know the variant will be high or low because of the time. I also said it is dependent upon the splits, which you proved again, because like i said the pace tell us through the time. Time tells us if the track is slow or fast, so if you see a fast time on a slow track, with a fast pace behind it, you know darn well it is fast. You know the variant because you know the time. Without the time you would not know the pace nor would you know the variant. Tell me how you would be able to come up with numbers for variant, pace figures, or final race figures? You can't.
Dani again i disagree.All time tells me is what TIME to wake up. What TIME to do this and what TIME to do that. If TIME is so diffinitive and the variant is not important.What happens if a surface is lightning fast and a horse goes 6f in 1.08 with the splits as you like to call them ,22/22/24 . That would be spectacular. What if on a dead race track a horse goes in 1.11 with splits of 23/23/25 . Both horses go wire to wire.Without the variant of the day,and you showed somebody who the more impressive horse was.I will give you 1 guess as to who they might come up with. In reality the lslower horse ran faster. You also say that it is not affected by energy. Like i told you,final times ,split times or the N.Y.Times. They are all irrelevant. It is how much effort it takes you to get there. So apparently it is taking to much TIME for me to convince you and you to convince me. I'd love to hear your response,i could care less if you are right or wrong. Just how i look at things.Yet not to be mistaken as arrogant,somehow deep inside,i am in the right.
Because time is the one and only constant in racing. Time doesn't change. It is the basis of numbers. Other variables are used, but at the very base of all numbers used time is there. Not track variant, not energy distribution. Time. Time tells us how a track may be playing ie. Slow or fast. Time could tell us the energy distribution of a horse and where and how much they distributed it. Time is what we use. If you don't have time you have nothing, because your eyes, no matter how accurate, can lie. I do not talk about raw time. I do talk about pace and splits. Why because the time tells me how fast they ran and how hard they ran early or late. So yes, Time is what i keep bringing up, because no matter what way you slice it, that is what everything, pace, numbers, track variant, everything is based on. Laz, I get where you are coming from, and at longer distances, I'd agree that Intense Holiday would have had an excellent shot at running Untapable down. But because her splits were so close to what Albano ran, I don't believe he would yesterday. A horse can close like a train, he/she can close faster than that of the horse in front of them. But if the horse in front is not slowing down enough, and is not coming back fast enough for that particular distance, the closer will not get there. IE, Top Billing. Just look at his splits. My lord, the final half of his race was fantastic, but due to the distance and the two in front of him not slowing down enough, he couldn't get there in time. A 8.5f, Untapable wins. I think if she isn't geared down late then she probably could have run another two or so lengths faster. That is an opinion, which is why I would try her against the males. The pace she ran and the speed overall of her race was on par and even faster than the Risen Star, and she won it much easier. Those things are facts. The opinion, is that she could have gone two lengths faster, if asked, and if that is so, that opinion, coupled with facts makes one think that she would have a very good shot if she were to run against males going 9f. Like I said, she already has secured a spot for the Oaks. After Sat, why not try your hand with her in a Derby prep? I am not saying she would win. I have been saying that her race indicates she would have a very good shot at winning, and there is not much one can say, supported by facts, than can dispute that.
Dani,you so affectionately keep bringing up time.Like i always say, the only time that actual time has a bearing is if one is a convict and serving a sentence. Clocking time is irrelevant,everyone thought that the Gulfstream track was extremely soupep up and far speeedier than normal So does that mean that because they time the races,that a .21 quarter on this track is the same as a .21 quarter on a slower track. I never have or never will pay any mind to actual time. To some it means alot(i cant and wont repute that theory) To me it is a waste of effort. I believe in the variant.Like i said,i use the Bris pace sheets.To date i am confident in their accuracy,i am not schilling for them and trying to have you or anyone else adhere to their product. To each his own. . I am not trying to sell you on my theory regarding energy distribution,that is not my intent. I was responding to your statement. If you feel that it is a bunch of hogwash.Youu will have to get on a long line to toss the stone at me. Many on that line before you. But like anyone else,including yourself. I do admire that you have an opinion and a method to hold fast and steady. Never allow quacks like me or anyone else to sway yo if you have been succesful with it. The ones that irk me are the ones that adapt to theorys to satisfy the conversation.Dani,that is why they have Parimutual wagering,different strokes for different folks.What fluxuates the tote board,various opinions. But the great thing about racing is,that should we get these horses to run in said races. We will find out who was correct for tthat one race. I always say that one race,To many variables to meke a broad staement come to life. Keep posting Dani,we agreed once, you never know what the future will hold. But i do enjoy these fun tussles. Love it when the anti side has spunk ,detrermination and knowledge,
Dummy me, that last bit should read not 4.25F and 4.25F.
The energy distribution numbers were based on 6F and 2.5F, 4.25f and 4.25F.
Here’s some interesting numbers when comparing the Intense Holiday, Albano and Untapable in their races on Saturday. Energy Distribution first half and second half: Both Albano and Untapable’s numbers were pretty well identical at .504 and .496, which means that they used more energy in the first half of the race than the second. Intense Holiday’s energy distribution was .497 and .503. Significant edge to Intense Holiday in terms of closing ability based on their races.……In terms of splits, Untapable finished a final 16th in 6.57; final 5/16ths in 30.83 and a final 9/16ths in 55.30…. Albano’s numbers were 6.44, 30.86 and 55.72 giving a slight edge to Untapable at 9/16ths and 5/16ths calls, but not the final 16th…….Intense Holiday’s numbers were 5.93, 30.31, and 54.70. Big edge to Intense Holiday over both at all three calls……Based on the fact that his energy distribution was superior and his splits were better and based on his running style I would think that Intense Holiday would defeat both of these at this distance and at greater distances.
When you can show me facts to attest to that then I'll believe you. But you have no facts to tell you or me, or anyone that the 80% to 50% is true. You also say your sheets. Well you and several others have numbers and she was not the fastest one out there, colt or filly. The only constant is time. Time tells us so many things. If it and pace does not matter, then why on earth bother wearing watches. Why on earth bother timing anything? Her energy distribution, based on pace was just as fast in the first half, then faster in the later stages than the Risen Star. Intense Holiday had no excursion until late in the race, and albano, with very little pressure could not hold him off. Untapable is not a pace filly. She showed she can easily relax off the pace and then make an explosive move. That means her energy distribution is perfect as far as any race dynamics come into play. She won't get caught in a duel and overextend early. If the pace is too slow she can stay close. Her move would have overwhelmed Albano yesterday, and staved off Intense Holiday. It was not like she had an easy loping lead or came flying from off the pace. The set up for her was nearly identical to the Risen Star and she still ran faster. Yes, the fillies she faced, did not look special yesterday, except for the fact she beat a champion and grade one winner. Facts say she's beaten one of the best fields of 3yr old fillies this year. Facts say she ran an identical pace to Albano. Facts say she ran faster than either Albano or Intense Holiday, suggesting that she can hand with graded stakes colts. He running style suggests that she would have the perfect run to avoid over-extension, no matter who she faced.
Dani,pace is a figmant of an immagination.It is just numbers or figures that represent it. The key is ,how much energy is the horse exerting to get to that point. Yes the filly race may of gone faster. But the fillies may of been exrting say 80 % of their energy level to accomplish it.The colts may of been using 50 %. That being said,she just dusted off the second stringers and you know it. You say That Dorothy ran against nobodyd. Guess what ,we agree on that staement. But in the process,she ran the fastest speed figure run to date by colt or filly.She even ran faster than the best 3yo colt>California Chrome. Just ask Repole and his 3yo filly last year. I believe Unlimited Budget.You see Dani.In my sheets her final speed figures were faster than 85% of the colts running. How did the Belmont work out for her and her speed figures. Not to good.The reason was the pace,she could not find a moment to relax and compose herself. Against the fillies she could find those lulls.The effort took so much out of her that she did not race for 2 months after that. She was awful in that race,eventually retired. This is in no means a bashing to the talents of Untapable. She just might be the best 3yo filly in America.But let her prove that on the track first.Lets not start thumping our chests,all because she bullygirled the 2nd and 3rd stringers. The A team is now starting to stretch their legs. Let her shows us She belongs with them. Lets just not assume like the Ria owners,that one race means an automatic Hall of Fame entrance.
With all due respect tmallios, look at the fractions of the RA vs the Risen Star. The RA was a faster paced race, by about 2-3 lengths from the time the gates opened to the finish. From the first call to the half Untapable probably ran right around the same pace as Albano did, as he was setting the pace, after that point she quickened and surpassed his rate of speed, from there to the wire. She won as easily as a horse can be asked, going at a faster rate of speed, while also keeping that pace and finishing in a faster time. Fillies often times mature and come into their own much faster than males, so that also gives another good reason to take a shot. You mention Dame Dorthy, a horse who dominated in the slop against what? Untapable is a stakes winner, beating stakes winners. She has the most impressive prep of any three year old this year. All in all, you have a stakes winning filly who just decimated a nice field of her own peers, ran a race that was equal to and faster in both pace and final time than that of the Risen Star, which was contested vs males, and who just ran arguably the most impressive prep of any three year old this year. To me, that merits a shot to take on males.
Dani, i just saw part of your video.Are you sure that you did not dine with Rias owners and accidentally drank their Kool Aid. Ala rIA,uUntapable would be eaten and chewed up by the colts,should she decide to ever venture into the deep choppy waters. Like you said,When Streaking did not live up to her name.The wind at her back was the fastest thing chasing her. Maybe let her accomplish something in the Oaks. Like try to beat the best 3yo filly in the land ,in Dame Dorothy.I am always perplexed at why people are in such a rush to run the fillies with the colts. You cannot compare the final times. The pace scenerio with the Colts is much more demanding. A filly would have to be on her best for maybe 60 to 70 % of the race. In a race like this past Saturday,Rosie got her in perfect position through a soft fractions.For a lack of a better word,She bully-girled an overmatched field the final quarter mile. Was it impressive,Absolutely. But the first sip of Kool Aid might of been in error. But be careful,to much of the same batch may have you halucinating.
Untapable sure looked great. I will say, with Ria Antonia not showing up, and now Streaming exiting with a knee chip, you do have to question what was behind her. However, it doesn't take away from the overall time and visual impressiveness of the win. As well as the fact she ran faster than the boys in the Risen Star. She is likely already securely in the Oaks, after that win. Why not take a shot in the Louisiana Derby or Arkansas Derby, to see what they have?
For sure agree with her on Untapable!

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Meet Laura Pugh

Laura Pugh got her first taste of Thoroughbred Racing when she watched War Emblem take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2001. After that point, she fell in love with the sport, reading every piece of news and information she could get her fingertips on.

Laura has a long history with horses in general, taking her first ride on her fifth birthday, with her first official riding lesson when she was eight years old. Both years she attended college she joined her school’s equestrian team, first at the now closed Virginia Intermont College, then again at Delaware State University. Unfortunately, after back and shoulder injuries, she had to hang up her saddle. 

In 2010 Laura came to Horse Racing Nation, but soon branched out to other media outlets, such as Lady and the Track,, and USRacing. She currently works at a local newspaper as a community reporter, while making a return to Horse Racing Nation, where she will once again feature her opinionated columns on the latest in horse racing. 

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