Super Saturday-The Afterthoughts

Did the Classic picture get clearer or muddier, after the results of Super Saturday? Ron the Greek, the forgotten horse blasted an all-star cast in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but was that really a surprise. The ever so consistent Mucho Macho Man ran his West Coast Rivals into the ground, but who did he really beat?
After a long day filled with brilliant, yet some also disappoint results, I had many thoughts to sort out. First off, what exactly came of the Jockey Club Gold Cup? Did Ron the Greek really deserve odds of 21-1? No. While he has only won once this year, look at what he’s done and who he has face. After a monster effort in the Sunshine Millions Classic, he traveled to California to run a closing third to Game on Dude, after that one had an easy lead on a speed favoring track. He then took to the road again, traveling to Charles Town, where he again ran extremely well in defeat.
After all that travel he was subpar in his next two outing, against a loaded East Coast division, but still ran third in the Stephen Foster, and decent 4ths in the Whitney and Woodward. After a hard campaign, it’s easy to understand why it took Ron the Greek so long to recover from all of his travels. But, against some very well touted three year olds, and the same group he had faced in his last two outings, he was let go.
Mistake. The son of Full Mandate, took advantage of the dry track, a golden rail, and a fast early pace to romp home and win, by over six dominant lengths. Does this put him in the running for Horse of the Year, even if he wins the Breeders Cup…the thought here is no. But, it should give pause to everyone, to consider just what this horse is capable of.
Now, while Ron the Greek may not be in the Horse of the Year discussion…the colt behind him could be. Palace Malice, just edged to a slight lead in his division, after running a monster race in his own right. Ron the Greek aired, running the distance in 1.59.7….meaning Palace Malice ran approximately 2.00.85. It has been a long time since I saw a three year old run 10 furlongs that fast. In fact, his time would have been good enough to win the past nine editions of this race. In defeat, Palace Malice again, ran a monster effort, and should not be overlooked coming into the Classic.
Shifting gears, and traveling out West, what do we make of Mucho Macho Man. For starters, the big boy finally got that elusive grade one victory. He has come close several times, like the Woodward and Breeders Cup Classic just last year. The win was long overdue, and he did it with authority. However, who did he beat?
Paynter was the only horse of note in the field, and after a nightmare of a trip, and he managed to run up for second, going away. Outside of him, however, the quality is questionable. What I drew from this race is that the overall West Coast Division of older males is considerably weaker than that of the East Coast, allowing the West Coast based Game on Dude to dominate and look like a super horse. However, as we just saw, when a horse of similar stature and talent walks in, he handled the same group the Dude did, with the same amount of command and authority.
Going into the Classic, I feel the race will set up best for mid pack closers and pace stalkers, like Will Take Charge, Palace Malice, and Mucho Macho Man. The two three year olds are rapidly improving, and Mucho Macho Man loves this track, and will get a ride worthy of the Hall of Fame, with Gary Stevens in the irons.
*On a side note…after the returns of Purple Sky and Misconnect, how good does maiden winner, Honor Code, look now???


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Older Comments about Super Saturday-The Afterthoughts...

Dani, just did not want to take it the wrong way, falling on face can also be interpeted as failing.Not coming after you.
Sword the Chiefs will break their bubble and then in the playoffs the Bills will do the Buffalo Stomp!
tmallios, yes. I'm pretty sure i heard he put his nose in the dirt after the break.
Bring it on
Sword, don't get too carried away. They haven't met the kick-ass Bills yet.
There's always a pair of those sunglasses with the big nose and bushy eyebrows.
Srry,gave the clowns to much credit,meant 4 weeks.
The shame they have caused me Laz, i am now strutting about town under an assumed alias name.They deserve every negative thing that is said about them. I can't believe it,Football is the only one of the sports i still look forward to.They took it away from me after only 6 weeks. The funny thing is thatthe NFC East who the"so called experts" predicted would be the strongest along with the NFC West is pathetic.The way it is going 6 wins might take the crown and along with it ,an undeserved playoff stint .Looks like i better get my bias notes from Aqueduct out.Will be spending more time on the NYRA channel than i expected.
@Laz..very funny. My Denver Bronco's are kidding ass and I'm on cloud nine so the rest of the league and beat the heck out of one another.
Me too.
I don't hate anyone Mary. I just don't like BS. All I was trying to say is that Royal Delta got beaten fairly on Saturday. I don't see any excuse. I've even become a fan of her after see her for the first time. I was in awe when I saw her. The Princess deserve credit for and I for one give her full credit for beating Royal Delta.
tmallios, yes, since I believe they actually said he did put his nose in the dirt.
Talk about falling on your face. How are the New York Gee-I-cants, as in scoring touchdowns, doing this morning. Who’s getting fired? OOps they did scor one, didn't they. It took them two games to do it, but they figured it out.
"and fools be liking it"
Dani, i hope you meant Cross Traffic falling on his face comment as the reason he was not prominent,and not that he layed an egg on Saturday.
Mike, never said he didn't beat any good horses. I said the overall division in Cali, outside of Dude, is weak. There is a difference. He beat Ron the Greek, i'll give him credit. However, in both races he beat him he made a relatively unchallenged lead, or inherited the lead from a horse who was folding. My point is not that Game on Dude is a bad horse. He is very good. However, he hasn't met a field, this year, that will have anywhere near the amount of speed and pace that the Classic will. Game on Dude, when he can't make the lead after 6-7f, does not win, and not only does he not win, he bombs. It is very likely that he won't get the lead at the beginning or middle of the classic, meaning there is a big chance he won't have it at the end. He has beaten a couple nice horses this year, but none of them had the early speed to challenge him, up front. On the east subject, Fort Larned had a couple excuses this year, and they are very similar to what Dude's are if he loses. Ron the Greek, actually hasn't done that badly. Cross Traffic had three very good efforts in a row, before falling on his face, Mucho Macho Man has now run third and first in his last two grade one tries, and Flat Out has been as consistent as any of them. So while they don't win all the time, they do have quite a bit more consistency than most of the other West Coast horses, besides Game on Dude.
Hey, I get the strange sense that you don't like me, zx. Hope I'm wrong :)
1) What humor. 2) Nope, only when there is BS involved.
Geeziz, can you not understand humor,and do you always curse at women, zx?
I don't understand how people still say Game on Dude has not beaten any good horses. He has twice beaten Ron the Greek who just won the only Grade One race for older horses at 1 1/4 mile in the east. Personally I think the older horses in the east are pretty weak this year, it is not so much that they take turns beating each other as it seems like no horse can run two good races in a row. Each big race in the east has had one or two horses run well and the rest don't show up. And another problem is the lack of classic distance races in the east, only the Gold Cup is 1 1/4 miles, we all know there is a big difference between 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/4 miles and Ron the Greek dominated the eastern horses at the distance. I see no scenario where Horse of the Year will not be either Game on Dude, Wise Dan or Princess of Sylmar and Princess of Sylmar will have to win the Distaff.

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