This is a place for friendly and civil discussion of horse racing of all types including handicapping.
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On the topic of how long has the sport been rigged? If you have the occasion to find it, the legendary horse bettor, Pittsburgh Phil (aka George E. Smith) wrote a book that was published right after his death in 1908. Fascinating because it shows the level of shenanigans (including doped up & hopped up horses) that went into scoring at the bet level.
From that point, and probably before, there began the rise of organized crime getting into the game & bending results however they could into their favor financially. There is stuff out there to read if you want to.
Since the 1970s it's morphed into a chemical war. This part most are familiar with.
There have always been cheaters in horse racing. The small scale operations to the big operations.
The rise of conglomerates is the new age of bending the sport to one's considerable will & financial clout to do so. O'Brien may be different from Baffert but Coolmore & Winstar have much in common. I mention that only because O'B & BB came up in discussion. Look at any major operation & follow the money back to its various sources & it's no different to the bettor than when organized crime had the game by the throat.
I'm not saying a fix is always on or that it even always works for the manipulators. Keep in mind, they are the biggest bettors of all so they can lose as long as they win (somebody was tossing around the number 60 million already in the bank for Winstar before the Belmont was even in the books) BIG regularly, what do they care? It's "legal".
part of that will be who to leave out of a race that can comprimise for the biggest return on their money invested. all legal and randomly done before and more often part of a cappers nightmare to go with the special feed.
I am kind of torn on this.I wanted Mike Smith to get the triple crown but I liked Seattle Slew being the only undefeated tc winner.My only gripe about Restoring Hope is that I thought he had an outside chance to hit the board if allowed to run his race.At least it wasn’t as blatant when Winstar won with Creator(using Gettysburg)
I don't have any issue with the races or the conditions of them. That is out of everyone's control ( I think ). his Belmont was what 2:28? That is respectable. He did get away with some soft early fractions. I did not like the tactics with RH, they did not need to do that. I view that different than running a rabbit. Rabbits do not directly interfere with paths or alter them, just add some pressure. I had mentioned when it was announced he was entering RH about him interfering with Shared Belief, not once but in two races. I think that is classless. I think Vino was the only one who was able to give him a little bit of a challenge. I have to watch replay again, I have read some things that they may have cut off Tenfold and let Gronk skip through a hole because of it.
My biggest issue, I am not sure what others here think, but I have often mentioned how he gets horses to run farther than their pedigree suggest to me. None of his recent ones looked like standouts from a traditional pedigree standpoint that I have seen in the past. Since 2105, he has had three once in a lifetime horses. AP did not wow you looking at him, but watching him run in person did to me. Did not see Arrogate in person. I've never seen a horse in person with the muscles Justified has.
I couldn't be happier for Mike Smith; to me that's what makes this TC special. American Pharoah's TC was so much more emotional because he was the first in such a long time. It's natural not to feel the same level of excitement and awe over something which just happened - at least it feels that way to me. Would I have been crushed if Justify lost and my potentially "huge" super paid off? Nope, not at all. Whereas with Pharoah, I would have been crushed. I would hate for the TC to become commonplace because of one trainer's superiority and Baffert is, by all accounts, superior. So the best horses will naturally come to him.
Yeah.The best horses and the best vets
There's an article in the NY Post quoting Gary West saying he didn't like how Restoring Hope was used. Repole also said Castellano ignored instructions.
But really with Noble Indy, how can you co-own a horse with a group going for a Triple Crown and say you're going to use the horse to spoil that bid? Nonsense. Repole should've found another 3yo if that was his goal.
I know exactly what you mean, my friend. A big YES for Mike. A true great in the irons & by many accounts a truly great human being.
Slew is my favorite race horse & I'll feel that way until my ticket is punched. So, while I admire what Justify accomplished in such a compressed time frame the fact he's an undefeated TC champ, while I don't begrudge him, doesn't feel the same for me. Frankly, the way I feel about Slew, it couldn't feel the same.
Restoring Hope certainly wouldn't have finished in another zip code behind if he had run his own race instead of being sent with the purpose of interfering. For all we know, he may have landed ITM. Who can say? I suspect the only people who still don't see what actually happened were those people peppered throughout the crowd wearing those silly crowns.