This is a place for friendly and civil discussion of horse racing of all types including handicapping.
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I get it, that even in a smaller field, an interference could occur on the turn, heading for home. But far less likely. As I mentioned in the OP, my humble opinion is that 20 is just too many. I know it’s “about the Benjamin’s”, but there were several horses running that had no business being in the race ...
I don’t visit this site as much as I’d like to, so if the topic had been discussed, ad nauseam, mea culpa. And you’re correct; taking a day off / break was probably what I needed.
I’ve been following the Derby on and off since Proud Clarion won, back in the ‘60’s. I’m certainly no expert, nor do I have a perfect remedy. But logic tells me, that if every other major horse race (in the US, at least) restricts the entrants to 14, why not the Derby? If you think of another sport whose participants race around an oval track (NASCAR), it does not invite more cars to run in a big race; the Daytona 500, e.g.
If the KY Racehorse Commission (and all other states where thoroughbreds are ran) really wants to promote safety, then reduce the field ...
GoForGin said...If the KY Racehorse Commission (and all other states where thoroughbreds are ran) really wants to promote safety, then reduce the field ...
U.S. racing will always be a bit of a clown show, because they need to quit stacking NSAIDs with Lasix.
Honorable racing is all about putting the horse first, and Stoute, Waller, Gosden and many others do that.
Horses of this class do not need drugs to compete. If they do, they aren't the class and we certainly have no class by doing it to them.
Winx, Ulysses, Mongolian Saturday, etc. and horses all over the world run w/out lasix. Compare the amount of times Winx raced on 3 weeks rest and how many times Justify was able to do it.
Well,after Saturday,we know that 19 is too many
Come on Winter.You can’t mention Winx in the same sentence as Justify.He doesn’t even come close lol
The amount of horses in the race was irrelevant to the outcome. The number 7 horse was alone in the front and had the entire track to himself. War of Will was coming to his right to attempt a move. When Maximum Security veered there were 3 horses to his right for a total of 4 horses involved in the incident. How many horses would you like the race to be... No more than 2 ??
The Arc has had several disqualifications and has survived just fine with large fields.
Cadum finished first in 1925, but he was relegated to second place for hampering Priori.
Midnight Sun dead-heated for first in 1959, but he was placed second for hampering Saint Crespin.
Sagace finished first in 1985, but he was demoted to second for bumping Rainbow Quest.
I'd suggest that comparing 20-horse Kentucky Derby with a 20-horse Arc (or a 24-horse Melbourne Cup) is an apples to oranges comparison for two major reasons:
1- Longchamp and Flemington are HUGE courses, both in circumference and width. 1 1/2 miles at Longchamp is a one-turn race (and that turn is huge, it just keeps going), and Flemington is almost 1 1/2 miles around with a very long chute for the start. In both races the field runs almost 1/2 a mile before they reach the (first) turn. So you can run 20+ there, Plenty of room.
Churchill Downs is a very tight 1 mile oval, the Crushing the Cup guys call it the "coffin". Long sides, narrow ends.
2- The Arc and the Melbourne Cup are for older horses, so more experienced. Yes, I know 3-year olds run and win the Arc but it's in October, not May. If you're going to put your 3-year-old in that race you better be sure he (or she! Gotta salute Enable, Treve et al) has proven ability over the distance and in traffic.
The "Road to the Derby" has so many prep races such that the horses on it often run in short fields, so not as much experience with NASCAR traffic. So their whole lives they've been facing 10 horses max (13 others if they ran in the BC Juvenile) then suddenly they see 19 others among them. But the worst thing is that there are no prep races at the Derby distance. I know it's what makes the race special but come on. I'd rather see the best 3-year-olds at 10f compete in the Derby, not the best 3-year-olds at 1 1/16-1 1/8 in it.
West was very outspoken on a major morning show this week, calling the Churchill Downs people "a greedy organization" having a 20 horse field. He says it should be 14 "max" like the BC.
That's kind of what I was getting at. 20 unproven 3-year-olds in those unfriendly confines is not a good thing. It's amazing we haven't had a multi-horse spill. We came damn close in 2008 though. Eight Belles tragically broke down during the runout. Had she broken down at the 1/8 pole that would have been the NASCAR "big one".
They at least need to get rid of that auxiliary gate. Looking at that start, same thing happened as has the last two years. The only thing that saved them is Master Fencer was slow out of the gate. I have said this before, they make enough money they can make a special gate just for the Derby, getting rid of that, and helping the inside post a bit more. It would make for a more fair start, relative to 20 horses coming out of there.