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1998 was a good Classic!   Breeders' Cup

Started Aug-2 by Wintertrian; 613 views.
Wintertrian

From: Wintertrian

Aug-2

Despite that I love the ones Zenyatta was in, this one has to be at the very top of my favorites, great finish, great field assembled:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS6ZuVdq-SY

Awesome Again
Silver Charm
Swain
Victory Gallop
Coronado's Quest
Skip Away
Running Stag
Touch Gold
Arch
Gentlemen

Swain by the way, was recently euthanized at Old Friends last week 7/28/2022, at the age of 30, due to infirmities of old age.   :(   

After he ran 3rd in the BCC, he went to stud.  Then he had been retired from stud in 2011 so it looks like he was at stud for about 13 years and retired from stud to Shadwell in KY.   Interestingly he was not sent to Old Friends until 2022, the year of his ethanization (he was relocated to Old Friends as part of hte downsizing program following the death of Shadwell owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.  Also of interest, the 2 horses who beat him in the 1998 BCC also retired to Old Friends!


It was sad watching Dettori whip Swain on his left side as the horse continued to drift out in the opposite direction in the stretch.  I always wondered why Dettori didn't switch hands.   Swain was coming on very strongly, quite markedly gaining momentum,  still in touch with the first 2 runners, until Detorri started with the whipping. 

Other than his 2 l'Arc de Triomphe races, he always ran ITM...had a great variety of  jockeys along the way
SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G

Aug-2

I was there for that BC.  All week actually, watching them in the mornings.  I was and still am a big Skip Away fan so disappointed he was not at his best for that race.  He had gotten loose on the backside which I was able to see with my binoculars.

I laid off the race.  Skippy was a huge underlay at 2/1.  He had a 9 race win streak going into the JC Gold Cup at Belmont but ran 3rd and looked like he was a tired horse. I was there for that race, too.  The Chief fielded Wagon Limit to the win at a huge price.  I always played Jerkens when he had a longshot, which was fairly rare. 

I got to visit Skip Away at Hopewell in KY.  Then, we went to his induction into the HOF in 2004.  Like I said, a big fav of mine.

Wintertrian

From: Wintertrian

Aug-23

Since I mentioned her name, and for old time's sake, the BCC in 2009 with Zenyatta made me revisit her footage. 

Dancing,  on her way to the gate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzEICzL0PLs

Then, the race, with Denman's "un-be-lievable!"  famous line:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEWi0iwAL_M


I hear recently Andy Beyer casting shade on Nest.   

 

Beyer's figures are known for being the most subjective of all speed figures.  I certainly wouldn't trust Beyer with fillies or mares.   I remember when he said he wouldn't *darken his ticket* with Songbird in the trifecta for the Breeders Cup Distaff of 2016, after she won the Alabama.  He was quite, um......dramatic about it, actually.        She ran 2nd, loosing by only a nose to Beholder.   ;) 

 
When Jon White installed Zenyatta  as the M/L favorite and winner of the BCC in 2009, he drew  criticism from Beyer.   Many of us had a good belly laugh at Beyer's expense, and enjoyed watching her dance on her way to the gate
 
Since Zenyatta retired with HOY,  4 Eclipse Awards, 19 wins from 20 starts (13 of which were G1s),  and won the Breeders Cup Classic against 11 males,  8 of whom were  Grade I winners......... at that moment, Beyer's reputation for objectivity for [i]many[/i] in the horse racing community,  vanished. 
(whether his fanbois like it or not.   ;) ) 
 
Dinosaur's making figures that are known for being the most subjective of all the speed figures available kinda doesn't do much for me. 
 
OTOH, he pretty much trashed California Chrome for just about anything and everything during Chrome's  career as well.  Andy  must have lost a ton of money betting against Calfornia Chrome all throughout 2016, since Chrome had 6 wins and 1 place that year.   :lol: 
 
Ditto, he was quite against Gunrunner, for just about......everything, too. 

 

smartyslew

From: smartyslew

Aug-23

Sometime in the first 5 years of this Century he said he would never bet on a horse ridden by Mike Smith !

Smith I would say responded with that Incentive .

Wintertrian

From: Wintertrian

Aug-23

Beyer's reputation is one of narrow provincialism and obvious personal bias. 

 
 
SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G

Aug-23

Beyer didn't know how to make figures for synthetic surfaces.  He admitted.  However, because his figures were off when quite a few Derby preps were run on synthetics, he threw a lot of people off who were BSF users.  There are some hard-headed speed 'cappers who could not adapt to how speed was applied and rationed out on synthetics.

The whining and moaning was very loud and very insistent.  It was an opportunity for more open-minded players to find overlays.  Because, despite all evidence to the contrary, the speed cappers continued to pound false favorites.  It was good for the rest of us.

I mean, I knew it all along, but is this when it truly struck me, like a road to Damascus moment, that  US racing didn't really care about horse safety and welfare.  The synthetics were proven safer over thousands and thousands of trips and they pulled them out.

That's one of the reasons I have respect for Woodbine.  They didn't fold under the pressure and put in the Tapeta on the latest rev of their main track.  And guess what, the bettors play those races.

Over and out, WT. 

TexSquared

From: TexSquared

Aug-23

Tapeta made the most sense given our weather.  We race in arctic cold AND tropical heat, and we have to deal with snow, rain, ice....    Polytrack sucked in hot weather - because it was so dark it absorbed the solar radiation and bounced it back so it was crazy hot (this was the same problem with the synthetic at Santa Anita), there was obvious heat shimmer in the air.  And if the rains are heavy enough, Poly didn't drain away the water fast enough so there would be big puddles on top -- a problem typical on dirt that synth is supposed to eliminate. 

You know Tapeta must be doing something right if Stronach Group (who's been anti-synthetic for years) went on and replaced the outer turf at Gulfstream with it - basically admitting defeat , running on a turf course 4 days a week all year is not realistic, and that when turf races are taken off, there are fewer scratches if the race moves to synthetic instead of to mud.   If a Woodbine turf race comes off due to rain you rarely get the 3 or 4 horse fields often seen at NYRA when that happens.

NYRA seems to be dabbling in synthetics - they're putting Tapeta on the Belmont training track so they won't lose as many training days in winter.  I figure if any track needs to be synthetic it's Aqueduct since that's their winter facility.  If they don't want to mess up Triple Crown preps, move the circuit to Belmont Park in time for the Wood.

SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G

Aug-23

Good points, Tex.

California's move to synthetics was mandated and rushed.  They could not have done a worse job, IMO.  I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.  However, for anyone else who might not remember - there was no due diligence by the CHRB.  Golden Gate got Tapeta [which they still race on, probably with some revs]  Hollywood got Cushion, which worked fairly well for cappers because it played closest to dirt. Speed wasn't killed.  Santa Anita was the worst of all. It had a bad Cushion Track installed, replaced it with Poly on the fly which was all screwed up and then blended in Pro-Ride which never worked out.  In fact, by this time, the stones and rocks were migrating up onto the surface.   Del Mar had a Polytrack and had problems but it was much safer than the killing fields of old Del Mar dirt.  Why the CHRB did not install the same synthetics on all the tracks is a tribute to stupidity.  The horses who shipped from synthetic to synthetic were getting hit with all kinds of soft tissue injuries because each synthetic demanded different muscle responses.  Crazy, right?  All avoidable.

Keeneland's Polytrack never worked out for the bettors but it was much safer than the old Keeneland dirt.  2007 Bluegrass is a perfect example of Poly killing off speed.

It would be the correct move, I agree Tex, to put Tapeta in AQU.  The handle would go up even in this day and age.

TexSquared

From: TexSquared

Aug-23

I said back then and I still believe it, I think Stronach had some part in setting up Santa Anita to fail in order to force the CHRB to allow a return to dirt. How else to explain that absolute shit show.  I'm also amazed the Breeders' Cup didn't mind running 2 years on the faulty synthetic at SA rather than go to Del Mar back then. 

Del Mar doesn't get that desert heat Santa Anita does (in the summer it's sometimes hotter at Woodbine than Del Mar!) so Poly might have been the best choice.  But after all these different surfaces being tried, looks like Tapeta is the clear winner.  But back in those days when their implementation was so rushed, hard to say what made each track pick what surface.  [I'd guess Tapeta is the most expensive so most avoided it]

Overall handle would go up at Aqu if it switched to Tapeta, because there wouldn't be as many cancellations due to weather (freezing solid in winter, or waterlogged during spring thaw)  and the fewer scratches when turf races come off. However will the avg handle per race be lower on Tapeta vs dirt?  Could also argue that Aqueduct shouldn't have gone back to 2 turf courses but instead replace one of them with Tapeta, like Gulfstream.

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