This is a place for friendly and civil discussion of horse racing of all types including handicapping.
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Rebel Stakes (G2) day photos:
Geroux is an excellent rider. He has nothing to prove.
Its more like the horse and jockey have to be "right" for each other, and they are not right for each other.
I always descrribe it as "they go together like peanut butter and jelly"......that would have been Borel on Mine That Bird, for instance. Horse trusted Borel to thread him thru a needle, and Borel knew the horse had the courage to do it.
Geroux isn't the right rider for Caddo River, that's all. Agents book jockeys for TRAINERS, not the horses. The trainer has to assign jockey to the horse. You only have so many riders to switch around with.
But when a horse and rider are made for each other, then you get to see something very special. Mike Smith and Zenyatta, many of those combos in history.... but not a lot. Special relationships are .....well.......special. Secretariat and Eddie Sweat......it's needle in haystack territory.
So far I'm not seeing anything out of Oaklawn this year that flips me. It's been a strange year and I'm sure there were some horses we will just never get to see much of due to pandemic, weather, etc.
Edit: spelling correction of secretariat's groom last name.
I'm not knocking Geroux. I admire him as a top rider.
However, The Rebel was a bad ride.
How can we conclude he doesn't fit the horse based on that one race? Especially after the previous two races.
SameSteve G said...How can we conclude he doesn't fit the horse based on that one race?
Because of the way Caddo River runs.
Because we have other races to watch. He's a pace setter. Smarty Jones, he just goes out and then wins by 10+ lengths.
CHurchill, same deal: goes to front and wins by 9 lengths.
This is how this horse runs. He goes to the lead early, before the first turn, stays there, and then further distances himself from the pack in the stretch. He can do that. He has speed. Pretty much same as Concern Tour on paper.
He beat Greatest Honor at Belmont in a maiden. He beat Greatest Honor at Saratoga, too. Only time he didn't run on the lead back then as a youngster is because he didn't break fast enough. They should have put him in the Gotham or Holy Bull.
A "bad ride" to me is not getting horse into position or not ducking into a hole when it comes available, etc. Trying to change the way a horse runs isn't a bad ride, so much as a really bad idea. I was scratching my head watching Geroux fight that horse.
Just seems to me that Geroux was trying to train the horse to stalk / rate DURING a stakes race.......that is something is done in training/workouts.
Wintertrian said...Maybe his wins were in weak fields,
Caddo beat Greatest Honor 2x at 2 different tracks before he got into stakes races.
And he beat Cowan, who has only run out of the money once in his entire career, who ran 2nd in the Breeder Cup Juvienile Turf Sprint, and who after the Smarty Jones went over to Dubai and ran 2nd in the $1.5 million Al Rajih Bank Saudi Derby (lost to a huge longshot which was a surprise to everyone). Cowan goes from last to 2nd, who has to go 4 wide, and almost doesn't make it but "re-triggers" to duel in the last moments in the stretch:
So no, I don't think Caddo River has run against weak horses.
I really think Caddo River MIGHT have beaten Concert Tour had he been allowed to run. If Brad Cox isn't livid I'd be surprised.
Yes, I am familiar with those races & rides.
For a jockey, upon a horse in flight, a "bad idea" enacted becomes a bad ride. In other words, a distinction without a difference.
The other obvious possibility is that the bad ride we witnessed in The Rebel was the direct result of bad trainer instructions to attempt to rate the horse. In which case, Geroux cannot be held culpable for following instructions.
You are more perceptive than I am based on the evidence of the 3 races in question to conclude that Geroux is the wrong rider or a bad fit for Caddo River. :)
A great rider can never be a "bad fit" for a horse......if they are truly great, they do not have a preferred style, they have an innate ability to understand a specific horse's talents and how to implement during the course of a race. Mediocre jockeys may be unable to change styles. Not unlike golfers who can only curve the ball left to right. Great athletes are talented enough to employ many different styles and capacities.
I can only judge that Geroux gave the horse a bad ride....whether that was by trainer instructions (hard to believe), or his own miscalculation of the actual speed they were traveling. The notes suggest Caddo was rank, but in my mind, the rankness was created by the tight hold on an eager horse.
I agree with Winter.....the colt should have allowed to relax on the lead, and see what could happen. I do hope that they give him another chance and just see what he can do!
"I can only judge that Geroux gave the horse a bad ride"
Prince, we've all been saying the horse should have been allowed to run. That point is not in question. I fully agree it was a bad ride.
The conversation WT & I were engaged in had to do with whether or not Geroux was a good fit. Winter was of the opinion that FG was the "wrong rider" for the horse. That was the gist of her post several posts back in this thread.
I disagree on that point but agree Caddo River should have been allowed to run like Geroux allowed him to run in the previous two races.
I like the horse, as well. Hard Spun was a free runner. Remember how the ill-fated & tragic GoGo put a choke hold on him in The Belmont in 2007?
I attempted to address this too, Steve.....my first paragraph was devoted to the perspective that there are no bad fits for great jockeys. If Geroux is a bad fit for Caddo, he is not a great jockey, imho
I still say the winner beat him to his spot and took his game plan away ,and i don't think the horse
liked it. A good athlete loses to another Athlete because they had a better plan on a giving day.
IMO they got outplayed. Don't compare Golfers to Duffers, lol . Maybe it was an Equipment change
that effects the mouth. I've heard people say that Baffert is a great Equipment Changer with lots of works before they race and he notices things to help breath better or bits and equipment that helps performance.
It isn't just feed. Bruno De Julio says there are left handed horses and right handed horses and he
thinks that effects training of horses including jock rides. Back to elite golfers Tiger Woods wouldn't
play good with lefty's equipment or vise a versa. Maybe it was a right handers bit and equipment
on Caddo' nose who runs like a lefty.