This is a place for friendly and civil discussion of horse racing of all types including handicapping.
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Wanted to add: here's where you really see American TB racing turning into the AQHA -- what's the biggest/richest event in the AQHA calendar... the $2 million All-American Futurity for TWO YEAR OLDS in the fall.
Not much different from rewarding our speedy juveniles with their $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile, right? (and as I pointed out, running five stakes for juveniles on the Friday... no wonder it's called the Breeders' Cup.. the inmates run the asylum).
Baffert isn't afraid to dump one of his jocks for someone better. Mike Smith and Victor Espinoza declined, Cedeno was a part-time jockey so he in brought in Saez, Rosario and Johnny Velazquez.
I know Charleton is active but has Maximum Security been retired. I'm curious how Baffert will juggle his all star line up for the rest of the year.
TexSquared said...There's zero incentive to breed for stamina since we do not have a profitable stakes program for older stayers (unlike the UK with the Ascot Gold Cup, Australia with the Melbourne Cup, etc) nor a rich National Hunt program to give older stayers not fast enough for the flat, a place to go (we don't have anything like Cheltenham). Instead we incentivize juvenile racing (a big mistake - and sadly the Breeders' Cup decides to turn a bug into a feature...), dirt racing, and sprinting.
Your entire post was excellent Tex.
There was a time when many were saying "let's bring some of the stamina bloodlines back over here" .....and at the time I agreed, but now I see it would be a total waste. It would be like trying to pour an entire craffe of wine into a single wine glass. It just overflows and is wasted.
It is what it is. And you're correct, Lukas wanted to turn TB racing into a form of QH racing, and he didn't get his wish, but he got the spirit of it instead.
I'm perfectly content to wait til the Ascot, Epsom Derby, Melbourne Cup etc. and open my wallet as well as study up for those races and skip our TC races which have become a disappointment to me, in terms of the kind of racing I enjoy.
SA surface is souped up like a cement speedway, why not have Churchill, Pimlico, etc. do the same for raceday, to approximate it. SA has benefitted Baffert for many years in this way. I would not want to take food out of his mouth by making it any different or more difficult for him at any other racetrack ROTFL
And they wonder why so many horses break down there and eveyrone keeps playing dumb.
Since I like Rock Your World, one of my concerns is that he will be ruined over there, before his time.
My point still stands and to an extent, goes unanswered: if the Baffert method works so well then why aren't the other trainers just using it? Why isn't Shirreffs, Attfieid, Motion, Mandella, etc. doing it and why don't they just cave and train this way? Inquiring minds want to know.
Maybe I am over simplifying, but the answer seems obvious to me: they actually care about the horse(s).
GioPonti said...Maybe I am over simplifying, but the answer seems obvious to me: they actually care about the horse(s).
That's exactly what I'm saying. You think Mandella or Motion know LESS about training horses than Baffert does? Of course not.
THey are probably just unwilliing to have the entire sport turned into quarterhorse-central, plus they probably want to see their horses last more than a year on the track.
Oh well, we already know we can't do anything about those special human beings who are enabled by others, every step of the way. over and over again, with nary a handslap. We watch and shake our heads but as long as there are synchophants available for that job, (thinking maybe they can stuff their pockets a little in the process, too), it will continue.
"The Times They Are A Changin' "
This is only one aspect of the racing paradigm.
Reality Checks have long been the "Saving Grace" of Thoroughbred Racing In North America.
Remember the introduction of the "Starting Gate?"
"Photo Finish" Photography replaced "Placing Judges."
We must have open ears and eyes to truth and wisdom.
clayjohns said...We must have open ears and eyes to truth and wisdom.
Reality check is that Classic Distance Racing, going the direction of quarterhorse racing, is not wisdom.
If you're talking about accepting change, I'm fine with change. Certainly not like Andy Beyer and many horseplayers who freaked out over synthetic tracks because they couldn't learn to 'cap them.
There is simply no truth and wisdom into turning long distance routers, who have certain body types and conformations, into speed demons or glorified sprinters, who can barely make it thru 1 year on the track. None. And the reality check is that it's not how its done anywhere else on the planet.
Not to mention the Hall of Fame trainers who I admire, and who seem to genuinely care about horses, do not train that way, and they most likely won't, despite that they won't win those $1 million dollar races. Those who wish to go in that direction will though. I won't be following them as a fan or a spectator, and certainly not as a bettor.