Monday, June 13, 2011

Triple Crown Settles Nothing

The Triple Crown Trail's favorites win percentage for this year is somewhere near 7.5%. Last year at Arlington favorites won about 37% of the time. No one was able to stand out and win consistently this year and there are many suggestions as to why. Steroids keeps coming up as the reason for slower times, and that's very possible, but doesn't exactly jibe with the number of broken bones suffered in the Derby if the second premise is that without roids you get sturdier stock. Really no scientifically sound conclusions can be drawn, but let the anecdotal flow right?

I haven't written in a while. Nothing really came into focus for me and I was pretty busy. I like Animal Kingdom a lot, even won a ticket on him at Arlington in his first race. I bet him to come in second with my nephew, and we cashed in on what would become a key maiden race involving Animal, Wilcox Inn (3rd in Breeders Cup) and a few others that have come along well. It was a grass race taken off the turf. Maybe out of rebellion to the old guard of American dirt, I've grown to like turf and all weather races. The recent test of champions, The Belmont, was won by the only horse who'd won on a sealed track prior to the Belmont. It was a strange race, always is, but when two of the classiest horses Animal Kingdom and Nehro saw their hopes compromised through a bump and bonechip in ankle respectively, the race would winnow down to tactical advantage. And this is what some dirt cappers like to see, finding an edge or a bias that the surface will produce to conquer the horse with more class and reputation (the favorite) and land you some long dough. I'm sure there are people who read the form and covered Ruler on Ice for that reason. It was tough watching Turbulent Descent lose too. I love this filly, but catching a front-runner on the slop was nearly impossible. Same went for the turf that day with merry-go-rounds undoing horses like Gio Ponti, who still showed a nice turn of foot but was not gonna catch the front-end thief.  

There's usually some fun stories with owners and trainers. I couldn't be happier for Graham Motion. I've always like his style. Unfortunately the owner (or head of a conglomerate) Barry Irwins keeps sounding off on silly things and comes out looking like a baby. But that doesn't change the fact that he chose some nice breeding tactics and made the right move placing Animal Kingdom in the Classics.