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View Full Version : A reason to go to the Belmont now


Fager Fan
05-26-2017, 12:47 AM
Songbird's seasonal debut will be on the undercard.

I look forward to that more than the Belmont. Hope she returns even better than last year.

dilanesp
05-26-2017, 12:45 PM
Songbird's seasonal debut will be on the undercard.

I look forward to that more than the Belmont. Hope she returns even better than last year.

Should be a walkover. They are ducking the California distaff set in the Beholder Mile.

anotherCAfan
05-26-2017, 03:28 PM
Should be a walkover. They are ducking the California distaff set in the Beholder Mile.
It'll be her first race off a layoff, though, as well as her first time at Big Sandy.

I hope she wins -- and I hope everyone comes back safe -- but it will be tough.

I also think she ought to stick to SoCal for the rest of the year, insofar as the Breeders Cup is in Del Mar (where I don't think she has run?).

letswastemoney
05-26-2017, 06:06 PM
California-only campaigns are boring, whether or not the Breeders' Cup is in the same place. I'm glad she's going east for her 2017 debut.

dilanesp
05-26-2017, 06:32 PM
California-only campaigns are boring, whether or not the Breeders' Cup is in the same place. I'm glad she's going east for her 2017 debut.

I am fine with her running in NY (she spent a fair amount of last year there too), but I don't like at all that she is doing it to explicitly duck competition. Compare the way they manage her to the way Mandella managed Beholder.

delsully
05-26-2017, 09:28 PM
Explicitly? That may be a stretch. Double the purse money and coming off a 7 month layoff might also have something to do with it.

dilanesp
05-27-2017, 01:54 AM
Explicitly? That may be a stretch. Double the purse money and coming off a 7 month layoff might also have something to do with it.

You can judge for yourself. It sure sounds like they were going to run in the Beholder and the owner decided he didn't want to run against Vale Dori and Stellar Wind.

https://www.americasbestracing.net/the-sport/2017-fan-favorite-songbird-return-ogden-phipps-belmont-stakes-day

Fager Fan
05-27-2017, 02:15 AM
You can judge for yourself. It sure sounds like they were going to run in the Beholder and the owner decided he didn't want to run against Vale Dori and Stellar Wind.

https://www.americasbestracing.net/the-sport/2017-fan-favorite-songbird-return-ogden-phipps-belmont-stakes-day

What would you do if you owned/trained her? The first race back after an 8 month layoff is a nervous time. She'd be at her most vulnerable, and you also hope she returns the same filly she left as. VD and SW have races under their belts. I bet neither of them would want to race against Songbird if the situation was reversed.

But the alternative isn't totally ideal. She has to fly across the country and race over a track she's never raced on.

So maybe it did come down to the big purse difference being what tilted the decision to NY. I also read where someone said that Porter may be able to go to the race in NY but not CA due to his cancer treatments.

I don't know which one I'd pick. I'd like the home track for the first start back, but those two aren't chopped liver so I'd want to know if JH can have her 100% off the bench.

señorclipclop
05-27-2017, 03:51 AM
If Saratoga is the grave of champions, what is Belmont? Tread lightly here, imo.

dilanesp
05-27-2017, 01:51 PM
Fager, it's OK to lose.

Seriously, this idea that if the horse runs and loses the connections did something wrong is pernicious. Back in the day, top horses would run 15 times in a season. Round Table and Affirmed both lost some races. Seattle Slew lost to Dr. Patches when he may not have been 100 percent after a long break. Does anyone think less of him because of that?

Songbird should run against top competition. If she loses, she loses. Better than looking around for weak races to keep that almost perfect record.

cj
05-27-2017, 02:32 PM
Fager, it's OK to lose.

Seriously, this idea that if the horse runs and loses the connections did something wrong is pernicious. Back in the day, top horses would run 15 times in a season. Round Table and Affirmed both lost some races. Seattle Slew lost to Dr. Patches when he may not have been 100 percent after a long break. Does anyone think less of him because of that?

Songbird should run against top competition. If she loses, she loses. Better than looking around for weak races to keep that almost perfect record.

It is one of the worst things that has happened in our sport. People are afraid to lose. Some of that is because horses run less so every spot is more important.

Fager Fan
05-27-2017, 03:23 PM
Fager, it's OK to lose.

Seriously, this idea that if the horse runs and loses the connections did something wrong is pernicious. Back in the day, top horses would run 15 times in a season. Round Table and Affirmed both lost some races. Seattle Slew lost to Dr. Patches when he may not have been 100 percent after a long break. Does anyone think less of him because of that?

Songbird should run against top competition. If she loses, she loses. Better than looking around for weak races to keep that almost perfect record.

Looking for a weak spot would've been going in some G3 in CA.

She's flying across the country to run in a race that is arguably more prestigious and with almost twice the purse, running over big sandy for the first time, after an 8 month layoff. That presents enough of a challenge to not warrant criticism as I see it. If she goes in a CA G3 instead, I'll join you in the criticism.

I don't think the entries have been drawn yet. Why not send Stellar Wind or VD on the same plane? This is the most vulnerable they'd find her, so hop on and try to take her down. Try to put that win in the column to take them to older female Eclipse. Or do they think it'd be a softer spot to stay in CA? Are you sure they wouldn't be on a plane if they heard Songbird was staying in CA?

We'll see who shows up for the Del Cap. All 3 should fly in for that one given it's pot and prestige.

delsully
05-27-2017, 05:15 PM
It is one of the worst things that has happened in our sport. People are afraid to lose. Some of that is because horses run less so every spot is more important.

On the flip side, don't you want to face your toughest competition while at your best?

cj
05-27-2017, 07:13 PM
On the flip side, don't you want to face your toughest competition while at your best?

Only if you are worried about losing. If I play tennis, for example, against a bunch of scrubs then jump in against somebody my level or a little higher, I'll get blasted. I'd rather lose against better to prepare.

burnsy
05-27-2017, 08:08 PM
I can't figure out why I wouldn't go this year. Even if Songbird was not running. The lack of 90.000 people has my name all over it. Something like 6 grade 1 races.............marvelous! Able to breathe and enjoy.......priceless!

Fager Fan
05-27-2017, 10:11 PM
Hope you enjoy! I think I'm going too.

JustRalph
05-28-2017, 01:57 AM
It is one of the worst things that has happened in our sport. People are afraid to lose. Some of that is because horses run less so every spot is more important.

And there's no press to call them out on it

burnsy
05-28-2017, 09:03 AM
Hope you enjoy! I think I'm going too.

Good Luck! I can't understand the negativity. I'm glad its new players (in the Belmont), keeps the riff raft out. That card will be better than anything we have seen this year! And I can actually move about and enjoy it.

But I agree with what the others are saying too. There was a time you ran your horse, win or lose. No guts, no glory. The fans add to it by making a big deal of a loss. Guess what? Very, very few win them all.

Spalding No!
05-28-2017, 09:08 AM
Seattle Slew lost to Dr. Patches when he may not have been 100 percent after a long break. Does anyone think less of him because of that?

Songbird should run against top competition. If she loses, she loses. Better than looking around for weak races to keep that almost perfect record.
Horrendous example.

Seattle Slew lost to Dr. Patches in his 3rd start as a 4yo, it was not his first start off a long layoff.

In fact Seattle Slew won two 7f conditioned allowance races most likely expressly written for him so he could "leg up" for the season. In one of those allowance races, his competition was collectively 1-for-29 for the year or, to quote Sports Illustrated at the time, he was running against "crows".

Maybe the geniuses that run Santa Anita should have tried to coax Hollendorfer with such a soft allowance spot which was often done in the past. But they didn't.

The critical factor here is the extra week between the Beholder and the Ogden Phipps, which means another workout to help get Songbird fit. She's between a rock and a hard place either way having to run right into top class competition off the bench.

burnsy
05-28-2017, 09:17 AM
Yes, Seattle Slew was not 100% then but that's the point, they trained and raced through it.........today its dodge, duck and hide....then off to the breeding shed. The entire game benefits when stars come out, race and have a real career. Casual fans flock to the big names. How can that happen when a career is a dozen races?

And people expect 12-0

Fager Fan
05-28-2017, 09:42 AM
Yes, Seattle Slew was not 100% then but that's the point, they trained and raced through it.........today its dodge, duck and hide....then off to the breeding shed. The entire game benefits when stars come out, race and have a real career. Casual fans flock to the big names. How can that happen when a career is a dozen races?

And people expect 12-0

I'm lost. Why wasn't Slew at his best? I don't remember the story. I assume you're saying he had a physical issue, as it wasn't a case of it being his first off a layoff. As pointed out, it was the third of the year and he won an allow less than a month prior. I'd always be understanding of a horse not running at all if the horse has a physical issue, and may even be critical for doing so if it jeopardized the welfare of any horse or rider in the field.

delsully
05-28-2017, 10:01 AM
Only if you are worried about losing. If I play tennis, for example, against a bunch of scrubs then jump in against somebody my level or a little higher, I'll get blasted. I'd rather lose against better to prepare.

If you only played six matches a year, you'd be more cautious in your approach. Believe me, I'd love to see her race against SW & VD, who wouldn't? But I think it's more complicated than just being worried about losing.

burnsy
05-28-2017, 10:04 AM
I don't know, I wasn't there but the point is that a loss was not the end of the world. One and half seasons didn't make a career. Heck, these days one good string of races is sometimes the whole shooting match. Horses just like people go through ups and downs. They get out of shape, have mental blocks just like we do. Sometimes they even get a little banged up and need a rest. When they come back it takes a while to be the same. I don't even care about this particular story, just pointing out the "patterns" of how these horses raced and the interest it kept in this game. Today, if you lose its a reason to quit, if you win its even a bigger reason to quit......before you can lose. The incentive to "get out" as soon as possible, hurts the game over all.

Some of the super horses in the past ran more races in a year than these horses race in lifetime. Now somehow they can't even come back in two or three weeks? That's the excuse they go with? What's going on? Then people sit there and cry that interest in the game is down........Gee, I wonder why? :bang:

Grits
05-28-2017, 08:37 PM
There's always reason to be in NY for Belmont Week. It's one of the absolute finest days of racing each year!! Songbird, there, will be a bonus. It'll be good to see her again. .... No Triple Crown on the line is kinda nice because eating dinner at almost midnight is never good.

Redboard
05-29-2017, 03:39 PM
The last few years, Belmont day has been my favorite outside of the breeders cup. With no TC on the line, it might be worth it to be there.

Spalding No!
05-30-2017, 02:33 PM
In the last 25 years, only 4 champion 3yo fillies made their 4yo debuts in a Grade 1 race:

Serena's Song
Surfside
Ashado
Stellar Wind

Only Serena's Song won. She took the 7f Santa Monica in January less than 3 months after her loss in the BC Distaff.

Only Ashado shipped for her 4yo debut, the Apple Blossom. She was unplaced.

Santa Anita's stakes schedule on all fronts has been a cluster for at least a decade now. Specific to the distaff division it is no wonder that a trainer can have difficulty maping out a campaign with a stakes caliber horse.

The Beholder Mile (formerly the Vanity) sometimes is 8f sometimes its 9f. On the calendar, sometimes the Beholder is held after the Adoration (formerly the Milady) and sometimes its held before the Adoration. Sometimes they run the entire La Canada series, sometimes they don't. Sometimes the La Canada series is restricted to 4yos, sometimes its open to 4yos and up. Sometimes they run the Santa Lucia Stakes, a race restricted to non-winners of a Graded Stakes for that year (i.e., a perfect tune up for a Grade 1 horse), and sometimes they don't (they did when Beholder was around).

dilanesp
05-30-2017, 05:37 PM
In the last 25 years, only 4 champion 3yo fillies made their 4yo debuts in a Grade 1 race:

Bear in mind, a big reason for this is because people used to race their horses into condition.

Everyone seems to come back in Grade I stakes these days, and that didn't used to be true.

Fager Fan
05-30-2017, 09:59 PM
Bear in mind, a big reason for this is because people used to race their horses into condition.

Everyone seems to come back in Grade I stakes these days, and that didn't used to be true.

So they used to pick soft spots - aka ducking - in their return? Which is what you're complaining about Songbird doing, and relishing for the old days over?

dilanesp
05-31-2017, 12:03 AM
So they used to pick soft spots - aka ducking - in their return? Which is what you're complaining about Songbird doing, and relishing for the old days over?

Fager:

Here's what used to happen. They might enter a horse returning in a conditioned allowance or a minor stakes. But as they raced the horse into condition, they came back into the bigger stakes. And then they would run in several of them, and start the horse 6 or 8 or 10 or even 12 or more times during the year.

In that context, nothing wrong with the easy race to race the horse into condition.

What happens now is the horse runs in 4 starts, all Grade I's, during the year, handpicked to avoid the major competition until the Breeders' Cup. If we are lucky. Sometimes, as with Holy Bull and Rachel Alexandra, they duck the Breeders' Cup and figure the parochial New York voters will give them the Eclipse Award anyway.

I could talk about long ago things like Noor and Citation or Affirmed and Alydar, but consider this-- Precisionist and Greinton met each other 8 times. Silver Charm and Free House met each other 6 times.

Do any comparable horses ever meet each other 6 times anymore?

Spalding No!
05-31-2017, 12:14 AM
What happens now is the horse runs in 4 starts, all Grade I's, during the year, handpicked to avoid the major competition until the Breeders' Cup. If we are lucky. Sometimes, as with Holy Bull and Rachel Alexandra, they duck the Breeders' Cup and figure the parochial New York voters will give them the Eclipse Award anyway.
Who are these horses that start only 4 times and only in Grade 1s?

Certainly not Holy Bull or Rachel Alexandra in their respective 3yo campaigns.

Fager Fan
05-31-2017, 08:50 AM
Fager:

Here's what used to happen. They might enter a horse returning in a conditioned allowance or a minor stakes. But as they raced the horse into condition, they came back into the bigger stakes. And then they would run in several of them, and start the horse 6 or 8 or 10 or even 12 or more times during the year.

In that context, nothing wrong with the easy race to race the horse into condition.

What happens now is the horse runs in 4 starts, all Grade I's, during the year, handpicked to avoid the major competition until the Breeders' Cup. If we are lucky. Sometimes, as with Holy Bull and Rachel Alexandra, they duck the Breeders' Cup and figure the parochial New York voters will give them the Eclipse Award anyway.

I could talk about long ago things like Noor and Citation or Affirmed and Alydar, but consider this-- Precisionist and Greinton met each other 8 times. Silver Charm and Free House met each other 6 times.

Do any comparable horses ever meet each other 6 times anymore?

You're all over the map.

Holy Bull ducked the BC? No. He wasn't nominated and his owner/trainer wasn't going to pay the absurd supplemental fee. Rachel ducked the BC? No. Her owner wasn't going to run his magnificent dirt filly on synthetic.

You lose credibility when you claim ducking of a 3yo who took on its elders in the Met Mile, and a filly who ran in the Preakness, Haskell, and more importantly took on older males in the Woodward. Songbird's owner ducked no one with Hard Spun, ran a filly in the Derby, and ran another filly in the Woodward.

You fuss about ducking but pluck out the connections that sure don't duck. You complain about ducking but then say those non-duckers often ran in softer spots.

dilanesp
06-02-2017, 06:13 PM
You're all over the map.

Holy Bull ducked the BC? No. He wasn't nominated and his owner/trainer wasn't going to pay the absurd supplemental fee. Rachel ducked the BC? No. Her owner wasn't going to run his magnificent dirt filly on synthetic.

You lose credibility when you claim ducking of a 3yo who took on its elders in the Met Mile, and a filly who ran in the Preakness, Haskell, and more importantly took on older males in the Woodward. Songbird's owner ducked no one with Hard Spun, ran a filly in the Derby, and ran another filly in the Woodward.

You fuss about ducking but pluck out the connections that sure don't duck. You complain about ducking but then say those non-duckers often ran in softer spots.

Fager:

I bet if voters made clear that you weren't going to win an Eclipse Award if you didn't run in the BC and the horse was sound, that would affect quite a few of these decisions.

Your mistake is thinking that races like the Met Mile are the equivalent of the BC. They aren't. The BC dwarves everything except Dubai maybe (or the Pegasus if it continues). The BC fields are simply far stronger than anything else running.

A lot of New York fans hate this, because it destroyed their championship races. But the reality is it did. So if you aren't running a sound horse in the BC, for ANY reason, you are ducking. And saying "but I ran in some New York stakes race that means a lot less than it did 30 years ago" isn't any more persuasive a defense than "but I ran in the Santa Anita Handicap" would be.

Also, go back and look at my point on Sliver Charm and Free House. That's what happens when horses actually don't duck each other and run often when they are sound. Doesn't happen anymore. When's the last time 2 top horses met six times?

cj
06-02-2017, 07:03 PM
Also, go back and look at my point on Sliver Charm and Free House. That's what happens when horses actually don't duck each other and run often when they are sound. Doesn't happen anymore. When's the last time 2 top horses met six times?

You are right. It has been forever. You have to go way back to Nyquist versus Exaggerator, who met seven times.

Fager Fan
06-03-2017, 01:21 AM
Fager:

I bet if voters made clear that you weren't going to win an Eclipse Award if you didn't run in the BC and the horse was sound, that would affect quite a few of these decisions.

Your mistake is thinking that races like the Met Mile are the equivalent of the BC. They aren't. The BC dwarves everything except Dubai maybe (or the Pegasus if it continues). The BC fields are simply far stronger than anything else running.

A lot of New York fans hate this, because it destroyed their championship races. But the reality is it did. So if you aren't running a sound horse in the BC, for ANY reason, you are ducking. And saying "but I ran in some New York stakes race that means a lot less than it did 30 years ago" isn't any more persuasive a defense than "but I ran in the Santa Anita Handicap" would be.

Also, go back and look at my point on Sliver Charm and Free House. That's what happens when horses actually don't duck each other and run often when they are sound. Doesn't happen anymore. When's the last time 2 top horses met six times?

You think a 3yo filly winning the distaff means more than beating older males in the Whitney? Wrong.

You think someone should run their turf or dirt horse on their non-preferred surface just because it's called the BC? Wrong.

You think someone, particularly someone who isn't a billionaire, should pay an absurd supplemental fee to run in the BC? Wrong. Or that running 10 times that year wasn't an already taxing campaign? Wrong again.

No race, including the BC and KD, is the end all be all. You need a major opinion adjustment if you really think so.

Fager Fan
06-03-2017, 01:24 AM
You are right. It has been forever. You have to go way back to Nyquist versus Exaggerator, who met seven times.

Blind Luck and Havre de Grace raced at least 6 times.

Spalding No!
06-03-2017, 01:35 AM
You are right. It has been forever. You have to go way back to Nyquist versus Exaggerator, who met seven times.
And never mind neither Silver Charm nor Free House nor Nyquist nor Exaggerator ran in the Breeder's Cup during their 3yo seasons.

Fager Fan
06-03-2017, 02:33 AM
And never mind neither Silver Charm nor Free House nor Nyquist nor Exaggerator ran in the Breeder's Cup during their 3yo seasons.

Scorch!

depalma113
06-03-2017, 06:58 AM
A champion being pointed to a Grade One race worth $750,000 on what is the second biggest day of racing of the year and she is the one ducking?

LMFAO! :lol:

PowerUpPaynter
06-04-2017, 07:23 PM
how bad is it trying to catch a train back to penn station after the race?

dilanesp
06-05-2017, 01:42 AM
You are right. It has been forever. You have to go way back to Nyquist versus Exaggerator, who met seven times.

That's really not the same. They met twice in the TC and once after.

The 2 year old meetings count, of course, but there wasn't a rivalry yet.

dilanesp
06-05-2017, 01:44 AM
And never mind neither Silver Charm nor Free House nor Nyquist nor Exaggerator ran in the Breeder's Cup during their 3yo seasons.

Nyquist and Exaggerator were already through!

Silver Charm and Free House went on and ran as older horses. Apples and oranges.

dilanesp
06-05-2017, 01:45 AM
A champion being pointed to a Grade One race worth $750,000 on what is the second biggest day of racing of the year and she is the one ducking?

LMFAO! :lol:

That argument only works if you believe the Ogden Phipps will draw a strong field.

It won't.

cj
06-05-2017, 09:32 AM
That argument only works if you believe the Ogden Phipps will draw a strong field.

It won't.

I would argue the others are ducking. Why go to a race with only half the purse? They ducked Songbird.

cj
06-05-2017, 09:33 AM
That's really not the same. They met twice in the TC and once after.

The 2 year old meetings count, of course, but there wasn't a rivalry yet.

They met twice after the TC...keep trying. :)

Redboard
06-05-2017, 10:17 AM
how bad is it trying to catch a train back to penn station after the race?

Without a triple crown on the line and plenty of tickets available, I can't see much of a problem, but I haven't taken it in a while. Maybe someone here has a more firsthand answer to this question.

I'd be interested in their answer too.

Spalding No!
06-05-2017, 12:00 PM
They met twice after the TC...keep trying. :)
They also made their 3yo debuts against one another in the San Vicente Stakes, the race Silver Charm and Free House first opposed each other in.

Spalding No!
06-05-2017, 12:06 PM
Nyquist and Exaggerator were already through!

Silver Charm and Free House went on and ran as older horses. Apples and oranges.
I was speaking towards your other dubious point that the BC is the end-all of racing.

Coincidentally, it seems silly that the first meeting between Nyquist and Exaggerator doesn't "count" because there was no rivalry yet (talk about a double bind), and yet it took place at the BC...