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Old 03-28-2017, 12:23 PM   #196
castaway01
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
I have a slightly different take.

That's the point I was trying to make in an earlier post.

When I saw him get away like that, my first thought was "oh crap". But my second thought was "at least horses are winning from way back there today and Smith is not panicking and rushing him up into contention. It's not hopeless".

IMHO, people's initial reactions wers based what they see "in general", but both the track and ride were perfect for trying to overcome that start. Horses were closing, horses were making wide winning moves, and Smith was patient.

It was tough, especially when you consider the top few did not collapse, but imo it wasn't a killer trip.
There was nothing "in general" about THAT race, unless you've seen a lot of races where a horse gets squeezed early and is way back, then sweeps by a field of Grade 1 winners in a race where the 2nd-3rd-4th-5th place horses early were in the exact same spots at the end and no one else in the field closed at all. Making it sound like it wasn't remarkable just because horses sometimes recover from early trouble is slighting the horse to a ridiculous degree.

I'm not going to try to rank Arrogate vs. horses from 50 or 100 years ago that ran more often under different weights in what was basically a different world. All I know is he's had four tremendous performances and I'm glad I've gotten to see them.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:32 PM   #197
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I'm not going to try to rank Arrogate vs. horses from 50 or 100 years ago that ran more often under different weights in what was basically a different world. All I know is he's had four tremendous performances and I'm glad I've gotten to see them.
This is the correct approach to Arrogate.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:49 PM   #198
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Neither of those were as talented IMO.
Come on, I'm pretty certain you've seen a number of horses as I have who are or even more talented. Don't get me wrong with this statement because I also think he's very good and has so much potential.

He wants to WIN and he's shown this desire in the three races which I saw him run.

When you say Neither (fine, it's your opinion as indicated) but, I'll disagree with you because I saw both of the other two run and not just going off of hear say or looking at some charts.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:53 PM   #199
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When you say Neither (fine, it's your opinion as indicated) but, I'll disagree with you because I saw both of the other two run and not just going off of hear say or looking at some charts.
I'm 100% certain cj (and I) saw both those horses run. And in fact I saw Cigar run in person many times (never saw Zenyatta in person...she wasn't much of a traveler...in fact, I dare say Arrogate has logged tons more miles than Zenyatta despite a much shorter career thus far).

I remember cutting a trip short to Atlantic City just so I could drive up and bet Cigar in the NYRA Mile at Aqueduct...I believe I got 8-1 on him that day...I still pride myself in that...
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:07 PM   #200
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I'm 100% certain cj (and I) saw both those horses run. And in fact I saw Cigar run in person many times (never saw Zenyatta in person...she wasn't much of a traveler...in fact, I dare say Arrogate has logged tons more miles than Zenyatta despite a much shorter career thus far).

I remember cutting a trip short to Atlantic City just so I could drive up and bet Cigar in the NYRA Mile at Aqueduct...I believe I got 8-1 on him that day...I still pride myself in that...
I was just surprised at his comment that the other two were not in the same class. I realize with his experience, knowledge etc., he had also seen these two live or on film. Sometimes, I just can't help myself with the digs after all this is the internet.

Btw, I've mentioned several times Z is one of my favorites but, I don't recall ever making a bet on her because of her odds in her races. I just enjoyed watching her race.
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:47 PM   #201
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Unrealized potential isn't the same as greatness.

Cigar and Zenyatta were "greats" whereas Arrogate will almost surely not be one because Cigar and Zenyatta had long careers with lots of Grade I races.

The fact that Arrogate is as fast as he is just makes it more of an outrage that he has such an incomplete career.
Lol at Zenyatta. Her races were mostly against tomato cans. Talk about an incomplete career, she is examle 101. Never trying a single Big Cap, Gold Cup, or Pacific Classic is embarrassing.

Cigar was a really cool horse that happened to blossom at the right time. He wasn't even all that fast historically speaking.

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Old 03-28-2017, 03:58 PM   #202
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I'm 100% certain cj (and I) saw both those horses run. And in fact I saw Cigar run in person many times (never saw Zenyatta in person...she wasn't much of a traveler...in fact, I dare say Arrogate has logged tons more miles than Zenyatta despite a much shorter career thus far).

I remember cutting a trip short to Atlantic City just so I could drive up and bet Cigar in the NYRA Mile at Aqueduct...I believe I got 8-1 on him that day...I still pride myself in that...
I was a little later to the party than you were, and you'll kill me for this, but I bet Cigar when he ran in the Donn against Holy Bull, off the NYRA Mile performance. I can't remember what he paid, but I think it was 5 to 2 or something.

(I also took 4 to 5 on Cigar twice, in the 1995 Hollywood Gold Cup and the Breeders' Cup Classic. He was obvious both times and I thought the price an overlay. But anyone could have come up with that.)
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:04 PM   #203
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Lol at Zenyatta. Her races were mostly against tomato cans. Talk about an incomplete career, she is examle 101. Never trying a single Big Cap, Gold Cup, or Pacific Classic is embarrassing.

Cigar was a really cool horse that happened to blossom at the right time. He wasn't even all that fast historically speaking.
1. The problem with the anti-Zenyatta arguments is she won 19 races in a row, including some really major stakes-- 2 Apple Blossoms, a BC Distaff, a BC Classic-- and her only loss was by a head in the BC Classic. So what you have to do is denigrate all those wins. And you can! I agree, she should have run in big races against males! She should have shipped to New York! All true! But at the same time, what she did wasn't BAD-- it was very, very good, better than basically what any other filly or mare has ever done. The fact that she should have done more doesn't establish that her 20 races were bad. She's an all-time great.

2. As for Cigar, I agree, he wasn't that fast. I've always conceded that. But you know what, Beyers (or timeform ratings) are not very important when it comes to all time greatness. For one thing, there's absolutely ZERO support for comparing speed figures from different generations. The scales change over time, which is totally unimportant to handicapping but makes speed figures meaningless for historical comparison.

But more importantly, Cigar won 16 races in a row, mostly Grade I's, carrying and giving weight, beating tons of good horses who won other major stakes races. That's simply a better career than Arrogate or Ghostzapper or some other fast horse who didn't run enough. It's tougher to do.

If Arrogate tried to win 16 mostly Grade I races in a row, you know what would probably happen? He'd lose. They lose if you run them often enough. It's really hard to do.

And you know who knows that? Baffert and Juddmonte. It's why they don't try it.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:05 PM   #204
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There was nothing "in general" about THAT race, unless you've seen a lot of races where a horse gets squeezed early and is way back, then sweeps by a field of Grade 1 winners in a race where the 2nd-3rd-4th-5th place horses early were in the exact same spots at the end and no one else in the field closed at all. Making it sound like it wasn't remarkable just because horses sometimes recover from early trouble is slighting the horse to a ridiculous degree.
Obviously, this is my opinion, but I think you missed my point about "in general" (which was not to dismiss his performance).

On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the most difficult trip and 0 is a perfect trip, I would usually classify a trip like he had as a 9-10. In this case I think it was more like a 7 given the way that track was playing and the ride he got. It was bad, but not a horror show.

I mentioned the race flow previously. I also noticed that the horses that were 2-3-4 finished that way. I agree 100% the race did not collapse. However, the horses that were up there were the major contending US horses. I don't think it was too much of a shock that they lasted. The front runner was a cheaper horse with spottier form that you'd expect to quit if the race flow was honest. He didn't last better than expected. He quit. I think the flow was more or less honest.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:09 PM   #205
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BTW, I'm with Class on Arrogate's trip.

In addition to everything else, this was a 1 1/4 mile race. We had this discussion wrt to Shared Belief in the BC Classic, but you have plenty of time to get back in the race when you get a bad start at 1 1/4 miles.

It certainly made his win more impressive, and I think Arrogate is awesome, but an incident like this at the start of a 10 furlong race is almost never going to eliminate a good horse, unless (1) the horse loses many more lengths than Arrogate did, (2) the horse is a need the lead horse, (3) the horse lost the opportunity to be the controlling speed in the race, or (4) the incident allowed another horse to get the lead and set a slow pace and win wire to wire.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:17 PM   #206
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BTW, I'm with Class on Arrogate's trip.

In addition to everything else, this was a 1 1/4 mile race. We had this discussion wrt to Shared Belief in the BC Classic, but you have plenty of time to get back in the race when you get a bad start at 1 1/4 miles.

It certainly made his win more impressive, and I think Arrogate is awesome, but an incident like this at the start of a 10 furlong race is almost never going to eliminate a good horse, unless (1) the horse loses many more lengths than Arrogate did, (2) the horse is a need the lead horse, (3) the horse lost the opportunity to be the controlling speed in the race, or (4) the incident allowed another horse to get the lead and set a slow pace and win wire to wire.
Man that's a giant stretch.

There's no way after that start that you were confident he was going to win.

And he's NEVER been that far back before...totally different running style...so much adversity to overcome.

You can keep spinning it but there's no way you're going to get me to believe Arrogate wasn't up against it BIG TIME after the start of the DWC.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:21 PM   #207
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The problem with the anti Zenyatta argument is that in the beginning it was largely based on a misunderstanding (and hate) of those early synthetic tracks where paces were slower and speed figure were not nearly comparable to dirt figures. So both she and her competition were initially underrated.

The second problem was that as her reputation grew, the pro Zenyatta rhetoric got a little crazy (comparing her to the greatest horses of all time) and seemed to generate an anti Zenyatta backlash.

The thing is, she was a filly/mare, not a colt. Outside of turf (which is an entirely different thing) many of the greatest fillies/mares ever never tried colts. If they did, they looked for easy spots. She tried the BC Classic twice. The standards should be what she accomplished vs. other great mares.

To say she's not one of the greatest mares to ever walk on this planet after a BC Distaff Win, Breeder's Cup Classic Win, and BC Classic loss by a bob after getting pinched at the start (similar but not quite as badly as Arrogate) and then climbing through the stretch the first time on dirt is utter lunacy.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:22 PM   #208
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Man that's a giant stretch.

There's no way after that start that you were confident he was going to win.

And he's NEVER been that far back before...totally different running style...so much adversity to overcome.

You can keep spinning it but there's no way you're going to get me to believe Arrogate wasn't up against it BIG TIME after the start of the DWC.
I was absolutely not confident that he was going to win after the start. I totally admit that.

But I also do think that people overrate trouble at the start, especially in 1 1/4 mile races. My favorite example of the genre was Seattle Slew's bad start in the Derby. It wasn't want Billy Turner and the Taylors wanted, certainly. But there's just plenty of time to get back into the race at 10 furlongs. As long as you aren't dealing with a need the lead type or a specific pace scenario (Eternal Prince's bad start in 1985 which allowed Spend a Buck to get loose on the lead), breaking bad in a 10 furlong race isn't good but isn't the end of the world either.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:23 PM   #209
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You just compared him to Seattle Slew. That about says it all right there.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:27 PM   #210
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We had this discussion wrt to Shared Belief in the BC Classic, but you have plenty of time to get back in the race when you get a bad start at 1 1/4 miles.
I think Shared Belief's bad start had an impact on him. Naturally, my opinions.

1. The track was mildly tilted towards speed that day

2. The only other speed in the race was eliminated at the start and that allowed Bayern to control the pace.

3. Given #1 and #2 you would expect the possibility of a merry-go-ground type race and that's exactly what we got.
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