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Old 10-03-2022, 04:22 PM   #1
westernmassbob
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Question/opinion needed for Vic Stauffer..about Lukas Classic

Vic as always I highly value your opinion so i have a few questions for you.

As you probably already know Sonny Leon was handed a 15 day ban for “ intentionally interfering “Hot Rod Charlie.

My opinion is that the stewards got this all wrong. I think it’s a case of something that looks very obvious is an optical illusion based on which angle you look at it . There are some compelling photos that have come out AFTER the stewards made the decision which seems to be based on just the video replays. So Vic what’s your opinion ? Also is it possible that the stewards can reverse their decision after viewing additional evidence or is that too taboo ?

I just feel ( and I’m no expert on this ) that the saddle did slip and Sonny Leon was trying not to fall off the horse which leaned into the left as it looked like he was going to go right on by. His posture seems very akward and not something he was doing on purpose. It doesn’t seem intentional at all. Last question if Rich Strike ended up winning do you think it was an easy DQ ?
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Old 10-03-2022, 06:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by westernmassbob View Post
I just feel ( and I’m no expert on this ) that the saddle did slip and Sonny Leon was trying not to fall off the horse which leaned into the left as it looked like he was going to go right on by. His posture seems very akward and not something he was doing on purpose. It doesn’t seem intentional at all. Last question if Rich Strike ended up winning do you think it was an easy DQ ?
There have been many posts on this subject and I wanted to throw a thought to everyone. When you are about to fall off a ladder from four feet in the air, what is your reaction? Do you typically keep reaching for that lightbulb you are trying to change or do you reach downward for the ladder to steady yourself?

The point here is that Leon kept riding in the final 1/8th, never took a second to right himself, and kept "whipping (cropping) and driving" to the wire. All that was needed was a "my saddle was slipping" to the stewards however no such comment was made, at least according to the current reporting.
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Old 10-04-2022, 11:30 AM   #3
mountainman
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No desire to intrude on question aimed at Vic, but those familiar with Leon have seen these antics tons of times. In seeking to impede or discourage rival horses and jocks, Sonny can contort himself into positions astride his mount that truly defy gravity. No disrespect, I am a fan of his and very friendly with his agent, but Leon saying this resulted from saddle slippage is akin to Dillinger claiming he was merely compensating for broken bank vaults.

Admittedly, I watched the race just twice, and gave the head-on only a cursory look, but did get the impression the incident took root when Leon began steering into a perhaps ill-advised effort to counter the third finisher. Also, I wonder had Sonny NOT been quite as intent on putting his mount as close as possible to HRC, if the winner would have responded quite that gamely to negate Rich Strike's momentum.

Last edited by mountainman; 10-04-2022 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:09 PM   #4
westernmassbob
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No desire to intrude on question aimed at Vic, but those familiar with Leon have seen these antics tons of times. In seeking to impede or discourage rival horses and jocks, Sonny can contort himself into positions astride his mount that truly defy gravity. No disrespect, I am a fan of his and very friendly with his agent, but Leon saying this resulted from saddle slippage is akin to Dillinger claiming he was merely compensating for broken bank vaults.

Admittedly, I watched the race just twice, and gave the head-on only a cursory look, but did get the impression the incident took root when Leon began steering into a perhaps ill-advised effort to counter the third finisher. Also, I wonder had Sonny NOT been quite as intent on putting his mount as close as possible to HRC, if the winner would have responded quite that gamely to negate Rich Strike's momentum.
Mark thanks for your input. You are not intruding on anything. I was specifically reaching out to Vic because I knew he was a steward and I feel his opinions of things are very fair….just like yours. It does boggle my mind that Sonny would guide his horse into the path of HRC because staying in a straight path would have more then likely netted a win. That’s what leads me to believe in this case something was wrong. Maybe he has done things like that in the past or it is part of his racing antics but this one just looks and feels different. Maybe he is like the boy who cried wolf and this time it really happened as he put it. I certainly respect everyone’s opinion I just feel the akward posture and his veering to the left was not on his own accord.
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Old 10-04-2022, 11:39 PM   #5
v j stauffer
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Originally Posted by westernmassbob View Post
Vic as always I highly value your opinion so i have a few questions for you.

As you probably already know Sonny Leon was handed a 15 day ban for “ intentionally interfering “Hot Rod Charlie.

My opinion is that the stewards got this all wrong. I think it’s a case of something that looks very obvious is an optical illusion based on which angle you look at it . There are some compelling photos that have come out AFTER the stewards made the decision which seems to be based on just the video replays. So Vic what’s your opinion ? Also is it possible that the stewards can reverse their decision after viewing additional evidence or is that too taboo ?

I just feel ( and I’m no expert on this ) that the saddle did slip and Sonny Leon was trying not to fall off the horse which leaned into the left as it looked like he was going to go right on by. His posture seems very akward and not something he was doing on purpose. It doesn’t seem intentional at all. Last question if Rich Strike ended up winning do you think it was an easy DQ ?
What Sonny Leon did was the kind of nonsense you see on Fair Circuits.***

When a horse's saddle slips the first, second and third thing a jock thinks is don't fall off, don't die.

First, he shaved the horse in Blue and White and did it with a precision that looked like he was in COMPLETE control and knew exactly what he was doing. He successfully pushed the envelope just right.

RICH STRIKE looked like he was going to blow past HRC. He pulled himself up when he made the lead. It's not that uncommon especially with young horses. When that happens it's like your bike getting a flat just when you're down and peddling as fast as you can. It will cause you to lose your balance.

When Leon realized that was happening, he made a decision to try whatever he could to stop Tyler G and HRC to re-rally.

It didn't work.

It was intentional.

It was dangerous.

It was bush.

Guys with limited opportunities in the national spotlight will over try at times knowing it may be a while before being in a similar position.

That part of it I somewhat understand if not condone.

RICH STRIKE is obviously extremely talented. But exhibits all the behaviors of being VERY studdish. Trying to savage the pony, leaning into other horses and pulling himself up immediately after making the lead.

All antics that could probably be cured by gelding. THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

As for the sanction. 15 IMO is at the upper level of days. But I don't think it's excessive. 10 to 15 seems in line.

Would he have come down had he finished in front of HRC?

That's a VERY VERY close call. As you guys have heard me say. When Stewards watch replays for placings, they look at the horses NOT the jockeys. In this rare case it has to be factored in but it's hard to definitively say a DQ was warranted. Margin of victory would for me have played a big role.

My gut says DQ would probably have been correct but it's far from a slam dunk.

The Stewards would be extremely unlikely to change their decision. The HIGH DEF TV's and a myriad of angles at their disposal is state of the art at CD and I'm sure they feel adequate to make an informed, experienced decision.

Thanks for asking me to share my opinion.

***Think of the early footage in Seabiscuit when Red Pollard first started riding.
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Old 10-05-2022, 12:07 AM   #6
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Mark thanks for your input. You are not intruding on anything. I was specifically reaching out to Vic because I knew he was a steward and I feel his opinions of things are very fair….just like yours. It does boggle my mind that Sonny would guide his horse into the path of HRC because staying in a straight path would have more then likely netted a win. That’s what leads me to believe in this case something was wrong. Maybe he has done things like that in the past or it is part of his racing antics but this one just looks and feels different. Maybe he is like the boy who cried wolf and this time it really happened as he put it. I certainly respect everyone’s opinion I just feel the akward posture and his veering to the left was not on his own accord.
With all respect, Bob, a steward I am friendly with who has admonished Leon multiple times for similar antics laughed (uproariously) at any notion this incident was unintentional.
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Old 10-05-2022, 12:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by v j stauffer View Post
What Sonny Leon did was the kind of nonsense you see on Fair Circuits.***

When a horse's saddle slips the first, second and third thing a jock thinks is don't fall off, don't die.

First, he shaved the horse in Blue and White and did it with a precision that looked like he was in COMPLETE control and knew exactly what he was doing. He successfully pushed the envelope just right.

RICH STRIKE looked like he was going to blow past HRC. He pulled himself up when he made the lead. It's not that uncommon especially with young horses. When that happens it's like your bike getting a flat just when you're down and peddling as fast as you can. It will cause you to lose your balance.

When Leon realized that was happening, he made a decision to try whatever he could to stop Tyler G and HRC to re-rally.

It didn't work.

It was intentional.

It was dangerous.

It was bush.

Guys with limited opportunities in the national spotlight will over try at times knowing it may be a while before being in a similar position.

That part of it I somewhat understand if not condone.

RICH STRIKE is obviously extremely talented. But exhibits all the behaviors of being VERY studdish. Trying to savage the pony, leaning into other horses and pulling himself up immediately after making the lead.

All antics that could probably be cured by gelding. THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

As for the sanction. 15 IMO is at the upper level of days. But I don't think it's excessive. 10 to 15 seems in line.

Would he have come down had he finished in front of HRC?

That's a VERY VERY close call. As you guys have heard me say. When Stewards watch replays for placings, they look at the horses NOT the jockeys. In this rare case it has to be factored in but it's hard to definitively say a DQ was warranted. Margin of victory would for me have played a big role.

My gut says DQ would probably have been correct but it's far from a slam dunk.

The Stewards would be extremely unlikely to change their decision. The HIGH DEF TV's and a myriad of angles at their disposal is state of the art at CD and I'm sure they feel adequate to make an informed, experienced decision.

Thanks for asking me to share my opinion.

***Think of the early footage in Seabiscuit when Red Pollard first started riding.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:30 AM   #8
westernmassbob
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Thanks Vic….much appreciated !
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Old 10-05-2022, 06:31 PM   #9
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My opinion is that the stewards got this all wrong. I think it’s a case of something that looks very obvious is an optical illusion based on which angle you look at it . There are some compelling photos that have come out AFTER the stewards made the decision which seems to be based on just the video replays. So Vic what’s your opinion ? Also is it possible that the stewards can reverse their decision after viewing additional evidence or is that too taboo ?

lol

leon was lucky the other jockey didnt beat his arse in jockeys room
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Old 10-05-2022, 07:01 PM   #10
v j stauffer
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I was thinking more about this race today and another thing dawned on me. When a saddle slips the rider will start screaming for the outrider to pick him up about one nano second after the wire. He'll also guide the horse toward the outside rail where horses are most familiar with slowing down. He seemed to gallop out in perfect rhythm and cornered just fine. Steering becomes a big issue with a slipped saddle.

Not feeling the explanation.
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Old 10-05-2022, 07:20 PM   #11
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This was a decent jockey, on his big horse. He was emulating a few big time jockeys and trying to intimidate another horse. The "saddle slip" excuse is just that from him, an excuse. Not winning on a "talented" horse leads to a jockey losing that horse. One more race, he has to win, or be replaced.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:45 PM   #12
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This was a decent jockey, on his big horse. He was emulating a few big time jockeys and trying to intimidate another horse. The "saddle slip" excuse is just that from him, an excuse. Not winning on a "talented" horse leads to a jockey losing that horse. One more race, he has to win, or be replaced.
Hard to replace the jockey that won the Derby for you with a brilliant ride.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:47 PM   #13
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This was a decent jockey, on his big horse. He was emulating a few big time jockeys and trying to intimidate another horse. The "saddle slip" excuse is just that from him, an excuse. Not winning on a "talented" horse leads to a jockey losing that horse. One more race, he has to win, or be replaced.
Next race is very likely the BC Classic, right? I doubt Sonny is riding he if runs.

Pretty short list here.

https://www.breederscup.com/races/bc...tab=contenders

Last edited by PalaceOfFortLarned; 10-05-2022 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:58 PM   #14
westernmassbob
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I was thinking more about this race today and another thing dawned on me. When a saddle slips the rider will start screaming for the outrider to pick him up about one nano second after the wire. He'll also guide the horse toward the outside rail where horses are most familiar with slowing down. He seemed to gallop out in perfect rhythm and cornered just fine. Steering becomes a big issue with a slipped saddle.

Not feeling the explanation.
So if he made up pure lies based on what happened then why would any trainer or owner ever want him riding for them? Why couldn’t it just be “ yeah I screwed up in the lane what can I say ?” The video is damning enough , the still photos to one that wouldn’t know show something different happening. To me it looks like Sonny would have fell off his horse if it wasn’t for HRC to help prop him back up. What makes things crazier is that nobody is challenging the fact that if Sonny stays in a straight path down the stretch he wins anyway. There was zero reason for Sonny to purposely navigate Rich Strike anywhere near HRC other then to cost himself the race. Just my opinion. In the minority I know.
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Old 10-05-2022, 10:14 PM   #15
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Hard to replace the jockey that won the Derby for you with a brilliant ride.
Yep, but 2 for 11 is probably not what the connections want. One more loss, and the connections might want to look for a "name" rider.
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