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Old 11-08-2020, 10:28 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Secondbest View Post
How many times did you remember Charles Smith when you looked at Knicks Go ?


Seriously, even though his name has nothing to do with the NY Knicks, I saw the vastly improved figures with Cox, and knew with him training there might be more to come, there was no chance I would bet on him.
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:49 PM   #62
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Art Collector bled during BC Mile.

https://www.horseracingnation.com/ne...g_detected_123
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Old 11-11-2020, 06:13 PM   #63
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This trainer is starting to sound like the replacement for Al Stall in the excuses and "why my horse needs to skip the next race" department...

Simply put, the horse didn't step up after winning a couple of TC prep races; happens all the time (Talkin Man, Suave Prospect, Pistol and Roses, International Star, Vicars in Trouble, Brother Derek, Friesan Fire, Personal Hope, Private Terms, etc.)

Doesn't mean that he can't mature and improve at 4, but I don't need an excuse as to why he got buried in the Dirt Mile. The fact that he was in the Dirt Mile instead of the Classic told you all you needed to know already.

CJ was all over it from the get-go; could have saved the owner the cost of the endoscopic exam...
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Old 11-11-2020, 07:35 PM   #64
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This trainer is starting to sound like the replacement for Al Stall in the excuses and "why my horse needs to skip the next race" department...

Simply put, the horse didn't step up after winning a couple of TC prep races; happens all the time (Talkin Man, Suave Prospect, Pistol and Roses, International Star, Vicars in Trouble, Brother Derek, Friesan Fire, Personal Hope, Private Terms, etc.)

Doesn't mean that he can't mature and improve at 4, but I don't need an excuse as to why he got buried in the Dirt Mile. The fact that he was in the Dirt Mile instead of the Classic told you all you needed to know already.

CJ was all over it from the get-go; could have saved the owner the cost of the endoscopic exam...
He had a foot problem prior to the Derby. That was public.

They tried to get him going again in the Preakness. It was a question mark in my mind as to how he was going to run coming off a physical problem. Since he disappointed, I think it would have been borderline insanity to run him in the Classic no matter what given he had just run poorly and hadn't even proven himself as competitive against the best 3yos yet. So they went for the softer spot. As long as he was fit and past that foot issue I have no problem with any of that.

Either way, I don't think he's running quite as well now as he was prior to the foot problem. So either bleeding is a legitimate excuse or he's a horses that got sharp for a few races and now tailed off. The other possibility is that chasing a much faster and better horse like Knicks Go was a tougher trip than it looked. Some people think the inside was a little better both days.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:30 PM   #65
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He had a foot problem prior to the Derby. That was public.
That's what they said publicly anyways...

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They tried to get him going again in the Preakness. It was a question mark in my mind as to how he was going to run coming off a physical problem.
He had a bullet work within a week of the Kentucky Derby. He lost nearly no time. He simply skipped a tough race, which is often an advantage in the Preakness (at least when it was 2 weeks after the Derby).

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Since he disappointed, I think it would have been borderline insanity to run him in the Classic no matter what given he had just run poorly and hadn't even proven himself as competitive against the best 3yos yet.
Art Collector buried Swiss Skydiver in the Blue Grass as well as Rushie who came back to win emphatically on the Derby undercard. It wasn't insane for Hollywood Gold Cup winner Blushing John to run in the BC Classic after getting beat 20 lengths in the Meadowlands Cup, nor California Chrome after getting crushed in the Pennsylvania Derby, nor American Pharoah after getting dusted in the Travers, nor A.P. Indy after losing 2 straight, nor Unbridled after getting trounced by stablemates at odds-on in 2 straight, nor Tiznow, nor Cat Thief, nor Flower Alley, nor Thirty Six Red, etc...

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So they went for the softer spot. As long as he was fit and past that foot issue I have no problem with any of that.
That's cutting it too fine in my opinion. Either he was in form or he was not. If he wasn't up to snuff for the Classic why would he be in competitive form for the Dirt Mile even if was a softer spot?

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Either way, I don't think he's running quite as well now as he was prior to the foot problem.
"Quite as well"? That's the understatement of the year.

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So either bleeding is a legitimate excuse or he's a horses that got sharp for a few races and now tailed off. The other possibility is that chasing a much faster and better horse like Knicks Go was a tougher trip than it looked.
Or maybe he simply didn't progress...like Tacitus.

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Old 11-11-2020, 09:09 PM   #66
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That's what they said publicly anyways...
You don't skip the Derby with a contender because you think it's a tough spot. This is once in a lifetime kind of stuff. No chance they were lying. It has to be close to 0%

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He had a bullet work within a week of the Kentucky Derby. He lost nearly no time. He simply skipped a tough race, which is often an advantage in the Preakness (at least when it was 2 weeks after the Derby).
He didn't lose a lot of time, but he lost some time and I heard he was working in a special shoe. So there was an issue they were training him through. He did have a really nice work and they must have thought he was past it or they wouldn't have run in the Preakness. But he ran worse than he had been. That's already telling you he wasn't the same horse. Something was amiss.

IMO, going into the Classic off that Preakness performance would have been NUTS. I don't even think it's a serious conversation. You either run in the Mile or not at all, but not the Classic. He would have been one of the longest shots on the board in the Classic.

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Or maybe he simply didn't progress...like Tacitus.
That's definitely possible. What I am saying is that at first glance it looks like this last race was pretty bad, but it may have been at least similar to his races prior to the Preakness. Maybe that level was just nowhere near good enough to chase an older much faster horse like Knicks Go on that KEE track. Or, maybe they are telling the truth and he bled.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:56 PM   #67
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You don't skip the Derby with a contender because you think it's a tough spot. This is once in a lifetime kind of stuff. No chance they were lying. It has to be close to 0%
Fair enough, but that doesn't mean it was a major issue. In fact, the trainer repeatedly told the media it was "minor", "insignificant", and just "ill-timed".

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He didn't lose a lot of time, but he lost some time and I heard he was working in a special shoe. So there was an issue they were training him through.
The report was that it was a simple grabbed quarter, which is essentially a small wound. They stated that they put iodine on it for a couple of days and that was that. This wasn't something he was having to nurse through to get to the race like Touch Gold or A.P. Indy (both of whom won the Belmont despite their respective problems).

Art Collector was already back to the track within 4 days of his injury and actually galloped the morning of the Kentucky Derby.

Drury was quoted as saying his workouts for the Preakness were the best works he'd ever seen from the horse.

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He did have a really nice work and they must have thought he was past it or they wouldn't have run in the Preakness. But he ran worse than he had been. That's already telling you he wasn't the same horse. Something was amiss.
Yeah, he was stepping up from prep races to a classic. Maybe he wasn't the horse we thought he might be based on his lower level wins heading into the Triple Crown races.

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IMO, going into the Classic off that Preakness performance would have been NUTS. I don't even think it's a serious conversation. You either run in the Mile or not at all, but not the Classic. He would have been one of the longest shots on the board in the Classic.
I gave you a litany of horses that ran poorly heading into the Classic yet ran huge. Their odds are irrelevant.

One of those was the aforementioned A.P. Indy, who was felled by a quarter crack before the Kentucky Derby yet won the Peter Pan and Belmont. Then in his final start before the Classic, he went down to his knees at the start and...grabbed a quarter. Came back and ran through the Classic field like they were standing still (with Eddie D. ahead of his time observing the new California whip rules, tapping him once on the shoulder underhanded at the 1/8th pole).
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:16 AM   #68
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Maybe he wasn't the horse we thought he might be based on his lower level wins heading into the Triple Crown races.
I'm not going to change my view of what he was, but he imo he isn't the horse many thought he might become, at least yet. He's gone backward instead of forward so far.

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I gave you a litany of horses that ran poorly heading into the Classic yet ran huge. Their odds are irrelevant.
A horse's last race may or may not mean anything. They all throw in a clinker once in awhile or have some kind of excuse. But part of the evaluation of where to spot a horse is what it has shown overall and at its best. At his best, Art Collector was a horse that was winning 2nd tier preps in times that made him look like a contender in the Derby. Since then, some of the 3yos have moved forward and some of the older horses were simply better than his peak.

His absolute best race would have put him up the track in the Classic. For him to have any shot, not only would have to rebound from whatever caused the subpar performance in the Preakness (injury or otherwise), he would have had to run a massive new top. IMO, running there would have been a horrible idea. As it was, his best didn't even look good enough to win the Mile. It made him a contender if he returned to form and inched forward.

I have no view on where his form goes from here, but I think chasing Knicks Go on that track was no easy take for a horse of his ability and I trust he probably bled.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:40 AM   #69
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I'm not going to change my view of what he was, but he imo he isn't the horse many thought he might become, at least yet. He's gone backward instead of forward so far.



A horse's last race may or may not mean anything. They all throw in a clinker once in awhile or have some kind of excuse. But part of the evaluation of where to spot a horse is what it has shown overall and at its best. At his best, Art Collector was a horse that was winning 2nd tier preps in times that made him look like a contender in the Derby. Since then, some of the 3yos have moved forward and some of the older horses were simply better than his peak.

His absolute best race would have put him up the track in the Classic. For him to have any shot, not only would have to rebound from whatever caused the subpar performance in the Preakness (injury or otherwise), he would have had to run a massive new top. IMO, running there would have been a horrible idea. As it was, his best didn't even look good enough to win the Mile. It made him a contender if he returned to form and inched forward.

I have no view on where his form goes from here, but I think chasing Knicks Go on that track was no easy take for a horse of his ability and I trust he probably bled.
Re the bolded part, I think at the top levels of the game that has changed. Trainers are so picky now about the spots they pick for good horses that if something doesn't go right, it is usually a bad sign. The same can be said for when horses start missing races originally mapped out by the trainer. I count these kinds of things as much more negative than I did 10 or 15 years ago.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:55 AM   #70
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Wow. 10 minutes to post and Knicks Go is the 5/2 favorite. C'mon, he has a shot, but that's an underlay if I ever saw one.
Knicks Go looked like he could have won any race that day.

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Old 11-12-2020, 11:56 AM   #71
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Knicks Go looked like he could have won any race that day.
Brad Cox is an amazing trainer, he feels like he is on the level of Bob Baffert when they at the same age.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:24 PM   #72
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Brad Cox is an amazing trainer, he feels like he is on the level of Bob Baffert when they at the same age.
Of course most assume he is a cheater, which is what happens when guys win a lot. I have no idea if he is or not, but I can't play the game that way personally. I just look at what trainers win and how and which don't, that is what matters to bettors.

Cox is interesting. He didn't just come out of nowhere, he has been winning at a high percentage for a long time. He is just getting more and more horses now as one would expect from a guy that wins so much.

https://www.equibase.com/profiles/Re...e=T&eID=241578
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:42 PM   #73
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Of course most assume he is a cheater, which is what happens when guys win a lot. I have no idea if he is or not, but I can't play the game that way personally. I just look at what trainers win and how and which don't, that is what matters to bettors.

Cox is interesting. He didn't just come out of nowhere, he has been winning at a high percentage for a long time. He is just getting more and more horses now as one would expect from a guy that wins so much.

https://www.equibase.com/profiles/Re...e=T&eID=241578
I have no idea if he cheats (keeps up with the jones so to speak). Whether he does or not whatever he does its at a very high level.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:48 PM   #74
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Re the bolded part, I think at the top levels of the game that has changed. Trainers are so picky now about the spots they pick for good horses that if something doesn't go right, it is usually a bad sign. The same can be said for when horses start missing races originally mapped out by the trainer. I count these kinds of things as much more negative than I did 10 or 15 years ago.
I agree with all that (especially the 2nd point).

I like to look at it from the other direction too. If it's an elite trainer, I will trust him to know his horse well. If he brings it back on schedule after a bit of a subpar race, I'm more apt to give it consideration to run back to a top effort because he wouldn't run unless everything was OK. When there is a problem, the really good guys know it and stop. If it's some ordinary trainer, he may not even know if there's a problem.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:53 PM   #75
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I have no idea if he cheats (keeps up with the jones so to speak). Whether he does or not whatever he does its at a very high level.
There was an article in the DRF the other day where Cox said he tried to copy Baffert's training style, which is more or less working them harder (more often, faster, and longer). To me, that seems like the style that works best on dirt. I guess there could be some debate about soundness when you use that style, but for the horses that stay sound it seems to work. On turf, you more or less want your horse to be able to relax and finish fast. Most of the successful turf trainers don't train like Baffert. And if you notice, Baffert doesn't have as much success on turf.
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