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Old 09-09-2022, 10:36 AM   #16
Andy Asaro
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Life Is Good is running in the Woodward.

I so hope they meet in the Classic because I think LIG is the faster horse. That sets up an interesting test. Flightline has a tendency to pull. I want to see if he can try to engage LIG early and if successful get the 10F comfortably.
I doubt he wants to be on LIG's hip early and I don't think it matters. At a mile and one quarter he'll be passing him early in the stretch. I think the connections of LIG have to consider running out of the money against Flightline. Unless they don't care about the money they should go in the mile IMO
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Old 09-09-2022, 10:40 AM   #17
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Top horses have shrunk about 5-6 points on the Beyer scale since the time of Candy Ride, gotten way faster on Thorograph, and stayed about the same on Ragozin.

I know the theory and goal is to use figures to compare horses across generations, but imo they are laughably inaccurate. The best figure makers can barely agree on last week, let alone last week vs 20 years ago. And that's not a knock.

I think the kind of comparisons Spalding No! is doing are way more appropriate for generational comparisons of top older horses than figures as long as you are very familiar with the horses in specific races, the trips, biases, (which he always is) and have some kind of metrics for margins and finishing positions (like what does winning by 19 lengths against weaker mean relative to winning by 5 against much stronger etc..)
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Old 09-09-2022, 10:48 AM   #18
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I doubt he wants to be on LIG's hip early and I don't think it matters. At a mile and one quarter he'll be passing him early in the stretch. I think the connections of LIG have to consider running out of the money against Flightline. Unless they don't care about the money they should go in the mile IMO
What they want and what Flightline wants may be two different things. He sits behind a horse, but he still pulls early. That's why I think it could be a good test for him. He may engage early even if that's not the plan.

LIG doesn't look like he wants 10F to begin with. Even if he can get it he'd have to outrun Flightline and then still stay the 10F. That seems like a really tough task. I'm not sure what I would do with LIG. I'd probably go in the Classic and live with the result. I don't think a loss will hurt that much.
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Old 09-09-2022, 10:51 AM   #19
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What they want and what Flightline wants may be two different things. He sits behind a horse, but he still pulls early. That's why I think it could be a good test for him. He may engage early even if that's not the plan.

LIG doesn't look like he wants 10F to begin with. Even if he can get it he'd have to outrun Flightline and then still stay the 10F. That seems like a really tough task. I'm not sure what I would do with LIG. I'd probably go in the Classic and live with the result. I don't think a loss will hurt that much.
I agree that he's gonna do what he wants but he took the lead in the backstretch in the Pacific Classic with an inferior horse on the lead. It will take him a couple more furlongs to pass LIG IMO
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Old 09-09-2022, 10:59 AM   #20
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I agree that he's gonna do what he wants but he took the lead in the backstretch in the Pacific Classic with an inferior horse on the lead. It will take him a couple more furlongs to pass LIG IMO
Agreed, but if he's pulling to go faster because he want to get to LIG, that's the kind of thing I want to see. I want to see him working hard to run with or at least chase a very fast horse on a honest track and then see what he has left late regardless if LIG throws in the towel into the stretch.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:02 AM   #21
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Agreed, but if he's pulling to go faster because he want to get to LIG, that's the kind of thing I want to see. I want to see him working hard to run with or at least chase a very fast horse on a honest track and then see what he has left late regardless if LIG throws in the towel into the stretch.
They have no good reason to run hard early against LIG.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:06 AM   #22
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They have no good reason to run hard early against LIG.
I agree, but you are missing the point or at least my hope. It may not be up to Pratt and the connections. It may be up to Flightline what Flightline does.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:31 AM   #23
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I agree, but you are missing the point or at least my hope. It may not be up to Pratt and the connections. It may be up to Flightline what Flightline does.
Flightline would be fine either way. He is much more talented than LIG.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:42 AM   #24
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I noticed the similarities right away with the tiny field sizes. These races should have a minimum of 8 starters. IMO the wins seem less impressive with the field sizes. Nonetheless two very good horses.
Yeah I know, those small fields really make the 1973 Preakness and Belmont look like ham-and-egg races.

FFS....

And you'd be the first one to denigrate the race competition if it had 6 contenders and 3 no-hopers.
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Old 09-09-2022, 12:15 PM   #25
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Yeah I know, those small fields really make the 1973 Preakness and Belmont look like ham-and-egg races.

FFS....

And you'd be the first one to denigrate the race competition if it had 6 contenders and 3 no-hopers.
While horses not running as often as they used to and leaving us to guess their "greatness" based on a 4-race campaign is mostly definitely a 2000s issue, people should check the field sizes most of the 1970s legends faced in their best performances. Memory can be deceiving.

Of course someone will say "no one wanted to face them". Well okay, same thing now.
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Old 09-09-2022, 12:17 PM   #26
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I agree, but you are missing the point or at least my hope. It may not be up to Pratt and the connections. It may be up to Flightline what Flightline does.
I get what you mean, I just don't think he needs to pull to the lead early for any reason. And he's shown he can relax early
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Old 09-09-2022, 12:37 PM   #27
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They have no good reason to run hard early against LIG.
Flightline is close to being a runoff. And whatever attempts to teach the horse to relax or settle go out the window when they fly in his jockey to work him or breeze him from the starting gate.

The only glimmer of a willingness to rate in hand came in the Met Mile. Prat panicked when the horse broke a step slow (as the horse did in the Malibu) and sent Flightline up for the lead but got squeezed back. Still in panic mode, he regrouped and sent him again but then wisely took hold as he probably realized the futility of trying to engage Speaker's Corner at that point (by the way, a trumped up Speaker's Corner who was a stand in for Life is Good and had the latter's attributes projected on to him undeservedly). Flightline seemed to respond to the restraint fairly well, but ultimately the pace was so fast that Prat was still able to give Flightline his head back almost immediately anyways.

Had the Met Mile been a longer race with a slower early pace, it's possible Flightline would resent being throttled down and been rank or otherwise fought his rider. In the Pacific Classic while chasing an outclassed, non-frontrunner past his prime (Extra Hope), Flightline clearly dragged Prat to the lead very early on the backstretch. He is not "push button" and certainly cannot be placed anywhere in a race the way standouts like Candy Ride and Beholder (who each won the Pacific Classic just as impressively as Flightline) could be.

Therefore what Flightline does early against Life is Good will depend on what Life is Good is doing. I don't recall if they ever tried to get Life is Good to settle early, he certainly was sent in the Pegasus despite the prospect of engaging Knicks Go. At 10 furlongs, Life is Good and Flightline will most likely be eyeball-to-eyeball on the backstretch and not the latter rating kindly off the former's flank. It may well take Flightline a "couple more furlongs" to put away Life is Good. No horse has that sort of reserve capacity. If Flightline still dominates in that sort of pace scenario it will be because hopeless horses like Dynamic One, Happy Saver, Stilleto Boy, and Express Train are the only ones that are in a position to capitalize and not because he has more ability than Secretariat or Spectacular Bid.

Let's hope Epicenter's impressive and ruthless procession in the Travers was a sign he is improving leaps and bounds and that Olympiad's Whitney was a throwout race for some inexplicable reason. Maybe Baffert's ego will compel him to put Laurel River on a fast track to the BC Classic.

Hell, I'll even take the Euro bridesmaid Mishriff as a worthy foe to validate Flightline's actual greatness as opposed to the Washington Generals-like CA older horse corps he got to toy with last weekend.
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Old 09-09-2022, 01:23 PM   #28
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Other than number of races at this point he is easily comparable in ability to Secretariat or any other horse in history. He wasn't close to being all out in the Pacific Classic and they say he will probably race next year and we'll see what happens.
Number of races AND surfaces! Unless he wins some graded stakes on the turf he'll always come up short against Secretariat (and John Henry, and Kelso, etc.) in my book. Let's see him on the grass, on an off track, etc. Doing it ALL is what defines "ALL-time great" ability for me. Some will agree, others won't, and that's fine.
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Old 09-09-2022, 02:18 PM   #29
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Flightline is remarkably good, and if he ran a few more races like the Pacific Classic, I would say he's a great horse. However, when Arrogate won the Travers, he won by over 14 lengths and ran a 124 Beyer, a fairly comparable effort to Flightline the other day. When he made his next start, he ran a terrific race to win narrowly, and run a similar figure. But, he didn't have the same "wow" factor as the competition got significantly tougher. There may well not be a California Chrome in this year's BC, but there will be a much more talented speed horse ( assuming Life is Good runs ) than Flightline just faced, who also has the stamina to at least be a nuisance until midstretch, and a rapidly improving 3YO who suits the race tactically. I'm not knocking Flightline, and think he will prove VERY hard to beat in the Classic, but blowout wins over overmatched rivals sometimes makes people go a bit overboard.
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Old 09-09-2022, 02:24 PM   #30
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Flightline is remarkably good, and if he ran a few more races like the Pacific Classic, I would say he's a great horse. However, when Arrogate won the Travers, he won by over 14 lengths and ran a 124 Beyer, a fairly comparable effort to Flightline the other day. When he made his next start, he ran a terrific race to win narrowly, and run a similar figure. But, he didn't have the same "wow" factor as the competition got significantly tougher. There may well not be a California Chrome in this year's BC, but there will be a much more talented speed horse ( assuming Life is Good runs ) than Flightline just faced, who also has the stamina to at least be a nuisance until midstretch, and a rapidly improving 3YO who suits the race tactically. I'm not knocking Flightline, and think he will prove VERY hard to beat in the Classic, but blowout wins over overmatched rivals sometimes makes people go a bit overboard.
And sometimes we don't.
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