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Old 11-18-2022, 08:43 PM   #16
thaskalos
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There is a certain mystique surrounding the undefeated top-class horse, especially when this horse has won all its races impressively. And when this horse posts an equally impressive BC Classic win as its swan song...then the mystique can't help but grow, IMO. I don't know if Flightline belongs among racing's "immortals"...I leave such determinations to the "historians" of the sport. As a horseplayer...I am content with my opinion that this horse was the most talented of all the horses that I have ever seen in my 42 years of participation in the game.

When judging the quality of a racehorse...we use "brilliance" and 'consistency' as measuring tools. And Flightline had tons of the former, even if the latter quality was left in some debate due to the economics that govern today's game. In an imperfect world...that's good enough for me.

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Old 11-18-2022, 08:56 PM   #17
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There is a certain mystique surrounding the undefeated top-class horse, especially when this horse has won all its races impressively. And when this horse posts an equally impressive BC Classic win as its swan song...then the mystique can't help but grow, IMO. I don't know if Flightline belongs among racing's "immortals"...I leave such determinations to the "historians" of the sport. As a horseplayer...I am content with my opinion that this horse was the most talented of all the horses that I have ever seen in my 42 years of participation in the game.

When judging the quality of a racehorse...we use "brilliance" and 'consistency' as measuring tools. And Flightline had tons of the former, even if the latter quality was left in some debate due to the economics that govern today's game. In an imperfect world...that's good enough for me.

42 years and how many months? On thoroughbreds I go back just about a year more than you, but I definitely would take Spectacular Bid over Flightline. Was he just a little before your time?
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Old 11-18-2022, 11:06 PM   #18
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Flightline is an aberration. Do you remember the end of close encounters, when that ship opens up and beings walk off that ramp? To me this was the racehorse equivalent of it.

At 12 furlongs I'd give the edge to Secretariat, at 10 furlongs I think it's a coin flip between them honestly. Just spitballing... on grass I'll take Sea the Stars and Frankel as a coupled entry against the two of them if you give me 4/5
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Old 11-19-2022, 12:34 AM   #19
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Not to switch sports but notice how the complete game has gone the way of the dinosaur? They are becoming as rare as a one hitter.
Well that's all tactics. Now you are happy if the starters give you 5 or 6 innings followed by a stream of guys who throw 99 with nasty breaking stuff. But we digress.
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Old 11-19-2022, 05:06 AM   #20
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It must have been bad timing...

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42 years and how many months? On thoroughbreds I go back just about a year more than you, but I definitely would take Spectacular Bid over Flightline. Was he just a little before your time?
The Bid may have been during my time...but I must have been too much of a neophyte to fully appreciate that horse's obvious quality. I fear that the low-level claimers at Sportsman's Park were all that I could handle back then. Flightline, on the other hand, caught me at just the right time.
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Old 11-19-2022, 10:30 AM   #21
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No, I'm saying you have to have a semblance of a complete career to be great. It's not a strict ratio- it's that six starts is not a career. It's nothing- and Flightline is therefore nothing compared to the great horses of history. He's just a horse who didn't run long enough to amass career achievements.
Ruffian ran only 10 times. 11if you count the breakdown. Was she not great?
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Old 11-19-2022, 01:14 PM   #22
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The Bid may have been during my time...but I must have been too much of a neophyte to fully appreciate that horse's obvious quality. I fear that the low-level claimers at Sportsman's Park were all that I could handle back then. Flightline, on the other hand, caught me at just the right time.

During the end of his 4 year old and last season the Bid ran a half dozen times between Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, I saw all of them in person.

Since I was 18-19 years old and making like $6 an hour and with California not offering the exotic wagering of other states, I would bet on Flying Paster
$10 to win taking 9-2, instead of 2-5. Of course Flying Paster never beat the Bid and finished second to him 4 times. At that time you had some races that offered nothing but WPS bets.
California seemed 10 years behind on having OTBs and a full menu of exotics.

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Old 11-23-2022, 12:18 AM   #23
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Ruffian ran only 10 times. 11if you count the breakdown. Was she not great?
But now we go back to the "mystique" factor that another post brought up. Ruffian is widely upheld as the "greatest" filly of all time, but when one considers her overall competition...who did she beat? She never faced older mares, nor did she successfully compete against males. She raced outside of New York exactly once, at Monmouth. If you consider the standards that other fillies have to meet in order to be considered great, Ruffian doesn't stack up. Beholder, Serena's Song, Busher, Rachel Alexandra, Winning Colors, Zenyatta, Azeri, Swiss Skydiver, Miesque, Goldikova, Genuine Risk, Dahlia, Regret, Tepin, Safely Kept, Go For Wand, Ta Wee, and about three dozen others are superior.

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Old 11-24-2022, 01:14 PM   #24
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But now we go back to the "mystique" factor that another post brought up. Ruffian is widely upheld as the "greatest" filly of all time, but when one considers her overall competition...who did she beat? She never faced older mares, nor did she successfully compete against males. She raced outside of New York exactly once, at Monmouth. If you consider the standards that other fillies have to meet in order to be considered great, Ruffian doesn't stack up. Beholder, Serena's Song, Busher, Rachel Alexandra, Winning Colors, Zenyatta, Azeri, Swiss Skydiver, Miesque, Goldikova, Genuine Risk, Dahlia, Regret, Tepin, Safely Kept, Go For Wand, Ta Wee, and about three dozen others are superior.
This is right. And I feel bad about it, because of course Ruffian almost certainly WOULD have run some more races against top competition (that was the plan) when the tragedy happened.

But nonetheless, you can't compare Ruffian to mares who actually had complete careers.
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Old 11-24-2022, 01:40 PM   #25
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But now we go back to the "mystique" factor that another post brought up. Ruffian is widely upheld as the "greatest" filly of all time, but when one considers her overall competition...who did she beat? She never faced older mares, nor did she successfully compete against males.

On the other hand look at Lady's Secret and Winning Colors, two girls who had success against males, but did not win a high percentage of races than most mentioned as all time greats have.
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Old 11-24-2022, 02:56 PM   #26
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Ruffian broke/equaled the stakes/track record in nearly every race she ran in, spanning distances from 5.5 furlongs to 12 furlongs. Easily enough to be one of the greatest fillies of all time.

Don't know if there was an important filly race outside NY during her era other than the Selima & Gardenia for 2yos but she was injured and missed her late season juvenile campaign; certainly there was nothing for 3yos.

Lady's Secret won 25 of 45 starts; not sure if that counts as a high percentage of wins or not.
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Old 11-25-2022, 12:22 AM   #27
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Track records are a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Kelly Kip just had his Finger Lakes record equalled by some ok Finger allowance horse. The records are way more racetrack than horse 99% of the time.
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Old 11-25-2022, 01:25 AM   #28
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Track records are a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Kelly Kip just had his Finger Lakes record equalled by some ok Finger allowance horse. The records are way more racetrack than horse 99% of the time.
One offs I would tend to agree.

Ten in a row, though; probably has a lot to do with the horse. Kelly Kip himself set multiple track records.
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Old 11-25-2022, 02:12 AM   #29
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One offs I would tend to agree.

Ten in a row, though; probably has a lot to do with the horse. Kelly Kip himself set multiple track records.
It isn't a one off. Look at the track records at most tracks and the horses are obscure for most distances. Obviously the best horses set track records more than not very good horses. But tracks are much different these days than in the past, especially the 70s where horses ran over tracks with much less cushion.

Obviously I'm too young to know that from personal experience, but I've heard it from multiple people I trust from different segments of the game. It is very hard for modern horses to break track records that have been around a long time for reasons that don't have a lot to do with the ability of the horses IMO.
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Old 11-25-2022, 02:15 AM   #30
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And you may notice I don't mention speed figures as an alternative, because I don't think they are a very good tool to compare across eras. It isn't that they couldn't be, but that isn't how they were designed here in the USA. They were never meant to be historical measuring posts, they were designed to be a betting tool. As bettors, we have no reason ever to compare races a couple years apart, let alone a couple decades apart.
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