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Old 10-05-2022, 06:07 PM   #106
VeryOldMan
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Use whatever metric you choose. Speed Figures, raw times, margins of victory. In just five starts he's done the kind of things usually reserved for immortals.

He's obviously unsound. For me that only enhances his greatness.
What world records has he set like Dr. Fager and Secretariat?

Has he had to haul the freight like Forego?

Could he put up a 4 year old performance like Spectacular Bid?

I'm not conceding that Flightline is an "immortal". I honestly want him to prove me very wrong in the Classic. Long time fans of the sport, like me, want him to succeed. But he's nowhere near that yet.

His unsoundness is a negative to me - Forego was legendarily unsound. Didn't prevent him from becoming "mighty" and hauling the freight and winning from 7f to 2 miles.
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Old 10-05-2022, 06:51 PM   #107
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His unsoundness is a negative to me - Forego was legendarily unsound. Didn't prevent him from becoming "mighty" and hauling the freight and winning from 7f to 2 miles.
also was a gelding....as a result of a unfortunate incident.
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Old 10-05-2022, 07:17 PM   #108
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also was a gelding....as a result of a unfortunate incident.
Strange how this sport works!

Was researching Forego's pedigree - didn't realize his sire Chilean-bred Forli was a precursor to some of the lightly-raced stallions we see today. 10 races - 9-1-0. Set a track record at Hollywood Park.
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Old 10-06-2022, 10:46 AM   #109
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Even if we could see every horse's performance clearly there will still be differences of opinion between who rates better because some people will define it as the body of work in an entire career, others might say this horse at its peak was as good or better than anyone. Some horses were rather ordinary early in their careers but developed into superstar performers and others are very good right from the beginning. Some compete more frequently, some don't have very adaptable running styles etc. What I'm saying is even if god handed us the actual 'number' for every performance we'd have no way for everyone to collectively agree which horse was really better, we all define it somewhat differently.
I agree.

Personally, I've never seen the point of debating who was the greatest horse because of those definitional problems. You see the same thing in every sport. You even see it now in baseball with the homerun record.

I'd rather narrow it down to a specific category.
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Old 10-06-2022, 11:04 AM   #110
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What world records has he set like Dr. Fager and Secretariat?

Has he had to haul the freight like Forego?

Could he put up a 4 year old performance like Spectacular Bid?

I'm not conceding that Flightline is an "immortal". I honestly want him to prove me very wrong in the Classic. Long time fans of the sport, like me, want him to succeed. But he's nowhere near that yet.

His unsoundness is a negative to me - Forego was legendarily unsound. Didn't prevent him from becoming "mighty" and hauling the freight and winning from 7f to 2 miles.
I'd settle for a legitimately solid pace battle with Life Is Good, put him away, easily repulse Epicenter, Taiba and anyone else trying to rally, and draw off by 5 or more lengths on a track that's not carrying speed better than average like he got in the Pacific Classic.

There's not doubt in my mind that he's brilliantly fast and is going to crush most fields on most days. But to me, the truly great ones don't just win by big margins or in fast times. That's a signal of possible greatness.

When the great ones are faced with a nightmare trip/setup they do something that other horses can't do and still win.

How many horses can make a premature monster move like Secretariat did in the Preakness and still finish the race loaded with reserve energy?

How many speed horses can get left badly at the start, rush up quickly, bull their way through horses, duel and set a very fast pace, and still win the Derby like Slew?

Lots of very good horses can run fast and win big when the conditions are OK. The great ones have something extra in the tank. They can find an extra gear or extra energy to overcome really tough conditions when nothing else will get the job done. Not all the "fast" horses have that reserve energy and ability. That's one reason why longevity matters a bit. The horse gets more chances to prove he actually has that more extreme ability beyond just being fast (or not).
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Old 10-06-2022, 11:49 AM   #111
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The one problem with track records is that aside from tracks changing speed day to day or even during the day, the surfaces have been changing since the glory days of the 70s. The emphasis on safety has changed their composition and depth.

We already knew from experience with turf that riders adjust their running style and aggression level to match the surface and that can impact the times. That was reinforced further when CA and KEE had synthetics and it blew up most of the speed figure algorithms because of the pace and other differences. The horses at the top kept coming up slower than their actual ability.

I think these tracks are not comparable to the old ones and in part that contributes to variations in speed figures and track records unless track maintenance decides to soup up the surface for a big day.
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Old 10-06-2022, 11:49 AM   #112
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When the great ones are faced with a nightmare trip/setup they do something that other horses can't do and still win.
Perfect criteria for greatness!
That is why so many people were big Zenyatta fans. They didn't know speed figs, they had no idea what class was, no idea about artificial surfaces, but they did understand this big freight train hopelessly beaten and then just getting up in time.

Arogate in the Dubai race, he took the lemon he got and made lemonade and poured it ober Baffert's head. Afleet Alex at the top of the stretch......

All more impressive than just goin out and winning wire to wire.
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Old 10-06-2022, 12:17 PM   #113
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Perfect criteria for greatness!
That is why so many people were big Zenyatta fans. They didn't know speed figs, they had no idea what class was, no idea about artificial surfaces, but they did understand this big freight train hopelessly beaten and then just getting up in time.

Arogate in the Dubai race, he took the lemon he got and made lemonade and poured it ober Baffert's head. Afleet Alex at the top of the stretch......

All more impressive than just goin out and winning wire to wire.
I want to see more from Flightline (I'm in that "You may be brilliant/talented/etc. - I still won't be calling you GREAT until your starts are in double digits" camp), but isn't that Met Mile win the kind of less than perfect trip (slow start, early check after catching up) that the greats overcome? Not a horrible trip by any means - but he certainly didn't have it all his own way.
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Old 10-06-2022, 12:27 PM   #114
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I want to see more from Flightline (I'm in that "You may be brilliant/talented/etc. - I still won't be calling you GREAT until your starts are in double digits" camp), but isn't that Met Mile win the kind of less than perfect trip (slow start, early check after catching up) that the greats overcome? Not a horrible trip by any means - but he certainly didn't have it all his own way.
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