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Old 12-31-2017, 11:00 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
The TC really wreaks havoc with these awards. They voted Affirmed HOTY in 1978, which raises the question of how many times would Seattle Slew have had to beat his ass to swing the vote.
I wouldn't call it havoc. I'm neither a big fan of Baffert or American Pharoah, but the series is hard, and Baffert did it, kept the horse in good form, and sound, and had him win the BCC after (along with other races). Affirmed beat far better to win his TC than did Slew, so I wouldn't beat up on Affirmed too much here. He won the TC and more that year, he deserved it.

So to the earlier poster, that was a harder feat than Brown winning a few races with multiple horses. Baffert absolutely deserved the award that year. This is a good example of looking at an exemplary training job, and that the trainer and not an assistant did, that should count for more than who with their 200 head of $500k and up horses won the most.
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:47 PM   #32
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Great Accuracy; disagree on the trainer position, I would give top trainer to Chad Brown then Asmussen and Karl Broberg... Chad Brown for the quality of the horses he brings

Also, I believe Battle of Midway better 3 year old than West Coast. overall by the end of the year.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:52 AM   #33
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So to the earlier poster, that was a harder feat than Brown winning a few races with multiple horses. Baffert absolutely deserved the award that year. This is a good example of looking at an exemplary training job, and that the trainer and not an assistant did, that should count for more than who with their 200 head of $500k and up horses won the most.
You believe the extraordinary job Baffert did with American Pharaoah carries more weight than other brilliant accomplishments that year. I have no problem with that. Most agreed with you. That's why he got the award.

My point is only that it's a subjective judgement, perhaps a tradition because it's the Triple Crown, but there's no rule that says you should put more value on a bigger accomplishment with one horse than more accomplishments with many horses or vice versa.

There are tough decisions every year that depend on how you weight certain things that informed people might disagree about.

By the way, Chad Brown had an amazing year and not just because he gets good stock or had high volume. His percentages were incredible also and he started proving versatility.

(When you are making an assault on the Triple Crown and Dortmund is your second string, you are also getting good stock and doing a great job of training).
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:24 AM   #34
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All of Unique Bella's wins were in races restricted to 3yo other than the LA Express race which was a very, very weak race. It was a very weak division this year in my opinion so I weighted the BC quite heavily.
I wound up voting for Unique Bella, but I struggled with the decision for that very reason. I think a horse like Paulassilverlining deserved some consideration. She won 2 Grade 1s and a Grade 2 before tailing off. I put her second but easily could have used 2-3 other horses and flipped positions among the 4-5.

That category was rough. It wasn't easy weighting all the issues (at least for me).
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:03 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
You believe the extraordinary job Baffert did with American Pharaoah carries more weight than other brilliant accomplishments that year. I have no problem with that. Most agreed with you. That's why he got the award.

My point is only that it's a subjective judgement, perhaps a tradition because it's the Triple Crown, but there's no rule that says you should put more value on a bigger accomplishment with one horse than more accomplishments with many horses or vice versa.

There are tough decisions every year that depend on how you weight certain things that informed people might disagree about.

By the way, Chad Brown had an amazing year and not just because he gets good stock or had high volume. His percentages were incredible also and he started proving versatility.

(When you are making an assault on the Triple Crown and Dortmund is your second string, you are also getting good stock and doing a great job of training).
The fact is that Brown, Pletcher, and Baffert (and to a slightly lesser extent, Asmussen, Hollendorfer, and a few others) are playing a numbers game. They are managers of a far-flung racing stable, but not really the hands-on trainers of those horses. Their assistants are really the trainers. But it works for them, because for reasons I'll never understand, owners with top horses keep sending them their horses.

Brown particularly has been interesting to watch. The guy got sent made horses from Europe and surprise, did well with them here, and that's how he got more horses. I'm pretty sure that it's only been over the past year that he's won grade 1s with horses his stable has managed since the start of their careers or done it on dirt. Brown is really driven to be at the top, and I'm sure would double his 300 head (or however many) if he can. And he cares a ton about that percentage. When Brown, Pletcher, Baffert, etc. can pick among a handful in their barn to go into any given race, it becomes far less difficult to put up a good percentage.

I've grown to very much dislike the game that these guys play. It's great for their resumes and bank accounts, but it's so patently unfair to other trainers (and their owners), and it's bad for the sport. They can have horses drop dead or get rare illnesses and all sorts of things but have become untouchable, as if they run the tracks instead of the other way around. They were talking in the obit of Van Berg that they used to have a rule about a trainer having to see his horses every 4 days at minimum to be considered the trainer of that horse. We need that rule back, and I'd propose that it needs to be stiffer than just seeing them every 4 days, but instead spending at least 2-3 days with those horses each week.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:19 PM   #36
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Can't change them now, but feel free to rip away.
You did real well...I think you only missed on Good Magic and Chad Brown...did Evin get best apprentice...?
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:30 AM   #37
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You did real well...I think you only missed on Good Magic and Chad Brown...did Evin get best apprentice...?
Yes, he did.

Most winners were pretty obvious, but I don't think I made any boneheaded votes like some I saw at least.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:37 AM   #38
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They should add a category for "Best TV-Personality of the Year". Why should Todd Schrupp be denied this award year after year?
I happened to tune in when he was making an ass of himself presenting the award for horseplayer of the year--5 mins. of my life I wont get back.
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