Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekend Review

G1 Goodwood

Congratulations to Team Valor for the big upset. They have a great track record of scoring first off the plane and where this might have looked a bit ambitious, the truth was Gitano Hernando’s form was solid, he was on the improve and figured to be flattered by a track that is counterproductive to American horses.

Gitano is a dangerous horse in the Classic. The 9f of the Goodwood is well shorter than his preferred distance and he beat a fair bit of America’s best Classic contenders. Minus Zenyatta, his only real concern is other foreign invaders. (Rip Van Winkle & Mastercraftsman)

The main take home point here is the American’s stand little chance against the Euro’s for the Breeder’s Cup. What we’ve got with synthetic racing these days, is horses bred for dirt, running over a synthetic track that is best suited for turf runners. So, the best out West are generally just the horses that regress the least over the surface they are not ideally suited for.

This is highlighted when west coasters ship abroad and get throttled or the Euro’s come over and teach a thing or two about turf racing.

One can only hope that the Breeders Cup will not be run on a synthetic track again and that Santa Anita will eventually convert the track back to dirt. The alternative would be for American breeders to completely refocus on breeding for turf racing, which is a long shot considering it’s something they’ve typically had a major aversion to. Without a major shift in focus to turf racing we will continue to produce false standouts and G1 winners over a surface than 1% of the participants are suited for.

G1 Clement Hirsch

Pressious Passion is by far my favorite horse in the sport. His wild, front running tactics are a sight to behold and one can’t help but enjoy watching a horse run as absolutely fast as he can for as long as he can.

He got back to his winning ways here in the Hirsch, after a disappointing effort in the Arlington Million. It’s not hard to see why this horse prefers the firm going. His speed is blunted over a soft course as was the case at Arlington.

Once the early splits lit up in the Hirsch, the race was over. Passion going a half in .47 is like having a Porsche idling.

If he sets a .47 half in the Breeders Cup, good night…

G1 Lady’s Secret

Slow race, low Beyer, visually impressive.

Not much more to say. The great mare continues her perfect run and soundly toyed with the field. She’s not beating anything of note but she looks to be rounding back into form at the right time.

She is America’s real hope to win the Classic and I hope her connections decide to give her that shot. It’s win-win proposition. If she triumphs she will go down as one of the best race mares of all time. If she is to retire losing a race, it serves her better to have that loss against males in the toughest race of the year as opposed to against her own gender in a race that will largely be considered an afterthought by many. (Plus, who can consider any American a “lock” after the way the track has played for foreign imports?)

She’s been handled with the kid gloves this year; it’s time to let the mare show us what she’s got.

1 comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

That Presious Passion is something else. Unfortunately I'm never in on those days when he fires big.

He's well suited to that Santa Anita turf course. I think he should stay there for the winter meet.

Good luck on BC Day.