Via TD Thornton
For the second year in a row, the GI Preakness S. was won by a new non-running horse in the GI Kentucky Derby. Ever since the two of you finished at the top of Preakness on Saturday–Vote early (Gunman) and Epicenter (Not this time) –Publicly declared out of GI Belmont S. even before the last croissant is cooled at Pimlico, it will have to rely on another relatively quiet horse to step up and snatch the second jewel. Triple Crown’s three.
That’s not an unfamiliar scenario, and recent history tells us the threat to win Belmont could more than likely be one of the Derby that are also demanding money.
Since 2000, the New York “champion test” has been won by 10 horses that ran in Louisville then did not enter Baltimore. In that same time frame, seven horses have won in Belmont after failing to run in a Derby or Preakness. We also have two Triple Crown winners (Evenly in 2018 and American pharoah in 2015), and two other horses – Afleet Alex in 2005 and Point Given in 2001 – who lost the Derby, won the Preakness, then won the Belmont (the 2020 Triple Crown schedule changed the grand scheme of things. translation is an anomaly that is not counted here).
Rich Strike (Keen Ice) contacts voluntarily removed their Derby winner from Preakness, citing the desire for a new pony for Belmont. However, the 80-1 hero from the first Saturday of May is unlikely to be favored on June 11.
Rich Strike’s weak appeal is sure to attract supporters and a significant rooting interest. But being a cheerleader, not under pressure after being lucky enough to make it to the off-season Derby to also qualify for the spotlight in the world’s media capitals will be a requirement. hardship for this overworked (and sometimes Ornery) maiden claimant of $30,000.
Coach Todd Pletcher may not have pioneered the “skip Preakness” approach that’s so prevalent today. But he certainly did his part to lend credence to the “less is more” approach when targeting the Triple Crown’s finishing leg.
Pletcher Air Conditioner Tapwrit finished sixth in the 2018 Derby, beating Preakness, then beating Belmont. Similar stories for Palace Malice in 2013, except that he was 12th at Churchill. Pletcher’s other Belmont winner, Rags to Riches, had the same five-week gap in 2007, except her circumstances were different, winning the GI Kentucky Oaks before going up against the men in New York.
Using those patterns as a guide, Pletcher is aiming two opponents (at least) on the Belmont side: Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo), who was buried with a dreaded rail draw in the Derby, waited too long not to make a distant bid, then displayed stealth-good acceleration inside the eighth pole to finished fifth, and Nest (Curlin), who won three in a row this past winter and spring before being defeated (second) in a very competitive Kentucky Oaks renewal May 6.
Barber Road (Race Day), an intrepid retainer who finished sixth in the Derby, is the only confirmed Belmont likely among those who have run in the first leg of the Triple Crown. Creative Minster (Creative cause), a small-impact third in Preakness, is also being pointed at Belmont.
While the list of Belmont candidates seems light at the moment, it is certain to add to it within the next two and a half weeks.
Chief among the names spreading around the periphery is We the People (Structure), GIII winner Peter Pan S. May 14 with 103 Beyer Speed.
Two other ponies previously considered by Derby but instead gained confidence on Saturday could also feature: Ethereal Road (Quality Sugar), who scored in Sir Barton S.’s match with a Preakness card, plus Howling Time (Not this time), who captured the optional allowance/claimant at Churchill.
Analyzing Preakness results does not need to be a lengthy affair. Armagnac (Quality Sugar), an 18-1 bystander, took the lead. The charioteers on two other paper speed threats—Fenwick (Curlin) and Simplify (Not this time) –Choose not to force the problem through moderate initial fractions. Jose Ortiz, knowing what he has underneath, is ready to give up the lead with Early Voting and sit in second instead, applying quiet but conspicuous pressure through consecutive quarters in: 24.32, :23.12, :24.06 and :24.05 for the first mile of the race.
Meanwhile, at the back of the pack, it’s clearly in the middle of the two favorites, Epicenter and filly Secret Vow (Pride), has left me too much work to do. Although both suffered from jostling early in the race, it shouldn’t have adversely affected either as they were both in the process of being slowed down when the collision occurred.
Joel Rosario was the first to move with a sense of urgency, sending Epicenter onto the tracks to stick to the back of the first flight about half a mile from home. Luis Saez soon imitated his favorite “let’s hurry” move, hoping that he would stay as wide as possible with the Vow of Secrets. The end result for both is more or less the same: Epicenter has to run out of the far corner while pocketing with nowhere to go, then he has no real spark when he cuts the corner and has a clear shot. Secret Oath was once again included in the team’s loop campaign that happened briefly during the GI Arkansas Derby, and she’s been doing the same this time around.
With the favorites behind him, Early Voting simply ramps up the torque on the Armagnac, going head-to-head for the lead between the sixteenth and fourth-quarter poles before snapping the opponent. Player that for good. He responds to the prompting like a pony that knows his job, gliding only lightly under left-handed encouragement, then backs up to complete 1 1/4 of a comfortable length. Epicenter is spinning the wheel past the last 1/3 at 16 minutes in: 18.99 and clocking 1:54.54 for Preakness 1 3/4 16 miles (105 Beyer).
The only real surprise was that Early Voting beat the odds up to 5.7-1. Otherwise, the race will go on in a drama-free fashion. If you don’t know it’s Preakness, it could be any other race of any level any day of the week – a speed horse is turned over by a stalker, and no one Another is shooting through the alley.
In a nutshell, the methodical, measured victory of Early Voting is a microcosm of how the 4-to-1 pony got to the Preakness in the first place. His relationship – coach Chad Brown and Klaravich Stables owner – has followed the path of patience, calculation in the Derby prep and bypass races, and it paid off at Pimlico, just like like five years ago when the same owner/coach won Preakness with Cloud.
Racing isn’t the only sport where a metric-based “wait game” has become popular. We see it in major league baseball, where pitchers are disqualified from starting games based solely on pitches, even when the game is empty or Worlds in progress. out. High-value college football rookies now regularly skip crucial end-of-season flops so as not to dwindle their draft status. And professional basketball teams often line up their stars in the regular season in the hopes of being in fresh shape for the knockout stages, where wins are considered the most.
It is difficult to remove the current undue reliance on analysis as these formulation approaches continue to produce results. And in racing, you certainly can’t argue that owners and trainers opt out of potentially difficult venues on the grounds of a desire to “do what’s best for the horse.”
But it is difficult to determine the aesthetic cost of mapping out Triple Crown campaigns carefully and meticulously. At a time when getting into Derby has become a chase for qualifying points, the last two innings of the series threaten to become an exercise in which relationships play the role of a “fresh” percentage. the most effective.