2018 Pacific Classic @ Del Mar G1 $1MM

User avatar
Diver52
Posts: 1629
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:44 pm
Location: Redlands, CA

Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:43 am

Fun fact: my mother played bridge with Connie Ring, owner of Crystal Water and Three Rings Ranch. The farm was just off the 10 Freeway on the way to Palm Springs.
I ran marathons. I saw the Taj Mahal by Moonlight. I drove Highway 1 in a convertible. I petted Zenyatta.
User avatar
Curtis
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 am
Location: Monroe, WA
Contact:

Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:15 pm

Mylute wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:43 am
Tessablue wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:57 am
Arrogate ran two of the best races in modern history and soundly beat the only other HOTY contender on the square in the championship event. I understand why he didn't get it, but he would have been a fully deserving HOTY and his situation really wasn't comparable to Justify's.

I'm still not an Accelerate believer, but it's a shame he has no shot at the award despite a lovely season so far. He really should.
I get what you're saying, but it's "Horse of the Year" not "Horse of the Last Six Months of the Year" or "Horse That Ran 1 or 2 Standout Races this Year". A̶n̶d̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶h̶o̶w̶ ̶A̶r̶r̶o̶g̶a̶t̶e̶'̶s̶ ̶B̶C̶C̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶5̶0̶%̶ ̶d̶u̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶j̶o̶c̶k̶'̶s̶ ̶e̶r̶r̶o̶r̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶h̶o̶r̶s̶e̶.

The divisional awards are different from each other, I've noticed. For example, the Champion Male Sprinter is usually the one that wins the BC race for the division, but it's not the same for the female sprinters; the winner of that divisional award last year was out for a large part of the racing year and threw a clunker in the BC race, and let's be honest it was a popularity contest (although people used the "well she won a Gr.I one turn at the end of the year so" as reasoning.
The Year in Horse of the Year is subjective. It can mean to reflect performances during any part of that calendar year or to others it means it’s necessary to reflect the majority of the twelve months. I would have voted for Arrogate every day of the week and twice on Sunday, in 2016. He beat Chrome on the square and if Victor’s ride was so egregious, I wonder how in the world he beat some very nice horses by 10.5 lengths in that same race. You don’t agree—and that’s fine and dandy—I won’t lose any sleep. I also think he would have been Horse of the Year last year had only his left front ankle filled after Dubai.
User avatar
Curtis
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 am
Location: Monroe, WA
Contact:

Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:30 pm

Diver52 wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:43 am
Fun fact: my mother played bridge with Connie Ring, owner of Crystal Water and Three Rings Ranch. The farm was just off the 10 Freeway on the way to Palm Springs.
It was in Beaumont, I believe. The story was that, coincidentally, after a bridge game, Connie Ring bought a filly without her husband George’s knowledge or blessing. The filly was named Three Rings, one for Connie, one for George and one for the horse. Three Rings could run some and soon George’s trepidation went away and he became a willing participant. This is the legend and when the legend becomes fact, always print the legend.😉 Connie Ring bred some really nice horses outside of Crystal Water. The good filly Just a Kick—gotta be a story there—Today ‘n’ Tomorrow—a miler that Shoe coaxed into winning the 12f Sunset Handicap—and Against the Snow. The latter was one of the greatest, unrequited hunch bets ever. He won the Sierra Madre at Santa Anita a down the hill event that was transferred to the dirt—make that mud—because of a week of rain. Rain in Arcadia meant snow in the San Gabriels and Against the Snow won paying boxcars against a backdrop of snow.
Tessablue
Posts: 3506
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:29 am
Location: Boston

Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:21 pm

Absolutely fantastic stuff, Curtis. Thank you so much for sharing it. I'll check out that book you mentioned for sure, but there's nothing like talking with people directly about these things. I could listen to this all day. Aside from Vigors, who features pretty prominently in A Decade of Champions (a book that I read religiously as a child), I know very little about the old California handicap horses so this is awesome. The story of Three Rings did sadly remind me for a moment of Three Ring, and her untimely end- there is nothing in the world more exciting for an eight-year-old racing obsessed girl than a filly in the Kentucky Derby, no matter how poorly she finishes.

Going back to Justify and the Hall of Fame, it's a fascinating question and I'm very surprised to learn that Accelerate has topped him in the NTRA poll already. Looking at the votes (https://www.ntra.com/wp-content/uploads ... r-2018.pdf), it appears there are a few voters who have declined to list Justify entirely (including, amusingly enough, Gary West), which accounts for his drop to second. By first-place votes Justify would still comfortably win HOTY, and honestly even as a pretty major skeptic I would definitely still list him first by a long way at this point, but perhaps the voting atmosphere will in fact be less friendly than I originally anticipated.

This talk of Justify, Arrogate, and abbreviated careers also makes me think about how we define greatness, for ourselves and as a community. I think Justify should make the Hall of Fame because he is a TC winner and the HoF is pretty heavily diluted at this point anyways, but he does bring up the question of how we truly define and evaluate a career. Six starts and four G1s doesn't feel satisfying or definitive at all to me, but I declared Arrogate an all-time great after the DWC, and I stand by that. I think four G1s can define a horse's legacy if they constitute some of the greatest efforts in the history of the sport (IMO possibly the greatest four-race stretch in American history, but that's a conversation I would love to have with people). There was very little doubt about Arrogate's immense quality after that stretch, but it feels like Justify still had many questions to answer and we'll never truly be able to judge how he stands up to others. Or maybe I'm just being harsher on him because we saw so recently what a horse can do with a limited number of G1 starts.

And I'm with you Curtis, I would have voted for Arrogate in 2016 and I do think he would have been close in the voting, if not an outright winner, had he retired early last year. He gave up an impossible amount of tactical advantage to California Chrome in the Classic and just ran him down on sheer ability alone. It was an absolutely extraordinary effort from any horse, but from a 3yo against elders it was otherworldly. What a shame that the apex of his career straddled two calendar years.
User avatar
pointgivenfan
Posts: 912
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:59 am

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:42 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:21 pm
Absolutely fantastic stuff, Curtis. Thank you so much for sharing it. I'll check out that book you mentioned for sure, but there's nothing like talking with people directly about these things. I could listen to this all day. Aside from Vigors, who features pretty prominently in A Decade of Champions (a book that I read religiously as a child), I know very little about the old California handicap horses so this is awesome. The story of Three Rings did sadly remind me for a moment of Three Ring, and her untimely end- there is nothing in the world more exciting for an eight-year-old racing obsessed girl than a filly in the Kentucky Derby, no matter how poorly she finishes.

Going back to Justify and the Hall of Fame, it's a fascinating question and I'm very surprised to learn that Accelerate has topped him in the NTRA poll already. Looking at the votes (https://www.ntra.com/wp-content/uploads ... r-2018.pdf), it appears there are a few voters who have declined to list Justify entirely (including, amusingly enough, Gary West), which accounts for his drop to second. By first-place votes Justify would still comfortably win HOTY, and honestly even as a pretty major skeptic I would definitely still list him first by a long way at this point, but perhaps the voting atmosphere will in fact be less friendly than I originally anticipated.

This talk of Justify, Arrogate, and abbreviated careers also makes me think about how we define greatness, for ourselves and as a community. I think Justify should make the Hall of Fame because he is a TC winner and the HoF is pretty heavily diluted at this point anyways, but he does bring up the question of how we truly define and evaluate a career. Six starts and four G1s doesn't feel satisfying or definitive at all to me, but I declared Arrogate an all-time great after the DWC, and I stand by that. I think four G1s can define a horse's legacy if they constitute some of the greatest efforts in the history of the sport (IMO possibly the greatest four-race stretch in American history, but that's a conversation I would love to have with people). There was very little doubt about Arrogate's immense quality after that stretch, but it feels like Justify still had many questions to answer and we'll never truly be able to judge how he stands up to others. Or maybe I'm just being harsher on him because we saw so recently what a horse can do with a limited number of G1 starts.

And I'm with you Curtis, I would have voted for Arrogate in 2016 and I do think he would have been close in the voting, if not an outright winner, had he retired early last year. He gave up an impossible amount of tactical advantage to California Chrome in the Classic and just ran him down on sheer ability alone. It was an absolutely extraordinary effort from any horse, but from a 3yo against elders it was otherworldly. What a shame that the apex of his career straddled two calendar years.
I'm late to the party but I'm 100% here for this conversation.
"I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before." - G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy.
Avatar: Goldikova - 2010 Prix de la Foret, copyright yours truly. =)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/timstephansen/
Izvestia
Posts: 3844
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:16 am

Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:33 pm

Just looking back at the comments of this thread and started thinking... if we’re going to judge Accelerate by who he beat this year, we should certainly judge Justify by who he beat... because they aren’t a consistent bunch, and the best of them was Good Magic, who got his ass handed to him by a turf horse in the Travers. Actually, the best of them is probably Promises Fulfilled, but he’s a sprinter through and through...
So, I dunno.
thinair
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:46 pm

Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:12 pm

Izvestia wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:33 pm
Just looking back at the comments of this thread and started thinking... if we’re going to judge Accelerate by who he beat this year, we should certainly judge Justify by who he beat... because they aren’t a consistent bunch, and the best of them was Good Magic, who got his ass handed to him by a turf horse in the Travers. Actually, the best of them is probably Promises Fulfilled, but he’s a sprinter through and through...
So, I dunno.
No, Good Magic is the best of the horses he beat ( and I am a big Promises Fulfilled fan ). Judging Good Magic by only his Travers ( conveniently ignoring his Blue Grass and Haskell wins ) seems odd, especially given his impossible trip and subsequent retirement.

Good Magic may not be anything close to an all-time great, but he was a very nice horse.
User avatar
Mylute
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:20 pm
Location: Alabama

Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:15 pm

Izvestia wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:33 pm
Just looking back at the comments of this thread and started thinking... if we’re going to judge Accelerate by who he beat this year, we should certainly judge Justify by who he beat... because they aren’t a consistent bunch, and the best of them was Good Magic, who got his ass handed to him by a turf horse in the Travers. Actually, the best of them is probably Promises Fulfilled, but he’s a sprinter through and through...
So, I dunno.
"Turf horse"

As if being a turf horse (who had also won a Gr.II on dirt before the Travers) makes him lesser.
"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
~ Robin Williams 1951 - 2̶0̶1̶4̶ ∞
User avatar
Mylute
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:20 pm
Location: Alabama

Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:23 pm

thinair wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:12 pm
Izvestia wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:33 pm
Just looking back at the comments of this thread and started thinking... if we’re going to judge Accelerate by who he beat this year, we should certainly judge Justify by who he beat... because they aren’t a consistent bunch, and the best of them was Good Magic, who got his ass handed to him by a turf horse in the Travers. Actually, the best of them is probably Promises Fulfilled, but he’s a sprinter through and through...
So, I dunno.
No, Good Magic is the best of the horses he beat ( and I am a big Promises Fulfilled fan ). Judging Good Magic by only his Travers ( conveniently ignoring his Blue Grass and Haskell wins ) seems odd, especially given his impossible trip and subsequent retirement.

Good Magic may not be anything close to an all-time great, but he was a very nice horse.
^^^
The Travers is one race out of many. I know the concept of horses running fewer times is partly to blame for this, but I'm not a big fan of this new "a horse running one or two poor races and that being what he is known for" trend. Like every article about Thunder Snow wanting to mention he bucked at the start of the Derby, despite his many accomplishments, or people wanting to talk about Stellar Wind having a poor 2017 Distaff.

Good Magic ran a really good Juvenile, beating a nice field, and he was so professional he made the others look like maidens, like the caller said. He won the Bluegrass and Haskell and ran a really good Derby. He's certainly not an all time great but he was a good quality horse who ran impressive races. It's not his fault he lives in the age of needing to retire immediately.

Not a fan of Justify, any I do think he ran against less-than-stellar competition in his TC prep races, but I also think he had good competition in the TC.
"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
~ Robin Williams 1951 - 2̶0̶1̶4̶ ∞
User avatar
Treve
Posts: 4392
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 5:12 pm

Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:48 pm

If you'd raced Runhappy against Yeats over 6f on dirt and Runhappy had beat Yeats what exactly would that have told you about either horse? Same if you'd raced them over 2 1/2 miles on turf and Yeats had curb-stomped Runhappy?
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
BaroqueAgain1
Posts: 9879
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:39 pm

Isn't that an exaggerated example - a sprinter who never ran on grass vs. a stayer who never ran on dirt? :?
As has been pointed out, the Travers wasn't the first time Catholic Boy had run on - or won on - dirt. Pigeonholing him as strictly a 'turf horse' doesn't seem accurate, IMHO.
Izvestia
Posts: 3844
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:16 am

Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:49 pm

Amazing the responses we get on here. 1) I am a fan of Good Magic, but it was continually noted that he wasn’t the fastest of horses. 2) I wasn’t “poo-poo’ing” Catholic Boy, or turf horses in general. I actually like turf racing and turf horses generally more than dirt. Hell, I think Catholic Boy is a good horse, but lean towards him being a better turf horse.
All I am saying is that if you are going to hold Accelerate’s competition against him, you definitely need to do the same for Justify.
User avatar
Treve
Posts: 4392
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 5:12 pm

Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:56 pm

My comment wasn't actually in regards specifically to Catholic Boy/Good Magic. It's an extreme example because to me it sort of illustrates how ridiculous and at times, how useless, the 'who did he beat' question is. It's interesting but in this day and age it holds less and less value in my opinion, because unless two horses face off several times, or, unless you have very consistent horses who always run their race, or have a very easily discernible form pattern, it may not tell you much. If a horse is peaking on a given day has his preferred surface, conditions trip and track and still gets beat then yes it is safe to say the other horse who beat him is better.

If I do look at the Travers, I think Catholic Boy is a very fine horse, and it's possible that he would've beaten Good Magic under Good Magic's best circumstances. But Good Magic finished next to last, and even the runner up of that race was said to be at about 80-85% in that race. If we are honest we can agree Good Magic was not at his best that day, could not and did not fire his best. While his previous performances beyond 9f were courageous, I think most people can agree his best performances have been at 8-9f, and even Chad Brown mentioned possible distance limitations ahead of the Derby.

I don't think anyone would argue Bravazo is a better horse than Good Magic, yet he's finished ahead of him twice now. But the reasons he finished ahead of him don't necessarily make him a better horse, or Good Magic a bad horse.

I've seen some people claim Justify is a better horse than Pharoah was because he faced better horses during the Triple Crown (questionable) and because Pharoah lost to Keen Ice once. The competition being bad can make a horse look better, sure. But some performances just speak on their own, some metrics like speed figures, final times etc. more objectively stack up against history. Arrogate is another example of this. When we talk about his performances we seldom talk about his competition, because the fact is his competition didn't matter as much in the grand scheme of things given the times and figures he posted. I don't think anyone could convince me he was the same horse in his last races when he got beat.

I think in this day and age, the question should be shifted from 'who did he beat?' to 'how did he do it?'. Like I said, unless parameters are set equally the question is a little disingenuous. So I agree with Izvestia in that if you're gonna hold a horse's competition against them, you should do it for all horses and if you do that, it gets ridiculous pretty quick.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
User avatar
ElPrado2
Posts: 1626
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:58 pm

You can also remember that there are horses that run as hard as they need to. Justify finished ahead of every horse he ran against. To me, that puts him above his opponents. Could he have thrown spectacular times or come from behind victories or monstrous bursts of speed out for our enjoyment?
Moot point.
He didn't need to.
Post Reply