2018 Pacific Classic @ Del Mar G1 $1MM

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Curtis
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:56 pm

Izvestia wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:00 am
I disagree. A horse wins the Big Cap, Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, Awesome Again, and BC Classic in one year - that’s quite a feat, he trumps the TC winner who never raced past June and didn’t beat older stakes horses.
Of course, I’m not convinced he can do it.#sadlercurse
I’m guessing you wouldn’t have voted for Slew back in ‘77?
Tessablue
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 pm

In 1977 the champion older male was Forego, who won two G1s (the Met Mile and the Woodward) along with a G3 and allowance win and two G1 placings. Accelerate, with that hypothetical future campaign, would win five G1s with a G2 and a G2 placing, including a win in the definitive year-end championship event. Diversify could hypothetically get to 4 G1 wins with a G2 and an ungraded stakes.

Both would absolutely have to win the Classic to merit a shot, but I think those campaigns match up more favorably against Justify's four restricted G1 wins than Forego's 1977 campaign did against Seattle Slew's five G1s.
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Curtis
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:49 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 pm
In 1977 the champion older male was Forego, who won two G1s (the Met Mile and the Woodward) along with a G3 and allowance win and two G1 placings. Accelerate, with that hypothetical future campaign, would win five G1s with a G2 and a G2 placing, including a win in the definitive year-end championship event. Diversify could hypothetically get to 4 G1 wins with a G2 and an ungraded stakes.

Both would absolutely have to win the Classic to merit a shot, but I think those campaigns match up more favorably against Justify's four restricted G1 wins than Forego's 1977 campaign did against Seattle Slew's five G1s.
And Crystal Water—who got no year end award—won three open G1’s, two at 10f on dirt and one at 12f on turf and in a separate race set a WR for 9f on the turf. Also, though it theoretically should have no bearing in a different year, Forego was the thrice defending Horse of the Year, which did carry some votes. Factor in that Eddie Arcaro, who was deemed as the most credible racing commentator of that time, was shouting from the rooftops that Slew was merely the best of a bad crop and at best decent and then Slew got absolutely drilled in his last start in early July and you had perfect storm for a TC winner to not win Horse of the Year. Accelerate can only beat what gets lead over against him but I haven’t ever seen such consistently weak versions of the three SoCal G1’s maybe one or two in a given year but not all three. I just think the TC carries too much weight. I think it would take a concerted effort by voters trying to send a message to Team Winstar for Justify not to win. Horse of the Year went off the rails a few years ago when horses started getting consideration based on off track factors so it could happen but I hope not. TC winners are just so very rare, I hope all of the “yeah buts” don’t supersede.
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Mylute
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:56 pm

Speaking of competition that Accelerate and Diversify can't help isn't there, anyone know what the deal with Collected is?
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Izvestia
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:28 pm

I personally do not think the TC races, or 3-year-old colts and geldings, are the be-all-end-all of this sport.
American Pharaoh was deserving of his HOY. He did win over older, with authority.

*if* Accelerate wins the AA and the BC Classic, I would think he is far more deserving. Like I said, #sadlercurse
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Curtis
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:45 pm

Mylute wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:56 pm
Speaking of competition that Accelerate and Diversify can't help isn't there, anyone know what the deal with Collected is?
Word is he’s now back with Baffert. He had been turned out then at a training center. I’m sure he’ll race this fall but I have no clue when.
Tessablue
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:56 pm

I didn't know about Crystal Water; that's really interesting! I think the parallels and differences between 1977 and today make for a fun thought experiment and an interesting commentary on the ways in which the sport has changed. I completely agree that Accelerate hasn't beaten anything and I'm not enthusiastic at all about his chances in the BC- but for better or worse, the sport now has a centralized championship event and the Classic is the definitive year-end race. I wasn't around in the 70's, but from what I've read it was quite a bit more complicated to arrange championship matchups because there was no single year-end target (all of the drama between Spectacular Bid and Winter's Tale, for example). Accelerate, if he wins out, will essentially answer his biggest question by default in a manner that wasn't always necessarily available.

I think there are a lot of parallels between Seattle Slew and Justify to be found here, and I wouldn't argue strongly either way about 1977 because I wasn't there. But while I agree that awards should be based almost entirely on performance, I think the extenuating factors are more likely to push people towards voting for Justify rather than away from him. There have been concerns in recent years about the over-valuing of TC races and I think a year like this- with a TC winner who wasn't particularly brilliant throughout the TC and never raced afterwards- offers an interesting test. If either Diversify or Accelerate continue on their current trajectories, which isn't likely, so we'd best have this conversation now ;)

(having mild flashbacks to the debate about the 2004 HOTY, hopefully we don't reach that level again!)
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Curtis
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:58 pm

Izvestia wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:28 pm
I personally do not think the TC races, or 3-year-old colts and geldings, are the be-all-end-all of this sport.
American Pharaoh was deserving of his HOY. He did win over older, with authority.

*if* Accelerate wins the AA and the BC Classic, I would think he is far more deserving. Like I said, #sadlercurse
I don’t believe in curses but there is something with shipping and winning when it comes to Sadler. I think too much emphasis is put on the TC, however the competition for the Derby is fierce and if you can succeed there and also at Pimlico and Belmont, you’ve done something special. If not, more than 13 would have done it by now because horses go for it almost every year with only very rare exception. The SoCal G1’s are on shakey ground. Santa Anita has slashed the purse of the Big ‘Cap to the extent that I believe the Hronis brothers had to pick up the trophy at Big Lot’s. How the Gold Cup even remains a G1 is beyond me. Crystal Water, who I mentioned before, also won the G1 Californian at 8.5f in 1977. The competition he faced in his Big ‘Cap and Gold Cup were far more formidable than what Accelerate has faced and as I said before all Crystal Water got was a scratch between the ears and a couple of extra carrots.
stark
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:13 pm

I always get confused when the West Coast puts up big money for a graded stakes and everybody says what a waste, what a weak field, only 6 horses, blah blah blah.

Why don't the East Coasters come in and swoop up the money and run. Oh sure, there have been a few to do it, but I'm thinkin' there should be a whole bunch more (if the fields are so weak)
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Tessablue
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:16 pm

That's totally fair, and there's also the unknown element of the remaining 3yo crop. If Good Magic does anything of note in unrestricted company, that'll be it- and that's perfectly fine, because evaluating the class of the TC is often difficult at best and his quality is the biggest remaining wild card in Justify's corner. Regarding Accelerate, I'm not willing to defend the overabundance of weak G1s out there right now- but one thing Accelerate has in his corner is the fact that he won those weak races very nicely.

I do think field quality is something that tends to wash away in time (unless it's very high), and personally I think it's one of the biggest impediments towards evaluating historical races and comparing horses across decades. And I have to say, I love hearing about quality horses who slipped through the cracks of history. I can't recall Crystal Water making into A Decade of Champions, but I want to look him up now. I think the non-champion I'll be defending in decades will be Princess of Sylmar. It still bums me out that she lost her year-end award because her owner was a sportsman.
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:59 am

Tessablue wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:16 pm
That's totally fair, and there's also the unknown element of the remaining 3yo crop. If Good Magic does anything of note in unrestricted company, that'll be it- and that's perfectly fine, because evaluating the class of the TC is often difficult at best and his quality is the biggest remaining wild card in Justify's corner. Regarding Accelerate, I'm not willing to defend the overabundance of weak G1s out there right now- but one thing Accelerate has in his corner is the fact that he won those weak races very nicely.

I do think field quality is something that tends to wash away in time (unless it's very high), and personally I think it's one of the biggest impediments towards evaluating historical races and comparing horses across decades. And I have to say, I love hearing about quality horses who slipped through the cracks of history. I can't recall Crystal Water making into A Decade of Champions, but I want to look him up now. I think the non-champion I'll be defending in decades will be Princess of Sylmar. It still bums me out that she lost her year-end award because her owner was a sportsman.
There’s a book by Mary Fleming (sp), titled “A History of the Thoroughbred in California.” You can usually find it inexpensively on EBay. There is a chapter on Crystal Water in that book. He was quite a horse. He was the splitting image of his sire Windy Sands who forever and ever, and may still, had the track record for 8.5f at Del Mar. Crystal Water was a big heavy horse who had flat feet and hit the ground hard. Because of that his trainer, Roger Clapp, finally put him on turf and in my opinion he was one of the better domestic turf horses, I’ve seen. He showed a world of talent at 3 and won the Hollywood Derby, then a 9f Derby prep run on dirt. He wouldn’t always give 100% in his races so after a frustrating Strub Series, Clapp put blinkers on, put him on turf and switched from a finesse rider—Shoemaker—to a stronger rider—Pincay. He responded to the changes by setting a NWR at 9f. The real money being on dirt, he won the Big ‘Cap, Californian and Gold Cup successively. The latter was a great race as he was on a fast pace throughout and outgamed that year’s older mare Champion, Cascapedia, and the fast closing multiple G1, Irish St. Leger winning, Caucasus. Crystal Water was sent East in search of an Eclipse or two. Unfortunately he really couldn’t handle any sort of off-track and finished a brave third in the Marlboro Cup on a sloppy track. He then came back to Cali and won the 12f G1 Oak Tree Invitational, a terrific race in which he edged a hard charging Vigor’s and a stubborn—future Hall of Famer—Ancient Title. I think Crystal Water lived to be in his early 30’s living pretty much his entire life where he was born at the old Three Rings Ranch in California. Cascapedia was sent to him at least once and if memory serves, they created a stakes winner. That’s all I can remember on him. There was quite a controversy surrounding a race at Del Mar during that great year he had. Another story for another day.
peeptoad
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:19 am

Curtis wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:45 pm
Mylute wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:56 pm
Speaking of competition that Accelerate and Diversify can't help isn't there, anyone know what the deal with Collected is?
Word is he’s now back with Baffert. He had been turned out then at a training center. I’m sure he’ll race this fall but I have no clue when.
He posted a 3f work at DMR Aug. 16 so at least he's back on the work tab.
stark
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:28 pm

1977 Hollywood Gold Cup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvt90rJm_ZE
There's no video, but Harry Henson makes the audio worthwhile.

1977 Santa Anita Handicap
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqI3ON0QXTc
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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ElPrado2
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:36 pm

I'm in a small fantasy stable group. I grabbed Princess of Sylmar for my string as soon as I saw her. I love that mare.
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Treve
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:43 pm

Well, if this is any indication of how the public might feel, Accelerate has already edged out Justify on the NTRA poll although Justify has many more 1st place votes.
Things may still shake up at the end of the year, and let's be honest racing tends to have a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude. That Accelerate surpassed him with being retired for only a month... it's still a long way to November.
https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... hbred-poll

And on a slightly different but related note... this paulick article suggests Justify may face a huge hurdle to even become a HOFer
https://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray- ... nductions/
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Curtis
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:29 pm

stark wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:28 pm
1977 Hollywood Gold Cup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvt90rJm_ZE
There's no video, but Harry Henson makes the audio worthwhile.

1977 Santa Anita Handicap
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqI3ON0QXTc
Harry Henson always made the audio worthwhile. Mark’s Place, who pushed Crystal Water into a faster pace than I’m sure Pincay wanted in the Gold Cup, was an excellent miler in those days. I had forgotten about Austin Mittler being in those races. Does Stark, or anyone else, know what that horse was famous or rather infamous for?
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ElPrado2
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:27 pm

Killing Alvaro Pineda in the starting gate at Santa Anita.
The horse threw his head back so hard Pineda's skull was crushed on the left side by the horse's skull.
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ElPrado2
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:31 pm

The horse was having a fit in the starting gate.

Sorry, the message wouldn't post this part of itself, for reasons only it knows. (Sigh)
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Curtis
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:55 pm

ElPrado2 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:31 pm
The horse was having a fit in the starting gate.

Sorry, the message wouldn't post this part of itself, for reasons only it knows. (Sigh)
The only good that came out of that--if anything good could be had--was that they started padding the starting gates. Every time that horse got lead over, he was always referred to as the horse that killed Alvaro Pineda. He developed into a nice horse but never could escape that stigma. Buster Millerick trained him I think. Alvaro's brother, was killed a couple of years later after a fall during a race. As I said before, I'm not much for curses.....but that poor family.
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Mylute
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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.
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