Belmont Saturday Watchalong thread

Tessablue
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:20 am

Watching the race while focused on Restoring Hope, I think it's basically inarguable that he was not entered in the race to win. He was urged strongly from the gate, floated very wide into Tenfold and Noble Indy's path, then Geroux visibly looked to his inside, saw Bravazo threatening, and steered his horse right into him (Restoring Hope's head was basically sideways on the first turn). Restoring Hope was then basically eased turning for home without ever really being urged while Geroux looked around behind him and slightly came over into Free Drop Billy. This is all just on the tape, it's not terribly interpretive.

I didn't have a dime on him, and whether or not it affected the outcome is not all that interesting to me- what matters more is that I think the industry is reaching a point where it really has to do some soul-searching regarding horses who aren't entered in races to win. It's not fair to the bettors, but it's also a really bad look for the sport on a grander stage. If the media ran with this at a national level- especially given how Smith was heard possibly yelling "you're the man" to Geroux after the race and Baffert's comments on Restoring Hope prior to it- it could potentially do some real harm to the sport. I get that it's a honeymoon period right now and I have no interest in upsetting Justify's biggest fans (hence why this is in the Belmont thread, not the Justify one), but I also think there needs to be a dialogue because if it doesn't happen now it won't happen later.
stark
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:25 am

Tessablue wrote:Watching the race while focused on Restoring Hope, I think it's basically inarguable that he was not entered in the race to win. He was urged strongly from the gate, floated very wide into Tenfold and Noble Indy's path, then Geroux visibly looked to his inside, saw Bravazo threatening, and steered his horse right into him (Restoring Hope's head was basically sideways on the first turn). Restoring Hope was then basically eased turning for home without ever really being urged while Geroux looked around behind him and slightly came over into Free Drop Billy. This is all just on the tape, it's not terribly interpretive.

I didn't have a dime on him, and whether or not it affected the outcome is not all that interesting to me- what matters more is that I think the industry is reaching a point where it really has to do some soul-searching regarding horses who aren't entered in races to win. It's not fair to the bettors, but it's also a really bad look for the sport on a grander stage. If the media ran with this at a national level- especially given how Smith was heard possibly yelling "you're the man" to Geroux after the race and Baffert's comments on Restoring Hope prior to it- it could potentially do some real harm to the sport. I get that it's a honeymoon period right now and I have no interest in upsetting Justify's biggest fans (hence why this is in the Belmont thread, not the Justify one), but I also think there needs to be a dialogue because if it doesn't happen now it won't happen later.
All that and no mention of the experimenting with blinkers-on and blinkers-off trainer moves indicating some uncertainty over the past 6 months?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Tessablue
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:32 am

The fact that he was blinkers off yesterday does nothing but support my point.
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Big Ten
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:44 am

I was reading some comments about Anthony Bourdain. Someone like him with a job like that makes it hard for me to think he would commit suicide and he did it.

I'm still in disbelief that Tony is gone. Such a great storyteller. Hard for me to watch his No Reservations episodes on my phone. Might take time for me to rewatch them again.

You really don't appreciate people until they are truly gone. I wasn't a fan of Bobby Frankel but when he died, you can already sense the shock. I remember when Luke Kruytbosch died. I was stunned. I can't believe that happened ten years ago. Felt like yesterday to me.

We don't have to like Bob Baffert but if he dies, it's going to be a shock to us felt around the world. Steve Jobs was a jerk. He dies and the outpouring for him. I find Bob Baffert and his crew to be a national treasure.

We are just living the moment now. Hard to appreciate while living through it right now. But once they're gone, they're gone. We can only look back and start missing them. I love you, Bob Baffert! I know how to appreciate you now, man!
Rock Hard Ten. Free House. Soul Of The Matter. Lit de Justice. Zenyatta. Justify. Cigar. Ghostzapper. Lava Man. Silver Charm.
stark
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:47 am

Tessablue wrote:The fact that he was blinkers off yesterday does nothing but support my point.
Before the race was run and you were handicapping on Friday, where did you project Restoring Hope would be going into the first turn?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Treve
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:52 am

CoronadosQuest wrote: Also, pretty sure after reading comments, that Restoring Hope was a deep closer taken off his game and wider than the Belmont track. Like seriously, what else do you do with a horse like Restoring Hope except to sit with the pace? Minus the Pat Day Mile, he usually at right off the pace in all of his races. Yes, maybe the goal was to make others think that Restoring Hope was going to help setup a fast pace but if Noble Indy wanted the lead, he had every opportunity to do it as he was sitting right behind Restoring Hope. I saw zero indication from Castellano's ride that said 'my horse is wanting the lead!!' nor any indication that Restoring Hope was fighting off challengers trying to get to Justify. The three horses sitting with Justify early (2nd, 3rd, 4th by the 1/2 call) finished 6th, 8th and 10th. None of them were anywhere close to the talent of Good Magic going with Justify in the Preakness. I feel as though people are now just grasping at straws at this point.
I think you need to watch that replay again. Tessablue pointed it out already but he was urged out of the gate perhaps even faster than Justify, stayed wide, forcing Noble Indy to his outside (or attempt a dangerous maneuver in sharply taking back and trying to sneak to the inside) giving him no real choice but to sit back off him. Then Restoring Hope slowly closed in towards the right staying in the three path for a bit... at that point Noble Indy can either flank him really wide in the 4 path (not something you want at a normal track let alone Belmont) or take back behind him. He did the latter. At that moment Bravazo makes an attempt to sneak up to Justify's outside in the 2-path, and suddenly Restoring Hope sharply veers into the 2-path ahead of him. It was so obvious Bailey et al. commented on it right after the race, chuckling as they did though quickly assuring it wasn't illegal to do. The only other thing Noble Indy could've done assuming he's even fast enough, would have been to try and outrun Restoring Hope and Justify forcing himself through a 22 and change quarter just to get the lead or somehow try and pass RH but get to flank/press Justify?

It was a clever tactic, one that Victor Espinoza got endless praise for in the 2016 Pacific Classic on California Chrome where he attempted something similar (you're telling me that a seasoned, experienced, obedient horse like Chrome magically came out of the 1 stall and ended up in the 6th path, just happening to push his two biggest rivals wide?) The only difference is in that race the horse who went wide was ridden to win, in the Belmont the horse who went wide was ridden to allow his stablemate his best chance. It's clever. Not illegal. Although I suppose it gives ground for either a discussion about coupled entries, and/or as tb said a discussion about using horses.
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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Charlie
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:21 pm

Anyone who doesn't think Restoring Hope was in there for the sole benefit of Justify is fooling themselves. Anyone who thinks Noble Indy just wasn't fast enough or that he could have gotten around RH is also fooling themselves.

It was noticeable enough they talked about it in the race replay.
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CoronadosQuest
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:24 pm

I did watch it. I saw a horse in the 5 gate, who is normally a horse that sits right off the pace, break like he normally does and stay in the 5 path until he had room to move over to sit off of Justify's flank. Had this horse not been trained by Baffert, I doubt anybody would have been all 'WTF IS HE DOING' lol. But you are correct... most of these horses didn't belong in this field and Restoring Hope definitely deserved to be the longest shot in the field. However it was the Wests that wanted him in the race, remember. Yes, he was probably there to help illusion the people that a horse was going to challenge Justify on the lead but Castellano didnt ride Noble Indy as you would ride a horse gunning for the lead either.

Anyway, it doesnt matter. The pace was already too fast for Noble Indy, who faded to last. He wasn't going to win the race.
stark
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:38 pm

Big Ten wrote:I was reading some comments about Anthony Bourdain. Someone like him with a job like that makes it hard for me to think he would commit suicide and he did it.

I'm still in disbelief that Tony is gone. Such a great storyteller. Hard for me to watch his No Reservations episodes on my phone. Might take time for me to rewatch them again.

You really don't appreciate people until they are truly gone. I wasn't a fan of Bobby Frankel but when he died, you can already sense the shock. I remember when Luke Kruytbosch died. I was stunned. I can't believe that happened ten years ago. Felt like yesterday to me.

We don't have to like Bob Baffert but if he dies, it's going to be a shock to us felt around the world. Steve Jobs was a jerk. He dies and the outpouring for him. I find Bob Baffert and his crew to be a national treasure.

We are just living the moment now. Hard to appreciate while living through it right now. But once they're gone, they're gone. We can only look back and start missing them. I love you, Bob Baffert! I know how to appreciate you now, man!
https://youtu.be/toxIiMWQgKA?t=2
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Treve
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:42 pm

CoronadosQuest wrote:I did watch it. I saw a horse in the 5 gate, who is normally a horse that sits right off the pace, break like he normally does and stay in the 5 path until he had room to move over to sit off of Justify's flank. Had this horse not been trained by Baffert, I doubt anybody would have been all 'WTF IS HE DOING' lol. But you are correct... most of these horses didn't belong in this field and Restoring Hope definitely deserved to be the longest shot in the field. However it was the Wests that wanted him in the race, remember. Yes, he was probably there to help illusion the people that a horse was going to challenge Justify on the lead but Castellano didnt ride Noble Indy as you would ride a horse gunning for the lead either.

Anyway, it doesnt matter. The pace was already too fast for Noble Indy, who faded to last. He wasn't going to win the race.
I pulled it up just to be sure and watched it over several times now. He actually would've had room to cut behind Bravazo and creep up to Justify because he broke pretty slow, then was rushed to the front, just kept running until he was well ahead of everyone. He had more than enough room before he outran the field, to come back and flank Justify if that was his sole goal. He only starts moving back in once Florent looks behind him and sees Noble Indy in the 3 path looking like he can move up.

You know it's interesting, as tb said, I'm not even sure Justify needed that to win. He didn't seem to me like the type who'd lose his mind if he were pressed. But people will talk about that just like they will argue no one tried pressing Pharoah. (looking back it looks to me like Materiality tried to run with him, you actually see him attempt to move up at some point before he folds like a chair and fizzles out).

I'm not of the opinion that Noble Indy would've won either way, but I saw him as a wild card, didn't know what to do with him because I expected him to either bomb to last or do really well. Did the former.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
stark
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:56 pm

How many days should Florent Geroux be suspended by the stewards?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Izvestia
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:03 pm

Who knows if that was the intention with Restoring Hope, but Baffert has played dirty before LET’S BE HONEST (*cough* Bayern *cough* Fed Biz *cough* seven dead horses). You can sweep things under the rug, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
When Good Magic went with Justify in the Preakness and Bravazo almost got there at the wire it showed how Justify could be beat... but he didn’t get beat, he’s a helluva horse, and it’s best to just enjoy Justify.
stark
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:07 pm

Izvestia wrote:Who knows if that was the intention with Restoring Hope, but Baffert has played dirty before LET’S BE HONEST (*cough* Bayern *cough* Fed Biz *cough* seven dead horses). You can sweep things under the rug, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
When Good Magic went with Justify in the Preakness and Bravazo almost got there at the wire it showed how Justify could be beat... but he didn’t get beat, he’s a helluva horse, and it’s best to just enjoy Justify.
Just curious....did you ever get to see the overhead blimp shot of the Bayern race?
If anybody has it, most appreciated if you could post it here, thanks.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Somnambulist

Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:20 pm

Racing tactics are just really part of racing. I don't think anyone thinks less of Damascus because of his rabbit. I guess it just is what it is. I get that it feels cheaper but at the same time it's insane for a horse to do what he has in a short period of time so that makes up for it.
firehorse
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:47 pm

I don't get all the whining about Restoring Hope - he didn't slam anyone coming out of the gate or otherwise endanger another horse. They had a mile and a half to pass Justify and they couldn't.
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Katewerk
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:59 pm

firehorse wrote:I don't get all the whining about Restoring Hope - he didn't slam anyone coming out of the gate or otherwise endanger another horse. They had a mile and a half to pass Justify and they couldn't.
Not sure how a tactical plan to block an early speed duel is worse than plotting a sacrificial speed duel itself. In both cases, another horse is taking one for the team -- they're just different teams.
firehorse
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:24 pm

I didn't see any horse with a chance to get into a speed dual with him other than Bravazo, who could've but didn't. At the end of the day I think the way Justify broke like a rocket and went 23.37 had more to do with it than Restoring Hope.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:02 pm

Not sure if this has been posted. The link to to the Belmont Stakes Press Conference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PPMJwG7YgU
sweettalk
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:40 pm

I can always count on TBC to make me feel guilty for enjoying horse racing as opposed to trying to tarnish everything I've seen. Thanks guys, I was almost happy abt yestsrday, can't have that!
BaroqueAgain1
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:56 pm

ST, I'm still smiling about yesterday, if that helps. :lol:
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