Keeneone
Keeneone
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Thanks for this post from:
onenickelmiracle
April 17th, 2017 at 9:51:28 PM permalink
The field is not quite set, jockeys/owner/trainers need to choose mounts, post positions need to be drawn etc,etc. But here is an early look at some past performances for those interested (pdf):

http://interactives.courier-journal.com/docs/derby2017/derby.pdf
lilredrooster
lilredrooster
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April 18th, 2017 at 5:26:32 AM permalink
Quote: JyBrd0403

That's my understanding. So, when I see 59.3 and see that little g, my eyes light up. I don't mind doing my homework on a horse, that can put up some numbers like that.I do have a question, though. Why dismiss times so much? A fast horse with a bad jockey, and bad connections, might still win, a slow mule with a great jockey, and the best connections, still ain't gonna win.


There is surely some value as you say in a fast workout. There are a great no. of horses who can match 59.3 from the gate including claimers. An awful lot of speed horses are cheap speed. They fade as soon as a rival starts breathing down their neck. But Classic Empire is surely not in that category and you were right in calling him a winner so congrats on that.
everybody wants to go to heaven. but nobody wants to die.
DrawingDead
DrawingDead
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April 18th, 2017 at 7:44:12 AM permalink
I don't want to dismiss workout times at all.I do want to evaluate them in context. Training methods vary.The time will mean something very different coming from the Baffert barn than the identical time from a Shug McGaughey colt. A Baffert trainee had damn well better be spitting bullets before breakfast, or something is wrong. Ho-hum, today is Tuesday, and it still ends in the letter "y." But a young developing McGaughey colt who does the same thing will make me stop and say "Wud-Da-Holy-Fork!!!"

There was a trainer on the SoCal circuit in about the 1990s (IIRC) who always had one work at the unusual distance of 7 furlongs about ten days before debuting a maiden, and a bunch of others. The bunch of others meant diddly-squat for predictive value. But when that obscure 7f time was over 1:26 they were nowhere near getting their picture taken in the afternoon, but when near or sub 1:25 I could back up the truck at the window and watch them win by open lengths. Always. Every time. And his stock putting up a spectacular 7f morning time like 1:243 or something wouldn't have a "bullet" in the Form drawing attention to them, because of that eccentric distance. So they paid. He died suddenly while still quite young, and I'm sure those close to him were almost as saddened by that tragedy as I was.

I'm aware of how they're clocked (as well as some inconsistencies in that - and even deliberate monkey bidness among some clockers at some tracks). My observation on gate works often (not always) producing faster times at a given distance from the same animal is strictly empirical, what I've observed from thousands of them over a 43 year period. If you're sure you observe something different, fine, go with that.

I don't know the reason for the possibly counter-intuitive result of the works I've tracked, only some theories. My foremost pet theory, among others that may be at play, is somewhat similar to the difference that occurs when working in company; breaking out of the gate may induce something closer to max effort than 'breaking off" from a warm up in response to the rider's urging to "pick it up now." But that's nothing more than one pet theory. I don't have a why. But I've seen it too many times. In any case, gate works are a different thing, whether one sees them as naturally tending to be faster or slower, and they tend to be used to accomplish a different purpose. So in general, I prefer comparing gate works to gate works, as their own thing, considering their meaning first for what they may tell me about trainer intent (obviously not speaking of this horse in this race where that was not at issue), and fitness (I think much more relevant here for this horse in this race at this moment) as opposed to a barometer of speed, and competence at breaking effectively in response to the startling fright-inducing stimuli of the gate. That last is no small thing for young thoroughbreds, of course.

I see that yesterday at Santa Anita there were 18 regular works and 2 gate works that were recorded as three furlong workouts. The two 3f gate works produced times that were faster than all of the others, and also a full second faster than the quickest recorded work that was not from the gate. There were 68 that were judged (it is often a clocker's judgement call) to be four furlong works, including two from the gate. The 4f gate works were not the fastest of the day, but both were in the top 30% at the distance yesterday. There were no gate works on 4/17 at any distance that were below average or median time, or even near it; all were timed among quickest 1/3 of SA works. All of which proves absolutely nothing, being a little snapshot that amounts to no more than an anecdote. Each of us will consider it through the prism of our own experience and accumulated information, as we should.
Last edited by: DrawingDead on Apr 18, 2017
Nevermind.
Keeneone
Keeneone
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April 18th, 2017 at 6:59:17 PM permalink
Thanks for the interesting discussion about gate works. When JyBrd0403 first mentioned CE's in the thread my first thought was not about the times. It was, why is a multiple graded stakes winning 2 year old champion with 7 career starts working twice from the gate? Combined with other information about CE's mental state it was a warning sign to me. But my capping instincts where obviously very wrong in the Ark Derby.
----------

Other Derby news:
Cloud Computing is still a question mark to run.
Conquest Mo Money is not going to enter the Derby. His owners will not pay the $200k Triple Crown supplement. He may run in the Preakness.
DrawingDead
DrawingDead
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April 18th, 2017 at 8:18:19 PM permalink
Somewhat off-topic side note:

Quote: DrawingDead


...<SNIP>...

There was a trainer on the SoCal circuit in about the 1990s (IIRC) who always had one work at the unusual distance of 7 furlongs about ten days before debuting a maiden, and a bunch of others. The bunch of others meant diddly-squat for predictive value. But when that obscure 7f time was over 1:26 they were nowhere near getting their picture taken in the afternoon, but when near or sub 1:25 I could back up the truck at the window and watch them win by open lengths. Always. Every time. And his stock putting up a spectacular 7f morning time like 1:243 or something wouldn't have a "bullet" in the Form drawing attention to them, because of that eccentric distance. So they paid. He died suddenly while still quite young, and I'm sure those close to him were almost as saddened by that tragedy as I was.

...<SNIP>...


While posting that I was wracking my poor little brain as my feeble mind inexplicably drew a blank on recalling his name. Shame on me. Till now. He was Rodney Rash, rest his soul.

Link to concise Wikipedia biographical entry on his sadly brief career and life: Rodney Rash - Horse Trainer
Nevermind.
JyBrd0403
JyBrd0403
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April 18th, 2017 at 11:09:57 PM permalink
I know you guys know all this stuff already. Like you say, DD, we all just look from a different prism.

I'm more of a time guy, which gets ridiculed alot among handicappers. I figure we just don't use the time info the same way. I always look at times in context, but I always look at times first. Always Dreaming for instance, throws up a 1.47.47 at Florida Derby, and all of the sudden I'm real interested in this horse. All his other times look terrible, but they all have excuses. Still have questions that need to be answered, but all the sudden Always Dreaming's is on my radar. I missed the Florida Derby, but he's definitely on my list now.

The big difference, I think, is that I will dismiss alot of horses that win big races and have great connections, because they can't throw up a decent number. Sometimes that's to my detriment, but alot of times, they are just not fast enough. They are well trained, well disciplined, nice race horses that just can't run all that fast. In context, a horse who runs top speed 1.42.6, is just too slow to beat a horse who's top speed is 1.42.00.

As, LilRedRooster pointed out, there's probably alot of horses that can run 5 furlongs in 59.3, but in context of a Breezing gate workout, that gets rave reviews from the trainer, IMO not so much. If a claimer Breezes that fast, I think the trainer would be very upset with the jockey for running him that fast, not that the horse couldn't put up that number, but he would have to push alot harder to do it. And that doesn't make for a good work.

I do think alot of gate works are blowouts, so that may help explain the faster times. But, as you know, there are so many different types of workouts, that I don't really compare workout times with other horses, just the particular horses past workout history. Trainer patterns, habits, etc. In the case of Classic Empire, it seemed they wanted to make sure he was over that injury, so they blew him out a couple of times(and...wow), then just an easy breeze before going to Arkansas. It made sense to me. Also, I guess I haven't mentioned it, but when I see 59.3 Bg, It gets translated to 58.3 B in my mind. I subtract the second for the gate.

Anyway, I'm sure we could all write 50 pages worth about how we analyze a race. I just seem to place a higher importance on times, then most. That's just the way my prism works.
lilredrooster
lilredrooster
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April 19th, 2017 at 2:21:27 AM permalink
to be honest, i haven't got a clue about this derby. it will be very interesting to see if you guys have a strong opinion. whatever i may know about handicapping it doesn't seem to be helping me at all with this field. the only think i could thing of worth doing is grabbing a fistful of shots and that has limited worth. i think i'd be better off in a casino playing the big wheel with a rabbits foot in my pocket wearing my lucky leprechaun sweater and rubbing a statue of the buddha's belly while the wheel is in motion.
everybody wants to go to heaven. but nobody wants to die.
Keeneone
Keeneone
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April 19th, 2017 at 9:45:39 PM permalink
Quote: lilredrooster

to be honest, i haven't got a clue about this derby. it will be very interesting to see if you guys have a strong opinion. whatever i may know about handicapping it doesn't seem to be helping me at all with this field. the only think i could thing of worth doing is grabbing a fistful of shots and that has limited worth. i think i'd be better off in a casino playing the big wheel with a rabbits foot in my pocket wearing my lucky leprechaun sweater and rubbing a statue of the buddha's belly while the wheel is in motion.


Wide open Derby...

The Rodney Rash hunch play: Rash's last winner was Celtic Arms (FR) with Mike Smith riding.

Girvin (Mike Smith riding) on top with these underneath

Irish War Cry (celtic link)
McCracken (celtic link)
Thunder Snow (IRE) (celtic link)

GLTA
FinsRule
FinsRule
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April 25th, 2017 at 6:23:01 PM permalink
I'm off the McCracken bandwagon.

My picks are:

Gunnervera
Irish War Cry
Girvin

If I had to put a 4th in a super, Thunder Snow
Keeneone
Keeneone
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April 29th, 2017 at 5:17:34 PM permalink
The field is slowly coming into shape. Cloud Computing, Malagacy, and Battalion Runner are passing on the Derby. Untrapped, Lookin At Lee, and Sonneteer have moved into the Top 20. Royal Mo is now @ #21. Girvin missed his last work with a hoof (quarter crack) problem, but he did work today @ Keeneland and all went well. Apparently, Thunder Snow is still coming from overseas soon.

One more week...

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