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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2009, 03:15 PM
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Default Triple Crown Stuff

Originally Posted by Frank Daignault
Big race coming up this weekend -- the Freakness. Here goes another 25 bucks down the toilet.

Chris comments:

I'll comment more when I see the draw -- hey, my opinion is golden around here, isn't it? -- but I strongly suspect that the Preakness will be a race to watch, not to bet.

I firmly believe that filles get overly coddled, and should run against boys more -- in Europe, Asia and Australia, fillies run against males with absolute impunity -- so it's great to have a top-notch filly in a Triple Crown race. And have no doubts: Rachel Alexandra is absolutely a top-notch filly.

But having said that, I think she may be in over her head. Calvin Borel, who rode the winner of both the Derby and the Oaks, has opted to get off Mine That Bird, and stay on the filly. I have a hunch that he may be ruing that decision on Saturday night.

But it's going to be fun to see - the newspapers and TV stations will be playing up the girl-against-the-boys angle plenty. I'll post again after I've had a chance to look at the draw and the past performances.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:08 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

One of the biggest recent advances in thoroughbred handicapping is pace. This is not a new topic; a hundred years ago, the legendary plunger Pittsburgh Phil was finely attuned to the nuances of pace. But a new school of handicappers have come up with a highly sophisticated method for looking at pace's effect on a race's final time.

What pace handicapping boils down to is this: the faster a horse runs in the early part of a race, the less energy he or she has in the race's final stages. This may seem so obvious as to be ridiculous, but for a long time, serious handicappers dismissed pace as an important factor. Andrew Beyer's Picking Winners, probably the most important handicapping book ever written, claimed that pace was utterly irrelevant as a factor in how races are run.

Why do I bring this up? Because seasoned pace handicappers know that speed horses who run fast times (and look impressive doing so) while experiencing no early pace pressure are very likely to crack when other horses run with them early.

I've seen it happen hundreds of times: a horse runs a big figure while dominating the early stages of a race; having conserved energy, the horse bursts to the finish line, running a fast final time, earning a big speed figure, and earning accolades from everyone.

But when the horse runs back, instead of waltzing through the early part of the race, the horse has to work hard every step of the way, and by the time they turn for home, he's out of gas, and fades to finish out of the money.

I mention this because the super filly, Rachel Alexandra, is a speed horse, and while she doesn't need the lead to win, she's going to be near the front. And there's some quality speed in the Preakness, and it's very possible that after being subjected to this kind of pace pressure, she's going to crack.

I feel like a Scrooge for admitting this -- I love it when fillies run against the boys, and I'll be cheering her if she wins. But my gambling dollars will be trying to beat her.

I think the race will have lots of early pace, and will set up for a come-from-behinder. I like Mine That Bird to make another sweeping move, and win the race, and make the next three weeks very exciting. Whatever happens, it should be a good race.
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:53 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

All the wise guys are picking against the Derby winner. But I'm going to do the double-reverse, and go with the obvious: Mine That Bird won the Derby because he's the best horse, and I'll be betting him to win the Preakness tomorrow. $50 of my hard-earned loot will be riding on his nose tomorrow.
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

Okay, Joyce and I will go with that. Of course there will be all sort of adjustments based upon the kids and Mom. Thanks. (Its what I pay you for.)
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:40 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

This year is starting to remind me of 1999, when Charismatic won the Derby at 30-1, and then won the Preakness. He was 8-1 in the Preakness, because his form prior to the Derby was lousy, and everybody figured his win in the Derby was a fluke. I'm hoping the same thing happens tomorrow. I hope so, because I'm buying a new Abel fly reel if he wins the race...
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

We have $5 each on Mine that Bird, Musket Man, Freisen Fire to show.
$5 on Pioneer/Nile and Rachel to come in 1st and 2nd respectively either way.

My wife did these selections and she goes by the niceness of the horse's name. You could wheel it out to the gate and she would go by the name. (A price I pay for her favor.) Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:15 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

The race unfolded exactly the way I expected, with one exception: the filly kept on running, and didn't slow down at all. Despite the fact that the outcome cost me $396 -- the amount I would have won had Mine that Bird gotten up to win -- it was a great race, one of the best Triple Crown races in my lifetime. Rachel Alexandra is a world-beater, and deserves every accolade thrown her way. It was a good day for the sport.

There's an expression I used to hear around the track. You have every permutation nailed, but one thing goes wrong, and you don't cash. The expression is "That's why they call it gambling." The game keeps you humble (kind of like striper fishing). But it's fun even when you don't win.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

We bet 25 and won back 24.50. Almost feels good not to get beaten up so bad. Yes, it was is fun. Belmont next.
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

I see where the Phillie that won the Preakness is not running the Belmont. What ....she got a headache?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

I think for the Belmont we are going to put small money on the long shots what with only ten horses running. With Mind That Bird presently at 2/1 no point in betting that one, I guess. (Like I even know.) What say you, Chris?
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:12 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
I think for the Belmont we are going to put small money on the long shots what with only ten horses running. With Mind That Bird presently at 2/1 no point in betting that one, I guess. (Like I even know.) What say you, Chris?
Considering the fact that I'm all in with Mind that Bird -- I was walking through the beer store yeseterday, and I told my beer guy, "If I had an estate in the country, I'd bet it on Mine that Bird in the Belmont" -- betting on anyone other than him is probably a sound strategy.

This race will be a fascinating study in pace. People think that because the Belmont is longer than the other two races, there's more ground for the come-from-behinders to catch up. In fact, the exact opposite is true: because the race is so long, jockeys restrain their mounts early, and because of the resulting slow pace, the front-runners expend less energy early in the race, and have a lot of gas left in the tank at the end. The Belmont, unlike the Kentucky Derby, has historically been a race that favors front-runners and pace-pressers, at the expense of deep closers.

There's another pace factor here: everyone and their mother knows that Charitable Man is going to be lone speed in the Belmont. Normally, this kind of pace advantage would make a quality colt like him (and he is a quality colt) almost unbeatable. But I've learned that when everyone knows about it, lone speed rarely materializes - the jockeys can read the Racing Form, too. The best lone speed is when nobody sees it coming -- remember War Emblem winning the Derby a few years ago?

Because of this, I'll be surprised if someone doesn't challenge Charitable Man for the lead -- the other jockeys don't want to hand him the race. The pace will not be suicidal, but it will be honest, and an honest pace is all Mine That Bird needs. He'll make a big move around Belmont's sweeping far turn, and will prove that he's the cream of this year's three-year old crop.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

Thanks for putting that up, Chris, I printed it for the high command to help her with selections. Its all part of the fun. I'll put up how we betted before the actual race.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

Got killed. Another 25 bucks down the toilet! I was sober when I choose the horses but loaded when they ran so I don't remember how it went.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:21 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

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Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
Got killed. Another 25 bucks down the toilet! I was sober when I choose the horses but loaded when they ran so I don't remember how it went.
Get a picture of Calvin Borel, and put it on your dartboard.

Mine that Bird was probably a bit tired from the grind of the Triple Crown, but Borel made a hasty, ill-conceived move in the Belmont. He passed them all like they were standing still -- and then realized they had another quarter mile to go. You think you have this game figured out (he did make the sweeping move I expected), and something happens to screw everything up (the jockey made the move too soon). It's a good thing the game is so fun, and the feeling so great when you win, because it's freaking hard. The game keeps you humble.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Stuff

For all three races, all one had to do to make money is bet the long shots. But you're right, usually are.
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