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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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  #46  
Old 05-16-2014, 10:12 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

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There is one thing that may beat CC Saturday. The track condition after tomorrow's heavy down pours will be interesting as it will be an almost impossible task for one of the country's best maintenance crews to get this to a true fast condition.
I disagree. The heaviest rains have fallen in Baltimore overnight, when the track has presumably been sealed. The rain is already tapering off there as I type this just after 10 a.m. Friday. Considering how much time there is between now and the Preakness, and how cool and dry the air behind this front is supposed to be, I'd bet a week's pay that the track will be fast by tomorrow afternoon.

There has been a tremendous amount of rain down there, but when the rain falls when the track is sealed (the track is sealed by running heavy rollers over it; this packs the dirt into the consistency of a brick, and the rain, rather than penetrating into the dirt, runs off to the side), which it has with this storm, the track can recover to fast very quickly. My money is on this happening, especially with how much time they'll have to work on drying out the track overnight.
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  #47  
Old 05-19-2014, 09:49 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

The stage is set: everyone in the country will be cheering for California Chrome in New York in three weeks, and I will be a contrarian jerk, and betting lustily against him.

First: his race in the Preakness was great. He's some horse to be able to fend off several different challenges, coming off a short two-week rest since the Derby, and still get home first. I don't know if anyone else saw this, but Ride on Curlin, despite having gained a good bit of ground in the stretch, never got past CalChrome, even after the finish line. CalChrome is a gutsy, talented horse, and wasn't going to let Ride on Curlin by, even after it no longer mattered. He's won these races on merit, and it is obvious that he is by far the most talented colt of his generation.

Now the bad news: CalChrome looked to me like he was absolutely out of gas at the end of the race. Maybe he'll recover in time for the Belmont, but considering it will be his 3rd race in 5 weeks, and considering the fact that he's not bred to get anything even close to the grueling 12 furlongs of the Belmont, and especially considering that he's gonna be 2/5 in a 10-horse race, the discerning handicapper is obligated to try to beat him. I will feel slightly guilty about it, because as a fan and a sportsman I'd love to see him win the Triple Crown -- the sport really needs it -- but one must cast aside all sentimentality when betting these races, and put down one's money with cold-hearted calculation. And that means that if CalChrome's odds are 2/5, and he figures to have at best a one-in-three or one-in-four chance to win the race, then ya gotta play against him.

Whatever happens, it should be a fun 3 weeks. The Belmont is always way more exciting when there's a shot at immortality on the line.
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  #48  
Old 05-19-2014, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

California Chrome's team might have to choose between Belmont, nasal strips

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/18/us/cal...ips/index.html
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  #49  
Old 05-19-2014, 10:33 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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California Chrome's team might have to choose between Belmont, nasal strips

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/18/us/cal...ips/index.html
I didn't even mention this, because it's a total non-story. You can forget about it -- the racing officials in New York will absolutely, positively let CalChrome run with a nasal strip. The whole story is much ado about nothing.

Though this is not going to matter in the end, this is an example of how dysfunctional horse racing is. Trainers are allowed to give horses drug regimens that would make Keith Richards blush, but a horse can't wear a frickin' nasal strip? It boggles the mind, and is why people look at horse racing as being one step away from professional wrestling.
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  #50  
Old 05-19-2014, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

Interesting Chris, as I heard that the officials involved had ruled against letting a previous contender run with nasal strips.

(and just to stir some c**p - I don't view horse racing one step away from WWF... I view it the *same* )
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  #51  
Old 05-19-2014, 11:07 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Interesting Chris, as I heard that the officials involved had ruled against letting a previous contender run with nasal strips.

(and just to stir some c**p - I don't view horse racing one step away from WWF... I view it the *same* )
The story broke about a minute after I posted that, Rob: the New York Racing Association just gave Chromie the OK to run with a nasal strip. Hoo-ya!

The whole story was silly, a useless distraction. There may or may not be a therapeutic benefit to the use of a nasal strip (I actually think they're snake oil), but as long as every horse in the race can wear one -- and every runner in the Belmont will be permitted to -- then there's no competitive edge to wearing one. I said it was a joke because there was NO WAY IN HELL that the NYRA was going to force a horse to skip a chance at the Triple Crown over something this trivial.
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  #52  
Old 05-21-2014, 09:09 PM
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The bottom line in this story is, whether or not CC wins the Belmont, he will never get the credit he deserves for one reason that was not his fault.

The change in the qualifying rules to run in the Derby has destroyed the credibility of the whole process of why the TC was cherished in the past.

It is not the fault of CC and his owner/trainer's that he did not have a good field to run against in the SA Derby. The same goes for the Kentucky Derby, it is not the fault of the winning horse and his connections that the field that qualified to run in that race was a joke.

For the second year in a row the best 3 YO horse running on the first Saturday in May ran in the Kentucky Oaks, there was no possibility those 2 horses could prove their worth even though they were the fastest horses at the time.

CC has done nothing wrong and has not had to deal with any trouble in a race yet. The 1 1/2 mile distance of the Belmont will probably prove to be the trouble that takes this horse down, I'm pretty sure he will have no other excuse come 3 Saturday's from today.

Doug
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  #53  
Old 05-22-2014, 09:27 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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CC has done nothing wrong and has not had to deal with any trouble in a race yet.
While this is inarguably true, I actually think that is a testament to the horse's abilities. He hasn't lucked into these good trips: he's earned them with skill, with abundant early speed that allows him to get into good tactical position early in a race. There are horses who luck into good trips, and horses who get good trips on merit, and CalChrome seems to me, decidedly, to be the latter, the kind of horse whose running style, and ability, keeps him out of trouble. This is one reason that he's easily the most talented 3-year old colt out there.

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The 1 1/2 mile distance of the Belmont will probably prove to be the trouble that takes this horse down, I'm pretty sure he will have no other excuse come 3 Saturday's from today.
Agreed that if he loses, he'll be without an excuse. Because of the length of the race, and the big track/wide, sweeping turn setup, bad trips are rarely an excuse at Belmont.

And while it's possible that 12 furlongs will be just a bit too far for him, I think that the more likely cause of defeat, if he does lose, will be fatigue: the horse looked completely out of gas at the end of the Preakness. This is not a slight on him, really, because he's run a lot of hard races in a short time frame, but I just don't know that three weeks is going to be enough time for him to recharge his batteries.

I've been saying here since the Derby that I'll be licking my chops to bet against CalChrome in the Belmont. I'm wavering on that, and not for sporting reasons: it seems like every wise guy out there is going to be picking, and betting, against him, and instead of 2/5 odds, he might be 3/2 or even 8/5. I read in the Daily Racing Form the other day that one bookie shop in England is giving 3/2 odds on him right now; this makes me tempted to pull the double-reverse, and to bet on him, to play the horse that all the wise guys are poo-pooing. We'll see how it plays out, but if he does start at somewhere between even money and 2/1, it will be a slap in the face, because he's earned the right to be odds-on in the Belmont.
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  #54  
Old 05-22-2014, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

It is way too early for me to say what I think in the Belmont as we only have some "probable" runners lined up and we have no idea what the weather may bring.

My early look would say that CC has no chance against Commanding Curve. That was a wise move not to run in the Preakness, what he will need is a rabbit or two to run a fast first half mile, 3/4's to soften up the speed.

Personally, I would not run CC in this race, there is no real benefit to do it.

Doug
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  #55  
Old 06-02-2014, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

It is looking like a good stretch of weather, CC will have his chance at doing something that is rarely achieved on a fast track with a good number of horses in the race.

He will probably have the lead for a good part of the stretch, whether he can hold off the closers will be debated up until post time, winning the race will prove his worth, losing it will prove the averageness of the horses he has faced.

It comes down to that, if he fails he will have gambled it all away in the quest for fame, it seems fortune has already come his way.

Doug
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  #56  
Old 06-03-2014, 09:17 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

I always let emotion get in the way of thinking in these situations, but I think CalChrome is gonna do it. A workout guy that I respect very much described his breeze on Saturday as "sensational," saying he looked like a world-beater. He may not win, and I'll have more thoughts after entries are drawn and I've handicapped the card, but I will be pulling for him to do it. A Triple Crown will not save horse racing, but it will be a welcome salve, for at least a few weeks, for a sport that has been reeling lately.
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  #57  
Old 06-05-2014, 10:50 PM
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Ok, on paper it appears that there is no way that CC can lose, odds should be 1/5.

Seriously, in the race you have 3 horses who have only 1 win against other maidens, 6 horses who have only 2 wins of which half have not won even a minor stakes in their second win.

But the Belmont is a different animal. 75% of the winners over the last 8 years did not have a stakes win on their record. Over the last 14 years half of the winners came from losing Kentucky Derby contenders who skipped the Preakness.

I'm pretty sure Samraat (1 of 2 horses in race with more than 2 wins) will have a much better showing in this race, Commanding Curve will need to be much closer in the first half of the race to have a chance as deep closers usually get lulled into impossible deficits early when the race goes slower than what they are used too.

The one factor nobody handicaps, takes into consideration is that these animals are like teenagers approaching their twenties. They still are growing and maturing so when you see a trainer like Billy Mott enter a horse like Matuszak here you better take notice.

Matuszak also gets Mike Smith riding which is a big improvement over H. Karamanos, R. Maragh. Ride On Curlin gets a new rider (all top of the list) for the fifth race in a row which is not good.

I'll restate what I said, California Chrome has nothing to win and a lot to lose in this race. Racing itself has so much more to lose when this becomes the last race for this great horse. Anyone who watched Animal Kingdom win the Dubai race last year as a 5 year old knows the value of great horses continuing to race. Retiring them to stud service for the sake of their own pocket after a couple, few wins as a 3 year old has been a main reason why Chris stated that the sport is reeling. Zenyatta, John Henry, etc., damn we need more of them.

Good luck and have fun, CC is the bomb, to me winning on Saturday would be incredible yet I fear it is not in the cards.

Doug
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  #58  
Old 06-06-2014, 10:09 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

This race looks very interesting: there's virtually no speed in the race, and it is very easy to imagine a scenario where California Chrome goes right to the front and sets ridiculously slow fractions on the lead. If he is in front after six furlongs in something like a minute and 14 or 15 seconds, he's going to be very, very difficult to run down, regardless of how much his pedigree screams that doesn't want to run a mile and a half. A race that unfolds like this would basically make the Belmont a 6-furlong sprint, and CalChrome would be just about impossible to beat, especially if the other horses give him a head start.

Everybody talks about how a horse needs to be bred to run all day to win the Belmont, but there have been horses with equally distance-challenged pedigrees who have done it before, like Bold Forbes, who was essentially a sprinter, but who won the 1976 Belmont by leading all the way through slowish fractions, and then holding on for dear life at the end (he ran the last quarter mile in 27 1/5 seconds, which is the definition of staggering home). This could very well happen tomorrow.

I actually am expecting that this race is going to be run similarly to the 2004 Belmont, when all the other jockeys ganged up on Smarty Jones. Whether CalChrome can win will largely depend on whether Espinoza can keep his cool: if he blows it in the middle of the race the way Stewart Elliott did (the half-mile that Smarty ran in the '04 Belmont was the fastest middle-half in the history of the Belmont, and it took just enough starch out of him to make him run out of gas at the end of the race), then CalChrome can, and probably will, lose. If Espinoza can keep his cool, and not blow it, then Chromie is good enough to win despite being ganged-up on. Here's to hoping that he will.
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  #59  
Old 06-06-2014, 10:12 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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I'll restate what I said, California Chrome has nothing to win and a lot to lose in this race. Racing itself has so much more to lose when this becomes the last race for this great horse. Anyone who watched Animal Kingdom win the Dubai race last year as a 5 year old knows the value of great horses continuing to race.
I got some good news for you, comrade: if he stays sound, Chromie will continue to race. It seems his lousy pedigree has a hidden bonus: he's not worth as much as a stallion as a more regally-bred horse (like Barbaro, or Empire Maker) would be in this situation, and therefore his owners are not giving up on hundreds of millions of dollars in stud fees to race him. The owners have already said that while they will obviously give him a rest after the Belmont tomorrow, they want to run him through the late summer and early fall, including the Breeders Cup, and they also intend to keep running him as a 4-year old next year. If he can win tomorrow, and keep running through 2015, it would a real boon for the sport. People would line up for a week to watch a living, breathing Triple Crown winner race.
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  #60  
Old 06-06-2014, 10:01 PM
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I actually am expecting that this race is going to be run similarly to the 2004 Belmont, when all the other jockeys ganged up on Smarty Jones.
One thing people not totally into horse racing would not know is that other than winning a Triple Crown, owners/trainers second choice in accomplishment would be preventing a horse from winning the Triple Crown.

The smug interview afterwards, the usual I would have liked to see it if I didn't have a horse in it, etc., that BS doesn't fool the rail birds. The owners and trainers of all of the horses who have run in these races want to see CC beat, you can take that to the bank.

Doug
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