Horse Racing Passion Blog
Horse Racing Passion Blog
Horse Racing Passion Blog
Twitter

Kudos and high honors to “American Pharoah” for conquering the unbelievable task of becoming the 12th Triple Crown Champion !

 

CrowningGloryLongformTrophyOnly298-440x270

For all of you that have follow my blog, you all know that I was against AP in all three races of the TC, I wanted to write this post with a really cold mind and post Belmont euphoria, because I truly believe in two things.

One, I really think that besides de Derby, he got in some way lucky, first the rain depleted the competition in the Preakness and in the Belmont is almost unbelievable that he got away with such soft fractions 24, 48, 73 2/5 I bet not even Bob Baffert could believe was happening, horses like Materiality that according to Todd Pletcher himself said that would make sure that the race had an honest pace, he never showed up, he sat behind AP and never pressured at any point, I believe Victor Espinoza never in his wildest dreams imagined that something like that could have even happened, but it did and gave AP a dream trip, a soft an easy pace that nobody in his right mind would have ever imagined.

Having said that, the second thing I truly believe in is that no matter how it happened, winning the Triple Crown is such an inconceivable feat to achieve, that deserves the highest recognition and is a moment in history that will always be remembered with unsurpassable joy.

My all time idol is Secretariat, but I was only 5 years old when he won the TC and 10 when Affirmed won his, I was not a fan of the sport I lived in Venezuela and at the time the instantaneity of the news did not exist, internet as we know it today did not exist, so it was many years later when watching the replays when I got to appreciate the greatness of those two champions and the greatness of all the great champions of all times.

So even though I always thought that AP was vulnerable coming into the Belmont Stakes, in my horse racing passionate for the sport heart, I was rooting for him to win so I could finally witness in full consciousness that almost unbelievable feat being conquered, and that is an emotion that will stay with me forever, watching American Pharoah pulling away in the stretch and becoming, after 37 years of a very painful drought, the 12th Triple Crown Champion !

For a brief moment Horse Racing reunited America and horse racing fans from all over the world, the moment when American Pharoah entered the stretch, he was not alone, he had millions of people riding him to immortality, and it was in that particular and magical moment, that from the horse racing heaven, Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, all looked down and gave the warmest and joyous welcome to the new and now only living member of the very elite and most prestigious Triple Crown Champion Club, American Pharoah.-

 

aP

Here’s the historic video of that magical afternoon at Belmont Park, the day that the fans could not stop cheering and screaming ! Kudos, high honors and long live the reigning Pharoah !

Who will win the #BelmontStakes and most important, why AP will likely not !

preakness rain

A very wicked electrical storm depleted American Pharoah’s field in the Preakness, AP was not the only rival that blew away the other 7 contenders on Preakness day, an almost supernatural storm that struck Pimlico just before the horses hit the track and ended just after the gates opened was in my opinion decisive for the final outcome of the race, and without it, I’m not so sure that AP would have gone to win the race the way he did, horses like Fire Line and Dortmund would have ran much better races and did not move a bit on the off track.

I know AP has proven to be a very good colt, but I can’t stop asking myself the question of what would the outcome have been if it didn’t rained that day?, no one could answer that with certainty, but with certainty Firing Line would not have finished last after a skidding in the mud when the bell rang, probably Dortmund would have ran a better race too, who knows.

Having said that, I believe that AP is very vulnerable coming into this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, and if we have a dry track like we probably will, in my opinion, it will be very unlikely for him to win and here is why.

AP won the Derby after being whipped more than 30 times!, fuuuuuully extended and just barely passed Firing Line at the final half furlong, then in the Preakness the rain did most of the damage depleting the whole field, reason why  I will toss that victory, because it’s not fair to judge it due to the fact that the horses that really posed a big threat to him, could not run on an off track at all.

Saturday he will face very tough and fresh competitors, Materiality has stamina to run all day long and do so very fast too, if he repeats his Florida Derby run, he may very well give the race a very honest pace and wear down AP, also his Derby run was one of the best races in defeat, this horse can really run and can very well cross the finish line in first place I’m very glad that he skipped the Preakness and he can’t be better prepared for saturday’s Belmont by one of the best trainers in the history of this race Mr.Todd Pletcher.

We also have a remarkable group of horses that are very able of coming from off the pace, like Mubtaahij, the winner of the UAE Derby he`s much more better prepared to run this this time, has settle super well in the USA, ran a Kentucky Derby with many obstacles to overcome, the long trip, the groom not coming, the food mix prohibited, and he was banged up during the beginning of the race and even with all those obstacles, he managed to finish only 9 lengths from AP, on Saturday the pace will favor him and he will not run into any traffic, the son of Dubawi is built to run all day and trainer Mike de Kock did not leave him in the USA for nothing, he stayed to redeem himself and all his wonderful crew too. Frosted is another very tough contender trainer Kiaran McLaughlin transformed this horse after the minor throat procedure and adding blinkers, he has this horse more than ready to kill, you can see his hidden smile in every interview he gives, the horse could not be fitter and could not be better trained for the race, he could very well be the spoiler Saturday afternoon.

My 2015 Belmont Stakes picks are :

FROSTED

frosted

 

MUBTAAHIJ

MubtaahijUAEDerby2015DRC_AW298

MATERIALITY

Materiality

Why will Firing Line win this Saturday the 2015 Preakness Stakes … #Preakness #PreaknessStakes #Preakness2015 #Pimlico

Firing Line

Firing Line

To keep it simple, drew the absolute best post position in the field, will benefit from the battle of the Baffert trainees plus a little help from Mr.Z this time, he will run 4 to 8 lengths from lead on Saturday and on the turn if he makes the lead change this time, they won’t see him coming and he will crush the field of the Preakness with authority.

 

Dortmund

dortmund

Breaks from post No.2, he will get his revenge from American Pharoah, the racing gods might be watching over Baffert and have Dortmund break strongly to the inside after the gate opens, karma always awaits it’s revenge, and Shared Belief will be watching comfortably from his stable this time around, who knows that could happen right? or maybe not, what’s true though is, that he breaks a little better that his stable mate at post No.2, and if AP literally “blinks” Dortmund will have the advantage positioning himself in an uncompromised trip. Better physically this time around, he will not be beat by American Pharoah this Saturday.

American Pharoah

American Pharoah

He won after being whipped more than 27 times !, fuuuully extended and barely passed Firing Line at the final half furlong, he will pay for that effort on Saturday. Above that, he breaks from post 1, the slightest mistake and he will be in deep waters and to avoid deep waters he will have to put a little extra to get out of the hole quick and could pay for that effort later. In the Derby was the first time that he was truly asked and two weeks is no time for true recovery after the Derby effort, if he does win, it will be mind blowing, but it will be very unlikely in my opinion.

From this final 4 horses, the @KyDerby @KentuckyDerby winner will emerge @Mubtaahij

1Mubtaahij

MubtaahijUAEDerby2015DRC_AW298

Many have underestimated him for many reasons, he’s traveled half way around the world to get here, his original food mixture could not be flown in due to FDA regulations, and finally the most talked about argument is his “apparent slow fractions and final times” in his races in Dubai and most recent race, winning the UAE Derby, he was giving a 97 Beyer figure, BUT here lies the rub. Meydan’s fractions and those posted at tracks in the United States are not measured equally. In North America, the teletimer does not automatically begin once the horses break from the gate. There is a run-up to the start of the clock. At Meydan, the time begins when the gate opens. If calculated correctly, he would have a Beyer figure way up in the hundreds and that’s a whole different picture !, also if he repeats that moooooonster turn of foot he showed in the UAE Derby, he will be without any doubt in my mind, the winner of the 141 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Mike de Kock, has run 6 times in the USA in 5 Graded I Stakes and 1 Grade III, he has won twice (although “The Apache” was placed second after an objection in the G1 Arlington Million in 2013) trainer Kock’s worst performance in the USA was a single third place. Now that’s a stat to respect.

 

2American Pharoah

American Pharoah

Freaky good, almost scary the way he could go fast and finish even faster with seemingly no effort at all, but he’s never been tested on the lead with a lot pressure behind him and although he can rate, he shouldn’t, his only logical place in the race, will be in the lead, he will be as vulnerable as Bodemeister was, he’s chance will depend on how slow he can lead the field in the first 6 furlongs. Great champion without any doubt, but in my opinion, vulnerable for the first time. One little stat that might mean nothing this time, but it’s there, Bob Baffert is 0-6 with Kentucky Derby favorites.

 

3Firing Line

Firing Line

He’s peaking at the right time, his easy record breaking performance in the Sunland Derby, his style of running, and the speed that should develop in the race, gives him in my opinion the edge over his nemesis “Dortmund”, some might say that he’s already lost to him in the past, but today, is not yesterday, and if the race develops as it should be, a fast pace race, this horse will not be beat by “Dortmund” at Derby day.

 

4Frosted

frosted

After champion trainer Kiaran McLaughlin made the right corrections to the horse, having a minor throat surgery performed to make sure the colt wasn’t flipping his palate, added blinkers, and subtracted one jockey, switching from Irad Ortiz to Joel Rosario, this colt just exploded in the Wood Memorial, he came from off the pace and past everyone so easily that he seems to have transformed himself. Giving the fast pace that should develop during the race, his racing style fits perfectly to be one of the fastest running in the final furlong.

 

NOTE: And for those of you, that keep asking me about Dortmund, I just didn’t like the way I saw him being “all out” beat nobody in the Santa Anita Derby. He is special, but I’m convinced that he does not have what it takes to win the Derby.

In a Kentucky Derby Galaxy, now not so far away…..My Top 3 #kyderby @mubtaahij

1Mubtaahij

MubtaahijUAEDerby2015DRC_AW298

 

We can start an endless discussion regarding the field he beat in Dubai, some may say it was an honest field, some may say that it wasn’t, but regardless if it was arguable tough or not, if he repeats that moooooonster turn of foot he showed in the UAE Derby, he will be without any doubt in my mind, the winner of the 141 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Mike de Kock, has run 6 times in the USA in 5 Graded I Stakes and 1 Grade III, he has won twice (although “The Apache” was placed second after an objection in the G1 Arlington Million in 2013) trainer Kock’s worst performance in the USA was a single third place. Now that’s a stat to respect.

 

2American Pharoah

American Pharoah

Freaky good, almost scary the way he could go fast and finish even faster with seemingly no effort at all, but he’s never been tested on the lead with a lot pressure behind him and although he can rate, he shouldn’t, his only logical place in the race, will be in the lead, he will be as vulnerable as Bodemeister was, he’s chance will depend on how slow he can lead the field in the first 6 furlongs. Great champion without any doubt, but in my opinion, vulnerable for the first time. One little stat that might mean nothing this time, but it’s there, Bob Baffert is 0-6 with Kentucky Derby favorites.

3Firing Line

Firing Line

He’s peaking at the right time, his easy record breaking performance in the Sunland Derby, his style of running, and the speed that should develop in the race, gives him in my opinion the edge over his nemesis “Dortmund”, some might say that he’s already lost to him in the past, but today, is not yesterday, and if the race develops as it should be, a fast pace race, this horse will not be beat by “Dortmund” at Derby day.

Trainer Mike de Kock on Champion ” Mubtaahij “

Mubtaahij the X Factor in Kentucky Derby
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins

Mubtaahij

“A variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome…a noteworthy special talent or quality… an indescribable quality; something about a person that you cannot put your finger on.”

Those are all definitions of the term “X factor,” and they all could describe Mubtaahij in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) run May 2.

Perhaps the most relevant of those definitions in describingMubtaahij and his chances at Churchill Downs is the last…”something that you cannot put your finger on.”

Yes, he could have a “significant impact on the outcome,” and, yes, he definitely could be “a special talent,” But if only we could put our finger on just how talented he is and where he fits with a group of Derby horses people are calling the deepest and most gifted in many years.

Americans, both fans and horsemen, seem to be pretty much split down the middle on whether we have a potential superstar on our hands who has a big shot to knock off this year’s illustrious group of 3-year-olds or whether he simply has been beating up on a slow bunch of horses at Meydan and will not be able to match the speed of the Americans, while competing in unfamiliar surroundings in a 20-horse field with a French jockey on his back.

And that is why no one can really put their finger on how he is going to perform in the Derby. And that is what makes him so intriguing.

The son of Dubawi currently is stabled at Arlington Park and had his first three-furlong blowout over the Polytrack surface this morning, April 21.

Just look at some of the intangibles we are dealing with:

* He will be the only horse in the Derby racing without Lasix.

* In Dubai, he resided in an outdoor barn to get fresh air because he had been prone to lung infections as a young horse, but appears to have grown out of it and has been fine this year. But trainer Mike de Kock said one can never sure and has continued to stable him outdoors just in case.

* He trains without shoes and will not be shod until race day.

* He is the only horse other than 1971 winner Canonero II to come into the Derby having already raced twice at a distance farther than 1 1/8 miles, winning the last two legs of the United Arab Emirates Triple Crown (the Al Bastakiya and grade II UAE Derby), both at 1 3/16 miles.

* He has already competed in a Triple Crown series and has twice defeated a Triple Crown winner, the Southern Hemisphere-bred 4-year-old Sir Fever, winner of the Uruguayan Triple Crown.

* When he broke his maiden on the dirt at Meydan as a 2-year-old, he defeated 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds, something unheard of in this country.

* Unlike the majority of the American horses, he has raced five times in the past four months, and keeps improving.

* In the UAE Derby, Mubtaahij displayed a spectacular turn of foot and burst clear of his opponents, winning by eight lengths, with jockey Christophe Soumillon looking back twice in the final furlong. In winning the UAE Derby, he defeated horses from England, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, U.S., and Dubai.

In summation, we have an Irish-bred horse, owned by an Arab sheikh (Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum), trained by a South African, and ridden by a Belgian. And you’re surprised you can’t put your finger on this horse?

One thing you can depend on, a lot of people will be putting their finger on his number when they punch out their tickets, either at the track or on their computers. And many will be doing so because of that intangible called the unknown.

And that unknown also includes how the colt will perform without his regular (and special) feed that is not registered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be permitted in the U.S.

“I think that’s the most significant thing with all the traveling,” de Kock said on a national teleconference April 21. “It’s something that’s out of our control, and I understand where they’re coming from. But no trainer would like to change a regular diet going into any sort of event. The diet I’ve changed to is something I do know a little bit about and have used before. But the fact is, it’s not what he’s used to regularly. How much bearing that would have on his performance, quite frankly, I’m not that sure. But from a trainer’s psyche it’s not ideal, let’s put it that way.”

As for the decision not to use Lasix, de Kock said. “It’s purely about bleeding. As I understand things, Lasix is there to assist known bleeders and there has not even been a suspicion of this horse ever bleeding. I’m not sure what he’ll do if given Lasix, and because he’s never bled, I’m not prepared to gamble on his performance being altered with Lasix.”

In discussing his decision to use Christophe Soumillon instead of looking for an American jockey, de Kock said, “I believe he will have a game plan in his mind and I don’t like to interfere too much with jockeys because I don’t want to hold them to any tactics. I believe if one employs a jockey, you can sit down and have a game plan, but there’s no race ever run on paper. So you have to really have faith in your man, and if the game plan changes in the first 400 meters (quarter mile) of the race, well, so be it. One just has to accept that. The reason why I have Christophe Soumillon riding the horse is because I trust the man, I think he’s a very good jockey, and I’m going to live by the decision he makes.”

What makes this story all the more fascinating is that Mubtaahij’s career on dirt nearly never happened, and most likely only did because he was such a disappointment in his first two starts on grass at Newmarket and de Kock had no idea what to do with him.

“He was showing us a fair bit at home, so we were quite disappointed with his first two starts in England,” de Kock said. “I think he was kind of immature and just wanted a little bit of time. In fact, there was a great debate amongst us whether to take him to Dubai or not. We almost left him in England just to do the winter there, and then I thought, ‘What the hell, let’s get him to Dubai, get a bit of sun on his back, and see what he does.

“When he got to Dubai he just seemed to mature and enjoy himself, so we thought let’s have a crack at a maiden race (on dirt) and he goes and wins that and just keeps improving. So it all happened by chance and we’ll just accept the result as it is.”

De Kock said he is confident Mubtaahij can handle all that is being asked of him because of his temperament.

“With his demeanor and the fact that he’s an easy horse to travel and won so well in the UAE Derby, it gave confidence to take a crack at it,” De Kock said. “But I probably picked the worst year when it comes to the opposition, but at the end of the day you never know. It’s a sporting event and there are never any guarantees.”

Some people in America also are skeptical about a horse traveling this far and being able to win a grueling race like the Kentucky Derby. But to de Kock, this is old hat.

“In South Africa, we train in Johannesburg and we race in Cape Town, which would roughly be 18 to 20 hours by van, and it’s something we do very regularly during the Cape Town season. I’ll do it multiple times and the horses win group I races regularly. I’ve shipped to Hong Kong to win multiple group I races there, which is about 12 hours door to door. It’s not something that’s actually foreign to us. I’ve put horses on a van for eight hours and race the next day and have been successful.

“I think the key to transporting horses is, a) the horse has got an appetite, and b) the horse has got to take in fluids. If you can get the balance of the two right, you’ve got half the battle won,” de Kock said. “An 18-hour or even 24-hour journey to a destination to race is something that does not put us off.”

As for Mubtaahij as a traveler, de Kock said the trip to Arlington Park was about 24 hours door to door (with a stopover in Amsterdam), and when the colt arrived he just didn’t look quite the same as when he left Dubai, according to assistant trainer Trevor Brown.

“Trevor just felt that he looked a little bit tucked up, so I decided not to travel him down to the (Skylight) Training Center near Louisville as originally planned. Why put him on a van two or three days later and another eight hours shipping. Let’s just stay in Chicago and let him recover and get used to his surroundings. We’re very comfortable with that track and we’ve raced very successfully at Arlington.

“So we switched plan in midstride and I think we did the right thing, because within two or three days the horse was just bursting out of his skin and he hasn’t stopped eating and drinking, and whatever weight he lost he put back on really quickly. As horsemen, we have to be flexible when it comes to these kinds of things. I think the horses talk to us.”

In looking at the Derby and how Mubtaahij’s running style would fit the likely pace scenario, de Kock said, “Given the little I know about the horses that are in there, the emphasis in America does seem to be on speed, and he’s a horse who can relax fairly well off a hot pace and has a big kick and will be doing his best running toward the end. Certainly I’m not there to match the American horses for speed; I don’t think we have that ability. But I do know we have the ability to get the 10 furlongs and we have the ability to come home strong the last three or four furlongs.”

De Kock feels Mubtaahij has all the attributes to handle anything that is thrown at him in the course of the race.

“I think he needs the speed to be on and he’s a horse who has courage enough to deal with the kickback, although I probably wouldn’t want him down on the rail. We might just want to give ourselves the easiest passage sitting a little off the gallop, maybe a little wide away from all the trouble. In Dubai there was a fair amount of kickback and I think if he can deal with that, he can deal with most dirt tracks. He’s got a lot of courage and a real competitive spirit and can deal with adversity. He never lays down in a race and I never work him in company because he’s so competitive.”

De Kock, however, admits the UAE Derby set up perfectly for Mubtaahij because of the hot pace.

“They went a little too quick early on with four horses taking each other on at a suicidal pace,” de Kock said. “It was a little crazy up front and that’s why his acceleration possibly could be a little flattering. The two Japanese horses really took each other on and he was able to relax behind them and get the perfect trip. He does have acceleration, though, and he does get the 10 furlongs and runs hard to the (finish) line.

“He has the ability to sit off a lot of speed and accelerate off that, and that’s probably in his favor. However, in America I think we’re taking on a different animal in that they can lay the speed down and keep going. So, we have to accelerate; we can’t wait for them to come back to us.”

Even coming from South Africa, de Kock not only appreciates what the Kentucky Derby stands for and the prestige it holds around the world, it is a race in which he has always dreamed of competing.

“It doesn’t matter what country you come from, they Kentucky Derby has proven it’s the greatest, and if it isn’t, you tell me which one is. To be part of that is something very special to us. We’re not going with a 100-1 shot, and it would be fantastic if he ran well. It is mind-boggling to think about it and I don’t believe it will all settle in until we’re actually there and see the real scenario and all the spirit around it all.

The name Mubtaahij translates to “elated,” which is most appropriate, considering what de Kock feels having a horse like this and being able to embark on such a special journey.

“I don’t think I’ll be disappointed and I hope to gain everything out of it that I expect,” he said. “It’s something that has been an ambition and a dream since I was a very young man in this industry, and I’m really honored and privileged to realize that dream.”

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/91418/mubtaahij-the-x-factor-in-kentucky-derby#ixzz3XzQjUKau

In a Kentucky Derby Galaxy, still far far away….. my current Top 3

1Mubtaahij

We can start an endless discussion regarding the field he beat in Dubai, some may say it was an honest field, some may say that it wasn’t, but regardless if it was arguable tough or not, if he repeats that moooooonster turn of foot he showed in the UAE Derby, he will be without any doubt in my mind, the winner of the 141 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Mike de Kock, has run 6 times in the USA in 5 Graded I Stakes and 1 Grade III, he has won twice (although “The Apache” was placed second after an objection in the G1 Arlington Million in 2013) trainer Kock’s worst performance in the USA was a single third place.
Now that’s a stat to respect.

2Firing Line

He’s peaking at the right time, his easy record breaking performance in the Sunland Derby, his style of running, and the speed that should develop in the race, gives him in my opinion the edge over his nemesis “Dortmund”, some might say that he’s already lost to him in the past, but today, is not yesterday, and if the race develops as it should be, a fast pace race, this horse will not be beat by “Dortmund” at Derby day.

3American Pharoah

Freaky good, almost scary the way he could go fast and finish even faster with seemingly no effort at all, but he’s never been tested on the lead with a lot pressure behind him and although he can rate, he shouldn’t, his only logical place in the race, will be in the lead, he will be as vulnerable as Bodemeister was, he’s chance will depend on how slow he can lead the field in the first 6 furlongs. Great champion without any doubt, but in my opinion, vulnerable for the first time. One little stat that might mean nothing this time, but it’s there, Bob Baffert is 0-6 with Kentucky Derby favorites.

Entendiendo los diferentes niveles de competencia en las carreras de caballos

“Maiden” o “Debutantes  y/o  No Ganadores”


Se sub dividen en varias categorías, siendo la mas fuerte:
* “Maiden Special Weight” o “Inaugurales de Peso Especial”, aquí los ejemplares no pueden ser comprados por terceros y mientras mas alto sea el premio, mejor es el lote.
* “Maiden Claiming”o “Inaugurales de Reclamo”, aquí los ejemplares pueden ser comprados o reclamados, antes de la carrera por un tercero con licencia de propietario del estado correspondiente, una vez mas, mientras mas alto sea el valor del reclamo, mejor es el lote.
* “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.

“Claiming” o “Reclamos” (Categoría de compra y venta)

* “Claiming”, aquí todos los caballos inscritos, están a la venta y podrían ser comprados por terceros con licencia de propietario del estado correspondiente, mientras mas alto sea el monto del reclamo, mejor es el lote.
* “Opcional Claiming” o “Reclamo Opcional”, aquí el propietario del ejemplar participante en la carrera, decide si pone o no, en venta al ejemplar, son carreras de un mayor nivel y una vez mas, mientras mas alto sea monto de la carrera, mejor será el lote.
* “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.

“Allowances” o “Condicionales” y “Handicaps” (Aquí nadie esta a la venta)

* “Handicaps” o “Especiales”, aquí los pesos de los ejemplares, se distribuyen de manera que los ejemplares con mayor oportunidad de ganar, lleven mas kilos, que los que en teoría, tienen menos chance de salir ganando.
* “Allowance”, condicional especial, mientras mas alto sea el premio, mejor será el lote.
* “Starter Allowance”, para caballos que hayan corrido en carreras de reclamo y viene en ascenso.
* “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.

“Stakes” o “Clásicos”

Aquí compiten los mejores, se sub dividen en grados, Grado 3 siendo el menos fuerte de los tres grados, Grado 2 y el mas alto de todos, Grado 1.

Como en todas las categorías, también existen, “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.

RS

Understanding the Different Levels of Competition at the Racetrack

Maiden races: Where it all begins


Each year, more than 35,000 Thoroughbred racehorses are foaled (born). Every foal starts out with the hope that he or she may become a future champion. The reality, however, is that some racehorses are destined for a much brighter future than other racehorses, due to pedigree and training. Every young horse does have one thing in common, though: They all begin as maidens, meaning they’ve never won a race.

Logically enough, races for maidens are called maiden races. Within the maiden ranks are different class levels:

Maiden claiming races: In maiden claiming races, the horses are eligible to be claimed (purchased) out of the race by other horsemen. Horses beginning their careers in maiden claiming races have failed to show their connections (owner and trainer) enough talent during training, so they begin their career with a lower level price tag.
Maiden special weight races: These races are the highest level of the various maiden races. Horses entered in maiden special weight races are protected in that another horseman can’t claim them out of a race. Maiden special weight races come in many conditions based upon age, sex, surface, and distance. A trainer should be able to find the right spot for his maiden to win — whether it’s in a sprint or route race, dirt or turf race, and so on.
The owner and trainer prefer that their horse breaks its maiden (wins for the first time) in a maiden special weight. Doing so proves the horse has some quality and may develop into a nice runner. If a horse struggles to graduate (win its first race) in a maiden special weight race, it’s dropped down in class into maiden claiming races.

One thing to remember as a budding handicapper is not to give up on young horses too soon. To catch long shot priced horses, you need to be a forgiving handicapper and forgive a bad race or two. Horses throw in clunker races now and then — especially maidens. To catch good mutuel prices, you need to forgive those bad races and project when the horse will run its best.

Horses run in maiden races to create a larger pool of winners for the next condition. After a horse breaks its maiden, it moves one step up the ladder towards the top of the pyramid to face winners that have broken their maiden and a whole new set of race conditions. Depending on the horse’s abilities, it either moves on to claiming races or non-selling races.

Claiming races: Where every horse is for sale


The meat and potato races in horse racing are called claiming races. Every horse entered in a claiming race is eligible to be claimed, meaning bought out of the race. All you need is an owner’s license in that state and money on deposit in a horseman’s account. Presto — you can claim a racehorse.

Common sense rules in claiming races, so the competition remains fairly equal. For example, if you own a horse worth $30,000, and your trainer enters it into a claiming race for $10,000, chances are you’ll win the race and have the horse claimed from you. The winning purse amount won’t be enough to make up the difference of the value of the horse you just lost. In essence, you sold a $30,000 horse to another trainer for $10,000. Make enough negative cash flow transactions, and you’ll soon be out of the horse-owning business.

Some of the best races to handicap could be called hard knocking veteran claimers. These are older claiming horses that keep running every few weeks. Usually, there are full fields to handicap because the class level is populated with a lot of horses. Depending on the price scale at the racetracks near you, it may be a $35,000 claimer in Southern California and New York, a $20,000 claimer in Kentucky and Florida, or a $10,000 claimer at Philadelphia Park and Mountaineer. This class level is around the median for those racetracks. You’ll see a lot of geldings that run every few weeks and grind out purses for their owner and trainer.

You see a certain amount of gamesmanship among the owners and trainers in the claiming game. Claiming a bad-legged racehorse is like buying a lemon of a used car. You need to kick the tires a few times and check under the hood before you buy or bet. Most horses usually run to their true worth. Improving horses move up the claiming ladder, and those horses that don’t show improvement drop in class.

Non-selling races: Another step up the ladder


If a horse that broke its maiden shows real promise, the preference is to skip the claiming races and move forward into non-selling races — races where the entrants can’t be claimed. After all, the owner and trainer have a lot invested in each horse and want to protect that investment. Successful claiming horses can also move up to this level if their trainers and owners think they have a shot in this new category. The three categories of non-selling races are:allowance”, “optional claiming”, and “starter allowance” — allowance being the highest level within this category and starter allowance being the lowest.

Stakes and handicap races: The top of the pyramid


At the top of the horse pyramid are the best runners on the grounds — the stakes horses and handicap horses. These horses have gone up the ladder, breaking their maiden and winning through their allowance conditions, and now they’re tackling the best horses at the racetrack. They also face invaders who ship in from other racetracks to try and steal a rich purse.

These are the kind of horses and races you see at the racetrack or OTB and on television in the feature races on weekends and holidays. The racing secretary cards overnight stakes, restricted stakes, non-graded stakes, and stakes graded 3, 2, and 1. These stakes horses are the crème de la crème, the kind you’re willing to spend good money to see run.

Here are explanations and examples of each category of stakes race:

Grade 1 stakes: These stakes exemplify the very best races in the country. For example, the Triple Crown races — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes — are grade 1 stakes. In races of this caliber, you expect to see champion racehorses competing against the very best in their respective divisions. The richest purses tend to be grade 1 stakes, because the best horses follow the money.
Grade 2 stakes: These stakes are considered a cut below grade 1, but they attract a very talented group of horses. A stakes race can move up or down in grade depending on the caliber of horse that runs in it. For example, if a grade 2 stakes has horses in it that normally run in a grade 1 stakes, the race may be upgraded the following year to grade 1 status.
Grade 3 stakes: Another level down from grade 1 and grade 2 stakes, these stakes have a noticeably smaller purse because they attract a lesser caliber of stakes horse. Still, the competition is keen, and the field sizes can be large because the race draws starters from a bigger pool of horses. There are more grade 3 caliber stakes horses than grade 1 caliber horses.
Non-graded stakes: The vast majority of stakes races don’t have grades 1, 2, or 3. However, that doesn’t mean the horses aren’t any good. Quite the contrary. At a major racetrack, a non-graded stakes may be a stepping stone race to a graded stakes. At a smaller racetrack, a non-graded stakes can attract the best horses on the grounds. Any stakes race at any track attracts a very good caliber of racehorse.
Restricted stakes: These stakes are written for horses born in a specific state. For example, there are programs for horses born specifically in California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, to name a few. So, for example, in a California-bred stakes race, only horses born in California can compete.
Overnight stakes: These stakes are written with three days advance notice. In a way, these are high-level glorified allowance races. They carry a higher purse than allowance races. For most stakes races, a horse has to be nominated (pay a fee to become eligible) a month or two before the date it’s scheduled to run. This nomination process allows horsemen to point for a race and the marketing and publicity departments at the racetrack to promote the race.
The top stakes are awarded a grading of 1, 2, and 3 to let everybody know what the most important races are. Every racing office has a person called a stakes coordinator assigned to recruit horses for these stakes. It’s a matter of pride for racetracks to card a big stakes race and have the best horses in their region, and for that matter in the country, participate.

SECRETARIAT awarded Preakness record at 1:53 after review !!! Justice was Served for the greatest of all times, the mighty “Big Red” !!!

Penny Chenery (center), Secretariat’s owner, at the hearing Tuesday when his time for the 1973 Preakness Stakes was recognized as 1:53.

The Maryland Racing Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to change the official time of the 1973 Preakness Stakes won by Secretariat from 1:54 2/5 to 1:53, a time that will give the two-time Horse of the Year the record in all three of the Triple Crown races.

The commission approved the change after two hours of testimony at a meeting at Laurel Park, the sister track of Pimlico Race Course, where the Preakness is held. Penny Chenery, the late horse’s owner, requested the hearing on the basis of analyses conducted by companies she had hired to review the videotapes of the race.

The vote resolves a controversy that has dogged the race since Secretariat crossed the Preakness finish line more than 39 years ago. The official electronic teletimer clocked the race in 1:55, one second slower than Canonero II’s record for the race at the time, but that time was revised after a review of the film determined that the timer had malfunctioned. Two timers employed by Daily Racing Form had hand-timed the race in 1:53 2/5, three-fifths of a second faster than Canonero II.

DRF , which had officially recognized the 1:53 2/5 mark for the race since it was run, will now recognize the 1:53 mark established by the commission. In addition, Mike Gathagan, a spokesman for Pimlico’s operator, said that the track would adopt the new time as the official mark for the 1973 Preakness.

Since Secretariat won the 1973 Preakness, three horses – Tank’s Prospect in 1985, Louis Quatorze in 1996, and Curlin in 2007 – have run the race in the 1:53 2/5 mark previously recognized by the DRF . Secretariat will now be the sole Preakness record holder, although the record for the 1 3/16-mile distance at Pimlico will remain in the sole hands of Farma Way, who won the 1991 Pimlico Special in time of 1:52 2/5.

Prior to the hearing, representatives of Chenery had said that they had hired three separate companies to perform “forensic analyses” of the videotape of the race. According to the representatives, the companies had established a time for the race within an accuracy of 0.03 of a second, but the representatives at that time declined to provide a specific time they would seek to establish during the review.

Leonard Lusky, one of Chenery’s representatives, said after the hearing that they were “very pleased” with the ruling.

“We had five analysts look at the video, and all five said that it was 1:53 flat,” Lusky said. “We are cautiously optimistic [the new mark will be recognized]. We definitely felt fortunate that everyone was saying the same thing.”

The record breaking race for the ages !!!!!