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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo courtesy Coglianese Photos/Eleanor Gustafson

Itsmyluckyday has run two stellar races at Gulfstream Park this winter, enduring a brutal pace in the Gulfstream Park Derby, spacing the field at wide intervals, and backing that performance with Saturday’s course record (1:41.81) in the Holy Bull (G3). While there was focus on Shanghai Bobby’s first career defeat, coming at odds-on, it seems entirely plausible that he ran the best race of his life in a losing effort. 

Over fast, traditionally-sized ovals, Itsmyluckyday has recorded four of his five wins, and last weekend’s came by two lengths. In the Holy Bull, this son of Lawyer Ron covered 31 feet more than rail-placed Shanghai Bobby. Three-wide for most of the first turn and two-wide through the second turn, that added distance equates to roughly 3 ½ lengths of extra ground on top of his two-length margin of victory. Trainer Eddie Plesa suggested the Florida Derby is a likely next stop, bypassing the Fountain of Youth Stakes.

As for Shanghai Bobby, despite the fact he suffered the only blemish on his lifetime ledger, this may have been a personal top. While there have been less than 100 races at 8.5 furlongs at Gulfstream, Itsmyluckyday set the new course mark – but Shanghai Bobby eschewed the old record (1:42.35) as well, passing the line in 1:42.14, earning some of the top speed figures in his six race career. Then there was the gallop out, where he rebroke past Itsmyluckyday. All signs suggest this race was a significant improvement to his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win, which did come without Lasix. Take note of the sectional breakdown from Shanghai Bobby’s last two races.

Race

1/4

1/2

3/4

1M

FINISH

Avg MPH

Holy Bull Stakes

23.34

23.34

24.01

24.59

6.84

37.9

Breeders' Cup Juvenile

22.62

23.18

24.55

27.68

6.81

37.1


As always, we are quick to caution on comparisons between different tracks and at different times, but the notable difference certainly seems significant. Off dazzling efforts in the Hopeful and Champagne in New York, the Breeders’ Cup performance appeared to be a regression (backed, for example, by the difference in Beyer Speed Figures – an 82 from the Juvenile and a 100 from the Holy Bull second).  Our post-BC blog highlighted the dramatic speed changes of Shanghai Bobby as he idled in front, something that did not happen last week. While he is no longer unbeaten, there seems every reason to believe that this was a fairly impressive effort in defeat. 

Below are the sectional times for each horse from the Holy Bull. Take note of the far right columns, which show the average speed for each horse over the race and the final five-sixteenths clocking. Note that only three horses break 32 seconds, including 132-1 longshot Joshua’s Comprise.

Jan 26, 2013 - Race 10 - Holy Bull Stakes - Gulfstream Park - 1 1/16 Miles - Dirt

Pos

Horse

1/4

1/2

3/4

1M

FINISH

Avg MPH

Final 5/16

1st

Itsmyluckyday

23.51

23.35

23.87

24.38

6.70

38.2

31.08

2nd

Shanghai Bobby

23.34

23.34

24.01

24.59

6.84

37.9

31.43

3rd

Clearly Now

23.45

23.32

24.01

26.06

7.27

37.2

33.33

4th

Joshua's Comprise

25.31

23.38

23.86

25.11

6.52

37.2

31.63

5th

Bern Identity

23.86

23.14

24.10

26.03

7.13

37.0

33.16

6th

Frac Daddy

23.63

23.38

24.15

26.41

7.24

37.1

33.65

7th

Dewey Square

24.01

23.49

24.61

27.25

7.33

36.4

34.58

8th

Sr. Quisqueyano

24.03

23.32

25.17

28.19

7.71

36.1

35.90

9th

Tulira Castle

23.78

23.40

25.11

29.44

10.09

34.8

39.53

10th

Fredericksburg

23.75

23.87

26.34

29.50

8.57

34.8

38.07


Gomez’s Santa Anita Clinic

Garrett Gomez won back-to-back editions of the $300,000 California Breeders’ Champions Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, in presumably mirror fashion. In the sixth race, he came from last with longshot Qiaona, running down leader Unusual Way in a dramatic stretch run. 30 minutes later, he did the same with Tiz A Minister in the male edition of the race, grabbing Omega Star in the last strides. On the surface, these wins looked like carbon copy images, but a closer inspection of the sectionals yields some differences.

The track at Santa Anita was rated wet-fast after on-and-off showers all weekend. In the fillies’ edition, Unusual Way made steady progress after straightening down the backstretch and pursued the lead.  Doing so, she ran a 22.91-second second quarter, at least a fifth faster than the next fastest rival, and then managed the third-fastest third quarter in the race before tiring considerably late. That second quarter was both impressive and also Unusual Way’s likely undoing – going 1.51 seconds faster than Qiaona in that split after having been 1.24 seconds faster in the opening fraction.

Qiaona was so far back through most of the race, the pan camera shot zoomed in on the bulk of the field, leaving her out of the picture, more than 20 lengths behind. Those who backed the 23-1 shot were surely pleased to have Trakus at Santa Anita to figure out which horse it was power-housing late. Overall, Qiaona was 1.29 seconds faster in the final furlong, and 2.22 seconds in the last quarter. 

Compare Qiaona’s closing to the video of the male version a race later, and Qiaona definitely looks to have gone faster than Tiz A Minister. It was, however, just an illusion caused by Unusual Way’s dramatic slowing. Omega Star, caught by Tiz A Minister, was only 0.92 seconds slower in the final furlong, and 1.47 seconds slower in the last quarter, differentials of 0.37 and 0.75 seconds, respectively, over Unusual Way. 

The sectionals of both races are below.

Jan 26, 2013 - Santa Anita - Race 6 - CA Breeders' Champion Stakes - 1 Mile – Dirt

Pos.

Horse

1/4

1/2

3/4

7/8

FINISH

Last 1/4

1st

Qiaona

24.79

24.42

23.80

12.35

12.44

24.79

2nd

Unusual Way

23.55

22.91

24.44

13.28

13.73

27.01

3rd

Marks Mine

22.83

23.11

24.76

13.39

14.03

27.42

4th

Doinghardtimeagain

23.43

23.15

24.50

13.36

14.14

27.50

5th

Awe Golly Molly

23.92

23.32

24.82

13.27

13.68

26.95

6th

Cloudy Moon

23.81

23.26

24.96

13.37

13.79

27.16

7th

Jade With Envy

24.99

24.25

23.95

12.64

13.94

26.58

8th

Akiss Forarose

23.70

23.20

25.23

13.79

14.00

27.79

9th

Tilde

23.20

23.29

25.37

13.76

14.98

28.74

10th

Good Party

23.75

23.35

25.74

14.26

15.84

30.10

11th

Home Journey

23.00

23.28

24.82

14.72

18.27

32.99

 

Jan 26, 2013 - Santa Anita - Race 7 - CA Breeders' Champion Stakes - 1 Mile - Dirt

Pos.

Horse

1/4

1/2

3/4

7/8

FINISH

Last 1/4

1st

Tiz A Minister

25.13

23.78

23.63

11.86

12.27

24.13

2nd

Omega Star

23.63

23.11

24.59

12.41

13.19

25.60

3rd

Surfcup

23.31

23.12

24.67

12.79

13.50

26.29

4th

Alydidit

24.22

23.29

24.59

12.81

13.45

26.26

5th

Fighting Hussar

23.57

23.15

24.99

13.04

13.68

26.72

6th

China Prince

23.90

23.06

24.64

13.10

13.94

27.04

7th

Major Truth

23.39

23.06

24.85

13.16

14.22

27.38

8th

Weewinnin

23.38

23.11

25.11

13.39

14.00

27.39

9th

O Wild West Wind

24.37

23.23

25.71

14.20

14.66

28.86

10th

Lovmeister

23.73

23.54

25.86

13.74

15.64

29.38

 

So, what’s the moral of this Santa Anita sectionals story? 

First, there is little denying that Omega Star and Unusual Way ran incredibly solid races in defeat, and the quirky nature of the dirt track on Saturday might have contributed to some of the others in the field failing to handle the conditions. Overall, though, the message is that your eyes can definitely deceive you into determining who might be running faster. A visit to the Santa Anita website, or almost every Trakus-equipped track’s website, and a review of the sectional times posted within the Trakus charts can add insight that you might not otherwise have when it comes to identifying times other than those of the leader’s sectionals.

Lightning Indeed

Saturday’s Lightning City Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs was a wild one. Run at five furlongs on the turf, the first eight finishers in the field of ten were separated by a total of 1 ½ lengths.  Surely some of these grass sprinters will move on to similar events, always tough to handicap, thus our publishing of the full-field times to offer added perspective. Note second place finisher Trippin’ Along, running a final quarter in just under 22 seconds. 

Jan 26, 2013 - Tampa Bay Downs - Race 10 - Lightning City Stakes - 5F - Turf

Pos.

Horse

1/4

1/2

FINISH

Last 1/4

1st

Smarty's Emperoress

21.79

22.25

11.46

22.65

2nd

Trippin' Along

22.40

22.07

11.03

21.99

3rd

Christina d'Oro

22.01

22.22

11.29

22.37

4th

Honey Chile

21.79

22.43

11.34

22.66

5th

Madame Giry

21.50

22.42

11.69

22.97

6th

Becausei'mworthit

20.98

22.68

12.01

23.52

7th

Brinca

22.15

22.20

11.37

22.34

8th

Queen's Award

22.19

22.25

11.29

22.43

9th

Hard Truth

21.56

22.65

11.81

23.32

10th

Standing By

21.29

22.83

11.92

23.46


If a 20.98 opening quarter seems fast, remember that the run-up in races at this distance greatly impacts the split. At Tampa, the run-up is about 80 feet when the rail is down, and higher when the temporary rail goes out. Due to a limited number of entry points to put the starting gate on the course, the gate is normally in the same place for these races regardless of the rail setting.  In some cases, that gives horses a significant amount of ground to run (almost a quarter-furlong) before the timing begins – typically yielding speedier opening fractions. 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

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