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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Catch your breath from Super Saturday? It sure was a busy day at Trakus and with the Breeders’ Cup looming, let’s dive into the most compelling data from the wild day of racing across America.

Jockey Club Gold Cup

Ron the Greek obliterated the competition in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, winning by almost seven lengths. He also covered the equivalent of almost three lengths less than the next most ground-saving horse in the race – a fairly significant point which must be addressed.

The starting gate placement in 1 ¼-mile starts at Belmont is the most unique for a major North American dirt race. Placed against the outside rail at the base of the first turn, almost every horse bar the inside drawn runner is going to cover some extra ground, immediately after the break. Outside draws are far from fatal, though. Saint Liam won the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Belmont drawn in gate 13, for example.

Still, last Saturday, Ron the Greek’s trip was ridiculously advantageous. Take note of the data below, with the number of feet each horse traveled, their final quarter-mile times, the official margin of defeat, and the Trakus-adjusted margin (TAM). To determine the TAM, you convert the extra feet traveled to lengths and subtract the actual margin from that figure.

Belmont - Jockey Club Gold Cup

Finish

Horse

Feet    Traveled

Fin 1/4

Margin

TAM

1st

Ron the Greek

6676

24.55

(6.75)

-

2nd

Palace Malice

67

25.69

6.75

-1.1

3rd

Flat Out

56

25.63

8.5

1.9

4th

Vitoria Olimpica

25

25.85

9.5

6.6

5th

Last Gunfighter

37

25.63

10.25

5.9

6th

Alpha

28

26.78

13.25

10.0

7th

Cross Traffic

53

26.46

16.75

10.5

8th

Orb

48

27.33

22.25

16.6

 

Palace Malice covered 67 feet more than Ron the Greek, wide on both turns. 67 feet converted to lengths equates to roughly 7.8 lengths, and remembering that the winning margin was just 6 ¾ lengths, the TAM suggests Palace Malice may have been about a length better than Ron the Greek factoring the trip. Granted, there is no doubting Ron the Greek was much the best in victory, but the winner of the Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy ran a superb race and should not be discounted with a better trip if he goes on to Santa Anita.

Awesome…Again

While the Awesome Again Stakes might be named for the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, there should be little doubt the name was befitting the man who rode the winner in this year’s event –  Gary Stevens. Sure, he’s already enshrined as a Hall of Fame jockey, a winner of multiple Kentucky Derbies, Breeders’ Cup races, and Dubai World Cup events. Stevens is awesome, again, and his weekend of rides at Santa Anita exhibited a little bit of everything from his arsenal.

Mucho Macho Man was a much-the-best winner of the Awesome Again, and actually covered the most ground under a patient Stevens. Despite the extra ground covered, Mucho Macho Man still ran the last quarter of the Awesome Again almost two-fifths of a second faster than the next-fastest in the race. Second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, and with a now proven affinity for the California life, Mucho Macho Man is a very legitimate threat in the big race once again. Note the race data below.

Santa Anita - Awesome Again Stakes

Finish

Horse

Feet    Traveled

Fin 1/4

1st

Mucho Macho Man

6045

24.58

2nd

Paynter

-20

24.96

3rd

Soi Phet

-19

25.51

4th

Golden Ticket

-47

25.77

5th

Chief Havoc

-32

26.34

6th

Liaison

-8

25.74

7th

Summer Hit

-54

26.55

8th

You Know I Know

-22

25.62

9th

Jeranimo

-57

24.90

10th

Take Control

-41

26.60


In his 2012 Classic duel with Fort Larned, Mucho Macho Man covered 25 feet more than Fort Larned, which equates to roughly three lengths of extra ground. He was beaten just a half-length.

Before his Awesome Again win, Stevens managed a Zenyatta Stakes win on Beholder, covering the shortest trip when given an easy lead, and almost did it in two other Grade 1 races – running second in the Chandelier with She’s A Tiger and the Rodeo Drive with Marketing Mix. The fillies in the Chandelier finished a tenth of a second faster than the boys in the FrontRunner. Stevens stalked and then led with the speedy Jeff Bonde trainee She’s A Tiger, just captured by Secret Compass in the final strides. Take note of the comparison of the two races for juveniles, which will surely have some impact on their Breeders’ Cup equivalents in November.

Santa Anita - Comparing 2YO G1s

Finish

Horse

Fin 1/4

Fin 1/8

Chandelier Stakes

1st

Secret Compass

27.90

14.22

2nd

She's A Tiger

28.05

14.42

3rd

Fascinating

27.15

13.73

FrontRunner Stakes

1st

Bond Holder

26.17

13.13

2nd

Dance With Fate

27.12

13.91

3rd

Tamarando

26.43

13.33

4th

Can The Man

27.67

14.28

5th

Flat Gone

26.86

13.53


While the final sectionals for the Chandelier were significantly slower than the FrontRunner, the Chandelier was significantly faster in the middle portion of the race, with She’s A Tiger guiding the field through an internal half-mile (the second and third quarter-mile splits) that was 1.71 seconds faster than the FrontRunner.

Turf-tastic

The ladies tuned up for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf with a run in the Rodeo Drive Stakes, and it was fast finishers all around after a rather ordinary early pace. Tiz Flirtatious edged Marketing Mix and early pacesetter Vionnet to land the spoils, coming home with a final furlong in 10.96 seconds. Overall, her last half-mile was a blistering 45.51 seconds, made possible given the slow early fractions. It’s worth noting that fifth-placer Lady of Shamrock ran the second fastest final quarter in the race.

Santa Anita - Rodeo Drive Stakes

Finish

Horse

Fin 1/4

Fin 1/8

1st

Tiz Flirtatious

22.13

10.96

2nd

Marketing Mix

22.48

11.13

3rd

Vionnet

22.71

11.42

4th

Starstruck

22.85

11.42

5th

Lady of Shamrock

22.42

11.19


The penultimate graded stakes event on Belmont’s Saturday card was the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, which saw defending Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike cover the most ground and last for the win. Big Blue Kitten, who traveled the equivalent of nearly 5 ¼ lengths less than Little Mike, was beaten a nose for second with Arlington Million winner Real Solution close behind in third.

Belmont - Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational

Finish

Horse

Feet    Traveled

Fin 1/4

1st

Little Mike

8041

24.64

2nd

Big Blue Kitten

-45

24.35

3rd

Real Solution

-3

24.55

4th

Slumber

-34

24.38

5th

Twilight Eclipse

-3

25.54

6th

Imagining

-22

25.56

7th

King Kreesa

-8

31.10

8th

Nutello

-39

30.56

At Santa Anita on Sunday, Indy Point gave Gary Stevens another top score, and got the Argentine his first graded win in North America taking the John Henry Turf Championship by more than a length over Vagabond Shoes. Both horses ran near equal final one and two-furlong sectionals in 11.22/11.28 and 22.71/22.74 seconds, respectively. Third placer Lucayan was the fastest home in 22.36 seconds, covering a slightly wider trip than the top two.

The brilliant American action continues this weekend with the opening of the fall stand at Keeneland added to the slate while more preps ring the country in New York and California.

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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