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Blog - GAMBLING

It came down to a photo finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic but Mucho Macho Man improved his second place finish in last year's Classic (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire).

Another Breeders’ Cup is in the books. What does the data suggest? How impressive was the Juvenile’s fifth-place finisher? Could the next-to-last finisher of the Filly & Mare Turf have been any wider on the final turn? Was it as impossible as some suggested to make-up ground on Breeders’ Cup Friday?

These questions, and some other insights, are answered in this edition of “Inside the Trip.”

Breeders’ Cup Classic

Wow. It seems almost impossible to have not been satisfied with some element of this race. From Mucho Macho Man avenging his 2012 loss in the race, to Will Take Charge likely claiming champion 3-year-old honors with a nose defeat, to Declaration of War’s scintillating run on dirt to be third – it was a thrilling finish to a brilliant Breeders’ Cup.

From a ground-coverage standpoint, Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge essentially covered the same trip. While Will Take Charge angled widest off the final bend, he hadn’t been as wide as Mucho Macho Man through earlier segments of the second turn. Declaration of War, under a veteran-like ride from Joseph O’Brien, having his first mount on an American dirt track, traveled 30 feet less than the first two finishers.

Probably the most notable data comes comparing the consecutive Classic trips of Mucho Macho Man, In 2012, when second, he battled Fort Larned the entire way around, covering 33 feet more. This year, while wider overall, he covered 33 feet more than his trip a year ago.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Martin Garcia earned his first Breeders’ Cup victory with a ground-saving trip on New Year’s Day. Wide trips impacting finishing places seemed relatively limited this year, but the performances of Havana, Strong Mandate, and Tap It Rich are exceptions.

Breaking from gate six, second-time starter Tap It Rich had no interest in cornering, and was very far out into the course on the first turn and down the backstretch. Below, take note of the data from the first-five finishers in the Juvenile. The data columns include the feet each horse traveled, their average speed during the race, the official margin, the difference in extra/fewer feet traveled converted to lengths, and then the TAM (Trakus-adjusted margin). The TAM is a raw calculation taking the official margin minus the “feet-to-lengths” conversion.

While it is impossible to suggest if a horse like Tap It Rich was really nearly 3 ½ lengths better than New Year’s Day, we know he averaged a higher speed (using more energy than the winner), and covered a distance of ground well in excess of his margin of defeat. Second-place finisher Havana has similar, but not as gaudy, data, while Strong Mandate was masterful in getting a ground-saving trip around the second turn after breaking from fourteen.

Finish

HORSE

Feet Trav.

Avg MPH

Official Margin

Feet to Lengths

TAM

1st

New Year’s Day

5692

37.5

-1.25

-

-

2nd

Havana

25

37.6

1.25

2.9

-1.65

3rd

Strong Mandate

18

37.4

2

2.1

-0.1

4th

Bond Holder

-6

37.2

3.25

-0.7

3.95

5th

Tap It Rich

57

37.6

3.25

6.7

-3.45

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

Alterite and the now-retired Marketing Mix each covered more ground than their margins of defeat after Dank and Romantica managed cozy rail-spots throughout. Overall, Alterite went 34 feet more than Dank, while Marketing Mix went 42 feet more.

Beaten just a length, Alterite’s adjusted margin based on her extra ground coverage would project her having been three lengths to the good of Dank, while Marketing Mix’s adjusted margin has her 3 ½ lengths better. On galloping-out, jockey Ryan Moore indicated he believed Dank was not at her best in winning the race, despite the final time being a record for the race, and the data combined with her narrow margin all suggest Moore (whose ride in the Juvenile Turf will be discussed below) is spot-on. Were it not for the delightful trips enjoyed by Dank and Romantica, we could very easily be talking about Alterite or Marketing Mix pulling the upset.

Even Kitten’s Dumplings, who finished a very even ninth, could have been in the mix off a better trip. The Ramsey-owned filly was never less than five wide on the far turn, and her overall trip (which included breaking widest of all in the immediate bend out of the gate) involved running 72 feet more than Dank and 81 feet more than Romantica. Adjusting those margins for her official beaten distance of 7 ¼ lengths puts her in the fray.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

She’s A Tiger is as game as they come, and surely deserving of an Eclipse Award after another phenomenal performance from the front. A three-quarter sister to Smiling Tiger, the filly set a torrid pace, and snuck away on a big lead, before being tagged by Ria Antonia in the final stages. Of course, while getting her nose down first, She’s A Tiger was disqualified for interference in the latter stages of the race.

Finish

HORSE

Fin 1/4

Fin 1/8

1st

Ria Antonia

26.72

13.65

2nd

She’s A Tiger

27.21

13.76

3rd

Rosalind

25.25

12.72

4th

Sweet Reason

26.31

13.56

5th

Artemis Agrotera

28.48

14.57

Prior to this year’s Breeders’ Cup, we suggested that Rosalind was likely to manage a reverse trip after covering extra ground in the Alcibiades at Keeneland. Sure enough, the Kenny McPeek trainee did save ground early in the running and was the fastest finisher in incident-marred event. Rosalind ran the final two furlongs 1.47 seconds faster than Ria Antonia, and 1.96 seconds faster than She’s A Tiger.

Don’t let Rosalind’s finishing position along the inside fool you. Last inside early, Rosalind angled out widest of all on the far turn, avoiding the fallen foe she would have encountered had she stayed inside, and was flying late, covering only ten feet less than Ria Antonia and four feet less than She’s A Tiger. Rosalind is a very exciting prospect for 2014.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

Much has been made of the berating Javier Castellano took after sending warm favorite Bobby’s Kitten out in front with a ridiculous pace. Giovanni Boldini settled just off the swift fractions, and jockey Ryan Moore sent him after the leader inside the three furlong pole. That move may have been premature in hindsight. Outstrip was the only one to close into the pace with any significance, and the final fractions of the race tell the story

Giovanni Boldini ran the second-fastest, third two-furlong segment of the race (from the ½-mile pole to the quarter-pole), while Bobby’s Kitten, beginning to feel the impact of the hot pace, was just sixth-fastest, and Outstrip was tied for the fourth-fastest run in that segment. Having been so close, presumably jockey Ryan Moore was hoping Bobby’s Kitten would not scamper away at the top of the lane. Instead, imploring his mount to run early, it may have been the premature expenditure of precious energy that gave Outstrip the chance to run him down.

Fin

HORSE

Third 1/4

Final 1/4

1st

Outstrip

23.95

22.80

2nd

Giovanni Boldini

23.77

23.58

3rd

Bobby’s Kitten

23.98

24.01

Godolphin’s Outstrip, without a doubt, exploded in the final quarter. The colt out of Asi Siempre clocked a stellar final segment in 22.80 seconds, 0.78 seconds faster than Giovanni Boldini and 1.21 seconds faster than Bobby’s Kitten. At the finish, the margin between Outstrip and Giovanni Boldini, according to Trakus sectional times, was 0.14 seconds. Could that third-quarter difference between the two, where Giovanni Boldini was 0.18 seconds faster than Outstrip, made the difference?

Who was more impressive? Outstrip or Chriselliam?

On the back of the sectional time data, the most we could suggest is that Chriselliam ran a very even race. The filly co-owned by Willie Carson ran final quarter-mile sectionals in 23.34s and 23.35s, while Outstrip had the slow third quarter before quickening in the final quarter. Overall, Chriselliam was 0.06 seconds faster in the final half-mile.

Winner

First 1/4

Second 1/4

Third 1/4

Final 1/4

Final 1/2

Outstrip

23.44

22.94

23.95

22.80

46.75

Chriselliam

23.29

23.7

23.34

23.35

46.69

My Conquestadory, who was drawn in fourteen for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, did cover the extra ground we projected while breaking well and running up front. At the finish, she went 36 feet more than winner Chriselliam, 52 feet more than second-placer Testa Rossi, and 56 feet more than third-home Colonel Joan. While hyped after her slaloming run in the Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland, she saved loads of ground relative to some of her competition in that event. Faced with greater trip adversity in the form of wide runs on both turns, My Conquestadory’s fourth placing was a phenomenal result.

Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

For all the talk about how difficult it was for horses to come from off the pace during the Friday Breeders’ Cup races, there were signs of life from the back markers in this event.

While Goldencents clearly went to the front and made all through ridiculous splits, Golden Ticket saved ground and rallied from 15 ½ lengths back at the midpoint of the race to finish less than three behind at the end. Overall, based on Trakus individual horse sectional times, Golden Ticket’s final half-mile was 48.85 seconds compared to Goldencents getting home in 50.33 seconds – 1.48 seconds faster than the winner. Trakus recorded Goldencents running his final half 5.52 second slower than his first four furlongs, while Golden Ticket’s difference was just 2.02 seconds.

Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Say what you want about Royal Delta and Princess of Sylmar not running their best races, Beholder was most impressive. Coming from off the lead, and covering extra ground, the Richard Mandella trainee managed to dominate the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Overall, Beholder covered 11 feet more than second-placer Close Hatches and 40 feet more than Authenticity, who was third. There was no denying the stellar nature of the win.

Questions or requests?

You can review the data from the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita’s website, or reach out to us on Twitter @TrakusRacing

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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