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Well It's Getting Close to Poll Time

Ok, this weeks Hambletonian Poll, signifying who the best horse in racing, is due out tomorrow.

This past few weeks we have seen the following from #1 Ranked Deweycheatumnhowe. He raced 5 times. He lost twice. He won two other races by a nose. He won one other by two lengths. His wins were over 2 seconds slower than the World Record for 3YO trotters. In the recently concluded Kentucky Futurity, he won the first heat in 52.3, lost the second having to come first up trotting 53, and won a race off by a whisker in 59 and a piece. To contrast this (we have been harping on looking at history in these things), last year Donato Hanover won this race in straight heats, winning the final in 150.1. The year before, Glidemaster won this race in 151.3. The year before, Strong Yankee won his elimination in 150.3, lost the second heat, then won the third in 151.3, beating Hambletonian Champ Vivid Photo. Dewey should be happy he was not foaled in those years.

The past two weeks for the number two ranked horse was as follows: He set a world record, going faster than any three year old in history, and only one other horse (a 5YO) has ever gone that speed. His WR was done all by himself, due to the simple fact that no horse in harness racing can even come close to sticking with him. His second effort in the Tattersalls was a 147.4 mile. He won those races by a combined 11 lengths. Those back to back wins are faster back to back wins by any horse in our sport since we've been keeping records over 100 years ago. His 147.4 mile, which seemed slow, equalled the previous world record set by American Ideal, in this very race three years ago. He did something in that mile not done since Niatross - he made former world record speed look simply routine, like a training mile.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

The comments section below is waiting with anticipation:

As Pickeral Man expressed below (I thought a Pickeral was a walleye?) he thinks that the voters are penalizing Beach for not going to the Jug. Maybe so, although maybe they should punish Dewey for missing the Yonkers Trot, which is a leg of the trotting triple crown, too.

Alex M seems to agree with this. He thinks there is something fishy (keeping the fish theme) in these votes. He says it is the only way to explain it. He wonders who keeps picking Mr. Big as number one. I do too. Maybe it is a guy who has voted the same since June of 2007. Kinda like when I accidentally leave the caps lock on.

Vern, back from salmon fishing, says he will join me in taking a railway spike and slamming it into his head with a hammer if the voters do not vote Beach.

Let's see what happens. I personally think that he will get all first place votes this week (except the caps lock guy), especially seeing Dewey lost again and looks extremely mortal. But I have been wrong on this about 100 times.

I know one thing - the dude from the Buffalo News who commented below will be voting for Beach again. As for the rest? It is anyone's guess.

Note: We are not the only ones with some goofy polls. MVP Voting in Major League Baseball has been, well, like us sometimes. In 1947 when somehow Ted Williams lost the MVP voting to Joe Dimaggio, it was atrocious. This is what one writer had to say about people who don't seem to take their vote seriously:

In 1947, the Philadelphia Athletics finished fifth. Their shortstop, Eddie Joost, hit .206. Yes, Eddie Joost really did hit .206, and while other regulars have hit as low or lower, Joost has a special distinction. He hit .206, he hit 13 home runs, he had 64 RBIs, and he received TWO FIRST PLACE VOTES FOR MVP. Remember that the next time there is a discussion about who is the league's MVP or Cy Young Award winner. Only one of two conclusions can be drawn. Either those who vote for the MVP allow their own personal feelings interfere with their selections or they are simply incompetent. Both conclusions are probably true.

Comments

Alex M said…
Voting has always included personal agenda, but in most cases common sense of the majority will prevail.
Even Glenn Anderson, the former Edmonton Oiler, who was dispised by the "hall of fame voting" media finally got into the Hall this past year.
When these privileges are abused they taint the very award or title they stand for, and they tarnish the credilbility of the achievment, and never will that be more true, than it would be today, if the voters choose to dismiss 1:46.4 and 1:47.4 in consecutive weeks.
Here's hoping those privileged few can put aside their Jug grudge for the sake of a horse who has earned accolades and inspired fans in a manner which we have not seen in 25 years or more.
Blaine said…
Your bias towards Somebeachsomewhere is not only crystal clear, but understandable in that he's truly a remarkable standardbred. However, Dewey has won when it counted every single time. Hambo, Canadian Trotting Classic, World Trotting Derby and the Kentucky Futurity, 4-4. Beach lost the Meadowlands Pace, albeit to a freak performance in world record time, and that makes him 2-3in the pacing biggies along with his NA Cup/Confederation Cup romps. Both are special athletes and I won't hate on any of them because I happen to like just one.
Pull the Pocket said…
Blaine,

Thanks for the difference of opine, and I understand it.

If I may: If Dewey had won 16 of 17 starts, setting world records once every six starts, and the only time he lost, he lost by a neck in 149.2 (4/5's under the trotting WR). If his average time was 150.2 (just off a world record on average), average margin of victory was 4 lengths while only being whipped about three times all season, and if he would have dusted virtually every top colt like Donato and Glidemaster et al by any independent measure, I would have him number one. Why? Because he is the best horse we have seen in a long long time. And he obviously deserves it.

I love horses, and I love excellence when I watch them. When I see one who absolutely does something I have never seen before I am stoked about it, as we all should. I dont care where the horse is from, what gait, what sex. That is why last year at this time Snow White was a huge story. She was special. She set a world record at the Red Mile and went faster than any two year old alive - and she did it against some good ones.

Trust me, if SBSW was winning each grand circuit race in 150 flat all year under heavy stick, but was undefeated because his crop was not much, I would not even mention him on the blog.

Maybe it is the difference being a handicapper as well as a fan, I dont know. But this sport should hold its great horses to a higher bar. There are about eight in each division capable of winning, the ones that do it with eye-popping authority, doing something other crops can not do should be that bar, imo.

PTP
Blaine said…
You won't ever get me to knock SBSW because he's all that and then some. I just believe that because SBSW is brilliant that shouldn't take anything away from Dewey, even moreso when you consider that Dewey is a trotter and they are more susceptible to break than pacers do. Dewey's winning percentage is right there with SBSW. I love them both.