Monday, September 8, 2008

Why I Never Pay Attention to the Top Ten

For years I have wondered if some of the people who vote in the Hambo/BC Top Ten even watch races. I think it really came to a crescendo when a superstar like Rainbow Blue was second to Windsongs Legacy. Well this year, they have outdone themselves.

This week, Dewey is still on top, with 23 first place votes to the Beach's 11. After getting beat last week, and winning his last two races by a half, and three quarters of a length, under Mike Lachance-like stick, it is astounding.

Of course there is the obvious, Beach has won every start but one (and he was second in it, in world record time, after being parked the half), has made the most money, has set the most world records, has beaten the most world record holders; but it is more than that. Voters do not seem to realize that 151 trotters like Dewey who win the bulk of their starts are seen almost each year. In contrast, horses like the Beach who win by daylight in track record and world record shattering times against possibly the toughest group of 3YO's in ages, are lucky to be seen each decade.

There is a debate right now in harness racing grandstands everywhere, with grassroots racing fans. It goes something like this: "Is Somebeachsomewhere better than Niatross?" I'd say it is about 50/50, those who argue for and against that. The absolutely mind boggling thing is that the voters don't even think this is the best horse this year.

Note: To show how handicappers think (I personally know two people that were betting Crazed on Saturday), check out Middleton's column here. He publicly picked against Dewey. So did many others (Crazed was 3-1 from a bad post). Beach on the other hand had someone bet $25,000, not to show (there was no show betting) but to win on Saturday. That is why people were more shocked with Beach's poor last quarter than Dewey getting beat on Saturday. And why it was the biggest story. Handicappers do not expect Beach to show even a sliver of invincibility, many thought Dewey getting beat was inevitable.


Anonymous said...

Hey PtP: I vote in the weekly poll and have had Beach in front of Dewey for several weeks ... and I live in Ray Schnittker's home town. ... Be careful of broad generalizations... As Mark Twain, another former Buffalonian, once said, "It is the difference of opinion that makes horse racing." ... Enjoy your column, keep up the good work. Bob Summers, Buffalo News

Pull the Pocket said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the note. So you are one of the eleven. I am going to go to a Bills game this year and tell your mayor that the only reason I supported the Buffalo economy was because of Bob's Hambo poll vote :)

Now I have to find out who the other ten are, and make sure I do not play the same tracks as them. I'll do anything for an edge.



Anonymous said...

I do believe some industry insiders have been oblivious to the obvious because Beach has only two US appearances. "Out of site out of mind", like an all star ball player playing for the Pirates, or an NHL all star playing in Phoenix, when the voters don't see enough of them for themselves, they tend to overlook the facts.
Mohawk has been spoiled with the live evidence of how god the Beach really is for the past two years, however for the next two months, Somebeachsomewhere will have his opportunity to prove and leave no doubt for all fans on both sides of the border.

Anonymous said...

The poll you are referring to is based in the US and SBSW has done most of his racing in Canada; this explains it.

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