I saw Game on Dude win yesterday in 152.1 for nine furlongs. We've seen Breeders Cup Classic's slower than 2:03. We've seen big speed on turf this year, in the 12f Turf and Turf Mile at Santa Anita.
What's it all mean? Well, we generally go to the Beyers to find out.
In contrast, Standardbred racing is, well, standard.
On a mile track, with a nice day, if a horse goes 26, 54, 121, 149, we can likely compare him to others, that day, or any day. It's really not that difficult.
While the thoroughbred breed seems to have hit some sort of speed wall at various distances (especially route racing on dirt), the standardbred breed seems to be rapidly evolving. The one mile teletimer is being tripped pretty quickly, by virtually all ages and sexes, but especially with the younger horses.
At Harnessracingupdate today, this was looked at, and some of the horses who have been performing at a high level are discussed. It's on page two (pdf).
This evening, year end honors for three year old pacers might become much clearer at Dover. The Matron Final is being contested, and candidates Thinking Out Loud and Heston Blue Chip are meeting head to head.
Scenarios (with an opine on grading):
If Thinking Out Loud wins, that gives him three big wins in 2012: The NA Cup (Gr I), Bluegrass (Gr II) and the Matron (Gr II)
If Heston Blue Chip wins, that gives him three big wins in 2012: The Breeders Crown (Gr I), Progress (Gr II) and the Matron (Gr II)
If neither wins, a vote for A Rock n Roll Dance ain't exactly rocket science. He has three Grade I wins in 2012: The Meadowlands Pace, the Battle of the Brandywine and the Hempt.
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