Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's Notes

Hello everyone. It's your co-racing curmudgeon (I joined @gatetowire) here with a quick look at some stories that caught my eye.

Turf Paradise seems to have a timing issue. No times on the toteboard.  In my best racing curmudgeon prose :well, at least they have a $13.99 rib eye steak deal. Betting, times, reasonable takeout, a picture that does not look like its filtered through a lens Thomas Edison once owned...... all overrated.

I was watching the San Diego-Denver game on the weekend. With about nine minutes or so left San Diego narrowed the gap to 28-19, pending either an extra point or a two point conversion. The play there is to go for two, clearly, to make it seven points. As this article points out (h/t to @insidethenumbrs), if you go for two and miss you then have ten minutes of playing time to plan your attack.  The paid commentators were aghast anyone would even think of such a strategy.

A parallel was noted in a Patriots game a few years ago, that is in a horse racing handicapping article published today on the HANA Blog. Bill Belichick went for it on fourth and two on his own side of the field against the Colts, while up by six with only two and a half to go. People called him cray cray. He explained that the Colts, with the venerable Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne, were "x" percent likely to win the game if they gave up the ball on a punt, which was a better percentage on what would happen with a fourth down conversion. He tried it and missed, and the Colts took the ball into the end zone to win, but the call was the right one. I wonder why people have so much trouble with statistics?

Speaking of trying something, Captaintreacherous is supposed to be on-track for the TVG FFA Championship at the end of the month at the Meadowlands.  This no doubt makes Jeff Gural a happy camper. This, if it happens, will be a compelling race. The Captain is slower on speed figs than the older horses and normally with a three year old who on paper is up against it, the connections balk at such a task; especially with stud money at the end of the rainbow. If this happens this a ballsy move, and those connections should be commended. Rainbow Blue tried older late in the year - beating the salty Carolina Sunshine and Glowing Report to name but two - but she was faster on paper, and a 1-5 shot. This is completely different.

The Hambo Poll is out this week and I was a little bit surprised. The crowd did not drop Iluvthenitelife as much as I thought they would. I mean, they should not have - she just went a trip that no filly I have ever seen in twenty years went and still almost won - but I was surprised they didn't. Similarly, the bearcat mile Foiled Again went over the younger and tripped out Pet Rock did not drop him below his younger foe. Very good.

The only horse I think that gets zero respect in that poll is Sunshine Beach. He barely registers and he is arguably the fastest three year old around. But I guess that's nitpicking. He has not won much of late. And when he does race in overnights against older he is generally dismissed at the windows. He drew the 8 post at Dover for the Progress Pace this weekend, by the way. Despite that, he looks like he should win easily. It'll be interesting to see if he is this years Heston Blue Chip and sweeps the late stakes.

In the same race, with the seven, is Vegas Vacation. He, after a couple of clunkers in the Breeders Crown, looked to have some zip back in a tightening off the pace mile. He still seems to get on a line though.

Have a nice Tuesday everyone.

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