Wild Times at the Other Lexington Meet, Thus Far

Keeneland's meet began yesterday and I got to watch a couple of races. Fields were deep and the crowd seemed to be good. The meet started off fairly well. 

During the polytrack phase, where chalk would win around 1 of 3 races, there'd be some grumbling based on curious results. I always discounted it because I liked digging into the statistics to see who might have a shot on the polytrack, and I found it fairly formful, frankly. 

Across town at the Red Mile - which has a championship meet of their own - things were always super-duper formful. Favorite win rates approach 50% year over year, and why wouldn't it be that way? Fields are fairly short, the surface is fantastic, and the world's best are assembled. That means chalk and form. 

But this year, thus far it is one for the ages, and it's felt that way. I thought I might be getting gaslit, or my mind was playing tricks on me, so I went through the results for this Championship meet:

  • Takter trotter broke at 6-5
  • A 2-5 shot lost perfect trip, monster in two hole at 2-1 broke for no reason
  • Delilah Hanover leading by three 200 feet from wire at 3-1 ran
  • Fashion Schooner broke for no reason at 4-5
  • Takter pacer stopped to a walk at 6-5
  • Miss Wallner Fashion broke on the lead for no reason at 1-9
  • Wearnmysixshooter stopped and lost by 7 at 6-5
  • Lyon's Serenity lost at 2-5
  • Testing Testing broke at 3-2
  • Lookslikemoni broke on lead at 3-2
  • Bonanza broke as co-chalk
  • Rose Run Extra stopped, missed board as chalk
  • Slay stopped at 2-5, coming 3rd
  • Yes and Dontfencemein both lost as even money co-chalks to a 44-1 shot.
That's happened over only *three* race cards. It helps explain why there was a pick 5 carryover and a fifty cent ticket the next day paid a pool shot of over $50k. 

Why is this happening? Randomness, the track or weather? On twitter the rain was speculated upon as the reason for odd results yesterday

I, for one, wonder if it's more than that - perhaps the Kentucky Sires Stakes races taking a lot out of the horses, and perhaps those miles have tweaked one or two, or three or four. And it seems we're asking for so much speed from two year olds so early, that perhaps this is a trend. It's tough to keep young trotters 100% sound when they've been all out, trotting fast times. 

Regardless, if you've been looking for the track where you'd hammer a $30 pick 4 that pays $20 for a little score, it has not been this meet, at least so far. 

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Have a nice weekend everyone. 

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