Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

10 March 2009

Gotham Recap

Was at the Gotham Stakes and it was a glorious day. After months of bone chilling cold it warmed into the 60's. The crowd was rather large compared to previous runnings of the Gotham, it seems like the Gotham has become a mini-event. For almost the whole entire winter it has been cold and the track has played like a deep dry beach. Now that the thaw is in full effect, the track superintendent was able to liberally water the track. This water created a speed bias that dominated the results of the days races. The record shows that eight of ten race were won by horses on the lead.

The biggest indicator of the bias was the win by Sassification. This filly has had so many better opportunities to win races and has failed so miserably in the past. For her to go wire to wire at 49-1 versus a sprint field confirmed the massive bias. Immediatly proceeding her race the track was watered tightening it up even more. This track was the equivilent of a conveyor belt for a need the lead speed horse like Sassification.

Mr. Fantasy really acted up before the Gotham. The crowd in the paddock was tremendous, if a fire official was on hand he would have called for a head count. Mr. Fantasy was fractious, anxious and lathered up. This is no way for a speed horse to act before a graded stakes race. He lost this race in the paddock. If this colt could settle down he could run better next out. He requires a paddock check for all future races. The connections should get off the Derby trail with this one, there is no way he could handle that commotion and go 10 furlongs. Try the Bay Shore/Withers combo short term and move forward from there.

The winner I want Revenge was clearly impressive. Mullins was on hand and the horse looked sharp. My impression is that Mullins is a extraordinary trainer that works hard and has all ducks in a row. The colt stepped off the plane and opened up on a highly regarded field, winning for fun. On paper he looked like a stalker but he outgamed many speed horses at their own game and not one horse made up ground on him in the lane. I am going to think long and hard before wagering against this horse in the Wood Memorial.

The horse to watch is the place finisher. Imperial Council rated at the back of the pack while on the stretchout. I always discount closers stretching out from sprints to a route, the added distance almost always dulls the late move. Instead of dulling the late move, Imperial Council almost passed the entire field in the lane on a track where few could make up ground, especially in route races. There was not one closing move on the entire day in a route race that could come anything close to what Imperial Council did. This horse has room for improvement and Shug is taking his time. Could be peaking right around the first Saturday in May.

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