Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

03 May 2009

Forgotten But Lovable

Does any one else see the irony in the 137 million man hours wasted handicapping the derby? With all that work on the books you will be hard-pressed to find a capper or fan who touted the winner before the Derby. The only people who cashed tickets in this race are either members of the Audubon Society, were born on August 8th 1988 or have experience working in the mining industry. Even the trainer wasn't confident. "To be honest, I didn't have any real feeling that I could win the Derby," trainer Chip Woolley said.

As one of those that spent hours analyzing the race and watching replays it is another lesson in horse racing hard knocks being nowhere near this result. Rather than besmirch Mine That Bird as a fluke or belittle his modest connections I am embracing the pain of this loss. I dismissed the winner so fast that I never bothered to watch his race replays or inquire a bit closer. This is not good capping. However I think if I looked harder and longer I would have tossed faster and harder. Running forth in the ungraded Sunland Derby at 13-1 makes for an easy toss. There is surely a valuable lesson to be gleaned from this race.

With this unlikely horse winning the Kentucky derby there will be a small backlash building. Some of the on-line chatter is suggesting that Mine That Bird was really ringer. Instead of Mine That Bird in the gate it was really Curlin running under Mine That Bird's name. Then there is the predicable drug innuendo. You can count on Andy Beyer to write an anti-Mine That Bird article as Mine That Bird had the lowest Beyer figures coming into the race and Beyer always protects his figures when there is a result like this. Mine That Bird's connections are going to have to develop a thick skin as soon as the derby celebration is over. In addition to the Beyer figs Mine Bird also had the worst dosage figure at 5.4 in the race as well.

Power Cap's Sister-In Law Was One Of The Few Who Scored
(Her Birthday is August 8th)

While the result was improbable on paper I have to give Calvin Borel a ton of credit. This jockey rode a brilliant race, a performance for the ages. For someone that has had so much success the last few years it a wonderful reflection on Borel's character that he is still such a likable and humble athlete. It gave me chills when he thanked his mama and papa in heaven after the race and how he wished they could see him now. I almost wanted to cry for him. This stunning victory was just the icing on the cake after Borel won the Kentucky Oaks race the day before on Rachel Alexandra who turned in one of the most brilliant performances in American racing this decade.

The story of the horse being driven from New Mexico in the back of a pick-up truck was endearing as well. There is so much appeal when David sticks it to Goliath and this David just finished off 18 Goliath's. The whole trainer angle might be the biggest surprise as this horse ran dead last in the BC Juvenile under the care of Dick Mandella. Mandella is considered one of the hardest trainers to move a horse up from. Now Chip Wolley who has won only one race all year, which was a sprint maiden race at Sunland has moved a horse from dead last to first in the biggest race of the year. This is like a the fry guy from your local Burger King taking on and destroying Bobby Flay in one of those Iron Chef throw downs. Before that maiden race Chip Wolley won a 5K claimer in December. Mine That Bird looked like he was over his head today but he ran a tremendous race and put one over on everyone. If he can pull off the Preakness shocker the good news is that Mine That Bird's daddy won the Belmont a few years ago. I will be rooting for them to go all the way. It will make for a fun Belmont hoping for the impossible.


The Turk said...

I wrote my blog post before I read yours. We share alot of the same thoughts.

I know you take your 'caping seriously, as I do. It will be painful for me to hear handicappers on TV or in print suggest they liked anything about Mine That Bird before yesterday.

Cholly said...

I enjoyed your recap!

Just think...if your blog had been rated the eight most popular instead of 5th, then you would have had the winner also.

One saving grace on a day that had not many for me or Power Cap (not going to mention your Play of the Day running dead last): The Mine's wild stretch run saved you eight hundred bucks...I'm assuming, of course, that Mr. "I'd like to book your action" did actually walk the walk after he talked the talk.

SaratogaSpa said...

Power Cap--your thoughts are right on target. In my blog post I wrote how Mine That Bird defies all handicapping logic. Even after the race, I still would not have bet him.

I actually liked the other Birdstone colt-Summer Bird.

What a game!

G. C. said...

Your right Cholly about the "I would like to book your action guy", Mine That Bird is my hero. The book your action guy never walked the walk and sent the money so the whole episode ended up for bragging rights.

G. C. said...

Yeah Saratoga you Are right on lockstep with a few of me thoughts.

To be honest I think that if I found a bottle on the beach and a genie popped out and granted me three wishes my first wish was give me the derby winner right now. If he told me Mine That Bird I would have tossed the bottle back into the ocean before the second wish and preceded to bet the same plugs that I did sans genie.