Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

18 August 2011

Where’s the media circus?

It’s Tricky is in a position to sweep a prestigious series of three races that has been a staple of North American racing for the past 54 years, the Triple Tiara. A horse has not swept the three race series since its “classic” configuration back in 1993 when Sky Beauty won the Acorn, Mother Goose, and Coaching Club American Oaks. The list of fillies that have done this feat reads as a veritable all-star team of hall of fame inductees Dark Mirage, Shuvee, Chris Evert, Ruffian, Dovona Dale, Mom’s Command, Open Mind, and Sky Beauty. The question worth asking is why isn’t It’s Tricky getting more mainstream coverage? Any time a male counterpart captures the Derby and Preakness, there is a media circus surrounding the final leg of the Triple Crown.

The short answer to the question above is it’s tricky. The long answer is that in the past eight years they have had three different configurations to the series. 2002 played out the string of 45 years of consistent scheduling for the classic series. In 2003 the Alabama was placed in the set displacing the Acorn and a bonus of two million dollars was put in place for anyone who won all three races, that bonus lasted until 2005 with no one grabbing the brass ring. From 2007 to 2009, the series returned to its original alignment. The most recent incarnation of the series started last year with two out of three of the races being held at Saratoga the Acorn, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Alabama.

The changes made to the series combined with the lack of incentives to run the table has hurt the series. The Triple Tiara starts on the Belmont Stakes day or after it depending on the version you are looking at, not exactly a way that the casual betting public will latch on to the event. On Wikipedia in the Triple Tiara article there is mention of a national racing series for three years old fillies:
“In recent years, many owners and trainers of fillies have submitted proposals to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to change the three races that compose the Triple Tiara. Although a great deal of prestige is attached to winning one or more of the current Triple Tiara races, all three are held at the same track at Belmont Park in the New York City area, because of this, the series is skewed to fillies that race in the northeast. Some from outside the area even modify the name of the series by calling it the "New York Triple Tiara."

Several options of races have been suggested to compose the "National Triple Tiara." The most popular proposal of races to compose a "Triple Tiara" series are The Kentucky Oaks, run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky; The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland; and The Acorn Stakes, run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. A second proposal has been to use the Kentucky Oaks, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and the Mother Goose Stakes. This version would allow more time for fillies to recuperate between races. Using the Mother Goose would also allow the NYRA to keep its three races in place as its own series without interfering with the three National races.

These races in the most popular proposal are near equal distance to their Triple Crown counterparts except for the Acorn, which is at a distance of one mile as opposed to the Belmont's mile-and-a-half distance. This series is thought to be a better choice for the Triple Tiara series, seeing that the three races are considered the most popular races for fillies. Each race receives considerable national network coverage, as it is run within 24 hours of the marquee event at each track.”
The idea I have for changing the series would fall under the same type of guise with the Kentucky Oaks leading off and the Mother Goose in the mix. Where I vary is including the Coaching Club American Oaks in the series. Having the Black Eyed Susan would be too close to the Oaks and if the Oaks winner does not win the race in Pimlico, they will likely skip the Acorn or Belmont in preparation for the Saratoga meet. The same could be said for the winner of the Black Eyed Susan going forward. My version of the Series would be the Kentucky Oaks, Mother Goose, and Coaching Club American Oaks with some monetary bonus to any filly that can sweep the series. A bonus to a points leader if at the end of the three races like they used to have with the Chrysler Triple Crown Bonus would be awarded as well. The races would be roughly a month apart and would have a race on Derby weekend and one at Saratoga, plenty of spacing between starts and top notch venues throughout the series; the best of both worlds.

The colts and geldings have the traditional three races in five weeks that captures the attention of the racing and sports public, the fillies should have something like this to showcase the best of their generation. Changing the Triple Crown would be near sacrilege at this point and the money in breeding and seven figure purses are more than enticing to the connections of the three years old colts and geldings participating. The good thing about starting up a three year old filly series now is a clean slate on which you can create a set of races that will have large competitive fields with no excuse outside of injury for all capable fillies to run in.


Amateurcapper said...


Not just the media surrounding the talented IT'S TRICKY, the Alabama is the most stacked graded stakes of any 3y.o. race this year male or female.

Blackeyed Susan (G.II) winner ROYAL DELTA, second choice in the Coaching Club American Oaks but no better than 3rd at the line, takes another crack at IT'S TRICKY and PLUM PRETTY. The best breeding for stamina on top (EMPIRE MAKER/UNBRIDLED) and bottom (A.P. INDY dam DELTA PRINCESS) you can find in the U.S. Second off the layoff, she should find more the final 1/8. However, coming off a turf work two spins back, she may have a hoof issue that will prevent her from putting her best foot forward (pun intended).

INGLORIOUS, the top 3y.o. in Canada coming off a Queen's Plate/Woodbine Oaks double, takes a three-race win streak into the fire against the best American main track fillies. Dirt may not be her best surface (only defeats have been at FG) but she's the only filly proven to stay the trip, despite her sprinter/miler breeding on top and bottom.

Kentucky Oaks (G.I) runner-up and recent Delaware Oaks (G.II) winner ST. JOHN'S RIVER takes her sire INCLUDE's stamina into a 10 furlong event she's bred to adore. Never off the board in six starts, she'll run on gamely and could absolutely win if the favorites go crazy on the pace.

Kentucky Oaks winner PLUM PRETTY drew inside her CCA Oaks conqueror IT'S TRICKY which would appear to put her on the engine once again. She'll take them as far as her speed will last. Her brilliance, not enough to hold off the Triple Tiara contender at 9 furlongs, may not be enough to overcome the race situation.

IT'S TRICKY is a solid bet to score right back and solidify her status as the leading 3y.o. filly in the country. The trip plays into her breeding on top (MINESHAFT/A.P. INDY). She'll sit right off PLUM PRETTY from the bell and a virtual repeat of the CCA Oaks is the race shape I'm expecting.

Last, but not least, is PINCH PIE going turf/dirt on a two race win streak. She hasn't been off the board in four starts this year suggesting she's a much better filly at three than she was a two. John Velazquez aboard, chasing a projected pace that will resemble a turf event, the daughter of Triple Crown spoiler VICTORY GALLOP could find her sire's kick and class to post a huge upset.

Joseph Burns said...

It is a deep field, nice writeup on the race. The way my handicapping was going when I posted here was pretty bad though, I figure my writing abilities are better off not talking about the fine art of handicapping. I'll leave that to the less timid.

G. C. said...

Stacked race with five legit shots. I like Inglorious on the poly to dirt angle. Also like that she can get the distance and trainer has won this race before.

Amateurcapper said...


My final analysis has me landing on the same filly as you.

Check out the blog (http://amateurcapper.blogspot.com/2011/08/alabama-analysis.html) if you have a chance.