The didn't-race-at-2 thing is the last shibboleth, and it's been hanging by a thread for years.
FuPeg had one race at 2, on Dec. 11. If he'd waited three more weeks to debut, does that mean he wouldnt have been the biggest, baddest, fastest beast in the starting gate of Derby 126?
Then there's Big Brown, who entered the Derby with just three starts lifetime -- and only two starts in the previous 8 months. But he "qualified" on the Apollo rule due to a single start at 2, on Sept. 3 of the previous year. But did that ancient romp really make a meaningful contribution to BB's fitness on Derby Day?
The Apollo rule addresses the need for a proper foundation. What constitutes a proper foundation has changed dramatically in recent years. Bodemeister has at least as much foundation as Big Brown, regardless of when he made his racing debut.
Use him on top in everything. To me it's pretty simple, if he runs his race (a race that is equal or slightly improved from the Arky Derby) they're all running for second money. I'm completely okay accepting him as the post time favorite at 4-1 because if this was any other race with a full field of 12, and not scrutinized like the Derby, he would probably be in the 6/5 range or less.
I won't stand alone with him like I did when Big Brown won the Derby, but I intend on including him in every vertical and horizontal wager I play.
**edit - thanks for bringing up Eaton Hall Lance. He cost me the pick 5 two weeks ago when he absolutely quit on his own in the final leg of the sequence. Looked any price. Yuck.
This message has been edited by JMAN667 on Apr 26, 2012 5:05 PM
"But did that ancient romp really make a meaningful contribution to BB's fitness on Derby Day?"
The race itself probably didn't make any meaningful contribution to his fitness on Derby Day, but could the two months of training prior to the race have given him some kind of meaningful foundation?
I don't know the answer.
Does anyone know if Bode did much training as a 2-year-old? Was he readying for a race at Del Mar before, say, bucking his shins -- or did he simply get a late start?
I can tell you this much for sure: Baffert had no idea he had a star on his hands until Bode actually broke his maiden. Before their first races, he said Eaton Hall (who is now 0 for 4 on the SoCal circuit) was better than Bode. Point being, Bode has come around VERY quickly.
Steve Haskin or someone of that ilk wrote that Baffert put a lot of long works into Bodemeister before sending him out for his bow.
I've heard that Bode is not the prettiest galloper or greatest work horse. Seems to save his "A" game for the afternoons. But Baffert must've had a pretty high opinion of the animal all along. Why else would he talk Zayat into naming him after his son?
Looking at some preliminary pps, I hate dealing with horses like Bode on a daily basis, let alone the Derby. I won't feel comfortable tossing him and I wouldn't feel comfortable standing alone with him either. Being a multi race player a high percentage of the time, it's just easier to use him defensively.
My issues with him for and against:
The positive is that his last 3 figs beat this field without someone moving forward and possibly him moving backward. Tossing a horse like that makes me uncomfortable, especially if previous legs in pick 3's, 4's, and 5's work out well. I'm not into potential parimutuel suicide.
The negative is that I'm a big believer in the old adage of it not being how fast a horse ran, but how they ran fast. Bode has 4 starts. In 2 starts where he made the lead, he won. In 2 starts where he didn't make the lead, he lost. I know the pace of his SA maiden breaker was on the below average side relative to track speed. I don't remember off the top of my head how the pace of his Arky Derby race measured up, again, relative to track speed on the day. The Derby pace up front will be much hotter than anything he's ever seen and he will be forced to come from off the pace. Some horses with similar looking lines to Bode react fine to it and are willing to sit off. Some don't. The one thing that will help him is that Mike Smith is excellent with forwardly placed types and fits this horse like a glove.
Long story short, I have no clue. Defensive use, hope to get live to the Derby, and if he's the lowest will pay - root like hell against him.
using him in all P3s, still to be determined if he is my top win play, top of tri, but he's at the top of the short list right now.
I'm usually the leading pooh-pooher of the importance of post positions in the Derby- other than don't draw the #1 hole- but this year I think its more crucial. For Bode, I think his chances improve if he is outside of Trinniberg and at least a few spots away from him.
Way too soon to pass judgment on his running style. He ran very credibly in the two races where he didn't get the early. In the San Felipe, he earned a 101 Beyer that only two horses have topped so far -- the horse who beat him that day and Bodemeister himself.
Defensive? You're reading things into my words that simply aren't there.
Let's not bore our fellow readers with ad hominem nonsense. We're here to share opinions about a horse race. Some of us disagree. It'd be boring as hell if we didn't. But either way, it ain't personal.
Then why do you feel the need to force feed us Beyer numbers at every opportunity as a means of making an argument? Beyers do not take into account trip and pace. It's a metric based on final time relative to how horses have run at that distance during the meet. While they may be helpful, they are not the be all end all that you make them out to be. Many a recent Derby winner had average Beyers coming in, but a trip on the first Saturday in May that paid them off in gold. And FWIW, I respect your horse racing acumen big time. We just approach the Kentucky Derby, from a handicapping perspective that is, in a different manner. It's all good.
This message has been edited by CroixBoy on Apr 26, 2012 7:24 PM
I use Beyers because everyone has access to them. I certainly don't consider them holy writ. But they have been a useful tool for sorting wheat from chaff at Derby time. With few exceptions, the Derby winner owns one of the higher Beyers in the field.
He has three triple digit Beyers something no else in this field can claim. Even if you toss his Arkansas Derby and he regresses back to his lower triple digit figures, it going to take career best from three horses to keep him out of the exotics. As for which style is his best, four races is too short of a career to make a judgment. Maybe the San Felipe was a learning experience for him as he had just broken his maiden. I can only see a bad break from the gate, caught in a speed duel or anything but a fast track bringing him down to earth.
The unknowns on Bode- foundation, need the lead or not etc are why you're going to get 4-1 or 9-2 on what appears to be the fastest horse in the field instead of 8-5.
I was never more confident of a Derby Horse in the last 20 years or (so I'm leaving out Slew and Bid who I felt pretty confident in), than I was in Point Given. That would have meant I would have hit 2 different P3 sequences, a Woodford-Derby Double and a nice sized win bet. That did not work out so well so I proceed with caution with any horse and Point Given had a lot more foundation. Still if you're going to beat the fastest horse you want to get paid and upsetting a 9-2 shot isn't quite the same as knocking off an 8-5 shot.
Look at those 3 triple digit Beyer races from Bodemeister real closely Vagrant. A MSW that none of his victims have distinguished themselves since then. The San Felipe where he was beaten by Creative Cause while being given 5 lbs. And finally his Arkansas Derby tour-de-force where he beat a bunch of plugs while getting weight from most of the field. I don't believe Beyers include weight in their computing and weight going a distance of ground for the first time cannot be ignored.
Stephen Levinson (Login orioleboy) UpInClass Member
Re: The Real Issue
April 26 2012, 8:36 PM
Sorry to interupt the vagrant-croix boy show but I'll throw my two cents in. All I can say is that I don't like Bodie despite his triple Beyer dominance and that's coming from someone who believes in Beyers. Dont know why but I just don't think the race flow will be in his favor. There can be some money made if he doesn't hit the board. I'm not crazy enough to toss him completely so he will be on tickets especially hooked up with my top picks but I'll lose the majority of my bets if he wins. Sometimes you have to take a stand. I' m also not keen on Gemologist so go to the bank on a Bodie-Gemologist exacta!
I look closely at Bode's three 100+ Beyer races and see a horse who ran damn fast in three straight races. Nobody else can say that.
Your reservations about each individual race are reasonable. But as a body of work, it's fairly impressive. Ran a big fig in a maiden race -- nice but no huge deal. But to immediately step up to stakes company and re-run the big fig, that's doing something -- win or lose, weight allowance or not. Then he hits the road and runs an even bigger fig, at a longer distance. There are no flies on that resume, however imperfect it might be.
This message has been edited by vagrant2 on Apr 26, 2012 10:32 PM
Bodie is a tough call for me too. FWIW, I read that most of Baffert's succesful derby horses came in off pairs or very slight tops. In contrast, Bodie's Arky derby was a forward move of at least two points. Congaree came in off a similar forward move and paired in the derby, but that was only good for third. Baffert's other entrants who entered the derby off significant tops went backwards. If anyone's interested, there's a list of these horses buried in the Bodimeister thread on the t-graph board.
At this point I'm inclined to play against him, with a few savers underneath in exotics.
Bode's a toss for me. I'm not a fan of his running style in the Derby, even though he's coming in at his best. With the other quality speed in here, he'll do all he can to try to rate, fire around the turn....and kiss the eighth pole. His dam didn't get a chance to prove that she was anything more than a sprinter after being injured and his granddam was best on the turf at 1 1/16. Neither is screaming 10f to me and I can't use him at less than 15-1.
Know what you don't see? You don't see many Derby winners who regress in their final prep.
I found five -- Swale, Thunder Gulch, Monarchos, Smarty Jones and Street Sense.
Swale hated slop. Street Sense hated Poly. John Ward didn't even try to win the Wood with Monarchos. (Nor Carl Nafzger the Blue Grass with SS, for that matter.) Smarty Jones regressed from a supernatural fig (minus-3 3/4) to a merely spectacular one (minus-1 3/4); I'm not sure that even counts as a regression!
Only one of the five, Thunder Gulch, regressed on the level; i.e., ran a poor race with no excuse. Ergo, I'd be much more wary of backsliders than new-toppers.
I heard that Creative Cause and IHA both regressed in the SA Derby. Don't know if it's true. And if it is, how much they bounced.
Hansen,Creative Cause and IHA all backed up on the graphs stretching out to nine furlongs in their last.
Hansen got a fast # in the Gotham giving weight and being so wide.In the Bluegrass he backed up 2.5 pts.
It was on poly so some might be inclined to give him a pass.I'm getting rid of him partially because I think he'll get worse as the distances increase and also because of Trinniberg and Bode in the race.
Creative Cause backed up the most.His San Felipe was a really good race giving weight and being so wide against Bode.In the SA Derby he saved all the ground at equal weight with IHA.I'm also tossing Creative Cause.His San Felipe was so impressive I think he shot his load there. CC backed up 4 points in his last and I'm playing against Harrington being able to crank this horse back up to San Felipe levels.Nice horse though.
IHA improved the most from 2 to 3 coming off a 5 month layoff in the Robert Lewis.Backed up 1.75 pts in the SA Derby stretching to 9f's with nine weeks rest.Nice horse who obviously has issues needing five months then nine weeks and now comes back on four weeks rest in the Derby needing shock wave therapy for physical ailments.Tossing him as well.
Bode is a little tougher for me to toss.He improved with blinkers off and stretching to nine furlongs.He'll get a tougher setup now with Trinniberg and Hansen hanging around for at least a mile and then a few other will take shots at him and he's gonna have to deal with Dullahan later on.I could see him getting a piece of this but I don't like him on top.Leaning toward using him in the underneath slots for now.
I'm still of the belief that Bodemeister is at best a 3rd or 4th place finisher in the Derby. His running style makes him a victim of the pace set-up. He'll be 3rd in the early going behind Trinniberg and Hansen and closer to the stalkers than the leaders. He had every chance to outrun a green Creative Cause in the 8.5f San Felipe and gave up ground in the final furlong. Why should I think he'll outrun him in the 10f Kentucky Derby, because he crushed nobodies in Arkansas? I Don't Think So.
This message has been edited by CroixBoy on Apr 27, 2012 12:08 PM
The somebodies in the SA Derby would've been buried almost as badly. Bodemeister's early pace was 7 lengths faster than the SA Derby's -- and he didn't exactly back up down the lane. He wasn't running against other horses that day. He was running against the clock.
As for the San Felipe, Bodemeister has improved substantially since then. Creative Cause has regressed.
As for CC being "green" in the San Felipe, that was his 7th career start. Why was he still green? And why do you keep dissing Bodemeister, a recent maiden grad making his stakes debut, for barely losing to a seasoned stakes horse? On straight dope, a fairer question is why didn't CC beat the maiden grad by more.
This message has been edited by vagrant2 on Apr 27, 2012 9:44 PM
Be careful in picking apart the competition that was beaten. Otherwise we can actually make a case about competition in each big prep race. Super Saver lost to nothing special in the Tampa Bay Derby and to a longshot in Line Of David. Animal Kingdom beat grade III tackling dummies and even Big Brown Florida Derby had questions in regards of competition. It is a matter of getting the job done. Creative Cause edging out a maiden and before that Bodemeister. Does that make the maiden as good as Bodemeister? Of course not. Blueskiesandrainbows had a easy front running lead(which can be dangerous in California or anywhere) and the main horses obviously were more concern on each other than the maiden. The race just materialized that way. Also who is not to say Baffert saw an improving Blue skiesinrainbows that deserved a shot. In the San Felipe Creative Cause had his sights set on Bodemeister by the the top of the stretch since he was a serious contender. As was mentioned in another thread circumstances makes up alot of these preps.
also note baffert already had 3 running in the SA derby Paynter, Blueskies and Liason. He has to keep his multiple owners happy and spread the money around plus he had to get Bode enough $$ to get in so no way he runs a 4th at SA
I'm a sucker for this type of colt when it's all said and done. However, this race has proved more often than not that his style won't win - he's speed, but not cheap speed. Really think his daddy was a solid classic horse and he's in the right hands.
This probably ends up being an all or nothing. He wins, or he's crushed.
Why not key him up top with the others you like and move on? I'll invest a 1X6X6 with him and call it a day.