Move number 1 was ducking the top SA 3yo's by running to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby. Bodemeister romped against dogs, got the highest pre-Derby Beyer and became the Derby favorite as a result. The Beyer deficient I'll Have Another saw the target at CD and him down to win going away. At PIM, shorter distance, slower pace and we end up with the same result. See target, seek target, catch target and PASS target before the finish line. In summation, Bodemeister is a TALENTED horse, but I'll Have Another is the SUPERIOR horse. It is what it is ya'll. And please don't feel any way. Peace, CB aka De Desperado de Santa Cruz.
Such foul language my handicapping brethren. But in short, YES!!!!! For now he is, but this is horse racing. Stuff, for the lack of a more appropriate word, happens all the time. BC Classic is at SA. Time will tell.
I must have missed the part wherein anyone claimed that IHA is not superior to Bodemeister at this point. Seems that issue was clearly decided on Saturday, and it seems that the vanquished party and his misbegotten backers relayed genuine congratulations on a job well done.
But to the winner goes the spoils. Crow to your hearts content, IHAcolytes. You won fair & square.
Can we please stop with the Bodemeister beat "dogs" nonsense?
First of all, prep races are totally irrelevant now. Second of all, it's not even true.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Secret Circle is a better horse than Blueskiesnrainbows. Bodemeister beat Secret Circle by 9 1/2 lengths in Arkansas. Blueskiesnrainbows lost the Santa Anita Derby by a 1/2 length.
Also drubbed in the Arkansas Derby was Isn't He Clever, a "dog" who ran in the Robert B. Lewis. He also ran in the Sunland Derby, losing by 3/4 length to Daddy Nose Best.
As I recall, many of IHA's biggest fans also touted DNB in the Derby and Preakness, in no small part due to his win in (and 100 Beyer from) the Sunland Derby. This means that such folk were, on one hand, vastly impressed with defeating Isn't He Clever by 7 feet and, on the other hand, unimpressed with beating Isn't He Clever by 70 yards. If that ain't a silly slab of pretzel logic, I don't know what is.
Some of us didn't need the Preakness to feel that IHA is the superior horse. The race that everybody wants to win more than anything else is the Kentucky Derby and IHA won that more handily than he did the Preakness. Or am I to understand that Bodemeister's 2nd place finish in the Derby was "superior" to that of IHA's Run For The Roses? Enlighten me if you will.
Vagrant- I think you are too caught up on the Isn't He Clever/common opponent comparison. Isn't He Clever is a different race horse at Sunland. Check out his PPs and tell me if you disagree. Also, the Sunland Derby had a freaky suicide pace that produced a bit of a strange result. The two speed burners that flamed out were every bit as regarded as the top two finishers (I think one was a Southwest winner). I also have serious questions as to the BSF assigned to that race. Don't think the Hall or Bris numbers were as strong.
Geezus, CB. Excuse me (and plenty of others) for not instantly recognizing the transcendent nature of this messianic horse. Some folks knew the baby was the Savior when they saw him in the manger. And some of us needed to hear him preach a few times. We're dense, I guess.
Seriously, though, why are you so offended by the fact that a lot of us -- nay, most of us -- needed a little more convincing? Is that really so crazy? He won the Derby a length and a half -- a decisive win but certainly not an overwhelming one. 1 1/2 lengths is not a big margin by Derby standards. Ten of the previous 12 winners all won by more than that, including the last six in a row.
IHA ran a very nice race at CD. Nobody said otherwise. Your beef is that the whole of racingdom didn't immediately send white smoke up the twin spires chimney. You need to let it go.
Come on, Jason. I only brought up Isn't He Clever because one horse's opponents were called dogs. Isn't He Clever happens to be the only dog who ran at SA, Sun and OP. Kinda hard to ignore him.
BRIS begs to differ with your characterization of the Sunland Derby pace, btw. It says the pace was 4 1/2 lengths slower than par. And their final speed figure (101) is roughly equivalent to a Beyer of 100, so there's no disagreement there.
Maybe Isn't He Clever is a different horse at Sunland. Maybe DNB is too. But who cares? We don't run major races at Sunland Park. We run them at OP, SA, CD, PIM and such. And let's face it -- on those tracks, against the class of animal those tracks attract -- both horses suck. Period. They've proved it.
Am I wrong there? Am I being unfair? I'm being unkind maybe, but not unfair. All available evidence says the Sunland Derby was a second-class race contested by second-class critters, and for heaven's sake, can we please stop talking about it?
Not my battle, but in an attempt to change the subject slightly...
Should IHA win the Belmont, while an incredibly tremendous accomplish, does he go down in history as a tremendous race horse regardless of any additional triumphs later this year, next year?
While I am well aware the importance of the TC, the difficulty in winning it obviously, the media empahsis on the series, the public interest in the series, etc, does any 3YO winning a series of 3 races in 5 weeks against other 3YOs cement his/her place in history as an all time great? Please discuss....
This is exactly why I watched and read and smiled before I started this thread Vagrant. I've been reading your responses to EVERY single statement made about Bodemeister that you didn't agree with for the last 5 weeks. And here you are at it again. Maybe you need to let it go Vagrant. What you've been saying all along is that one(a horse) is not talent validated unless you have met a certain speed figure threshold. To prove you're point you even went so far back as to use the PF's of the Best Pal, a 6.5f race on poly back in August of 2011 at Del Mar, to denegrate the report card of a horse going into the Kentucky Derby with 2 graded victories under his belt at a top racing circuit in the country. The title of the thread was "Contenders, And Other Bad Ideas". Now Vagrant, with all due respect, what the hell does a 6.5f race in August have to do with a 10f race nine months later in May? And I could care less how offended you WILL get from this post. We're all entitled to our opinion, but folk like you believe that your more blessed with handicapping acumen than others due to your appreciation of speed figures. You've gotta be a part owner of Bodemeister or something, because you've never been this defensive and easily annoyed on chat sites over the last 13 years we've been dialoguing. It is what it is. I'm Out.
Vagrant- It's like picking at a scab, I keep telling myself not to do it but then can't help myself. Must ... use ... more ... self-control.
Oz- I think he becomes the most discussed/known/celebrated horse in the modern era, even if he doesn't deserve it. In reading reaction elsewhere, there is a very vocal contingent that is rooting against IHA because of O' Neil. I have heard a surprising number of people (Jim Rome included) that think we may never see another TC winner.
What amazes me is the seeming negativity from some IHA fans towards Bodemeister. Guess there is some deep resentment towards those that held to the idea that Bode ran the better race in the Derby.
I'm not offended at all, CB. It's horses. It's not personal.
If I gave the impression that I think I own superior handicapping acumen -- regarding speed figs or anything else -- i apologize. I most certainly don't believe that. At all.
But I do believe that speed figures are, in general, an excellent indicator of racing ability. Better horses earn better figs. Winning the Kentucky Derby only makes a horse a Kentucky Derby winner. Which is a hell of a thing. But it doesn't automatically make him a great horse, or even an especially fast horse. Nobody is going to confuse Giacomo with Secretariat. Or even Street Sense.
You're singling me out, CB, because I've been particularly vocal on the Bode-IHA thing. Fine. But it's not like I hold a minority opinion. The world simply was not that blown away by IHA's Derby win. It was a win and he earned every petal of it. Nobody said he didn't. But it was not, in most eyes, a bravura performance. You saw it differently. I'm cool with that. Vive la difference.
I don't understand why you can't be cool with the fact that a lot of us saw it differently. Or maybe just that I, in particular, saw it differently.
Most of this stems from the fact that I dissed IHA in the beginning. Sue me. It wasn't just the modest speed figs (which were universally modest, btw). It was being life & death to beat Blueskiesnrainbows, a former claimer. It was the dreadful record of SA Derby grads dating back to 1999. It was the electroshock whatchamajigger therapy. And the nine weeks between prep races.
You and a few others saw through that pile of discouraging data and saw a Derby winner. As I've said before -- sincerely -- congratulations! But he was ninth choice in a field of 20 for a reason. Quite plausible reasons. We, the majority, were wrong this time. It happens.
Of course, this also stems from the praise that Bodemeister got for his Derby run. You know why there was such a clamor? Because somebody wins the Derby every year. But nobody had ever run that fast, that early, and been a factor at the wire. It was unusual. Remarkable. Extraordinary even. Like it or not, CB, there's nothing remarkable or extraordinary about winning the Derby in 2:01 4/5 after a perfect trip and a closing quarter in 26 flat. There's just not. You can either accept that or keep beating your head against the wall.
The Celtics won the night Jordan scored 63. But the Celtics winning a playoff game is not remarkable or extraordinary. Jordan's performance in defeat definitely was. That's the way it shakes out sometimes. To the victor goes the spoils. But every once in a while, the loser lays claim to the headlines and the memories. Derby 138 was one of those times. That's all there is to it.
Six weeks ago, Kentucky won the NCAA basketball championship. They forcefully proved that they were the best team of 2011-12 -- which is a hell of a thing. But it wasn't enough for some Kentucky fans. No sirree.
They hadn't even finished cutting the nets down before some Cat fans started insisting that this was the best UK team ever. Yea, one of the best college basketball teams ever!!!
You haven't gone quite that far, CB, but you're in the ballpark. Winning the Kentucky Derby wasn't enough. When the speed figs came back slow, you resented it. When people extolled another horse's historical losing effort, you resented it. When the Pimlico oddsmaker and the world at large made the runner-up the Preakness favorite, you resented it. You even retroactively resented that he was the Derby favorite. "How could that be? He beat dogs in Arkansas! His speed fig was inflated! Etc., ad nauseum."
You know what you did, CB? You rained on your own parade. You got mad when the world didn't show your horse enough love for winning the Derby ... then you got mad because people finally came around after the Preakness. "They should have seen it sooner! Why do the dummies need a speed figure to validate the obvious?"
Which puts Beyer and such in an odd position. If they'd given the Preakness a low fig, you'd have been mad. They gave it a high fig and you're mad about that too. "Because it shouldn't take a high fig for my horse to get his props. He shoulda got a higher fig in the Derby anyway! And don't even get me started on the numbers from the Robert B. Lewis! ..."
In other words, if you don't see it the way I saw it, from Feb. 4 to May 19, you're defective or defensive or something equally pejorative.
That is essentially what you're saying, CB. And to some extent, you have a right to say it. Your take on IHA was right. The majority's was wrong. But I think people have complimented your insight sincerely and copiously. What more do you want? Why do you resent so fiercely positive remarks about a very good horse who, inarguably, hasn't been quite as good as your horse of late? It's a little crazy.
But this is a crazy season. Passions run high. It's part of the fun. What say we bury the hatchet and resume our regular programming of spirited debate without personal rancor?
Bode had everything his own way on Saturday and couldn't hold him off.
As to Ozzy's question:
Just winning the Triple Crown while a great accomplishment would not make IHA a great racehorse.
There needs to be more on the resume.The two year old season was abbreviated.If he were to keep running maybe winning a race like the Travers then going on to beat older horses in the Classic then we can talk.
Until then he's just a very good three year old.
I learned a long time ago not to bash your competition , it only belittles your horses accomplishments. I don't need to point out my love of IHA. Bodemeister is just lengths of trying for the Triple Crown himself.
Bodemeister going to Arkansas was a brilliant decision by Baffert. After not racing as a two year old he had no choice to gain earnings otherwise the Derby would just be talk and not reality. So why knock heads with Creative Cause and I'll Have Another for $750,000. Instead go to Oaklawn for $1,000,000 and take on a distance challenged Secret Circle. It was a logical move on Baffert's part. Bodemeister will be doing lots of damage down the road if he stays healthy.
First things first, I'll Have Another is NOT a great horse. Greatness is applied when you've been exceptional over an extended period of time. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a great basketball player and won his 5th regular season MVP in 1977. The 1977 Portland Trail Blazers had a great season and swept the Lakers in the 1977 Western Conference Finals on their way to the title. Kareem went on to win a record 6th MVP and 5 more championships and the Blazers haven't won a title since. There's a big difference between the two. IHA has had a good winter-spring. Now if he wins the Belmont, that will put him alongside some of the great horses of yesteryear, but that still won't qualify him as a great horse. Keep in mind that the last 3 TC winners were exceptional at age 2, Secretariat was even HOY at 2, and while Secretariat never ran at 4, Seattle Slew and Affirmed did and were champions every year they ran. Now that is greatness.
As it relates to judging a horse's report card, prior to Beyer figures being included in the DRF, here's what we used to do. We'd take the speed rating, which is computed based on how many 1/5's the horse ran relative to the track record, and add that to the track variant, the fast/slow variable relative to the track surface, and that would tell us how well a horse did on tht day. I look at track variants like this. Any variant around a 5 means track was quick. A 15 is medium and a 25 is slow. The point I'm making Vagrant is that you Vagrant can determine how fast a horse is on your own. Beyer/Ragozin have a product for sale and they'll do whatever they have to in order to promote it.
I've been following this game for a long time Vagrant. Any horse that comes off of a 5 month layoff from age 2 to 3 and runs a 1 1/16m in 1:40 4/5 after never being past 7f, is a horse with talent, even if the track variant was 0. This isn't limited to I'll Have Another, but any horse. Fast, as it relates to race time, is fast. Up to 9f, it appears that Bodemeister is a beast on the front end because it took every bit of the 9.5f for IHA to run him down on Saturday. But while Bodemeister is blessed with natural SPEED, it appears that IHA is blessed with enough CLASS to take it to Bodemeister. And always remember that while speed is an attractive variable onto itself, class inherently brings speed with it. I'll leave it there for now. We're Good. Peace, CB.
This whole kerfuffle reminds me of Catholics and Protestants arguing doctrine. They share 98% of the same beliefs, but when they get tunnel-visioned on the 2%, you'd think there wasn't a square inch of common ground.
I'm just waiting for the pet names of greatness to come out...like I'll Have Two More, or Bode Millermeister...if a colt's name can change when they run slow, why can't there by pet names for them when they are good?
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