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I'm often bemused at what I see in the various forums that passes for reliable information or data. For instance, a current detractor of Lookin at Lucky in one of the forums suggests that LAL is good because he is bred for turf - therefore he is suited to the synthetics - and when he has to run on dirt, he will be nothing much. I laughed when I read his posting, because this guy is one of the great backers of the Curlin could not handle the phony synthetic surface - that's why he lost the BC Classic - theory. In fact, both LAL and Curlin were sired by Smart Strike - whose data is slightly tilted in favor of siring dirt over turf runners. I haven't checked since he posted, but at the time I saw it, not a single poster that followed had pointed out the obvious bias in his thinking. Collectively, It's obvious group-think.. which is the downfall of most handicappers who follow the majority into the red.
As a handicapper, I have seen no data, nor have I noticed in my own studies that there is any correlation whatsoever between turf sires and superior synthetic performers. It's just a myth that the anti-synthetic crowd makes to further their own positions. I, like most handicappers, prefer handicapping on dirt .. That being said.. in matters of gambling, if one holds myth over fact, one will lose their a$$ in nothing-flat.
Though the data below is old, printed at the end of 2006 and pertaining to only one synthetic surface, (Turfway) IMO, it is well worth a look. It is data that was scientifically gathered and presented and its conclusions seem obvious.
Excerpted from an article by Rich Nilsen at Brisnet.com
http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/static.c ... erSurfaces
PEDIGREE PLAYS & THE TURF MYTH
Thanks to many TV personalities and handicappers jumping to conclusions, the most widely publicized angle regarding poly has been that turf horses are the bets of choice. If you're wagering on one-dimensional turf runners making the move to the poly, you'll lose your shirt. Although there is some truth that some grass specialists handle the poly well, the entire angle has been n out of proportion.
A leading Thoroughbred publication did an in-depth analysis of the sires of Polytrack winners from the concluded Turfway season. One thing from this study that jumped out at me was that there was quite a mix of turf and dirt stallions that had successfully sired poly winners. Consider that some of the most successful stallions included Crafty Prospector, Fit To Fight, Louis Quartorze, Presidential Order, Sefapiano, Storm Boot, and Souvenir Copy. Few handicappers would mistake these stallions as turf influences. In fact, the overwhelming majority of their progeny's earnings to date have come on the dirt.
Table 1 shows the stallions that had 10 or winners since the debut of Polytrack. How many good turf runners by Real Quiet can you name? Zero; because there really haven't been any. Real Quiet has had just one minor stakes winner on the lawn and just a handful of bottom allowance winners despite numerous grass attempts by his progeny. It's not to say that one of his many top class runners, such as Wonder Lady Anne L, would not handle the switch to the grass if given the opportunity, but the bottom line is that Real Quiet (like Fit To Fight mentioned previously) is as confirmed a dirt sire as it comes.
Turfway Park sires with 10 or more wins, 2005-'06
Sire-----------------Wins-------Turf Rating----Mud Rating
Catienus -------- -----18----------- C-----------------C
Tale of the Cat-------15------------C-----------------B
Peaks And Valleys----12------------C-----------------C
Slew City Slew--------11------------B-----------------B
Real Quiet ------------10------------C-----------------C
Turf and Mud Rating courtesy of TSN's Sire Stats 2006 book (http://www.tsnhorse.com). A rating of "C" represents an average sire for the category. "B" represents 14% winners of greater, which is above average based on the population of stallions.
More importantly it is not the turf breeding but the success of a runner on the turf. Successful turf runners generally do well on the synthetic. It is my opinion and theory that because synthetic races are similar to turf races in how a horse distributes energy ( slow early faster late v. fast early slow late on dirt) that turf runners are better prepped to run a synthetic type race whereas a dirt runner would generally need time to acclimate to the style.
Sarcasm:the ability to insult idiots without them realizing it
I find this discussion on Synthetics extremely interesting & I would agree with all of the above conclusions from the above posters. However Imho, the one important omission has been the seemingly favorable Mid-Outside paths during the final Stretch Runs, especially on Poly & Pro-Ride.
If anyone doesnt agreethat the Mid to Outside paths dont have an advantage during the final half miles of the race on Poly & Pro-Ride then I suggest one watch the '09-BC-Classic where Zenyatta comes off the inside 2-3 path & goes to about the outside 7 or 8 path to Win the Classic without so much as breaking a sweat. Imho the Poly & Pro-Ride surfaces helps runners who are long striding types & who are void of Early Speed like Zenyatta. Thats right I say on all dirt races Zenyatta does not go undefeated thru her carreer, because she would've bound to caught a Speed Favoring dirt surface where the Early Speed horses would not guarantee to back-up in a 9 or 10 furlong race like they do on Poly or Pro-Ride.
Dont get me wrong I'm not knoking Zenyatta for winning the BC Classic, I just feel the type of race that she ran on BC-Classic Day was aided by the Pro-Ride surface, which favors this type of running style especially at the distance of 10 furlongs. I would've loved to have seen what a long striding horse like Easy Goer would've done on Pro-Ride or Poly?
Still I'm in favor of Poly & other synthetic surfaces like Pro-Ride, because #1 they've reduced the # of $4-5 Early Speed favs at tracks like Keeneland & Turfway and made for higher odds on logical well bred horses. Also #2 they've helped increase race field size at tracks like Keeneland & Woodbine.
So shout it from grandstands everywhere, Viva Poly & Synthetic tracks for they are silently making for a better wagering product at our best racetracks across the country. So what if they favor Mid-Late runners in the Mid-Outside racing paths, as long as theres at least a 9-10 horse race field & there are no $4-5 or less favs, thats actually a Good Thing.
I agree with your posting. Winning races on any track or surface is a matter of distributing energy properly. It is all about the runners ability to cope with the pace characteristics of the race at hand. If the track is anti-speed, no matter the surface, those who will break and pull for the lead will have a hard time winning... while those who can wait and express energy later in the race will be advantaged.
The point that I want to make .. and that I will continue to make is that sometimes, on any and all surfaces, speed is favorable, and other times it is not. You put a fast dirt horse on a synthetic when the synthetic is playing favorably to speed, and that dirt horse will likely do well. On the other hand, if you put a synthetic horse (with the mid-running profile) on a dirt track that is tough on front runners, they will likely do very well. Turf is mostly the same. A horse like John Henry could run well on the dirt because he was endowed with a lot of speed and class. He could handle a fast pace. When he first shipped West, he was a brilliantly fast front runner who wouldn't let anybody head-him. Later on, with the help of Pincay and McCarron, he learned to rate. Therefore, the pace of dirt races were not beyond his scope. On the other hand, most of the Euros who ship here have never had to run into a 110.3 - 3/4 time, that they will likely encounter in high class dirt routes, so they are acutely disadvantaged trying to hold or improve position, when racing on the faster paced dirt races. Not to say that they absolutely can't if given time to train and develop their natural speed, but straight off the plane, mostly they fail.
What most of us who can bet synthetics successfully suggest is that Curlin's running profile was perfectly suited to the Pro-Ride surface. My own perception was the jockey moved a little too soon, and that Curlin was a little over the top.. He had absolutely struggled to run down Past the Point in his prior race. I firmly believe that if Curlin were coming to the Classic in a different manner, a little fresher, and got a little better ride, he could have won that race. I reject the argument that it was the synthetic that beat him. IMO, Jess Jackson used the synthetic as an alibi. We are all used to trainers and owners making excuses for losing, but Jackson tapped into handicapper discontent and turned a single loss into a campaign that was meant to justify his opinion that Curlin lost *only* because of synthetics, not because he moved too soon, or was tired, or whatever. Later on, after acquiring Rachel he probably realized that Pro-Ride can often be very tough on front runners like Rachel, and instead of saying just that.. he carried on with his "unsafe/plastic" campaign. Rachel can handle it just fine and on synthetics friendlier days or at Hollypark, she would fly over it.
So, to summarize, my position is somewhat the same as your first quoted line.. It is the the runners style (distribution of energy) and racing class, matched against the winning profile of the track surface and distance, that are primary in assessing his chances. Whether the sand is mixed with plastic (synthetic) or silt, (dirt) these are still thoroughbred race horses who were born to run... and they SHOULD NOT be categorized or limited by the composition of their home surfaces.
I wish you no ill will but your gibberish continues. BY my read you consider yourself a pedigree expert........yet only view one side of the pedigree!!
You prefer dirt, yet bet synthetics successfully, yet post that "Curlin like will the proride"??
Then, just when your thesis is due, your credibility in ruins, you post a
irrefutable gem... "regardless of surface...sometimes speed is favorable, sometimes not".
If you post something of substance, I'll respond. Otherwise, you're welcome to follow me around and question my credibility... If that's how you want to live your life, fine with me...
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