View Full Version : Turf horses-good discussion maybe
03-17-2012, 09:44 AM
This might make a good discussion....turf horses. Why do they have longer careers and race at older ages? Why do we seem to have less breakdowns in the US? (maybe because there are more dirt races vs turf each day)? And why is it you see more long shots win at the turf than the dirt. Anyone got any opinions?
03-17-2012, 09:54 AM
1) Trainers take their time with turf horses. There is no rush with them so they mature correctly. Many a good horse is ruined trying to get them to the Derby.
2) Turf is just much easier on a horse that dirt. It has more give.
3) Most importantly, turf races are actually pretty easy on a horse until they hit the stretch. They are not blitzing around the track.
4) The top American dirt horses are usually fragile speedballs. They are bred to be fast regardless of how sound they might be.
Longshots win more on turf because they essentially become sprints to the wire in the last few furlongs and anything can happen.
The other thing about longshots on turf, take a horse like Exothermic, who went off at 50-1 in his first start. Handicappers in America are not so sharp when it comes to turf racing maidens. A horse like Exothermic should have been 5-1 in his maiden considering his mother was arguably one of the best turf horses in the world when she ran. She beat Ouija Board, for goodness sake, but the betting public in the US barely knew who Irridescence was.
03-17-2012, 10:04 AM
And I absolutely agree with many of your key points, especially when it comes to the surface and longevity. Turf is a more "natural" surface because of the give as you said. Where dirt, well....it's an intricate mix of substances where depth is also a factor. Too hard and you end of up with physical issues and "slipping" (nothing to grab onto)...too soft and you end up with speed/performance issues. I also like what you said about the sprint to the finish. I think I've seen more turf races with a gang of horses at the end than I have dirt.
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