Accelerate vs Justify HOTY

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Who gets your vote?

Justify
18
27%
Accelerate
48
73%
 
Total votes: 66
Tessablue
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:25 pm

For reference RE: Accelerate's accomplishments, I believe Accelerate is the first horse to win three G1s at 10f en route to a victory in the Classic since Cigar in 1995. Moreover, to find another Classic winner with 5 or more open G1 wins on the year, one has to go back to... Cigar, again. The only other Classic winner to conclude with that many open G1 wins was Alysheba in 1988. Pretty decent company.

I remain highly skeptical of the actual quality of some of Accelerate's G1 fields- but on the merits, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that his campaign was in any way ordinary, or that we should expect to see a campaign like this again in the near future. Justify doesn't care if he wins or not, so my imaginary vote goes to the horse who also achieved excellence this year while promoting a positive side of the sport, rather than a deeply cynical one.
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ElPrado2
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:36 am

Ok, here's the Watchmaker run down, paraphrased by me, on the Classic field.

Accelerate,,,seems vulnerable

West Coast...has license to improve, has to

Catholic Boy...primarily turf

McKinzie ... needs recovery time after the recent win, not getting it

Mind Your Biacuits... Seriously? New owners want to expand his book if he does ok

Yoshida...in over his head

Mendelssohn...moral victories aren't wins

Roaring Lion ... never saw actual dirt before, never wants to again

Thunder Snow... let a 45 -1 longshot beat him in JCGC, had a perfect setup and still lost

Gunnevera... big rep, hasn't been able to live up to it yet

Axelrod... probably Pa Derby was lifetime peak

Discreet Lover...JCGC fell in his lap

Pavel... never very close to Accelerate before, why this time?

Lone Sailor... a chance for owners to get on TV.
Less chance in race.
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Treve
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:49 pm

Not to be nitpicky but Justify didn't run in a river in the Preakness... It was a sealed wet track and it wasn't even raining by post time. The foggy conditions were impressive but I'm fairly certain that impedes the jockeys moreso than the horses. Throwing around terms like river, monsoon etc. completely over-dramatizes it, especially given those same words were used in 2015... where they were appropriate, and where the track was not sealed so the horses were actually running in mud and water up to their knees, jockeys had gained a ridiculous amount of weight (even Victor at the front who got nothing but rainwater and no mud) etc...
I also see no one coming up with an explanation for his slow Belmont.

But his times or Accelerate's are neither here nor there. We tend to view the Triple Crown as the holy grail in this sport because of its perceived difficulty. We consider it the rarest prize in sports, but that's partly because it's an actual sponsored series with a reward for completing it. When Sir Barton won it, it wasn't "a thing" yet. Wasn't even a "thing" when Man O' War ran, or I suppose we can speculate he'd have won it. Different times, different mentalities, different perceptions of prestige.

Here's the thing though. What makes the Triple Crown rare, I'd argue isn't just because of its difficulty, but I'd go so far as to say it's partly due to the fact that horses only get 1 shot at it.
Couldn't we then reflect on the fact that measurably if there is something that you have multiple chances at, but always fail, it must be even harder? For example, winning the Dubai World Cup and the Breeders' Cup Classic in the same year has never been done, but several good horses, arguably even great horses have attempted it, at times more than once.
Winning the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Arc is another good example. Found was the first to capture both prizes, but not in the same year even though many others have attempted both. Now Enable has become the first to claim the Arc/Turf double in a single campaign and although proportionally not many horses tried it, those who have weren't exactly nobodies.

Accelerate is the first to do what he did. I suppose one would have to look at how many horses have tried it, how many horses followed campaigns with a similar path but didn't sweep all the major California handicap races, or the BCC to be objective. One could say what he has accomplished is rarer than a Triple Crown, because we have 13 Triple Crown winners and only one Cali Handicap Sweep + BCC winner. You could also add what tb has outlined - specifically 3, 10f G1s en route to a Classic win in the same year, first since Cigar and third only overall... so one could say it's rare. Of course no one views it that way... the Triple Crown has more glory because it has hallowed history behind it and a kind of mystique that has come to capture the imagination. That tells me it is based more on emotion than objectivity.
So many horses it seems, have tried and failed, it further emphasizes just how difficult it must be, but it's hard to gauge when juxtaposed to older male accomplishments. And just as it is incredibly difficult to get a young horse to peak for 3 consecutive G1s, it's also very difficult to manage a horse that is peaking or performing well enough to win from January through November.

But anyway, for me HOTY is based on a horse's overall campaign, not a single/specific accomplishment. I guess this would be the influence I've gotten from horse shows, where Champion and reserve Champion are dependent on how consistent you are.
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ElPrado2
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:05 pm

No explanation for Justify's time in the Belmont.
Trainers are allowed to tell a jockey to put a horse in front and slow the pace down. Happens all the time. Perfectly legal. Why run faster than you need to? Also, some horses like to run in company, others put distance between themselves and their competion. Not every one wants to win by 31 lengths.
Also, I may have insulted Justify's competition in an earlier post. Before the Derby, all you could hear was about how great a crop the 2018 3 year olds were. 3 seconds after he crossed the finish line, his competition became Cock-a-poos. It went from being a great crop to something found in a dog pound in record time. No one really wanted Baffert to win. Then he did.
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Treve
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:48 am

I’ve long wondered if Secreteriat would have smashed time enduring records if he hadn’t run against Sham.
But I’m not convinced Justify would’ve come even close if he had his own Sham. Not convinced about the staying with the pack argument either considering in his starts in California he seemed to have no issue separating from mediocre competition with wider margins... and he actually ran faster, even proportionally speaking. Again not sure why his times matter in this discussion considering that even if they were slow they were enough for him to win.

Voters in Europe for the Cartier awards have chosen the horse with the longer more consistent campaign over the concentrated brilliance of a rare accomplishment but shortened campaign. Will be interesting to see what happens in January.

https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... -top-honor
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Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
stark
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:42 am

Given a choice, which one would you rather have owned from the beginning of the year?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Treve
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:18 am

stark wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:42 am
Given a choice, which one would you rather have owned from the beginning of the year?
What are your variables with this hypothetical? Do we know what they will accomplish? Do we get to make decisions regarding their career? Do we have their earnings as of February in our pockets? etc.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
barbaro111
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:27 am

ElPrado2 wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:05 pm
No explanation for Justify's time in the Belmont.
Trainers are allowed to tell a jockey to put a horse in front and slow the pace down. Happens all the time. Perfectly legal. Why run faster than you need to? Also, some horses like to run in company, others put distance between themselves and their competion. Not every one wants to win by 31 lengths.
Also, I may have insulted Justify's competition in an earlier post. Before the Derby, all you could hear was about how great a crop the 2018 3 year olds were. 3 seconds after he crossed the finish line, his competition became Cock-a-poos. It went from being a great crop to something found in a dog pound in record time. No one really wanted Baffert to win. Then he did.
your post made me laugh--- yeah, the three year old crop went from the best in many years, to, after Justify won the triple crown, to being chopped liver. ain't it great????
barbaro111
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:35 am

Treve wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:49 pm
Not to be nitpicky but Justify didn't run in a river in the Preakness... It was a sealed wet track and it wasn't even raining by post time. The foggy conditions were impressive but I'm fairly certain that impedes the jockeys moreso than the horses. Throwing around terms like river, monsoon etc. completely over-dramatizes it, especially given those same words were used in 2015... where they were appropriate, and where the track was not sealed so the horses were actually running in mud and water up to their knees, jockeys had gained a ridiculous amount of weight (even Victor at the front who got nothing but rainwater and no mud) etc...
I also see no one coming up with an explanation for his slow Belmont.

But his times or Accelerate's are neither here nor there. We tend to view the Triple Crown as the holy grail in this sport because of its perceived difficulty. We consider it the rarest prize in sports, but that's partly because it's an actual sponsored series with a reward for completing it. When Sir Barton won it, it wasn't "a thing" yet. Wasn't even a "thing" when Man O' War ran, or I suppose we can speculate he'd have won it. Different times, different mentalities, different perceptions of prestige.

Here's the thing though. What makes the Triple Crown rare, I'd argue isn't just because of its difficulty, but I'd go so far as to say it's partly due to the fact that horses only get 1 shot at it.
Couldn't we then reflect on the fact that measurably if there is something that you have multiple chances at, but always fail, it must be even harder? For example, winning the Dubai World Cup and the Breeders' Cup Classic in the same year has never been done, but several good horses, arguably even great horses have attempted it, at times more than once.
Winning the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Arc is another good example. Found was the first to capture both prizes, but not in the same year even though many others have attempted both. Now Enable has become the first to claim the Arc/Turf double in a single campaign and although proportionally not many horses tried it, those who have weren't exactly nobodies.

Accelerate is the first to do what he did. I suppose one would have to look at how many horses have tried it, how many horses followed campaigns with a similar path but didn't sweep all the major California handicap races, or the BCC to be objective. One could say what he has accomplished is rarer than a Triple Crown, because we have 13 Triple Crown winners and only one Cali Handicap Sweep + BCC winner. You could also add what tb has outlined - specifically 3, 10f G1s en route to a Classic win in the same year, first since Cigar and third only overall... so one could say it's rare. Of course no one views it that way... the Triple Crown has more glory because it has hallowed history behind it and a kind of mystique that has come to capture the imagination. That tells me it is based more on emotion than objectivity.
So many horses it seems, have tried and failed, it further emphasizes just how difficult it must be, but it's hard to gauge when juxtaposed to older male accomplishments. And just as it is incredibly difficult to get a young horse to peak for 3 consecutive G1s, it's also very difficult to manage a horse that is peaking or performing well enough to win from January through November.

But anyway, for me HOTY is based on a horse's overall campaign, not a single/specific accomplishment. I guess this would be the influence I've gotten from horse shows, where Champion and reserve Champion are dependent on how consistent you are.
not to be nitpicky but i take issue with your description of the triple crown as "perceived difficulty"-- i believe it is actually in reality very very difficult and the evidence is that only 13 horses have won the triple crown, even if they did not always call it that. Jerry Bailey said the triple crown races are meant to wear horses down- it is a grueling set of races for three year olds (and we are talking about three year olds because only three year olds run in the races). It took 37 years between winners of the triple crown and many thought it could and would never be done again. The triple crown races will remain the holy grail in horse racing for the forseeable future. This in no way minimizes the accomplishments of older horse like Accelerate and his massive accomplishments this year. I can understand the argument for Accelerate, but my opinion is that a horse that wins the triple crown deserves horse of the year.
Tessablue
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:32 am

You can't tell how good a crop is during the first half of the year, and this one almost completely fell apart. Mendelssohn was the best left standing at the end of the year, but he was a complete non-factor in the Derby. In fact, I believe the only open stakes winner from the entire TC was Promises Fulfilled, who beat older horses going 6f. There's still time for the crop to make a name for itself, and Audible could turn out to be very good, but that particular case would be... problematic for the evaluation of Justify's legacy.

The connections chose not to let Justify run against older horses, so we will never know how he might have fared against better competition.
And again, the horse doesn't care if he wins. The connections do, and I don't see why they should be rewarded for their behavior this year when there's another perfectly viable candidate.

And yes, the Belmont was slow. The Preakness was very slow. No way around it. "He could have run faster" is almost always a complete fallacy.
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Treve
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:47 am

barbaro111 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:35 am
Treve wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:49 pm
Not to be nitpicky but Justify didn't run in a river in the Preakness... It was a sealed wet track and it wasn't even raining by post time. The foggy conditions were impressive but I'm fairly certain that impedes the jockeys moreso than the horses. Throwing around terms like river, monsoon etc. completely over-dramatizes it, especially given those same words were used in 2015... where they were appropriate, and where the track was not sealed so the horses were actually running in mud and water up to their knees, jockeys had gained a ridiculous amount of weight (even Victor at the front who got nothing but rainwater and no mud) etc...
I also see no one coming up with an explanation for his slow Belmont.

But his times or Accelerate's are neither here nor there. We tend to view the Triple Crown as the holy grail in this sport because of its perceived difficulty. We consider it the rarest prize in sports, but that's partly because it's an actual sponsored series with a reward for completing it. When Sir Barton won it, it wasn't "a thing" yet. Wasn't even a "thing" when Man O' War ran, or I suppose we can speculate he'd have won it. Different times, different mentalities, different perceptions of prestige.

Here's the thing though. What makes the Triple Crown rare, I'd argue isn't just because of its difficulty, but I'd go so far as to say it's partly due to the fact that horses only get 1 shot at it.
Couldn't we then reflect on the fact that measurably if there is something that you have multiple chances at, but always fail, it must be even harder? For example, winning the Dubai World Cup and the Breeders' Cup Classic in the same year has never been done, but several good horses, arguably even great horses have attempted it, at times more than once.
Winning the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Arc is another good example. Found was the first to capture both prizes, but not in the same year even though many others have attempted both. Now Enable has become the first to claim the Arc/Turf double in a single campaign and although proportionally not many horses tried it, those who have weren't exactly nobodies.

Accelerate is the first to do what he did. I suppose one would have to look at how many horses have tried it, how many horses followed campaigns with a similar path but didn't sweep all the major California handicap races, or the BCC to be objective. One could say what he has accomplished is rarer than a Triple Crown, because we have 13 Triple Crown winners and only one Cali Handicap Sweep + BCC winner. You could also add what tb has outlined - specifically 3, 10f G1s en route to a Classic win in the same year, first since Cigar and third only overall... so one could say it's rare. Of course no one views it that way... the Triple Crown has more glory because it has hallowed history behind it and a kind of mystique that has come to capture the imagination. That tells me it is based more on emotion than objectivity.
So many horses it seems, have tried and failed, it further emphasizes just how difficult it must be, but it's hard to gauge when juxtaposed to older male accomplishments. And just as it is incredibly difficult to get a young horse to peak for 3 consecutive G1s, it's also very difficult to manage a horse that is peaking or performing well enough to win from January through November.

But anyway, for me HOTY is based on a horse's overall campaign, not a single/specific accomplishment. I guess this would be the influence I've gotten from horse shows, where Champion and reserve Champion are dependent on how consistent you are.
not to be nitpicky but i take issue with your description of the triple crown as "perceived difficulty"-- i believe it is actually in reality very very difficult and the evidence is that only 13 horses have won the triple crown, even if they did not always call it that. Jerry Bailey said the triple crown races are meant to wear horses down- it is a grueling set of races for three year olds (and we are talking about three year olds because only three year olds run in the races). It took 37 years between winners of the triple crown and many thought it could and would never be done again. The triple crown races will remain the holy grail in horse racing for the forseeable future. This in no way minimizes the accomplishments of older horse like Accelerate and his massive accomplishments this year. I can understand the argument for Accelerate, but my opinion is that a horse that wins the triple crown deserves horse of the year.
I don’t think you read my entire post, or you misread it. Because I actually agree the triple crown is difficult, I even said in these words “what makes it rare is not just its difficulty”, however the level to which it is perceived as difficult is variable, and if you really wanna double down, I’d point out that when Sir Barton won it two of the races were run 4 days a part AND he had time to win the Withers before his Belmont, so yes it actually matters at which point in history we are talking about since back then it wasn’t “designed” as a series yet so no it wasn’t “meant” to do anything specific besides have 3 year olds run it. And in that same era MoW didn’t run in it because the Kentucky Derby wasn’t prestigious enough or Eastern enough to his owner’s liking.

That today it is a gruelling test that often pressures owners and trainers into ruining otherwise talented 3yos with potential is also a matter of how the sport has changed and evolved. If you took objection with my use of the word “perceived” at the beginning of my response, consider I was actually leaving the door open for different opinions both from people who consider it the pinnacle and most difficult prize to achieve in this sport, as well as the people who value other aspects of racing or don’t view the US triple crown as the centre or the racing universe. I don’t think anyone has ever claimed it is easy, but the worshipping and mystique is largely unique to the US triple crown because culturally American racing has built it up to be that way. Even though there are TC series around the world that could be argued as being more difficult as little or less often than the US one but there isn’t that same kind of hype or obsession around them (for example the European and Japanese TCs all have a much wider range of distances, and the last leg the 3yos have to face older horses who will often be at that point specialist distance horses. Last winner of the English Triple Crown predates Secretariat and there has only been one attempt since). I think it is simply a matter of respect to acknowledge not everyone has the same opinion about the US Triple Crown, and while most everyone agrees it is difficult not everyone views it on the same level of difficulty or importance.

Here’s the thing though, if you had read what I said carefully you’d have noticed I actually was focusing on the rarity of the triple crown, not its difficulty, because again I agree the Triple Crown is very difficult especially in the modern incarnation of the sport. That Baffert made it look easy doesn’t make it so. But my entire point was the fact that what makes it so rare isn’t just because it is difficult, but literally because the great, talented horses who have come close to the prize only have one shot at it. Yet in spite of horses having multiple chances at other things there are still some things that remain rare or haven’t been done before (like the Dubai/Classic double the same year). Can’t believe I actually have to spell it out, but how many more triple crown winners do you think we would have if they got to run the series again as older males? I don’t necessarily think we’d have a lot more, I think certainly some of the ‘twists of fate’ losses or jockey panic/boneheaded losses might have been redeemed. Some I’m certain they could’ve run the Belmont 5 times and still lost. As with everything else in racing luck is also a factor. But just as a mathematical probability if you have more chances to try something you have more chances to succeed.

That you think Justify should be awarded HOTY for winning the US TC is an opinion you are entitled to. I think my point about rarity is simply that I find “the TC is difficult so the winner should be HOTY” is a more solid argument than “the TC rare so the winner should win HOTY” because rarity while it can be noteworthy isn’t actually an objective metric and it can be skewed for a variety of reasons.
A filly named Ruffian...

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Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
stark
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:58 am

Treve wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:18 am
stark wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:42 am
Given a choice, which one would you rather have owned from the beginning of the year?
What are your variables with this hypothetical? Do we know what they will accomplish? Do we get to make decisions regarding their career? Do we have their earnings as of February in our pockets? etc.

No variables, it is what it is, the decisions have been made for you.
Would you have preferred to be the owner of a Triple Crown Winner who many gave no shot to in February and is now on to a new career in the shed.
Or
A grinder who stuck it out thru the rigors of California racing and won the Breeders Cup ultimate prize.

From an owner's perspective...............
What say you?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Charlie
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:20 pm

ElPrado2 wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:05 pm
No explanation for Justify's time in the Belmont.
Trainers are allowed to tell a jockey to put a horse in front and slow the pace down. Happens all the time. Perfectly legal. Why run faster than you need to? Also, some horses like to run in company, others put distance between themselves and their competion. Not every one wants to win by 31 lengths.
Also, I may have insulted Justify's competition in an earlier post. Before the Derby, all you could hear was about how great a crop the 2018 3 year olds were. 3 seconds after he crossed the finish line, his competition became Cock-a-poos. It went from being a great crop to something found in a dog pound in record time. No one really wanted Baffert to win. Then he did.
Except for that crop as proven they weren't much ( the derby made that very clear). It has nothing to do with people hating on Justify and to think so is to lack all critical thinking skills. That horse was not going to run faster, he was getting slower each race and he got lucky that all his competition was just getting slower quicker.

Some mentioned what would have happened if Justify had his own "Sham"? Well if he had someone pushing him like that, he wouldn't be a triple crown winner.
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Curtis
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:46 pm

Charlie wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:20 pm


Some mentioned what would have happened if Justify had his own "Sham"? Well if he had someone pushing him like that, he wouldn't be a triple crown winner.
Proof?

All things are to be taken in context. There is no real way to judge this crop of 3yo’s until next year around this time. Accelerate stuck it out and kept racing after the best of his crop went to the shed. In alphabetical order, I would take Arrogate, Exaggerate, Gun Runner and Nyquist over him. Last year’s crop was very shallow with the most brilliant, Classic Empire being a challenge to keep on the track, West Coast nice but not really brilliant, Battle of Midway oddly handled due to premature retirement and subsequent fertility issues and City of Light being distance challenged. It was a good training job by Sadler having the patience to get Accelerate to go 10f and he had a terrific year. Justify is probably suffering from Seattle Slewism. In the end, the TC is too rare a feat and that’s why he’s my Horse of the Year.
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ElPrado2
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:29 pm

Why limit the three Gr 1's to California?
There are certainly other races that are worthy.
Ok, Accelerate ran there. He also ran in a Gr 2 in Arkansas, but managed to come in second in that.
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:49 pm

Curtis wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:46 pm
Proof?

All things are to be taken in context. There is no real way to judge this crop of 3yo’s until next year around this time. Accelerate stuck it out and kept racing after the best of his crop went to the shed. In alphabetical order, I would take Arrogate, Exaggerate, Gun Runner and Nyquist over him. Last year’s crop was very shallow with the most brilliant, Classic Empire being a challenge to keep on the track, West Coast nice but not really brilliant, Battle of Midway oddly handled due to premature retirement and subsequent fertility issues and City of Light being distance challenged. It was a good training job by Sadler having the patience to get Accelerate to go 10f and he had a terrific year. Justify is probably suffering from Seattle Slewism. In the end, the TC is too rare a feat and that’s why he’s my Horse of the Year.
I wouldn't disagree with this, but it does sort of magnify the contrast between the two. I wasn't alive back then, but a lot of people didn't really consider Slew great until he raced at four, right? Certainly his Triple Crown was less-inspiring than others, and it was quite slow on figures as well. But his connections gave him a chance to prove his greatness, whereas Justify's didn't. I can't help but worry that this will become the norm if the sport as a whole doesn't start to rebuke it. And to be clear, I never expected him to run at four- just following American Pharoah's campaign would have been more than enough.

And I fully agree that there's still time to judge the crop, but I think part of the issue stems from the horses who finished directly behind him in the TC. Good Magic tailed off (after running a very good race in the Preakness) and was retired. The better Audible is, the more people will remember his withdrawal from the Belmont. The closing trio in the Preakness- Bravazo, Tenfold, and Lone Sailor- seem to have demonstrated their (low) ceilings already, although I think Bravazo will be a decent miler going forward. Gronkowski hasn't run a step since the Belmont. That leaves Hofburg, who was really good in the Curlin and might turn things around next year, but who is clearly moving in the wrong direction at present.

Sometimes crops do turn it around dramatically- who thought beforehand that 2013 would end up being one of the best fields in recent memory? But I think it's fair to bring up the questionable competition at this point when the times and figures from the races were on the low-to-very-low end as well. I don't really hold the low Derby figures against him because the pace was rapid and it was an excellent performance, but it's hard to imagine him winning any other recent Preakness with the race he ran, and the Belmont... well, there's a lot that could be said about the Belmont, but I do think it's hard to deny that he got the absolute best trip possible and still didn't really bury them. I don't see how he could have possibly survived, for example, a Smarty Jones-type trip.

It's human nature to what-if these things in the absence of other evidence to work on, and the connections chose to ensure that we'll always be asking these questions. I won't begrudge any sportswriter who votes for Justify, but I do feel like this is a rare opportunity to course-correct a sport that desperately needs it.

Now, who wants to argue older turf male with me? Stormy Liberal or bust!
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:29 pm

Slew’s times were not eye opening but his Derby and Preakness were. Had Secretariat not existed, Slew wouldn’t have needed the campaign at four to be great. On the topic of time, the horse that owns the fastest two-turn dirt mile in history was in for 10k on Monday at Del Mar and was claimed. It’s all relative. And as for Turf horse, being a Stormy Liberal myself, he gets my vote.😉
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Charlie
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:42 pm

Curtis wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:46 pm
Charlie wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:20 pm


Some mentioned what would have happened if Justify had his own "Sham"? Well if he had someone pushing him like that, he wouldn't be a triple crown winner.
Proof?
My eyes? You don't have to agree with me, but we saw what happens when Justify is pushed, it happened in the Preakness and he barely won. So lets cut the "well he only runs as fast as possible and could have done better if pushed by a horse" because he was and he barely hung on. And by barely hung on I mean, if that race was several feet longer, he loses.
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Curtis
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:31 pm

Charlie wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:42 pm
Curtis wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:46 pm
Charlie wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:20 pm


Some mentioned what would have happened if Justify had his own "Sham"? Well if he had someone pushing him like that, he wouldn't be a triple crown winner.
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Proof?
My eyes? You don't have to agree with me, but we saw what happens when Justify is pushed, it happened in the Preakness and he barely won. So lets cut the "well he only runs as fast as possible and could have done better if pushed by a horse" because he was and he barely hung on. And by barely hung on I mean, if that race was several feet longer, he loses.
Your eyes? Well, you should have started with that. In my opinion, he bounced in the Preakness and if I had a nickel for every time a horse I bet on would have won a race if it were a few feet shorter or longer, I’d be swimming in nickels. Good Magic came at him pretty good in both the Derby and Preakness and Justify was simply better. Why isn’t Good Magic Justify’s Sham. And before you type it, I know, you think Justify is a sham.
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Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:53 pm

Curtis wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:29 pm
Slew’s times were not eye opening but his Derby and Preakness were. Had Secretariat not existed, Slew wouldn’t have needed the campaign at four to be great. On the topic of time, the horse that owns the fastest two-turn dirt mile in history was in for 10k on Monday at Del Mar and was claimed. It’s all relative. And as for Turf horse, being a Stormy Liberal myself, he gets my vote.😉
Interesting, many of the accounts I've read (and heard, from an admittedly Slew-skeptical household) indicated that there was still a lot of skepticism surrounding him after the TC, but I hadn't considered how Secretariat would have colored people's interpretation of him (much as American Pharoah likely colors ours). Watching Slew's Preakness again, it's pretty striking how similar it looked to Justify's- he pressured another horse on the lead from the outside before holding off a late charge from the others (although I do think there were key differences, detailed below). I actually found a great contemporary article that talks about Slew's post-Preakness doubters: https://www.nytimes.com/1977/05/22/arch ... -colt.html Love hearing about this stuff, and it was a treat watching the race again- Slew was so remarkably fast.

However, I just can't quite buy that Good Magic was Justify's Sham, or that his Preakness quite matched Slew's. For one, the article above mentions a rail bias at Pimlico in 1977, which made Slew's task that much tougher. This year, the rail was dead and outside speed had a substantial advantage. Good Magic also wasn't a true speed horse: he was a handy horse who found himself on the lead against his trainer's wishes and ended up pressured from the outside while bogged down on the bad part of the track. He was still only beaten one length (while stuck on the bad rail throughout the stretch run), which I suppose could be either an indictment of Justify's performance or a testament to Good Magic's quality. But does Justify win if you reverse those trips? On the evidence we have, I don't feel confident stating that he would. Outside pressure is a great unknown that Justify never truly faced, and Good Magic had a lot to overcome in that race.

Moreover, I'm not convinced the pace in this year's Preakness was actually that fast. In Slew's it's hard to deny- according to that article, those were some of the fastest fractions ever at the time, and Slew and Cormorant were nearly ten lengths clear of the rest before Cormorant wilted late. In 2018, the field was compressed throughout the race and it was never greater than about an eight-length spread from first to last until the stretch run. Bravazo, the fast-closing second place finisher, was just two lengths back at the half. Furthermore, the fractions were extremely similar to those laid down by Ax Man (who was comfortably 2-3 paths wide throughout) during the previous race, and that race was a carousel. I still feel deeply skeptical of the "speed duel" narrative that emerged from the Preakness, and I think it was in part motivated by an attempt to alleviate some post-race cognitive dissonance experienced by many fans and turf writers.

Did Justify bounce? Almost definitely, and I'm still not sure why his injury isn't brought up more in this context. It was a brave effort from a horse who almost certainly was not at his best. But it still wasn't a performance that would have defeated many other Preakness winners, and the Belmont in my opinion was a deeply unsatisfying tiebreaker. Unfortunately, it's all we will ever have.

And RE: Stormy Liberal, same! But I do think he earned it on the merits; the shortage of G1s for turf sprinters isn't his fault and he was just amazing in the BC.
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