2013 Three Year Old Male Eclipse Award Winner

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Man o Taz
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Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:34 am

Will Take Charge has burnished his image for top three year old with a win in the GII Pennsylvania Derby, but Orb is still the clear leader at this point IMHO.

And as I noted - the outcome will likely be decided by results involving older horses and not three year old. This is why the Pennsylvania Derby may set Moreno or Will Take Charge up well for the Classic, but if Orb and Palace Malice can win out against older horses they will be top three year old - and if Verrazano wins out he will be over Will Take Charge.

Orb has finished ahead of Will Take Charge in no less than three races:

Kentucky Derby
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes

Will Take Charge has finished ahead of Orb in one race:

The Travers Stakes

Some suggest that the three year old horses have been inconsistent this year. Many have, but one has not: Orb

He has raced six times this year and finished out of the money once in 4th place in the Preakness Stakes.

Otherwise he has been:

Fountain of Youth: 1st
Florida Derby: 1st
Kentucky Derby: 1st
Belmont Stakes: 3rd
Traver Stakes: 3rd

Another top three year olds has been less consistent - but still more consistent than Will Take Charge:

Verrazanao has finished out of the money twice in 8 starts this year going 10 furlongs where he finished 7th in the Travers and 14th in the Kentucky Derby:

Maiden: 1st
Allowance: 1st
Tampa Bay Derby: 1st
Wood Memorial: 1st
Pegasus: 1st
Haskell: 1st

Palace Malice has also been more consistent than Will Take Charge this year with eight starts finishing out of the money twice in the Louisiana Derby where he ran 7th and the Kentucky Derby where he wan 12th:

Allowance: 2nd
Risen Star: 3rd
Blue Grass Stakes: 2nd
Belmont Stakes: 1st
Jim Dandy: 1st
Travers Stakes: 4th

Will Take Charge on the other hand has run 9 times and finished out of the money 4 times with a 6th place finish in the Southwest Stakes, an 8th place finish in the Kentucky Derby, a 7th place finish in the Preakness Stakes, and a 10th place finish in the Belmont Stakes:

Smarty Jones: 1st
Rebel Stakes: 1st
Jim Dandy Stakes: 2nd
Travers Stakes: 1st
Pennsylvania Derby: 1st
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.
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peeptoad
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Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:07 am

I don't think Verrazano has any real shot at the award at all. Palace Malice and Orb would have to both run miserably in the JCGC and the Classic, plus WTC would need to tank in the Classic for him to have any hope and even if that happens Orb still trumps him with the FL Derby-KY Derby double imo.

For once I agree with Watchmaker: the top 3 (Orb, Palace Malice, and WTC) are dead tight (i.e. You could throw a blanket over them). Orb does have a clear lead, I agree, but it's also a slim lead. WTC and PM are virtually tied about as even as you can get right at the moment. The only difference between them is that PM (and Orb) has one more shot prior to the BCC to gain more of an advantage, whereas WTC will need to await the big race at this point.

..will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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Man o Taz
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Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:32 am

peeptoad wrote:I don't think Verrazano has any real shot at the award at all. Palace Malice and Orb would have to both run miserably in the JCGC and the Classic, plus WTC would need to tank in the Classic for him to have any hope and even if that happens Orb still trumps him with the FL Derby-KY Derby double imo.

For once I agree with Watchmaker: the top 3 (Orb, Palace Malice, and WTC) are dead tight (i.e. You could throw a blanket over them). Orb does have a clear lead, I agree, but it's also a slim lead. WTC and PM are virtually tied about as even as you can get right at the moment. The only difference between them is that PM (and Orb) has one more shot prior to the BCC to gain more of an advantage, whereas WTC will need to await the big race at this point.

..will be interesting to see how this plays out.
So Verrazano possibly winning 4 Grade 1 races - two against older horses - and recording the top BSF for his generation - ihaving only two losses - s not as good as Orb winning the Florida Derby/Kentucky Derby double?

You may very well be right.

But I like to support different potential outcomes in racing - because I think that makes the sport more extraordinary and more attractive.

Let a miler win the three year old award if he is deserving. 4 G1s - two against older horses IMHO would make him deserving particularly if neither Orb nor Palace Malice win another race.

The voters went with tradition and supported Animal Kingdom over Caleb's Posse despite his BC Dirt Wile win.

I am actually pulling for Orb and Palace Malice and Verrazano. While I like Will Take Charge, I think opting for the Pennsylvania Derby against a field that had one other G1 winner (on synthetic) who I like but who did not bring his best - and a G2 winner who is a nice horse...but this competition pales in comparison to what Orb and Palace Malice are going to face in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Maybe this is the perfect recipe to get WTC to the BC Classic for his 10th race of the year fit as a fiddle. Mr. Lukas is not one to doubt, but I don't think the effort helped WTC's three year old campaign. Instead, the effort helped to pay some bills which every barn needs.

I think this is a strong generation of three year olds and look forward to most, if not all, running again next year - though Palace and Verrazano might be retired just because if they win out they have little left to prove.
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.
-Bedouin Legend


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peeptoad
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Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:39 am

Man o Taz wrote:
So Verrazano possibly winning 4 Grade 1 races - two against older horses - and recording the top BSF for his generation - ihaving only two losses - s not as good as Orb winning the Florida Derby/Kentucky Derby double?
No, although it depends somewhat on what Orb himself does in his next two races. IMO, Verrazano would have to win the Dirt Mile in order to even have a chance at the award, and I was one who supported Caleb's Posse vs. Animal Kingdom a couple of years ago.

And that "possibly" you threw in there is a big one. V has wilted when facing top level competition thus far. If he runs in the G2 Kelso next I would not be shocked at all to see him beat elders at a one-turn mile at the G2 level. The two-turn BC dirt mile is an entirely different story...
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Man o Taz
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Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:08 am

peeptoad wrote:
No, although it depends somewhat on what Orb himself does in his next two races. IMO, Verrazano would have to win the Dirt Mile in order to even have a chance at the award, and I was one who supported Caleb's Posse vs. Animal Kingdom a couple of years ago.

And that "possibly" you threw in there is a big one. V has wilted when facing top level competition thus far. If he runs in the G2 Kelso next I would not be shocked at all to see him beat elders at a one-turn mile at the G2 level. The two-turn BC dirt mile is an entirely different story...
I thought I made clear that Verrazano's only chance would be if Orb and Palace Malice failed to score in either the JCGC or the BC Classic since you indicated that you would still take Verrazano's Florida Derby double over what Verraazano could accomplish.

All we can talk about is possibilities.

Verrazano faced a good field in the Haskell and blew them away. Unfortunately, Oxbow was hurt in that race, but durability is a part of racing. After all, it allowed Blame to win the Stephen Foster over Pool Play en route to champion older horse. Power Broker was also another quality horse.

V faced a quality horse in the Pegasus in Itsmyluckyday - and he too was hurt during the race trying to keep up with Verrazano - again supporting the durability argument.

We'll see how he does in the Kelso - but he reminds me a lot of Uncle Mo who many folks doubted. Mo stepped up in the Kelso with a 118 BSF. We'll see what V does. It should be a nice field.
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.
-Bedouin Legend


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blamethewinner
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:08 pm

Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:17 am

Man o Taz wrote:
peeptoad wrote:
No, although it depends somewhat on what Orb himself does in his next two races. IMO, Verrazano would have to win the Dirt Mile in order to even have a chance at the award, and I was one who supported Caleb's Posse vs. Animal Kingdom a couple of years ago.

And that "possibly" you threw in there is a big one. V has wilted when facing top level competition thus far. If he runs in the G2 Kelso next I would not be shocked at all to see him beat elders at a one-turn mile at the G2 level. The two-turn BC dirt mile is an entirely different story...
I thought I made clear that Verrazano's only chance would be if Orb and Palace Malice failed to score in either the JCGC or the BC Classic since you indicated that you would still take Verrazano's Florida Derby double over what Verraazano could accomplish.

All we can talk about is possibilities.

Verrazano faced a good field in the Haskell and blew them away. Unfortunately, Oxbow was hurt in that race, but durability is a part of racing. After all, it allowed Blame to win the Stephen Foster over Pool Play en route to champion older horse. Power Broker was also another quality horse.

V faced a quality horse in the Pegasus in Itsmyluckyday - and he too was hurt during the race trying to keep up with Verrazano - again supporting the durability argument.

We'll see how he does in the Kelso - but he reminds me a lot of Uncle Mo who many folks doubted. Mo stepped up in the Kelso with a 118 BSF. We'll see what V does. It should be a nice field.
Verrazano is not running in the Kelso or the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He will not have 4 Grade I wins on the year and he has no shot at the 3YO Eclipse right now because of his embarrassing performances in the Ky Derby and Travers.

Blame also never ran against Pool Play. If you're talking about Battle Plan, Blame beating him in the Foster is largely irrelevant. The Older Male Eclipse Award in 2010 was no contest, just as the Horse of the Year vote should have been.
Izvestia
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Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:59 pm

Verrazano has never beaten Orb, Palace Malice, or Will Take Charge. I would rate him behind them for that reason.
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Man o Taz
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Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:32 pm

blamethewinner wrote:
Verrazano is not running in the Kelso or the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He will not have 4 Grade I wins on the year and he has no shot at the 3YO Eclipse right now because of his embarrassing performances in the Ky Derby and Travers.
OK - so three G1 wins.

I did not realize he was not being entered in the Kelso.
Blame also never ran against Pool Play. If you're talking about Battle Plan, Blame beating him in the Foster is largely irrelevant.


If you want to dismiss Blame's best competition in the Stephen Foster that ended up injured. That is fine with me.
The Older Male Eclipse Award in 2010 was no contest,
True.
just as the Horse of the Year vote should have been.
As you well know, the 2010 Horse of the Year vote was no contest either.
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.
-Bedouin Legend


Give to Old Friends, or your favorite local horse rescue.
thinair
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Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:45 pm

Man o Taz wrote:
blamethewinner wrote:

I did not realize he was not being entered in the Kelso.

The Kelso is a Grade 2.

You rarely get your facts straight, in any conversations, yet feel free to mock those that do. You might think it's cute, but it just distracts people from either learning or having intelligent conversations.
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Man o Taz
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Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:31 am

thinair wrote:
Man o Taz wrote:
blamethewinner wrote:
I did not realize he was not being entered in the Kelso.
The Kelso is a Grade 2.

You rarely get your facts straight, in any conversations, yet feel free to mock those that do. You might think it's cute, but it just distracts people from either learning or having intelligent conversations.
I admit when I make a mistake - unlike many here.

Please point out where I have mocked anyone.
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.
-Bedouin Legend


Give to Old Friends, or your favorite local horse rescue.
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Man o Taz
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Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:19 am

Well, it seems with this weekends racing there is more to talk about with regard to the champion three year old race even though only two of the four contenders were racing - and Orb and Palace Malice were doing so in the same race...

1. Verrazano, by not running in the Kelso, has taken himself out of the running for top three year old. It was likely a long shot given the results with Caleb's Posse and Animal Kingdom two years ago, but there was still a slim chance there. Even if Verrazano were to win the BC Dirt Mile against talented older horses, the fact that he would only have one win against older horses would likely be too little to merit selection over Orb, Palace Malice or Will Take Charge - even though he does continue to have a stronger win record than Will Take Charge and Palace Malice.

There is likely one reason for this - the American penchant for rewarding winners at the Classic distance or greater on dirt. Verrazano was not one of those. Thus, his resume would have to be a clear stand out to warrant consideration - and one race against older males does not fit the bill.

2. Palace Malice has continued to demonstrate his class by finishing second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup - even though it was second by 6 and 3/4 lengths. This is the fourth race that he has faced Orb and they are virtually tied when they have faced each other.

Kentucky Derby - Orb - 1st, Palace Malice - 12th
Belmont Stakes - Palace Malice - 1st, Orb - 3rd
Travers Stakes - Orb 3rd - Palace Malice - 4th
Jockey Club Gold Cup - Palace Malice - 2nd, Orb - 8th (last)

Palace Malice is moving in the right direction. The JCGC was a step up in class with PM losing to Ron The Greek was impressive running a 114 Beyer Speed Figure - his career second best (his first being at Gulfstream Park in the Sunshine Millions earlier this year).

3. Orb seems to be regressing which is not a positive at this time of the year. After the Travers Stakes, it seemed that Orb may have needed a race. After the JCGC, perhaps this was not the case. Maybe Orb needed to prepare for the JCGC at Belmont instead of Fair Hills? Did he prepare for the Belmont Stakes at Fair Hills or Belmont Park? I thought he had prepared at Belmont, but maybe I am mistaken.

Despite this, Orb has a more impressive win record with 2 G1 wins, and a G2 win to Palace Malice's 1 G1 win, and a G2 win.

Now, Palace Malice has an impressive place record - being G1 placed twice including the JCGC, his last race, but the notion that he could win champion three year old with a single G1 victory, and two graded stakes victories seems surprising to me.

4. Will Take Charge made his case against the three year old division with his run in the Pennsylvania Derby. However, the field did not include any Triple Crown race winners or horses who finished in the money in those races and was against three year olds. I continue to think that Will Take Charge is behind Palace Malice, despite the fact that he has a better overall record with a G1 win and two G2 wins against three year olds.

My current ranking of the top three year olds (in parentheses I have their total winnings for 2013):

1. Orb ($2.5 million) - 2nd to Animal Kingdom and Game on Dude is 3rd with $2.4 million
2. Palace Malice ($1.4 million) - ranked 8th overall behind Princess of Sylmar and Wise Dan
3. Will Take Charge ($1.7 million) 4th overall

Note: Verrazano is ranked 5th overall with $1.5 million
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.
-Bedouin Legend


Give to Old Friends, or your favorite local horse rescue.
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