Southwest Stakes

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dustino140
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:12 pm

Wow, reading some of the posts I'd have been tricked into thinking Strong Mandate ran poorly. It's a shame Oaklawn doesn't have Trackus, because my guess is Strong Mandate ran about 60-70 feet more than Tapiture ran today, given the latter saved ground on the rail throughout. Considering that Asmussen is much better off the bench than Lukas is, I think we'll find the next one is really the defining effort for these two, unless of course Strong Mandate is just the kind of horse that finds trouble where he goes. Not that being 2nd to Tapiture, especially in light of today's effort, is something to hang his head over.
Matt Converse
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:13 pm

Just rewatched it, Strong Mandate also almost clipped heels with the 6 early, had to pull up a bit when he got too close to him.
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dustino140
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:21 pm

Matt Converse wrote:Just rewatched it, Strong Mandate also almost clipped heels with the 6 early, had to pull up a bit when he got too close to him.
I'd hate to be the DRF trying to put his chart notes for the PPs together - "6 wide, took up, moved willingly 4 wide, tired"

Much easier to describe the winner's trip - "Broke well, saved ground, opened up"
Matt Converse
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:54 pm

That word "tired" keeps popping up for Strong Mandate, in all three of his one mile or more races. I thought he ran pretty well, like I said, better than I expected, but just like his BC race, it's the type of race where he would look like a good play going the same distance again. He ran further than 1 &1/16, but he sure as hell didn't run 1 & 1/4 ( or even 1 & 1/8) and he tired, again.

His problem is he's not running the same distance again. And if he runs OK at 9f, he goes even longer after that. I'd love his chances if his next race were a flat mile.
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dustino140
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:57 pm

Matt Converse wrote:That word "tired" keeps popping up for Strong Mandate, in all three of his one mile or more races. I thought he ran pretty well, like I said, better than I expected, but just like his BC race, it's the type of race where he would look like a good play going the same distance again. He ran further than 1 &1/16, but he sure as hell didn't run 1 & 1/4 ( or even 1 & 1/8) and he tired, again.

His problem is he's not running the same distance again. And if he runs OK at 9f, he goes even longer after that. I'd love his chances if his next race were a flat mile.
Could well be that he's not at his best around two turns. Or it could be that he's had terrible trips in his two-turn races and could wake up and run much better if they aren't forced to concede ground as he did in his last two starts.

I just wouldn't put too much stock into a horse's first race off a layoff, especially when it comes for a trainer that statistically is pretty weak with horses in their first start back from layoff.
tcw
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:21 pm

The top two finishers both looked pretty green down the stretch, one dodging and weaving with the other drifting while on the wrong lead. Seems like I've heard it mentioned that the better Tapit's often tend to be slighter of build, and whether or not that's the case, the winner certainly appears to fit that description. The winner, Tapiture, got a nice trip and appears to have some talent, while Strong Mandate lost over a length in the stretch to the winner, which is certainly not a positive.
thinair
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:03 am

dustino140 wrote:
Matt Converse wrote:That word "tired" keeps popping up for Strong Mandate, in all three of his one mile or more races. I thought he ran pretty well, like I said, better than I expected, but just like his BC race, it's the type of race where he would look like a good play going the same distance again. He ran further than 1 &1/16, but he sure as hell didn't run 1 & 1/4 ( or even 1 & 1/8) and he tired, again.

His problem is he's not running the same distance again. And if he runs OK at 9f, he goes even longer after that. I'd love his chances if his next race were a flat mile.
Could well be that he's not at his best around two turns. Or it could be that he's had terrible trips in his two-turn races and could wake up and run much better if they aren't forced to concede ground as he did in his last two starts.

I just wouldn't put too much stock into a horse's first race off a layoff, especially when it comes for a trainer that statistically is pretty weak with horses in their first start back from layoff.
Considering his BC was probably the best race he ever ran, I'm not sure I would say he's not at his best around two turns.

He ran very well today. It was his first start as a 3YO. He may not win any major races going forward, but he's a lot more likely to win another Grade 1 than the winner is to get even one.
thinair
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:08 am

Forgetting for a second how much better Strong Mandate is than the winner....how about the ride on Ride on Curlin? That was just downright sad.

Is it too late to take Calvin out of the Hall of Fame?
Matt Converse
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:26 am

thinair wrote:[ He may not win any major races going forward, but he's a lot more likely to win another Grade 1 than the winner is to get even one.
That's possible, he has class I could see him winning another Grade 1 at 7f to a mile, and could see Tapiture never winning one at any distance. I like Strong Mandate's BC and this race a lot if he's running at about the same distance, I just don't like him in the context of a Derby horse. Run him a flat mile at Belmont and I'd be all over him--he could redeem himself in that scenario I think.
gravano
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:13 am

I think it was two years ago (2011) that the BC Juvenile race produced something like 8 stakes winners. It'll be interesting to see what the 2013 iteration produces.
second_glance
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:56 am

98 BSF for Tapiture, which apparently ties him with Bayern for highest BSF earned by a 3yo this year. Also, according to Alan Carasso of TDN, both colts were born on May 3.
thinair
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:58 am

Matt Converse wrote:
thinair wrote:[ He may not win any major races going forward, but he's a lot more likely to win another Grade 1 than the winner is to get even one.
That's possible, he has class I could see him winning another Grade 1 at 7f to a mile, and could see Tapiture never winning one at any distance. I like Strong Mandate's BC and this race a lot if he's running at about the same distance, I just don't like him in the context of a Derby horse. Run him a flat mile at Belmont and I'd be all over him--he could redeem himself in that scenario I think.

A lot of "I" in your post.

Here's what seems reasonable to take from the Southwest.....Tapiture has improved from two to three, not surprising, and can run a reasonably fast race under absolutely perfect conditions. Strong Mandate has also improved and is the best horse that ran in the race. Strong Mandate also continues to benefit from overcoming adverse circumstance. More than anything, this will help him going forward. Ride on Curlin needs a competent jockey. His ride yesterday was atrocious.

One horse is getting the 1 1/4 miles better than everyone else in Kentucky. Continuing to harp on which horses may or may not be best suited to doing this is not only meaningless guesswork, it detracts from trying to understand what actually took place in the preps. Why not focus on what actually happened rather than trying to pinpoint the 123 out of 124 horses that won't be fastest at 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May?
Somnambulist

Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:13 am

thinair wrote:
Matt Converse wrote:
thinair wrote:[ He may not win any major races going forward, but he's a lot more likely to win another Grade 1 than the winner is to get even one.
That's possible, he has class I could see him winning another Grade 1 at 7f to a mile, and could see Tapiture never winning one at any distance. I like Strong Mandate's BC and this race a lot if he's running at about the same distance, I just don't like him in the context of a Derby horse. Run him a flat mile at Belmont and I'd be all over him--he could redeem himself in that scenario I think.

A lot of "I" in your post.

Here's what seems reasonable to take from the Southwest.....Tapiture has improved from two to three, not surprising, and can run a reasonably fast race under absolutely perfect conditions. Strong Mandate has also improved and is the best horse that ran in the race. Strong Mandate also continues to benefit from overcoming adverse circumstance. More than anything, this will help him going forward. Ride on Curlin needs a competent jockey. His ride yesterday was atrocious.

One horse is getting the 1 1/4 miles better than everyone else in Kentucky. Continuing to harp on which horses may or may not be best suited to doing this is not only meaningless guesswork, it detracts from trying to understand what actually took place in the preps. Why not focus on what actually happened rather than trying to pinpoint the 123 out of 124 horses that won't be fastest at 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May?
I actually agree with this. I think getting 10f in the Derby is dependent on more than just getting the distance and probably with things like trip, pace, etc. There is so much racing to be done, and money to be made in preps based off what we see now.

However I am just focused in the races yet to be run. I can't think so far ahead with anything, so therein lies the problem I guess.
gravano
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:16 am

I think you're being a little too hard on the ride ROC got. He was rushed up on the outside, but this was probably the better option than tucking in, and this is Borel so it's not like he's known for going wide -- there were probably instructions to keep him in the front vanguard, which I don't think was all that bad of a strategy given how the race unfolded.

Tapiture had a nice trip, but he had to help create that trip. Anyone who looked at the form saw a lot of early speed, which could have worked out very badly for him if he were green (like Strong Mandate) and this was also off a layoff, so I think Tapiture deserves a lot more credit. Strong Mandate shows promise, but he really needs to improve in a big way in his next race. He was ridden very hard and didn't seem to like that.
blamethewinner
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:40 am

gravano wrote:I think you're being a little too hard on the ride ROC got. He was rushed up on the outside, but this was probably the better option than tucking in, and this is Borel so it's not like he's known for going wide -- there were probably instructions to keep him in the front vanguard, which I don't think was all that bad of a strategy given how the race unfolded.

Tapiture had a nice trip, but he had to help create that trip. Anyone who looked at the form saw a lot of early speed, which could have worked out very badly for him if he were green (like Strong Mandate) and this was also off a layoff, so I think Tapiture deserves a lot more credit. Strong Mandate shows promise, but he really needs to improve in a big way in his next race. He was ridden very hard and didn't seem to like that.
Watch Borel more often. He's washed up. Since he went down at Delta a few years ago, he does not ride the rail anymore. The "Bo-rail" phenomenon is a thing of the past. His ride on Ride on Curlin was terrible.

Amazingly, this was a race that had tons of early speed on paper yet was run at a VERY ordinary early pace. For comparison sake, the one mile allowance race that went as the 8th had opening fractions of 23.10 and 46.45. The same fractions in the SW were 23.45 and 47.92. This gave Tapiture a HUGE tactical advantage, as his rider astutely sensed that there was a lot of passive riding going on in the opening furlongs.
gravano
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:43 am

Well if there was passive riding why would you want Borel to tuck in?
Look at the trip Strong Mandate got after a slow start.
EquineAnne
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Matt Converse wrote:2-Tapiture--he's never been that fast and will have to improve to win this, but I think he will.
You da man, Matto!
Sound of Freedom
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:21 pm

Admin wrote:
thinair wrote:
A lot of "I" in your post.

Here's what seems reasonable to take from the Southwest.....Tapiture has improved from two to three, not surprising, and can run a reasonably fast race under absolutely perfect conditions. Strong Mandate has also improved and is the best horse that ran in the race. Strong Mandate also continues to benefit from overcoming adverse circumstance. More than anything, this will help him going forward. Ride on Curlin needs a competent jockey. His ride yesterday was atrocious.

One horse is getting the 1 1/4 miles better than everyone else in Kentucky. Continuing to harp on which horses may or may not be best suited to doing this is not only meaningless guesswork, it detracts from trying to understand what actually took place in the preps. Why not focus on what actually happened rather than trying to pinpoint the 123 out of 124 horses that won't be fastest at 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May?
I'm scratching my head over why you're being so hard on Tapiture and forgiving of Strong Mandate. The latter looked like a drunk sailor down the stretch. I haven't re-watched and studied the race, but my first impression wasn't that Strong Mandate ran the better race of the two.
You should be scratching your head. While Thinair usually has a rational opinion, he is completely wrong about this race. Saying Strong Mandate was the best horse in that race is ridiculous.
thinair
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:07 pm

Admin wrote:
I'm scratching my head over why you're being so hard on Tapiture and forgiving of Strong Mandate. The latter looked like a drunk sailor down the stretch. I haven't re-watched and studied the race, but my first impression wasn't that Strong Mandate ran the better race of the two.
I'm not being hard on Tapiture. He ran fine, but you can't deny he had everything go his way...and Strong Mandate had a great deal go against him. Not only did he break about a half slow, he was then bumped by Ride on Curlin. After going wide around the first turn, he steadied fairly seriously into last as they hit the backstretch....last in a race that featured a very modest pace...a modest pace that Tapiture was taking full advantage of while saving ground. This was the exact opposite of the trip Strong Mandate was enjoying. He then moved up wide towards the leaders, continued wide around the second turn, and still made a reasonable run at Tapitude before that one drew away in the latter stages of the race.

If you reversed the trips, Strong Mandate likely finishes farther ahead of Tapitude than Tapitude's margin yesterday. In fact, many horses completely give up after that kind of disaster, something easily forgivable, which makes Strong Mandate's performance all the more remarkable.
Horsebagger
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:18 pm

I will be surprised if the sheet number for Strong Mandate isn't better than Tapiture. 3-4w on both turns vs. an inside trip all the way around.
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