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I really hope Smarty Jones wins the Belmont

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mot78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:47 PM
Original message
I really hope Smarty Jones wins the Belmont
Edited on Sat May-15-04 10:49 PM by mot78
I've had to watch year after year as various horses won the Derby and Preakness, only to lose the Belmont. Last year was the biggest heart-breaker because I really thought Funny Cide could become the next Seabiscuit, and was gravely disappointed. Seeing Smarty win the Preakness by a record 11 1/2 lenghs really heartens me though.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. No kidding. It looks like he has a real chance. eom
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richmwill Donating Member (972 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Agreed
I was born in '74, so I've never seen a Triple Crown winner (my father had me watching horse racing basically since birth, but I was too young to remember Affirmed and Seattle Slew). I've seen many horses win the Derby and Preakness, but fall short at Belmont. But Smarty Jones is really something, here's hoping that he can show me my first Triple Crown in 3 weeks.
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Awsi Dooger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. Not me, I'm relying on the Lords of the Triple Crown
They are truly undefeated, correctly derailing the Charismatics and Funny Cides down that killer Belmont stretch, reserving legend status for great racehorses not feel good stories.

A Pennyslvania bred with a questionable speed-oriented pedigree who had never run in a Grade 1 race prior to the Derby warrants obscurity in three weeks, not a place alongside the Count Fleets and Seattle Slews.

Since '78 I have successfully rooted against every Triple hopeful in the Belmont, even outstanding horses like Spectacular Bid and Sunday Silence. So many Triplers in the '70s had diluted the achievement. But this year is admittedly the most problematic. There is no lurking trump card like Empire Maker last year, far superior to Funny Cide and merely in need of good health. I have little faith in The Cliff's Edge, and other Belmont probables like Tapit aren't exactly overwhelming.

Perhaps I'm underestimating Smarty Jones and not allowing him to outrun his parentage. That unbeaten tag is difficult to ignore. And maybe I would feel different if I were a decade younger, and didn't remember Slew, Secretariat and Affirmed/Alydar.

Screw that. On Belmont Saturday, I'm ABS.
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I don't follow horse racing much.
Still, who is Smarty's sire?
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Elusive Quality
His dam is I'll Get Along. The damsire is Smile. IIRC, that's a sprinter's breeding.
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Justpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I disagree.
I think he will win the Belmont. His pedigree has enough stout
influences to help him get the distance. And remember that plodders
don't win the Triple Crown. The test of greatness has always been
the ability to carry speed a distance of ground. I don't see any
of those horses that were in the Preakness being able to beat him
next time. He made them look ordinary.

Smarty's second dam is by Foolish Pleasure who the Derby. Herbager
is the sire of the third dam and is a good influence for distance.

And it seems to me that Elusive Quality is a dominant influence
no matter what type of mare he is bred to. And his pedigree is
on the dam's side includes Glowing Tribute, dam of Sea Hero,and
the wonderful mare Ivory Wand by Sir Ivor.

Even though Elusive Quality was very fast as a race horse, it seems
that he has enough high class distance influences in his pedigree
to ensure that his offspring will get just about any distance.

Just my humble opinion.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I never said he couldn't win.
I just said his breeding is more sprint-based.

In fact, I think he's got a fantastic chance at winning. He seems to have sprinter speed with a lot of endurance. I wouldn't be surprised if he's got a slightly enlarged cardiovascular system.
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Justpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Right. Most great horses have that big heart.
And a good throat. And good conformation. He seems to have it all.

Most of the other trainers and jocks were impressed at how easy
he won. I wonder how many will try him again in the Belmont.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I was shocked that none of the late runners were gaining on him.
Plus, Pimlico is not a speed-favoring track these days. Rock Hard Ten looked great, and I thought he'd challenge more, but he got left in the dust.

I'm still shocked. I can't wait for Belmont. I'm guessing Rock Hard Ten and Imperialism will try again if they are healthy. Even if they finish 2nd and 3rd, that's a nice purse. If I were Lion Heart, I'd skip Belmont. No way he holds the lead for 1 1/2 miles.
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Justpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Lion Heart looked bad to me.
He was getting out bad and he wasn't moving too great the whole
trip.

Anyone else runs for second money.

And it should be a record crowd here at Belmont.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. That two-week break doomed Lion Heart.
He looks to be a horse that exerts himself a great deal. I think he'd make a terrific miler. I'd love to attend a Triple Crown race. I have friends in Louisville, I'm making it to the Derby - maybe next year. The Breeder's Cup is up in Dallas this year, too. I think I'll head up there. I went to Arlington and watched the BC there. Loads of fun!
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Justpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. If you ever come to Belmont
you can come as our guest. My husband trains there.

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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Thanks!
That's very nice of you to offer. I'll keep that in mind. :-)
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. I'm having a flashback to the time when
the old codgers were saying Hank Aaron shouldn't take away Babe Ruth's title...that it just wasn't right, because he wasn't as good as Ruth.

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Awsi Dooger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. I'm more than willing to root for the right horse
If Smarty Jones had a classic Kentucky-bred pedigree and had proven himself in Grade 1 company from late last year through the Derby preps I would have no trouble acknowledging his excellence and rooting for the 12th Triple Crown winner.

But since those are legit questions I hope he is denied. I damn sure don't want a Triple Crown winner who flops in the fall vs. decent handicap horses, proving that all he did was dominate a crop of crap.

Rooting against Spectacular Bid in the '79 Belmont was a mistake. He was an awesome horse but I was such a Seattle Slew fan I didn't want Slew lost in a batch of three straight Triplers. Otherwise, none of the horses who failed in the Belmont demonstrated later that they were freak horses who simply lost the wrong race.

Not many on DU are bigger racing fans than myself. I have a poster of the 11 Triple Crown winners on my living room wall and know the names of every Derby winner, beginning with Aristides in 1875. I attend Saratoga virtually every summer.

Secretariat was Horse of the Year at 2. Seattle Slew won the prestigious Champagne Stakes at 2, by 10 widening lengths running a mile in 1:34 flat. Affirmed and Alydar faced each other SIX times as 2 year olds. That's what I remember from Triple Crown winners and what I expect from anyone who dares place his name alongside, not some Smarty come lately who outruns a bunch of pigs in Arkansas and whose sire has a breeding fee of about 5 bucks.
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UrbScotty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
12. I say you're right
He could just win it all!

He has a better chance than most horses in recent years, including Real Quiet, who lost the Crown by a nose in 1998.
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
15. I'm with you... here's to a Triple Crown winner!
I missed the race but saw the msnbc.com replay and he was just amazing down the stretch.

Weird question, though -- any chance billions of cicadas buzzing around right about then might discomfit the horses? Cicadas bouncing off Smarty Jones' (and all the other runners) eyes/faces might really suck...
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Justpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Good Question
My husband says they shouldn't come here. They need more open
areas to do their thing.

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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. good - glad to hear that...
what's the terrain around the Belmont? I've never been there, would love to see it, though. I used to go to Santa Anita all the time when I lived in L.A....

Anyone know if there is an on-line replay of Secretariat's Belmont run? I used to help my trainer with thoroughbreds she'd buy to "train" into pleasure horses, and as a child was absolutely in love with Secretariat> I'd be thrilled to see him run if any of the films have been placed on the 'net...
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Justpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Suburbs
Belmont is huge. It's a mile and half track - the largest in the
country. The area outside the stable gate is really unattractive,
but the surrounding areas are OK.

And Belmont itself is like a park. There is grass and trees between
the barns.
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mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
17. For a while, most famous resident of homestate was a horse

(sorry about the "purchase print" stuff. It's what's on the images)


I was growing up in Virginia when Secretariat annihilated it's contemporaries. The whole state kinda collectively hung it's jaw open and said "Sheee-it." Within a couple of days, the reality of the situation set in. No human Virginian in the last 100 years was close to as accomplished in anything as that damn horse was. The only person who could be considered close, Arthur Ashe, had pretty much told Virginia to go to hell as a result of the racist bullshit Ashe had to deal with when he was growing up and Ashe's successes later in life.

So, from that point on, most people in Virginia didn't talk about Secretariat too much. They were too jealous.


"June 9, 1973 - Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park


Secretariat raced into the ever glow of immortality in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. His victory, by one of the widest margins in the history of the American turf - 31 lengths ahead of his nearest challenger and in a world record time for the 1 1/2 miles distance - 2 minutes 24, remains one of the most memorable in sports history. At any moment, a racing fan who might have seen a thousand races, or ten thousand races, or just ten races, can think of those winning numbers 31 and 2:24 and be transported instantly back in time. Back to one of the landmark achievements of a sport as old as horse and man.

The numbers 31 and 2:24 merely trigger the REAL memory of a horse running as no horse had ever seemed to run before or since. Secretariat ran more powerfully, and with more fluid skill than one could ever hope from a horse. And humans hope for much from horses. To feel the glory of Secretariat's Belmont is to be flooded with emotion of having seen something of true wonder.

The most lasting image, in fact, is probably not in the numbers at all. Those numbers came later, after Secretariat crossed the finish line. Only those who have seen countless races would instantly know what the time on the teletimer meant. Few of us know the record times for horse races of various distances at different tracks, even though a possible track record was part of the talk leading up to the 1973 Belmont Stakes. For most of us, it took an expert announcer to explain that Secretariat had just run the fastest Belmont in history. Probably after a moment of research it was noted that the winning time was not merely the fastest 1 miles at Belmont Park, but also the fastest 1 miles-time ever recorded in America. Maybe even in the world!

To figure out that Secretariat's final margin was 31 lengths is also something that came later. Calling the race on television, Chick Anderson estimated that Secretariat was perhaps 25 lengths ahead. For the official margin, the Daily Racing Form Chart Caller had to study the films, and maybe view a wide-angle (very wide-angle) still photo to count the number of lengths by which the mighty horse won...."

http://www.secretariat.com/races/belmont.htm

For the record, I hope Smarty Jones wins, but take at look at that Belmont margin of victory picture again. Smarty Jones has a LONG way to go before it's can be considered in the same class as Secretariat. There is no horse that has ever been comparable to Secrretariat, before or since.
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Awsi Dooger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. Seattle Slew would have beaten Secretariat
I'll be called every imaginable name for that, but go ahead. If Sugar Ray Leonard had never faced Marvin Hagler, those insisting Leonard would have won -- including myself -- would have been laughed at unmercifully.

Speed kills. And even the most ardent racing fans have no idea how awesome Seattle Slew was. He was trained and raced extremely conservatively by original trainer Billy Turner, and horse racing experts like Andrew Beyer concede we never saw Slew's best race. Slew nearly died after a virus early in his 4 year old campaign yet still toyed with Affirmed in the Marlboro Cup, his 3rd race in 14 months, running a mile and an eighth in 1:45 4/5, two ticks off Secretariats world record, despite an off track and being carried very wide off the turn by new jockey Angel Cordero. Slew broke the Champagne Stakes record as a 2 year old and set a track record at Hialeah in his 3 year old debut before Turner realized what he had and told jockey Jean Cruguet to ease Slew to the wire once victory was in hand.

Secretariat ran a dull third in the Wood Memorial prior to the Derby and was soundly beaten by Onion and Prove Out after the Belmont. In fact, the loss to Prove Out came at a mile and a half at Belmont Park, the same track and distance as his 31 length score.

Seattle Slew would have dictated the race against Secretariat, who never faced a frontrunner even close to Slew's ability.

Frankly, that 31 length Belmont margin distorts Secretariat's ability and memories of his dominance. He was all out to defeat Sham in the Derby and Preakness, about 2 lengths in each case. Sham broke down halfway through the Belmont, never to race again, so the margin is a farce. It means no other horse broke 2:30 on a track that was scraped freeway fast. Seven of Belmont Park's 11 main track records were shattered within one week either way of Secretariat's Belmont, completely unprecedented and demonstrating how quick the track was. One race prior to the '73 Belmont, a mediocre horse broke the track record at a mile and an eighth. They conveniently leave that stuff out when showing the tape of Secretariat's Belmont.

Also, Secretariat was syndicated for $6.03 million before running a single race as a 3 year old, and insured for the identical amount. He was not going to race beyond 3 and since he was already syndicated there was no risk in running him all out, every race. Lucien Laurin understood that, and later admitted he probably would have handled the horse differently otherwise.
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Penndems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-04 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
23. He'll win The Belmont
That horse has spirit. You can see it in his eyes.

BTW, check out the Smarty Jones website:

www.teamsmartyjones.com
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