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Thread: Smarty Jones Chokes

  1. #21
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    I predicted the human element to fail here, and it finally did.

    First, the trainer didn't work the horse over the strip. Smarty doesn't need to take his track with him, but "Big Sandy" is unique. It's not only my jinx that's kept Affirmed's feat fresh the last decade. Belmont is a deep tiring track, and you saw that impact when Smarty came crawling home. Servis could've brought him up for some exercize, and to learn how to relax, but Servis opted for the flashbulbs instead. He showed his class by accusing Solis and Bailey of "sacrificing" their mounts to get him beat.

    Second, the jockey had no business going that fast. After an easy 1st qtr, he chose to blaze to the 6F mark in just over 1:11. Eddington and Rock Hard Ten were not about to pass him. He should've been content to let them ride on his flank. But NO, he had to spurt away before the turn and that's what cost him. Elliott's only won one race at Belmont in his career, and 1.5 miles is a tough turn-around. Maybe he could've got some practice if he scored more mounts on the card, especially for the other race at that distance.

  2. #22
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JumbalayaJet[/i]@Jun 9 2004, 12:29 AM
    [b] I predicted the human element to fail here, and it finally did.

    First, the trainer didn't work the horse over the strip. Smarty doesn't need to take his track with him, but "Big Sandy" is unique. It's not only my jinx that's kept Affirmed's feat fresh the last decade. Belmont is a deep tiring track, and you saw that impact when Smarty came crawling home. Servis could've brought him up for some exercize, and to learn how to relax, but Servis opted for the flashbulbs instead. He showed his class by accusing Solis and Bailey of "sacrificing" their mounts to get him beat.

    Second, the jockey had no business going that fast. After an easy 1st qtr, he chose to blaze to the 6F mark in just over 1:11. Eddington and Rock Hard Ten were not about to pass him. He should've been content to let them ride on his flank. But NO, he had to spurt away before the turn and that's what cost him. Elliott's only won one race at Belmont in his career, and 1.5 miles is a tough turn-around. Maybe he could've got some practice if he scored more mounts on the card, especially for the other race at that distance. [/b][/quote]
    Most of that is true, But none of it explains why the most tactically superior jockey would run a horse like Eddington 4 wide and press the pace. I'm not upset at the outcome. Nor am I upset that Bailey and Solis pressed the pace. That's the game - I live and lose money on that.

    The only thing that upsets me is where he went so wide on a mile and a half race and pressed. Just makes no sense to make a long trip AND press at that distance, because no one but Secretariat could have won like that. THAT's why Angry horsefans like myself will curse Bailey. I'd have preferred him to come forward and say, "Eddington took me." That horse having a mind of his own would at least be consistent. But Eddington deserved better. Smarty did not.

    Ordinarily, I'd agree with you about Big Sandy. Not last Saturday, though. Every race that day proved that out. Fast. In fact, I think a slower track would have helped Smarty a bit by making him play more to tactical speed. I would have liked to have seen his last gallop at Belmont, though. There I agree with you.

  3. #23
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    Can't see the blaming Bailey part, although I always bet against him value-wise, he's as honest as they come. He wouldn't be doing his job if he let a 1-9 shot relax in :48, especially the way the track had been playing. Eliott panicked and that's the bottom line.

  4. #24
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    Agree with you Jumba
    Elliot wore out Smarty Jones by going to the lead instead of laying back just off the lead
    . It would have worked out if it was a mile and a quarter but 1 and a half miles was too much to ask of Smarty Jones.

  5. #25
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    Being on the lead shouldn't have bothered him if Elliott gave him a breather instead of creating daylight on the backstretch. All he needed to do was park the other guys on his flank and cruise around the turn. They were NOT going by him. He's got noone to blame but himself for bringing a staggering horse home.

  6. #26
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JumbalayaJet[/i]@Jun 10 2004, 10:39 AM
    [b] Being on the lead shouldn't have bothered him if Elliott gave him a breather instead of creating daylight on the backstretch. All he needed to do was park the other guys on his flank and cruise around the turn. They were NOT going by him. He's got noone to blame but himself for bringing a staggering horse home. [/b][/quote]
    Don't be misled into thinking that I'm excusing Elliot. I do think that the fast inner mile was a killer -- all the more praise to Smarty Jones, who was [u]not [/u]staggering to the wire. His last eighth wasn't slow for the distance, but he did break stride and change his lead leg. That's the half-length right there.

    I do think that Eddington could have easily run in the money with a different race. Running him like Bailey did, that horse had no chance. Those of us who question the tactic honestly, don't do so with SMARTY in mind, but with EDDINGTON. If you take Smarty out of the equation, in any other race you'd look at Bailey's ride and say it was a horrible trip.

    The most notable comments from Bailey were when he recalled Cigar. That horse was fanned out, pressed, bumped and absolutely tortured in races by much lesser horses, solely bent making him lose. In Bailey's words, those were glorified claimers without a chance. Either way, it was the human element affecting those races, much as it was for Eddington at Belmont. The difference is, Eddington deserved better.

  7. #27
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    I think Bailey was surprised when Smarty stepped on the gas at that point. He really didn't count on that, and his mount, as well as Solis', had his heart ripped out. Watch the race again if you have the chance. Birdstone wasn't exactly flying. SJ had stopped to a crawl.

    In all fairness, Bailey is also a crybaby from the days when Cigar got beat in Cali, whining that claimers were sent after him early. If it's cheap speed, then he dosen't have to go with them.

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