Skip to comments.Tainted Triple Crown
Posted on 06/10/2018 5:41:53 PM PDT by ml/nj
What I say here I don't say lightly.
Yesterday I attended my 53rd consecutive Belmont Stakes. I have the highest regard for trainer Bob Baffert. Though based in California, he regularly ships in horses to run in big races in NY (and elsewhere). Last year on Belmont Day he entered horses in four races and they all won. This year he entered horses in three races and won them all. This is no mean feat. But this year one of his horses did not win. (Huh?)
Baffert entered two horses in the Belmont Stakes. The other horse they probably didn't talk much about on TV was Restoring Hope who broke from post position #5. He was ridden by Florent Geroux, one of the best riders in the country, IMHO.
Geroux broke second to last on Restoring Hope. He then rushed the horse up to split the pack of horses in front of him. Noble Indy, the #9, was expected to contend for the early lead that might have put some pressure on Justify early. And Noble Indy did break alertly and looked like he might run early as expected, but Restoring Hope broke through the horses in front of him carrying Noble Indy extremely wide. Restoring Hope continued unnaturally wide until he cut over toward the rail and appeared to shut off Bravaso who was racing just behind Justify who looked as if he might be ranging up to challenge Justify. Thereafter, Geroux kept Restoring Hope just behind and outside Justify so that any other horse that might challenge would have to go three wide.
I saw none of this myself until alerted today about it by a friend at my club who showed me a race replay. I asked him whether anything was said about it on the TV coverage and he said nothing was said. But of course nothing was said. Justify was the hero of the media, in a way similar to the way Obama was a hero of the media.
Replays are available and nyra.com. Once there you want to select the races of June 9th, and then the 11th race. Two views are available, the usual "pan" view and the "head-on" view (which seems to most omit the most egregious interference with Bravaso). There is also a replay available at NBC where the interference with Bravaso is more obvious.
The Racing Form has an article about this: Horsemen question Geroux's ride on Restoring Hope.
It is my opinion that Baffert and Geroux should be suspended indefinitely. Justify should be disqualified from the purse money and consideration as the Belmont and Triple Crown winner.
Even if one of the jockeys in yesterday's race would have claimed foul, I believe it could only have been against Geroux and Restoring Hope (who finished next to last). It used to be that if a trainer or owner had more than one starter in a race, they had to run as a coupled entry. Then, if one fouled another horse in a race, all of the coupled horse would be placed behind the fouled horse. Yesterdays's race shows that horses with a common interest must run as a coupled entry if they are even allowed to start in the same race.
If the jockey touched justify with the crop I never saw it. I saw him wave it but not touch the horse. He might have done different if hed realized how fast Gronkowiski was closing. Wished Id had fifty on that horse to place.
Justify led the Belmont Stakes pole-to-pole, with all the other horses drafting at various points in order to save energy.
So "tainted", my -ss. Justify was the best horse by far and fully earned the victory. Leading pole-to-pole is no small feat, and the little move made early in the race by Restoring Hope was both legal, and ultimately had nothing to do with the outcome.
This article is nothing but sour grapes by someone who probably lost a bet. As I said, the commentators mentioned this incident and stressed that this mild teamwork was perfectly within the rules—just like it is in NASCAR.
Trying to taint Justify's victory, a horse who expended maximum energy—more than any other horse—by leading pole-to-pole is patently asinine...
Yes he is.
The horse that placed 2nd (Gronkowski) was unimpeded on the rail for his entire race and he still could not catch the winner. This is sour grapes.
Are they supposed to change the rules just for the Belmont stakes?
The whole notion is ridiculous. The Belmont Stakes isn't some chaotic 20-horse free-for-all like the Kentucky Derby.
The cream comes to the top in the Belmont. Leading pole-to-pole in a 1-1/2 mile race is extremely difficult, and most impressive when it happens. One perfectly legal block in the first 20 seconds of the race meant nothing. I didn't hear anyone focusing on it in the aftermath of the race. Absolutely laughable sour grapes...
I know little than nothing about racing but watched a documentary on Secretarist last night and while doing so I could see the potential for an owner to enter more than one horse and use the other to run flank and keep the other horses at bay.
It was not until Secretarists had died and autopsy done they discovered his heart was two and half times larger than most horses and why he could run so many laps ahead of the others and not tire as most would.
I agree. Smith gave a beautiful ride.
That will only happen if another horse is born with the size of Secretariats heart....which after Autopsy was found to be one and half times the size of an ordinary horses heart and why he ran as he did. His ability to pump oxygen through his system is why he didn’t tire.
Even so he sure was quite the horse!
It’s called Shake and Bake in NASCAR according to Rickie Bobby.
The blocking is common in many sporting events to prevent opponents from overtaking another participant. Has happened for many years in football, basketball, ice hockey, auto racing, track races, speed ice skating, cycling races, etc.
“Restoring Hope continued unnaturally wide until he cut over toward the rail and appeared to shut off Bravaso who was racing just behind Justify who looked as if he might be ranging up to challenge Justify.”
If Bravaso was “ranging up” how could another horse come from way outside across to get in front of Bravaso? Bravaso had to have been slow.
Slow horses don’t win.
These stakes race jewels don’t change results.
Avatar practically got knocked over in the 75 Derby, came in second anyhow, and there was nary a word and not even an inquiry.
You do know that George Soros is a part owner of that horse right?
Soros taints all he touches.
I saw Secretariat win the Belmont. It was jaw dropping.
Yes it was. Whenever I see that race rerun it gives me goose bumps. The magnificent strength of that beautiful Horse is astounding.
Justify ran the Belmont in 2:28.18, not 2:26. Get your facts right. Justify led from the post and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Rising Hope must be a miracle horse to have accomplished all that has been claimed. Sour grapes from the losers.
Secretariat’s great race in the Belmont or his great leap forward in the Preakness or even his record breaking Kentucky Derby can’t ever diminish Man O’ War’s great legacy.
Can you provide evidence that Secretariat spit his bit. Usually that means the horse doesn’t want to run. That was not Secretariat.
I am throwing the BS flag here. Bravaso, if interfered with, would have filed a complaint with the stewards.
No different than human races. Do not allow yourself to get pinned. Do not blame others when you allow yourself to get pinned.
My two brothers were standardbred trainers/drivers for many years. Believe me, if there were any pre-race arrangements made there were at the most, three people who knew what they were. and in this race maybe only two.
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