Is it Just Me

Stardom Bound & Mike Smith waltz home in the Las Virgenes (Charles Pravata)

Or are things looking up? “Jockeys, Win or Die Trying”, much to the relief of this viewer, turned out to be more substantive than the breakdown packed promotion. This year’s 3yo crop is looking deeper and more consistent than last years and, at least for the moment, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything to bitch about (I know, give it time).

Not that I’m a traffic whore (total lie) but Chantal Sutherland and Zenyatta have been the two most frequent searches to make their way to GbG post-“Jockeys”. Sutherland was already my biggest traffic driver from search results but I’m happy to see that the show not only gave Zenyatta decent coverage, but that it’s resulting in people wanting to know more. The racing camera work is downright stunning and does a lot to promote the game… it’s already exciting enough from the grandstand, but seeing like that should certainly peak some interest.

I do have a few small gripes. I thought they did a touch too much cutting back and forth during the Lady’s Secret stretch drive. The drama of the stretch drive could have stood more on it’s own with just a few cut away shots. I also didn’t like the music at all. For example, I would have preferred the Daft Punk original version of the theme song as opposed to that faux hip hop business (which is Stronger by Kanye West for all you googlers, but check out Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger too).

I’m still waiting to hear from one of my non-racing friends to find out what she thought. My mom had this to say in an email “I went past and saw someone get hurt, so I didn’t linger long.” Swifty had the same gripe about the music and, in addition to the theme song, specifically mentioned the music while Sutherland was crying (which I don’t remember). But he and I both agreed that overall the show seems likely to get people interested in racing, which is great! Maybe they’ll shoot the second season at Saratoga?

I’m not sure when Derby preps start to air but I hope media buyers for ESPN, NBC, etc. think to place some ads during the show. Seems like the perfect opportunity to generate some new fans. Perhaps the NTRA has already of thought of this and is on the case, I hope so!

Ask and you shall be given, it was a good day of racing indeed! I only handicapped the Risen Star and managed to hit the exacta. I boxed Friesan Fire, Flying Pegasus and Indygo Mountain. I wasn’t entirely sure how the pace scenario was going to play out as there was no clear speed but I thought it might have ended up a little faster.

Friesan Fire and Flying Pegasus are both on my list but I’m interested to see what Indygo Mountain will do in a faster pace scenario. He definitely improved from the Lecomte and got caught in a bit a traffic just when he had some run so I’m not discounting him just yet. Uno Mas also improved from the Lecomte and had I watched the replay a little more closely I might have caught that he was closing at the end and was probably likely to improve. And, needless to say, Giant Oak’s trip was pretty rough, again! I’ll be keeping an eye on both of them as well.

War Echo looked great in the Silverbulletday. I threw a little money away in that race combining her with Just Jenda and Southern Yankee based on the parade. War Echo was the visual stand out in the parade and I can’t wait to see her again.

On the west coast I don’t really need to wax poetic about Stardom Bound too much. Although, does this mean I’ll end up liking Iavarone and Babe this year? I thought Pioneerof the Nile’s stretch drive was pretty eye popping and can’t believe that I’m interested in California horses this year. I guess anything is possible!

Crist has a good post about the “brave new world” of synthetic racing particularly as it pertains to Beyer Speed Figures. I don’t really use BSFs because they don’t take pace into account, and as Crist points out, Stardom Bound’s low BSF doesn’t tell the whole tale. I noticed last week the top two finishers of the Holy Bull had the lowest BSFs of the field, both at 76.

One similarity to last year’s crop is that, with the exception of the Spectacular Bid, the pace has been pretty moderate in almost every race. Is Notonthesamepage the only front running speed horse in the group or am I forgetting someone? I’d love to see what Indygo Mountain, and Flying Pegasus for that matter, would do in that kind of pace scenario!

And finally, Sarah and Charles were both in action yesterday at Aqueduct and Santa Anita respectively. Apparently Charles was in a couple of shots of the second episode of Jockeys, I think Sarah’s on to something with the drinking game idea. Cheers!