Kevin Lay was kind enough to send along Crown the Cat’s Past Performances that have been updated to show her last race. There are a few interesting things to note.
1. As we mentioned in an earlier comment, she earned a 53 Beyer Speed Figure, which more or less replicated the 54 Beyer she earned when she won her first race.
2. You’ll notice that she actually ran her last race in more of her preferred running style, which is from off the pace. Many of you have been commenting on her inability to get the lead early, but she has typically run from just off the pace. The chart comment says, “blocked, waited, got thru”. Thus, the chart-caller believes that she actually had a somewhat troubled trip. In watching the race replay, I would agree that she had a troubled trip, around the quarter poll Ry did have to wait for at least a couple of strides. Although not major, it is worth noting.
3. A couple of her best career Beyers have actually come at 6 and 1/2 furlongs. We’ve been talking about route races; however, if we’re really lucky, maybe we can get a race at 6 and 1/2 furlongs. These races aren’t written often, but one never knows what could come up in the condition book. That could be the perfect race for the Cat.
Interesting thought that C-t-C may be seen as not having run well based upon running style.Closers or offpace horses are a lot of fun, because no matter how far backyour horse is in a race, there's always hope for miraculous improvement in the stretch.Its also easier to justify a finish less than first, as result of racing luck.On running style: Its always been my contention that how a horse is run,may not always be its natural tendancy, so much as trainer inclination & trainer comfort zones.European horses tend to make their run at the end of a race differently,from my read of it, but I haven't seen enough to really judge that as true.If I am right, whether that is due to grass vs dirt, or a different training mindset,I can't pretend to guess.
Ooops, sorry. There was an implied question in the previous post, but I never really asked it: What determines the running style of a horse? Is it predominantly muscle tissue?Occasionally you will see a horse run contrary to its usual style & do very well in the deviation.Does that change in the course of a horse's form cycle?
Horses are all unique creatures and all develop different tendencies. I would say one of the largest factors in running style is simply the size and the physical make-up of the horse. Typically, larger horses and those with bulky muscle mass are going to run from off the pace as they won't be able to get moving as quickly early on. Conversely, sometimes the more compact horses are more adept at getting out of the gate and getting an early lead.This is likely an overgeneralization as there are larger horses with early speed and small horses that are closers. However, it is one factor. Preferably, your horse has enough speed to stalk the pace and the ability to close late. Horses that run in the middle of the pack are the most likely winners because they can adapt to any type of early pace scenario. Crown the Cat is a horse that can run from just off the pace and I'd assume that will be her typical running style throughout the remainder of the summer. However, each race is a new event and we'll just have to see what happens. Running style is typically consistent across races, but equipment changes and training changes can be used to change running style if that is deemed necessary. We'll discuss this more in future blog posts.
Looking in the book for future races we could take a gamble and enter her for the Shot of Gold race on July 3rd. It is a 6 furlong run which she has shown a liken to. She has done a 2nd then a 1st and a 3rd on her last race so her cycle should be on an upswing. If she hadn't lost her shoe she might have even done better last time. Even if she takes another 3rd in a stakes race she will have earned as much if not more than if she wins in a 10k claimer.
Jim – Stepping up into a race such as the Shot of Gold Stakes would be too aggressive of a move for a filly such as Crown the Cat for multiple reasons.1. Stakes Company would be at least 2 steps up the class ladder. She is still eligible for a first level allowance race, so skipping that condition to run in a Stakes Race doesn't make too much sense. If we felt she should move up in class, the most likely next step would be an allowance race.2. The Shot of Gold Stakes is open to both boys and girls. There is no reason to run a girl against the boys unless absolutely necessary.3. Quite frankly, stakes company is simply far too tough of competition for our horse. She is likely to have to face the best horses on the grounds in addition to horses from Chicago, Iowa and potentially Indiana. The most recent sprint stakes contested at Canterbury was run on Memorial Day and was won by Humble Smarty. He set a new track record that day and is one horse that could be back in the Shot of Gold.4. Lastly, you have to put up money to run in a Stakes race. In this case, the Shot of Gold Stakes would cost us $500 just for a chance to start in the race. Thus, although the purse is greater, you're going to be facing tougher horses and you're going to be paying to do so.In this game, the only way you have a chance to make money is to continue winning races. We have to keep this horse at a level where she can be competitive. For the reasons outlined above, a race such as the Shot of Gold is just too tough for our filly.