Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Watch The Waves

Del Mar opens it's 2008 boutique meet in a few hours amid claims that the surface, which took so much criticism last year, is better than it has ever been. I'll be quite interested to see how it plays although I probably will not make many selections over the course of the meet. I am more interested in watching for possible Breeders' Cup horses. Traditionally when the Breeders' Cup is contested at Santa Anita a good number of the eventual winners were seen in action at Del Mar during the summer.

Last year was a particularly terrible year for the Del Mar runners in the Breeders' Cup. Partly because few of them came all the way to the Jersey Shore and partly because some good horses like Indian Blessing would have run at Del Mar but were chased away by surface concerns. A better surface and closer proximity to the BC venue should see Del Mar hosting more than one eventual BC champ this summer.

Here are the Breeders' Cup records for horses who contested a race at Del Mar during the same season. I split the Turf and Main Track horses because the Turf record is far worse. It gives a skewed picture of how these horses actually do. For the most part the West, and Del Mar specifically, does not host the highest quality Turf racing.

2007 - Monmouth
Main Track: 12-0-1-1
Turf: 2-0-0-0

2006 - Churchill Downs
Main Track: 18-1-1-1
Turf: 5-0-1-0

2005 - Belmont
Main Track: 17-1-2-1
Turf: 6-1-0-0

2004 - Lone Star
Main Track: 11-1-1-1
Turf: 8-0-0-0

2003 - Santa Anita
Main Track: 20-3-3-2
Turf: 9-1-1-0

The last time the BC was in California the home team likely outperformed. It might be unrealistic to expect half the BC winners to have run at Del Mar but it is certainly something to keep an eye on.

No comments: