Hall of Fame Ballot Offers Many--Too Many--Worthy Nominees
The Racing Hall of Fame ballot arrived in the mail last week and it’s quite an eclectic lineup of 11 nominees. However, before we go on public record with our choices, this:
The Hall of Fame voting process historically has been problematic and a reliable source of great debate. Many approaches have been advanced over the years, some better than others, of course.
But the process currently in use, in our view, is not one of them.
Instead of breaking nominees down into categories, equines and humans, i.e. jockeys and trainers, all are lumped into one primary-type voting process.
So, for instance, who do you prefer, Javier Castellano or Goldikova? It might as well be the Pantheon of Apples v Oranges.
But that’s not the poorest feature, however. That distinction belongs to the voting rules themselves. It’s all spelled out in the cover letter:
1. You DO NOT have to vote for a specific number of candidates, human or equine.
2. You are being asked to vote “Yes” for as many or as few candidates as you wish.
3. The top four vote-getters, provided they receive more than 50 percent of the vote, will gain election into the Hall of Fame.
For us the issue is two-fold: the worthiness of an equines v. jockeys and trainers, and the fact that a vote for more than one in each category in effect cancels a voters prime choice.
While it’s way above my pay grade (my tax returns are available in order to dispel any potential emolument violations, or worse) I offer the following suggestion:
How about one vote for equine, trainer, and jockey, and one wild card in categories where voters are torn between two extremely worthy individuals? The Hall of Fame Committee can, as it does now, decide the appropriate percentage to gain admission to the Hall.
Beyond the above qualifications, this is what one ballot looks like, no slights intended. The preferences were based on empirical observation and a great compilation of statistical data provided by Hall of Fame staffers:
Weekend’s Past and Prologue
Now that the dust along the Triple Crown trail has settled following last weekend’s Xpressbet Fountain of Youth and Gotham Stakes, future plans are coming into clearer focus—or not. The road to Louisville is long and winding.
Graham Motion is going to play the wait-and-see, he-will-tell-us, game with the trounced Fountain of Youth favorite, Irish War Cry. But he shouldn’t blame himself.
“Maybe I should have told Joel [Rosario] to take him back.” Maybe so, but then he shouldn’t have had to.
Personally, I’m a big Rosario fan, both for his God-given ability and my ability to cash more often than not on some of his mounts. Actually, I’m a fan of all great riders, with due respect for all who ply this dangerous trade.
But Rosario should not have had to be told to sit off Three Rules’ hip and not get into a pitched pace battle with a very gifted Florida-bred speed merchant.
For all Rosario’s gifts, which often prove the difference between victory and defeat, he can be wildly inconsistent.
It’s hard to believe that this was the Rosario who was so egregiously overconfident aboard the 2016 Woodward favorite, Frosted, yet so recklessly speed-abandoned on Saturday’s over-bet favorite.
Motion also believed that his colt regressed from his previous effort, which he clearly did given his awful finish, but we disagree that his Holy Bull was the huge move that caused it.
On both the Thoro-Graph and Pricci Rating scales, his figure-lines were tight, not huge leaps forward. All his races have been fast and that, too, takes its toll. With rare exceptions, big efforts catch up eventually.