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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Keith Pettyjohn — If you have been reading our column here at HRI for the last few months, you know that I’m not too quick to jump on the bandwagon of highly touted horses.

As a matter of fact, I’ve even been the one to alert you know when highly touted horses are particular vulnerable in their starts and why. It’s simply a matter of following where the numbers take me.

When Gamine had to face horses of high quality in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, for example, it was just a quick scan back to her wins in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont where she earned a 90 against a “C” group of competitors, and the 96 she earned in the Grade 1 Test against “B” level rivals.

Those figures indicated that the waters were about to get a lot deeper and that she would be vulnerable against a higher grade of competition.

Then we looked at highly touted Tiz The Law and found that even though he actually had earned the highest Performance Ratings and did so against some very good competition, his figures showed that he was not head and shoulders above the rest as many people thought:

The numbers showed that he could be susceptible to the pace dynamics and race flow. Keep that in mind as we look at the performances of the latest sensation. Grade 1 Champagne winner Jackie’s Warrior, the first horse in 23 years to win the Saratoga Special and Hopeful Stakes.

Jackie’s Warrior is going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile a perfect 4 for 4 after dominant Champagne win at Belmont where he earned a 92 Performance Rating against a “C+” group of rivals.

His outing prior to that, he earned a 93 performance figure against “B-” horses.

These numbers are very impressive when you consider that he is just two years old that no other two year old has posted a figure in the 90s and he defeated two of the toughest fields assembled in the last two years. Steve Asmussen has done a fabulous job having him ready for each of these races.

So even though we are over three weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup races and pre-entries are yet to be drawn, the owners and trainers of the competition had better take special note of Jackie’s Warrior because the numbers show this warrior will be up for any fight.

We expect a very short price, in the neighborhood of 3-5. We’re afraid that any value will be in the vertical exotics and as a possible “free square” for the horizontal exotic wagers.

What do you think about this division? Make use of the Comments Section below and let us know your thoughts about this colt or any horse or Breeders’ Cup race that you are most looking forward to seeing or betting. Letter Grades

A Flower Bowl Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Monmouth Stakes

A- Fayette Stakes, Franklin County Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II

B+ Durham Cup

B- Sands Point Stakes

C+ Champagne Stakes, Frizette Stakes

C Futurity Stakes Jessamine Stakes

C- Matron Stakes

HRI/GSR Performance Figures 10/05 – 10/112020

Happy Saver 103

Almanaar 102

Civil Union 100

Got Stormy 98

Mr. Freeze 98

Harvey’s Lil Goil 96

Salute With Honor 95

Jackie’s Warrior 92

Tamahere 89

Dayoutoftheoffice 87

Aunt Pearl 80

Second Of July 77

Royal Approval 75

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2 Responses

  1. Keith, knowing that ‘Jackie’ has destroyed all to have lined up against him, the only unknown is how that second turn alters his mind, it’s just a different style of running. He certainly had plenty left at end of Champagne so it’s unlikely an added sixteenth will stop him. His major rival(s) might turn out to be some super duper fast maiden-breaker or a speedball from out west. Believe Pre-Entries will be set by OCT 28, will double check…

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