Monday, December 7, 2009

Post Race Analysis for Race Day December 5, 2009: The Bayakoa Handicap Grade II; 1 1/16 Miles on Fake Dirt at Hollywood Park

When writing my pre race analysis for The Bayakoa, I got to thinking about a horse forever linked with Bayakoa and the 1990 Breeders' Cup Distaff, Go for Wand. She now rests in peace at Saratoga, forever in the mind of horse racing fans the best 3 YO filly in America in the late fall of 1990, and the image of her laying down after crossing the finish line, eyes open, proud but afraid, is as haunting as any I've ever seen at the track. Rest in Peace Go For Wand, you have never been forgotten.

I couldn't bear to watch the replay on this one yesterday. I know it's important to study your failures and your successes, but that doesn't mean I was excited about picking apart a handicap that went as they can sometimes on poly tracks: Undistinguished turf horse with no wins on poly and rather ho hum past performances comes out of nowhere to win. Doesn't mean you have to like it, but it happens. Zardana (Brz) was given a great trip by Mike Smith, sitting in the pocket third for almost the whole race while moderate fractions clicked off until the top of the stretch and the mare went outside, ran a pedestrian final sixteenth in :06 2/5ths and cruised to the wire, game over. The next five hit the line close to each other, with none of these ladies seemingly interested in offending each other. Let's take nothing away from the winner, but in my final analysis, this was a race you just move on from without many lessons to be learned. Trainer Shirreffs has won this race a record five times now. Perhaps that was the lesson. Zardana (Brz) had a career best 99 BSF.

Hollywood Park Race 8; The Bayakoa Handicap Grade II; 1 1/16 Miles on Fake Dirt for F&M 3 YO and Up.

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