Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Nomination Is In: The Grade 2 Bayakoa at Los A

Bayakoa/5 against Go For Wand/2; 1990 Breeders' Cup Distaff
I could write a blog post about what Bayakoa meant to me, and I have  (like this from 2009).  Instead of the Turk rambling I  like this blog post by Sam Ludo to summarize the amazing career of one of the greatest fillies ever,  a mare whose name belongs in the same breath as Zenyatta, Ruffian, and Rachael Alexandra.

For anyone who can stand it, this is Bayakoa in her glory, dueling Go for Wand.  With the heart of a lion these two engaged each other and it was many years before I could ever think to watch this video as I became an emotional wreck just thinking about the pride and passion that fills such animals to race to the very edge of death when challenged.

We use the word great too often in our society to identify champions.  Not all champions are great.  Great should be reserved, along with a few other adjectives, for the absolute best of the best.

Bayakoa was great. It's one of the sadder parts of the demise of horse racing in our culture, that her name isn't known more widely, acclaimed by openly, adored for forever.

As a race fan and a lover of animals, I never want to see a horse get hurt like this.  These animals were bred to race, they love to race.  As long as they are cared for after the track, Grade 1 winners or claimers, I can live with the inevitable deaths that will occur.  This one is haunting to anyone who loved Bayakoa and Go for Wand.

I am still mourning in a different way Hollywood Race Park.  I'm not that familiar with the big oval at Los A yet.  I'm learning to play it the old fashioned, by reading race charts and building my opinion of how to play its big stretch.

Anyway, this edition of the Bayakoa (thanks for leaving name alone!) is a six horse affair and a bit of a snooze fest at that.  Let's see what we can make of it.

I'm backing Yahilwa to win.  In last two races as come from more than 2 off the lead to win as well as wired a win, both at 1 mile.  Came up back of Tiz Midnight and Beholder three races back in the G1 Zenyatta.  One win at the distance in an N1X in April 2014.  Getting faster as the year goes, Trainer Cassidy is 25% won last start on 40 tries and Mike Smith/Cassidy win at 23% on 52 tries.

Hard to say what Tiz Midnight will bring.  I typically don't like the first race back off a Breeders' Cup race which is exactly what Baffert's 4 YO is doing.  Class alone, she;s top of the class.  She'll race as always within two of the lead all the way around.  Easily wins, but for value would like to see Place.

Legacy seems like the best of the rest.  Sadler's horse has run well on this track.  Sadler 18% on turf/dirt switch after a trouncing in the G2 Goldikova at SA in early November.  (I guess I could have added Goldikova and Lady's Secret to my list of greats. I know I'm forgetting others as well!)

I'm leaning towards a very simple bet construction:  A $2 Tri with 1-3 OVER 1-3 OVER 2-5-4-6 is a $16 bet and a $2 Tri with 1 OVER 3 OVER 2-5-4-6 is an $8 bet.

Have fun with it yourself if you are so inclined!

Turk Out.

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