By Jonathan Stettin
We see fractions we know cannot be accurate. We see run ups we question. We see chicklet technology based on GPS show horses where they aren’t.
Handicapping is a science. An art based on accurate information. If our fractions are not flawless then all the other information derived from them is flawed. This included all speed figures and everything else. We have accepted big fluctuations in odds after the race. It’s normal because sometimes they go up as well as down they will tell you. While this is true real time technology exists. If Amazon can tell you the last of 2,875,426 pairs of sneakers were sold a second before you ordered, we should be able to have accurate real time odds within a second of the gate opening.
I go back much further than the day the wrong horse was disqualified at Saratoga. Allemuese some of you will remember. An inexcusable one-time mistake. I wish. Yesterday at the premiere meet in the country if not the world, albeit a watered down one extended to the point the mystique and feel took a hit, unlike say Royal Ascot and Keeneland who cling to tradition and quality over abundance and mediocrity, we may have gotten the biggest slap in the face yet.
The fractions were off, and several horses were eased in Wednesday’s fifth race, sad to say here is the reason:
The race was run wrong at the wrong distance!
The race was carded and more importantly handicapped by the customers or bettors for 1 1-16-miles on the turf. The maiden event for New York 2-year-olds was actually run at 1 1-8 miles. Unacceptable and if management thinks you come up with the same horse we are in bigger trouble then we know. If they think it doesn’t matter it is even worse.
Somelikeithotbrown, trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Jose Ortiz, won the race by 8 lengths.
The official fractions were adjusted by six seconds to be: 23.69, 47.50, 1:13.50, 1:38.16 with the final time going down officially as 1:50.51.
Nothing less than a refund and the botched event declared a non- betting event is acceptable. Nothing! If the shot callers are concerned about those who wagered lay them. Eat the loss and own your blunder. Don’t have the bettors, your bread and butter foot that bill. They foot enough bills as it is.
How can this happen? How many people dropped the ball? How does nobody say wait a minute the gate is in the wrong spot? Who is minding the store? Who is protecting the customer? Who is watching our money as opposed to just taking whatever cut they can get?
If blame is to be placed, ultimately this blows back on the starter. The starter is charged with making sure everything is correct as it can be prior to springing the gate. The gate being placed in the wrong place surely does not coincide with everything being set for the start.
I think we can all live with an occasional error even one as crazy as this but come on, make it right when the inexcusable occurs.
HIGH FIVE: The new Past the Wire caps….read, watch, subscribe and share to get yours.
LOW FIVE: Mother Nature, she is washing out Saratoga. All responsible for the Spa gate fiasco.