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View Full Version : Just read Da'Tara did not finish Woodward



JstMyLuck3
Sep. 8, 2009, 09:06 AM
anyone know his status? I was there watching, but all eyes were on RA... didn't even know about this.

rcloisonne
Sep. 8, 2009, 11:39 AM
I asked the same question after the race. No responses. It was evident he was eased long before the finish line in the youtube video. He did cross the finish line though I thought? Hope he's not injured.

Alibhai's Alibar
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:15 PM
If I remember correctly, he crossed the wire, but was definitely eased- I'd imagine that the jock knew he had no chance and did not want to put unnecessary pressure on him. He did not appear to be in any immediate distress and was walked back to the barn. I have not heard any news on him after the race, though.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:36 PM
In the Saratoga thread I cited he was eased and per the race chart and is not tagged with the last finishing position: it just shows " - ". I'll profess that I don't know how Equibase notes a non-competitive finish (e.g. jogs or walks across the wire long after everyone is done) however Da Tara did walk off the track on his own and never was vanned away.

He's the one who set the insane first fraction that was not suited to a 1 1/8 mi race.

Alas in recent years - aside from Summer Bird - I'm hard pressed to think of a Belmont Stakes winner recently who has found measured success post that race save for Birdstone. Frankly it's been a career jinx to win it until this year.

2008 Da'Tara - has never won a race since the Belmont
2007 Rags to Riches - 1 more race in the Gazelle Stakes, took 2nd in it and retired (injury)
2006 Jazil - 2 minor allowance races with 2nd in both; then 12th in the Grade 3 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland (I was there) - retired
2005 Afleet Alex - never ran again (injury)
2004 Birdstone - just 1 start after the Belmont - the Travers - won it and retired (injury)
2003 Empire Maker - just 1 start after the Belmont - Jim Dandy Stakes - finished 2nd and was retired

Laurierace
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:51 PM
I knew they had him in there to be a rabbit as soon as the entries came out, I just can't figure out why. They could have sent an army of rabbits out there and it wouldn't have helped his entry mate's cause. The only thing I can think of is they were trying to get Rachel beat by any means possible sort of like Eddington in Smarty's Belmont. I never thought Nick was an asshat and still don't but that doesn't seem like good sportmanship to me.

JstMyLuck3
Sep. 8, 2009, 01:08 PM
I also wondered why Da'Tara was even run... and I say this based on his last start, which was only several weeks ago. All in all, I just hope he's sound & ok.

Kenike
Sep. 8, 2009, 02:23 PM
I was wondering about this, too. I watched the Youtube playback numerous times and never did see him cross the wire. In fact, I swear I saw him walking BEHIND the wire. Not unsound, jockey still up, but walking off the track.

rcloisonne, I saw you mention that, but forgot to come back and tell you I noticed it, too. I'm sorry.

kcmel
Sep. 8, 2009, 04:29 PM
No, he definitely galloped across the finish line. I was there and I always make sure everyone finishes.

fossiloverfences
Sep. 8, 2009, 09:41 PM
I'm a TB fan and h/j person, so not real knowledgeable about racing. Why is Da'Tara still running? Is he a gelding?

Linny
Sep. 8, 2009, 11:40 PM
Though winless since the Belmont, Da Tara is only 4 and is sound. His last two were poor tries though, all the horses involved in the pace (save RA) in the Woodward were badly beaten.

JstMyLuck3
Sep. 9, 2009, 08:52 AM
:confused:

So what happens now to a horse like D'Tara? Will Zito continue running him, but in lower-grade races that he can be competitive in? Would he even be eligible for anything of this nature?

I am a bit clueless when it comes to these issues in racing, but I would love to learn!

Glimmerglass
Sep. 9, 2009, 09:10 AM
So what happens now to a horse like D'Tara? Will Zito continue running him, but in lower-grade races that he can be competitive in? Would he even be eligible for anything of this nature?

Well his health will have to be determined first. He's had two dead-last finishes but IMHO he's likely never been a graded-stakes level horse. Da'Tara (http://www.ntra.com/stats_bios.aspx?id=32952) is owned by long time Zito client Robert LaPenta (http://www.ntra.com/stats_bios.aspx?id=15512) who has been in the game for about 11 years and its very doubtful you'll ever see Da'Tara in the claiming ranks ever.

Per the NTRA site he is a colt not a gelding. That said his dismal efforts since the Belmont suggest he likely should be given time off and/or retired.

2009 races:

09/05/09 $750K Woodward Stakes (Grade 1) "8th" place
08/10/09 $70K Albert The Great Stakes (ungraded) 7th
07/12/09 $48K Allowance Optional Claiming (ungraded) 2nd
04/01/09 $46K Allowance Optional Claiming (ungraded) 2nd
02/28/09 $44K Allowance Optional Claiming (ungraded) 2nd

In 2008 after the Belmont he never even hit the board again in the Jim Dandy (G1), Travers (G1), or Jerome Handicap (G2)

Further his win the Belmont was a wee bit of a fluke he wasn't exactly impressive in his prior starts before that either ....

JstMyLuck3
Sep. 9, 2009, 09:17 AM
[QUOTE=Glimmerglass;4362798]
Per the NTRA site he is a colt not a gelding. That said his dismal efforts since the Belmont suggest he likely should be given time off and/or retired.

[QUOTE]

I agree... especially that a horse of this caliber (winning the Belmont and all) would never appear in any sort of claiming race. I mean, he's coming 5, shouldn't they just retire him? Is it a safe bet that he would go to stud? IMO, geld him and let him go live out the rest of his long life in a different career.

Drvmb1ggl3
Sep. 9, 2009, 09:23 AM
He's competitive at the Allowance level, why would you retire him? Some time off maybe if he needs, but Wtf?

Glimmerglass
Sep. 9, 2009, 09:23 AM
I agree... especially that a horse of this caliber (winning the Belmont and all) would never appear in any sort of claiming race. I mean, he's coming 5, shouldn't they just retire him? Is it a safe bet that he would go to stud? IMO, geld him and let him go live out the rest of his long life in a different career.

Just a point of clarity on my part - in 2009 he's run in Optional Claiming races however to me knowledge he was never "in for a tag".

If he's only getting 2nd in a $44k allowance race you have to question his continued racing ability on dirt. Could the turf be his calling or even steeplechasing? Who knows. However I'd think entering him into even Grade 3 races would be expecting a lot.

JstMyLuck3
Sep. 9, 2009, 09:39 AM
He's competitive at the Allowance level, why would you retire him? Some time off maybe if he needs, but Wtf?

I'm only asking if this is the best route, for lack of knowing. So I take that it's a "no" to retiring.

Drvmb1ggl3
Sep. 9, 2009, 01:22 PM
Unless he is injured there is no point in retiring him. I imagine what they will do is persist and see if they can add a bit more black type, maybe find a soft G2 or G3 somewhere. His one claim to fame, winning the Belmont, also happens to be the kiss of death for a stallion prospect (when taken in isolation). So right now his stud value is not great. At this point it's seems pretty obvious he's in over his head at the high end, but if that was a reason to retire horses there'd only be 100 horses in training.

But seriously, I'm trying to understand your logic, why would you geld, retire and stick in a pasture a horse that is competitive and picks up checks in $50k races?
90% of people involved in racing would be happy as Larry to have a horse like that.

JstMyLuck3
Sep. 9, 2009, 04:22 PM
My logic was... a horse that has won the Belmont as what seems (at my first, novice glance) a fluke, but is no longer competitive w/ the big boys, owned by high-class individual who probably doesn't race his horses in just "any" race. I just thought there wouldn't be a slew of options left for D'Tara.

JstMyLuck3
Sep. 9, 2009, 04:24 PM
...and also, this is nothing against you, but I hate how just because a horse isn't injured, "there's no reason to retire him". Why can't we retire before a horse gets to that point, so he can have a life after racing. I know everyone isn't guilty of this, but it seems many are.

rcloisonne
Sep. 9, 2009, 04:58 PM
I knew they had him in there to be a rabbit as soon as the entries came out, I just can't figure out why. They could have sent an army of rabbits out there and it wouldn't have helped his entry mate's cause. The only thing I can think of is they were trying to get Rachel beat by any means possible sort of like Eddington in Smarty's Belmont. I never thought Nick was an asshat and still don't but that doesn't seem like good sportmanship to me.
I've watched the replays several times and if any horse was a "rabbit" in this race it was Rachel herself. She led the field from the first turn. Da Tara was in front wire to wire in the Belmont. Did that make him a rabbit in that race too? He likes to run up front. So does RA.

lizajane09
Sep. 10, 2009, 09:16 PM
I've watched the replays several times and if any horse was a "rabbit" in this race it was Rachel herself. She led the field from the first turn. Da Tara was in front wire to wire in the Belmont. Did that make him a rabbit in that race too? He likes to run up front. So does RA.

I was always under the impression that a "rabbit" was a horse entered in a race to set very fast fractions not because it was really thought he could win by doing so but to either try to help a stablemate win or to keep another horse from winning... as opposed to a horse like RA who could reasonably be expected to win after setting fast fractions in the beginning of the race. Am I wrong?

Laurierace
Sep. 10, 2009, 09:18 PM
They were trying to pressure RA into going too fast early so she would spit the bit ala Da Tara in the stretch. Obviously it didn't work but it would have with most horses, she is just that spectacular.

danceronice
Sep. 10, 2009, 10:15 PM
I don't consider the idea of rabbits unsporting--always been done and sometimes it backfires (Exterminator, for example.) But if D'Tara is only managing 2nds in optional claimers or allowance races it seems REALLY silly to use him in a Grade I stakes when it's not even the only GI distance he's won at. He was hopelessly outclassed by every horse in the field. Maybe after this he will drop and stay dropped to where he's competitive. After all, he doesn't know what purse he's running for, just that he's getting outrun.

WhiteCamry
Sep. 11, 2009, 10:09 AM
Well his health will have to be determined first. He's had two dead-last finishes but IMHO he's likely never been a graded-stakes level horse. Da'Tara (http://www.ntra.com/stats_bios.aspx?id=32952) is owned by long time Zito client Robert LaPenta (http://www.ntra.com/stats_bios.aspx?id=15512) who has been in the game for about 11 years and its very doubtful you'll ever see Da'Tara in the claiming ranks ever.

Per the NTRA site he is a colt not a gelding. That said his dismal efforts since the Belmont suggest he likely should be given time off and/or retired.

2009 races:

09/05/09 $750K Woodward Stakes (Grade 1) "8th" place
08/10/09 $70K Albert The Great Stakes (ungraded) 7th
07/12/09 $48K Allowance Optional Claiming (ungraded) 2nd
04/01/09 $46K Allowance Optional Claiming (ungraded) 2nd
02/28/09 $44K Allowance Optional Claiming (ungraded) 2nd

In 2008 after the Belmont he never even hit the board again in the Jim Dandy (G1), Travers (G1), or Jerome Handicap (G2)

Further his win the Belmont was a wee bit of a fluke he wasn't exactly impressive in his prior starts before that either ....

Given that DT's one good performance was at 12f, plus the scarcity of top races at that distance in North America, wouldn't an overseas career be an option? Or doesn't La Penta send his horses overseas?

Zevida
Sep. 11, 2009, 12:53 PM
But if D'Tara is only managing 2nds in optional claimers or allowance races it seems REALLY silly to use him in a Grade I stakes when it's not even the only GI distance he's won at. He was hopelessly outclassed by every horse in the field.

Well, that is the whole point of a rabbit. They typically are horses that can run really fast the first 4-5 furlongs in hope of softening up any of the other front-runners so their top-class closer stablemate can sweep by and pick up the pieces for the win. Rabbits are almost always out-classed by the field. A rabbit is not supposed to win or even have a chance.

WinterTriangle
Sep. 15, 2009, 03:52 AM
I don't consider the idea of rabbits unsporting

I agree. They are not always entered to hurt the chances of other horses. Some trainers enter rabbits for their OWN horse, who needs something to run at.

It also sometimes benefits closers, because if a race doesn't have a decent pace, there is nothing for late-pace horses to run into.

Richard's Kid just won a stakes race as a huge longshot, and is a horse that needs competition to run at his best, and *at* other horses, I think.