The Green Monkey, this year's record-setting $16 million 2-year-old purchase, will not make his long-awaited debut at Saratoga Race Course, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.
"The Green Monkey pulled a gluteal muscle in his last work [August 2] and will be off for a couple of weeks, just jogging," Pletcher said Monday. "Unfortunately, he won't run at Saratoga."
The Green Monkey last breezed five furlongs in 1:03 2/5 over Saratoga's main track with retired Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero in the irons. He was pointing toward an undetermined race near the end of Saratoga's July 26-September 4 meet.
Michael Tabor, John Magnier, and Derrick Smith bought The Green Monkey, named for a golf course in Barbados, at the Fasig-Tipton Calder 2-year-old in training sale February 28.
Anyone else think this will be just be another footnote is the history of stupidity with overpriced racers? Todd has been overly cautious and as Linny said before (and has been grumbled by others) his training has been less then stellar.
Btw - the photo of the Green Monkey golf course (actually the monkey sandtrap) is on the Saratoga thread
I'll be very interested to see how his career turns out. This article about racing stride research was very interesting, and I'm curious to see if they will be right about The Green Monkey.....Sounds like he could end up being a disappointment. I've put the race horse excerpt below.
Analysis of the extreme racing gait of an elite Thoroughbred is perhaps the area where the information provided by high-speed kinetics most seems to throw open a door to the previously unseen and unknown.
Jeff Seder of EQB Agents and Consultants in West Grove, Pennsylvania, began with a business and filmmaking background. He applied what he knew to getting good film of racehorses. He also began collecting data on elite equine athletes by attending Thoroughbred sales.
"Prior databases [mostly academic] included average athletes, and the information did not exist to describe the elite horse," Seder said. "So we became obsessive-compulsive about getting good data." Experts like Clayton agree.
"Mr. Seder has amassed a wealth of data and has been generous in providing that information for study," she said. Seder has published much of his data in a series of articles that evaluates the various detailed phases of gait in racing Thoroughbreds. Perhaps more controversially, he also wrote an article that relates racing performance to foreleg flight patterns among 900 unraced two-year-olds offered at major sales in the United States. Seder listed a group of 73 horses with "good" motion and a group of 77 horses with "bad" motion. The latter group showed extraneous foreleg motion, including hyper-rotation of the cannon bone (hoof hitting an elbow in extreme cases); winging, paddling, or wobbling; and other deviations from straight and correct motion.
"Good" movers were patterned more closely after the ideal. All horses compared were matched to have workouts of similar velocity.
The subsequent North American racing performances of these two groups were evaluated. Seder concluded what proponents of high-speed gait analysis had hoped for when the technology first began to be used. He wrote: "Extraneous foreleg motion was shown to be related to subsequent racing earnings and the level of competition attained. Horses with good foreleg motion (as defined and determined with high-speed film evaluation) earned more and had greater stakes-level success (83% higher earnings) than horses with bad foreleg motion."
Seder's data also has yielded information about high-leg-action horses and turf racing, about the lack of performance predictability when trying to use only velocity and length- of-stride measurements, and several other very technical facts about the vast differences and arrays of phases contained within the racing gait of the horse.
Seder pointed out that The Green Monkey, a Forestry colt recently purchased for $16-million at the Fasig-Tipton Calder sale of selected two-year-olds in training, had a fabulous 9.8-second workout, but high-speed film revealed that the entire work was done at a rotary gallop, a very quick gait that can produce fast times but costs more energy. In Seder's opinion, such a gait is unlikely to be maintained for longer distances. High-speed analysis of that horse's motion leaves questions in Seder's mind and puts tremendous, maybe excessive, expectations on the horse. "Really good horses have a number of ways to run fast," Seder said. "And if they are 'correct' in their motion, they will be able to generate more power and speed without tiring out or breaking down."
Seder did not set out to ruin the careers of those horses that were deemed to have bad motion in his study, and in a bit of kill-the-messenger mentality, he said he has sometimes not been well received within the racing industry.
"Roughly 80% of horses bred for the track will have some sort of problem and never make it to an elite status," Seder said. "The history of science is that innovation is met with skepticism. I'm just taking science and playing probabilities, looking for those horses that, based on our data of gait and motion analysis, have a higher chance of making it."
Whether you use the latest in cameras, high-speed analysis, and data evaluation, or you hang near the rail to find a way of going that pleases your eye, everyone is looking for the same thing--a horse that has a good chance to make it.
This article about racing stride research was very interesting, and I'm curious to see if they will be right about The Green Monkey...[snip] Seder pointed out that The Green Monkey, a Forestry colt recently purchased for $16-million at the Fasig-Tipton Calder sale of selected two-year-olds in training, had a fabulous 9.8-second workout, but high-speed film revealed that the entire work was done at a rotary gallop, a very quick gait that can produce fast times but costs more energy.
I'm not sure how many people would recall, but last year just before Lost In The Fog went off in the Breeders' Cup the producers did exactly what Cammie cited in the article: they pointed out the massive long stride and how efficient it was. Of course that was, and as people know I'm still a fan of his, just before he was utterly swallowed up by the field So you just never know.
Slew I think was $17,500 and Spectacular Bid was bought for $37,000 as a yearling
I just can't imagine how stressful it must be to be training the $16 million dollar horse.Talk about pressure! eek!
Only relative pressure IMHO as Todd Pletcher is, right now, one of the few trainers that frankly if the horse is a failure his life goes on without any impact to reputation. This weekend his barn took a lot of big wins and July was a knockout. If the horse isn't ready and just needs some more time that is fine - no need for him to pushed. Although I suspect his connections are learning now he isn't exactly Secretariat in training.
The GM generates headlines just for putting his head over a stall door. They can just ship him around and cause a stir.
This horse is about a $16 million dollar measuring contest. If you're going to spend that kind of money, you can't seriously care about whether he can run. I think the same could be said of naming the horse The Green Monkey.
He does, however, have a cute, recognizable face. Hopefully, he gets lots of treats and pats and thoroughly enjoys his life at the track. He made a couple of pinhookers very rich and should be treated well for it.
Pletcher said The Green Monkey will be limited to jogging for another two to three weeks, so it's improbable he would be ready to race by the time the Spa meet ends on Sept. 4.
Pletcher said The Green Monkey will likely run his first race at the Belmont fall meet instead.
-- snip --
"I've never had so many people ask me about a horse," said retired Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr., who is The Green Monkey's exercise rider. "People that don't even know horses, they ask me about him."
Cordero said he had thought The Green Monkey might not run at Saratoga, regardless, because he has yet to earn his starting gate card.
"We have done a lot of gate (work) with him, but at the beginning, he didn't want to walk in there and at Churchill Downs (in the spring), we were having a little problem to get him in," Cordero said. "He goes from the gate now, and he's very quick out of there, but we haven't broke him with the door closed yet."
Bill Nader, NYRA senior vice president and chief operating officer, said it would be nice for The Green Monkey to run at the Spa, "but it's a want, not a need. A need would be (Travers contenders) Bernardini or Bluegrass Cat, horses that are proven, not just an expensive 2-year-old."
It is too bad that these babies are not given more time to develop and grow before having to race. Two years old is young to have to start racing. I wish we could start them later and have them running longer but then again you have the issue of the dollar factor regarding breeding. I sincerely hope the Green Monkey does not end up a sad story - not for the money paid for him but for the horse himself.
By TIM WILKIN, Staff writer -Times Union
Thursday, August 10, 2006
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- It didn't take long for The Green Monkey to get out of town.
The $16 million 2-year-old was vanned to Belmont Park to recover from a muscle pull that will prevent him from making his racing debut at Saratoga, said trainer Todd Pletcher.
"I figured it would give him some freedom and me as well," Pletcher said with a laugh Wednesday morning.
Pletcher, who announced the injury on Monday, said Coolmore Stud, owners of The Green Monkey, took the news well.
"They were disappointed not being able to run at Saratoga, but, like always, they are horse people and they understand," he said. "If there is a setback, the long-term best interest of the horse is the main priority."
And why am I still suspicious that TGM won't ever break out of the gate in a race??? Having said that, he is definitely one good looking colt... if looks could run I think he'd have it made in the shade...
"The main reason is Polytrack is out there," Pletcher said. "We thought about going out there before, but one of the concerns was always how safe the surfaces are out there. Obviously, the purses are good. . . . Mister [Michael] Tabor wants his horses training on Polytrack when possible."
Tabor, one of Pletcher's major clients, owns such horses as leading 2-year-old Circular Quay and the unraced The Green Monkey, the $16 million 2-year-old in training purchase who has yet to debut. Pletcher said The Green Monkey "probably" will train in California.
Ah, yes, but does that mean Todd will dare try to use the Lindsay Lohan excuse of "heat exhaustion" if The Green Monkey continues to not learn his gate manners? We all know how well that story worked for Ms. Lohan in LA