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2018 Horse of the Year - Justify v. Accelerate

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  • #21
    Justify no question. There have been so few TC winners in the history of the sport. Showcases versatility with the three different distances. AP broke the long drought, but just because Justify came only a few years later shouldn't take anything away from how rare and exceptional an achievement the TC still is.
    If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      I see Horse of the Year as a title belonging to the horse that was the best horse of the year. Off the top of my head, all previous TC winners went on to face older horses, and did so successfully. Accelerate had a great year, wrapping up with a BC win. For Justify to get my vote, he needed to run against older horses, and not retire after the Belmont. None of the 3 yos that Justify beat went on to dominate against older horses, and Justify did not break any track records.
      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

      Comment


      • #23
        What new track record did Accelerate set this year?

        I agree that Justify’s competitors did not evolve into much as the year progressed; but even with lackluster crop of 3 y/os, Triple Crowns are rare. Undefeated Triple Crowns even rarer. Triple Crowns without racing at 2 has never happened prior.

        Had we not been strung along about his soundness the entire trail, I think people would be more forgiving of the decision to retire him. The thought process seemed shady and put off a lot of folks, including me.
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post
          Off the top of my head, all previous TC winners went on to face older horses, and did so successfully.
          Count Fleet, my favorite TC winner, suffered a career-ending injury in the Belmont. Did not race again.

          Interestingly, his cummulative margin of victory in the three races EQUALS Secretariat's. And he was hurt in the Belmont and Longden attempted to pull him up for a bit until concluding that CF, fighting him to go on, was going to hurt himself more. I feel those two factors cost him a little margin, and if they cost him even a neck, his cummulative margin uninjured would have been the largest, greater than Secretariat's.

          Still the highest-weighted two--year-old ever on the Experimental Handicap.

          Broke world records in workouts.

          Ran throughout his career on tracks minimally maintained due to wartime fuel rationing.

          Another jockey who rode in the same race said after the Preakness, when asked his opinion of CF, that he couldn't see the race.

          Won the Withers in between the Preakness and Belmont because his trainer thought the gap between the races too long.

          Won the Belmont injured on a barely maintained track by 25 lengths.

          But all of that doesn't matter and leaves him not great because he didn't race older horses in the fall?
          Last edited by dressagetraks; Jan. 10, 2019, 11:09 PM.
          Now available in Kindle as well as print: C-Sharp Minor: My Mother's Seventeen-Year Journey through Dementia. 5% of my proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by LaurieB View Post


            Eclipse raced in the 1700s. That's like saying that the auto industry should chose the 2018 Car of the Year based on which one looks the most like a horse and buggy.
            This.

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
              What new track record did Accelerate set this year?
              I have no idea.

              If you read my statement about Justify not breaking any track records to mean that Accelerate broke a track record, you make a mistake. It meant exactly what it said, and nothing more.
              "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

              Comment


              • #27
                I think this is a VERY difficult decision, and will be tough for the voters.

                I am not a Justify detractor, and definitely think that he was a brilliant athlete for the few months he was active. He completed an impressive feat, for sure. However, if I had a vote, I have to say that I would give it to Accelerate. Five G1 victories, one G2 victory, one G3 second and over $5 million in earnings in one year is nothing short of extraordinary. His highest speed figure and average earnings per start were also higher than Justify's. That is a life changing horse for the connections, and he did it consistently, all year long. Not only that, but he's still in training for a 2019 campaign as a 6 year old. That's the kind of horse that everyone should be trying to breed, and that everyone wants in their barn. That's my HOTY.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post

                  Count Fleet, my favorite TC winner, suffered a career-ending injury in the Belmont. Did not race again.

                  Interestingly, his cummulative margin of victory in the three races EQUALS Secretariat's. And he was hurt in the Belmont and Longden attempted to pull him up for a bit until concluding that CF, fighting him to go on, was going to hurt himself more. I feel those two factors cost him a little margin, and if they cost him even a neck, his cummulative margin uninjured would have been the largest, greater than Secretariat's.

                  Still the highest-weighted two--year-old ever on the Experimental Handicap.

                  Broke world records in workouts.

                  Ran throughout his career on tracks minimally maintained due to wartime fuel rationing.

                  Another jockey who rode in the same race said after the Preakness, when asked his opinion of CF, that he couldn't see the race.

                  Won the Withers in between the Preakness and Belmont because his trainer thought the gap between the races too long.

                  Won the Belmont injured on a barely maintained track by 25 lengths.

                  But all of that doesn't matter and leaves him not great because he didn't race older horses in the fall?
                  When did Justify ever carry weight over 126? Not to mention right there in your answer--Count Fleet raced at high weighs at two. Justify didn't race at all at two. Justify did not have a race between the Preakness and Belmont (which is more an example of how you can't entirely compare the two but Count Fleet still did that.)

                  And of course, Count Fleet was actually, unequivocally, injured in the Belmont in a career-ending way. Justify may or may not have some vague ankle issue that might or might not really be a risk that came up weeks later to justify (pun unintended and unavoidable) retiring him rather than racing him again.

                  I have to agree overall with Palm Beach. If I had a vote, it would be for Accelerate, who beat mixed company at G1, 2, and 3 levels. None of the rest of the three-year-olds have matured to a point where I'm impressed with anyone the hyper-lightly-raced Justify beat to the point I think it outweighs running in open company. Yes, he's a nice horse, winning the Triple Crown at minimum meant he's a talented horse who was carefully managed against a middling crop (and I'm normally the first to roll my eyes at that but last year was the first time I actually kind of agreed yeah, these three-year-olds are sort of meh.) He's kind of pretty (I'll take AP, whom I think is better put-together, though.) I'm going for the one with a long campaign and as nelson points out who's still in training.

                  In a related issue I probably wouldn't vote for Enable for Turf female because awesome as it was, it was one race.
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                  • #29
                    Oh, I think Count Fleet is head and shoulders above Justify. I was just correcting the statement that all previous TC winners had raced on against older horses later in the year.

                    But speaking of Horse of the Year, if it is talking about the year, that being 2018, then anything that happened in 2017 (2-year-old racing or not) is irrelevant to the question, and anything planned to happen in 2019 is irrelevant to the question. Still in training or breeding now has nothing to do with the title for 2018.

                    ​​​​​
                    Now available in Kindle as well as print: C-Sharp Minor: My Mother's Seventeen-Year Journey through Dementia. 5% of my proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.

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                    • #30
                      This seems like a nice academic discussion, but there is no way that Justify won't win HOTY. IMO, it's a no brainer. I am betting he gets at least twice the number of votes (if not substantially more) as Accelerate does.

                      If I am wrong, I will be back here, eating my words, and expressing my total surprise and dismay.
                      "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                      Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by nelson View Post
                        I think this is a VERY difficult decision, and will be tough for the voters.

                        I am not a Justify detractor, and definitely think that he was a brilliant athlete for the few months he was active. He completed an impressive feat, for sure. However, if I had a vote, I have to say that I would give it to Accelerate. Five G1 victories, one G2 victory, one G3 second and over $5 million in earnings in one year is nothing short of extraordinary. His highest speed figure and average earnings per start were also higher than Justify's. That is a life changing horse for the connections, and he did it consistently, all year long. Not only that, but he's still in training for a 2019 campaign as a 6 year old. That's the kind of horse that everyone should be trying to breed, and that everyone wants in their barn. That's my HOTY.

                        His 2019 "campaign" will be shortlived. He's only running in the Pegasus. He's due at Lane's End to begin stud duties shortly thereafter.
                        www.laurienberenson.com

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                          In a related issue I probably wouldn't vote for Enable for Turf female because awesome as it was, it was one race.
                          I realize HOY is based on US performance (as it should be).

                          I would agree that based solely on the BC Turf as a single US performance, no horse should get HOY. Having said that, from an overall performance, I like Enable because of her Arc de Triomphe performance rolled into the BC Turf performance. I realize the Arc doesn't count, no, no HOY on a single US race but doesn't mean I don't like her performance

                          If you see your glass as half empty, pour it into a smaller glass and stop b*tching

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                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post

                            I realize HOY is based on US performance (as it should be).

                            I would agree that based solely on the BC Turf as a single US performance, no horse should get HOY. Having said that, from an overall performance, I like Enable because of her Arc de Triomphe performance rolled into the BC Turf performance. I realize the Arc doesn't count, no, no HOY on a single US race but doesn't mean I don't like her performance
                            I'm with you. Love her! I was wondering what would happen if a European horse won some big races outside the US, then came over here and won a couple of the biggest races. Does HOTY have to be a US based horse? What if Mendelssohn would have won a few of his US races, like the KY Derby and the BC?
                            "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                              I'm with you. Love her! I was wondering what would happen if a European horse won some big races outside the US, then came over here and won a couple of the biggest races. Does HOTY have to be a US based horse? What if Mendelssohn would have won a few of his US races, like the KY Derby and the BC?
                              All Along was HOY in 1983. Won internationally, including the Arc, then at the end of the season won once in Ontario and twice in US.
                              Now available in Kindle as well as print: C-Sharp Minor: My Mother's Seventeen-Year Journey through Dementia. 5% of my proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Loved her!!!
                                "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Thanks LaurieB, was not aware and point taken.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post

                                    Count Fleet, my favorite TC winner, suffered a career-ending injury in the Belmont. Did not race again.

                                    Interestingly, his cummulative margin of victory in the three races EQUALS Secretariat's. And he was hurt in the Belmont and Longden attempted to pull him up for a bit until concluding that CF, fighting him to go on, was going to hurt himself more. I feel those two factors cost him a little margin, and if they cost him even a neck, his cummulative margin uninjured would have been the largest, greater than Secretariat's.

                                    Still the highest-weighted two--year-old ever on the Experimental Handicap.

                                    Broke world records in workouts.

                                    Ran throughout his career on tracks minimally maintained due to wartime fuel rationing.

                                    Another jockey who rode in the same race said after the Preakness, when asked his opinion of CF, that he couldn't see the race.

                                    Won the Withers in between the Preakness and Belmont because his trainer thought the gap between the races too long.

                                    Won the Belmont injured on a barely maintained track by 25 lengths.

                                    But all of that doesn't matter and leaves him not great because he didn't race older horses in the fall?
                                    Nowadays Count Fleet would have been whisked off to stud after the Withers due to the injury. No Belmont and no TC. Now I know that's a loaded statement because I think we can all unreservedly applaud putting the welfare of the horse first; not to say that CF's connections didn't care about him except as a racing machine. It was just a different time, with no ultrasounds or imaging equipment that would have demonstrated the severity of the injury. Horsemen had to rely completely on their eyes and experience and from all accounts, Count Fleet was a tough dude who was probably pretty stoic and "hid" his pain pretty well.

                                    But an injured KD and Preakness winner is now so valuable as a stallion prospect that rest and injury rehab with the long view of a return to racing would never happen. Smarty Jones, anyone?

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post

                                      Count Fleet, my favorite TC winner, suffered a career-ending injury in the Belmont. Did not race again.

                                      Interestingly, his cummulative margin of victory in the three races EQUALS Secretariat's. And he was hurt in the Belmont and Longden attempted to pull him up for a bit until concluding that CF, fighting him to go on, was going to hurt himself more. I feel those two factors cost him a little margin, and if they cost him even a neck, his cummulative margin uninjured would have been the largest, greater than Secretariat's.

                                      Still the highest-weighted two--year-old ever on the Experimental Handicap.

                                      Broke world records in workouts.

                                      Ran throughout his career on tracks minimally maintained due to wartime fuel rationing.

                                      Another jockey who rode in the same race said after the Preakness, when asked his opinion of CF, that he couldn't see the race.

                                      Won the Withers in between the Preakness and Belmont because his trainer thought the gap between the races too long.

                                      Won the Belmont injured on a barely maintained track by 25 lengths.

                                      But all of that doesn't matter and leaves him not great because he didn't race older horses in the fall?
                                      He's lucky he didn't end up dead. As others have pointed out, we have much better veterinarian medicine now than we did back then, and hopefully are preventing horses with the beginnings of an injury from doing permanent damage, or from breaking down and having to be euthanized.

                                      The issue is whether Justify or Accelerate had a better year, not if they are great. I'd call them both great.
                                      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post

                                        I realize HOY is based on US performance (as it should be).

                                        I would agree that based solely on the BC Turf as a single US performance, no horse should get HOY. Having said that, from an overall performance, I like Enable because of her Arc de Triomphe performance rolled into the BC Turf performance. I realize the Arc doesn't count, no, no HOY on a single US race but doesn't mean I don't like her performance
                                        Oh, if we were including outside NA then no question Enable would get it. But so it goes.

                                        Best race of this BC, though.
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                                        • #40
                                          Question:
                                          What performance-enhancing drugs were used but were either not banned or went undetected back in the 40's? 50's? 20's or 30's for that matter?

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