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Wow, honest to goodness handicap assignments!

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  • Wow, honest to goodness handicap assignments!

    We'll see if the field entered actually shows up but you'd almost think this was the 1970's again with that much lead being stuffed into saddle cloths!

    Does NYRA still even keep that much weight in stock?

    DRF 11-20-07 "Joey P. tests weight-carrying ability"

    The heavier than normal imposts was one of the incentives that lured Joey P. He is always the one to beat in the New Jersey-bred sprint handicaps at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands Racetrack, where he routinely carries top weight.

    Having proven his ability to successfully carry 125 pounds to victory this summer in the Colts Neck and Friendly Lover handicaps at Monmouth, Joey P. should be able to handle his 131-pound assignment.

    Compare that to Bishop Court Hill, who toted only 115 in his win in Aqueduct's Grade 1 Carter Handicap in 2006 and most recently carried 118 in an allowance race at Woodbine. He must carry 133 in the Fall Highweight.

    THUR Nov 22 Race 8 - Aqueduct "Fall Highweight Handicap"

    6 Furlongs | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up Stakes | Purse: $100,000

    Post # Horse Jockey Weight
    1 Bishop Court Hill - Velazquez J R 133
    2 Around the Cape - Castro E 130
    3 Park Avenue Ball - Garcia Alan 134
    4 Grand Champion - Coa E M 130
    5 City Attraction- Castellano J J 130
    6 Debussy - Luzzi M J 126
    7 Joey P. - Bravo J 131
    Also worth pointing out - race 9 includes Golden Man who is only one of two horses in US racing history to finish on the board in two graded stakes races within 24-hours.

    July 16, 2005 Monmouth Park Grade 3 Long Branch Stakes - 3rd (earned a 92 Beyer)
    July 17, 2005 Delaware Park Grade 3 Leonard Richards Stakes - 2nd (earned a 91 Beyer); Sun King took the win

    see: ESPN "Golden Man's golden opportunity" for more

  • #2
    Well I'll be damned... do they even make that much lead anymore?

    About time those handicappers started doing their jobs!!!

    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
      Well I'll be damned... do they even make that much lead anymore?
      Hey look at it this way: if the cloths are made in China there must be some extra lead included

      Bishop Court Hill will be huffing and puffing with an extra 15-lbs over his last effort!

      Flashback to the heros of old who could carry real weight and run like a locomotive without a brakeman: video: Forgo carrying 137 lbs in the 1976 Marlboro Cup

      (Tommy Trotter was the racing secretary at Belmont Park in '76 who assigned that backbreaking amount)


      • #4
        It's still not much of a weight differential though, only 8lbs from top to bottom. A G1 winner giving away only 7lb to an allowance horse isn't much of a handicap.


        • #5
          I was thinking the same thing; weights are heavier over all but still not a huge spread.

          Lead is so . Aren't they using pads like these yet: bestpad.com?


          • #6
            I thought weight assignments for handicaps and allowances were usually in the 130s. Are these weight assignments typically lower in North America than the rest of the world?


            • #7
              They used to carry REAL weight in that race. Like 140 odd pounds.
              Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

              Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Calico View Post
                I thought weight assignments for handicaps and allowances were usually in the 130s. Are these weight assignments typically lower in North America than the rest of the world?
                In general horses tend to carry less weight in NA across the board. American handicaps also tend to have much smaller weight spreads, at least not true reflections of the difference in class in the horses entered, which kind of undermines the idea of a handicap. But then, handicaps are not as big a feature of US racing, as opposed to other parts of the world where they make up the lion's share of races carded. The claiming system is the prefered method of equalisation stateside.

                Check out this race at Gowran Park last month, a run of the mill handicap, over 9.5f, first race on the card on a Fri evening. The top weight is carrying 140lbs, the bottom weight shouldered 106lbs, a 34lb weigh concession. Btw, the top weight won that race, he was giving away 20lb and 25lb respectively to the 2nd and 3rd placed horses, and he's not any kind of special GSW horse, just an ordinary run of the mill handicapper. His two attempts in listed company he finished well down the field.

                So a G1 winner like Bishop Court Hill giving away 7lb to an allowance horse doesn't seem like much of a burden in my eyes.


                • #9
                  Btw, a handicap isn't so much about the weight a horse is carrying per se, it's how much weight they are conceding to the field. If everyone is carrying 10lbs extra, then wether they are carrying 134lbs or 124lbs really doesn't really make a difference if the the weight differential is the same.
                  The idea of a handicap is that the handicapper assigns weights so that theoretically all the horses will cross the line at the same time, obviously this never happens, but it's supposed to create a level playing field.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by summerhorse View Post
                    They used to carry REAL weight in that race. Like 140 odd pounds.
                    Does anyone know what the highest weight toted is to victory?

                    Way back in the day when Western Union was the information provider of the Nation ... Roseben was "The Big Train" because he "carried the freight." The bay gelding carried 140 pounds or more 29 times, winning 14.

                    Of his 111 races, Roseben carried 130 pounds or more 59 times and conceded weight to all of his opponents 86 times. Furthermore, he carried 140 pounds or more in 29 races and won 14 of those. He won carrying 144 pounds, 146 pounds, and on four occassions, won carrying 147 pounds. In the four races in which he was assigned 148 pounds, he tallied 3 seconds and a third. In the race in which he carried 150 lbs, he ran 2nd
                    The mare Pan Zar an iron horse won with handicap weights of 136, 140 and 146 pounds. A 1972 Hall of Fame inductee, the gal who raced last at the age of 7 finished with a lifetime record of: 151 starts 76-31-21

                    Dr. Fager carried 139-lbs in the 7-furlong 1968 Vosburgh. He won by 6 lengths in 1:20 1/5. That set the track record and came within 1/5 of a second of the world record (at the time) pulling that weight. LO-CO-MOTIVE!

                    (As cited in the link - Artax in 1999 broke that record in 1:20.04 pulling a measly 114lbs. If you gave Dr Fager that feather of a handicap he would've certainly set a record untouched by another in my lifetime)

                    Beloved Iron Horse, Exterminator, was assigned weights over 130 most of his life but in terms of 140-lbs or more he never won with that much. He did with 138-lbs.

                    Discovery (1935 HOTY) hauled 139-lbs to victory in the Merchants' and Citizens' Handicap

                    Wisk Broom hauling 139-lbs won the Suburban Handicap (1913) in what was then a world record time.

                    Gladiator won the Toboggan Handicap with 140-lbs in 1921.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by summerhorse View Post
                      They used to carry REAL weight in that race. Like 140 odd pounds.
                      Midnight Lute was assigned 142 lbs, but only 123 for the Cigar Mile. The choice of which race to enter is pretty obvious.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by On the Farm View Post
                        Midnight Lute was assigned 142 lbs, but only 123 for the Cigar Mile. The choice of which race to enter is pretty obvious.
                        Seriously??? Dang... kinda makes the decision easy!

                        I agree there isn't much of a spread with no real low weights, but it's still nice to see them actually assigning weight to horses in a handicap.
                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by On the Farm View Post
                          Midnight Lute was assigned 142 lbs, but only 123 for the Cigar Mile. The choice of which race to enter is pretty obvious.
                          In the Cigar Mile he will be giving away 9lbs to almost the entire field.
                          If he were in this race he would be giving away 8lbs x1, 9lbs x1, 11lbs x1, 12lbs x3, and then a 16lbs to a no name horse. Not a huge difference.

                          I think the Cigar being worth 3 times as much as the Fall Highweight, and a G1 to boot, may have had more to do with the decision.


                          • #14
                            This may be a blinding glimpse of the obvious but carrying weight is the purpose of the Fall Highweight Handicap. There was a time when it was a much more prestigious race and the imposts assigned were even higher. Ta Wee carried 140 (and presumably that's after the 5 pound sex allowance) and in 1985 Mt Livermore carrying 140 beat Fighting Fit carrying 139.

                            This is like the Fall Highweight Lite.


                            • Original Poster

                              If anyone watched this race (replay available on calracing.com) they'll see the weight assignments made for an evenly matched race - as is the goal of the handicap assignments. Very close at the wire between three horses. A head between the winner and place and just a neck back to show. So clearly the weights did their job.

                              The results from Aqueduct's 94th running of the race:

                              Grand Champion showed the heart of a champion, coming back on Joey P. to take yesterday's 94th running of the Fall Highweight Handicap, the traditional stakes run at Aqueduct on Thanksgiving, by a head.

                              It was a neck back to City Attraction in the three-horse photo. "He always makes it hard for me," said winning jockey Eibar Coa. "He let that horse (Joey P.) go by and made me work. At the eighth-pole, I never thought he would come back but he kept trying. I saw that horse wasn't getting away from me so I kept pushing and pushing. He finally came back and got it."
                              Also Golden Man did a lovely job winning in his allowance race which was just after the above Fall Highweight Handicap.