Weighing the Juvenile - by Eric Mitchell

Since the inception of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, only six juvenile males have been crowned champion without winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Of the six champions that weren’t Juvenile winners, three won the year’s top honor without even starting in the race.

A strong chance exists that the 2013 racing season could crown a fourth champion that bypassed the Juvenile.

Gary and Mary West’s New Year’s Day clearly stamped himself a championship contender when he won the Juvenile Nov. 2 by 11⁄4 lengths over grade I winners Havana (Foxwoods Champagne Stakes), Strong Mandate (Hopeful Stakes), and Bond Holder (FrontRunner Stakes). The son of Street Cry is a vulnerable candidate, however, because the Juvenile was his first and only stakes win of the year—albeit a big one.

There are two schools of thought in selecting champions. One approach treats the Juvenile as the year’s sole litmus test for 2-year-olds. If you’re the winner, you get the brass ring; and to even be considered, you better at least show up. Twenty-three times the winner of the Juvenile has become the champion, and three out of the six champions that were not Juvenile winners were part of the Juvenile field—Easy Goer finished second in 1988, Dehere finished eighth in 1993, and Lookin At Lucky finished second in 2009.

The second approach to selecting the juvenile champion looks beyond a victory in a single stakes. To be a champion, a colt needs to have been tested against the best in graded stakes company and come away with the best overall record. Here’s where selecting this year’s juvenile champion gets sticky because we don’t have a male that has truly dominated the division.

Listen to Steve Haskin and Ron Mitchell discuss the 2-Year-Old Eclipse Awards.

Fifteen 2-year-old males each won one graded stakes in 2013, and among them are five whose single graded stakes win was a grade I. Only one has two graded stakes wins—Shared Belief, who skipped the Juvenile and went on to stay undefeated in three starts in the Dec. 14 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) over grade I winners Tamarando and Bond Holder. Prior to the Futurity, Shared Belief (by Candy Ride) won the Nov. 10 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) by 73⁄4 lengths. The Futurity is certainly not the Breeders’ Cup, but it is a respectable grade I race with some impressive names on its roster of winners, such as A.P. Indy, Best Pal, Real Quiet, Point Given, Declan’s Moon, and Lookin At Lucky.

Declan’s Moon is the last horse named the 2-year-old champion who bypassed the Juvenile, but that decision was easier on voters because 1) Juvenile winner Wilko had done most of his racing that year in Europe, and 2) the two horses did face each other in the Futurity with Wilko finishing third. Declan’s Moon ran undefeated in four starts in 2004, winning three graded stakes.

Many are concerned that awarding a championship to a 2-year-old whose connections duck the Breeders’ Cup undermines the importance of the championships. The sport is supposed to reward the “home runs,” and the Breeders’ Cup should be a home run in the World Series. But the flip side is, does putting that much weight on the Juvenile undermine other graded stakes? We have a system of rating the quality of races and the best North American races are graded stakes. Certainly not all graded stakes are created equal, even among grade Is, but collectively they are the most prestigious races to win. Only 1.7% of 73,078 foals produced by 253 of North America’s most-supported stallions (minimum of 15 mares covered in 2013) became graded stakes winners. A graded stakes win is a home run, and a champion should be tested and show ability among the best...more than once.

So in a soft year without a real standout, the nod should go to a male with more than one home run, to a multiple graded stakes winner and grade I winner—Shared Belief.



Leave a Comment:



I could not disagree with you more. The parameter you have used to conclude that Shared Belief should secure the Eclipse is based on one factor i.e., number of graded stakes won.

Why view pertinent facts through such a narrow scope?

I firmly believe New Year’s Day should be voted Champion 2YO. My opinion is not based solely on his victory in the BCJ although it carries the most weight.

Let compare the records of Shared Belief & New Year’s Day.

Shared Belief:

Won a 6F, MSW at GG (Synthetic);  track not known to attract quality 2YO; Defeated non-entities that have not won a race since.

Won 7F, G3 Hollywood Prevue (Synthetic); Five horse field that include none of the top 2YO in CA and no graded stake winners..

Won 8.5F, G1 CashCall Futurity (Synthetic); Defeated two graded stakes winner. It should be noted Bond Holder the 4th place finished in the BCJ runs his worst races on synthetic.

New Year’s Day:

Finished 3rd in a 5F, MSW at Delmar (Synthetic); track known for attracting quality 2YO; closed from another zip code for his 3rd place finish.

Won a 8F, MSW at Delmar (Synthetic); Finishing 4th in that race was Candy Boy the runner up in the CashCall Futurity.

Won 8.5F, G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile (Dirt); Jumped from MSW to G1; Defeated five G1 winners in the richest, biggest and most competitive race for 2YO for 2013.


Shared Belief 1st start was at 6F and his 2nd at 7F. NYD 1st start was at 51/2F and his 2nd at 8F. The 3rd start for both colts was at 8.5F. It is more challenging to jump from 51/2F to 8F than from 6F to 7F.

Shared Belief moved from MSW to G3. New Year’s Day moved from MSW to G1.

Shared Belief made his graded stakes debut at 7F in a field of 5 that contained no graded stakes winners. New Year’s Day made his graded stakes debut in a field of 13 that included five G1 Stakes winners.

Both colts made three starts.  Shared Belief won two grades stakes that in combination lacked the quality of the one graded stake won by NYD.  From the cold facts above, it is overwhelming clear that the greater challenges were faced by New Year’s Day.

It is inconceivable that there could be shared belief that Shared Belief (pardon the pun) should be voted the Champion 2YO over New Year’s Day.

Is this just another case of twisted American logic?

07 Jan 2014 10:28 AM

Shared Belief's situation wasn't "ducking" the Breeder's Cup.  His his first race wasn't until October 19th: throwing him into a 1 1/16th race less than two weeks after that would not have been a responsible choice.  Give all due credit to the horses who participated in the big event.  But for some late developers, it just wasn't an option.

And as for the synthetic stakes wins, Hollywood Park simply does not belong in the same category as the other all weather tracks.  It played like dirt.

07 Jan 2014 12:47 PM


What you call "pertinent facts" may or may not have any implications. How many winners came out of New Year's Day MSW? Closing for a 3rd place finish into 21 & 44 splits of a 5 1/2F MSW with a 72 BSF is hardly what I would call impressive.

The "fact" that not only did the connections of New Year's Day choose not to show up for the Futurity - a race NYD was pointed for - confirmed Baffert's assessment of Shared Belief.

Bond Holder runs his worst races on synthetics??...

He had ONE maiden race on synthetics then won the Frontrunner - which had nothing to do with the surface. Here's what Gutierrez said, "He seemed to like the distance today and I think that played a major part in his win. I don't think the dirt made much of a difference because he runs everywhere; it was the distance that was the biggest factor."

Unfortunately, that distance increase was of little help when facing the fastest 2yo in the world! - according to Timeform.

So the unwarranted retirement of the 2yo colt who took a shot and got lucky with a BC Juvenile victory will have to stand on it's singular merit!

07 Jan 2014 2:20 PM

I could argue that the standards employed in selecting 2 yr. old Eclipse Winners should differ somewhat from those in other divisions. Two year olds are more a work in progress and, due to this, "total body of work" perhaps shouldn't carry quite as much weight when evaluating achievement--if, in fact, "achievement" is the yardstick.

Then, there is also the issue/question of potential difference between achievement and ability displayed-- see Maria's Mon vs. Unbridled's Song (at 2). In the case of Shared Belief vs New Year's Day, however, these observations shed hardly any more light re-which is the more worthy candidate, aside from perhaps dismissing New Year's Day's one defeat. To my mind, both displayed nearly equal ability. The Cash Call field, on paper, going in, was at least as strong as the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but neither Baffert's Tapit colt, nor Kobe's Back--two of the "big four"-- were able to perform to their abilities. The Cash Call 2nd, Candy Boy, appears to be a colt of high ability, but he too was a work in progress, and didn't really "achieve" until the Cash Call-- i.e., he improved race by race, albeit hinting great ability throughout that cycle. So, it's a tough call between the two clear frontrunners for this Eclipse--both are highly worthy candidates--, with my nod slightly to New Year's Day.

07 Jan 2014 3:36 PM

Coldfacts, thanks for the analysis. Love the debate.

Part of your argument is that New Year's Day competed at Del Mar, which you note is known for attracting quality 2-year-olds. This is true generally speaking. In New Year's Day's first maiden race in which he finished third, however, only three of the other eight have gone on to become winners. Two have only broken their maiden and one did win a minor stakes at Fairplex. This does not indicate a race rich in monster talent.

New Year's Day goes on to break his maiden against a better field--including Bond Holder and Candy Boy--and wins by 1 3/4 lengths, putting up a 77 Beyer. That's great, but we should be judging these horses by how they perform in stakes company. Really, the argument for New Year's Day comes down to the Juvenile.

It is disappointing we will not get to see these two horses compete against one another so are left to speculate. Shared Belief got a late start and didn't make his first start until Oct. 19. Yes, he broke his maiden at Golden Gate Fields but won by seven lengths in 1:09 3/5, faster than the impressive Remsen runner-up Cairo Prince did when he broke his maiden at Belmont Park (pretty good track, you'd agree). Shared Belief earns an 84 Beyer for his maiden win. Was the Hollywood Prevue a deep field? No. And Shared Belief won by 7 3/4 lengths as a horse of his quality should have and put up a 99 Beyer. Then when he goes up against graded stakes winners in the grade I CashCall Futurity, he wins by 5 3/4 lengths and puts up a 106 Beyer; the highest Beyer for a 2-year-old since Uncle Mo earned a 108 in the 2010 BC Juvenile.

And Bond Holder runs his worst on synthetic? He ran second to New Year's Day at Del Mar, which is a much more truly synthetic surface than the synthetic/dirt hybrid at Hollywood Park. In his career, he placed in three races on synthetic.

Shared Belief is undefeated and won two graded stakes including a grade I against grade I winners. That makes him a winner.

07 Jan 2014 4:17 PM
Smoking Baby

Coldfacts.  While I disagree with you on this argument, I have to say once again that God I like your stuff.  No one puts forth a better, more well thought out argument than you my friend.  

I had New Years Day on top but wanted to wait and see what Honor Code did in the Remsen.  While that was one strange running of the Remsen I didn't see enough from Honor Code to give him the nod over New Years Day.  Enter Shared Belief.  To me it's a slam dunk.  Shared Belief has beaten nice fields (some of these babies out here are much better than you might think) and beaten them like a drum while running fast.  At this point Honor Code is still my Derby horse but that's another argument.  Shared Belief for 2 year old champion.

07 Jan 2014 8:04 PM

I sincerely hope the time at which a horse starts its racing career is not a factor in Eclipse voting.

How many next out MSW winners had won the BJC? Subject to correction, only one and that’s New Year’s Day. If Tap It Rich had won the BCJ in only his second start, it would have been an unprecedented feat. How could any one question who would be worthy of the Eclipse?

A next out MSW winners takes on five G1 winners in the biggest race for 2YO in America and beat them handily and his not an automatic for the Eclipse. My head serve only to separate by ears if I should choose to think otherwise.

Amongst the horses that Shared Belief defeated in the CashCall were Tap It Rich, Bond Holder and Candy Boy.   New Year’s Day also defeated those three colts.

If Shared belief is voted 2YO champion it would signal the return of silly season.

Shackleford finished 4th in the Kentucky Derby; won the Preakness over the Derby winner; finished 5th in the Belmont; finished 2nd in the Haskell and Breeders Cup (Dirt) Mile. He defeated every top 3YO and contested all the top 3YO races. He got 5 votes for champion 3YO.

Caleb’s Posse who was in hiding when the top 3YO races were being decided got over 100 plus votes.

Now I fully understand why not too long ago Americans were buying Pet Rocks.

07 Jan 2014 9:00 PM


Consider a slightly different scenario - a sloppy track where a 99-1 maiden winner jumps up to win the Juvenile then retires, An unprecedented feat and an automatic for the Eclipse?

Perhaps you feel Eclipse awards should be handed out in the winner's circle on BC day instead of trophies?

Your lines of thought seem to support the "sport" of crafting pedigrees and not the sport of racing. Much like what the connections of New Year's Day are probably "banking" on. It's also possible that after witnessing the Prevue and ducking the Futurity, whisking him off to the shed was really a no-brainer.

Retiring a sound 2yo that could easily have been fully rehabed is just the latest disgrace to the sport, and I'm sure breeders would like nothing more than to see an Eclipse handed to New Year's Day.

I believe the body of evidence lies soundly in favor of Shared Belief. As Vic Stauffer said, he has been nothing short of brilliant in 3 career starts, and I'm pretty sure that's not just an "American" opinion!

08 Jan 2014 12:11 AM

I'm amused by Coldfact's level of certainty in his selection of New Year's Day-- he nearly scorns those who may conclude differently. While I don't object to scorn when deserved-- in fact, I'm scornful of Coldfact's certainty (as I am with many of his never ending posts) -- with this debate there should be no sense of certainty. We all tend to focus on those pieces of "evidence" that best support our positions. Nothing new here, it's a "psychology" that applies to most everything... I did give a faint nod to New Year's Day, and some of my reasoning was based on the following: Shared Belief defeated a very good colt in Kobe's Back, in his race prior to the Cash Call. But, Kobe's Back was coming off an extended layoff, and broke quite poorly. I'm not so certain that Shared Belief would have defeated him under differing circumstances. Shared Belief's win in his next start, the Cash Call, was equally, if not more so, visually impressive. But, I'm not so sure that it would have appeared as such had Gary Stevens ridden Candy Boy more conservatively, instead of making that abrupt, protracted middle move. In retrospect, a different ride may well have produced Candy Boy as the winner. These are merely "what ifs", but sufficient (for me) to somewhat downplay Shared Belief's achievements...On a separate note -- I'm not that much in awe by the fact that New Year's Day won the BCJ off a maiden win. Keep in mind that he was a Baffert trainee, and these tend to be far more "seasoned" than their limited starts may suggest.  

08 Jan 2014 12:31 AM


"Shared Belief got a late start and didn't make his first start until Oct. 19.”

How significant is the above point in relation to Shared Belief bypassing the BCJ?

Tap It Rich made his 1st start on October 12th and 21 days later contested G1 BCJ and finished 5th with a very wide trip. If Shared Belief was allowed to contest the BCJ, he would have done so with 7 day less to recover from his effortless 6F debut victory. Would 7 days less be that significant with such an effortless win?

It should be noted that Tap It Rich’s debut was at 8F in comparison to the 6F debut for Shared Belief.

Tap It Rich’s 3rd start was in G1 Cash Call Futurity on new surface. He again behaved roguishly during the race and finished last but one. It was his worst performance. In addition to his antics it was obvious he did not relish the surface. Two G1 in three starts! He has a pair.

“Really, the argument for New Year's Day comes down to the Juvenile.”

Two colts made their 3rd starts in two G1 races. One does so, on a new surface (dirt) and the other on a different version of a synthetic surface.

One does so as a MSW against four of the fastest G1 winning 2YOs in the country and defeats them handily. The other contests his G1 as a G2 winner against two G1 winners who were previously defeated by the other colt and he wins impressively.

Which of the colts entered the races with lesser credentials and exited with the greater achievement?

New Year’s Day ran against the best 2YO in the land as a MSW winner and won the biggest race for this age group. Share Belief was munching on hay while this unprecedented feat was being achieved. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers in the CashCall were previously defeated by New Year’s Day.

“And Bond Holder runs his worst on synthetic?”

OK! The wording should have been, his better races have been on dirt. If Bond Holder’s two performances on dirt are compared to those on synthetic the above becomes obvious. He never threatened to win any of his races on synthetic despite the three times he finished on the board in four attempts on the surface.

In two G1 efforts on dirt he recorded 1st & 4th place finishes. In the BCJ he closed from 2nd to last for his 4th place effort. He attempted same in the CashCall and was spinning his wheels in the last 2F. He is not a synthetic surface horse. Shared Belief’s sire Candy Rise ran a WR of 1:31 for 8F on grass. He therefore has more turf/synthetic in his pedigree.

“Then when he goes up against graded stakes winners in the grade I CashCall Futurity, he wins by 5 3/4 lengths and puts up a 106 Beyer”

Who were the two graded stakes winners that he defeated?

Bond Holder and Tamarando! New Year’s Day defeated Bond Holder twice and Tamarando once. New Year Day defeated five graded stake winners in his three starts as compared to Shared Belief’s two.  

Beyer of 106! Good old Beyers. Bellamy Road had one of highest Beyers entering the Derby based on his record breaking Wood performance. He finished off the board in a Derby won by a colt with only a MSW victory to his credit.

Beyers! What are they good for?

08 Jan 2014 8:19 AM
Barry Irwin

Watch out buddy, you just might get sued for writing this!

08 Jan 2014 8:59 AM

Smoking Baby,

“Shared Belief has beaten nice fields”

Let's compare the G1 fields:

CashCall – Contained two G1 winners

BCJ – Contained four G1 winners and several graded placed horses.

The stronger field was clearly the BCJ.

“Beaten them like a drum while running fast.”

BCJ Splits: 22.66,45.38,1:09.70,1:36.66, 1:43:52

CashCall Splits: 22.86, 46.59, 1:11.38, 1:35.99, 1:42.16

From the above Shared Belief ran faster in the last 2 1/2F but certainly not in the 1st 6F. Shared Belief sat off 1:11.38 set by MSW winner Candy Boy and blasted home. New Year’s Day chased 1:09 set by G1 winners and found extra in the stretch. There is a big difference.

To put thing into perspective, the colt that finished second to New Year Day was the G1 Champagne winner Havana. In the Champagne Havana set fractions of 22.87, 45.54, 1:10.12, 1:35.81.

The colt that finished second to Shared Belief in the CashCall was next out MSW winner Candy Boy. In his MSW victory he recorded a time of 1:45.99 for 8.5F. The internal fraction could not have been impressive for such a slow time. How far behind the BCJ field would Candy Boy have been with the above fractions. I content chasing the ambulance while being beaten like a drum.

How can a colt that has beaten the best 2YOs in the country in only his 2nd starts, play second fiddle to one that was in hiding when that was being achieved.

Every significant horse the Shared Belief has beaten was previously beaten by New Year’s Day.

Who won the more significant G1?

Who won against a stronger G1 field?

Who jumped from the MSW division to G1?

By every measure New Year’s Day is ahead of Shared Belief. It's not even close.

08 Jan 2014 9:25 AM

If fear the support for Shared Belief to be voted Champion 2YO is too overwhelming for my one man opposition to overcome. I am therefore moving on to a historic evaluation of his prospects of being the 2014 Derby winner.  


His sire Candy Ride hails from the Mr. Prospector sire line. Mr. Prospector's male-line descendents with Triple Crown races won numbers 40.

Dam trace back to Northern Dancer. Broodmares sired male-line descendents of Northern Dancer have produced the winners of 23 Triple Crown races.

Dam moderate and lightly raced. Has the best broodmare profile for Derby winners.

There have been 3 unbeaten Derby winners in the last 10 years. It has happened often enough to recur!

Has tactical speed and pedigree reflects enough stamina to cover 10f in average Derby time.


Exhibits gait abnormality i.e., paddling. This action is not good for 10F on a demanding dirt course. Revisit undefeated Derby entrant Gemologist.

Undefeated and unraced stallions rarely feature as Derby winning sires. The last Derby winner that was sired by an unraced stallion was 1954 winner Determine. There has not been and undefeated or unraced stallion associated with a Derby winner in the last 60 years. A big historic negative to overcome!

Candy Ride is a great, great grandson of Mr. Prospector. Stallions from this line that fall into this generation are amongst the lowest producers of winners of TC races. Of the 32 horse from the Mr. Prospector line that won 40 TC races, only two were sired by a great, great grandson.  Mine That Bird and Summer Bird sired by Birdstone. The Unbridles line stallions have been great in the TC. The same cannot be said about stallions from Fappiano other son Crytoclearance who is the grandsire of Candy Ride.

CA horses that have been exceptional on synthetic have never won the Derby. The records of Poineerof the Nile, Lookin At Lucky Chocolate Candy are reminders.

Shared Belief might secure the 2yo Eclipse but the Derby will be out of his reach.

08 Jan 2014 4:10 PM
Smoking Baby

Coldfacts.  Another good argument.  You could be right (You've got me leaning and I liked that Street Cry colt a lot already).  Still, be ready for Shared Belief to get the Eclipse.  I'm betting he gets it and that the voting isn't particularly close.

08 Jan 2014 5:20 PM


Your arguments seem to be getting rather desperate. Comparing New Year's Day's speed to Shared Belief's would require what I believe you referred to as "twisted logic" in an earlier comment.

For example:

"New Year’s Day chased 1:09 set by G1 winners and found extra in the stretch"....Really??

New Year's Day was 7th, some 6 lengths off the pace when 6F was run in 1:09. The only "extra" he found after being whipped some 21 times in the stretch was passing the 2 tired horses mostly responsible for those fast fractions by 1 1/4 lengths at the wire - Strong Mandate and Havana. Not exactly a breath-taking move.

Shared Belief was never more than 3 1/2 lengths off the lead in the Futurity, and has yet to be touched with the whip. If you're really interested in making a valid comparison, I suggest an honest breakdown of each horse's splits.

Accept the FACT that New Year's Day had every opportunity to solidify his position as the No. 1 candidate for top 2yo by running in the Futurity. The connections opted to play it safe and shelf him until the spring, resting on the laurels of his BC victory for an Eclipse rather than facing Shared Belief and having him get soundly beaten. They gambled that Shared Belief would lose stepping up and stretching out going 2 turns.

Either way...They lost!

If you think that Beyer's are bogus (for obvious reasons),  compare the speed ratings of both horses using any system you choose. You will find that no other 2yo is even in the same zip code as Shared Belief, which makes the "who did he beat" argument pretty irrelevant!

09 Jan 2014 1:09 AM


"Perhaps you feel Eclipse awards should be handed out in the winner's circle on BC day instead of trophies?”

With all due respect sir/madam if appears that I am green I am certainly not a vegetable. More often than not, the Eclipse is awarded to the Breeder Cup Champion. There have been instances where I have supported the Eclipse being awarded to none Breeder Cup participants. This is just not one of those instances.

“It's also possible that after witnessing the Prevue and ducking the Futurity, whisking him off to the shed was really a no-brainer.”

I am one for reasonable hypotheticals but the above can be considered as exposing your sinister side. The retirement of NYD was unfortunate as he was great Derby prospect. To suggest that there was something sinister about his retirement is to be disingenuous.  

“Your lines of thought seem to support the "sport" of crafting pedigrees and not the sport of racing.”

Kindly reference the section of my post that covered thoughts relating to pedigree. My post contained statements supporting NYD for the Eclipse.

I maintain lots of pedigree records relating to the winners of TC races. While this might be enthusing, it is certainly not an art.

“Retiring a sound 2yo that could easily have been fully rehabbed is just the latest disgrace to the sport.”

The above is a classic example of an oxymoron. How is it conceivable for a sound 2YO to require any form of rehabilitation? How can the colt be sound and injured at the same time? To further infer that NYD’s retirement was designed to evade Shared Belief is certainly taking your support for Shared Belief to an insane level.

For the records Vindication was retired after his BCJ victory. Street Hero another promising Street Cry colt was retired after his 3rd place finish in the BCJ.

“I believe the body of evidence lies soundly in favor of Shared Belief. As Vic Stauffer said, he has been nothing short of brilliant in 3 career starts”

Talented horses will be nothing but brilliant against weaker opposition. In 2001 the Bob Baffert trained Office was undefeated in 5 starts. He had destroyed every horse in his path without being asked prior to the BCJ. He was nothing short of brilliant in 5 career starts. He left the gates as the 1-5 favorite and finished 5th.

Vic Stauffer needs to place brilliance in context. Peppers Pride could be considered brilliant with her undefeated record. Did she get an Eclipse? To be considered the best you have beat the best. Office was brilliant until he met the best.

09 Jan 2014 9:09 AM

Mr. Irwin:

from the perspective of a lawyer: "I'll see ya in Court!"

from the perspective of a mediator: "Let's agree to disagree"

from the perspective of a Haskin blogger*: "guys! guys! can't we all just be friends?"

*Mary Zinke (who I am not one and the same person as) may also just call me a Who from Whoville

(BTW, I am for Shared Belief.  Sorry, Coldfacts.  Don't trash-blog me please!!!)

09 Jan 2014 4:59 PM


My use of the word "pedigrees" was completely wrong and I was just as confused as you when reading what I wrote. What I meant to say was "crafting breeding resumes".

"... the above can be considered as exposing your sinister side."

You think it sinister that I am capable of acknowledging that some owners are only interested in making money? That having good horses today is more about breeding than racing? You are apparently unfamiliar with these 'coldfacts'. Your use of the words "sinister" and "disingenuous" seem a bit extreme; unless you are incredibly naive. Vindication and Street Hero are two good examples of the 'breeding game' -- and let's not forget I'll Have Another.

"How is it conceivable for a sound 2YO to require any form of rehabilitation?"

Good question. My point exactly, and a basis for my "sinister" and "insane" accusations about NYD's connections. You may want to ask Ben Glass, agent for NYD's owners Gary and Mary West. This was his statement : "We were trying to do everything perfectly. He is sound today but we could not take the risk"-- www.bloodhorse.com/.../new-years-day-retired-due-to-injury

Shared Belief's brilliance has yet to be measured by the level of his opposition. It is based on his maturity, ability, visually impressive performances, and above all his off the charts numbers.

09 Jan 2014 8:52 PM


"Don't trash-blog me please"


09 Jan 2014 9:44 PM


Sorry, but I just had to address this

"Undefeated and unraced stallions rarely feature as Derby winning sires. The last Derby winner that was sired by an unraced stallion was 1954 winner Determine. There has not been and undefeated or unraced stallion associated with a Derby winner in the last 60 years. A big historic negative to overcome!"

This has to be one of the most ridiculous stats I've ever read! By all means, let's hope that undefeated horses get beat so that their chances of siring a Derby winner will increase!

Can you tell me how many dark bay's have won the Derby when the temperature was between 72 and 75 degrees?...I'd really like to know what to expect from Shared Belief on Derby day!

09 Jan 2014 10:03 PM

I am of the opinion that I will never win the exchanges regarding who rightfully deserves the Eclipse for Champion 2YO. In light of this I will yield to my opponents.

Since I regard myself as the loser, I believe the victors deserve a prize. I have therefore provided some cold facts loaded with food for thought:

Union Rags exhibited brilliance in his MSW, Saratoga Special and Champagne victories. He could have bypassed the BCJ and he would have been the overwhelming favorite for the Eclipse. A colt that recorded two victories at low level Turf Way Park defeated him. Despite the fact that Union Rags had two graded stakes victory on his résumé to Hansen’s one, he did not secure the Eclipse for 2YO champion.

It appears nothing has been learnt from jumping to conclusions over impressive performances achieved against either weak or weakened opposition.

09 Jan 2014 10:36 PM
Touch of Success

I feel like Shared Belief should be the 2 year old champ we was more impressive and has more Graded Stakes victories than New Years Day. To me the Breeders Cup should not weigh as much the only time that it should weigh is when there are is two or more horses that look like they should be champions. These Eclipse Awards are for the year performances not based on one VICTORY!!! SHARED BELIEF for 2 year old championships.

10 Jan 2014 8:08 AM

Weighing The Top Juvenile:

Havana won the G1 Champagne as a next out MSW winner. He defeated the G1 Hopeful and G3 Bashford Manor winners Strong Mandate and Debt Ceiling.

Strong Mandate won the G1 Hopeful as a next out MSW winner. He defeated the G2 Saratoga Special and Sanford winners Corfu and Wired Bryan.

Bond Holder won the G1 FrontRunner as a next out MSW winner. He defeated G1 Del Mar Futurity winner and subsequent Real Quiet winner Tamarando

New Year’s Day won the Breeder Cup Juvenile as a next out MSW winner. He defeated the G1 Champagne, Hopeful, FrontRunner and Breeder Futurity winners Havana, Strong Mandate, Bond Holder and We Miss Artie.

Shared Belief won the G3 Hollywood Prevue as a next out MSW winner. He defeated no graded stakes winners.

Of the five colts cited above four were next out G1 winners that defeated graded stakes winners. Did they blow away the respective fields in their graded stakes debuts? Strong Mandate is probably the only one that blew away his field.

Shared Belief destroyed a Prevue field in his grads stakes debut comprising of 4 other horses that had no graded stakes victory or experience.

Would horses the caliber of Havana, Strong Mandate, Bond Holder and New Year’s Day, the top four finishers in the BCJ, destroy the Prevue field likewise. That’s a no brainer!

Shared Belief had the easiest entry into the graded stakes arena and somehow he is the leader of the pack.

Send me off to a Loony Bin as I must be insane not to see his superiority.

10 Jan 2014 8:36 AM

This is becoming rather silly.

Also, I fail to see the basis for Mr. Irwin's comment. What am I missing? Honestly, someone please fill me in.

10 Jan 2014 3:31 PM

It appears every year a particular colt is selected to be the next great thoroughbred champion and is overhyped beyond belief.  

Uncle Mo was next best thing since slice bread and was projected to be the next Secretariat based on three impressive victories as a 2YO.

Union Rags also scored three impressive victories as a 2YO and was considered a cinch for the BCJ. His defeat in the BCJ was greeted with numerous excuses and the worthy winner dismissed. Those blinded by emotions provided various points for him being voted as champion 2YO.

Verrazano was considered a super horse after two fast and effortless victories as a 3YO. If it were possible reverse the Champion 2YO Eclipse awarded to Shanghai Bobby, Verrazano would have been awarded same for Champion unraced 2YO.  

Shared Belief has clearly been selected in 2014 to be the next great thoroughbred. His record is not dissimilar the colts referenced above. Will his fate be similar?

My question regarding these overhyped horses is usually the same. What have they done to attain super horse status?

Their records usually do not reflect achievements that either equal or supersede those of past greats. Yet these particular colts are propelled into super stardom by people driven by emotions and blinded to cold facts.

It is hoped this 3YO season that the emotionally driven will remember the lessons learnt from placing horses that are perceived to be exceptional on the same level as mega stars of the past.

Separate the emotions from the cold facts!

10 Jan 2014 11:12 PM
Pedigree Ann

Top-class 2yos don't have real campaigns anymore, so it's hard to determine who is the best, based on just one meeting among contenders. Affirmed and Alydar ran against each other 5 times - Affirmed won 3 of the meetings, while Alydar won twice, but if they hadn't both run in the Laurel Futurity (G1 on dirt), which Alydar lost, some would have taken his win in the Champagne as determinative.

Easy Goer won 4 of 6 races at 2, including the G1 Champagne and Cowdin, but was only second in the BC Juvie. But Is It True, the colt who beat him, had been second in the Champagne and 4th in the Cowdin, so Easy Goer was the champion.

And Action This Day won the BC Juvie out of his maiden win in a field that did not include a lot of horses who liked two turns. Bred for 12 on turf (Kris S. out of a Trempolino mare), he ran 6 more times at 3&4 without hitting the board. His folks would have made more money from his stud career if they had retired him after the BC win, with his prestige intact.

11 Jan 2014 11:29 AM

Weighing On A Top Juvenile:

Birdstone is one of two stallions that has the distinction of siring two horses that won a leg of the Triple Crown in the same year i.e., Mine That Bird and Summer Bird.

There are two colts sired by Birdstone on the 2014 Derby Trail. Are they worthy Derby contenders based on the pass success of their sire?

The colts are Mexikoma and Conquest Titan. Of the two, Conquest Titan has a race record that is similar in parts to that of Mine That Bird. Both Conquest Titan and Mine That Bird won the Swynford Stakes in Canada and then went on to finish last in the Breeders Cup juvenile.

Whereas MTB disappeared after his poor BCJ effort and reemerged 4 months later in New Mexico, Conquest Titan was back at the races 28 days later. Mine That Bird was never in contention is his BCJ, whereas Conquest Titan caught the gate and was with the leaders for the 1st 6t (1:09.70) and thereafter disappeared to last.

Conquest Titan contested an 8F AlwOC at Churchill Downs 28 day after his poor BCJ effort.  The tactics in the AlwOC were opposite to those in the BCJ. He was on the lead in the BCJ but was last in the AlwOC. The pace was fast i.e., 22, 45, 1:10. He made a Mine That Bird type move to sweep by all to win going away in 1:35.27. Wow!

General A Rod who finished 2nd Conquest Titan returned to win the Gulfstream Park Derby. It appears both colts will match strides again in the upcoming Holy Bull.

Birdstone has established himself as a classic sire. The dam sire of Conquest Titan is former HOY Mineshaft. He has small broodmare band and is relatively unknown as a broodmare sire.

Mineshaft came close to being a Derby winning sire in 2011 with Nehro. I would not underestimate the chances of Conquest Titan going one better for him as a broodmare sire.

12 Jan 2014 10:54 AM

Coldfacts, I'll never get over the fact that Union Rags did not win the juvenile honors.  He was definitely the best of the two year old crop, and had a superior resume to that of Hansen.  By the way, you tend to dwell on sire line pedigrees; you do know that there is a tail side to every horse's pedigree.  LOL.  The sire is only as good as the mare he is bred to.  The mare contributes so much more genetic material to her foals than the sire.        

14 Jan 2014 10:15 AM


“The mare contributes so much more genetic material to her foals than the sire.”

While watching the DNA testimony in the George Zimmerman Trial, the expert specified that the composition of a child is 50% of its mother and 50% of its father. I am no DNA expert but I imagine it is the same with horses. It is otherwise kindly pardon my ignorance.

“By the way, you tend to dwell on sire line pedigrees; you do know that there is a tail side to every horse's pedigree”

Immediately following the above quote, was LOL! Clearly you were amused by what you perceived to be my ignorance. Well anyone that has viewed the pedigree of a horse would be aware of the above. The fact that I chose to focus on stallion lines does not render nonexistent the tail lines.

Stallions that trace back to Fappiona’s most influential son Mr. Prospector have sired 28 horses that have won 37 Triple Crown races. Are you aware that Storm Cat has more sons as stallions than Mr. Prospector? How many winners of Triple Crown races have the stallions that trace back to Storm Cat sired? A grand total of one!

Obviously the pedigrees of the stallions that trace back to Storm Cat have tail sides just as those that trace back to Mr. Prospector.  Why the 37 to 1 difference?  Storm Cat stallions bred mares from some of the same lines and have produced only one winner of a TC race.

How many winners of TC races have the stallion that trace back to Secretariat, Damascus, Buckpasser, Spectacular Bid, A P Indy, and Deputy Minister to name a few sired? Secretariat (0) Deputy Minister (1) Spectacular Bid (0) A P Indy (1) Buckpasser (2) Damascus (1)

To what do you attribute the overwhelming success of the Mr. Prospector line stallions? To what do you attribute the minimal and zero success of the stallion lines mentioned above?

The common denominator in the 28 horses that won the 37 Triple Crown races is they all trace back to Mr. Prospector. I focus on what I consider to fuel success. It might not be practical or right but in the absence of a better explanation I will continue my focus.

15 Jan 2014 9:25 AM


Stallions that trace back to Native Dancer’s most influential grandson Mr. Prospector have sired 28 horses that have won 37 Triple Crown races

15 Jan 2014 9:49 AM

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