Lady and The Track | December 7, 2022

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Analyzing the 2015 LeComte and Smarty Jones Results

Analyzing the 2015 LeComte and Smarty Jones Results: International Star ran a great race winning the LeComte S. last weekend at Fair Grounds. But there are some excuses for why the other entrants lost, and part of becoming a better handicapper involves finding those horses that suffered through a poor trip or were pace compromised.

The Steve Asmussen trained Tiznow R J fits the category of receiving a pace compromised trip. The Tiznow colt ran fairly close to the pace set by Hero of Humor, and more pressure came when the rank Runhappy made a premature move to take the lead.

On the turn for home, Tiznow R J rallied on the outside. Meanwhile, both Hero of Humor and Runhappy became tired and dropped out, a sign of a fast pace. Tiznow R J failed to hold off International Star and War Story late, but considering the pace scenario with the speedy longshot and green horse, the fact that Tiznow R J kept fighting in the stretch is notable.

Think about this: Would you rather bet on a horse in the Kentucky Derby with experience fighting through a fast pace, or one that is in for a surprise after winning a couple of races with an easy tempo?

As for non-pace related issues, Hero of Humor eliminated Savoy Stomp’s chances at the break. Savoy Stomp started last around the first turn after the troubled beginning and never made an impact. Considering the start though and how this expensive colt finished with some interest late, perhaps the Todd Pletcher trained Savoy Stomp deserves one more chance from handicappers.

In addition, the well bet Eagle started on the far outside and stayed wide around the first turn, failing to secure a good position. His previous races were not spectacular though and maybe bettors overrated the Candy Ride colt off his close finish against the moderately talented El Kabeir. The same logic goes for fan favorite Runhappy, a runner loaded with ability. The Super Saver colt runs unprofessionally and needs more work if his connections want a contender that can handle a 20-horse field.

Out of the LeComte, Tiznow R J and Savoy Stomp are the losers to keep watching. The winner International Star looks like an improving type too with great connections. His speed figures need to jump up slightly, and with over three months until the Derby, they might.

Now for the Smarty Jones S. results and analysis.

Once again, a longshot bothered the quality speed as American Sailor tried his best to wire the field.

Mr. Z pressured American Sailor the entire way, put him away turning for home and then veered out badly after getting hit with the left-handed whip. Far Right, under Mr. Z’s former jockey Mike Smith, took advantage rallying up the rail and barely squeaked out a victory over Bayerd, while Mr. Z settled for a wide third.

From a pace and trip perspective, Mr. Z took the worst of both. But, the problem of “getting out” in the stretch is his own and the previous race at Los Alamitos showed the same habit. The D. Wayne Lukas trained colt only got lucky that Firing Line and Dortmund prevented Mr. Z from going too far right in the Los Alamitos Futurity.

Therefore, picking out losers in this race seems tricky. Bayerd ran well to finish second, yet he could not rally better than Far Right despite a clear run to the finish line.

Far Right runs like a professional, is in good hands with trainer Ron Moquett, and perhaps with some improvement could become one of the main Derby contenders as May nears.

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Photo Recap of Weekend Winners