Sunday, June 12, 2011

ANALYSIS - 2011 Belmont

What happened to Animal Kingdom at the start of the race?  How was his race different from similar "near disasters" in big races of the past?

Animal Kingdom's trainer, Graham Motion, said AK is fine after clipping heels with another horse out of the starting gate at the start of the Belmont. Rider, Johnny Velasquez, said the race was lost right there, although it did look like he had a chance towards the end. Afleet Alex went to his knees in the Preakness at the top of the stretch in what many have termed as the greatest Preakness ever; Alysheba's Derby was frought with trouble throughout the race; and Rags to Riches fell to her knees in the Belmont out of the starting gate.

For discussion: I wonder how these incidents were different from what happened to AK and the jockey in this year's Belmont and they weren't able to overcome and go on to win.

Anything can happen in these big races, and happily these horses came out of these situations in good shape. I've included the videos with the analysis of each incident. The first one with Alysheba is just amazing because there were several times when he and the jockey could have gone down and been out of it, yet somehow, they recovered and finished out front. As John Shirreffs has said, "racing luck" comes into play in these situations. Like Zenyatta in the BCC10, Animal Kingdom didn't have racing luck on his side yesterday. Again, so grateful everyone came home safe!! In a year many racing experts have dubbed this year's crop of 3 year olds as one of the weakest in memory, it still was exciting because of all the surprises we had throughout the Derby Prep and which continued throughout the TC series.

Alysheba - 1987 Ky Derby
With Isolated Replay at the beginning of the video and jockey, Chris McCarron,
at 6:00 and 8:00.  Amazing ride.

Alfeet Alex 2005 Preakness

Scrappy T blows the final turn and knocks AA to his knees at about 3:50

Rags to Riches 2007 Belmont

with analysis of her stumble coming out of the starting gate at about 5:00

Belmont 2011
with analysis at 4:43

NBC's Analysis Video

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