ThoroEdge: ‘Why Does the Belmont Keep Getting Slower?’

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Palace Malice (r), with Mike Smith aboard, wins the Belmont Stakes over Oxbow and Gary Stevens Palace Malice (r), with Mike Smith aboard, wins the Belmont Stakes over Oxbow and Gary Stevens

In a new post on the ThoroEdge Equine Performance website, Bill Pressey wonders if winning the Belmont Stakes in a time of 2:30+ is now the “new normal”.

In the article, Pressey studies the figures and times of the Belmont over several decades. Not only have the winning times gotten slower, they are the equivalent to times from the 1940′s.

Read more at ThoroEdge

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  • Rachel

    Well, who really cares what the final time is? There’s only been one Secretariat, the rest do what they do and get there first is all that counts…I mean, High Echelon came home in 2:34, actually he swam home that day…Thunder Gulch was 2:32…Whirlaway sauntered around in 2:31…
    A horse race is a horse race…they’re not all record setters or super stars and that’s fine with me…I love horse racing not just the super stars.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Tell it like it is sister!!!…ty…

  • Mike in SB

    I like his comment that the trend for slower times started about the time that Lasix use became universal in the 1990′s. Makes sense to me. Running dehydrated over 1 1/2 miles doesn’t seem conducive to fast times

  • Tinky

    Pressey, who, incidentally, refuses to publish my challenging comments on his website (sycophants only, please!), never once uses the words “breeding” or “pedigree” in his post. Instead, he jumps directly to his long-standing pet claim that modern American trainers tend to under-condition their runners.

    Quite an analysis.

  • jttf

    i have been saying this for years. lasix causes bad side effects to horses. incognito improved quite a bit in the belmont. wasnt he 15 lengths back in the peter pan ? no lasix for him. running your horse in all three triple crown races is too tough for many horses. urging your horse with the whip while he is cramping up can cause injuries. as long as we are using lasix, that means we dont care about breeding bleeders. is the bleeding getting worse ? wasnt mike smith asking his outrider if palice malice was bleeding after the race ? another new problem in recent years, is raising your horse on synthetics. california experiment with synthetics showed that synthetic raised horses have a problem going 10 furlongs on synthetic or dirt. not enough pounding and shorter strides are not a good idea.

  • Figless

    I believe in recent years NYRA track maintenance has de-emphasized their earlier practice of quickening up the track for big race days, thankfully, resulting in a safer surface and the recent slower times.

    • 4Bellwether666

      The tracks are a big part of the whole equation…ty…

  • Battlerbill

    It’s not a coincidence that the current track superintendent started 4 years ago. During his tenure, the Belmont Stakes hasn’t cracked 2:30 once.

  • In tears

    Mike Smith asked to have the nose band unbuckled, loosened so the horse could breath. RESPECT.

    Lasix ,Ugh! Take a good look back many years ago. The racers were lean, but fit. The heart did not have to pump so hard as it does now. These horses today look great, fit. But a bit over weight, makes the body work harder, tireing for the horse. The guy I worked for ages ago ran quarter horses and thoroughbreds, kept them a bit lean and they won. I never saw a bleeder. Could be I just was lucky. There were no drugs, we trained at a his farm track and shipped to Phila a few days before racing for work outs.

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