Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not As Bad As It Seems - Mostly

At first blush, a 5th place finish is discouraging. Actually it's downright disappointing, especially when you're racing at the bottom. It's tough to make any money that way, never mind break even.

Today's fourth at Pocono was hardly a flaming mile. The race was won in 1:58.3, not exactly a world record pace. I Am Woman got off well and found room inside first time past the stands in 3rd. Then the trouble started down the backside. As the outside lined filled, she slowly got shuffled back in the pack. As they entered the far turn she had slid to 5th and then 6th at the top of the stretch. As they straightened for home, I Am Woman tried to find space, but there was none to be had. As she moved outside, the leader, Commissioned N, started to weaken and drifted from the rail and stayed in front of our gal. By the time she was ducked back inside, she had company on the rail as Outten Front had slid through as the action unfolded in front of driver Sean Bier. Between Commissioned N backing up on her and not getting clear sailing on the rail, she still managed to come within a whisker of 4th.

A few encouraging signs:

- She never gave up. She tried hard throughout and even when boxed in through the stretch, she still had finish to her. If she was able to go first over, she may have been better positioned to finish;

- She closed up the inside. Not her favorite place in the world, this is the first time she's showed she can close when hemmed in a bit.

Not so encouraging:

- It's rock bottom and she kind of looked like she belonged with these. She certainly didn't outclass anyone;

- The final time for the race was only 1:58.3 and her final time was over 1:59. My fear that she's just not that fast may indeed be correct, though I'll reserve judgement until she goes again next week and see what happens with a clear trip.

A final word to Mitchell who commented on the preview post yesterday and has his own piece of a Standardbred: Best of luck in the Hoosier Cup on Saturday. River Shark will be racing for a share of $500,000! I don't care where you're racing - that's real money! Good luck and travel safe!

1 comment:

G. Rarick said...

Boy, I know the feeling. We were 10th in a handicap yesterday, but it was actually one of the better races my mare has run. Focus on the positives - it's what keeps us going!