Unique Bella (Tapit-Unrivaled Belle)

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  • edited February 2017
    You got me curious. Some female Derby participants did run against males, some as 2-year-olds. Of the three female Derby winners, Winning Colors (1988) won the Santa Anita Derby (I remembered that one), Genuine Risk (1980) was third in the Wood Memorial, and Regret (1915) won the Saratoga Special Stakes, Sanford Stakes, and Hopeful Stakes against males in 1914.

    Other fillies who had starts against males before they started in the Derby include the following: Serena’s Song (16th in the 1995 Derby) won the Jim Beam; Life’s Magic (8th in the 1984 Derby) ran 5th in the Santa Anita Derby, 3rd in the Hollywood Futurity, and 2nd in the Norfolk Stakes; Althea (19th in the 1984 Kentucky Derby) won the Arkansas Derby, ran 6th in the '83 Hollywood Futurity, and won the Del Mar Futurity and Hollywood Juvenile Championship; and Cupecoy’s Joy (10th 1982 Derby) was 3rd in the Jim Beam Spiral Stakes. I didn't check back farther than that, as Equibase records are spotty.

    So there is precedent for fillies to run against males prior to the first Saturday in May. There might even be a benefit to doing so, as all three female winners did (not that that is a big sample size).
  • Thank you for correcting that part of my post! Genuine Risk would have just barely been on the bubble, if she'd gotten into the Derby at all, had those races been under the Derby points system. I still think that the top fillies should have a shot at it if their owners and trainers think they're good enough.
  • Early in the two year old season, it's not unusual to see fillies racing in open company. If the race fits, they'll be entered, understanding that fillies and Colts are very close in athletic maturity. It's the spring months that Colts surge ahead and the filly won't catch up again til fall of that year.
    At least that's how many evaluate the times and ability of the three year old.
    Yet, fillies and Colts face each other all over the globe...except here.
    So it must be money also.
    There are plenty of opportunities for the girls in restricted races to make large purses. Why risk a loss ? Its not like a classic race is going to increase the value after racing like a good stud deal.
    Then there's ego...
    Pletcher spoke of the great run rags to riches had in the Belmont. The only reason he ran was because of his evaluation of the make up and curlins taxing schedule. He plainly states his desire for what was best winning and the record for rags was always on his mind.
    I'm confident that Don Alberto is unconcerned with monies.
    The Santa Anita would be a perfect first step. It would provide the points and a good measuring stick to maturity.
    Also, if they were unhappy with the effort, the oaks would still be there( or would it? I'll have to check)
  • Horselover24Horselover24 Member
    edited February 2017

    ...The points system means that the owners and trainers have to make the decision to race against the colts earlier in the spring, which they may be hesitant to do.

    Honestly, I'd be tempted to say that maybe the top 1-3 fillies with the most Oaks points should be able to qualify for the Derby. The vast majority of owners still won't bother with the Derby if they know they'll be one of the favorites for the Oaks, but it allows for a chance for the fillies to be involved in the Derby without the owners worrying about whether they're racing against the colts too early in the season.

    I disagree. I'd love to see more fillies in the Derby, but if they don't face the colts in the prep races to earn points why should they be allowed to run in the Derby? If you've got a good enough filly to be considered for the Derby, why avoid the competition? I hope Unique Bella runs in the Derby. And her connections have every opportunity to get her there with the points system without special treatment just cause she's a filly.
  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    Are any of the Derby point races restricted to colts only......I don't think so....but am not sure...
  • Can the owner of a filly pay for entry if there are not enough points?,I thought that earnings used to count, too.
  • Are any of the Derby point races restricted to colts only......I don't think so....but am not sure...

    No. Any races colts can enter the fillies can enter. The only races with gender restrictions are those for fillies and mares
    KMM said:

    Can the owner of a filly pay for entry if there are not enough points?,I thought that earnings used to count, too.

    The owner could pay to be supplemented in if their horse wasn't previously nominated to the Triple Crown, which was the case for Oscar Nominated last year. But that just means they could earn Derby points, since the points are only given after the horse has been nominated to the Triple Crown. Unique Bella wouldn't have to worry about that since she's been nominated.
    http://www.thedowneyprofile.com/derby_points
  • Nominated does not equate to points. How would she qualify unless she runs against the boys to get points? Don't know. K
  • KetaKeta Member
    edited February 2017
    Keta Note: Excellent article & analysis.
    Posted similar article from ESPN DRF in Discussion:
    Road to 2017 Derby & Oaks Race Schedules & Results


    Kentucky Derby points system works better than expected
    By Richard Eng February 18, 2016 Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal
    When the Kentucky Derby point system was introduced in 2013, many media types, like me, were against it. We had seen the good and the bad of the previous system, graded purse earnings, as a fairly reliable indicator.

    But it didn't take me long to change my stance. Even though some protested that many past Derby winners would have been ineligible to run, that argument was specious.

    You can't retrofit the rules and say they wouldn't have worked. If the owners and trainers in past decades had lived under this point system, they would have managed their horses differently.

    For example, for a filly to run in the Derby, she will have to run at least once in a Derby prep against males. Then she would need to finish high enough to earn at least 20 points to make the cutoff for the Derby field of 20.
    That makes sense to me.

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/columns-blogs/richard-eng/kentucky-derby-points-system-works-better-expected
  • You all are absolutely entitled to your opinions (and you make some good points), but I don't really see my mind changing on this one. Since it was based on earnings in the past, fillies never HAD to compete against the colts in order to qualify for the Derby. I think that should still be the case today. That's just my view though.
  • Are any of the Derby point races restricted to colts only......I don't think so....but am not sure...

    The Breeders' Cup Juvenile (20 points) is restricted to colts and geldings. I think that's the only one, though.
  • KetaKeta Member
    edited February 2017
    Keta Note:
    I may have confused everyone by formatting the article as it originally appeared in print.
    Thought it made for easier reading.
    None of the above is my opinion. It was written by & is the opinion of
    Richard Eng February 18, 2016 Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal


    There is another article which appeared on ESPN and is the work
    of Jay Privman, DRF. Similar analysis of ponts system.
    To read, see Discussion: Road to 2017 Derby & Oaks Race Schedules & Results
  • I was responding to several people above you as well, @Keta, not just your post :)
  • I was responding to several people above you as well, @Keta, not just your post :)

    Thanks, got it.
    Just looked at the article this morning and wanted to be clear.
    Do take a look at the ESPN article.
    No easy answers on the Road to the Derby
    Keta

  • Unique Bella clear choice in 2017 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager
    HorseRacingNation.com February 21, 2017
    Don Alberto Stable’s Unique Bella, the brightest star thus far in North America’s 2017 crop of 3-year-old fillies, looms as a heavy bettors’ choice to win this year’s renewal of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) when three days of wagering opens Friday in Churchill Downs Racetrack’s 2017 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW).
    The grey daughter of Tapit, a dominant winner in three of her four career starts for three-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, has been installed by Churchill Downs odds makerMike Battaglia as the 8-5 favorite among 24 betting interests in the morning line odds for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool. The Mutuel Field (#24), which includes all 3-year-old fillies other than the 23 individual wagering interests in the Oaks Future pool, is next at 8-1.
    http://www.horseracingnation.com/news/Unique_Bella_clear_choice_in_2017_Kentucky_Oaks_Future_Wager_123#

  • Good for her. But Arrogate did it the day before in 0:59:00. Course he's a year older and a boy. :)
  • Unique Bella is running March 4th in the Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3 year old fillies going 1 1/16th miles at Santa Anita. She will be ridden by Mike Smith. She is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and owned by Don Alberto Stable.
  • Remember too VA, that in California traditionally, that 'breezing' tag is hard to come by! B)
    Love seeing the "Unbridled" stamp on these two!
    VA_in_CA said:

    Good for her. But Arrogate did it the day before in 0:59:00. Course he's a year older and a boy. :)

  • KMMKMM Member
    Arrogate in in a category by himself, as Logines ranked World's Best Horse, too, Va_in_CA. <3
  • I am so excited about this filly! I can't wait to watch her excel this year!
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