Monday, August 2, 2010

Eb Netr: Why Did Bac's Xtreme Beat Yahoo Omar

Why Did Bac's Xtreme Beat Yahoo Omar 
in the "He's My Man Classic" at Palm Beach Kennel Club?

Author: Eb Netr

Although I'm spending the winter in the frozen north this year, I get a chance to play the dogs at a track within driving distance. There's no live racing at the NH tracks anymore, but they still have simulcasts, thank goodness. This Saturday, I was looking forward to the "He's My Man Classic" from Palm Beach Kennel Club and had handicapped it the night before.  

There wasn't a dog in the race that couldn't be considered a contender, but I had two favorites and had to choose between them. Luckily, I wasn't doing the driving, so I had a long ride to go over my program. The first thing that jumped out at me was how much early speed there was in the race.  

Lee Elvis, the 3, is always first at the 1/8th pole, but the 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 would be breathing down his neck if they got a good break. Even the 1 and the 5 might be doing the same thing, although they aren't as quick out of the box as the others normally.  

But this wasn't a normal race and there was no telling what any of these dogs would do. $50,000 is a lot of money, so I knew their trainers and owners would be sure to have them in tip-top condition for this contest. I made notes to myself on the margin of the program as I compared the dogs' good points and bad points.  

One of my two favorites, Lee Elvis, was on a red hot streak. The other, Bac's Xtreme had almost won his last race and I thought he might just come back and win this one. I've seen it happen many, many times. The dog looks like a fader, because it gains the lead and then loses it to come in second. Bettors go off it and think it's going out of form and sometimes, that's true.  

But if you look at Bac's Xtreme's other races, you won't see it losing a position at the end of a race in the five other races that you can see. This tells me that the race where he came in second wasn't his usual style. He really tried; he didn't fade. It was just that another dog passed him right at the wire.  

That other dog was Atosocita Edith, who was running in the 2 post in this race. Why didn't I like her to win? Well, I had my reasons. For one thing, she doesn't break as well as the other breakers in the final race of the Classic. Plus, the 2 box isn't very good percentage-wise at Palm Beach in stakes races. I just didn't think she'd have it in this race, especially with Lee Elvis breaking out like gangbusters beside her.  

I went back and forth between Lee Elvis and Bac's Xtreme and even started thinking that the other dogs were possibilities, but then I realized something. In a race like this, where all the dogs have made it to the final level of competition, you can't count any of them out. The only thing you can do is try to find a dog that has one more thing going for it than the other dogs. Just one thing that makes it stand out.  

Bac's Xtreme had the one thing that the other dogs didn't have. He had almost won his last race, but had been robbed of victory at the last second. He had a real reason for finding the extra little bit of energy that it would take to win this stakes. Of course, there was a chance that he wouldn't be able to come up with it or that one of the other dogs would still outrace him, but I was willing to take that chance if the odds were right.  

As we know, the odds were more than right. I have no idea why the crowd let him get away at those odds, but I'm very glad that they did. He ran his heart out, held off Yahoo Omar, another fantastic dog, and gave us a race that we'll long remember for how he and Yahoo Omar battled throughout for the lead like the champions they are.  Next time you see a dog who has taken the lead and lost at the wire, remember Bac's Xtreme and watch the odds.

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