It is a sad day when the industry's press has to make an excuse for a certain horse losing a race. Harnessracing.com has a story where Dave Palone claimed post nine was a 'Death Sentence' for See You At Peelers. Are we that hard up for our own feel good story that we have to make up reasons that the post position was so bad that SYAP was pre-destined to lose?
I am not disputing Palone's assessment that SYAP's chances for victory were severely compromised by drawing post nine and we will be seeing her in the winners circle again after this, but someone had to get post nine, so why not Peelers?
Yes winning from post nine is very hard at The Meadows with only 6.4% of the horses starting from post nine winning and only 18.2% of them finishing in the top three positions. I am also certain that Peeler's team knew that as well. Marcus Johansson made the decision to stay with the script and fire out realizing what happened could happen. While this is the way SYAP has been winning her races, maybe it would have been the time to try to race Peeler's from off the pace. I understand it is not the time you want to try a new racing strategy, but sometimes you have no choice; after all there are future races where drawing post nine or ten are possible and I tend to doubt the odds of winning from those posts are much better at those tracks.
Maybe it wasn't post position nine that defeated SYAP. Perhaps it was her one dimensional style of racing on the engine or up close that defeated her? If SYAP could race from behind, yesterday's results may have been another story. So blaming it on post nine at the Meadows is poppycock.
What defeated See You At Peelers was racing luck. I don't blame Marcus Johansson for the defeat; the decision was made to go for the front and it did not succeed. Would she have won if she had an inside post? Most likely yes. But racing luck is part of the game and racing luck is what makes win streaks of 22 races so special. Up to yesterday, the racing luck went SYAP's way. Yesterday it didn't.
Gamblers face this issue every race. Can the outside horse overcome the disadvantage of the outside posts? Can the horse leave and outpace the others to the front or will it get hung out? Can the horse come from off the pace? This is nothing new; it is part of harness racing. There is nothing unique about what happened yesterday.
So don't blame it on the track. She got beat fair and square; there is no need for excuses. Let's move on to her next race and start a new win streak.