When is Too Slow Not Too Slow?

There has been a lot of talk about the morning line, undefeated favorite, Princess Noor, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Much of it is that she appears to be “too slow” on the sheets and Thoro-Graph. Now I think she is vulnerable and not my selection in the race. However, it is not because I feel she’s too slow as many sheet players are voicing.

Princess Noor has won all her races, albeit only three of them rather easily by open lengths. She’s run a 10, a 7, and another 10 on Thror-Graph. To me, it is usually all about patterns when looking at sheets. I also look at them in conjunction with past performances and replays. This pattern is not one I look for, especially with a two-year old. That said, it is also not the reason I am somewhat against Princess Noor in this spot.

She can surely win; she hasn’t lost or even been tested yet, and nobody brings them over better than Bob. I just prefer another filly or two in here over her.

As for the premise, she is too slow. I don’t buy it. In comparison, Dayoutoftheoffice has already run a 3, significantly faster than sheets say Princess Noor has run. The thing is, when a horse wins by open lengths in a cantor, you can’t really know if they could have run faster or how much faster. A horse winning easily is deceptive when it comes to time and figures.

A geared down win can be a taxing effort and trigger a bounce or regression. Usually, when that happens, the race is fast despite the winner being geared down. With Princess Noor, the figure, by comparison, is not fast, so how fast she may be remains to be seen.

Simply Ravishing has run a 6, also faster than Princess Noor, and has a pattern more favorable to a winning type of forward move. She’s run 12, 8, and 6 in steady progression. I’d have to think at least she can run a 4 or 5 or even better, which puts Princess Noor in a spot to have to jump up 5 points or more to win. That is certainly not impossible though I would not want to bet on it at a short price.

Princess Noor is drawn widest in the field, and she may lose a touch of ground into the first and maybe even both turns. I think that can make a difference in this tight field. In my opinion, she will have to be the freaky good filly she visually looks like to win on Friday.

Too slow is too slow when you’ve seen a horse all out at their best, and the number isn’t fast enough to win. Add a pattern not indicative of a forward enough move to compete and win. Princess Noor does not fall into that category. I’ll be betting against her, but not because I think she is too slow. I don’t think we know that just yet.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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