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Blog - GAMBLING

Fort Larned enters the stretch lengths in front of the field in the Gulfstream Park Handicap. (Photo courtesy Bob Coglianese Photos/Eleanor Gustafson)

A collective gasp came from the American racing community when 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned stumbled and parted ways with jockey Brian Hernandez at the start of Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Handicap. Making his 2013 debut, the Ian Wilkes-trainee gathered himself, free of a 125-pound impost, and took off. It is incredibly fortunate we can take a look at the data from his rider-less performance knowing both horse and rider walked away without significant injury.  

Tough to see in the initial video of the race, Fort Larned bursts through the small field and runs off, opening a massive gap to the remainder of the field, and leaving Gulfstream track announcer Larry Collmus incredulous at what he was witnessing.

“That whole area deep in the one mile chute is blocked by trees so it is difficult to make out the gate break,” Collmus recalled. “Racecallers study the horses based on silks, so I had to look to the program [as the red colors of owner Janis Whitham were left at the gate with Hernandez] and see that number three was Fort Larned, and thought to myself ‘ok, wow, this is the story.’”

Once Fort Larned realized he was free, he burst through the pack and soared to the front.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse go through a pack that fast,” Collmus marveled, a significant admission considering he has called races for the better part of three decades. “Watching him run was one of the most amazing things to see. You could tell he was absolutely flying, and by the time they turned for home, he was close to a sixteenth of a mile in front of the field.”

So how fast, and how far in front, was Fort Larned?  With Trakus, we have an answer.

While Fort Larned was removed from the chicklet view and official timing display once visually identified as running without a jockey, data continues to accrue, and it is displayed below, offering unique insight to the performance.  Below, find each point of call beginning seven furlongs from the finish, the cumulative time Fort Larned recorded, the sectional time for each sixteenth-mile segment after the first furlong, and then the margin to the actual leader of the race.  As the data shows, Fort Larned was three lengths from leader Fort Loudon after the first furlong before aggressively shooting through the pack to take a two length lead just a sixteenth later.

POC

Cumulative Time

Sectional Time

Margin to "Leader"

1/8

:13.00

-

-3

3/16

:18.14

5.14

2

1/4

:23.19

5.05

6

5/16

:28.27

5.08

9.25

3/8

:33.49

5.22

12.25

7/16

:38.80

5.31

15.75

1/2

:44.29

5.49

19.25

9/16

:49.27

4.98

22

5/8

:55.89

6.62

24.25

11/16

1:01.92

6.03

25.25

3/4

1:08.04

6.12

24.5

13/16

1:14.27

6.23

22.25

7/8

1:20.59

6.32

19.25

15/16

1:27.08

6.49

14

1 Mile

1:33.89

6.81

8.5


Yes, Fort Larned led Discreet Dancer and the rest of the field by more than 25 lengths around the far turn. He ran a rider-less six furlongs in 1:08.04 – the course record at that specific distance is 1:08.12, set by Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Big Drama in 2011. As the far turn ended, Fort Larned clocked 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.27, 0.17 seconds faster than Forest Danger’s 2005 record at that distance.  Slowing in the stretch after his monumental, and eventful, sprint, the son of E Dubai ran seven furlongs in 1:20.59 – just 0.14 seconds slower than the 2011 record set by Hilda’s Passion. His final “time” for the mile came in 0.18 seconds slower than Commentator’s 2008 mark. 

After countless hours reviewing data, we cannot recall a time where we saw a horse run a sub five-second sixteenth, as Fort Larned did just before hitting the far turn. Then again, no one had ever seen a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner run rider-less and care free, 25 lengths in front of an accomplished group.  Take note of the comparison to Fort Larned’s times and those of the leader at each main point of call.

 

1/4

1/2

3/4

7/8

Finish

Fort Larned

:23.19

:44.29

1:08.04

1:20.59

1:33.89

Gulfstream Park Hcp

:24.00

:47.26

1:11.68

1:23.37

1:35.17

Difference

0.81

2.97

3.64

2.78

1.28


Lest we forget, Discreet Dancer won the race.

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

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