The Juvenile Jinx, Can Street Sense Overcome The Odds?



Is there really a Juvenile Jinx?

If you look at the following chart, you will see a graphical representation of the total number of live foals registered by the Jockey Club for the last 120 years (since the year 2000 the annual number of foals has averaged @37,000 so the information for this decade will be very close to the 1990s). You don’t need to be a statistician to figure out that the odds of winning the Derby or even getting into the field for that matter are approaching the astronomical. Between 1980 and 1999 breeders produced more foals that all the foals produced between 1920 and 1979. What looks like a jinx is really just the inability of one horse to overcome the mounting odds against him (her).

Additionally today's three-year olds have to compete with modern breeding strategies that produce 200 foals by Giant's Causeway or Fusaichi Pegasus in any given crop. Nowadays a three-year old also must contend with top runners from around the world who also covet the American Classics. Throw in the fact that we are racing a frailer animal than we did say 30 years ago, when we had three Triple Crown winners and the Triple Crown is as tough a challenge as it was 60 years ago. These numbers make me think we may never see another Triple Crown winner.

Can Street Sense overcome the Juvenile Jinx? Arguably his win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile can be considered one of the best performances in the history of the race. I put it right up there with Arazi’s win in 1991. Arazi’s sweeping move around the turn at Churchill was awesome. Trevor Denman’s very poor call distracted many from what was an incredible performance by Street Sense.

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