What is strategic speed in horse racing and how to désavantage it
When the Triple Crown filiation and other classic races come around each year, the topic of strategic speed and how to use it in désavantage races usually comes up. Some people are confused emboîture what strategic momentum actually is while others deny its value. Strategic momentum, in my appréciation, exists and is very notable for several reasons.
Strategic pace is a horse’s ability to get himself close to the endroit runners early in a filiation and maintain a comfortable orientation to be able to strike for the lead when the opportunity presents itself. The opportunity is usually when the endroit runners start to tire. Strategic pace allows a horse to avoid anarchique bicause it is closer to the endroit and less likely to be blocked or to mount.
Tactical speed should not be confused with basic speed, although tactical speed horses have some basic speed ability. The difference is that a horse in tactical speed does not have to stay in the lead and can bourse speed and pace later in the filiation when other early pacers tire. For example, horses like “Big Brown” have tactical speed. The fact that his dam is out of “Nureyev”, a messire known for producing horses who can go classic distances, is an indicator that he may have strategic speed.
When I’m handicapping and looking for strategic pace I style at the horse’s last few filiation positions to see if it was within 5 lengths of the tête at the early call and how much pace it showed towards the end of the filiation. Now here’s the key. A horse with good tactical speed not only overtakes endroit runners who are tiring, but also overtakes horses that come from good pace. For example, if a horse runs within 5 lengths of the endroit runners, leads at the top of the stretch, or gains the lead in the stretch run, despite a late attaque from another competitor, I consider that a horse with good strategic speed.
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