The Road to the Derby

Of the numerous Stakes and Handicaps in QuarterPole Plus; the Blue Rock Derby, Yellow Springs and Ashbourne are the Classic races for 3yos. These races are on the 1st Saturday in May, June and July. There is a filly counterpart also. QuarterPole Plus gives a player the kind of excitement and thrill live racing gives to the winning owner of a Triple Crown race. Because eligibility requires purse winnings and speed figures, getting horses in your stable into these races isn't a snap; just as it isn't in live racing. This section assumes the player is well versed in racing and familiar with past performances, speed figures, race types and other factors taken into account when managing a stable. QuarterPole Plus is a great play without worrying about such complex factors but for those who wish to do so, this section may be helpful.
Here we'll take you through one good path for doing so. In the Real Action scenario, the player gets $1,000,000 but no horses. The money can be used to buy unraced 2yos at the monthly auctions.

The Short Form. There's a lot of information below but if you don't want to wade through it, here's a quick recap. You buy horses valued at $100,000 or more at the monthly auctions. You then enter them in the kind of races you would if you were running a live stable. You enter successful horses in better races until they are not competitive. Some may be good enough to win Stakes races with high purses and even the Classic Stakes races in the game.

For those who would like the longer form and examples, read on!

Buying future 'champions' at the auctions

Auctions occur the 1st Tuesday in each month when 10 horses are auctioned. Generally, each month will have 1 or 2 horses which go for about $100,000 or more. These are the better runners and a player has a shot at some big races with them. One strategy is to buy 1 or so a month and stash them in their stable until the 2 yo races begin in May. You'll have to pay training fees for some months if you buy early in the year, but you could miss out on one who might be the champ if you don't move early.

Overall Strategy

For our 2 yo auction purchases we'll follow the usual strategy of starting them in short Maiden (non-winners) races and move them up in class and distance if warranted. We make our own race entries by bumping off the trainer auto-enter option. We are shooting to get them into the $100,000 Wynnefield Promise Stakes on the 1st Saturday in November. This is the 2nd race of a day where all 10 races are Stakes starting with the 2 yos and ending with the Classic. If we can get them this far and they are OK, then we shoot for the $750,000 Blue Rock Derby on the 1st Saturday in May in the next year. This is the start of the Triple Crown for 3 yo and is followed by the $500,000 Yellow Springs S. on the 1st Saturday in June and the $750,000 Ashbourne S., the 1st Saturday in July. If they are capable, we'll spot them in certain key Stakes along the way to see how competitive they are with the better horses.

When we started our stable, we picked a high % trainer and jockey since the trainers and jockeys in the game are also graded. We used the renaming feature in QuarterPole Plus to rename the trainer as J. Jones and the jockey as W. Shoemaker.

In this game we bought the three horses at auction; Provident, Earner Burner and Lakeside. We'll review the game plan and results for each in the following sections. There's a summary at the bottom of each section and this webpage.

Provident - 2 yo bay colt. Bought him in the March auction for $137,000.

Started his career on May 5 in a Maiden race for a Purse of $22,000 (MD22) at 5 furlongs (5f) at Blue Rock Downs (BR) on dirt (D). The past performance lines also give the track condition (gd = good, ft = fast), fractional times and lengths behind or ahead if 1st, the Speed Figure (SF), weight carried, odds and jockey. Here are the results of his first 5 races where he won his 2nd out and we moved him into Allowance races and to a longer distance. By June 16, W. Shoemaker was riding him. All in all, we were very encouraged as his speed ratings were in the 90s and so far the distance wasn't a problem.

After 5 races, Provident's overall record was:
Record: Races 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Lifetime: 5 3 0 1 $52,900

So we entered him in the $100,000 Blue Peter S. at Ashbourne where the horses move for the summer racing. Here's the result.
He ran a fine race losing to Windbreak by 1 ¼ lengths and closing well.
20Aug04AB Blue b2 D ft 6f 21.1 0:45.1 1:12.1 3 3- 2-1½ 3-5 3-6¾ 2-1¼ 95 120 2.60 W.Sho
We followed this up with an Allowance tune-up on Sept. 27 where he ground out a win, as shown.
27Sep04AB AL35 b2 D gd 7f 22.0 0:46.1 1:27.0 4 4-ns 2-¾ 2-¾ 2-½ 1-½ 91 122 1.60 W.Sho
This set him up for the Wynnefield Promise on Nov. 6. where he ran a solid race and also ground out the win from just off the pace.
06Nov04WP Wynn m2 D ft 8f 46.0 1:12.1 1:42.0 3 2-nk 3-2¼ 2-1¼ 1-nk 1-½ 86 120 3.30 W.Sho
The full chart follows;

Then off for the rest of the year. Coming back in January for the chase to the BR Derby, Yellow Springs and Ashbourne. S. We entered him in the 8 furlong Along In Time S. on Jan 16 which he won. This was followed by the 9 furlong Wil Jenkins S. on Feb. 26 where he ran 5th but closed late to lose by 3 and the Andreas Grunzig S. on Apr. 10 where he ran a solid 2nd in his best Speed Figure of 102. Here are the past performance lines.

He seemed ready for the Blue Rock Derby on May 7.
Well things didn't turn out quite as well as we hoped as Provident ran 3rd about 6 back with a SF of 92.
07May05BR Blue b3 D ft 10f 45.0 1:39.1 2:08.0 2 3-nk 4-3¾ 6-6 5-8 3-5¾ 92 122 4.30 W.Sho
Maybe the extra distance to 10f hurt but still he ran a good race so it's on to the Yellow Springs, the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown. After 12 races, Provident's overall record is shown below the Blue Rock Derby Chart.

Earner Burner - 2 yo gray colt. Bought him in the February auction for $145,500.

Here's his record for the first 5 races. He won 3 and was 3rd twice. His speed figures were a little softer than Provident but still in the 90s except for the Jun 14 race.

We entered him next in the 7 furlong $60,000 Macbeth S. at Ashbourne where he got off to a long lead and just held on.
17Oct04WP Macb b2 D ft 7f 22.0 0:45.1 1:27.1 6 6-ns 1-4¼ 1-8¾ 1-8¼ 1-½ 91 122 2.30 W.Sho
Having won, we gave him a shot at the Wynnefield Promise where he ran a decent 3rd - see Chart above in Provident section and then laid him off until the new year. We were hoping to get 2 entries into the Blue Rock Derby. His past performance in the Promise was:
06Nov04WP Wynn m2 D ft 8f 46.0 1:12.1 1:42.0 6 4-¼ 4-5½ 4-3½ 3-1¼ 3-1¼ 83 125 3.50 Mayhe

In the next year, we started him in the 8 furlong Handsome S. on Jan. 8, followed by the 7 furlong Cashmein S. on Feb. 5. In both these, Earner Burner tired late and showed us he didn't want to go too far as shown in these past performance lines.
08Jan05OV Hand m3 D ft 8f 44.0 1:09.1 1:37.1 5 2-½ 3-7¼ 4-12 5-13¾ 4-12¼ 86 122 2.30 W.Sho
06Feb05OV Cash m3 D ft 7f 21.1 0:44.1 1:24.1 3 3-ns 2-½ 2-6¾ 2-13 6-12¾ 82 122 2.50 W.Sho
We played a hunch and entered him in the 8 furlong $50,000 Planetarium S. at Overbrook on Mar. 5 on the turf.
05Mar05OV Plan b3 T fm 8f 46.1 1:13.0 1:42.1 5 1-1¾ 1-4 1-3¾ 1-3 2-nk 82 119 2.60 W.Sho
He seemed more dogged on turf so we then tried him in the 7 furlong $100,000 Scipio's Legion on turf at Blue Rock. Guess what? He stalked and closed well; winning it late.
16Apr05BR Scip m3 T fm 7f 22.0 0:46:0 1:28.0 5 5-ns 4-2 ¾ 4-2 ¾ 4- 3 ½ 1-ns 87 122 2.60 W.Sho

So after 11 races, Earner Burner has won $323,100 and seems like he'll have a good career on the turf.
That's the essence of racing - find out where your horse does well and run him there!
At this point, his overall record is;

Lakeside 2 yo gray colt. Bought him in the May Auction for $107,00.

We started him much the same as the others although a bit later because we bought him in May. We got a couple of wins from him early but as the distance increased he tended to tire and run out of the money with low speed figures. His first 7 races were;

Well, he won $36,900 in those races but Lakeside doesn't seem like he's up to the challenges of stakes races so we'll put him away and try again next year in easier company.

Summary of this game.

We bought 3 horses at the auctions for a total cost of $389,500 looking to see if we can manage the stable on the road to the Derby the following year. Of these, Provident proved best so far winning $444,900 with wins in key Stakes along the way and a 3rd place finish in the Blue Rock Derby. Earner Burner was no slouch either winning $323,100. He was not quite up to Provident but turned out to be very promising on the turf and we'll run him there. Lakeside won $36,900 with a few decent efforts. Distance did him in but he may be useful in sprint and we like the challenge of seeing if we can move him in that direction. All in all, we had a good stable and a fun time at it. Our horses picked up purses worth $804,900 plus we confess we made a few bucks betting on them also.

Yes it can be done!

We started a different game and bought All Time Hope at the February auction for $115,000. His complete record is shown below. We brought him along the same way and he ripped off 3 wins in a row in Maiden and Allowance company. We were most encouraged and began moving him into Stakes and longer distances with continuing fine results. He won the Blue Peter and Coming of Age at Ashbourne and then the Mint Condition at Wynnefield before dropping a close one in the Wynnefield Promise. In the Promise, he was moving up when blocked and had trouble getting through. He closed well in the short Nedcanrun at Overbrook and then just missed in the 9f Overbrook Colt race but bounced back in the Cashmein with a speed figure of 103. We made a mistake and put him in the Andreas Grunzig at Blue Rock where he met 3 yo and up and ran into a tiger, ending up 3rd. But that tuned him up and he took the Blue Rock Derby and Yellow Springs. In the latter, he was losing a large lead late which was a harbinger of things to come in the Ashbourne S. Unfortunately, the 12 furlongs there proved too much for him and he faded to 6th some 10 lengths back. He wasn't quite up to the Triple Crown but, still the last Triple Crown winner in live racing was in 1978 so it's not like falling off a log to get one.

All in all, All Time Hope won $1,710,840 until then and he has plenty of racing left in him. Not a bad buy for $115,000. Incidentally, we renamed his jockey A. Cordero.

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