"Show me the man who can class horses correctly and I will show you the man who can win all the money he wants, and he only needs a dollar to start"
George E. Smith
aka Pittsburgh Phil
The test of time
(excerpt from: "The Maxims and Methods of Pittsburgh Phil")
Time has shown it to be one of the greatest truths ever uttered about horse racing. Class, that intangible thing that defies definition, controls almost positively the running of thoroughbreds..!
Class enables one horse to beat another no matter what the physical odds imposed may be, what the conditions or what the distance.
You may say it is that which enables a pit-bull terrier to whip a big dog of another breed. Hard to define, but everybody sees it, when it's there.
Elements of Class
While every thoroughbred horse race presents a unique set of challenges for the entries, the winning horse will combine the three elements of class more effectively than its competitors; demonstrating the required mix of speed, determination and stamina to "outclass" the field and prevail on this day.
We approach the difficult task of discerning Thoroughbred Class by understanding first, that it's the most important Primary Handicapping Factor, since by nature true Class will possess inherent talent to overcome any disadvantage.
Secondly, that a thoroughbred's "True Class Today" (the mix of speed, determination and stamina the horse will demonstrate today) will be a combined function of its Breeding, Speed, ability to sustain a Pace and Current Form; as influenced by the Secondary and Unknown Handicapping Factors.
Whatever is asked...
The ability to defeat rival competitors under any circumstances, to overcome disadvantage and setback; poor start, pace duel, wide trip, shuffled, bumped, forced to steady, a wall of horses, whatever.
Any horse that holds a meaningful Class advantage - true Thoroughbred Class, will do whatever is asked.