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Captaintreacherous has greatness
Thursday, June 13, 2013 - by Frank Cotolo

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All of my readers must know that my search for “value” often causes me to publicly support horses that are not favored by the public.

This is how I have, in the long run, produced a profitable bankroll professionally and casually.

However, readers who have followed me through the years also know that I have a deep respect for one uncommon characteristic in a horse of any racing breed—greatness.

I never see it necessary as a gambler to point out the obvious, so most public choices that are heavily supported in overnights or stakes are easily dismissed by me, but when I catch drift of greatness, I see value in a different light and I am among a crowd standing on my toes as a spectator, a fan.

Captaintreacherous has greatness.

It’s important that I make this statement before the Pepsi North America Cup because if he loses—and greatness can fall victim to some moments of failure—the tide of popular opinion will turn against him and those who defied his victory will feel smarter. But although those who may back another horse that wins will be richer, they will not be smarter because Captaintreacherous has greatness.

Here is how we can identify greatness. Let’s use, as an example, a horse everyone agrees was great and some say the greatest—Secretariat. When it came time for the Belmont Stakes and Secretariat was sitting on a Triple Crown win, most people backed it because they believed it. He had already captured the crowd’s fanaticism.

But then he ran the Belmont and still shocked everyone who believed he was great by putting in a performance that was greater than great. He didn’t just win the Belmont Stakes, he ran it better than every Thoroughbred in history. Greatness.

Captaintreacherous has already won with speed and with determination. He returned at 3 and prepped for his next million-dollar race with aplomb and certainly better than everyone in the division. It remains a mystery just how fast he can travel and how much adversity he can overcome (watch the 2012 Metro Pace).

Greatness doesn’t just win easily; greatness wins when overcome by adversity. Remember Rock N Roll Heaven losing the Meadowlands Pace? Remember how he continued to succeed after that race as compared to all of the other horses, including the winner? Remember Niatross falling over the hub rail in a race? How did the rest of his racing career turn out?

It is easy to predict an upset and back it up with a good case, as many are doing now for the Cup on June 15. But the greatness I sense does not allow me to look beyond it because no one can predict the extent of that greatness; it is too rare, too unique and sometimes immeasurable when it rears its head.

There is an old Chinese saying: “To do with others cannot do is talent; to do what talent cannot do is genius.”

I feel Captaintreacherous has genius.

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