Thoroughbred Racing and other opinions.
An amazing effort. No doubt and I had her with my biggest bet of the day. However, I would like to see her run outside of California and on dirt before I think she is better than Rachel.
Rachel is getting quite the best of it on Steve Crist's blog. Hard to argue with it....Zenyatta is the champ on synthetic surfaces but that is it, a good west coast horse. Reminds me of the numerous name horses Charlie Whittingham had over the years, but horses confined to the SoCal circuit, and thus without NY validation. /S/greenmtnpunter
Why does Zenyatta have to run in NY to find credibility? That's rediculous. Most of the RA followers, along with Jess Jackson, assumed RA had HOY sewn up after her win in the Woodward. Zenyatta's detractors claimed she'd never run in the BC Classic but, if she did, she wouldn't handle the distance, the large field, the level of competition, being forced to navigate through a bunched field or split horses, etc. The one reason RA just lost HOY is because she never ran the classic distance, she beat up a less than stellar group of fillies, the 3-year-old colts had long lost the better horses to injuries before the Derby and Jackson elected to take the easier route of the Woodward over the Travers. It was a smart decision on his part, the field was weaker and the distance shorter. I do think RA will develop and strengthen her level of endurance by next year and will competite beyond a 1 1/8 or 1 1/16.But yesterday's demonstrative win by Zenyatta, who had to overcome the delayed start, the relatively slow pace, split horses, momentarily check on Twice Over's heels to win going away cemented the HOY. I'll bet even Jess Jackson recognizes that fact.
Listen, I love Zenyatta. I followed her since the Maiden victory in 2007. Yesterday was an an amazing effort and I had her on top. I just want to see her run on the dirt anywhere. How about a Valentines day race in 2010 at Gulfstream ?
But, Steven, she has already won on the dirt at Oaklawn where she all but destroyed the reigning Eclipse winner, Ginger Punch. I'm pretty sure Zenyatta's career is over.Alan,Is there somewhere I can order one of those buttons?
Rachel had an awesome season and Zenyatta's was even better. I regret losing my Eclipse vote this year because I know Zenyatta will need all the help she can get vs. the biased East Coast voters. Many of them still believe Easy Goer was superior to Sunday Silence--no matter their head-to-head records.If RA beats Zen for HOY, the award is a sham, meaningless -- quite like a Baseball Hall of Fame that is without the game's all time hits leader. Mike.
Greenpunter,I think you must be joking about Charlie Whittingham. Your East Coast bias is running overtime. I guess you have conveniently forgotten about Perrault, Sunday Silence, Ack Ack, Ferdinand, Estrapade, Flawlessly, Cougar 11, Turkish Trousers, etc. It is a ridiculous claim to say he only ran his horses in Southern California.Zenyatta merely a "good" horse. That's classic.
After Rachel won , everyone was euphoric. After Zenyatta won yesterday everyone is all gooey and sentimental for Zenyatta. All fans love feel good moments and both horses gave it to us.It was a great moment for both horses and they both deserve the accolades they got.
Zenyatta's largest winning margin came in the G1 @ Oaklawn so the dirt argument is immaterial. It's all about why these two horses couldn't find themselves in the same race, so we could make an objective case for one or the other. To say one is better than the other is just guessing. Jess Jackson decided to make a political statement about synthetics even though Rachel has shown form on that type of surface. I don't think that should be rewarded.
Does anyone here think that Zenyatta would have been all-out to beat Mine That Bird in the Preakness, or Macho Again in the Woodward?Granted, Rachel was doing the dirty work up front in those races, and had a right to get tired towards the end. But put Zenyatta in either one of those races and i think we all know what would have happened.Btw, does anyone here think that Rachel would have won the Classic yesterday, if she had been included? My guess would be no.
Many people have the attention span of a housefly. Zenyatta is the flavor of the moment. I honestly don't know which one of them is the better horse. But I sure as hell know which one of them had the better year.Rachel Alexandra IS the Horse of the Year.
My question would be this: if the Classic had been run on dirt this year in NY or KY, whould Zenyatta have been there? We'll never know but I'm guessing she would have at least been in the Distaff. I think it was poor form on Jackson's part to not send RA to the Breeders' Cup. Honestly, after all the good he did with Curlin he looks like a sore loser. Curlin wasn't any less of a champion by losing in the Classic. RA wouldn't have been any less of a champion IF she would have run and lost. And who knows, she might have won...it's not like she'd never run or won on a synthetic track.
I maintain that RA's connection are more concerned with the distance than the surface.
Zenyatta retired:"The Classic, though, was likely her last race, which Jerry Moss, who owns Zenyatta with his wife, Ann, alluded to at a postrace press conference Saturday night."Where else do you go?" Shirreffs said Sunday. "Fourteen for 14 and top it off with a win in the Breeders' Cup Classic. On the biggest stage in the world, she performs. Isn't it amazing that a horse with her running style is 14 for 14? She's always stepped up.""Ummmm, how about proving her form on the dirt vs. boyz and Rachel? Or against Gio Ponti on the Turf?Or how about just going for the all time winning record?Or how about doing whats right for the game for a change and letting her tour the country?Is getting one more foal out of her THAT important????
Wow, what did I start here. LOL Well, as we all know pace makes the race. If RA get loose on the lead Zenyatta has no chance. If a duel developed then Z would crush. It would a jockeys race for sure. We can argue forever, just give it (HOY) to both horses. Why not ?
why does everyone assume rachel needs the lead? when she draws an inside post calvin pushs her to keep her out of trouble, he feels his filly can run any split and still hold on. if she needed the lead wouldnt she of tried to run off in the mother goose? its even harder to get a horse on aloose rein from half a length off of it as she did in the haskell. and for all you gum flappers that say summer bird doesnt like 1 1/8 do you realize where they were positioned in that race? he got outkicked plain and simple.
Steven:Sorry to disagree. The last thing I'd want is to give HOY to both horses. That feels a little lame, like giving all the boys in the little league trophies--not just the winner. I say pick one and live with it. Rachel had an awesome season and deserves to go down in history as the best HOY runner-up ever. Why? Because on racing's biggest day she took a powder. Mike.
"Rachel had an awesome season and deserves to go down in history as the best HOY runner-up ever. Why? Because on racing's biggest day she took a powder."There have been some deserving runner-ups in the HOY, but there were unquestionably a slew of Zenyatta detractors who claimed she would never run in the BC. But she did and then ran one of the most impressibe races in history. This tremendous mare deserves to be awarded HOY without having to share it with RA. Jess Jackson decided he had HOY a done deal after her win in the Woodward, even though anyone with a semblance of horse racing knowledge he took the easier route to gain his filly a win. The Travers would have been a much tougher spot. In any case, racing fans witnessed an extraordinary display of talent yesterday. Zenyatta earned the trophy yesterday.
" Anonymous said... Rachel had an awesome season and Zenyatta's was even better. I regret losing my Eclipse vote this year because I know Zenyatta will need all the help she can get vs. the biased East Coast voters. Many of them still believe Easy Goer was superior to Sunday Silence--no matter their head-to-head records.If RA beats Zen for HOY, the award is a sham, meaningless -- quite like a Baseball Hall of Fame that is without the game's all time hits leader. Mike.2:16 PM"What complete and utter balderdash. And let me guess - you must be a biased west coast voter? Sunday Silence proved conclusively that he was the better racehorse than EG, unless they were running the sweeping turns at Belmont. SS had too much athleticism. But don't make the mistake of comparing that matchup to this one. It's apples and oranges.
SoCal: I was a big Bald Eagle fan, always have been. But up until Ferdinand ran and won the '86 Derby, Charlie had deserted the East Coast and operated as a SoCal Circuit local. Charlie, of course, had started his illustrious career on the East Coast but then moved west in the '60's. Post Ferdinand, though, Charlie was active as a national trainer, so agree on that point. But SoCal's tended to be parochial in their campaigns, with some exceptions such as Swaps, et al, until the latter days of The Bald Eagle, followed by others, most notably Bob Baffert and D Wayne Off The Plane. It should be noted that Baffert and D Wayne did not gain their super star status until they regularly campaigned stakes horses at the NYRA tracks. Much as I hate to admit it, being a lifelong Sox fan, Sinatra was right, at least in terms of thoroughbred racing, when he belted ".....if I can make it there,I'll make it anywhere." /S/greenmtnpunter
Take a look at Ed Fountaine's Rachel vs Zenyatta chart in today's N Y Post before going any further. To me it makes a helluva persuasive case for Rachel as HOY with her 8 wins at 7 different tracks whereas Zenyatta's 5 wins at 3 SoCal synthetic tracks by comparison makes her connections look like, well, small timers. And that is with no disrespect for Jerry Moss, who seems like a class guy, but the record is the record.Zenyatta is Queen of the Synthetic Tracks, Rachel is the HOY on dirt tracks, the tracks that still dominate North American racing. SoCal needs to offer dirt track racing to stay relevant./S/greenmtnpunter
At the center of this conundrum is that there is no definition for what it takes to be HOY, and the ones with votes to cast don't all weigh the same evidence equally. I'm having a hard time myself.Who had the better year? Rachel, in my mind.Who accomplished more (that's quantity, not quality)? Rachel.Who faced better horses? Surely Zenyatta.Who is the better horse? Likely depends on the surface and distance, because I think they are both so close to each other, but I believe Zenyatta.Who would have won had Rachel been there Saturday? Zenyatta, absolutely no doubt in my mind, even if it was on dirt. Who do I guess (admittedly) is more "great" and whose greatness will stand the test of time? Zenyatta's.My HOY is Zenyatta.
It really seems to boil down to a quality vs. quantity argument. RA did more great things and Zenyatta did fewer greater things - but substantially greater, imo. And I'll always take quality over quantity.
Never mind horse of the year. I nominate Erin for Racing Czar. Of course with her excess of common sense, she'd be disqualified from any job in this industry.
Ha ha, thanks steve...I accept!