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Monday, March 15, 2010

No Dignity In Ducking Zenyatta

I can't really blame Jess Jackson for being scared of seeing Rachel Alexandra get her little butt kicked by Zenyatta. But even he says that "she is healthy"; though "she is not in top form."

Well, a hard race and 26 days with a future Hall of Fame trainer should take care of that. Shouldn't it? I mean, as several commenters noted, had Zardana not been in the race, and she won by 11 with a 100 Beyer, we'd be looking forward to Oaklawn, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. "We now regret we tried to accelerate her training in order to meet the Apple Blossom schedule." Here's Jackson implying that he was somehow coerced into pointing to the race, like when he blamed people for "forcing" him to run Curlin on the awful plastic in the Breeders Cup.

If Rachel was 80-85% on Saturday, as Jackson says, shouldn't she be at least 90-95% in four weeks after a productive effort? Unless there's something about her condition that we're not being told? And, given the tactical advantage that her speed gives her over Zenyatta....not to mention the highly significant fact that Zenyatta will be running on dirt, a surface over which she's only raced on once, meaning there's no guarantee she could replicate her recent raging form....wouldn't that give her a decent shot? And besides, as long as she is indeed healthy, what's the worst that would happen? She might - gasp - lose to Zenyatta? Would that really sully her reputation, or drive Jackson into disgrace? Do we all think of Alydar as a hopeless loser? Is all this really that important? Jess Jackson has no respect for this sport or its fans.

And here we have Joe Drape, whose relentlessly negative articles around big race days has probably done as much to sully the reputation of this sport as anything, supporting these guys: They have made a wise decision.

Because of Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, for the first time in decades the sport has been made accessible and relevant to folks who thought horse racing was a time-capsule relic, and a cruel one at that.
Yeah, those are probably the people who have been reading your articles!
It is far more important to preserve that sentiment, as well as Rachel Alexandra’s dignity, than it is to force some sort of showdown that has often ended in calamity. Remember Ruffian against Foolish Pleasure? [NY Times]
Oh please, spare us...I can't believe he played the Ruffian card, how lame! You wanna also tell me that health care reform will end in the government running our lives and deciding who lives and dies? Did Drape complain when Jackson ran this filly back in the Preakness off two weeks rest? (I'm asking.) Now that was something to worry about! And what's this about Rachel Alexandra's dignity?? SHE'S A FUCKING HORSE! She has no dignity! She's paraded around a racetrack naked, relieves herself in the full view of the public, and gets beaten with a whip if she's not running fast enough! How about the dignity of this sport, which could sure use a showcase moment, even if it was only for the deserving hardcore fans on a Friday afternoon?


forego is my witness said...

You said exactly all the things I'm feeling about this! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Horrible post, Alan. Stop pretending you know what's better for Rachel Alexandra than her owner and trainer. Just another know-it-all blogger who knows no more than joe average racefan. -JP from SD.

steve in nc said...

For once, I'm not gonna defend Drape here. If he was implying that RA is going to break down for some reason, he owes the public an explanation. I'm not sure he's so steeped in this sport he's covering.

RA and Z have very different histories. If Drape wanted to jump on the safety bandwagon again, he could have more reasonably noted that RA had a really tough 3yo campaign, and trotted out names of all the triple crown stars who never recovered. This may be her fate too, but SLgreen's advice to stop jumping to conclusions is well taken.

And if RA shows up with some hairline fracture on her next scan, I'm waiting for people to note that Z has raced almost all on poly.

Z started her career late; she's a good argument for deemphasizing 2yo and early 3yo racing in the US if we want to see the starts keep going when they're older.

Anonymous said...

We all knew it was coming. Rachel was mediocre at best.

You know who

Anonymous said...

AMEN. Right on target re: Little Rachel vs. THE QUEEN. (And, by the way, I think THE QUEEN was robbed of HOTY twice, since Saturday shows how last year's crown was obviously stolen. But Curlin's theft of it in '08 should be exposed. He beat absolutely NOBODY in his mere 2 victories on U.S. soil in '08, so my feeling is the voters, though bright guys and gals, had the wool pulled over their eyes.) But why a writer for the NY Times should have an influence on THE GREAT SPORT is beyond me. The paper of record has so sullied its own reputation with Judith Miller's frontpage WMDs that it will never recover, nor should it. So JUST FORGET JOE DRAPE and his readers, all 27 of them, and stick to the racing papers and online sources.

SaratogaSpa said...

well said, Rachel is a Thoroughbred, she is bred to run, Run her for goodness sakes, hundreds if not thousands of horses run 3-4 weeks between races every year, all the time.

Brian said...

I think I'm with the people saying these two will never meet up. Unless Jackson retracts his statement that the two should be running in G1s for millions, that is. The tracks with the G1s can't afford it, they are cutting purses and race dates, and the slots tracks with the money don't have the G1s.

Anonymous said...

Brian's right.

Jess Jackson is the one bragging about his filly and demanding the two meet only in Grade 1 races for millions of dollars.

Well, here it is, possibly the only chance you will get, right in front of you Jess. Dirt, 9f, Zenyatta.

Rachel is by all accounts healthy. If she is not you should retire her and send her to Curlin fortwith.

Otherwise, put you filly where you mouth always is, running.

So watcha gonna do?

steven said...

I for one am glad that they are not facing each other on 4/9. A Friday afternoon on Master's weekend. If Tiger comes back that race would have gotten no press at all. Hold it the weekend after the Derby on a Saturday.

John said...

Alan you're in fine form today, especially the part about RA relieving herself in public, I almost did that as I was reading it.

Anonymous said...

steve in nc

Just for the hell of it..
The first 3 horses in the 2009 Derby averaged 4.33 starts as 2yo's. The first 3 in the 1970 Derby averaged 15.7 starts as 2yo's. Both fields stunk and soon disappeared from view.
Note: Soul Warrior beat Mine That Bird by a larger margin than RC and he also has disappered.

Conclusion: Bad is bad regardless of 2yo starts.

Anonymous said...

Really people try so hard just to a derby runner, not even a winner, and I suspect it makes the most sense to win a grade 1 early as a 2 year old, get enough earnings and train 7 months until the Derby.

Rachel is the champ.

DiscreetPicks said...

Asmussen (and by extension, Jackson) has had all the time in the world to get Rachel fit-and-ready. She hadn't run since early last September, and here they are in February/March of the following year, complaining that they had to "accelerate her training to meet the Apple Blossom schedule". The same schedule that they managed to get altered, I might add. I mean, who are they trying to kid? There's obviously more going on here than meets the eye, with regard to Rachel's health. Perhaps not in the present-tense, but almost certainly at some point in the past. There's simply no other reason that they couldn't have had her ready to go. Unless of course, the whole thing was a charade, and they never had any intention of facing Zenyatta. Which I guess is plausible.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows anything about watching a horse race could see that the Rachel Alexandra that ran in the New Orleans Ladies was not the same filly that ran in last year's Ky. Oaks.

Or Preakness or Mother Goose or Haskell.

Mayebe she wasn't fit & ready. Maybe last year took its toll. Maybe there's a physical problem. Or mental.

But she was not the same horse.

And until...if...she is that same horse again, they would be stupid to race her.

Anonymous said...

Unless you think Zardana could beat Macho Again. I do, and seeing as Rachel was all out to hold off that one, it figures a better horse than Macho would beat her. Even if she was in top form. Right?

steve in nc said...

S/Gmtnpunter - just noticed I called you SLgreen - sorry about that. Totally a slip with no jabs intended. I liked your own jab at everyone immediately presuming they can see what's next.

Anon, I think there's lots of evidence that American racing's emphasis on precosity and brilliance correlates with earlier peaks and retirement of horses (obviously, big $ breeding has a role here too). Most of our lasting stars that come to mind (John Henry, Forego, Cigar, Zenyatta, e.g.) were late bloomers who didn't start running big #s as 2yos or early 3yos.

And other anon (why don't you guys give yourselves names?) who thought RA looked umistakenly different: If she looked so different, tell us how. I think what you were seening was her losing, not bad body language. I saw her dig in and try to come back along the rail.

If Zardana got injured and pulled up at the 1/2 mile pole and RA coasted home alone, everyone including you would be saying how easy and strong RA looked. If there were something clearly wrong or different with RA, Asmussen would have kept her in the barn.

And if Zardana runs Zenyatta to a photo in April, I don't think we'll suddenly hear that Zenyatta is declining. It is possible that Zardana is also a great mare. And that all this about RA being different is just an ego-driven exercise in protecting an overblown reputation. RA had an amazing season, but very few can sustain that kind of 3YO brilliance into the 4YO year. This doesn't tarnish what she did last year.

It is understandable that her connections would now take the stance that 'she's not ready.' Perhaps she'll never be as good again. I hope we get a chance to see.

Anonymous said...

What's the rush?! RA and Zen have the best months ahead to race, in fact, 3 races. Besides, it is the anticipation that is the most fun about such things, isn't it? Meanwhile, need to scrape up $30 Mill to keep the lights on at NYRA...if NYRA is stiffed by the Albany pols, who cares about RA and Zen? What they do won't matter a whit in the larger scheme of things should NY racing go dark.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, well said greenmountainpunter. What is the rush? Looks as if Alan has fallen prey to the need for instant gratification. Perhaps a slot machine blog might make more sense for you? In any event, I applaud Jackson and Asmussen's conservatism. No need to rush Rachel back to face a monster like Zenyatta when she isn't ready. It's nice to see them do right by the horse. Perhaps she isn't the same as last year, but let her be the one to show it. Here's hoping she can round back into last year's form, because Zenyatta will never get a whiff of her if she does. -JP from SD.

alan said...

>>What is the rush?

Because the opportunity was here, and nobody knows when or if it can happen again in a highly unpredictable sport. Is there some guarantee that Zenyatta won't take a bad step somewhere along the way? Here you had both horses healthy, the money was posted, and the time was ripe. The only reason it's not happening is because RA's owner only wants to race when he thinks he's assured of winning. That's selfish, disrespectful to the sport, and a tad babyish, I'd say.

ballyfager said...

Good post Alan, particularly the part about relieving herself in public. Definitely shows a lack of breeding.

Has anyone ever gone to the NYT for horseracing information? Drape is the very definition of the word superfluous.

Zenyatta is going to OP, Rachel isn't. Zenyatta is the champ by default. I think the idea that they're afraid of Zenyatta has some validity

BUT, nothing that happened over the weekend has any bearing on HOY 2009. Rachel clearly had the better year. If you can't see that, you're not a handicapper, you're a rooter.

Anonymous said...

>The only reason it's not happening is because RA's owner only wants to race when he thinks he's assured of winning.

Here's where your logic is off. I would suggest the reason it's not happening is because RA's owner only wants to race when he thinks he has a CHANCE of winning. I believe you are letting your frustrations prevent you from seeing clearly. If this means they are ducking Zenyatta or afraid of Zenyatta, fine, if that pleases the Zenyatta camp (and some of the highly disrespectful followers) then so be it. There's probably some merit there. Doesn't it stand to reason that they don't want to race against a monster like Zenyatta unless they have a sharp horse? This situation calls for patience. We want to see them match up only if and when they are both at their peak. Otherwise it will be anti-climactic. -JP from SD.

Anonymous said...

Rachel is fucking fine. She's just not that good. She beat the absolute worst group of 3yo's ever, only at abbreviated distances, and you tell me how many subsequent wins have come from everybody who ran in the Haskell. I'm pretty sure it's only 1 allowance win. Just bad, bad fields. The "beating on tomato cans" argument kinda applies here.

-Former Rachel fan who now realizes Zenyatta was always way better. At least I can admit it now.

DiscreetCat said...

Pretty sure Summer Bird won the Jockey Club Gold Cup. But you know what, Zenyatta beat him also.

Incidentally, here's something for you Rachel supporters to think about. There's no doubt in my mind that if Zenyatta had beaten Zardana last year (they didn't face each other), Zardana would've been considered one of those "nobodies" who Zenyatta was beating in Southern California. But now, after she beats Rachel, she's being called "a very good horse". Just seems very hypocritical to me.

Anonymous said...

Whats the rush?

Z's home base is California.

RA's base is the East of the MS.

Z can not be expected to ship East too many times.

RA's connections refuse to ship West due to AWT.

They also refuses to take on Z unless it is for millions of dollars in G1 races. The vast majority of G1 races for older horses on the dirt are run at Belmont and Saratoga.

Z's connections have indicated they want no part of NYRA's detention barns.

In fact, this is exactly why they did not meet last year, there simply are not that many races on the calendar that work for both parties.

Especially when you limit the options to G1 races paying more than $2M going 9f around two turns on real dirt at tracks without detention barns.

The best opportunity is 4/9.

Secretariat said...

This Jess Jackson is a clown.

Here's a guy running scared and it has become "laughable".

This guy thinks he is a military commander strategically moving pieces around on a map. If the stars don't align or the tooth fairy does not wave a magical wand, then his filly will not attend the "Race for the Ages".

He didn't want to go out to Santa Anita and he doesn't want to show up at Oaklawn.

Charles Cella should leave the purse at 5 million and let the coward (Jess Jackson) and his trainer stay at home and watch it on TV.

For all those who say that Rachel wasn't 100% on Saturday, I beg to differ. Here are the facts:

She ran three 8.5 furlong races last year. Her highest Beyer in those races was a 103 in The Fair Grounds Oaks, under 121 pounds. She won by less than 2 lengths in 1:43.55.

Zardana, under 121 pounds, won that race Saturday in 1:43.55, with Rachel 3/4 of a length back, but carrying 123 pounds. Zardana ran an identical race to The Fair Grounds Oaks of last year, and Rachel ran about 0.2 seconds faster than she did last year - adjusted for weight.

One pound in a route race is equal to about a length in distance, which is equal to about 0.2 seconds. The fastest 8.5 furlong race that Rachel won last year was the Golden Rod at Churchill (1:43.08 under 119 pounds), but it only garnered a 99 Beyer so the track must have been playing relatively faster.

The point is, Rachel historically runs 8.5 furlong races in about 1:43.40 to 1:43.50, adjusted for weight. And she did so again on Saturday. She just ran into a quality horse that got two pounds from her.

Yes, she may have been more keen than usual. It was her first race back. But her time was consistent with what she usually does. She's just not going to get weight breaks this year.

Rachel Alexandra drew off by 11 1/2 lengths from the field. An excuse needs to be made because she was beat. Rachel Alexandra was beat because Zardana looked her in the eye from the 1/4 pole to the wire.

Anonymous said...

PS- obviously there is no way NYRA can justify a purse supplement in their current economic condition, so they are out.

This leaves CD as the lone remaining possible site.

As someone wrote the 2nd Saturday in May would be perfect. Not sure if their lights are installed yet but they could sell to national TV in prime time to help offset the purse.

I dont have a Graded Stakes Schedule but doubt it could meet the G1 condition they desire but otherwise it might work, although I am sure one or the other camp will find some reason to avoid the race, probably the uncertainty of running at night or the back to back ships east by Z come immediately to mind.

What ever happened to the real sportsmen?

I thought that is what this game is all about, running two horses against each other to find out whose fastest.

Breton said...



Your right on! Jess Jackson needs to grow a pair.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Alan but you should really consider getting a life if you get this wound up about RA or Drape for that matter.
Anybody with a bit of time around a racehorse has known since last year's Woodward that RA would never be the same mare this year!
If you didn't see her in person, all the front page photos in DRF screamed out "Stop On Me!" You're maybe not as smart as you think, haha

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Joe Drape has hurt racing as much as anything? That's really a plum, Alan.
Let's see: Congressional inquiry into safety, major meetings cut to 3-4 days a week, NYRA talking of cancelling the season, endless negativity from every direction, and it's Drape's fault? Hahahaha

Charles said...

Here is why horse racing is in such dire straights. A guy like Jackson -- who imparts a decidedly unpleasant demeaner -- get HOTY and decides that the universe has to be properly alligned before he will race against the horse who should have been HOTY. Imagine is the Mets only decided to play when they thought they were ready. They would play NO games. A racing horse, particularly one in the public spotlight is supposed to have a campaign. Jackson, who knows damn well that his horse was finished after the Woodward (did some of SA's violations get in the way?) won't admit they mismanaged the horse. So he blames everyone else even dirt! It's terrible how much mileage he has gotten by knocking the synthetic when every single statisics confirms significant reduction in injuries. JJ and SA really are bad for racing. Their records and personalities and east coast influence denied the sport of a real champion last year who could have really captured the non fan's attention. Joe Drape doesn't have to work too hard. What, exaclty, good news could he report?

Anonymous said...

the usual reprehensible crap everyone in racing associates with the west coast.

THey didn't think it was best by the horse to run in the BC on fake track-most people who attend the races with a pulse would agree with this.

If they don't think it is best by the horse to run in the Apple Blossom-they know a little bit more than the west coast bloggers abt the horse.

Maybe next time blog abt the crap surfaces and there will be no worry about who is racing where-of course on the old speed favoring Cali surfaces you would never have heard of Zenyatta.

Anonymous said...

Hhhhmmmm, if it is true Zenyatta's connections won't race in NY because of the detention barns, then I say they are just another bush league, west coast outfit trying to deep finesse their way to HOY. Ya can't claim zilch unless you run and win in Da Big Apple.

SoCal, with it's penchant for plastic, just doesn't qualify. That simple. Breeders Cup is entirely an invention of the KY Breeders and is way over rated in choosing Eclipse Awards, just as NY Grade I's are under rated. Grade I race winners get equal points plus bonus points for shipping.

Back to the point system for the Eclipse Awards,the only fair system to evaluate performance vs hype over the course of an entire season. Let's see how RA and Zenyatta stand on points by the end of 2010. A race in NY would be well advised for Zenyatta...and we can find out if Jess Jackson is bluffing. /S/greenmtnpunter

Hi IQ Sports said...

given the fact of the distance and disregard for her usual pattern i suggest is more to do with her being beaten than fitness.

well that is this aussies take from afar.

Kevin said...

It appears that Rachel Alexandra was/is in shape and fit to race. Her race numbers tell us so. Her demeanor reveals that her mental state might not be 100%. Perhaps her mind is on the stallions so to speak?

As for Mr. Jackson? Perhaps he has come to a realization that Rachel has distance limitations and, just perhaps fears that she is not as good as Zenyatta. We will not know what is on his mind, only he knows his reasoning.

Zardana? She only ran back to her South American dirt form, which was spectacular. Now that she has had the chance to return to dirt she should be kept on that surface. She has earned the right to face her stable mate Zenyatta and I hope we see that in the Apple Blossom. She also should be given a rematch with Rachel, both horses deserve that race.

NYRA-Detention Barn-The only good thing that might happen do to their financial problems is the elimination of the detention barn. It serves no purpose except as a SOP to the uninformed. It has been the cause of many a good horse to leave it's race in the barn, and the cause of many racing fans to loose a bet. Have you ever seen a horse in the humid, stuffy, 100 degree + heat in the Saratoga and Belmont detention barn for hours, just melt before your eyes? It is tough enough to get a horse to the race without having to face the additional hurdles the detention barn presents. That plus the numerous reports of sickness passed from horse to horse happens each and every day. One can not breath do to the dust etc. I could go on and on about the detention barn, in short, it serves no purpose and creates problems. Any trainer who can avoid it is serving his horse well, and just doing right by the horse.

Anne said...

Great post, Secretariat. I could not have said it better. If Zardona was not in the race, RA would have won...then what would their excuse be? They saw Zenyatta weaving around at SA and look hopelessly beat and still win carrying 127 pounds, 11-19 more than her competition. They saw that this 6 year old mare was not done yet. If you can not get a horse ready in 6 1/2 months, then something is wrong. Asmussen has had horses come back with a year off and win for fun! So what gives? He mentioned maybe changing her feed...what? Not enough "special ingredients?"
Jess Jackson just purchased 735,000in new horse flesh. Rumors around he might purchase a 3 year old Derby horse. He just buys his way into whatever he wants...except you can't buy CLASS.

steve in nc said...

As for NYRA's detention barn, there are a number of big move up trainers (Scott Lake is the best example) whose horses somehow don't move up in NY. Until drug testing catches up with the cheater (or at least gets within a furlong or two) I wish they had detention barns everywhere. (And in some cases, the trainers and vets should be in detention, and leave the horses alone!)

There's no reason detention barns can't be improved. Can't be afforded? Tax all graded purses 5%. The bluebloods that win the huge purses can afford it.

Grant said...


I couldn't have said it any better myself.

Zenayatta is Ruffian in reverse. A tremendous racemare.

Jess Jackson doesn't want any part of her.

Anonymous said...

This place has turned into clown central, aka the Zenyatta fan club.

Anonymous said...

Are we still talking about the reigning Horse of the Year (Rachel Alexandra) compared to the Southern California synthetic specialist, the only reason ur beloved Zenyatta is undefeated is because of the fake plastics, it doesn’t take an idiot to see that, there would be reason why she’s raced once outside of Cali, and when Careless Jewell and Bambara both finish in front of her at Oaklawn park what will all of you think. I mean seriously I love that you as Zenyatta fans can close your eyes to her competition, this horse has run against the weakest career competition that any supposed hall of fame horse could possibly face, she has faced them on a surface in the last two B.C.’s that is favorable to her running style and oh yeah she only has to walk out of her stall to race. Let’s think about it, Zenyatta facing the likes of Music Note and Cocoa Beach and Hystericalady and Icon Project on dirt, she would have been embarrassed, these horses all able to produce 110 beyers not a peak condition, Zenyatta’s best beyer 112, and 100% fully cranked and all out to win the B.C., please lets go over the list of world beaters that she’s faced in 2009, in her first 4 races she faced 1 graded stakes winner, only an ignorant person would think she should lose a race against claimers and allowance company. Modification, Hot n Dusty, Dawn After Dawn, Briecat, Allicansayiswow, tates’s sis, gambler’s justice, champagne eyes, made for magic, lethal heat, anabaa’s creation, tidal dance, those are the mares she faced in 09 and in 08 it was a quite similar list, oh yeah she shows up at Oaklawn and beats an off form Ginger Punch and then beats a legit field on her surface, 8 or 11 runners train on dirt and then in the BC beats a field where she was the fav facing 7 dirt runners 3 turf runners and Poly specialist that were awful including colonel john but you applaud her efforts on Saturday for beating a 50-1 shot. Reality is not on your side, real horses run on dirt and prove themselves against Grade 1 horses each time they step on the track, no one hides a horse until the BC and then says because my horse had the weakest campaign I could piece together against the weakest fields ever assembled we should get HOY and be a hall of fame candidate. Utter Nonsense. Respect a horse like Rachel who went out as a 3 year old and put it on the line 8 times, what was Zenyatta doing as a 3 year old, she was eating hay in a pasture cause she was not capable of running against elite competition. Understand the game of horse racing people.

Anonymous said...

Only an Idiot would compare Ruffian to a horse like that, I won’t even disgrace Ruffian by saying their names in the same sentence. Rachel Alexandra now that’s the next coming of Ruffian. Zenyatta is an over hyped closer who needs polytrack to get close to tired horses in the stretch, what about that reminds you of Ruffian. Sometimes people talk as if they have no common sense or I.Q.

Anonymous said...

Is that you Mike Watchmaker? GTFOH. All you little Rachel dorks sound like the guys when they get caught on "to catch a predator." I feel like Chris hansen listening to the pathetic excuses.

That said, keep wagering guys. Everytime I get a good price I wonder who's betting the cheap speed... Same people who love Rachel.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps there was a sense of reality. Zardana 3/3 on dirt track should have alerted the bettors. I noted that Brisnet in their Insider Picks & Power Plays selected the top 3 in order of:
2.Rachel Alexandra
This is the way that they finished.
Win, cold exacta & cold tri.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there was a sense of reality. Zardana 3/3 on dirt track should have alerted the bettors. I noted that Brisnet in their Insider Picks & Power Plays selected the top 3 in order of:
2.Rachel Alexandra
This is the way that they finished.
Win, cold exacta & cold tri.

kevin said...

Steve in NC:
As I wrote, the NYRA Detention Barns are just a SOP for the uninformed.

Anonymous said...

You just have to love that blowhard “whine” magnate Jess Jackson. He spins the press and public by challenging the Zenyatta camp to a series of three races prior to the BC at CD. Everyone then drinks the KoolAid. He issues the challenge after consulting with the NTRA but not bothering to discuss any of it with Zenyatta’s connections. Zenyatta’s connections call his bluff.

Next the Oaklawn Park folks step up to the plate and offer a $5M purse and push back the date of the Apple Blossom specifically to accommodate Jackson's request. Oaklawn Park calls his bluff.

Jackson’s horse then runs a triple-digit Beyer after six months on the sideline. Asmussen is quoted in a variety of different publications the following day essentially saying that Rachel returned from the race healthy and happy. So if your horse runs a 100 Beyer in the first race after a six-month layoff and the horse returns healthy and happy, what’s the problem? Did they expect her to run a 110 or 115? Get real. There isn't another owner or trainer of a world class race horse who would consider a 100 Beyer under these circumstances as anything other than a truly great comeback performance. There's just no valid excuse for backing out of the Apple Blossom.

Perhaps they never truly intended to run her in the Apple blossom in the first place. Perhaps they don’t want any part of Zenyatta anytime anywhere. Prepare yourself for a season’s worth of excuses from the Jackson spin machine. They’re going to do everything they can to avoid Zenyatta.

Anonymous said...

The 2009 Woodward Stakes:

Every horse that came out of that race has lost their next start.

Rachel Alexandra fans...keep pumping sunshine up my ass.

Rachel Alexandra = G-A-R-B-A-G-E

railrunner said...

Good article, this needed to be said!
To Anonymous up top (3rd annonymous down): Curlin won three Grade 1's in the US in 2008; The Stephen Foster, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup...I was there for all of them. Get your facts straight if you want to try and bash a great horse.

Anonymous said...

If anyone needs a laugh I've got some JJ quotes.

“We are stretching to get there. But if we’re not in top shape, we’re not going” – Jess Jackson (key on “stretching to get there” and “not in top shape”)

“If they (Zenyatta) beat us in one race, they might just disappear and retire her undefeated.”  -- Jess Jackson (who seemed to be conceding the distinct possibility of defeat and was challenging Jerry and Moss to a return match before the race was even run).

“I think they are trying to size us up. It makes sense for them (to run Zardana at Fair Grounds). They want to catch us short.” – Jess Jackson all but admitting Rachel was going to be short.

“I’m not afraid to lose, but it’s not going to do Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra any good if either one of them are not at their best.” – Jess Jackson already throwing “lose” and “not at (her) best” around. Forget the addition of Zenyatta to that comment; it was merely window dressing.

From Bloodhorse.

Assault said...


Let me put my two cents in here... regarding "Curlin".

A great colt "never" loses to a great filly. Ever!

A great colt "never" loses to a great filly. Ever!

A great colt "never" loses to a great filly. Ever!

A great colt "never" loses to a great filly. Ever!

Keep pumping sunshine up my ass in regards to Curlin. A great colt never loses to a filly going a mile and a half.

Anonymous said...

Zenyatta >>>>>>>>>>>Curlin>>>>>Rachel

Anonymous said...

Assault, you conveniently forget that Curlin was running his third race in 5 weeks and R2R was coming in off a perfect five week layoff. So while Curlin was mixing it up at 10 panels, R2R was destroying that gray plodding fillie and a bunch of other rags in the Oaks. Then Curlin somehow reels in Street Sense in a grueling preakness while R2R is eating her "oats" from Mr Clean, Todd Pletcher. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances. As it so happens, I pretty much agree that Curlin was a very good horse, but not a great one. -JP from SD.

Secretariat said...

Jess Jackson:


Shawn said...


You speak for all of us. Jess Jackson is a borderline narcissist.

His feelings come first. Oaklawn and the racing fans come second.

It's all about him and if things don't go his way, he'll make it miserable for all others.

Here's an example of a narcissistic individual:

Jess Jackson tries to setup a three-race series with the president of the NYRA..........and doesn't include the other party (Jerry and Ann Moss).

Jess Jackson isn't worth the power to blow up.