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?