Q&A With Gio Ponti Trainer Christophe Clement

There were many big performances last weekend, including Bullsbay with a shocking win in the Whitney, Zenyatta keeping her perfect record alive in a thrilling Clement Hirsch, and Fabulous Strike proving he is the nation's best six-furlong sprinter in the Vanderbilt. But in my mind, Gio Ponti's Arlington Million score was the best.

It was the fourth grade I win in a row for the 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat, and it solidified his status as America's best turf horse. It also made him a solid contender for Horse of the Year honors.

One of the intriguing things about Gio Ponti is that he is so versatile. He can run on turf anywhere from a mile to 1 1/4 miles, and he is also proven on synthetics. With the Breeders' Cup right around the corner, it is interesting to think about different possibilities for such a talented horse.

I went right to the source and asked trainer Christophe Clement about Gio's future plans. Clement, with a thick French accent, is sometimes difficult to understand. But he is always a straight shooter who will tell you exactly what he is thinking-and without much prodding. Although the following interview was brief, he did answer a few important questions most of us had about Gio Ponti going forward:

 

JS: Congratulations on winning the Arlington Million. You had won many big turf races in this country, but never the Million. What did it mean to you?

CC: I had tried a few times before but could never win it. It's such a great race and naturally it means a lot.

JS: It was written that you were very confident in the post parade, more so than usual. Why was that?

CC: I was confident because Gio Ponti was training exceptionally well going into the race. I figured, instead of us worrying, let's let someone else worry for a change.

JS: What are his biggest strengths as a racehorse?

CC: He is versatile. He's won anywhere from a mile to 1 1/4 miles. He had won by staying close to the pace or from off the pace. He's won on a number of different kinds of surfaces, at many tracks. He can do everything.

JS: What are the biggest improvements you've seen with him from last year?

CC: First of all, people forget he was a very good 3-year-old, the best one in New York in my opinion last year. He got beat by a neck by Court Vision in the Jamaica and had trouble. But more than anything, he's matured both physically and mentally from last year. He's stronger and has a better turn of foot. He is more laid back too.

JS: And he's proven not only on turf, but on synthetics surfaces...

CC: Right, which is why we have to consider him for the Breeders' Cup Classic. It's one of four races we are considering. There is the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Mile on turf, the (Dirt) Mile, or the Breeders' Cup Turf at 1 1/2 miles. We have not made a decision yet; we have plenty of time to decide.

JS: Is Horse of the Year a factor in your decision?

CC: No. That is for you writers to vote on. I am not concerned with it. My goal is to win races, not worry about that stuff.

JS: But does it weigh on your mind that if you win the Breeders' Cup Classic it could give you a very good chance at winning the award?

CC: No. It's not my goal. I don't concern myself with that.

JS: OK, so what are your plans with Gio Ponti between now and the Breeders' Cup?

CC: We have four choices: train him up to the Breeders' Cup; go to the Turf Classic (Oct. 3 at Belmont); the Woodbine Mile (Sept. 20) or find a race on Polytrack. We will map out a plan in a week or two. There is no rush. We want to make sure he is doing well.

Stay tuned. This could get very interesting...

240 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Greg J.

     "Gio Ponti", I have to laugh(You know why!), Anyways, Like you said, An exceptional versatile horse, He really could choose any path for him, As far as the Breeder's Cup, I would love to see him in the Classic, It would just add to a very strong field(That is if all the horses I think will be going are there), Nice Interview Jason(Brief, but to the point)....

11 Aug 2009 4:54 PM
HLLIKINS

Clement surely doesn't dance around any answer.  Very refreshing to hear the answers so directly stated.  Heck of a weekend of racing too.  Thanks for the update Jason.

Cheers,

Heather

11 Aug 2009 5:15 PM
StardustyRose

Greg J.  

This is off subject but I think you will love it.  

JASON.  When you put this up before, it didn't go through right. :)

www.youtube.com/watch

11 Aug 2009 5:21 PM
Draynay

Interesting little interview Jason, but things may have changed over night. Now I know I am stepping out there a little bit but I watched the 5th race at Saratoga Sunday with great interest.  Bribon having won the Met Mile G1 was in the 5th race which happend to be a mile on turf. I felt there had to be a reason a G1 winner was in that race and I was right. Bribon ran that mile in 133 like it was nothing.  Not far off the track record and this was his first time on turf.  I bring this up because I can promise you Gio will not have a easy time with this horse at a mile on turf.  And I don't believe Gio wants any part of 1 1/2.  I am not sure where Gio will go but I think his only real chance

is at a mile on turf and let me tell you, watch Bribon and that race on turf.  Like I have said before the clock doesn't lie. Gio is winless on the poly track this year so he may not have as many options as you think.  I would not look forward to meeting a VERY fast Bribon on turf at a mile.

11 Aug 2009 5:30 PM
Zookeeper

How refreshing: a trainer pointing his horse to the BC! I very much look forward to seeing him at SA, no matter which race Mr.Clement chooses to race him in. What a treat it will be. His win in the Million was very impressive... Euros, look out!!!

I'm glad he doesn't give a darn about HOY. It's out of his hands and he knows it. Except for you Jason (You get to vote) the rest of us should realize that also.

11 Aug 2009 6:10 PM
LDP

Loved the interview. I hope they choose the Classic. That's probably where the very top Euro's and most will be at. He's proven at the distance, likes synthetics, so that where i hope he goes. He's America's best hope against Euro's this year, so lets hope he does us proud.

11 Aug 2009 6:13 PM
Pam S.

Gio Ponti's presence would add luster to the Classic; I'm in agreement with Greg J. in that regard.  But he could run in any of those races, sort of like a young Einstein.  It kinda seems like he's better on turf.  But maybe the Classic would be easier to win?  I'm just glad he's planning to come for something.  The more the merrier, I always say.

11 Aug 2009 6:29 PM
Paula Higgins

Gio Ponti was very impressive. But I don't think even winning the BCC would give him HOTY over Rachel Alexandra. He may be "in contention" if he continues on a roll, but Rachel is solid for HOTY in my opinion. I would picket and carry a sign if they don't give her HOTY LOL. Zenyatta is the only one who has any real shot at it and that's not going to happen either because they won't race her in the BCC against the boys. I doubt she will ever race the boys. That is fine with me. I would love to see her go 13 for 13 or 14 for 14. That would make my year.

11 Aug 2009 6:58 PM
Tiznowbaby

I'm not sure Fabulous Strike is the nation's best 6 furlong sprinter off two Grade 2 wins when Zensational has two Grade 1 wins.

Gio Ponti's turn of foot is impressive. He could have won that race drawing off if he hadn't put himself in idle once he hit the lead.

11 Aug 2009 7:23 PM
Jason Shandler

My thoughts on the interview: First, its nice to hear connections talk about races rather than worry about HOY voting, which is so overrated IMO.

I also think the BC could be a big dilemma for Clement and team. Im not sure Gio wants 1 1/2 miles on turf, especially against seasoned Euros who will have run that distance all year long.

The Mile would be tough too. Dray, you point out Bribon, but what about the best miler in the world right now, Goldikova? She won last year and they said she is likley coming back. That would be a tough spot for Gio also.

The Classic might just make the most sense. Maybe they run him in a synthetic prep and if he doesnt perform well go back to the Turf. Or, if he does well, send him on to the Classic.

Either way, this is a heck of a racehorse. He's danced every dance this year, at different distances, at different tracks, and won.

11 Aug 2009 7:34 PM
Carlos in Cali

Good job Jason,hope they aim for the Classic,and a possible prep out here @ SA before hand.He's definitely in the running for HOY.Gotta' respect these Old School trainers who show-up no matter what,and kudos to the owners for letting him do it.

11 Aug 2009 7:35 PM
ABZ

Interesting Jason.  I was wondering what they were considering for the BC and now I see that it is all four races.  I still think they are best off pointing for turf, but it is nice to see that the door is left open for anything.

11 Aug 2009 7:36 PM
Draynay

If you don't believe it Tiz take a look at his overall record at 6 furlongs... that should convince you.

11 Aug 2009 7:39 PM
Ted from LA

Dray,

Time only counts in prison.   Pay attention.

11 Aug 2009 7:47 PM
Draynay

I think you made for me the point I was trying to make Jason.  At the BC there really is no good home for him. Strange huh.

11 Aug 2009 8:04 PM
ABZ

I did not think Gio was going to be 1 1/2 horse either, but then I saw him in the 11 furlong Man O' War.  Now I have no reason to think he can't be just as excellent at 1 1/2.

11 Aug 2009 8:12 PM
MRO

It was the best race of a great racing weekend! Chipeta Springs (Alydar) should be one proud mom w/ GP & stakes winner Bon Jovi Girl.

11 Aug 2009 8:13 PM
Tiznowbaby

Dray, as you like to say, last year doesn't count. This year he has two Grade 2 wins and that's it.

11 Aug 2009 8:13 PM
Draynay

Times don't count?  Maybe that's the difference between a handicapper and a good handicapper.

11 Aug 2009 8:18 PM
Ida Lee

I got tired of watching Gio Ponti beat my favorites this year until it finally occurred to me that hey this is one beautiful and talented horse. So he is now one of my favorites and I cannot wait to see him race again. I also noticed that he is in incredible shape and has beautiful eyes. What more can I ask for?

11 Aug 2009 8:23 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA are you speaking from experience???????

11 Aug 2009 8:41 PM
Greg J.

    Spot on Jason, Goldikova is amazing at a mile, Gio won't go for the mile and a half, Classic is my top choice.

    I spaced out and forgot to comment on Fabulous Strike, I cannot wait for Zensational to take Fabulous Strike on!, The rookie versus the veteran!  Talk about a duel, Zensational is not normal, He has incredible speed and is learning so much race to race, It would be a fantastic race, I hope they go against each other down the road...

11 Aug 2009 8:45 PM
Jason Shandler

Greg: You'll probably get your wish. From my conversations with Todd Beattie, I am confident that Fab Strike will likely make the trek to Cali again. You know Zenzational will be there.

11 Aug 2009 8:49 PM
Dave

I think a lot of the top Euros are going to go for the classic.  And even though i don't know if Gio wants the mile and half, i think that since most of the top euros are going to go to the classic, he will opt to go to the turf.  

If by some chance most of the euros go for the turf, then i see him going to the classic. Because the american classic division is kinda weak, outside of possibly QR.  

11 Aug 2009 9:15 PM
Greg J.

    I hope you are right on them meeting in California, Zensational will be waiting!  I still can't believe how ironic it is that you did a piece on "Gio", It is like rubbing sand in my wounds, I made the same mistake with "Musket Man", You would think I would have learned by now?

11 Aug 2009 9:16 PM
Karen in Indiana

Jason, why would you say the win by Bullsbay was so shocking? He's been doing pretty good the last year.

11 Aug 2009 9:22 PM
Jason Shandler

Karen: He was 18-1 in a field of six--the longest shot on the board I believe. How would you phrase it?

11 Aug 2009 9:28 PM
CBman

Hey J

I think having Gio in such good form adds another dimension to the game for this fall. It would be interesting to see where he goes from here. It was rather refreshing to have a trainer that just wants to run and is not talking all the logistics.

I have a short list of horses i've been following for a little while now. I think horses such as Geo, Colonel John,Zenyatta and a few more would be looking to make big impacts at the breeders cup. By the way i also love monterey Jazz, I think if he gets loose on the lead he could take down Goldikova.

11 Aug 2009 9:36 PM
ABZ

and the dance continues...

Bullsbay the impressive, upset winner of the Grade I Whitney and 5-year-old male horse, will not run in the Woodward if 3y.o. filly Rachel Alexandra is in the field according to his trainer Graham Motion.

Even the older males (or at least their connections) are now scared.

sorry for the duplicate post, just seemed timely now on this blog.

11 Aug 2009 9:41 PM
John T.

I think a grade 1 race like the Woodbine Mile would be too sharp for a horse like Gio Ponti.Better to run in the Turf Classic if they can,t find a suitable race on the polytrack for him.

11 Aug 2009 9:48 PM
ABZ

Greg J,

I agree the mile may be even tougher than the turf, because of Goldikova, but I am not sure about keeping America's best turf horse off his best surface.

11 Aug 2009 9:53 PM
GunBow

Thanks Jason. I was at Arlington and was certainly impressed with Gio Ponti. One could defintiely make the argument that Gio Ponti has had the best campaign by an American turf male this decade, with all respect to English Channel in 2007, The Tin Man in 2006, and Kitten's Joy in 2004. One might have to go back to 1994 and Paradise Creek to find a better season. Paradise Creek won 8 of 11 starts in 1994, including 7 graded stakes and 3 grade 1s, and was 2nd by a nose in the Japan Cup and 3rd in the BC Turf.

1993 was easily the strongest year for American turf racing since I became involved in the sport in 89'. Kotashaan, a turf horse, was named Horse of the Year with 5 grade 1 wins, and should have had 6 had Kent D not misjudged the finish line in the Japan Cup. Other turfers from 93' included Lure, who won 6 of 8, and repeated in the BC Mile, and Star of Cozzene. Star of Cozzene won 6 stakes races that year, defeating Kotashaan in both the San Gabriel and San Marcos Handicaps, beating Lure in the Manhattan + UN Handicap(Caeser's Palace), and winning both the Arlington Million and Man O' War by open lengths.

My guess is that Gio Ponti probably is better on turf. 10 furlongs is probably his best trip, but I think he can get 12 furlongs at Santa Anita. So, I would think the Turf remains the #1 option, although the Classic just might be too hard to pass up. As for a prep, I would love to see him run at Woodbine. While I would need a new passport, Toronto is only a 4 hour drive away, and Bribon is also pointing for the Woodbine Mile. Additionally, last year's Woodbine Mile winner, Rahy's Appeal, should be there again, and he has been an absolute beast north of the border this year.

11 Aug 2009 9:54 PM
EmilioP

Jason,

Whats your take on that the Racing Posts International Rankings disrespect the american racehorse, as Gio Ponti isnt even ranked on any list and no American 3 Year old is ranked either in the Top Ten.

11 Aug 2009 9:57 PM
Alex

Great interview Jason. It would be interesting to see him in the Classic. A top turf horse running on the pretend dirt? Yeah sure, why not?

11 Aug 2009 9:59 PM
GunBow

Since we are on the subject of turf races, why is the Sword Dancer at Saratoga a grade 1?  For at least the last half decade it has directly competed with the Arlington Million. The Arlington Million is arguably North America's 2nd most important turf race, so most of the top US+Canadian turfers and any Euro interested in running on the continent choose the Arlington Million over the Sword Dancer. Each year I expect to see it downgraded to a grade 2, yet it remains a grade 1.

Should Grand Couturier win his 3rd straight Sword Dancer this weekend, I for one will not place it alongside Lava Man's 3 Hollywood Gold Cups. 3 Sword Dancers is nice, but the fields really have been of grade 2 quality.

11 Aug 2009 10:11 PM
Franco2010

An impressive win in the Million for Gio Ponti, but I think he was expected to do well in that race. I have to belive they are poiting for the Classic and that is why we will see his next start on a synthetic surface....but a very good horse.,,,to bad they don't have a BC turf race at 10f

 

11 Aug 2009 10:24 PM
Jason Shandler

Emilio: My take? I say to hell with those Euros. We'll just have to prove it on the track! lol

11 Aug 2009 10:52 PM
Matthew W

"Oh yes they call it the streak...."....Jason synthetics really have made West Coast Racing more irrelevant--probably no way Big Z wins HOY....Ironic that Moss was the ONLY Cali Board Member to abstain from a "yes" vote for synthetics--indeed both Moss and Shirreffs are critical of synthetics---yet they are on the losing end of all this as they're stabled out there/ the Breeders Cup is out there again.....THAT is another reason the streak has it's own intrigue---THAT, the streak, is going to be Zenyatta's reward---and if she can beat the Euros and Americans at 1 1/4 that would be one big finale!

11 Aug 2009 11:11 PM
EmilioP

Right on Jason, just the answer I wanted to read.  Year after year the Euros belittle our racehorses, only listing them on the dirt category.  To the rest of the world we seem to be the ¨dirt country.  If they keep thinking this of us then why do they come every year and buy our racing prospects.  I know Sea The Stars looks to them like the second coming of Nijinsky, but I dont see his trainer gunning for the Triple Crown, hey the horse might do it, but if he is really that great a horse, then he should run the St. Leger.  Goldikova, Stacelita, I would like to see them in the distaff or classic.  I would Love to see Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta take on the Euros top two fillies.  Based on last years Breeders Cup results the Euros will be flocking in numbers again to Santa Anita with probably their best contingent ever.  The Americans should stop trash talking eachother, and prove to the Euros who the best really are.

Oh and Jason do you think Zensational or Fabulous Strike can actually outrun a Quality Road or a Rachel Alexandra going 6 Furlongs?  I say a top class horse crushes a sprinter at any distance everytime.

11 Aug 2009 11:20 PM
LAZMANNICK

If Gio goes in the Woodbine Mile, he'll really have to be on top of his game.....It is a lot tougher race and trickier than most people realize.....The stretch is the longest stretch on any surface in N/A, but the turn coming up to it has an odd configuration, actually much more of a turn than a normal turn and with a very sharp angle coming into the stretch.....Position is important.  Even though the stretch is long, if the turf is hard closers don’t gain much because they are going against a bias.  Sometimes there is a bias for inside and outside paths as well.....In addition, Bribon is probably N/A best miler now on any surface.  Rahy's Appeal knows how to take advantage of the bais and his best races are definitely at WO......I would much rather see Gio in the Turf Classic.....a bang up race there and try the BC Turf with the Classic his other option.

11 Aug 2009 11:33 PM
Draynay

I am picking Bribon to beat Goldikova right here right now. Someone call his trainer and let him know Bribon is in the turf mile at the BC.... I don't think he knows yet.

11 Aug 2009 11:37 PM
Tiznowbaby

Jason, I hope Karen won't mind me stepping in, but the phrase that comes to mind for Bullsbay is "overlooked."

11 Aug 2009 11:39 PM
LAZMANNICK

EmilioP

If you go to the Racing Post and check out the dirt horses, N/A horses pretty well dominate the list with Well Armed Ranked 1st and Rachel 2nd.  Absolutely nothing on any of the other lists.

11 Aug 2009 11:41 PM
LAZMANNICK

For once I agree with Dray.....Bribon in the BC Mile

12 Aug 2009 12:06 AM
EmilioP

Lazmannick,

Thats what what I am saying. They have a category for our horses.  Why isnt Rachel Alexandra or Gio Ponti on any other list, beside the dirt category.  Sea the Stars hasnt beaten nobody from America yet, yet he is viewed as the best horse in the world.  So the hell with them, All of our best have to show up at the track and prove the Racing Post wrong, and believe me I am craving the day when we shut those international rankings up.  This a lack of respect from the Euros toward our racehorses.

12 Aug 2009 12:49 AM
Brian A.

How refreshing to hear a trainter that actually answers the questions instead of dancing all around then leave you hanging.

12 Aug 2009 1:04 AM
Ted from LA

Paula H,

No, thankfully I do not speak from experience.  I learned that line from trainers I know.  I do, however, like music from The Man in Black.  I spoke to Gary Stevens the morning of the Million and asked him who he liked on the card.  He said, "I love Gio Ponti."  He's 3 for 4 when I've asked him for tips at the track.  I hope he wins a Derby as a trainer.  He seems like a good man.

12 Aug 2009 1:29 AM
tcc

Goldikova is a fillY!

12 Aug 2009 1:46 AM
ABZ

Lazmannick,

Great point about the Woodbine mile.  Rahy's Appeal and Bribon will be very tough for Gio Ponti after running 10f, 11f and 10f in his last three races.  However, after seeing what Gio has become, I would not put anything past him.  Also, I agree with Gun Bow about Gio Ponti's top chice should be the BC Turf at 1 1/2.  This would make the Turf Classic the most logical prep.  Careful what you wish for Draynay...Goldikova is a monster and right now is clearly the most likely Euoropean winner in this year's BC.  No doubt, Bribon has become an absolute top miler, but be careful what (or who) you wish for.  Jason, I completely agree with you, internationally, America gets no respect.  My international rankings you ask:

1 Rachel Alexandra

2 Sea the Stars

3 Gio Ponti

4 Goldikova

5 Zenyatta

6 Rip Van Winkle

7 Conduit

12 Aug 2009 8:14 AM
Karen in Indiana

I think his odds were more of a compliment to his competition than a slam of him because he has done very well this year. I saw him at Churchill when we were there in June.

I was rooting for Commentator, but that was an emotional thing and I think that's why his odds were so good, others felt the same way. It was a good thing he was retired after that race because he tries so hard, but his body just isn't up to that level anymore.

So I wouldn't call Bullsbay's win shocking, maybe unforeseen.

12 Aug 2009 9:38 AM
Karen in Indiana

Tiznowbaby, yeap - that's the word I was looking for.

12 Aug 2009 9:39 AM
LDP

Can you imagine how fast that BC sprint will be if FS, Zensational, and Fatal Bullet show up. With a pace that fast things should set up well for closers.

12 Aug 2009 9:48 AM
Billy's Empire

If you look at the fractions that Zensational ran v Fab Strike, they are almost identical. I think they both finished in 108.5 for 6 furlongs. That race will be awesome, I just do not think FAb Strike likes the plastic. As far as Gio Ponti, his best bet may be the Dirt(synthetic) Mile. There will be seasoned distance specialists in the Turf, Goldikova in the Mile, and several top horses in the Classic. Gio can make the 1.5 mile distance I think after watching him win easy at 11 furlongs, but it will be a tough spot.

12 Aug 2009 9:59 AM
Billy's Empire

Dray, so you form your opinion after one race on turf for Bribon, after Goldikova has won what, 5 grade I's the last year. I want what you are smokin...

12 Aug 2009 10:01 AM
StardustyRose

Ted from LA.....

Time STOPS in prison LOL!  How ya doing?  :)

12 Aug 2009 11:10 AM
DANYLSON

GIO PONTI CAN GET 1 1/2MILE JUST LIKE THEY QUESTIONED BACK IN 1986 IF MANILA COULD RUN THAT SAME DISTANCE AFTER BARELY WINNING THE TURF CLASSIC. GIO PONTI IS A RARE SPECIMEN, FOR EMILIOP, TELL THE EUROS TO COME OVER AND TRY GIO PONTI AT THEIR DISTANCE AND IN THEIR SURFACE, I THINK THE OUTCOME WILL BE POSITIVE FOR RED,BLUE, AND WHITE..GO GIO PONTI GO...

12 Aug 2009 11:58 AM
Draynay

I love how so many assume a horse can get 1 1/2.  Gio wants no part of 1 1/2 and I doubt if the connections want any part of it.  Billy's Empire I know I am out on a limb a bit but watch Bribon's first race ever on turf and notice he almost set a course record and he did it eased !

The clock doesn't lie he is a G1 winner this year at a mile and should have won a G1 last year at a mile with a little better trip so he is the real deal.  Now that he has shown he can handle the turf look out !

12 Aug 2009 12:25 PM
Karen in Texas

It's nice to read an interview where the questions are answered succinctly and candidly. Mr. Clement seems to know the horse well and to have a flexible plan in place for the near future. Thanks, Jason.

12 Aug 2009 12:33 PM
The Rock

I think Fabulous Strike is up against it in the BC Sprint if he goes. I bet on him last year and he was just not the same horse on the Pro-Ride. Its tough to knock him based on the year he's having now, but he just didn't look right @ SA last year. He'll be an ultimate throw out in my plays.

Gio Ponti on the synthetics...yes he has that one win in that off the turf race where he didn't beat much, but I bet him on the Pro-Ride 2nd time out and he just didn't seem the same on it either. I believe Clement said that he was caught wide and didn't get the trip. Might've been the case, but he didn't look right on the surface either, despite that minor stakes win. I'd have to leave him off if he runs on the Pro-Ride BC day. I'd say put him in the Mile. He'll be up against with Goldikova in there, but he does have a G1 win over the track/distance. That counts for something. If you can get 11 furlongs on a yielding course, you'd have to expect he'd get 12 furlongs on a ultra dry turf course. I say keep him on the grass. If Clement really wants a good gage on him for the BCC, putting him in the Goodwood would be the best option, IMO.

Dray,

Bribon beating Goldikova......eh, on 2nd thought, I'll just leave that one alone and laugh to that "bold prediction".

12 Aug 2009 12:41 PM
ABZ

Bribon's first race ever on turf???  Draynay, please!!!

12 Aug 2009 12:45 PM
steve s

Now this man is ducking the Breeders cup turf'

Why?

12 Aug 2009 12:56 PM
steve s

I dont understand why Global hunter could not beat Zenastional.I guess greg j took  my money

12 Aug 2009 1:15 PM
steve s

Visit should win John c Mabee?  

12 Aug 2009 1:27 PM
Bill Daly

I'd like to see Gio go for the whole thing in the BC Classic.  He has probably done enough already to nail down turf Eclipse honors - not that Clement is interested in that [really now] - and the way those Euroturfers took to ProRide last year makes me believe Gio has a good shot at hitting the board, if not winning the thing. Since that race is richer than the Turf I can see Clement & Co. taking a long look at it. No matter which race he chooses, the competition will be stiff. He might as well go for it and try to win the day's biggest prize.

12 Aug 2009 1:33 PM
steve s

AT Emerald we have a horse who ran 9 F in 1:47.20 Yet no one talks about him.

Also have a horse who ran 6 F in 1:07.20 yet no one talks about  him

12 Aug 2009 1:43 PM
Pollas

Draynay, I love how you assume a horse can't get 1 1/2.  Can you see into the future?

12 Aug 2009 1:56 PM
Greg J.

Draynay,

      You contradict yourself in your last comment, You say, "I love how so many assume a horse can get 1 1/2." THEN you say, "Gio wants no part of 1 1/2"...

Aren't you ASSUMING also?  You crack me up...

12 Aug 2009 2:09 PM
ryanmoseley

Agree with GunBow,

12 furlongs on the fast Santa Anita turf course isn't as taxing as it would be at Belmont.  I think the turf is Gio Ponti's best option.

12 Aug 2009 2:13 PM
Shawn P

LOL, when I saw the headline my first thought was: Wonder if Jason could understand him with that heavy accent. It's tough.

But he does have a lot of good ones and Gio is definitely one of them for sure.

I figure if Christophe thinks Gio can go 1 1/2? He can do so. Like you said he's a straight shooter and tells it like it is. So if he's contemplating it he believes Gio can do it.

12 Aug 2009 2:15 PM
LAZMANNICK

ABZ & Draynay:

Bribon has two options.....the mile turf and also the mile on the main.....he can handle grass he should be able to handle the mile on the synthetics.

12 Aug 2009 2:37 PM
Zookeeper

What heavy accent? I understand Mr. Clement very easily...of course having been born and raised in Quebec, some would say that I have an unfair advantage. :)

12 Aug 2009 2:46 PM
ABZ

Lazmannick, I was just laughing at Draynay's statement that Bribon just had his first race on the grass.  Of course he has had many.

12 Aug 2009 2:47 PM
ryanmoseley

For those with grouses as to how the International world regards American racing look at the Timeform ratings: www.timeform.com/display_articles.asp

Timeform ratings are more respected than those of the racing post.  I think they will HAVE to include Gio Ponti in their next edition as for now Mine That Bird (aka the Fluke) is rated above him and that is just ridiculous.  American horses still don't get quite a fair shake IMO but Timeform is closer to getting it right.

12 Aug 2009 2:48 PM
Greg J.

Steve S.,

    I would guess you are talking about, "Assessment" who ran that 1 1/8 Miles in 1:47.20 at Emerald a couple weeks ago?, I can't think who ran such a blazing 6F's in 1:07.20?, Enlighten me...

12 Aug 2009 2:52 PM
DANYLSON

DRAYNAY, TAKE A LOOK AT THE MANHATTAN THAT GIO PONTI WON ON YOUTUBE AND TELL ME HE DOESN'T GET THE 1 1/2MILE. HE GALLOPED OUT NICELY AFTER THAT RACE. GIO PONTI WON'T HAVE TROUBLE AT THAT DISTANCE. GIO PONTI IN THE TURF CLASSIC AND THEN THE TURF WITH A HUMBLING PIE DELIVERED TO OUR EUROPEAN LADS;)

12 Aug 2009 3:01 PM
Draynay

Pollas, Greg J and LAZMANNICK thanks for coming to me with your questions.  Remember I didn't become an expert overnight and I am here to help guide you.  By seeking advice from someone more knowledgeable you learn quicker and should be able to improve your handicapping skills with greater ease.  Pollas, most horses want no part of 1 1/2 and until they run it and run it well don't believe the hype. Greg J. there is a reason Gio has not gone 1 1/2 asking a horse to go another quarter of a mile is a lot to ask.

Don't look for them to start trying in October !  LAZMANNICK if the poly was a thought they would have raced Bribon on it.  They are thinking turf all the way with that amazing run at Saratoga.  Thanks for the questions guys feel free to seek your answers or advice anytime.

12 Aug 2009 3:02 PM
ryanmoseley

My mistake Gio Ponti is rated 126 by Timeform before the Million.  Same as "the Fluke". Still a disgrace IMO. No disrespect intended to MTB (he tries hard, very one dimensional) but I have to agree with Draynay...he is a fluke.

12 Aug 2009 3:05 PM
ABZ

LMAO at Draynay!!!

12 Aug 2009 3:11 PM
steve s

MY HANDICAPPING so bad i believe wise river could beat Gio ponti.

12 Aug 2009 3:19 PM
Lady Ruffian

Don't yah just love how if a horse isn't on Draynay's 'teacher's pet' list he has anbsolutly nothing good to say about them?

Gio Ponti is an excellent turf horse. I'd really love to see him in teh BC Classic or the BC Turf @ 1 1/2 b/c the industry needs more stayers. Go ahead & critque me Dray but I DO think that Gio could go the 1 1/2.

Regardless of what Gio does for the rest of the year, he's solidified himself as a solid competitor & I think his connections have done a great job with him - so hats off to them!

12 Aug 2009 3:19 PM
LAZMANNICK

Gee Dray

I'm having a rough day.  First I try to give you a nice compliment on the other BLOG (you know...the one you've been sucking up to lately). Now I understand you're my teacher.  I hope I at least get an F.

12 Aug 2009 3:21 PM
ABZ

Thanks Ryanmoseley!

Well...at least Rachel Alexandra is up to 5th in the world...but rated a full seven pounds below Sea the Stars...Poppycock!!!

12 Aug 2009 3:28 PM
Greg J.

"The Liar",

    I will say it again, You crack me up! Show me once where I asked you for advice? I would get better advice from my cats! Your new namesake fits you more and more with each comment you make, lol...

12 Aug 2009 3:57 PM
Draynay

Lady Ruffian don't let me give you the wrong impression I like Gio !  He is another example of the fine 3 year old crop last year.  He is one of the many talented horses from last year.  I am just a little concerned that he has no real home in the BC and for a multiple G1 winner this year its a bit strange.

12 Aug 2009 4:39 PM
Lady Ruffian

Dray - thanx for clearing up your outlook on Gio Ponti. IMO, as a 3yo Gio was a solid horse having won 3 races (one grade 2 and two grade 3s) he also placed in two other grade 2 races.

But after four g1 wins in a row - I honestly think that he's just going to keep improving as he gets older.

Regardless where he goes in the BC - expect a big preformance from him because hes a versitile horse & is going to put in a big effort in any race they enter him in

12 Aug 2009 6:04 PM
The Rock

Steve Haskin just mentioned on "ATO" that Gio Ponti is the first horse since Kotashaan in 1993 to win 5 G1's on turf. And the latter turf star won HOY that year. That's quite an accomplishment.

Dray,

Expert? Yea, not so much.

BTW, those Timeform Ratings...those horses are rated based on their best performance for the year. I'm sure if they did an overall rating for MTB, he'd be well below that 126 rating.

12 Aug 2009 6:21 PM
DANYLSON

QUICK QUESTION, IF GIO PONTI BEATS SEA THE STARS IN THE TURF OR THE CLASSIC, WON'T THE EUROPEANS STILL RATE HIM UNDER HIM? THEY WILL HAVE THE EXCUSE THAT THE AMERICAN HORSES ARE ON STEROIDS OR THAT IT WAS ONLY ONE RACE, I CAN GO ON AND ON...GIO PONTI WILL BEAT HIM AT SANTA ANITA AND TEN YEARS FROM KNOW THEY WILL STILL SAY THE STARS WAS BETTER, JUST LIKE THEY SAY DANCING BRAVE WAS BETTER THAN MANILA??? SURE!!!

12 Aug 2009 6:34 PM
LDP

Look, i'm not Dray's biggest fan either but by calling him the liar, all of you who say name calling is not needed to make a point are hypocrites. Greg J, how would you feel if we all started calling you "the loser" since every time you bet jason that is what you end up doing. Wouldn't you be mad at that. As i said Dray is not my favorite of person of the blog, but that does not mean you sink down to or below his level by petty name calling.

12 Aug 2009 6:39 PM
tcc

Jason, with all the comments about horses getting or not getting distances, how abut a Breeder's Cup blog where all posters put together a 3 horse stable for each of the Breeders's Cup races.  It could be a futures pick or wait until it gets closer to the Breeder's Cup.  You could then figure out a scoring system.

12 Aug 2009 7:01 PM
Tiznowbaby

Why in the world would Time Form still have Big City Man ranked, and why would Well Armed not be on there?

It's hard to take them seriously either.

12 Aug 2009 7:33 PM
Zookeeper

LDP,

First it's Mr. Moss, now it's Greg J.?

When I was growing up, my wise father told me that one is always first to point out other people's faults when they most closely remind one of what one dislikes the most about oneself. In chastizing Greg J. for calling Draynay a name, you called Greg J. a name yourself...have you not noticed? :)

12 Aug 2009 7:36 PM
Zookeeper

tcc,

Great idea! Hope Jason agrees.

12 Aug 2009 7:37 PM
LAZMANNICK

Gio Ponti is another example of the fine grass horses that have graduated from last year.

12 Aug 2009 7:41 PM
Draynay

Lady Ruffian I am a proud American and will be rooting for Gio and Bribon to whip Goldikova and shut the Euro's up but good.  Should Gio try the Classic I will be his biggest fan. USA USA USA !!!

LDP thank you.

12 Aug 2009 8:03 PM
LAZMANNICK

For those interested in World Rankings…..

I remember a European super-star named Dancing Brave…..he came to the 1986 Breeders Cup…..his season in Europe that year was amazing….9-8-1-0…..including wins in the Arc de Triomphe (record time)…..King George & Queen Elizabeth…..2000Guiness, etc. etc……His only loss was by a half length in the Epsom Derby to Shahrastani who he beat in the Arc……he was voted European HOY…..French champion 3 y-o…..had an outstanding Time Form Rating of 140 (super star status)

Then he came to Santa Anita for the BC Turf…..Got his lunch handed to him…..finished a well beaten fourth to Manila…..the excuses were flying all over the place…..the horse that was supposed to show us what racing was all about…..so much for world ratings.

12 Aug 2009 8:03 PM
John T.

Dancing Brave was indeed a better horse than Manila as he proved in the King George and Arc very few horses could have beaten him over 12 furlongs on turf.It was the 6000

mile trek to California that did him in rather than any racehorse.Let us not forget it is the Euros that have to do the travelling to the Breeders Cup and because of that I think their record is outstanding over the years.They are learning everyear what is the best preperation especially when it is out in California and a major stepping stone was acheived last year when Raven,s Pass won the Breeders Classic.

12 Aug 2009 8:52 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA I am really glad to hear that you are not speaking from experience LOL. Gary Stevens seems like a nice guy and I think he knows his horses. He seems pretty sharp to me too.

12 Aug 2009 8:55 PM
Jason Shandler

tcc: I would be all for that if people show enough interest. Would welcome any feedback and suggestions on how to structure the contest.

12 Aug 2009 9:00 PM
Freetex

Great interview and like others have said, refreshingly candid.

Wow, I am now a fan of Gio Ponti.  And yes, he has remarkable eyes.

12 Aug 2009 9:03 PM
Draynay

I think we should get 1 horse per race and aN alternate in case of a scratch.  If your horse wins one of the BC races you get 5 points, place earns you 3, and show 1 point.  Highest score wins.

12 Aug 2009 9:07 PM
Tom

Hey Rock, Gio Ponti is not a bad horse. Not a great one either though. He would have no chance against Fame and Glory at 1.5 miles. You hear me - no chance. Dancing Brave was over the top at the BC. That is why he finished out of the top 2. He was a fantastic horse. I wouldnt expect you to know anything about him at his peak. As for Manila being better, yeah right, could you imagine Manila in an arc? no chance - European horses are best at 1.5 miles - you stick to the inferior dirt racing stuff and coming up with a fairly decent turf racer every so often

12 Aug 2009 9:07 PM
Draynay

Greg J and LAZMANNICK you have nothing to be ashamed of.  I am glad to help and offer my expert advice to you at anytime I can help.  I'm happy to do it.

12 Aug 2009 9:15 PM
thomas

well gio ponti has had a win at belmont at 1 3/8 11 furlongs so i think he can get a 1 1/2 but he is by tale of the cat so his pedigree might limit him at 11 furlongs. bribon was impressive, i was rooting for tiz dejavu and he didn't disgrace, looking forward to him next out. maybe he can get to the breeders cup this unlike last year.  perhaps the bernard baruch if bribon don't show up next out.

12 Aug 2009 9:20 PM
Ted from LA

I started "The Liar" moniker tongue in cheek in response to Dray's "The Fluke," comments... and his constant lying.  As you know, I get a kick out of Dray and will continue to go for him for handicapping advice.  Just the other day he told me how to get a sticker so I can park right up front at Wal-Mart.  Greg J., keep up the good work.

12 Aug 2009 9:34 PM
LAZMANNICK

See what I mean....the excuses are still flying....it wasn't just Manilla that finished ahead of him that day

12 Aug 2009 9:42 PM
Draynay

Boy Tom am I glad you said it and not me. lol... DOWN GOES ROCK DOWN GOES ROCK.

Hey Jason any chance you can find out Colonel Johns next turf start? His last one looked pretty good.  Maybe more to come ?

12 Aug 2009 9:47 PM
tcc

Tiznowbaby,

Well Armed has a small chip in his left front ankle and is schedueld to undergo surgery.

12 Aug 2009 9:49 PM
Greg J.

LDP,

    First off, I am not the one that came up with the phrase "The Liar" for Draynay, I do agree with it, though.  In my world, When someone gives his word it is his promise. Like Draynay did after losing the Belmont contest when he promised He would "Never" call the Kentucky Derby Winner "The Fluke", Then when he continued to call him "The Fluke", What do you call that? I would and will call that person a liar.  Another point, Up above, He states I asked him for advice, Show me one example of me asking Draynay for advice?, You won't find any, Trust Me, So, Once again, He is lying.  Do me a favor, Goto Mr. Haskin's latest entry on his Blog, Check Draynay's comments out, Talk about a roll reversal, I have never seen more hypocritical statements in my life, Case in point, Here is a comment from Draynay, "... I hope in the future we can have more discussion on improving our sport and less on who is the best or better."   Now, I agree 100 percent with that statement, But, That is coming from a person that has belittled and disrespected every horse, in every manner, to make his flavor of the month better.  If he was consistent with his comments, Then, Yes, I would have the utmost respect for him.  Unless Draynay hit his head and this is the new Draynay, Then I welcome it, A positive change, But, I guarantee you, It won't last.  Just like his empty promise on Mine That Bird, He will surely regress back to the old Draynay, I honestly hope I am wrong, But, I doubt it.

     Now, If you want to call me a "Loser" for losing two bets to Jason, That is your Perogative LDP, Honestly, Trust me, I would not be upset.  If your definition of a "loser" is losing two bets, Well, All of us that place wagers on this great sport would be losers, lol.  Remember LDP, I am consistent in my comments, I never degrade a horse to prove a point or for any reason, EVER,  My word is my promise, I don't go back on it, EVER.  I am wrong alot of times, And when wrong, I admit it, But, At least I am consistent with my respect for these great athletes.  Finally, I am pretty sure Draynay isn't hurt by me and others calling him a liar.  With all that said, I will respect you and refrain from calling Draynay a liar in the future, But, Everything I said is true and I stand by all my past comments regarding Draynay...

12 Aug 2009 9:49 PM
Greg J.

Zookeeper,

    I read your comment about what your wise father told you, But, PLEASE, I hope and pray that doesn't mean I am like Draynay due to my comment?, lol...., But, Thanks :)

Ted from LA,

    Thanks, Loved the Sticker comment, lol...

12 Aug 2009 9:57 PM
LDP

Zookeeper,

    I stated the truth, maybe i should've said it made him sound like a hypocrite, but the point remains that it isn't right do so. In Moss' case his actions speak that he is one you can't deny it. A hypocrite is a person who speaks one thing then does another. Moss says he doesn't support synthetics, then why race on them, why not travel and not let CA have all his top horses. What i find funny is that he also doesn't like detention barns and will make noise about them, why because he said they caused his horses to lose, but since his horses like the synthetics he won't make noise about that. That is flat out not right. If you don't like something you don't support it, pain and simple. Greg J, i've seen on the blog, and no he's not a hypocrite, but to all the ppl who say that name calling is not needed, that makes them sound like they are hypocrites. I don't just throw around names, if i believe you something, i'll call you that, but i don't randomly call somebody a name, so until i do back off.

12 Aug 2009 10:00 PM
LDP

Greg J,

    I see where you are coming from, but honestly by doing that your sinking to his level, and do you really want to do that. "The Liar" is something a child would do or come up with. I know you didn't start the name but you followed suit, so your still to blame. It's like a kid who took a cigarett along with is friends, then say when caught, well he gave it to me. Did the kid have to take it, did you have to follow up? I forget who said this, but the blog is about horses, can we please get back to that, and get off of petty name calling.

12 Aug 2009 10:05 PM
StardustyRose

Greg J.  If you are a loser cause of two wagers then we are in big trouble!!!!! LOL  

12 Aug 2009 10:07 PM
StardustyRose

Jason.  Off topic.  

Pearl Jam with Special Guest Ben Harper and Relentless7

The Amphitheater at Clark County

Ridgefield, WA

Sat, 09/26/09

Me IZ going to that show.  :)

12 Aug 2009 10:10 PM
Jason Shandler

Nice work Rose. I saw them at Key Arena back in 2000.

The tour opens tomorrow night. I just bought tix today to the Oct. 31 show in Philly. They are closing down the Spectrum, which is being demolished later in the year. They are the last show in that historic stadium. You think that show is gonna be wild?!

12 Aug 2009 10:15 PM
Greg J.

LDP,

    My last follow up regarding this issue, "The Liar" is more of a moniker for Draynay rather then "Name calling".  It is called "Tongue in Cheek" LDP.  As far as your "Sinking to his level" comment, I respectively disagree,  Speaking the truth is different then disrespecting and degrading horses(My example's in my previous comment to you should have proved that).  Now, Like you said, Enough, Back to the Horses...

Stardust,

    How are you?  Trust me, I will get my revenge with Jason, Can you say, Zensational, lol...

TCC,

    Great idea on the Breeder's contest!  It would have to be done fairly close to the Cup, So we would have some idea on the fields.  Which races would be included?  Three Horses sounds like a solid number, You should do this Jason if you and all of us can come up with the rules and guidelines...

Off Subject here,

       Can someone please tell me what the track announcer says when the horses break from the gate at Evangeline Downs????  It has been bugging me forever, lol...I can never understand it...

12 Aug 2009 10:33 PM
longwaytomay

LDP,

 Mr. Moss and his wife live in California. What do you mean by saying "Why let CA. have all his top horses."

12 Aug 2009 10:33 PM
Jason Shandler

Greg: I cant wait to take more of your money with Fab Strike in the BC. :)

The Evangeline guy is saying "And They're Off" in French.

12 Aug 2009 10:39 PM
Zookeeper

LDP,

You completely missed the point of my comment. Greg J. didn't.(Although I wasn't directing my comment at him). Maybe you're having a bad week...

Greg J.,

From where I sit, I see no similarities between you and Draynay.

Jason,

I thought I wrote a post about Tiznow...did it not go through or did you choose to delete it? If the latter, why?

12 Aug 2009 10:39 PM
Greg J.

    Closing down the Spectrum?, Wow, How did I miss that news?  What a shame, I remember watching my Bruins there against the Broad Street Bullies, Man, I remember Bobby Clarke playing like it was yesterday, What a great player!, I wished the Bruins had him!, But, What a dirty team that Flyer team was, I loved it, But we did get the last laugh beating them in 77 and 78...

12 Aug 2009 10:41 PM
Zookeeper

Greg J.

The announcer says: "Ils sont parti". Litteral translation: They are gone or they're off.

12 Aug 2009 10:42 PM
tcc

Jason, you could use odds at post time (not mutual payoffs) 10X for 1st, 7X for 2nd and 5X for 3rd. The reason for the 3 horse stable is, if any horse does not go in the race you get points for any horses still left in your stable that finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd.  You can use the same horse for different races (example: turf and classic; if cross entered in both races).

12 Aug 2009 10:43 PM
Jason Shandler

Greg: Clarke was a stud as a player, but I couldnt stand him as a GM. Such a jerk. The Spectrum was my favorite place ever to watch a game--great sightlines and the place got loud as hell during Sixers and Flyers games. I'll miss it, unlike the Vet.

Zookeeper: I didnt see any Tiznow post. Try it again and I'll post

12 Aug 2009 10:45 PM
Lil Darlin

Tom - Dirt an inferior surface? Maybe for a Eurpean who is afraid to take a little mud in the face. I guess the added obstacle is simply too much for the Euro horses to overcome, or maybe the jockeys are afraid they'll break a nail when peeling the extra goggles off their faces.

12 Aug 2009 10:45 PM
Jason Shandler

If we do a BC contest, when would you guys want to pick the stable?

12 Aug 2009 10:46 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 After post positions are drawn.

12 Aug 2009 10:53 PM
John T.

I dom,t think our friend Lazmannick Quite gets it,what if Manila had to make that 6000 mile journey in 1986 instead of Dancing

Brave?...Pity

12 Aug 2009 10:53 PM
Greg J.

    How Funny!, It always sounded like he was saying, "It's a Party" to me but like he was drunk saying it,  The french in me should have picked up on that, But Thanks for clearing that up...

12 Aug 2009 11:00 PM
Zookeeper

For Tiznow fans:

There's an article on BH today by Avalyn Hunter: "Bullsbay Confirms Tiznow/Turkoman Affinity". Being a rabid Tiznow fan, I always get excited when he gets some press and I watch his sons/daughters with great interest.

His gorgeous colt, Mr. Hot Stuff, isn't doing very well. I didn't see his last race but someone said it was a disaster and that he didn't respond well to the whip. That doesn't surprise me. His sire couldn't be whipped either (smart horse!). Bullsbay's latest races gives me hope that MHS will finally find the Tiznow/Turkoman genes in his pedigree.

Sorry this is definitely off the subject, but when it comes to Tiznow, I just can't help myself. :)

12 Aug 2009 11:08 PM
LAZMANNICK

Tom….that’s what I mean about World Rankings.  I think they’re a load of crap…..I know all about Dancing Brave.   First off I know he was bred in AMERICA.  I know he had a fantastic record…..I don’t think he was over the top….it was more like he couldn’t handle the heat (temperature)…..What bugs me when it comes to this type of argument from each side of the Atlantic is the disrespect….equal from both sides…..I trashed Dancing Brave....at least for one race, mainly to mock the world ranking system.....You just finished trashing one of America’s best distance turf horses ever, like he’s a saddle horse in a real man’s game, a horse a respected writer from the DRF voted as number one US distance horse on turf, even ahead of John Henry…..FYI, Manila raced in the east in his pre-BC campaign.  In 1986 he had five races at 1-1/4M and over…..As for the heat, Manila raced at Hollywood once that year in June…..His campaign in preparation for the BC was in the east…..The heat was just as much as a problem for him too.....was he really better than Dancing Brave?  I don't know, but on that day he sure was.

12 Aug 2009 11:19 PM
Draynay

CONGRATULATIONS Greg J !!! you are now the new world record holder.  Jason save page one!  Greg J crushed the older record of mentioning Draynay 7 times in one post.  Correct me if I am wrong but Jason but I believe Greg J set a new world record with 11 Draynay mentions in the same post.  Greg J send your address to Jason and I will make sure the Draynay fan club sends you out a official Draynay T Shirt.

Michael Phelps has 9 world records and you Greg J are now 1 closer.  Congratulations again and keep up the good work.

12 Aug 2009 11:23 PM
LAZMANNICK

One final word.....it wasn't like Dancing Brave was back in the field.  When they turned for home Manila was locked along the rail and Dancing Brave was eyeball-to-eyeball with him on the outside with clear sailing.  Dancing Brave didn't go on, Manila pulled off the rail and did.

12 Aug 2009 11:34 PM
Tiznowbaby

tcc, I think you kind of missed my point :)

The Time Form rating was dated before the ankle chip was found in Well Armed, but well after Big City Man passed away. Why would they rank a dead horse? And really, who would rank that horse that high?

12 Aug 2009 11:34 PM
Greg J.

    How cool is that!, Thanks Draynay, I think that record will stand the test of time, But, As far as the T-Shirt offer?, I am sorry, But "WWE" Muscle Tank Top's are not my style...

12 Aug 2009 11:56 PM
mz

Uh guys: Bribon is a French-bred.

(Go USA???)

13 Aug 2009 12:41 AM
StardustyRose

Greg J.  and for those that haven't seen this.  Go for a ride on Zenyatta.  This is really cool.  :)

www.youtube.com/watch

13 Aug 2009 2:21 AM
ABZ

I love the idea of a BC contest, but I think it should be done soon to add speculation to our needed skill set.  If we do it only after the races are drawn then it becomes only a handicapping excercise which we do all year.  Let's have some fun and do this by September 1.

13 Aug 2009 8:13 AM
ABZ

Thomas, John T, Rock and Lazman,

I loved your banter on U.S. vs. Europe.  This talk and some very silly international rankings are exactly the reasons why I am writing a blog called 'Euro-Trashing'.  I am tired of all the American horse bashing.  The U.S. has the best racing for any single country in the world.  Bring your best this year England, Ireland, France, Japan, South Africa, etc...  You are going to need it!

13 Aug 2009 8:26 AM
LDP

longawaytomay,

    Just because he lives in CA doesn't mean he can't travel. He obviously has no trouble not racing at Belmont because of detention barns, but he yet he won't be the same way about synthetics? If you reall don't support them don't race on them. He says Zen is better on dirt, so find her a dirt track. With all that said you'd think he'd travel some place else where there was dirt and race there, but no. So either he is lying about the whole i don't like synthetics, because as i said he didn't mind not letting Zen come to Belmont because of the detention barns, yet he'll keep her on a surface that he doesn't support and isn't her best. That does not make a lick of scence. I know that he lives in CA, but these days there are air plains that you can use to ship over on, or if you want to and you don't feel comfortable with air travel do what MTB's connections did, trailer. It worked well for him. That is what i meant.

13 Aug 2009 10:16 AM
MonicaV

Laz,

I remember Dancing Brave and how he was ballyhooed before the BC as the greatest horse running.  I went to the BC that year.  It was at Santa Anita in '86, wasn't it?

It wasn't hot that day, it was about 75, good fall weather.  He just didn't have it that day.  I was disappointed because I wanted to see the "wonder horse".

13 Aug 2009 10:58 AM
Ted from LA

LDP,  I'm going to type this slowly so you read it.  I started calling Dray "The Liar."  Again, it was tongue in cheek because he continued to call Mine That Bird "The Fluke" after he promised not to.  Get it?  "The Fluke and The Liar?"  Dray obviously has a personality disorder (narcissism), but I still find him entertaining.  If you call me a child again I'll hold my breath until you take it back.

13 Aug 2009 11:38 AM
steve from st louis

What's with all the trash sent the Europeans' way and all this jingoism?

Personally, I like European racing as much as racing in the states. I enjoy the huge fields, unique courses and all the pagentry of their meetings. Plus, the horses are sounder.

We may have the edge as far as gambling because we have access to so much more pertinent  handicapping information.

As for betting any horse beats Goldikova at Santa Anita? You'll go broke trying.

13 Aug 2009 11:42 AM
DANYLSON

LAZ YOU ARE RIGHT. I TOO BELIEVE THAT DANCING BRAVE WAS A SUPERSTAR HORSE AND ONE FOR THE AGES, BUT LET'S NOT FORGET THAT MANILA'S PLANS WERE TO RACE IN THE ARC OF 1987 AND WAS THE FAVORITE ABOVE TREMPOLINO AFTER WINNING THE ARLINGTON MILLION IF NOT FOR THAT INJURY, TOM AND JOHN, HE WOULD HAVE PROBABLY WON, REMEMBER TREMPOLINO(ARC WINNER OF 1987 AN EXCEPTIONALLY FAST TIME) CAME OVER AN LOST TO THEATRICAL IN THE TURF. THEATRICAL GOT TROUNCED BY MANILA IN THE MILLION BY 6 OR 7 LENGTHS. MANILA WAS NO ORDINARY HORSE!!!

13 Aug 2009 11:48 AM
ABZ

Steve,

Good points all.  My comments and blog are basically a backlash to the complete lack of respect that they consistently show our best horses.  I am taking a shot at that chip on their shoulder.  Of course European racing has numerous wonderful qualities.

13 Aug 2009 11:51 AM
mz

Uh, Guys (again): Arcangues 1993.  

Sometimes the "wonder horse" doesn't do his or her best on a particular day and sometimes, the best horse isn't American.

"Best racing" is a matter of opinion....sort of like who should be HOY (especially when the leading candidates never meet).

And with respect to one reason why I think European racing is great,  take a look at the comments made by Michael Bell, the trainer of 3YO Sariska, who won the Epsom Oaks (made re: taking on older fillies and mares in the Yorkshire Oaks and then, all comers in the Arc): "Sariska has only run against her own sex and age group so far.  She needs to prove she can get to the next level...."

Take that, all you "fillies can't run with anything else except other fillies" people!

And ABZ if we pick Breeders Cup winners early, I've got dibs on Ghost Fleet in the 2YO Colts.

13 Aug 2009 11:54 AM
The Rock

Tom/Dray,

Don't put words into my mouth. When did I ever say that Gio Ponti was great? All I was referring to is what Steve Haskin had mentioned on "ATO". I didn't say he was going to win the BC Turf. I know that in the majority of cases that the Euros are far more superior on Turf. So I don't know where you and your lackey are getting at. So slow your roll kid.

BTW, all you got is Fame & Glory to throw at me? What about Sea The Stars if the Arc' comes up soft? He'll come over. Conduit is much better @ 12f's than 10. Don't count him out. Fame & Glory...eh, I don't think he'll appreciate the fast ground @ the BC. He'd like a bit more cut in the ground.

13 Aug 2009 11:59 AM
ABZ

Tell me about Ghost Fleet

13 Aug 2009 12:07 PM
steve from st louis

The Rowley (spring/fall) Course at Newmarket is very undulating, with the penultimate furlong downhill and the last furlong uphill, forming "The Dip".

 The July Course also has the last furlong uphill. Time seems to stand still when horses come to the wire, especially when your horse is in the fight. Exhilarating!

Doesn't everyone enjoy the unique Kentucky Downs meet on that course? Doesn't everyone enjoy Santa Anita's downhill turf course and unique cross over the dirt? I do. To me, I wish we had more unique courses like that. It would spice up things.

13 Aug 2009 12:19 PM
Shawn P

Jason, on the BC contest? NOT too far out from the race day or the internet will crash with the 1000 picks by Dray.

If prior to the draw then whatever the pick?  IS the pick and if the horse doesn't make it in then a guy doesn't have a pick in that race.

13 Aug 2009 12:22 PM
Shawn P

Oh and if they don't have a pick in a given race? They cannot comment on THAT particular race and the picks of others.

13 Aug 2009 12:23 PM
LAZMANNICK

MonicaV:

Good point.....I don't know how hot it was that day because I wasn't there.  Obviously it didn't bother Lost Tycoon the Euro champion in the BC Mile......I just made the comment because of what I perceive a load of Euro arrogance when it comes to the World Rankings.

I do remember listening to the English guest commentator on the BC telecast telling everyone every chance he got that we were in for a treat and then making excuses.....one being that it was too hot.....I'm not trying to knock Dancing Brave as I'm sure no one else is.  He was definitely a great horse.....But if he couldn't cope with the 6000 miles and time differences that is another show of arrogance.  They should have thought about it.....I just think that Manila never got world wide credit for just how good he was and it reflects on the so called rankings..

13 Aug 2009 1:05 PM
DANYLSON

MONICA V, IN 1986 YOU DID SEE A "WONDER HORSE", HIS NAME WAS MANILA.

13 Aug 2009 1:06 PM
Caroline S

Off the subject but does anyone know what is is up with VA Derby and Colonial Turf Cup winner Battle of Hastings? I was surprised he wasn't entered in the Secretariat, especially with Take the Points winning.

I like Straight Story in the HOF tomorrow.

13 Aug 2009 1:28 PM
LDP

Ted,

    Where did i ever call you a child? I wasn't even responding to you, and i know you started the dumb, and yes it's dumb, liar stuff. Now did i call you dumb, no, i called what you started dumb, there is a difference. What i told Greg J was that it was LIKE, not that you WERE, but it WAS LIKE, a kid blaming his friend for giving him a cigarett when he was caught. Do you see you name or me actually calling you a child in there anywhere, no i don't think so. My point was even though you started it he didn't have to follow. Maybe you should read the whole thing instead of just coming right out at me and putting words in my mouth.

13 Aug 2009 1:38 PM
LAZMANNICK

Just sticking up for American racing.

Remember where Henrythenavigator and Raven's Pass were born.

13 Aug 2009 1:49 PM
The Kid

Gio Ponti is such a great horse. Always so fun to watch as he flies by all the other horses. Would love to see himin the Breeders Cup Turf. There are not too many American horses that standout at this point in that division so Gio Ponti would be the best we have to represent the United Stated in that race.

13 Aug 2009 2:49 PM
LAZMANNICK

ABZ

Love your idea about a BLOG re Euro trashing.....that ought to bring out some nasty comments.....from both sides.

With regards to Europ racing in England and France, I agree with Steve From St Louis and MZ and other Bloggers who are impressed with it.....I am too.  I think that their meets are fantastic as are many of their tracks.

I just think that some of their attitudes need adjusting.

13 Aug 2009 2:52 PM
MonicaV

Danylson,

Yes, I did see Manila and was a huge fan of his.  He was something else.  What I meant in my post was that all you heard coming up to the BC was about Dancing Brave being the greatest ever.  He choked, wasn't that great after all.  That was the year Lady's Secret won the Distaff and Skywalker won the Classic.

13 Aug 2009 3:07 PM
Ted from LA

LPD,

Your words, ""The Liar" is something a child would do or come up with."  I came up with it.  Therefore, logic says you called me a child.  Now stop it or I will stomp my feet until you apologize.  

13 Aug 2009 3:26 PM
Carlos in Cali

You're right Monica V., Manila was a monster. That same BC was when Capote whupped the wonder horse from the East coast,Gulch in both the Norfolk & BC Juvenile.I believe the great Alysheba placed 3rd,I think.

13 Aug 2009 3:28 PM
mz

ABZ: Sunday, August 9th at Woodbine - Vandal Stakes - 6f

Ghost Fleet (Arch - Destroy by Housebuster) - won by 4 3/4

2 for 2

Question: does he count as "American" or "Rest of the World" in this argument?  (He's Cdn-bred)

13 Aug 2009 3:53 PM
Greg J.

LDP & Ted,

    I am going to have to call a time out for the both of you!  Ted, It must be hard holding your breath WHILE stomping your feet!, Very Impressive...

13 Aug 2009 3:55 PM
Greg J.

    Help me out here, Regarding "Dancing Brave", His fourth place finish in the Breeders Cup in 1986 seems to have been his last race?, Is that true?  Did he get injured?  I know he past away in 1999 of a heart attack, But, Why no more starts after the Breeders Cup in 1986?, Thanks...

13 Aug 2009 3:59 PM
Draynay

A little birdie tweeted in my ear that Tweeter who was beat by Rachel Alexandra by 51 lengths was entered in a non winner of 2 in the 3rd Race tomorrow at Saratoga.  According to the Twitter Tweeter is ready to role and should out Tweet the competition leaving them Twittered.

13 Aug 2009 4:23 PM
DANYLSON

MONICA V, I DID THE COMMENT BECAUSE MANY TIMES WE LOOK FOR THAT WONDER HORSE AND IT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES LIKE MANILA WAS IN 86 AND 87. I DON'T TAKE FOR GRANTED SEEING GIO PONTI,RACHEL,ZENYATTA OR QUALITY ROAD, THOSE FOUR ARE VERY VERY SPECIAL HORSES; THAT WE MAY BECOME BLIND TO THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS NOW AND LATTER APPRECIATE THEM.

13 Aug 2009 4:37 PM
DANYLSON

GREG J, DANCING BRAVE HAD A VIRUS THAT EITHER STARTED IN SANTA ANITA OR SHORTLY AFTER. THE VIRUS LINGERED ON IN TO SPRING OF 1987 AND THEY JUST DECIDED TO RETIRE HIM, I BELIVE HE COULDN'T REPRODUCE FOR A WHILE BECAUSE ALL OF THE TREATMENTS HE HAD.

13 Aug 2009 4:52 PM
mz

Greg J: try www.thejoyofhorses.com/jan00/dancing-brave-tribute-3.htm

Marie's Disease?  I googled it to find out what it was.  Humans get it.  It seems to be a disease connected to excessive production of growth hormone and results in a progressive enlargement of head/face/hands/feet.

Who knew?

13 Aug 2009 5:18 PM
Tim G

As my son would say, Epic Fail.

I think your twitter has tweeted one too many times because you get your twitters in a twist.

Man, I'd love to see you come up against Coach, LOL, LOL, LOL! You'd be tweeting like a baby bird.

Wayne knew his fillies were overmatched and was hoping for second, got it with the filly who ran 3rd yesterday in a NWx1.

BeFair who finished 4th to RA was admittedly (by Wayne) in over HER head. I know he was happy with the $108,000+ purse for second and the 140K+ his three got.

Kind of insulting RA aren't you? Saying she beat an Allowance horse eligible for a NWx2?

Plus, you already said last year that trainers know nothing, don't think he uses Twitter either so you believe whatever you hear? Man, never saw ANYONE who needs to be touted like you. Well at least shes long odds on the morning line.

Ted, join the club. You've now been put in your place by a high schooler. if you're like me when she did it to me, she's about 40+ years too late. (or like Atthebarn, about 60 years too late for him to be scolded.)

13 Aug 2009 5:41 PM
Draynay

DANYLSON I have made the point many times.  Some tend to hype the past more than the present.  I call them the protectors of the past.

13 Aug 2009 6:15 PM
mz

Draynay: you could also call us "people with longer memories than one year".

13 Aug 2009 6:23 PM
Tiznowbaby

Dray, you can't constantly keep harping that a filly is the best in history if you're not willing to consider that history objectively. You put so many conditions on her greatness, that I keep expecting best horse with an odd blaze whose name begins with "R". Come to think of it, she sure fills that bill.

13 Aug 2009 6:24 PM
Shawn P

Ted,

  " Where did i ever call you a child? I wasn't even responding to you, and i know you started the dumb, and yes it's dumb, liar stuff. Now did i call you dumb, no, i called what you started dumb," LDP 13 Aug 2009 1:38 PM

Ted, listen to her, she KNOWS what she's talking about, knows what dumb is. Just stay away from those cigaretts and the plain rides (go for the first class ones every time) and you should get lined out in no time. Know it worked for Tim G :-)

13 Aug 2009 6:52 PM
Ted from LA

LPD is a high school girl?  I have to start spending more time here.  I didn't know that.  I would have argued differently had I known.  I would have like, said, like, that Dray doesn't tell the, like, truth.  I'm glad there are young people who love the sport.  Stick with it LPD.

13 Aug 2009 6:53 PM
The Rock

"Down goes Dray & Tom, Down goes Dray & Tom"... Stick that in your pipe n smoke it! lol

13 Aug 2009 7:00 PM
Shawn P

Excuse me Mr.Ted sir?

It's LDP.

Think you may be slightly confused with LAPD, officer.

mz please, some older people don't have very good memories. Please be respectful of the old guy!

13 Aug 2009 7:11 PM
Draynay

Very well said Shawn P.

I am not sure I understand what you are saying Tiz but let's discuss it.

How am I placing conditions on her greatness ?

13 Aug 2009 7:17 PM
mz

Hey Tiznowbaby, except for the "odd blaze" part, best horse whose name begins with "R": Ribot!

(this comment has been made by a Proud Protector of the Past pitifully protesting that progress need not push aside previous participants in the sPort)

13 Aug 2009 7:29 PM
Shawn P

BZZZZZZZZZZ.

What's that?

The sound of subtle sarcasm, going right over Dray's head.

13 Aug 2009 7:38 PM
Draynay

Very well said again Shawn P ! You're on fire !

13 Aug 2009 7:55 PM
silverscrngirl

I have an off subject, but Breeders Cup race question from one of the win and your in races.  Being that I live in Washington near Emerald Downs, I make sure I am present there every Longacres Mile weekend going back to Longacres Track.  This year I can not figure out who I should look at past Awesome Gem and Assessment, I even thought about putting in Autism Awareness in a Tri box for an "A' name box just out of fun.

Other than Awesome Gem, I can not figure out who else to fit in my trifecta.  Assessment has done great in all his prior races this season and even though I love Wasserman, I am thinking he is the best local runner to hit the board.  

If anybody is thinking of checking out the Longacres Mile let me know what your thoughts are on this field.  I have my distaff figured out, just for some reason I can not figure out who else to put with Awesome Gem and Assessment.  I have seen the outter horses get up for 3rd often, so I can't leave Assessment out of the money.  Mr. Makah gave me a nice Tri win when he came in 3rd with Adreamisborn and Demon Warlock from gate 11.

The track should be fast by Sunday despite all our thunderstorms and will be fairly nice out if anybody would like to know. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated from all:)  

13 Aug 2009 7:58 PM
LDP

K, Ted,

    Lol, really, but i don't and never will speak like that, i can't stand those preppy girls they drive me insane. Plus they think i'm wierd since i spend my time with horses not crying over boys. Personally i'm glad i don't get into all that. Second and thank you Shawn for correcting Ted, my display name is LDP, though people don't prunounce my real name right half the time anyways so i'm used to ppl messing it up, lol. Thirdly, i can understand how you could think what i meant was calling you a child maybe i should've worded it like the liar sounds like something a child would come up with. Are we all better, now, jk.

Greg J,

    No need for a time out, i think we're over it. Your right about the stomping holding breath, i've got pretty good lungs and don't think i could do that for too long, lol.

13 Aug 2009 8:11 PM
Tiznowbaby

Dray, I'm really liking the new, rational you. When I get back to a real computer and off the iPod, we'll discuss.

13 Aug 2009 8:12 PM
GunBow

Over the last decade, I would agree that Europe has had an advantage over North America, at least as it concerns the quantity of elite horses. Most here in the States would agree that this has not been one of our greatest decades, below even the 90s and 80s, and far below the 70s and 60s. On the otherhand, Europe over the last dozen years has been enjoying another "Golden Era". Try coming up with a list of North American horses equal to:

Singspiel, Swain, Pilsudski, Daylami, Royal Anthem, Montjeu, Dubai Millennium, Kalanisi, Giant's Causeway, Sinndar, Galileo, Fantastic Light, Sakhee, Rock of Gibralter, High Chaparral, Alamshar, Falbrav, Dalakhani, Sulamani, Islington, Six Perfections, Bago, Hurricane Run, Shirocco, Electrocutionist, Sharmardal, Ouija Board, Pride, Alexander Goldrun, Rail Link, George Washington, Dylan Thomas, Manduro, Yeats, Peeping Fawn, Goldikova, Duke of Marmalade, Henry the Navigator, Raven's Pass, New Approach, Zarkava, Conduit, Mastercraftsmen, Ripvanwinkle, Fame and Glory, and Sea the Stars.

It is an awesome list, and as an American I can only shake my head and wish our fortunes(as American fans) had been as good.

The gap between European racing is most evident at classic distances on turf and is reflected in Europe's domianance of the Breeders Cup Turf. European based runners have won the following BC Turfs: 96'(they ran 1-2-3), 99'(they ran 1-2), 2000, 2001 (they ran 1-2), 2002, 2003, 2005 (they ran 1-2-3-4), 2006, and 2008 (they ran 1-2). Not only that, Europe was two Tiznow noses away from winning consecutive Classics(00', 01') and ran 1-2 in last year's Classic on synthetic.  Much of Europe's greatness can be attributed to "Super Stables" like Godolphin, Ballydoyle, the Aga Khan, and horses from the Michael Stoute barn.

The gap between Europe and North America at classic distances on turf wasn't always so great. North American based horses won the BC Turf in 86', 87', 88', 89', 92', 93', 95', 97', and 98' and held a 9-6 advantage in the race after the first 15 runnings of the Breeders Cup. Since then, the record is 7-2 with 1 tie(03') in favor of Europe.

The good news for North America as it concerns turf racing is that the gap is not nearly so wide at distances of a mile or less. Over the first 15 runnings of the BC Mile, European based horses held a slim 8-7 lead over the North Americans. Over the last 10 runnings, North American based horses have actually won 7 times, with only Domedriver(02'), Six Perfections(03'), and Goldikova winning for Europe.

Of course, North America remains superior on convential dirt, as reflected by winning 5 of the last 6 Dubai World Cups. This dirt superiority is more significant at distances of a mile and less, with North American horses(or recently aquired NA based horses) winning the last 3 Godolphin Miles on Dubai World Cup night, and 8 of the 10 Dubai Golden Shaheen runnings at 6 furlongs since the purse was raised to $1 million+.

13 Aug 2009 8:16 PM
GunBow

How would folks rank TURF racing in particular countries. My rankings look like this:

1. Great Britain/UK

2. France

3. Ireland

4. Japan

I'm not sure about placing Irish racing above the Japanese. I think Japan definitely has an advantage day-to-day and month-to-month. However, the few days that Ireland hosts major grade 1 races tips the scale.

5. Australia

6. US

7. Germany

8. Hong Kong

9. Italy

10. Dubai(winter)

Australian horses have not had great success outside of Australia and New Zealand, although they have had some success in Hong Kong and even Japan. However, US horses haven't exactly done well in Europe, Asia, or Dubai either.

I rank Canadian racing further down at the next level with Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, with Turkey a rising market.

13 Aug 2009 8:37 PM
tcc

Subject: distance

the 1991 breeder's turf race won by Miss Alleged, don't believe she had raced beyond 1 1/4 miles she was 42-1

13 Aug 2009 8:39 PM
Shawn P

You only got to see the witicisms Jason published.

But seeing as how he publishes your half witicisms, he probably thought it would go so far over you're head you'd think it was the space shuttle landing.

YOU TOO can get a college edakayshun and then you could even handicap on your own.

13 Aug 2009 8:49 PM
Tom

mz - if it is a canadian bred horse, that makes it for the rest of the world. You cannot claim that horse as american. the clue is in the word, canadian

lazmannick - ravens pass and henry were born in the us - so what!!! - bob hope and knute rockne were born in Europe but nobody claims them as europeans. Most of your sports / traditions are based on european antecedents.Horse racing especially so. Why else would the flick of a coin between Derby and Bunbury in England eventually result in your biggest race being called after one of them.

some of the best horses are bred in america just as some of the best horses are bred in europe.at the end of the day, it all probably averages out so that the best horses in each area are roughly the same in terms of ability. Thus your all time best are probably around the same level of ability as our all time best.

we had chaplin. you had keaton.

we had sea bird / ribot. you had secretariat / seattle slew.

we had german and belgian beer - you had budweiser and coors - eh?oh well, not to worry. some of your microbrews are pretty good.

13 Aug 2009 9:39 PM
LAZMANNICK

A little birdie tweeted in my ear that Tweeter who was beat by Rachel Alexandra by 51 lengths was entered in a non winner of 2 in the 3rd Race tomorrow at Saratoga.  According to the Twitter Tweeter is ready to role and should out Tweet the competition leaving them Twittered.

Draynay 13 Aug 2009 4:23 PM

Okay.....I'll take your word on it because of the Draynay guru factor and bet three grand to win.....but so help me if your wrong #$%&*@

13 Aug 2009 9:39 PM
John T.

I really enjoyed this blog especially the banter about the 1986 Breeders Cup Turf.Dancing Brave was a great champion and quite simply was nowhere near his oldself on that particular day.As for this years edition of that race

Sir Michael Stoute,the trainer of Conduit also trains Tartan Bearer

and he will run in the big race at York on Tuesday against Sea The Stars over 10 and a half furlongs.His preferred distance is 12 furlongs and should Sir Michael

decide to send him for the Breeders Cup Turf then look at him at a nice price for exacta and trifecta wagering.

13 Aug 2009 9:48 PM
Zookeeper

Jason,

Just watched the Handicapping show about the Sword Dancer. What a strong field! Too many personal favorites for me to pick one. Great picture of Better Talk Now. Ten years old and competing in a Grade 1...Amazing!

13 Aug 2009 9:52 PM
Jason Shandler

Zookeeper: It is a terrific race; lots of fan favorites. I like the Euros in these 1 1/2-mile jaunts

13 Aug 2009 9:56 PM
Zookeeper

Jason,

Yes the Euros are always dangerous at 1 1/2 mile. Specially if it rains and the turf is softer. I'll be watching the weather...But, I've seen the Euros win on Santa Anita's cement turf too many times to discount them in any turf condition.

13 Aug 2009 10:11 PM
Draynay

Several things in that race stand out to me Jason but the two biggest are Americain's last workout and the addition of Lasix.  This horse loves distance and 1 1/2 is nothing for this horse who has been lightly raced and should respond well to the addition of Lasix.  Pletcher seems to be firing on all cylinders and I look for Americain to get the close win.  I expect the Dynaformer to respond well to firmer ground.

13 Aug 2009 10:14 PM
mz

Hey Tom: thanks for the looking-down-your-nose explanation of what is Cdn and what is American.

Could you now be so kind as to explain the difference to all my relatives in Italy?  They keep insisting that I come from "America" because they only have five continents: one of them is "America" and Canada is in it (as is Brazil, Panama, Chile and, yes, the US).

(BTW: I know I'm not American.  I have health care and am not afraid to use it!)

13 Aug 2009 10:40 PM
ABZ

mz,

Your 2y.o. looks good, I would have guessed he was a Ghostzapper.

If all those countries can fall under the European umbrella, can't we claim Ontario as part of North America?

13 Aug 2009 10:57 PM
tcc

Jason,

Just watched that handicapping show. (sword dancer) What a good Field,you can a case for quite a few of these horses, Interesting horses here are Grand Couturier, Lauro, Brass Hat, and Rising Moon.

13 Aug 2009 11:03 PM
Ted from LA

LDP,

Sorry for messing up your pretend name... and sorry if I did it again.  I'm thick in the skull.  You have a great attitude and will do well with your confidence.  Just know when to talk and when to listen.  Don't ever listen to me.  I'm a pretend internet character.  My name isn't Ted and I've only been to LA about 10 times in my life.  I've always felt best getting on the plane and seeing it from above as I'm leaving it.  Let's have a board against Dray in the Travers.  I love seeing his little tail curl up behind his legs when he gets pounded by our collective greater intellect.  It's soooo cute.  The Breeders' Cup is too far out, particularly with the late date this year.  Make it happen, Jason, and I'll be sure to help spoil his chances.... again...  

13 Aug 2009 11:03 PM
mz

Thank you ABZ -- BTW, nice last initial.

Jason: if my horsey (Ghost Fleet) actually makes it to the Breeders' Cup and he wins, can you please remind Draynay later that I picked him first?  He might not remember, it being so many months before he finalizes his own picks (usually the day of, right? and depending on who happens to be the favourite at the time?)  Oh wait...GF might become 2YO Champ in Canada and we all know Dray's views on Cdn racing....nevermind. That pick won't happen.

And Tom, I forgot one further comment in my last post to you: as Shawn P so eloquently put it earlier, BZZZZZZZZZ     (love those zeds!)

14 Aug 2009 1:13 AM
GunBow

Not to beat a dead ho....bbit, but I do not see the Sword Dancer as having a "great" field. Once again, it appears, at best, like a borderline low gr.1/ gr.2 race and pales to the field of the Arlington Million.

In fact, most of the top choices in the Sword Dancer come off a defeat to an Arlington Million horse. Musketier(2nd), Quijano(3rd), and Grand Couturier(5th) are all coming from Gio Ponti's Man O' War, Better Talk Now(3rd) is coming from Gio Ponti's Manhattan, while Lauro(2nd) and Brass Hat(3rd) are coming from Presious Passion's UN Cap.  The elite horses, like most years, ran in the Arlington Million while the Sword Dancer gets their vanquished foes.

I will say, however, that what the Sword Dancer field may lack in top-level quality, it makes up for in storylines and sentimental horses. Not only is Grand Couturier going for a tree-peat, but popular warriors Better Talk Now and Brass Hat are in the field. Throw in globe trotting veteran Quijano, and I can certainly understand fan interest.

14 Aug 2009 4:33 AM
LDP

Ted,

    Only on here does my confidence actually show itself, in real life i'm quietly confident, unless you really tic me off by trying to push your opinion down my throat and mine is way different. For instance don't get me started on our president right now. Believe it or not many grown ups actually like me, in real life i either quietly disagree, and if my boss just wants a job done and doesn't care how i do it i do it my way. That is my favorite kind of boss. So i'm kind of double sided, on here my real personality shines through, don't you all just love it, lol. A board or bet against Dray in the Travers sounds good, waiting till BC is to long.

14 Aug 2009 7:13 AM
Draynay

At the risk of things going awry I am going to give all of you the DD at Saratoga for tomorrow. Yesterday the 8-1 DD with Borel finishing paid me very nicely.  My friend did not say anything about the DD today but here is his DD for Saturday.  In the first he likes the 7 Love Co... seems there is limited speed in the race and she may get brave while on the lead and in the 2nd race he likes the 7 again believe it or not the horse is named Brother Bird ! He said he saw this colts work on the 9th and he is very impressive.  I guess we will see tomorrow.  The DD paid 76 bucks yesterday lets hope he is right again and pays 40 or more. He also said the turf will be firmer than it has been with no rain expected today or tomorrow for the Sword.  I like Americain and my friend laughed at that and told me Musketier wins holding off everyone to the wire.  We will see.

14 Aug 2009 7:45 AM
LAZMANNICK

MZ

Is it true before the horses workout in the morning at Woodbine (Canada) that they have to shoo all the polar bears off the track?

I once saw a catalogue from a US company with offices in Canada.....They had a map of Canada showing where their locations were.....They had Toronto practically in the shores of Hudson by.

14 Aug 2009 9:15 AM
LAZMANNICK

You're right about Draynay's fixation with the present as opposed to the past.....

Next year at this time he will be saying Big Brown who.....

14 Aug 2009 9:18 AM
Draynay

What could be better than Rachel going to the Travers ?  How about Rachel taking on the current older champion of the Travers at the Woodward.  Wow... Rachel vs. Colonel John.

14 Aug 2009 9:55 AM
Jason Shandler

Dray: The same Col. John that you ridiculed for an entire year? lol. You are the biggest hypocrite and spindoctor horse racing has ever seen. Congratulations.

14 Aug 2009 11:18 AM
Zookeeper

Jason,

You wouldn't believe Draynay's post on Steve Haskin's blog(13 Aug. 7:29 pm). He may have had an epiphany but I'm looking for the fangs under the sheep's clothing...

14 Aug 2009 11:39 AM
Draynay

Like I said BEFORE since Colonel Johns very impressive win on grass you have to give him credit where credit is due.  I will never say anything bad about a horse that can win stakes on all 3 surfaces.  Rachel taking on the Multiple G1 winner and current Travers Champion would be huge.  Name a 3 year old filly in history that was able to beat the older current Travers Champion ?  LDP I don't think the Blog wants any part of me in the Travers.  You won last time on a technicality.  I was suppose to have the same 2 horses as the blog and the race was to come down to Mine That Third vs. Dunkirk.  So if the Blog thinks it can get lucky again... lol...no way.  Jason maybe in your world you can NEVER adjust your opinion but things change and circumstances change.  I have an emotional tie to talented athletes who can do more than one thing well.  Winning on grass, poly, and dirt in horse racing shows versatility and talent. I played college football, was a state champion in track, award winning diver, and can still pick up a bowling ball after 5 years and bowl a 200.  When you add in my boyish good looks you can see why and how I can relate to some of these beautiful talented animals.

14 Aug 2009 11:43 AM
mz

Hey Lazmannick: you know there aren't any polar bears at Woodbine anymore.  Global warming, right?

However it's always beautiful to see the caribou and musk oxen running free across the 401 in the morning.

(and in case I am writing for the sarcasm-challenged: the 401 is a 12 to 16 lane highway across the top of Toronto -- IMO if you can drive that, you can drive anything in the world -- and I've driven in Europe.  Also for you Kentuckians and Californians: you can google "musk ox")

14 Aug 2009 11:45 AM
The Rock

Well,

Lets see if I can make it two friday's in a row with my best bet @ Del Mar with the REAL GOOD DEAL STAKES.

As impressive as ROYAL PUNISHER was in his debut, along with M ONE RIFEL (Caught them both last outs), this is just too big of a jump for them at a very tricky distance. They may be talented enough to pull this off, but I'm gonna go with #5 BRUSHBURN in here. Unusual Heat's offspring have been tearing it up at Del Mar, and this one will appreciate the cutback in distance along with the quick pace set-up. 45:4 work shows sharpness and he's got 2 wins over the surface. The Pick @ overlaid odds. Hoping for 9/2 or higher.

14 Aug 2009 11:51 AM
Tim G

Sorry but I don't see WHY someone has to hold onto the shirttails of someone else to pick a winner??

Either Jason, someone on the blog, voices in your head or a bird sitting on your shoulder and whispering in your ear, plus doing whatever else birds do (that part is just about right and well deserved).

What I REALLY don't get is how someone can go from saying a year ago that trainers don't know ANYTHING about the horses they run, to suddenly having them talk to you in your sleep, head or whatever and getting touts from someone either close to them or the guy themself (like that'd ever happen. Trust me Wayne gives you a tout? Run the other way. His barn may know the facts but if he gives you or anyone else he doesn't know well, tips? He's yanking your chain. Ask Jersey.)

I think the next bet we have against Dray SHOULD be the Travers, he SHOULD have ONE pick and maybe a Tri allowed, but no jumping on the back of other people on here or elsewhere.

Not too sure you're the type Ms. Mary Lou wants touting her horse either. Does anyone want the worst handicapper in the world doing that?

14 Aug 2009 11:57 AM
Jason Shandler

Dray: It's Ok to change your mind on a horse, but after a year of having to see you call him "a poly specialist," another "California bust" and whatever else you called him, its kind of hard to take you serious when you now sing his praises. It makes you look bad.

And the fact is, Col. John isnt even ranked in the top 10 older males by most publications, including DRF. He is that good, especially on dirt. Your trying to spin it like she is going to face great horses. She wont. Most us want to see her race QR. We want to see her go 1 1/4 miles in the Travers. Because you are such a cheerleader and have no objectivety, you wont acknowledge that. You'll do what you do best--spin things to fit your opinions.

14 Aug 2009 12:07 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 Thank you, I thought I was the only one who remembered that Dray thought the Colonel was not worthy enough to even stand on the same ground as his beloved BB. Now he wants to see him race against the greatest filly who ever walked the face of the earth!{According to Dray}

14 Aug 2009 12:08 PM
Draynay

Tim G why all the anger?  If you want handicapping advice just ask directly don't beat around the bush I like to help.  What race do you need help in Tim?

14 Aug 2009 12:14 PM
LAZMANNICK

Hey MZ

I know all about the 401

Two lanes for the moose heards, another shut off for snowmobiles.

Right now I'm just own the road in Cobourg (visiting)  Trying to get used to the cold.  They say that it might warm up this afternoon and we can probably dispense with our overcoats, but they suggest we keep the long-johns on.

You wouldn't happen to know where I can get a pair of thermal socks would you.....

14 Aug 2009 12:16 PM
Draynay

Most want to see her race QR ?  He has 1 win at two turns...relax.  He is a favorite of mine too remember but let him swim in the pool a little before jumping in the deep end.  Regarding Colonel John last year I did not feel he was up to par with Big Brown but no horse was last year.  However 2 G1 wins and a very impressive win on turf this year along with a very fast time makes him a horse to contend with the rest of the year.  He is going to be a factor in the BC like it or not.  By the way... we want to see her 1 1/4 ? We? Do you have a mouse in your pocket ?

14 Aug 2009 12:26 PM
The Rock

Tim, a word of advice, don't take Dray's advice. His luck is as good as that one character from that movie "Bronx Tale", where all of C's friends think they got the winner in Kryptonite, until the ultimate jinx came along and started rooting for the horse! They tore up their tickets when they were coming down the stretch and the horse gets nipped on the wire. Just look at last week and the horse he picked, Cima de Triomphe in the Million. I think he's still running. lol.

14 Aug 2009 12:35 PM
Greg J.

A History Lesson,

     A few comments by the infamous Draynay made last year right before the 2008 Travers:

"Macho gets the double easy."

" C. John couldn't find the finish line with a road map ""

"The Travers is leading to nothing who cares?"

"I am so sick and tired of hearing about older horses I could just go nuts."

"Big Brown is the most talented 3 year old we have seen in 30 years"

    Now he is touting Rachel versus the "Older" Colonel John?, This is Just way too funny...

14 Aug 2009 12:38 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 It is obvious to me that Dray does not  want Rachel in the Travers because he is afraid that he will have to eat crow for a very long time. She is a great filly, don't get me wrong, but I'm highly confident she does not want to go a mile and a quarter. I'm also highly confident that her trainer thinks the same thing.

14 Aug 2009 12:49 PM
LAZMANNICK

Hey Dray

How about the HUMAN RACE

14 Aug 2009 12:49 PM
steve s

Dreynay"Aug 13 10:14"is wrong.

Dynaformers like YEILDING TURF better.

14 Aug 2009 12:49 PM
Shawn P

Think that's called a bandwaggoner?

Also you say you played college ball, but your bio says 'some college'?  Well that could be a one semester flash as my folks refer to them as. Another sign of no sticktoitiveness. (Didn't know Podunk U online college had FB....

Oh, video game, got it).

You forgot to add modest and humble to that description (as well as totally delusional). Oh wait, people describing themselves as you did definitely DO resemble the animals, at least a certain part of them.

I agree with Jason.

Not only do you jump from horse to horse you trash them in the worst way, not just saying you don't like their running style or looks, times, connections you just say the most humiliating and nasty things you can think of to say about them.

You've been doing it to Zen and MTB this year and NO horse deserves that. Makes you look like the fool you are when you turn around and give them props, like you did Zen on another blog.

Just what Tim G said, you slammed trainers on here all last year, I'm talking mean, nasty, unkind stuff. Not just about trainers who have had issues, but blanket accusations and mean comments.

Now you suddenly have a 'thing' for Todd, he's in your mind talking to you and you keep hyping him big time? Did he say hello to you, nod his head in your direction or what? The problem is, people don't forget that kind of disrespect you show the horses or the people in racing or to these people writing the blog comments.

14 Aug 2009 12:51 PM
horseracingfan

I think my favorite race from gio ponti was the mile race where he only beat a solid tryer in the sir beaufort!

14 Aug 2009 12:57 PM
Tim G

"Sorry but I don't see WHY someone has to hold onto the shirttails of someone else to pick a winner??"

Tim G 14 Aug 2009 11:57 AM "

Reading comprehension not taught at your 'college'?

Handicapping advice from YOU? LOL.

I'm about as direct as a human can be. Anger has no place in my profession, so not really a part of my personality. Just dissecting your persona as YOU represent it.

I had a 1400.00 tri yesterday and you had what? A cloud of chalk around your head?

I didn't even have to listen to imaginary voices, I just told the man direct my thoughts, he quietly concurred and I ended up with the $21 winner.

Now the 1st race is loading must run, but I'd prefer you get off Tweeter. Don't like to see a dud like you on the filly.

14 Aug 2009 1:01 PM
ABZ

Colonel John is most certainly one of the top 10 older horses in America, anyone's current list that excludes him has made a mistake.  I am not so sure that Quality Road would beat Colonel John if they raced next week.  That would be an awful lot to ask of such a lighlty raced 3-year-old.

14 Aug 2009 1:01 PM
ABZ

Didn't anyone else find it very odd that Draynay is passing on a tout on Brother Bird???

14 Aug 2009 1:03 PM
Draynay

Hypocrite ? Me ? Is it better to be a hypocrite or a hard headed fool. You can't watch Colonel John come in to a Stakes race off a 7 month layoff and his first race as a 4 year old on turf, watch him dominate a good field and come within a half second of the course record and not be impressed.  Last year I felt he was a bit of a plodder but watching him as a 4 year old flying down the lane to a 132 mile first time out you can't help but be impressed.  Hypocrite ? I don't think so Jason you can't be a hard headed fool when the horse proves to you he has game.

14 Aug 2009 1:09 PM
Jack Downs

I have not seen anyone mention Quality Road for HOY........His last 2 starts he broke track records at 6 1/2 F and at 1 1/8.....If he romps in the Travers and the BC Classic......He would have to be considered a strong candidate for HOY.........

14 Aug 2009 1:13 PM
Draynay

Jack Downs the ONLY chance Quality Road would have is to move from the Travers to the Woodward to take on Rachel.  He has no path even if he wins the Travers and Breeders Cup.

Tim G. on Travers day pick your horse in each race and I will pick mine.  Jason can hold the picks. 5 points for a win, 3 for 2nd and 1 for Show.  High Score wins.  When you lose you owe me hat of my choice from Horsehats.com I have a ton from people like you but I could always use another Quality Road hat.

14 Aug 2009 1:37 PM
Zippy Potato Chippy

I love how so many assume a horse can get 1 1/4.  Rachel Alexandra, as brilliant as she is at 1 1/8, wants no part of 1 1/4 and I doubt if the connections want any part of it.

14 Aug 2009 1:49 PM
LAZMANNICK

Shawn P

Those animals you're refering about wouldn't happen to have long ears and occasionally wear a staw hat and have a habit of saying he-haw would they?

14 Aug 2009 1:54 PM
Tim G

Laz, you put your 3gs on her? Down to 8/1.

ABZ, my issue exactly. What if she hears that someone (who thinks they're somebody) has been talking trash about her nephew and now the guy is betting on her she may spit out the bit and say "I'll break you fool, take your $2 bet and flush it down the...." Hate to see her do that to the connections and I want her to win. Will just hold my nose and plug my ears from the Nay Nay man. Post time.

I'd sooner take advice from somebody at the funny farm than the toutless wonder guys.

14 Aug 2009 2:06 PM
Tim G

Well, see what I mean?

She was acting bad in paddock, then pitched a fit, came out of the gate with her head in the air throwing it around and got left at the start.

She made up some ground and got up for 5th.

14 Aug 2009 2:13 PM
Shawn P

Laz, actually it's the south end of a north bound horse.

14 Aug 2009 2:17 PM
LAZMANNICK

Tweeter le dee

See what I mean.....A stumbling start is the same as a stumbling mouth.....If I would have put three thou on the horse that would represent the number of times Dray has been wrong.....and that's just since July.

14 Aug 2009 2:20 PM
Greg J.

Tim G.,

      When the race went off and I heard the announcer say a horse stumbled at the gate, I thought to myself, "It must me Tweeter", I wish I was wrong, But, Sure enough, "He said it was the five horse, Tweeter",  I think she did spit out the bit!, She did make a gallant come back, though, The Draynay curse lives on...

14 Aug 2009 2:22 PM
The Rock

Nuff said about the nay nay curse. Damn, Rachel must be that good to carry all that weight! lol

14 Aug 2009 2:56 PM
Tim G

Actually guys she was tossing her head around, nearly smacked Rajiv in the face. She was tossing her head like that in the paddock and on the way out too.

She didn't stumble she walked out on a hop, tossed her head up a few times and he had to just get her lined out. Made a move from the back, the patented Birdstone, Grindstone move, But sheesh. I tried to get him off her, bad Karma.

DN, I don't make bets with fools or little children.

My younger kids will bet with Mom but I don't fall for that.

Besides what would I GET if (when) I took the bet? You standing on a corner in Saratoga Springs with a sign saying 'I'm Draynay, and I can't pick a horse on my own (or with help) to save my life. I badmouth innocent animals and hardworking trainers, then brag that 'people' tout me and oh by the way I'm a blowhard' ?

Of course you aren't a man of your word so I wouldn't trust you to hold up your end of it.

Surely with all your wealth you can buy your own hat?  

Take your winnings, oh on second thought you wouldn't have anything to cover up the, as Shawn said, hair plugs.

Your hat collection? Goodwill has those? I'll donate some.

14 Aug 2009 3:03 PM
ABZ

OK GunBow here's my list from the same timeframe as your European list:  

Skip Away, Formal Gold, Will's Way, Chief Bearhart, Unbridled's Song, Louis Quatorze, Gentleman, Favorite Trick, Awesome Again, Silver Charm, Touch Gold, Free House, Silverbulletday, Real Quiet, Victory Gallop, Tale of the Cat, Charismatic, Soaring Softly, Perfect Sting, Tiznow, Point Given, Macho Uno, Xtra Heat, Kona Gold, Storm Flag Flying, War Emblem, Medaglia D'Oro,  Azeri, Funny Cide, Empire Maker, Smarty Jones, Mineshaft, Vindication, Afleet Alex, Ghostzapper, Kitten's Joy, Ashado, Better Talk Now, Film Maker, St. Liam, Lost in the Fog, English Channel, Commentator, Bernardini, Barbaro, Invasor, Curlin, Street Sense, Rags to Riches, Hard Spun, Kip Deville, Midnight Lute, Big Brown, Zenyatta, Gio Ponti, Forever Together, Quality Road and Rachel Alexandra.

Sorry about all the great American horses that have run since 1997 that I forgot in this list.

14 Aug 2009 3:58 PM
LAZMANNICK

ABZ

Nice list....and you're right.....there are tons more you probably missed.....Just wondering.....how many of your stable stars were bred in Europe.....conversely, I wonder how many of Gun Bow's were bred in N/A.

14 Aug 2009 5:04 PM
Carlos in Cali

Thank you Jason,for telling it like it is regarding RA having to face a "true acid test",before handing her the HOY.

Also,your thoughts on your favorite dog's-breed owner Michael Vick going to your Eagles?...

14 Aug 2009 7:28 PM
gw_bushwacker

Spin this "liar". You insist on calling Zenyatta the west coast or california champ even though she's won in the midwest. You call RA your american champ but she's not won all over america either. Why the hypocrasy?

How about the one you call the West Coast Champ (Zenyatta) vs the Midwest/Northeast only Champ(RA, she's only won in the midwest and northeast so not the american champ as per your definition)vs the Florida Champ (Quality Road) vs the European Champ (Sea of Stars or perhaps another)vs the top American grass horse (Gio Ponti) for all the marbles at the World Championships in November. Ya don't show ya don't win HOY. Afterall you were the one who insisted last year that champions run on championship day.

I think anyone of the horses mentioned would have a shot at beating her. Oh she's a good one alright. Anyhorse who can run Curlin like beyer figs (well she's done it once anyway in thirteen tries) is and she's a much better 3 yr old than any and I mean any 3 yr old last year was (Ravens Pass or Henrythenavigator would be the only competition from that group). Last year it was duck duck dutrow hiding big brown from the real competition and this year it's JJ balking at a real showdown. I want to see her beat something other than 3 yr olds regardless of gender and I want to see her beat the best competition as well. So far she's a one trick pony in that she's only won on the right half of the map.

Isn't it just wrong when someone "borrows" the type of ridiculous statements you make and spins them against you?

17 Aug 2009 3:28 PM

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