We Can Dream, Can't We?

Four and a half months.

Is there any possible way we can make it through that length of time with the nation's top older horses healthy and still racing? Given the fragility of today's Thoroughbreds and the almighty dollar being the ultimate factor in all decisions, the chances of that happening is iffy at best. But if the horse racing Gods let it happen, we could be in store for one of the most memorable Breeders' Cup Classics of all-time.

I know I am crazy to even start thinking about this fantasy Breeders' Cup matchup so early in the summer. In this sport, it seems like every time we dream we get let down. If it's not a bone injury, it's a tendon injury. If it's not a tendon, it's a quarter crack. Followed by a disappointing retirement.

Even when injury is not the issue, it's an owner's aversion to a synthetic racing surface that leaves us frustrated. If it's not that, it's an unwillingness to ship. Finally, when all the ducks finally seem in a row, the horse won't load in the starting gate. This is the tenuous nature of our sport.

But we are not human if we can't dream, and after watching arguably four of the top five older horses win this past weekend, it is impossible not to think about November at Churchill Downs.

First it was Rachel Alexandra dominating the Fleur de Lis. All signs pointed to the Horse of the Year romping--good works coming in, big numbers in the La Troienne despite a narrow loss, third off a layoff, a short, overmatched field, etc. You want to say the horse needed a confidence builder to get her season jumpstarted? Fine. We'll agree to disagree. I think she belonged in the Stephen Foster and her final time/speed numbers confirmed it. But we won't go there again. The important point is, Rachel is back.

A short time later it was Blame who confirmed his star status by taking the Foster in dramatic fashion to earn his first grade I win. Anyone that watched Blame in the Clark Handicap last fall and in his first race this season at Pimlico off an extended layoff knew he was a horse with loads of talent ready to break out. Though his final time wasn't spectacular, his acceleration in the stretch was. It was his third win at Churchill and with the BC Classic being there this year, he has a significant advantage over his rivals should he make it.

It was very disappointing to learn that Battle Plan came out of the race with an injury, one which leaves his career in doubt. Otherwise, he would be another major force in the handicap division.

Saturday ended with another dominating win by Rail Trip in the Californian, solidifying his spot at the top of the handicap division out west. The 5-year-old gelding is now a three-time graded stakes winner and has won eight of 11 starts. He looks like he is getting better every start. Though he has never raced outside of California, there is every reason to believe he will stack up well against the nation's best if he takes to dirt.

Finally, on Sunday Zenyatta won her record 17th in a row in a thrilling Vanity finish, a race she won for the third consecutive season. The path to defending her BC Classic title has yet to be decided, but with trainer John Shirreffs having already commented that he is leaning toward a conservative summer campaign that will keep her against fillies and mares in California, she should be rested and ready to tackle males in Louisville this fall.

The fifth, and likely the best, older horse did not race this weekend. Quality Road is in New York with his next destination as of yet undecided, but hopefully we will see plenty of him at Saratoga. Right now, he is scary good and seemingly on his way to a campaign for the ages.

Can you imagine if these five came together in the Classic? The two star fillies meeting for the first time, finally, against the best of the west, against the monster in New York, against up-and-coming star Blame, who by then could be even better. Throw in the top 3-year-olds that will separate themselves this summer and maybe a European invader, and you have the makings of a race for the ages.

Four and a half months. Is there any way we can get there?

By the way, in a related matter, for all you pedigree junkies, check out this TrueNicks poll. Which horse will make the best stallion?


Leave a Comment:


Lets all hope they stay safe and sound til then, and then let the chips fall as they may.  Maybe Goldikova will want to take a crack at dirt by then..........Throw her and St.Trinnias in the mix and Oh, my lord, have mercy..........

15 Jun 2010 2:28 PM
Frank J.

If I may quote Wedding Crashers, "I'm an idea man, I thrive on enthusiasm". That's you Jason and I DIG IT!! It's just WAYYYYY to early to hope your plan will come to fruition but I'll raise a beer and say I hope to hell it will. It just sucks that we as fans have to worry about how the horses come out of races and hope they don't get injuries like you said. We'll see what happens though.

15 Jun 2010 2:35 PM

Jason, wonderful article and great job on the blog.  sodapopkid please tell me you're kidding.  St. Trinians took on males and got crushed when she faced a easier bunch Sunday she almost won.  Neither the winner or St. Trinians want to see any males the rest of the year it's obvious they are not good enough.  Jason, rumor has it that MTB is going to the Whitney? Are you kidding me?  What trainer would bring back a horse after getting whipped the end of last year again and again to run in the Whitney vs. Quality Road ?  Mr. Lukas why not enter a G3 before taking on the Beast in the East? Jason is this true ?

15 Jun 2010 3:00 PM
Pam S.

Jason, I agree with everything you wrote (well, except for RA in the Fleur) and although my dear mother often warned me about wishing my life away, I really wish we could hurry up and get to this blockbuster Breeders' Cup!!

A couple of past BC's since I became a fan, there was great anticipation about a matchup of two particular horses: 1998, Skip Away vs. Silver Charm, and 2006, Lava Man vs. Bernardini. (Both times, the two horses showed up but neither won.)  With SO MANY top horses pointing to the Classic this year, it's way more exciting.

Even if they all stay healthy, which would be amazing, I think the big race might be diluted by some (such as either or both females) opting for other races.  I would not be unhappy about that at all.  There could well be a legendary Ladies Classic the night before the Classic, with Z, RA, St T, Blind Luck, Life at Ten, Unrivaled Belle.... which reminds me, any news on Careless Jewel?

So many people mark the changing seasons by the calendar, the weather, the various holidays, but not us.  We know the new season is here when Triple Crown Talk turns into Breeders' Cup Chat!!  Happy summer and fall to everyone!

15 Jun 2010 3:06 PM

Rachel Alexandra is #1 Zenyatta #2 Quality Road isn't even on the list. He never beat any good horses like Rachel has. He won't even show up for the Classic if Rachel's there.

15 Jun 2010 3:06 PM

st trinians was the only horse to make zenyatta pin her ears when she realized she'd have to run harder than before to catch her. st trinians has a funny way of running since her legs go every which way like she's scrambling to climb a near impassible rocky slope.

15 Jun 2010 3:07 PM

We can dream, can't we?

Jason, the BCC you envision would send fans into absolutely glorious tizzy.

On another note, I have to say its so disappointing and sad to hear of Kip Deville's passing due to Laminitis.  Oh what a devastating loss that condition has taken away from too many horses.  If only a cure could be found....

15 Jun 2010 3:14 PM

It's funny, RA loses a race by a head bob and we are all jumping of the band wagon. Now Zenyatta needs every bit of the race track to win by a quarter of a length maybe, and more and more jump on her band wagon. One length can mean a heck of a lot in horse racing. As far as these possible BC starters, i am starting to like Blame more and more. Lets hope it happens.

15 Jun 2010 3:15 PM
Pam R

Everyone wants to criticize RA's connections for not putting her in the Foster, but what about Zenyatta's connections?  Although I too would have liked to see RA in that race, I can understand that after two losses, her connections may give her a slightly easier target.  Zenyatta on the other hand has done nothing but continue her brilliance, and I think, should have been racing against the boys.  If they keep Zenyatta in California where she won't have to face the boys and, horror of horrors, perhaps an off track, its hard to get excited about the same ol' same ol' wins.  In my eyes, Zenyatta has to prove a little more versatility to be put in the same category as Cigar and Citation.

15 Jun 2010 3:20 PM
Tim G

I think I'll aim a little lower and enjoy seeing the summer races.

Looking forward to Saratoga and so thrilled that it's saved.

Hey Draynay, when you show up, come for the Whitney. Maybe you'll get to meet Ms MaryLou. LOL

The thing about QR is if he sticks to his schedule of running every 3-4 months he may not make it to the Breeders Cup or may not get a race in between. I'm wondering what's up with that.

Talk about a conservative path to the BC? He's definitely taking one so far. Maybe that's what they need to keep them healthy now days?

MTB fired a bullet this morning, could he be setting up to wipe out that JS/DN proclaimed Fluke status?

He loves CD, that's for sure.

Zenyatta is following a conservative path and if that's what it takes to get her to the Classic then I'm all for it. Why should QR be able to, yet a 6 year old mare can't?

Rachel? I think that whole situation is out of control. Her trainer isn't in charge, he can't run her where he wants. Even when he was, he wasn't because Blasi was. Now he's being told what to do, what to say and I just don't know what will happen there. What a debacle and misguided route for a wonderful filly. I didn't get the SF and why they bypassed it. But like another horseman said, if he thought he would have won it he is just egocentric enough that he would have put the filly there.


15 Jun 2010 3:30 PM

"Quality Road isn't even on the list?!?"  You have to be kidding me.  He's set track records at different tracks, different race lengths and just ran one of the fastest Metropolitan Hcps in history.  

I'm a big fan of the fillies too, but I dont think any horse can catch Quality Road at 1 1/8 or less.  

At a classic distance I think it would be a great race and I agree with Jason,  its time to dare to dream!!

15 Jun 2010 3:32 PM

After Quality Road run the Whitney and the Woodward no one will be looking forward to the Breeders Cup except him and Pletcher.

15 Jun 2010 3:33 PM
Jason Shandler

Quality Road's campaign conservative? Hal's Hope, Donn, Met Mile, maybe the Suburban, then Whitney, Woodward, BC Classic. How is that conservative compared to Zenyatta's? He may not race more than six times but at least he's racing in some of the most prestigious events in the country and tackling the top handicap horses in Florida and New York. You make no sense.

15 Jun 2010 3:37 PM

I am the goofy one around here. I am the one who doesn't mean what he says?  It's really a bit early to be jousting about the BCC but Tim be real.  You dare to compare Zenyatta with the Beast from the East ? Zenyatta can't compete with St. Trinians path up to now.  Like Jason said he has been to the big fights G1 open company is that not enough for you?  Nonsense.  

15 Jun 2010 3:48 PM
The Phantom

RA will never run a mile and a quarter, if she does she'll get beat she is a max mile and a sixteenth specialist. Zen would run her into the ground at a mile and a quarter.It was so obvious last year that jesse didn't want to run her at a mile and a quarter distance a.Blame looks like he getting better each race.Rail Trip is going to be just like Lava man a local Cal talent.Quality has to prove he can win at a mile and a quarter which I doubt.Don't like the idea that Sherriffs is not going to take on the boys in any eastern races.Then of course what comes from Europe, watching the Royal Ascot races today Goldie looks solid again and the 3 yr old  Canfield Cliffs looked great.Long way to go to Breeders Cup.

15 Jun 2010 3:48 PM
Sammi P

It would be a great race, however there are unanswered questions for some of the horses. RA and QR have yet to prove they can go 1 1/4 miless. I think QR can on a fast track, I think Rachel might against fillies/mares.

I'm all good with Z running an easy summer campaign. It worked last year so why not? Easy summer then head east in fall a couple times.

It really would be a great race with all the current stars. And you know they say dreams really do come true!!

15 Jun 2010 3:50 PM


15 Jun 2010 3:53 PM

i have said this in a few blogs that the bc classic this year if everybody stays sound will be the best one yet and dont forget the euro horses

15 Jun 2010 3:56 PM

I really enjoyed your article, Jason.  It is so upbeat and positive toward all the horses and all the possibilities.  We can always dream - yes, that's why I got my Breeders cup tickets as soon as they went on sale.  I think this will be historic.  So, I'm believing that they'll all come to Churchill in Nov. safe and sound.  

But, after a really uplifting article it didn't take 15 comments for it to become contentious.  Will the ugly ever stop??

15 Jun 2010 3:57 PM

Is there a chance we might also see the colt Workforce at the Breeders Cup this year?

Some are calling him even better than Sea The Stars, although I don't know if his connections would choose to run him on the turf course or on dirt in the Classic. Either way, it would be terrific to see the best from the UK and Europe over here, along with our own stars.

15 Jun 2010 3:58 PM
Bill Daly

Jason, it would be a miracle if your dream came true. But, so what, let's dream. I thought Blame was incredible to beat Battle Plan after the ideal trip he had.  Never thought he would get run down, especially after the way he accelerated in the stretch. Don't know whether his injury had anything to do with that, but I just think he flat got run down. Very impressive win by Blame. This is a serious horse.  Zenyatta is amazing. Anna, I don't know whether she ever had her ears pinned during the race.  Ron Ellis said they were twitching all the way down the stretch indicating there was still gas in the tank. Rachel seems to be back on her game; very impressive stretch run even though she beat a less than stellar group.  All in all, a very interesting weekend which inspires dreams like Jason's.

15 Jun 2010 4:01 PM
Hudd Bannon

Hey Angel RA number 1 , where have you been 2 defeats to nobodys this year and win against nobody's instead of the Foster, same song as last year avoid the tough comp and no way will she run in the Classic she can't win at a mile and a quarter the owner porved that last year by skipping longer races.

15 Jun 2010 4:02 PM
The Phantom

correction the horses name is Canford Cliffs

15 Jun 2010 4:04 PM
A. Charles

Of such dreams is this sport made.  We can't help it.  If you think you've seen a horse run fast, you want validation of what you saw by seeing it beat some other horse.  The anticipation and the resulting disappointment are nothing new.

Back in the days before Photoshop, someone went into a darkroom and produced an image that kind of made it look like Tom Fool and Native Dancer were racing down the stretch side by side.  Should have happened in 1953. Didn't.

Some of my earliest memories of the sport were anticipating Buckpasser vs. Graustark.  Should have happened in 1966.  Didn't.

I now find that I feel better when I lower my expectations and tell myself the titanic matchups won't happen.  After the 08 Derby, I told my friends that Big Brown would never stay on the track long enough to meet Curlin.  I repeated that to myself regularly.  I think that made me feel not quite as bad later.

In fact, you could probably come up with a pretty good discussion by trying to rank the significance of the didn't-happen matchups between greats who were on the track at the same time.

Exterminator - Man O' War?

Forego - Seattle Slew?

Ghostzapper - Smarty Jones?

15 Jun 2010 4:11 PM

Jason : QR's plan is conservative, it's pretty obvious that TP is dodging the big guns and rightly so.  The Donn and the Met Mile are both prestigious race but it doesn't mean that this year's runners were even close to being prestigious.  Have we heard anything about the horses that QR beat in the Donn ?  The only one I've heard of is Delightful Kiss who ran and lost at GG Fields.  If that's quality, then I say Blame beat some really really good ones.  Blame has run and won twice at CD, he likes that track.  QR has yet to set foot in it, people get blinded by his track records, he broke his own record at GP against questionable group.  The other record was a sprint.  This is Breeder's Cup chat, the Classic is at 1 1/4, I don't see any schedule for him to try that distance so TP is being conservative, he wants QR in tip top shape for the Classic, but he won't get an easy lead in the Classic, I envision his run at the Classic to be similar to his Met Mile race where he was pressured and was fully extended to hold off Musket Man.  Like many has said, he'll demolish any horses in a mile maybe up to 9F but we have yet to see him win at 10F.

Just like QR, I don't see Rachel getting that 10F, she'll go head to head with QR and they will both fade around the far turn.  IF and that's a big IF, her trainer JJ even enters her in the BCC.  He had some excuse about the surface last year but this year, no excuses, it's dirt and it's her home track but we have yet to hear any mention of the BC Classic from her trainer JJ, just that they're pointing to the BC.  Why is that ?

Blame will be the one that most likely give Zenyatta a run for her money in the Classic, and he will get first run on her at the top of the stretch, in which he will become a perfect target for the Queen to zoom on by :)  Team Blame already committed to the Whitney, let's see what TP says in the next few days.

Hope they stick to their conservative paths and all meet in the Classic healthy, sound and 100% so that there will be no excuses at all when they lose to the Queen!

15 Jun 2010 4:16 PM
Bob Z

So what is an owner to do?

You can take up the gauntlet and run your horse in the more challenging races or you can play it safe and just do enough to get to the Breeders Cup...

My prediction.. this blog has over 1,000 blogs within a week....

15 Jun 2010 4:16 PM

Well, I would like to see Goldikova take on all of them.  In my opinion she is the best horse racing right now.  Her Queen Anne gave me goosebumps.  European Filly and Mares race males all the time and they don't make a big deal of it like U.S. Racing does.

15 Jun 2010 4:17 PM

It was definitely an exciting weekend of racing!  Jason, I like this article and we are all dreaming the same dream you are!

However, the drama will unfold and hopefully blossom in the BCC.  I don't see RA and QR matching up until then which (if they did) would be the equivalent of a match race as both horses want to be on or near the pace.

I have come to the conclusion that Z's connections are more interested in having her finish her career undefeated than worrying about another HOY conversation.  Personally, I think she prefers dirt to synthetic and her victories (as tainted as Dray wants to make them) are that much more impressive running on a surface that she may not prefer.

Rail Trip is beating a down bunch out West, but has definitely been a model of consistency, I'm anxious to see how he translates to dirt.  

Blame is definitely on the improve, but I don't think he is quite ready to be in the QR conversation yet.  I want to see one more race before I put him in the QR, Z, RA and Rail Trip conversation.  

Hope all horses are healthy enough to run in early November, and definitely excited for the 3YO's to round into form as well.  

15 Jun 2010 4:18 PM

QR and RA will only get the 1 1/4m if there is an easy slow pace, and if both of them do end up in the BCC both will push a fast early pace and that will be there demise. rail trip will likely stay in so cal and be another lava man. zenyatta conservative but effective! jon sheriffs said she wasnt near 100% for the race but she needed it and unlike RA she didnt lose to another filly who ran her eyeballs out when, that happened to RA lost. Blame is up and coming horse that will be a force to be reckoned with by BC time. All in all RA is unlikely for the classic, QR wont get the distance and rail trip will fail to run on dirt that leaves zenyatta and blame...oh and musket man! But let the dream live and why your at it throw in goldikova...haha!

15 Jun 2010 4:23 PM

"You dare to compare Zenyatta with the Beast from the East ?"

Draynay  15 Jun 2010 3:48 PM

Absolutely. Zenyatta closed like a bullet in the Vanity, running her final split in 11.60. Faster than the final split for QR in the Donn, Rachel in the Fleur de Lis, Rail Trip in the Californian and Blame in the Foster.

Zen needs a good pace and a target in front of her. QR, Rachel and perhaps some others will provide that, assuming all of today's standout horses stay healthy and sound through November.

Also, your Zenyatta hate shtick is tired and worn.

15 Jun 2010 4:24 PM

Jason, that field would be awesome but, you have to keep in mind that Quality Road will have a freaky date once again with the gate.  He saw Zen last year, wanted NOTHING to do with her, then you throw in Rach,... hmmm..  do you really think that he would go in the gate to race against two girls?  LOL...

But, yes,these superior horses meeting up in November would be AWESOME!  No creme puffs in this list of older horses.  

15 Jun 2010 4:25 PM

I don't think Rachel is anywhere near as good as Zenyatta. In fact, Zenyatta should have been HOY, not Rachel.Frankly, I wish the Mosses would retire her. Sure, those of us who think she's the best love to see her run, but I don't think she has anything left to prove and if last year's BCC didn't convince any of her doubters nothing will.

15 Jun 2010 4:27 PM


Lukas is pointing MTB to an allowance race first, if all goes well, then the Whitney.  I would expect a big win in the allowance and at least 3rd place in the Whitney will set him up nicely for his fall campaign.  

He should be a live shot at the JCGC in October at 1 1/4 miles and should set up for a BCC run.  I don't expect him to win but he should be in the top 5 if he makes it.

15 Jun 2010 4:36 PM
paul nap

it seems to me that if all these horses make the breeders cup,quality road and rail trip, Rachel wouldnt even run ,she wouldnt have much chance, unless the track showed up muddy which then would eliminate some of the late runners. seems if the track is fast the race would be set up for a closer like blame or zenyatta not sure a 3 year could beats any of these top older horses {Onion did beat big red}I believe it was big reds first shot at older horses.also seems to me that the big mare won when not in top shape she had lost weight and her works were not good but she has proved  that she can close at the mile and quarter distance against top horses .its kinda like a boxing match its all about styles or call it pace. Rachel maybe without the other two top speedballs in there could steal the race but shes has been all out against  males to hold on.

15 Jun 2010 4:38 PM
Mark A.

I'm dreamin' with you Jason.  We were lucky enough to get tickets for the BC this year; and after this weekend's races I kept dreaming about seeing Rachel, Quality Road, and Rail Trip dueling through the stretch as Zenyatta surges on the outside!  WOW what a race that would be!

15 Jun 2010 4:44 PM

Any chance Bloodhorse will have video of Goldikova's Queen Anne Stakes?

15 Jun 2010 4:47 PM

OK, I'll join in the foolish fray of wishing for at least the current top 5 older horses to still be Classic contenders in November...

I said it before so I'll say it again.  If Z 2010 is as good as Z 2009 she will be very hard to defeat at a mile and a quarter at CD, provided we have a dry track.  

Say not, based on her effort against St Trinians?  Think again.  She doesn't GIVE weight to the boys in the Classic, in fact won't she be carrying less than Quality Road, Blame and Rail Trip?  She'll only give a pound to the 3 year olds. It almost doesn't seem fair.

She also gets a mile and a quarter, what I think is her very best distance.  

I love Rachel dearly but would be mildly surprised to see her in the Classic in November.

Quality Road is a monster at 8-9 furlongs but untested at 10.  His running style might jeopardize him at this distance but I wouldn't rule him out.  If he got loose on an easy lead he would be hard to run down.  

Blame I think could run all day.  To me he is the biggest threat to win the Classic away from Zenyatta.

Rail Trip, I'd want to see him outside of California before I commit. We all know horses often do transition from synthetic to dirt quite well, but not always.  Nor do some take very well to running outside of their territory(example: Lava Man).

I do think Lookin At Lucky could pose a serious threat to these "top 5" horses and there are other 3 year olds that might really light up the second half of the season. Too early to tell.

But all in all I agree that we should dream big.  Dreams run this sport (and money....).

15 Jun 2010 4:59 PM
Billy's Empire

wow, look at all of the hate on QR from the Cali contingent. Laughable.

Hey JAYJAY. Todd Plethcer told everyone what his plans were. We are going to the Donn, he did and Won, and then the Met MIle. I think he gave a 3 month notice on that race. if owners and trainers are scared of the track record holder, you can't do much about it. QR is racing in G1 races. So are his competition.

I want to know why Goldikova can run against the boys every race, but Big Bad Zenyatta is running the same race against fillies 3 years in a row. No body beats Goldi at a mile on turf. Cant say that for Zenyatta. We would never know, b/c she keeps racing fillies...... BORING

Goldi Best miler in the world on Turf.

Zenyatta, best filly on Poly in U.S.


15 Jun 2010 5:02 PM

The Phantom,

Yes a horse that wins her last five 9 furlong starts, four out of the five by wide open lengths, and one race at 9.5 furlongs is a 8.5 furlong specialist. Yeah, we can tell you really know your stuff.

15 Jun 2010 5:08 PM
Smoking Baby

 Is it just me or should Quality Road have been asked to carry WAY more than 124 pounds in the Metropolitan Mile?  I'm a huge fan of this horse and am VERY afraid of him up to a mile and an eighth.  Having said that I'm thinking a horse with his accomplishments and reputation was given a gift having been asked to carry 124.  Zenyatta carried 129 pounds again and won with a 103 Beyer.  This alone should count for something but I'm hearing more criticism.  Sad.

15 Jun 2010 5:10 PM

It would be a great race with all the guns in there. I will also dream of it but it will never happen. The way the year is going all the good horses will dodge each other until the Breeders Cup. Thats when RA will run against Zenyatta in the Ladies Classic. The Mosses will try to lure Jess Jackson into that race. I think that the Mosses are pretty confident they can beat RA. Last year what made them take the big chance with her was the poly advantage she had against all those dirt horses. This year she will be without that advantage. I will enjoy watching the rest of the year and wait for those Breeders Cup races. Does anyone really think that they would take that chance? Not in this life. Zenyatta did run a great race to come and win again. She is really fun to watch.

15 Jun 2010 5:13 PM

Forget Rachel vs Zenyatta.  It may be Blame vs Quality Road in the Whitney!  YEEEESSSSS!!!!  

15 Jun 2010 5:14 PM

Lookin at Lucky could out-grind some of those classic horses.

especially with a swift pace up front.

15 Jun 2010 5:17 PM

"Any chance Bloodhorse will have video of Goldikova's Queen Anne Stakes?"

TerriV 15 Jun 2010 4:47 PM

Terri, I hunted it down on You Tube. There are several different videos, including one in French.

By the way, does anyone know what happened to the horse that was pulled up before the finish and his rider dismounted? It's not in several articles on the race that I've read so far. I think the horse's name was Pipe Dream.

15 Jun 2010 5:20 PM

Tuscan evening might be able to block off goldikova at the wire.

but then again goldi stretches out like a greyhound the final hundred yards. that would be some race

15 Jun 2010 5:20 PM
Jason Shandler

Smoking Baby: It's just you. Check your racing almanac. No Met mile winner has carried more weight than QR since the mid-80s.

15 Jun 2010 5:25 PM

Hey CV, your final split time better be faster when your chasing down a horse instead of just loping along on a large lead! Oh, by the way RA's time was 1:48.78 and Zenyatt's time was 1:49.01 all out. So what does that mean?

15 Jun 2010 5:25 PM

Did anyone pay any attention to the weights this past weekend? Zenyatta 129, Rachel 124, St. Trinian's 120, Blame 120, Rail Trip 118. The racing secretary at Hollywood Park took flak for putting "only 129" on Zenyatta, yet Rail Trip carries 11 lbs. less. Let's put some weight on these colts and see the results before we go gaga over them.

15 Jun 2010 5:26 PM

Goldikova is a strict miler.  Her trainer has said so over and over and over...  She won't be in the Classic.  She'll go for a three-peat in the Mile.

I was in LA and saw both Rail Trip and Zenyatta run this past weekend.  Rail Trip was full of himself and won easily.  Really easily.  It will be interesting to see what he does later on this summer against some bigger boys.

Zenyatta... I swear I didn't think she could get there.  Between her pedestrian works and the insignificant pace, I had serious doubts.  But somehow she always manages to get there.  It's wild, really.

As for the "conservative" campaigns -- however that is to be interpreted -- perhaps there is something to that.  If the Breeders Cup is the ultimate goal for the year, perhaps some horses are likely to get there in one, competitive piece via a conservative campaign?  Think about some of the horses who were going for repeats and who took on rather taxing campaigns that year.  The first that come to mind are Curlin and Skip Away.  So perhaps there is a method to some trainers' madness.

15 Jun 2010 5:36 PM

Jason...don't forget that some 3 year olds might be in the Classic like LAL and First Dude.  Won't that just add to the awesome nature of the Championships?  I find it odd that while British commentators were a bit snippy at Ascot, thinking it tacky for Goldikova's grooms to wear the BC jackets, the only thing they could critisize about her before the race was that her coat was not as shiny as the other horses. (even though it was).  After she ran magnificently, they totally gushed about her, her win, and her Breeders' Cup championship form, considering her the only world class horse in the race.

15 Jun 2010 5:38 PM

LOL Billy, you getting a little sensitive about QR lol.  NO ONE is hating on QR, it's all opinion that says QR can not handle the Classic distance.

My knock on his opponents in the Donn, can you honestly say that was a quality field ??  Yes, he probably scared the legit quality horses that are emerging now at that time because it was too early in the year....but like I said, tell me where the horses he beat in the Donn are now ?  They winning G1 races ???  You're ridiculous LOL.  The only exciting race this year for QR was the Met Mile and he was extended in that Mile race.  Another furlong and we probably would be looking at a different result...who knows.  QR has the potential to win all his races this year if he stays at 1 1/8 or shorter.  Until we see him win the Classic distance, you'll hear it over and over again that there is doubt if he can get 10F.  Your twin Draynay will say watch the Donn LOL.  You're constant whining about Zenyatta is all really tiresome and really boring now.  Find some new material. LOL

Jason : I think it's arguably the weakest Met Mile since the 80s, 124 is a gift and is a crime lol.

15 Jun 2010 5:41 PM

Billy's Empire- When did you become Dray?  Should I call you Dray Jr now:-)

15 Jun 2010 5:44 PM

Hey Billy, I wonder what top males Rachel is going to go run agaist before the BCC?  2009 is come and gone , this is 2010, whole new year, Oh thats right, RA hasnt done anything for this year so you have to fall back on her last year performance..............whole new year,  RA arrived late..........and started out on one hell of a bad note..............and ducked a race.

On another note,

I do hope they show her lots of love and really make her feel special for what she did saturday.

I guess I wish she had the life zenyatta does.  She has been shipped around so much.

15 Jun 2010 5:48 PM

Garbage and more garbage.  Rachel as a FILLY ran 1 3/16ths and won.  Do you really think another 100 yards as a 4 year old makes any difference ?  Really ? Quality Road ran 1 1/4 in the slop and had no problem with the distance just the thick mud.  Why keep posting he can't get 1 1/4 as a bigger faster stronger 4 year old ?  It makes no sense people stop it.  It just proves you don't know ANYTHING about racing.  How on earth do you equate Zenyatta getting whipped 9 times and struggling to catch some horse named St. Trinians with her running down Quality Road?  If St. Trinians ran against Quality Road she wouldn't be 2 to 1 more like 15 to 1.  WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?

I don't dislike Zenyatta I can't stand people who claim she is this and that don't you get it ? You're the same people that believe Zenyatta should be mentioned in the same breath with Goldikova! It makes no sense and defies any logic.

15 Jun 2010 5:49 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Great subject Jason ! If RA and Zenyatta stay sound and on track , It'll be the race of the century in the BC Classic!!!!!!!

15 Jun 2010 5:56 PM

Praying that they all stay happy and healthy that would be an awesome BCC. However, the only iffy I have is RA. I just don't know if she can hang going 1 1/4. We all know Zenyatta & Rail Trip can, QR? That would be an awesome group for sure. I'm all for Zenyatt running an easy summer campagin. John said that they would mostly likely be heading East in the fall which only makes since why go before you need too. Their main goal is the BC and if she beats everyone that shows up this year on DIRT no one will care what races she was in the rest of the year. I'm sure there will be those that will find something.

15 Jun 2010 6:07 PM

Goldie and Paco Boy in the BC Classic.  That certainly would tell us who is the best in the world against Zenyatta, Rachel, QR, Blame, plus the good 3 year olds from this year.  Now that would be a Horse Race.  

15 Jun 2010 6:17 PM


Quality Road was not fully extended to beat Musket Man.  The latter came to him but never gained in that last 16th or so.  If I remember, QR was under a hand ride by then.  Certainly showed us that he doesn't need to dodge the "big guns", he IS the big gun.

15 Jun 2010 6:17 PM
Carlos in Cali

I really hope all these top-class horses will show up for the Classic. Don't count on it though. RA's folks will never put her into a race with QR & Rail Trip at any distance,let alone 1 1/4. That's outright begging for her to start breathing fire coming around the far turn. Won't happen & JJackson know's it.

New York & Florida horses are basically one in the same,they just winter in Florida that's all.Don't get it twisted people,you'll likely see the same horses who faced QR at GP racing against him @ Saratoga too...yawn. Man,I can't wait for that QR vs. MTB/Bullsbay/Macho Again match-up in one of their prestigious races...zzzzz. But,what can you say: It's must be there "Empire State of Mind" I guess, LOL.

I'll hold-out hope for now(fingers crossed).

15 Jun 2010 6:20 PM
Carlos in Cali


I'll be satisfied w/a QR vs. Blame battle for now though.

15 Jun 2010 6:23 PM
Carlos in Cali

Oh,and if IWR comes back as good as he was going into last year's Derby?.. Then I'll be more than satisfied if they bump heads,i.e., QR/Blame/IWR..

15 Jun 2010 6:27 PM

wow, look at the continued hate on Zenyatta.

Hey BILLY.  Team Z told everyone what their plans were. We are going to the Santa Margarita, they did and Won, and then the Apple Blossom and Won. If owners and trainers are scared of the consecutive wins record holder, you can't do much about it. Zenyatta is racing in G1 races.  I can't copy your last statement because it's bogus.  St. Trinians ran against the boys this year in a G1 and also won the Santa Maria, a G1 this year.  Can you tell me who QR beat this year that has since run in a G1 ??  QR has yet to run against a quality field in his division...so let me copy you again...BORING.  I guess we'll find out in the Whitney eh ?

See how this works ??

Just watched the BEST miler in the world Goldikova's race.  Being a miler ain't so bad is it now ?  Some horses are best at some distances.  Some would say that Paco Boy would have gotten her if it was a little bit longer but who cares, she took it to the boys and won at her distance.  QR can do the same, he can become the best miler in the world, he has that potential but I can't blame his connections for trying him at 10F, we'll see if he can get it.

15 Jun 2010 6:42 PM
Carlos in Cali

LOL,..Jason,how about that Matador high-tailing it out of the Bull ring. At least he's honest in saying he "doesn't have the sack to be a bull fighter".

15 Jun 2010 6:49 PM
Paula Higgins

No predictions about who makes it into the BCC. Stuff happens as we all know. But the classic distance is Zenyatta's ideal distance. It is not Rachel's and we don't know about the others yet. The more track she has, the better it is for her.

As for Goldikova, she is a freak. She can beat anyone at the shorter distances hands down.

Draynay, you are not giving St. Trinians enough credit. That horse went one of the fastest last furlongs of any of Zenyatta's competitors. On that day, she was real competition for any horse.

15 Jun 2010 6:50 PM

Jason, you're right.. this would be an awesome field! I thought the 07 edition was a deep field, and a good race, minus the death of George Washington and the sloppy conditions... I hope all the horses you named make it there... I just wish Eskendereya could have stayed healthy...

15 Jun 2010 7:27 PM

PS to some posters here: I would think twice before dismissing Quality Road... he's the real deal... he should make anyone aiming toward the Classic very, very nervous...

15 Jun 2010 7:34 PM

It is fun to dream about the BC Classic after this weekend of exciting races and outcomes.  I hope they all get there in great form and run their best race.

Regarding RA...my how she provokes such strong feelings!!  Just a reminder that SO MANY had written her off as done, AND, she showed up in good form and with a good time.  She is full of surprises so watch what you say.  You may have to eat serious crow at some point.  NEVER underestimate a champion.

15 Jun 2010 7:42 PM

I agree with you about Rachel running in the Foster.  She would have won easily.  As for Blame, I don't think he would have gotten past Battle Plan if he wasn't injured. Don't think he'll get past rachel or Rail trip either.

15 Jun 2010 7:52 PM

I don't understand some of the things said about many of these horses.  Someone said QR was taking a conservative path?  What?  The Donn, Met Mile, Whitney, Woodward and Classic is not conservative.  Sorry, that is a fact not an opinion.  Then someone says RA is a mile and sixteenth specialist.  Ahh.  So I guess winning the oaks, Haskell, Woodward and fleur de lys at a mile and an eighth, and the Preakness at a longer distance isn't enough to get her past a mile and a sixteenth specialist.  Finally, there are people downgrading Zenyatta when she has won 17 straight starts.  No horse has ever beaten her to the wire, she is insanely good.

I'm all for people having their opinions but come on folks.

15 Jun 2010 7:55 PM

I can't believe I'm getting into yet another one of these debates, but I would really like to know why so many assume RA can't get a mile and a quarter. Because Mine That Bird and Macho Again almost caught her going a shorter distance? Maybe that was because she was on the lead and setting testing fractions the entire way in both races. Perhaps she'd have more in the tank if she were able to stay behind a slower pace, or maybe she'd somehow manage to hold on even if the pace isn't all that slow. Who knows? And why has the ability to get a mile and a quarter in order to be considered good suddenly become such a big deal since Rachel came on the scene, anyway? When people were complaining about Zenyatta losing HOTY to Curlin, how many of you cared that she'd never even run beyond a mile and an eighth that year?

15 Jun 2010 8:18 PM

Goldikova Returned to Trainer Head

By Blood-Horse Staff

Updated: Friday, February 19, 2010 5:15 PM

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:43 AM

"The main objective this season is to win a third Breeders' Cup Mile, and we don't know where she will start this season although it could be in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot,” Bureau said.

Brilliant Goldikova Triumphs at Longchamp

By Mary Schweitzer

Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:31 PM

Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010 1:14 PM

"The nine furlongs of the Prix d’Ispahan may have stretched Goldikova’s stamina a bit, as Byword cut into her lead in the final yards to finish just a half-length behind her at the wire...Head continued, 'That was over nine furlongs today, too. A mile is her distance, definitely, she is a miler.'"

Again, Goldikova won't be in the Classic.  She'll be in the Mile.  

15 Jun 2010 8:19 PM

Jason, this is what we have to hear for the next 4 months.

1. Quality Road can't get the distance of 1 1/4 even though he did and just didn't finish well in mud Zenyatta WOULD NEVER DARE RACE ON.

2. Rachel can't get the distance even though she got 1 3/16 as a young 3 year old.  Now as a 4 year old she just can't run another 100 yards.

3. Zenyatta has no reason to leave California because the Rockies are in the way and she has a  rough time being in a plane for 4 hours.

This is the garbage that will be recycled again and again.  Enjoy.

15 Jun 2010 8:35 PM

Billy, good point.  I think Zenyatta might be the greatest filly ever, but her owners are keeping her from proving that by their race selection.  I am not sure why they brought her back.

15 Jun 2010 8:39 PM

Runfast : Maybe he wasn't fully extended but he was extended.  There are people here that proclaims him the best horse in training, and one that proclaimed him the 2010 HOTY already.  No one is questioning his talent.  The Met was a mile race, let's see him run at CD first, then let's see if he can win there, then let's see if he can get the 1 1/4 distance there before we start proclaiming him the best horse and 2010 HOTY?  Agreed ?

15 Jun 2010 8:40 PM

Poor Zen, she takes the most flap, and she had the best race , the most exciting, the most thrilling, and she carried the most weight of all of the horses in all the races, and she even made history doing all of this,  God Bless this gift of a race horse known to us all as Zenyatta.

15 Jun 2010 8:41 PM

Jason, Did you get Jax a Zenyatta bobblehead? If you havent , you may want too, because someday, you can explain her and her legacy to him.

15 Jun 2010 8:49 PM

Draynay noted "Jason, this is what we have to hear for the next 4 months.

1. Quality Road can't get the distance of 1 1/4 even though he did and just didn't finish well in mud Zenyatta WOULD NEVER DARE RACE ON.

2. Rachel can't get the distance even though she got 1 3/16 as a young 3 year old.  Now as a 4 year old she just can't run another 100 yards.

3. Zenyatta has no reason to leave California because the Rockies are in the way and she has a  rough time being in a plane for 4 hours.

This is the garbage that will be recycled again and again.  Enjoy."

For once Draynay gets a big +1.

15 Jun 2010 9:10 PM

This from Albert Stall, Blame's trainer, about the track condition at CD on Saturday:

"As hot as it was, the track loosened up dramatically, no question about it, and poor Battle Plan paid the price," said Stall. "It wasn't anybody's fault. It's just what Mother Nature does, like when the track got as slow as it did [at Belmont Park] on Belmont Day.

"Nothing against Rachel. She's fast. And there's nothing wrong with running a couple ticks slower than her. But the track really did loosen up a lot as the afternoon got hotter."

He was inferring that the track got slower as it got looser, which it did throughout the day.  I guess that Stall isn't impressed with the time difference between the two races.

15 Jun 2010 9:18 PM


You forgot No. 4.....Zenyatta will never ever bert males on dirt!

15 Jun 2010 9:20 PM

The last furlong in the BCC 2010 will be screeching hot if all the big players are in contention.

If Zenyatta is there she will do it again.  I think Lookin At Lucky could be her biggest threat. He is tenacious.  With Martin Garcia riding Lucky and Mike on The Queen, oh mercy.  And this will be on CALVIN's track, no less.  

Can't even think about what Calvin could do on Rachel at Churchill if her form continues and Jackson decides to go against Zenyatta and the likes of Blame and Quality Road.

Just speculating on all the variables is major exciting.  Jason, let's all hope your dream comes true.

15 Jun 2010 9:21 PM


I'm pretty sure that St. Trinian raced against males four times in England and had two wins and a third place finish.

15 Jun 2010 9:29 PM

I think everyone should just be grateful that we can be having this argument at all; it just proves that they are all special.

And for those who question Zenyatta's talent, I suggest watching a replay of the 2009 BC Classic.

15 Jun 2010 9:33 PM

"Hey CV, your final split time better be faster when your chasing down a horse instead of just loping along on a large lead! Oh, by the way RA's time was 1:48.78 and Zenyatt's time was 1:49.01 all out. So what does that mean?"

Gladiator 15 Jun 2010 5:25 PM

Hey Gladiator,

It means the early and middle race splits were faster for the Fleur de Lis. Zenyatta doesn't set those for her races because she's a closer. Which makes it even more unlikely that her final split would be so much faster, but it was.

Oh, by the way, you could have answered your own question if you bothered to read the chart I referenced.  

15 Jun 2010 9:37 PM

"This is the garbage that will be recycled again and again."

Draynay 15 Jun 2010 8:35 PM

Well, we've read your recycled garbage now for years. Perhaps one day the truck will come by and pick you up. One can hope.

15 Jun 2010 9:40 PM

No Lazmannick I didn't forget #4 I was talking about things that are not true not about things that ARE TRUE.

15 Jun 2010 9:40 PM

I guess all the back and forth is what makes these boards fun, but I too become sad at the negativity shown towards some horses when their fans try to defend them against other horses. There will always be a bias by easterners against west coast horses and a bias by west coasters against the eastern runners. That's human nature. It's about where you are from.

I lost my voice Sunday screaming at the television, and pulling for Zenyatta. It enraged me to see this beautiful, majestic creature weighed down by fools in an effort to get her beat by lesser horses. Zenyatta, 129 pounds. St Trinians, 120lbs. Rachel Alexandra (Horse of the Year:124 lbs!!!). I agree with those saying Rachel will not get a mile and a quarter in top company, but I do not want to see them put a house on her back just because she was HOTY. Rachel will run in the Ladies Classic because her owner is a mercenary coward. Zenyatta will run in, and win the Breeders Cup classic for the second time, then retire as the only undefeated horse in the history of racing to win the Classic back to back, and did I mention retire undefeated? Rachel will run against the boys a few times this year and again be named Horse of the Year because of the eastern bias against California horses. The whole thing makes me very sad.

15 Jun 2010 9:41 PM

Who rides Super Saver?  LAL will not make the BCC....

15 Jun 2010 9:45 PM

Of course Rachel going 1 1/4M is iffy.  Of the four big races on the weekend, all at 1-1/8M, Rachel was slowing the fastest:

The last 3/8ths time for Rachel, Blame, Rail Trip and Zen (including path):

• Rachel…..37.3 (along the rail).

• Rail Trip…..37.1 (two horses wide).

• Blame……36.0 (4 horses wide).

• Zenyatta…..36.0 (5 horses wide).

The last 1/8 for Rachel, Blame, Rail Trip and Zen (including path):

• Rachel…..12.88 (along the rail).

• Rail Trip…..12.87 (two horses wide).

• Blame……12.02 (4 horses wide).

• Zenyatta…..11.60 (5 horses wide).

In the FDL Borel might have taken his foot off the pedal inside the 1/8th pole, but at that point there was no one challenging.  In the BCC there definitely will be a challenge and it will get stiffer as the race progresses.  Then we have a Woodward scenario all over again, Rachel being pressured up near the front and then when finally reaching the front all the way to the wire, only this time it will be Quality Road and Rail Trip and they won’t be backing off any time soon.  And then every one’s worst nightmares will be charging hard at the end (Blame and Zenyatta).  There is no way this race will be won by a horse going all the way on the front end or even coming from second.  There’s too much quality pace challenge.  That’s the 1 1/4M concern and why when I read about Rachel’s plans for the BC they said BC, not necessarily the BCC.  There is still that possibility that she will stick with her own sex in the Lady’s Distaff.

15 Jun 2010 9:55 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

RA is a phenomenal filly and we are lucky to have her. Although we were all disappointed at her two losses this year, being beat by a head is not a disgrace. RA dominated a small, lesser field in the FDL and it was a thrill to watch. I don't care where she runs. I want to watch her!

QR... what else can you say but he's a monster! Maybe he has distance limitations. Maybe he doesn't. Time will tell.

Zenyatta is the most exciting horse I've seen in person. I saw Cigar every day on the track for over 6 months. Even though he had a certain something about him, Zenyatta has that times 100. She looked hopelessly beaten in this years Vanity and the crowd was audibly in shock that she looked like she was finally going to be beat and somehow she won by a neck in just a few powerful strides. When she returned to the winners circle she wasn't winded and there wasn't even a drop of sweat under her saddle. In fact you couldn't even see a saddle or girth mark on her. Amazing! Tears were flowing through the grandstand. Pony riders, ambulance drivers, gate crew, grooms and trainers were all taking pictures with their cell phones. I'm so happy I was there to see it.

Goldikova... what more can I say but WOW! By some peoples postings she isn't much because she can only run a mile and on grass.

You all can love or hate each horse as you wish. I personally am thrilled to have such spectacular horses racing for us. Horses like this don't come along often.

15 Jun 2010 10:15 PM
Paula Higgins

This is what I expect: if all the horses stay healthy and in current form, they will show up at the BCC and that includes Rachel. They are an impressive group and whoever shows up is going to need their A game, a good trip, and smart strategy to win.

John Shirreffs is a smart man. He knows the way to build Zenyatta up physically and mentally, and that is not to do alot of flying. She clearly doesn't do well when she ships. I have flown many times east to west and also up and down the east coast. It IS harder flying across the country and it's longer. There really isn't a comparison. It's too bad, so sad that some of us here on this blog don't like the fact that she isn't flying/shipping. John Shirreffs has a goal and he knows his horse better than you do. He knows that the only way he is going to get her in peak shape is to follow pretty much the same program as last year. He may fly her east once before the BCC or he may not. Whatever, she's 6 freaking years old and a girl. The fact that she is still doing what she is doing is amazing. It is also a fact that she is totally underappreciated by some people on this blog who take cheap shots about "not flying across the Rockies" yada, yada, yada. She is also underappreciated by some of the sportswriters on the east coast (see Paul Moran's ESPN piece after the race). Utterly ridiculous of course, but that's their problem. If some of you people had your way, she would ship at least twice to the east, run against the boys, but then she would be a no-show at the BCC because she would be totally spent. Yeah, that sounds like a plan to me. A plan to ruin a perfectly great horse.

15 Jun 2010 10:19 PM
Kit J

I too wonder about the health and condition of Quality Road. He may have run in historically good races but that is the issue with Zenyatta as well. Her races she's been entered in are also historically good.

History doesn't seem to be repeating itself. Particularly in the case of Zenyatta, no one wants to meet her and everyone wants her to travel.

I think maybe if they are really focusing on the Classic that is why they are taking an easy route?

I'm not a mindreader and neither is anyone on here so we don't really know what the plans are for any of these. The majority posting as of now are certainly not horsemen and I'll bet the two who say they are, Billy and JAJ, have no access to any of the upper level horsemen. Not like some we've had, including Barry Irwin at one point and I believe a few others who know people in the class of those who run in the Breeders Cup. So there goes that info.

Quality Road may go several different directions but his races being so far apart has me wondering if his hoof problems have resurfaced.

Mr. Ellis as much as admitted that he is doing his best to get and keep Rail Trip right there, same with Rachel and they've said they're trying to keep Zenyatta together. Maybe it'll be a horse who has come back off a long layoff more recently like Mine That Bird or off of a freshening like Lookin at Lucky.

I do wonder about the impact of some of the three year old colts and some of those who love Churchill Downs. It may end up being a shocker.

We can dream but I think the reality will be just as good, it's the Classic and it always has excellent horses in it.

15 Jun 2010 10:25 PM

Draynay....You are the man!!!  I agree with everything you say.  I find it humorous Z's camp was very eager to race against RA when they knew she had been out of training for 6 months and now you can't blast them out of SO CA. Oh but wait, now they have St Trinians' camp itching for another shot.  In fact St Trinians' trainer laid down the gauntlet and said 'you better leave CA your next race'.  In other words, 'you won't beat us again'. The racing world waits what Z's camp will do.  They definitely don't want to line up against St Trinians again and they sure as hell don't want to face RA now. What's it gonna be Moss and Shirreff.  You can't hide forever....

15 Jun 2010 10:30 PM
Mitch Fresno

you all seem to be MISREMEMBERING someone

15 Jun 2010 10:33 PM

Paula : That's what pretty much is wishing for, they won't ship their east coast horses west because they can't win here, they're inferior here on the west coast and that's why they're scared.  They want Zenyatta to ship east multiple times so that she'll be spent, tired and can't run then they can try and beat her.  It's the only way they can.  A lot of the Zen haters here specially Draynay is scared for his flavor of the month to face Zenyatta at her best because he knows they don't stand a chance.  Watch when Zenyatta wins the Classic, he'll be all over her next year and he'll pretend that he never said anything mean or hateful about Zenyatta.  The guy loves the horse, he just hates it cause he can't afford to fly over here to watch her live.  He'll be off QR's wagon come Classic time.  He's very predictable lol.  

15 Jun 2010 10:42 PM

For once, Draynay made a reasonable post. How did that happen?

Anyway, I love my QR. His Donn field...Dry Martini won the Suburban last year, Delightful Kiss is a multiple graded winner, so it wasn't that bad. The Met Mile...Musket Man is a multiple graded winner who was third in the Derby and Preakness last year, Warrior's Reward is a Grade 1 winner, Le Grand Cru is a multiple graded winner. His fields weren't bad. Why does everyone say they were? His 1 1/4 mile races last year were both in the mud. I know "miler" isn't an insult, but I firmly believe this horse is not a miler. We'll hopefully see come November.

15 Jun 2010 10:43 PM

thats why they call it the classic [the world series or super bowl of horses] every trainer [like a coach] trying to find the best way to get there and protecting their athlete on the way to peak and be at the top of their game come classic day

15 Jun 2010 10:53 PM

Citation : Are you willing to proclaim QR 2010 HOTY right now ?  Off of that Donn win ?  I can tell you're still offended by my posts, but maybe I'm reading you wrong.  Delightful Kiss' next race was at Golden Gate Fields, against Bold Chieftain, they both lost to a local horse.  I'm not saying the horses he beat in the Donn are bad but they are much much weaker than the horses that ran in the Foster.

The only G1 winner he beat in the Met Mile was Warrior's Reward and he's a pure sprinter.  All I'm saying is before you crown QR, he needs to prove a lot more, not saying he can't but his record doesn't tell me 2010 HOTY nor even the best older male horse in training.  He will probably prove me wrong come Whitney but we'll have to wait and see.

15 Jun 2010 11:01 PM
Jason Shandler

Jayjay: You obviously have a difficult problem recognizing talent. It's Ok, not everyone has the ability to see it. Quality Road is a beast in every way. Give it a rest pal.

15 Jun 2010 11:04 PM
Kit J

Will, Citation and tvnewsbadge have all been on Draynay's bandwagon so those opinions never change.

One thing that seems kind of humorous Will is that you say the racing world is waiting to see what Zenyatta's camp will do.

Do you see what you just said?

Hoist by your own petard!

Is the racing and non racing world waiting with baited breath, discussing and cussing any other horse like they are her?

I don't think so.

15 Jun 2010 11:08 PM

Jason : I never said he doesn't have any talent.  You don't have to twist my words to prove anything.  I said he can be the best miler, why is that so hard to understand ?  Has he proven he can win at the Classic distance ?  Can you really honestly say that the Donn or Met field would win against Blame, one of the horses you are touting ?

QR is a good horse but before you guys proclaiming him the beast or the 2010 HOTY, we need to see more that he can beat the best.  Calling him a beast doesn't mean anything.

15 Jun 2010 11:11 PM


What people are saying, including myself, is that the horses that Quality Road has defeated throughout his career, aren't a threat to the other top four on this list.  Quality Road might be the real deal, I happen to think he is, but the only G-1 winners he has defeated are Warrior's Reward (7-F) and Captain Candymancan, a DQ winner in a sprint.  Dry Martini is no better than a G-2 winner and his Suburban win last year was against low quality horses.  Delightful Kiss is basically a turf horse.  Musket Man has had numerous opportunities to win a G-1 race but so far he hasn't.  The fact is this.  Quality Road has not defeated a single G-1 winner of a route race.  Until he does, why shouldn't people question him?

15 Jun 2010 11:14 PM
Jason Shandler

He's not a miler dude! He has set two track records at 9 furlongs and one at 6 1/2 furlongs. Yes, he is 0-for-2 at 1 1/4 miles but he does not excel on wet tracks. Pletcher's words, not mine. Just because he's a front-running type of horse doesnt mean he cant handle distance. Go back and watch the Florida Derby and Donn. Does it look like he was geting tired? Geez.

15 Jun 2010 11:18 PM

Here we go about track surfaces.  Zen gets the business because she scratches from an off track and yet Qualtiy Road gets the benefit of the doubt because Pletcher says he does not run well on sloppy tracks.  I think that's a load.  If he does not run well on off tracks then why run him on one.  They've managed to space all his other races out.  I just don't think he was good enough on those days.  What's wrong with conceeding defeat once in a while?

15 Jun 2010 11:26 PM
Jason Shandler

What Laz?? There is a big difference between running over a wet track while hitting the board and scratching because the track is wet. You need to actually run over a wet track to determine whether youre suited for it or not. Pletcher doesnt need to make excuses for his colt. He knows what he has. With Zenyatta, we're all still trying to figure out what she is. Her campaigns have been so incredibly conservative, save one race, that it is still a mystery as to how good she is. If you're not willing to admit that, youre blinded.

15 Jun 2010 11:33 PM

jayjay, you are 100% right Jason doesn't need to twist your words to prove anything.  Every time you post something you prove plenty.  Six years ago jayjay I had to listen all year to the same nonsense you spout over and over again.  Draynay Ghostzapper is just a miler he will NEVER get the distance.  The CLASSSIC distance is 1 1/4 Ghostzapper wants no part of that BLAH BLAH BLAH...  Everyone here saw Quality Road as a young 3 year old run 1 1/4 and do it well considering he doesn't LIKE MUD.  Try to focus jayjay.  QR is now a 4 year old and a undefeated 4 year old who already set a track record this year AND ran the second fastest mile ever in the Met Mile.  So... we are nicely asking you to get a clue and stop with the distance stuff it really sound lame and makes no sense at all.  Watch the Donn again and notice he ran 200 yards past the wire with no problem and could have run around the track again and it wouldn't have changed anything.  More importantly come up with some new material your stuff is stale and MonicaV deserves better.

15 Jun 2010 11:35 PM


“I agree with you about Rachel running in the Foster.  She would have won easily.  As for Blame, I don't think he would have gotten past Battle Plan if he wasn't injured. Don't think he'll get past rachel or Rail trip either.”

Really? I was super-impressed with Blame in the Foster. I thought he showed a tremendous turn of foot to go past Battle Plan. Honestly, I think Battle Plan looked like he was stopping MORE because Blame was pulling away the way he did. Obviously we’ll see how things go, but he does love CD and seems to be one of the few who will like 10F.

As for Rachel and Zenyatta, everytime there’s been talk about Zenyatta’s goal being the BC, it’s ALWAYS been the Classic. With Rachel, it’s never been specified. I would be surprised to see Zenyatta going in the Ladies Classic. I don’t think she’ll go anywhere but the Classic if she’s coming up to the race the way John Shirreffs wants her to. And if asked to choose between Rachel and Zenyatta at 10F, it’s no contest for me. Zenyatta’s proven at the distance (boy IS she) and her running style, combined with what is certain to be a hot pace (look what she did with a so-so pace last year), makes her extremely tough. For me, Rachel’s speed may get her into trouble at 10F. I’m not sure she’ll be able to separate the way she usually does at shorter distances. Not because she can’t get 10F, but because in the conditions that are sure to exist in the Classic, it will be made more difficult for her. Quality Road’s got legitimate natural speed. Both Rail Trip and Blame can come from slightly off the pace and they both have big kicks. I haven’t even mentioned Lookin At Lucky yet. Rachel turned back one challenger after another in the Woodward but not at this level, and not at 10F. We’ll see, but a better option for her may be the Ladies Classic and maybe that’s why they haven’t been specific about where they’re going.


“John Shirreffs has a goal and he knows his horse better than you do.”

Exactly! And look, this isn’t about HOTY. It’s about the HORSE. Because if anyone knows how NOT to win HOTY, it’s the Mosses and John Shirreffs. So by the process of deduction, it must be concluded that their GOAL is to get to the BC and win another Classic. If their goal was to get HOTY, then maybe they’d just ship all over and be damned. But it’s not.


“Here we go about track surfaces.  Zen gets the business because she scratches from an off track and yet Qualtiy Road gets the benefit of the doubt because Pletcher says he does not run well on sloppy tracks.  I think that's a load.”

Because Quality Road’s an East Coast horse and Zenyatta isn’t! Blah blah blah. And the deal with CD the day Zenyatta was supposed to run was because it was SEALED, not because it was wet. Ask Nick Zito how he feels about a sealed racetrack. A lot of trainers just plain won’t run on one but I suppose it’s only a detriment if it’s John Shirreffs with Zenyatta.

15 Jun 2010 11:36 PM

Jayjay, I'm not crowning him HOY. When did I ever say I was? All I'm saying is that he's a legit threat to win the Classic. Of course he isn't HOY yet.

15 Jun 2010 11:41 PM

Does living in Oklahoma mean that I am an East Coaster? Neither coast is better than the other. Ilove Zen,I just happen to like QR a litte more. Is that so wrong? And, for the record, I don't blame Shirreffs for not running Zen on a sealed track.

15 Jun 2010 11:47 PM
Brian Appleton

I think Rachel Alexandra is poised to run yet another great campaign and until she starts winning against the boys again this year Zenyatta is going to be kept safely in California.

Zenyatta is amazing, incredible, unbeatable, any way you want to say it. But I can't get around the fact that her connections are once again blowing her chances at winning Horse of the Year by continuing to run her against fillies and mares on the California synthetics. They need to wake up: time for a new challenge, it's time to race the males on the dirt. I have no doubt she can do it.

Quality Road is fantastic so far this year but I still think both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are better than him in top shape.

Lookin At Lucky should continue to improve this summer and if he makes it to the Breeders' Cup he could give the older horses a run for their money.

15 Jun 2010 11:47 PM

Jason- Precisionist was every bit a beast as Quality Road.  He had to compete against Greinton and Turkoman.  He made beating Lady's Secret look easy.  He always was running at the end of 9 furlongs.  But he had alot of trouble with 10 furlongs.  He needed to have everything going his way to win a 10 furlong race.  Believe me, I am not insulting Quality Road by questioning whether he can go 10 furlongs or not.  He is a brilliant horse by any standard.  But 10 furlongs on a deeper track like Churchill might be a little tough for him.  Which is why Mr Pletcher is prepping him the way he is, I believe.  He said he wants Quality Road fresh for the BCC.  You beleive he can win at 10 furlongs.  You may be right.  There is only one race coming up where we will find out, and that's not until November.

15 Jun 2010 11:48 PM

Jason- by the same token, he could be like Spend A Buck who could win at 10 furlongs :-)

15 Jun 2010 11:49 PM

In the JCGC QR got beat by a length and earned a 110 Beyer.  That sounds like he can handle the track to me.  The reason QR didn't win over a sloppy track was Summer Bird.  At the time he simply wasn't good enough to beat him.  If a horse does not run well or is not suited for an off track, don't run him on it.  Lots of other trainers have scratched because of an off track including Pletcher.  I think that the Moss' should be allowed that privlege.  As far as being conservative and picking your spots, I don't see anything wrong with it.  Goldikova, the NOW horse has run exactly 17 times in this her fourth year of racing.  This matches Zen's career in terms of spacing races out.

15 Jun 2010 11:56 PM

Draynay's bandwagon? I'm insulted. Have I ever Zenyatta bashed, proclaimed myself "handicapping LEGEND" or anything like that? No. I just try to defend QR and suddenly people act like I'm a Zen hater or something. I didn't think that Dray's opinions about Zen were reasonable, I just think that he is correct about QR and Rachel getting the distance.

15 Jun 2010 11:59 PM
Jason Shandler

You were making some good points Laz until you compared Zenyatta's campaigns to Goldikova's. Lol. How many times has Goldy faced males? C'mon. That mare has done it all. She has taken all all comers. The owners have danced every dance and shipped her across the ocean twice. They wont even send Zenyatta to NY. Please dont compare the strength of schedules for the two mares. It's not even in the same ballpark.

16 Jun 2010 12:03 AM


I knew that you would come back with that.  I'm not saying that Zenyatta is Goldi or vice versa. I'm not comparing the strength of their schedules either. I'm simply saying that they have both raced 17 times in this their fourth year of racing.  I know that Goldi has defeated males six times now.  She should be commended for it.  I wonder if Zen was in some of the longer races over there how well she would do.  On the other hand, if Goldi came over here and raced in  the same G-1 races that Zen raced in, how well would she have done?  All I know is that Zen has done exactly what she has been asked to do and even in her stiffest challenge, the one race even I questioned them putting her in, she excelled.  I will say one thing, who had the toughest BC race last year, Goldi or Zen?

16 Jun 2010 12:13 AM

I've seen those races, Draynay reminds me every day.  My thoughts about him not getting the distance isn't about his style of running although I do think that would pose a problem for him in the Classic, I'm questioning him being the best older horse right now because he hasn't won at that distance.  You guys are proclaiming him the horse to beat but I happen to disagree.  He set 2 9 furlongs records at the same track, his favorite track.  If the Classic is at GP this year, I would be the first one to call him the HOTY.  Has he even run at CD, no, how do you know he will run the same way at CD the way he does at GP or Saratoga ?  Stop proclaiming him the beast, and let him prove himself, none of his races have proven anything so far.   Like I said, he will probably prove me wrong come Whitney and I would gladly post that I'm wrong, it's no big deal to me as long as he makes it the Classic intact and ready to race.

If I say Zenyatta is the beast of the west, you and draynay and the lil nay nays would come up with all sorts of reasons why she is not, and will not until she goes east.  If I proclaim her the winner of HOTY, you'd probably create a blog specifically for stating reasons why she would never get your vote and that she will never even be close to winning it.

I find it funny that you don't have any issues with the Zenyatta bashing regardless of what she has accomplished which is far far better than what QR has done so far this year.  Yet, you can't get over the fact that people can't see how QR is a beast ?  Who has he beaten this year that is noteworthy ?  Again, he may prove to be the best but we haven't even seen him run against the top contenders so to proclaim him a "beast" to me doesn't seem right.  

Citation : I never said you did, I was asking if you are willing to crown him HOTY based on his Donn win, the way Draynay did.  My comments about QR is all about Jason and Draynay proclaiming him a monster and HOTY.  I just happen to disagree with them and posted why.

16 Jun 2010 12:14 AM

Draynay : It seems to me that there's a lot of folks that don't believe QR can get that distance.  Like you said, Ghostzapper did but if you are going to compare QR to Ghostzapper, then I think you need to focus with what you're spewing.  What races with quality opponents has QR won ?  GZ proved he is a beast, let's see if QR can.  The only race that will determine if he can get the distance is the Classic, let's see him win it and I will eat my crow, hay, whatever but until then, stop proclaiming him the HOTY, you look like a fool doing it.

16 Jun 2010 12:21 AM

Jayjay: It's okay. I've been in that situation plenty of times.

Bandwagoners: (Insert hype horse who has won two races here) is the greatest since Spectacular Bid!

Me: No he isn't. (Explains why)

Bandwagoners: You're just a hater!


(Note: the above script is for comedy only)

So yeah, I know where you're coming from.

16 Jun 2010 12:26 AM

Yowza!  This is getting vicious...I'm just pumped that this seems to be a wicked year and hopefully, if the connections of certain HORSES, (note the plural) run in certain races should be exciting!  All this snapping is somewhat disapointing..you can support a horse without bashing another!

The races where people get passionate and where the outcome is hard to predict are the best and we should be grateful that this year we have tons of that!  I mean, this years Stephen Foster compared to Curlin's?  Even this years Vanity compared to last!  C'mon people!!  Lighten up, go to the track, grab a drink and ENJOY!  Who knows when we'll be so lucky to get this quality of racing again.  And if all works out and I'm sure there will be some up and comers throughout the summer, this yers BCC will be EPIC!

16 Jun 2010 12:29 AM

JayJay - AGREED.  We shall not proclaim QR as HOY in June.  Crazy for anyone to think that, but we all know where crazy comes from on here.  I for one question that he can beat Z at 10F at CD.  But he is, to me, the top male horse in training RIGHT NOW.  That's what makes a possible match up between Blame and QR in the Whitney an exciting prospect.  In Blame we have another lightly raced 4 year old coming into his best form. Can't wait.

16 Jun 2010 12:40 AM

Citation : I'm confused, I never said anything about you in relation to bandwagoners.  

I've never bashed QR, just because people can't accept the fact that I don't believe QR is the best horse out there right now doesn't mean I'm bashing him.  If anyone can prove it, then post it back to me.  I kept asking, does ANYONE think that the Donn field is a quality field, does ANYONE think that that field or the Met Mile field would place in the Foster ?   I've stated before, there's a reason TP didn't choose the Foster, there's quality there.  TP is being conservative with QR, it's very very obvious and he's dead on about doing that, his biggest race is the Classic, TP knows this because he still hasn't won the distance and he'll be up against a true speed horse in Rail Trip (if all plans come together).  IF and a big IF, Rachel shows up in the Classic, he'll have to go with her and will have to try and put her away early, to give him any chance at all at getting away from Zenyatta and Blame.

16 Jun 2010 12:40 AM
Matthew W

fillies beat males all the time on turf--not the same on dirt, especially 1 1/4...by the way, is Quality Road gonna run in a 1 1/4 race, or is he gonna stay in the middle distances? I'll let him beat me in the Classic, thank you very much--rather have a 1 1/4 hoss--like Zenyatta/like Rail Trip/like Mine That Bird--for real, I mean, win a race at 1 1/4, then tell me about the Beast of the East--until that time, at least I "know" what kind of horse Zenyatta is--she dirts/she wins/she gets the distance---maybe you "know" what kind of horse Quality Road is--maybe you're a horse whisperer, or something--just that I need 'ta see it--he's a miler, I'll give him that--helluva miler--but at 1 1/4 at Churchill Downs, in my opinion there are far less questions about Zenyatta then about your #1 guy! Winning one turn miles under 124 lbs is not what I would call "throwing it all out there"--lets see them at least try another 1 1/4 race, otherwise how can you call that anything but conservative? Remember, he's #1, right?!

16 Jun 2010 12:51 AM

Nevermind Jayjay, I was resonding to a certain aspect of your posts tthat would take too long to explain. I was just trying to give a jovial sendoff because I thought the discussion was over for now. You never said anything about me in relation to bandwagoners. Sorry for the confusion.

16 Jun 2010 1:06 AM

Right now the best reason to even give a hoot about racing is for one reason and one reason only-her name is Zenyatta. Lets hope another horse can pick up the mantle when she no longer competes. But it won't be Rachel.  

She will be "shockingly" retired soon. However, I do look forward to her babies (sired by Curlin of course).

16 Jun 2010 1:07 AM

I do think that J Shandler has a point in saying that Goldikova has an edge over Zenyatta in the "strength of schedule" argument.

But when I think of the Breeder's Cup Classic - and Zenyatta "mowing 'em down" ...

It makes me certain that the phrase and concept will be forever linked to Zenyatta.

Always dead last - winning by heads and necks.  

I foresee that Zenyatta has taken ownership of "mowing 'em down" in the stretch -- the same way we all know what a 'Silky Sullivan' means in horse racing parlance.

I see Zenyatta being remembered/immortalized by horseballs for years to come.

16 Jun 2010 1:12 AM

Matthew W

Hear Yee!  Hear Yee!

16 Jun 2010 1:13 AM
Matthew W

A miler is a horse who might win at 1 1/8, might win at 1 1/4--but his/her optimim distance is the gruel of the mile--much more gruelling is the two turn mile--Quality Road obviously is the real deal--so were Precisionist, Ack Ack, Seattle Slew, Bid, Swaps and the Doc--the difference between Quality Road and those other greats is he never won at 1 1/4--they did, many dominated at 1 1/4--so don't go telling me how great Quality Road is--at a mile--no doubt--but I saw all of those guys 'cept 'Fager and Swaps, and he ain't them....like Precisionist, and, probably Ack Ack, Quality Road looks way better at 1 mi through 1 1/8 mi..there's no denying he faltered both times at 1 1/4--in other words, check yourselves, QRoadies! Don't chase bad $$$ in the Classic this year! Bottom line: he's a miler, capable of dominating at 1 1/8--not likely to beat every horse at 1 1/4--especially this year!

16 Jun 2010 1:16 AM

First a few "rants":

Maureen:  Rachel IS HOY because she should have been.  It's Zenyatta's tepid campaigns that fail to convince the doubters.

LDP: Three cheers for your putdown of the Phanton re: RA "1-1/16th specialist".  Don't you just love stats?

"Goldie" won't run in the BCC. What part of "turf mile specialist" do you folks not understand?

P.S. - this doesn't diminish her greatness.

If the current "Big 5" do make it to the BCC, all I can say is "WOW".

There are question marks for each of them but each are capable of getting the distance under the right circumstances.  Yes, Zenyatta and Rail Trip are the only ones that have won at 1-1/4 mi.  But we don't know if Zenyatta can catch top quality DIRT horses on a dirt track and we don't know if Rail Trip will handle dirt (or shipping) at all.  Though I must say his stalking style and ability to kick on in the stretch should convert to dirt.  Rachel has won at 1-3/16th mile (as a 3-yr old); and made 1-1/8 mile look really easy a few times including her most recent start in the FdL.  Nothing I saw last week says she can't get another 8th of a mile. QR has run competively at 1-1/4 mi. The fact he hasn't won could be because of the wet track both times he tried it. He looks like a much more focused and mature horse this year, that's for sure. Blame is the biggest question mark for me, having relatively few starts.  but his SF stretch run was extremely impressive.

Let's hope they all stay sound and healthy and that there connections position them to be ready for the race of their lives.    

16 Jun 2010 1:43 AM
Race On

I will be the first to admit that I love Zenyatta.  I will have more respect for RA when she carries the weight that Zen does and gets the job done.  It does not matter what the track is like or who the competition is, if you put enough weight on them eventually they will get beat.  Zen ran against mares that she had not run against carrying a lot more than them and won a grade 1 and you still find fault with her!  Everyone is excited because RA won a grade 2 on her favorite track against mediocre company.  Let their owners and trainers do what is best for them and lets see what happens.

16 Jun 2010 2:02 AM


Yes, champions run at Saratoga.  But, they also run at Del Mar, Calder, Delaware, Monmouth and other tracks.

Don't get me wrong, Saratoga is the best summer meet.  It was stronger than Del Mar before the installation of PolyTrack and has solidified its status further since.  There is a reason NYRA has exteneded the Saratoga meet and has moved a number of traditional Belmont stakes races there.

However, to infer that a horse MUST run at Saratoga is simply factually incorrect.  I'm sure Bloodhorse will want you and other writers to cover more than just Saratoga over the summer.  Saratoga is a great meet, the best, but racing doesn't begin and end with Saratoga.

As for your response to my post concerning the rarity of Eastern horses being shipped to Cali, you didn't address the fact that this trend predates synthetics.  And if you are suggesting that they haven't shipped because summer racing in Cali doesn't matter(Saratoga is everything), then you basically confirm the bias I suggested was behind the lack of shipping.

As for how similar Hollywood Park's Cushion Track is to dirt, one of my key points is that there are many differences between the traditonal dirt surfaces(Belmont vs. Monmouth).  Secondly, as other posters pointed out, synthetic surfaces are still mostly dirt/sand.  Third, forgetting labels, I truly think Cushion plays closer to a number of dirt tracks than it does to Santa Anita and Del Mar.  Honestly, I was shocked to see the differences when Hollywood opened its meet this year as compared to Santa Anita; and my handicapping was thrown completely off because of it.

Finally, trainers and owners are most likely to avoid a synthetic track if it plays differently from dirt.  Thus, the key thing is not the label "synthetic" but how the track plays.  For good reason, the connections of East Coast horses(especially speed horses) have become reluctant to ship to Santa Anita and Del Mar because their synthetic surfaces are quite different from dirt and really negate speed.  

But what if there was some "synthetic" surface that played almost exactly like dirt, let's say SuperSynth.  As long as SuperSynth played like most dirt tracks, then should the connections of horses avoid running on it simply because it happens to be a "synthetic"?  If owners and trainers are expected to run their hores on the many and very different varieties of dirt surfaces, why shouldn't they also run on SuperSynth?  The excuse not to run because it's synthetic would be quite shallow; what should matter is how it PLAYS.

I'm not saying Cushion Track is SuperSynth.  Yes, it has elements that are not found in traditional dirt tracks, and for that reason alone it will differ from dirt tracks.  Of course, there is also a significant variation in the composition of dirt tracks as well.  The label "dirt" covers a great variety of differing surfaces, just as there is also variation among "synthetic" surfaces.

So, moving beyond labels, the key is how a track plays.  And here, the evidence that Hollywood Park differs significantly from Pro-Ride and PolyTrack is quite obvious.  The most important difference is that speed holds on Cushion Track; the result is legitimate paces and internal fractions that typically mirror dirt races.  Prior to this weekend, there had been 42 races run at 8.5 furlongs(the most frequent 2-turn distance) on Hollywood's Cushion Track.  Of those 42, frontrunners won 18, pace pressers won 15, mid-pack horses won 4, and closers 5.  So, about 75% of 8.5 furlong races on Cushion have been won by speed horses.  In comparison, through about 3/4ths of the Santa Anita meet, there had been at most a handful of frontrunners who had won a 2-turn race on Pro-Ride.

So, that's where I'm coming from.  Yes, I do write alot, but I wasn't just trying to convince folks with rhetorical trickery.  My own personal observations are supported by evidence.  Cushion Track plays significantly different  Pro-Ride(I'm real interested in following the Del Mar meet up-close), and has a profile quite similar to many dirt tracks.  

So, if the excuse for trainers not to ship is that synthetic ruins speed, the facts for Hollywood(alone) do not support it.  And if the excuse is based on the failures of Eastern dirt horses during the last 2 Breeder's Cups, these people should be reminded that Hollywood's Cushion Track is not Santa Anita's Pro-Ride, far from it in fact.

Thus, my OPINION is that owners and trainers using the excuse  that Hollywood is "synthetic" for not running in the Hollywood Gold Cup(or other Hollywood stakes) is weak.  That leaves others reasons, like the reasons Sherriffs is giving for not sending Zenyatta East, for not shipping out West.  Travel is not easy, the environment is different, the weather different, travelling is expensive, there are alternative races closer to home, etc.  Those can all be valid reasons why not to ship.  But I, personally, am not going to agree with connections using the fact Hollywood is "synthetic" as an excuse for not shipping; I think it's a cop-out.

ps- Of course, key to choosing races is determining whether a horse likes "the feel" of a particular surface.  For instance, some horses just don't like Churchill(Skip Away), or Belmont(too sandy), or the old Cali dirt tracks(too hard).  However, the only way to know whether a horse will like Hollywood's Cushion is to run them over it.  Without this imformation, the connections will likely look at how the track plays.  And if they are doing it, they will see that Cushion plays closer to most dirt tracks than Pro-Ride and that of the California horses that have shipped back East, most of the successful ones were proven over Cushion(Lookin at Lucky and Blind Luck compared to Sidney's Candy).

16 Jun 2010 2:45 AM

Sorry Chicago fans, I forgot to list Arlington as a place for good summer racing.  Last year on Million day alone, champions Gio Ponti and She Be Wild ran along with Presious Passion, Einstein, Gloria de Campeo, Pure Clan, and Take the Points.  

16 Jun 2010 2:56 AM

Congrats to Team Goldi.  What a horse.  I'm was so lucky to see her at the Breeder's Cup.  Wow I love Breeder's Cup! So, so many good horses!

On a related note, why hasn't Saratoga ever held a Breeder's Cup(real question, not rhetorical)?

16 Jun 2010 2:59 AM
The Deacon

Well two things never change, Zenyatta remains undefeated and Draynay was born misinformed..........

16 Jun 2010 3:23 AM
Vic S

Wow, I'm gone for a day from my computer and sooooooo much has been written.  It is a fact that Zenyatta is the best horse in training.  You can't argue this.  Undefeated, almost 3 straight years of G1 Co.  Both QR and Rachel can't say this, and NEITHER are undefeated.  Rachel is unproven at 1 1/4, unproven against legitimate older G1 males(world class), and has a SINGLE win this season in THREE starts, Zenyatta already has 3 G1's this year, keep counting folks.  :  )  Only a fool couldn't see this.  Quality Road is ALOT of hype, he has yet to beat a G1 horse, at least in a winning effort - I'm not going to look up statistics its 3 in the morning!  Until Quality Road beats true quality horses(world class) he can't be mentioned in the same breath as Zenyatta(BCC winner).  What beyer did he get??? Doesn't matter, you aren't remembered for your beyer numbers(only to DRF writers), your remembered for wins!  Tell me, do you honestly think Formal Gold - who by the numbers is the greatest horse to race in quite sometime - even compares to horses like Holy Bull, John Henry, etc.  No, no one even talks about him, and they never will!  Great horses, make a name for themselves not by some made up numbers but for WINNING - the only ONE SINGLE THING in the sport that can't EVER be challenged.  For those of you who don't know what horseracing is all about I'll say it again WINNING. You must win, and win consistently to be a great horse, Quality Road has had a few spectacular performances, he is pure talent but talent is trumped by greatness.  This is why Affirmed is superior to Spectacular Bid, and why Seattle Slew is superior to Affirmed.  The GREATEST horse wins the race not necessarily the one with the most talent - even though I know Zenyatta is more talented and obviosly greater than QR.  Quality Road isn't the 17 race straight-undefeated race winner, BCC Champion, and what is it 11 TIME G1 WINNER!  Wins don't lie, especially when their attached to a G1.  Zenyatta has 11 G1's, Rachel has 5 - less than half.  Quality Road has a dismal 3.  I hope you kids can count.  This isn't an arguement but rather a lecture, me being the conservative professor and those of you who can't come to terms with reality being the liberal hippie college know-it-alls.  Now tell me, what do hippies know - NOTHING.  Winning = Zenyatta.  Losing 2/3 of your races in a single season = Rachel.  Just to put it into cave man terms you hippies.

16 Jun 2010 4:03 AM

Quality Road is a joke.

Your going to tell me that he is going to outrun the current Breeders Cup Classic champion at 1 1/4.

Your living in a fantasy world.

Quality Road won't even be around at the 1/16th pole. Rail Trip will take care of that for him.


16 Jun 2010 5:05 AM

Goldikova is the Queen...what a girl...doesn't duck the boys...

16 Jun 2010 6:30 AM

These are Timeform rankings:

Goldikova 133

Zenyatta  131

This was before Goldikova, the miler, beat Paco Boy, a miler, by a head at weight-for-age.

The difference between Zenyatta and Goldikova is that Goldikova is not forced to run in handicaps.

The argument will be settled if Zenyatta ran in The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and blew them all away.

Now that is something to dream about.

16 Jun 2010 6:39 AM

I haven't had a chance to read all of the comments yet but wanted to say to CV that Pipedreamer was reported as being lame on his left fore when being pulled up.  There is no other news to report and the Racing Post is very good at reporting injuries so if it had been more serious we would know about it.

I thought some of you may be interested to read this article which has appeared today:


No Breeders' Cup for Canford Cliffs!

16 Jun 2010 7:07 AM

Matthew W, thanks for adding to the complete garbage we all knew we would continue to see.  Seems many of you can't understand that 2 + a= 4 and that (a) must = 2.  This distance issue with Quality Road is just tired, old and frankly LAME.  The horse at 3 went 1 1/4 in THE MUD.

We all saw him get beat by Summer Bird in the MUD.  But many of you CONTINUE to ignore that Quality Road has won EVERY stakes race on dry ground he has EVER run.  So doesn't it make sense if he sees DRY GROUND going 1 1/4 everyone is in trouble ? Or do you just not get it ?  Name all the top horses who have gone 1 1/4 on dirt better then Quality Road... I'll wait.  Matthew, you say Quality Road may dominate winning big at 1 1/8th but that doesn't mean he can do the same if you add 200 yards.  Yes it does.  Watch him run and try to figure out how he loses a 10 length lead in 200 yards...geez.

16 Jun 2010 7:50 AM
jimmy redneck

Don't kid yourself RA will never go in the Classic if even one of these others goes there. JJ and Co. have spent almost two years now ducking Zenyatta and longer races looking for the easiest route to victory. Example: the Fluke Da Claimers that has no business being a graded race this year. They waited until the last moment to announce where she was going to insure she was meeting nothing of consequence. Top that off with the fact she's been beaten 2 of 3 times already and they don't want another loss on their tarnished record since being selected by East Coast biased voters HOY.

16 Jun 2010 8:15 AM

There are so many assumptions and suppositions on this blog, it's ridiculous.  So many what-if's. Here's another... What if Cigar had been fertile...can you just imagine the colts we'd be discussing today?  

Let's stick with reality. QR starred in a Saratoga sprint and the Met Mile.  I was not that impressed by the GSP races.  Blame is showing an incredible overdrive kick that astounded me.  He looked like a champion.  RA is still working at getting back into form.  She's run well, and her losses were nothing to be ashamed of.  In both losses, she was so close to a win and so far ahead of the rest of the pack.  Is she back to form yet...no.  Zen...love her, she was unbelievable in the Vanity. I am not certain but I'm thinking she needs more time to get into gear, in which case 10 furlongs will suit her better than 9.  Rail Trip...one more supposition....I would think it poetic to have Borel ride him at Churchill...what would be more appropriate?  We're still 5 months away from the BC.  Let's just enjoy the journey there, it should be fantastic. (And I can't wait for IWR to come back.  He was my favorite last year.)

16 Jun 2010 8:38 AM

Dray- Noble's Promise ran well in the St James at Royal Ascot.  I think he was only 2 1/4 out of second, as nobody in the field was going to beat  6 length winner Canford Cliffs.  A great showing.

16 Jun 2010 8:40 AM
Pam R

I sick of people calling Jess Jackson a coward.  His younger filly faced males of all ages three times last year. The Mosses only dared put an older Zenyatta against the boys once and are again putting her in easy races on tracks where she has already proven herself.  I am not necessarily saying RA is better-we need to see them race each other a few times-but at least we know that RA can run on many different tracks and has literally kicked mud in the boys' faces.  Also, I wish people would stop saying RA won't get a mile and a quarter.  Yes, she hasn't done it yet, but that just means that we don't know how far she can go.  I would love to see a sloppy track for the Classic.  A truly great horse, in my eyes, can handle any kind of track and surface.  So far, Zenyatta is a little lacking in that category.

16 Jun 2010 8:54 AM

Ok, so to the poster who put Rachel at #1 and Quality Road not on the list, I want to know what they are basing that off of because it is certainly NOT 2010. We are not interested in what Rachel did last year. This year she has one win, two losses, and her win came against allowance horses. She may not be back. She did what Grade I Horse of the Years are supposed to do when they run against allowance/claimers. She won by a pole! It certainly does not make her the best horse currently in training. I love Rachel, but come on, even her zealots cannot think she is #1 for this year based off of that race. And if you think Jackson is going to run her a mile and a quarter against the best colts, you are dreaming. My bet is she goes in the Distaff. She has never run that far, and may have distance limitations, especially if she is a step below the Rachel of 2009.

16 Jun 2010 9:18 AM
Terri Z

To all Quality Road doubters, I have seen him run at Gulfstream. His well muscled physique, his extremely broad chest and neck and powerful legs and speed remind me of his great grandsire, Secretariat. He is the real deal. Unfortunately, he also inherted another trait from Secretariat; he is afraid of engine noise and the helicopter whirling above the starting gate in the Breeders Cup caused him to act up.

Dunkirk came on strong in the Florida Derby and briefly overtook QR. He handily defeated Dunkirk with plenty of fuel left in the tank.

In the Donn Handicap, he glided effortlessly over the track like a winged Pegasus. It was a surreal experience. He beat his own previous track record there.

After 1 1/8 miles he was not at all tired and looked like he could have easily handled 1 1/2 miles.

I was a yard from him in the Paddock in the Donn and he came out like he meant business. He was totally focused; what an exceptional animal he is.

As far as him not being raced much, I am sure that is because of his feet. Big Brown wasn't raced much due to hoof issues.

But QR's hoof issues were nowhere as severe as BB's according to the farrier who treated them both.

Let's cellibrate the wonderful horses who are running and the owners who keep them running at 4 and older.

We will never know all that Big Red could have achieved as his owner was forced to syndicate him due to financial conserdations.

16 Jun 2010 9:41 AM
Terri Z

Sorry about your loss Jason. Hope things are well for you and your family.

Incidentally, I whole heartedly agreed with you on Chrisitine Daae. I think she needs another rider. When her jockey was injured and Johnny V took over in her maiden she was glorious.

Not every horse will accept every rider. If her owners move her to Pletcher's barn she will have Johnny V ride her again and then we will see something special. Just my opinion.

Best wishes.

16 Jun 2010 9:49 AM

Someone wrote that they think Zen should be retired, due to the fact that she has nothing to prove, how many grade 1 horse has Zenyatta beat on dirt.  I’ll wait, shouldn’t take very long, as she’s only raced on dirt twice, comments like that from Maureen shouldn’t even be posted on this blog, they should be put in the Horse racing for dummies thread on a beginner site. I can understand being blinded by the blanket of lies coming from the Zenyatta camp, but please ask your favorite horses’ connections why they won’t go in the Hollywood Gold Cup; I mean really what is there to prove in races against fillies and mares out west. Seriously, or is there a reason she can’t face males but 1 time in her stellar synthetic career.

And JayJay, you finally put into words what people have been saying about Zenyatta for 3 years now, let me quote you: “QR is a good horse but before you guys proclaiming him the beast or the 2010 HOTY, we need to see more that he can beat the best.  Calling him a beast doesn't mean anything.”jayjay 15 Jun 2010 11:11 PM Saying she is this and that is not worth the time of day, Goldikova and Rachel have 8 or 9 races against males under their belt between them, Zenyatta has 1, why is that do you think, Even in her back yard they wont enter her in the HWGC, sad to see her all out in a weak race that has no significance on the national level.  The vanity seriously, And someone mentioned St. Trinians although one of my fav horses off that galant effort she is a grade II quality horse, she’s won no Grade 1 races, I know you want to make her look better than she already is, which she’s quite impressive but the fields that Rachel and Zenyatta ran against on Sat and Sunday were almost identical.  Only difference is this is par for the course for Zenyatta, it was very surprising even off two losses that JJ choose such a soft spot, just not in his usual nature.  

16 Jun 2010 10:09 AM

All these people claim this or that mare/horse is the greatest....none have come close to the greatest------

Kincsem (Hungarian for "my treasure") (1874-1887) was the most successful Thoroughbred race horse ever, having won 54 races for 54 starts. Born in Tápiószentmárton, Hungary in 1874, she is a national icon, and is revered in other parts of the world too. Over four seasons she won all her races against both female and male company at various race tracks across Europe, a record that's still unbeaten.

This would be the greatest "racemare" in the world!

16 Jun 2010 10:13 AM

Really QR can't get 10 furlongs? You guys are just reaching for things to knock him aren't you?

The Travers was a toss race. He ran that after only having a 6.5 furlong race, where he set a track record, in a 4.5 months as a prep for a 10 furlong race. Considering, he was on the rail in the Travers, not normally a place anyone likes to be on a muddy surface, and that he was competing agaist Summer Bird, who relishes distance and mud, he did really well.

In the JCGC, I actually picked SB. I felt that QR was getting close to peak, but he was not there yet. I felt he would challenge SB and make him work, but not beat him. When the forecast showed rain I felt even better I picked him. I was right. SB, who was at the top of his game, in his element in distance and relishing the surface won. QR, who Pletcher says tolerates mud, but does not excell on the surface, yet again ran very well.

He did not falter in the Gold Cup, simply caught by a horse who had more bottom at the time and relished the going. This does not mean he can't get 10 furlongs.

16 Jun 2010 10:13 AM

Friday 9th race at Churchill is very interesting.  Haggai gets Romans and Bridgmohan and that is a very good team.  Romans calms her works down a bit and may getter a fresher horse for his trouble.  This horse has speed and a outside post and really stands out for the win here over the favorite Dashing Debby who has failed to deliver as the favorite more then once.

16 Jun 2010 10:14 AM

RA can't get distance either is laughable. She has run six times a 9 furlongs and over and guess what she is at those distances? She is unbeaten. In four of those six she won by over five lengths going. In three of the she has won by over 10 lengths pulling away while under wraps. In each of those race she stalked the leader or pressured the them before exploding. The two races that were closer were when she was sent to the lead, in order to avoid bumping, boxing and jostling, and was pushed to run demanding fractions.

It can be seen quite clearly that RA does not need the lead and that when she is not on the lead and stalking the pace she or applying the pressure to the pace she is much more comfortable and effective.

At 10 furlongs riders will ride differentley then a shorter distances, if the horse allows them that option. RA does in a way. She runs out of the gate finds a rythem and stays in that rythem unless asked to do otherwise, the Preakness and Woodward are good examples of that.

If the pace is to hot in front of her and Calvin feels comfortable in letting her rate, she will lay a couple lengths back, if it's too slow she will be on the lead or pressuring the lead.

Calvin will most likely ride her to her strength in the Classic and if he does she will explode as normal. Against fillies she will dominate in the Classic, we will see if that burst is enough to stave off QR, Blame, Rail Trip and Zen.

16 Jun 2010 10:33 AM

Two things going against QR for this years Classic are the possibility of an off track and the noise levels when they load in the gate. If he can get a fast track and overcome the menories of last years fiasco at the gate he is the one to beat and Zen is the only one that can do it!  

16 Jun 2010 10:35 AM

i got a feeling that if goldikova wins her 3rd mile then she will get HOTY. lol its possible

16 Jun 2010 10:51 AM

Fact:  Quality Road is a beast.  He is not a miler.  Anyone who says so is wrong.  The fact that he ran so well at 1 1/4 miles on wet tracks which he clearly does not like, and the fact that he ran in those races, is a testament to his enormous ability.

Fact: someone on this blog earlier called Rachel a 1 1/16 specialist.  This is a totally incorrect statement.  She has won numerous graded stakes races at 1 1/8 miles against males and females.  She won the Preakness at a "classic" distance.  Rachel is a beast and a force to be reckoned with.

Fact:  Zenyatta is insanely good.  No horse has ever beaten her to the wire.  She has encountered easy trips and difficult trips.  Her style evokes memories of The Grey Ghost, Native Dancer, and she is the most exciting horse in the world to watch.  Her 17 in a row record gets downgraded on this blog for no good reason when it is something that should be universally lauded.  Hey, it stinks that she races on Polytrack alot but its not like she's winning stakes at Golden Gate Park.  She is winning races on California's best tracks and top graded stakes.  She has also won her only times on dirt.  Any statement that she is not a major factor in the Breeder's Cup is ridiculous.

Opinion:  If these great horses all race in the Classic, this is the order I think they will finish compared to one another:

1. Zenyatta

2. Blame

3. Quality Road

4. Rachel

16 Jun 2010 10:54 AM

At 10F, in the BC Classic, regardless of pace, only Rail Trip has a shot at Zenyatta!. For those of you who really think either RA or QR will even hit the Superfecta in a Classic BC field, you are crazy.  Keep your lovefest going; it keeps us laughing, but 8F, 8.5F and 9F specialists DO NOT BEAT G1 10F winners who really want the mile and half. Your exacta will be Zenyatta and Rail Trip; add Blame in your tri-box because of his Churchill experience if Gomez has the ride.

16 Jun 2010 11:11 AM

Shandler,you've probably never seen Zenyatta race in person.  She's way too much fun and all you handicappers with your beyer ratings and speed figures are missing the point too.  Z's connections have come to the conclusion that the horse is much more important than the Whitney Hancicap.  Truth is:  Zenyatta is not a great shipper, she likes things to stay the same.  Her truest fans are in southern California, just look at the druel coming from you east-coasters. And we've got this thing called a winning streak, and if you owned her, you'd too try to protect.  The answer is simple:  Grade 1 races at her home tracks til the BC.  If you want a piece of her, come out here, Rachel.  Unlike Rafchel's connections who didnt like the SA surface, Zen will show up at any BC, surface doesn't matter. ZENYATTA WILL GO DOWN AS THE GREATEST

16 Jun 2010 11:20 AM
It aint easy being the truth!

You people that think zenyatta and rail trip can compete on dirt are clueless. No one is beating quality road this year. He is now 4 and runs his opposition to the ground he is the new curlin and is even better than Curlin. The horse is a monster and might go down as the top 5 horses of all time!

16 Jun 2010 11:33 AM

How great is this? We have three incredible race mares: Rachel, Zen the Beast, whose mark is currently 17-0, and Goldi K. We also have Blind Luck, Funny Moon, Unrivaled Belle, and Life At Ten.

On the Guy Side we have Qually, Blame, GQ, and Musket Man. Stinks about Battle Plan though. Plus there is Lucky, who always gives it all he's got. Now if my boys Macho and Gio can only find their respective ways back to the winner's circle...

I'm just going to enjoy the rest of the year and see how it all shakes out.

Say, did I read right? I read somewhere else that I Want Revenge will race in the Suburban?! That's an ambitious comeback race!

16 Jun 2010 11:39 AM
Carlos in Cali

What's all this nonsense regarding QR not handling off tracks? I've always thought horses who didn't like wet tracks finished out-of-the-money and waaay back. It's simple: QR was caught then passed by Summer Bird going 1 1/4..TWICE! So yes,QR is very vulnerable at that distance vs. top competition.Fact.

I for one,know exactly what Zenyatta is: A Rarity.A Freak.A Beast. Regardless of her campaign,she'll be @ CD ready to take on any & all. If people don't see her greatness they need to get their eyes checked.Seriously.

16 Jun 2010 11:53 AM

Goldikova- a great miler and another in a long list of great filly/mare milers running against males on the turf in Europe.  Miler is the key word here.  It is what milers do in  Europe at a much higher percentage than in 10-12 furlong races.  It is tradition for your top filly/mare sprinters and milers in Europe to run against males.  And on turf, fillies/mares are run against males much more often than on dirt.  It really isn't a fair comparison, but I expect it from people who just want to slam Zenyatta.  I love Goldikova, even though she couldn't hold a candle to Zarkava.  But I'm sure since Zarkava only ran against males once she is inferior to Goldikova in some people's eyes.  That's the way people are.

16 Jun 2010 11:54 AM

So now Vic S and Assault show up and insult Quality Road. Do you have to knock him to make Zen look good? Do you like it when people try to knock Zenyatta? So why do you insult both the horse and his fans? It's just not right. And Vic S, what have we discussed about opinion versus fact? Zen and QR cannot prove who is better until they face each other. Zen is the one more likely to be remembered in history at this point, but what if Quality Road beats her? This won't necessarily make him a greater horse than her, not at all. But don't deride the intelligence of those of us who like QR. It's okay not to like him, what I'm defending is his talent and my right to like him.

16 Jun 2010 11:55 AM

Twice Over just missed by 1/2 length to Byword, who gave Goldikova all she could handle in the Isphan.  He couldn't get clear until too late but came flying once he got going.  Oh, sorry.  He's one of the classless bums that Zenyatta beat-lol.  He didn't handle the Tapeta at the World Cup, as many didn't, but he is obviously back in form now.  Too bad he's not top class.  The Marois is looking to be an amazing race if Lope de Vega, Byword and Goldikova run.  What a mile race that will be.

16 Jun 2010 12:04 PM


It is quite possible that QR looses 10-lengths in 200 yards when a real honest to goodness bonafide G-1 route winner is chasing him down.  I'll give you a clue.....the horses name starts with ZZZZZZZZZ, which is what your rants are starting to sound like.

16 Jun 2010 12:09 PM

LDP- when people talk about him getting 10 furlongs, they really mean winning.   I feel he will need to have everything go right for him like Precisionist did.  And that might not happen in the BCC.  I think that's why people have doubts.

16 Jun 2010 12:12 PM


Todd never said he disliked them, he said he only tolerated them and did not excell over them. SB not only tolerated them he relished them. QR was beaten to a horse who was superior to him in the mud.

16 Jun 2010 12:13 PM
My Buddy Bo

"with trainer John Shirreffs having already commented that he is leaning toward a conservative summer campaign that will keep her against fillies and mares in California"

Are you KIDDING me?!  This is why the "hate" for Zenyatta, because of her connections...  Man up and prove that she should be HOTY, you are going to LOSE it again this year!  What's the definition of insanity again?  Same thing over and over again hoping for different results...

As for Rachel, everyone seems to miss the fact that they FINALLY took that shit off her face and look at what happened!  I have no idea why they thought they needed to put a figure 8 on her all of a sudden.  It takes them 2 losses to figure out that she doesn't like it, it comes off and she's back to Rachel of old (I know it wasn't a strong field but neither were her first 2 this year).

16 Jun 2010 12:14 PM


He's never had a 10 furlong race over a dry track. In each of his 2 races almost nothing went his way. In the Gold Cup he set a decent pace but on a surface SB was better over. It's not hard to see that if the track had been dry QR could've easily been the one in the lead, since that is the kind of track he likes.

16 Jun 2010 12:15 PM

markinsac- Jason was at the Breeder's Cup and he saw her win.

16 Jun 2010 12:17 PM


I admire your determination and the fact that you do not let terse answers like "Champions run at Saratoga" deter you from trying to inject logic into the discussion.

Most of us, on here, wait for your comments to be posted with great anticipation, especially after a great weekend of racing. So keep on truckin', my friend. Your writing is excellent, your arguments logical and you never descend to the level where the trolls dwell.

I learn something every time you post. I love a good discussion but it has to have some kind of legitimate basis to be remotely interesting. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of teenagers throwing insults at each other without ever listening to what someone else has to say.

Champions are champions no matter where they race. Saratoga happens to be one of the venues where they do. Granted, it is an elite, historical track, but it is not the only one. It is a place I hope to visit in the future. Some champions may be racing there that day. Also some allowance and claiming horses, just like at other tracks. These may not have the same "cachet" but horses don't mind winning championship races at less heralded venues.

Biases, like prejudices, are clearly demonstrated, but seldom admitted to, by the people afflicted with them.  :)

16 Jun 2010 12:24 PM


I love and respect Goldikova, but it was like I tried to explain earlier when making a comparison between Goldi and Zen.  In the BC last year both were on their favorite surface and at their favorite distance.....A) Which one ran against the toughest field.....B) which one won most impressively?  In making this analysis it would be hard to rate Goldi ahead of Zen and if I'm not mistaken, the World Rankings after those races reflect that.

16 Jun 2010 12:25 PM

Gunbow the longwinded,

Not sure why but you seem to want to plug words and phrases into others comments and then try to find a way to disprove them.  I don’t think Shandler was saying anything about a horse having to run at Saratoga, I believe what he was referring to was the fact that true champion race horses ship, and well from what I can see horses that aren’t considered on that same level ship, I mean look at Looking at lucky, 2 trips over the Rocky mountains, Zardana in 2 months has shipped more than Zenyatta has in 3 years of racing.  Wake up and smell the travel coffee, its right there for you to take and inhale.  East coast horses running for purses that range from $250k-$1million would have what reason, (especially fillies and mares) to come west to run in races that are not known on the national level for purses much below the norm, I mean $150k, $250k, those don’t attract shippers.  There is not a bias towards the area there is a bias towards the competition or lack there of in the west for example, name the top 5 mares out west in Cali over the last 3 years that and leave Zenyatta out.  Well as of right now I can think of Life is Sweet and St. Trinians. So we can’t get to five can we.  You are way over the top and grasping in your long uninformed comparison of cushion track to dirt.  Or maybe it was you that either owns or has something to do directly with the installation of Pro-Ride, which everyone obviously says plays more like dirt than any surface with a synthetic label. The synthetic surfaces play the same, causing front runners to come back to the field or stop altogether, allowing a horse like Zenyatta who is unable to go to the front to catch weary competition.  On dirt we will have to see how or if this plays the same way, it seems strange that since dirt is her best surface she’s only run twice over it.   Such a weird equation to try to explain. How is it a horse whose best surface is dirt runs over a synthetic surface almost 90% of the time? Strange.

As for your coming to the defense of Sheriffs, shipping is difficult for Zen but not for Zardana, contradictions all over the place but you as expected have taken the bait and are running with it, hook line and sinker, enough to come on this public forum and write non-sense like travel is not easy, even citing weather, and its expensive, wow that one takes the cake, the Moss’s have a hard time writing a check to bring the horse East to run, well why can’t she run out west against the best there is to offer.  Remember JJ’s statement after the Preakness, “we want to allow the horses to show who the best HORSE is, not the best filly”.  The cop out is fans or fanatics like you who do so much research to allow yourself to try to come in here and look like you know what you’re talking about.

Here are a few things you can explain for us.

1.why would Moss state in June of 09 they were shipping then two days later do an about face.

2.why would they retire the horse but continue with a regular ramped up workout routine.

3.why state that they are going to campaign her like a champ and then go back and take the allowance road in weak grade 1 competition out west.

4.how difficult is it to fly across the rockies

5.Why is rail trip the highest mountain in cali, therefore no HWGC.

6.why can’t she face males during the middle of the season, that too much to ask.

7.why don’t the Moss’s have any HOY trophys? Lol I’ll answer that one, wait for it, wait for it.

8.where were your cali horses come Ky Derby time, licking their wounds huh

16 Jun 2010 12:28 PM

LDP- Too bad we won't find out until the BCC.

16 Jun 2010 12:28 PM


Quite making excuses......QR got a 110 Beyer in the JCGC.  To me that sounds like he liked the track well enough......It's funny about Todd who I like and admire as a trainer, but he has a lot of excuses.  What about when the tables were turned with Dunkrik and he blamed the track bias for QR beating him.  The simple truth was, he was in shape for the JCGC, he could handle 1-1/4M and he could handle the off track......he simply wasn't good enough to beat Summer Bird that day.....That's probably the reason that Rachel ducked him too.....she simply wasn't good enough to beat him at that time of year.

16 Jun 2010 12:33 PM
Kit J

Thankfully this can all be resolved on the race track.

Lets hope everyone has the class to acknowledge it.

16 Jun 2010 12:36 PM

My Buddy Bo

With regards to Rachel (without knocking her), she didn't run any differently in the FDL than she did in New Orleans.  If you take Zardana out of that race she wins by 10 or 11 and in a very good time and all of her supporters would be jumping up and down.  Then she goes out and loses her next race.  Could it be that in the New Orleans race (minus Zardana), and the FDL that the quality of the filed should be 10 lengths behind her.  Anyway you want to spin it, Rachel has to race against a G-1 field at least against her own sex and win and then we can say that she's back?

16 Jun 2010 12:40 PM

Kit J- Class??????

16 Jun 2010 12:45 PM


Glad to see you're back to being your old self.....with regards to west coast and east coast horses, the comparison you're making is anything east of the rockies against anything that races on the LA circuit.  Quite the differential don't you think?  Confine your argument to one particular State then you argument doesn't seem nearly as strong.  The three (I'll include Zen and LIS, you can include Rachel) top females in Cali will stand up to any top three you can name from the east and if you can confine it to one state that argument won't even be close.

16 Jun 2010 12:46 PM
Carlos in Cali


He handled the off track just fine both times while getting good trips.He simply was caught because 1 1/4 is not his best distance.No excuses.

16 Jun 2010 12:56 PM

I find it ironic that Jason's blog is about all of these horses meeting in the BC Classic and all you guys complain about is that Zenyatta isn't going to travel all over the country. The GOAL is the BC Classic, not chasing horses who should (let's be honest here) be chasing HER. Because right now, Zenyatta is IT. The assumption that she should be seeking out competition is mind-boggling. And really, the only reason you say that is because she beat the boys in the BC Classic, a race most of you didn't believe in anyway.

Either that BC Classic counts or it doesn't. So which is it?

16 Jun 2010 12:59 PM

137 more days!

16 Jun 2010 1:02 PM
Vic S

Carlos in Cali - you stole the words from my mouth.  Horses who are beat a length on mud are mudders, they just get beat.  If QR had lost by 10 or more than yeah they could make an argument but it has yet to happen, he can handle it and in actuality he likes it enough to be 2nd in a G1.

Citation, comparing Zenyatta to Quality Road is like comparing Zenyatta to Congaree, they aren't even in the same area code - and yes you can say which horse is better based on wins and what not - if they don't race - people have done this for hundreds of years.  FACTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.

16 Jun 2010 1:03 PM

Well said Gladiator. Who knows what may happen. QR could do very well at 10 furlongs, RA could be Zen, Zen could beat Goldikiva(sp) etc..

That is Horse racing sometimes things happen you don't expect.

16 Jun 2010 1:08 PM

Lazmannick, I honestly believe Zenyatta will never win another race.

Mark the date and time right here right now.  Zenyatta will never win another race.

16 Jun 2010 1:09 PM
Jason Shandler

Carlos and Vic: Not too hard to figure out. QR runs well over mud because he is so talented, but does not excel over it. Not unusual.

16 Jun 2010 1:13 PM

Kay, the BCC actually counts more this year because it is run on dirt like it should be.  But remember it's just one race.  The last 2 years the winner of HOY has won the Woodward and Quality Road will be there this year.  Should he win the Whitney and Woodward the race for HOY will be over before the BCC is even run.  His 4 G1 wins over open company will be hard to match.

16 Jun 2010 1:23 PM

Vic S: Just go on thinking QR has no shot in the Classic. I'll think otherwise. As for Zen, QR, and Congaree, maybe, but QR is more than likely a better horse than Congaree. Personally, I think that if Zen were put into the Bloodhorse top one hundred, she would place around Ruffian in the thirties. Quality Road wouldn't get into the list right now, but he has the potential to get very high onto the list. You could be right, I could be right, neither of us will know until November.

16 Jun 2010 1:33 PM
The Deacon

Draynay you know as much about horse racing as I do about nuclear physics. You spew this stuff month in and month out just because you love to hate the west coast horses. Maybe Zen will lose, who knows, she has only won 17 in a row and you give her no credit. Who died and made you the expert. There are many bloggers here who forgot more about this sport then you will ever know.

Matthew W. I totally agree with your words.

QR is not at his best at a 1 1/4 and neither is RA.

The horse to watch in the Breeders Cup is Rail Trip and no one's talking about him. If he takes to the dirt then wow, we may have a monster.............  

16 Jun 2010 1:35 PM
joe schmoe

 Pam Pam Pam,

A truly great horse, in my eyes, can handle any kind of track and surface.  So far, Zenyatta is a little lacking in that category.

Pam R 16 Jun 2010 8:54 AM

So you discount the fact that Zenyatta has won Graded Stakes on the Dirt and Synthetics? Ra on the other hand has only won Graded Races on Dirt.

Furthermore you claim:

The Mosses only dared put an older Zenyatta against the boys once and are again putting her in easy races on tracks where she has already proven herself.  I am not necessarily saying RA is better-we need to see them race each other a few times-but at least we know that RA can run on many different tracks.

Clearly you are dillusional. You knock Zenyatta for running on the same tracks where she has already won against weaker but not RA? Wasn't it RA who ran at Fair Grounds (where she raced and won last year) this spring against weaker and actually got whipped? Don't they now have her running at Churchill where she has already won and running against MUCH weaker just to get a win? I see that as running her on the same tracks where she already has won and running against weaker AND getting beat 2 of 3 times doing it!! It works both ways if you want to use that kind of twisted thinking. If it's wrong for one to do it's wrong for both. The really sad part about what you said is at least Zenyatta's not getting beat doing it like RA is.

16 Jun 2010 1:42 PM

"Are you KIDDING me?!  This is why the "hate" for Zenyatta, because of her connections..."

My Buddy Bo  16 Jun 2010 12:14 PM

No Bo,

The "hate" stems from the "I hate synthetic tracks," "I hate California racing," and "I hate Zen because I love Rachel" sentiments or a combination of all three. What kind of sad little people would "hate" on a horse? Answer: those who cling to the three reasons above.

"I find it ironic that Jason's blog is about all of these horses meeting in the BC Classic and all you guys complain about is that Zenyatta isn't going to travel all over the country."

Kay  16 Jun 2010 12:59 PM

Well said Kay,

There really should be an "I hate Zenyatta blog" so these folks could congregate there. Have you noticed no matter what the title of a blog is, the same people turn it into a frenzied attack-fest?

The take-home message is: What matters in horse racing is how many times you ship, not how many times you win. "Shipping," not winning, is the mark of a champion.

16 Jun 2010 1:53 PM

I am a fan of Zen, always have been , since she has been running.  Got my bobblehead in the mail today.

Speaking of the figure 8 on RA, I believe they were doing it in hopes of teaching her to hold back, so they could see if they could get a mile and a quartter out of her,  I may be wrong, but thats the only conclusion to doing something so stupid anyway.

Furthermore,  I think RA is facing tougher comp this year, do I believe she is going to lose again this year, Yes.  I do.............Do I think JJ is still going to keep her in races like we just saw. Yes, I do,,,

I think after the figure 8 bridle didnt work, I think they know now she will have to run in the BCL..........she will burn herself out in the 1 1/4 in the BCC.

16 Jun 2010 1:58 PM


What do you think tolerates means? It means he handled it, just doesn't excell. SB was on his game and in his element completely. QR was in mud for a second time running against a horse who had more bottom at the time and LOVED mud.

16 Jun 2010 1:59 PM


The difference is that in her two races back was that RA was extended to win in that "good" time. In this race she was in hand and coasting when she ran that good time, which happened to be the best of the meet at that distance.

16 Jun 2010 2:01 PM


It's not like they aren't legit exuses. He tolerates mud, and like Jason said, with his talent it's not surprising that if he tolerates the surface he can run that fast over it. He runs better over a fast surface, if you want to debate that then you really have lost it. The proof is in the pudding. His best beyers and his best times are over dry surfaces. He doesn't just run well over a fast track, he flat out obliterates the field. Would he have done that to SB, no, but I would say that on a dry surface QR is three lengths better.

16 Jun 2010 2:08 PM
Carlos in Cali

Jason: I'm not doubting his talent but,why would Pletcher run him back on an off track if he didn't excel over it? I mean,he would've beaten SB both times if the races were @ 1 1/8 not 1 1/4. I say the distance got him beat,not unusual.

16 Jun 2010 2:09 PM

rachel wasn't hit with the whip. she didn't even see the whip unlike zenyatta who was hit about 6 or 7 times or maybe about 10 times, yet rachel destroyed her field by 10 plus lengths. goldikova will not run on anything but grass and no farther than a mile. the only reason twice over was in the bc classic last yr was because of it being ran on the pro-ride which is to blame for MTB's dead last run because he hates it he proved it in the juvenile and in the bc classic.

16 Jun 2010 2:19 PM


Goldikova ran against better, IMO because she faced her competition on a true grass surface. There were no question marks for any going into that race as to whether they could handle the distance or the surface.

The Classic had SB and MTB who were the main big dirt horses. MTB had two races over the surface and proved he hated it. SB had trained over it, but many of the clocker reported that even though he had good times he didn't look anywhere near as comfortable over it as he did dirt. QR would've been the other dirt horse, but he as we all know freaked at the gate due to the hovering helecopter. Girolamo was a dirt horse with the question of distance also, going in.

The turf horses, Gio, Einstein, Rip, and Twice over had all either had ok races, but nowhere near their turf form or had yet again never raced over the surface before.

Then you had the good horses that could throw in a good effort but, never seemed to quite step all the way up, like CJ, RK, and AG.

16 Jun 2010 2:23 PM

Quote from jshandler:

"Carlos and Vic: Not too hard to figure out. QR runs well over mud because he is so talented, but does not excel over it. Not unusual."


Keep telling yourself that.

16 Jun 2010 2:27 PM

Quote from Draynay:

"Should he win the Whitney and Woodward the race for HOY will be over before the BCC is even run."


Let me know when Quality Road has more Grade I wins in 2010 than Zenyatta. Right now, he is behind by one.

16 Jun 2010 2:33 PM

"East coast horses running for purses that range from $250k-$1million would have what reason, (especially fillies and mares) to come west to run in races that are not known on the national level for purses much below the norm, I mean $150k, $250k, those don’t attract shippers."

afleetalexforever  16 Jun 2010 12:28 PM

How funny is it that you call Gunbow "long-winded" in your own mile-long post denigrating Zenyatta? Irony, meet alex.

A pity your post is fact-free. For instance...

Pacific Classic -- $1 million

Santa Anita Derby -- $750,000

Sunshine Millions Classic -- $500,000

Santa Anita Handicap -- $750,000

Hollywood Gold Cup -- $750,000

CashCall Futurity -- $750,000

There are tons of the $300,000, $250,000, $200,000 and lower purses just like at East Coast tracks, too.      

16 Jun 2010 2:38 PM


"There really should be an "I hate Zenyatta blog" so these folks could congregate there. Have you noticed no matter what the title of a blog is, the same people turn it into a frenzied attack-fest?

The take-home message is: What matters in horse racing is how many times you ship, not how many times you win. "Shipping," not winning, is the mark of a champion."

So funny that you post this because virtually every post after it is about how every horse who ran in the BC Classic hated the surface. Same old, same old, right? Now they're ONCE AGAIN diminishing the BC Classic. I wonder if they'd do the same thing if Rachel had won? Doubtful.

What's happening is that people are making up new rules ONLY for Zenyatta, so they can deny her greatness. And if people can make the statement that Quality Road "tolerates" the mud but runs well because he's a good horse, then we must also accept John Shirreffs' statement that Zenyatta "tolerates" the synthetic but is a much better horse on the dirt. Or don't we get to, because John Shirreffs is her TRAINER and you guys are just fans? Do the opinions of Quality Road fans now outweigh the opinion of a horse's actual trainer? Intriguing.

And little Anna up there, thinking that you can compare the Fleur de Lis and Vanity straight across... Anna, have you ever SEEN a horse race before? Your post is so wickedly naive I can't stand it.

The REAL race -- the one that I'm personally dying to see -- is Rachel Alexandra against St Trinians. That mare's got quite a kick and Rachel would certainly have her hands full. Also, it would only be fair if she gave St Trinians at least nine pounds. And went 6-wide. That should be a pretty good test.

16 Jun 2010 2:44 PM


Just give it up. You can rationalize until the cows come home.

The fact of the matter is:

Zenyatta is 17-0 from 6.5 furlongs to 10 furlongs. She's won it all for an aged racemare.

She put the scare into the Rachel Alexandra camp and Rachel Alexandra "IS THE CURRENT HOY".

You just need to come to a conclusion (within your mind) that she is the best racemare the continental United States has ever seen.

All of these HOF trainers are coming out and telling you like it is. They are saying "she is the best they ever saw in their lifetime". If you want me to, I can give you many quotes from them.

16 Jun 2010 2:47 PM
Saratoga AJ

A Charles:

"In fact, you could probably come up with a pretty good discussion by trying to rank the significance of the didn't-happen matchups between greats who were on the track at the same time.

Exterminator - Man O' War?

Forego - Seattle Slew?

Ghostzapper - Smarty Jones?"

How about another greatly  anticipated race that never happened....

Native Dancer - Tom Fool.

16 Jun 2010 2:51 PM

What is wrong with Rachel going to Delmar and run in the Hirsch....

16 Jun 2010 3:04 PM

I am not an expert on horse racing like many writers above.  When I read the comments it seems like most of the people or jealous of Zenyatta.  Greatness to me watching

racing has been Cigar and visiting

the great John Henry several times before he passed.  When I watch Zenyatta racing, carring 129 lbs., I know I am looking at greatness.  I do no know if she can win the Breeders Cup again this year but I know if she stays healthy and happy, I can see her winning.  Why can't everyone be happy she has added a spark to a dying sport?  I love her show before the race and the way she stirs up the emotion in the fans.  Isn't this what racing needs?  So forget about who is better and just enjoy this brief window of greatness. I do not believe they have a gate pass

Louisville that prevents anyone from going West to challenge the beautiful mare.  I still believe if she remains undefeated and wins the BCC she will not be voted Horse

of the Year.  But that is ok because casual fans like me can see she is great.

16 Jun 2010 3:04 PM

Here's the Deal! Zenyatta is the Queen of horseracing, and right now is the best horse in America! Let's not forget she is the Classic Champion. So until someone comes and takes that from her, she's the best. She carried the 129 pound impost last Sunday, and closed her last eighth in 11 and change. She wasn't even fully cranked up and did just what she had to do, to beat a game St. Trinnias, who perhaps had the hottest jockey in the country right now, in Martin Garcia, as her pilot. So to me that made Zenyattas record breaking victory even more sweet. But now, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that none of the horses mentioned above will win the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. It will be a horse by the name of FLY DOWN that will take em down in November. This is a horse who keeps getting better, and will enjoy shortening up to the classic distance.        

16 Jun 2010 3:06 PM


Of course you're going to say that Goldikova ran against tougher than Zen in the BC.  From you I wouldn't expect anything else.  However, any way you want to spin it, you can’t be serious when you say that the Turf Mile was stronger than the BCC.  Simply put, if you think it was then prove it.  And as far as who ran the better race, Goldikova on her preferred surface received a 109 Beyer.  Zen received a 112 (better than Raven's Pass’s 110 when he defeated the mighty Curlin) and this when Beyers on S/A’s synthetic course are notoriously low in route races (I believe Andy Beyer’s own admission).

An analysis of your points:

• Summer Bird was at the top of his game winning back to back 1-1/4M efforts against QR and he actually ran this race in a time that would have been good enough to win the Pacific Classic.  His 107 Beyer was the 3rd highest in his career and his individual time was faster than his Travers and JCGC.

• Einstein actually won the SA Handicap over this track in March defeating 12 other horses.  You can say he was off form if you want, but then he finished two necks back in the Clark to Blame in his next race.

• Gio Pointi excelled over this surface, which is extremely kind to turf horses.  He won the Beaufort Stakes at a mile when it was taken off the turf and he received a 110 Beyer in the BCC Tying Raven's Pass), which suggests that he handled the surface just fine.

• Twice Over who also excelled on this surface and was given a head start by Zen at the 1/8th pole before she whipped him, just finished a hard charging 2nd by a ½ length in the Prince of Wales to Byword, maybe a top 3 in the World Rankings today.

• Rip Van Winkle couldn’t stay, but he was very competitive in his races leading up to the BCC and if he was not himself, why did they come?

• Richard’s Kid just won the Pacific Classic.  But when he faces Zen all of a sudden he’s not the same horse.

• Col. John always raced well on this track and in 2008 won the SAH on it.  Leading up to the BCC he finished a very good second to Gitano Hernando in the Goodwood.  In the BCC, he was totally outclassed.  Why?

My word of advice…….quit looking to make excuses.

16 Jun 2010 3:09 PM

Rachel is at the bottom of the totem pole so far for 2010.

She has a whole lot of catching up to do, I dont think she will get there this year.  She cant keep running in grade 2 races. this is unbelievable for a hoy.

They better put her in a grade one race the next time.

She aint pulling in any weight for her self.............St Trinnians ran better than the mares RA ran against........those horses were pathetic.

16 Jun 2010 3:11 PM


One other thing about Mine That Bird.....to date he's won 5 races.  His first four wins were on Woodbine's Polytrack which is very similar to S/A surface.  All of a sudden in the BCC he's a dirt horse.  LOL

16 Jun 2010 3:13 PM
Saratoga AJ

What kind of pinhead would call the Hal's Hope, Donn Handicap, Metropolitan Mile, possibly Surburban, Whitney, Woodward, and possibly the JCGC, before the Breeder's Cup a conservative campaign? LOL

But I do believe in the back of Todd's mind are the quarter cracks QR suffered last year. They can recur anytime. He is such a huge and heavy colt running on those repaired hooves. For this reason Pletcher may skip one of the races listed above.

16 Jun 2010 3:16 PM


I would never have guessed you were a Zenyatta fan!

16 Jun 2010 3:19 PM

I haven't read all the comments, so maybe someone already asked: and Misremembered?

Although I like Blame the best, as he is still evolving and getting better; the rest (4 and up) are already near their max.

16 Jun 2010 3:19 PM


Regarding Summer Bird......he's a superior mudder, but he ran very well over fast surfaces.  Are you forgetting that Rachel beat him in the slop?  She beat him fair and square at an opportune time, but they watnted no part of him after that and if you don't think that that's true then ask yourself this......would JJ rather win the Travers or the JCGC over SB and QR or the Woodward over Macho.  Jj took the easier route.  It just so happens that in the Travers and the JCGC SB was definitely at the very top of his game.  I doubt that QR would have beaten him no matter what.  SB then carried this form into the BCC.  To put it bluntly, he wasn't good enough that day and finished behind superior horses whose records against quality G-1 route winning horses speak for themselves.  Even to date, QR (who I really like and a lot more than you might think the way I've been putting it to him) has not defeated a G-1 route winning male.  I think it will come, without a doubt, and he will go down as one of the truly real good ones, maybe even great, but he still has to prove it.

16 Jun 2010 3:24 PM


Jason was at the BC last year and saw Zen in the classic so he has seen her race and he also admitted he was wrong in thinking she wouldn't win.

16 Jun 2010 3:28 PM

Why do Zen fans have to keep defending her.  We dont?  Her resume says it all, 17-0 says everything that needs to be said.

Is there any other NA horse that has her resume, NO? nuff said,

You want to say she beat up on mares and fillies, Ok, the same kind that Rachel lost two times to this year?  I didnt think so.

You say , she hasnt faced males?  Yes, she did, she took every one that was any good that RA beat and she beat them all in one race.

You say, She needs to travel and take on RA?   She did, but RA owner has done like he has done for almost two years now, he stayed clear of the great mare.

Zen came and she raced and she won, she did all she was supposed to do, Its time for the scared to go and take her on.

If you cant get to her,  you wait til she gets here, in the fall,

Its not up to her to travel to beat your best, she is the best, Its up to them to go to the champion and quit making all these damn excuses...........

When you are the best, the rest come to you , not you to them, they are the cowards, not the champ...........you go to her. or wait til she gets to the BCC.

and as far as RA, thats over with, if JJ didnt enter with a 5 mill on the line and she had a beyer of 100, then you people are only fooling yourselves if you think he is really trying to match up with Zen.

16 Jun 2010 3:28 PM


I just want to see Rachel win a G-1 route race at any distance.  In both losses she was defeated by the only logical horse with a chance of defeating her.  In her last, there was no logical horse with a chance of defeating her.  The excuse for her first is that it was her first of the year.  That's okay, but there should be no excuse for the second, and yet she still lost.  I'm not knocking her.  In fact, I know she has improved off the three races and will be a legitimate G-1 winner from here on in.  However, I still want to see it.  Will she get 1-1/4M.....absolutely if the field is not overly tough, but in a race like the BCC and given her running style and the dpeth and quality of the opposition, I think they would be best to get her to rate a lot further off the pace then she has up to this point to be a factor, otherwise, given the sheer numbers, she will be overwhelmed.

16 Jun 2010 3:32 PM
It aint easy being the truth!

Still funny how you guys say how great Zenyatta is yet she still hasnt been horse of the year never will be. She is a good horse her owners are conservative so you cant blame Z blame the owners.

With that said not horse has anything on Quality Road. You guys can dwell on last year and how he lost on mud but the fact is QR is bigger faster and baddder then anyhorse on the planet. He will run cirlces around any horse around! Zenyatta wont be dancing in the Classic when QR shows up and romps!

16 Jun 2010 3:42 PM


I'll humor you and answer.  My post had nothing to do with Zenyatta.  In no way was I making excuses for Zenyatta either not shipping or running against males in Cali.  my post was about the double-standard that has been imagined as to why West Coast horses MUST ship East but East Coast shippers have no business shipping West because the Cali tracks have synthetic surfaces.  If the existence of synthetics are used to excuse East Coast horses from not shipping out West, at least as it concerns Hollywood Park I do not find it legitimate.  

Thus, the REAL reason Eastern horses don't ship out West are the reasons Sherriffs points to, the cost and demands of travel, the time needed for recovery, alternatives closer to home, and (maybe) the fear of facing certain horses on their home track.  I wasn't defending Sherriffs' actions, but using his explanations to explore why horses IN GENERAL aren't shipped across country, whether West to East or vice versa.  Again, my key point is to question East Coast connections who point to synthetics as an excuse for why they won't ship to California, particularly Hollywood Park.

My argument was most specifically about running in the Hollywood Gold Cup and folks using the fact it is over synthetic as an excuse not to ship out for it.  While you provided generalities that "synthetic surfaces play the same", I provide FACTS that detail the great success speed horses have over Hollywood's Cushion Track(even at two-turns).  I admit that Santa Anita's Pro-Ride and Del Mar's PolyTrack do play against speed, but not Hollywood.  If Eastern horsemen don't want to run in races like the Vanity or Hollywood Gold Cup, I just want them and the fans of Eastern horses to stop hiding behind the "synthetics excuse"; if races like the Vanity or Hollywood Gold Cup appear to have weak fields, it's not just a reflection of the Cali horses but it also reflects that horsemen outside of Cali chose not to ship, and did so for the same reasons that Western horsemen don't ship East(costs, demands, closer alternatives, etc).  

As for the Hollywood Gold Cup, show me another maintrack gr.1 race(for older males), with a $500k purse, and run at the classic distance of 10 furlongs in July or anytime in the summer back East.  Listen, if the connections of Quality Road and Blame want to point for the Whitney and feel that a trip out for the Hollywood Gold Cup is pushing things too tight, I perfectly understand.  The Whiteny is a great race and has a higher purse.  However, there is 4 weeks between the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Whitney(and both the Met and Foster were at least 4 weeks before the Gold Cup), so if someone was really ambitious, they could certainly make both the Hollywood Gold Cup and Whitney.  My big thing is that I don't want to hear the fact the Gold Cup is run over a "synthetic" as an excuse why anyone is not running in the Gold Cup because this excuse is entirely misleading, a red herring.

And afleetalexforever, if you actually read this blog closely, you would know that I was critical of Moss and Sherriffs for choosing the Vanity(over the Foster).  Go back and read, or just ask someone.  And, I'm not particularly enthused about the prospects of Zenyatta running in the Hirsch at Del Mar.  They said they brought Zenyatta back to show her off to new audiences, to tackle new challenges, to run back East more.  Yet, she hasn't run further East than Oaklawn, a track she had already run at.  Additionally, I don't see why Zenyatta should not be in the Hollywood Gold.  If they brought her back to conquer new frontiers but don't want to ship, why not remain at your home track but run against the boys?  So, you are way, way off accusing me of being a Team Zenyatta apologist. Next time you want to step to me, at least bring some game lol.  

ps: I know Jason knows that champions don't run exclusively at Saratoga.  I just didn't want others to take it and run with it as fact, which they did.

16 Jun 2010 3:42 PM


The Travers would not have won HOTY. Had she won the Travers and not the Woodward then Zen would've won HOTY. I don't buy the JJ was scared. He knew that the Woodward would win him HOTY, and that is what he wanted. The Travers would've been a nice race, even a prep for the Cup, but that is not what JJ wanted. He wanted HOTY, and he knew the only thing that would get them that was then only thing RA needed, a win over older males.

RA is also a superior mudder. She had a race earlier in the year where she was geared down way before the wire, where she won in mud. People knew going in she loved mud as much as she did a dry track, if not more, as Summer Bird did.

16 Jun 2010 3:54 PM


What were his two finishes prior to the Cup? Oh wait, dead last and sixth. Does that sound like a horse who relished the Pro-Ride like he did the dirt/mud at Churchill or Pimlico?

16 Jun 2010 3:56 PM
Saratoga AJ

"What is wrong with Rachel going to Delmar and run in the Hirsch?"

Because why should Rachel race in the "Minors" on fake crap when she can race in the "Majors" on the real thing? The Big Time...Saratoga. :)

16 Jun 2010 3:56 PM

GunBow get a clue.  Horses in California don't want to run at Hollywood Park so why would a East Coast horse? Jason is 100% right champions race at Saratoga.

16 Jun 2010 3:58 PM

Well said GunBow.

If I Want Revenge comes back close to last year's form, he is going to be a player in these east coast races.  Looking forward to him coming back successfully.

In y'all's proposed matchups that never happened, I like Exterminator over Man O War, Native Dancer over Tom Fool (if not for injustice the Grey Ghost would have retired as an undefeated Triple Crown Winner and would be second to only Secretariat in my book), Slew over Forego in the closest battle (unless Slew got into a wicked pace battle and Forego pulled an Exceller), and Ghostzapper over Smarty Jones.

16 Jun 2010 4:01 PM


SB accomplished all the great things on DIRT, not PRO-RIDE. He may have been in good form, but your not going to run the best you can over a surface that is not your best. Every horse in that race had questions, whether it be surface, distance or form, you can't deny that.

Golikova faced off against horses with proven form, proven over the SA turf course, and over the distance. Were there questions on were they that good, yes, but that was it, nobody in there had the excuse of surface, distance or form. Just about every horse in the Classic did. That is why her field was stronger, because it was legit.

16 Jun 2010 4:02 PM


Get over yourself, I don't have to do anything.

16 Jun 2010 4:03 PM
Will W

Then throw I Want Revenge into the mix if things go right for him in the Suburban and, who knows, maybe even , The Pamplemousse and things really get juiced up.

16 Jun 2010 4:06 PM


"All of these HOF trainers are coming out and telling you like it is. They are saying "she is the best they ever saw in their lifetime". If you want me to, I can give you many quotes from them."

In fact, let's search for some:

Christophe Clement (trainer, Gio Ponti, 2nd) – “The horse ran a great race but he couldn’t beat the winner. She’s a freak.  What can I say?  She’s a freak. I’m thrilled with his race. This proved it was the right decision to run in the Classic and not the Turf. This is a very good horse. I will talk with the owner to see what he wants to do in the future, but I hope to have the horse back in the barn and hope to try again next year.”

Thomas Queally (jockey, Twice Over, 3rd) – "On the whole it was fantastic. He ran well and obviously the filly (Filly & Mare Turf winner Midday) ran a blinder yesterday and won, so this trip has been more than worthwhile. We ran a cracker. My horse probably didn't handle the home turn too cute, but I don't think we would have beaten Zenyatta in a million years and hats off to her. She's an exceptional, exceptional filly.”

Henry Cecil (trainer, Twice Over, 3rd) – “He ran a great race but was beaten by a very good animal. He probably ran the best race of his life.”


Bob Baffert (trainer, Richard’s Kid, 6th) – “Alex (Solis) told my assistant (Jim Barnes) that he got bumped on the turn.  I was disappointed that he didn’t run better, but what a thrill seeing history being made by Zenyatta.  It was the only time in horse racing that I didn’t mind getting beat in a big race.  If they don’t reward her with Horse of the Year, it would be a travesty, or at least co-horses of the year (with Rachel Alexandra).  Zenyatta made the Breeders’ Cup. And the way she won!  I’ve never seen a crowd so captivated.  It felt like a horse winning the third leg of the Triple Crown.”

Saeed bin Suroor (trainer, Regal Ransom, 8th and Girolamo, 12th) – “Both were in good position all the way. When it came to the last two furlongs they had to give everything and they got beat from there. No excuses.

When asked to comment on Zenyatta: “She’s a different class. By far. By millions.”

Funny how it's the Euros win particular who readily admit how amazing she is. See, they don't seem to have a bias. They comment upon what they see.

I know Angel Cordero said that her win in the Classic was the greatest thing he's ever seen, and not just confined to racing. All week long, Martin Garcia was convinced he was going to beat Zenyatta with St Trinians. He certainly did everything in his power to try. She still ran that mare down.

16 Jun 2010 4:11 PM
Kit J

Yest the champions run at Saratoga, but not JUST Saratoga. Del Mar, Keeneland and Saratoga are the premier boutique meets in the U.S.

If things don't turn around in the next year then no one will run in Saratoga and what means of discounting horses will everyone have?

16 Jun 2010 4:43 PM

...and of course, Zenyatta's next victory will set the all-time record of 8 consecutive Grade I victories (Surpassing "Rock of Gibralter's" seven consecutive Grade I's).

...and of course with her next victory, she'll go past the legendary Ouiji Board (for the female earnings record - for foreign female horses that have raced in North America).

...and of course with her next victory she will tie the legendary "Eclipse" (Ch.c Born: 1764) for 18 consecutive victories without defeat.

Not voting for Zenyatta for "Horse of the Year" the last two years has been a blessing in disguise because now she is re-writing the record books.

16 Jun 2010 4:44 PM

Joern and Kay,

Here's another HOF opinion of Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra...

RONALD McANALLY (trainer of champions John Henry, Bayakoa and Paseana)

"I'm absolutely amazed that Zenyatta's done everything you would have asked of her. She's such a big, long-striding mare, and to win like she does, especially in the Santa Margarita when she was last turning for home and won going away, is remarkable. She's just a great mare. I'm amazed every time she runs. It's unbelievable.

"I think (John) Shirreffs has done a marvelous job with her, spacing her races and doing the right thing with her. I liked Zenyatta against Rachel Alexandra before the (Horse of the Year) voting and I liked her after the voting. I thought the Eastern voters made a big mistake making Rachel the Horse of the Year. The people back East have more votes than they have out here and I think they realize now that they made a huge mistake.

"I know Rachel wasn't fit enough to win her first out in New Orleans this year. I could see the handwriting on the wall right from the beginning. But even had she been fit and they ran together tomorrow in the Apple Blossom, to me there's no question that Zenyatta would have beaten her."

16 Jun 2010 4:55 PM


Who told you that winning the Travers wouldn’t have won Rachel HOY?  It would still be her third win against males and in a much tougher race.  The Travers is a Classic and you’re calling it a prep for the cup?  Losing it would have lost the chance for the title, but winning it would have been a real large step in the right direction.  They took the Woodward because of the weak field.  Do you for one second think that they would have entered the Woodward if QR or SB was entered in it?

Regarding MTB…..come on.  Without demeaning him, his long shot win in the Derby was just that, a LONG SHOT.  In his campaign at Woodbine a couple of the horses defeated were later competitive at the G-3 level, nothing more.   What did he do in his races after the Preakness leading up to S/A……nothing to make people consider him as being a top class horse and in that regard he has a lot to do to prove it.  A loveable horse YES, his TC campaign uplifting YES, but top class horse…..????????

Rachel is a winner of two races in the slop, the G-2 FG Oaks (wow) and the Haskell when she defeated males that can’t go past 7F to a mile, and Summer Bird when he was cutting back 3/8ths from his last race.  To call her a superior mudder might be reaching and then again maybe she is.  But if she’s a superior mudder, is she more superior on the surface than SB?  She beat him at the opportune time.  I doubt very much she would have defeated him at anytime after, especially at 1-1/4M.

As far as your other arguments about the BC races and your constant rants to demean Zenyatta’s great victory, I’m sorry but I don’t agree with you and I doubt many others will also.

16 Jun 2010 4:56 PM

It's interesting that the owners of I Want Revenge chose to let him recover from his injury and bring him back, rather than retire him as the owners of Eskendereya did with a similar injury.

I wonder if Battle Plan also could have recuperated and run again, although his age, earlier injury and recovery time probably played a major role in the decision to retire him now.

16 Jun 2010 4:59 PM
Carlos in Cali

Joern & Kay

You beat me to it.I agree:  Why would all those top horsemen bestow high praise of Greatness on Zenyatta if they didn't believe it to be true? They certainly know what they're talking about.

I'll add the fact that these horsemen had no excuses,their horses ran their race,they just weren't in the same class as the Big Mare. I think it's ridiculous how all these Zenyatta haters(u know who you are)keep making these lame, ignorant excuses in trying to undermine her great accomplishments.Unreal.

Like Mike Smith said:  She has way more in the tank and she'll run-down anything in front of her.

You've Been Warned!

16 Jun 2010 5:13 PM
Smoking Baby

Smoking Baby: It's just you. Check your racing almanac. No Met mile winner has carried more weight than QR since the mid-80s.

WOW.  Didn't know that.  Thank you Jason.  I do agree with what you said earlier that Quality Road is a beast in every way.  On one hand I still think he should've carried more than 124 (not his fault to be sure) but on the other it's hard to say he should've carried more than they gave Ghostzapper.  Thanks again Jason.  I love reading your stuff.

16 Jun 2010 5:19 PM

AAF aka Truth Be Told : It's obvious you know nothing about horses, you see them like machines.  I suggest you read up on race horses as animals first before you start whining on blogs.  

Why can't QR fly over the rockies ?

Why can't RA fly over the rockies ?

HOTY is an east coast biased award, if you didn't know that by now, then you should be debating about it. LOL  there's your answer

It aint' easy aka Draynay : First you compare QR to Ghostzapper, now it's Curlin LOL, you're a joke.  Stop with your nonsense already.

16 Jun 2010 5:24 PM

Jayjay: You obviously have a difficult problem recognizing talent. It's Ok, not everyone has the ability to see it.

jshandler 15 Jun 2010 11:04 PM

With Zenyatta, we're all still trying to figure out what she is. Her campaigns have been so incredibly conservative, save one race, that it is still a mystery as to how good she is.

jshandler 15 Jun 2010 11:33 PM

Most of us have figured out what she is. If it is still a mystery to you as to how good Zenyatta is, well it looks as though you may be the one who has trouble recognizing talent.


16 Jun 2010 5:38 PM
Kate Harper


I believe your thoughtful and insightful posts are appreciated by most who read these blogs.  The reason Afleetalexforever was lambasting you was because you are from California so that makes you an immediate target of his zealous denigration, whether you have 2 legs or 4.  

16 Jun 2010 5:46 PM

Carlos in Cali

I totally agree with you.....Incidentally I looked but didn't see you at the Black Hawks victory parade, but then it would have been difficult to find anyone in that crowd.  What was it?   TWO MILLION PEOPLE.

16 Jun 2010 5:49 PM


Its called a stallion pedigree.  Eskendereya and Battle Plan have a stallion's pedigree.  I Want Revenge has more work to do before he has multiple dates with all the hotties.

16 Jun 2010 5:51 PM

John Sheriffs interview two days ago :

As for Zenyatta, there remains an intense longing to see her race far and wide. Even the Mona Lisa toured the world. A couple days before the Vanity, owner Jerry Moss was asked about statements made earlier this year that seemed to leave little doubt Zenyatta would be pointed toward more engagements outside California. But now, the realities of campaigning a huge, 6-year-old beast who has been in fairly steady training nearly three solid years appears to be coming into play. Last week, Shirreffs was quoted by Steve Andersen in Daily Racing Form suggesting that the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar was on Zenyatta's dance card after the Vanity. In that event, Zenyatta likely would have room for just one more race before heading to Churchill Downs for the Breeders' Cup Classic in November.

"I'm not going to go chasing Horse of the Year," Shirreffs told me. "Just being Zenyatta should be enough."

You would think. Moss, clearly the more adventurous of the two, was floored by the rock star reception Zenyatta received at Oaklawn Park, were she won the Apple Blossom in April, as well as enlightened by its physical effects on his mare.

"I didn't realize how much trips take out of the horse," Moss said. "And it's not just preparing for the race. It's the crowd, and the people that gather around her all the time. We saw that at Oaklawn Park, and we really hadn't thought about it before. You can put up a screen, like John does. But she's still aware there's something going on. There a lot of energy generated. As far as racing elsewhere, we did think about trying to do other things, and we still might. There's options. I wouldn't pay too much attention to Del Mar being a solid item. There's no commitments there."

16 Jun 2010 5:51 PM
Bob Z

Westin wrote a quote from Ronald McNally..

... and this guy is a professional horse man...(?)

The only problem is that when the HOY voting was done it was for the efforts of last year...  Whatever a horse did so far this year is not relevant ... so why would people that voted for Rachel for last year be sorry that they voted for her ...?  because of 2 second place finishes this year that have nothing to do with last year...?

And he says that even if Rachel was fit she wouldn't have beaten Zenyatta at the Apple...

Define fit.  If you mean fit like in the Mother Goose or the Haskell he is dreaming... I go with Rachel at 1 1/8. (last years fitness) If you are talking right now... (June 16th) I would have to go with Zenyatta...

Hopefully Rachel can have one more good race and get back to her last years fitness and then meet Zenyatta at Saratoga or Belmont...

Common sense is a rare commodity...

"I think (John) Shirreffs has done a marvelous job with her, spacing her races and doing the right thing with her. I liked Zenyatta against Rachel Alexandra before the (Horse of the Year) voting and I liked her after the voting. I thought the Eastern voters made a big mistake making Rachel the Horse of the Year. The people back East have more votes than they have out here and I think they realize now that they made a huge mistake.

"I know Rachel wasn't fit enough to win her first out in New Orleans this year. I could see the handwriting on the wall right from the beginning. But even had she been fit and they ran together tomorrow in the Apple Blossom, to me there's no question that Zenyatta would have beaten her."

16 Jun 2010 5:52 PM

You're comparing Del Mar to Saratoga? You have to be kidding me.

16 Jun 2010 6:20 PM


Nobody told me, but honestly for her to get that win over older males in a race never won by any filly ever was that final jump that sealed the deal.

The Travers is a great race, and yes, a classic distance race, but there is no denying a win over older males weighed more than the what the Travers would be, especially against a horse she had beaten previously.

The Woodward had more historical significance and was the next step for her, given she'd already beaten three year olds twice.

16 Jun 2010 6:21 PM

Kay Wrote:

And little Anna up there, thinking that you can compare the Fleur de Lis and Vanity straight across... Anna, have you ever SEEN a horse race before? Your post is so wickedly naive I can't stand it.

The REAL race -- the one that I'm personally dying to see -- is Rachel Alexandra against St Trinians. That mare's got quite a kick and Rachel would certainly have her hands full. Also, it would only be fair if she gave St Trinians at least nine pounds. And went 6-wide. That should be a pretty good test.

You're a rock star.  I'm still laughing.  Keep up the good posts.

16 Jun 2010 7:07 PM

kay correct me if i'm wrong but didn't both the mosses and zenyatta's trainer state that her season this yr would be completely different than last yr? well has it happened yet? NO it hasn't because they are LIARS who don't deserve to be defended much less have you follow their horses. zenyatta will never win the hoy if she remains in california. at least ciger travelled coast to coast and he's worthy of being one of the greatest handicap horses. zenyatta has left a LOT to be deserved. besides kay if i hadn't seen a horserace how would i know that zenyatta was hit 7 or 8 times or maybe more and that rachel didn't see the whip? the only naive one is you since you clearly don't think before you post

16 Jun 2010 7:13 PM

Please, let's stop with the revisionist history about Rachel's 2009.  Had she run in and won the Travers, the critics would have pointed to the fact that she never beat older horses. She had just beaten Summer Bird, Munnings, Papa Clem, and Duke of Mischief in the Haskell as well as Mine That Bird, Musket Man, General Quarters, Pioneer of the Nile, and Big Drama in the Preakness.  Jess Jackson had every right to seek out new conquests, specifically older males.  The only new 3 year old she would have faced in the Travers was Quality Road, and he ended up only running 3rd anyways.  And while folks can point to the 10 furlong distance of the Travers as another reason Rachel should have run in the Travers, she had already won a classic race, the Preakness.

Defending Rachel last year made me feel like defending Zenyatta now.  No matter what they do, it will not be enough for some.  And as others have written, this is sad because both are truly all-time greats.  If Quality Road, Blame, and Rail Trip among others remain healthy, we could be looking at a golden age of racing if we aren't already.

16 Jun 2010 7:22 PM
Paula Higgins

For those of you that don't see Zenyatta's greatness, it is not because it is not there for you to see, it is because you refuse to see what is before your eyes and acknowledge it. I will say it again, the problem is yours. I have no problem acknowledging Rachel's greatness, Quality Road's brilliance, Blame and Rail Trip's impressive potential, and Goldikova's greatness. It would be absurd to not acknowledge their specialness. Likewise with Zenyatta. I just feel sorry for those of you that don't get it. That you can't appreciate Zenyatta's uniqueness and brilliance is really sad for you.

16 Jun 2010 7:23 PM

Zenyatta will win the BCC at CD in November,  Running against RT,RA, QR, Blame,and whoever has the guts to enter and take a chance on getting beat by the mighty mare...........

16 Jun 2010 7:28 PM

Zenyatta will reign supreme by this years end, she will have beat PP record and have beat Cigar and Citations record, Beat the boys and girls (if any other than her) in the BCC.  She does not have to go for HOTY. she will have beaten the worlds record and holding her own.............Question?  HOw could you not vote for her as HOY when she has accomplished this legendary , never been done before feat...........pure immortal and extraordinary.unbelivabe, I'm sorry , but it would only make the voters look nuts..............

16 Jun 2010 7:37 PM


"Nobody told me, but honestly for her to get that win over older males in a race never won by any filly ever was that final jump that sealed the deal."

Until I read further down, I thought you were talking about the BC Classic!

Laz: Rock ON!!!!!


"kay correct me if i'm wrong but didn't both the mosses and zenyatta's trainer state that her season this yr would be completely different than last yr? well has it happened yet? NO it hasn't because they are LIARS who don't deserve to be defended much less have you follow their horses. zenyatta will never win the hoy if she remains in california. at least ciger travelled coast to coast and he's worthy of being one of the greatest handicap horses. zenyatta has left a LOT to be deserved. besides kay if i hadn't seen a horserace how would i know that zenyatta was hit 7 or 8 times or maybe more and that rachel didn't see the whip? the only naive one is you since you clearly don't think before you post"

You. Are. ADORABLE. You're still missing the point, but that's okay. I love your posts! Just three little things to highlight.

One -- About the Mosses being liars. You know, I'm not even going to give you the logical reasons that plans have changed. Y'all don't seem too interested in that. But since you're a black-and-white kinda girl, I'll just answer THIS in black and white. Who was it who decided that Rachel and Zenyatta should meet in the Apple Blossom? And then who pulled out? Who's the liar THERE?

Two. If you handicap by counting how many times a horse was hit with the whip, I can't imagine you're too awesome at it. My point was that the races unfolded completely differently and there are many, many other factors to consider when examining them. You don't seem to get this.

And three. I find it amusing that you screeched about HOTY after a post which included a quote by John Shirreffs where he said they didn't care about HOTY. That's simply not the goal for Zenyatta's connections. Just because all you people seem to understand is HOTY -- that's literally the ONLY thing that can make a horse great -- doesn't make it so. The Mosses aren't doing what YOU want them to do with their horse? Tough. That doesn't take away from her greatness. And as we've seen around the Interwebs, NOTHING Zenyatta has done or will do in the future will be enough for some of you. As Paula said above, that's really sad. You're missing out.

And you should proof your posts a little better. Getting a bit confusing up in there!

16 Jun 2010 7:44 PM
Carlos in Cali


The whole state of Illinois was starving for a Championship...so they congregated in Chicago. Most of those folks brought along their dogs & grandmothers,that's were you get the supposed 2million people.Watch how many fans show-up for the Lakers' yearly Championship Victory Parade. Felons & all,LOL.


Boo-yah! Brutal,simply Brutal. Jason,what's up w/that?  :)

16 Jun 2010 7:48 PM

Secretariat : Thanks for the info on consecutive G1 wins, I was wondering what the record was.  

I think Team Z being as "conservative" as they are with their plans has some bonus to it.  If she keeps on winning, she would break or tie the 3 things that Secretariat mentioned and if she wins the Classic, that would tie Tiznow...as the only other HORSE to win the Classic back to back and she will be doing it at age 6 PLUS she also had the 2008 Ladies Classic.  Now if anyone has a problem recognizing her abilities, I would love to see the horses they are touting as the beast/best/HOTY winner do the same things.  We'll even take out the consecutive wins, we all know that's going to last lifetimes.  Let's just see one of these horses win 8 G1s in a row, you can even do it against allowance horses if you wish but I doubt that it will be broken anytime soon.  

One last thing, there's a reason Zenyatta was able to do ALL these magnificent, legendary things.  She was well taken care of, she managed to continue her excellence throughout her career.  I don't recall any colts or fillies that were running in top level in their 3 yr old season that went on to race up to 6 yrs old and still compete at the top level.  Can any of the Zen bashers name one ?  

We need more John Sheriffs and the Moss' in this sport, they know how to take care of these great horses.    I love Curlin and Point Given and Smarty Jones but none of them raced past 4.  They were all retired because of their breeding value which is fine, it's all business after all but as a fan, I'm blessed to see Zenyatta run for 4 years and still winning.  I don't think we can say that about Rachel or QR or Blame or Battle Plan.  Any of these horses will most likely be retired by next year.  QR has that quarter problem and I'm not going to hold my breath about him running again next year, maybe Draynay can hold his breath until then to find out. RA will probably be campaigned aggressively against the boys again (I still don't think she'll be in the Classic) and I'm quite sure will be retired next year and Blame will probably be retired by next year too, unless JJ buys him for millions and runs him again next year to try and break some of Zens records lol.

Another thing that will probably add to Zenyatta's legacy is to become one of the greatest horse that ever raced, to be one of the greatest broodmare ever. :)

16 Jun 2010 7:49 PM

NO it hasn't because they are LIARS who don't deserve to be defended much less have you follow their horses.

anna 16 Jun 2010 7:13 PM

Anna dear, you need to back away from the keyboard and compose yourself before posting again. You're a little overexcited.

Apparently, you didn't watch any of Rachel's races last year either, like, say the one where Calvin hit her 21 times.

By the way, is it possible you could be related to e.e. cummings?

16 Jun 2010 7:51 PM


I think you've been drinking something other than sodapop if you think that Zenyatta will win at Churchill Downs against the horses that you've mentioned.  There is no way that a horse can spot quality competition 10 lenghts at the beginning of a race and then go 6 wide turning for home and win on a NATURAL DIRT surface.  It just won't happen.  This style of running can produce winners on turf or synthetic surfaces but it will not produce a winner on a natural dirt surface.

16 Jun 2010 7:52 PM


I see your point about beating older males and I agree with you, but I won’t entirely support your argument in this case.   A rabbit defeating a snail in any race at any distance doesn’t man anything.  A rabbit defeating another rabbit does, (I know you’ll get my point).  For that reason I don’t consider Rachel’s win over the older, but ordinary Macho Again, Bullsbay and whatever else there was in the Woodward as significant or more important than a win in an American Classic race which included the two top 3 year old males (both with higher than expected potential of winning the BCC), especially when there was every chance of facing older horses in the JCGC or even the Clark.  That’s my spin.  In any event Rachel won HOY and tons of people are questioning it.  Not nearly as many would be questioning it if she would have traded the weak 1-1/8M Woodward for the much stronger 1-1/4M Travers or JCGC.  As far as historical, the Woodward has been around since the mid fifties, the JCGC since 1919 and the Travers since 1864 and as you know is considered historically significant and important enough to be termed the Summer Derby.

16 Jun 2010 7:53 PM


I recall reading part of the reason Rachel skipped the Travers was because Jess Jackson and Steve Asmussen were already running Kensei there to beef up his stallion credentials.

16 Jun 2010 7:55 PM

Yeah... Trainers of the best males in the country are really scared of a state poly champion. LOL.

16 Jun 2010 7:55 PM

Paula Higgins, you get it, others just don't. Bob Baffert came to watch history being made as did Julie Krone, 38 countries went on NTRA to watch the race. Anyone that is not in awe of this brilliant Mare is really not a true racing fan.

16 Jun 2010 8:04 PM
Gary at Rough Creek


You c'mon.  You cannot say in two breaths that Rachel is all that and then dismiss MTB's run against her while giving her substantial weight in the Preakness.  It's not logical.  And then you dismiss his close third - with a questionable ride) in the Belmont to the eventual 3YO Champion?  That's ridiculous.  

Then he ran 3rd by 1.75 lengths in a Grade 2 while conceding 11 pounds to the two that beat him!

As soon as Rachel conceded weight, she lost.  She still ran well, but she lost.

Quality Road is a quality horse, but I agree with all those on here who doubt his ability to win at 10 furlongs against top company.  Not just any grade 1, but a race with top class horses that are true classic distance horses like Summer Bird was and MTB IS.  Same goes for Rachel.  She and QR are brilliant horses, especially from 8 - 9 furlongs, and I'm sure they could catch a weak field and win at longer distances or with other advantages (like a significant weight break).

Horses like Zenyatta and MTB are best at 10 - 12 furlongs, especially if they are ridden well (right Calvin?).  It wouldn't surprise me at all to see little MTB passing everyone come the BCC, but not if Zenyatta takes to the Churchill surface.

And unlike his connections apparently, I think Musket Man is best from 9 - 10 furlongs, not 7 - 8 furlongs.

I'd truly be surprised to see Rachel even attempt the BCC against males.  I don't think it is in her best interest at all, nor is it in the best interest of the sport.  She's been in short fields mostly, and when she ran in The Preakness she was in the clear on the outside.  If she was down inside and was out broken from the gate by fast rivals in a race like the BCC, how would she react?  This was Big Brown's experience in the Belmont, and I was worried about him before that race for that reason.  He climbed and almost ran up on heels...just watch the replay.  RA may be swift enough to never run into such trouble.  But why risk it if you know she's going to be on fumes after 9.5 furlongs, and against real classic horses?

To me, throw in any and all males you want, and a healthy, happy Zenyatta (however they want to ensure that is fine with me) and let's run the BCC at Churchill.  That's what I want to see.  

Let Z and RA meet somewhere else at 9 furlongs at equal weights.  Z beats her hands down under those conditions too, but at least we won't have the 10 furlongs to blame.    

16 Jun 2010 8:06 PM


If we were at the poker table you would be labeled "the donkey"!

"Lazmannick, I honestly believe Zenyatta will never win another race.

Mark the date and time right here right now.  Zenyatta will never win another race."

I seem to remember a quote in Billy Madison that fits all of your remarks on this blog...

"(Dray) What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.  At no point in your rambling, incoherent (blogposts) were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.  Everyone (blogging on this site) is now dumber for having (read) it.  We award you no (handicapping credit), and my God have mercy on your soul."

I am so sick of your recycled garbage!  I understand that you, Jason and many others are frustrated with Zenyatta staying out west and not competing against the boys this summer.  However, she has just set a record that NO OTHER HORSE has done.  She has done it over 4 tracks and defeated in those 17 races some of the best Fillies, Mares, and Older Male Horses that this three year stretch has had to offer.

Jason, you mentioned earlier that you still don't know what Zenyatta is yet... are you kidding me?  17 wins later, after defeating Ginger Punch, Hysterical Lady, Tough Tizs Sis, Gio Ponti, Summer Bird, Life is Sweet, St. Trinians, and many others.  She beat the best that the world had to offer last year, the best fillies the year before, and like you I hope she does the same this year at Churchill in the Classic.

Through my posts although sporadic, I hope you know that I tend to be very objective in my analysis.  I love RA, Z, QR and frankly I am a fan of every graded runner as I am a fan of greatness.  You adequately called out in fairness the RA camp just as you did the Z camp.  I am just getting tired of the people who keep blasting Z's connections for running her at home.  I think they are going to bring her to Churchill for the Classic and run her race.  I just think that they will keep her comfortable in the meantime.  Why not call out QR for running with so much space between starts, or not shipping out to California and chasing down Rail Trip?  

I am just asking that we all enjoy these horses while they are running.  Appreciate them for what they are and what they do.  

QR is a great horse, RA is rounding back to her form and is a great horse, Zenyatta has still yet to falter and is a great horse!  

IMO I think they will all meet for the first time in The Classic.  If that happens I think QR and RA will run each other into the ground setting a 1:34 mile and leave it for Z to close.  It would be a photo finish and personally, I think Z would win by a nose.  

I enjoy these horses and think ppl like Dray are "donkeys" for saying Z is a "plastic champion", or discrediting the accomplishments of an undefeated horse who has not dodged running against other horses while carrying 17 lbs more than her rivals in a G1.  QR nor RA has proven nearly as much as Z and I am a HUGE RA fan and a big QR fan.

Rant over.

16 Jun 2010 8:06 PM
Paula Higgins

Uh Anna, I think you meant "alot to be desired" and not "left a lot to be deserved." I think you're the one who needs to think before you post. By the way, to use the word "liar" in any context with Jerry and Ann Moss is absolutely despicable.

JayJay, Kay, Gunbow the Wise and Mature, Carlos, and all of you who love Zenny- a huge THANK YOU.

16 Jun 2010 8:08 PM

As an add-on disclaimer... I did think that RA deserved HOY last year as Z only ran 4 or 5 times last year, while RA had a much more grueling schedule as indicated by the time needed to recover.

I am not just a Z lover, RA or QR hater, I guess I am just a Dray-hater.

16 Jun 2010 8:12 PM

anna :  I'm correcting you because you are wrong.  Didn't Jess Jackson say RA will race Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom ?  If you didn't know this, travelling to the Apple Blossom means travelling east (from west where Zen is based) and she showed up.  RA didn't show up, Jess Jackson is a LIAR.  Jess Jackson got scared, he didn't want RA running against Zen.  That's a fact.  Everyone knows this except you so now you know.  Now stop with your nonsense.

Oh and Zen was whipped 6 times, not 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 times.  I posted the whip comparison to Draynay in the other blog for the 3 races from both this year, here's the tally :

Draynay :  Here's the count on your whips babble :


NO Ladies (ungraded ) =  8 whips

La Troinne (G2) = 10 whips

Fleur De Lis (G2) = 0 whips


Santa Margarita (G1) = 0 whips

Apple Blossom (G1) = 0 whips

Vanity Handicap (G1) = 6 whips

You were saying ??

jayjay 14 Jun 2010 12:09 AM


16 Jun 2010 8:28 PM

Snow:  I haveent been drinking anything, I just have faith in the mighty mare after watching her 17 times, win...........and I bet you was one of them that doubted the BCC last year,  I have faith in her.

Oh, and Snow, apparentyly you are sniffing some snow stuff it sounds like..........

You see, Zen fans have been watching and loving her for three years now,  she has came back the same way every time. NO horse has been able to dupiicate her at all. and they never will,  No horse comes back three years in a row, the same winning way, as she has. She wins because she loves her job thats what she was bred to do. Oh, and she has been taking such great care of too.   They look out for her,not as though she is just a token, she is family........I dont know of to many owners that cry every time their horse wins like Annie Moss does.........

16 Jun 2010 8:31 PM

TJLuvsTizs, maybe this is news to you but no one cares about Zenyatta beating up on mares on plastic tracks in California.  We pretend to care but really, we don't.  Most are upset that her connections won't run her on a surface she supposedly prefers, but you wont admit it.  I hate to tell you this but Zenyatta will never win another race.  St. Trinians won't lose a shoe next race so Zenyatta will never catch her and if she ever did show up in the Classic she would only be running for Show.  Send your address to Jason I will be more then happy to send you a autograph pic.  I appreciate the fan support.

16 Jun 2010 8:38 PM

Gary at Rough Creek

I was trying to be very careful when talking about Mine That Bird because I really do respect what he has accomplished.  But the truth is, other than the TC series he has not done anything significant enough to be termed a top quality horse.  Four of his five wins were in Canada and the competition he defeated in those races are basically no more than G-3 horses up to this point in their careers.  His run in the TC was sensational.  However, if he would have caught Rachel in the Preakness and would have received a WINNING ride in the Belmont, all things considered he would have been a TC winner and not in a million years does he compare to the TC winners of the past.  In saying this I am not labeling him a FLUKE like another does on this blog and he certainly has gained my respect be cause he always tries.  I am extremely interested in how he does when he comes back and will be cheering for him.

16 Jun 2010 8:39 PM


I share your dream but would include I Want Revenge, Mine That Bird and Misremembered in the BCC cast.  If Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra were to forego the Classic and clash in the Distaff, my joy would not be dimished.  In fact, such a scenario might upstage the Classic since Quality Road is a cinch there (everyone will acknowledge that fact after the Whitney, including the neophytes who fail to see that he is in the same league as Spectacular Bid, Holy Bull and Ghostzapper in terms of his speed-stamina coefficient).  

16 Jun 2010 8:50 PM

Why run Life is Sweet in last year's Hollywood Gold Cup, but avoid Calif. males with Zenyatta this year?

16 Jun 2010 8:51 PM

Hey Draynay guess what? We get it. You've got your hate on for the Queen. You know what else? Anyone out there who thinks QR is taking the easy route avoiding other top handicappers, you need to stop bogarting all the drugs. Come on people, what's with all the east coast vs. west coast garbage. It's like the second coming of Biggy Small vs. Tupak. Guess what people? All the connections are making their decisions according to what is best for their HORSE...period. If Rachel needs a few easier starts to get her up to speed-so be it. If Zenny stays in Cali and starts against distaffers up to the BCC-have at it. If QR needs more time between starts to recover from his huge efforts-go for it. Most years of late everyone complains about the weak group of handicappers. Not this year! We are so lucky to have all these horses to enjoy. I personally am looking forward to all the great summer and fall racing. And guess what else Draynay? Anyone who doesn't get excited seeing Zenny barreling down the lane to catch St. Trinians on the wire to go undefeated 17 for 17 doesn't get what this great game is all about. Sorry for you! LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!!!

16 Jun 2010 8:53 PM


No one cares to see RA run against the sub par horses and 5 horse fields that she continues to run in either, but you don't hear me complain about it...  No one cares to see QR beat up on the trash up in NY either, but you don't hear me complain about it.  

Personally I wish Z would run more in the East to shut everyone else up, but in the meantime she is beating horses EVERYTIME she runs, on tracks she doesn't prefer.  

She has had her largest wins at Oaklawn, and obviously likes the dirt.  

Your ignorance is insulting!

16 Jun 2010 9:12 PM
My Juliet

    What Zenyatta did Sun. was amazing, remarkable. She owns that achievement, the most wins by any racehorse in history, WOW. Re HOTY debate, the votes were close, but Rachel A won and deserved HOTY 2009 based on that year. It looks like Quality Rd is on his way to poss getting it for 2010. If it's an award she doesn't end up getting, I do think a special award should be made, for Lifetime Achievement in a case like this, to honor a perfect record.         I wanted to address the question @ how Rachel is treated. Steve A's comment after the race Sat was that it is an honor to train a filly like her. Also that she was going to receive much petting, sugar and affection when returning to the barn. From what I've seen as a fan and read, I have no doubt RA is treated extremely well in Steve A's barn.

16 Jun 2010 9:20 PM

Draynay will climb on any horses wagon just to be able to bash Zenyatta lol.  He acts like he's being cheated at seeing the great zenyatta run in his backyard, like he's something to be recognized lol.  This is the same guy that wasn't even close to picking any horse that hit the board in this years TC.  The only one he picked because he doesn't have any other choices is a plastic horse named Lookin' At Lucky.

He climbs on Rail Trip and now St. Trinians trying to spread his hate lol.  It's pathetic but at the same time funny.  I anticipate what he'll come up with next, I bet the next allowance distance winner at Hollywood would be his choice.

Draynay is a joke, it's fun to prove him wrong but don't let him get under your skin.  He doesn't know anything about horse racing at all, he's only here to piss people of lol.  He'll come up with the stupidest things because he knows someone will respond to it.  I don't deny that I do it because I enjoy making fun of him.  He can't stand me though because I say things about his flavor of the month horse that actually makes sense whereas his babble are all that...just babble, he makes things up without thinking about it and when proven wrong, he'll walk away LOL.

Isn't that right Draynay :)

16 Jun 2010 9:24 PM


Life Is Sweet and Zenyatta had the same trainer but DIFFERENT ownwers. Do you not think that might have contributed to the decision to run LIS in a race where Zenyatta was not entered?

16 Jun 2010 9:25 PM
Bet Twice

To me, Quality Road sits somewhere between Congaree and Medaglia d'Oro.  He can get the classic distance, but the conditions have to be optimal.  Perhaps later this year he'll reach Ghostzapper or Curlin's lofty heights, but I don't think he's done enough on the track to be compared with either at the moment.  No one's saying he can't get there, he just hasn't yet.

16 Jun 2010 9:37 PM

i think the classic will be smaller this year because its not on synthetic remember their was a lot of euros because of the synthetic. and also because of a good older male crop.

16 Jun 2010 9:41 PM
Matthew W

LDP Quality Road may win at 1 1/4/he may get 1 1/4--all horses get 1 1/4, just a matter of how long it takes (!)---I'm saying he prefers shorter and Zenyatta prefers the ten furlongs--I'm not sure there are any other horses in training who would prefer 1 1/4 at that level--Rachel?...Rail Trip? Mine That Bird will love it there, no doubt-- methinks the Classic will be the final exclamation point in Zenyatta's career--looks that way to me--excuses are a dime a dozen, he didn't need excuses for any other distance, did he? That is my point--play it any way you like, he ran lights out in the JC Gold Cup but he ran outta stamina, that's all--I'll let him beat me in the Classic/think there is a horse or two that will outfinish him in November...truly am not dissing that horse whom would be my pick to defeat any horse in USA at one mile....

16 Jun 2010 9:44 PM


"Personally I wish Z would run more in the East to shut everyone else up, but in the meantime she is beating horses EVERYTIME she runs, on tracks she doesn't prefer."

I'm getting to the point where I just want to shut everyone up, too. But here's how it would go:

Zenyatta ships and wins something in New York.

Us: Okay! See? There. That's how great she is.

Them: She only beat one of our specified foes, and he/she/it didn't handle the track.

Us: But wait --

Them: The race totally set up for Zenyatta with that rabbit in to cook (insert their favorite here).

Us: What? Wait a minute, you just said she had to run in the East --

Them: Besides, EVERYBODY KNOWS the track was playing JUST like plastic.

Us: Sigh.

16 Jun 2010 9:45 PM

TJLuvsTizs, what really matters are 2 things.  How many G1 winning males has Zenyatta beat on dirt ?  And who is the current HOY.  Enough said !

16 Jun 2010 9:48 PM
Paula Higgins

CV-e.e.cummings-OMG I am laughing my head off!!!!!!!!!!!!! She won't get it though.

Kay thank you for your nice words. You too Seatariat. You know when I think what a horse like Zenyatta risks every time she goes out there to beat the field, it makes me want to spit nails that some people refuse to acknowldege her greatness. She's 6 and still racing her heart out, and every time she does it, she risks injury and even death. I know, they all do, but  very few race for the length of time she has. I am really grateful to John Shirreffs for keeping her in the best condition possible, waiting to start her racing career (that must have been hard to do when you have such talent on your hands), and choosing races that will be best for her. Because he has done this, she continues to thrive.

Draynay, never say Zenyatta won't win again. I think the wish is further to the truth. I will have to put a pox upon your house (except for Mrs. Draynay and the dog).

16 Jun 2010 9:57 PM
Matthew W

That's the difference between nowadays and before the advent of the Breeders Cup--I mean, everyone has to go East this year, so don't grip--it's just that the Cup is in November, and ya gotta be fresh--shipping East in Summer/back west/then back East in Fall--that's rough, and I think the Moss's are looking at Rail Trip/Ellis and it's a tough decision to go to Saratoga while Rail Trip hangs back--I want them to repeat--not sure they beat` Quality Road at Saratoga AND then not sure they are right for the Classic---what would I do? I'd go to Saratoga, where they'll stand and cheer her on arrival/stand and cheer her on the track/and if she loses they'll stand and cheer her upon her unsaddling--just like they did in 77 for Slew at Holly--one of them was me....my thinking is this: Zenyatta is such a special animal, Saratoga becomes more important than even Churchill--I think that even if Zenyatta loses at Saratoga, she will smoke them all at Churchill--besides, losing at Saratoga is almost chic, if ya wanna be called an all time great! This I know: they won't be running another race at Del Mar, can you say Whitney??!!

16 Jun 2010 10:00 PM
Matthew W

Deacon I'm glad you "got" me--many on here didn't understand my litery license--my saying Quality Road had a conservative road was merely in response to the punters who lament Zenyatta's road--'last I checked she was tested, big time, by a quality filly/while toting FIVE more lbs than Quality Road did for his one turn Met Mile--just pointing out this: if you claim to be #1, and you wanna dis the races of, say horse #3, or #4, or #7 or wherever you have Zenyatta slotted--then face the facts, already--he's staying home all year---you want Zenyatta to make three roadies, compared to zero for Rachel/zero for Q Road/and one for Rail Trip--well, ok, maybe she will--just using literary license to point out how the deck is stacked--but they, meaning The Moss's/Shirreffs/Team Zen/and her many fans--they already knew how the deck was stacked, only now everyone/everywhere are fans of Zenyatta--for this, and this only, would I take on those kinds of odds--I would race Zenyatta at Saratoga, and, if need be, I would train her right up to the Classic--where she will expose the pretenders....

16 Jun 2010 10:19 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Where are you? Your sense of humor is greatly needed on THIS side of the BH Blog Stable. Is everything OK? Are you sick of the constant bashing? Your silence is deafening... We sure could use some fun & giggles! Have you and Ted from LA escaped the azylum together and left us to fend for ourselves without the help of your hilarious comments?

16 Jun 2010 10:24 PM

Draynay; you're dreaming if you believe Zenyatta will never win another race.  Of course she will, because her connections will continue to be very selective of where she runs until the BC.

sodapopkid; I agree that Z doesn't need to travel out of Cal. to prove she is great.  She just needs to compete against and beat the best horses in Cal.  I personally don't care how many weak Grade 1 races she wins; I want to see her run in California's serious Grade 1's (i.e. Hollywood Gold Cup; Pacific Classic).  

Finally, I'm really tired of hearing "Zenyatta is the Champ; the East Coast horses should be coming to her".  The best dirt horses in the country aren't traveling to So. Cal.  What part of "synthetic surfaces" do you not understand?

16 Jun 2010 10:43 PM
Tomato thrower

Please Zookeeper leave them be Ted and Dr. drunk are not funny at all.

16 Jun 2010 10:43 PM

Kay: Just asking, but did you get the idea for that script sequence from me or did you come up with it independently?

Anyway, you are partly right in that even if Zenyatta does those things some people will still doubt her. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Many more reasonable doubters would be convinced by her doing something more ambitious successfully, and it would also add even more to her already grand list of accomplishments. I personally believe that "east coast bias" does not exist in any large quality and hasn't since the 1930s. For example, check the horses of the year since the 60s.

1970: Fort Marcy: raced in California.

1971: Ack Ack: based in Cal.

1972-1973: Secretariat: raced in Cal.

1974-1976: Forego: I don't believe he raced in Cal.

1977: Seattle Slew: raced in Cal.

1978-1979: Affirmed: based in Cal.

1980: Spectacular Bid: raced often in Cal.

1981 and 1984: John Henry: raced often in Cal.

1982: Conquistador Cielo: never raced in Cal I believe.

1983: All Along: Europe-based, ran in Cal but not in her HOY year.

1985: Spend a Buck: raced in Cal, but not in his HOY year.

1986: Lady's Secret: ran often in Cal.

1987: Ferdinand: Cal based.

1988: Alysheba: raced in Cal.

1989: Sunday Silence: Cal-based.

1990: Criminal Type: raced in Cal.

1991: Black Tie Affair: I don't believe he ran in Cal. But he wasn't East based either.

1992: A. P. Indy: Cal-based.

1993: Kotashaan: Cal-based.

1994: Holy Bull: didn't race in Cal.

1995-1996: Cigar: Racen in Cal.

1997: Favorite Trick: I don't think he ran in Cal.

1998: Skip Away: ran in Cal.

1999: Charismatic: raced in Cal.

2000: Tiznow: Cal based.

2001: Point Given: Cal-based.

2002: Azeri: raced often in Cal.

2003: Mineshaft: never ran in Cal.

2004: Ghostzapper: I don't think he ran in Cal.

2005: Saint Liam: Never raced in Cal.

2006: Invasor: Never raced in Cal.

2007-2008: Curlin: ran in Cal, as you all know.

2009: Rachel Alexandra, and all know this.

I could see one making a case for the award being biased recently, but it's hardly a longstanding dislike.

16 Jun 2010 10:57 PM

All you New Yorkers, why does Zen hafta race at Belmont or Saratoga?  Did Personal Ensign go to Calif?  Did Ruffian?  Why does a west coast horse have to go east?  Why can't Rachel go west?  Is it because her connections don't want to ship 3,000 miles?  Remember, Cigar, winner of 16 in a row and the undefeated triple crown winner Seattle Slew met their waterloos when they shipped to calif.  Furthermore, you people claim that Secretariat, Affirmed etc battled all year long against the best competition.  True, but they didn't have a $5 million carrot waiting for them in November called the BC Classic. If so, i'm sure their schedules would have been different. Why burn out a horse in a $500,000 race in May when there's $5 mil waiting for them later on?  THINK!

16 Jun 2010 11:01 PM

Zenyatta and Quality Road were shopping in New York at Macy's during a sale.  They were fighting over the same pair of large pants that would fit over their big butts.  Zenyatta snatched the pants from Quality Road and jumped on the escalator.  She escaped to the 'horsewares' department.  Quality Road was afraid to get on the escalator and he is still in the 'big & wide' section.  I hear there's a clean-up needed on aisle 3.....Again.  

16 Jun 2010 11:02 PM

Regarding Zenyatta, I read that John Sheriffs and Jerry Moss had contacted Saratoga and Belmont about accomdations for Queen Z. They were to told to apply on line for a stable.

Is this how racing royalty is treated?

Even the diretor of Royal Ascot flew to LA to invite the Zenyatta to England with free airfare, accomadations and no entrance fees.

Gulfstream invited Mine That Bird, Quality Road, Zenyatta,Rachel Alexandra, and SummerBird to the Donn with no entry fees.

Is it any wonder that racing is in trouble in New York. How sad is that?

16 Jun 2010 11:02 PM

Tomato thrower,

Your screen name fits you to a Tee!

16 Jun 2010 11:13 PM

Why won't Zenyatta ship east?  

Because she took a 'pledge' and is saving it for the Breeder's Cup.  Her advisor told her that was the right thing to do...

16 Jun 2010 11:13 PM

I have been thinking about this every day since QR's win in the Donn. This past weekend only made it worse.  I went to the Cup last year and had a GREAT time, but this year...if these 5 horses come to the party, this would be monumental.   I especially love Quality Road and would love to see him win the BC. He's a phenomenal horse, as are RA, Z, RT and Blame.   I love this sport!

16 Jun 2010 11:14 PM
Kate Harper

Snow: "...There is no way that a horse can spot quality competition 10 lenghts at the beginning of a race and then go 6 wide turning for home and win on a NATURAL DIRT surface.  It just won't happen.  This style of running can produce winners on turf or synthetic surfaces but it will not produce a winner on a natural dirt surface."

Maybe you should rewatch the '08 Apple Blossom.  I know Zenyatta was at least 8 lengths back going into the final turn, was 4 wide coming into the stretch and then swept by the Eclipse winner, Ginger Punch, as though she were standing still.  On DIRT.

16 Jun 2010 11:17 PM

RobinM, You need to go back and study,  Delmar track is like Keeland,and if you have followed RAchel you know she ran and won at keenleand,  Its time for Rachel and her connections to man up and go after Zen at delmar, and quit being damn cowards and hiding with excuses all the time...........time is going on by,and her resume for 2010 sure aint pretty.............

16 Jun 2010 11:18 PM

Bet Twice…..I agree with your assessment of Quality Road:

Quality Road I think is already better than Medaglia d’Oro who only won 8 of 17, won a race carrying 120 lbs and never more, lost the BCC to Volponi, could not stay with Candy Ride and was defeated twice by Pleasantly Perfect, the same PP that couldn’t put a dent in Ghostzapper.  On the other hand, Ghostzapper is miles ahead of QR right now.  When QR takes on a future HOY (St. Liam) and runs head and head like they did in the 2004 Woodward with wicked fractions and then comes out and wires the field in the BCC (a tough field) in 1.59, then maybe we can start putting him up there.  Until then you're exactly right.  Let’s just sit back and see what he does.

16 Jun 2010 11:26 PM


But wait, all the other horses threw a shoe.

16 Jun 2010 11:29 PM
Matthew W

RobinM--AMEN! THIS is what Cal Racing did to the history of racing--they MANDATED that history be forever quelled out--Zenyatta, unless she makes three roadies, will forever be the asterisk horse--she is a plastic horse! Thank you very much, Cal Racing! THIS is why I cry out to Team Zen: Go East! Saratoga! Come back and train up to the Classic--19 for 19, crush Quality Road in the Whitney--eat him alive in the final 1/16! Get the 120 Beyer at Saratoga, go home--don't get that "three hour lag" after a month or so--go out there--stomp on the miler in the Whitney/blow their doors off---go home/train for the Classic--then give 'em all something worth remembering in the Classic--just do it....

16 Jun 2010 11:40 PM

Matthew W makes the most sense when you look at it.  Why should the west coast horses do all the traveling?  And why should Zen go against the best G-1 males at 1-1/4M more than facing them in the BCC?  That would be the equivalent of males having to race against something even bigger and stronger than they are themselves and I'm sure that if it came to that most trainers would chicken out.  Zen is a mare.  She might be big and strong but she's not a big strong G-1 class male.  She only needs to face them in the BCC.  One shot when they all line up at the end of the year is all that is needed to see who is best.  Way back when fillies and mares like Gallorette used to take on tough males regularly.  They beat them the odd time, but they got their butts kicked most of the time.  I don't want to see that.  Like I said, one race, everyone show up, scale weights, 1-1/4M on dirt, everyone in shape, no excuses, and then see who is boss.  This is what the BC was created for.

16 Jun 2010 11:43 PM


Great list and great point.  However, (there's always a however), from Mineshaft on (2003) the only HOY to race in Cali is Culrin (the final race of his career).

16 Jun 2010 11:53 PM


You are tempting me to bash RA and QR which I won't do, but to your point of how many G1 winners has Z beat on the dirt...  I guess beating 6 time G1 winner and 07 Champion Older Female Ginger Punch in the 08 Apple Blossom was a fluke.  GP may not have been male, but Z beat her in her 4th race ever!

How many times has RA lost? Hint: 5. How many times has QR lost? Hint: 3. How many times has Zenyatta lost? Hint: 0!  How many times have QR or RA won at 10 F? Hint: 0!

Also, using your logic, why won't you call out Goldikova for never running on dirt here in the US?  I personally think Goldy deserves to be in the same conversation as Z, Personal Ensign, Ruffian, Vodka, etc. but she hasn't beaten any G1 males on dirt, RA must be better than her!  Give me a break, QR is likely the best older male at this time, but to discredit Z is just dumb!

17 Jun 2010 12:04 AM

For those who think Zenyatta will have trouble with a faster pace: 1:40-1/5 for 8-1/2f, several other 1:40s and change; 1:46 and change for 9f, and in her maiden race at 6-1/2 furlongs, she spotted the sprinters 10 lengths and won by 3-1/2 in 1:15 and change. Her fastest times were early in her career before her kick was well known and the others began slowing down the pace. She runs to the pace and the competition. All she does is win.  And in the end, that's what counts.

17 Jun 2010 12:04 AM

"Send your address to Jason I will be more then happy to send you a autograph pic.  I appreciate the fan support.

Draynay 16 Jun 2010 8:38 PM"

I highly recommend that everyone do this because, if he REALLY looks like his Facebook picture, he is a hottie! (And like most hotties, he looks best with his mouth closed.)

17 Jun 2010 12:27 AM

Citation, Secretariat never raced further west than Chicago. Of his 21 starts, 15 were in NY, two in Maryland, and once each in NJ,IL, KY, and Ontario, Canada. Of course, these days, he'd've been retired after the Belmont...and never ran his last six races!

I didn't note who wrote of race numbers, but as far as that goes, Native Dancer won HOY with only THREE starts in 1954, and Ghostzapper with only four in 2004. Total number of races has not necessarily been considered by the voters.

Laura the Librarian/Historian

17 Jun 2010 12:42 AM


17 Jun 2010 1:07 AM


Please email me an autographed picture of Draynay.  Come on, I know you're an insider.

Make that a picture of Draynay watching the Vanity just past the 1/16 pole, so I can see his happy face, and then another at race finish.  Please.

His press sec and handler probably could help with this....Or the Schnauzer, or was it Dachshunds?

17 Jun 2010 2:00 AM
Kit J

Zookeeper, these people are serious. No room for humor when typing insults to each other as fast as they can.

It's really pretty funny reading all of this opinion and knowing that it's pure speculation as none of them know any more than the average guy who reads a lot.

Draynay, you said you've never been to Saratoga. How can you even make a comparison?

You keep talking and talk is cheap. Why don't you ask Todd Pletcher what he thinks about Zenyatta?

On second thought maybe not, he'd call the law on you.

Don't want to subject the poor man to that. He seems pretty nice.

17 Jun 2010 3:19 AM

REALLY looking forward to Quality Road taking on Blame in the Whitney. We'll learn a lot then. I just can't imagine a scenario where Zenyatta gets beat by a better horse. I'm not even sure the trip would hurt her. Maybe if it pours at CD and she doesn't like the mud... I dunno. I suppose some mudder could freak and be so far ahead turning for home that she can't catch him. But although I am enjoying the heck out of Quality Road, Blame, Rail Trip and myriad 3YOs, I just can't see them being so far ahead of Zenyatta that her closing kick won't be enough.

And I'd rather see her in the Hollywood Gold Cup than the Hirsch, mostly because pointing to the Hirsch means waiting to see how Del Mar is playing a few day before. What if it doesn't play the way Shirreffs wants? Then does he ship? If she goes in the GC, then she has a good amount of recovery time to the Oak Tree race and she'll get enough good fitness out of that for the Classic. Then she doesn't ship, but she does run against colts.

An interesting proposition.


I wonder if we'll hear the old "he stepped on a nail" excuse ever again?


That's EAST COAST plastic. WEST COAST plastic is the real offender here. I do love that none of Rachel's suitors seem to remember that she's a winner on synthetic.


"Kay: Just asking, but did you get the idea for that script sequence from me or did you come up with it independently?"

I'm a writer, so it came to me independently (g).

"Anyway, you are partly right in that even if Zenyatta does those things some people will still doubt her. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Many more reasonable doubters would be convinced by her doing something more ambitious successfully, and it would also add even more to her already grand list of accomplishments. I personally believe that "east coast bias" does not exist in any large quality and hasn't since the 1930s. For example, check the horses of the year since the 60s."

Great list! But I think you also have to look at what REALLY sealed HOTY for a lot of those horses. It was the Breeder's Cup in many cases, or Triple Crown races in some. Horses who race mainly in California do not count for much. This, I think, stems back to when the Jockey Club Gold Cup was the championship race. And there HAS always been a bias towards the West, as evidenced by the big rivalries back in the day, before your list begins. All the talk about the hard tracks and speedy Cal-breds and stuff like that.

It's just a lot easier now to have that bias because of the synthetics.

Look, I've NEVER denied that Rachel deserved HOTY. Of course she did. But so did Zenyatta and I frankly would have voted for her, because MY opinion is that you show up to the Breeder's Cup. No matter WHERE it is. I'm sure the folks who voted for Zenyatta felt that way, too. The discussion that seems to be happening now is muddying up the HOTY vote with how GOOD both horses are. Some people are going, "Rachel didn't deserve HOTY because Zenyatta's a better horse, as she's proving now." Well, that's not fair. Rachel DID deserve HOTY and that's totally and completely separate from the present abilities of both horses.

I think Zenyatta may be voted horse of the decade anyway (g).

17 Jun 2010 3:24 AM

This blog is all about Zenyatta.

I love it!

As long as they are talking about her (positive or negative), that's all that matters.

That means Zenyatta is doing her job.

17-0 BABY!

17 Jun 2010 3:54 AM


"Personally I wish Z would run more in the East to shut everyone else up, but in the meantime she is beating horses EVERYTIME she runs, on tracks she doesn't prefer."

I'm getting to the point where I just want to shut everyone up, too. But here's how it would go:

Zenyatta ships and wins something in New York.

Us: Okay! See? There. That's how great she is.

Them: She only beat one of our specified foes, and he/she/it didn't handle the track.

Us: But wait --

Them: The race totally set up for Zenyatta with that rabbit in to cook (insert their favorite here).

Us: What? Wait a minute, you just said she had to run in the East --

Them: Besides, EVERYBODY KNOWS the track was playing JUST like plastic.

Us: Sigh.

Kay 16 Jun 2010 9:45 PM

Thank You Kay.  I've been saying this all along.  She ships out east, no one wants to show up in the gate.  She races in Calif, no one wants to face her. If she showed up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, No One Would show.!!!!  It does not matter where she goes, there will always be an INFERIOR GROUP wether male/female.  No trainer/owner wants to put their horse in with her because: "like in Rache, are afraid of having their ego's crushed!"

I just don't get why people on these blogs have to bash one over the other!  We have so much as "fans" to be thankful for right now!!!  The girls have brought more light to the sport, they have captured the hearts of so many and are both deserving of being honored and respected.  Not to take anything away from our Colt Crop!  And the up-coming 3yr olds!  Can't we all just get a long and play nice for a change???  Can't we all enjoy what we have been given?: "From the Racing Gods?"  Enjoy these Champions and the future Champions!

Long live Queen Z, Princess Rachel Alexandra, Prince Quality Road and Prince Blame! Oh and Princess, Goldikova!

17 Jun 2010 4:51 AM

I have to take exception to Snow's comment that Esky and Battle Plan have stallion credentials and IWR doesn't.  What???  He did better as a 3 year year old than either.  He was sired by Stephen Got Even, sired by AP Indy, sired by Seattle Slew out of a Secretariat mare.  Who doesn't have stallion credentials????

Jason touted Saratoga as where champions race.  I love Saratoga but as far as I know, it's nickname (aside from The Spa) is the Graveyard of Favorites.

Laz: in defense of MTB, if the Preakness went an additional furlong, MTB could have won it.

One thing about e.e.cummings, he was aware of correct grammar, but avoided it.  I can't say the same for Anna.

The East/West coast drivel is always the same.  Top 3 year old...LAL...West.  Only undefeated horse in her career...Zen...West.  Sports writers...East. That's your bias....not the tracks or the horses. Haven't we already seen in the Derby preps...synth horses excel on dirt...it's easier for them to run on dirt. Dirt horses, however, have not exercised the right leg muscles to run on synth and often falter on the deeper surface.  

17 Jun 2010 9:11 AM
Billy's Empire

So, ever since Mine that Bird was transferred to D wayne, I wondered to myself why? Why would he go to a trainer that has only won 9 races in 2010? 2 stakes, both by decelerator, a 3yo filly. WHY. i can't figure it out, but I feel sorry for anyone that bets on him. Nothing against Wayne of the 80's and 90's, but he is not the same trainer he used to be. Just a little something to get you all thinking today.

Tomorrow night can't come fast enuf.

17 Jun 2010 9:58 AM
Smoking Baby

You're comparing Del Mar to Saratoga? You have to be kidding me.

Draynay 16 Jun 2010 6:20 PM

Draynay is right.  There is no comparison.  I live in California and will be visiting Del Mar on August 7th.  I just don't see NEAR as many cheap races being run at Saratoga than at Del Mar.  Check the form on ANY day this summer and you'll see what I mean. I love Del Mar but as a whole the horses that run there are not as good as the group that fills the races at Saratoga.

17 Jun 2010 10:07 AM

Yea, Jackson Bend is running again this Saturday in the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.

He's prepping for the Haskell. Go JB!

17 Jun 2010 10:27 AM

ENOUGH ALREADY. and i'm referring to the straight zenyatta fans. there are people out there who actually loves both horses and for your information i knew she wasn't going to make it even before she lost to zardana in march because it was too soon of a turn around after they rushed her back into racing. but at least their not doing stupid as dumb as dutrow by running a horse who has been off for 15 months in a graded stakes at 10 furlongs coming back from a career ending injury. it's the same injury that took sunday silence from being a racehorse to being one of the greatest sires in the world albeit in japan.

17 Jun 2010 10:50 AM

Laura S, true. I wasn't proofreading my post before I posted it. I know he didn't run in the West, but thanks anyway.

Kay: Swaps lost HOY to Nashua in 1955.. but then he beat him out in 1956. Sunday Silence won HOY over his eastern-based rival. Affirmed beat Alydar for HOY. I still don't think there has been much of a bias, but living in Oklahoma kind of limits firsthand experience with these things, not that it would necessarily help. You're a writer? That's cool, what do you write?

17 Jun 2010 10:58 AM
jimmy redneck

RA will not show up and run in the Classic. She's not good enough to win and they know it. Nice race last out but it was the fluke da claimers and not a good race at all. 1 for 3 on the year just doesn't cut it. The story line on her at the end of the year is going to be "whatever happended to Rachael?" Heck the first two chapters are already written highlighting her two defeats. The answer will be last year was a fluke. They cut her off short because they had nowhere to go in the Breeders Cup where she could win a race.  

17 Jun 2010 11:02 AM

anna-  I see you have yet to take my advice and EDUCATE yourself on that of which you speak.  It is painfully obvious that you and many others, couldn't fill a thimble with your knowledge of training and campaigning a horse.  The July sale is just around the corner and there are some outstanding prospects available.  I suggest you, Dray, AAF and a few others pool your money and buy, train and campaign your own horse and then come back here and tell us just how it's done!  

If only the BH had an "Ignore" button...

17 Jun 2010 11:41 AM
Kit J

Billy, I'm curious why you always have to throw in a negative comment about Wayne Lukas?

I've met him and he is very nice. Will converse with the average fan and goes out of his way to promote the sport and treat people like he's interested in their thoughts.

You say he's only won 9 races??

Where did you get that stat? He's in the top 21 and although he's only run around 200 times he's on the board at close to 50 percent.

Bob Baffert, Nick Zito and several other big trainers no longer have huge numbers of horses to run, so what?

I have an acquaintance who he trains for and he says maybe the problem is all his great assistants now get the horses he once got because he taught them so well and that he still trains the same as he always did.

Sounds like you're trying to convince yourself of something or trying to sound like you know some deep dark secrets about him and his mental/health status.

You and so many others on here sound like the gossipy old woman from a small town.

Either he didn't show you what you feel to be the proper respect or wasn't impressed with the 10% of the one horse you own. I actually think it's more of a jab at an owner of his who posted on here, right?

Shame that people do not seem to have anything better to do than take shots at people they don't know.

Funniest thing is I remember people saying things about Chip Wooley and the fact that he had Mine That Bird and what were his owners thinking leaving a horse like that with a guy who hasn't done much. No pleasing some people. It really comes off as envious, petty and trying to be in the know.

From what I read, the owners had several people who wanted the horse and they chose Mr. Lukas. Their dime, their choice.

I read that you had a contact inside his barn. Did that person finally lose their job for having loose lips or do they now exclude you from the insight and you're bitter?

Just seems so odd to me that people are so focused on and negative about people they don't even know. Reeks of living in a fantasy world.

17 Jun 2010 11:45 AM

Let's hope all the horses mentioned in the above blog stay healthy and be able to compete in the BC Classic.   I'm looking forward to I Want Revenge's return and hope Mine That Bird gets back on the winning path.  It would be great to see them on Breeder's Cup day as well.  While Quality Road is outstanding at distances of 1 1/8 miles or less, getting the 1 1/4 distance is a big question mark for him.  The horse has not won at that distance in 2 starts thus far.  For that matter, Rachel Alexandra has yet to go 1 1/4 mile, and her sire was best at 1 1/8 or less, so it will be interesting to see how she fares.  All in all, I'm looking forward to a great Summer for racing!

17 Jun 2010 11:55 AM
Pam S.


Concerning I Want Revenge, we went through all this the other day.  I didn't know it either but the Suburban was shortened to 9 furlongs this year.  That is a little better than 10.  

17 Jun 2010 12:03 PM
Saratoga AJ


Yes, "The Grey Ghost", Native Dancer did in fact get HOTY in 1954 on only 3 starts. It had a to do in part with what happened the year before.

In 1953 the Dancer won every start except for the only loss of his career, the Kentucky Derby. He got a horrible trip and was running down the winner, Dark Star, but finished a head short. If you watch the video, the Dancer was ahead after another stride or two. He would have been an undefeated 22 for 22 Triple Crown winner and would still have the record consecutive wins all to himself.

So anyway the Dancer was 9 for 10 in '53. But unfortunatally the great 4 yr old Tom Fool was 10 for 10, including the elusive Handicap Triple Crown (Met Mile, Brooklyn H'Cap, Suburban H'Cap) and thus nosed out the great Dancer for 1953 HOTY. So Native Dancer had to settle for HOTY in 1952 as a 2 yr. old and the aforementioned 1954 as a 4 yr old. He came very close to 3 in a row.    

And let's not forget the great race that never was ..Native Dancer vs Tom Fool! I can just imagine what this blog would have been like if it was around in 1953!!!!

17 Jun 2010 12:08 PM

Anna, If you cant' take the heat, Get out of the kitchen.

This blog is for everyone to voice their opinions, It is not just for either fans...

Jason, Has his favorites too, but he lets us all voice our opinions on here, YOu, me ,and the rest of the fans.........No , You aint going to always like what someone else says, I dont either, but thats what blogs are for........

If you dont like the critisizm, Maybe you can start a RA blog, just for her fans alone.

The world is full of critisizm, Especially in sports......We have to learn to deal with it, or simply walk away from it.

Zen fans are on cloud nine, And we aint coming down any time sooon..........she is the absolute best at 17-0  Making HISTORY!!!

I hope Ra remains on her right traack too...........

17 Jun 2010 12:17 PM


Also, Ghostzapper did run in Cali.  It was at Santa Anita onpening day of the 2002 Winter Meet, and I was there.  Unfortunately, the only time I ever saw Ghostzapper he ran his worst race and was badly beaten out of the money.  This has definitely affected my perception of Ghostzapper, although I recognize that even great horses can run poorly.  Evidently, according to Bobby Frankel, Ghostzapper(like Sightseek) just didn't like the old Santa Anita dirt track.  Ironically given the debate over synthetics, I believe the main problem was that the track was too hard.

17 Jun 2010 12:25 PM
Billy's Empire

kit J, I sat with Wayne last year in the turf club during the breeders cup. I know him, and his e riders. He is a great guy, dont get me wrong. He is one of the best horsemen of all time, but he has dropped off considerably. I will point you to a website. Look it up for yourself. 5 of those wins have come in the last month. Facts are facts! Those are his numbers. Sorry if the truth hurts. And by the way, you do not know me. I live in Louisville. I know Wayne's ex, his girlfriend, and probably things that would dream of knowing. Sorry that you are stuck in New Mexico defending our borders. I also speak to Indian Charlie on a regular basis, have had dinner with Chip Wooley and quite a few beers at a well known racing bar in the Ville. Get over your self. oh yeah, sorry, he has won 11 races all year. I missed 2


17 Jun 2010 12:39 PM
Billy's Empire

Is Kit J really Tim G. You all have a love fest over this guy. And again, IMHO, not really negative towards Wayne, just stating that he has dropped off considerably, and if you cannot see that, I am sorry that my opinion bothers you. I am pretty sure 80% of horse folks agree. Well, the people that actually follow racing closely.

17 Jun 2010 12:44 PM


favorite trick won the breeders cup in cali. john henry, alysheba and charismatic were cal based. and im pretty sure criminal type was cal based to


17 Jun 2010 12:44 PM

Regarding Kay's post at 16 Jun 2010 9:45 PM

BEST post I've read on any blog regarding Zenyatta! You made my day! No matter what Zenyatta does, she will never get the respect of the few who don't like her. Y-A-W-N. I'm bored with the same old song being played by those people. Zenyatta's record speaks for itself.

17 Jun 2010 12:45 PM


"Kay: Swaps lost HOY to Nashua in 1955.. but then he beat him out in 1956. Sunday Silence won HOY over his eastern-based rival. Affirmed beat Alydar for HOY. I still don't think there has been much of a bias, but living in Oklahoma kind of limits firsthand experience with these things, not that it would necessarily help."

Let me be a little clearer: Those horses didn't win HOTY based on what they did in California. Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer twice and then won the rubber match in the BC Classic. And BTW, I was a HUUUGE Easy Goer fan. Didn't care for Sunday Silence but Easy Goer was my boy. His 3YO campaign was SO painful for me!

And Affirmed prepped for the Triple Crown in California, but then he won his championship by winning the Triple Crown. As a 4YO, he ran in California for the first half of the year but then won HOTY because he shipped East. Things were easier when horses normally HAD to ship East to run at the big Belmont fall meet. But with the BC moving around, things are a little muddier. And obviously when it's in California and the two main contenders haven't run against each other, the award reverts to type -- the Eastern-based horse will win.

"You're a writer? That's cool, what do you write?"

TeeVee, baby!!


Nice defense of Wayne Lukas! Trainers deal with what they have. I think Lukas has done fine lately but obviously he doesn't have the quality or the volume that he used to have. As far as I'm concerned, that doesn't take away from what he's accomplished. He set the bar for top-tier trainers, and he's responsible for ALL of these guys having barns all over the country. I'll always be pulling for Lukas.

17 Jun 2010 1:08 PM

Good info Citation.  I guess you can be based/race in Cal and still win HOTY lol, I was under the impression that champions ONLY race in the east coast :)  There's 13 that raced in cal but not based in Cal that won the HOTY so it seems it's not a bad gig to travel west, I guess some owners/trainers are just scared of the synthetics but knows that there are championship races and huge purses west of the rockies :)

Not sure how easily you compiled that list but how many of those HOTY winners were from the east coast and how many ran mainly on their home track.

Anyone know when the lot of the voters for HOTY changed to mainly east coast writers ?

KIT J : It seems Billy is just an angry man and he probably doesn't get the respect being he is only a minority in the partnership.  This blog is probably his outlet, it is where he can say things that he can't say to the face of whoever he is mad at lol.  It makes me wonder if he even knows Lukas or any trainer in person.  The way he talks about Zenyatta and Rachel, I'm glad he's not their owners.

17 Jun 2010 1:15 PM

"With Zenyatta, we're all still trying to figure out what she is. Her campaigns have been so incredibly conservative, save one race, that it is still a mystery as to how good she is. If you're not willing to admit that, youre blinded."

jshandler 15 Jun 2010 11:33 PM

Seriously Jason sometimes you seem to be wearing blinders. Zenyatta's whole campaign has been anything but conservative when you really take a look at it.

She started her career in Nov. of 07 and less than two months later was winning a G2 Stakes. That's not conservative at all.

Then she was shipped 1300 miles to run on the dirt for the first time in her first G1 Stakes. That's pretty aggressive if you ask me and certainly is not conservative at all. Some handicappers even like to dismiss a horse trying more than one new thing for the first time and here she was trying multiple new things.

After her romp in Arkansas they shipped her back another 1300 miles to California where she ran in the biggest races they had for mares the rest of her year. After racing 9 times in 11 month's they gave her a well deserved rest. Again not conservative at all.

Next the biggest error in your assessment of her career. After being away from the track for 7 months I repeat 7 months they brought her back in a Graded Stakes where she beat Life Is Sweet who just happened to be the BR. Cup F&M Champ later in the year. That's not conservative at all either. I've seen you speak of how hard it was for RA to come back off a long layoff and excuse her for being beaten when she did. Zenyatta just kept on winning and winning no matter.

The rest of the year they kept her in California again in the biggest races for mares. Then on to her stunning and a first ever for one of the female sex win in the Br. Cup Classic. Again she was attempting multiple firsts. Let's be honest here this has not been a conservative campaign her whole career ecept for one race like you pretend it has been.

Sometimes I wonder as a proponent of Horseracing how you can say some of the things you do. draynay has an excuse, he's near brain dead when it comes to Handicapping

but I thought you were more open minded.        

17 Jun 2010 1:20 PM
Kit J

Saratoga AJ, I don't know if you were around in 1953 but if you were I'm sure you realize that this blog would be NOTHING like it is now. People were civilized, polite and weren't know it alls.

17 Jun 2010 1:31 PM
small town gal

Kit J,

I'm a little old lady from a small town. I take great offense at what you said about small towns and old ladies.

"You and so many others on here sound like the gossipy old woman from a small town."

Then only two sentances later you said this:

"Shame that people do not seem to have anything better to do than take shots at people they don't know."

Kit J 17 Jun 2010 11:45 AM

Well shame on you missy!! Talk about a hypocrite!!

I like all horses no matter where they race or who they race against. So much hatred or jealousy I have seen here. Can't you just enjoy them all without bickering?

17 Jun 2010 1:34 PM
Jason Shandler

the wiz: Steve Byk said on his radio show yesterday the exact same thing about Zenyatta: Great racehorse, but her campaigns have been very, very conservative. I commend him for voicing the same opinion that many of us have too. If you can't admit that she has had a conservative career, well then, you are just too much of a fan to be objective. Dont be so sensitive. It's Ok to question these things. It's not the end of the world.

17 Jun 2010 2:35 PM

Zen's connections lied when they said they would be doing "a lot of traveling." Fine...don't travel. But why not at least face males like Rail Trip? The answer seems obvious. Cupcake schedule leading to the Cup, a point in the year when everyone else is exhausted from hard campaigning and traveling.

I don't advocate doing something that isn't in the best interest of the horse, but at least be accountable for what you say. Zenyatta has not lost, so why is she not being tested again vs males during the year at least in CA?

The Mosses and Shireffs had better not whine and complain again when they don't get HOY. They obviously don't get it. In 1995 Cigar traveled all over racing 10 times defeating the top males in open dirt company all over the world...sealing the deal with a then-record performance in the Classic. In 1996 he took his game across the planet. Why was it ok for him to deal with the difficulties of travel and frequent racing? To put Zenyatta in the same league when she has not been remotely tested in the same way is wrong.

Sorry Zenyatta fans...you can't deny they lied about the manner in which she would be campaigned in 2010, and you can't deny she has given them no reason not to try. She deserves the chance!!

Face males in CA!

17 Jun 2010 2:42 PM

Saratoga AJ:  Yes, I know that Native Dancer's 1954 HOY was a "career" award more than anything else and have said so on many other blogs, especially in January :-)  If there was ever another year that called for joint HOYs other than 2009, it was 1953 - both The Dancer and Tom Fool had outstanding years. Historically, all other things being almost equal (and minus a TC Champ), the older handicap horse ALWAYS won out over the 3YO if the two didn't meet on the track - especially if the 3YO never had to give/carry weight. But that's a 2009 argument...

That being said, I was merely responding to those who think that five Grade 1 wins from five Grade 1 starts isn't enough to make a HOY, that's all. IMO, if Zenyatta remains undefeated and NEVER wins HOY, the award will lose all credibility the world over with the possible exception of the Atlantic Coast of North America. The rest of the world is already puzzled as it is: I've read as much on overseas racing sites. They don't understand why she's never won HOY given her BC Classic win and, more importantly, that her undefeated streak is the longest in 150+ years of top-level competition and third-longest in history. Maybe Europeans are more cognizant of history, I dunno...that's an education argument ;-)

Long-winded LauraS-the-Librarian/Historian

17 Jun 2010 2:48 PM
Kit J

small town gal, when you come on a blog you are talking to each other, albeit anonymously.

Seriously, did you think I was referencing you? If so I'd take a look at myself.  If you ARE a gossipy small town woman then you might get offended. If you aren't why would that offend you?

I'm originally from a  very small town myself, a one stop light with a paper that announces who went where to have coffee and whose grandkids are visiting for the summer and who got a new hat for Easter and I'm no spring chicken myself.

I suppose there are gossips in big towns or cities but who listens to them and what harm does it do in a city of millions?

I'm talking about the woman in a small town who, in the old days marked down when people got married so she could count back to when they had their first child. Or the woman who has the scoop on everyone in her little town, most of it speculation.

People taking potshots at each other on here when they can defend themselves is totally different than bringing people into a conversation just to trash them.


17 Jun 2010 2:49 PM

Thank God for all the posters who respect and appreciate all the horses.  There is such an amazing group out there running this year, it is beyond incredible.  The anticipation for each of the upcoming races is wonderful fun.  I love them all.  Can't wait for I Want Revenge to get back on the track and excited to see Mine That Bird.  How can you bicker and argue; bitch, moan and complain like this.  This is an unbelievable group of horses; many of them out there running after 3, just like we've all wanted.  Jeez, I just don't know about you people!  I do have one comment about Zenyatta's racing schedule and it is purely from a personal standpoint. I would love for her to come east for her last 2 races before the Breeders Cup - just so that I can see her in the flesh.  I have my BC tickets but, I'm greedy, I want more.  However, if she is a girl who doesn't ship well then the important this is to keep her well and happy.  I truly believe that's why she wins.

A few posts back someone named "Cyd" talked about a Hungarian mare from the mid 1800s who won 54 races in a row!  I'd love to hear more about that one!!

17 Jun 2010 2:53 PM

Kate Harper,

If you believe that Ginger Punch is of the same quality of Quality Road, Blame, Rachel Alexandra, Rail Trip, I Want Revenge and others that will hopefully show up for the Classic at Churchill then you're right.  I, however, do not believe that she is.  Facts are facts.  Yes, you can drop back 10 lenghts at the beginning of a race go 6 wide turning for home and still win.  Its much easier to have this style of running and be successful on turf and synthetic tracks than it is on natural dirt.  I just don't believe that Zenyatta can run this type of a race and beat the aformentioned horses on a natural dirt track.

17 Jun 2010 2:56 PM
Kit J

No I'm not Tim G, Billy, but I have read his comments to you as well as those of others.

I'm just an almost retired school teacher who reads the blogs, gets to go to the races and would die to own a race horse.

I don't know why you're so bitter.

I've seen your comments on the blogs enough to know that you have some kind of an issue and why bring it up this far into the blog?

I've read enough and watched enough interviews to know that every time he runs a horse the real horsemen like Larry Jones, Carl Nafzger, Bob Baffert, Nick Zito, Todd Pletcher and so on say you can't discount him. I would kind of guess that you don't know 80% of the horsemen who amount to anything.

Is he slowing down? Aren't we all?

But he seems a lot sharper and more knowledgeable about race horses than you would ever be.

I just don't think your comments are as harmless as you try to say.

Apparently jayjay, Kay etc etc are all Tim G as well?

17 Jun 2010 2:58 PM

Eric, I have a question for you?  How old was Cigar?  Was he a six year old mare that happens to big horse?  I understand people want to see her in other states. but them planes fly both ways, East and West,  The same plane that can carry Zen to other states can bring other horses to her.......she is the champ, you go beat her on her surface if you want to take a crack at her. I hear Delmar surface is like Keeneland and Rachel won at Keenland on that surface, so she shoudl meet Zen at Delmar...........fair enough........but her connections are cowards, so she wont go.......whats good for the goose is good for the gander.....

17 Jun 2010 2:59 PM
Tim G

You're full of baloney Billy.

Almost as much baloney as Indian Charlie. Do you believe the stuff he says and writes?

LOL Which ex?

I seriously doubt Wayne shares his innermost thoughts and secrets with you, Ariel or any other of his exercise riders. Probably what you think you know is race track gossip and what you've read about him.

I'm like Kit J, where are you getting your stats?

From Equibase:  starts  1st 2nd 3rd

D. Wayne Lukas  227    29   35  41 $1,568,536

Horse racing nation is just a blog site.

Will I defend Wayne, you damn betcha.

But I too am curious what the purpose of your comment is at this point in time?

17 Jun 2010 3:14 PM
Kit J

Oh by the way Billy? Who said I live in New Mexico?

I currently live in, well I'm not saying.

17 Jun 2010 3:17 PM
Billy's Empire

you guys crack me up! too funny. You say we can not talk about rachel and 2009 b/c it is the past, but we can bring up what a great career wayne used to have all day long.  a bit contradictory. And on the contrary, I am actually a very happy outgoing guy, I just speak my mind an no one likes it, and then you all decide Jay jay, kay kit, to take personal shots at me. Keep it up. stay classy san diego

17 Jun 2010 3:22 PM

The Pamplemousse is back!!!  I am so thrilled and hope he continues improving.  He is such a character, with a remarkable running style.  He would add some excitement to the BC if he showed up in any race.  I am just attracted to the greys(started with Holy Bull) - someone earlier in the year asked about the quandry of an all grey race - I love that mental image.  Yeah!! Pamplemousse!!

17 Jun 2010 3:38 PM

"Saratoga AJ, I don't know if you were around in 1953 but if you were I'm sure you realize that this blog would be NOTHING like it is now. People were civilized, polite and weren't know it alls."

Kit J 17 Jun 2010 1:31 PM

I think the current level of nastiness is a byproduct of the sarcastic, hyper-partisan trash-talking we see today in politics. Many people think it's normal to do that now so it spills over into everything they do.

17 Jun 2010 3:49 PM

TerriV, the Hungarian superhorse was Kincsem (My Treasure) 1874-1887. Bred from stock imported from England, she raced all over Europe in the 1870s, from the eastern Austrian-Hungarian Empire to England and France, defeating both boys and girls at distances from 900-3600 meters (approx. 6f to 2+ miles). She raced in seven to ten different countries depending on how you count them with all the border changes since then.  Kincsem once raced four times in one week, and once twice in one day (after a declared dead heat, they ran again!). As with many great horses, she ran out of top competition willing to face her and there were sighs of relief from other owners when she was retired at seven.  After only five foals, she died of colic aged thirteen. Her name is still in the pedigrees of many top horses in Eastern Europe to this day.  Given how racing has changed, her record of 54 wins from 54 starts in top company will most likely never be equaled nor even approached.  (Camarero's 56 straight wins in Puerto Rico in the 1950s were restricted to Puerto Rican-breds. Still, that's also a remarkable achievement.)  Kincsem is a national icon in Hungary to this day, with many horse-related places named in her honor.  Maybe the major awards should be the Kinscems?  After all, Eclipse only won 18 races.  <Big Grin>

17 Jun 2010 3:49 PM
Frank J.

Terri V: I am just as excited!! I loved this horse last year and was beyond disappointed before the SA Derby when he scratched. I hope he comes back and is as sick fast as he was last year. I'd love to see a race with him, QR and IWR, now that would be cool!!

17 Jun 2010 3:51 PM
Tim G

Billy YOU brought him into the conversation out of the blue. Days ago brief mention was made about MTB and LAL and how they might fit into this dream equation.

Correct me if I'm wrong but this blog was about a dream scenario, keeping the players healthy and wishing and hoping we could see all of them in the BC Classic.

Funny now that you see you're wrong on his total wins, you attack and feel mistreated?

He's not having a great year by his old standards, true, but he's got about 25 2 year olds and hope springs eternal. Fact is he did really well at Oaklawn with 24 wins there. Like a lot of trainers who don't have the huge numbers of an Asmussen (which I think is half of Rachel's problem), and he tends to have 2nd and third-itis. But this blog wasn't about him until you made your thinly veiled snide comment at a point in time when it was basically irrelevant.

Then you tried to throw out that you know 'personal' information about Wayne. Which is just downright untrue and tacky to boot.

So you sat with him (or within 50 yards eavesdropping?) during the 09 BC in the TC at CD? Should I ask and report back? LOL

My you're so important. You overhear conversations by John Sadler, you have conversations with IC, that one about the $30,000 gold lamé disco suit must have been directly from you?

This conversation on here includes Rachel so logically people can discuss her. Where that random comment about Wayne came from I'll never know. Plus I'll tell you, no one who actually 'knows' him calls him D Wayne when speaking to or conversationally about him that I've ever heard anyway.

17 Jun 2010 3:56 PM


Great post.

17 Jun 2010 3:59 PM
Saratoga AJ


I know he "only" ranks #7 in the top 100 horses, but a case can be made that Native Dancer was superior to even the great Secretariat. And not just his 22-21-1-0 record (to Sec's

21-16-3-1-1). But it was no contest in the shed. Dancer is the most influential sire of the second half of the 20th Century, through his many sons like super sire Raise A Native and daughters like Natalma, dam of Northern Dancer, another super sire.

Sec was definitely the best horse that ever lived for 6 weeks in the Spring of 1973 though!

17 Jun 2010 4:13 PM

Laura S, Thank you!  What a great story.  It's hard to believe we could ever even dream of seeing the likes of her again.  How amazing.  Is there a book about her?  The more you learn about how horses were trained in years past,the more it seems we are doing something wrong now.  But it's also true that back in the 1870s Thoroughbreds were not so thoroughly bred! What a lovely name she had too!  There should be some award to honor her memory, but if ever a name could predict a great destiny, it would be Eclipse. Or Man O' War. Zenyatta is one of those names too.

17 Jun 2010 4:33 PM

For Snow and everyone else who believes a closer cannot win on a dirt track....Did any of you watch the 2009 Wood, when I Want Revenge stumbled out of the gate, nearly went down, fell several lengths behind EVERYONE, then crossed the finish line first?  Did any one watch Ice Box in the Kentucky Derby?  It's not a valid argument because it's been disproven so many times.  It's time to tuck away the myths to which you seem to cling.

Anna: more misinformation...you said about RA "i knew she wasn't going to make it even before she lost to zardana in march because it was too soon of a turn around after they rushed her back into racing."  What quick turn around?  RA was off for 6 months before she ran in the NOL in March.  She started back training in late January.

17 Jun 2010 4:37 PM

Well let’s see here…

Zenyatta defeats Tough Tiz’s Sis in the Grade I Vanity, then Baffert ships Tough Tiz’s Sis to Belmont to race her in the Grade I Ruffian.


Tough Tiz’s Sis draws off by 19 lengths and absolutely crushes, destroys and dismantles the field in the Grade I Ruffian.


Bob Baffert was tired of getting his brains bashed in by Zenyatta. He respects her so much that he makes an appearance at Hollywood Park to watch her run last Sunday (when he didn't even have a horse in the race).

17 Jun 2010 4:45 PM

Kay : Horse of the Decade, never thought of that but that's a real possibility :)  Love your work! Hehe.

Kendal : That's true, great champions will always be talked about like you said, positive or negative.

Citation :  Good info on the HOTY with regards to CA.  How long did it take you to compile that ?

17 Jun 2010 4:57 PM
Pedigree Shelly

         We cannot exclude IWR !! If he runs back to the way he did in the "09 Wood Memorial in the Suburban , He's right up there with QR , Blame , etc ! I'll never forget him in the WM , being left at the gate and still won going away ! What a horse ! I hope all goes well and he's entered in the Suburban ! Watch Out :)

17 Jun 2010 4:59 PM

Beyers says Rachel got the high beyers figure, but Zenyatta finished the fastest.  NOw , thats why I depend on my two good eyes instead of a mechanical tool to tell me any thing on a  horse like Zenyatta,  One thing the tools cant calculate is the Heart, the true heart and soul,  a horse puts into their race and the drive to win it.

Not just win it,  Wins it 17 times, After her next win, she will be even with the main horse that the awards were named in honour of, the one and only Eclipse himself...........amd then she will be neck and neck with PP...........All I can say is 'WOW'

17 Jun 2010 5:10 PM

Sodapop, stop the nonsense.  Quality Road could fly to California all day but it wouldn't help.  Zenyatta won't even race males in her own state.  So please stop the garbage of fly there and take her on.  

17 Jun 2010 5:12 PM
Gary Lynn

$800 Bold Executive sired triple in 7th at Woodbine today, Pat Husbands on winner...hope you had it BE dude!

17 Jun 2010 5:22 PM


Tough Tiz's Sis also set the stakes record in that race

Grade I Ruffian stakes record:

A mile and a sixteenth in 1:40.16.

17 Jun 2010 5:22 PM


Tough Tiz's Sis also set the stakes record in that race

Grade I Ruffian stakes record:

A mile and a sixteenth in 1:40.16.

And ZEnyatta crushed her too.  Damn, Dray, what you got to say about that...Hmmmm....cat got your tongue.......

17 Jun 2010 6:14 PM
Pam S.

I'm also glad to hear that The Pamplemousse has returned to training, along with IWR.  TerriV is right, we are getting to see so many horses competing past their 3yo years, just like we said we wanted.  It was so depressing when all the top sophomores except Curlin were retired after the 2007 BC.  This is much better.  Even if two of these older horses weren't superstar females that inspire such passionate debate, we would STILL have lots to talk about.

Getting back to The Pamplemousse, it sounds like he won't be race-ready for a while.  What do all the horsemen and horsewomen say?  Three months?  Longer?

Also, does anyone know the status of Evening Jewel?

17 Jun 2010 6:35 PM
Pam S.

Hit the submit button and then I saw it...I meant Careless Jewel, not Evening Jewel.

17 Jun 2010 6:36 PM

i like both horses but i'm sick to death of being blasted for stating facts against zenyatta. and yes rachel has her faults as well. but the fans of zenyatta aren't fans of any horse if they can't remain objective. when your not being objective you go into a form of OCD over one or the one. and i'm sure people will blast me for saying that. but just remember it takes more energy and time to hate someone or something than it does to love that person or horse and hate does kill because it makes your body release harmful toxins in your system and the more you love someone or something the happier you are.

17 Jun 2010 6:48 PM

As far as I can tell, Careless Jewel hasn't had a timed workout since May 9th. I know she was injured, but I don't know the status.

17 Jun 2010 7:06 PM

Speed figures tell me all I need to know.  Zenyatta is not that fast and needs to keep hiding in California.

17 Jun 2010 7:06 PM


I think the name Evening Jewel is better!  When you buy your next race horse, name her that or him!

17 Jun 2010 7:26 PM

Jayjay: Thanks. I mostly compiled it off memory, so it didn't take too long. I own the book Champions, but I was too lazy to look up info in there at the time. Why do you ask about the time it took?

LauraS: Awesome, someone who appears to like the history of horse racing as much as I do. You and I will have to work together to give everyone good info, eh? Nice story on Kincsem. Where did you get the data? I have not been able to find anything on her.

Everyone who posted corrections on my list: Thanks. As I said, I didn't bother to proofread.

Finally, to all who doubt the stamina of the Storm Cat line a son of Giant's Causeway just won the Ascot Gold Cup. 2 1/2 miles. Group One.

17 Jun 2010 7:47 PM


I think I heard that Careless Jewel has a quarter crack problem.

17 Jun 2010 7:57 PM


Try reading and comprehending the point that I'm making.  My point is not that a closer can't win on a natural dirt surface.  My point is that if you give Quality Road, Blame, Rail Trip, Rachel Alexandra, I Want Revenge et.al. a 10 length head start and then circle 6-wide you're not going to run down this quality of horse on a natural dirt surface.  Its easier for that type of racing style to be successful on turf and synthetic tracks than on a natural dirt surface.  Thats the only point that I'm making.

17 Jun 2010 8:03 PM


If you think that a horse can't close after going wide at CD, just what did Blame do?  He came four wide and his last 3/8ths were in 36.0, the same as Zen who actually carried 9 lbs. more than him.  And maybe you just might want to take another look at the BCC.  I didn't see where Mike Smith took her six wide becasue he rode the race differently.  You want to keep on drawing at straws, go find a broom.

17 Jun 2010 8:11 PM

Coming up for air from work and the World Cup, I don't have time to read every comment.

Has anyone brought up Ribot as an undefeated (16 races) winner at the very highest level in the 50's?  Two Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes -- crushing the opposition.  Then, a great sire.

The problem I find with the crowing about Zenyatta -- I am NOT dissing hr, I am simply stating my opinion -- is that rather than dancing the high class dances, it seems that her owners have decided to play it as safe as possible.  

Wonder how she'd do against Ribot?

17 Jun 2010 8:58 PM
Paula Higgins

These statistics are interesting everyone. Jeremy Plonk in his ESPN article comparing stats for Rachel and Zenyatta says that in terms of number of miles, Zenyatta has traveled more-7,314 to Rachel's 6,072. Rachel has run 12 out of 17 races on her home-court and Zenyatta has raced 9 out of 17 on her home-court. I gues the facts speak for themselves. By the way, I love both the girls. They are both absolute gifts, as Ann Moss would say.

17 Jun 2010 9:05 PM

Steve Byk sounded like a 2yr old yesterday.

He took his ball and went home. He hung up on Steve Davidowitz, because he couldn’t convince him of his hate for synthetics.

It was amazing yesterday (how he couldn’t handle his emotions on live radio).

He also has no knowledge of how good the west coast filly and mare division has been the last 3 years.

Would Steve Byk like me to bring up how many west coast fillies/mares have destroyed eastern-based horse flesh. Many horses (that Zenyatta has destroyed) have flown back east and crushed their opposition.

ex: Tough Tiz’s Sis draws off by 19 lengths and absolutely crushes, destroys and dismantles the field in the Grade I Ruffian and sets a stakes record in 1:40.16.

Byk sounds so frustrated that west coast horses can travel east and clean up, but east coast horseflesh can’t ship west and win.

Steve Byk sounded so angry about synthetic surfaces, that his common sense has left him.

17 Jun 2010 9:05 PM
Jason Shandler

Steve Byk was spot on and Davidowitz couldnt handle it. Im not sure what you were listening to Westin. Davidowitz was the one who kept interupting and pouting. Its amazing how so many Zenyatta fans dont want to hear the truth. All Byk was trying to do was question her ultra conservative campaign that everyone knows she has been on. He went out of his way to say she in fantastic, but when it came to pointing out how she has stayed in California against mares, Davidowitz wouldnt hear it. Amazing how defensive many of her supporters get.

17 Jun 2010 9:12 PM


I wonder how Ribot would do against Zen.  I would absolutely loved to have seen her in the Arc.  She has all the tools, explosive, can be perfectly rated, has a nice long stride and can carry her kick for a long, long way.

17 Jun 2010 9:15 PM

Zen supporters might be definsive, but there are some Rachel supporters on here that think that making excuses are a way of life.  I could just imagine the BS if Zen would have stood in a stall for six months, set up a confrontation and back out, make continuous excuses because of losing to fillies that aren't supposed to be in the same ball park with her and then have to beat up on undermatched fillies to finally get a win.  

17 Jun 2010 9:24 PM
Billy's empire

Hook line and sinker! It's like the staples commercial " that was easy" wow

17 Jun 2010 9:25 PM


"The problem I find with the crowing about Zenyatta -- I am NOT dissing hr, I am simply stating my opinion -- is that rather than dancing the high class dances, it seems that her owners have decided to play it as safe as possible."

Running in grade one handicaps is playing it as safe as possible? You might want to check your rhetoric.


Zenyatta fans aren't defensive. They're annoyed, because no matter what Zenyatta does, you people are constantly slagging her for it. There is a championship race in the fall at Churchill Downs. That's where this is going to be settled. And no matter WHAT she does, it will never be enough.

That's the reality that her fans live with. People thought she wouldn't win the BC Classic. She did. People then had to backtrack and diminish the field so that they could tarnish her victory. People said she wouldn't win 17. She did. Same bloody backtracking, only this time it includes ridiculous time comparisons between Zenyatta and Rachel.

So on the one hand, yeah. We're tired of it. But on the other hand, we're also used to it.

She'll see everyone at Churchill, and she'll be fit and ready to run. In case you haven't seen this the seventy-billion other times I've posted it, the BC Classic is her goal. Not the Whitney. Not shipping to the freaking Moon.

The BC Classic.

However the contenders want to get there should be good enough. And it is... except for Zenyatta.

But same old, same old.

17 Jun 2010 9:27 PM

If I have to guess, small town gal is either Billy or some immature poster that wanted to take that opportunity to get back at Kit J.  It's pretty obvious, the odds of Kit J actually offending a gossipy small town gal in this blog is pretty high I would think but like Kit J said, if they weren't gossipy, then they shouldn't get offended.  Keep rockin' Kit J!

Draynay : I'm not surprised, I already knew you are a beyer type handicapper.  It's the same reason you haven't picked any winners this season (unless of course it's the favorite.)  Zenyatta will stay in CA, whine all you want lol.  Let's just hope that all major contenders, QR, Blame and Zenyatta progresses with their own plans and meet in the Classic.

BTW, the only way that the Whitney and Woodward will determine the HOTY winner will be because so far QR and Blame are the only ones that will be contending for it so far.  RA's connection will try hard but I don't think they'll be a factor this year in the voting.  QR and Blame both have the same prep races.  So when Blame beats QR in the Whitney and the Woodward, it will probably go to Blame.  Although  Zenyatta is not interested in that award, the east coast voters might wake up and realize that Zenyatta really is a monster after she wins the Classic for the 2nd year in a row.  Unlikely for the east coast writers to wake up but then again, I've seen miracles happen, the last one was Jun 13th, an immortal beat a saint and became a legend ;)

17 Jun 2010 9:34 PM

Citation : I was just curious as to what the other side looks like, how many HOTY winners were from the east coast and how many ran mostly in their home track whether it be CD, Belmont or Saratoga.  Didn't want to ask you to get the info if it takes too long to do it lol.  I guess it will be from the 23 (I think) that were labeled as "raced in Cal / never raced in cal" categories.

17 Jun 2010 9:38 PM
Jason Shandler

The BC is the championships, but one race does not make a season. That was proven last year. You have to show up in other big races, against top competition. They dont want to leave the state with her? Fine. At least take on Rail Trip. C'mon. Step up.

17 Jun 2010 9:39 PM


I forgot to mention that Zen fans don't have to make excuses.  Only LOSERS have to make excuses.

17 Jun 2010 9:41 PM

Jason : I don't know how you can label us Zen lovers as defensive.  We merely try to respond back with information that the Zen haters ignore.  We put up a fight in providing the truth about Zenyatta, but were far from being defensive.  We just merely put out the truth in detail that most of the Zen haters like to ignore.

If I can summarize it, it would be something like this :

Zen doesn't ship out to the east coast because she's scared, she can't run on dirt. - no need to, there's no one over there that would show up.  Her 2 trips already shows she can handle the dirt, easily.

Zen's record is bogus because she didn't beat any tough opponents - all her opponents are tough, they showed up knowing how unbeatable Zen is, non of the really "tough" (on paper) showed up, one even got scared and took some more time off to get better.

Zen's connections are liars - no they're not, they traveled east to face RA and RA folded.

That's pretty much the jist of all the arguments that the Zen haters can come up with with the exception of Draynay who comes up with the anything and everything just to be able to bash Zenyatta but then again, no one takes him seriously, some people (like me) just enjoys making fun of him.

17 Jun 2010 9:49 PM
Tim G

Pam and Monica that is an excellent name, but the name is in use on a 2007 edition.  

Billy, could you get any more cryptic, LOL.

Well I guess if you understand you then that's one person who does.

17 Jun 2010 9:51 PM

Why does every horse have to prove themselves except Rachel Alexandra?

Zenyatta is supposed to fly round trips every month until the BCC,

QR is supposed to leap tall buildings in a single bound,

Blame is supposed to end world hunger,

Every horse is supposed to continue to prove themselves and not get a pass, but Rachle who shouldnt even need a pass is the one that comes back  loses two races, ducks a race and had to win a race agaisnt claimers...to finally get a win.  What? does this make sense, Hell NO, they have been proving themselves, Its time for her to prove herself...........she needs to go and chase all the competition down................IF she deserves a free pass, So does Zenyatta, and any other one that wants one..............

17 Jun 2010 9:53 PM
Tim G

Jason, I'm confused, maybe I misread. I thought this whole blog was about the probability and the hope that all of the horses would meet at the BC in the Classic. Is it just about Zenyatta leaving California or is it about the Classic?????

17 Jun 2010 9:55 PM


One race DOES make a season, as long as that race doesn't occur on a synthetic California track. THAT, to my mind, was the lesson of last year.

But remember what else I've said here: Rachel WAS a deserving HOTY, and I DO think that the Hollywood Gold Cup could potentially fit into Zenyatta's schedule. I say that, though, not knowing specifically what her training schedule is. But if it were ME and I knew what I know, I'd be too afraid to count on Del Mar playing sanely. I wouldn't want to take any chances having to play catch-up with only two starts left before the BC.

But we'll see. Shirreffs certainly hasn't done her wrong yet!

Laz: NICE!!

17 Jun 2010 10:16 PM

sodapopkid:  Rachel had different owners when she ran at Keeneland.  I doubt Jess Jackson will send any of his stellar dirt horses to ANY synthetic track again.  Furthermore, I wasn't referring specifically to Rachel; my comment was "The best dirt horses in the county aren't shipping to So. Cal.".

I still haven't heard anybody adequately defend why Zenyatta isn't racing against the best in California.  Example; why the Vanity instead of the Hollywood Gold Cup?  Why the Clement Hirsch instead of the Pacific Classic?  If she is the best race horse in the world and 1-1/4 mile is her best distance, why is she racing against fillies and mares at 1-1/16th or 1-1/8th?  I've heard some suggest that if she entered the "tough" races, the competition would bow out rather than face her.  I'd sure like to see if this is true.

Laura S - I think you are mistaken about Zenyatta's campaign in 2009.  She did run 5 times but I don't think all 5 were Grade 1 and only in the BCC did she face a full field or a tough field.  Maybe a better statistician than I could confirm this.

17 Jun 2010 10:18 PM

Thank you for your kind words, Citation. I've always been interested in history of all kinds, and since I love horses as well I grew to love researching the history of racing. I just recently read a couple of books from our local library entitled "Speed and the Thoroughbred: The Complete History" by Alexander McKay Smith (2000), and "The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America" by William H.P. Robertson, 1964.  Both were quite fascinating to read. "Speed and the Thoroughbred" presents a convincing argument that although most horses trace to the Darley Arabian in the male line, it was actually the Godolphin Arabian, whose granddaughter Spilletta foaled Eclipse, who gave the speed to the breed.

TerriV, I recall reading a short biography of Kincsem as a child in a book of animal stories, so I'm sure that's long out of print. Most of the above information came from Wikipedia. There's actually quite a bit on racing/race horses there. The article on Kincsem is a good jumping-off place.

LauraS The Librarian/Historian

17 Jun 2010 10:19 PM
Jason Shandler

Tim: Its about whatever we want to talk about. You are not obligated to join in. Hope that helps your confusion.

17 Jun 2010 10:24 PM

Just read some comments on a story on Zenyatta in the Racing Post (UK).  While the article puts her undefeated record in historical context, it seems that according to their vociferous fans only horses who 1. race on turf (the "real" surface - neither dirt nor All-Weather count in their world) and 2. win the Arc, are eligible to be called champions and/or great. I guess that leaves out Man o'War, Citation, Native Dancer, Secretariat (no Arc) and every other American champion. Apparently "What I told you was true, from a certain point of view" (Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker) is the rule in horse racing too. It's all geography...

LauraS The Librarian/Historian

17 Jun 2010 10:35 PM
Tim G

I was really hoping to see people throwing names out there that would make it even more the race of a lifetime as some have done, even though the names you gave us would be an awesome lineup.

I guess I figured we'd all speculate on how they were going to stay sound and so forth. In a perfect world....


17 Jun 2010 10:41 PM

My bad - Zenyatta's first start in 2009 was the Grade II Milady, where she carried 126lbs, and beat multiple G1 and future Ladies' Classic winner Life is Sweet.  Since then, she's won seven straight G1's for a total of eleven.  


17 Jun 2010 10:50 PM


You might want to check this out. This is the Timeform list of the greats in Europe over the last 60 years or so.

I believe Zenyatta will end up on this list  soon.She is now only 4 points off.


17 Jun 2010 10:58 PM


"I still haven't heard anybody adequately defend why Zenyatta isn't racing against the best in California."

Because she IS the best in California. That's one thing everyone seems to be overlooking. Now, if the question is about why she isn't running at 10F vs. males, then fine. But claiming that she isn't the best simply because she's female? Robin! How SEXIST!!

For the record, Ron Ellis has stated numerous times that Rail Trip is pointed for the Hollywood Gold Cup as long as Zenyatta doesn't go. Say she enters, and Rail Trip doesn't for that reason. Does Zenyatta STILL get dinged because she's not facing "the best," even though said "best" ducked her?

To further that, if Ron Ellis decided NOT to run Rail Trip and took him elsewhere, I wouldn't blame him. A trainer's job is to place his or her horse in the spot they can win. REGARDLESS. Zenyatta is a two-time Eclipse Award winner, and a two-time Breeder's Cup champion. She's the ONLY horse to win two different BC races.

I'm loving watching Quality Road and Blame this year, but to assume that they're the TOP horses in training JUST because they're male is a little short-sighted, especially given the fact that last year's HOTY was female.

You know what would be cool, too? To give John Shirreffs his due. The guy's a freaking horse whisperer.


Good point about who stays sound. I doubt we'll see all of these horses in the gate come BC day but GOOD LUCK to their connections on keeping them all sound until then.

17 Jun 2010 11:04 PM

OK, I will now use the Gun Bow approach and attempt to set out my views in an adult-type manner.  (BTW, did I ever thank you, Gun Bow, for your choice of "screen name"?  Gun Bow vs. Kelso = memorable)

When I make my Zen comments, they are not meant to be anti-Zen.  I make them because I happen to agree with what Jason said many, many times: I was expecting that when she was "unretired", it was purposely to work on her legacy as a runner and not to protect her unbeaten streak.  If the Mosses and her fans were unhappy by her loss of HOY in 2009, I expected that her campaign in 2010 would be more ambitious -- run her around the country, run her against males, map a campaign that would shut up anyone who said she was good but didn't deserve HOY because she was used somewhat timidly in 2009.  

Instead of that, we got same old same old.  Sure, she's in Grade 1's -- but they're the same ones she ran in last year and against the same horses she beat last year.  How can you disparage Pepper's Pride because she stayed in New Mexico and only ran against fillies and mares and yet, treat Zen differently when it seems clear that the Mosses have decided to carry on a strictly California campaign against fillies in mares in California?  

Sure, the Classic is (hopefully) still on her radar -- but that's in November.  What about the rest of the year?  Shouldn't all racing fans have a chance to see her run?  Or are the "East Coasters" less deserving of a visit with the Champion Mare of last year?

And for all those who keep saying that the Mosses have every right to decide where and when she runs, sure they do but why bother to unretire her only to keep her on the same path as last year?  Are they expecting that "unbeaten" will trump running against other possible HOY candidates throughout the year and Z will just inherit HOY this year just because of that?

It doesn't work for me.  One big race does not a champion make -- meaning just because she won the Classic last year, doesn't mean she deserved HOY.  And it won't this year either.  There has to be more and that's what we were all hoping for this year from Zenyatta.  It's sad that we're not getting it.  It's a loss for all of us.

17 Jun 2010 11:48 PM

Zenyatta made history this year, unless you have forgot. She isnt through yet..She has defended her title plus some......more than I can say for another one.

18 Jun 2010 12:21 AM

robinm : I don't know if you've seen the recent interviews with Sheriffs but he has said recently that the Hirsch was one of the races they were looking at.  Jerry Moss confirmed this, saying that there are other options.  They haven't committed to the Hirsch.  After the Vanity, they said that it will be very late when they make the decision if they were going to the Hirsch because they wanted to see how the Delmar track is playing.

What I don't get is why are you still trying to push her against the boys ?  If what she's done is not enough for you then that's just too bad.  I don't think the Moss' nor her fans really care too much about people who are still trying to ask for proof.  Kay, Laz, LauraS, CV, sodapopkid, Tim G, Citation, Zookeeper, Secretariat, Kit J, Pedigree Shelly, Dr. Drunkinbum (correct me if I'm putting you on this list and I'm wrong lol) and her biggest fans, Draynay and Billy and many many many more on this blog and her millions of fans are quite satisfied.  Some of RA's fan would like her to run against the boys again this year and some of her detractors wants proof that her last season wasn't a fluke but I don't, The girl has done way more than enough.  She can race her division until she retires but I don't thinks she needs to prove her HOTY last year to anyone.  JJ is the one that is hungry for that HOTY, he wants to beat Zenyatta because Zenyatta is the only other female horse that is taking the spotlight away from her, it's not QR, it's not Blame, it's Zenyatta.

I know the "real" fans wants to see the "best of the best" but females running against the boys aren't the norm.  You're asking too much from these gorgeous animals to keep asking them to run against the boys.  The thrill of this sport which we call the sports of champions is how they excel, how they progress, improve and most importantly, how they last.  That is what gives us fans the thrill of this sports, getting to see them after their 3 yr old season, that way we can cheer them again.  Yes, we have our own favorites, I still think Zenyatta is better than Rachel but I'm not going to ask her connections to run against the boys just to prove it.  I'd much rather see her run year after year than see her run all out in one year and worry about whether she's going to be back next year.

Like most of the racing sports fans that posted here, we're lucky to see them all running this year.  Unfortunately, the likelihood of seeing QR or RA next year is all but gone.  That's the sad part about pushing these horses to their limits.  It'll be a great year if all the top contenders shows up in the Classic.  Zenyatta no longer has anything to prove to you or any of the other folks questioning her abilities.  She's in the record books, a record that will last lifetimes, that's an accomplishment that none of her detractors can take away from her.  Her fans all over the world recognizes her, a HOTY award is not going to tarnish her record.

I'm now washing off the soap from this box.  :)

18 Jun 2010 12:54 AM

I forgot GunBow in that list of fans, sorry GB!

18 Jun 2010 12:55 AM


I get what you're saying, but you're making a few assumptions here. One, about HOTY. There's a quote on this blog somewhere (I know it was posted -- maybe on an earlier blog post) from John Shirreffs where he says that HOTY isn't the most important thing to them. I'm not sure why this doesn't seem to matter to people. If HOTY isn't on THEIR radar, then maybe complaining that they're not on a HOTY schedule is kinda pointless, no?

Second. I haven't seen ANYONE disparage Pepper's Pride for what she accomplished.

Third. Maybe she doesn't have a legacy to you, but she does to others. That's simply a different point of view. You presented your point of view here, and it would be cool if you'd accept the point of view of others as well!

Four. Of course the East Coasters shouldn't be denied seeing her. But another thing that a lot of you simply won't acknowledge is that Zenyatta had a very, very hard time recovering from shipping to Oaklawn. Just because John Shirreffs is a more low-key guy and isn't one to make excuses doesn't make that any less valid. Plans change. I'm sorry about that, but they do. And if their (stated ad nauseum) goal is to get her to the BC Classic, then something's gotta give.

Again, HOTY isn't the end-all. Heck, she deserved it when Curlin won his second HOTY title too, and didn't get it. I agree with you. IF HOTY was the most important thing to the Mosses, THEN they might be more ambitious with her. But she's THEIR horse, and they're running her where they think she should run. I hope you get to see her. It's the treat of a lifetime. But what she did at Hollywood Park on Sunday IS historical. Maybe it's not YOUR kind of history, and that's fine.

I don't know why it's important to you to take away from what she's accomplished. I don't happen to think that one race has made her career. I think that last year, her greatness CULMINATED in the BC Classic. At least that's my point of view.

18 Jun 2010 1:03 AM

mz : If you had told everyone here in this blog that you're going on vacation to Paris next year with Ted from LA, we would've believe you.  If you came back 3 months later and says, well, I just found out that Ted is doesn't take too well to airplane travels and we decided to just rent a van and go to different places here in CA.  Do you expect everyone to fault you for changing your plans from people like me that has been waiting for it to happen in the last month??  I check this blog daily to see if there was any update to that trip to Paris but no, I don't and I go to bed at night hoping that the next day, you or Ted would post something and confirm your plans.  But if the plan falls through, I would still be excited to hear about your local trip, would want to see the photo finishes and the final times it took for you two to drive from one tourist trap to another.  I would be interested to see if you two can set the record for the fastest trip from LA to San Francisco and if you can set the record for consecutive no speeding tickets driving CA freeways.  I would enjoy the stories when you guys get back from the trip, regardless of the fact that it wasn't Paris, it's you two completing the trip safe and sound so that you may come back the following year and have a chance to try Paris again.

Am I making sense at all ?  If not, forgive me, it's probably the Corona that's talking now...good night!

18 Jun 2010 1:09 AM

Kay 9:27pm.....

I have been saying the same damn thing over and over again.  Zenyatta is a CHAMPION, she has TWO ECLIPSE AWARDS FOR OLDER FEMALE, she has surpassed Citation and Cigar in a winning streak.  NOT ONLY A WINNING STREAK BUT, UNDEFEATED!!!!!!!  The Mosses don't give a crap IMO, about HOTY anymore, it is so much more than that!!!!  It is about the record and money earnings: they want to surpass Curlin!!!!

18 Jun 2010 1:33 AM

Mz.... We are still early in the racing industry.  Zen has raced in three GR 1's so far this year, won all of them.  Race times do not matter when it comes to a closer.  She is UNDEFEATED, 17-0 in unrestricted races.   Meaning, not Cal or KY Bred only!!!  Peppers Pride was very impressive but, they were restricted races to NM bred.  

I just don't get the entire debate.  Both Fillies/Mares are worthy of the crown.  Both Girls have brought excitment to the races again.  They both risen above the impossible and set stakes soooo high that NOONE but THEM can concor!

18 Jun 2010 2:10 AM

Trainer Ron Ellis was asked on TVG which horse he feared the most against his horse, Rail Trip at the 1 1/4 mile distance and his answer was ZENYATTA.  There has always been an East Coast/West Coast bias in horse racing, i.e. Samuel Riddle initially nixed the Match Race between his horse, War Admiral and Seabiscuit, because he felt West Coast racing was inferior and look how that turned out.  I feel as though Zenyatta is the "Rodney Dangerfield" of race horses.  Say what you will, but Zenyatta is 17 for 17 and has won at distances from 6.5F-10F that included 2 wins on a dirt surface (Apple Blossom--Arkansas which I believe is outside of California).  She has beaten some of the best fillies, mares and colts in the country over the past several years, broken a track record and raced under a weight assignment of 129 lbs. twice--the first to do so since 1977.  While her campaign may not be show-casing her talent to the fullest (hence all the discussion), I think she is a champion and look forward to seeing her beat what may be an even better field of horses in the BC Classic.    

18 Jun 2010 2:47 AM
Saratoga AJ


The trouble with Timeform ratings is that they are way over the top in their partiality to European horses.

You would think that about 98% of the greatest horses that ever lived all resided on the other side of the pond.  

Of the 100+ horses listed, only 2 North American horses, Cigar and Ghostzapper, made that list. Ridiculous. But that's always been the European mentality. Let them stay in their own bias world.  

18 Jun 2010 6:40 AM

mz, relax look at it this way Mr. Moss has proven this year what we all suspected.  Zenyatta is a state champion poly specialist.  Just leave it at that and let's get ready for some real racing at Saratoga.

18 Jun 2010 7:34 AM

If you repeat a story often enough the uninitiated will think it is true. One such story is that Zenyatta is too slow on dirt.

What are the facts?

The DRF shows that the first time she ran on dirt she put up a Speed Figure of 99 on a track with a Track Variant of 15. Now that's flying. She won unhurried, going away.

However, given her pedigree and running style, I believe she would be even better at 12 furlongs on grass.

I can see the headline-


18 Jun 2010 7:56 AM

I think the Mosses are doing whats right by Zen to keep her in California until the BCC, This way she can have soft races and be fresh for the BCC.   JJ will be doing the same thing with Rachel A.

And if you disagree, just watch him......why would they want to burn the ladies out when the biggest race in in NOv.

Do you fans think you are going to see Rachel take on the best every month before then.........NO you wont see it...............He cant , she wouldnt make it to the BCC if he did that........and she just got a win agaisnt claimers so, he wont risk worrying her down before Nov.   IF the HOTY can take a conservative path to the BCC, surely the six year old mare can too.   The problem for RA is Zen has the jump on her this year.

The BC is the championships, but one race does not make a season

Re: Jason, Does that go for Rachel too.

18 Jun 2010 8:13 AM

Jason my point was that it goes a bit far stating that Zenyatta's entire career has been very conservative. It was anything but that to begin with. Let's be honest and give her that anyway. You certainly interpreted what I was trying to say wrong. I share the frustration that she is being kept in California against Mares as well. I don't think she has anything to gain by facing RA who already has been beaten twice this year so why go there? If RA continues to win in better company then it might be a different story. Right now RA is on the outside looking in at year end honors. It doesn't take a genius to figure out you don't go where you have nothing to gain and everything to lose. If she faced RA now and beat her then alot would make excuses and say RA just isn't the same anymore. She does however have alot to gain going against older males on the dirt at this time. That's where most of the racing world including myself would like to see her go. It doesn't have to be against Quality Road at this time. Right now he is the top ranked older male and RA never faced the top ranked male last year but still built her reputation against less than the best. Save that for another bigger day if at all but go meet some of them please.

I'm a gambler and while I enjoy watching the top notch horses I don't subscribe to the life and death theory like some draynay's do that " my horse is better than your horse and if you disagree I'll call you out and ridicule your thinking." One thing I always do is try to find a way to beat the "favorite". That's where the money is. Nuff said. Have a great day!!    

18 Jun 2010 8:18 AM
Billy's Empire

Jayjay, Sorry to dissappoint, but I do not post as another handle.

Here is another thought.

Ok, so in a perfect world, where Zenyatta was running on her preferred surface, dirt, against Rachel, what track would you most want to seem them run? And why?

It's Friday, and I hope you all enjoy your day.

18 Jun 2010 8:24 AM

Carlos in Cali,

Congrats on the Lakers win.  If horse racing cannot compete with the God awful product that the NBA showcased in the last seven games then we are doomed!  

18 Jun 2010 8:41 AM

I love Doubles Partner tomorrow!  If he wins my boys are going to a private college if he loses state school!

18 Jun 2010 8:43 AM


I agree with you. When Zenyatta was "unretired" her connections promised the fans that she would run a completely different campaign compared to the previous years. That will never happen. She will NEVER win HOY. I honestly don't think that we will see her in the Breeders Cup come November. John Sheriffs has made it perfectly clear that shipping Zenyatta to Churchill Downs is too much of a "handicap" for her to overcome. Sounds like they're already making excuses in case she would get beaten.

It's a shame that John Sheriffs won't ship her East. All the BEST horse from the East and the West converge on Saratoga for 6 weeks of incredible racing.

18 Jun 2010 9:59 AM
Greg J.


     I haven't had a chance to read the almost 400 comments in just three days, But, If no one has mentioned this, Thanks for this year's edition of your "Triple Crown" Blog, By far, The best yet(I know you can guess why, Thanks!)...

     Regarding the potential for the Classic field this year, It would be one for the ages if all the names you mentioned actually remain sound and make it, Fingers crossed.

     As far as the Zenyatta debate that goes on and on, Really nothing left to say that hasn't been said a million times before, But, Bottom line, Regardless of where she runs, If and when she runs in the classic and wins it, I would hope everyone that has dismissed her would finally give credit where credit is due.  I have faith that almost all would, Except, Of course, Forget it, Why even mention his name?  It is pointless...

On a complete different subject, I would certainly be remiss if I did not give credit where credit was due, Regarding the nine year old gelding, "Delta Storm", Who went from finishing fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, Then finishing second in the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park in December, Then being entered for a tag of $3,200 at Stockton on Wednesday.  I just want to Thank the powers to be that listened and had him scratch and he will now enjoy his well deserved retirement!  To Steve Myadi, Well, You should be embarrased and ashamed, Just remember, When it is all said and done, Karma is a bitch...

Thanks again Jason, and, Just a tip, Watch out for Kindergarden Kid tomorrow in the Colonial Turf Cup!  I am about to watch your preview of the race, Let's see if he gets a mention :)

18 Jun 2010 10:14 AM

"How can you disparage Pepper's Pride because she stayed in New Mexico and only ran against fillies and mares and yet, treat Zen differently when it seems clear that the Mosses have decided to carry on a strictly California campaign against fillies in mares in California?"  mz  17 Jun 2010 11:48 PM


No one "disparages" Peppers Pride. However, you seem a bit ignorant about her record as compared to Zenyatta's. Peppers Pride ran in New Mexico AGAINST ONLY NEW MEXICO-BRED HORSES. (Sorry for the caps but there's no way to boldface, italicize or otherwise emphasize a comment)

Zenyatta has run, and won, against over 40 grade 1 winning opponents from across the U.S. and Europe. She's also run at Oaklawn Park, which you dismissed in your comment. When she races at the Breeders Cup this year in Kentucky that will hardly constitute a "strictly California" campaign.

Also, you may not be aware, but California has several major tracks with some prestigious stakes and large purses. It's not some hick state as you seem to suggest.

As a point of interest, I notice people don't question Ruffian's greatness, yet she ran exclusively in New York except for one trip down the road to New Jersey. But then, those were the sacred dirt tracks on the East Coast of all that is holy, so I guess that's why.

18 Jun 2010 10:15 AM

Hey, the Pamplemousse and I Want Revenge are back in training. I don't think the roan will be back on track for the BCC, but Revenge is making a heck of a debut in the Suburban on the 3rd! I tend to consider myself in Queen Z's camp but frankly if all the colts and mares mentioned make it to the BCC, I don't care who wins, it's gonna be a great race! I'd like to see Z get a "tight" ride by Smith and see if she just toys with the field - the toughest field - then that would settle a lot of this nonsense. Just a smidge over 4 months! Enjoy the anticipation everyone and stay polite...

18 Jun 2010 10:22 AM

mz- I was going to write something, but then I thought why waste my time.  Trotting out the old Pepper's Pride comparison proves what you meant your rant to be.

18 Jun 2010 10:25 AM
Billy's Empire

even soccer, U.S down 2-0

18 Jun 2010 10:44 AM

I've said it before and I will say it again, the thing that annoys me about Zenyatta is not the horse (whom I believe has the potential to be one of the all-time greats) it's her COWARDLY connections and her absolutely obnoxious fans.

The simple, plain truth is Zenyatta will NEVER be horse of the year.  She wasn't good enough last year and by sticking to the same ultra-conservative campaign this year, the Mosses have conceded the HOY title to the best older male (at this rate, that will be Quality Road).

Her best chance at the HOY title was last year when the Older male category was in shambles.  That is the ONLY time a non-older male/non-3yo colt wins HOY.  That isn't happening this year.  The older male division is the strongest it's been in years -- Zen has no chance at HOY unless she LEAVES CA and beats males a couple of times.  Same goes for Rachel (minus the leaving CA part).

I'm hearing chatter of "wouldn't it be great if she ran in the Arc or the DWC?"

Seriously?  It's okay to dream, but try not to be delusional.  If her owners won't ship out of state to face males (hell, really don't even want to do it IN STATE) what on EARTH makes people think they'd send her halfway across the world?

The Mosses have now thrown out this absolutely pathetic response that it's "just too hard to ship" as an excuse for not racing outside of California and Zenyatta's fans have drunk the Kool-aid like the good cult members they are.

You don't get to have it both ways.  If it's "too hard" for Zen to ship out of California, you don't get to demand that others ship in.

Zenyatta was never retired last year.  You don't "retire" a horse and keep her in serious training until the HOY announcements.  J. Moss' sour grapes response after the HOY announcement said it all.  The ONLY reason Zen is racing this year is because they knew she was going to lose the HOY title and he wanted a shot at beating Rachel.

The Mosses are a breed to race operation.  Late foals don't mean anything to them.  Had the AB showdown gone off and Zen won, she'd've been retired immediately and bred.  J. Moss was looking for a one and done meeting.

That didn't happen and the window to breed Zen has passed so now there is no reason not to race her out this season (conservatively as possible in her homestate where there is very little competition -- I still think Trini can beat her and I'm waiting for the rematch), get the consecutive win streak and retire with a third Older Mare title.

18 Jun 2010 11:11 AM

Saratoga AJ- actually Gentlemen is on that list too.  But what you are saying would be exactly the same if we had our top 100 ranked thoroughbreds of all time.  I'm not really sure any European horse would be on it.  The bias goes both ways for the majority of people.

18 Jun 2010 11:14 AM


All the best horses in the east and west will be at Saratoga in the summer.......did you read somewhere that Rail Trip, possibly the best older horse in traning and St. Trinians who we know is the second best filly/mare in training behind Zen are going to be at Saratoga......Gee  I can't wait.

18 Jun 2010 11:16 AM
Phony JJ

Zenyatta dont have to beat QR, the fans want to see her beat Rachle.

But to the east coast biased bunch, that wouldnt be enough, She can whip RAchel , then it would be RA wont back in shape, she needs to beat QR, so who blames the Mosses, keep her in Cali until Nov, and then she can take on anyone that wants to take her on in the BCC...........Rachle will be taking an easy path also to the BCC.......she wont be running after the top males in the country.......maybe some weak ones......

18 Jun 2010 11:17 AM

Fergawdsakes, I tried to be an adult and state my point.

It was not a rant, it was an opinion.

There TOO have been comments about Pepper's Pride.  

I know she only ran against New Mexico-breds.  

I don't believe being undefeated gives you HOY.

I don't hate Zenyatta, I am just disappointed in her campaign this year.  

Are only those persons who agree with you able to post their opinions on this blog and not be considered "ignorant" or "ranting"?


p.s.  I thought me and Ted in Paris was a secret.  And sorry, Jayjay, the analogy was cute but I'm not undefeated.  I don't know about Ted, though.

18 Jun 2010 11:20 AM

As far as Zen, I would personally like to see her go in the BC Turf instard of the Classic.  What's to prove in winning the Classic AGAIN.....then she would have a major win on all three surfaces.  Let all the others go in the BCC and fight it out to see which is the SECOND best horse in training in N/A.

18 Jun 2010 11:21 AM

And Billy's Empire-- you can perk up a bit about the U.S. being down -- just think about Spain, which came in as a favourite and is shot down in flames in its game against SWITZERLAND!  And France is dive-bombing into the ground (just like some of its best players).  And Germany lost to Serbia!

(Makes me feel better about the Azzurri (Italy) -- they ALWAYS toodle along at the beginning, giving fans heart attacks -- at least, they're still in the hunt, having tied with everyone so far!)

18 Jun 2010 11:25 AM

Kay wrote:

Second. I haven't seen ANYONE disparage Pepper's Pride for what she accomplished.

That should read.....anyone that matters.......Draynay knocks her all the time.

18 Jun 2010 11:26 AM

the 2009 derby favorite has a long ways to ago to be included in the bc races in the fall, while he plays to this match and i actually think it's a bit funny that he got hurt the morning after rachel shellshocked the ky oaks field by 20 plus. i know he was actually hurt. but still makes you wonder zenyatta had shipped to churchill downs once, to race in the louisville stakes but was scratched when it came up muddy, which is why she debuted in the milady handicap instead.

18 Jun 2010 11:41 AM

Yeah.... what sam said.

18 Jun 2010 11:56 AM
Greg J.

Billy's Empire,

      Good comeback for U.S. to earn the tie 2-2, Just wish I hadn't fallen asleep during the second half...

18 Jun 2010 11:56 AM

the_wiz, I don't have to ridicule your thinking.  Your own thoughts do that for you.

18 Jun 2010 12:04 PM


Nothing against you, and as far as making your opinions known about Zenyatta’s campaign I think that that's great.  This is what the Blog is for.  With regards to what you say, for the most part you know what you are talking about.  However, when it comes to Zenyatta, I wonder.

Many people think that it is okay for Zen to travel east…….but I don’t see where their favorites are traveling west any time soon.  It’s already been explained a MILLION times that Zen does not ship well and most say, bull, that’s a cop-out.  I don't think it’s a cop out at all.  Horses have idiosyncrasies.  Just ask the connections of Quality Road…..apparently he doesn’t like helicopters.  Last time I checked Zen doesn’t seem to mind them at all.

This constant garbage about her taking on males is getting to be a joke.  History over the last fifty years does not bode well for females challenging big older legitimate G-1 males at a distance on DIRT.  Why do you think it is rarely tried and the number of fillies and mares that have been successful since the late sixties can be counted on TWO FINGERS.  If you don’t believe that just check with Rachel’s camp.  Apparently her problem stems from the fact that she had to put up a mighty struggle to defeat G-2 males at a shorter distance and is the main reason why she stood in a stall for six months.

When the time comes Zen will take the males on but until she does her connections should not be labeled liars as some have stated.  It would be called proper management.  In case you haven’t checked, all the so-called big five were racing last year.  Only Zen made it out of the gate at the BCC.  Rail Trip was injured after racing his second 1-1/4M race last summer, this time on the questionable surface at Delmar.  Quality Road wouldn’t even load and even if he did, his presence in the race wasn’t creating that much of a buzz because of his two failures to get 1-1/4M against lesser competition.   Blame’s connections opted out to go in the might G-2 Fayette.  Some people might say he wasn’t ready, but he managed to race against BCC competition in the Clark a month later.  And of course Rachel.  Where was our HOY.  She was standing in her stall.

Already a ton of people on this blog don't agree with your above post so I'm not going to get into it except to say.....if you don't like what Zen is doing then TURN AWAY and wait every three or four months for Quality Road to run, or watch the allowance races that Rachel is running in or watch Rail Trip when he runs next, (which will be his third race since late last summer)......and for sure when Zen is crossing the line in the BCC ahead of everyone else, TURN AWAY AGAIN.

18 Jun 2010 12:04 PM

mz- the tone seemed rant-like to me, as do 100's of others.  If I was wrong I apologize.  It has nothing to do with whether I agree or not.  It's just that the typical Pepper's Pride comments are low.  I just shouldn't comment anymore.  Sorry again.

18 Jun 2010 12:05 PM

If we are dreaming, why not dream big and come up with dream fields consisting of the all-time greats for each of the current Breeders' Cup Races?  This would be a challenge and a half!  :)

18 Jun 2010 12:16 PM
Pam S.

Responding to Billy's Empire's question about the ideal track for Z to face RA:  Saratoga, of course.  It's a prestigious meet, steeped in history, and the event (it would be an event, not just a race) would no doubt draw one of the biggest crowds ever.  Just read the "fantasy" blog by Steve Haskin if you haven't yet.  The parts about the crowd size and enthusiasm are the realistic parts of the fantasy.  And I just know the great Zenyatta would so enjoy performing for her Eastern fans.

Without disparaging Z in any way, since I'm one of her biggest fans, I'm disappointed it probably won't happen.  But remember, it doesn't all rest on Z.  RA could somehow not make it.  (And I love Rachel too and would never wish her ill and I'm also not bringing up the Apple Blossom.)

Remember also, so far we are on track to see them face off in the BC.  As I posted earlier, I think it will be the Ladies Classic rather than the Classic.  If so, it will be a lot like the Saratoga fantasy, minus the heat and humidity.  Having waited so long, I guess I'm willing to wait until November.

Greg J., that's great news about Delta Storm.  Was that about the fastest descent of a stakes horse you've ever heard of?

18 Jun 2010 12:19 PM

Love that people want to flatter Zenyatta’s opponents, but let’s be honest here, Tough Tiz’s Sis went to Belmont and won the Ruffian by 12 lengths.  It’s amazing how all of a sudden it became 19 lengths in someone’s weird twisted “I have to make Zen look better than she really is world”.  Its even more hilarious as another poster comes back and pats the poster on the back for incorrect information.

And its like some of you can’t read, Snow has said numerous times that the quality of the opponent is what he or she is referring to when saying that zen can’t give up 10 lengths and go 6 wide in the Classic and run down Horses the quality of Rachel, QR, Rail Trip, and other top notch Grade 1 horses, I totally agree in that scenario she’s running just to be in the money on dirt.  That is not a difficult concept if you understand any of the fundamentals of horse racing, therefore 15/17 of her races have been run on a surface that is conducive to front runners and stalkers coming back to the horse.  Blame ran down a Grade III horse on Saturday, a horse that was hurt and showed heart in finishing, and I think we should all be happy that he didn’t break down.  Does blame run down Rachel or QR or Rail Trip for that matter; nope each of these horses wins handily.  Laz is normally a poster who pays better attention but trying to compare Grade 1 horse flesh to Battle Plan is just not fair and kind of absurd.

And Westin, please advise of how great the filly and mare division is or has been in the past 3 years.  Not including Life is Sweet and Zenyatta tell me about the quality of the mares that Zenyatta has run against.  I can name a few for you, Anabaa’s Creation, Gambler’s Justice, Taste’s Sis, Champagne Eyes, Dawn after Dawn, Lethal Heat, Tidal Dance, Briecat, Allicansayis Wow, Hot N Dusty, and Modification.  Of those 11 horses she faced in 09 they won a total of 0 graded races in that calendar year, another falsehood, LauraS states that LIS is a multiple grade 1 winner, she is a dual grade 1 winner meaning 2. And ran off the board in two starts in 09, try to get a grip people.

18 Jun 2010 12:24 PM

Congratulations to Kenny McPeek for Tiz My Time's third in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.  Following in the footsteps of Wesley Ward last yeat -- it's fun to see the horses from this side of the pond over that side of the pond.

Plus, great hats.

18 Jun 2010 12:24 PM

Saratoga AJ:

I understand your indignation. But you must consider the history surrounding the list. It was originally a list of European greats. Only in recent years has the list been expanded to include North American and other horses. It does not mean that North American horses prior to Cigar did not qualify for inclusion. But fear not a great American mare will be added by yearend.

Remember, this is a list of the great not a list of the very good.

Among the Europeans not making the cut are Zarkava, Goldikova and Dylan Thomas.

18 Jun 2010 12:35 PM
Kit J

jayjay, I'm a fan of ALL horses. I don't care if it's the $5,000 claimer or the greatest of the greats. I think what all of these animals accomplish is great!

Watching Zenyatta win, as Mr Ellis said, the greatest thrill he's had at the race track and she's not even his horse!

Rachel winning the Oaks for Mr. Wiggins, sensational.

Mine That Bird winning the Derby in a shocker and then hearing Dr Blach say it was something on his bucket list but he didn't think he'd accomplish it.

The shock of Calvin Borel doing it again and Bob Baffert saying next year Calvin will be riding his horse. Lucky FINALLY getting lucky yet feeling badly for Garrett Gomez. My heart in my throat as Dublin ducked out at the start, then the joy at seeing him keep on going and finish 5th. First Dude and Fly Down battling for the place. Then Drosselmeyer and Mike Smith so jubilant!

I love each and every moment of joy and weep at the sad times when one goes on to the pasture in the sky or is injured. I tear up at the heart wrenching stories about the people and well, I'm just a fan.

I really don't get the need to trash or question any horse or their owner or trainer. If the animal is well cared for then whatever they choose is okay with me.

I often wonder what all of the big talkers and critics of others would do if they had a horse similar to any being talked about on here. I have a sneaky suspicion that they would do what they wanted and be very irritated if anyone questioned their motives, style and decisions.

18 Jun 2010 12:53 PM

Since everything has been said over and over again the only things I have to add are:

To all who praise or disparage him, Zenyatta's trainer is John Shirreffs NOT Sherriffs. If you're going to talk about him, at least get his freaking name RIGHT!!!

Petty you say?... So be it! At least my comment is not a distortion of reality, it is a FACT.

Here's another FACT: The HOTY filly is Rachel(not Rachael) Alexandra (not Alexander).

You would think that after a year of bickering the "fans" on either side would at least know these simple FACTS. lol!

Have a great weekend. Let's enjoy all the horses, in all the races, on all the tracks. Peace!  :)

18 Jun 2010 12:55 PM

If Rachel doesn't run Mine That Bird will win the Whitney. He's the #3 best horse behind Rachel and Zenyatta.

18 Jun 2010 12:59 PM
Billy's Empire

Phony JJ-

WHAT???? I have no idea what you were trying to say as I can't understand jibberish.

18 Jun 2010 1:02 PM

I am an east coaster and as great as RA is, Queen Z just might be one of the greatest race mares ever. The only way to settle the argument is for them to meet up in the BC. I don't tthink it will happen as JJ wants no part of her and I can't blame him.

18 Jun 2010 1:10 PM

Double standards as usual on these blogs.Rachel Alexandra defeats males 3 times as 3 yo in Grade 1 races including older males and somehow she needs to show that it wasn't a fluke.Zenyatta races males one time as a 5yo and is deemed the best horse in California(or the world ; best now in training;best of all time??) without even racing California males this year!

Zenyatta has only beaten one Grade 1 horse on dirt and that was Ginger Punch who clearly didn't race as she normally did in that race.The California horses did not run on synthetics years ago so it was more common for campaigning on both coasts like Affirmed,Spectacular Bid,Sunday Silence,Lady's Secret,Serena's Song,etc.If Zenyatta had won the Pacific Classic and BC Classic she probably would have won HOTY.Her campaigns are obviously conservative and she is saved for the Breeders Cup.This has kept her undefeated but not enough for HOTY.She should at least be racing Calif males right now or before the BC if she is not going to race on dirt!

18 Jun 2010 1:22 PM


"John Sheriffs has made it perfectly clear that shipping Zenyatta to Churchill Downs is too much of a "handicap" for her to overcome. Sounds like they're already making excuses in case she would get beaten."

Where did John Shirreffs say that? Find the quote. Because as far as I've seen, he never said that. And it's not the shipping TO a track that causes the biggest problems for her. It's running in a race, and shipping BACK. THAT'S why they're thinking of staying home UNTIL the BC. As far as somebody like John Shirreffs making excuses, well... that's just silly. His horse is unbeaten. Why would he be the one making excuses? THINK, Stacy!


"I've said it before and I will say it again, the thing that annoys me about Zenyatta is not the horse (whom I believe has the potential to be one of the all-time greats) it's her COWARDLY connections and her absolutely obnoxious fans.

The simple, plain truth is Zenyatta will NEVER be horse of the year.  She wasn't good enough last year and by sticking to the same ultra-conservative campaign this year, the Mosses have conceded the HOY title to the best older male (at this rate, that will be Quality Road)."

Wow! You're a pistol! I don't understand why I have to say this over and over and over again, but -- THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT HOTY. While Stacy's up there putting words in John Shirreffs' mouth, I posted a quote from him where he SAID they don't care. Now, I understand that from your point of view, everything Shirreffs and the Mosses say is a big fat lie. And it's awesome that you mistrust everybody. But SERIOUSLY. And anytime anyone says they're ducking everyone and her campaign has been distressingly conservative, I wonder why you folks completely ignore the fact that she won the BC Classic.

(insert nattering about the crappy field and synthetic here)

"You don't get to have it both ways.  If it's "too hard" for Zen to ship out of California, you don't get to demand that others ship in."

You do if you're the champion. And she is.

"Zenyatta was never retired last year.  You don't "retire" a horse and keep her in serious training until the HOY announcements.  J. Moss' sour grapes response after the HOY announcement said it all.  The ONLY reason Zen is racing this year is because they knew she was going to lose the HOY title and he wanted a shot at beating Rachel."

Wow. You sure know a lot, Mr. Speculative! The Mosses announced Zenyatta was staying in training two days before the Eclipse Awards. Did they think they'd get HOTY? They knew they had a shot. I'm sure they were disappointed when they didn't get it, but when they bring her back and say that HOTY isn't the most important thing to them, you kind of have to take them at their word. If you're a sane person, that is.

"The Mosses are a breed to race operation.  Late foals don't mean anything to them.  Had the AB showdown gone off and Zen won, she'd've been retired immediately and bred.  J. Moss was looking for a one and done meeting."

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Jerry Moss didn't incite the Apple Blossom meeting. Jess Jackson did. And he did it with Charles Cella, and NOT with Jerry Moss. JJ was the person pushing for it.

The Mosses are a RACE TO RACE operation. They love running their horses, and that's what they do. Don't know why they offend you so very, but whatevs.

NOTHING Zenyatta ever does -- EVER -- will be enough for you. And that's really pathetically sad.


Was that response to ME? If so, um... what? My response to you was pretty measured. Go back and read my 1:03AM post. Geez. I was totally NICE to you!! Why are you so pissed off? If you're referring to Pepper's Pride, I don't read that draynay troll. So I haven't seen anyone HUMAN disparage her. Happy? And why still ranting about HOTY? How many bloody times do I have to say this? HOTY IS NOT THEIR MAIN GOAL WITH ZENYATTA.

Or do you have to ignore that so you can keep frothing?

I won't be measured in my responses to you any longer if you're completely incapable of recognizing that. A disagreement, mz, doesn't mean you should get your back up.

18 Jun 2010 1:28 PM

"California and Zenyatta's fans have drunk the Kool-aid like the good cult members they are...The Mosses are a breed to race operation...Had the AB showdown gone off and Zen won, she'd've been retired immediately and bred..."  

Sam 18 Jun 2010 11:11 AM

Where to start. Sam, clearly you're drinking your own bitter, homebrew Kool-Aid based on pickle juice. It has addled your thinking.

First, the Mosses didn't "breed to race" Zenyatta. They bought her as a yearling for $60,000.

Second, you completely fabricated the "she'd have been retired immediately and bred" if Zenyatta has beaten Rachel in the Apple Blossom. The Mosses said from the beginning they wanted Zenyatta to run in the Breeders Cup this year. Silly me, I thought that's scheduled later in 2010 than the Apple Blossom.

18 Jun 2010 1:29 PM
Saratoga AJ


I agree. And for any American horse to make their bias list is impressive.

Gentlemen ran most of his races in South America where he was fouled. He came here later in his career and did well, but not great. He lost to the likes of Free House and Wagon Limit among others, and pulled up in the '98 BC Classic, which was probably the best BC Classic field ever.

The fact that this horse made their top list is very revealing.

Truth be told, there really is no way of comparing European and American race horses unless they meet on the track. Styles, tracks, and surfaces, etc. are too different.

18 Jun 2010 1:30 PM

Saratoga AJ : Kinda like the east coast bias ?  All the champions only race in the east coast right ?

18 Jun 2010 1:33 PM

What was up with that Steve Byk and his interview with Steve Davidowitz?

Steve Byk sounded like a child. Steve Byk didn't like what Steve Davidowitz was telling him, so he kept trying to talk "over" him.

He actually was "screaming" at one point.

He lost his head and his cool.

A good interviewer doesn't give opinions. A good interviewer asks the tough questions and does not respond to the answers he or she likes or dislikes. A good interviewer asks the question, receives an answer, and moves on to the next question.

As racing fans, we don't want to hear Steve Byk's views or opinions. We want to hear the opinions and answers from the person being interviewed (ex: Steve Davidowitz).

I couldn't believe how he treated Steve Davidowitz. Steve Davidowitz was his guest. At one point, Byk ended up hanging up on Davidowitz, because he did not like the opinions of Steve Davidowitz.

I lost have lost all respect for Steve Byk.

Yesterday, I cancelled my Sirius radio subscription (due to the fact that I only listened to Steve Byk's show).

18 Jun 2010 1:38 PM

Zenyatta has run, and won, against over 40 grade 1 winning opponents from across the U.S. and Europe. Zenyatta has run, and won, against over 40 grade 1 winning opponents from across the U.S. and Europe.  CV 18 Jun 2010 10:15 AM

Again I beg for the truth to be told, and I guess at this point I’ll continue to let the Zenites lie about her opponents quality or the lack there of. In 07 Zen beat 0 Grade 1 horses, in 08 she beat 7 and in 09 she faced 9.  Now here is a lesson in math.  Pay close attention CV, 9+7=16. Maybe I missed one of two but there is no way that this gets you anywhere close to 40 Grade 1 winners.  U people amaze me.

18 Jun 2010 1:59 PM

mz : sorry if it was a secret, i may have been lucky to glance at it when you posted it secretly on this blog. :)

18 Jun 2010 2:35 PM

Stacy - Zenyatta's connections have already made it clear the Breeders' Cup at Churchill IS her  goal. Barring an injury, they'll ship there, just like they shipped to the Apple Blossom as they said they would. If they didn't like the way she shipped back from Oaklawn, why keep shipping her? That's their prerogative, no matter what anyone else thinks.

18 Jun 2010 2:39 PM


(sorry, I don't know what sound frothing has -- otherwise, consider me frothed)

18 Jun 2010 3:00 PM


CV meant over 40 G-1 and Group One races.  How many has your sweetheart defeated (especially before she faced them)?  And while you're on that track how many G-1 winners has your big bold strapping already proclaimed champion defeated?  And how many winners of Classic races and meet championship races have your favorites won?  The only way you can't compare Z and R is in the number of loses each has incurred (gosh Zen is posting a shutout here) and the number of allowance races/horses they have actually participated in or against.

18 Jun 2010 3:01 PM


"When the time comes Zen will take the males on but until she does her connections should not be labeled liars as some have stated.  It would be called proper management.  In case you haven’t checked, all the so-called big five were racing last year.  Only Zen made it out of the gate at the BCC.  Rail Trip was injured after racing his second 1-1/4M race last summer, this time on the questionable surface at Delmar.  Quality Road wouldn’t even load and even if he did, his presence in the race wasn’t creating that much of a buzz because of his two failures to get 1-1/4M against lesser competition.   Blame’s connections opted out to go in the might G-2 Fayette.  Some people might say he wasn’t ready, but he managed to race against BCC competition in the Clark a month later.  And of course Rachel.  Where was our HOY.  She was standing in her stall."

Good post. I'd also like to point out that when they had to scratch Quality Road from the Classic, one of the people MOST disappointed was John Shirreffs. He knew the pace situation just got worse for Zenyatta.

And just a comment (because it occurred to me) about Zenyatta winning only once in "open" company. Last year's HOTY won only once in "open" company. All of her other races were against 3YOs.


"I am an east coaster and as great as RA is, Queen Z just might be one of the greatest race mares ever. The only way to settle the argument is for them to meet up in the BC. I don't tthink it will happen as JJ wants no part of her and I can't blame him."

I don't think we've had an Affirmed/Alydar situation in a very long time. Not that Rachel/Zenyatta is THAT, of course, but there are a few similarities. I also don't know if Asmussen wants any part of her. He ran a poor little filly in the Apple Blossom and was just "WOW" about Zenyatta afterwards. He's a horseman, and horsemen seem to really "get" Zenyatta. As for Ron Ellis, he has the privilege of seeing her every single day and he's scared to death of her. Last year, the Euros only saw her in the Classic and while they figured she was eminently beatable beforehand, they certainly had other opinions afterwards.

And to those of you who keep doing this: PLEASE stop calling John Shirreffs and the Mosses liars. They aren't. Even Jess Jackson didn't lie about running Rachel in the Apple Blossom. He wanted to (the whole thing was his idea, after all), but then he yanked her after that first race. When plans change, it's not a lie, people. It's a change. Two totally different animals.

Kit J:

Lovely post!

18 Jun 2010 3:02 PM
Greg J.


    Pay attention to detail...

CV said, "Zenyatta has run, and won, against over 40 grade 1 winning opponents from across the U.S. and Europe.   CV is correct, The opponents Zenyatta has beaten HAVE WON 45 Grade 1 races and over 80 stakes races, CV wasn't talking about the number of horses, BUT, The number of grade ones they have won.  So, You, My friend, Are the one that is wrong, NO lie was told my CV...

She has beaten FIVE Divisional Champions, FOUR Eclipse Award Champions, and TWO Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic Champions...

18 Jun 2010 3:18 PM

Greg J.

Afleetalexforever is always wrong.  Everytime he posts we have to tell him that.  Quite frankly, it gets annoying sometimes when we always have to correct him.

18 Jun 2010 3:39 PM

Kit J : I totally agree that if any of the people here owned a horse like Zen they would probably do things similar to what Team Z has done.  I'm very happy with Team Z and wouldn't want anyone else to handle her.  They're doing great and they are showing the whole world how to handle a great horse. I just hope that what Team Z did with Zenyatta will get a following from owners/trainers with regards to handling their horses, we may actually see more horses in the future run more than 2 years in their career and be very successful.

CV, LAZ and Kay, great posts.  I really enjoy reading your posts hehe.  I feel the passion in your words, it's great!

LOL Greg J :  At least AAF man'd up and stopped using his other alias (truth be told) to bash Zenyatta.  The sad part, he still can't read properly.  I hope your post made the details clearer for him.  I'm sure he'll ignore it and come back with some other form of bashing lol.  He's like Draynay, when you prove him wrong, he picks another poster to argue with lol.

18 Jun 2010 4:56 PM
Saratoga AJ


So you have to interject your East Coast bias crap again? The discussion was European vs American rankings.  

Do you practice at being a repetitious popinjay, or does it come natural?

18 Jun 2010 5:13 PM

Everybody, be quiet, move over and make some more room.  TAKE CONTROL is baaaaaaaaaaaack!  Thanks for that sunny news Jason.

18 Jun 2010 5:35 PM

In regards to Z: I was the first to suggest that Z go for the first ever three-peat of the BC Classic Races. The only one left for her would be the BC Turf. But I would like to know she can handle the surface first, so a race over turf would be ideal; not unlike what was done with Curlin. It's an interesting and exciting concept, but her connections may think it's too risky to try a new surface so late in her career, and I wouldn't blame them.

Also, I'm not thrilled with Z's schedule this year. Not that she's facing fillies and mares, but that she's out in CA. I understand her peoples' thinking: they came out to OakLawn and no one challenged them. At least the weights she is forced to carry are a challenge. But when they say that Z isn't a good shipper, I take them at their word. I don't own her, so I don't know her up close and personal. And so far they have done nothing less than what is best for her.

And let's say they do exactly what everyone wants them to and ships out East. What if something happens and they have to ship her back home? People are already complaining about her at CD last year and scratching from a sealed track. Imagine the disappointment with having her here for yet another race and leaving?

From a purely selfish standpoint, I would LOVE her to come out East, a race or two before the BC. But I do believe they are correct for keeping her against the fillies right now, even until the BC. I mean, why do they even HAVE distaff races if not for that purpose? And since she won against the distaff division out West, and if she beats them in the East before the BC, if she beats the best males in a race at CD in the BC, what else is left to beat? All the questions will be answered.

And for the record, please, PLEASE, stop making it seem as though RA is the only filly to have ever existed to have done anything like she did last year. Last year RA was wonderful! Awesome, really! But if you think she was the fastest, I think Go For Wand or Ruffian would have something to say about that. The best three-year-old filly campaign ever? I doubt Winning Colors or Regret would agree with that. And don't get me started on winning against the boys! Just be aware that things have to be kept in perspective. We haven't seen a sophomore filly campaign like RA's in a several years, so it was even more exciting. But we have seen it before.

18 Jun 2010 8:55 PM

Hay, Jason:

You, Steve Byk, Eric are right!  Zenyatta hasn't proven that she is the best in California this year!  She runs in restricted races (fillies, mares).  

She may be the best mare of all time -- bring it on then!!  Run in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific  Classic if you can't travel!! Prove your greatness and make the blogs irrelevant.  

The passion on the blogs is because she hasn't proven this  yet!  One race on synthetics, admirable as it was, isn't conclusive.

I think she can do it, but her connections are not giving her the opportunity.  Take a look at Goldikova's management  -- the Mosses are hinderin, not helping, their cause!!

18 Jun 2010 9:21 PM
The King of the Derby

I really do hope that the 3 year old crew, older horses and fillies etner the BC Classic, having said that as a Gambler, Zenyatta is a bet against as is Rachel.

18 Jun 2010 9:36 PM
Dave L

My eyes popped open when I saw the pedigree of TRAFFIC JUDGE (USA) ch. H, 1952. Why is this horse in so few prominent horse pedigrees?

18 Jun 2010 9:43 PM

Greg J, the wording of CV's post was misleading. Not an intentional lie, but afleetalexforever was understandably confused. Do not accuse him of not paying attention to detail when the wording of the sentence was just as he said, even if it was unintentional.

18 Jun 2010 9:53 PM

Kay, no one is disparaging Pepper's Pride because her connections are not claiming that their horse is the best in history just because she retired with 19 wins and undefeated.  Did I say Zenyatta isn't the best in California?  No I did not.  But clearly when a horse races, it isn't racing against itself.  My comment she hasn't faced the best in California is absolutely accurate and not in the least sexist.

Dinky Diva; All but 1 of Zenyatta's races have been restricted; not restricted as to state-bred races, but restricted none-the-less (to fillies and mares).  Her only unrestricted race is the BCC.  As to this year, I don't think her 1st 2010 race was Grade 1; correct me if I'm wrong.  Furthermore, all Grade 1's aren't created equal.

I think if both "camps" will be fair, both Rachel and Zenyatta still have things to prove.  After 2 losses to start 2010, she needs to prove she is the same horse at 4 as she was at 3.  Thankfully, to her legions of fans (myself included) she looked like the "old" Rachel in her most recent start.  For Zenyatta to prove she is as great as her fans believe, she needs to face more challenges than she has done thus far.  I've been criticized for insisiting she should run against males. Not so. What I've said is, if she's not leaving California, she should at least run against the best in Cal. If that means facing the boys, so be it.

18 Jun 2010 11:32 PM

"CV said, "Zenyatta has run, and won, against over 40 grade 1 winning opponents from across the U.S. and Europe.   CV is correct, The opponents Zenyatta has beaten HAVE WON 45 Grade 1 races and over 80 stakes races, CV wasn't talking about the number of horses, BUT, The number of grade ones they have won."

Greg J. and LAZMANNICK, thanks for clarifying. Citation, I don't "lie" accidentally or intentionally. Do you? Probably could have worded the comment better, though.

robinm, just curious, do you consider 3-year-old races "restricted" too?

Folks the bottom line is this: Zenyatta is being attacked because the people hating on her also hate synthetic race tracks, at least partly because the exalted Beyer figure doesn't work as well in handicapping them. Change is hard for some people.

You can tell them those surfaces aren't all the same. You can tell them Hollywood Park plays quite similar to dirt. You can tell them St Trinians equals and surpasses some of Rachel's top opponents.

But they are so consumed with prejudice they refuse to hear logic or facts. That's why they continue to attack Zenyatta.

19 Jun 2010 11:51 AM

slew. I want revenge never stumbled out of the gate. he reared when the gates opened. which is why the chart states that he broke in the air. when he won the wood memorial. as long as people keep blasting me for my grammer skills or lack therefor of. the more you people do the longer i'll type in the same manner.

19 Jun 2010 12:09 PM

robinm : The Mosses have never claimed she is the best in history.  Can you post an article where the Mosses was quoted as saying that ?  I think you're reaching for anything to bash Zenyatta and her team.

Yes, there are G1s that have questionable fields as many have stated before but that's only because no one wants to run against her.  The one that did, gave her a good race but she prove she is still the best.  Many have questioned the fields that RA faced last year and this year, QR faced a questionable field in the Donn, but they're still G1s.

When people look at the record books and find Zenyatta, they won't care who the runners were, they'll see that she beat horses in 11 G1 races, that's amazing and to me, she is the best in history.  No other horse in training right now can even come close.

She doesn't have anything else to prove to Team Z or her fans.  Rachel on the other hand, has a lot to prove this year to be even in the contention for the HOTY (something that JJ is desperate for again this year), her 2 losses and a victory against a weak field doesn't mean she's back to her form as last year.  Let's see her win a legitimate G1 against the top level horses in her division (like the Hirsch) and then we can see if she's really back.  I hope by November, she'll be fully cranked and be better than 2009 Rachel.  We can then see her lose to Zenyatta in the Classic lol.

Let me ask  you again, what does running against the boys this early prove ?  If she's healthy and sound and doing great, you'll see her run against the best of the best in November.  Do you want RA to run against the boys again this year, do you want her campaign to be running against the boys again this year ?  or is it just Zenyatta that needs to do it ?

19 Jun 2010 12:47 PM


Great List of HOTY Cali runners, as everyone has noted.  There were some on the list I was unsure about and happy to see your research.  I thought the GHOST made it to Cali, but remembered that his Breeders Cup was at Lone Star, not Santa Anita.

I do think in years of close balloting that an east coast bias DOES exist, in my opinion and certainly in this decade.

One correction. Secretariat never made it to Cali; Arlington was as close as he got.

19 Jun 2010 1:42 PM

RobinM: Zenyatta has won seven straight G1s - her last Grade 2 was the 2009 Milady, where she carried 126lbs, giving weight to the field after a seven month layoff. With her next G1 win, she breaks the most-consecutive G1 wins, eight, and IIRC, most overall, which would be 12. As has been said, while all G1 fields may not be not created equal, the races are still the top of the game and Zenyatta has defeated everyone who dared to showed up.

While we're bringing up 3YO fillies, don't forget Busher, 1945. From May to October (racing was banned in the US until May due to WWII) the small daughter of War Admiral won 10 of 13, (two seconds and a third), beat the best 3yo colts, the best older girls (winning the Vanity amongst other races), AND the best of the older boys TWICE, including Armed who she GAVE weight to. In fact, in her three losses that year, she always gave weight to the field, up to 12 lbs. to the only (older)female to beat her. Busher would subsequently defeat the horses who finished in front of her convincingly. Injured in October, she would race only once at 4 before retirement in her only unplaced start. I would argue that despite those losses, Busher ranks right up there with the best 3yo fillies ever, and actually finished with the same race stats as Secretariat (21-16-3-1-1). She died from foaling complications in 1955.

LauraS the Librarian

19 Jun 2010 2:38 PM

Speaking of horses flying! I was watching Animal Planet's show 'Jockeys' and 'Jimmy the Hat' said, People don't know this , but when horses fly long trips, Every horse on that plane has his/her own vetinarian, and if the horse starts acting up real badly and they cant get it to calm down, Their vet is to  "Put them down" he said.  NOw, I don't expect to many people knew that, So quit being so hard on trainers/owners not wanting to subject their horses to that much stress to often. I guess that proves some horses just don't travel well by air.

The episode in question is when it showed Aaron Gryder winning in Dubai on WA.  Thats when they were speaking about horses traveling by air.

19 Jun 2010 3:00 PM


"Kay, no one is disparaging Pepper's Pride because her connections are not claiming that their horse is the best in history just because she retired with 19 wins and undefeated."

Others have also asked you about this. WHERE did the Mosses say she was the best ever? As far as I can tell, anyone who says she's the best ever is a pundit or a trainer. A lot of people have said she's the best they've ever seen. Do you consider that hyperbole just because you can't possibly imagine such a thing? It's NOT hyperbole. I've talked to some of these people. They are amazed by what she can do.

"Did I say Zenyatta isn't the best in California?  No I did not.  But clearly when a horse races, it isn't racing against itself.  My comment she hasn't faced the best in California is absolutely accurate and not in the least sexist."

Just because you say so? What else am I to infer, other than that to you, 'best' means males? Because she's sure beaten the crap out of the fillies.

"Dinky Diva; All but 1 of Zenyatta's races have been restricted; not restricted as to state-bred races, but restricted none-the-less (to fillies and mares).  Her only unrestricted race is the BCC."

This is dumb. NOW you're being hyperbolic by claiming that we can use the word "restricted" to apply to GI races. But if you want to continue this nonsense, than all but one of Rachel Alexandra's races have been in "restricted" company.

Restricted. GEEZ. Grade one races. Good grief.

"As to this year, I don't think her 1st 2010 race was Grade 1; correct me if I'm wrong."

The Santa Margarita Handicap (that's a HANDICAP, BTW, in which she gave tons of weight to the field) is most assuredly a grade one. I'm sure that because it's on synthetic in California, you think it should be a state-bred something-or-other. But it's a GI. Her seven GIs: Vanity Hcp, Hirsch Hcp, Lady's Secret S, Breeder's Cup Classic, Santa Margarita Hcp, Apple Blossom Hcp, Vanity Hcp.

"Furthermore, all Grade 1's aren't created equal."

No. They're not. Some are weaker and some are stronger. Those "unrestricted" horses you seem to adore so much have also won weak GIs. Doesn't take away from the fact that it's a GI. And as someone else pointed out, when people look into the record books, that's all they'll see.

"I think if both "camps" will be fair, both Rachel and Zenyatta still have things to prove.  After 2 losses to start 2010, she needs to prove she is the same horse at 4 as she was at 3.  Thankfully, to her legions of fans (myself included) she looked like the "old" Rachel in her most recent start."

Exactly what do you think the 2009 HOTY/Preakness/Haskell winner has to prove? Seriously, now. This whole "these horses need to prove something" is stupid.

"For Zenyatta to prove she is as great as her fans believe, she needs to face more challenges than she has done thus far."

I get that you people think one race only counts when it's YOUR horse. There's been a lot of talk (I think on Jason's next blog post, actually) about Goldikova being the pro-temp champion female turf horse. But... that's ONE RACE. We're not giving her the award for what she does overseas. This is an AMERICAN award. THAT IS LITERALLY ONE RACE. But that's fine because she's a Euro? You just use it when you need it. Whatever. Zenyatta has proved greatness to me every single time she's gone out there, and what she did in the BC Classic and in the Vanity was absolutely MY definition of greatness. I don't really care how YOU define it. It's not relevant to me. And thankfully, YOU DON'T GET TO DECIDE. HISTORY DOES.

"I've been criticized for insisiting she should run against males. Not so. What I've said is, if she's not leaving California, she should at least run against the best in Cal. If that means facing the boys, so be it."

By default, you mean males. Which is sexist, Robin! But seriously, the ONLY reason you guys are nattering on about Zenyatta AND Rachel facing males is because they beat the stuffing out of them last year. If they'd NEVER faced males, then you wouldn't be talking about this. Yet the BC Classic wasn't a good race.

You're making me tired.

To add to sodapopkid's post about travel. I'm not sure if it was posted here or not but somebody with Google maps and lots of free time actually charted the number of miles traveled by Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra throughout their career. Zenyatta's traveled further (and they didn't include her trip to Churchill last year). Also, the number of times Rachel has run from her home base, literally walking out of her stall to the track -- 12 out of 17. Number of times for Zenyatta -- 9 out of 17. Interesting.


You are awesome! I love your posts. It's funny that you posted about Busher. I just went to see Zenyatta this morning and on the way home, I was thinking about great fillies. Busher and Gallorette came to mind, then I read your post. Kismet!

19 Jun 2010 3:57 PM

I agree BigRed, there is an East coast bias whenever there are two great HOTY candidates, one from the East and the other from the West. The last best example that I can think of was Sunday Silence and Easy Goer. Yes, EG was a great horse and did great things out East in the absence of SS during part of the year. But when they met in the TC and BCC races, SS beat EG three out of four times. But when it came time to vote for  HOTY, EG got quite a number of votes. Now maybe it was because he did race and win quite a bit. But when a horse like SS comes along and beats you 75% of the time, doesn't that mean anything?

That prejudice even extended to his standing at stud. That's why he was shipped to Japan. I'm just happy that people really appreciated him for the great horse he was, instead of from where he was based.

The other that really resonates is the rivalry between Affirmed and Alydar. I'm not sure what the tally is for HOTY votes, but to this day there are people that would argue that Alydar was the better racehorse. Even though they met 10 times, and Affirmed won 7. And as I recall, there were quite a few excuses made by his fans after every loss by Alydar. Both instances don't reflect on the horses themselves, but when you have to decided which horse raced better, you can only decide based on what they have done on the track.

Laura, Busher was great, wasn't she? She was part of that 'Golden Age of Racing' when females seemed to gut it out with the males on a regular basis. Most were in the handicap ranks, so to be so young and achieve what she did is all the more impressive.

19 Jun 2010 4:48 PM

To be honest- when Mr Hancock tried to syndicate Sunday Silence, I'm sure he solicited the whole country, not just the East Coast. And the whole country rejected Sunday Silence as a breeding prospect.  They were wrong, but you can't just blame it on the East Coast.  And Easy Goer had royal bloodlines.  He would have always been the stronger pull in the Breeding shed

19 Jun 2010 5:14 PM
Kit J

sodapopkid,yes we did know that. Someone even wrote about it on one of the earlier blogs.

I don't recall if they mentioned that but the remake of National Velvet, with Tatum O'Neal had that exact scenario. Someone then had to borrow HER horse and she didn't get to ride in the show. I've also read about that happening in real life.

19 Jun 2010 5:29 PM

Mr. Shandler,

…and of course, Zenyatta’s next victory will set the all-time world record of 8 consecutive Grade I victories (surpassing “Rock of Gibraltar’s” world record of 7 consecutive Grade I’s).

…and of course with her next victory, she’ll go past the legendary Ouiji Board (for the female earnings record - for foreign female horses that have raced in North America).

…and of course with her next victory she will tie the legendary “Eclipse” (Ch.c Born: 1764) for 18 consecutive victories without defeat.

It goes on and on…doesn’t it, Jason? The records are falling and you “cannot” do one thing about it. Don’t you just love that?

I love when the east east coast has to sit “on their hands” and watch this.

Ain’t it great?

19 Jun 2010 9:55 PM

OK, call me a contrarian, but am I the only one who sees that Zenyatta has nothing to prove by winning the BC Classic a second time?  She's done it.  Her place in history is cemented.  So would it be too far fetched of an idea for both Zenyatta and Rachel to pass the BC Classic, and duel on a Friday night in prime time in the Ladies Classic, with a few million extra BONUS dollars on line.  It would be a great way to kick off a weekend of horse racing.  

19 Jun 2010 11:26 PM

Could be a great race... I think Zenyatta will have her hands full wit QR and RA one of them will hit the corner and keep on running.. QR had 108 6f and still hammered a mile in 133 how can you close on that?  Rachel 148 1 1/8  cruised home.  Could be in for a beat down.

20 Jun 2010 2:15 AM

I agree, Footlick, I'm sure the whole country was solicited. But where is TB breeding biggest in NA? Where is the money? It's in the East, particularly in KY. Even by today's inflated monetary standards, you might get a few thousand dollars per cover in CA. Are there any HOTYs out there right now? Maybe there are, I'm not sure. But if KY shut SS out, there's no way he could get anywhere near a decent price elsewhere in the country.

Although EG may have been a stronger pull for breeding, there wasn't any logic to completely overlook SS. His pedigree isn't horrible; not great, but not horrible. What he lacked in pedigree he made up for on the track. KY Derby winner, BBC winner, and Eclipse Award winner for Best Three Year Old and HOTY over EG, and no one was really interested? C'mon, that's one heck of a resume!

There may have been one or two other horses that did as much as he did and garnered no respect as a sire when he retired, I don't know. I can't think of any off the top of my head. Most lose their luster when it's discovered, years into breeding, that they don't pass their ability well. Usually, people are bending over backwards to breed to the latest hot stud on the market. In this case, the only person that seemed to have much interest, and the money to back that interest, was foreign. He probably felt as though he had won the lottery, LOL!

20 Jun 2010 2:34 AM

First...Happy Fathers' Day to all.

Second:  If Zenyatta were to run to the moon and back in record time and beat every other horse in the world, she would still be criticized for having run on stardust.

All of these arguments are becoming repetitious and boring.  Zen's a wonderful, rare, race mare.  Enjoy her while you can.

Rachel Alexandra is a fantastic racing filly coming back to form.  Enjoy 2010, we may never witness such greatness again in our lifetime.

20 Jun 2010 9:31 AM
kathleen o

kay and jayjay, thanks for being the standard bearers.  Your posts are articulate and accurate.  Those that are so against the Queen astound me.  The constant belittling of her and her connections serve no purpose other than to give them an outlet for their vitriol.  I guess that's better than kicking the dog.

I've grown weary of defending her record.  That record stands on it's own merit and those that wish to disparage it can't be real race fans.

20 Jun 2010 10:44 AM

well the majority of the sprinters don't stand in kentucky. like lit de justice. he won the bc sprint but he's standing in california. the same goes for a lot of the turf milers take redattore for instance. he was a useful turf miler the same for the 2003 bc mile winner standing in california. theres only a handful of champion sprinters and turf champions standing in ky at this moment.

20 Jun 2010 12:41 PM

Happy Father's day to all including all the single mothers out there.

Thanks Kathleen, yeah, it gets tiresome sometimes.  Some folks will come up with the same thing over and over again, just to bash Zenyatta.  None of their complaints applies to any other horses except Zenyatta.  In the end, I think the Z haters are just really jealous because Zen's fans always have something to celebrate about her.  There's no shortage of Zenyatta videos on YouTube, and she holds the consecutive wins record by herself and if she's healthy and sound will hopefully set more new records in her next race.

I'm looking forward to Zenyatta defeating all the horses listed in the blog come BCC :)  then she can join Tiznow as the only horse to win it back to back.  She can move in with him after she retires and make lots of babies!

20 Jun 2010 1:56 PM

I hope Jason will allow me to post something from another blog, which speaks to how lucky we are to be witnessing so many terrific horses racing today in Rachel, Zenyatta, Quality Road, etc.

Ray Paulick of the Paulick Report wrote an article titled "Perspective," which drew 119 comments, many exhibiting the partisan bickering we often see about Zenyatta and Rachel.


These 2 comments caught my eye:

Bob Baffert said:

"Zenyatta is a great mare that has been managed perfectly. She can't help it that the competition has been a little suspect. But she makes them all look suspect. She is fun to watch and great for the sport. I love watching her run. She knows where the wire is."

LauraS said:

"When a history of horse racing is compiled in the year 2100, it will show that in the year 2010 a six-year-old, seventeen-and-a-half-hand mare named Zenyatta became the first horse of either gender to reach seventeen races undefeated in major competition since Kincsem in 1878. It is quite possible that that history could show that Zenyatta reached 18 (equaling the immortal Eclipse), 19, or 20 races undefeated, possibly including ten straight Grade 1?s for a total of 14 Grade 1s, with a Breeder?s Cup Ladies Classic and two Breeder?s Cup Classic wins. Will this history record the vitriol spewed about quality of competition, Beyer numbers, all-weather vs. dirt vs. turf surfaces, East Coast vs. California, Zenyatta vs. (insert whomever, Rachel Alexandra, Quality Road, horses of prior eras, name your favorite) or will it focus on the fact that Zenyatta achieved the above distinctions while being a deep closer who routinely spotted the field ten or more lengths, carrying weight assignments up to 129 lbs and up to 19 pounds above her rivals when such weights were uncommon, beginning her races by dancing in the post parade, obviously knowing where the wire was in the stretch, and winning with her ears pricked, hardly winded and barely sweating? I would like to think that by 2100 the latter scenario will win the day. I just hope that the final line is not 'and yet somehow she was never voted America's Horse of the Year."

And from the article itself by Ray Paulick:

"On Friday, I read something that added some much-needed perspective to the subject, and it reminded me that those who spoil the air surrounding these two outstanding fillies are missing out on a greater point: that we are so very fortunate to have witnessed what both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra have accomplished..."

I would only add...AMEN.

20 Jun 2010 2:26 PM

A little off topic, but what happened to my guy Jackson Bend in the Pegasus? That was a monstrous bounce. :(

He was much better than this in the Preakness. Maybe he's just tired. I hope Zito can build his stamina back up.

20 Jun 2010 3:22 PM

I posted a response to robinm, but I think the post got lost in the ether. So just to be brief. Well, brief-ish:

The Mosses never claimed Zenyatta was the best horse ever, although others have certainly had that conversation.

By saying that she hasn't even faced the best in California, the only inference that can be made from that statement is that you mean she hasn't faced the best MALE horses in California. The assumption would be that male horses are automatically better than female horses. That is an assumption I do not make.

Calling Zenyatta's races "restricted" is completely ludicrous. Others have floated this, too. Where did this meme even come from? It certainly wasn't around when Personal Ensign and Lady's Secret were running. Given how down people get on California horses, the only inference that can be made from THAT statement is that it's a bias argument. Horses who run in California can't be as great as horses who run on the East Coast seems to be the default. I mean, if you weren't getting down on these other fillies, what are we to think? By your reasoning, Rachel Alexandra had only one race that wasn't "restricted." Right?

A grade one race is NOT restricted. That's dumb.

"As to this year, I don't think her 1st 2010 race was Grade 1; correct me if I'm wrong.  Furthermore, all Grade 1's aren't created equal."

They're all grade ones. and if they stop attracting the highest quality, the grade is reduced. Zenyatta has won legitimate grade one races. And yes, the Santa Margarita Handicap is a GI. She's won seven in a row. And you're disputing this... why? Why is it so important to you that Zenyatta isn't considered one of the all-time greats? It must mean a lot, given how hard you're trying to dismiss her accomplishments. I just can't figure out why that is. Help me out!

"I think if both "camps" will be fair, both Rachel and Zenyatta still have things to prove.  After 2 losses to start 2010, she needs to prove she is the same horse at 4 as she was at 3."

I heartily disagree. Rachel Alexandra was last year's HOTY. She proved she was a good horse by winning all eight of her starts, including a classic. Zenyatta has won seventeen in a row while remaining unbeaten, her last seven in GI company, became the first horse to win two different BC races and was the first filly to win the BC Classic. And although all of her detractors are trying to backpedal about the class of the field, you were all winging a different tune BEFORE the race.

"For Zenyatta to prove she is as great as her fans believe, she needs to face more challenges than she has done thus far."

It's not just her "fans." It's HORSEMEN who are just utterly gobsmacked at how amazing she is. People who KNOW THINGS and have BEEN AROUND. So don't paint this as a legion of horse-crazy know-nothings. It isn't. One race CAN convince people when the horse is already on the brink of greatness. One race DOES put a horse over. Exactly how many races do you need to convince you? Two? Five? Ten? It doesn't matter because you will NEVER be convinced. And maybe part of that has to do with the state of racing. And if you haven't seen her run, then maybe to you it's just a horse on TV. I don't know. We've gone awhile without a truly great horse, especially since most of our potentially great horses tend to retire before reaching that potential. Maybe it's just harder to recognize because of that.

I'm very glad to see a few posts here about how LITTLE Zenyatta has to prove, because it's true. You can bleat about "one race" all you want, or you can take the different tack of dismissing the race altogether. But it's not like we're saying Arcangues is a great horse because he won the BC Classic. I realize that you're dismissing every other race she's ever run, and that's probably why you're confused about why people think she's great. But the people who are in awe of her are including her entire career, which we feel is more than legitimate.

"I've been criticized for insisiting she should run against males. Not so. What I've said is, if she's not leaving California, she should at least run against the best in Cal. If that means facing the boys, so be it."

Well, Ron Ellis, who trains the leading male in California, is about two barns away from John Shirreffs' barn. He sees Zenyatta every morning, and he doesn't want to run Rail Trip against her. What does THAT tell you?

It was interesting listening to Lenny Schulman on Roger Stein's radio show this week. He and Stein got a little het up over how Zenyatta's being dismissed. I think the Internet is adding to this. Because people seem truly puzzled about the whole Team Zenyatta/Team Rachel thing. But that's what the Internet does. It makes you choose. So the vitriol and the hyperbole is magnified by the Internet.

Stupid Internet.


As of right now, whenever Zenyatta's people talk about the BC, they talk about the Classic. Rachel's spokesmodel, Jess Jackson, never specifies, but I'm sure that will change as the year goes on and they figure out where they are with her.

In another note, Quality Road worked today for the first time since winning the Met Mile. I know he's not going to run until the Whitney in August, but geez that seems like a long time without a work.

20 Jun 2010 3:25 PM

Yeah CV, was surprised at that too.  I thought he was a lock in that race but the good thing is that Afleet Alex's babies are starting to blossom.  Looking forward to seeing them more this year and next year!

20 Jun 2010 3:49 PM

Right, but look at their stud fees. I think it only confirms that the big breeding money is in KY. Horses, good horses, are at stud everywhere. But they will never command higer stud fees unless they are in KY.

I think it has to do with what the current trend is now, Anna. Back in the 1990's, there was a big desire to race, and breed, turf runners and sprinters. One of my favorite turf milers, Lure, was even set to become the #1 stallion at Claiborne when he retired. Of course, that was before he was found to be infertile. (Just ironic you should mention that, as I have a great affinity for several turf milers from both here and abroad.)

But it seems to be the case that now people are breeding for dirt routers. Even interest for sprint and turf races has waned recently. Maybe it has to do with racing feeling its last bastion of media hope to be the TC and BC, and most of the biggest races are longer distances. Maybe. Not sure why, but that's how things are going right now. Pity, as some of those horses that only exhibited sprinting ability threw some nice classic horses.

20 Jun 2010 4:33 PM

Jason, and bloggers,  I was watching a couple of the Zen bobbleheads on ebay, and two of them went over $100.00+ dollars when the bidding had ended, some are signed by M.Smith , some are not,  

I sure am glad I bought mine before she made history............

20 Jun 2010 6:43 PM

I bet DARLEY was giving Street Cry and Megaglio D'Oro some nice Father's Day greetings, Since their two famous sires are the top notch in the field today, Especailly, Street Cry , with his daughter having just made history.

They will be raising his stud fee again next year I bet.

How lucky can you be, not to own just one of these sires, but to own both.............Zenyatta is making her papa very proud.......and DARLEY too.

20 Jun 2010 9:08 PM
Julia O.

Jason, I totally agree with everything that you said. I really think that Rachel's owner's were making a big mistake by putting her in the Fleur de Lis. She would have dominated in the Stephen Foster. Also I think that Zenyatta's owners should enter her in a more different race than the Vanity. She just keeps repeating the same races that she has already won. I have been looking at Quality Road for the past few weeks. He looks very good I think he will do great at Saratoga. I can't wait to see what the field looks like in November. I guess we really can dream. It would not hurt. Keep writing more terrific blogs!  

21 Jun 2010 7:58 AM
Billy's Empire

Winslow Homer worked in 1:00 flat at delaware yesterday. With him, take Control and other's back working, we could be in for a good summer of racing.

21 Jun 2010 10:40 AM


Fuel to the fire... Just in case anyone wanted to know, Zenyatta's 3YO half-brother Souper Spectacular (Giants Causeway) is making his 3YO debut at Belmont on Wednesday the 23rd in the 2nd race 1:32 ET.

21 Jun 2010 3:14 PM

2010 Breeders Cup Classic Odds:








BLAME 20/1









ICE BOX 30/1

















21 Jun 2010 5:45 PM


21 Jun 2010 9:12 PM


They have taken Summer Bird off the board for future wagering of the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic but have not updated their website.

21 Jun 2010 10:08 PM

Secretariat : How old is that list and where was it from ?

22 Jun 2010 12:25 AM
Billy's Empire

Secretariat, Where did those odds come from? Why are retired horses given odd's for a race that is 4 plus months away? Must be an old list.

22 Jun 2010 8:48 AM

jayjay and Billy's Empire,

2010 Breeders Cup Classic Odds (Brisnet):


22 Jun 2010 12:59 PM

well the sprinters and turf milers go else where even some dirt and derby also runs go out of the country like coin silver. he was a peachtree stables dirt runner and ran in the 2005 derby but entered stud in ireland. oh and you can add line of david to the so far short list of retired 3yr olds this yr after eskenderaya.

22 Jun 2010 2:37 PM

I figured it was Las Vegas.  I've never bet the vegas odds, do you get locked in to the odds at the time you bet ?  If so, I might take a short trip just to place bets lol.

I don't get why Zenyatta is 4-1, she's a poly specialist and according to Draynay will not even be in Churchill. The gambling pros must know something we don't. ;)

22 Jun 2010 2:45 PM
joe schmoe


I put my Zenyatta Bobblehead on the shelf next to my Rachael Alexandra Figurine. The next time I came back Zenyatta was 5 lengths in front of Rachael. No sense fighting it, I left them that way.

22 Jun 2010 2:54 PM

They sure know more than the doubting Thomases, so to speak, like DRaynay..........Its seems it's right there in black and white and easy to read..............What do you have to say now, Dray and doubters........Someone else sure has more confidence in the 'poly specialist' than dray does.......

22 Jun 2010 3:00 PM
Billy's Empire

winslow racing this weekend. SWEET

22 Jun 2010 4:51 PM

The Moss's have more sense than to claim Zenyatta is the greatest in history.  The Zenyatta Zealots?  Not no much.

22 Jun 2010 9:24 PM

That's true robinm, they know she is but didn't want to rub it in to JJ since they didn't have to spend millions to buy her record lol.

22 Jun 2010 10:22 PM


"The Moss's have more sense than to claim Zenyatta is the greatest in history.  The Zenyatta Zealots?  Not no much."

A little confused, because above, you said this:

"Kay, no one is disparaging Pepper's Pride because her connections are not claiming that their horse is the best in history just because she retired with 19 wins and undefeated."

All I can infer from your statement is that the Mosses claimed Zenyatta was the best in history. So what did you mean, then? As for the zealots, you must be including people like Angel Cordero and other horsemen who have said she's the best they've ever seen. It's not just fans, doll.

jow schmoe:

Well, that's one of the funniest things I've read all day. Thanks!

In other news, Frank Stronach threw a giant tantrum at the CHRB meeting today, nattering vaguely about the free market (which obviously just means HIM). He relented on Oak Tree being at Santa Anita this year but then it's over. And then he said he's going to change the surface at some point to some dressage surface they use over in Europe. Yes, a surface that hasn't even been RACED over.


22 Jun 2010 11:06 PM


I hear there's a seminar on the value of capitals in sentence structure sometime this weekend.  I'll sign you up if you want.

22 Jun 2010 11:55 PM
Greg J.

Joe schmoe,

    Funny stuff!, Classic line...

23 Jun 2010 8:22 PM


Wasn't the Oaklawn situation rectified?  They agreed to another season for Oaklawn.  Now, I am confused and what dressage type of surface are you talking about??  Please enlighten me on this subject.

25 Jun 2010 7:52 PM

Joe Schmoe: too funny!!  Thanks, I needed that laugh.

25 Jun 2010 7:53 PM

Weight assignments for the BC Classic:

Quality Road:     127lbs

Rachel Alexandra: 125lbs

Zenyatta:         124lbs

Goldikova         123lbs

Mine That Bird:   123lbs

Lookin At Lucky   122lbs

Drosselmeyer      122lbs

Devil May Care    119LBS

Stay tuned for "my Order of Finish"

30 Jun 2010 12:09 PM
true race fan

Draynay and TJLuvsTizs  get over Z not winning horse of the year.  If you want to "bash horses"  get your facts straight.  Rachel Alexandra ran the last furlong in 12.88 and Calvin stood up several lenghts before the finish line gearing her down, posting a BSF of 109 on a day when the heat index was over a hundered.  Oh and if you saw the race, she was hand ridden - no whip.  Z did run the last furlong in 11.60 but look at the race again, MS was using his whip all the way - BSF 103.  Rachel can go  1 1/4....she was in a race you may not be fimilar with it's called the Preakness and it is 1 3/16.  Did I mention that she had run another race 15 days prior to that...the Kentucky Oaks and in both races she posted a BSF of  108..............has Z ever ran back to back races 15 days apart and posted those types of speed? Bottom line is Z never did what Rachel did as a 3 year old.  Quit being a poor sports and enjoy all the great horses that are currently running.

02 Jul 2010 1:01 AM
Tim G

true race fan, you think Dray bashes Rachel and supports Zenyatta?

I think you should go back and re-read his posts.

You're other facts are skewed as well. Mike was NOT whipping Zenyatta 'all the way'.

I was at the Kentucky Oaks and as much as it pains me to say it Rachel was running against fillies that were not really graded horses. Where are the horses who finished behind her? Be Fair is running in an ungraded stakes tonight and the rest????

02 Jul 2010 10:52 AM

true race fan

Be Fair is also still trying to find the finish line in the Apple Blossom.....the race that Zenyatta won and the race in which Rachel decided to opt out of rather than face her.

02 Jul 2010 3:36 PM

"I put my Zenyatta Bobblehead on the shelf next to my Rachael Alexandra Figurine. The next time I came back Zenyatta was 5 lengths in front of Rachael. No sense fighting it, I left them that way."  

I about fell out of my chair laughing at this quote..good one Joe!  

Ok, here we go.

Zenyatta: anyone who hates on the Queen is a fool plain and simple. You cannot say that this horse or that horse will beat her easily..because she's undefeated..If you think you can beat her..run against her..and then we'll see.

Rachel- Great, Great filly..blistering speed..ran an unbelievable 3yo campaign..deserved HOTY..emptied the tanks and has yet to return to form.. That said I feel the Queen would have beaten her in multiple races last year if given the opportunity, but since she wasn't..we won't know.

Goldi-may very well be the best horse racing right now...but we won't know that for sure unless she goes against the best.  We don't know how she runs on dirt and we don't know how Zen, Rach, QR, et al would run on grass..  Toss them in the ring together and let em duke it out.

08 Jul 2010 1:49 PM
Aleine in VA

OMG!!!   3 outstanding horses at Colonial Downs on Saturday: Paddy O'Prado, Krypton and Interactif!

If they don't appear in the BC turf race then someone is asleep at the wheel. Bring on the VA Bred Quality Road for the BC classic!

(Then please retire Quality Road to stud before he breaks something important like a leg God forbid).

19 Jul 2010 11:58 AM
pleasant ben

R/A won HOTY and was deserving. Maybe should have been retired after that. All you Z fans who are slighted to bad. Z wasnt good enough 2 years in a row to win it. This may be her year. I dont think she can win the Classic this year. It may just be a horse from across the pond who beats her as well. Its funny that people who live in cali think she Z is the best ever. Yeah right.

08 Aug 2010 1:44 PM

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