The Rachel Show: The Year's Most Disappointing Drama

Welcome to another episode of "Let's Take the Reigning Horse of the Year on the Easiest and Most Bizarre Path Possible."

It's a never-ending, entertaining show folks. The season-long drama is only half over and there are plenty of interesting episodes to come. You are sure to be disappointed, so get your soft drinks and popcorn, settle in, and do your best to tolerate it. It's going to be a long ride.

If you've missed any of the previous episodes, I am here to help fill you in:

The series began in spectacular fashion last spring when a little-known 2-year-old filly conditioned by a sweetheart of a trainer burst onto the scene with a dominating series of wins, including a record-setting performance in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Now a rising star and a valuable commodity, a short time later the filly was purchased privately by billionaire wine mogul, who promptly decided to move her to a new barn and set her on an ambitious campaign for the ages.

The striking bay took us on a ride we will not soon forget. It was an aggressive, exciting campaign that horse racing fans had never seen from a 3-year-old filly. First, a thrilling Preakness (gr. I) victory over the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, which immediately thrust her into the national spotlight. Now, everyone was watching, even casual sports fans.

The Preakness win was followed by a record-setting performance in the Mother Goose (gr. I) where the filly romped by nearly 20 lengths in breathtaking fashion. Ratings were off the chart. Then it got really good.

A dominating win against 3-year-old males in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) solidified her star status and fame forever. But wait, there was an encore. In her most challenging race to date, the fan favorite took on older males in the prestigious Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at famed Saratoga Race Course. And she did not disappoint, leading at every call before holding off a big, bad older male by a head.

The awesome filly had just completed one of the most sensational campaigns in modern history-8-for-8, five straight grade I wins, three of them against males. Wow. What a show!

While collecting his prized Horse of the Year award the following January at a glittering Beverly Hills reception, the billionaire owner thanked all of her fans and promised to chart another exciting course in the filly's 4-year-old season. Facing her West Coast rival, another record-setting female and fan favorite, not once but up to three times, was the major goal, the he told us. Just wait, 2010 was going to be just as exciting.

But the year got off to a puzzling start, as the star filly was rarely seen on the track and did not begin working out until late January. Her season debut was a head-scratcher, a listed stakes race created specifically for the star. A bizarre start for the reigning Horse of the Year, many thought. The date, distance, and purse of the event at Fair Grounds were even handpicked to suit the owner's needs. But it did not go as planned. The star filly was upset by a horse that nobody had heard of, disappointing fans across the country and raising questions about her fitness level. Why had they waited so long to get her into shape?

Only days after the defeat, the owner crushed the racing nation with news that his star would not be sent to Oaklawn Park, as expected, for the Apple Blossom (gr. I) to face her undefeated West Coast rival. Even though he had previously accepted the invitation to the race, thousands had already made travel plans, and the gracious racetrack owner put $5 million of his own money on the table, there would be no showdown. She wasn't ready, we were told. This couldn't be good for ratings, producers grumbled.

So after a little time off, the star filly was sent to her home track, Churchill Downs, where she could settle in comfortably and regain her form. But things did not go so well there either, as the filly was defeated again in a grade III race against fillies. Hmm...What was happening? After this latest setback, ratings began to sag even more. People were losing interest.

Even though all signs pointed to the filly running a huge race in her next attempt, the billionaire owner decided he better put his filly in the easiest spot available. He had to get a win for her, no matter what. So instead of racing her against males in the prestigious Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) or in a more challenging race against fillies and mares in New York, at the last possible moment the filly was placed in the Fleur de Lis (gr. II) against a less than stellar field that included two former claimers. The filly did indeed get her first win of the year in decisive fashion. The owner was satisfied by this result, even though, based on her final time and speed numbers, she likely would have won the Stephen Foster and given fans a much better show.

Though disappointed by her less than thrilling campaign thus far, producers were anticipating a huge ratings boost early this summer after the star filly arrived at Saratoga in late June. Surely a race in the grade I Ruffian Stakes at the nation's premier meet would go a long way toward satisfying fans. A win there, and who knows, maybe the owner would decide to race her against males again at the end of the summer. After all, a showdown against the star West Coast female was not going to happen. Everyone had grown tired of waiting for that.

But the plot took an even more bizarre twist just yesterday when the owner, who normally waits until the last possible day to announce his carefully crafted plans for the star filly, shocked mostly everyone by stating that she would next race in the ungraded Lady's Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 24. Once again, the purse was increased to suit his needs, the distance of the race was altered, and the date was pushed up a week--all to accommodate the star filly.

Racing fans and New York racing officials were obviously puzzled and disappointed by the latest news. A win in an ungraded stakes will surely do nothing for the star filly's legacy. Was it the extra purse money that attracted the billionaire to Monmouth? At this point, nobody is sure.

Ratings are sure to plummet again, which has also left producers scratching their heads. Nobody is quite sure where this once exciting and fresh show is now headed. We have been told several times that the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) will be the final episode, but at this point, everyone is skeptical.

I hope this little recap has helped catch everyone up on the latest happenings of "Let's Take the Reigning Horse of the Year on the Easiest and Most Bizarre Path Possible." Be sure to tune in next time. Once again, I'm sure you will be disappointed.

743 Comments

Leave a Comment:

anna

well she won at monmouth park last yr and it's not about the money as he already is a billionaire. are the fans at monmouth park less deserving to see her race at 4? the saratoga meet lasts till september so she has time to race there twice.

02 Jul 2010 12:54 PM
Deby

Rachel is in Saratoga now. It looks like she will train here and then ship down to Monmouth. I'm really surprised that she is not running in the Ruffian but I was also wondering if they would run her in the Whitney against the boys.  Everyone is going to wonder about the Breeders Cup now too...if she will ever face Zenyatta.

02 Jul 2010 12:59 PM
TJLuvsTizs

Jason,

I couldn't have said it better myself.  

The Mosses and the Jacksons are missing big opportunities to STAMP their superstars name in history this year.  I wish Z would go in the Hollywood GC, it would be a great challenge on her home track, (not Del Mar in the CH), Hollywood.  RA doesn't have much in her distaff division on the East coast right now, so any F/M race on the dirt would come up soft.  She would be perfectly suited for the Whitney, but again we are all disappointed.

I really hope they both go in the Breeders Cup Classic and give the FANS what they want.

02 Jul 2010 1:01 PM
Robert

I can tell you one thing.  Rachel Alesandra will NOT run in the Breeders Cup Classic.  She has not shown that she can get the distance and she is simply not the same filly she was last year.  If she gets beat in her next race, I would not hesitate to say she will be retired.....possibly one more race.  She is running ok, but she is also carrying alot more weight this year against her competition.  She won't get the break in the weights this year and her first 3 races this year show she is not as dominate when carrying the weight.  Zenyatta has only been cranked up to about 85% and still is winning.....and carrying the weight.  As we get farther into the racing season, Zenyatta will have the screws tightened and she will become more dominate.  Rachel is still a wonder filly, but as sometimes happens in racing, her competition has caught up with her.

02 Jul 2010 1:03 PM
Bask++

Quite bashing Jess Jackson and Rachel So she was not ready for her first race and dropped out competing against Zenyetta (Spelling?). She seems to be regaining her form and I do not fault Mr. Jackson for giving her "easy" races until he is sure she is ready. If she wins at Monmouth, then I'd expect her to move onto harder competition and perhaps even the males.

02 Jul 2010 1:04 PM
JerseyTom

Here we go again. ...

02 Jul 2010 1:05 PM
Betsy

I completely agree - a very bizarre year for RA. It's not just her (though she's the most famous): every time a great horse comes along it seems that his/her connections go for the easiest possible route. I don't understand this mentality. If you have the best in the East, you go to Saratoga. You don't get remembered for winning a ungraded stakes; you do by beating all comers at The Spa.

02 Jul 2010 1:07 PM
Meleah

She's not the same as she was last year...

02 Jul 2010 1:08 PM
Freddy

This is a slap in the face for all Rachel's fans like me. What are they trying to do? Jess Jackson said that this was the "beginning of a Championship Year" really??? with a non-graded race?...you have to be kidding me. Jess Jackson is a moron just trying to get easy races and earn some money. I am sorry for you Rachel you ended up in this guy's hands. What happened with running her in the Delaware H, Ruffian, Whitney, Woodward, etc...instead she goes to an allowance race masked as a "stakes". I am so mad!!!!!!!!!!

This Lady's Secret Stakes is just that a $400K allowance race.

02 Jul 2010 1:12 PM
Lucy

Ha!! I knew this was coming.  An ungraded race for Rachel??? Really??  This is ridiculous...Makes Zenyatta's campaing against Cali. fillies seem high class.  Sucks for us fans...it's nice seeing some real horse racing, not walkovers...boring.

02 Jul 2010 1:15 PM
Larissa

You are amazing....

THE END!

02 Jul 2010 1:22 PM
EarlySpeed

I think Rachel's four-year old season is a combination of over-estimates and under-estimates. Mostly the latter. The filly has a more mature body which she may not have had a chance to really get used to, and partly for that reason, may have had a harder time getting truly fit for the demands.

The owners, and possibly even the trainer over-estimated how well she is likely to do against lesser horses of her own gender even while she is not as fit as she could be and should be.

02 Jul 2010 1:31 PM
ALB

One thing that's for sure, is that Jess Jackson's been reviewing what Zenyatta's camp has been doing with her this year and decided to choose the same easy route! Incredible!

02 Jul 2010 1:38 PM
Afleet Alexandra

Ah, and yet, Zenyatta's year so far has been spectacular (notice the sarcasm there?) Sure, I'm not saying JJ has made good decisions regarding Rachel and her races, and I am of the firm opinion that she should have been in the Foster...but, then, so should Zenyatta. Instead, she goes for the Vanity...again. Whoopee.

Let's face it...both of their 2010 seasons have been boring and disappointing so far.

And now, let's hear from everyone else, some of whom will probably call me an idiot for daring to insinuate that Zenyatta's season is not what it ought to be...

02 Jul 2010 1:39 PM
Easy Goer 89

I am a huge Rachel fan but have to say, this decision makes no sense to me. Why would you fly her to Saratoga and then race her at Monmouth in an ungraded race? I undestand the concept of spacing our her races adequately, but this makes it look like they are still not sure she is ready for the stiffer Saratoga competition. Hopefully, we will still see her race at the Spa later in the meet.

02 Jul 2010 1:39 PM
Jim T.

The B.C. Classic at Churchill Downs was supposed to be the goal for Rachel. Now her immediate goal is an ungraded stakes race at Monmouth. The irony is RA's connections refused to run in the Classic last year because of the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. This year, with the Classic on dirt at CD -- arguably Rachel's favorite track -- we still might not see the two meet. The public outcry isn't there anymore and people want to see Zenyatta and Quality Road in the Classic. Rachel's people don't want anything to do with Zenyatta -- especially at 10 furlongs. If they're running Rachel in an ungraded race in late July at Mon mouth, that doesn't bode well for her to line up against Zenyatta and Quality Road in the B.C. Classic.

02 Jul 2010 1:45 PM
paul r

Rachel has posted beyers of 100,103,and 108 which parallel her first 3 races of 2009  She gets better with each start and they junked the noseband after her 2nd loss Her connections are finally letting her run her show Before the year is out she will have all the doubters jumping back on her bandwagon.

02 Jul 2010 2:06 PM
Beth

Rachel has definetaly taken a step back after last year.

She has done very well in her career and has made racing history.

But we all know who the best mare is out there and her name is Zenyatta.

I am sure Rachel Alexandra's owner will not only duck Zenyatta and the Breeders Cup  but I have  a feeling it will be announced that she will be retired after the Saratoga meet is over or when she loses her next race.

Hey, she has earned that right! She has had no home but the track since she was a two year old.  She deserves to be retired to green pastures and just be a "Mama".

02 Jul 2010 2:08 PM
Jason Shandler

Paul: You point out the Beyers she has run and this only solidifies my point that she is very close to being, if not the same, filly that she was a year ago. Look at her time in the Fleur de Lis. Faster than anything she ran last year while carrying more weight. She should be facing tougher. Period.

02 Jul 2010 2:10 PM
LIL JZ

They're saving her for the Breeders Cup. They don't want her all tired out from running hard races by the end of the Saratoga meet like she was last year. Her and Zenyatta will both be ready to take on the best at the BC and people will have to wait til then. None of these other races really matter anyways. The BC is the championship.

02 Jul 2010 2:22 PM
davec

I agree.  Kind of a soft spot.  She is close and definitely ready for Grade 1 fillies?  No?  Who would they be ducking?    

02 Jul 2010 2:25 PM
Jason Shandler

Gimme a break Lil JZ: Saving her for the BC? Stop. The entire year doesnt revolve around the BC. Champions race in top quality races all season, not just in the last race of the year. Look at the campaigns of past HOY and compare them to RA. It's a joke.

02 Jul 2010 2:25 PM
2:24

Well said Jason.

For those bloggers who have already posted that Jason is bashing Rachel Alexandra, read the article carefully.  He does nothing of the sort.  If there is any bashing, it is of Jess Jackson.  Jason has done nothing but praise Rachel's times and fitness levels and what a great horse she is.

To the blogger who asked if Monmouth fans were any less deserving than others to see Rachel Alexandra, the answer is no.  But race her in a more important race that means something and challenges her.  This picking the easiest spot, altering the race date, and altering the distance is for the birds.  What is next, is Jess Jackson going to get the final say on who will enter the race against her?  Jess Jackson is an egomaniac billionaire who cares nothing for the fans of the sport.

I keep going back to the question, why?  Why run this filly for the ages and risk her in stupid races like this?  I don't understand.  For all of the flack that Zenyatta's handlers get, and I question them as well, at least she is running in Grade I races.

02 Jul 2010 2:31 PM
Brasco26

Afleet Alexandra - you are (wrong) if you're trying to say Zenyatta's year is comparable to rachel's.  Zenyatta has won all 3 of her starts in G1 races on 3 different surfaces.  Rachel's campaign includes only 2 G2's and 2 ungraded races (one was written for her and the other was basically written for her).  You can be disappointed that Zenyatta hasn't faced the boys again but Zenyatta's campaign has been much more ambitious than rachel's.  Comparing them is ridiculous since rachel's connections could have put her in the G1 Phipps last start and the G1 Ruffian for her next start.

02 Jul 2010 2:35 PM
ken

Rachel will never be the same horse she was.  She is not even close and likely never will be again. She is an animal, not a machine.  It is too late in the season to think she will ever regain her greatness.

02 Jul 2010 2:39 PM
DinkyDiva

Yah know Jason: When I found out about her going into the Lady's Secret instead of the Ruffian, I was totally baffled!!!  All I could say was: WOW, what the heck? What are they thinking?  Among some other choice words.  I love Rach and I want her to stay safe,sound and happy (I don't think she is) but, her owner and trainer are making the silliest of decisions for her career.  I just do not get IT!!!!  If there is something wrong with her either mentally or physically, then, keep her off of the track.  Retire her before something really BAD happens!  

Do you know if there is something wrong with her?  Sooo, sad.

I'm a die hard Zen fan and I feel so sad for Rach fans.  I know that Saratoga must be fuming right a long with the fans.  This is not good for the industry at all!!!  Last year, she earned that HOTY but, that has been tarnished this season with the way they brought her back and these grade 2 and grade 3 and now, ungraded stakes?  What gives?!  Yah, she ran a good race last out but, her connections are yet to be satisfied.  So much for the 3 meetings with the Queen.  Oh well..  Life goes on but, this is sooo puzzling and dissapointing to say the least.

02 Jul 2010 2:43 PM
Zookeeper

I have no problem with Rachel Alexandra's proposed next race. Unlike her "greatest fans", I'm not in the least bit disappointed. I'm just grateful that she is still running after what her connections put her through last year, especially in the Woodward.

I don't like Mr. Jackson's manipulation of purse money and race date, but it comes as no surprise to me. I don't care for the man and his scheming but this fact will not keep me from enjoying Rachel and wishing her the best. Mr. Jackson irritates me but Rachel Alexandra is a beautiful, talented filly and I intend to enjoy her no matter what her bizarre owner does or doesn't do.

02 Jul 2010 2:43 PM
DinkyDiva

Another thing, JJ was joking when he said: "Championship season,"  right??   He had to be joking

This is just a JOKE, right??  Someone pinch me and wake me up from this bizarre dream will ya!!

02 Jul 2010 2:50 PM
ANGEL

jess jackson can run his horse wherever he wants and $400,000 is a lot of money, more then the race at saratoga

02 Jul 2010 2:50 PM
jayjay

It's funny that ALB and Afleet Alexandra thinks that RA's campaign this year is the same as Zenyatta's.  I'm sorry for you two fans of RA that you don't get much excitement from RA's races this year.  Zenyatta's races this year are nothing but G1s, and everytime she runs, there's the thrill of whether it's the first loss, then come around the top of the stretch, you know she'll get it done.  Of course, you rabid RA fans needs to come up with the same crap to bash Zen because well, there's really nothing to bash her with anymore that hasn't been overused.  JJ keeps coming up with new things to question RA's health, her ability to win.  To this date, we still haven't seen any signs that she's back to who she was last year, and please, please don't use the FDL to say "she's back".  She's back when she has beaten a legit G1 field, doesn't have to be boys, just a legit G1.

Jason : That's a nice pilot.  I'm hoping that maybe you have an insider at the set that can tell us what the future episodes will be like.  If there's some cool twist to this saga towards the end.  The biggest twist I'm hoping for will be if she completes this next highly overpaid workout race then goes to Personal Ensign where she meets Zenyatta.  A highly classified secret surprise for the fans.  I'm hoping that this episode is just the teaser to something huge coming up, RA having the raced moved to accomodate the PE, where we will finally see the two meet.  I get that feeling, it might just be possible that it could happen.

02 Jul 2010 2:57 PM
badtrip

the layoff had to be from injury anybody know the truth? why wouldnt they say   no horse takes five months off for nothing  not like shes a stallion where her stock would go down to a syndicate  somthings not right  maybe if they admit injury we could understand better their thinking but lets face it jackson is a little odd

02 Jul 2010 3:02 PM
CV

"Ah, and yet, Zenyatta's year so far has been spectacular (notice the sarcasm there?) Sure, I'm not saying JJ has made good decisions regarding Rachel and her races, and I am of the firm opinion that she should have been in the Foster...but, then, so should Zenyatta. Instead, she goes for the Vanity...again. Whoopee.

Let's face it...both of their 2010 seasons have been boring and disappointing so far."

Afleet Alexandra 02 Jul 2010 1:39 PM

Afleet Alexandra, aka AfleetAlex, aka Afleetalexfan, aka Truth Be Told...

Funny that you had to drag Zenyatta into this, when it wasn't about her. But since you mentioned the Vanity, St Trinians was a stronger competitor than anyone Rachel has faced this year, and certainly equal to some she faced last year.

In regard to Jason's column, I actually didn't mind Rachel running in the Fleur de Lis because I figured that would move her along toward the conditioning she needed to get back into top form.

This race at Monmouth, however, leaves me confused. It can't be about money, because Jess Jackson certainly doesn't need that. Is there some monetary record he wants her to break? Is he sending a message to tracks that he expects them to raise their purses for Rachel to run there? I can't figure it out.

I would assume top fillies/mares such as Life At Ten, will be running in the Ruffian, not the ungraded Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth, so I can't imagine Rachel will face tough competition for the Monmouth debut.

02 Jul 2010 3:05 PM
Mokey

I just wonder if she could use a better trainer. Curlin did that spiral down by the end of his four year old year, but he was in better shape then Rachel. I don't get it. Last year people where saying she'd run thorough brick walls, I don't see that this year. Maybe it's the trainers? They can't stand up to the owners and can't do thier jobs?

02 Jul 2010 3:08 PM
Lola

I knew Rachael lost the Fleur de Lis but only thought she had lost once previously. Not twice and in a Grade III? Horrifying. I think this is a racing campaign based on fear. Her owner/trainer are afraid she'll lose against stiffer competition. To forfeit the title of Horse of the Year and then sink into obscurity would be unthinkable. Ironically, they're doing a darned good job of ruining Rachel's reputation as it is. This isn't what thoroughbred horse racing is all about, or if it is; it shouldn't be. Courage makes for great champions. With that, comes inherent risks. So man up, Powers That Be. Let's see what your horse of truly made of.

02 Jul 2010 3:13 PM
draynay

robert would you like to put your $ where your mouth is? last time I checked any mare can enter july 24th where is zenyatta? many complained he would not say where rachel is running in advance now he does and still people complain.  anyone can show and rachel has no horse to fear but quality road. relax and enjoy the race the fans at monmouth surely will. go rachel !

02 Jul 2010 3:18 PM
Betsy

Afleet Alexandra: While I do wish Zenyatta had come east, she has won 3 gr. 1s. And from what I've read, it seems she doesn't ship well. But this is about RA - it's just so weird that JJ has to have a race written for her. It bothers me when the best horses bypass the best races. As others have said, it's about the season, not the BC. The industry's going nowhere if all the effort goes into the BC. The trend - and not just for RA - is to race only a few times before the BC to "save" the horse for the big race. What a bore for racing fans and an insult to the horse's ability.

02 Jul 2010 3:24 PM
racefan

I don't pretend to know why this decision was made for Rachel, but it could be construed that they are fearful of competition (and/or Zenyatta/QR).  It seems to me, in that case, you might choose exactly this kind of race. You'd have to know the big horses aren't showing up for this one.  They can call her unfit, but maybe it's just fear.

02 Jul 2010 3:25 PM
TBOwner

Maybe the question is, was Rachel Alexandra that great or was her competition just that inferior? Were her superior performances last year due to superior training by Hal Wiggins, which has now worn off? Is her current situation due to the mismanagement by her owner and trainer and is it based in greed?

Yes they're both in the picture here because Steve is going along with whatever just to keep his job. No doubt lucrative but this is the guy who said he wouldn't let the game take over his life like it had some other trainers, most notably a HOF trainer.

Maybe the horses that have matured into something special this year, like Quality Road, Blame or the younger horses like Lookin At Lucky, and the fillies who beat her etc are just much tougher than what she ran against last year?

Believe me Macho Again is no Quality Road.

For all the talk about Zenyatta? At least she's still running in Graded stakes. If no one chooses to meet her, so be it.

Do we really think the Apple Blossom wouldn't be repeated if she comes back here to the East? I think they would still run away and hide from her, no one will do that with Rachel, regardless of her Beyers.

What gets me are those who were hyping her at every opportunity and bashing Zenyatta and have now deserted poor Rachel. She just isn't that good now, Steve says that she doesn't have that burst of speed due to her physical stature.

But the fair weather fans who hit the Zenyatta fans over the head with her at every opportunity should just be ashamed of themselves now. You know who you are too.

02 Jul 2010 3:27 PM
TBOwner

Draynay why would they ship a 6 year old mare across country to run against allowance horses? For the money? Jerry Moss has more money than he can ever spend and isn't greedy. Why would a mare that's won so many G1's run in an ungraded race? Despite what YOU think about the races Zenyatta has run in, the stakes committee is who makes the decisions on which races stay graded and if it's good enough for them to maintain there status then who in the hell are you to question the quality of her company?

Are you a big time owner that I'm not familiar with?

Yes anyone can show and I'm going to bet if any of us do show with a filly that scares Jess? He'll back out and then the purse will drop back down.

02 Jul 2010 3:35 PM
Fred

And Zenyatta's being scared of the Rocky Mountains is? Please. Both have been monumental disappointments. A big tease.

02 Jul 2010 3:41 PM
olivia

draynay, i usually seem to agree with you!

rachel may be taking an easy path, but what about zenyatta? her whole racing career has been easy, all she did was race against the same california horses. no doubt she is increddible! but the only time she faced the boys was when it was convienient for her at her home track of santa anita! her connections were more then careful, rachel set out looking for the highest competition! and she may not be what she was last year, YET, she soon will, im sure of it=] she just needs some time to get back to her old self

02 Jul 2010 3:43 PM
Really?

One, Life at Ten is running in the Delaware Handicap on 7/17 so she is not party to this comedy of errors.

Two, well money makes the mare go. Rachel's just a sideshow here. Monmouth is really sticking it to Saratoga by taking "their" star distaffer, and giving in to all of JJ's demands so that the mare runs at MM and not  on Saratoga opening day. (One, that the race be 9f not 8.5f(it seems she's jinxed at that distance this year). Two, that the race be run on 7/24. Three, that the purse be 150k higher than the Ruffian. I don't like the precedent this sets. Does anyone else?

The OMG RA's running in an "ungraded" race is a distraction. As if a mare with more blacktype against males than females needs anymore.

02 Jul 2010 3:43 PM
Joern

Jason,

Think about the trainers that had mapped out a plan for the "Ladies Secret" and their horse. If a trainer's plan was to race their horse in the Ladies Secret, how irate would you be (as a trainer) that Monmouth Park management moved the date of the race up a week? It throws everything off for those trainers.

Monmouth Park management doesn't care about that, do they?

02 Jul 2010 3:43 PM
snow

Jason,

If it was any other horse, owner or trainer P.J. Campo would take her stall away.  NYRA has got to be extremely disappointed.

02 Jul 2010 3:49 PM
sodapopkid

If Moss shipped Zen to the LS, JJ would pull RA out in a NY minute............I promise you that.

02 Jul 2010 3:56 PM
Ripvanwinkle

Jess Jackson knows that a person will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the populace, especially Eastern based racing fans and journalists.

Now that we know what Jess Jacksons intentions are with his one year wonder, maybe P.T Barnum can line up a who's the fastest race. You know, a race car, a washed up olympic sprinter, maybe a racehorse??

For the right amount of money, about $400K ought to do it, the racehorse could be RA.

Geez, RA will already be on the Jersey Shore, how about Atlantic City as a venue.

02 Jul 2010 3:58 PM
Pam S.

In a departure from his usual style, JJ has announced this race for Rachel well in advance.  He had no worries that Zenyatta would show and break her G1 streak (among other possible reasons she wouldn't show).  That was refreshing.

No reason not to race at Mth, it's a nice track and Rachel likes it, and her appearance helps assure that the "Million Dollar Meet" will be a success.  But after three races this year, none of them terrible and the last one pretty good, obviously we all expected more, and as a whole, her 2010 campaign IS bizarre.  It's getting late in the year and fans would like to know what championship JJ aspires to and what BC race Rachel might run in.  The choice of the Lady's Secret makes it seem like the answers might be "none" and "none."

But I agree with Zookeeper, I adore Rachel and I'll be watching her on July 24.  Maybe the LS will be a prep for the Personal Ensign so they can see how she does at 10F.  That way she hits both of the East Coast elite summer meets.  

Overall, I think the connections are following the lead of Team Zenyatta and not toasting their horse like they did last year, 'cause I believe, right or wrong, they do want to get to the BC.  At least at this point.

02 Jul 2010 4:11 PM
Brasco26

@ Really? - The ungraded part of the race is huge because Jackson knows no good fillies will show up for the race.  Other fillies still want to get more G1 wins or placings and the Ladies Secret will be a forgotten race and maybe never run again after a year or two.  The G1 stature of a race ensures that at least one or two good fillies will be there for the blacktype on their babies sales pages.  The race will be exceptionally weak.

02 Jul 2010 4:12 PM
LAZMANNICK

I’m a huge Zenyatta fan, at times fanatical.  Because of this I often never gave Rachel the respect that was due her.  However, what I am seeing now is disturbing.  To take our reigning HOY and play the little charade games that Jackson is playing is beyond me and is very detrimental not only to Rachel and her accomplishments, but to the HOY title as well.

Without rehashing what I and many others have stated over and over again, why don’t they do something positive for a change?

• Pay the price that goes with the HOY title and face the best opposition available in G-1 races (even within her sex group), or

• Retire her.

Failure to do something positive denigrates a lot of things......Rachel, the HOY title and N/A racing in general when comparing it to the rest of the racing world.   For JJ, retiring one of his stars isn’t a bad thing.  There are lots of other stars out there that he can swoop in a buy and then take claim to the fame and glory they give him.

DO THE RIGHT THING JJ.

02 Jul 2010 4:17 PM
jayjay

Draynay, you can stop acting like this is all about Zenyatta, your comments about having Zenyatta fly over to face RA in the "east coast" Lady's Secret is pure stupidity.  Zenyatta is a G1 horse, she has continued to be a G1 horse 2 years older than Rachel.  Just admit that this race is BS, get it over with and let's see where she runs next.

It's really amazing that there are still the rabid fans trying to make this a case about Zenyatta lol.  Team Zenyatta has followed through with everything in their plans this year, they ran in the races they said they were going to run in and WON all of them.  For you rabid RA fans, you should be sending hate mails to JJ for what he's doing to your favorite horse, he's ruining her reputation.  To me, her reputation goes as far as what she's done last year, it was impressive but I've said all along, after the 1st race, she's not the same horse as last year and it will take a Higgins to probably get her back if at all possible.  

Be a true racing fan, admit when things are not going your way and when the connection of the horse your touting are doing stupid things, you should call it out, not try and mock other great horses just because you can't say anything good about yours.  You keep saying that Zenyatta's races are "easy", yet if you look, I've seen 3 races of RA this year that was written for her.  Think about it.

There are other folks who loves to see Rachel win, I'm one of them because in the end, I want her to face Zenyatta, I still hope for that this year.

Joern : I totally agree.

02 Jul 2010 4:31 PM
DinkyDiva

Let me play this out:

Jackson: agrees to go into the Lady's Secret if it fits his schedule and monetary means. Everyone has to bend over just to get Rach at their track. He agrees.

Jackson: stirs up the racing industry, pisses of the fans etc.... He sits back and giggles.. Thinking to himself: you fools have no idea what I am up too.

Jackson: Yah, she's training well, bullet works etc.... Ohhhh hoooo hummmm. You fools still have no IDEA on what I am doing.

Jackson: Puts a gag in Asmussens mouth so that he cant say crap about how well Rach is. Still, laughing. Ha Ha, I'm telling you she's 80% but, really, that's all we can get from her but, I think she's 100%... More giggles....

Jackson: The week other horses shipped to monmouth, where is Rach? Shouldn't she be shipping by now? Ha ha, got all of the competition out of Saratoga... Ha ha

Jackson: Enters the Ruffian and scratches the Lady's Secret. Heck, no competition in the Grade 1, why not, they're all over there. There is noway Zen will show.. What do I have to worry about.

Jackson: There goes my girl ( $$$$$ ), damn, she lost again. My ploy didn't work... What is wrong with me??? I think I've had too much of my own wine... whine whine whine.. What happened to my plan?? Damn, now everyone is pissed at me, perhaps I should dig a hole a very very very big hole so that Rach can put her head in there with me...

So, is that about the cenario the soap opera we are thinking?

02 Jul 2010 4:34 PM
Freddy

So I was saying that I find disspointing and bad for ur inductry that Zenyatta is not showing up in the big races like the Hollywood GC..Are thet afraid of running her against Rail Trip...the gelded...really? give me a break. But JJ's decision of running her is that $400K allowance is beyond pale. He can run her filly wherever he wants but when that filly is our HOY and Idol then she belongs to the public as well and should see her showing up for the big events. No wonder why Horse Racing is grabbinbg less and less followers each year. This decision is the Horse Racing equivalent to Lance Armstrong running in the Miami Biking Show instead of the Tour de France. Dray, paul, and others I can't believe you are defending JJ.

02 Jul 2010 4:41 PM
sidekickflats

Does bashing Zenyatta help some of you Rachel fans sleep better at night?  Is Rachel's year easier to take if you try to diminish the 2 time Eclipse award winning older mare?  If Rachel wants another championship, she's going to have to beat Zenyatta.  Right now, Zen is the only mare(non turf) with 3 gr 1 wins, period.  And 1 was on the dirt that Rachel's connections were to afraid to run on.  

Yes, I hope Zen goes east and runs in the Jockey Club Gold Cup or the Personal Ensign.  Mainly because if she is going to get beat or worse, it will be at Del Mar.  Hopefully, she run in the Personal Ensign since she broke her record and when Rachel doesn't show yet again, we'll know who gets the Eclipse.

02 Jul 2010 4:44 PM
Stephanie

If i am not mistaken RA was hurt in that race against older males. she was afraid to push her self because she gave everything in that race and does not want to hurt like that again. She is also bigger more mature and did not come back the same horse. Its good there putting her in easy spots. One it gets her confidence back and two it gives her experience that it doesn't hurt. not saying she will be the same as last year against weak fields of older horses and she did dominate an OK class of boys. She showed guts to beat some iffy older males. for a three year old filly that is tough but i doubt she can be the same horse.

02 Jul 2010 4:47 PM
Jason Shandler

Yes Stephanie, you are mistaken.

02 Jul 2010 4:49 PM
Martin

The way this year is shaking out, if you are any one of the top horses--RA, Zenyatta, Quality Road, Blame, even the winners of the three Triple Crown races--the winner of the Breeders Cup Classic is your Horse of the Year. Therefore, everyone is going to shoot for all of the soft spots.

02 Jul 2010 4:53 PM
LAZMANNICK

It's funny how so many who have always given Zen's connections the busniess for racing in G-1 filly/mare only races, now suddenly change their tune when Rachel races in ungraded, allowance type filly/mare races, or less than stellar G-2 races against claimer/allowance type competition.....That's right Draynay, Rachel is boldly waiting for all comers.  And when none of them show up because they don't want to race in such a low quality race, you can tell yourself that they are afraid of her.

02 Jul 2010 4:53 PM
Sam Not Spam

Like I said on the other blog: Any G1 race on poly > ungraded race.  Talk about taking the soft option...

02 Jul 2010 5:13 PM
Susan

Jason,

Why do you think Rachel had STALL REST at the track from September to January? She was not turned out to be freshened.She did not go to a farm. That would be the norm for a horse that has had a tough campaign. But she stayed at the track and pretty much did nothing that anyone ever reported.  We really don't know what kind of shape she was in, except we know she was gutted in her last race. So she was at least, exhausted, dehydrated and WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE. But the idea that she may have had an injury , is NOT out of the realm of possibility. I believe her first work was sometime around end of January. And the excuse about the weather and the track being bad, for 4 months??? , you didn't really believe that did you Jason? That's why they have track superintendents, to keep the tracks safe and trainable throughout bad weather. Maybe there's a day or two here and there, but what were the other thousand horses doing during that time?

02 Jul 2010 5:24 PM
Sherri

It's pretty obvious that Jess Jackson and Steve Asmussen have not been particularly good for Rachel this last year. I wish she were back with her old trainer. They don't want to challenge her - just easy wins. It's a shame - she was too good to end up with them. SUch a great horse to waste.

02 Jul 2010 5:32 PM
LDP

jayjay,

The lable says Grade one, but in reality, any person who actually looks at the fields knows they are far from grade one. UB and Zaradan both could've beaten the horses in the SM and AB. UB is proving to be a very nice filly, while on dirt, and Zardana is decent on synthetics and does quite well over dirt. Heck Zardana wasn't that far behind St.T, and UB is better than Zardana. Overall the horse that has faced better this year is RA.

02 Jul 2010 5:35 PM
RaptureReadyRagsy

I dont blame the owner at all, more money "the better" all you seem to want is bad mouth a horse that doesnt make decisions.

Oh, by the way, if Mr.Jackson had not bought her we would never have seen what she could do..

Thank You Mr.Jackson!!

02 Jul 2010 5:39 PM
2:24

Lazmannick: well said on your last two posts.

Dray, if Zenyatta's connections even hinted about coming cross country, JJ would either pull Rachel out of the race and/or demand that Monmouth change the race to 7 furlongs.

02 Jul 2010 5:50 PM
LDP

This move, at face value though is baffling to me. I do not think it was the money, if that were it, then why not come to DE, run in a Grade 2 that will have the comp. of a grade 1, for 750k? Monmouth was smart to move the race to suit JJ's "five week" plan. The turn out for her Haskell last year was what, over 36,000? They've been having a great year this year, fields have been drawing well, and people have been coming out. Why not try and get the filly who had one of her biggest wins at your track there again?

Also, when I think about this, the race will not look that much different from the Ruffian except that the Ruffian will have the G1 listing. Otherwise I think they will draw similar fields, since 2 of the top 3 finishers of the Phipps are headed to DE. Where UB will go, I have no clue.

In all actuality I am disappointed to say the least, I was hoping she would actually come to DE, and if not race in the Ruffian. I hope this race will be used as a prep for the PE and then she will race in either the Beldame or Gold Cup. I think that she will get 10 furlongs easily, yes I know I'm crazy. After that I hope it's all systems go for the Classic, but we all know JJ can be very confusing.

02 Jul 2010 5:53 PM
jimthepimp

I just dont get why they would do this! This is the HOY and she deserves the right to defend that title. If we didnt know better we would all think that 2010 was a contest to see who could be the biggest chicken. Between the campaign of Rachel and Zenyatta this year is a big failure. JJ should be ashamed of himself for turning from champ to chump in one year.

With what has happened this year Im going to root for Quality Road for HOY. He is the only one that will deserve the honor. Zenyatta nor Rachel will run in the classic this year. The chances of either one showing up is almost zero. Zenyatta only took the chance last year because it was on a surface that most of her competition wouldnt like. She will never run on a dirt track against males on there surface. Rachel will be lucky to make the filly race and wouldnt win the classic if she ran. Zenyatta will run against the girls in the BC if the Mosses can figure out how to get over the rocky mountains. I wonder if a horse really knows that the mountains are there? Maybe they could show a movie on the plane of the desert and fool her.  

02 Jul 2010 6:03 PM
ThePixiePoet

JJ wants to win the Breeders Cup with Rachel and he is taking what he considers the best route possible. He is looking at using these races as conditionaing tools and not as tools to win HOY. Thus, he wants races that coincide with when Rachel will be ready, and not when the big major Grade 1 races will be ready. Although I do suspect there are going to be at least one Grade1 race before the Breeders Cup.

02 Jul 2010 6:07 PM
Runfast159

Now that I read all this, I think I've figured out why they don't tell anyone where Rachel is going until she's almost there:  3 weeks of complaining versus a few days of it!

02 Jul 2010 6:12 PM
Draynay

You guys crack me up.  Who cares about the G1 label this is the HOY. All G1 winning horses are free to come get her.  SHE IS THE HOY.  Come and get some!  A race is only as good as the horses who show.  Quality Road wins G1 races and everyone complains about the competition.  How do you win ?  Let me let you all in a little secret.  Mr. Jackson only cares about 1 thing and 1 thing only this year and that is beating Zenyatta in the Classic.  Mr. Jackson has no interest in racing males or pushing the horse any further then he has to and you can thank Mr. Moss for that.  Rachel is already HOY and Jackson knows he probably can't beat Quality Road and he doesn't care.  All he wants to do is whip Zenyatta and that is all that matters.  And I 100% guarantee you Zenyatta is no match for Rachel and will get whipped if Moss is man enough to have his poly horse show up at Churchill in November.  I doubt he has the guts to show and have Rachel and QR whip Zenyatta.

02 Jul 2010 6:50 PM
kathleen o

The worst thing that ever happened to RA was getting sold JJ.

02 Jul 2010 6:59 PM
jayjay

LDP : You are so full of it, it's oozing out of your comments.  You try and tell me that Rachel's races this year have had tougher horses than Zenyatta's when Zenyatta beat one of the horses that beat Rachel.  Stop with your nonsense.  Take things as they are, RA's races were written for her, they're soft fields, she needed those races.  Stop trying to turn things around and complain about Zenyatta when she has run on nothing but G1, it's her abilities that scares the opponents away, it's not that there's not a lot of good horses that wants to run against her, it's because they DON'T WANT TO.  One of the top older female horses tried it and she failed, I doubt RA can go against St. Trinians.  Wake up and be a true horseracing fan, stop trying to bash Zenyatta because the horse your touting is getting ruined by her owner.  Cry about something else, you should be sending hate mail to JJ, instead of trying to hate on Zenyatta.  You're ridiculous

I think after what Runfast hinted on, and I expanded on.  The case maybe that they are pointing to the Personal Ensign and they needed some help from Monmouth to fit their schedule.  I guess JJ and his money can move things around to fit their schedule.  We can start complaining again at the end of August if JJ decides to run in another ungraded stakes instead of the PE.  This is the most sensible reasoning for what JJ is doing so hopefully that is what will happen.  I want RA to show up in the Classic against Zenyatta and Blame and QR.  This year's BC races will determine a lot of the championships.

02 Jul 2010 7:04 PM
Draynay

Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, racing manager for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and wife of trainer John Shirreffs, said Thursday afternoon that Monmouth contacted Team Zenyatta about running in either the Lady’s Secret Stakes or the Molly Pitcher.

“They had reached out to us, but we graciously declined,” Ingordo-Shirreffs said. “They were nice about it, and they did call, but at this point in time it didn’t fit into what we want to do at this point in time.

“We’re still making a decision [as to Zenyatta’s next start]. We’re waiting to see how the surface is at Del Mar. That’s one of the considerations, to see what the surface is like.”

Kulina would not say what the purse would have been for a race that featured both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, though he intimated that it would have been substantially more than the $400,000 currently on offer for the Lady’s Secret if Rachel Alexandra starts.

“If both horses had committed, we’d have made it worthy of both horses,” Kulina said. “We knew it was a longshot, and we took it.”

Seems like they just want to keep hiding in California.  Lol.  How are they going to find a race Zenyatta can win ?

02 Jul 2010 7:18 PM
sodapopkid

I think Jess Jackson has accepted the fact that RA will not get a repeat HOTY, So , he isnt going to put her in races with stiff competition, therefore, ducking QR and Zenyatta.  He knows that another loss to her is detramental and hazardous to her case. So why bother........I do not believe we will see RA in any classic , and I disgree with all involved saying that it maps out a plan and it isnt any grade one races to race her in.  No,but can't they find some grade 2 races instead? sure are better than ungraded.  I think he feels as though making a little money on her this year is better than making none....Who knows with Jess Jackson anyways......

02 Jul 2010 7:28 PM
jayjay

LOL Draynay, are you related to LDP ?

02 Jul 2010 7:33 PM
CV

"This move, at face value though is baffling to me. I do not think it was the money, if that were it, then why not come to DE, run in a Grade 2 that will have the comp. of a grade 1, for 750k?"

LDP,

My take on that question is the race you mentioned was 1-1/4 miles, and they may not think Rachel is conditioned enough to tackle that.

"How are they going to find a race Zenyatta can win ?"

Draynay  02 Jul 2010 7:18 PM

BTW Dray, how nice to see you back here since you were, how should I put it, cast out of another one of your favorite sites. ;)

02 Jul 2010 7:41 PM
LDP

jayjay,

Take UB and Zardana and match them against the second and third place finishers in any of Zen's races and they are the favorites. The are better. The only horse Zen has faced this year is St.T, who is a nice filly who caught LIS and Zen on off days. Is she a good horse, without a doubt, but not an UB IMO.

02 Jul 2010 7:48 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

Your statements and justification on Rachel's behalf are moronic and insane.  Why would they travel all the way across the country to race in the G-2 Molly Pitcher or a glorified allowance race, especially when they know that if they accepted JJ might suddenly decide to change his plans?  I know that JJ would think that a G-2 race is where it's at right now, but come on.  The upper echelon in horse racing is confining itself to G-1's from here on in.

02 Jul 2010 7:53 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

Dream on.  In fact maybe you can contact Draynay and you can both dream on.  In fact the more I think about it you both can start the Dream On fan club.  Then your only problem will be which one of you can be pres and whicch one can be vice pres.

02 Jul 2010 7:57 PM
Sonny

Lets face it, the trainer of Zenyatta sent Zenyatta's understudy back to beat RA. She is a nice Horse but Zenyatta can run circles around her and still beat her.

Last I saw Zenyatta has never been beaten. And no owner would have risked what he did running Zenyatta last year in the BCC.

With RA ducking her last year in the BCC the owner of Zenyatta decided to bring her back for another year which is also unheard of so that she could show all that RA is just not in Zenyatta's class. And what happens the master at the ducking game and owner of RA wants no part of the beast known as Zenyatta.

RA will be known as a great 3 year old filly that had a great year. Zenyatta will go down in history as one of if not the greatest female of all time.

And to the East Coast Bias that voted in what has become a glorified Allowance Horse this year as HOY?, history will judge them as the Fools they were by not giving the GREAT Zenyatta her due.

02 Jul 2010 7:58 PM
footy231

all this talk about been against the males is stupid here in europe its done ALL the time rachel is a decent horse zenyatta better for the bcc win rachel didnt beat horses of that quality, but they still have nothing on goldicova FACT a real champion

02 Jul 2010 8:01 PM
Sonny

@draynay, they knew it would be a long shot because they were aware that the conections of Zenyatta would never run her in a glorified Allowance Race.

The owner of RA wants no part of Zenyatta. They saw Zenyatta's understudy which Zenyatta can run circles around while still beating her thump RA, no the owner of RA has been taking dancing lessons with much work being done on learning the art of the duck.

02 Jul 2010 8:04 PM
skyfire

Jason, you are so accurate.  I love your no nonsense observations!!

The older mares could have been the racing stars ala Goldikova.  The Mosses are choosing to avoid a record making campaign (Hollywood Gold Cup, East Coast) to play it safe, and Jackson is also planning a (relative to last year) Ho Hum course.

Let's look forward to something exciting and more spontaneous:   the Travers, Quality Road, and 2 year olds coming to the races in the summer!!

02 Jul 2010 8:17 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

I question if you could even recognize a G-1 horse.  You think that Rachel is a bona-fide G-1 horse, but when you look at the fields and the individual horses she has defeated, only Summer Bird really stands out and we all know that they were shaking in their boots at the possibility of facing him in the Travers or the JCGC, races that the true HOY should have competed in when you consider the weak Woodward field.  And looking for a way to avoid the BC was ready made.....it’s called I don’t want to race on synthetics, waaa, waaa, waaa.

You say that UB and Zardana are G-2 horses, then what you really mean is that your favourite horse can’t compete with proper G-2 company.  You think that the FDL was a tough field (at least the way I read your post you do)  because you’re saying that over-all RA has faced tougher horses than Zen this year.  Why am I surprised at such a statement?  Most of the horses that Zen has raced against would defeat most of the horses that Rachel has raced against, make book on that.  The truth about St. Trinians is that she would totally demolish Rachel, and that would be on a bad day.  St. Trinians might not have a G-1 win on her resume yet, but she will have and I’ll bet that by the end of the year her record will dwarf Rachel’s simply because she is the better horse.  Period.

Hopefully Rachel runs in her little allowance race and hopefully no true G-1 horses show up because we all know that if even one does it will increase the possibility of Rachel scratching by about 80%.

02 Jul 2010 8:20 PM
sodapopkid

LDP,  Thinking logically for a minute and not seeing thru those Rachel colored glasses, Do you actually think that field in the FDL was anything compared to what the Vanity was?   I will bet you if Mitchill sends St.Trinnas out to the LS at Monmouth, JJ would withdraw RA. He saw her and Zen in the Vanity and I bet he wants no part of either two.  The FDL field was comprised of very weak fillies, difinlty claimers.  Furthermore, JJ sure dont want to see his horse in ungraded stakes when he would rather see her in grade 1's.

02 Jul 2010 8:39 PM
jayjay

LDP: Seriously, what's the point of you even bringing this up ?  Because you can't say anything good about Rachel so you decide to bash Zenyatta instead ?  Do you believe that people will forget that RA is running in an UNGRADED race in the middle of the year this close to the BC and her owner saying they're setting up for a championship run if you just keep bashing Zenyatta.  Is that your goal ??

Are you serious ?  If you're the future of horseracing whether it be as an owner or a writer, then this industry is doomed.  You have no sense of appreciation for what the horses do, you call JJ "confusing", you refuse to look at the real picture because you can't stand the fact to admit that you're wrong.  You need to have more dignity if you want to start writing or even be part of this sport (or any sport for that matter).

I'm not bashing RA, I'm questioning her status, healthwise, and her being back to her old self.  This is not the campaign of a HOTY, her fans expected more from her.  I don't, it really doesn't matter to me where she runs.  The fact that they chose an ungraded race is very confusing and it worries me that it will not get her to the Classic.  I want her to run against Zenyatta in the Classic.

02 Jul 2010 8:40 PM
wabstat

For all the "Z is the greatest horse on the planet crowd", Question: Why not stomp on Rail Trip in the Hollywood GC?  Answer: You are not even the best horse in California.

02 Jul 2010 8:43 PM
TBOwner

This is the 2009 horse of the year. That is all.

Wasn't Draynay one of the leaders of the chorus that Zenyatta's 2008 campaign had nothing to do with 09?

Who cares about graded stakes? Only every major horse owner in the U.S. Really do you people understand this game at all?

How many non black type studs are there who have a full book? How many mares who have their foal sell?

Now more than ever when it is so competitive in the breeding business you better have that and when they're done racing that is the goal, breeding stock.

If some of you like draynay or ldp had any money the consignors would love nothing better than to see you coming. They'd be licking their chops and drooling.

You're talking about running strictly for money which at some point is superfluous for a guy worth as much as Jess is.

ldp you need to look up how a race is determined to be graded and how it keeps that grading.

Never have so many experts waxed poetic on so many things they don't have a clue about. Anyone thinking Rachel is headed for the Classic is delusional. I doubt she'll make the Cup at all, I'm not alone in that thought at the track.

I would also decline to ship a 6 year old mare thousands of miles to strictly run for the money. Anyone thinking Rachel would stay in the race if a major player shows is nuts.

Jess is wily enough to know that no other owner is going to jeopardize a chance to run at Saratoga to run at a race that the purse is based on his mare running.

I sure hope the rest of you are posting remotely and are out enjoying the races that you speak so freely about. Jess just won an Allowance in the 6th, guess he's on a roll. :>

02 Jul 2010 8:44 PM
LDP

Laz,

I said I feel RA has raced better horses overall. Do I think she is grade one, w/o a single doubt. Had she race in the Travers people would've said she was ducking older males. Either way she would've gotten reamed. JJ took the race that he knew would win HOTY.

I never said the FDL was tough, where did I say that? Cometition overall does not mean in one race, especially since I never mentioned the race. IMO UB and Zardana, who both have proven to compete better over dirt, are better than what Zen has beaten over synthetics and that includes St. T. The FDL was weak, I'm not denying that, it was a short field that was a public workout.

You are acting rash, as you have stated earlier, you are a fanatical Zen fan, not always capable with give RA her due. I can understand your frustration with JJ, but if you honestly believe some of the other comments you made, which from what I know about you, you don't, then you blinded completely by you fanaticalness.

02 Jul 2010 8:45 PM
Kat

St. T is a pretty good horse.  Good enough, I suspect, that Z's connections want to check out how Del Mar is playing and St. T is training before sending Z against her at 1 1/16.

02 Jul 2010 8:46 PM
sodapopkid

Has everyone checked out ebay lately?  Zen's halter is over $3500.00 and RA's is over $1200.00.

Look at the money that will be going to this charity.  PRICELESS

02 Jul 2010 8:48 PM
LDP

CV,

I personally think she can get the distance. Borel has said before she races best when she is left alone and gets into a rythem. She is not free wheeling, need the lead horse. IMO, her worst races are when she is forced to come out of her early rythem by rating or running too fast. The Woodward and Preakness last year demonstrated that, since Borel said he would ask RA to lead in each of those races. This year when made to go too slow she fought, wasting energy. In her best races, where she was allowed to get into a rythem she not only beat her opposition, but crushed them. The Oaks, Haskell, and MG prove that.

If Borel leaves her alone and lets her get into her own beat, she cruises at 10 furlongs.

02 Jul 2010 8:52 PM
sodapopkid

Normally it is an entire season that matters. That has been proven before. However in this type of year, where so many talents are so evenly matched, the race that decides it is the Classic. A year to point out is 07. Curlin, SS, HS, LR all had a very relistic shot at horse of the year. HS had been in the hunt in every race that year, then won his last two prior to the Classic, one a win over SS. SS had won the Derby and Travers, the Classic would've won him HOTY. LR, top older male had won the Whitney in record setting fashion and the Woodward by over 8 lengths. He came a close second to Curlin in the Gold Cup. Curlin had a win in the Preakness and JCGC. All in all three out of the four had won 2 major races that year or had come in top three in most.

In 08 Curlin had won the DWC, SF, Woodward, and JCGC. The history he set that year was flat out too much, no matter the brilliance of an unbeaten season by Zenyatta. Last year RA won the Oaks, Preakness, MG, Haskell, and Woodward. A truly historic season. When a horse has so many moments, or makes so much history in one season it will overcome one moments or the same amount at a lesser degree.

LDP 02 Jul 2010 8:38 PM

Re: So, Where does Rachel fit into this?  I know you don't think she still has a shot at HOTY again, Do you???   Please answer this without your Rachel colored glasses on!

02 Jul 2010 8:55 PM
Zookeeper

I thought this blog was about Rachel Alexandra and her schedule. Now, it's degenerating into a RA/Zen p...ing contest. Good grief! Haven't we had enough of these?... I guess NOT.  :(

I'm looking forward to a good weekend of racing. Have a GREAT 4th of July!!! Have fun!  :)

02 Jul 2010 8:57 PM
Kay

Jason, you’re going to get A LOT of network notes on that show. Motivation will be a huge question on their part. As it is on ours!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t heard any specifics from JJ about which BC race Rachel’s being pointed for. He keeps saying the goal is the Breeder’s Cup, but he’s never stated that it’ll be the Classic or the Ladies Classic.

I have to say that I just simply adore Jess Jackson. I could smother him in kisses! He is a glad-handing Janus who dangles the carrot of the 2009 HOTY in front of anyone with eyes, and then fleeces them. He is the most entertaining person in racing right now. Without the venerable Mr. Jackson, we wouldn’t have anything to discuss. There would be no speculation. But now that we’ve all hopped aboard Mr. Jackson’s Wild Ride, it’s just one crazy thrill after another. Thank you, Jess. You have just made my year. I can’t WAIT until you acquire your next superstar.

I get that they want to make sure they have a fresh horse going into the BC, but they have another issue they have to contend with – they don’t know exactly who Rachel IS right now. And running her in an ungraded race isn’t going to tell them anything. Not only that, but it’s not fair to Rachel and I can’t imagine that Asmussen’s all that happy about it. I’ll bet that John Shirreffs knows exactly how fit Zenyatta is. Asmussen’s at a disadvantage here because he has only had this filly for a little over a year. And she had that HUGE layoff, which obviously didn’t do her any good. So it’s like he’s playing catch-up without knowing where he’s coming from, or where he’s going. How is he supposed to know what Rachel needs when the circus is in town? It’s mystifying that the HOTY isn’t ready to face GI competition. How does that make a lick of sense?

Knowing how much my beloved Jess likes to swing for the fences, though, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if his secret plan is to run her in this ungraded race, then one of the two filly races, then something easier and run her in the Classic. A powder-puff race now, then a tough one then an easy one, then the Classic. It’s the only way he’s going to win HOTY at this stage. Even if Zenyatta doesn’t win the Classic, it’ll probably be won by one of the good older horses or one of the 3YOs. If Rachel wins the Ladies Classic, no way she’s HOTY over the Classic winner. The irony is that this year, he’s counting on winning HOTY because of one race, which is the opposite of why he won it last year. We all know how much my boyfriend Jeff LOVES awards. He wants another one. And it’s all about HIM now – he’s won the last three HOTYs. He’d kill a man for a fourth.

02 Jul 2010 8:58 PM
badtrip

bottom line zenyatta is undefeated and rachel is not    no matter where they have run or against poly track dirt   graded stakes allowances   zenyata is still undefeated  unless rachael beats her or zenyatta finnally looses       zenyatta is the queen

02 Jul 2010 9:22 PM
Footlick

My thoughts exactly, Zookeeper.  Great Holiday weekend to all!

02 Jul 2010 9:23 PM
Paula Higgins

I think there are several reasons they are doing this. They aren't sure where Rachel is at mentally and physically and whether she can beat the tougher boys yet. Breyer's figures have never told  the whole story. Maybe Rachel is up to last year's condition, maybe not. So they want to see her win another one before they step it up against the boys. It will also build up her confidence.

The other reason is they are taking a page from John Shirreff's book and conserving her for the big one. In Shirreff's defense, Zenyatta has raced tougher competition so far this year than Rachel. I think they will put Rachel up against the boys if she does well this next time out. But they do not want to run her into the ground like they did last year. They want something in the tank for the BCC. Having said that, I think we will be lucky if we see her at the BCC because of the distance. I still like Rachel and think she is a wonderful horse. Both John Shirreffs and Steve Asmussen are out to vindicate their horses. Shirreffs is out to prove Zenyatta's BCC wasn't a fluke and that she is the greatest female horse of modern times, and Asmussen is out to prove that Rachel is as special as her 2009 HOTY year indicated. It may not be the path everyone wishes they would take, but that's the path they have chosen.

So do they care what we think?  I doubt it.

02 Jul 2010 9:29 PM
Sienna

"The worst thing that ever happened to RA was getting sold JJ."

If that hadn't happened, she probably wouldn't have run in the Preakness or faced the boys at all.  Remember the former owner's insistence that fillies should only run against fillies?  So, sure, JJ and co seem to be doing a dreadful job with her last year, but credit where it's due - they did give us a year to remember last year.

02 Jul 2010 9:50 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

What do you think Rachel is, a super horse made of Krypton, flying down from the heavens with a blue blanket and a red cape?  How do you even in your wildest dreams think that if she raced in the Travers, a 3 y-o filly facing 3 y-o males (and the race that many wanted to see her compete in to begin with) that she would be construed as ducking older males?  Try giving her a break.  She had a great year last year, as orchestrated as it was.  She met all the challenges, maybe not the toughest challenges, but difficult just the same, and she got what her owner wanted, another HOY title with a horse he never developed that just happened to be for sale.

The way you talk about her schedule this year is that all she has to do is enter the race and she dominates the field.  Sorry, but not very many people agree with you.  Just because she runs fast, isn't the be-all and end-all in horse racing.  It only means something if you do it against the top horses, not second or third or fourth grade.

What about that G-1 grass horse at Monmouth that set a world record for the mile on grass.  Sorry did I say G-1?  I meant to say $12.5 claimer. I guess we can expect to see him in the BC turf simply because he can run fast.  Most horses can run fast, but not all can stand the pressure.  That's what separates the great ones from the good ones and the good ones from the not so good.  It's called class, probably, outside of being in condition, the single most important element in handicapping.  That’s why Rachel isn’t doing so well this year.  She had to step up in class and move away from the restricted races and G-2 males she faced last year.  Sooner or later the bubble will burst.  If she wins several races and happens to go to the BC then there will be nowhere to hide.  That’s when we will finally see what she is truly made of.

02 Jul 2010 10:02 PM
Draynay

Mr. Jackson has Mr. Moss right where he wants him.  All Rachel has to do is finish ahead of Zenyatta and his year is a complete success.  Jackson knows he probably can't beat Quality Road and if he wins he is HOY.  But if Quality doesn't fire for some reason and Rachel does she is HOY. If Quality wins as expected Jackson just wants to make sure Rachel is in front of Zenyatta. Be honest do you really think Zenyatta is going to even show up to run on dirt?  Silly.

02 Jul 2010 10:08 PM
Matthew W

Didn't Seattle Slew run in an allowance race and also at Suffolk?.Maybe Jess is catching on--Rail Trip and Zenyatta are planning on peaking in November--Jess wants to dance in the big one, so why tax her in the long hot Summer--remember, in the old days, September had the biggies--nowadays, September has the preps, and November is where it's at...

02 Jul 2010 10:27 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP said.......

I never said the FDL was tough, where did I say that? Cometition overall does not mean in one race, especially since I never mentioned the race. IMO UB and Zardana, who both have proven to compete better over dirt, are better than what Zen has beaten over synthetics and that includes St. T. The FDL was weak, I'm not denying that, it was a short field that was a public workout.

LAZ states......

Rachel only raced in three races this year and the G-2 FDL was one of them.  I’m assuming that you are including this race when you make you comment about RA facing tougher than Zen this year considering that she faced what, a total of 14 different horses.  Of your two stalwarts that defeated Rachel and whom I assume you think are tougher than all of the horses that Zen raced against this year, may I remind you that Zen defeated Zardana and UB wasn’t much of a factor in her next race.  St. Trinians on the other hand is a real handful and in my humble opinion, much tougher than both UB and Zardana and much more advanced at this stage of the year than Rachel.  And for the record, Zardana is better on synthetics and turf than dirt.

02 Jul 2010 10:30 PM
Pedigree Shelly

         I have a terrible feeling that Zenyatta and RA may never ever face each other !! I hate to be a pessimist but, It's very curious as to why Rachel is running in a non graded race ??

02 Jul 2010 10:40 PM
CV

LDP,

To clarify about the 1-1/4 miles for Rachel, I meant I didn't think they wanted to take that on RIGHT NOW. which is why she didn't go to Delaware. I'm not saying she never could run that distance, just that they may want to sharpen her conditioning before she tries that. With that in mind, they might try her in the Personal Ensign Aug. 29.

In regard to Draynay's earlier comment, "How are they going to find a race Zenyatta can win?"

She won 17 dude. Can you count that high?

02 Jul 2010 10:44 PM
Draynay

Where were you people when Secretariat raced in some made up ungraded stakes race called the Marlboro Cup ?  Funny thing is some very good horses showed up and the race is now part of racing legend.  According to you people that race was a BS ungraded stakes race.  Lol.  Silly.

02 Jul 2010 10:47 PM
LStein

I really think this Draynay character makes up the stuff he says just to get a rise out of people. Does he really think anyone who has any racing intelligence can possibly comprehend all his dribble about an undefeated racemare like Zen. I don't care what surface a horse wins on. Turf doesn't make a win worthnless and neither does synthetic. He also knows she has won on dirt, by more lengths both times than she gets on synthetic. Dray rhymes with synthetic- PATHETIC!!!  LOL

02 Jul 2010 11:01 PM
TBOwner

Still going on?

Mr Jackson knows that Rachel can't beat anyone other than allowance horses.

Be honest do you really think Rachel is going to show up at the Breeders Cup? Silly AND out of the loop.

Draynay, did you slip on an oil spill and crack your head? You were ranting about running on dirt in a G1 against males for a year. Throw out the G1 and as long as it’s on dirt against males it can be a glorified $50,000 claiming race?

Man, if you only knew how people laugh at your ignorance.

02 Jul 2010 11:13 PM
TBOwner

Who expects Quality Road to win a race over 4 months away?

Who thinks if he plays true to form, he'll see that crowd of 90.000 or so and flip out?

Think about it.

02 Jul 2010 11:16 PM
LDP

Soda,

I posted that on this blog? That was meant to be on Haskin's if I did. It was in response to someone else's responce to a dray comment. I was merely explaining the senarios, not saying RA could or could not win HOTY.

02 Jul 2010 11:24 PM
LDP

Laz,

Where do you get that impression? Where have I said anything remotely close to saying she will dominate this year? I said I believe she has faced better horses overall, and almost nothing to do with her future races, so explain to me how exactly I'm being so overly confident?

She would've been ridculed by most of the hard core Zen fans. She would've been bashed for not taking on older males, for facing the same horse she'd beaten already. There is no way for her to win with these people.

Jayjay,

We agree, JJ is confusing. He is however, a very good stratigest. Monmouth has been drawing nice sized fields with decent horses. The purse hike will likely ensure a good field, probably just as good as the one that will go forth in the Ruffian. UB has still not been committed to a race yet. The LS is amoung her options. It is on a track that favors her type of style and has a nice fat purse. For RA it is a good distance and fits with the 5 week plan JJ wants.

Do I like the move, no, I wish she would run in the Ruffian or DE Cap, however it is a smart move. Has her season so far been on of HOTY, no, neither has any other filly or mare, the frontrunner for that is QR. I am getting aggrevated at the enter her in easy race mentality, however I will wait until after this race. If JJ does not enter some race of some higher standing, be it males or a prestigious race against females, then I will begin to wonder what kind of idiot game he is playing. As of now, he still has time to make things work by running here then aiming towards the PE.

02 Jul 2010 11:40 PM
LDP

Sodapop,

Where did I say the FDL was better than the Vanity? Oh, that's right I didn't. Better overall means all races not just one. Zardana is a much better mare on dirt, she has proved that. UB, has been considered an up and comer for a while now, too. Are these two world beater, no, not by a longshot. However, the only horse Zen has faced that was of good quality and performed well over synthetics also was St. T.

St. T will not try dirt, she is a synthetic/turf horse. She has no prior experience over dirt and has proven her affinity for synthetics. Zardana had prior dirt starts in, Brazil I think, and pulverized her opposition when on dirt.

If you look at the SM vs the NOL, IMO the NOL wins, though you could make a good case for a tie or the SM. The LT vs AB, no contest, LT. FDL vs Vanity, Vanity wins. IMO RA has faced better, but only by a small amount. One could make a good case they've faced about the same.

02 Jul 2010 11:47 PM
Tim G

Desormeaux over the limit on his breathalyzer, Arroyo getting a prison sentence, Singspiel euthanized, Black Tie Affair gone from laminitis and John Sellers passing away.

Then add to that one of the more talked about horses, Rachel Alexandra, running in a race that not one person in America outside of NJ and the game, knows about.

I’d say it’s been a bad week for racing.

This isn’t about Zenyatta, has nothing to do with her and any attempt to drag her into this as a ’well she does this’ is pathetic and juvenile. To talk about what may or may not happen months from now is ignorant.

This is more about trying to figure out what they are doing with Rachel. It makes no sense at all short of milking every last dime out of the poor thing before they retire her or even worse.  This is what people have said they hate to see. Horses running in races that diminish their history.

This is no kind of a prep for any graded race. Which by the way folks why shoot for the BC if graded stakes don’t matter?  

Paula, therein lies the problem. Not only do they not care what the fans think, they don’t care what the racing community thinks or how it affects us.   Tough to  run  a worthy filly/mare against her  when the Lady’s Secret at Monmouth isn’t on anyone’s race schedule.

Kay, who is Jeff?

02 Jul 2010 11:48 PM
sodapopkid

Question to all you RA fans?

How many 'ungraded' races did Rachel run in last year?

How many grade 2 races did Rachel run in last year?

How many of these above named races (if any) did Jackson himself run her in?

Get the picture???

NOW YOU HAVE THE ANSWER...

03 Jul 2010 12:17 AM
BigBadAndMean

Well Draynay she showed up Oaklawn and the PAPER champion was no where to be found

03 Jul 2010 12:34 AM
Jodie

I thought this blog was about Rachel but I see some haters have to make this about Zenyatta.  Yes I am talking about you Draynay.

Great article though and my sentiments exactly.

03 Jul 2010 1:06 AM
JKK

If they're running Rachel in easy spots to save her best effort for the BCC they might as well retire her now. She'll never win the Classic, won't even hit the board. No way will she ever finish in front of Zenyatta at 1 1/4 miles even if Zenyatta doesn't win.

03 Jul 2010 1:32 AM
GunBow

My thinking, somehwat like Paula, is perhaps Jackson has concluded it's all going to come down to the Breeeder's Cup Classic anyways, so he might as well have a fresh filly for then.

It's really hard to imagine that any horse will have wrapped up the Horse of the Year prior to the Breeder's Cup this year like Rachel did last year.  The reason Rachel won HoY without having to run past early September is because her first 8 months were, as Jason correctly points out, something we had never seen before(by a 3 year old filly in North America).

There is no horse out there now working on a year anything in the same historical neighborhood as Rachel's 2009.  Zenyatta is probably the HoY frontrunner with 3 gr.1 wins, but they have all come against other females, although she has carried 129 and 127 lbs, and won on dirt outside of California.  However, if we look at just 2010(something very hard to do because of the historic CAREER Zenyatta has had), winning the Santa Margarita, Apple Blossom, and Vanity do not make the HoY a forgone conclusion.  And since it appears Zenyatta will not be challenging males until the BC Classic, as with last year her HoY hopes this year will likely come down to her performance in that race.

Some people have Quality Road as their #1.  He is 3 for 3 this year with 2 gr.1 victories.  He certainly is talented, but there is nothing historic about his campaign, and least so far.  It should and will take more than winning the Donn and Met Mile to win HoY.  

Quality Road could have an opportunity to open up a lead in the race for HoY this summer if, as it appears, Zenyatta and Rachel are pointed for softer spots.  If the Breeder's Cup approached and  Quality Road has 5 gr.1 wins, would he have a stranglehold over HoY?  Maybe, but probably not.  In 1991 In Excess swept the Met Mile, Suburban(when it was a gr.1), Whitney and Woodward and not only didn't win HoY, he wasn't even champion older male.  

In any event, it doesn't look like Quality Road is going to have more than 2 more races prior to the BC, the Whitney and Woodward.  At least in the early planning stages, Pletcher has not indicated a desire to use the Jockey Club Gold Cup as a final BC Classic prep, and is likely thinking about training Quality Road up to the Classic from the Woodward given how well QR runs fresh(as well as possible concerns with the JCGC being 10 furlongs and not wanting a 10 furlong prep for a 10 furlong race).  

Even if QR runs to expectations in the Whitney and Woodward, it is unlikely to be enough to have clinched HoY.  If we are going to criticize the campaigns plotted by the connections of Rachel and Zenyatta, aren't we in our right to wonder why Quality Road needed over 3 months rest after the Donn and why he now needs 2 further months after the Met?  And should Pletcher in fact bypass the JCGC, are we to ignore that Quality Road will go into the BC without a win at a classic distance?  Sorry, there is no way the HoY should be bestowed to a horse that is likely to make it to the Breeder's Cup having run just 3 times since February(Met, Whitney, Woodward) and having skipped the biggest 10 furlong race in his home state(JCGC).  Perhaps if more ambitiously raced, Quality Road could seal the HoY early, but like Jackson, Pletcher is being a little cautious, thinking about the way to get his horse to peak for the Breeder's Cup.

So, if it's all going to come down to the BC Classic, the key will be making it there with a horse that is healthy and ready for a peak effort.  While I don't personally believe this objective should render the next 4 months moot(and hope that the top horses are placed a little more ambitiously), we have to keep it in mind when judging the campaigns that are plotted.  Yes, I selfishly would love if in addition to the BC Classic, the Hollywood Gold Cup(Please explain to me why there is not more criticsm of Eastern horsemen for not being sporting enough to ship out for this historic 10 furlong gr.1 race run on a FAIR surface?), Whitney, Pacific Classic(ok, Del Mar's Polytrack not the best), Woodward and JCGC also feature clashes of the top HoY contenders.  However, I'm not training any of these horses.

03 Jul 2010 4:16 AM
Bellwether

Jason...hope u got my last this am (damn computer)...U r the best WRITER with the most intresting views & THE NADS to stand up & b COUNTED...keep up the good work fore our NATIONAL TREASURE...LONG LIVE THE HORSE!!!...ty...

03 Jul 2010 4:30 AM
jayjay

Kay : That was hilarious, I was feeling a bit jealous but realized there's no way I can compete with JJ.  I can't wait to see what other tricks he has up his sleeves that will continue to sweep you off your feet.  I can only guess that he'll probably take you and Rachel over the rockies, run her in the Hirsch at Delmar and proposes to you at the beach.

Draynay : You're running out of material, time to take some time off and refresh.  The Zenyatta/dirt  comments are way overused.  Can't you find anything else to bash Zenyatta with ?  And no, you're not allowed to copy others like that closet bobblehead thing, that was pretty lame.  You went from "Rachel will win every race this year" to "she'll win her next race" to "she's waiting for G1 competition" to now....finishing ahead of Zenyatta LOL.  Come on man, seriously ??  That's what you came up with ??  If that's the case, then JJ is the one that really fears Zenyatta, if he's doing all this just to finish ahead of Zenyatta, then he really needs to give up Rachel and have someone else take care of her.  Do you even read your comments ??  If not, you should, you'd be laughing so hard just like most of us on here.  RA is no longer part of Team Z's plans, they don't think about her anymore.  They were never afraid to run against her.  Oh and btw, I think Jess Jackson missed the memo that champions run at Saratoga.  It looks like the reigning HOTY snubbed Saratoga for NJ for a 150K and an ungraded race.  I think you should email him and remind him where champions are suppose to run!

LDP : Stop asking people to give RA due credit, you're not one that should be asking that from people.  All you've done here is bash Zenyatta, never given her credit for any of the wins and then you tell Laz he should give RA her due ?  LOL, isn't that being a little hypocrite ?

It's just funny that all the folks that were questioning Zenyatta's plans all year long are now getting smacked in the face about the reality of horse racing.  The top contenders are following Team Z's "conservative" schedule and all of a sudden it's OKAY.  QR's races are spaced out and against weak fields, RA's races are spaced out and against weak fields.   Neither are travelling thousands of miles and all of this are now "okay".  To this date, Zenyatta has travelled more miles than any of the top contenders. And then we have LDP calling her races weaker than RA's races. LOL.

03 Jul 2010 5:18 AM
Whatever

This horse will never be like she was last year.  Remember, last year she raced against a second-rate crop of 3 year olds and BARELY won the Woodward against WHO.????  She peaked at 3 and that's all she wrote folks--she's done!  I have seen this many times before through the 35 plus years I've been following this sport--They're brilliant at 2 or 3 and then they simply fizzle out.  They should consider retiring her before they embarass themselves.  

03 Jul 2010 7:19 AM
sodapopkid

they did give us a year to remember last year.

Re:  And the year after we will never forget. and proved to the world how to RUIN a good horse.

03 Jul 2010 7:29 AM
smartysgal

All that much more reason why Zenyatta should have been named Horse of the Year last year!

Amen.

03 Jul 2010 8:29 AM
Dawn in MN

Mr. Shandler, I enjoyed your article very much.  I am very disappointed by Rachael Alexandra's season so far.  I was enjoying reading the comments on this blog until I got to the comments that degenerated into the same old bickering about Rachael Alexandra v. Zenyatta.  Unless they race each other I will not compare the two.  I can't believe people get so worked up about that.  I think all of the people who argue Rachael Alexadra v. Zenyatta should be restricted to betting on the weiner dog races at Canterbury Park.

03 Jul 2010 8:32 AM
Ann in Lexington

Ironic that this race should be named for Lady's Secret, an Iron Lady who ran 45 times;  she only won 25 of them but is not thought ill of because of it. (Mostly we bash Lukas for running her too often after it was clear she wasn't interested anymore.) She ran against guys numerous times, too, won the Whitney, 2nd in the real Woodward (10f), 3rd in the Met Mile.

03 Jul 2010 9:34 AM
Draynay

Whatever, whatever.

03 Jul 2010 10:13 AM
Draynay

GunBow what planet are you on now? After Quality Road dominates all comers in the Whitney AND the Woodward the Question for HOY will be over except in your mind.  Zenyatta beating no one on poly will mean as much as it did last year.  Nothing.  You can't avoid real racing all year and expect to be HOY. The honor goes to the best each year and lets face it she is no where near the best this year. She isn't even top 5.

03 Jul 2010 10:26 AM
kathleen o

Dray, why would Z bother to race in an ungraded race tailor made to please an egomaniac like JJ.  Z runs in G1 races against G1 horses.  You're stirring the pot again, and if you actually believe the things you say, you must be off your meds.

03 Jul 2010 10:32 AM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

Quit trying to stir the pot.  Everyone's on to your game so maybe it's time to try new tactics.  You know as well as I that that made up race called the Marlboro Cup was an invitation and was annually one of the top races of the year.  Try concentrating on your Dream On fan club.

03 Jul 2010 10:53 AM
kathleen o

ldp, did you state that RA has faced better horses than Z this year?  Really?  With a straight face?

03 Jul 2010 10:58 AM
BigRedForever

As usual, I see eye to eye with sodapopkid on this subject, so I seldom add my comments.

RA is a non-factor in the F/M landscape. She should not even be mentioned running against males. Why she gets this much attention is baffling to me. She was a dominant 3-year old who was over raced and she never recovered.  Give Curlin what he wants and move-on JJ.

Oh, and for those of you who think she will win the Classic at 10F, she can't beat the F/M's that will enter the Ladies Classic. She is a 9F specialist against claimers at this point.

03 Jul 2010 11:27 AM
Missing Kip Deville

I too am disappointed with the 2010 schedules of both these sensational mares.  Rachel, Zenyatta, and Goldikova gave fans a year for all time in 2009, and as blown away as I was with Zenyatta's win in the Classic, some top dirt horses did not show up for that race, and rightly so.  But who still wasn't breathless after that win?  I still agree with the choice of Rachel as HOTY with the wins against males, the dominating wins that she did have, and the fact they were on different tracks.  I personally thought Rachel would have been better suited to run in the BC Mile.  She can't get 10f and will never race in the Classic.  But her pedigree indicates grass would be fine, and imagine if she met Goldikova?  Rachel is obviously trying to adjust to her 4yo frame, and it also could be possible that she is mentally done with racing and wants to be a Mom (it happens).  So let's forget this Classic nonsense.  But Jess, while I agree that you are blazing a comeback trail here, have confidence in your superstar and give her something to shoot at.  How many times have we seen a horse everyone has given up on, win the big one at the end of the season?  So I will keep on dreaming of a BC/CD where Zenyatta, Rachel and Goldikova are all there, and who cares what race?!  Girlpower!  Yes!

03 Jul 2010 11:53 AM
Draynay

Lazzmanick, do me a favor and read up on the Marlboro Cup because you have no idea what you are talking about.  It was originally set up as a match race and turned into a invitational when the 2 horses in the match race got whipped by average horses.  The fact remains it was ungraded and thrown together at the last minute with the tobacco company offering appearance money for those who came.  The other fact you ignore is they tried to get Zenyatta to come and offered huge money for her to leave California but they decided to hide and continue to look for a race Zenyatta can win.  Good luck finding that race.

03 Jul 2010 12:10 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay said..........

You can't avoid real racing all year and expect to be HOY. The honor goes to the best each year and lets face it she is no where near the best this year. She isn't even top 5.

LAZ said........

You're talking about Rachel I assume.

03 Jul 2010 12:15 PM
paul r

this whole blog once again turns into RACHEL VS ZENYATTA  Someone needs to put up 5 million in September  and load just the two of those females in the gate. ZEN is supposedly unbeatable at a mile and a quarter and some believe RACHEL is done after a mile and an eigth Split the difference A mile and three sixteenths winner take all Let the best horse win END all this she is this and she is that If they ran 3rd and 4th in the classic it would never be settled I dont care who they beat to get ready If its between RACH AND ZEN then racing needs to make this happen.THE FILLY AND MARE DESERVE THIS CHANCE.

03 Jul 2010 12:18 PM
Josie

I have a sneaky suspicion that after Zenyatta retires, we will find that it was a blue miracle that the connections were able to hold her together to do what she's been able to do - she doesn't travel well, needs steady routines, does her dancing and doesn't warm up to avoid over excitement, etc.  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see her chasing Rachel around the country just for spite and giggles and get goosebumps thinking about what a rivalry she could get cranking up the boys on both coasts in prep for the BCC, but if I have to wait to see a finale like we were blessed with last year, so be it.  I just smile and clear my schedule every time she runs and woe to husband or child who dares come between me and the TV when Zenyatta's racing!  Go Big Z!

03 Jul 2010 12:20 PM
LDP

Kathleen,

Other than St. T, name a horse of any other horse that can finish ahead of Zardana or UB.

03 Jul 2010 12:35 PM
LDP

Jayjay,

Where did I ask Laz to give RA her due? I said that he had said in a previous post that he is sometimes so fanatical that he does not always give her credit. Never once did I ask him to give her credit.

03 Jul 2010 12:37 PM
Kay

TBOwner:

“Who expects Quality Road to win a race over 4 months away?

Who thinks if he plays true to form, he'll see that crowd of 90.000 or so and flip out?

Think about it.”

What I find intriguing is how quickly people were willing to jump on the Quality Road bandwagon. Not that he isn’t a nice horse, or isn’t deserving of the accolades. But they’ve REALLY gone over the top with it. All those who don’t get Zenyatta were desperate to find her conqueror, and they breathed a sigh of relief when Quality Road won his first start this year. People are calling him one of the greatest of all time and using all kinds of hyperbole. I don’t know why they’re so set on beating her than on appreciating her. It’s a little weird.

LDP:

“She would've been ridculed by most of the hard core Zen fans. She would've been bashed for not taking on older males, for facing the same horse she'd beaten already. There is no way for her to win with these people.”

Well, let’s be honest now… that’s what has been going on with Zenyatta, MUCH more than with Rachel. And all of this started with HOTY, when Rachel’s biggest fans were saying that Zenyatta didn’t win because she only faced males once, and it wasn’t even on dirt. How do you expect people to react? When Zenyatta won the BC Classic, there was only one person at Santa Anita that day who gave a thought to HOTY. Everybody else was in the moment. That one person, incidentally, was Bob Baffert, who said that racing would suffer if Zenyatta wasn’t named HOTY. I get that Rachel was given HOTY for her campaign, which ended in September… although you wouldn’t know that by hearing her fans talk. But it’s not like the Eclipse Awards have ever held firmly to that, or to the “rule” that the HOTY must run at fifty gazillion tracks. But people acted like that was the rule, and like that Mosses should have known that and shipped Zenyatta to Jupiter. That’s simply not so. So all of this back-and-forth stems from the Zenyatta detractors who are basically telling her fans that the BC Classic – really one of the greatest events many had ever witnessed – meant nothing. Backlash is inevitable, and after all of my BFF Jess’s smack-talk, that’s exactly what’s happening now. East Coast horses are always given the benefit of the doubt. West Coast horses never are. That’s just the way Racing works.

“If JJ does not enter some race of some higher standing, be it males or a prestigious race against females, then I will begin to wonder what kind of idiot game he is playing. As of now, he still has time to make things work by running here then aiming towards the PE.”

See, I think that’s the plan right now. But it seems like what’s been happening is, they make a plan, she runs, then for whatever reason, they chicken out of it. So I really wouldn’t be ALL that shocked if they run her back in the Molly Pitcher after all of this. Then the Interwebs would explode.

Tim G:

In my excitement, I may have typed Jeff when I meant Jess. That’s Jess Jackson, my new crush. How I adore him!!!

Jayjay:

“Kay : That was hilarious, I was feeling a bit jealous but realized there's no way I can compete with JJ.  I can't wait to see what other tricks he has up his sleeves that will continue to sweep you off your feet.  I can only guess that he'll probably take you and Rachel over the rockies, run her in the Hirsch at Delmar and proposes to you at the beach.”

Oh, dear. Now this is all I can think about! Me and Jess, on the beach… sigh… and maybe after, we can go see Zenyatta. I don’t think he’s ever seen her. What a treat!

“The top contenders are following Team Z's "conservative" schedule and all of a sudden it's OKAY.  QR's races are spaced out and against weak fields, RA's races are spaced out and against weak fields.   Neither are travelling thousands of miles and all of this are now "okay".”

Yup. And they either don’t see the irony, or they’re ignoring it. After accepting beloved Jess’s Apple Blossom invite and then showing up, the Mosses called his bluff. And any discussion about Zenyatta vs. Rachel should have been over at that point. I’ll say this again – Ron Ellis wants NO part of Zenyatta with Rail Trip. He’s said so numerous times. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Todd Pletcher felt the same way. He was at the BC, too. He’ll certainly run against her in the Classic but Blame aside, he knows he’s got a pretty easy schedule on track for his colt. I’ll bet the Blame folks feel the same way. People who aren’t just sitting on the Internet have immense respect for her.

Oh look. Twice Over just won the Coral-Eclipse Stakes…

03 Jul 2010 12:38 PM
LDP

Laz,

Explain why Zardana was three for three on dirt then before she came to the states, and why her margin of victory amounted to over a total of 30 lengths in those races? She is better over dirt. UB was second in the Phipps to LaT, a nice filly, how is that not a factor? Personally I'm not going to debat the topic of whose competiton was better any more, I have my opinion and you have yours. However to say UB was no factor last out, like she finished way up the track, when she finished second, and Zardana is better on turf/synthetics when her record proves otherwise is crazy talk.

CV,

I was just explaining, not launching on you, sorry if it appeared that way.

03 Jul 2010 12:45 PM
LDP

The Classic, in a year this deep, does become the key race. If QR, Blame, RT, and Zen were to continue their winning ways, and RA comes back to maybe take this race the PE and Beldame in a convincing fashion, then the winner of HOTY will most likely depend upon the Classic. A lot can happen between now and Classic time, things can easily change, but as of now the Classic is what everyone is gunning for.

03 Jul 2010 12:48 PM
kathleen o

ldp and dray,  after reading your posts, I'm convinced that your primary objective is to rile the masses.  If you actually believe the tripe you post, then you have deeper issues.

03 Jul 2010 12:58 PM
Draynay

Zenyatta will not win another race all year.

kathleen, if you believe a synthetic specialist can step on the track and beat top open company horses on dirt you are dreaming.  Do me a favor bet her big if she decides to show in the Classic.

03 Jul 2010 1:31 PM
Footlick

LDP- What is the quality of the horses she faced in her dirt races in Brazil?  Can they compete with our gr 1,2 or 3 horses on dirt?  That will tell you alot more than her winning margins.  As far as I know, Brazil is still priomarily a turf racing country.

03 Jul 2010 1:55 PM
jayjay

paul r : A match race will never happen because the two horses have different running styles.  It wouldn't be a match race.  Even with that, the "bickering" will not stop, RA fans like Draynay will always stir the pot because that's his job.  He goes to a lot of blog sites spreading his name, this is his way if making himself popular because in the real world, no one pays attention to him lol.

LDP : I didn't agree with you that JJ is confusing, and if you mean he's a good strategist (another term for "trainer") winning the HOTY at the cost of the horse, then yes, that I agree with you.  Now, maybe you can ask JJ what he's paying Steve Asmussen for ??

I hope you decided not to become a writer, you're not good at it and you're not objective.  You let your personal feelings get in the way of your writing.  You need to try something else kid.

Dragnay : What is this "huge" money you're talking about ??  Do you think Team Z needs any money ??  How old are you ? LOL.  Come on, new materials please, you're starting to sound desperate for attention.

03 Jul 2010 2:00 PM
Footlick

Kay- I was just going to mention Twice Over's win.  Ran DarReMi into the ground early.  It was a brave race by him.

03 Jul 2010 2:03 PM
Marzz

I think they're putting Rachel in softer spots this year so she can win. There's a lot tougher competition out there this year than there was last, from both males and females.With so many good horses out there it's hard to find a grade 1 race they're confident she can win. In the grade 1 races she won against fillies and older horses last year the competition really wasn't grade 1 level. The 3 year old fillies were nowhere near the level of Zenyatta, Unrivalled Belle, Life At Ten, or St Trinians, and Quality Road's in a whole different league than Macho Again's ever been in. Rachel's still as fast as she was last year but the competitions better now so she won't be able to win every grade 1 out there. She'll be lucky to win just one.

03 Jul 2010 2:29 PM
kathleen o

ldp, duh.....Zenyatta.

dray, so far you've been wrong 17 times and counting

03 Jul 2010 2:45 PM
Caitlyn

Haha sadly, I certainly have been following this season of "Let's Take the Reigning Horse of the Year on the Easiest and Most Bizarre Path Possible". I have never judged Rachel's connections for their judgment call on her, as for the most part the races they have chosen for her have been in her best interest. I think Steve Haskin makes a legitimate point in his blog as to what he believes is the reasoning behind this call. I just hope to see Rachel return to her previous form, no matter how long it takes her. Despite the disappointments along the way, I have so enjoyed following her on her journey.

03 Jul 2010 2:48 PM
Carlos in Cali

Do some of you folks actually watch races and know the sport or do you just like talking? cuz' some of these comments are ridiculous to say the least.

I Want Revenge runs big today in the Suburban and will be a major,major player the rest of the year.

Discreetly Mine crushes the field in the Jersey Shore and will be a major player in the sprint division.

Jason,your thoughts on your equine nemesis IWR & your darling Christine going up against DM & other males @ Monmouth?..  

03 Jul 2010 3:04 PM
jayjay

LDP : You can twist around the words but the bottom line is you want Laz to give her due credit for what she's done last year.  The thing is, no one is questioning what she did last year.  In fact, everyone has accepted what they're doing with her this year because now it's pretty evident that she's not the same horse as last year.  

People like you though, the rabid RA fans, needs to make this about Zenyatta, because you can't cheer your horse at the moment, because she's not accomplishing anything worthy of a HOTY at the moment so you have to turn this around to bash Zenyatta.  It's really funny LOL.  There was no reason for you to bring up the races this year vs Zenyatta, you did it to spite the Z fans.  You could've said the same thing about QR but no, you wanted to bash Zenyatta.

03 Jul 2010 3:15 PM
Freetex

Who's to say JJ won't change his mind again?  Really, I would not be surprised if he upped and entered Rachel in another wherever race at the the last minute.

If what JJ does is truly in RA's best interest, then so be it, but it sure seems like a mystery to most of us.

03 Jul 2010 4:09 PM
sodapopkid

RA has absolutely ZERO chance at a HOTY repeat.  If her name came up to be on the ballot box all the east caost voters would look the other way.  For one thing, all the games JJ pulled this season and her mismanagement plus running in these lower grade races,  She would not get a repeat hoy.  So , I dont care what races she wins on up til now,  it wouldnt do her any good.  It would go to a more deserving horse.....and Jess Jackson and connections know this.

TOO MUCH game playings

TOO LITTLE, running in lower grade races, and not enough wins

TOO LATE, to late getting a win and getting in grade one races.

SHE HAS NO CHANCE AT A REPEAT HOTY,

 

03 Jul 2010 4:11 PM
Paula Higgins

Gunbow, ITA with everything you said. The bottom line is everyone is picking races carefully prior to the BCC so that their horse peaks at the BCC. However, putting Rachel in the BCC is a mistake in my opinion. If this were me, I would race her in more competitive races now and maybe skip the BCC. I don't think that is her best race on paper because of the distance. If they want to repeat HOTY they need to step it up now. If she is returning to form, she will be able to handle it. If she isn't, she won't win the BCC no matter how much they try and conserve her.

Zenyatta is another story. She may be starting to feel her racing age now and being conservative may be a wise move if she is to have enough left for the BCC. In my mind, the freshest horse out there and a total beast is Quality Road. If he is feeling his oats, the only two horses on the American horse racing scene who can beat him in the BCC are Zenyatta and Blame. Pound for pound the horse with the most heart, class and talent is Zenyatta. If she makes it to the BCC she is still the one to beat, as of right now.

Draynay, Zenny will win again. Don't bet money on her losing or you will be losing-your money honey.

03 Jul 2010 4:31 PM
sodapopkid

****EBAY UPDATE******

ZENYATTA HALTER  OVER $4000.00

RACHEL ALEXANDRA HALTER OVER $1500.00

LOOKIN GOOD FOR THE CHARITY..

03 Jul 2010 5:02 PM
Livesoutwest

This is a prep, that's all it is.  They're preparing Rachel to defend her Woodward title.  The Ruffian with its puny $250,000 purse will draw a nondescript field, maybe Unrivaled Belle and the rest a bunch of mutts.  The most accomplished female in the East, Life At Ten is also skipping the Ruffian to go for three times the purse in the Delaware Handicap.  By getting Monmouth to move the Lady's Secret back to July 24, they go into the Woodward with a five-week freshening off a cakewalk race.  Meanwhile, Quality Road only gets a three-week break and he'll be coming off a tough battle with Blame in the Whitney.  Jackson and Asmussen are doing exactly the right thing.  In horseracing, sometimes you sacrifice the small prizes for your best chance at the big ones.

03 Jul 2010 5:23 PM
kenek

Respect the horse. No respect for her connections. No respect for Monmouth Park. As a former horse owner, never had special accomodations made for my horses. They can tip-toe around all they want but we are not seeing the same Rachel we saw last year. Their lengthy layoff didn't suit this magnificent filly and they may never get her back.

03 Jul 2010 5:25 PM
Catbird

LOL, what a season.

Re Rachel . . . wonder what would have happened had her schedule been left to Steve Asmussen, instead of Jackson's trying to hurry her up for a special match race that was clearly premature, given her five-month layoff.

Re Zenyatta . . . once again, the Mosses don't send her out to meet challenges.  Sigh.

Not exactly the year we expected, for sure.

I don't happen to agree that anything needs to be done "for the fans" except to keep these horses sound and happy, and get them at their best, whatever schedule that takes.  That, in the end, will please the fans at the Breeders Cup, because a subpar or meaningless day there wouldn't be much fun for anyone.  We're just all whining because we aren't getting a year as exciting as 2009, and we had every reason to expect a blockbuster.

03 Jul 2010 5:40 PM
CALWA

RA's stratagem is sure strange - as are some others.  The only way any athlete, equine/human gets stronger and more competitive is being asked to give more and spend more time on strength/aerobic timed exercises.  The HOTY is a political farce played out by the majority of sportswriters who are resident on the East Coast.  A nice award to have, but after last year's fiasco - ad nauseum here - It's no wonder that the blush is off the rose for the Eclipse awards. Racing is on its last legs - continued bashing of different horses degrades the sport even more. If people value horse racing, the fact that during last year's Breeder's Cup meet there was not ONE INJURY in two days of racing.  Maybe, just maybe, someday people will start coming back to enjoy a day at the track.  There is an aversion when people see Barbaro, Eight Belles and other tragedies.  I certainly hope first and foremost, that on a dirt track come November, that there is as stellar an outcome for the horses, jocks, and great racing as there was last year.  And for those who don't show up, maybe they'll get HOTY again.

03 Jul 2010 5:43 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

You ask a question.....I'll answer it.

Those races in Brazil were against horses that were far INFERIOR to the horses Zardana has raced against in the States, and if you don’t think so then I guess I’m wasting my time trying to reason with you…..In Zardana’s two races on synthetics, she won the G-2 Bayakoa with a 108 Beyer, on SYNTHETICS remember not dirt.  (Synthetic Beyers are notoriously lower than dirt Beyers, which has often been confirmed by the man himself)….. In her other race on synthetics, the G-2 Santa Maria, she ran fourth after making a big move, but against who…..St. Trinians and Life is Sweet (the Lady’s Distaff winner last year).  That’s pretty stiff company no matter how you twist it, and she still got a 102 Beyer even though she was beaten by 5 lengths while St. Trinians got a 109…..In the New Orleans race she was pulling away against a horse that unfortunately didn’t have anything left and received a 107 Beyer (a Beyer that would have been considerably lower if this race was on synthetics)……. In her next start she didn’t like the track or the ride and fought throughout the race and finally threw in the towel.  For that she got an 82 Beyer, the lowest she had in at least a year and the fact that she backed off after a moderate half speaks volumns…..That tells me she really favors synthetics and turf over dirt……..The other telling reason is this…….they brought her back to Cali to race against Zen and St. Trinians instead of staying on the east coast for awhile and racing for some easy money.

Unbridled Belle is a nice horse, but she really had no excuse in the Phipps……Any way you look at it she should have dominated.  Her 3-5 odds justifies this statement.  She was within a half length of the lead through the half carrying moderate weight and only giving the 3 pounds to the winner who easily pulled away.  After that UB was life and death to hold off Funny Moon (nk) for second…..Even though LAT is improving, both these horses have a long way to go before they challenge the top horses in the division.

03 Jul 2010 5:53 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

You make me laugh.  All of a sudden the BCC is going to be the defining race in determining the HOY because Rachel's only possible (extremely slim at best) chance at winning HOY is if she won the race.....Last year, of course, because Rachel wasn't going to the BCC, the Classic was essentially a meanless race.  I'm laughing.  LOL

03 Jul 2010 6:01 PM
Pinto

It's interesting coming to this article from Steve Haskin's. Both analyzing the same horse, both from completely different perspectives. Sorry, but I have to favor Haskin's points over this one. What about Affirmed who lost his first two starts at 4 then won a G2 in his second start. At 4, Seattle Slew's first 3 starts were 2 allowances and a G2. Let Rachel find her feet. We're too unforgiving in this sport.

I find it interesting that if you take out "Rachel" in the title, it can also refer to Zenyatta. Winner of 5 G1's or not this year, she has yet to be visually impressive and has been keeping primarily to her home court. Now she's been on the "Easiest...Path Possible" it seems.

03 Jul 2010 6:14 PM
Todd

I feel her Woodward Stakes last year was the most inpressive efforts i've seen outta a filly ever. Monmouth has a way of getting to these rich owners. If she is indeed on her way back to the form we saw last year at this time why leave Saratoga for anything?  

03 Jul 2010 6:20 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

You’re right about the Marlboro Cup.  It was originally intended as a match race between Secretariat and his stable mate Riva Ridge.  Then they changed it to an invitation and invited the best horses, 3 y-o and up in the country.  Did you also note that Secretariat set a World’s Record for the 1-1/8M race?  If you’re going to get you facts straight, then get them straight, don’t pull your usual BS.  From that point on the Marlboro Cup was THE race and it was an honor to get invited.  Even though it was never graded, many of the countries top horses raced in it and it was one of only two times Triple Crown winners ever faced each other in a race.  Pretty low level race I guess ey?

03 Jul 2010 6:25 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

It's not always about the money.  Zen doesn't travel around and hold race tracks hostage for money......it's about status.....as in GRADE ONE STATUS.  There are a lot of owners now spending big bucks just to get a G-1 winner.  Can you in you wildest dreams imagine what it would be like having a horse win 11 of them with a big chance at more, and the absolue thirll and joy of winning 7 G-1's in a row.  No, I guess you couldn't.

03 Jul 2010 6:57 PM
Will

Note to the author:  Apparently the only one skeptical is you.  RA is the second best horse in the country now.  Should her team tap into the speed she exhibited in the Haskell and MG last year, then she'll give QR all she wants.  Z wouldn't even be a factor.  Not once has she ran against a horse with RA or QR cruising speed.  I have my doubts she'll beat St Trinians next go round.  People should also give St Trinians a little more respect.  She's tough as hell.  

03 Jul 2010 8:16 PM
2:24

Draynay:  the made up Marlboro Cup Secretariat won, was essentially one of the greatest collections of talent collected on a race track.  Secretariat was actually giving all of the other horses weight based on the weight for age scale.  He beat all older horses who had each won the equivalent of Grade I races.  Two of those horses, Riva Ridge and Cougar II, are hall of famers.  Several others won divisional championships.  And he won in track record time.  

Please don't make any more comments like that when you don't know what you're talking about.

03 Jul 2010 8:23 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

Who would have ever thought the HOY of 2009 would be running in a ungraded stakes? What a difference a year makes. Hopefully the Lady's Secret will fill and it won't be a walkover for RA. Watching RA run against the clock in a glorified afternoon workout would be so uninteresting. A walkover would only happen if trainers fear RA too much and I don't think that is the case this year. Sad.

This just proves how tough it is to keep a horse healthy, happy and performing successfully from one year to the next. It makes me further appreciate the horses that run well year after year. It is truly amazing when they can do that at a G1 level. To me it just makes the careers of John Henry, Kelso, Forego, Personal Ensign, Zenyatta, Azeri, Cigar, etc. that much more impressive.

03 Jul 2010 8:26 PM
2:24

Draynay: I still can't believe you compared the 1973 Marlboro Cup with the glorified allowance race Rachel is running in.

03 Jul 2010 8:28 PM
skyfire

The best thing about this race at Monmouth  is that it is called the Lady's Secret.  Hopefully the race will retain its name; Lady's Secret was a horse that was campaigned like a horse of the year.

03 Jul 2010 8:36 PM
skyfire

Jason,

In my opinion you have the most provocative blog on the internet.  

When you are on vacation, I would suggest Doug Salvatore as an interesting guest blogger!!

03 Jul 2010 8:39 PM
Marilyn

I haven't read all 141 comments, so excuse me if I'm repeating someone else's comment.  But please, if you don't know what you're talking about don't go bashing Rachel, or her connections.  I live in NY, and I have heard that Monmouth Park has tried to do the same thing that Oaklawn Park tried, which is bring Rachel and Zenyatta together in the same race.  This time, Rachel's connections said yes, and it was Zenyatta's connections that said no.  I like how we don't hear any comments about how Zenyatta is ducking Rachel!  But I'll move on.  So Rachel stays in this race, then has 5 weeks to recover before the Personal Ensign or the Woodward, as Jess Jackson and Steve A. have learned that racing her every 4 weeks instead of 5 took it's toll on her.  Then possibly she can sneak in another race at Belmont, maybe the Jockey Club Gold Cup, or something similar somewhere else, then she can rest before the Breeder's Cup.  In the meantime, Zenyatta can have her rematch with St. Trinians, hopefully she won't lose a shoe this time, and we'll really see who should have won the Vanity.  If Zenyatta wins again, I tip my hat to her, if not, then she's not the horse she used to be and everyone should just leave Rachel alone!!!!

03 Jul 2010 8:50 PM
Gary T

Stick a fork in Rachel. They toasted her last year. Shameful the East coast got it wrong. Zenyatta and Shirreffs deserved the Eclipse. What a remarkable job and too bad the votes went with the $$ instead of the talent.

03 Jul 2010 9:07 PM
John T

Let,s not forget that other mare

that has given us great pleasure in recent years,Goldikova.Was,nt that a stunning performance she put

on in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot against males.Looking forward to seeing if she can win the Breeders Cup Mile for a third straight year.

03 Jul 2010 9:34 PM
devilhisdue

Zenyatta fans go to your dr and get a new script. Zenyatta faced how many grade 1 winners before the BC last year? Count them up. Most of her races were against questionable foe's. its not that she can help it. in recent years quality has eluded true fans. Just like this years 3 yr old colts. Zenyatta is a great horse. You think she is the greatest as she has not lost. She is not even top 5. I will take a Goldakova who faced and BEAT males in group 1 and grade 1 races her whole career. On THEIR preferred surface. IT WASNT PLASTIC either!!

03 Jul 2010 9:36 PM
Paula Higgins

Will, yes Rachel (at her peak) and Quality Road have high cruising speeds. But do they have the stamina for the distance? We know Zenyatta does. Discount Zenyatta at your own peril. She only gets better as the race gets longer.

03 Jul 2010 9:49 PM
Kay

Pinto:

“It's interesting coming to this article from Steve Haskin's. Both analyzing the same horse, both from completely different perspectives. Sorry, but I have to favor Haskin's points over this one. What about Affirmed who lost his first two starts at 4 then won a G2 in his second start. At 4, Seattle Slew's first 3 starts were 2 allowances and a G2. Let Rachel find her feet. We're too unforgiving in this sport.

I find it interesting that if you take out "Rachel" in the title, it can also refer to Zenyatta. Winner of 5 G1's or not this year, she has yet to be visually impressive and has been keeping primarily to her home court. Now she's been on the "Easiest...Path Possible" it seems.”

I liked Haskin’s take, too. I can’t always say that. What I adore about this is the speculation. Not usually a fan of speculation but this is just SO FASCINATING. However, I have to differ with you on a few things. Yes, Affirmed and Seattle Slew got started slow at four. But Affirmed’s third start was the Strub, which was not in late July. By late July, Affirmed had won the Strub, Santa Anita Hcp, Californian and Hollywood Gold Cup. With Slew, he got extremely sick in January and almost died. Boy, having the Internet back then would have been nice! So when he ran in his first start in May, it totally stood to reason that it would be an allowance race. HE ALMOST DIED. So your argument doesn’t hold water.

Regarding Zenyatta not being visually impressive… exactly what impresses you? I think she’s been visually impressive in every one of her races. She was trapped and looked beaten in the Santa Margarita, where she carried 127 pounds. She won so easily in the Apple Blossom that Mike Smith was watching the race on the infield screen. And running down a mare at the top of her game in the Vanity, while giving her 9 pounds… yeah, that was visually impressive. Maybe you’re only impressed by speed horses, but some of us know that close finishes can be equally impressive, if not moreso… especially given that Zenyatta never has her own way in a race. She appeared hopelessly beaten twice and won both times. So yeah. IMPRESSIVE.

Marilyn:

“ I like how we don't hear any comments about how Zenyatta is ducking Rachel!”

Idiotic. Why on EARTH would the leading horse in the division (that would be three-time GISW Zenyatta) SHIP to run against a horse who’s only won one G2, and in an ungraded stakes, no less? Zenyatta doesn’t have to chase anyone. The ball is in JJ’s court now. JJ had his shot at her earlier and he chickened out. And come on – HE DID CHICKEN OUT. The whole thing was HIS idea, and he blinked. He’s delighted the Mosses passed on this. The last horse he wants a part of right now, when they’re trying to figure out Rachel, is Zenyatta.

03 Jul 2010 9:50 PM
Tim G

"Note to the author:  Apparently the only one skeptical is you.  RA is the second best horse in the country now.  Should her team tap into the speed she exhibited in the Haskell and MG last year, then she'll give QR all she wants.  Z wouldn't even be a factor.  Not once has she ran against a horse with RA or QR cruising speed.  I have my doubts she'll beat St Trinians next go round.  People should also give St Trinians a little more respect.  She's tough as hell.  

Will 03 Jul 2010 8:16 PM"

This is Jason's blog, as he will tell you. He's not the only one questioning this move. All of racing and most of the writers out there are.

Of course when you just contradicted yourself it brings your thoughts into question.

How can St T be tough as hell yet Zenyatta won't even be a factor?

Apparently you don't read much because, prior the gag order, Steve Asmussen said himself that Rachel has grown, put on weight and she doesn't have that same burst of speed she had last year, the same acceleration.

Frankly, you can tell in her works and you can tell in her races.

Laz, ain't that the truth! Last year it mattered not what Zenyatta did in  08 and the Classic was 'just one race and shouldn't determine the HOY' what a double standard.

So as someone said, Rachel was the 09 HOY, it's history. As Jason said, the most disappointing drama and frankly what NONE of us want to see. A horse being used up for whatever mysterious reason.

It's sad for racing. We were all talking positively about Rachel and Zenyatta as the focus of attention. Now it's all negative.

NOTHING Zenyatta has done as far as staying in Cal and running in G1's that don't LOSE their graded status would even compare to this bizarre situation.

I can't believe Asmussen is going along with it. Actually Jess is exhibiting some alarming signs.

03 Jul 2010 9:53 PM
Paula Higgins

Marilyn, you need a reality check. Step back from the bar and look at Zenyatta's 17 races before you blog again. Rachel is a great horse. So is Zenyatta. You don't need to be Draynay in a skirt. One is enough thank you (luv you Dranay, but had to say that).

03 Jul 2010 9:53 PM
LAZMANNICK

Marilyn

Give it a rest.  Zen only races in G-1 races.  That bit about her travelling the entire width of the country to face a horse whose connections are notorious for backing out is too much.  Unlike the Apple Blossom, I didn't hear anything about Monmouth putting up 5 mill for Zen to travel east.  Maybe if they did it would be race-on only this time JJ should actually have to sign a contract with no provisions for backing out.

03 Jul 2010 9:56 PM
Tim G

Okay devilhisdue, here's my Rx.

Celebrate what both horses have accomplished.

But the Zenyatta fans aren't the ones who need an Rx. Apparently the graded stakes committee doesn't think the same way you do about the graded company, and they're the ones who matter.

The question isn't what Zenyatta has or hasn't done. That's been addressed ad nauseum. This blog and the questions of other bloggers and turf writers are aimed at the connections of Rachel. WHY is this strange path being taken.

03 Jul 2010 10:00 PM
Annoyed by JJ

And once again, Jess Jackson gets his way by being able to run RA in the race he wants at the distance he wants for the purse he wants. He is such a spoiled, rotten little kid and I wish people would stop catering to his every wish/demand. This guy so does NOT deserve horses like RA or Curlin. He does nothing to help racing with his nonsense. Rachel should have been left with her original trainer who obviously loved her and only wanted what was best for her.

03 Jul 2010 10:36 PM
LDP

Laz,

The race is the determining factor for all, not just RA. If all go on and keep winning the BC will bring them together to decide it all. That did not happen last year. When horses do not meet on the track, or one is beaten by a fluke performer then the award goes to the horse with the best year.

In a year like this, where there are several quality horses, all doing well, all gunning for the same race, but have yet to decide things on the track before hand, the Classic decides. 07' was that kind of year. LR had dominated the older ranks, though fell a head short to Curlin who had won the Preakness and Gold Cup. SS won the Derby and Travers and Hard Spun placed in two of the Classics, the Haskell, and later beat SS. All horses came into the race with main goal to win and take HOTY.

RA had an all time year last year, no matter what anyone wants to say. Her entire year was history. Zenyatta, any other year would have won, hands down, but when one has one all time performance compared to a whole year of history, then the one with the most volume wins.

This year is not like that. Nobody is having a "better" year, everything is pretty equal. If it continues that way, then the race that will decide things is the BCC.

For example, lets say QR wins the Whitney and Woodward, then is doing so well that his connections decide to go to the Gold Cup and he wins there too. If he were to lose the Classic to Zenyatta, I would give the award to her. She is no fluke, met him on dirt and beat him fair and sqaure. Now if QR were to be injured and had to miss the Cup or be retire, god forbid, then I would give HOTY to him, because his overall year was better.

03 Jul 2010 10:59 PM
LDP

jayjay,

I could care less if a few fanatical fans blinded by their love so much can't give RA her due.

I think Zen is a great mare, I think the BCC was awesome. I'm willing to say that. It is people like you who are willing to listen.

03 Jul 2010 11:05 PM
Riley

Jason,

Do you really have no understanding of what went on with Rachel?  Do you not understand that she was absolutely knocked out from last year's campaign?  Do you not comprehend that she was poorly handled and rushed to the Fair Grounds race with little more than sixty days training after doing virtually nothing for four months (she walked the shed for almost 3 months) and that this very premature race knocked her out even more?  She finally showed a hint of the old Rachel in the Fleur de Lis, but she was NOWHERE NEAR ready to handle the challenge of the Stephen Foster.  The fact she ran faster than the males means nothing.  I'm confused also about the decision to travel to Monmouth in the heat of summer rather than trek across Union Avenue to race at track where she is stabled, but to say she should have taken on males in the Stephen Foster, after all the messages she has sent us, well...give it a break.  Then, don't compound your illogical thinking by suggesting she has to take on the boys at Saratoga in order to fulfill your idea of what a post-HOY campaign should be.   She gave us one of the greatest, if not the greatest sophomore filly campaign in American racing history.  If she does no more, my goodness, what a legacy!  The tank may be drained, the desire gone, the incredible fight no longer within her, the price she is paying for her incredible 3 year old year.  I suspect nobody understands this better than Steve.  Did you really think they should compound their error of running her far too soon by attempting to take on Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom?  Talk about a way to really finish this filly off for good.  She may not have been able to defeat Z when at her best last year...she would have been decimated had she run against her this year, so why in the world do you criticize her connections for recognizing the error of their ways and withdrawing from the race? Damned if they ran, damned because they didn't.  I sure don't understand your commentary on this occasion. Here's the nuts and bolts of the whole issue, at least as I see it...she was knocked out from her sophomore campaign, and the Woodward was the final straw (that race knocked out EVERY horse in the race); this year they ran her two months before she was ready and knocked her down again.  The La Troienne was a step in the right direction, and they then gave her lots of time, and the Fleur de Lis was then  the perfect race...easy, a good confidence builder, and her time suggests she really hasn't lost too much physically if at all.  Now they are continuing to try to find out if the old Rachel will surface, and they are not yet looking for a gut-wrenching, lay-it-all-on-the-line type of race.  Their error may be in thinking the Monmouth race is going to be much easier that the Ruffian...you lay $400,000 on the table and "they will come!"  I agree, she would be much better off to stay at the Spa, but I suspect they are doing what they think is best for the filly.  You and I and others may disagree with this decision but I do think they are attempting to act in her best interests. Time will tell.  

03 Jul 2010 11:57 PM
Kay

Tim G:

“Apparently you don't read much because, prior the gag order, Steve Asmussen said himself that Rachel has grown, put on weight and she doesn't have that same burst of speed she had last year, the same acceleration.”

Yeah, that’s right… that was quite a bit earlier this year, wasn’t it? I guess the eminently lickable Jeff put the gag order on him after that. You can see that she doesn’t have that ability to separate from the pack. She did much better last time but she didn’t have any burrs sticking to her, like Unrivaled Belle or Zardana. She SHOULD have outclassed those horses. What if another horse like that runs against her in this Monmouth race? Rachel’s devastating weapon was her ability to separate. That’s actually what St Trinians tried to do in the Vanity, but Zenyatta got her anyway. I’m just not sure Rachel can do this against a top-class horse that can really close ground.

LDP:

“In a year like this, where there are several quality horses, all doing well, all gunning for the same race, but have yet to decide things on the track before hand, the Classic decides. 07' was that kind of year. LR had dominated the older ranks, though fell a head short to Curlin who had won the Preakness and Gold Cup. SS won the Derby and Travers and Hard Spun placed in two of the Classics, the Haskell, and later beat SS. All horses came into the race with main goal to win and take HOTY.”

Man, that was a great year!

“RA had an all time year last year, no matter what anyone wants to say. Her entire year was history. Zenyatta, any other year would have won, hands down, but when one has one all time performance compared to a whole year of history, then the one with the most volume wins.”

Okay, look. As I’ve said repeatedly (I know you’re not directing this at me but I want to reiterate anyway), the award could have gone either way last year. The folks who voted for Rachel did so because her campaign fulfilled what THEY thought the HOTY was. And that’s fine. But let’s dispel one notion here – Rachel did NOT have an entire year. She was done by the first week in September. My sweetie Jess had the year all mapped out so she wouldn’t have to run in the BC. And because it was in California, he knew that the outcome of the BC wouldn’t mean much. After all, Curlin was given HOTY and ran fourth in the BC. So of COURSE JJ would plan a campaign that was front-loaded. But like I said earlier, it’s simply a choice for the voters and they chose Rachel.

And just to get back to what my beloved Jess is doing and why Zenyatta “ducked” an ungraded race in late July. The meeting between the two fillies really could only have taken place at the beginning of the year, or at the end in the BC. Like I said earlier, Jess wants NO part of Zenyatta now. He wants to ease Rachel towards whichever BC race he’s likely to choose. NOBODY wants a super hard race now, not this close to the BC. You simply can’t make a mistake. And Zenyatta’s connections know that they gain nothing by shipping, but they could lose everything. The goal is to win races.

Speaking of that, let’s look at their careers. Zenyatta has competed at the top level of her division since her third start. She’s won four G2 races and 11 GI races. Rachel has also made 17 starts, 12 of them in graded company. She also ran in her first graded race in her third start but she was second in two graded races until winning her first graded stakes in her sixth start. She has won five GI races and four G2 races, as well as one ungraded race. None of that is opinion on dirt, plastic, colts or shipping. Those are just facts.

04 Jul 2010 12:28 AM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

What do you call what Gio Ponti and Summer Bird did leading up to last year’s Classic (I’ll leave Zenyatta out of this)?  They put together seasons far more impressive than Rachel's orchestrated low quality races.  They raced against bona-fide G-1 horses..... SB had three top G-1 wins all at classic distances, the Belmont, the Travers and the JCGC and was ducked by Rachel after the Haskell...... Gio won four consecutive G-1's:  the Kilroe Mile, Manhattan, Man 'o War, and the Arlington Million, all against legitimate G-1 winners and traveled across the country and back again.......These two alone dwarfed Rachel's accomplishments in terms of facing legitimate talent and a win in the BCC by either one should have garnered them the HOY....... Sorry, but there were no Martha Washingtons (unlisted), FG Oaks (G-2), Fantasy (G-2), weakest  of all time Woodward, low quality Haskell and three horse races on their resumes.  They didn’t have to struggle to beat G-2 horses or hang on for dear life from horses (Preakness and Woodward) that haven’t won a race since.  Even the great Quality Road was an after-thought in the race.  Not too many people took him seriously and based on what he has faced since, I'm not totally sold on him yet....... The 2009 BCC SHOULD HAVE BEEN the defining race for deciding last year's champion, but according to you, no way.  Now you do an about face.   Like I said, that’s laughable.

04 Jul 2010 1:51 AM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

Another example is Black Tie Affair, HOY in 1991.  That year he raced 10 times and won 7 of them, including the last five in a row.  However, that year he also won only TWO G-1 races, the Iselin and the BCC.  If he didn’t win the BCC, he wouldn’t have won HOY......The BCC was the championship race.  In Excess, who dominated him in the Met Mile, raced on BC day with a four race G-1 win streak winning the Met Mile, Suburban (G-1....1-1/4M back then), the Whitney and the Woodward (1.46.1), races that BTAffair didn’t contest.  For whatever reason, In Excess’s connections chose to contest the BC Mile Turf instead of the BCC, the horse’s only race on the turf in his two years of racing in N/A.  He lost the race, but even if he had won, Black Tie Affair still would have been HOY even though In Excess’s record and his performance were so much more impressive (a handicap horse's year for the ages).  Why?  Because he won the BCC.  The BC defines champions.  That’s why it is often called Champion’s Day and which is why the program was put together to begin with.  That’s why, barring INJURY ONLY, all the leading contenders should contest one of the races in it, either in their own division or the BCC itself if they want the title of HOY.

04 Jul 2010 2:27 AM
The Deacon

I will say this about Draynay, stupid is what stupid does. Same old tired mumble jumble. Get some new material.

04 Jul 2010 2:58 AM
Draynay

Since my opinion matters the most I will tell you what I think.  The thought of any horse other then Quality Road winning HOY if he wins the Whitney and Woodward like he is scheduled to do is laughable.  You Zenyatta fans need to come to grips with the fact no one cares about regional poly champ for HOY.  Poly horses don't win HOY.  Turf horses have done it but the award goes to open G1 winners on dirt.  2:24, I know a lot more about the Marlboro Cup then you will ever know.  For example do you know how much each horse was given for a APPEARANCE FEE ?  Cougar II was put in at the last moment to simply run for the fee.  You people have turned this race into something it wasn't. IT WAS STILL A MATCH RACE THE REST WERE FILLING IN.  The mighty Onion set the pace for the two of them and the rest sat back.  The track was made lightning fast and set up for Secretariat. If you want to know more let me know.  Sodapop, Mr. Jackson could care less about another HOY award this year.  All he wants to do is finish in front of Zenyatta in the Classic if she is crazy enough to show.  He can win another HOY next year when she runs again as a beautiful 5 year old mare.

04 Jul 2010 7:37 AM
sodapopkid

LDP,  Oh, so youre saying that Ra can have this screwed up season, losing 2 grade 2 races and then dropping down to ungraded races , then having to run agaisnt tomato cans to finally get a win, and all she needs to do is beat QR and Zen in the Classic and she will be HOTY??   Remmeber,  what you all said last year,  Its for a season ,not a career, and no darn horse has had a more crappy season then RA,but yet one win and she is hoty?   Well, I cant see that at all,  I dont think enough of the east coast writers would make that mistake .   And do you actually think Ra is going to beat QR and Zen??   I sure dont.    And can you see Ra holding off ZEn's late charge?   Beyers dont meen nothing to a horse like Zen that has heart and determination.....anyone looking back on her BCC win last year can see that.  and dont think M.Smithe wouldnt be keeping her up close on them like he did St. Trinnas .   HOw is this year pretty equal?  RA isnt even running in grade one races.

04 Jul 2010 8:03 AM
devilhisdue

Tim G

Agreed. I think both are exceptional horses. RA is not the 2nd best horse in the country. I cant say she would rank in the top 5. What grade a race is not determined by who will run in it, It is not known. Its not a grade 1 because RA or Z will run in it.If Z runs in the Classic and looses will she loose HOTY? What will the RA fans say? They said last year you didnt have to win that race. I cant see flaws on both sides. I saw in RA in the Oaks a race unlike one since Lite Light.I am not a huge Z fan but at 1-2 I woulda bet her if I was trackside.

04 Jul 2010 8:24 AM
Draynay

Kantharos! Kantharos! A brilliant 2 year old that likes Churchill...hmmm.

04 Jul 2010 8:33 AM
Greg J.

    Hope everyone has a great 4th today!  Since everything has been said over and over, Just hope both Zenyatta and Rachel stay healthy until the Breeders' Cup or both their paths to get there were for naught. To the people that say Zenyatta is "ducking" Rachel, Please, Your comments are comical and you need to educate yourself or you will never be taken seriously, Then again, You will probably just come back and leave another idiotic comment under a different made up name.  

    Congrats to Chinchon, Haynesfield, Harmonius, and that beast of a two year old, Kantharos, WOW!

    I would be remiss if I didn't mention one other that probably no one knows about, A three year old Smarty colt named "Propellor Jones" who won yesterday at Monmouth and made me a bundle, I loved this colt from day one and wanted to say Thank You to Maggi(GREAT claim Maggi) and Mr. Contessa, Please put him in bigger races, He will not disappoint, He is a real talent...

    On two different fronts, To Mr. Stein, You should be ashamed and embarrased for your care and handling of "Daniella Roth", I hope her case is looked into, Sad and Tragic. This four year old was making her 44th start in exactly two years(With one win), Her 16 start this year(Yes, Not a typo!).  That averages out to a start EVERY 16 days for two staight years Mr. Stein!  Well, She broke down friday night at Hollywood Park in race #1, This is what I HATE about the sport I love!  Seriously Mr. Stein, A start every 16 days for two straigt years?  Tragic...

   Finally, Hope and pray that Jockey Scott Stevens(Gary's older brother) makes a full recovery after his horrific fall aboard "Sombre"(R.I.P.), and hope the other two Jockey's involved in the fall,  Paul Nolan and Don Proctor, Make a full recovery also...

04 Jul 2010 8:49 AM
Robin of Michigan

Zenyatta fans, give it a rest would you. Rachel Alexandra deserved to be Horse of the year. you really wanted to see how good Zenyatta could have really been, the Moss's should have stuck with their game plan and put her in the Dubai World Cup in late March. That way, she would have went over Curlin's mark in career earnings. She would have been the richest horse in the land. But now, she's still now.

04 Jul 2010 8:53 AM
RachelandZenyattaFan

I am a fan of both mares, I believe Rachel was the greatest 3 year old filly to set hoof on a track and Zenyatta is the greatest older mare to run.  I can't believe the poison penned by so many.  Ok be ticked that JJ again chooses an easy and disappointing route for her, but why bash a talented filly? How many other 3 year old fillies had the campaign she had last year?  Last year she was perfect.

Zenyatta also is another wonderful mare.  Stop bashing horses and be thankful we have been graced with not ONE but TWO Superstars!  How often does THAT happen?? Enjoy it while we can everyone, because neither of these girls will be on the track next year.  Enjoy the beauty and power of a champion TB racehorse, I know I'm going to!  

04 Jul 2010 9:46 AM
Nancy

I walked on to the racetrack in 1975 in Louisiana.  I knew nothing, but I paid attention....to guys named Red, Cracker, Shamsie, Dead Eye.  You get the picture.  An allowance horse was $20,000.

What did I learn?  Heat, cold and time off.

After Rachel's stunning 3 y.o. campaign, where she laid down her life -- turn her out!  Let her drop her head and wait until she starts running the fence to bring her back.

How'd you like to take a vacation in Grand Central Station?  Have you ever been in a 40 horse shed row for powerful owners? It's big money,it's political, in a word - it's intense.

For all this talk about "oh, yea, I listen to my horses".  Are you deaf?  or daft?

04 Jul 2010 10:15 AM
kathleen o

I'm amused by some of these posts.  While I am admittedly a Zen fan, I don't build her up by putting RA down.  Her record of 17 for 17 stands up for her quality without any help from me.  

So what I see are RA fans coming on these blogs to call her the California Queen, or the Plastic Queen.  They ignore the quality of the horses she has beaten (Twice Over was pretty impressive in his last outing...on turf BTW).  They ignore the fact that when she did ship to a dirt track, none of their 'superior' East coast horses showed up.  Now, they're pinning their HOY hopes on the BCC, forgetting that last year they said it was inconsequential.  This  blog is about RA and the questionable route that JJ is taking with her this year.  Stop trying to rationalize this campaign by slamming one of the greatest horses of our time, it just doesn't prove your point.  Living in the fantasy land of what ifs re the rest of the race year isn't a valid argument for or against any of the top performing horses this year.

I think we're all pretty tired of and bored by the likes of Dray and his cronies.  

04 Jul 2010 10:18 AM
Trebloc

And we wonder why horse racing is a joke.......The owners of both Zenyatta and RA could single handily save horse racing, but nooooooo one has to stay on the west coast and the other one has to run in nongraded races....

04 Jul 2010 11:38 AM
Tim G

Hey Jason, going to watch your favorite horse run at CD today?

LOL

LDP, fanatical fans? That goes both ways on here and you fall into the category of RA fantics.

It's very difficult to go back and undo what you've said in your own blogs and on these.

I love both mares and have said they're both good for the game. This blog is more about why this strange path and what good is it doing the mare or the game????

04 Jul 2010 11:51 AM
Jason Shandler

Riley: The fact that RA ran faster than males means nothing? Ok. Thanks for that insightful comment. I guess the fact that she ran faster than she ever did as a 3YO last out while carrying more weight means nothing too. Wake up. She is fine physically.

04 Jul 2010 12:03 PM
Jason Shandler

Dray: Good grief. Its only July and you are starting to tout another one of your great Derby picks. It was a six-furlong race dopey. Relax. We're going to keep a count this year of all Dray's Derby touts. No. 1 is Kantharos. Cant wait for all the rest...

04 Jul 2010 12:05 PM
Roni

I am constantly sickened over the bashing of JJ's decisions for Rachel. Obviously, last year's campaign took alot out of her and JJ did NOT have to bring her back for her 4 year old campaign. But he did anyway, and has kept her running even when she hasn't performed this season to her usual standards. So what if he's putting her in soft races, he's trying to do right by her and not satisfy any producers looking for ratings. And furthermore, we would have never saw Rachel's true talent and limits if JJ had not purchased her  and taken her from a "sweetheart" of a trainer. So how about we enjoy Rachel, wherever she runs.

04 Jul 2010 12:30 PM
Rachel

Other great horses have taken awhile to get back into form...John Henry lost nine in a row, Zenyatta had 2 races in her 3 year-old year...they run when they run.

Only thing fior JH was he didn't have bloggers to trash him.

04 Jul 2010 12:32 PM
LDP

Laz,

From what you discribe, I still would've gone with In Excess. He had beat BTA during the season already, raced and won some of the most prestigious race in the US and did it dominantly. In the Mile, had he won, I really would've leaned towards him. Not many horses have the versatility to be that good on dirt then win a mile on the turf. Had he won his season would've been better overall, much better.

04 Jul 2010 12:51 PM
Barry

I don't understand why people on here don't like what Draynay comments on, but still reply back to him. If you would ignore him all together, maybe he would go away.

He seems like a guy who thinks he knows everything, and is never wrong.

04 Jul 2010 1:01 PM
LDP

Laz,

You can trash RA's accomplishments all you want, it just shows how biased you are. She had an all time year, one that will not be repeated in your lifetime or even mine. SB had a great year, but was beaten by Zen, as did Gio who was beaten by Zen. Though I don't like the fact it was over a surface neither of them had ever put in a top notch performance over or even run over, she beat them and that was their only meeting. Had SB stayed east then gone to Japan and won, he probably would've been in the HOTY discussion. Had Gio run in the Turf and won, he would've too, no doubt. That did not happen and there is no use in speculating what could've been. Zen beat them in the Classic, a race was beyond words.

Another reason why she is put ahead for beating them is because, like them she had dominated her division prior to the Classic. Gio domianted turf, she dominated older mares, and SB dominated his 3yr old male peers. When they came together and she won it put her over them.

The reason RA won HOTY dispite what many try to say, is because she went from 3yr old fillies, to 3yr old males, and then older males. She beat horses in not one, not two, but three different divisions. Then couple that with winning a Classic, and all the other history she set, you have an all time season that could not be beat.

04 Jul 2010 1:02 PM
Kay

Riley:

Then Rachel should have been retired, right? Let's not forget, though, that Jess told the world that Rachel wouldn't run in the BC WAY before the Woodward (probably through a lavender-scented press release). So the decision to stop on her wasn't made because she was knocked out. I'm not saying she wasn't. Obviously she was. But they had planned the campaign, and they followed through on it. I'm mystified as to why they didn't turn her out either. Pretty astonishing that the guy they keep giving Eclipse Awards to as Outstanding Trainer of One Good Horse Bought For Millions By A Wine Dude has so horribly mismanaged this filly. Seriously, Asmussen doesn't seem that dense.

sodapopkid:

"LDP,  Oh, so youre saying that Ra can have this screwed up season, losing 2 grade 2 races and then dropping down to ungraded races , then having to run agaisnt tomato cans to finally get a win, and all she needs to do is beat QR and Zen in the Classic and she will be HOTY??   Remmeber,  what you all said last year,  Its for a season ,not a career, and no darn horse has had a more crappy season then RA,but yet one win and she is hoty?"

Big difference between last year and this year -- the BC is on the East this year. As we all know, the California BCs don't mean anything at the end of the year.

Jason:

Yeah, Kantharos was truly impressive, but let's see how he feels about that OTHER turn. Pedigree-wise, he's on the wrong side of the Derby fence for me.

04 Jul 2010 1:08 PM
Ripvanwinkle

Marilyn, I was excited to read your comment once you pointed out you hadn't read any of the other comments previously posted. Finally some fresh insight brought to the discussion.

However once I read your comment I became both disappointed and amazed. On your own, without reading any of the other comments, you brought absolutely not one fresh thought, while sounding as shrill and idiotic as Dribblenay.

Well done.

04 Jul 2010 1:19 PM
Pam S.

To all the bloggers pointing out that Rachel and JJ fans called the BC meaningless last year, but this year have decreed that it is all-important and will without question determine HOY:  The #1 reason for this sea change in attitude has less to do with contending horses and their race records than it does with track surfaces.  The 2009 BC was on "plastic," the 2010 version will be on "dirt."  Most RA and JJ fans are morally opposed to synthetic tracks, so to them, THAT is why the BC was inconsequential last year but is nothing less than a holy pilgrimage this year.  Most of them will tell you so; they just haven't done it lately.

04 Jul 2010 1:26 PM
CV

"He can win another HOY next year when she runs again as a beautiful 5 year old mare."

Draynay 04 Jul 2010 7:37 AM

Hmmm, I seriously doubt you will see Rachel run next year. I believe she will be retired for a date with Curlin in 2011.

04 Jul 2010 1:38 PM
secretariat7273

Yes, her handling this year has been a puzzlement, but Zenyatta's people aren't asking too much more of their horse either. They took the easy route all of last year until the last moment and it cost the first female ever to win the BC Classic HOY. However, RA's route this year is thus far the easier of the two, so advantage Zenyatta, but they both better step up to the plate soon as there are possibly some tougher males out there this year than last, such as Quality Road.

04 Jul 2010 1:39 PM
Draynay

First I would like to say Happy 4th of July to everyone and have a safe and fun Holiday with your family.

Barry, you must be new here because everyone here knows I am always right and almost never wrong. LDP, relax.  Rachel is and will forever be the 2009 HOY and Z will be this horse that won on poly.  Rachel haters are upset that she has the most important title in racing and Z will never have it.  When I see Z fans I smile because I know their favorite poly horse will never win the biggest prize in racing.

04 Jul 2010 1:53 PM
Draynay

Mr. Moss please stop hiding Zenyatta in California.  Rachel is running and you're invited.  We all know you went to the Apple but Rachel wasn't ready and now that you both are everyone wants to see you race.  The sport could use the shot in the arm. Just so you know Rachel will be waiting July 24th, in August, and in September for you.  By not showing we will all just assume your scared.  Frankly, I don't blame you.  Zenyatta will not win another race this year.

04 Jul 2010 2:14 PM
Draynay

CV, Mr. Jackson will be racing Rachel in 2011.  He may even ship her to California to race if they switch back to dirt.  He wants Rachel to win more big races and go down as the greatest female in history.

04 Jul 2010 2:19 PM
kathleen o

Pam, 'morally opposed to synthetic tracks' ..... really?  Where does that fall in the list of mortal sins.  East coast fear generated by Curlin's loss.  Could it be that synthetics are more difficult to race on and the east coast establishment is 'morally opposed' to loosing?

04 Jul 2010 2:23 PM
Kay

Morally opposed to synthetics? That's stupid. And just so nobody forgets, your dear darling dirt queen Rachel WON on the synthetic Keeneland surface last year. But hey, you'll all forget about THAT because it's on the venerated EAST Coast. Guys, this is coastal bias. Pure and simple. And it's fairly obvious that Jess's opposition to synthetics exists because he's mad that Curlin lost the BC Classic, and he blames the synthetics. Sure, blame the surface. Don't blame the fact that you brought a seriously over-the-top horse to the race, you moron. I mean, can't we now see that this is his pattern? Squeeze the lemon HARD for as long as you can.

04 Jul 2010 2:25 PM
dance smartly

jason

ra definitely carried alittle more weight last time but could you clarify your statement that she ran faster in the FDL (148.78) than she ever did as a 3 yr old as her times in the woodward- 148.1, haskell-147.1,& MG-146.33 were all faster

04 Jul 2010 2:35 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

I agree, In Excess should have been HOY and probably would have been if he would have contested the Classic and lost that race providing Black Tie Affair also lost.

This is what I mean about the Breeders Cup and why it should always be what it was intended to be in the first place, which is the day of Champions where championships should be decided……Of the first 25 years of the BC 19 winners of the corresponding HOY award competed in a BC race.  Of the other six winners, 5 failed to compete because of injury, and only one, John Henry in the 1st BC did not compete (possibly because he was never nominated and the owners did not want to supplement him).  The breakdown is as follows:

• BC Classic – 15

• BC Turf – 1

• BC Juvenile – 1

• BC Distaff – 2

• Injured - 5

• Did not Compete – 1

Last year, Rachel was only the second horse that was not injured in the 26 years of the event that failed to participate.

Regarding giving Rachel her due…….as I have said many times before she had a tremendous season based on her body of work and should be commended for that alone.  However, the competition was not all that difficult.  She did not face any of the top 3 y-o males leading up to the TC and in the Preakness mainly because they were injured.  That’s why they entered her.  The Haskell field was weak.  Many of the good horses had distance limitations (Munnings is the latest example in yesterday’s Salvatore Mile.  He was competitive until they hit the 7-F marker then he backed off).  As we all know, the Woodward was too weak to honestly be considered a true G-1 race.  They entered her knowing this.  She got HOY and good for her, but I find the award very shallow now especially since she appears to be just as good this year as she was last year.  The only difference is, the competition this year is tougher and unfortunately for Rachel’s connections, there is nowhere to hide.  That’s why they’re pulling their little orchestrated stunts except nor more and more people don't really care any more.  Until she wins a G-1 she’s falling out of radar range.

Personally I don't care either.  the only reeason why I respond and get my back up is the constant basing and/or demeaning of Zenyatta by people who know that Rachel's season was shallow and try to justify it by putting down other horses and their connections.

04 Jul 2010 3:01 PM
anniedixie65

We don't have to wonder if Rachel will show up for the BC Classic, it won't happen. Zenyatta will be there and like stated above they are taking the easiest path possible for Rachel. Otherwise, enough said and well said.

04 Jul 2010 3:16 PM
Freetex

Greg J, I just read  your post and I can't believe it.  That poor horse!

This sport needs regulation, widespread regulation by a team of people who are not afraid to act.

Shame on STEIN, just shame.

04 Jul 2010 3:21 PM
Kathryn

Rachel Alexandra is finished. First of all, last year, she had a turn of foot. She was speedy and quick to challenge a horse if it came to that. The way she battled in the Woodward was fantastic and she seemed to have the heart of a champion. Now, I am beginning to doubt her. Actually, I began to doubt her last year, right before she won Horse of the Year (Which clearly should have belonged to Big Z). Rachel is a different horse this year. She is lacking true brilliant turn of foot and is a bit slow to react it seems. While Zenyatta continues to carve her path to greatness, Rachel is covering up her own tracks of history. We are beginning to forget her glorious three year old campaign and realize that Rachel Alexandra suceeded against a thin crop. If she had faced the likes of Zenyatta then we would no for sure. But honestly, Mr. Jackson knows Rachel can not and will not be Zenyatta ever! To him, Rachel is no Curlin and she will never be "Horse of the World" or even 2010 "Horse of the Year."

04 Jul 2010 3:43 PM
Kathryn

Draynay, Just to let you know, if you haven't realized, Zenyatta did win the "biggest prize in racing": The Breeders' Cup Classic. Rachel avoided the race and opted for an easier route. Maybe Mr. Jackson was afraid to race her because he knew she would embarass herself and lock herself out of Horse of the Year contention. Zenyatta put it all on the line and left victorious.

04 Jul 2010 3:46 PM
Marilyn

Ripvanwinkle, and the rest of you that have attacked me today - Really?  Must you too personally attack me because you don't like what I have to say?  Does it make you feel better about yourself to put others down?  I thought this blog was supposed to be about Rachel and why her connections are taking the path that they are and what might be next for her.  I just wrote what I've heard because, I'm sorry to tell you, I own a few racehorses and hear things from people that actually know more than you people that like to bash people on this blog.  So if it makes you feel better, go ahead, put me down, I'm a big girl, I'm a veteran and have taken on stronger and scarier people than all of you, but since you think you know everything, by all means, call my words dribble.  You're not hurting me, just making yourself look childish.

04 Jul 2010 3:56 PM
kathleen o

Barry, the comment directed to you is proof positive that somebody is off meds again.  

Just how many horses have been named Horse of the Year compared to how many horses have a win streak of 17 at the highest level of racing? hmm

There are some people out there who think their opinion holds  more weight than the opinions of HOF jockeys and trainers.  Sad little people with nothing better to do than stir the pot.

04 Jul 2010 4:21 PM
Robin of Michigan

For all the Zenyatta fans, a little FYI for you also, that Rachel Alexandra is not the only horse to take Horse of the Year one year, and then start losing the year after. And just because Rachel lost her first two starts of her four year old season and then win her third start does not mean she does not belong in the Horse Racing Hall of Fame. You know how many great racehorses who are in the Hall of Fame that have lost races. The likes of Secretariat, Man O' War, Native Dancer, Northern Dancer, Skip Away, Silverbulletday, Ruffian, Foolish Pleasure. All these horses have lost races and still end up in the hall of fame. So, Rachel losing her first two starts as a 4 year old, does not mean that she will not be in the horse racing hall of fame.

04 Jul 2010 4:32 PM
CV

"On two different fronts, To Mr. Stein, You should be ashamed and embarrased for your care and handling of "Daniella Roth", I hope her case is looked into, Sad and Tragic. This four year old was making her 44th start in exactly two years(With one win), Her 16 start this year(Yes, Not a typo!).  That averages out to a start EVERY 16 days for two staight years Mr. Stein!  Well, She broke down friday night at Hollywood Park in race #1, This is what I HATE about the sport I love!  Seriously Mr. Stein, A start every 16 days for two straigt years?  Tragic..."

Greg J. 04 Jul 2010 8:49 AM

Greg J.,

I'm assuming from your post the filly Daniella Roth had to be euthanized. Is that correct? Do you know what kind of injury she had? Such a sad case.

04 Jul 2010 4:34 PM
jayjay

LDP : You really need to go back and read your comments because you sure talk like you think you're defending RA from the Zenyatta fans.  The fact is, us Zenyatta fans are responding back to your bashing.  You talk negatively about Zenyatta like it's normal and you are shocked when people respond to it.  You like to compare RA to Zenyatta and when people starts to tear apart your attacks on Zenyatta, you act so surprised and ask why people don't like you.

Draynay : When I said get some new materials, I meant get some that makes sense and are true.  I didn't say make things up, but knowing you, you would lol.  You really have no concept of what horse racing is about but you are good as the blog clown, you're the  joke of the day...every day lol.  Keep up the good work!

To everyone that thinks RA is physically injured, that wouldn't make sense.  When people say that something is wrong with RA, I believe (at least this is what I mean), they mean that she doesn't have the will to run, to win anymore.  She doesn't like racing, that's something that's harder to fix than a physical injury because it's all a guessing game as to how to fix it.  This is her last year, JJ is on a panic mode as to how he's going to salvage her season which is not really looking good on the filly's resume with regards to being the reigning HOTY.

For those rabid RA fans that are still bashing Zenyatta, I can only say, I'm sorry that your horses' connections screwed her up.  My Team Z took great care of Zenyatta and she's happy.  Rachel will only be happy when JJ is done racing her this year, that's how I feel about it.  It's a longshot but hopefully JJ did learn to take care and put her care first rather than some award, I'd be happy if Rachel runs in ungraded stakes until she retires.  Who cares if people think she's a one year wonder, her 2009 will be remembered by her fans forever, her truest loyal fans.

04 Jul 2010 5:40 PM
jayjay

Marilyn : If you're going to post something just so you can bash Zenyatta, at least make it believable.  I've seen your post on here and in Haskin's blog about this "rumor" you heard that Monmouth tried to do what Oaklawn did to put together the race between RA and Z.  It's pretty obvious you said those things just so you can bash Zenyatta about ducking RA LOL, that's pathetic.  If there was any kind of deal or negotiations like that, it would be ALL OVER the racing world so stop with this nonsense, it's really sad that you have to make things up just to hate on Zenyatta.

LDP:   It's a little too late, don't even pretend with that Zenyatta praise, nor that "BCC is awesome" crap.  We all know how you feel about them, this is not the way to appease your audience if you were a writer, you don't say things that your audience wants to hear because you'll have audiences that are much much smarter than you are, unless the only audience you have is Draynay.  You have a lot to learn.

04 Jul 2010 5:50 PM
Backtalk

This was supposed to be about RA and if Z fans can't say something nice, then "don't say anything at all." However, since a few die-hard Z fans have, I have something to say about Z. Z got her huge horse's ass whipped to get past St. Trinians--and if you watch the replay of that race you will see that Z almost got her butt beat had St. Trinians not slipped/misstepped coming around the final turn. That was a close one for Z. There are some up and coming great fillies racing now and I've started watching them--the "new kids in town." I am bored with Z running against no competition (except St. Trinians) and only in CA & with the disappointment of RA just barely losing her first two races.

As far as entering a horse in ungraded races, I saw Quality Road at Hawthorne Park in Chicago last year run against no competition just to get his groove back. That's common practice, sodapopkid. Just like Informed Decision racing at Arlington Park today against "tomato cans."

That said, I feel badly that RA was bought by JJ. Poor horse deserves so much better; like Beth said, RA deserves to retire to green pastures and be a broodmare (before she becomes another Ruffian or Eight Belles). I also agree 100% that RA is an adolescent in the sense that she is having to get used to a more mature body, unlike Z who is an old mare.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

04 Jul 2010 6:33 PM
Moca

just retire the 2 damn horses so we don't have to hear people whine anymore.

04 Jul 2010 6:39 PM
GunBow

LDP:

Just wanted to bring to your attention a few things regarding your earlier posts.

I agree that Zardana is better on dirt than she is on turf and most synthetics, but Hollywood Park is the one synthetic surface she appears to be just as good on.  Zardana did, afterall, win the gr.2 Bayakoa on Hollywood's Cushion Track back last December, using her speed to stalk and pounce.  On Santa Anita's Pro-Ride, her speed was not nearly as effective in the Santa Maria, although one must acknowledge the competition in the Santa Maria(St.Trinians, Life is Sweet) was alot tougher than the Bayakoa.  So, if Zardana is better on dirt than Hollywood's Cushion, it's only by a little, and Hollywood's Cushion Track is where Zenyatta just easily beat Zardana in the Vanity.  You can't point to Zardana as an example of the higher level of competition Rachel has faced and then completely ignore the fact Zenyatta beat Zardana by 5 lengths on a track Zardana scored a gr.2 win over.

As for the field for the Breeder's Cup Classic, I am aware that your stance is that Zenyatta beat horses that were running over their second or third favorite surface.  However, for one, Gio Ponti had raced over synthetic before, and not only that, had won a gr.3 race over synthetic.  And it just happens that he scored that synthetic stakes victory on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride(08' Sir Beaufort), the very track the Classic was run over.  Then there was Colonel John who had won the Sham and Santa Anita Derby over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride, and who has just run 2nd by a neck in the gr.1 Goodward over Pro-Ride. Einstein had won the Santa Anita Handicap at the Classic distance in March and had run 2nd by a neck in the Pacific Classic over Del Mar's Polytrack.  Richard's Kid was also proven over synth having won the Pacific Classic(and would go on to win the gr.2 San Antonio this February).  Awesome Gem, an earned of $2million, appears to be slightly better on dirt than synth, but he has won $500k on synth and run his highest Beyer on synth(and will be shipping out to Cali for next weekend's Gold Cup).  And while it did appear that Mine That Bird did not care for Pro-Ride, it's also possible he was just tailing off after a tough campaign.  And one cannot claim Mine That Bird hates synth because 4 of his 5 career wins have been on synth.  

As for Summer Bird, it's not like he ran poorly in the Classic, so at the very least one would have to conclude he tolerates it.  Finally, there are the Euros, Rip Van Winkle and Twice Over.  After the Euros swept the 08' Classic finishing 1-2, and with the repeated failures of Eastern horses to win on Pro-Ride at the Breeder's Cup, all the talk was how much Pro-Ride favored turf horses over dirt horses.  So, to then claim that the Euros were greatly disadvantaged by Pro-Ride in 2009 seems like a contradiction.  Twice Over did run 2nd in the Classic afterall, so he appears to be close to as good on Pro-Ride as he is on turf.  In Rip's case, again it is hard to know if he didn't like the track or if he had nothing left to give.  That leaves Regal Ransom and Girolamo, who just simply might have been overmatched.

Zenyatta's win in the Classic was one for the ages, and the field she beat was as good as the field for most Classics.  In my opinion, in comparing Zenyatta with Rachel, I believe Zenyatta has the better single victory(Classic) and has had a superior career, but that Rachel's 09' was better than any one of Zenyatta's individual years.

04 Jul 2010 6:45 PM
GunBow

Mine That Bird...ugh

He didn't even look like the same horse.  It's amazing how much a different bridle can change the appearance of a horse.

Informed Decision won in Chicago, but she clearly is not the same horse as last year.

04 Jul 2010 6:59 PM
2:24

Really Dray, really.  Sorry to have questioned you.  Hey, I was just thrown off by you comparing the Marlboro Cup to the Lady's Secret.  After all the Marlboro Cup only had three Hall of Famers, the 1972 3 year old champion, the winner of that year's Whitney, and the nation's top turf horse.  I'm sorry, you're right, just like the Lady's Secret because it was ungraded.  You know so much more than me and everyone else on the blog for that matter.  I must have just been mad about some of your previous comments about Secretariat, i.e., when you made fun of him for losing to Prove Out, a solid older male who ran a mile and a half in 2:25.  Is there any other horse race history you'd care to enlighten me on, oh wise one?  (you can't go look it up on the Internet first).

04 Jul 2010 7:07 PM
Ida Lee

I don't get the Zenyatta and Rachel bashing. Both these girls are Treasures to me and so I would not put one down in order to elevate the other. They're legends and nothing we say will change that. Today, I've been watching the races and having great fun. Although my girl Champagne D'Oro came in second in her race, the winner Franny Freud is absolutely great. What a Filly!!! And my adored Informed Decision won her race although for some reason the commentators were down on her. You would have thought she actually lost the race. But, my heart broke for Mine That Bird. OH NO! I can't stand to see him lose again so badly. On the other hand, I Want Revenge looked gorgeous as always yesterday and I think he ran well in coming in 3rd. Oh well, you win some, you lose some...but one thing for sure, I would rather just enjoy and love the horses than get an ulcer trying to second guess their connections.

04 Jul 2010 7:15 PM
LOL

Draynay you're just jealous of Zenyatta because she makes more money than you do

04 Jul 2010 7:38 PM
Jason Shandler

Dance Smartly: I meant in the La Troinne. She ran faster at 1 1/16th in a losing effort than she did last year I beleive.

04 Jul 2010 8:01 PM
Jason Shandler

Papillion: You better hope Wayne doesnt stick MTB in the Whitney. You just flushed $100 down the toilet if he does.

04 Jul 2010 8:14 PM
Draynay

Enough is enough. It's time you all admit I was 100% right and call MTB what he is.  A DERBY MUD WINNING FLUKE.  I said he wouldn't win all year last year and now it looks like he won't win this year unless it's a claiming race at Beulah Park.  Come to grips with it folks MTB was a Fluke winner last year just like SuperSaver is a fluke winner this year.  MTB they are waiting for you in Grove City !

04 Jul 2010 8:26 PM
jayjay

Marilyn : It is dribble and childish when you use what you claim to "know" from your peers to bash another great horse.  It doesn't really make you a true horse racing fan.  To claim to be an owner and talk that kind of talk about another horse is very immature.  No one attacked you, folks merely defended another horse that you attacked.  Read over your blogs and get over yourself.  

04 Jul 2010 8:45 PM
devilhisdue

I dont think RA is the same horse as many have said. Sometimes when they turn 4 their mind is not on racing. Its on other things.

 The opinions on plastic as a surface have drawn criticism from the greatest trainers in the game. baffert Lucas Stronach and more. hard to handicap erratic results throw form out the window. RA was the bomb in 09 and deserving HOTY. You Z fans cant get over it. Z is a great horse on plastic. A great mare. 09 was RA's. maybe 10 is Z's. Then again maybe she looses. Then what will you say?

04 Jul 2010 9:02 PM
jayjay

devilhisdue : If Z loses this year, it will be in a G1 race, not an ungraded race.

04 Jul 2010 9:13 PM
sodapopkid

GUNBOW HAS SPOKEN!!  LDP, can you see through those Rachel colored glasses now?  IF you cant , remove them.  Gunbow pointed out to you evrything about every horse that Zen beat in the classic, and the horses had won on synthetics before, so they wont so new to them.  I firmly believe that great horses can win on both surfaces, and yes , RA has won on them too.

Now I know, Gunbow knows more than you, a thousand times more. And knows fifty thousand times more than myself. So no pun intended.

And yes, Zenyatta's BCC is one for the ages.....a thousand times over.

As we appoach the beginning of the BC races, not one horse will be on everyone's mind and heart, but one,  the one, the only Zenyatta.

She is going to bring the fans to Churchill like no other this year.

Churchilll Downs will have the best BC fanfare ever, Because everyone will want to see Goldikova doing a threepeat, and the queen defending her title...

CD needs to start preparing now so they can be ready for the fans......BE prepared for the queen of the west's arrival.

I can feel the jubialtion now.

04 Jul 2010 9:13 PM
Bob Z

Kathryn,

So Rachel had the heart of a champion in the Woodward...? I agree.

What happened before the end of last year that would cause you to change your mind...

You do realize that the heart she showed at the Woodward was the last time anybody got a chance to see her perform until this year...?

So what happened after she stopped running last year that would cause you to change your opinion?

Or are you just referring to her races "this" year?

Don't be bothered if she didn't respond to the fan mail... she gets several hundred a month...

"The way she battled in the Woodward was fantastic and she seemed to have the heart of a champion. Now, I am beginning to doubt her. Actually, I began to doubt her last year, right before she won Horse of the Year (Which clearly should have belonged to Big Z)."

04 Jul 2010 9:19 PM
LAZMANNICK

Back Talk

That must have been some grove you saw Qualtiy Road do at Hawthorne e

especially since he has never raced in a State where you CAN'T SEE THE ATLANTIC OCEAN.  What did he waltz to, the invisible tango.

04 Jul 2010 9:21 PM
jayjay

Draynay : Since you're the expert on "FLUKE" horses, I take it you consider your once superstar that you have since abandoned and relegated to just plain beating Zenyatta as her salvation a FLUKE when it comes to her 2009 year?  From what I can see in your posts, you call MTB a fluke because he won one prestigious race and never won again.  Well, RA won a "prestigious" award last year but has yet to come close to her performance last year.  From your definition, that classifies as a fluke right ?  MTB at least ran in true G1 races and ran his heart out everytime, he ran against some better horses, one of which was your superstar but he also wasn't afraid of running in different surfaces, he went against the best field assembled last year.  RA has not run in any G1 races this year.

Jason : What's your take on that ?

To me, I do think it was a fluke season, while she did win all those races last year which got her owner the HOTY award.  I doubt very much that any other filly will ever dare try it.  Sure, there will be some great fillies in the future that will have the same abilities as Rachel but there are very few owners that would put a great filly through that kind of grueling campaign just to win an award.  In fact, I hope that it never gets repeated and I'm fairly certain that most owners out there care about their horses (well, except for a couple I can think of right off the bat).  So yeah, RA's 3 yr old year is one for the ages but sadly, I think people will remember her 2009 performance together with her 2010 performance and she will become the talk amongst owners and trainers on how to manage or mismanage a nice horse.  I think that will be her legacy.

04 Jul 2010 9:47 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

RA was definately the deserving HOY in 2009. Even most Zenyatta fans will agree to that. RA had a more rigorous schedule and beat every horse she ran against, but was exhausted for the last third of the year. Move ahead to 2010. RA is 1 for 3 against lower level horses. For her next race she has been dropped into an ungraded stakes that her owner/wanna-be-a-trainer, Jess Jackson, had written for her. What? Really? I know she is better than that.

By some peoples reasoning on here, any ungraded stakes winner outside of CA is better than an undefeated multiple G1 winner in CA. Is this some formulation using that new math I keep hearing about? Or are some people on here confused by logic, reason and facts?

The RA vs. Zenyatta debate looks a lot like another famous East vs. West rivalry... War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit. Nothing a Western based horse accomplishes will ever be satisfactory to the East Coast fans. In fact, I recall not so long ago that the CalBred Tiznow was bashed unreservedly by the Eastern fans. Now he is a darling of KY. Go figure.

The Eastern based horses had their shot at Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom (2x) but they didn't show up. The horses that did show up were defeated. I'm also trying to figure out exactly when it was that they changed the track to 'plastic' in the Apple Blossom since so many are claiming Zenyatta can only run on poly.

Win or lose, I love both champions and always enjoy watching them do what they do best... run!

04 Jul 2010 10:16 PM
LDP

Gun Bow,

I'm not dissing the Classic, I feel her victory was one for the ages. I question the ability of some of the horses over Pro-Ride, but nonetheless, it was a race for the ages. I say the exact same thing for RA's Woodward. Were some of the horses questionable, can it be argued that some are not true G1 horse, even though they have proven cable at running like one at times? Sure, it's very possible. However the fact remains, what she did, fending off two speedsters, each taking their own shot at her, then still having enough to hold off two closers was flat out amazing.

I do not point out Zardana as "higher," if I understand how you use that correctly. I feel that on dirt she is better and better than many of the horses Zenyatta has faced this year. HP, IMO has always played very close. If a horse runs well there, if I were a betting person, I'd bet them in the next dirt start. I am not saying Zardana is a worldbeater, by any means at all, just that I think she proves that when running over dirt, she is better than most of the horses that Zenyatta has met over synthetics.

BTW, Happy 4th!

04 Jul 2010 10:29 PM
JerseyBoy

Backtalk:

You said "As far as entering a horse in ungraded races, I saw Quality Road at Hawthorne Park in Chicago last year run against no competition just to get his groove back"

Quality Road's Past Performances can be found here:

community.drf.com/.../quality-road-1.pdf

04 Jul 2010 10:29 PM
LDP

jayjay,

I've never "bashed" Zenyatta. I will admit I have pointed out the flaws of her competition and the fact I couldn't stand the way Moss has handled Zenyatta. There is a happy medium between JJ and Moss, both could take a page from the other's book in certain areas. However if you want to believe that I'm some evil, horse loathing, freak, fine. Personally I think you just like to pick fights, particularly with me.

04 Jul 2010 10:35 PM
Jermon

It seems to me Rachel is being mentally prepped for one last

hurrah. There doesn't seem to be any thing wrong with her

physically. Her first race back was quite good considering she

hadn't had a tightener. Her second race was very good also.

Her problem seemed to be mental, as if she was saying

"What, again?" as she was hooked for the stretch runs. These

easy races will serve to settle her mentally, and hopefully again

enjoy some competition.

The question is where is she headed? In reflecting on last year's

races, I will allow myself the same liberty many poster's allow

themselves, that is, I will make definite statements that cannot be

proven. If Zenyatta had run in last year's Woodward, as that race

was run, she would have swallowed Rachel. If Rachel had run in

the BCC, even if she exhibited her Preakness form, she would

have been swamped in the stretch, and not only by Zenyatta.

Any hope of beating Zenyatta and/or winning this year's BCC was

contingent upon her continued development from 3 to 4. That's

not happening, she seems to have peaked. I doubt she will be

headed for the BCC. The BC Distaff would be pointless; if she

won the response would be "So what!". That leaves only one

path to glory and the resurrection of Rachel's image, and that

is to take on Goldikova at a mile on the grass. Given the boldness

of Rachel's campaign after being bought by JJ, he may exercise

that boldness again. If she takes to grass, she surely would be

competitive at a mile. It wouldn't surprise me to read of her soon

beginning to work out on grass.

04 Jul 2010 10:36 PM
Draynay

Sodapop, maybe Gunbow can name all the G1 and G2 races won by horses this year that faced Zenyatta in the Classic?  Go ahead Gunbow name them all !!!  Name all the races won by Einstein, MTB, Colonel John, and the Bird....  lol.

04 Jul 2010 10:46 PM
LDP

Laz,

Until you get every single horse that is at the top of their division to compete in the BC, whatever there respected race will be, it can't be the be all end all. If there was some kind of series leading up to it that ensured any sound horse leading up to it must compete, getting the leading horses in the sport to meet and one to emerge victorious, then yes, it would hold much more weight. In fact this sometimes happens. As I said, when all the years top horses show to the Classic, HOTY is normally decided right there.

On your thing with RA, I could say the exact same things about what Zen faced last year. Overall weak horses, never venturing out of her comfort zone, and only did when some of the others were at there most vulnerable. I still do feel that, but I will not say Zen is not a great horse, because that is nothing but a lie.

04 Jul 2010 10:47 PM
JerseyBoy

Said about Mine That Bird. From the handicapped genius:

" I said he wouldn't win all year last year and now it looks like he won't win this year unless it's a claiming race at Beulah Park".

Looks like he was just good enough to fully extend Rachel Alexandra.

04 Jul 2010 10:50 PM
Greg J.

Backtalk,

    Besides his first two races, A maiden and an allowance, Quality Road has raced in eight straight graded races since then(5 Grade ones, 2 Grade 2, 1 Grade 3), So, Where did you see him get his "groove back" in a un-graded race?, lol...

Also, Your Ruffian and Eight Belles remark is just plain stupid and uneducated...

04 Jul 2010 10:50 PM
LDP

Kay,

Ummmm, JJ didn't like synthetics before Curlin. Remember it was only due to the pressure the fans put on him to meet BB in the Classic that he first went there. Then when BB bowed out, he kept Curlin there to provide some much needed star power to the race.

Also IMO, Curlin was not over the top. That move around the turn displayed a turn of foot that Curlin had not displayed since Dubai. Pro-Rid plays like turf however, meaning you need to wait wait wait, then count to 3 before you move, not make it halfway around the turn.

04 Jul 2010 10:56 PM
Greg J.

LDP,

    I am not getting involed in the back and forth with Zenyatta and Rachel on here, But, Two observations about your comments sometimes, You hand out a back handed compliment regarding Zenyatta, Then in the same breath, You diminish that compliment by putting here down in some way.  It would be nice if you could actually hand out a compliment then stop there.  I do love your passion though :)

04 Jul 2010 10:57 PM
Draynay

LDP, don't let people fool you.  No one really believes Zenyatta will actually show up at Churchill to get whipped by much better horses.  Most think like I do and they will come up with some kind of excuse.  Everyone knows if she races she will be exposed and Mr. Moss doesn't want that.  So relax.  No one really thinks Zenyatta is all that.  Zenyatta will not win another race all year.

04 Jul 2010 10:59 PM
jayjay

LDP : You put yourself out there and posts your opinions and when people disagree with you, you claim they're picking fights with you ?  Please.

Do you know what "bashing" means ?  To me, it means posting negative comments about her team's decisions about how to handle Zenyatta.  What you call "flaws" are from you wanting to see them run her the way JJ ran RA last year.  When you question the field of the Classic, you're bashing her because you're saying that she beat a questionable field (I'll refer you back to GunBow's comments about the field.)  I've said before, you don't think of it as a negative comment because you dislike her or her connections so much that anything negative that comes out of your head, you think is normal.  Again, you have a lot to learn kid.

You've questioned her connections all year long, how they keep Zenyatta in California running in female races even though they're all G1 but you refuse to say anything about Jess Jackson and keeping RA running against nobodies.  Instead, you try to make an excuse for it, the same "excuse" that we've said Team Z is doing with Zenyatta. You've also ignored the fact that JJ doing what he did in Monmouth affected other owners/trainers who had their own plans/schedules altered because of the race being moved...but no, it's JJ and he's "great".  If you want to work in this industry, you need to understand that you will be working for the industry, you need to write articles for the good of the industry, not side with whoever you like and then when confronted screams "you're picking a fight with you".

04 Jul 2010 11:08 PM
merlinmerry

Kay - in your post of 12:28am, 7/4/10, you reference "the eminently lickable Jeff."

I have to know, who is this guy?  He's not only lickable, he's EMINENTLY lickable?  I just want to know so that I can keep the players clear in my mind.  Yes, that's the only reason, nothing prurient here, no salacious thoughts, nosirree.  And, my dogs.  Yes, my dogs.  They are always looking for lickable folks.  Just want to help them out.

04 Jul 2010 11:09 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason, I guess my post got lost in space. Let me try again.

Happy 4th of July to everyone and all who have served our country most especially. We owe them everything.

Extra carrots for Rachel and Zenny.

I wish both Zenny and Rachel great rest of the seasons and may they both add to their reputations. I think Zenny is going to Del Mar. I am hoping the she likes the track better this time out. If St. Trinians shows, this is going to be a tough one. Anyone know how she's doing????

04 Jul 2010 11:14 PM
Bob Z

Jermon,

How about if Zenyatta ran in the Haskell?  I think Rachel would have won that one as she was peaking around that time...

"If Zenyatta had run in last year's Woodward, as that race

was run, she would have swallowed Rachel."

04 Jul 2010 11:28 PM
sodapopkid

Well Dray, If you're speaking of the males then you will have to be throwing stones at RA too,  because any of the males that Rachel beat that was good last year, Wouldnt it make sense that they would go to the BCC??  Well, they did, and low and behold Zen beat them all....Go Figure

04 Jul 2010 11:30 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

That was the idea.  Race in top races all year long and then meet to decide who the TRUE champion should be.  The incentive, besides possible division and HOY titles, were the large purses of a magnitude never before offered except for maybe the Arlington Million.  That's why in the 25 years preceding Rachel, in 19 of them the HOY raced in at least one BC race, five of the six that didn't were injured and not racing at the time, and John Henry wasn't nominated or he probably would have been there also.  Rachel is actually the first horse that did not compete in the BC for any reason other than the lame excuse that they didn't want her to and that was decided well before she stretched herself to the limit in the Woodward.

The races that Zen won last year before the BCC were essentially G-1 with a few G-2's.  There were no unlisted stakes, no stakes confined (restricted to a certain age), etc.  Rachel never even had a race against older fillies, primarily because the older fillies were tougher than the three year old fillies.  Also, as much as I respect Gunbow's opinion, I do not agree with his assessment of Zardana.  She has run much better on grass and synthetics than dirt.  The Beyer numbers prove it and if you convert Synthetic Beyers to Dirt Beyers and visa versa, you would see a big difference in her best Beyers on dirt and her best Beyers on synthetics.

04 Jul 2010 11:38 PM
Greg J.

Draynay,

   Your quote, "Sodapop, maybe Gunbow can name all the G1 and G2 races won by horses this year that faced Zenyatta in the Classic?  Go ahead Gunbow name them all !!!  Name all the races won by Einstein, MTB, Colonel John, and the Bird....  lol."

    Of those you mention, Einstein(Retired, No races in 2010), Summer Bird(Retired, No races in 2010), Mine That Bird, First race today since the classic and on a surface he has never raced on, Colonel John(Retired, No races in 2010).  

    Since you are pretty much wrong all the time, I guess you wouldn't count Twice Over's victory today in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) at Sandown Park?  Yes, Knowing you, You will say that doesn't count because it was a Group 1 not a Grade 1, Or, You will dismiss any racing that doesn't take place in the States, lol...

I guess Dray you don't count Richard's Kid winning the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap in Feb. 2010 either???

Once again Dray, Your comment is proved wrong as usual...

04 Jul 2010 11:39 PM
sodapopkid

****EBAY UPDATE******

ZEN HALTER- 1 DAY TO GO - $5200.00

RACHEL A.HALTER- 2 DAYS TO GO-$1533.00

'LOOKIN GOOD FOR THE CHARITY'

04 Jul 2010 11:54 PM
jayjay

Bob Z : There was no way that Zenyatta could've run in the Haskell that RA ran in.  The Haskell is restricted to 3 yr olds and she was 5 then.  Yeah I know, a lot of people forget she's a 6 yr old and still competing against these youngsters.  The Woodward is for 3 yr olds and UP so Zenyatta and Rachel can both run in that race.  And I agree with Jermon on that one.

05 Jul 2010 12:01 AM
Riley

jshandler...I tend to agree.  i doubt there is anything wrong with Rachel physically.  If you will reread my post i never claimed there was.  I was expressing an opinion regarding her mental state, her desire to compete.  My apologies if that was not clear.  i stand by my statement that the fact she ran faster than the boys in the Stephen Foster can be very misleading.  Nothing challenged her, she had things her own way over a field that she totally outclassed, and that is exactly what she needed at this time.  Let's hope her desire returns and she continues to move forward off that effort.  Like you, I suspect the physical ability remains but only time will tell.

05 Jul 2010 12:06 AM
LAZMANNICK

Greg J

You can also add Regal Ransome, first race this past weekend, and Girolamo who is close to his first race.  Rip Van Winkle has had only one race (against Golikova).

05 Jul 2010 12:07 AM
sodapopkid

LDP, don't let people fool you.  No one really believes Rachel A. will actually show up at Churchill to get whipped by much better horses.  Most think like I do and they will come up with some kind of excuse.  Everyone knows if she races she will be exposed and Mr. Jackson doesn't want that.  So relax.  No one really thinks RA is all that.  Rachel will not win another race all year.

This is what you were trying to say , wasn't it Dray???

And the real message you are trying to get out??    

05 Jul 2010 12:13 AM
Riley

Kay...Nowhere did I say Rachel should have been retired.  I will share some information with you, information that is accurate. If you choose not to accept these for truths, there is nothing I can say to change your mind.  The decision to rest Rachel after the Woodward was a near certainty even before the race.  After the Woodward, the decision was cast in stone by the next morning...the race was exhausting, far more so than had been anticipated, and her connections recognized this and quickly finalized the decision to put her away for the year. She was not turned out because the experience of the barn has been that fillies lose their competitive edge when they are removed from the racetrack environment and they had experiences where that edge never returned.  Because of this belief the decision to turn her out was never considered.  She was to stay under the supervision of Scott Blassi.  Now, why she never went to the track for nearly three months I have no insight about.  Perhaps she had some niggling injury that we are not privy to and I don't know the answer to that question but it is question that I also have wondered about.  When you have done nothing but walk the shedrow for 3 months you lose a tremendous amount of conditioning, so I'm sure they were starting from near scratch when she returned to the track in Dec at the Fair Grounds. They then ran into poor weather which seriously prevented her from doing any serious training.  It wasn't until January that her serious galloping began ie about 60 days before her first race back.  So, three months of doing nothing, then one month of light jogging, and only 60 days of serious training before her match at the Fair Grounds.  Perhaps the amazing thing is HOW WELL she performed on that occasion.  To lose a narrow decision to a grade 2 caliber horse with such little conditioning speaks volumes about her class and ability, but unfortunately also speaks volumes about those who would expose her to such a challenge when so ill-prepared.  Thanks for listening.

05 Jul 2010 12:28 AM
Marilyn

JayJay - Fisrt of all, I am not the only one who has heard of this "rumor" as you call it, so stop bashing me.  And I have never said anything bad about Zenyatta!  I may have said something in defense of Rachel but bash her? come on, she's a horse.  I, as well as most of the people on this blog, love Zenyatta too, I just don't feel like she's a religion the way everyone else does, and bow down to my shrine of her every day, nor do I do so to Rachel.  I believe both horses are great and we should be grateful that we are alive to witness them both in our lifetime, instead of being childish and trying to start fights like little kids on the school ground.  I for one, love watching both of them run, but EVERY time there is ANY kind of a blog, it could even be about the weather, the Zenyatta Zealots come out of the woodwork to bash on Rachel, and it's disgusting!  If you love Zenyatta as much as you claim to than love her, honor her, but don't make all of her fans look like idiots!  Nothing I said was made up, and you can search for it all you want!

Obviously, no one is allowed to post on here without being personally attacked unless you are jumping up and down praising Zenyatta.  How Pathetic!  Especially when she wasn't even the topic of the blog!  Crawl back to wherever you came from and spew your hate someone else, but leave me alone!  I wasn't bashing anyone, nor would I ever!

05 Jul 2010 12:45 AM
jayjay

Draynay : So let me see, you can't pick a winner BEFORE a race, you don't know a female horse from a male horse and now, you don't even know that horses are retired ??  Seriously man, it's getting worse and worse.  Time to give up the nonsense ?  How about you try posting something serious, legitimate and sensible ?  You might get a pinch of credibility...who knows, weirder things have happened.

05 Jul 2010 1:11 AM
Marilyn

JayJay - No one attacked me?  Telling me to step away from the bar?  That's not attacking me?  Your words, that I'm making up dribble, which by the way, I'm not making up a word, that's not attacking me?  You get a grip.  If you don't think that telling me to step away from the bar was completely uncalled for then I'd hate to see what your idea of attacking is.  And I'm not CLAIMING anything, everything I said was real, but I don't care if you believe me, just don't go bashing me, I've never used any bad or insulting words to anyone here except to maybe say they were childish for attacking someone over a horse.  Everyone here really needs to check themselves and see why they feel the need to personally attack someone that they don't even know, just because they said something that they don't like, without REALLY knowing if it's right or not.  And as I've said before, I was NOT bashing Zenyatta, I love Zenyatta, it's being bashed by all of her fans that I hate.

05 Jul 2010 1:12 AM
TBOwner

Good grief how long can this go on?

The same things being said over and over. Seems like more fun to beat my head against a brick wall.

Too bad all you experts don't band together-on opposite sides of course- and buy a couple of race horses at the upcoming sale. Then you could all impart your wisdom.

If not that at least go to the track and BET.

The rest of this, you're just hammering at each other and the funny part is none of it matters one iota to Jess Jackson, Jerry Moss, Quality Road's connections or Mine That Bird's connections or Super Saver's connections or anyone else in racing. Hell not even Jose the hotwalker thinks you all know anything, I asked. Too funny.

05 Jul 2010 1:12 AM
Marilyn

Backtalk - Just a little info for you, although everyone will probably say I'm making this up, but you can easily watch the replay and see for yourself.  St. Trinians didn't have a mis-step, she lost a shoe, so she was running the whole last stretch without a shoe, and it still took everything Zenyatta had to catch her.  Yes, St. Trinians is quite a mare.

For the rest of you - you don't have to worry about bashing me anymore, I , unlike the majority of you, have better things to do with my life than hang around writing nasty things about people when I feel threatened or get bashed all day.  I have my own horses to watch workout on the weekends, which believe me, is a LOT more enjoyable then dealing with the likes of you people!

05 Jul 2010 1:31 AM
Kay

LDP:

"Ummmm, JJ didn't like synthetics before Curlin. Remember it was only due to the pressure the fans put on him to meet BB in the Classic that he first went there. Then when BB bowed out, he kept Curlin there to provide some much needed star power to the race."

Everybody at Santa Anita appreciated the fact that Curlin was there. It was nice to see him. But OBVIOUSLY -- and remember, Jess if MY boyfriend and not yours -- he had a bad experience there, what with the losing. He didn't have to sniff haughtily about Rachel not running on plastic. That was uncalled for. And it smacked of the sting of defeat. Although NOBODY can sniff haughtily like my dear darling Jess.

"Also IMO, Curlin was not over the top. That move around the turn displayed a turn of foot that Curlin had not displayed since Dubai. Pro-Rid plays like turf however, meaning you need to wait wait wait, then count to 3 before you move, not make it halfway around the turn."

Yeah... I spend a lot of time there. I know how the track plays. And I thought he was over-the-top.

Now, back to Zenyatta's BC victory, which you will praise when pressed, but then slam all the other times. You can say ALL you want about horses that didn't fire but according to all the quotes after the race, the big horses DID fire. Zenyatta just ran past them. I am mystified as to why you guys will totally dismiss the opinions of people who rode and or trained the horses who finished behind her. How do YOU know more about their horses than THEY do?

merlinmerry:

Kay - in your post of 12:28am, 7/4/10, you reference "the eminently lickable Jeff."

I have to know, who is this guy?  He's not only lickable, he's EMINENTLY lickable?  I just want to know so that I can keep the players clear in my mind.  Yes, that's the only reason, nothing prurient here, no salacious thoughts, nosirree.  And, my dogs.  Yes, my dogs.  They are always looking for lickable folks.  Just want to help them out."

Heh. I meant the eminently lickable JESS but in my excitement, I stupidly misspelled his wonderful, wonderful name. I've decided I love him. J'adore Jess!

And also, I do believe Zenyatta's supposed to work Monday, for whomever's interested...

05 Jul 2010 1:51 AM
RHO

WOW!   Last I checked this was an article on Rachel  and it's fine to have your own opinion on decisions being made, I am a big fan of BOTH Rachel and Zenyatta I don't have a favorite,but you Zenyatta fans are way out of line on here.THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WANT TO TALK RACING AND NOT HAVE A BASH FEST.

05 Jul 2010 1:52 AM
GunBow

In looking at the relationship between Horse of the Year and the Breeder's Cup, I do find it interesting that the last 2 times a Horse of the Year skipped the Breeder's Cup when uninjured, the Breeder's Cup was at Santa Anita.

There was Rachel last year, with Jess Jackson having declared early that he wasn't going to run her on Santa Anita's synth surface.  Then there was Mineshaft in 2003.  I guess technically Mineshaft's connections claimed he was slightly off after winning the JCGC, and then retired him.  However, if I remember correctly, they never had any intention of running Mineshaft in the BC, and the "injury" was a concvenient way to sidestep criticism.  Evidently, the connections didn't want to run Mineshaft at Santa Anita because they felt the track was too hard.

As a sidenote, Mineshaft was voted HoY even though he only raced against one of the top 4 other older horses that year.  The 2003 handicap division was top-notch, and in addition to Mineshaft included Medalgia d' Oro, Congaree, Pleasantly Perfect, and Perfect Drift.  In the BC Classic, Mineshaft would have had to face all 4.  The only time Mineshaft faced any of these 4 horses, he lost the Stephen Foster to Perfect Drift, although Mineshaft did concede weight that day.

05 Jul 2010 2:17 AM
CV

"It's time you all admit I was 100% right and call MTB what he is.  A DERBY MUD WINNING FLUKE.  I said he wouldn't win all year last year and now it looks like he won't win this year unless it's a claiming race at Beulah Park..."

Draynay 04 Jul 2010 8:26 PM

To the Drama King,

Mine That Bird is a DIRT horse who didn't run well in a TURF race because he struggled with the surface. Don't trash him when he ran up the track on a surface he'd never raced on before.

"...and if you watch the replay of that race you will see that Z almost got her butt beat had St. Trinians not slipped/misstepped coming around the final turn."

Backtalk 04 Jul 2010 6:33 PM

Backtalk,

St Trinians didn't stumble or slip; she paddles with her left front foot like Michael Phelps doing the breast stroke. Her trainer said she also wings her rear legs out to the right. The visual effect is amplified when she travels around a turn and she looks a bit like a crab running sideways.

05 Jul 2010 2:19 AM
GunBow

LDP

I am in complete agreement with you concerning Rachel's Woodward.  It was a fantastic performance against much adversity.  

It's easy to criticize the Woodward field in hindsight, but at the time horses like Macho Again and Bullsbay were razor sharp.  While it is true that even at their best Macho Again and Bullsbay were never of the class of a Curlin or Quality Road, they were solid gr.1 older males.  Macho Again was good enough to win the gr.1 Stephen Foster, the gr.2 New Orleans Cap, the gr.2 Jim Dandy, and run 2nd in the Preakness and Whitney.  Bullsbay was inconsistent, but he could be good when peaking, and he was certainly peaking at Saratoga last summer, and entered the Woodward off a nice win in the Whitney at the same distance.  Throw in a Belmont winner(D'Tara) and the previous year's Woodward runner-up(Past the Points), and Rachel beat a respectable field.

As for Zardana, my main point is that one cannot point to Zardana as proof of the tougher competition Rachel has faced this year without acknowledging that Zenyatta easily handled Zardana in the Vanity.  Both Rachel and Zenyatta have faced Zardana this year, so that cancels out(of course Zenyatta was 1 and 0 vs. Zardana while Rachel was 1-1).  Outside of Zardana, the best horse Rachel has faced is Unrivaled Belle while the best Zenyatta has faced is St.Trinians.  

Beyond this, in the Santa Margarita Zenyatta beat Striking Dancer, Gripsholm Castle, and Floating Heart.  Interestingly, Unrivaled Belle finished behind these 3 horses when she was 4th in the gr.2 La Canada this past February.  While I would agree that Unrivaled Belle appears better on dirt than Pro-Ride, one should acknowledge that Zenyatta easily handled the 3 horses who finished ahead of Unrivaled Belle in the La Canada.  Also, don't forget that Zenyatta carried 127 lbs in the Santa Margarita and was conceding at least 10 pounds to these horses and that she gave St.Trinians 9 lbs in the Vanity.    

05 Jul 2010 2:38 AM
Livesoutwest

Either Rachel Alexandra & Zenyatta would have been deserving winners of HOY last year.  I thought Zenyatta deserved it more because she beat the toughest field. But even that wasn't a great field for synthetics. Gio Ponti had a great year on turf, but he's merely a G3 winner on synthetics. Summer Bird is winless on synthetics and hates them so much that John Sadler gave him up as a 2YO and told the owner to send him back east because he can't run on the stuff.  Twice Over never threatened for the win and Rip Van Winkle was a bust. Really, the only other great synthetic horse last year was Rail Trip who missed the BC with a foot injury - and you'll notice that Zenyatta's connections want absolutely NO part of him, even on her home track.  Even though I'm a slightly bigger fan of RA, I have to say that BC Classic field was still a tougher field than anything Rachel faced, which is why I thought Zenyatta deserved the award more.

By the way, I'm puzzled by the earlier comment that (Zenyatta, in the BC Classic) "raced against bona-fide G-1 horses..... SB had three top G-1 wins all at classic distances"  But that Rachel's accomplishments included a "low quality Haskell".  Umm, excuse me, but in that "low quality Haskell" didn't she defeat the very same Summer Bird?  By a wider margin than Zenyatta did?  On the type of surface he much prefers?

It was predictable that Rachel would win HOY though, considering the paltry five-race campaign Zenyatta's connections gave us.  Only two modern HOYs, the colt Ghostzapper and the filly All Along ran as few races in their HOY campaigns.  And in their cases, ALL the races in those campaigns were against the best open company (males) in the world, and not just the one race at the end. Zenyatta may have deserved the big trophy, but her connections sure didn't.

05 Jul 2010 5:30 AM
LDP

Laz,

I'm not going to get into the Zardana thing, you think one thing and I think another. Lets leave it at that.

The BC, will unfortuently, as I said not always be the deciding factor until something makes it to where all top horses compete. Maybe there needs to be some sort of series that leads up, I don't know. They just need to get all horses there to make it work 100%, or closer to that.

05 Jul 2010 8:13 AM
LDP

jayjay,

I see more people than just me on here that put out, relitively the same opinion as I do, yet I don't see you go after them nearly as much. But whatever, think what you will.

05 Jul 2010 8:14 AM
LDP

Racing MTB over turf was a dumb idea. Of all the synthetics, he performed on Polytrack and Pro-Ride. Polytrack is quirky, but Pro-Ride, plays more like turf than any other synthetic track. When he runs dead last, sixth, and up the track in the Classic, that would give me the indication, just to keep him on dirt. He is much more explosive on dirt, it is no contest.

05 Jul 2010 8:18 AM
LDP

Greg,

At least I offer compliments. Some of the Zenyatta fans, bitter over HOTY or some other reason go as far as to call her the "woodward wash-up" and a miler.

I may like RA better, and I may get over passionate in my responses, but where have I ever gotten so rude and ignorant towards a horse to make such outrageous statments?

05 Jul 2010 8:20 AM
whippetgurl

I am puzzled that the connections of both Rachel and Zenyatta have taken this year.  Lets take some risks here people!  Of course, I'm talking about winning/losing risks, not safety risks.  Zenyatta staying mostly in Cali and Rachel entered in a non graded race?  They are certainly doing nothing for the legacy of these two great mares.  Too bad.

05 Jul 2010 8:22 AM
Draynay

Greg J, that's it ? 2 races from 12 horses all year ?  Not a single Grade 1 yet ?  What a joke.  The Classic was a joke run on synthetic. I can't figure out why most will never step on a synthetic track again can you ? Silly.  That's why you run on dirt and until Zenyatta wins on dirt in open company which she has never done everyone will consider her just a poly specialist.  Zenyatta is 6 years old and NEVER faced open company on dirt ?? You have to be joking.  Zenyatta will not win another race this year.

05 Jul 2010 8:51 AM
GoldenBroom

I'm from the shut up and watch camp. Just glad both are still running. I don't think they'll go head to head sadly. Rachel's distance is a tad shorter than Z's. And the Mosses are going to keep blowing out that win streak until the Classic when they lay it all on the line like they did last year. Albeit in Graded races against fillies and mares on the west coast. Let Rachel sweep the east coast ladies division and go out with her head held high. I'm ok with it. Unless....she continues to improve and just maybe, just maybe we get the dream match in November. It's still a heck of a lot more interesting than the 3 yr old colt division this year...

05 Jul 2010 9:48 AM
Slew

Just seeing the ladies racing an extra year is pure joy, no matter where they run.  With all the nasty comments here, I wonder what Rachel and Zenyatta would think about you folks.  Wonder no more:

Zen:  Ha..ha…hee…hee..guffaw!

RA:  Hey Z, what’s up with the giggles?

Zen:  Folks on this blog.  They’re so tired of bashing us, they’re starting to bash each other.  Tee-hee!

RA:  Two-leggers…just don’t seem to make much sense any more.

Zen:  Did they ever? Ha-ha!

RA:  I feel bad for Pam S.  Nobody gets “tongue-in-cheek” satire any more.  Poor humorless souls.  Such a pity!  (at least it sounded satirical)

Zen:  What about LDP…I swear, my toenails are older than she is.  I think she’s just jealous she can’t run as fast as we can.  I just wish she could spell.

RA:  Can a two-legger run 40 miles an hour, and still manage to keep typing  insults for us?  Now that would make one heck of a race….who can insult us the most.

Zen:  Should we make that a graded stakes race or a handicap?

RA: They’re two-leggers…it’s automatically a handicap…hee-hee.  No points for repeating themselves.  They all need some fresh material.

Zen:  What about the prowess of the dreaded mystical shaman known as  Draynay?

RA and Zen:  Ha-ha, hee-heee..guffaw…rolling over in the paddock ha-ha-ha!

05 Jul 2010 10:14 AM
Bob Z

JayJay,

I meant the Haskell from a conditioning and performance standpoint... when it looks like Rachel was at the top of the performance curve...  I just think that last summer at 1 1/8 Rachel wins that one... 1 1/4 different story...

"Bob Z : There was no way that Zenyatta could've run in the Haskell that RA ran in.  The Haskell is restricted to 3 yr olds and she was 5 then.  Yeah I know, a lot of people forget she's a 6 yr old and still competing against these youngsters.  The Woodward is for 3 yr olds and UP so Zenyatta and Rachel can both run in that race.  And I agree with Jermon on that one."

05 Jul 2010 10:18 AM
sodapopkid

Draynay, You are always so quick to judge Zen, I ask you this?  What the hell is Rachel A. doing any better?  She has lost two grade 2 races this year and starting in ungraded races. Yeah, boy she sure is upgrading her returning year legacy.

At least ZEn has beat records and is running and winning in grade 1 races..She hasnt had to drop down to get a win.

Marilyn:  Us Zen fans can always spot a leapard, You know a leopard never changes his spots.  When you Ra fans come on here and the first thing you say is "I am a fan of Zen" then you start bashing her, WE automaticllay know you are no fan at all.  You are actually just trying to minimize Zenyatta's achievements because of RA's underachievements in 2010. Well, that dont make a hillbilly  crap to us, We know Zen is as great as the mountains are tall.  So please quit starting you BS conversaitons off with 'I am a fan of ZEn' . Youre not, so quit trying to use that remark to get us to read your post......No one bashes RA, we are just telling the truth....

05 Jul 2010 10:28 AM
Bob Z

If I was Team Zenyatta here is what I would do.

Run in the Woodward on September 4th.

Why?

It takes care of a lot of issues.

Zenyatta hasn't run in the East so by running at Saratoga that issue is put to bed...

The date is Sept. 4th... so thats plenty of time between the Woodward and the BC whether she races again before the BC or not... 8 weeks if she doesn't race or 4 weeks if she does...

Other than the Breeders Cup.. the issue of running against males is put to bed.

The fans at Saratoga "the cradle of racing" historically speaking would get a chance to see her perform... which would increase her fan base... its easier to be a fan when there is a connection between fan and horse... by racing at Saratoga she increases her fan base in the east...

Its puts to bed (again - Apple Blossom) the issue of Zenyatta not having run on dirt.

It puts a little pressure for Rachel to be there... she is the defending champ in the Woodward and the timing (41 days) is doable after the Ladys Secret...

The distance is the right distance for Rachel 1 1/8... that leaves her 2 months to get ready for the BC as well... as she probably wouldn't race again before it ..

To me there are 3 races for Zenyatta to race here in the east... the Woodward, the Beldame (not yet scheduled but usually in mid September) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 2nd...

It seems that Zenyatta is ok with a 4 week recuperation period so to finish with a flourish...

she should run in the Woodward Sept.4th, the JCGC October 2nd, and then the BCC on November 6th...

Nobody could say that she only ran in easy races... and she could meet Rachel possibly in two of them...

05 Jul 2010 10:39 AM
devilhisdue

I think most of you people are off base. i dont think Z or RA has to prove anything. They already did. What you ask of them is near impossible. it is SO hard to repeat back to back years that were 2 of the most memorable in some time. For Z to make it back to the classic and win is to much to ask. To ask for RA to be better than she was last year is blindness.  Those who own horses know that some mares minds shift to the shed. They have other ideas rather than race. I remember when Cigar lost in the BCC. greatness was before us all and he came up short. He lost no greatness from that loss. So enjoy the ride. I am NO Z fan as I dont like plastic. I admire what she has done and also for the sport. She is one tough mare.

05 Jul 2010 10:42 AM
berttheclock

It, apparently, matters not whether Steve Haskins or Jason writes a column about RA, without mentioning Z, and the debate continues between the two camps.  This has become an equine version of the Battle of the Somme.  Perhaps, the solution would be having the two groups meet halfway, in the infield of Arlington Park, form battle lines with riding whips in hand and settle this, once and for all.  Yes, TVG may televise the event and side bets will be accepted.

05 Jul 2010 10:52 AM
papillon

>Papillion: You better hope Wayne doesnt stick MTB in the Whitney. You just flushed $100 down the toilet if he does.

classy as ever.

there's only one "i" in papillon btw

05 Jul 2010 11:20 AM
Ranagulzion

I think that Rachel Alexandra is headed to the BC Distaff and Zenyatta is investing her HOTY bid in the BC Classic plus sympathy for losses in 2008 & 2009, also they are hoping that any slip-up by Quality Road before November ends his bid (I wish them luck).  The Whitney is going to be a very important race and the JCGC could virtually seal the deal before November for Quality Road or solidify the claim of Blame if he prevails in the Whitney.  Other tough contenders for the Whitney are likely to be Mine That Bird, Haynesfield and I Want Revenge, all of which should be on their game after "pipe-openers" in the Firecracker and Suburban respectively.

Big Drama is mounting a bid to capture the sprint division this year after disappointing last year so watch this one.  

This year's Derby winner Super Saver is coming back stronger to prevail over the "second wave" of late developing 3YOs in the Haskell and Travers and should also be a factor in the BCC (don't underestimate this colt).  Also watch Nick Zito's 3YOs.  Its been a quiet start to summer racing but some excitement looms IMO.  

05 Jul 2010 11:59 AM
Citation

I really believe Rachel Alexandra should be placed in far more historically important races than she is being put in right now. Jess Jackson is no coward, so why he would want to put Rachel in the Lady's Secret is a question for which I have no answer. Although, if he had to put her in a Lady's Secret stakes, I would rather have seen her at Remington Park. Really, it seems to me that the connections of both Rachel and Zen have taken up the "we'll face the weakest fields we can possibly find before the Classic" game. Not that it matters to either's greatness, but it seems that people have forgotten that there is more to the year than the one race at the end of it. This really isn't typical of Jess Jackson's campaigning either.

05 Jul 2010 12:14 PM
Matthew W

Zenyatta, this year, has won more Gr I's than Quality Road/Rail Trip/Rachel Alexandra--combined! (3-2)--and why not anybody talking about imposts? Why aren't the other three toting 129? For that matter, why not all four toting 130? Quality Road 124 in the Met/Rail Trip 123 in Gold Cup? What's up with that?

05 Jul 2010 12:29 PM
Matthew W

Golden Broom well said!

05 Jul 2010 12:31 PM
Draynay

Sodapop, there is this thing called the clock and according to the clock Rachel ran faster then the boys and did it with ease last time out.  She would have won for fun.  Rachel has no problems.  But when you use that same clock and check out Zenyatta you have to laugh.  She is slow and will never beat top dirt horses running that slow and EVERYONE knows it don't they Mr. Moss.  Zenyatta will not win another race all year.

05 Jul 2010 12:33 PM
LAZMANNICK

Gunbow

Regarding the BC races and the fact that of the 25 runnings before Rachel, 19 of the HOY winners raced in a BC race, 5 were injured and did not compete that year and John Henry did not compete because I believe he wasn’t nominated and the owners didn’t want to pay the exorbitant supplemental fees and would race him only one more time after the running of the 84 BC races........Of the five that didn’t compete because of injury, Mineshaft, Point Given, Charismatic and Criminal Type never raced again.  Holy Bull raced two times, winning an unlisted stakes and then being pulled up in the Donn.  In other words, they had legitimate excuses.

It’s interesting your slant on Mineshaft (it sounds like you are saying he was avoiding the other so called big four, but if he did why did he run in so many top races that were open for others to compete in)?  You also neglected to say that when he got beat by Perfect Drift in the Stephen Foster it was by a head in 1.47.2 (the track record is 1.47.1 and the current three year best time is 1.48.3) and was giving 8 lbs., extremely worthy credentials I think.  He also won 6 of his last 7 races (the only loss by a head in the Foster race) with an average Beyer of 116.  His last two wins were in the Woodward by 4-1/4L in 1.46.1 and the Jockey Club Gold Cup by the same winning margin in 2.00.1.  His legs/joints were suspect (proven after the JCGC) and for that reason they chose not to enter him and instead retired him.  I don’t believe that this decision was made months in advance.  To insinuate that he was ducking others (lame excuse) is a little much, especially with his current form and the ease with which he was winning races.  As far as his credentials, in N/A he raced 11 times on dirt and won 9 of them with 2 seconds.

I think he was a worthy HOY, I’m not sure whether you think he wais or not.  My question is this.....why didn’t any of the other so-called big four show up for the prestigious JCGC and the Woodward?  Congaree was a nice horse but he only won 5 of 9 races and was defeated by the likes of Milwaukee Brew, Aldebaran and that same Perfect Drift in a slow Kentucky Club CH at Turfway.  What I find puzzling is that after racing at Belmont in the Met Mile then traveling west to go in the Hollywood Gold Cup, he came back to Turway to race in the Kentucky Club CH.  Why didn’t the go to Belmont and the Woodward?........Medaglia d’Oro only raced 5 times in 2003 winning 3 but he lost to Candy Ride in the Pacific Classic at 3-5 at equal weights and the BCC to Pleasantly Perfect when that one pulled away from him.  They also opted to send him west for a race at Hollywood Park, not Santa Anita where the BCC was contested, this after winning the Whitney.  Why didn’t he stay for the Woodward?.....Pleasantly Perfect raced only 4 times in 2003, winning his last two including the BCC, but was defeated earlier by Milwaukee Brew and Congaree.  He simply got good too late and carried his form into 2004 when he should have had a HOY campaign but unfortunately he ran into Ghostzapper.  It’s also interesting to note that in the USA his only race outside of California was at LS in the BCC.......Perfect Drift was gallant and was a true warrior in every sense of the word.  In 2003 he was very tough on dirt (he had three races on turf) and defeated Congaree and Mineshaft.  However, that year he never went near New York and chose to contest the Kentucky Club CH and the Hawthorne Gold Cup instead of either the Woodward or a more likely race, the JCGC.

This brings me back to my original statements......the Breeders Cup was intended to be a form where champions could get together and championships could be decided.  In doing this, it also gave the owners and everyone else involved a chance to showcase the sport and gain needed exposure on National TV.  Only one horse that won HOY (excluding the five that were injured and John Henry) has skipped the BC and that was Rachel.  We can argue until the cows really do come home about her season, the quality of her competition, whether or not her schedule was cherry picked and orchestrated or the track surface, but the simple fact is she ducked the BC, plain and simple, and for a horse whose connections were set on HOY I find this unacceptable.

05 Jul 2010 12:53 PM
LAZMANNICK

Regarding MTB, for someone who has such in depth knowledge of synthetic surfaces please be advised that of the synthetic surfaces, polytrak relates closest to turf.  An example is General Quarters a G-1 winner on Polytrak at Keenland and a G-1 winner that really stepped up unexpectantly on turf, but not really all that competitive to G-1 company on dirt.  The surface at Woodbine is also polytrak.  Horses that do well on the turf there also do well on polytrak and visa versa.  (The same with AP).  Regarding MTB, it was his first race in 8 months (just ask I Want Revenge how difficult it is to come back off a layoff in a stakes race).  To me they had no intention of running him hard in the Fire Cracker, at least it looked like that at the ouset when they took him back and had a little run at the end.  Turf racing is an excellent leg-up conditioner for dirt horses.  If MTB is anything like they hope he will be he should improve.  If not, then don't expect anything of note from him form here on in.

05 Jul 2010 1:12 PM
Kay

Riley:

Not exactly insider info there, but thanks for trying. Clearly what’s happened with Rachel is, she was off too long. And it didn’t matter that she was off while at the track, or if she’d been off while at the farm. Giving a horse several months off is one thing, but giving one SIX months off? That’s just too much unless there was an injury and rehab involved. There obviously wasn’t with Rachel, so they were just handwalking a healthy horse for six months. And the whole weather thing as an excuse for why she didn’t come back to the trac? Come on. If they REALLY wanted to get her fit, they could have. What we had was a three-year-old filly with a big frame who did NOTHING athletic for months. No gallops, nothing. She grew and filled out, and could have lost muscle mass and she obviously lost all that conditioning she had. They asked this filly to go from walking to preparation. They screwed up by trying to get her ready for the Apple Blossom. It was probably a shock to her. I’m not disputing that she needed her first few races. But she also needed actual conditioning and a foundation of ground underneath her, and she didn’t seem to be getting that. I thought the Fleur de Lis was a weird move, mostly because there were perfectly acceptable GI races the same day and she’d had two solid preps, where she finished close to the fillies who beat her. Does the HOTY REALLY need a confidence builder? We’re not talking Mine That Bird here. So then okay, say I give them the benefit of the doubt with the Fleur de Lis. She won that, it worked as the confidence builder they wanted her to have, and now they’re going in an ungraded stakes race? THAT is bizarre. They don’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore, because now nobody can figure out what they’re doing. A little analysis for you there, Riley!

Marilyn:

“ I for one, love watching both of them run, but EVERY time there is ANY kind of a blog, it could even be about the weather, the Zenyatta Zealots come out of the woodwork to bash on Rachel, and it's disgusting.”

When the discussion is about Rachel’s schedule, somebody inevitably mentions Zenyatta and then we’re off to the races where both camps of detractors set out to bomb the other. Personally, I find it rather entertaining. It’s a heck of a lot more interesting than NO interest at all, which is what racing usually gets. The Internet is all about choosing sides anyway, and in racing there are actual sides that can be chosen. Puts racing in the mainstream for once.

“Backtalk - Just a little info for you, although everyone will probably say I'm making this up, but you can easily watch the replay and see for yourself.  St. Trinians didn't have a mis-step, she lost a shoe, so she was running the whole last stretch without a shoe, and it still took everything Zenyatta had to catch her.  Yes, St. Trinians is quite a mare.”

Except it didn’t take everything Zenyatta had to catch her, if you watch the race again. St Trinians ran a great race and Martin Garcia did everything he could to beat Zenyatta. He secretly worked St Trinians that week and they were so confident they were going to beat Zenyatta that they bet tons on St Trinians. No horse has had a better chance of beating her, and they still couldn’t do it.

As for you being attacked, Marilyn, it’s not like that. You’re offering your opinion and other people are either offering facts, or THEIR opinion. Just because somebody disagrees with you and doesn’t dress it up in kittens and rainbows doesn’t mean they’re attacking you. My humble advice to you is to just have fun with it. Well, avoid draynay, and then have fun with it (g). Don’t take any of this too personally. After all, we all don’t know each other. It’s just the Internet.

Livesoutwest:

“Really, the only other great synthetic horse last year was Rail Trip who missed the BC with a foot injury - and you'll notice that Zenyatta's connections want absolutely NO part of him, even on her home track.”

It’s actually the other way around, if you’ve ever heard Ron Ellis talk about this.

05 Jul 2010 1:25 PM
LDP

Slew,

Really, your going to single me out, when I have said what particularly on this blog? I've been calmer than most on here, up until now, because to single me out, when there are dozens from BOTH sides is wrong and hypocritical. If you want to call me out why not some of the other Zen fanatics, huh?

05 Jul 2010 1:28 PM
LAZMANNICK

devilhisdue 05 Jul 2010 10:42 AM

Good post and fair to both.  I agree.  When horses lose it, whether it's their will not only to win, but simply to compete at their highest level; or when they get injured, etc., it puts everything into a different perspective.  I was there when Cigar lost the BCC.  He tried hard but I don't think he was ever going to get any closer than he did.  Still, no one held that loss against him the same as with Curlin.  With Rachel and Zen though, all this goes out the window because of blogs and posts and the fact that we all manage to be heard.  Horses only have so much to give and their time in the spot light is fairly limited so they have to make the most out of it.  Just look at NASCAR and how a number of drivers who dominated in the past, still compete, but aren't the same anymore.  There will always be a new kid on the block.  Personally, I think that if someone breaks Zen's bubble it will probably be St. Trinians, a real up and comer, and in a race that will be tactical and with few legitimate contenders.  Zen leaves herself too much at the mercy of the pace (Anabees Race) and if St. Trinians comes from behind Zen will still be chasing her.  I don't think the colts will defeat Zen simply because when and if she does face them it will be in the BCC and just like last year's BCC the colts will be more concerned with others during the actual running of the race than they would be concerned with a horse who will be trailing at the back of the pack and ready to make one giant run.  For Zen, like last year’s BCC, the greater the overall depth of the competition the better.

05 Jul 2010 1:44 PM
sodapopkid

Dray, Lets take into the consideration of that clock.  That clock proves Ra ran faster than the boys,  Since that clock proves that then tell me why she is running in a ungraded race next?

Why is Jess not going by that clock?  Why is he keeping his horse at a lower grade race?  To me he knows that clock cant control the horse's will and determination....You see,  that clock said Zen woulknt win the BCC,  but her heart and determination blew the clock theory right out of the water, didnt it?   Jess aint stupid,  he knows that clock aint much good to closers.  HE saw Zen get a 103 beyers on synthetics, so since they are slower thatn dirt and add 5 more to that being on dirt. Well that would give her 108 wouldtn it?

And she will out run Ra with thaat powerful closing kick of hers,  Dont worry Dray,  Jess was watching that race between Zen and St.Trinnnias and he probably made his mind of then.  He knew then what he has already known,  that no clock can predict a horse with a ton of heart and determination like that of Zenyatta...You dont stay this good for this long by just being a race horse, YOu stay this good for this long by being the greatest..........

05 Jul 2010 1:57 PM
CV

"And also, I do believe Zenyatta's supposed to work Monday, for whomever's interested..."

Kay 05 Jul 2010 1:51 AM

She did. I think the "h" is for "handily." She worked with a stablemate, from what I read elsewhere, and looked good.

Zenyatta (KY)     Mare   6    1:01.20   h   12/45  

05 Jul 2010 2:04 PM
Paula Higgins

Marilyn, you seem to be always angry. "Step away from the bar" would make most people laugh. It was a joke. Clearly, you were offended by my comment and I am sorry for that. But when you post angry comments from the get-go, expect to have it handed back to you. Everyone has their own personality on this site and they come through loud and clear. Your postings always seem angry about a perceived dislike of Rachel by Zenyatta fans. For the most part that isn't true. Since I like them both, I know when one is being bashed.

Yes, berttheclock, it is the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Kursk, and the Battle of the Bulge all together, all over again. Geesh.

Thanks Kay for letting us know when Zenny is training.

05 Jul 2010 2:31 PM
Slew

LDP:  Gee...that wasn't me.  That was Zen.  Perhaps because you so consistently act like a victim, respond to every single comment with venom, call everyone else out,and CAN'T spell. It's rhythm not rythem.  You keep saying you want to write but don't take the time to do it well.  It's one thing to have an opinion; it's a totally different scenario to object so vociferously, repetitively, and vehemently when others express their opinions.  This is an open forum, not your personal blog.  People will disagree.  If you can't find humor in this situation, then your vision is a bit lop-sided, and very immature.  And in case you didn't get it...I didn't "single you out".  You were just one of many who keep repeating themselves ad nauseum.  Perhaps because you post so often....you may need to step away from the computer for awhile and get some fresh air.  All of the speculation in the world will not change the races that have been run, or the races yet to come.  All the arguing is just plain silly.  We have among us TWO history-making race mares, and too many of us just can't seem to appreciate that simple fact.  I enjoy Gun Bow's informative posts; I see Laz bringing facts to the table.  What I don't see is anyone spending $10 million on a precocious filly and then listening to a bunch of silly bloggers who all think they know better.  It's 96 out today, and I think I'll grab a beer, sit on the balcony, and enjoy the quiet.  Silly ...silly...arguments.  Zen and RA just don't see the point.  Until they actually face one another, speculation is futile.

05 Jul 2010 2:55 PM
sodapopkid

EVERYONE knows it don't they Mr.Jackson. Rachel will not win another race all year.

Dray, Have you told your wife that you are the actual highest bidder right now on ebay trying to get the legendary Zenyatta's halter???

You aint stupid , You want a piece of that legendary pie, Don't ya?

05 Jul 2010 2:57 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason, I really can spell. "Percieved" is what I meant.

05 Jul 2010 3:10 PM
Paula Higgins

CV, what does "handily" mean? I am pretty sure it means good but what were her numbers and how many furlongs? Where did you find the information? I googled it and couldn't find a thing.

05 Jul 2010 3:14 PM
jayjay

LDP : You're so delusional that even after multiple people have told you how you write on this blogs, your bashing of Zenyatta, you still don't see it.  Now you act like you're being singled out.  You love to put yourself out there, you make your comments and put out toxic opinions about Zenyatta.  When people respond to you, you need to be able to take it and respond back, don't whine, whining are for kids.  For someone who loves to blog, you sure whine too much about it.

05 Jul 2010 3:21 PM
jayjay

Ok Marilyn, how's this :

I heard from someone over the weekend that Monmouth did ask the Mosses and they agreed with a 5M purse.  When Jackson was told that the Mosses agreed, he threatened to pull out and go to the Ruffian instead.  Monmouth quickly cut off all communications with the Mosses as they didn't want JJ to back out of the Lady's Secret.  This is really true, I heard it from someone!!!!  Really, I'm not making things up, YOU CAN BELIEVE ME OR NOT, I don't care.

05 Jul 2010 3:27 PM
kathleen o

Kay, you're right.  I watched the Vanity on TVG and clearly Ron Ellis is in no hurry to meet up with Zenyatta.  Ron also said that St Trinians would give Zen a run for her money, and she did.  Ron didn't think Mike Smith was riding her hard, and that Zen simply knows where the wire is and ran those last strides on her own.

Odds are that as a deep closer Zen will get beat some day.  I hope not, but she certainly puts on a show and really gets the heart pumping.

To all those that say the Zen fans get on here and bash RA, I don't bash her.  She's a great horse.

05 Jul 2010 3:35 PM
Livesoutwest

Kay,

It's probably fair to say that no trainer, including Ellis could be described as ANXIOUS to take on Zenyatta with Rail Trip.  She's still an absolute monster.  But do you also remember that after her last, Shirreffs was asked about facing males in the Gold Cup, and his response was "No. We're not looking to climb the highest mountain possible."  So regardless of the comments from both camps, who's showing up for the Gold Cup and who isn't?  Who's running in a race in which the other can enter and who's running in a race where the other one's barred because he's a male?

The bottom line here is Moss and Shirreffs are still holding onto their childish obsession with making sure they only enter her in races where she's very unlikely to get beat to make sure she never loses.  Yes, they did make an exception once in her career and took a chance in last year's BC Classic, give them props for that, though I'm convinced that if Sea The Stars had come over, it would have been Ladies Classic time again.

And the tragedy is that Zenyatta showed she's at her absolute best when allowed to go 1 1/4 miles and can really unfurl those powerful legs of hers - look at her Beyer number from the Classic. But there are virtually no big female-only races where she can do that - the big mile and a quarter races are almost exclusively against the boys.  And with that huge late run, she also has the right style to excel on turf.  She could potentially destroy the Arlington Million field.

But we'll never find out.  And this decision to go in the Clement Hirsch could really backfire on them.  I don't care what Shirreffs is saying now, he's been interviewed in the past and has said Zenyatta HATES the Del Mar surface.  And that short stretch run at 1 1/16 is the worst thing for her running style. And St. Trinians is light years better than last year's runner-up Anabaa's Creation who nearly upset her. On this track, at this distance, she has a shot.  It would be ironic that by continuing to take what they thought was the easiest path possible, Moss and Shirreffs finally get Zenyatta beat.

05 Jul 2010 3:39 PM
Pam S.

Slew,

Ha, ha, yes, I do like to inject a little humor!  I'm so glad Rachel understands.  I always thought she was a smart filly.

But seriously, track surfaces are a big part of the Z-RA debate.  A number of RA fans posted last year that they were just not into the 2009 BC on synth, it wasn't "real," the Eastern horses were at a disadvantage and whoever won should have an asterisk next to their names, etc. etc.   Now, mind, the BC was also on synth in 2008 but I heard and read very little of this talk.  I have ALWAYS believed Jess Jackson and his strong anti-synth statements after Curlin's loss got it going.  (And European grass horses finished one-two, the horror!)

To me, that's why they call it the WORLD championships, and I do tend to subscribe to the theory that great horses can run on anything.  You know what the jockeys always say:  There are a million ways to lose a horse race and only one way to win.  I have always thought synthetic surfaces got too much blame for horses' performances, and moreso at SA than anywhere.  

But this year it's a different story, that's for sure!!  And I adore Rachel, wish her well and would NEVER bash her, but just as I wished Zenyatta would win HOY, I really wish she would win the Classic at CD, just to end all the "plastic horse" criticism.

05 Jul 2010 4:14 PM
Matthew W

Draynay--Zenyatta not gonna ever win another race? Oh yeah, all signs point to that.....

05 Jul 2010 4:27 PM
Paula Higgins

Both girls did 5 furlongs today. Zenyatta 1.01.20 and Rachel at 1.01.30. Mike Smith says that Zenyatta seems to be waiting to explode with her kick, as if she knows where that wire is. If Quality Road shows up at the BCC, and I am expecting he will, she may need to explode sooner rather than later.

05 Jul 2010 4:40 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

Any horse has the potential to be beat in any race. That's why they run the races. To see who is best on the day. As far as handicapping goes, I don't hold that much stock in it. There are way too many factors in a horses life that affect performance. Very few of these factors can fit in the racing form. The obvious factor is the trainer but the groom has a lot to do with a horses success or failure. Something as ridiculous as not liking or only liking a particular horse in the next stall is valid also. I knew a horse that would get terribly upset and colic if her routine was altered in any way. I knew another that relished playing in mud puddles. His exercise rider would let him paw and play in puddles for up to an hour sometimes. He would come back to the barn with mud splashed from top to bottom and you could see the thrill radiating from behind the bridle. The rider needed to change his clothes after but he took it all in stride. Anything to make the horse happy. The happier a horse is the more they will give you. This is especially true with fillies and mares.

A horse may train well over a surface but racing on it can be a totally different story; i.e. Curlin on turf/poly. Some horses only run well over one kind of surface. Some run well on multiple surfaces. Lava Man won graded races on dirt, turf and poly but only in his home state.

The handicappers can watch the clock all they want, but the clock doesn't show a horses desire to win. Also, if handicapping is such a science then why do longshots sometimes win? My grandmother has cashed more than one 99-1 ticket because, as she said, "The poor thing. Nobody is betting on him."

05 Jul 2010 5:51 PM
Kay

Thanks, CV! Looks like a pretty nice maintenance move for her. Some bits from the DRF about her work. Mike Smith was aboard, and had this to say:

"I'm starting to believe more and more that she knows where the wire is," Smith said after returning to the barn. "She wants some competition and she lets them open up three or four lengths on the turn. She gets 100 yards from the wire -- and whoom -- she was flying."

Well, she HAS found the finish line 17 times in a row. She probably has a fairly good idea about how to get there on time. Shirreffs got her galloping out 6F in 1:14 and change. Shockingly, Jerry Moss, who was also there for the work, said he would defer to Shirreffs on what's next for Zenyatta. IMAGINE. An OWNER, letting a TRAINER make the calls. Unbelievable!!

One more note on shipping, though, since that seems to be such a huge part of the debate and Zenyatta's detractors claim that Rachel has shipped as often -- or more often -- than Zenyatta has. When John Shirreffs sends Zenyatta to Del Mar to run her, he sends her in a van. I'm pretty darned sure that Rachel's being vanned all over, too. It's being the actual PLANE that takes it out of them. Some horses just can't handle it. And actually, everyone's precious Quality Road wouldn't even get on the plane to come back from California. So driving a horse around within the same time zone is just NOT the same as shipping them. I wonder if Rachel has ever shipped...

And for all the whining about how the East Coast people deserve to see Zenyatta, maybe the West Coast people deserve to see Rachel, too. I know I'd love to see her.

05 Jul 2010 6:14 PM
TBOwner

LDP, whip out your trainers license. You know so much.

If you know anything you know that all they were doing with the turf race was get him back on the track. Wayne actually wanted to just skip it, but the owners decided to give it a shot. It was a workout in the afternoon.

Lukas already knew that not only was it a race on an unknown surface but it was way too short for Mine That Bird.

Marilyn, your horses only work on weekends? Odd.

RHO, the Zenyatta fans are no worse than the Rachel fans. It's transparent who is a fan of which

horse.

I think the only people who are truly fans of both are those of us in the game who know that horses with high profiles can only help the game.

However, Jason is totally correct in this blog. Rachel's path is under scrutiny and there are more than a few of us who are talking about it and scratching our heads with this odd path she's being sent down.

It's actually kind of pathetic, running at the money and making it into a sideshow.  Despite what many of you think, graded stakes are very important in racing, in the legacy of a horse.  

I for one hate to see owners try to hang on and run a horse in races just to make money.

With each one of them the horse loses credibility and their legacy diminishes bit by bit.

05 Jul 2010 6:23 PM
Fran Loszynski

Lest we forget how great Rachel Alexandra is! Like every star she is perhaps temperamental about her close-ups!

She'll let us know when she winks at us and says "I'm ready for my close-up." We should never forget what she is capable of.  I would be curious to know what Calvin Borel thinks is going on with her.

05 Jul 2010 7:18 PM
nina

BH must be running out of writing themes. Rachel rules. Zenyatta California HOY.

05 Jul 2010 7:20 PM
skyfire

whippetgurl:  

I agree with you: "I am puzzled that the connections of both Rachel and Zenyatta have taken this year.  Lets take some risks here people!  Of course, I'm talking about winning/losing risks"

Jackson was all about risks last year, and he did so with RA earlier this year; however, she was not ready to meet the schedule for whatever reason.  The Mosses were awesome to send Zen to Oaklawn.

However, the Mosses/Shireff have pulled back from earlier bravado; Zen, who I believe may be the greatest mare ever, is not being campaigned to prove it.  This mare could probably hand every horse their lunch, but she isn't being allowed to do so.  Being kept in the average mare division is an unnecessary sheltering of her abilty.

As I said earlier, the three year olds are interesting (not great but competitive), and will be meeting each other this summer!  Let's look forward to Saratoga and Monmouth and celebrate horse racing and not horse avoidance!!  

Notice that Baffert doesn't keep Lucky in Cali.  Credit to him -- he is going for championship!!

05 Jul 2010 8:33 PM
LDP

TBOwner,

It's a blog, I can have an opinion. I actually like MTB, just don't think the turf was the right move and explained why. It's not like I came on here and bashed MTB or his connections. Chill.

05 Jul 2010 8:34 PM
LDP

jayjay,

Um I didn't see anyone else mentioned in Slew's blog, so yes that was singling me out. There are much worse than me. I don't call Zen a synthetic specialist or "polyzen" say she's any less of a mare because she races over synthetics. I do not say she is slow, or not great. I LIKE her, I think she is GREAT. My problem is not with the surface she runs on, it is her handling. It took 13 races, brillant races for her owners to realize she was good enough for males. What irks me is that RA has something to prove yet Zen doesn't. What irks me is that RA is nothing more than a glorified miler, when Zenyatta is better than Ruffian. I have no problem with the horse, just with the fans that like to say things about RA like the things I've posted before. I may point out holes and flaws, because there are, there are with all races for any horse, but I do not get so ignorat to attack any of you personally or the horse. I get over passionate, but so do many other, and much more than myself. I've seen people curse, call each other stupid, idiot, retard, all kinds of stuff. I don't think I've done that to you have I? No, so back off.

05 Jul 2010 8:44 PM
LDP

Slew,

Where on this blog have I gotten rude? Wher on NTRA, since I know you go on there have I gotten rude? Do I call people dickweed? Do I curse at you? I don't think so. Also, if you would read, I've said plenty of times I can't spell. I can't. I have no dictionary and w/o spell check, well you see the result, so sorry if you missed the memo.

As I said there are plenty more that are more ignorant than I have ever, ever dreamed of, and that is on BOTH sides. So please, if you wish to call me out, do so to every other overly passionate Z fan and RA fan, please. You've got plenty of them.

05 Jul 2010 8:49 PM
LDP

Slew,

It's funny until you are the one that is being singled out, and yes you did. I didn't see you mention anybody else at all. You call me imature, I have not singled anyone out thus far in my posts to you. Where do you see me call out the names of Z or RA fans for you to use. There are many I could, but I guess because of my "immaturity" I'm to scared to name them right?

05 Jul 2010 8:52 PM
butterscotch77

Beaten by a horse no one ever heard of? Zardana is certainly no pony. She deserves more respect. Is this a slight on Californian horses?

People can complain all they want. Ratings, money, whatever. Horse Racing is full of inconsistencies. They haven't figured that out yet? Plans change. Schedules are rewritten.

No one knows that horse better then her connections. Their decisions may seem odd. But, in the end it doesn't matter what we think.

They pushed her a lot last year. How much more can she give?

05 Jul 2010 9:13 PM
jayjay

Just saw Zen's work, not sure if it is good that she's now "waiting" for the horses to open up on her before she goes after them.  The good thing about Team Z is that her jockey is also her exercise rider, so he knows the changes that happens with her, they grow together and they know each other very very well.  

As much as I've enjoyed watching her come from the clouds and catch them at the wire, it also raises my blood pressure off the charts then I go into a mini convulsion after she beats them. I love this horse, what can I say.

05 Jul 2010 9:18 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

I enjoyed your post but have a problem with your logic.  I wonder when Sheriffs said…..we’re not trying to climb the highest mountain possible……it could be construed in a different manner.  I’ve stated before several times and it’s a fact that since Princessnesian in the 1968 Hollywood Gold Cup, NO FILLY OR MARE HAS DEFEATED G-1 OLDER HANDICAP MALES AT 1-1/4M ON DIRT (non-turf) until Zen did it last year in the BCC, 41 years.  It’s one of the most difficult feats in racing.  By saying (not looking to climb the highest mountain) could mean that to attempt to do it twice this year and a total of three times in a calendar year (2009 BCC, 2010 HGC, 2010 BCC) would be virtually impossible.  That’s why they are holding back and waiting until the last possible minute.  She’s six years old and will be close to 7 when the BCC is contested.  To say that they are holding on to a childish obsession to win races doesn’t seem right, not when they are trying to hold her together until the BC.  Just my opinion, but it makes sense to me.

05 Jul 2010 9:23 PM
devilhisdue

Laz consider this. Many trainers and owners start their horses year in May or june. It is TO hard to run a horse early and then late in the years for BC. Think Ginger Punch. RA cant race hard then have huge races in Nov. its to much. If you look at RA and see when she races hit her best stride and then needed a break. I would have done the same. Stronach repeated it with Cittronade but she didnt last til nov. You do whats best for the horse not the fan. Fans know little to nothing compared to handlers. They know their horse. SA should not get the BC again. Dirt tracks and turf.

05 Jul 2010 9:32 PM
Kay

Livesoutwest:

“It's probably fair to say that no trainer, including Ellis could be described as ANXIOUS to take on Zenyatta with Rail Trip.  She's still an absolute monster.  But do you also remember that after her last, Shirreffs was asked about facing males in the Gold Cup, and his response was "No. We're not looking to climb the highest mountain possible."  So regardless of the comments from both camps, who's showing up for the Gold Cup and who isn't?  Who's running in a race in which the other can enter and who's running in a race where the other one's barred because he's a male?”

Actually, Ellis SAID that HE would duck Zenyatta if she were entered in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

“The bottom line here is Moss and Shirreffs are still holding onto their childish obsession with making sure they only enter her in races where she's very unlikely to get beat to make sure she never loses.  Yes, they did make an exception once in her career and took a chance in last year's BC Classic, give them props for that, though I'm convinced that if Sea The Stars had come over, it would have been Ladies Classic time again.”

That’s hilarious. She carried 127 pounds in her first start of the year and 129 pounds last time. If they REALLY wanted to ensure that she wouldn’t get beat, they wouldn’t run her with those weight spreads. NO male horse has carried that weight in YEARS. Yet for whatever reason, you guys utterly REFUSE to acknowledge that. And also once again, you (the royal you, including you with all these other gadabouts) diminish her BC Classic victory. You people didn’t think she even belonged in the Classic. And then when she won, rather than actually admitting that you were wrong (I mean geez, it’s horse racing! Everybody’s wrong half the time), you diminish the field or you go, “Yeah, but if SeA the Stars had come, Zenyatta wouldn’t have even run.” I mean, really??? You think they would duck Sea the Stars? You are retroactively calling them cowards? Ridiculous.

“But we'll never find out.  And this decision to go in the Clement Hirsch could really backfire on them.  I don't care what Shirreffs is saying now, he's been interviewed in the past and has said Zenyatta HATES the Del Mar surface.  And that short stretch run at 1 1/16 is the worst thing for her running style. And St. Trinians is light years better than last year's runner-up Anabaa's Creation who nearly upset her. On this track, at this distance, she has a shot.  It would be ironic that by continuing to take what they thought was the easiest path possible, Moss and Shirreffs finally get Zenyatta beat.”

Shirreffs is STILL saying the same thing about Del Mar, so don’t intimate that he’s lying. What they’ve said repeatedly, if you can look through your annoyance and/or anger, is that they are waiting to see how the track plays before they commit.

Skyfire:

“However, the Mosses/Shireff have pulled back from earlier bravado; Zen, who I believe may be the greatest mare ever, is not being campaigned to prove it.  This mare could probably hand every horse their lunch, but she isn't being allowed to do so.  Being kept in the average mare division is an unnecessary sheltering of her abilty.”

But you’re leaving something out here: The reason they’re doing this. She did NOT ship well back from Oaklawn at all. It took her a long time to get right again. This isn’t a secret; it’s been stated flat-out in many interviews and articles. That’s them being honest about their horse. So the difference between the Mosses and my kissable Mr. Jackson is that he is being dishonest about what’s going on with Rachel, and that’s why there’s so much rampant speculation about this latest bizarre move. On the one hand, though, I have to thank him for giving us so much to talk about. That’s my Jess, caring about the fans!!

05 Jul 2010 9:40 PM
Draynay

Soda, a year from now no one will care about what Zenyatta did on a plastic track.  HOY is what matters and it's how the greats are remembered.  Zenyatta will never win HOY and Rachel has one and may go for another next year.  Next year when Rachel is winning race after race and making national headlines Zenyatta will be all but forgotten as a great poly horse that hid from real competition and NEVER won a open Graded Stakes race on dirt.  Sad.

Zenyatta will not win another race all year.

05 Jul 2010 10:00 PM
TB Owner

LDP, yes and you have more than your fair share.

Frankly from the comments to you I'd say you are the one who needs to "Chill" or come back when you grow up.

05 Jul 2010 10:07 PM
Paula Higgins

OMG I am laughing my head off-at myself. I spelled it right the first time. Jason, it's "perceived" for God's sake. You people are way too courteous. About now, I am expecting someone to post what an idiot I am, LOL. I would have no defense to argue otherwise.

O.k. I am worried about the Clement Hirsh too Livesoutwest. But I think they are waiting on reports regarding the surface before they commit, right? If she goes and doesn't like the surface AND St. Trinian does show up, this could be her Waterloo. I am praying that doesn't happen, but I am worried. If St. Trinian doesn't fully bounce back, that might be Zenny's only break.  I fully expect Rachel to wipe the mat with whoever shows up. She is training well and I don't think her competition to be the equal of St. Trinian.

Interesting post JayJay about the 5 million dollar dust up. I wonder if it's true???

Kay, great post.

05 Jul 2010 10:50 PM
TB Owner

Really, Draynay? Is that how it works in that fantasy stable you own?

HOY? Quick, without looking it up name three consecutive HOY's from the 90's.

Did anyone remember Favorite Trick? He ended up at stud in NM and barely received a brief mention when he passed away. HOF? Nah.

What matters to the people who are REALLY in racing is the legacy of the horse.  I guess Azeri is dog food? She won HOY without winning against males. Horses in the HOF are the stars of our game.

The Eclipse Awards have even more disagreement and debate, questioning by those in the game than just about any other award or mention.

Before you post just read what you write, maybe something will click in that empty head of yours.

Let me clear this up for you. Rachel will NOT run next year.

05 Jul 2010 10:55 PM
LAZMANNICK

devilhisdue

I totally agree about the difficulty and stress of racing a horse in top races over a 12 monther period.  And as far as JJ and Rachel are concerned, she started the year in another barn so they had no say in her early season schedule.  My only problem is that they were clearly trying to win HOY and even though Rachel was clearly finished by early Sept. it would have been nice to see her go in the BCC.  To that end, Quality Road and Zenyatta will both be trying a much longer year this year.  It will be interesting to see how they stand up.

05 Jul 2010 10:57 PM
jayjay

LDP : This is why I and other people get on your case.  For you to analyze the Firecracker and call it dumb...well, it shows how much you pay attention.  Were you not aware of the articles that's been in the news for the last 2 weeks about Lukas' plans ?  He practically said they don't plan on winning it, it doesn't have any affect on their plans.  MTB needed a race, that's it.  For those people who didn't pay attn and made him the favorite, I don't feel sorry for them.  I think you were the only one in the world that actually analyzed MTB in the FC.  Are you seriously competing with Draynay ??

Kay : I agree with the Mosses deferring to JS, it's amazing how an owner of Zenyatta's caliber would put so much trust on their trainer.  The cool thing is that he gave JS a hint of what he's worried about lol.  He noted that they've been solid at 1 1/8th and he still gives Shireffs the call.  You have to admire that kind of owner.

05 Jul 2010 10:58 PM
LAZMANNICK

Hey Slew

You opened up the proverbial can of worms.  Lots of luck.

05 Jul 2010 11:01 PM
jayjay

Draynay : Two years ago, no one cared about what you said here, telling the truth is what matters and how bloggers are remembered.  You will never be remembered while new bloggers will be, this year, and more next year.  Next year, when new bloggers come and blogs great info one after another, you will be all but forgotten as someone that tried to make a name for himself in the blogworld but failed miserably, someone that tried to get attention by thrasing horses and hide from other bloggers who called you out and NEVER picked a winner.  Sad.

You will never win a bet this year (and next year.)

05 Jul 2010 11:10 PM
sodapopkid

Dray,  Been hitting the 'ExcuseJuice" a bit to hard havent ya?  I can tell by the way youre talking out ya head.

I think you have it backwards, RA will be forgotten about,  Zenyatta will be remmebered forever.  RA running next year?  Dont put to much into that, she cant get thru this year, so they sure wont be counting on next year.  they just wish this nightmare of a year would hurry up and end already....

05 Jul 2010 11:41 PM
jayjay

skyfire : Baffert kept LAL in California as much as he could, he shipped him to the east coast to prepare him for the Triple Crown races. I think it's absurd that you're comparing a campaign for a 3 yr old with a 6 yr old's campaign.  His campaign of LAL had nothing to do with Zenyatta's.

You keep forgetting that with all the criticisms given to the connections of Zenyatta, how conservative it was, how her races were unimportant and didn't have any impact, how low level her competitions were, after all that's been said, the last two HOTYs still went down to Zenyatta and another horse.  So put that together with the east coast bias, I think Zenyatta's campaign for the last two years have been seriously considered and she was considered a top contender.  Even with yours and everyone's complaints about her campaigns this year, same old same old, same competitions, she's still a top contender.  The ratings still have her in the top 3 in the nation (if not first).   I have no doubt that Team Z doesn't care about the HOTY, just as I said earlier this year.  They set their goals for Zenyatta, that's all they care about. She doesn't have to worry about having fans, she has fans all over the world.  Their goal is the Classic, anyone who wants to go after her in the Classic is welcome to do so, anyone who wants to go after her before the Classic is welcome to do so.  They're putting out their plans as they go along and with enough time, it changes depending on her health but never about ducking anyone.  The ONLY TIME they went out of their way and changed their plans was to accomodate Jess Jackson's challenge for a race with Rachel and well, you know that story.

05 Jul 2010 11:43 PM
Paula Higgins

Oh for goodness sakes Draynay, you know, and we all know, you don't believe some of the stuff you post. Geesh. Zenyatta forgotten-not ever. Rachel forgotten-not ever. Draynay forgotten-probably not.

06 Jul 2010 12:30 AM
Greg J.

TB Owner and Jay,

    Spot on with your comments regarding "legacy of the horse" and Draynay fading into oblivion, Bravo...

Sodakid,

    Seriously, "RA will be forgotten" and "nightmare of a year"?  Please, You can be a huge fan of Zenyatta but enough already with your completely over the top comments regarding Rachel and her connections...

06 Jul 2010 12:35 AM
Matthew W

Wouldn't tarnish Zenyatta to lose to Quality Road at Saratoga--she'd get him back in the Classic, and I wish they'd try her in NY--never fair for the West Coast horses who have to prove it back there/have to travel across three time zones ala an English/French horse--not fair and yet I wish they would: try Quality Road at Saratoga/go out like gangbusters in the Classic--I would forgive her if she couldn't beat Quality Road in the Woodward--the Classic will be her going away present to racing--undefeated isn't everything/besides she just might do it--'hasn't let anyone down yet/wants to win/can you say that about Quality Road?

06 Jul 2010 12:40 AM
Kay

jayjay:

"I agree with the Mosses deferring to JS, it's amazing how an owner of Zenyatta's caliber would put so much trust on their trainer.  The cool thing is that he gave JS a hint of what he's worried about lol.  He noted that they've been solid at 1 1/8th and he still gives Shireffs the call.  You have to admire that kind of owner."

I think the partnership the Mosses have with John Shirreffs is a HUGE part of Zenyatta's success. First of all, Shirreffs' wife Dottie is the Mosses racing manager. And they have SO much trust in the Shirreffs that they not only spend sixty grand for a yearling covered in hives, they let the trainer work with her for two years before starting her. What other owners are that patient, and have that much confidence in their trainer? He won the Derby for them and he's just SUCH a tremendous trainer. He has a fairly small barn and doesn't get the recognition he's owed, and frankly HOTY wasn't the award that irritated the heck out of me. I thought Shirreffs deserved the trainer award. Because volume is not always the most important. Quality matters, and John Shirreffs is ace quality.

I think this creative partnership stands in stark contrast to Jess Jackson and Steve Asmussen. I don't get the sense that Asmussen gets to train his horses when JJ's the trainer. I would like to believe that Asmussen is a better horseman than we're seeing right now.

Paula:

"OMG I am laughing my head off-at myself. I spelled it right the first time. Jason, it's "perceived" for God's sake. You people are way too courteous. About now, I am expecting someone to post what an idiot I am, LOL. I would have no defense to argue otherwise."

I almost did, but it seemed too mean (g).

06 Jul 2010 12:45 AM
Livesoutwest

Kay,

There were a handful of great horses last year.  Zenyatta on synthetics.  Rachel Alexandra on dirt.  Sea The Stars and Goldikova on turf.  And that's it.  I think Rail Trip might have reached that level last year had he not bruised his foot in the Pacific Classic, but injuries are part of horseracing.  The fact that none of the great horses met is the fault of ALL the connections, not just Jerry Moss, not just Jess Jackson and not just the Euros. And it's bad for the sport.

As for the others last year, there were some very good horses but not great.  Gio Ponti had a great season going until he lost to a mediocrity named Interpretation and hasn't won a race since.  But he beat all the others except Zenyatta to the finish in the BC Classic.  Summer Bird was soundly beaten by Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird.  Quality Road lost a lot of time due to injury and just hadn't developed yet into the great horse last year that he is this year.

So I'm not diminishing Zenyatta's victory.  I don't know whom else you might be referring to but I never said she didn't belong there. I cashed a nice ticket on her.  It was a great victory over the best field assembled in the US last year, much better than anything Rachel Alexandra beat, and I was there cheering for her in the winners circle.  But it still wasn't a great field by BC Classic standards, not when there wasn't one other great horse in it.

Regarding weights, first of all, Zenyatta carried 129 pounds in LAST YEAR'S Vanity.  The mare's as big as a monster truck, is still undefeated, is still racing exclusively against females save last year's BC Classic and she doesn't pick up even a pound?  C'mon, you're obviously knowledgeable about the sport, and I'm sure you can see that Shirreffs' repeated comments about refusing to commit to racing at Hollywood Park until he saw the weights intimidated track management into not adding ANY weight over last year.  Frankly I think that's disgraceful, but obviously Hollywood Park needed Zenyatta more than Moss & Shirreffs needed Hollywood Park.

Regarding Ellis, here's his most recent comment about Zenyatta.

The Gold Cup is as far as Ellis has planned this year. There is a strong chance that Rail Trip will start in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 28, though the trainer said a trip out of state is possible. During the summer, Rail Trip will remain at Hollywood Park and would ship to Del Mar only for a race.  "I don't know what we'll do," Ellis said. "I'll see how he comes out of it. He'll train here. He does well here. I have no plans after the Gold Cup. We want to be near Zenyatta. We have to keep our enemies close."

Does THAT sound like he's running away from Zenyatta?

And once again, WHOSE horse is likely to enter yet ANOTHER race next month where the other isn't eligible to challenge her?

And you're just dead wrong about what Shirreffs is saying.  His recent comments:

Shirreffs has said in the past that Zenyatta does not train well on Del Mar's Polytrack surface, which led to speculation that Zenyatta would start on the East Coast in late summer. But Shirreffs said he has no problem running Zenyatta at Del Mar.  

"I said I didn't want to train at Del Mar," he said. "There is a difference."  

But the truth is Shirreffs is not being consistent with what he's said in the past. If you've ever  listened to the Roger Stein radio show, Shirreffs is a frequent guest and a friend of Stein's, a fellow trainer.  Sherriffs came on the show last month and echoed those comments.  After the interview, Stein commented that was NOT what Shirreffs said last year, that Zenyatta hates the track, and if they keep taking chances running there, it will eventually catch up with them.  It seems obvious to me that Shirreffs is playing the good soldier and going along with the Boss's decision.

I'm not "intimating" anything Kay, I'll say it straight out.  Zenyatta's in the hands of boneheads and the only thing being diminished here is what her legacy COULD be if they would just let her run.  If you want to make an omelette you need to break a few eggs. Secretariat lost, Affirmed lost, Seattle Slew lost, Winning Colors lost, Curlin and Rachel Alexandra lost.  The best trainers use the minor stakes to prep for the important ones, the losses there are irrelevant. And the losses don't take anything away from what they accomplished.  And in Rachel's case, I think there will be a few words eaten by some people on this list when they see her NEXT race, the one after the upcoming prep at Monmouth over nobodies.

But as for Zenyatta, to consistently duck the best competition available, save one race in her entire career because you're afraid she might lose?  That's what diminishes a horse's legacy.

06 Jul 2010 12:58 AM
Ted from LA

Paula,

"I" before "e" except after "c."  This blog is starting to remind me of an old quote.  "It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

06 Jul 2010 1:00 AM
CV

LDP,

Most Web browsers will spellcheck. For example, I use Firefox and it underlines in red any words it doesn't recognize. It's not foolproof, but it does cut down on misspelled words. Safari does something similar. I don't know which one you use; you may have to enable that function in its preferences.

Kay and Paula,

This "She wants some competition and she lets them open up three or four lengths on the turn..." deal where Zen decides to kick in the turbo 100 yards from the wire gives me heartburn. Surely Mike Smith can get her in gear before then. I mean, that is why they carry a whip, right?

06 Jul 2010 1:09 AM
jayjay

LDP : You are not being singled out, Slew mentioned you in one of his/her comments and you think you're being singled out ??  I've seen slew comment to other folks, to Draynay in particular.  I've commented and responded to other folks besides you.  I don't think people regard you that much that they would "single you out".  People merely respond to you, and since you like to respond back, you see a lot of people responding back to you.  If I had to guess, you love it, you love the attention.  You already admitted you like to debate about anything and everything so this is heaven for you.

PAULA : Sorry, no, didn't mean to confuse you.  I was making a point to Marilyn about her comment where she said that she "heard" Monmouth offered the Mosses to run in the Lady's Secret and they refused then went on to say that the Mosses ducked Jess Jackson lol.

06 Jul 2010 1:16 AM
lazaro

   did anyone stop to consider that rachel alexandra had a very difficult campaign last year, but that she held up extremely well in spite of it.

    i see nothing wrong with the course that has been plotted for her and i believe that all who are connected with rachel have her best interests at heart.

    also, i don't know if it has been mentioned, but it may be possible that she has some hormonal issues that have caused problems in her willingness to train.

06 Jul 2010 3:54 AM
GunBow

Livesoutwest:

Actually Ghostzapper's 2004 Horse of the Year was almost completely earned by his Breeder's Cup Classic win.  He ran only 3 other times that year, and in only one other gr.1 race, the Woodward, where he beat Saint Liam by a head.  His other two victories came in the gr.2 Tom Fool and gr.2 Iselin.  He ran fast in both of those races, but he beat little of consequence.

06 Jul 2010 4:30 AM
GunBow

Laz:

First, I didn't claim that the connections of Mineshaft were ducking anybody.  I was just stating a glaring fact, that Mineshaft only faced one of those other top handicap horses, and he lost that one meeting.  And yes, I did mention that he conceded weight to Perfect Drift that day.

The fact is, the connections of all of these horses spotted their horses carefully; in other words, there was a little "ducking" on all sides.  Sometimes there were surprises.  Medalgia d' Oro appeared to have the Pacific Classic at his mercy, but then Candy Ride turned in one of the best performances of the decade.

As for the Breeder's Cup, Mineshaft was never going to run in it, injury or not.  The connections were convinced Mineshaft would not like Santa Anita, and worse believed the surface could endanger him physically.  Yes, Mineshaft had physical issues, and these issues led his connections to believe running at Santa Anita was not in the horse's best interest.  However, the physical issues were not so great that Mineshaft was forced to miss either the Woodward or JCGC.  

Leading up to the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Mineshaft's connections made it fairly clear that the JCGC, and not the BC Classic, was going to be Mineshaft's last race of the year.  And they received some criticism for this.  The "injury" Mineshaft came down with after the JCGC was "convenient" in that it made talk that Mineshaft should be running in the BC moot.

Given Mineshaft was the HoY frontrunner and his connections had announced beforehand that the JCGC was going to be his last race, why didn't any of the other top handicap horses challenge him in that race?  Well, their connections decided to point for the BC Classic, and were more concerned with producing a peak performance in this $3million race than shipping to meet Mineshaft for a much smaller purse on a track Mineshaft had just won 2 gr.1 races over.

In the end, Mineshaft very easily might have lost HoY had Pleasantly Perfect not been able to nail Medalgia d' Oro in the final strides of the BC Classic.  With a win in the BC Classic, I firmly believe that Medalgia, Congaree, Perfect Drift(or even Funny Cide) could have leapfrogged Mineshaft for HoY.  

Ultimately, Mdelagia and Congaree ruined the other's chance for HoY, as they went out in a speed duel  carving out fractions of 46 and 1 and 1:10 and 1 in the BC Classic.  The two were still on the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to go before first Congaree shortened strides and then finally Medalgia was caught by Pleasantly Perfect.  The Beyer for the BC Classic was 119, superior to anything Mineshaft ever earned.

Given Pleasantly Perfect had only won one other graded stakes race prior to the BC Classic, his upset win sealed HoY for Mineshaft.  However, for me personally, ever since his connections indicated their intention to skip the BC Classic, I've felt that Mineshaft backed into the HoY.  This is not to say that he didn't deserve HoY, because he did have the best credentials.  Yet, almost as key as what Mineshaft accomplished was the fact that none of the other top HoY contenders were able to win the BC Classic in his absence.

Lastly, I'm not afraid to admit that as someone who was planning to attend(and utlimately did attend) the 2003 BC, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the connections of Mineshaft choosing the JCGC over the Breeder's Cup. The fact that Mineshaft was discoved to have suffered an injury after the JCGC did soften my disappointment.  Yet, my more cynical side has never fully accepted that Mineshaft's injury alone was enough to keep him out of the BC, if his connections actually wanted to run.  Like I wrote earlier, the injury was quite convenient in that it made criticism of the decision to bypass the BC irrelevant.

06 Jul 2010 5:29 AM
JerseyBoy

Paula Higgins:

There are many typographical errors in here. I cannot type because I grew up in a time and place when typing was not something men did. I use two fingers.

However, to eliminate the typos, I highlight my entry, then I apply the Spell Check function. It works.

Hope this helps someone.

06 Jul 2010 7:00 AM
LDP

jayjay,

It also said they wanted a good effort. Well eighth was not a good effort. It was a surface he had never tried before, but was simalar to a surface he has show in the past that he hates. I understand he wanted a race, I also understand that he did not plan far enough ahead to have a plan B. Many of you complain about the way other trainers train, you say why didn't they do this or that, yet when I do it it's horrible. You all who get on my case for stating I didn't like this particular move, are a bunch of hypocrites.

06 Jul 2010 7:03 AM
LDP

TBOwner,

I said nothing rude, did no bashing towards Lukas or MTB and yet you come at me as if I said he sucks, which was not the case at all. What about everyone who likes to say he can't train anymore, he's past his prime, this that and the other? Why not go at them? All I said was I didn't like the move.

06 Jul 2010 7:05 AM
sodapopkid

******EBAY UPDATE*******

ZEN'S HALTER- $5800.00  5 HOURS REMAINING.

RACHEL A. HALTER- $2025.00  1 DAY REMAINING.

THANKYOU TRAINERS, FOR DONATING SUCH WORTHY GIFTS FOR SUCH A WORTHY CAUSE.....

06 Jul 2010 8:06 AM
GunBow

Let me pemptively correct myself.  Mineshaft's connections did leave the door open to run in the BC open after the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but made it clear that it was unlikely.  

I should have double checked that one.  My memory was that they had already decided before the JCGC not to run in the BC, but I guess I remembered it that way only because of the way things  unfolded.

The truth is that prior to the JGCG, Mineshaft's owner, Will Farish, had made comments about the long year Mineshaft had had, and that he had concerns about running at Santa Anita for the BC.  It's likely that Farish and trainer Neil Howards were already leaning strongly towards skipping the BC, but they had yet to make a definitive announcement.

It was immediately after the JCGC that Farish strongly indicated that Mineshaft would not be running in the BC.  Obviously, Fairsh had been mulling this over for some time. So, I do believe that the decision to skip the BC was largely a forgone conclusion before the JCGC; however, Farish had not publicly revealed this prior to the JCGC, and even after the JCGC didn't close the door completely on the BC.  Yet, Farish did make it fairly clear that Mineshaft was unlikely for the BC, and he began making these comments the evening Mineshaft won the JCGC.

Then, not too long after, Mineshaft was found to have some ailment, and he was retired.  This is why I remembered the discovery of the injury to be conveniently timed.  Farish had been receiving criticism over the possibility of bypassing the BC. Even though it's probable that Fairsh was not going to run Mineshaft anyways, with the injury Farish could claim that the BC was still a possibility and it was only because of the injury that the door had been completely shut.  And who knows, maybe that's the truth.  But there's no question the injury kept Farish immune from the criticism he would have received had he done what he was likely to do even had Mineshaft been healthy, and call it a year after the JCGC.

Sorry for the confusion. I litterally realized my error in my sleep.    

06 Jul 2010 8:06 AM
Draynay

TBoner, thanks for letting me know your opinion on Rachel but I am sure you were one of the experts that predicted Rachel was done last year after winning HOY.  From what I hear Jackson is 50/50 about running her next year and I say go Rachel go ! Azeri was a great horse and did it all on DIRT.  I place Zenyatta right behind her on the all time list.  I can't put her in front because she never won HOY and Azeri had the talent to win it.  Zenyatta won't win another race all year.

06 Jul 2010 8:13 AM
jimthepimp

Everyone says that Zenyetta doesnt like to travel. She likes her home at Hollywood. That makes perfect sense to me as almost everyone likes there homes and enjoys getting back after a vacation. I think that Zenyetta likes her home because John likes his home. John reminds me of my father that doesnt like to travel very much and will find any excuse to stay at home if at all possible. John doesnt travel very much with any of his horses anymore. How often did his other great mare "Life is Sweet" go outside of California with John by her side. I really think that John is the one that is trying to get out of a summer vacation and Zenyetta would love to take a road trip. After all she really doesnt like the Delmar track that much. Put the horse first John and dont run her on that track. I dont want to see her lose because of a track that she hates.

06 Jul 2010 8:24 AM
draynot

Back from a great extended 4th of July Holiday. I see draynay had nothing better going on in his life than to spend the entire Holiday and then some spewing his crap.  

On the topic at hand, RA has been a huge disapointment since ending her year prematurely in 2009 and ducking the Br. Cup all together to preserve her undefeated year. It was truly a wise decision as there was no race she could have won there anyway. Since her return to the track she's found the going much tougher. At this point she's not done anything worthy of a reigning HOY and until she does there are better things to talk about. The East Coast Media's HOY is just another face in the crowd so far this year.  

06 Jul 2010 8:24 AM
Slew

Laz: Can of worms it is...but it was already going on too long with venom.  Try for comic relief, and you ruffle feathers.  Tough!  As I said...humorless folks.

LDP:  You're the one who said you aspire to be a writer...but you don't own a dictionary or a thesaurus?  You can pick one up at the Salvation Army for $1.00.  If you have Google, spell check is an available tool....but it can't tell you the difference between your and you're.  As far as being the ONLY person singled out...I'm guessing you cannot read either.  It would seem I mentioned Pam S. and Draynay too....they just don't pout like you do.  In fact, I think RA and Zen mentioned that they were being insulted by MOST everyone....and proposed a race of insults...guess you missed that too.  And in case you haven't noticed, the BH site is not as vile as the NTRA site because conversations are monitored to eliminate name-calling.

TB Owner: Since you're closer to the game than most of us, I do appreciate your insight.

Sorry folks, I just can't help loving both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra equally. They are magnificent athletes, and we are in 2 historic years in racing; that hasn't happened in a long time.  To be so fortunate to have 2 national treasures in the sport now is breath-taking.  Do I question the owners for the paths they have chosen?  No!  Their dime, their decision, their horse...I'm just thrilled to see the girls run.  

I had a vague dream where folks got to praise their favorite horse without ever bashing any other horse...how about that?  Oops!  Too far-fetched I guess.

06 Jul 2010 8:57 AM
Marilyn

OK, I'd like to know what I said that was bashing Zenyatta, because I, like most of you, cried tears of joy when she won the BCC last year.  And Paula - I did not come on here angry, but when someone tells me to step away from the bar, or calls my words dribble, just because they don't agree with me, am I just supposed to sit back and laugh along with you?  You people don't know me!  It's so easy to sit behind your computer and attack people when you can't look at them, but if you even knew the first thing about me, you would know that I love ALL horses, not just Rachel, but Zenyatta and all the others too, what I hate is being trashed for a comment that I made, which I don't see how it came across as angry, but if you want to take it that way fine.  I apologize if I've offended anyone with my "anger", but I'm not going to subject myself to being called an idiot, or that my words are dribble, or you insinuating that I'm an alcoholic.  THAT is anger. The truth is, you guys get off on trying to hurt the new people, the ones who don't share your views, or aren't jumping up and down hailing Zenyatta and trashing Rachel.  It IS possible to like more than one horse you know!  And then to say that I'm claiming everything!  Calling me a liar on top of it all!  Like I've said before, you really need to figure out why you need to put people down to make yourselves feel better, I , for one, don't come from that school and am not going to take it anymore.

06 Jul 2010 9:11 AM
LuckySon

Isn't this supposed to be a blog about Rachel?  Why are there so many fights going on about Zenyatta?  She wasn't even mentioned!  As a matter of fact, why are there so many Zenyatta fans on here, just to tear Rachel down? because you certainly aren't contributing anything else to the topic of the article.

06 Jul 2010 9:40 AM
Billy's Empire

I would like to say thank you to all of the betting public that made I Want Revenge and Mine that Bird the favorites over the weekend. Haynesfield and Tizdejavu were clearly the best horses and I made great money this weekend betting on them.

06 Jul 2010 9:58 AM
Citation

Actually Kay, Curlin ran and won with 132 pounds in the Jaguar Trophy, Fabulous Strike won the Fall Highweight with 136, so some males have carried higher weights just recently.

06 Jul 2010 10:32 AM
Rachel O

Sorry, Paula. You misspelled "perceived."

These horse-bashings and connections-bashings are a bit tiresome. Zen generally thinks people are amusing, but she must be bored rather than amused by these lame comments.

BTW, both the protagonists will win again this year.

06 Jul 2010 11:03 AM
Marilyn

JayJay - Since you seem so intent to drive this into the ground as far as it will go even though it was only said once.  Here you go.

1-732-222-5100.  That's the number to Monmouth Park.  Call them yourself and leave me alone already!  I'm done with you!!!

06 Jul 2010 11:08 AM
moodygirl

Jason, I'm sorry if this a duplicate but I don't think the 1st one was sent.

Marilyn, I was getting on here to write something in your defense and in favor of courtesy; then I read your final posts. "Obviously no one is allowed to post here unless they are jumping up and down praising Zenyatta....It's being bashed by all of her fans I hate." Please calm down.

I don't even think your original post on 7/3 at 8:50 pm was angry. Ripvanwinkle and Jayjay were rude IMO. Ripvanwinkle called you an idiot and shrill on 7/4 at 1:19 pm. Jayjay said you were a liar and childish on 7/4 at 5:50 pm & 8:26 pm. Then you did get angry. I can't say I blame you.

When people are rude & insulting for no good reason I think it is just to get a reaction; to stir the pot so to speak. It's your reaction they are looking for. Don't give them the satisfaction. Kill them with kindness or ignore them.

RA fans bash Zenyatta on here all the time. It goes both ways. When people post asking for mutual admiration and respect for both horses it falls on deaf ears. I guess it is just the way people are. Blaming all the Zenyatta fans for the few rude people on here is a gross over reaction and untrue. They are just rude. It's got nothing to do with your favorite horse.

The only person anyone should be rude to on here is Draynay and that's because he relishes it.

Paula Higgins, I loved your thought of Draynay in a skirt. It cracked me up. It added so much to the picture in my mind.

06 Jul 2010 11:14 AM
LuckySon

Yes I too made some good money on Haynesfield, but even if I Want Revenge didn't win, he still won big considering that 99% of horses would never come back from that kind of injury.  Too bad they didn't give Eskendereya that chance instead of immediately sending him to the breeding shed.

06 Jul 2010 11:16 AM
Draynay

Jason, I need you help.  I got all the bobble head horses outside to play in the dirt and all of them are racing around having a great time except Zenyatta.  She keeps running in circles on a plastic picnic table cover yelling "Catch me!" "Catch me!"

Any ideas how to get her off the plastic to play with the other horses?

06 Jul 2010 11:22 AM
Billy's Empire

I agree Luckyson, I am glad he is back. I was next to Talamo on the rail last year at CD derby week and he had smile as big as the Sun is large. Great to see him back, but to think we wins after a 15 month layoff, over Haynesfield, was a bit of a strecth. Same with Flukey mc Fluke Fluke. I think there are a few allowance races in New Mexico that MTB is eligible for.

06 Jul 2010 11:39 AM
Ted from LA

Correction for Paula:

"I" before "e" except in Budweiser.

I have advice for all bloggers and I know EVERYBODY likes unsolicited advice.  If you have to start every post by attacking someone else or by defending your comments, you're probably an &%*(*$%.  Stop being an &%*(*$% and we'll all get along much better.  I think we lose good writers due to the juvenile cat-fighting nature here.  Ted from LA has spoken.  Also, please don't write about yourself in the third person.  It seems pretentious.

06 Jul 2010 11:45 AM
sodapopkid

She don't like you Dray, thats why she is running around trying to escape.  She says she is better that the other horses you got, she is superior, she is beyond that bunch you are playing with...She's Special....

06 Jul 2010 11:48 AM
Marilyn

moodygirl - Thank you for your attempt to defend me or calm me down.  I am in no way mad at Zenyatta fans, as I said I am one although no one believes me, and I am friends with many of them.  It is the mean-spirited ones that I don't like, like the ones you pointed out who are rude and attacked me personally.  Wouldn't you get angry at that?  And I'm sorry, as funny as you think Draynay in a skirt is funny, that too was uncalled for, as too the comment about step away from the bar. Insinuating that I'm a drunk is crossing the line.  I'm sorry if I'm a bit sensitive, but to me it was not funny at all.  If you want to debate how much Rachel sucks or doesn't suck go ahead, but to personally attack someone is way out of line.  If you look at all of my posts, as angry as I got, I don't remember calling anyone names like idiot or a liar, childish maybe for all of the name calling, but no way near the depths of what everyone went at me with.  And continue to do so.  I don't know anyone enough to be so nasty to, and no one here knows me enough to call me nasty names.  You are correct, my first post was not angry, but when the attacks started, so did the anger.  I wish it didn't because all that did was bring me down to their level, but most of the people of this blog have to understand that you can't just start attacking people for fun. 

06 Jul 2010 11:52 AM
LAZMANNICK

Gunbow

You are the acknowledged Guru when it comes to horse racing knowledge on this Blog.     LAZMANNICK 7-6-2010.

However, I don’t agree with you regarding Mineshaft’s missing the 2003 BCC

Here is a copy of an article printed that year explaining Mineshaft’s injuries and the reason why they opted out.......

(((Trainer Neil Howard announced the 4-year-old colt's retirement on Friday, Oct. 3 at Churchill Downs. Howard said the development of three unrelated physical ailments led the colt's veterinarian, Dr. Foster Northrop, to recommend that Mineshaft be retired from racing. The decision means that Mineshaft will not be able to participate in the $5 million Breeders Cup Classic(G1) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, a race that Howard and the colt's owners HAD HOPED would be his final start before he retired to stud at Farish's Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

Howard said the first ailment was a small, non-displaced fracture of Mineshaft's right front ankle that was discovered in a routine X-ray examination following the colt's victory in the Suburban Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park on July 5. The colt has been X-rayed before and after each of his races since his arrival in the United States last fall.

"Dr. Northrop took a very close look at the chip after the Suburban and it was his opinion that the injury was very manageable, would not hinder the horse's performance or be a danger to him," Howard said. "It was just one of those things that you want to monitor very closely."

"The examination after the Jockey Club Gold Cup showed that the chip in his right front ankle was now displaced and was free floating," Howard said. "The examination also revealed a new non-displaced chip in his left front ankle and another problem was discovered in the third carpal bone in his right knee. Dr. Northrop then recommended that Mineshaft be retired."

"When you combine the three injuries, they pose a real risk to the health of the horse if Mineshaft were to continue to race," Northrop said. "Mr. Farish is an owner who is putting his horse's well-being over his desire to win a classic race and he and his partners are doing the right thing for Mineshaft at this time. I also believe he is protecting the racing public by deciding against running a horse whose physical ailments could easily result in a diminished performance on the track."

"This is disappointing because we very much wanted to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic," said Farish by telephone from London. "After receiving Dr. Northrop's recommendation concerning his physical condition, we had no alternative but to retire him.")))

I remember the controversy when they opted out of the BCC, but based on this article and others it doesn’t sound like ducking to me.

Secondly......that 119 Beyer that Pleasantly perfect received in the BCC (and oddly enough never came close to duplicating again) was only 1 point higher than the 118 Mineshaft received when he cruised to a 3 3/4L victory in the Pimlico Special and 2 points better than his head defeat in the Foster when he finished 1/5th off the track record, and 2 points better than his easy 4 1/4L win in the Woodward.  The thing most impressive about these Beyers were that they were accomplished in May, June and Sept. and at three different racks which reeks of class and consistency..

As far as Pleasantly Perfect winning HOY, it was never going to happen off 2 wins in 4 starts.   Congaree was a 55% winner that year with 2 G-1 wins, and some good Beyers, possibly enough with a BCC win to be crowned champ.  Medaglia D ‘Oro had only 1 G-1 win, the Whitney, and was crushed by Candy Ride (maybe the best horse that year).  I doubt a BCC win, especially without Mineshaft would have won him the award.  Perfect Drift had 1 G-1 win, the head victory in the Foster.  The thing that stands out is that all, with the exception of Pleasantly Perfect, were in the general vicinity of the Woodward and JCGC when they were run and yet did not participate.  You would think they would have based on their resumes and their connection’s desire to gain HOY.

With 4 G-1 wins, Mineshaft had by far the best record in 2003, had the highest Beyer average, and his average 3 1/2 L victory margin in G-1 races was solid.  Based on this he was overall the best horse and the most worthy of the award.  The voters sure thought so:

• HOY: Mineshaft 209, Congaree 11, Halfbridled 9, Funny Cide 4, all others 12

• Older Male: Mineshaft - 221, Congaree 11, Pleasantly Perfect 7, all others 9

06 Jul 2010 12:07 PM
Elizabeth

For one thing, we all know Rachel has the talent.  And another thing she had the whole winter off,  she didn't come back to racing very fit.  It take a horse a long time to come back!  Especially a horse of her caliber.  She is just starting to come back in full form.  Just give her time,  and she will run in the Breeders Cup Classic.  We all know that's were Jess Jackson wants her.   I can't wait to see her run again!!!

06 Jul 2010 12:15 PM
LAZMANNICK

Gunbow

I responded to your first post before I read your second post.  Have a good one.

06 Jul 2010 12:15 PM
Carlos in Cali

What! After taking yet another brief respite from this blog I come back to:

... Nevermind.

Jason: You can come up for air now.. I think. Or,you can take your ball and go home like Happenstance Haskin is contemplating.LOL, I think he needs a little tea & sympathy.

Please don't give us the silent treatment,you're from Philly dammit!!

Billy,yeah- I thought IWR was vulnerable in his comeback because of the amount of time-off & distance and he ran pretty much the same way I mentioned he would(leg weary late).But,he'll be double tough next outing no matter where he races.-- Get ready, Tim G. is lurking!

06 Jul 2010 12:17 PM
LDP

jayjay,

I don't mind being talked to, have no problem at all, Slew may have talked to Dray and Pam S, but I don't exactly remember Slew referencing them in some joke. If you want to talk or debate WITH me fine. But seriously, if you want to put something ignorant about me, in a post, then expect me not comment on how juvenile that is, then you are wrong.

06 Jul 2010 12:24 PM
Footlick

Livesoutwest- with all the difficulties you have described for Zenyatta in the Clement Hirsch, it obviously will be a great victory if she wins, to overcome all of that.  So why criticize it when you just have told us how difficult it will be?  Why criticize her carrying 129 giving 9 lbs to St Trinians, when Quality Road was given much less in the Met Mile and Rail Trip given even less than Quality Road in the Hollywood Gold Cup?  It's all relative to the racing climate.  Rail Trip is the defending champion and has been dominant in his two starts this year.  And that's all they give him?  Not even 126?  The same with Quality Road.  At least 126 for either of those horses in a major handicap is fair.  And you complain about 129.  At least they are assigning her weight to carry, not like the others.  I too would have loved to see her in the HGC.  I think she would have won just like in the BCC.  If they don't run in the Clement Hirsch, I really don't see them going to the Pac Classic.  Same track, and if they don't like the way it for the Hirsch,  I can't see it changing much for the Pac Classic.  I would like to see her in the Goodwood maybe as a prep for the BC.

06 Jul 2010 12:29 PM
dakota

ALB said it all.

06 Jul 2010 12:56 PM
paul r

TO ALL BLOGERS  We have been blessed with the privledge of seeing two exceptional equine athletes appear on this planet at the same time. NOT THEIR FAULT.

One lives in NY AND NEW ORLEANS ,home of the YANKS AND SAINTS. The other lives in LA, home of the LAKERS. How lucky as a sports and racing fan to have seen all this in the course of just one year.RACHEL AND ZEN would be priceless free agents but unfortunately their destinys are dictated.They can only run where they are entered . Rachel appears to be rounding into form and her connections are surely trying to have her at her best in NOV. I believe the ZEN camp will do the same .They can not risk a trip east to hit 100 degree weather.I think both parties are thinking along this line.Seems like nobody likes how either side goes about it.Isuggest enjoy the summer and go see them run in person. ITs a real treat,and hopefully they will both meet in LOUISVILLE.

06 Jul 2010 12:59 PM
OLD TIMER

Dray, you are a funny guy. How many times have you written "They are looking for a race Zenyatta can win."?

Remind me again how many races has she lost? Could it be... ZERO?

No respect!

Plus, please do not insult my intelligence by comparing this allowance race at Monmouth with the Marlboro Cup. It is ludicrous. Secretariat vs. Riva Ridge and Affirmed vs. Seattle Slew compared to Rachel, who is 1 for three against allowance horses? Yeah right!

06 Jul 2010 1:00 PM
Tiznowbaby

I know this is a Rachel blog, but best wishes to Global Hunter. For whatever reason, I've always liked that horse.

06 Jul 2010 1:10 PM
Debbie

Part of a trainer's job is to find the easiest race for his horse.  Steve is sure doing that.  I do not believe she is the same horse she was last year.  She won - but who did she beat!!  Zenyatta would "blow" her doors off and I think Zenyatta got robbed for HOY.  She bet the best boys in the country and that makes her a champion in my book.  

06 Jul 2010 1:14 PM
Zookeeper

The ORIGINAL topic of this blog was Rachel Alexandra and her racing in the Lady's Secret. How on earth has it evolved into people's comments about their favorite subject: THEMSELVES???

06 Jul 2010 1:15 PM
mary glynn

I think some of these blogs are so funny especially the part of going to the beach with JJ. I love the bit where the girls are talks about us 2 leggers.

               Both are wonderful horses and i would love to have either one them Just being able to touch them would be a thrill but to touch any horse is an honor.I would love  pick fella for them both.

06 Jul 2010 1:16 PM
GunBow

Draynay:

That last comment was actually funny.  You made your point without insulting, and hopefully made some people laugh in the process.  You use to do that alot more.  

06 Jul 2010 1:30 PM
CV

"Sorry folks, I just can't help loving both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra equally. They are magnificent athletes, and we are in 2 historic years in racing; that hasn't happened in a long time.  To be so fortunate to have 2 national treasures in the sport now is breath-taking.  Do I question the owners for the paths they have chosen?  No!  Their dime, their decision, their horse...I'm just thrilled to see the girls run."  

Slew 06 Jul 2010 8:57 AM

Truer words were never spoken. These two horses are subjected to the most intense microanalyses I've ever seen. Interesting, isn't it, that the boys never seem to get the same close scrutiny?

06 Jul 2010 1:30 PM
joe schmoe

I got all the bobble head horses outside to play in the dirt

Draynay 06 Jul 2010 11:22 AM  

Jason,

I find it hilarious and quite telling that draynay is now playing with dolls in the dirt. At least we know what he's doing when he's not here shovelimg his manure. I wonder if he's wearing his pink dress when he plays with those bobblehead dolls. He needs more help than you can give him Jason.  

06 Jul 2010 1:57 PM
Kay

Livesoutwest:

We are both very wordy (g).

“So I'm not diminishing Zenyatta's victory.  I don't know whom else you might be referring to but I never said she didn't belong there. I cashed a nice ticket on her.  It was a great victory over the best field assembled in the US last year, much better than anything Rachel Alexandra beat, and I was there cheering for her in the winners circle.  But it still wasn't a great field by BC Classic standards, not when there wasn't one other great horse in it.”

Which isn’t AT ALL what everyone was saying before the race. And I was pretty sure I qualified my statement by saying The Royal You, which refers to the folks who said beforehand that Zenyatta didn’t belong. I do not know what you said beforehand, hence the comment.

“Regarding weights, first of all, Zenyatta carried 129 pounds in LAST YEAR'S Vanity.  The mare's as big as a monster truck, is still undefeated, is still racing exclusively against females save last year's BC Classic and she doesn't pick up even a pound?  C'mon, you're obviously knowledgeable about the sport, and I'm sure you can see that Shirreffs' repeated comments about refusing to commit to racing at Hollywood Park until he saw the weights intimidated track management into not adding ANY weight over last year.  Frankly I think that's disgraceful, but obviously Hollywood Park needed Zenyatta more than Moss & Shirreffs needed Hollywood Park.”

So she should have carried MORE weight? Really. That’s interesting. Giving nine pounds to a horse like St Trinians seemed pretty incredible as far as I was concerned.

“Regarding Ellis, here's his most recent comment about Zenyatta.

The Gold Cup is as far as Ellis has planned this year. There is a strong chance that Rail Trip will start in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 28, though the trainer said a trip out of state is possible. During the summer, Rail Trip will remain at Hollywood Park and would ship to Del Mar only for a race.  "I don't know what we'll do," Ellis said. "I'll see how he comes out of it. He'll train here. He does well here. I have no plans after the Gold Cup. We want to be near Zenyatta. We have to keep our enemies close."

Does THAT sound like he's running away from Zenyatta?”

Since earlier he said that he’d scratch Rail Trip if Zenyatta was running in the Gold Cup, it’s not too hard to parse this comment. He sees her every day. He wants to make sure he keeps on seeing her. He’s scoping out his biggest competition. But if anyone has a healthier respect for Zenyatta, I don’t know who it would be.

“And once again, WHOSE horse is likely to enter yet ANOTHER race next month where the other isn't eligible to challenge her?”

Irrelevant. The goal is the BC Classic, not every race against males she can cram into her schedule. I have a suspicion that if Zenyatta were your horse, you’d take just as conservative a path with her.

“And you're just dead wrong about what Shirreffs is saying.  His recent comments:

Shirreffs has said in the past that Zenyatta does not train well on Del Mar's Polytrack surface, which led to speculation that Zenyatta would start on the East Coast in late summer. But Shirreffs said he has no problem running Zenyatta at Del Mar.  

"I said I didn't want to train at Del Mar," he said. "There is a difference."  

But the truth is Shirreffs is not being consistent with what he's said in the past. If you've ever  listened to the Roger Stein radio show, Shirreffs is a frequent guest and a friend of Stein's, a fellow trainer.  Sherriffs came on the show last month and echoed those comments.  After the interview, Stein commented that was NOT what Shirreffs said last year, that Zenyatta hates the track, and if they keep taking chances running there, it will eventually catch up with them.  It seems obvious to me that Shirreffs is playing the good soldier and going along with the Boss's decision.”

Fair enough. I haven’t heard those comments. However, I would be utterly shocked if Shirreffs didn’t want to go to Del Mar and the Mosses overruled him.

“I'm not "intimating" anything Kay, I'll say it straight out.  Zenyatta's in the hands of boneheads and the only thing being diminished here is what her legacy COULD be if they would just let her run.”

I think her legacy’s doing just fine, and it’s too bad that you’re so hornswoggled by this “SHE MUST RUN AGAINST MALES” BS that you can’t see that. You’re really missing out.

“If you want to make an omelette you need to break a few eggs. Secretariat lost, Affirmed lost, Seattle Slew lost, Winning Colors lost, Curlin and Rachel Alexandra lost.  The best trainers use the minor stakes to prep for the important ones, the losses there are irrelevant. And the losses don't take anything away from what they accomplished.  And in Rachel's case, I think there will be a few words eaten by some people on this list when they see her NEXT race, the one after the upcoming prep at Monmouth over nobodies.”

Hey, I’d love to be wrong about Rachel. I just don’t think I am. It’s JULY. This is ridiculous.

“But as for Zenyatta, to consistently duck the best competition available, save one race in her entire career because you're afraid she might lose?  That's what diminishes a horse's legacy.”

I love that it’s up to the champion to seek out competition, and not the other way around. Let’s just wait and see what happens if they all make it to the BC Classic. My, you’re getting a little hot under the collar there, doll. It’s just opinion. Take it easy!!

CV

“This "She wants some competition and she lets them open up three or four lengths on the turn..." deal where Zen decides to kick in the turbo 100 yards from the wire gives me heartburn. Surely Mike Smith can get her in gear before then. I mean, that is why they carry a whip, right?”

Heh. I think Zenyatta’s all, “Yes, Mike, I KNOW WHERE THE WIRE IS. Stop waving that thing at me.”

Citation:

“Actually Kay, Curlin ran and won with 132 pounds in the Jaguar Trophy, Fabulous Strike won the Fall Highweight with 136, so some males have carried higher weights just recently.”

Awesome. Thanks for knowing that! Makes me feel better knowing that at least two males have carried more than 119 pounds in a handicap race (g).

Ted From LA:

I would bash you, but I love you. So that would be stupid.

06 Jul 2010 1:58 PM
sodapopkid

*****EBAY UPDATE******

ZENYATTA'S HALTER ENDED WITH A HIGH BID OF $6,600.00. GOOD LORD HAVE MERCY....

RACHLE BID ENDS IN 13 HRS. 'KEEP BIDDING'   THIS IS SO GREAT.

THE GIRL'S STAR STATUS IS SURELY GREAT FOR THIS CHARITY...

06 Jul 2010 2:01 PM
jayjay

Marilyn : If there was any truth to that "rumor", believe me, it would've been in the news.  The fact that you mentioned that rumor and immediately after it, you question people not saying anything about Zenyatta ducking Rachel is to me, just a way to bash her.  You don't even know if it's true, you didn't have any proof that it was even discussed.  You then tell me to call Monmouth and what...tell them I'm a blogger and I'm trying to settle a blog dispute so tell me the truth ???

If you didn't think that came off as a bash to Zenyatta, then I don't know what is.  It's the textbook bash because RA fans still can't get over the fact that JJ ducked her earlier this year.  It's a sting that will never go away because between the two, only JJ was the one that blinked.

If you really love Zenyatta, you wouldn't insinuate that she would be ducking RA.  In fact, that shouldn't even be in your mind because you know that it isn't true, never was and never will be.  She has never ducked anyone.

So if that doesn't explain my comments to you then excuse me, but I still don't believe you're a true Zenyatta fan.  And contrary to your accusation, I don't attack Rachel, I'm not a fan of Rachel but I don't attack her.  I'm on this blog to talk about Zenyatta, and any Rachel blog, you'll always have rabid RA fans that will bash Zenyatta because they can't say much about her at this time.  My responses to anyone in this blog is a response to them attacking Zenyatta or with the cool peeps, talking about how great Zenyatta is.

I don't come here to make fun of people, with the exception of Draynay but that's his job.

06 Jul 2010 2:01 PM
GunBow

I might regret this, but I want to make a few comments about LDP.

I know there are quite a few on here who feel that LDP can be overly defensive, insulting, and brash.  However, in all honesty, I really believe that she takes alot worse than she gives.  

Obviously, Draynay is the person on here most disrespected, but he's also the most disrespectful.  After that, I would probably say that LDP gets the most negative comments.  And I just don't quite get it.  I've never had any problems with her.

What bothers me most is how insulting people are towards LDP's age.  Often, some are flat-out dismissive of her because she happens to be young, and make really uncalled for comments instructing her to "grow up" and "stop whining", or making it seem like she could not possibly have a valid point just because she is young. As with other characteristics, I don't see why someone's age should make their points less valid, and why some find it acceptable to insult someone because of their age.

Listen, why have a young person interested in throughbred racing.  We should be celebrating that, nurturing it as much as possible.  We shouldn't be throwing her age back  in her face every time we feel challenged by her.  If you, like me, were fans of horse racing when a teenager, then you realize that LDP probably doesn't have many people her age to share the sport with.  When I was young, I was able to get a few friends to go to the track every once and a while, but for the most part I was a lone ranger.  I would spend hours going through the 1990 American Racing Manual, I taped every racing broadcast as well as ESPN's Racehorse Digest, and would call into Bruno De Julio's local radio show.  Did I have alot to learn? Absolutely.  But as it concerned history, I was as qualified as most to enter a discussion.

Yes, LDP has much to learn, but aren't we all learning?  My current rate of learning might not be as steep as it was when I was 18, but I'm still picking up new things, learning about new horses, hearing about new perspectives.  I know that no amount of reading books can equal watching races and going to the track.  However, I don't believe that LDP's young age should make it acceptable to be so insulting.  

I know some are going to respond by listing all the transgressions LDP has committed.  As she has admitted herself, she can get too passionate, get too caught up in the moment.  But, I really do feel her transgressions are outweigheed by those directed towards her.  Just my opinion though.

06 Jul 2010 2:02 PM
Jason Shandler

Funny stuff Carlos.

Debbie: You actually believe for one second that Asmussen has a say where RA winds up? lol...

06 Jul 2010 2:03 PM
LAZMANNICK

Footlick

And with the weight consession male to female, wouldn't Zen's 129 lbs. convert to 132 if she was a colt?

06 Jul 2010 2:21 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA, thanks for the laughs, particularly the Budweiser "i" before "e." You are a hoot. To all of you who have corrected my spelling and encouraged me to use spell check, I hear you.

CV, I am with you. I worry about this late kick business with Zenny. I am not so sure that will work against a horse like QR. Her win against St. Trinians was something special but she cut it really close. I can remember Mike Smith saying after the Clement Hirsh last year that he thought it had been too close and he didn't make her move into that next gear soon enough. I wonder what her closing fraction was in her last work on Monday. Would love to know that. I bet it was blistering. If I have a choice, I would rather have a horse that had closing speed then front end speed. The problem for Zenny will be when she runs up against a horse with both. Then she will need to be all out to catch him/her.

06 Jul 2010 2:25 PM
jayjay

LDP : When a trainer puts a horse in a race that they've said is only needed so that he can have a race.  A "good effort" can be interpreted in many different ways.  Only the owner/trainer know what that "good effort" means.  Placings doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't a good effort, if you watch the race, Borel immediately put him in the back, didn't really push him so coming on in 8th doesn't mean anything.  If that wasn't a good effort as you say, do you think Lukas would still point him to the next biggest race in the summer, the Whitney ??

06 Jul 2010 2:26 PM
LDP

GunBow,

Wow, thank you. I'm normally good with words, but now I'm at a complet loss. Thank you.

06 Jul 2010 2:36 PM
Billy's Empire

bravo ted, Bravo!!

I just want to mention one thing that I found so wrong that I have to comment.

Jayjay wrote "To me, I do think it was a fluke season, while she did win all those races last year which got her owner the HOTY award."

This was in reference to Rachel, and Jayjay calling her season last year a fluke. That is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard from a Zenyatta fan. Mine that Bird, who you are arguing with Dray over, has won 1 time in 15 months, and maybe twice in his career. Rachel ran the most optimistic and hardest campaign ever for a 3yo filly, and you have the audacity to call it a FLUKE. That would be like me saying Zen's 17 race win streak is a fluke b/c she has not raced males on dirt. It just does not make any sense whatsoever.

Hope you all had a good 4th.

Go Germany!!

06 Jul 2010 2:39 PM
Paula Higgins

I agree with Jason that Jess Jackson is the one calling the shots with Rachel. I don't think he relinquishes control easily rgeardless of who the horse is and how they are doing. He wants a few wins under Rachel's belt, without too much effort. He is "gun shy" because of her regression after she went all out in the Woodward. He wants her in the BCC. But if this were me, I would not aim for that, but more competitive races now since she seems to be getting back to form. I think the BCC is a mistake and doesn't suit her best distance. If Zenny, Blame, and QR show up at the BCC, she will have a tough time winning it.

06 Jul 2010 2:44 PM
LuckySon

WHOA!!! I thought this was supposed to be a light-hearted blog about Rachel's strange decision to go to the Lady's Secret at Monmouth, not all of the bad mouthing I'm hearing.  I think some people need to cool down.  I for one love both extraordinary mares, how could you not with all they've accomplished, one undefeated and one with the most amazing 3 year old campaign I've ever seen ( I'm sorry if some of you don't agree with me on that one, please notice the word I ).  How in the world has this turned into such a hate-fest?  Let's try and turn it around and take it back to the original discussion.

06 Jul 2010 2:45 PM
jayjay

Gunbow : I can see why you would feel that way because the last few comments from LDP were about her feelings of being singled out.  I don't know if you've ever seen her previous old posts.  I've had some threads with her in the past and she wasn't the "young, trying to learn" person that you just described.  She can dish it out and she has in the past, she has made snide remarks towards me and other people.  To make her seem like she is getting ganged up on is not true.  She loves to argue/debate, she would debate about something until hell freezes over but sometimes she doesn't make sense.

I have noticed though that lately she has been praising Zenyatta but that wasn't there before, everyone that's had a thread with her knows that she's known for putting Zenyatta and her connections down.  I don't quite buy it yet but maybe she has realized Zenyatta's a great horse.

She probably knows a lot more about me, she probably spends more time watching races than me, analyzing them and such but I'm not here to discuss details and technicals, I'm actually here to learn those, from you and Laz and Footlick (with regards to the euro horses) and others.  I'm here to praise my Zenyatta and defend her from anyone (including the ridiculous Draynay)  who wishes to post ridiculous things about her.

06 Jul 2010 2:50 PM
Livesoutwest

I'll be less wordy this time Kay.  Zenyatta's NOT the champion.  The champion of 2008 and 2009 was Curlin.  The champion of 2010 was Rachel Alexandra.  Zenyatta is the divisional champ, but that's it.

And the sad thing is, she easily COULD have been the champion the last two years.  In 2009, the best horse by the end of the year was Ravens Pass who set the SA track record in the BC Classic.  Based on speed numbers, Zenyatta wouldn't have beaten him.  But she didn't have to.  Euros never get HOY off one American race.  All Zenyatta had to do was race against males and beat them one time - say in the Goodwood instead of going in the Lady's Secret and she's HOY.

And last year in 2010, Ravens Pass had retired and Zenyatta was now the best horse in America, male or female.  And her connections give us all of five races, scratching out of the sixth because the track came up sloppy. (Oooh, can't have her dealing with an unknown factor like slop, can't take a chance she might lose.)  Zenyatta didn't deserve to lose HOY last year, but her connections did.

And Kay, not only do I believe that Moss and Shirreffs would have run cowering into the Ladies Classic had Sea The Stars come over last year, but that if the Classic comes up sloppy this year, they'll scratch again.

06 Jul 2010 2:52 PM
Marilyn

JayJay - Now you're really making me laugh because you have no idea at all what you are talking about!  You don't know me, who or what I like, and to claim so is claiming to be a psychic with your crystal ball.  I can see it now.  "Oh crystal ball, tell me, is Marilyn a real fan of Zenyatta or not"  Just get over it already and move on, I thought this was over hours ago.

06 Jul 2010 3:01 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest:

I hate to say it, but you are the one making BONEHEAD statements.  As far as Zen consistently ducking the competition, that's ludicrous.  What do you call facing the reigning filly champ and on a STRANGE DIRT surface and in only her fourth lifetime start and giving Ginger an 8 or 9 length head start before womping her by 8 lengths (that’s a 17 length difference from midway in the turn home and in a very short stretch).  It seems to me that tough horses like Hysterical Lady and Tough Tiz’s Sis used to enter races that Zen competed in.  After getting their butts kicked, the only time they really wanted to face her was when they had to in the Lady’s Distaff.

If anyone is a BONEHEAD we know where to start.  At least this mare is still racing and causing other owners to wait and pick their spots after they know where she is going to race, and at SIX YEARS OLD.

As far as weight, convert the 129 lbs. that a mare carries to what a male should carry.  I believe that would be 132 lbs.  Who’s carrying that kind of weight these days?  Then go back in history and compare what some of the old warriors carried in a race after winning it the year before…..when Forego won the Woodward in 1976 he carried 135 lbs.  The next year, after finishing 1st or 2nd in every race but the Whitney he carried 133 lbs.  There are lots of examples like that if you care to look them up.  The simple fact is, Zen has carried more weight than any horse this year on dirt in N/A.  That should be enough.  The fact that Quality Road, Blame and Rail Trip aren’t even asked to carry the 3 y-o scale weight of 126 lbs. even though they are older and so formidable is laughable at best.

Zen never ducked anyone.  The proof was last year when they put her undefeated record on the line in the toughest race of the year.

06 Jul 2010 3:02 PM
sodapopkid

Of course Jess Jackson is calling the shots with her. You can see that by the mismanagement of her.

If he left it to Asmussen she would probably ran in the AB, and would be running in grade 1's.

Jess Jackson's problem is his ego.

Since she lagged in the beginning and cant meet his demands for him, he is trying to make his self not look so conspicious yet trying to look like he is doing something strategically,  any one with good eyes can see the man would rather see her in grade 1 races instead of the path she is going.

06 Jul 2010 3:03 PM
papillon

reviewing the firecracker, mine that bird really didn't run such a bad race.

he was about 20 lengths off the lead at the half; had moved up about 10 lengths by the 3/4 pole; then moved up another 3 lengths in the final 2 furlongs; and finished by galloping out better than tizdejavu.

i'm not convinced that the turf was his biggest problem in this race--he's clearly better on dirt, but with the additional 2 furlongs of his preferred distance, this may have been a totally different race, turf not withstanding.

compare where he was at the mile in the kentucky derby--12th place, 6 1/2 lengths off the lead--to where he was in the fire cracker at the mile--8th place, 7 3/4 lengths off the lead. so he's about a fifth of second slower on turf give or take a millisecond (at most; this was a faster race than the derby, so he may actually have been a little faster in this race than he was in the derby).

i've tried to time his last furlong, but it's too hard to see him-- one minute he's in 14th closing ground to the rest of the field, the next he's crossing the line in 8th place with the main pack, and then he's galloping out easily past tizdejavu.

he did, however, look really uncomfortable throughout the race until the stretch. it looked like calvin was fighting him for most of it (its hard to tell though, could just be the camera angle). not sure why calvin took him so far back in such a short race, especially if he wanted to run. in a throwaway race, why not just give him his lead and see what happens?

anyway, it's disappointing for sure, but the result wasn't as clear cut as most are making it seem.

06 Jul 2010 3:09 PM
LAZMANNICK

Gunbow

There's nothing to regret.  LDP has a lot to learn and she is trying.  Expressing her opinion is at times as difficult for me to accept as it is for her to accept mine.  She can be stubborn and so can I.  She can make mistakes and I know that I do all the time.  One thing about her is that I have never really heard her call anyone out.  Frustrations at times aside, the thing I like most about LDP is her passion.  There's not enough of it from young people any more.  So if you're reading this LDP, keep on expressing your opinion.

06 Jul 2010 3:10 PM
jayjay

Billy : You didn't quote my whole take on the FLUKE statement but I didn't expect you to because you wanted to twist my words.  If you read my whole comment, you'd know what it meant.  It was an immature move on your part to say the least.

06 Jul 2010 3:18 PM
Slew

GunBow: While I highly respect your opinion, I think you may be a little off target in the case of LDP.  I really don't believe it's her age in question as much as her maturity level.  Even Draynay, the dreaded, allows comments to roll over him...and I actually liked his bobble-head scenario.  We all have a lot to learn....and we do try to learn.  We don't pout and throw tantrums when someone points out our lapses.  If you jump in the deep end of the pool with the grown-ups, you'd better know how to swim...and everyone...lighten up.  Life's too short...learn to laugh once in a while.  Enjoy all of the horses, and maybe someday I'll tell you my hair-raising story of a beautiful bay mare who tried to harvest a field with my head, and then jumped over the moon. (Well, I thought it was the moon; they told me it was a gully.)

06 Jul 2010 3:25 PM
Billy's Empire

Jayjay, Please see Northern Giant in reference to wondering if Wayne would still point to the biggest race after a dull or bad performance. 9th in the Ark Derby, 12th in the Preakness. Hi Tim G!

06 Jul 2010 3:30 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

You really do need to get a reality check.  Santa Anita was 2 seconds faster on BC day in 2008 compared to BC day in 2009.  A comparison of all the dirt races proves this.  Raven's Pass won his BCC in 1.59.1 and Zen in 2.00.3.....Even you should be able to convert her 2009 BCC to 1.58.3 if ran in 2008.  If you don't believe that, then believe this.  Raven's Pass Beyer was 110.....Zen's was 112.  How come Zen's is higher (the highest ever for a route race on synthetics)?  You would think that Raven's Pass' would be higher seeing that his time was so dominant when comparing it to Zen's.  

06 Jul 2010 3:31 PM
Billy's Empire

Oh, you mean the part where you contradict yourself? You can't have it both ways Jayjay. Was she a fluke, or was she not? You trying to twist Dray's meaning of a fluke was a poor attempt and Rachel was a bad example to use in that context.

06 Jul 2010 3:34 PM
Windy City

I thought that nothing can suprise me more (and be more turn-off for the casual fan) than putting Zenyatta in Vanity....I guess I was wrong :-(

Poor Rachel, she deserves better. PUT HER BACK to her old trainer!!! Steve apparently doesn't know how to handle her. I would preffer to see her loose against better comp. than win in a weak field. Does JJ want to make her the "Queen of the Claimers"??

06 Jul 2010 3:37 PM
Zookeeper

Livesoutwest,

Getting your years slightly mixed up, aren't you?

06 Jul 2010 3:45 PM
David

There was no bigger fan of Rachel last year than I was.  I jumped up and down with excitement when she won the Oaks by 20, watched her thrilling finish in the Preakness, and sat in absolute awe when she toyed with the boys in the Haskell.  It was the greatest season by a 3yo filly in my lifetime.  That's what makes this current track so disappointing.  The "rivalry" with Zenyatta has created the opposite effect of what horse racing rivalries once brought.  Instead of proving who is the best, it has become a case of two camps being afraid to lose.  What happened to the days where the best horses would seek the most prestigious races and run to their conditions instead of asking the racing secretary at the home track to write a race for them?  Horse racing fans just don't get many chances to see great horses in great races, and seeing these two fail to race the best is a disservice to fans of the game.  I'd rather see Rachel finish a beaten 3rd in the Whitney than win the Lady's Secret by 20.  Same goes for Zenyatta who won't even face the subpar group of boys out west.

06 Jul 2010 3:50 PM
Billy's Empire

too bad Hal is retired now and can't train the mare. Would love to see him with her again, letting fans actually see the filly and be a part of something special. Dutch up 2-1

06 Jul 2010 4:04 PM
sodapopkid

Hey Folks, Unless I was sadly mistakened. I believe this is what blogging is all about. People giving their opinions and others giving theirs baack.  If you dont like what is said back to you, Watch the way you say it, because there is nothng  no worse than someone putting it all out there and then dont like whats coming back at them.  Blogging is like this,  "If you cant take the heat, Get out of the kithchen"

In horse racing blogs , there is always going to be someone else that knows more than you, accept it.

Instead of fighting with the blogger accept they know more than you and move on.  Learn from these blogs , thats what I do....

Point is, Just keep reading and most of all keep learning..

You can always tell who knows more about the game, they have more knowledge of the races and horses from way back..

Gunbow, Laz, Mike R., JasonS,Tim G,footlick, Kay, and so many more, I cant think of all your names right away, but I respect all their insight and knowledge to this sport, and god knows, I am not going to have words with them in disagreement about the knowledge of horse racing.  I wouldnt know what I know now if it wasn't for them and the other blogs...

All blogs , sadly but truthfully are going to have there fair shares of Draynays , and their is far worse than him and not as bad as him.....

Dray, did you tell your wife yet that you paid $6,600.00 for the Zenyatta halter on ebay??

06 Jul 2010 4:07 PM
jayjay

Billy : Do you honestly believe that what Rachel did last year will be duplicated ?  I don't, in reference to Draynay's definition of fluke, it was a horse that accomplished one thing and never repeated it.  He says MTB was a fluke for not winning another G1.  In relation to Rachel's feat last year, it will never be duplicated.  As I said, there will be future Rachel's out there but even then, no owner in their right mind would duplicate what she did knowing now what it does to the horse.  So to me it was a fluke but not in a negative way, it's quite the opposite actually.  It was one for the ages and I highly doubt it will ever be repeated again.  Take your mind off trying to twist my words and read my whole comment, then come back with something that makes sense.  If there was a negative tone to my fluke comment, it was all about JJ and what he "contributed" to the industry.  Like I said, him running RA to the ground last year to win the HOTY will only serve as a reminder to the owners what not to do with a nice filly, it would be nice to see Rachel still running at top level this year and most likely next year if he hadn't gutted her last year.  To me, one great year isn't worth it if the horse can't compete at top level the next year.  I prefer to see them run for years at top level than to see them have one good year.  You can stop trying now.  Even the RA fans would agree they would love to see her compete this year, not in ungraded stakes but at top level.  Well except Draynay, he's happy to see her just beat Zenyatta, yeah, he's a true fan.  He would use RA as nothing but a horse to beat Zen, he doesn't care what happens to her as long as she beats Zenyatta. LOL

Oh and last thing I heard from Lukas' interview, MTB is still pointing to the Whitney so I don't need to reference any other article because he already said it.  Here's the quote :

"Lukas has repeatedly said since he assumed the gelding's training on May 20 that his main immediate goal is the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap, and the Hall of Fame trainer strongly hinted beforehand that the Firecracker might be more a warm-up than anything toward that Aug. 7 race at Saratoga."

And slight correction in my post to Gunbow : I meant "She probably knows more THAN me", not about me lol.  I also wanted to add that yes, I do agree that it is nice to have younger folks to be as passionate as LDP but for them to put out their opinions out there and dishes them out, they should be able to take it without having to whine that it's a personal attack.  If anything, she's probably learning to "take it" in this blog, by the time she graduates and have her own gig, she'd be ready to face the future Draynays when she starts writing her own blogs.

Only JJ is allowed to "wine" in this industry.

06 Jul 2010 4:21 PM
Draynay

Billy, now you know why there is only one Draynay.  Often imitated never duplicated.

06 Jul 2010 4:32 PM
Zookeeper

GunBow,

You know how I feel about you and your comments. You are usually right on and a pleasure to read. I can just imagine what you must have been like as a teenager trying to decipher the enigma that is horseracing... However, I doubt that you ever used words like hypocrite, ignorant, dumb, etc... in any discussion. Those words tend to get people's dander up and their response is often an angry one.

Passion is one thing, rudeness is another. Bullheadedness should not be confused with strength of argument. I love a good debate but I find myself sitting on my hands so that I do not respond to people whose comments are anything but civil.

Life is too short to engage more than once with someone who rarely concedes anything, no matter how logical the opponent's argument may be.

06 Jul 2010 4:55 PM
Ted from LA

Kay, "Love" is a very powerful word, but I understand your use of it in this context.

Off Topic:  Is the World Cup over yet, and if so, how can one tell?  Does all the scoring stop?  Do people stop blowing those noise makers?  

06 Jul 2010 5:03 PM
Livesoutwest

Lazmannick,

I'm not comparing the speed of the track a year apart, it's obvious that it can change drastically in a year's time.  I'm comparing the track a DAY apart.  And Raven's Pass ran faster fractions in a LONGER race than Zenyatta ran in a shorter one the day before.  The numbers say she couldn't touch him two years ago.  Last year however, she was the best horse - better than Rachel Alexandra.  But the best horse doesn't always get the big trophy, it's the best campaign.  Does anyone think think Favorite Trick was the best horse in the country at two years old?

As for the "tough" horses like Tough Tiz's Sis and Hysterical Lady, what great horses did either of them ever beat?  

Zenyatta's gutless connections have given their great mare, who they really don't deserve, a chance to show her greatness against the best horses in the world exactly one time.  In a career that has now spanned four years.  If she loses at Del Mar because they tried to play it safe again, all I can say is, serves them right.

06 Jul 2010 5:52 PM
Paula Higgins

Livsoutwest, don't agree that if Sea the Stars had run in the BCC Zenyatta would have been a no show last year. I think she would have been there rain or shine, Sea the Stars or no Sea The Stars. Because they planned to retire her that race was supposed to be her last. So they would have showed. She had nothing to lose at that point. You know what else, I think she would have beat him if he had showed.

06 Jul 2010 5:57 PM
Kit J

papillion, Calvin said Mine That Bird was very uncomfortable and that he kept switching leads. I think he'll be fine and I got a definite impression that Mr. Lukas really didn't want to run him in the race and wanted to just continue his training. He didn't look that bad to me. He looked like a horse who had been off for a long time and wasn't totally liking to run on turf. But I'm not an expert, just an observation.

Goodness gracious, Rachel won't be running for nearly 3 weeks, will this back and forth continue until then? Mine That Bird won't run for a month so he can be bashed until then and Zenyatta? Well it doesn't matter when she runs next the negative nellies will still keep on with their oh I really love Zenyatta charade all while criticizing her and her connections.

06 Jul 2010 5:58 PM
pas

Livesoutwest: I believe all of these horses received their Eclipse award off of ONE, just one, US performance. It was in the BC, but still, they only raced here once: Arazi, Goldiova, Lahudood, Ouija Board, Conduit, High Chaparral, Kalanisi, Daylami, and Fantastic Light.

There's probably more, but you get the point. It does happen, quite often. The only one I was truly livid with was the decision to give High Chaparral his second Eclipse when he dead heated with a very good American turf horse in the BCT. Why couldn't they give it to Johar? He raced here all year.

06 Jul 2010 6:29 PM
LuckySon

Livesoutwest - I just have to make a correction on your part.  I don't know if it was just an oversight, and I'm really surprised no one else has commented on it yet.  Rachel Alexandra was HOY for 2009, not 2010.  2010 isn't even finished yet.  Therefore, Curlin would be HOY for 2007 and 2008.  Like I said, it was probably an innocent mistake, but HOY for 2010 is a long way off from being decided.

06 Jul 2010 6:56 PM
MonicaV

Gun Bow,

I love your post about LDP!  Well said.

LDP must be 18 by now and that is still young but this girl has a vast knowledge of this sport and of horses.  She owns horses so she does know quite a bit about the animal itself.  I know she gets argumentative sometimes but not nearly as some others do.  She always admits to that.  She has an opinion and she is entitled to it just as anyone else is.  One of the things I find on these blogs is that when one expresses an opinion about something, a few jump on them and tell them they are wrong.  Isn't one entitled to think the way the want?

I have commented about LDP before and I think she's terrific.  She is so passionate about horses and about racing and that's such a great thing.  Laz is right about her and so is Gun Bow.  Carry on, LDP.  You are a true fan and express yourself quite well and I for one love to read what you think.

06 Jul 2010 7:07 PM
JP

Besides Summer Bird, has any horse Rachel beat ever come back to win a race?  She is and always will br the most overrated horse in our lifetime.  Keep beating up those allowance runners.  Last years three year olds were the worst we have seen in many many years.  Her biggest win is over Macho Again?  Seriously?  Step up into the big leagues and race her in the BC Classic so she can watch Zenyatta blow by her close up.  

06 Jul 2010 7:09 PM
skyfire

Livesoutwest:

Nice posts; I agree with you.  Zenyatta should be running in the Hollywood Gold Cup; instead hernconnections run in restricted, mares only races.  This is not a campaign that makes a HOY -- same as last year.

Not to say she isn't the best;  frankly, I think she is -- however, she needs the opportunity to show it -- her connections deny her this, and that is why there are almost 500 posts here-- because she hasn't conclusively proved it yet.

Let her demonstrate her abilities on the track; if the Mosses/ Shirreffs don't want to travel, fine.   Put her in open races in Cali.  Let her show greatness against all horses, more than once.  I believe she would; I don't know why the connections don't.

06 Jul 2010 7:42 PM
Draynay

The only horse that can beat Rachel is Quality Road.  JJ can do what he wants and race her where he wants with no fear of another mare.  No mare can beat her.  Rachel is back on top shipping from state to state with no fear on ANY OTHER HORSE.  No hiding just racing baby !

06 Jul 2010 8:00 PM
LDP

Windy City,

You might not want to say anything bad about trainers, lord knows you don't want Slew and Jayjay to jump down you throat ;)

Don't worry guys I'm just playing.

06 Jul 2010 8:03 PM
Footlick

You're right, Livesoutwest, Zenyatta was so fully extended in her Ladies' Classic win that she could never have run faster if she had to do so.  

06 Jul 2010 8:06 PM
LDP

Jayjay,

Not being rude, but I've learned to take it well before I ever started blogging. There are reasons I get so defensive sometimes.

06 Jul 2010 8:13 PM
Mack

LOL! Don't most trainers today do that with any horse they train?!! Take the easiest path possible avoid each other. And Zen fans say Rach fans bash on them to much? yeah.....You know who made the hype up not necessarily Jackson and the media but the bandwagon jumpers and the ones who just like to hate on one or the other. People just need to stop assuming things. We don't know the REAL reasons why Amussen and Jackson are doing what they do with theses 2 horses.

06 Jul 2010 8:15 PM
LDP

Monica,

Ditto, on enjoying what you write on here. You are, IMO the person I'd like to be, passionate, but cool and calm at the same time.

Laz,

We have our arguements, but I know one thing we can almost always agree on, Curlin was AWESOME!!!

06 Jul 2010 8:17 PM
Paula Higgins

JP, I am a Zenyatta fan first and foremeost, but what Rachel did last year was amazing. She beat the boys again and again. Being a colt usually gives them a leg up. She was phenomenal and we all should recognize that. Yes, I agree that Zenyatta would beat Rachel but we shouldn't discount Rachel's 2009 year. It is just mind boggling to me that some of us still don't get how wonderful these two horses are.

06 Jul 2010 8:22 PM
Ann

Sodapopkid, no no no. You all may be "stating facts" But you all do it in a hateful manner. I am a fan of both horses but come on go on YT and there are more Z fans doing it. Of course Rachel is not the same as last year. People are acting like it's a big deal that she can't go past 9 furlongs. Same goes for Zenyatta racing on synthetics.

06 Jul 2010 8:27 PM
Sienna

Rachel had five months stall rest with just some walking?  No wonder she gained weight, became unfit, and isn't having any fun anymore.  That's like putting an Olympic champion in a closet and letting him out for a brief stroll once a day.  If that's the case, it's a wonder she's managed to come back as far as she has.

And why would the trainer do that anyway, unless she really did have some undisclosed injury or ailment?  Even if she was completely exhausted after the Woodward, surely a week or so of rest followed by light exercise would have been feasible.  I refuse to believe that an otherwise healthy horse couldn't jog around the track a few times, while she regained her strength.  Horses are nomadic creatures.  They're meant to be on the move, not standing in a stall for 23 hours a day.  If there was an injury or health issue of some kind, I can understand keeping her in her stall while she healed.  Otherwise, this just makes no sense.

06 Jul 2010 8:34 PM
Kay

“I'll be less wordy this time Kay.”

Oooh, that’s a challenge to me, isn’t it??

“Zenyatta's NOT the champion.  The champion of 2008 and 2009 was Curlin.  The champion of 2010 was Rachel Alexandra.  Zenyatta is the divisional champ, but that's it.”

I wasn’t referring to Rachel, first of all. I was referring to all those mythical colts you think she should travel to challenge. Zenyatta is the champion. The colts are not.

“And the sad thing is, she easily COULD have been the champion the last two years.  In 2009, the best horse by the end of the year was Ravens Pass who set the SA track record in the BC Classic.  Based on speed numbers, Zenyatta wouldn't have beaten him.  But she didn't have to.  Euros never get HOY off one American race.  All Zenyatta had to do was race against males and beat them one time - say in the Goodwood instead of going in the Lady's Secret and she's HOY. And last year in 2010, Ravens Pass had retired and Zenyatta was now the best horse in America, male or female.  And her connections give us all of five races, scratching out of the sixth because the track came up sloppy. (Oooh, can't have her dealing with an unknown factor like slop, can't take a chance she might lose.)  Zenyatta didn't deserve to lose HOY last year, but her connections did.”

It could have gone either way. For me, the BC is more important than it is for the people who voted for Rachel. That’s how it turned out, anyway. And although I’m sure the Mosses were disappointed Zenyatta didn’t win, you can’t possibly believe that they regret how they handled her. HOTY is a VOTE. Nobody understands that better than a music guy like Jerry Moss. They made a choice, and it was to keep Zenyatta in California and run her in the Classic. I don’t know why this is so hard for people to understand, that MAYBE everybody’s not like Jess Jackson and awards don’t mean quite as much to them as they do to him.

“And Kay, not only do I believe that Moss and Shirreffs would have run cowering into the Ladies Classic had Sea The Stars come over last year, but that if the Classic comes up sloppy this year, they'll scratch again.”

Another thing people don’t get. The track was SEALED, and there aren’t a lot of trainers who relish running over a sealed surface. Nick Zito’s ranted about this very thing. And even if the track hadn’t been sealed and it was just wet and it was May, I STILL wouldn’t blame them for scratching her. It’s the beginning of her year. Why on Earth should they risk it? Sorry if you think the safety of the horse is less important than a “challenge,” but there you go. There’s also a lot about Zenyatta’s physical issues that people don’t know. It’s clear at this point, doll, that there’s NOTHING they can do to appease you. Aside from doing everything you want, of course. Which is completely unreasonable. Just basing this on what you’ve written in your comments, but you seem to have more than a healthy amount of enmity for the Mosses. Did they diss you in real life or something?

Paula:

“Livsoutwest, don't agree that if Sea the Stars had run in the BCC Zenyatta would have been a no show last year. I think she would have been there rain or shine, Sea the Stars or no Sea The Stars. Because they planned to retire her that race was supposed to be her last. So they would have showed. She had nothing to lose at that point. You know what else, I think she would have beat him if he had showed.”

I think so, too. I think she would have run past anything in front of her. Heck, she’s done it every time she’s run. What really annoys me about the complaining about her gutless connections and all that is just how sportsmanlike they were by entering and running in the Classic. It was SUCH a tremendously old-school move but now everyone’s acting like it wasn’t. “Oh, she was in her own backyard… she beat turf horses and dirt horses who didn’t handle the surface… etc.” That’s infuriating. If you appreciate what Rachel did last year (AND I DO), then you HAVE to appreciate the Mosses running Zenyatta in the Classic. And maybe that’s why this argument has gotten so heated, and why so many people are trying to diminish both horses (don’t stop, BTW – I’m enjoying it!). Rachel and Zenyatta both stepped up huge last year, and now we’re trying to get them to not only match that but go beyond it this year. And that may just not be reasonable. So no matter what they both do, people are going to be disappointed that they aren’t delivering highlights every time they run. Although just speaking for myself, I am REALLY enjoying watching Zenyatta run this year. I’d like to enjoy watching Rachel run, but it hasn’t happened yet. So do we just need to back up and lower our expectations? Is it believable that both these horses have to top themselves every time they run?

06 Jul 2010 8:37 PM
Matthew W

LDP doesn't use spellcheck? I like her more and more! It's a pretty smart person who can write and write and only miss every now and then--besides, writers have editors for that!--for me, a reread is my spellcheck--one of my favorite writers is Bukowski, and it always makes me laugh when I read a mispelled (I'm guessing one "s"!) word in one of his (many) books---many mispelled words=lack of education--a few mispelled words=a passionate writer! (and I now think it's two "s"'s....)

06 Jul 2010 8:52 PM
Livesoutwest

LuckySon & Zookeeper

You're right.  I shifted the years up by one. My bad.

Pas,

You're wrong.  I never said horses haven't earned Eclipses off of one American race.  I said no horse has earned HOY off of one American race.

Kay,

I'm not expecting Zenatta to run in "every race against males she can cram in her schedule".  How about just one?  Just one for the year. One for the four years she's been in training other than last year's BC Classic.  It doesn't even have to be at 1 1/4 miles which an earlier poster said knocks females out more.  Jerry & John, you guys pick any distance you want, any track you want.  I'm easy.

06 Jul 2010 9:10 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

It sounds like you're pretty bitter with the Moss'.

On both days the 2008 BC track was very fast.  Raven’s Pass ran his 1-1/4M in 1.59.1 and received a 110 Beyer.  Zen ran her Lady’s Distaff in 1.46.4 and received a 103 Beyer.  But to really answer you question about times, go back and look at the replays of both races on U-tube.  Raven’s Pass was all out and was whipped 9 times in the stretch before edging away.  Zen ran six wide and didn’t even feel the whip.  The way she ran she was the easiest of winners and probably could have knocked another second off the race if they had started her run earlier.  U-Tube doesn’t lie.

The fractions in the race…..at the mile they were virtually the same, Raven’s Pass’s race at 1.35.2 and he was about 5 or 6 lengths behind…..Zen’s race was 1.35 and she was also about 6 lengths behind.  From that point home, who was most impressive, a horse being whipped 9 times or one that never felt the whip and won as she pleased?

As far as a few of the fillies that Zen raced against and wanted no part of her after:

• Cocoa Beach…2…G-1 wins

• Tough Tis’s Sis…2…G-1 wins

• Romance In Diane…1…G-1 win

• Hysterical Lady…1…G-1 win….5…G-2 wins

• Music Note…5…G-1 wins (including a win over Unbridled Belle)

• You can also include Ginger Punch the 2007 filly queen and Distaff winner and Life Is Sweet the 2009 Distaff winner.

Regarding facing male competition…..I stated in an earlier post to you how difficult it is for a filly or mare to defeat G-1 OLDER HANDICAP males at 1-1/4M on dirt (or non turf if you want to get technical).  Zen is the only one that has done it since 1968 (41 years).  It is so difficult to ask any female and I don’t care how big she is to defeat top older males at a distance like that.  If you want a comparison, Serena Williams looks like she could probably play football, but if she went up against Raphael Nadal, who would win?  He would even though she would probably beat the crap out of him in a fight.

You think Zen should go in the Hollywood Gold Cup and then later in the Classic.  If she did that would be three such races at that distance in 1 year.  I know you will probably bring up the Gallorettes of the world, but think of this, before Princessnesian did this in 1968 I think you have to go all the way back to the 1952 Hollywood Gold Cup and Two Lea before it was done previously.  The only race that compares in distance against older males since 1968 was Shuvee in the 2-M JCGC.

What the Moss’ are doing in keeping Zen to a tight schedule is perfectly logical when you think about what they are trying to accomplish.  A perfect example of over doing it with a horse unfortunately is Rachel.  She might have been able to stand the rigors of her 2009 season in 2010 as a 4 year-old, but it wasn’t so easy at three.  So once again I ask you, who is the BONEHEAD, JJ or the Moss’?

06 Jul 2010 9:27 PM
2:24

Moodygirl - enjoyed your 11:14 post and agree.

Ted - enjoyed your 11:45 post.  You and Gunbow are my favorite bloggers, albeit for different reasons.

I wish Mike Relva would come back.

06 Jul 2010 9:37 PM
Zookeeper

Many people express opinions on this blog and do not get "jumped on" for it. Why? Because their approach is non-combative and they do not post a comment that is meant to insult other bloggers, their opinions or the horses they admire. They say what they have to say and do not engage in senseless arguments.

These are the people that I enjoy the most and they are the reason why I come back, time and time again, to sift through the nonsense and find something I didn't know or an angle I hadn't considered before.

But that's just me. Maybe a boxing match is more enjoyable to you... If so, there's enough jabs thrown on here to keep you very happy! :)

06 Jul 2010 9:38 PM
Matthew W

The horse who really impressed me in the Firecracker was Tizdejavu--made every pole a winning one--fast splits--that's a powerhouse that can run like that--a legit/fast 1/2 (field spread out)--AND the opening up on them when they hit the homestretch--had enough down the lane to hold them off--Tizdejavu is a powerhouse!

06 Jul 2010 9:51 PM
Matthew W

Prediction: Recent maiden winner Bodark (race #3 June 19th Holly) will be a graded stakes winner on grass/will stretch out...

06 Jul 2010 10:09 PM
Zookeeper

Matthew W,

Anybody who enjoys Bukowski AND praises a son of Tiznow is all right by me!!!

I saw another of his 3yr olds at HP on Sunday. His name is Kayce Ace. (strange name)

Absolutely gorgeous but he's still not sure what he's supposed to do. (Shades of Mr. Hot Stuff?)

I agree though that Tizdejavu did his Daddy proud and made this fan very happy.

06 Jul 2010 10:13 PM
Livesoutwest

As I stated, Lazmannick, I don't really care about Zenyatta going mile and a quarter on dirt against males.  I still think it's her best distance, but let's go with your theory that it knocks out females more than males.  That doesn't mean she can't occasionally face males at 1 1/8 or 1 1/16.  Your Williams/Nadal analogy isn't a good one.  Serena couldn't beat any of the top 500 male players.  Not one WNBA player could make an NBA roster, only a handful can even dunk.  But in Europe, the exceptional fillies and mares compete with and beat males all the time, at longer distances than 1 1/4.

All the fillies and mares you pointed out are great female runners, but to my knowledge, not one of them beat males, and definitely not in a big race. My point here is that Zenyatta has now run as a 3YO, 4YO, 5YO and 6YO.  And she's faced some talented females.  But in every single race of her entire career, save last year's BC Classic, there was tougher competition in training she could have faced.  And I'm not saying she should run the gauntlet every time, that would just be stupid.  But if you care at all about your horse being considered the best, then at least a few times a year you have to tackle and beat the best. One big race isn't enough.

Favorite Trick ran a great two year-old campaign and beat the best in his age group, male or female in multiple races.  Rachel Alexandra ran a great three year-old campaign and beat the best in her age group, male or female, in multiple races.  And then she capped it off with a win against decent older males in a historic race that no female of any age had ever won.  It's easy to see why those two won HOY awards, even though they weren't the best horses of their years.

Someone earlier said that awards don't mean as much to the Mosses as they do to Jackson.  Well I hope for their sake that's true because they're running virtually the same campaign this year that did such a swell job of convincing the turf writers of Zenyatta's greatness last year.  And heck, even if she misses out on HOY for the third year in a row, she's almost got Pepper's Pride's record beat.  And wasn't there some mule on the Fair circuit that won a whole bunch of races in a row.....

06 Jul 2010 10:19 PM
Kay

Skyfire:

“Let her demonstrate her abilities on the track; if the Mosses/ Shirreffs don't want to travel, fine.   Put her in open races in Cali.  Let her show greatness against all horses, more than once.  I believe she would; I don't know why the connections don't.”

God. This stuff STILL hasn’t gone away? I have to think that this is on YOU now, for your apparently complete inability to recognize greatness. So you need to see it over and over and over again? But it STILL won’t be enough for you. I just adore how people get to make the conditions for greatness. Such a shame that you just can’t see it when it’s right in front of you. Zenyatta won the BC Classic, the first female to do so. She is the only horse to win two different BC races. She’s won 17 in a row, more than Citation and Cigar. She’s an undefeated closer, which is amazing in its own right. She’s a three-time winner of the Vanity Handicap. That’s greatness, baby.

Mack:

“You know who made the hype up not necessarily Jackson and the media but the bandwagon jumpers and the ones who just like to hate on one or the other.”

I don’t know… I wasn’t hella annoyed at him until he started calling the Mosses out. I don’t have any problem with a little smack talk but when they backed out of the Apple Blossom, well… that chapped my hide. So for me, kissy-face Jess started it.

LDP:

“We have our arguements, but I know one thing we can almost always agree on, Curlin was AWESOME!!!”

He was NOT, he was – oh wait. Yes he was. (g)

Ann:

“Of course Rachel is not the same as last year. People are acting like it's a big deal that she can't go past 9 furlongs. Same goes for Zenyatta racing on synthetics.”

Except for the facts that Rachel is a GISW at 1 3/16M and Zenyatta has won two GIs on dirt, you’re spot on (which means not spot on at all).

Livesoutwest:

“I'm not expecting Zenatta to run in "every race against males she can cram in her schedule".  How about just one?  Just one for the year. One for the four years she's been in training other than last year's BC Classic.  It doesn't even have to be at 1 1/4 miles which an earlier poster said knocks females out more.  Jerry & John, you guys pick any distance you want, any track you want.  I'm easy.”

Oooh! Let me! Let me! I choose the BC Classic at Churchill Downs. Hey, wait a minute… so did THEY! Awesome of you to make, as one of your conditions, her great victory in the BC Classic ineligible. For some reason. That must involve how you feel personally about the Mosses. Seriously, what did they do to you? I’m dying to know. I despise people based on what they’ve done to ME, so it’s okay. You can tell us…

06 Jul 2010 10:27 PM
LDP

Matt,

Lol, Thanks. I try and reread my stuff, but, I hate reading out lout(I end up coughing because my throat dries out) so I read in my head, and will many times read way to fast.

06 Jul 2010 10:31 PM
sodapopkid

Ann, Please tell me what is "YT".  If it stands for Youtube then , I cant help you there , I do not blog on Youtube.   I watch videos of horses and especially Zenyatta,  but I don't blog there,  I can say one thing,  I have read some of the things people have written under the videos,  My goodness, I will say, they are pretty pathetic.  I promise you , I dont blog on Youtube.  I overlook them and keep searching for the videos I'm looking for.

06 Jul 2010 10:32 PM
Draynay

Kay, have you or anyone noticed Rachel is running on Zenyatta's preferred surface July 24th and the connections for Zenyatta after seeing Rachels last race have decided to duck the best mare in the country?  They admitted they will continue to duck her all summer.  Why?  To race on a track they admitted Zenyatta doesn't like ? Now that's what I call major ducking.  Does it really matter what race Rachel runs in? No one can get Zenyatta to leave California anyway.  Not even a million dollars can get her to move. I don't fault Jackson for running her in a race where all are invited.  I blame Mr. Moss for hiding a horse in California looking for a race she can win.  Zenyatta will not win another race all year.

06 Jul 2010 10:39 PM
Whisperoak

I think that the problem with Rachel this year is that she isn't A) running as often as last year, and B) not breezing enough, so she seems to be rather out of shape.

06 Jul 2010 10:41 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

I forgot to mention that Zen and Raven's Pass had a common opponent as well.....Twice Over.  Raven's Pass lost to him in the Craven......Zen ran away from him in the BCC.

06 Jul 2010 10:42 PM
LDP

First off, let me start off by saying, once again, thank you to GunBow, Monica, Laz, and Matt. If I missed any of you I'm sorry.

Ok, both mares were incredible last year. Zen may have waited until the last possible second to show the world just how good she was, but she did it, and beat the BCC field fair and square. Yes, it was on a surface I can't stand, but nonetheless, she won and it was the perfect way to cap off a sensational 2009.

Rachel, was undoubtably the leader through the first 2/3's of 2009. No horse dominated their division so thoroughly. No other horse trancended two other divisions like she did. No other horse had the complete year she did, period. If you remember, her Oaks, Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward were on the list for Moment of the year. She had four moments, FOUR. She was spectacular and deserved HOTY.

With that said, about each, I have to say this year I'm disappointed with each. I can understand Zenyatta is not a good shipper, and that is why her connections do not feel comfortable leaving Cali, even at this point in the year. What I don't understand is why, when Zenyatta has proven to still be on top of her game, if not better, will her connections not run at least once, against males. The HGC was a prime chance and they passed it up. I don't understand why. It seems now they are going to play the waiting game, and at this point I have no idea where they want to run. The Hirsch, at 8.5 furlongs at a track, the Mosses don't seem comfortable with seems iffy, so what other option is there besides, waiting out the Del Mar meet or going to Monmouth or Saratoga?

I can understand the gun shyness by JJ right now. He wants to make sure she is really coming back, and what better way to find out, while also maybe prepping for the PE, than run on a track she has her most dominant win over colts? JJ has good relations with Monmouth and the purse is fatter than the Ruffian, which is also at the track she had her narrowest victory. After this race, however, there is no excuse. If RA wins for a second time, convincingly, it's PE or nothing. If they don't go to Saratoga, I will really begin to wonder what the heck is going on. RA will have 2 dominant wins, and will be seemingly be ready for the likes of LAT, FM, UB, and who knows, maybe Bambera will join the fray.

As of now the most impressive horse this year is QR, followed by Blame and RT. We will see how QR handles his latest test, when comfronted by Blame and MTB, who I still think will perform well dispite his turf hiccup. RT could ship east later this year, also possibley avoiding Del Mar and for a try over dirt. If he should run into QR, we will be in for another heck of a race. However, right now, its QR, who needs to be unseated. He can run like the wind early and still hold solid in the stretch, or he can flat out pummle his foes into the ground. With a record setting Donn and sharp win in the Met, he is the leader. If he wins the Whitney and Woodward the only way he's going to get beat this year is by getting beat in the Classic.

06 Jul 2010 10:56 PM
jono9

They DO want to win in November, and Asmussen seems to have her right on course.  Steadily improving Beyers.  Nothing overly demanding so far, but I don't doubt there will be a couple of real tests before the showdown.

 

06 Jul 2010 11:01 PM
LDP

Whisperoak,

Sorry if i mispelled, she breezes every monday, unless she had a race that week. I don't think it's lack of breezing, but the amount of time off, as many pointed out. You don't take a star high school athlete, give them the entire summer off, no exercise, nothing at all then ask them to go and play with the college kids. Bodies change a lot, the poor high school kid would have grown quite a bit, maybe not in height, but size in general, while also gaining some weight in fat too. Basically that mean that person has to work double hard, not just to lose the extra weight and get back into shape, but to get used to their bigger body. We've all had growth spurts, anybody on here play sports and went through one during the off season, then came back a little dull? A friend of mine had that problem, but once she got used to her body again she started getting her groove back. Yes, I know I just said groove.

The same thing has happened to RA and at this point, I think she is fit, maybe not 100% herself, but that is because she is still getting used to her bigger and heavier frame. Once she figures everything out again, I think she'll be just fine.

06 Jul 2010 11:07 PM
jono9

LAZMANNICK -- Give us a break.  Twice Over lost to Z in November 2009 in his first run on plastic, and he beat Raven's Pass on turf in April of 2008 by a short head.

That's putting the handicap in handicapping to be sure.

06 Jul 2010 11:10 PM
Zookeeper

Livesoutwest,

I think that mule should have been awarded the MOTY title. What, no such thing? Then they should have made one up just for her. I believe her name was Red Ruby and wouldn't you know, she raced in California.  :)

06 Jul 2010 11:17 PM
taylor

if some of you people dont like the races rachel or zenyatta run in then dont watch them. simple as that. y'all whine about how they only race against weak horses, say theyll never win the breeders cup, never win another race, wont win on dirt, wont beat the males, cant win a grade 1...yet your all glued to your computers watching their "weak" races and blogging about them. most of you probaly kno nothing about racing, never even been to a track. all you know about racing is rachel and zenyatta cuz they get so much publicity for being GREAT horses. you cant be real fans of racing if you put down either horse.

06 Jul 2010 11:19 PM
jayjay

Draynay LOL, I think you should go back to one liners.  You can't make up stuff and make it sound legitimate.  You're not good at multiple sentence bashing.  Your last comment made you sound like a duck.  LOL

06 Jul 2010 11:22 PM
jayjay

livesoutwest is a prime example of folks who comes on here, starts with their "praise" of Zenyatta and proceeds with the slow bashing cloaked in little praises here and there.   Come on folks, us Zen fans, don't need to hear your pretend praises, we'd rather you get straight to your bashing so that we have less reading to deal with.

You criticized everything about her and her connections because you want her to do more, and because she won't, you instead bash and tries to denigrate her, and you claim to be a fan of horse racing.  You do all this thinking that her connections wants the HOTY award, it's pretty obvious they don't care about it.  They know they would have to relocate to the east coast if they wanted to win it.  Their goal is the Classic and I've said before, the best of the best will show up in the Classic, that's where they'll be and that's where Zenyatta will face them.  Do you know why QR didn't run in the Foster ?? Because the met mile was much weaker.  Do you know why Rachel didn't run in the Phipps ?? Because the FDL was much weaker.  All the top contenders trying to make it to the BC will take the easiest path, it's the NORMAL and SANE thing to do.  Do you feel like you were cheated somehow because Zenyatta didn't run in the east coast as often as you'd like ?  What's your obsession about having Zenyatta run against the boys ?  Why do you feel like you need to pick apart her accomplishments ?  I'm just curious :)

Her accomplishments are in the history books, she doesn't need to run against the boys to prove anything.  You ask for one race against the boys, she'll do it in November.  She doesn't need to but that's the goal they set for her.  Barring any injuries or health issues, she will be there in November.  There's your one race against the boys that you're begging for.

06 Jul 2010 11:29 PM
sodapopkid

2:24, Mike Relva will be back on here August 1,2010.  He has been blogging on Steve Haskin's blog since he and 'you know who'(one guess ?) had a win,lose or draw situation going on. He has been valiant at keeping his word about not blogging here for 3 months...

06 Jul 2010 11:37 PM
Jason Shandler

I was wondering why my life has felt so incomplete for the last few months. Thanks for reminding me 2:24. Its Mike Revla. He has been absent. His insightful comments have held this blog together for a couple years now. How have we been able to carry on without out him these last few months during his self-imposed absence? Just chalk it up to blind luck I guess. Please hurry back and save my blog Mike.

06 Jul 2010 11:50 PM
moodygirl

Lazmannick, I just loved your stats and comparisons on Zenyatta's race record. (7/6 9:27 pm) Those are things not commonly brought up. I think it takes a few decades of perspective to fully appreciate Zenyatta. Many don't don't grasp how rare & incredible it is to have fillies/mares racing like Zenyatta and RA. It's kind of like the complacency from the 70's when there were 3 Triple Crown Winners.

This is such a special time. People will be talking about this in 50 years as we talk about Secretariat and MOW today.

I think there might be less bashing and more support for what both these mares have accomplished if there was more historical perspective. It is not enough to say what they have done is historic. "What's historic mean, old?" That's what I think of when I'm told a building is historic. The details of it really need to be spelled out as you did to understand the accomplishment.

I'm going to save your post in case I need to refer to it in order to defend my Queen's honor. BTW if you are so inclined, I'd love to see you do something similar on RA.

Pappillon & Kit J, I really appreciate your analysis of Mine That Bird's Firecracker race. I watched the race on the tube and they didn't even say where he placed! They must have spent all of 3 minutes on the race. It sounds like he's doing just fine. I'm glad to hear it. I never could figure out why people like to diss this horse. Is it because their favorite horse didn't win the Derby? Nevermind! Don't answer that! Now someone will be trash talking MTB. He don't get no respect anyway. lol

06 Jul 2010 11:55 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

I’m not going to get into bashing Rachel but your comments are a little much.....(((ran a great three year-old campaign and beat the best in her age group, male or female, in multiple races.  And then she capped it off with a win against decent older males in a historic race that no female of any age had ever won))))).  Who are you talking about here, Rachel or Zenyatta?

Rachel didn’t exactly beat the best 3 y-o males.  They were injured.  She beat an average group, except for Summer Bird, and other than him none of the others has won anything of significance since.  She didn’t face Quality Road and I Want Revenge, or Dunkirk, etc.  She defeated Summer Bird fare and square when he was cutting back in distance by 3/8ths, but she ducked him from the Haskell on.......The three year old filly group was extremely weak.  They won G-1 races against other, but they never won anything of consequence against older fillies or mares and this includes Rachel.  How can a horse win a G-1 race against 11 other fillies (Oaks) when the second place horse runs in 1.52 and change?  This is how weak the division was........That decent group of older horses she beat have done nothing since.  Macho won a gift G-1 against Einstein in the Foster (watch it on u-tube), and Bulls Bay beat Macho and a washed up Commentator (who would have dominated both when he was in his prime) in the Whitney for his G-1.  To struggle against these guys to get the win she practically killed herself.  Zen defeats horses like them like they were an afterthought. Do you think for one second that Rachel would have went in the Whitney if a top G-1 horse was in it?  They call this cherry picking.  For this Rachel gets the HOY and that’s fine.  In fact, that’s not my argument.  It’s her failure to show up that bugs me.

Zenyatta on the other hand ran a light campaign, but along the way she beat the best in her age group including the Distaff winner.  She didn’t have the luxury of facing a decent group of males in the BCC.  It was the toughest race of the year on dirt.  In that race she defeated MTB and Summer Bird fairly easily (horses that raced second to Rachel, one scaring the hell out of her, the other too intimidating to face later in the year).   She beat the top grass horse on a surface he handles just fine.  She beat the winners of several classic races both in N/A and Europe.  Geez, it sounds like she won a historical race and did something that no female horse has ever done before and other than her will probably never do again.

My point is this and maybe you should think about it........and that’s the male against female angle.  Rachel has never been right after struggling against G-2 type older males and 3 year-old males that really haven’t done much of consequence on dirt since.  Yet you expect Zen to go in distance races against the top males several times leading up to another BCC.  She only needs to defeat them once and it will be in the BCC.  Does defeating them several times make a difference?

My only argument about Rachel is that she should have contested the BC (any race).  She is the only HOY winner since John Henry (supplement) and five that were injured, that skipped a BC.  Your Favorite Trick had a good year when he won HOY, but did you notice that the only reason he won HOY was his win in the BC Juvenile.  Other than that he had only one other G-1 win and faced a group that was as suspect as the group Rachel faced.

And as far as fillies and mares racing against the males in the top races at great classic distances and defeating them on grass, that argument is as old as time itself.  It’s been done time and again both in Europe and N/A.  Why then do the fillies have so much trouble trying to do it on dirt?

06 Jul 2010 11:56 PM
LAZMANNICK

jono9

Go get yourself a plastic Draynay bobblehead on E-bay.  I hear that they are selling for two cents.  That way you can really get you two cents worth.

06 Jul 2010 11:58 PM
Kit J

My Jason, when did you get so ...how do I put it, sarcastic?

I've always liked your blogs and finally got up enough nerve to write.

I don't necessarily miss Mike Relva, I didn't read too many of his comments. But I do see a number of bloggers M.I.A. and some comments on the other blog about blocking comments. Is that true?

I find it hard to believe when so much bickering and snideness gets onto here.

Is this a blockable comment? I do not mean any disrespect I'm just curious.

07 Jul 2010 12:09 AM
Zookeeper

jayjay,

Does it remind you of a certain Vermont dweller? Or another one (whose name I can't remember) who kept bringing up Zenyatta's dam grapefruit ankles under the guise of caring for Zen's well being. The style is strangely the same. First, the flattery... then WHAM! the teeth come out and the venom is injected. Hummm! Could they all be one and the same?

07 Jul 2010 12:11 AM
Jason Shandler

Certainly not Kit. The people who get their comments blocked on a regular basis are saying nasty and profane things, or disrespecting me, or go way over the line with personel attacks on bloggers. As you all know, I am very liberal with what I will allow on here, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I have to block many, many comments per day. Not everyone is happy with that and think I am singling them out. Not true. But when people feel the need to write disrespectful things about me on other blogs and then think they can came back here and I wont notice or be offended? Well, let's just say it doesnt go unnoticed.

07 Jul 2010 12:20 AM
Aluminaut

Zookeeper,

Kayce Ace is a girl horse and full sister to Colonel John.  She broke her maiden at SA.  She's probably named for the Casner's daugher.

I think Greg J kinda makes up for Mike Relva, except with a Rachel slant.  

07 Jul 2010 12:25 AM
Footlick

Laz- sorry for the late post answer.  Yes, the sex allowance for an older filly/mare is 3 lbs unless it has changed.  Zarkava's final Arc Timeform rating was 133.  Timeform ratings do not have an allowance added in.  You have to do that in your head.  So when you added the allowance to her 133 for being a 3 yr old filly, not an older filly/mare she was ranked equal to Curlin.  Quite a compliment for her considering the British didn't like that she never ran outside of France, and actually only had one race beyond Longchamp.

Livesoutwest- you like and admire Zenyatta?  Then compare her to a mule?  Right......... Whatever you have against her connections is your business.  But each post gets a little more demeaning towards Zenyatta.  As for distance fillies/mares running against males all the time in Europe, they usually reserve it for big races, like the Arc, unless the male group running that year is considered weak.  Then more will step up. Some do no matter what the males are like, because like Sariska this year, they need 12 furlongs to show their best form and there just aren't enough top 12 furlong filly/mare races to fill a season.  But if it is a strong year filled with many top 10-12 furlong males they will be very selective.  But DarReMi just got her legs run off by Twice Over at 10 furlongs, who changed tactics and set a strong pace instead of coming from behind.  DarReMi's connections said that things didn't go her way and the pace was suicidal, that's why she faded to 6th.  But as one blogger said on another site, if the pace was suicidal, why didn't Twice Over fade to 5th.  Instead he won.  They also blamed it on the distance being too short.  So, why did they enter her and expect her to win if it was too short.  The smart ones pick and choose when to run.  Not every distance filly is an Allez France or a Dahlia.

Sprinting and miler fillies and mares still run against males much more often than distance fillies/mares in Europe.  And on dirt it seems to be the same.  If you do admire Zenyatta as you say you do, then just don't insult her.  She has done whatever they asked her to do.  And I still thank you for pointing out how difficult it will be for her to win the Clement Hirsch, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief that if she runs it won't be another patsy race and will be a true test.  You told us how difficult it will be for her to win, after all.  Thank you again.

LDP- I've been called alot of things throughout my life, none that I would repeat here.  Not that I'm ashamed of them, actually as I sort of wore them as armor-lol.  I just want to say hold your head up, stay confident, be true to yourself and keep moving forward.  But always hear what people say and learn from it.  Don't ever close your mind.  An open mind is the way to more knowledge and more knowledge is more ammunition for the next debate;)  It really doesn't matter what people think of you.  What matters is that you know yourself and you do the best that you can do.  If the worst that happens to you is being attacked on a blog- then you've a very lucky girl.  Stay strong and stay focused and open your mind to all knowledge because then you are truly wise.  ;) And being wise is an insurmountable strength because it brings balance and reason.   And combined with talent and ambition and determination, success will be inevitable.

07 Jul 2010 12:27 AM
LAZMANNICK

moodygirl

Thanks for your compliment, but you might want to change your mind after reading my 11:56 PM post.  I do want to say that when doing that post I was not trying to bash Rachel though it might seem like it, but rather trying to defend Zen.  Of course Rachel had a great year and as much as I am a fan of Zenyatta (and believe me I am), I also admire Rachel and her accomplishments (I was even cheering wildly for her in the Woodward and was really concerned for her well-being after the race).  It just gets a little much when you have to constantly defend one because so many people do not want to give her her just due.

On the other hand, Rachel had a tremendous season based on the races she competed in and yes it will go down as one for the ages, probably never to be duplicated and in a way I hope it never is duplicated.  My only problem was her failure to contest the Breeders Cup races last year.  Hopefully this year she will and it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the Classic.  I hope you have a great day and thanks for bringing me down to earth a little.  

07 Jul 2010 12:38 AM
Kit J

Okay I went to the other and read some comments by people who were mentioned on here and who I was surprised didn't respond to some comments made directly to them.

They didn't seem especially negative toward you personally.

Oh well it's none of my business other than the fact that I enjoyed some of the information and we, me included have all gotten a little heated with others at least once or twice or even more.

Sorry for taking this off the tracks. It's late, I'm old and well just label me wondering woman. :)

07 Jul 2010 12:41 AM
Footlick

LDP= here is a quote from Tallulah Bankhead that I think is appropriate because I would always think of it when something was said about me:

"Say anything you want about me, Dahling, as long as it isn't boring."

But I just realize you won't know who Tallulah Bankhead was.  You'll have to Google her.  She has many other quotes, but they may not be appropriate for all audiences. But they are very entertainaing.   She was an amazing character.

07 Jul 2010 12:42 AM
Ted from LA

Does anyone besides me find it ironic that moodygirl seems the most even tempered on here?  Since when did this blog turn into a spelling competition?

Aoccdrnig to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervisy, it deosn’t mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lterter by istelf, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig eh?  Dryanay is a colwn who waers lrage red sohes and  Zneyatta will win aonther rcae tihs yaer.

07 Jul 2010 12:42 AM
Kit J

Oh lordy Footlick! Tallulah Bankhead, Sophie Tucker, what dames they were. Lots of them in that vein years ago.

But sometimes I have a hard time remembering to think before I speak, especially when I get riled up. It gets better with age. I do agree though that listen and learn is the best advice. I kind of lose my cool when being lectured to and seeing that someone isn't respectful to people and their opinions. Ah to be young again.

No, I don't think so.

07 Jul 2010 12:51 AM
jayjay

LDP : Now, that's much better assuming that you mean what you say about Zenyatta :).  You managed to ask questions without putting down her connections or her accomplishments.  It's what us Zen fans wants to debate about, and to be honest, it's not easy to keep having to edumacate the Zen haters with the same bashing over and over.  

Now with regards to the HGC, it's a legit question.  I asked that myself too and with the shorter distance in the Hirsch and not her preferred track, I'm wishing they had gone to the HGC.  But with the issues they had with the Oaklawn trip and then with the Vanity run, the HGC is a little too close, it would be less than 4 weeks to prepare for it.  Running against the boys is not an easy task and Laz has already addressed that part as to why not many F&M run against the boys.  It's not the norm.  Team Z have stated all along that this year is about 2 things, running against Rachel and the Classic to defend her title.  Yes it sounds like a weak excuse but it's not.  She's 6 yrs old, she has another life that they have to think about which is being a mama and actually far more important than running this year.  Bottom line is Team Z is doing great with how they're handling Zenyatta.  Also, she wasn't 100% when she ran in the Vanity, she was as fit as they could get her.  Shireffs said he was a little worried about her works prior to the Vanity due to the trip.

She will run against the boys, again barring any injuries or health issues, she will be there in November to face the best of the best out there, locally and any overseas contender that's willing to partake.  It will be a great race, a true race of the champions.  There will be at least 3 future eclipse winners that will run in the Classic this year, the 3 yr old, older males and Zenyatta :).  So let's see how these summer races work out and hope that all the current top contenders make it to the Classic in good health, tip top shape and ready to run.  

As for Rachel, I agree with the Personal Ensign, I don't see any other way for her to get to the Classic which Haskin has told me is where they are pointing her.  I'll take his word for it.  The only thing is that after the PE, since the Beldame is not listed in the NTRA page, I'm not sure what they'll do after the PE.  If the Beldame is running this year then her path is set, if not, I don't know what race they'll go to, I find it hard to believe they would try the boys in the JCGC at 10F one month before the Classic.  If they do and win the JCGC, then she stands a chance at winning the HOTY again even if she loses the Classic to Zenyatta.

BTW, it's pummel, not pummle.  LOL, I kid I kid.

07 Jul 2010 12:52 AM
Kit J

Ted, spelling and grammar are important. Just think how much difficulty we would have understanding you after the bottle of Tequila you just drank, if you didn't have that good foundation of spelling bee champion in your background!

07 Jul 2010 12:53 AM
Livesoutwest

Nonsense JayJay, I'm not bashing or denigrating Zenyatta at all.  Her lack of accomplishments?  Yeah, but that's not her fault. But since you need more convincing, I'll spell it out for you.  Zenyatta: She's the GREATEST!  Moss: He's the LAMEST!  Is that clear enough for you?  Some of you think I have a personal beef with Moss, I don't actually.  From what I hear, he's well liked, gives a lot to charity, etc.  But as a sportsman, he's cowardly, and it's hard to respect that.

And I keep hearing the phrase, "they're doing what's best for the horse".  Well I'm sorry, but almost never letting the horse show her greatness against the best competition isn't "what's best for the horse" to me.  Running her on the crappiest surface on the West Coast with the highest breakdown rate, which she's shown she hates isn't "what's best for the horse."

to me.

And I don't care if she runs back East.  Remember, I'm Livesoutwest.  I get to see her all the time.  I would just as soon she stays out here, I'm not that interested in sharing her with Easterners. But just once, let her run against Rail Trip or Misremembered or Neko Bay or Compari. And as far as the Zenyatta/RA matchup goes, I figure that since Jess Jackson messed that one up by not having his horse ready, he owes us one and should ship Rachel out West - screw his "plastic tracks" obsession.  Anyway, I hear both sides are considering the Beldame again and I hope it happens this time.

But you're making some unsupported assumptions.  

1) Her accomplishments are in the history books. That's true to a point, but when future fans who weren't around today look up who the best horses in history were, they'll look at the HOY list and see Secretariat and Seattle Slew and Affirmed and Citation and Cigar and Curlin and Rachel Alexandra.  But it's looking less and less likely they'll see Zenyatta and I think that's a sad case.

2) They have to relocate to the East Coast to win HOY.  Again, nonsense. Beating males once in 2008 in the Goodwood or any other G1 plus the Ladies Classic would have given her HOY considering how Curlin crashed and burned in the Classic.  In 2009, I don't know if there's anything they could have done to overcome the Rachel hype, but I do know that five measly races wasn't the answer.

3) All the top contenders take the easiest path to the Breeders Cup.  No they don't, MOSS does.  Summer Bird and Quality Road squared off twice last fall.  Rip Van Winkle took on Sea The Stars. Goldikova took on and lost to tough males.  Quality Road is about to square off against Blame, and I believe you're going to see Rachel Alexandra take on the winner. We'll see in a couple of months if I'm right.

3) She's going to run in the BC Classic again.  I hope you're right about that one but I'll believe it after I see it.  I think you'll see her cross-enter in both the Classic and Ladies Classic like last year and decide at the deadline.  And the competition and the weather forecast will have a lot to do with the choice.

07 Jul 2010 1:07 AM
jayjay

Ted : I was quite impressed with myself that I was able to read that last paragraph, except now I have this lisp and I can't shake it.  THANKS man!

07 Jul 2010 1:21 AM
theoph1000

Had I voted horse of the year to this 'flash in the pan' over the undefeated winner of the breeder's cup classic....I would hang my head in shame

07 Jul 2010 2:18 AM
jayjay

livesoutwest :  you said ...

"My point here is that Zenyatta has now run as a 3YO, 4YO, 5YO and 6YO.  And she's faced some talented females.  But in every single race of her entire career, save last year's BC Classic, there was tougher competition in training she could have faced."

Who were these "tougher" competition ?  Can you name them ? And if they're so "tough", why didn't they run in Zenyatta's races, she was racing in tough competition.  

What you meant to say was, she didn't travel to them, again, she has to travel to them because why ?  Oh wait, there are no planes that travels west, that's why.  The tracks in California are only for california based horse right, no outsides allowed ?  I think that's it.  It's so easy for you and the other Zen haters to keep coming up with all these "tough" competitions but none of those that you name are willing to travel to her or race against her.

What's your obsession about Zenyatta facing males "occassionally", what would it prove ?  Is it because Rachel did it 3 times in 2009 ?  Is that how the standard should be set for the F&M now ?  No F&M will ever be acknowledged or recognized unless they run against males 3 times a year ?  What will it prove ?

Now you'll drag PP into the discussion and use her in the context like she's nothing right ?  Tell me, can you name one of these so called "tough" horses that has an unbeaten record and more than 10 wins? You act like it's an easy feat to accomplish.  Even Rachel couldn't do it, you know why ?  Because it's not just the horse, it's a combination of the connections and the horse.  You can have a superhorse but if the horse is not taken care of properly, that horse will not perform.  It's a simple concept that you're not able to comprehend because to you, all you think about is racing them, not how they get to the gate but what they do after they get out of the gate.  Zenyatta is still running and competing at top level at 6 yrs old because of the Mosses, Shireffs and the rest of her team.  Appreciate it, you'll never see one like her in your lifetime.

07 Jul 2010 2:24 AM
Kay

Ted from LA:

Seriously, dude. I love you. Based on my experience from screenwriting forums ages ago, arguments usually descend into spelling competitions when people have nothing left to add. The difference there, though, was that it was a SCREENWRITING forum. Sorry, but writers should either know how to spell, or make the effort to correct their spelling.

Footlick:

My, that was a good post!! And you're right; fillies don't run against colts ALL the time, which is what people keep intimating. There are also substantially fewer good filly & mare races, especially later in the year. Y'know, it's just different. They train different, they develop different, they race different. And I think if Zenyatta hadn't won the BC Classic, nobody would be on her to run against colts. Also, people were saying she'd be beaten in the Vanity, she wasn't, and now they're acting like the Vanity wasn't all that tough and that she'll be beaten in the Hirsch. Whoosh! There go those goalposts again!

Jason:

Urgh. Sorry you have to deal with people so nasty that you don't approve their comments. That's horrible. I like posting here because it can get lively, but it doesn't get nasty. So thanks for that.

07 Jul 2010 2:35 AM
Livesoutwest

Okay Footlick.  I'm not comparing Zenyatta to a mule, but what I'm saying is by ducking the best competitors in every race but one to minimize the chances of her ever losing, her connections are turning her into a sideshow.  They might as well run her at the Fresno Fair.

And I'll also say that if Jackson keeps running Rachel against nobodies, I'll give him equal time in the diss department.  But I'm convinced based on what he's done for the last three years that he's not going to just run her against softies for the rest of the year and then pop up in the BC. And that she'll take on top competition again starting with the

next race.  Jackson has earned the benefit of the doubt as far as I'm concerned and I'll let him prove me wrong.

And Lazmannick, you're one of the more knowedgeable posters here, but I'm not going to be dragged into the Rachel/Zenyatta who's better debate. Sorry, I don't play that.  Both horses are great, but both owners aren't, that pretty much sums it up for me. You may think you have to take sides to really be a fan of one or the other, but I think that's garbage. Either one would have been a deserving HOY last year, but I can see how the voters feel Zenyatta didn't accomplish as much as Rachel did last year even if I also think Zenyatta would have convincingly beat Rachel had they met last year.  Because of that, if I had a vote it would have gone to Zenyatta.

And for someone who says they're not bashing Rachel, you go on and spend a whole paragraph doing just that. Ducking Summer Bird?  How absurd. She DESTROYED him by over six lengths on the type of sloppy surface he loves.  That's more than Zenyatta beat him by and Zenyatta got to face him on a synthetic surface he hates.  Rachel had nothing more to prove against that guy.  And after a campaign consisting of eight hard stakes races, Rachel was spent.  Her connections made the decision to let the body of work she accomplished stand for itself when it came to the end of the year awards and in the end, she won.

And I think Zenyatta is still the better horse right now, but the year is a long way from over.  A lot of posters here think Rachel is finished.  I think she's just entering her prime and we'll see who's right.  As for the reasons for them not meeting over the last two seasons, Moss and Jackson both share some of the blame, and Jackson more of it. He made a stupid decision to leave Rachel in New Orleans when the track was getting pelted with rain every day and closed to training.  He should have sent her off to Gulfstream or somewhere dry and because of that the've been behind all year.

Hopefully they'll meet on the track and finally settle this, maybe in the Beldame.  Hopefully neither side will back out and just let the matchup happen.

07 Jul 2010 2:40 AM
Bellwether

THE FREAKY QUEENS MEET BEE FORE BC...BEE LEAVE IT...LONG LIVE THE DIRT BABY!!!...ty...

07 Jul 2010 4:40 AM
sodapopkid

How can anyone compare Zenyatta's and Rachel's 2010 season?  Are you freaking kidding me?  I dont care how you slice it Ra 2010 season is far less compared to Zen's, She has ducked one race, lost two, and dropped down to ungraded races,  and you can say that is equalled to Zen's?  Anyone that can say that is either blind or nuts.   Zen has won all three of her starts, and yes , she travelled way out of her time zone, not just up the road like RA did.  Zen is and has been running in ALL grade one races.  

Geez, Some people are just grasping at straws. Especially when you have to divert to a horse's previous year to make them look good in the present year...

If Rachel wasnt ready by the FDL, She aint never going to be the same Rachel....she has had plenty of time to be were they want her to be....Jess is ducking and avoiding all the major competition because he knows she is not the Rachle he had last year.  But I  still can't believe she isnt running in some kind of a grade one race yet!

07 Jul 2010 6:52 AM
sodapopkid

I agree wholeheartedly with you Ted!!

I am glad you let us know in advance(talking about spelling and grammar) what you were doing, Or we would have swared you may have been hitting some juice to hard and your eyes were going into doublevision mode...lol!!

07 Jul 2010 6:55 AM
sodapopkid

As of right now , July 7, 2010. Knowing alot can happen from here till the BC. I am going to call eary shots and say that as of right now the top leading contenders for HOTY is Quality Road and Zenyatta!  

From here on out it's going to wager between these two and what they do next...

I know I am going to get slammed for this, but I firmly believe this is going to be the Mighty Mare's year..

My gut feeling is Zenyatta will win the BCC.  QR won't be a problem for her in that long stretch of the BCC.  Zenyatta is going to take him down. She will win the BCC but not by a large margin, but she will win it.

After her 2009 BCC win, and knowing she is better on dirt, CD and her fans will be in awe in November.

RA,RT,Blame,QR, and the euro's won't be a problem for her,  for one thing John S. is going to have her primed, fresh, and ready for this, he will train her on HP dirt track...She will be ready!!  John knows what she is facing and he and MIke Smith will be way ready to run at CD.  

One thing about Zen is her trainer's barn is small , and her excercise rider is her jockey, all of these are major plusses. Zenyatta knows what her job is and her trainer has more time to devote to her, she dont have to flip-flop to different barns and different people all the time.

I believe she will make it to race #20 without a problem...This mare is special and she is going to continue to prove it.

07 Jul 2010 7:18 AM
slyder

I'm not dissapointed in RA's year at all. I expected her to get beat and said that here more than once. It's come as no surprise.

For me it's not the races you win but who you beat and while she beat older males they weren't anything to write home about. Macho Again will never go down as one of the top 250 in history, he's been trashed everytime since she beat him, and Zenyatta beat him with ease not the diminishing head RA hung on to beat him by. If the race had been much longer she would have lost. Bullsbaby is another who hasn't won squat since and Munnings can't get the mile against top contenders (he's a 7f horse at his best).

For all the hype RA still hasn't beaten any Filly or Mare who had previously won a G1 race. She's been beaten twice already this year. Peppers Pride won more races in a row than RA ever will and people judge him correctly by the company he raced against. Judging RA by the ones she beat and where they were at in their careers sheds the best light. Her competition hasn't been what anyone can call extrodinary when she faced them. RA is the East Coast Media's HOY and hasn't carried that banner very well since being handed it.  

07 Jul 2010 8:42 AM
Giddyup

Both Rachel and Z have provided race fans with some spectacular moments yet some people will never be satisfied until these two great champions demonstrate they can walk on water. Could it be that owners aren't the only ones that are greedy?

07 Jul 2010 9:35 AM
Draynay

As many of you know I would not give my young colt to Mr. Pletcher to train if I was going for the Triple Crown.  But I have said other then a Triple Crown run Pletcher would be my man.  I think he has proven himself over the last few years to be one of the best trainers in the business if not THE best. His record the last 24 months speaks for itself yet there are those that STILL question running Quality Road in the Met Mile.  I give Mr. Pletcher credit for having more patience then I have but he made it VERY CLEAR about Quality Road and 1 1/4 distance.  His answer is a simple one, "Did you see the Donn?" I think a even better answer is Did you see him run 1 1/4 twice in the mud coming off injury and almost beat the 3 year old Eclipse winner?

Quality Road as a 4 year old is a faster and healthier horse.  His record in Stakes races on dry ground is perfect yet there are those that still question his ability.  These people make me question how they can possibly handicap a race.  Zenyatta has never raced in open company on dirt and you have a monster of a horse who has raced undefeated in open company this year and set a track record yet through some sort of magic handicapping you STILL have those that believe Zenyatta is the favorite to beat Quality Road.  Do handicapping principles go out the window for some reason?

Do you people just ignore speed figures suddenly and just believe in magic ? Unreal.  Zenyatta will not win another race all year.

07 Jul 2010 9:55 AM
Zookeeper

Ted from LA,

You have more facets than the Hope Diamond! You're a comedian, a philosopher and now, a linguist? Simply amazing!!! That was a very interesting post at 12:42 AM. Surprised the heck out of me that I was able to read it. Where else can we acquire such diverse knowledge? Fictions and facts from Ted's Almanach... Too funny!

07 Jul 2010 10:22 AM
Billy's Empire

I will make this short for you.(j/K)

Jayjay, you said,

"If that wasn't a good effort as you say, do you think Lukas would still point him to the next biggest race in the summer, the Whitney ??"

My answer to you, was Please see Northern Giant. Northern Giant is a horse that Lukas trains that was 9th in the Arakansas Derby, yet he ran him in the Preakness to be 12th. There was no article. It is a fact. Wayne will run his horse's into the ground no matter if they win or not. So to answer your question, yes, I think he would still point him to the Whitney. His track record of doing do proves this.

Anyone hear news on Dublin lately?

People say he has a bunch of great 2 year olds in the barn for next year. Bless their hearts.

Perfect example,

"Baffert also has a promising three-year-old filly in RAPPORT (Songandaprayer), who will break from the rail in the $150,000 Azalea S. (G3) at six furlongs. Well beaten in all three starts for D. Wayne Lukas at two, the dark bay has crushed her opposition by a combined 10 lengths in winning a maiden and first-level allowance at Hollywood Park this summer"

Looks like Baffert is the Jam, and Wayne is, well, toast. Just my opinion.

one more thing, Lazmannick.

You keep referencing pro-ride or synthetics as dirt. They are not dirt, nothing like dirt, and never will be dirt. The breeders cup will have astericks next to them b/c they were run on plastic. Please stop. It is annoying.

Lastly, I think we should all write into the show Wipeout, and see if they will let us all do a Bloggers Bash episode. Now that would be fantastic. I could see it now.

Dray in his pink dress.

Tim G and Dr Drunk in their scrubs.

Carlos in Cali with his lakers gear, Ted in La wearing his Blake Griffin Jersey. LDP dressed up like a dictionary. Kay, Monica V, Kit J and Mary In VT all the Real Housewives of Bloodhorse. It could go on and on. That show makes my 17 month old daughter LOL when people bounce off the big balls.

Dray, I know buddy, there is only 1 you, and we all thank god for that! You eat any tainted seafood yet in Florida. What a shame.!!

07 Jul 2010 10:34 AM
Slew

It often amazes me that folks tend to make demands and bash horses that don't meet their demands.  Last year was spectacular for us fans.  A filly and mare standing head and shoulders above all competition.  (in Zen's case...literally) And yet we make demands for them to do it again.  Two years in a row or they're mules?  Cut me a break.  We still don't have a Triple Crown winner after 32 years.  "They HAVE TO run against the boys"???  Who says?  They have to prove themselves?  Who says?  They've already done it.  RA and Zen re-wrote the books on racing, and blood-thirsty fans remain unsatisfied.  "She's not great unless...".  Really?  I understand it's an era of instant gratification, but honestly.  They could have both retired with their titles intact.  But their connections brought them back to the track for our enjoyment.  Can't we all simply appreciate them both and quit the speculation and bashing?  I'd give my eye teeth (if I still had them) to stand next to either one and offer them a carrot or a mint.  Wouldn't you all be euphoric?  Only fools fail to see the history being made in front of their eyes.  You may still be telling your grandchildren about them 40 years from now.  

Does this record look familiar?

Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (2002, 2003)

Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (2002, 2003)

Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (2002)

Apple Blossom Handicap

(2002, 2003, 2004)

Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (2002, 2003)

Vanity Handicap (2002, 2003)

Go For Wand Handicap (2004)

Spinster Stakes (2004)

Breeders' Cup Distaff (2002)

American Horse of the Year (2002)

American Champion Older Female Horse (2002, 2003, 2004)

TB Hall of Fame

It belongs to Azeri....or did you all forget about her already?  And she never beat the boys.

Does anyone honestly think that both RA/Zen won't be in the Hall of Fame?  I know they will be.

07 Jul 2010 10:47 AM
racingheart

I am Rachel Alexandra's biggest fan.  Yes, yes I am. I am sure that there are many more like me that feel this way. I am not disappointed in my Rachel. But her training schedule coming back this year remains to be a puzzlement. & her racing schedule is so bizarre that I am grasping for logical explanation!  Leave the nose band on the tackroom wall, let her run against her PEERS & even if she runs second or third, let her at least compete with the class that she deserves as the champion that she is.

That being said, I will always love & admire Rachel for her incredible campaign last year.  Her HEART has not been broken, of that I am sure!

07 Jul 2010 10:54 AM
LuckySon

Lazmannick - In regards to your comments to Livesoutwest, I am not disagreeing with anything you said, however, when you were commenting about the older males that Rachel beat, you are forgetting about Cool Coal Man and Munnings, neither of them are "washed up and have done nothing since."  I'm not trying to start anything and I'm not disagreeing with you on your comments, but by saying that ALL of the older males she faced are washed up and have done nothing since is dissing two of my favorites.  I apologize if this offended you, but it was eating at me.

07 Jul 2010 10:57 AM
sodapopkid

Great point, Slew!

07 Jul 2010 11:01 AM
Footlick

Livesoutwest- you are the one who said the Clement Hirsch will be difficult for Zenyatta to win.  Therefore, they are not pointing her to an easy Fresno fair race.  You are upset with her connections because they are not running against males.  It has nothing to do with Zenyatta.  St Trinians is a formidable foe.  Zenyatta is a formidable foe.  If Del Mar is playing right so that both run it should be a great race.  Too bad it has been relegated to the Fresno Fair now.  : )

07 Jul 2010 11:15 AM
Footlick

Thanks Kay- I think people think Goldikova is the norm, and in a way she is because top female milers run often against males in Europe.  It is one of the traditions of female milers in europe.  Even lesser milers run against males.  But distance fillies/mares are a different ballgame.  Those races are carefully chosen- except for DarReMi's last race where they really anted to run in France but the course there was not to her liking- for the filly.mare's optimal performance.  Anyway- I don't want to go on and on-lol.

07 Jul 2010 11:23 AM
MonicaV

Jason,

You didn't have to open this blog for comments.  You could have used several previous blog's comments.  It's the same thing over and over.  Even if it is about Rachel it turns into Zenyatta vs Rachel and both sides won't give an inch.  Draynay is still prattling on as usual and all the same people are defending their horse.  Rachel and Zenyatta are so dominant in the thoroughbred world that they are the only two that inspire this sort of thing.  It's even worse than the Curlin vs Big Brown from 2008.  Face it, gang, it's a stalemate.  You will never convince a die hard Rachel Fan or a die hard Zenyatta fan to see things your way and does it really matter?  No matter how many facts you throw out or how many rationalizations you use, you will not change history or the way people see the horse you love.  In the end it is of no consequence.  They are both the best we've seen in a very long time and each side argues about the weak competition each faced and that is the most laughable argument of all because in 20, 30 50 or 100 years there will not be footnotes stating that Zenyatta beat up the same mares nor will there be one that says Rachel ran against the weakest fields ever assembled.  This is the tact people always fall back on to disparage a horse.  I've seen it for years.  The fact is that nobody will care because the wins they have both garnered are just that, wins no matter who they ran against.  Nobody can take away Zenyatta's thus far, perfect record.  It should not be tarnished if you don't care for her or think she's over-rated.  It is a historical achievement no matter what surface or what competition it involved.  She is a gorgeous, perfect race horse and will be remembered that way.  Rachel had the best 3 year old season of any filly in memory.  She has been under fire for the competition she faced, for her weight breaks and for not running 10 furlongs as well as not showing up for the BCC.  Let's not forget that she raced 8 races in 2009, the last one being her hardest as she was a very tired horse.  It took so much out of her they put her on the shelf for almost 6 months.  Do any of us know how much that took out of her?  No.  It had to have been a hell of a lot to keep her idle for that long.  Yet she was not deserving of HOY because she didn't go to the BCC.  Would you run your horse against Zenyatta if she was in that kind of shape?  It probably would have ended in disaster.  Yet they still bring it up.  THe fact that the horse is coming back to form is also missed.  She's not the same horse, she's second rate.  No one knows what she suffered for that 2009 year and they have all but given up on her.  THey are going easy with her this year to keep gas in the tank for the BC.  She has no chance for HOY and she doesn't need it but I truly think she will pull off something fantastic before her retirement.

Negative comments about her are bandied about constantly.  That is okay because everyone has a right to their opinion.  It doesn't hurt the horse one bit but you wouldn't know that considering what people post on here defending their horse. Does it really matter what anyone thinks?  No, it doesn't because history will remember these two for what they have achieved and what the record books state.  History doesn't give a damn about anything we post on these blogs.  It's all opinion and nothing more.  The best thing about all this is that you feel passion for the horse you love and that is always a good thing and I truly hope that horse racing will continue and not end up being a sport that "used to be".

07 Jul 2010 11:35 AM
Evers

If New York would make special rules for Zenyatta and allow her tu run not from a detention barn, she would race there. Btw how is Rachel Alexandra even able to run in a non graded stakes

07 Jul 2010 11:44 AM
Billy's Empire

After Lost in the Fog, Azeri is my favorite horse/mare in the last decade. She was a machine!! Thanks SLEW!!

07 Jul 2010 11:48 AM
jayjay

Billy : Since you're a trainer, I guess you would know right ?  Lukas has been pointing MTB to the Whitney since he got him.  Did you not read the quote in my previous quote ?  If you're going to pick and choose what you want to read and ignore the other part of the comment, then you're as immature and childish as Draynay.  LOL

That's like me posting something like "Rachel will never win the 2010 Classic" and then you quoting me as saying "Rachel will never win".  Please try harder next time, it's okay trying to twist my word when it's not posted, but when my words are posted in a blog where I can go back to it, it makes you look like a fool.

07 Jul 2010 11:55 AM
Lost In The Fog

Jason, let me give you the real version of her story...

I haven't read what all has been said in this blog yet, but the answer is simple as to why they are not racing her at Saratoga.  

Either Rachel Alexandra was extremely tired at Saratoga last year in the Woodward or she didn't like the Saratoga surface so why risk her on it?    

On the other hand, we know that she loves Monmouth.  It is a perfect spot to set her up for the BC at the end of the year and is perfectly spaced.  In order to win the BC Classic, she has to have a light and carefully planned campaign that is easy enough on her so that she can last in top form until the BC.

There are only three reasons for the later campaign this year: she was either extremely tired, she had some sort of physical issue (most likely), or they wanted a later start to the season to set her up for the Classic.  Because of pressure to get her back to the races, they made a mistake when they raced her when she wasn't fit enough so she lost her first start back, and it knocked her out in her next start as well despite having plenty of time between the races.  That's why she lost both racing.  They are lucky that it seems that they got away with their mistake and didn't get injured. She is now rounding back into form (not quite there, but almost), so I'm sure that the connections are going to do everything possible from this point forward to keep this horse happy, healthy, and moving forward so that this horse has a real chance to win the Classic.    

07 Jul 2010 11:56 AM
LAZMANNICK

Billy's Empire

For purists like you who don't like to be annoying and yet annoy a lot of people at times, I also say non-turf.

07 Jul 2010 11:59 AM
Karen D

Rachel had an incredible three year old season. Heck, we haven't seen many males hang around long enough to even attempt what she did successfully. Her season last year was aggressive, and although we enjoyed every minute, it took a toll. These are horses, not machines, and promises made (Rachel's camp) or expected (fans, media, tracks etc.) seem unrealistic to me.  If this wasn't such a sideshow, maybe it could be more about the horse - which should be the only concern EVER.

Bottom line is that who runs and where is not our choice and these arguments are what is getting really old.  Slow news day?

07 Jul 2010 12:20 PM
Footlick

Billy- it couldn't be that the horse likes synthetic tracks...........

07 Jul 2010 12:29 PM
jayjay

livesoutwest : I don't understand why you're still whining, I told you in my last response that she will face the boys once this year.  It'll be in the Classic at Churchill.  If you think Zenyatta should run against the boys this year prior to the Classic just to please you, it'll never happen so give it up.

The only time you might see her run against the boys prior to the Classic is if Shireffs doesn't like how Delmar surface is playing.  They may have to travel east to find races for her and it may include the JCGC as her last race before the Classic.

Summer Bird and Quality Road were 3 yr olds last year, they were suppose to go after each other.  I don't get that argument at all, was it something special that those two ran against each other ??  Are you saying they didn't duck each other ??  I don't get it.

Look, if you're a true fan of Zenyatta, you should just enjoy her races.  No one really cares if you think her 5 measly run of last year weren't enough or if her campaign this year is tough enough.  I don't see anyone else having a tougher campaign than she has this year.  Her first race, the Santa Margarita, she had to weave her way through to a win.  The next one, she had to travel to get the win and it did affect her, since we now know she doesn't travel well.  Her 3rd win in the Vanity wasn't as easy as we thought, she probably had to use 3rd gear in that race, something she's never had to use before. The bottom line ? She delivered, she won all three.

Can you tell me which other top contender has had a tougher campaign so far ??  Blame is the only I can think of that has met some quality horses other than Zenyatta.

For someone who claims to be a fan of Zenyatta, you've done nothing but praise her once then criticize her 5 times, you are more forgiving for Rachel's year than you are with what Zenyatta has accomplished this year.  You're saying JJ has earned the benefit of the doubt ??  Yet you think the mosses are cowards ??  You can stop pretending now, I don't mind that you're bashing Zenyatta, that's fine with me, but for you to pretend to be a fan of her is what's really irritating.  Stop with your nonsense already.

07 Jul 2010 12:30 PM
sodapopkid

******EBAY UPDATE*****

RACHEL'S HALTER - ENDING BID-$2,177.99.

ZENYATTA'S HALTER-ENDING BID-$6,600.00.

THANKYOU TRAINERS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY. LOOK AT THE GOOD MONEY THAT WAS RAISED FOR THIS CHARITY...

07 Jul 2010 12:37 PM
Ghostzapper

Here's your answer....Obviously Monmouth wanted RA because they know she will attract an amazing crowd. Maybe J.Jackson loved the way RA was treated at the Haskell last year by the Monmouth fans. I believe Monmouth fans are the best "horse" fans in the country. The way they treat "star" horses is second to none. Just ask Kent D. and the way they treated Big Brown. There's no other explanation that makes sense.

07 Jul 2010 12:42 PM
sodapopkid

Jason, I have a question for every blogger on this forum and for you to Jason?    I want us all to answer this question to the very damn best of OUR knowledge,

JUST WHAT THE HECK ARE WE ALL GOING TO DO NEXT YEAR WHEN THESE GIRLS ARE RETIRED????

ARE WE ALL GOING TO SURVIVE?

HAVE WE ALL REALIZED THESE GIRLS HAVE BEEN OUR PAST TIME SINCE 2009??

HAVE ANY OF US STARTED MAKING PLANS HOW TO USE OUR TIME NEXT YEAR WHEN WE ARENT SPENDING ALL OUR TIME FIGHTING OVER THESE GIRLS??

I BELIEVE WE MAY SUFFER FROM THE RACHEL/ZENYATTA SYNDROME NEXT YEAR.

BUT I BELIEVE THESE GIRLS WILL STILL HAVE US TALKING AND BICKERING AND COMPARING THEM FOREVER.  

I ALSO FIRMLY BELIEVE THESE GIRLS AND THEIR CONTINUANCE TO FULFILL THESE BLOGS, THEY HAVE CAUSED SOME OF US TO STAY IN BETTER OR WORSE HEALTH,  SOME OF US, GOT SO WORKED UP, THAT OUR HEARTS GOT A BLOWING OUT, PUMPING LIKE CRAZY..

OTHERS, IT GAVE US CHEST PAINS....

EITHER WAY, THANKYOU TO THE GIRLS THAT MADE IT ALL HAPPEN FOR US...

ZENYATTA & RACHEL ALEXANDRA !!

07 Jul 2010 12:53 PM
Billy's Empire

Sorry that made you upset. It is not dirt. Zenyatta did not beat males on dirt as you claimed. She beat them on synthetic.

Footlick, according to Lazmannick they are racing on dirt, not synthetics. I feel the trainer has lost his "touch".

Jayjay, never claimed to be a trainer, but I have eyes, can read the racing form, and can see how horses are mishandled. I could go on and on but you will never get it. Like talking to a deaf dog. Just that blank stare with your head cocked to the side. unreal.

Thanks for letting me know I annoy you. The feeling is mutual.

07 Jul 2010 12:56 PM
ANGEL

Mine That Bird is not a fluke and I can't wait to see him prove it in the Whitney when he swoops down on Quality Road and swallows him at the end.

07 Jul 2010 12:58 PM
Billy's Empire

New blog, let's see if anyone can talk about something not related to Rachel and Zenyatta.

07 Jul 2010 1:06 PM
Cris

The Mosses have taken very good care of their mare and she shows it by winning Grade 1's. Her come from behind style makes her record more remarkable. The RA fans that are steamed because they don't ruin Zenyatta by traveling all over the states running against everyone when she will run against the best in the Classic on a dirt track are going to stay steamed. They are going to stay in Grade 1 events because they would like her to win horse of the year this time and then retire her. She will get it this time and I don't blame them for what they do. If you want to see the Queen of England you go to England. If you want to see Zenyatta you travel to CA. Enter a Grade 1 event and you can run against her. They won't duck you.

The RA folks should do afternoon workouts during the races at Jersey. The crowd loves her and it will help promote the race.

I pray they stay sound and do well the rest of the season. I will be in Ky to see both of them in whatever race they run in.

07 Jul 2010 1:07 PM
Ted from LA

"You're a comedian, a philosopher and now, a linguist?"

Zookeeper, what is a linguist?  That is a big word.  Why use a big word when a diminutive word would suffice?

In looking at this blog and the Haskin blog I wonder about the future.  We are starting to eat our own.  Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Lastly, I'd like to get your opinions on who is really the better racehorse?  Zenyatta or Rachel Alexander? This is getting as ugly as a harness race and has all the pageantry of a greyhound race.  

07 Jul 2010 1:18 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

I don’t want to get dragged into horse bashing either.  As far as I am concerned it's not about taking sides, it's about RESPECT.  And don’t try to be so cute.  You talk out of both sides of your mouth also.

As far as HOY, who gives a hoot other than people like you who keep on bringing it up.  Rachel is HOY.....GREAT.....I’ve said it before about a thousand times I THINK SHE DESERVED IT, but based on her body of work, not on the competition she faced to win it.  You say I spent a whole paragraph bashing Rachel.....I say I spent a whole paragraph analyzing her season.  You say she had 8 hard stakes, I say she ran in 8 stakes, only a couple of them could be termed (HOY) hard.  You say Zen had an easy season except for the BCC, I say I agree with you, but the BCC put her quality and ability into proper perspective.  Hopefully you agree with that.

I agree that Rachel destroyed Summer Bird in the Haskell if you want to put it that way, but she wasn't ever going to do that again and you know it.  Summer Bird is not a mile and an eighth horse.  His best distances start at 1-1/4M. Just ask Quality Road who twice couldn’t even scare him at the distance.  Of course many people will say yeah, but they were sloppy tracks....Summer Bird’s favorite surface and not Quality Road’s.  I’ll say not so fast, QR got a 110 Beyer in the JCGC, one point less than SB’s 111 (his best ever).  What about Macho Again.....Rachel struggled and Summer Bird destroyed him, but of course the argument will be that he was over the top or that he didn’t like the track.....it goes on and on.  In my opinion if there was ever a race for Rachel to beat Summer Bird it was the Haskell.

Then we get the lame BS about the BCC.  Summer Bird didn’t like the pro-ride and Zen only beat him by 3 lengths on a surface she loves.  Really?  Summer Bird made his bid and was right there inside the eighth pole.  What happened?  He simply got beat by better and at a distance he loves and at a distance she never tried before.  For that he received a 107 Beyer, his third best ever.  To put that into perspective, the top Santa Anita Beyer for a route race so far this year is 104.  The highest at Hollywood on a different surface is 108 (Rail Trip) and the next also a 104.  It’s not hard to figure out that Summer Bird’s 107 was better than all synthetic Beyers at SA and Hol this year except for one.  Summer Bird gets a 107 Beyer in the BCC on a track he so despises and yet only manages 110 and 111 on the sloppy tracks he so loves.  That is laughable.

Anyway, enough is enough.  I think that what a lot of people including myself don’t realize at times is that horses are not machines.  They only have so much.  And the owners should be allowed to make their own decisions.  You think that the Moss’ blew it.  I don’t.  They got more recognition than winning two HOY awards.  When Black Tie Affair passed on the other day, how many people realized that he not only won the BCC, he was HOY.  To be honest, not many, and those that did would be hard pressed to name the HOY before him and the HOY after him.  However, when Personal Ensign passed, almost everyone knew that she was undefeated and years to come that’s how people will remember Zenyatta, she was undefeated and also that she won the BCC against males, the first to do so.  And when they remember Rachel it won’t be because she was HOY, it will be her three wins against males capped off by the Woodward, a feat that was never before accomplished.  

As far as them meeting, why bother.....what’s to settle.  Rachel has to get herself squared away and apparently Zen has to search out some races against males.  And get your facts straight......the Beldame was cancelled this year.

07 Jul 2010 1:20 PM
jayjay

Billy : I never said you annoy me, I said your attempt at trying to twist my words made you look like a fool.  It takes more than you and a few Draynays to annoy me lol.

If you have "eyes" then you should've read the part that Lukas has been pointing MTB to the Whitney, that's what his plans are, had nothing to do with whether MTB will win or not but according to Lukas, he's dead fit and ready to fire so I would tend to believe him rather than you.  You read racing forms and you're questioning Lukas????  LOL, that's the funniest thing I've ever read on these blogs.  HAHAHA, I read racing form, I know where horses should race...hahaha LOL!!

07 Jul 2010 1:26 PM
Billy's Empire

Jayjay, I was referring to LAZ. Should of stated that. The last thing I am going to say about Lukas, is I am certainly not the only one that feels that way about his training and judegment lately. He says all of his horses are dead fit, they all fire bullets, and then they flop. Can you name the last stakes race Lukas has won? I am sure you could look it up, but giving MTB to Lukas, IMO was a mistake. That is all I am saying. No more arguing, twisting, or comments on the matter. Would not want to annoy anyone with a 14 paragraph post about Zenyatta and how great her races were last year.

07 Jul 2010 1:45 PM
Livesoutwest

JJ,

Once again I've done nothing but praise Zenyatta, I'm dissing the owner. There's a difference.  One has two legs, the other four. Stop accusing me of saying things I haven't said and learn to read.  Evelyn Wood has a great course.

The "tougher competition" that's Jerry Moss has been ducking for four years is males. Again that's Moss who's ducking, not Zenyatta. I'm not dissing the mare, she doesn't have a vote.

And why does it make such a difference that she face males?  Isn't St. Trinians a "formidable foe" as Footlick calls her?  Yeah, she's formidable, for a female.  But when she tried males in the Big Cap, she was the favorite and  Misremembered and Neko Bay WIPED THE FLOOR WITH HER.  In fact, there were five males in that race who finished ahead of her, which makes all five of them "tougher competition" than St. Trinians. But those first two especially absolutely blew her doors off.

Is Moss entering Zenyatta against any of those five?  Or Rail Trip? No, he'll continue to let her beat up on the same soft group of females he always does.  Two races against the best competition available (MAYBE two, we'll see) in four years is an embarrassment.  

07 Jul 2010 1:50 PM
LAZMANNICK

LuckySon

Sorry if I offended you and I am not trying to diss Cool Coal Man and Munnings.  I never said that these horses were washed up.  I said that they haven’t accomplished much since.  I’m sure they will.....Cool Coal Man, especially if he races more at GP, a track he seems to favour, and Munnings, if they cut him back and really try to concentrate on 6 and 7 furlong races.  It is clearly evident that he does not do well beyond those distances but has G-1 potential if they keep him there.  The only concern with that is that the sprint division is extremely strong this year and I don’t think we’ll see a dominant sprinter.

07 Jul 2010 1:53 PM
LuckySon

Lazmannick - The Beldame was not cancelled this year.  It's scheduled for October 2nd.  I know because I thought it was cancelled by looking at my TwinSpires calendar, and told JayJay it was cancelled, but was informed by Steve Haskin that it is indeed going to be run.  Sorry if the mis-information came from me.

07 Jul 2010 2:12 PM
LuckySon

Lazmannick - No offense taken.  Cool Coal Man actually has won just last month in the Skip Away Stakes, and Munnings in the GP - Sprint Championship.  I have to admit I don't know what grade they are, but they have done something, and I'm sure they will do more.  They've already proven themselves to not be flukes.  

07 Jul 2010 2:20 PM
Zookeeper

Ted from LA,

I don't know a "smaller word" for a language specialist other than linguist. In your post, what appeared to be jargon, was actually gobbledygook english and I got a big kick out of it. :)

Now, gobbledygook IS a big word. I had to dig up my dictionary to find out how to spell it. LOL!

07 Jul 2010 2:28 PM
moodygirl

I have pondered what John Shirreffs will do when Zenyatta is no longer in his barn and at the breeding shed. Will he hook up a camera there to monitor her progress from his computer? Will he make a daily or weekly pilgramage, depending on the distance, to feed her ale and carrots?

Then I thought about me. What am I going to do? I really have been thinking about that prior to the subject being brought up here. That's one  of the reasons I've acquired posters & photos of Her Majesty. I'll watch reruns on U-Tube & The Bloodhorse and hope that the Mosses take pity on us and share some new video.

I have no idea if the topic will ever change here. We could continue to say the same old stuff as someone so accurately remarked. Maybe we will argue over the best choice of sire for Z and RA, pedigree comparisons, breeding theory and all that. No doubt we will argue over which mare has the best looking foal, the name of the foals and which one is the best prospect. Then we can argue about the best trainer & training methods for them and their racing schedules. I think you get my drift. I do think we will move on to other subjects to spar about but we will always be ready to discuss our ladies of the turf, oops, dirt, oops, synthetics.

Lazmannick, I didn't think you were a big RA fan but stand by my statement.

Monica V, I totally agree.

Lost in the Fog, I think your explanation of RA's crazy year is the best I have heard yet.

Ted from LA, I like the Moody Blues and thought it would confuse people. I think it izz really anel too cretisise sumonze spelin on lien. Itz tha thott tat coutz!!!

07 Jul 2010 2:41 PM
Livesoutwest

Not only will the Beldame be run, LuckySon, but Dottie Sherriffs said they would "look at it" for Zenyatta.  And I hope they go for it.  But as much as I diss the Zenyatta camp for mishandling their horse, I put the onus more on Jess Jackson to make that matchup happen, since they blew the Apple Blossom opportunity.  So if Moss decides to stay home and run in the Zenyatta Stakes instead, I think it's incumbent on Jackson to ship Rachel Alexandra out for it. And no, I don't agree with you that Rachel wouldn't have beaten Summer Bird again, though I would agree that he was better at 1 1/4 and longer last year.  But there are only a handful of 1 1/4 mile races around the country.  Just like Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer three out of four and only lost to him in their longest race, I think you would have seen a similar advantage for Rachel had they met say, four times.

As for you Lazmannick, I don't see how I've been talking out of both sides of my mouth.  I've consistently said Rachel's great, Zenyatta to this point is even greater, but her owner is cheating the fans and cheating the sport.  You're right it is about respect and I've made very clear that I have tons of respect for Zenyatta and zero for Jerry Moss as a horseman.  He is a great music executive, maybe he should focus on that.  

I do agree with you that the BCC put Zenyatta's quality and ability into proper perspective, but I didn't need any convincing myself, I bet her to win.  She has been the best horse on synthetics or dirt in the world throughout her five year-old year and so far through her six year-old year. But if her owner cares at all about her being remembered as being the best in the country, that means beating the best in the country.  And that means beating Quality Road, beating Rail Trip and if she earns it, beating Rachel Alexandra.

07 Jul 2010 2:57 PM
LAZMANNICK

Just to show that I am not as biased as some might think when it comes to Rachel.....here are some positives and superlatives that will help to put her career and accomplishments into even greater perspective.

When it comes to speed, Rachel is without question the fastest 3 year-old filly at least since Xtra Heat in 2001.  When comparing her top Beyer to the top Beyers for the other 3 y-o filly champs this is what you get:

• 2009  Rachel – 116 – 111 – 109 – 108

• 2008  Proud Spell – 101 – 99 – 97 – 97

• 2007  Rags to Riches - 107 – 104 – 98 – 96

• 2006  Wait A While  – Primarily Turf

• 2005  Smuggler – 98 – 94 – 93 – 92

• 2004  Ashado – 106 – 103 – 102 – 102

• 2003  Bird Town – 101 – 100 – 100 – 100

• 2002  Farda Amiga – 103 – 103 – 100 – 95

• 2001  Xtra Heat – 120 – 118 – 117 - 113

• 2000  Surfside – 116 (Clark against G-2 males)

Clearly Rachel is the dominant one at least since 2001.  That year Xtra Heat accomplished her Beyers in sprints and it took her until her 7th race that year to even record a 100 Beyer.  Rachel’s consecutive 100 plus Beyer streak currently stands at 11.  In 2001 Xtra Heat tackled males twice, in her final two races of the year, finishing second in the BC Sprint to Squirtle Squirt (118 Beyer) and third to Deleware Township in the G-1 De Frances.  She actually faced males 5 times in total including in 2 or her 3 BC races and in the Dubai Golden Sheen (3rd) and defeated them once in the Phoenix at Keenland.....Rags of course defeated Curlin in the Belmont (her 107 Beyer), and Surfside defeated older G-2 males in the Clark Handicap (her 116 Beyer).

The Clark was the equivalent of last year’s Woodward except that it was G-2 instead of G-1......In the Woodward Rachel was favoured, in the Clark Surfside was 8-5, 2nd choice.....Rachel defeated a salty Macho Again and BullsBay, Surfside won the Clark by 4-L and defeated among others Aptitude who was second in the Derby and the Belmont that year and who would win his only 2 G-1 races at 4 (the JCGC and the Hollywood Gold Cup), Guided Tour (2nd) which was 5-4-0 in 11 races but had only 1 G-3 win, and Vision and Verse who in 1999 was a G-2 winner of the Illinois Derby and finished 2nd to Lemon Drop Kid in the Travers and Belmont.......The only other comparison you can make between Rachel and Surfside would be that both ran 1-1/8M at CD, Rachel in the Oaks 1.48.87 (final 8th in 12.16) and Surfside in the Clark 1.48.75 (final 8th 12.52).  Both were the easiest of winners.

How did Rachel stack up against other great fillies in the late 80’s and 90’s?  I gathered some info from an article and as the writer explains, it shows that she was right up there.  Some top Beyers according to the writer....

• Lakeway ran a 117 winning the Hollywood Oaks.

• Silverbulletday ran a 115 in the Alabama – to go along with 109-107-108 in the Black Eyed Susan, Kentucky Oaks, & Ashland.

• Go For Wand ran a 117 in the Beldame to go along with 114-111-105-104 in the Test, Alabama, Maskette and the Mother Goose

• Very Subtle ran a mythical 121 when she won the 1987 BC Sprint over Groovy as a 3 year old filly.

• Miesque ran a mythical 119 when she won the  1987 Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile as a 3 y-o filly.

• Mantistique ran a 115 type number as a 3 y-o filly at Hollywood but the writer had no record to prove it.  Winning Colors ran a similar number winning the Santa Anita Derby and again he had no record to confirm that either.  Winning Colors also ran a mythical 115 in defeat losing to Personal Ensign in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

As far as older fillies & mares, according to the writer they have run faster due to maturity, but for comparative purposes (mythical Beyers) the 2 fastest Breeders’ Cup Distaff’s on record belong to Princess Rooney (120) and Inside Information (119).  The great Lady’s Secret ran a 113 winning the BC Distaff but put up figures of 120 (Woodward), 119 (Ruffian), 118 (Whitney), and 116 (Maskette) in 1986.  To be fair, this analysis only touches the surface.  There are other great fillies like Spain and Serena’s Song, etc.  the list is deep.

I have often questioned the quality of Rachel’s competition and maybe in some cases rightfully so.  However, I am sure that closer examination of the records of all of the above would indicate that in many of their races the competition certainly wasn’t up to their level either and was often considerably below.

In any event Rachel deserves much praise and her talent has to be considered comparable to the best all time.  The numbers prove, at least from the mid eighties on, that she is without doubt one of the fastest 3 y-o fillies ever.  Other than that we are all left to our own interpretation.  There are still the Ruffians and Gamely’s and Gallorette and Shuvees from the past that all wrote their own legacies.  That’s what makes horse racing the great sport it is.

07 Jul 2010 3:53 PM
Zookeeper

Livesoutwest,

Your loathing of Jerry Moss is disturbing... could it be because it borders on the compulsive side of things? Disliking someone is one thing but your constant and repetitive bashing has evolved into the bizarre. Some help may be in order...

07 Jul 2010 3:59 PM
Zookeeper

"...and if she earns it, beating Rachel Alexandra."

The cat is out of the bag. You are no fan of Zenyatta, no matter what you profess. Zenyatta has to EARN the privilege of besting RA??? What a ludicrous statement!

07 Jul 2010 4:11 PM
Livesoutwest

It's not loathing, Zookeeper, people who know Moss have said he's a great guy.  It's disrespect, I don't respect him as a horseman.  And since a few people here have continued to say that because I'm bashing the campaigns Zenyatta's been put in, therefore I clearly must be bashing and disrespecting the mare herself, I'll keep clarifying the point every time. If those attacks stop, I'll drop it too.  I think I've made my point, I would just as soon stop making it.

Lazmannick, good post.  Okay, I'll withdraw my earlier criticism, maybe you're not a Rachel-hater.  It also should be said that even though I think Zenyatta beats Rachel in most of their common races last year, there are a few exceptions.  I think Rachel would have beaten Zenyatta (were she eligible) in both the Kentucky Oaks and the Haskell in the slop.  Rachel may ultimately prove to have some distance limitations, but I don't think they apply in the slop.  I don't think there's a horse in the country who can touch her in those conditions at ANY distance - she just glides along and loves the wet stuff like a duck.  I also think she would have easily beaten Zenyatta in last year's Clement Hirsch at Del Mar.  A number of top females would beat her on that track and most of the top males, were they eligible.  Anabaa's Creation was certainly nothing special.  Rail Trip bruised his foot there and it knocked him out for nine months.  Zenyatta should NOT set foot on that surface again.

07 Jul 2010 4:39 PM
Zookeeper

Lazmannick,

I haven't commented on your posts before but I must tell you that I really appreciate the wealth of information you provide on a consistent basis. Thank you for that and also for being exceptionally fair-minded, a quality sorely missing, at times, in the comments of others. :)

07 Jul 2010 4:42 PM
Livesoutwest

(Sigh)  No, Zookeeper, I said exactly the opposite.  Rachel Alexandra needs to earn the privilege of beating Zenyatta.  Quality Road and Rail Trip have won multiple graded stakes already and proved they are among the competition Zenyatta needs to beat at some point to be considered the best this year.  Rachel hasn't done that yet this year, and her connections already blew one opportunity to face Zenyatta.

However, I have every confidence Rachel will make it all the way back and more and be a worthy challenger for Zenyatta.

07 Jul 2010 4:46 PM
Footlick

Zookeeper- I took it that Livesoutwest meant if Rachel earns her spot in the Classic.

07 Jul 2010 4:53 PM
JerseyBoy

Here is a strange argument. Some bloggers imply that males are superior to females and for that  reason Zenyatta is avoiding males and open company. Well the supposedly inferior females have beaten Rachel Alexandra but no horse, male or female, has ever beaten Zenyatta. Just wondering.

07 Jul 2010 4:58 PM
Kay

Livesoutwest:

"Not only will the Beldame be run, LuckySon, but Dottie Sherriffs said they would "look at it" for Zenyatta.  And I hope they go for it.  But as much as I diss the Zenyatta camp for mishandling their horse, I put the onus more on Jess Jackson to make that matchup happen, since they blew the Apple Blossom opportunity.  So if Moss decides to stay home and run in the Zenyatta Stakes instead, I think it's incumbent on Jackson to ship Rachel Alexandra out for it."

Now you're just teasing. If that happened, all of this would just melt away. I have just never understood why it should always be about Zenyatta shipping. Planes go both ways. I think there MAY be a scenario in which this could actually happen. Bear with me. If Jessypoo is really serious about another HOTY for Rachel, he knows that he has to get past Zenyatta and Quality Road to get that. And at this point, that's literally the only way he can win it. But is it really? I don't think Rachel can beat Zenyatta and Quality Road at 10F. Maybe she can; of course I don't know for sure. But I don't think she can. And maybe JJ doesn't think so, either. She probably can't beat Quality Road at 9F either.

But if she's ever going to beat Zenyatta, it'll likely be at 9F. With all JJ's griping about synthetics, at least Rachel's proven she can handle a variation on the surface. So what he COULD do is ship and run her against Zenyatta at Santa Anita. If she wins, then JJ doesn't have to win the Classic. He doesn't even have to run in it. He can go in the Ladies Classic if he's willing to gamble. And the only REAL gamble he needs to make is that Quality Road doesn't win the Classic. Even if Zenyatta wins it and Rachel wins the Ladies Classic, JJ's got a pretty good hold on HOTY if Rachel's already beaten Zenyatta. Hey, it's possible! and it may not be a bad gamble, either, although I don't honestly think he's THAT much of a gambler.

One note on last year's Hirsch, though. If Rachel had been in the race, Mike Smith wouldn't have been overconfident (which he admitted he was afterwards). So I don't think you can just slot Rachel in there with the same trip Zenyatta had. She would have had a different trip.

07 Jul 2010 5:09 PM
Camel clutch

Yes Lazmannick, you are biased just reread your past posts for the last year or so.Who do you think you are? LDP?

07 Jul 2010 5:14 PM
Kit J

Lordy it's hot here. Just took the grands to the pool and it's too hot to swim without boiling in the water!

I'm still learning the etiquette of blogging or commenting or whatever it is I'm doing. The 13 year old and the 6 year old were helping me to navigate all of this.

Smart little devils thankfully.

I'm happy to see that Ted at least is back to normal, well at least for him. Just kidding Ted, I love your take on life.

I miss Dr Drunkinbum and his comedy.

By the way Billy count me out of that Blog thing. I don't find humor in watching people get hurt or in saying things about people who don't travel in the same circles we do and aren't here to speak up. Call me crazy but that's my motto and the way my own granny raised me even if it isn't part of the criteria I asked Jason about.

Zookeeper, there's a lot of loathing of a lot of owners and trainers on here. What do you want to wager,your share of your colt trained by the wonderful Ms.Carla Gaines :> ?, that none of these people who loathe the ones they talk about have ever even met them?

07 Jul 2010 5:19 PM
Zookeeper

The comment taken either way is still ludicrous, whether it concerns Zen or RA. I take objection to it just as much when it is directed at Rachel as I did when I thought it was directed at Zen. Who are you to determine that a horse has to EARN the privilege of getting bested by another one? Since your comment was directed at Rachel, then you are no fan of her either.

The cat is still running around loose and your disrespect of human and equine is STILL objectionable.

07 Jul 2010 6:03 PM
LDP

Jayjay,

I can sort of understand how the HGC would be close, but to be honest, I would rather that than the Hisch, right now. As I've mentioned, HGC is more her distance, she would be able to race from out of her own stall, and on  her favorite track to boot. The Hirsch is a touch short, on a quirky, very unperdictable track. IMO, I would have run her in the Gold Cup. If she were to lose, because of the turn around, they would be able to use that and she would be losing to one heck of a horse in RT, if he didn't duck. If she lost in the Hirsch, yes they could use the distance in the track, but in the end she is losing to a filly that RT could probably toy with. Also, I would rather her be a bit tired at this point in the year, so she could have some time to rebound before the Classic. If she were to run her guts out in the Hirsch, she has less time to recover, than if she ran in the HGC.

On the Beldame, that has been up on NTRA all year long, and I just checked, you're correct. It's gone now. I wonder if it's because elimination of the two casion bidders, which would've upped the tracks income some, had they been installed. That is my only guess, though, and I could very well be wrong.

With the deletion of the Beldame, I see only two more races RA would run in, should she stay in NY. One would be the Gold Cup. I thought it unlikely, since it would be her second 10 furlong race, making the Classic he third total and second in a row against males. Last time JJ had her go against males twice in a row it drained her. IMO, the most likely now, might be the Flower Bowl. I remember somebody saying that turf is a good way to build foundation, and personally, I've always been curious to her ability on turf. I think she would do well, and considering that sometimes the early fractions are easier than those on dirt. Yes it's 10 furlongs again, but against fillies on a more forgiving surface than dirt.

07 Jul 2010 6:21 PM
jayjay

livesoutwest : If you say you're fair, and that you have praise Zenyatta more than you have Rachel.  Why is that you favor Jackson over the Mosses ?  

You say the Mosses are keeping Zenyatta from showing her "true abilities" and giving Jackson the benefit of the doubt.

Let me just remind you, Zenyatta has won 3 G1s this year, regardless of what you say, those are 3 G1s.  Rachel has not been the same and we still don't know if she is or not.  She seems to be getting there now but so far, she has not run in a G1.

So call it what you want, you have no idea on how to appreciate.  You keep finding something to complain about the Mosses when their horse has competed and won in top level races yet you say that Jackson should be given the benefit of the doubt because of what he's doing to Rachel.

You want them to run Zenyatta against the top level males but Rachel is okay with ungraded stakes.  You mentioned in one of your posts that you'll give a fair amount of "diss" to Rachel's connection but I've yet to see you make any serious complaints.

So stop pretending you're a Zenyatta fan, for you to put out comments after comments that you think Zenyatta is better is ridiculous because for each time that you say "Zenyatta is better than Rachel at this point, BUT ... gazillion negatives about her races, her previous races, her opponents, her weak races last year, etc...etc...ETCETERA"

Give it up, the Mosses could care less what you think.  You're stuck with us Zen fan bloggers and we're not stupid enough to fall for your pretentious praises for Zenyatta. LOL.  You need to change your name to :

livesoutwestbutIhateitbecauseIreallylikeJacksonandRachelsoIllpretendIlikeZenyatta

07 Jul 2010 6:22 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

PEACE

I think that Zen stands more of a chance at being defeated than any other horse racing when you look at it on a consistent basis simply because of her running style and the fact that she is always at the mercy of those in front of her.  There were probably a number of times that Rachel would have beaten her and vice versa.  In any event, we might find out later this year and we might not.  I for one will not feel cheated if they never meet.  At least they kept the sport in the spotlight and that's good enough for me.  Have a good one and I'm sure we'll clash again.  If we do, nothing personal because there probably won’t be much we’ll agree on, but that’s why these blogs are so great.  If I went to a bar for a beer and a chance to talk horses with someone, chances are there would be no one there who would be interested.  At least here, especially on Jason and Haskin’s blogs we can banter back and forth.

07 Jul 2010 6:31 PM
jayjay

LAZ : I 2nd Zookeeper's comment about the wealth of information you provide everytime.  I learn a lot and appreciate it!

07 Jul 2010 6:41 PM
jayjay

LDP : Trust me, as much as trust Shireffs, I'm very nervous about the Hirsch but like I said to Zookeeper, it's not about losing but about getting hurt in that track.  If Team Z asks me, I would agree with you that it's better to go with the HGC.  With her age, I would prefer her to run in her natural distance where she is never fully extended and it's very natural for her running style.  I'm not worried about her going to the Classic, I'm worried about these races before then.  I'd be really happy if her next 2 or 3 races are all at 1 1/4 and longer (and yes, that includes a race on turf).

The Beldame is running this year, Haskin confirmed it from one of his contacts.  It will be run on Oct 2nd, same day as JCGC.  There's a really good chance that RA and Zen might actually face each other in the Beldame.

Zookeeper : ITA with your last comment to livesoutwest.  I don't understand why people have to pretend just to be able to put out their negative comments.  I'm thinking that it's their way of saving face and being able to jump on Zen's wagon everytime she wins.  Something like "well, I said before she's a great horse...blah blah blah" and if she loses, then they didn't put all their marbles on her, they can then jump on to the other horse.  It's pretty much the only thing that makes sense to me.

07 Jul 2010 7:01 PM
Footlick

LDP- the Flower Bowl is very interesting.  And he would have nothing to lose really by running her there.  I also think that the Arlington Million was an interesting choice for Zenyatta.  I can't remember who mentioned it (Livesoutwest?) so I can't give them credit but it is intruiging also.  Actually, I'm sure Mr Duchessois would be more than happy to have either horse there.

07 Jul 2010 7:14 PM
Livesoutwest

LDP,

The Beldame is on and it's going to be run on JCGC day, October 2.  Call the Belmont racing office if you don't want to take my word for it, I did.

Kay,

Hey we're on the same page for once, LOL!

Zookeeper,

Okay, I could have put that better.  Obviously any eligible horse can enter against any other horse, you don't have to earn the right. What I was trying to convey was for Zenyatta to be considered the best horse this year, she has to beat the best.  Last year's BC is over, it's a whole new year and a clean slate for her and everybody else.  And who are the best horses she needs to beat to prove she's best this year?  Quality Road and Rail Trip are at the top of the list, having beaten tough males in multiple graded stakes.  But Rachel Alexandra isn't back to that level yet. At this point to be considered the best, Zenyatta needs to beat horses like the other two, but could be considered the best without having beaten Rachel - that's what I was trying to say.  However, I expect that to change in the next couple months as Rachel's comeback ramps up and she gets back to the top level of horseracing.

JayJay,

It's not okay for Rachel to keep running against weak females either.  But she was out of training for five months and rushed back to action before she was ready.  If her next opponents are more softies, I'll be the all over Jackson about it.  But I think it will be Quality Road in the Woodward or at the very least, Life At Ten in the Personal Ensign.

You know, I think I've figured you out, JayJay.  You're like that guy who's a rabid Yankees fan, so he must hate the Red Sox.  You're a rabid Zenyatta fan and so anybody else who criticizes her management or doesn't also hate Rachel can't POSSIBLY be a true Zenyatta fan like you.  Well, whatever floats your boat, dude.  If that's your game, enjoy it.  But that's not my game and I don't play that.  I like them both.

07 Jul 2010 7:33 PM
Max

Livesoutwest,

"I also think she (Rachel Alexandra)would of easily beaten Zenyatta in last year's Clement Hirsch at Del Mar. A number of top females would beat her on that track and most of the top males..."

Dude, I know that you are bitter, disappointed and embarrassed, as with most of Rachel Alexandra fans, by what has transpired since she was crowned HOY for 2009, but please refrain ridiculous statements.

Please take Rachel Alexandra's first four races of 2009.

In two of these races, the Martha Washington and the Fantasy, she beat the second place horse called Afleet Deceit, a horse that hasn't won a race in ages.

Another loser of two races to RA (a second in the Fair Grounds Oaks and a third place in the Kentucky Oaks) was a horse called Flying Spur that has ONLY a maiden special weight win to her credit in her entire career!

The second place horse in the Kentucky Oaks, Stone Legacy, later appeared in the CLAIMING race!

In the Mother Goose, Rachel Alexandra beat the second place horse, Malibu Prayer, a horse that had the GRAND TOTAL of two third places finishes in maiden races to her credit.

Then in the Woodward she beat Macho Again, who, has recorded a 9th, 7th, and 10th place finishes in his last three races.

The third place horse, Bullsbay, has been so bad (a 9th, a 7th, and another 9th) that his last race was the first time out of graded race status, and guess what - he finished out of the money.

Livesoutwest, if you want to make a misjudgement and mistake by Mike Smith on the Hirsch into a referendum on these two horses go ahead.

07 Jul 2010 7:36 PM
LDP

Jayjay,

I can't stand Del Mar. Every single year, they have a flood of injuries at the beginning of the meet. It scares me, and to be honest, Pro-Ride does too, but to a less degree. I don't mind Cushion Track, it seems the most consistent and plays very, very close to dirt. The other two, however are why I'm so against synthetics, because they have proven they can be unperdictable, in terms of fatalities and career ending injuries. Those two synthetics are the reason I'm so against that type of surface.

Well if the Beldame is going to be run, which I'm glad it is, then that is probably the most likely race for RA to make her final prep. Though, with the way JJ has been this year I would not rule out the Flower Bowl at all. On Zen and RA meeting at Belmont, I'm a bit skeptical. Moss said he wasn't a fan of Belmont because of the detention barns, which I understand, plus we all know how well RA handles the one turn 9 furlongs at Belmont. If she's anywhere near form, a one turn 9 furlong race is not where I would want to race against RA at. I'm not saying it won't happen, it has just as good a chance too happen, I personally, just think Moss would want Zenyatta to stay and prep, newly named Zenyatta Stakes.

07 Jul 2010 8:01 PM
LDP

Footlick,

I know on NTRA, a blogger named carmine r, has said the Arlington Million should be on Zen's agenda. If you blog on NTRA, which I do, but less often than I do here, that name may ring a bell.

Personally, I would love to see RA on turf in the Flower Bowl. I think she would love the turf. Something about the way she moves makes me think turf, plus she has a nice enough turn of foot over dirt. If she doesn't do it this year, and JJ does indeed bring her back next year, and I hope he does, I hope he will try turf with her.

07 Jul 2010 8:05 PM
LAZMANNICK

Zookeeper and Jayjay, thanks for the kind words.

07 Jul 2010 8:25 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

I thought the Beldame was gone too, but according to Haskins and a few others it's still on.

07 Jul 2010 8:28 PM
Footlick

Belmont has already told the Mosses that they would waive the detention barn for Zenyatta.

07 Jul 2010 9:42 PM
James

Lazmannick,

Under your July 6, 9:27 blog you mentioned the horse Music Note and her beating Unbridled Belle.

Unbridle Belle, a horse with two Grade 3 wins to her?  

Or do you mean Unrivaled Belle that just won the Grade 2 La Troienne over Rachel Alexandra?

07 Jul 2010 9:55 PM
jayjay

livesoutwest : You can coat it however you want, your posts shows it, I'm not the only one that sees how you thrash Zenyatta.  I don't really care if you like Rachel or not, I've never denied that I'm not a fan of Rachel.  I admire what she did last year but when it comes to Rachel or Zenyatta, I think Zenyatta is a better horse.  That's it.  I'm not going to thrash Rachel because I like Zenyatta, I want Rachel to do well because I want them to meet each other on the track.

So continue pretending, there are few here that genuinely likes both horses and appreciates both horses and none of them spews the same negativity that you do for Zenyatta while you applaud Rachel's connection.  I don't even mind that that you commend Jackson but for you to claim you're a Zenyatta fan and then disrespects her connections just doesn't work for me.

All you really want is for Zenyatta to run against the boys so she can prove to YOU that she's great.  Well, to her true fans, she has done more than enough, she doesn't have anything else to prove.  If you can't accept that, then go on whining about it in blogs.  I on the other hand will enjoy her races and will watch how Rachel is progressing.    So no, I don't think you're even close to figuring me out.  Try again.

LDP : Delmar is a nice track, I just don't like Zen racing on it simply because JS said it's not her preferred surface.  I also don't believe that the track has a higher injury/fatality rate.  I read an article recently (like about 2 months ago) about the improvement (meaning less) of the injury/fatalities at Delmar since the switch to synthetics.  I think it's called the DNF report (did not finish), or something to that effect.  I'll have to see if I can find it again.

I personally like Tapeta, it's the one surface that has proven to work effectively as being an all weather surface.  GG Fields has not had to cancel any training regardless of the weather but I guess you can say it's how they installed it, which is properly.  It's probably what the issue is with SA.  I'm not oppose to going back to dirt though if it can be proven that there's really no stats that says synthetics help prevents injuries/deaths.  I think eventually, it will show that it does and if so, I'd rather they keep it, just install it properly lol.

07 Jul 2010 10:01 PM
Livesoutwest

I think Rachel would do well on turf as well LDP, but I think Zenyatta would be even better.  More than dirt races, turf races are often won by the horse who makes one big late run and Zenyatta's picture is in the dictionary next to "one big late run". Goldikova is coming after her third straight BC Mile this year, and like Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, this could likely be the last year for all three of them.  It would be great if after the BC, someone would pony up a huge purse for a showdown between all three of them along with the other top turf females like Tuscan Evening, Forever Together, etc.  Hopefully all the connections accept the challenge if the purse money could be found.

07 Jul 2010 10:08 PM
syslvester

I am of the opinion that Zenyatta is overrated.  She has been coddled like no horse in the history of horse racing.  Apparently her connections feel they can win a bunch of weak races then sneak a win in the BCC and that is deserving of HOTY.  Sorry Moss', it doesn't work that way.  If you want HOTY, you need to step it up a notch and face stiff competition. Funny how they're wary of running against St Trinians now.  Hopefully St Trinians can keep her shoes on next time and show Zenyatta who the best mare in CA is.  Zenyatta will not make it to the BCC.  Her trainer has fed the press the line that 'she doesn't travel well'.  What a bunch of crap.  I seem to recall a picture of Z scarfing down a birthday cake in Oaklawn after she had arrived.  Does this look like a horse that was upset from the plane ride.  No.  If you're scared to lose just say so.  Level with the people whom you said you would 'test Zenyatta's greatness'.  So disappointing.  

07 Jul 2010 10:16 PM
Manny The D!

Livesoutwest,

You mentioned that in order for Zenyatta to be considered the best she must beat horses like the other two (Quality Road, Rail Trip)have beaten this year.

In Quality Road's first race of 2010, the Hal's Hope, the second place finisher, You And I Forever, had one win, an allowance race, in his last 18 months of racing prior to the Hal's Hope.

The third place horse, Congressional Page, didn't have anything of significance prior to the race.

In Quality Road's second race of 2010, the second place horse, Dry Martini, had exactly one win since mid 2007, or over 3 years.

In Quality Road's third race, the Met Mile, the second place horse, Musket Man, had gone all the way from the Classics to losing to a horse called Atta Boy Roy from Emeralddowns, whom lost to a horse called Riley Tucker.

The third place horse, Tizway, had exactly two allowance wins to his credit.

Rail Trip, on the other hand, has only two Grade 2 wins this year, both over the same second place finisher, Sangaree.

Sangaree, a horse with win one allowance race, and a win in an ungraded stakes to his credit.

07 Jul 2010 10:25 PM
LuckySon

Livesoutwest - Yes, I did say that the Beldame will be run.  First I was mistaken, but then I was corrected by Mr. Haskin, which I am quite happy about since Belmont is my home track.  But where in the world did I even mention Summer Bird???  I have to admit, I love both horses, but lean a little towards one side.  I'm not going to say which side that is because I'm trying to stay neutral and objective, something I don't think you even know the definition of, since I don't even remember even mentioning any horses but Cool Coal Man and Munnings.  If you have a problem with them, then you can take them up with me, otherwise please know what or who you are directing your comments to.  I realize that you are passionate, as I am, but I think you need to step back and learn how to reel in some of that passion and rude comments in order to get along.  I love both Zenyatta and Rachel, and would never trash talk either of them, and you will never hear me say a bad word about either of them on this blog.  So the Summer Bird comment was way uncalled for, as well as the attitude about the Beldame being run, as I had already mentioned it.  Just calm down, not everyone (I know I'm not) is out to get you.

07 Jul 2010 10:27 PM
Zookeeper

There's a good article in the blog stable regarding the conflicting reports on injuries to racehorses. Few (if any) of us know what we're talking about regarding racing surfaces. We're only repeating what someone else has said. It would take years to truly assess the merits of one kind of surface over the other. Sadly, people are too impatient to wait for conclusive findings. The switch to synthetics happened in the blink of an eye and the California tracks will probably revert back to dirt just as quickly, whether it makes provable sense or not. Add to that, the widespread reluctance by horsemen and fans to adopt anything new and what you mostly get is a bunch of unfounded negativity on one side of the argument or the other. Sort of like the RA/Zen debate... a never ending repetition of the same rubbish uttered by people who are ignorant of the facts because they (the facts) have not yet been established in a reliable, provable way.

07 Jul 2010 10:40 PM
LDP

Livesoutwest,

Well, I'm not sure why, but Zen never struck me as a turf horse. Not saying she can't do it, just never struck me as one. Remember Secratariat? He could make multiple moves and was known more for running his competition into the ground. RA has that turn of foot and cruising speed. However, this is all speculations, of course. I do not own a crystal ball that can show me the future, though I wish I did.

07 Jul 2010 10:42 PM
LDP

Jayjay,

It's not throught the meet, but the first couple of weeks, ever since Del Mar installed synthetics the fatality rate spikes up, or break downs spike. Trainers, I believe contributed it to the switching of surfaces, in this case Cushion track to Poly. At Arlington, I believe they use Poly, which jockeys say feels like cement if they fall, because it has no give at all. I'm not doubting Del Mar as a facility, but the track worries me. I believe last year, with in the first week there was like 10 breakdowns, seven on the main track. I could be wrong on the numbers, but I'm pretty sure that is what it was.

07 Jul 2010 10:47 PM
LAZMANNICK

James

Sorry.....I got my Unbridleds and Unrivaleds mixed up.

07 Jul 2010 10:48 PM
Livesoutwest

LuckySon,

Apologies.  The "And no, I don't agree with you that Rachel wouldn't have beaten Summer Bird again" comment was directed at Lazmannick and not you.  I cut & paste that part in the wrong place and this tiny box is a pain to cut & paste in because you can't see your entire post at once.

No I don't think everyone here is out to get me, it's pretty much just JayJay, LOL!

07 Jul 2010 11:07 PM
Livesoutwest

Manny, I think Musket Man for one would crush anything Zenyatta's faced this year including St. Trinians. He's being pointed for the BC Dirt Mile, and I make him the early favorite.  Of all the top horses that have been batted around on this blog, I think Musket Man was the toughest foe that ANY of them have faced this year so far.  And he made a nice late run at Quality Road in the Met Mile.  Someone dissed QR for not running against better competition in the Stephen Foster but did you see the final time of that race?  You could have timed them with a sundial. I disagree, I think Quality Road would have won the Foster.  I think Musket Man would have won the Foster.  I think Rachel Alexandra would have won the Foster. Meanwhile Quality Road ran two ticks off the Stakes record in the Met Mile.  Blame is a tough competitor, but based on their respective races, I think QR will soundly beat him in the Whitney.

07 Jul 2010 11:19 PM
Footlick

Del Mar is a beautiful track, but the surface has always been quirky even when it was dirt.  Horses that couldn't win anywhere else in California came alive there.  And LDP is right- horsemen seem to have huge issues with the surface, especially as it is so different from training in the morning to running in the afternoon.  But when you see those horses turning for home and the ocean is right behind them, there is no more beautiful view.  First rate facility, whack track.  I'm partial to Arlington because it's my home track and one of the most beautiful facilities out there, but Del Mar was gorgeous when I was there.

07 Jul 2010 11:34 PM
BB

when discussing the great race mares of this year and last year, why is Goldikova rarely brought up? there is a mare whose connections want to push her and she regularly races against quality males and females. don't get me wrong, Z is a horse for the ages, one of the best. but it is easy to understand the point that her naysayers make because her schedule has been soft, with the exception of a few races the BCC, 2010 Vanity and BCCLC. just like RA's races this year after a season that arguably may not have left her the same horse. it is understandable that the Mosses and JJ are thinking of longevity and hopefully the BCC by planning these less stressful schedules and that is perfectly alright, as it is easier on the horses and probably better for them. however, then when discussing the greatest mares, shouldn't we also be looking at horses who not only regularly run tough races but also rebound for the next campaign? imagine a race with G, Z and RA, where these great mares would be facing some of the best competition the world has to offer.

07 Jul 2010 11:46 PM
Footlick

Why don't we just decide that none of the top contenders have run against hugely difficult opposition this year.  Musket Man is very consistent.  Whether he would crush St Trinians is a matter of opinion, but that's why we are here.  I feel she would be tough at 8-9 furlongs for most horses period.  As for Rachel winning the Foster- horses are social animals.  She felt very dominant over every horse in the Fleur de Lis. Feeling that way, she showed it.  Running on a track that had slowed as the day went on, against males that she may not, and notice I said may not, have felt as superior to, it is very difficult to say she would have run the same race.  She certainly may have, and then again she may not have.  We will never know.  What we do know is that she ran a dominant race against overmatched foes in a good time.  It was a step forward.  And now it looks on the surface that they are giving her another of the same type of race to get her hopefully feeling like the Rachel of last year.  It's similar to what Sir Henry Cecil did with Twice Over when he went off form.  He gave him time off, ran him in two confidence builders, ran him in a gr1, got his confidence back and then trained him to the minute for the BCC.  He threw in a dud at Dubai, but so many horses did that it's hard not to think the course was a bit quirky itself.  He certainly has run two corkers back on the turf in England.

07 Jul 2010 11:51 PM
jayjay

livesoutwest : LOL Yep, I'm out to get you.  Actually, I'm quite sure you're a regular blogger here under a different name so I probably already got you way before you changed the name. :)

08 Jul 2010 12:51 AM
Manny The D

Livesoutwest,

You mention that Musket Man is headed for the BC Mile whereas he will be the favorite.

He must first go through Atta Boy Roy, whom not only lost to Riley Tucker but also lost a race on June 25 at Prairie Meadows.

Did I mention that Riley Tucker lost the next day, June 26, at Philadelphia Park.

Musket Man, a horse that pushed Quality Road to the limit, must also tackle the ghosts of Atta Boy Roy, Prairie Meadows, Riley Tucker and Philadelphia Park

08 Jul 2010 2:34 AM
Kay

LDP:

Zenyatta not only looks like a horse that would appreciate turf, she's bred for it, too. Although Street Cry was a GISW on dirt and has mostly been bred to dirt-type mares, he's by Euro turf miler Machiavellian, who's a full brother to MGISW turf 2YO Coup de Genie and a half-brother to crack GISW miler Exit To Nowhere. Machiavellian's dam, Coup de Folie, is out of a Hoist The Flag mare who's a half-sister to Northern Dancer. That mare, Raise the Standard, is the dam of GISW turf miler Orpen.

Street Cry's dam, Helen Street, won the Irish Oaks. Her sire, Troy, was one of Europe's greatest of all time, the only horse to win the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, Diamond Stakes and Gold Cup. He died after only a few seasons at stud, unfortunately. Helen Street's dam, Waterway, was a GSW in Europe and is by turf sire Riverman.

Zenyatta's dam, Vertigineux, is by Kris S., sire of turf champion Soaring Softly, GISW turf horses Prized, Dr Fong, Kris Kin and Hollywood Wildcat (also the dam of turf miler War Chant and GSW turf horse Ivan Dinosevich). He's also sired Rock Hard Ten, who has turned into quite the turf sire.

Vertigineux's dam, For the Flag, is out of a Hoist the Flag mare who's a half-sister to Sweet Alliance, better known as the dam of Shareef Dancer. And Hoist the Flag, of course, is the sire of dual Arc winner Alleged.

So lots of turf and (of course) stamina influences there.

08 Jul 2010 3:01 AM
LDP

Footlick,

I remember the telecasters and reporters last year saying that, in the Woodward, for the first time, the competition was actually bigger than her. That could play a part in the whether she felt dominant or not. In the Preakness and Haskell she was roughly the same size, maybe taller than some of the colts, and she was much bigger than any of the fillies last year. Could it be that she had been intimidated or maybe surprised because she had never met a foe that was actually bigger?

I know it sounds silly, but if you think about, even size intimidates humans. A bully is a bully because they normally have that size advantage.

This year, she has apparently grown, not so much in height, they have said, but has filled out. If she was startled or intimidated in the Woodward, maybe with her newly filled out body she would be less likely to become intimidated.

08 Jul 2010 7:22 AM
Slew

Laz: I have to add, I've never found you biased.  In fact, quite the opposite, I have discovered you to be quite factual and objective.

In reading some of the reports on injuries, I see soft-tissue injuries occurring more often on a synthetic surface, but many trainers prefer training on it.  Even the Euro turf horse train on synthetics because it builds the leg muscles better.  One report also cited California fatal injuries occurred most often at the fairs, which are still run on dirt.  I don't know which reports are more comprehensive or correct.  So far, details seem to be sketchy, and no conclusions have been drawn.  I would, however, believe that grass is actually the surface most foals started on and enjoy (except MTB of course...oh well).  As far as breakdowns go, how much is due to the surface, how much is due to the the breeding, and how much is the effect of medications?

08 Jul 2010 8:59 AM
gw_bushwacker

******EBAY UPDATE*****

RACHEL'S HALTER - ENDING BID-$2,177.99.

ZENYATTA'S HALTER-ENDING BID-$6,600.00.

THANKYOU TRAINERS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY. LOOK AT THE GOOD MONEY THAT WAS RAISED FOR THIS CHARITY...

sodapopkid 07 Jul 2010 12:37 PM

sodapopkid,

Just more evidence that Zenyatta is "The Peoples Choice" and RA was only the East Coast Media Biased HOY. Zenyatta's bid open to the public was more than 3 times the bid for RA.

RA's year shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. She didn't face the best Fillies/Mares last year and so far this year has been beaten by some that aren't even in the top 5. She couldn't have beaten Life Is Sweet last year much less Zenyatta who whipped LIS time and time again. The Males RA faces weren't as good as the Females she ducked, it's as simple as that. To see RA lose 2 out of 3 to less than the best Mares out there isn't a shock at all. As slyder put it best, she's never beaten a Filly or Mare that had previously won a G1 Stakes. She's raced for 3 years now and still hasn't accomplished that all the while being beaten by quite a few lesser of her own gender including mere Maidens.  

08 Jul 2010 9:00 AM
it ain't easy being as wrong as draynay always is

A bully is a bully because they normally have that size advantage.

LDP 08 Jul 2010 7:22 AM

That or a big mouth like draynay.

08 Jul 2010 9:01 AM
LuckySon

Ted from LA - Don't go trashing my greyhoungs, LOL.  I happen to rescue them right off the track and help find them forever homes so they don't get destroyed.  I have a few myself and they make the greatest pets in the world!  I know this has nothing at all to do with horses, but I found a chance to plug the greyhounds and took it!  For those of you thinking of getting a dog, they are the sweetest couch potatoes in the world!  Sorry for the digression.

08 Jul 2010 9:21 AM
Footlick

LDP- Animal psychology is incredibly complex.  On the one hand, size can play a role in whether a horse feels dominant, but she really wasn't dwarfed by the Woodward horses.  I think the fact that they were older males would have made a bigger difference.  Since horses are herd animals by nature,   she certainly could have been battling that urge of following the older male against her Alpha female personality making her not want to lose.  Whether it was the taxing season or a mental battle like that or a combination of both, the Woodward was difficult.  Now, she comes back and has two races where she has fillies running with her instead of her blowing them away and she has never experienced that with her own sex, another new situation for her.  So, I feel that the Fleur de Lis was the right choice because it gave her that feeling of domination that she had as a 3 yr old.  It looks like the Lady's Secret is on that same path, to build her up mentally.  If you notice, she still is cocking her head to the right on the turn and she did it during the stretch run of the Fleur de Lis also.  Calvin was throwing crosses on the left and right during the stretch.  It seems to be a focus issue.  If she had run in the Foster, and this is only my opinion again, not only would she have run a different race on a more tiring track, she would have been running against older males again and any residual mental effects of the Woodward could have been brought to the surface.  I don't believe that she would have run the same race in the Foster that she had run in the Fleur de Lis.  As much as I dislike them running in the Lady's Secret, from a standpoint of her focus issues, it's the right choice.  Get her feeling dominant again and she may become more focused.  Get her feeling dominant and on top of the world and then take on better horses.  As I said, it's just my opinion.  I think her problems are more of a mind issue, a focus issue.  The Foster wouldn't have helped those issues, imo, and may have made her regress.

08 Jul 2010 9:47 AM
LAZMANNICK

Manny

Musket Man is formidible though he never seems to be able to get the job done.  I don't think he'll intimidate Bribon if that one goes in the mile.

08 Jul 2010 10:44 AM
LuckySon

Footlick - Where did you hear that Belmont would waive the detention barn for Zenyatta?  

08 Jul 2010 10:46 AM
Footlick

They told them that last year.  The Mosses said they didn't want her to experience the detention barn because of what happened with Giacomo, and Belmont told them that they would waive it for her.  I am just assuming they still would.

08 Jul 2010 11:03 AM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

I don't think that size necessarily intimidates a race horse, maybe to some degree, but it’s not the sole mitigating factor.  It's a state of mind.  Northern Dancer was one of the smallest race horses around and yet in his three year-old season he dominated.  From Feb 10 to June 20 he raced ten times, lost his first an allowance and his second last the Belmont (a race where he could have been the Triple Crown champ if Hartack would have just let him go instead of trying to rate him).  He constantly defeated all that year’s top 3 year olds and then went on to a great stud career.  It was his will to win that made him so good.  Many other horses dwarfed him in size, but not in heart.

Talent aside, Rachel won the Woodward because of her heart and the confidence of having won 7 races in a row.  Horses know when they win that’s why if Zen ever loses I wonder how devastating that would be for her.  Nothing was going to intimidate Rachel in the Woodward and there was no way she was going to give in.  However, at times you also have to pay the price and I think that Rachel did.  That’s why it took her awhile to get herself back together.  Now I think her confidence is back and she needs another tough race to see if her will is back.  She didnt't have that will in the final 8th of her first two races, hence the confidence builder in the FDL.  Her next race is going to be huge.

08 Jul 2010 11:09 AM
LAZMANNICK

Slew:  Thanks for the kind words.

BB:  Maybe one of the reasons that we tend to overlook or forget Goldikova is that she races primarily in Europe and we rarely see her.  The old out of sight, out of mind theory.  I think most if not everyone who comes on here is aweare of how awesome she is.

08 Jul 2010 11:11 AM
Will W

A mistake to take RA out of training for so long, making the path to bring her back to form ever so more tortuous, slow, and difficult. A tough 3 year old campaign made a rest and freshening a must, but they went too far, particularly when an early meeting with Zenyatta in April surfaced. The interruption in the resumption of training because of bad weather at Fairgrounds in New Orleans was an unexpected setback in bringing RA back to form, Now, having tasted defeat though RA put in two solid performances against other fillies, they are uncertain exactly where she is in her conditioning and return to form, the victory against lessers in the Fleur-de- Lis not producing a confident conviction. As a result, Jackson has grown cautious and afraid to commit RA to a Grade 1 at Saratoga.  Hopefully, a  victory in the Lady Secret will finally build his confidence and certainty about RA's form and conditioning, and we can again see her run against real Grade 1 competition - at least of the female sort. Seems a very long shot that we'll see her this year in the BC Classic. More likely, it will be the Ladies Classic or the Mile. A 1 1/4 against males seems a huge step up on this slow and difficult path to return her to form. Here's hoping we see her again on the track at age 5 to see what RA is really made of.

08 Jul 2010 11:32 AM
LAZMANNICK

LuckySon

I have a Greyhound living next door.  She's 11 now, but what a pet.  I think they are one of the neatest dogs in appearance and disposition.

08 Jul 2010 11:32 AM
LuckySon

Lazmannick - They certainly are the neatest dogs. And the nicest, especially considering how awful they were treated at the track.  So you too know how wonderful they are.  Mine are both 10, but can live to 14 or 15.  We're really getting off the topic, but one more plug.  Save a life, and adopt a greyhound!!!  They too get killed after years of work if people don't adopt them. So do the right thing and give a wonderful pet a wonderful home.  OK, no more plugs.  Back to horses.  Sorry everyone.

08 Jul 2010 11:58 AM
Zookeeper

LuckySon,

Don't be sorry. Most of us are animal lovers and rescue people are considered heroes by many. Your greyhounds sound wonderful! I loved hearing about them.

08 Jul 2010 12:16 PM
LDP

Kay,

I wasn't saying she couldn't run on turf, just saying that she just never struck me as a turf type horse. She could excell on it more than she does on any other surface and surprise the daylights out of me. That's why I said it's all speculation.

08 Jul 2010 12:35 PM
Truth

I have heard there are lamness issues with RA.  Has anyone heard this?  It seems that with the light racing she's had this year and placing in her first two races that there are some physical issues with her.  I hope it's nothing serious.  She is a wonderful filly.  I hate to see ANY horse with physical problems.

08 Jul 2010 12:40 PM
SMTDL

Blah Blah ..some will complain no matter where Rachel runs.Weak fields in G1 races don't prove anything either.Zenyatta's G1 Apple Blossom was as slow as an allowance race but she gets rave reviews because it's a G1.Rachel beats Zardana by more lengths in the La Troienne than Zenyatta did in the Vanity.All the hype about G1 vs everything else is nonsense..look at First Dude ..never even won a stakes race but only horse with 2 "in the money " races during the Triple Crown.Wait and criticize after the race ..see who runs and how the race is run(time,pace,etc.) before condemning it.It is still a 400K race ..richer than any race of Zenyatta's this year except the weak Apple Blossom!!

08 Jul 2010 12:55 PM
LAZMANNICK

Truth

I've never heard anything about Rachel being lame.  Regarding her light racing schedule, she's actually had as many races as Quality and Zen and I believe one more than both Blame and Rail Trip.  I think they are bringing her along just fine without using her too much in the first half of the year.  And those races against easier do accomplish much when considering overall conditioning and mental preparation.  It's the second half when all the major contenders have to get cranked up and she appears to be on schedule.

08 Jul 2010 1:33 PM
LuckySon

syslvester - How could you say that Zenyatta is overrated? 17 for 17 does not say overrated to me.  And as far as St. Trinians goes, she beat her before, she'll beat her again, this time with no excuses. And why should she have to ship?  She's a champion.  Let the competition come look for her.  Anyway, what's disappointing are your comments.  I thought you were actually going to have something interesting to say.

08 Jul 2010 2:17 PM
LAZMANNICK

LuckySon  

Anybody seen Tweety lately?

08 Jul 2010 2:32 PM
LAZMANNICK

LuckySon

Maybe Sylvester has a point.  I remember when I got off a plane once.  I was so scared I immediatley looked for the nearest birthday cake I could find and scarfed it down too.  Boy that sure calmed my nerves although when I returned I drove.  Like Zen, flying seems to upset me too.

08 Jul 2010 2:38 PM
Livesoutwest

Manny,

The race you mentioned that Musket Man lost was a prep.  After a long layoff, most trainers use minor stakes to race their horses back into shape. Sometimes it takes a couple races for them to get back. They aren't trying to win every one, they're after a bigger long-term goal.  Musket Man's loss to Atta Boy Roy was irrelevant.  Now that MM's back in shape, 'Roy couldn't carry his saddle.  It's just like Rachel Alexandra's loss to Zardana.  It's meaningless.  Second off the layoff, both Rachel and Unrivaled Belle trounced Zardana.  So did Zenyatta and St. Trinians.  Beating Rachel coming back off a six-month layoff doesn't make Zardana a top-tier mare, she just isn't that great.

08 Jul 2010 2:50 PM
moodygirl

According to what I have read, in the wild the alpha mare rules the herd and determines where they go and when they rest. The stallion guards the herd from predators.

I'm familiar with mares other than TBs who have PMS type behaviors when in heat but I don't know personally how racing mares behave at the track. I thought the idea brought up by someone that Rachel Alexandra might follow after a male horse now that she is older was was an interesting question.

Racing TBs are a little different than other horses because their drive to run and win is so strong.

Zenyatta did not have a problem running past the boys in the BCC but she might not have been in heat. Can anyone supply some information about racing mares in season?

08 Jul 2010 5:06 PM
Sylvester

LuckySon:  Anyone who knows anything about horse racing can see that Zenyatta has only won three races of any significance:  The Breeders Cup, The Ladies Classic, and the 2010 Vanity (with extreme luck I might add). All her other races were against a bunch of West Coast softies who have now been all but forgotten. St Trinians trainer has thrown down the gauntlet:  "you better leave CA for your next race" in other words "you won't beat us again". And now Shirreff is hesitant to commit Z to the Clement Hirsch because he wants to see how the track is performing.  What a bunch of crap! He's scared of lining up against St Trinians again.  But you know, they SAY Z likes dirt better.  Well prove it!  Send her to the East Coast.  Accept that invitation Monmouth extended.  Oh yeah, I forgot, Zenyatta doesn't like to be on planes and they upset her.  What a bunch of crap.  

08 Jul 2010 5:11 PM
Kay

LDP:

Yeah, I know. Just wanted to dig into her pedigree a little!

Imagining what the discussion would have looked like if the Interwebs had existed when Affirmed & Alydar were running. Like this, I think...

08 Jul 2010 5:13 PM
jayjay

syslvester : Overrated...right, she starts the year with a G1 and continued with G1s.  Yeah right, she's overrated.  I ask you what I've asked the other Zen bashers out there, what has the other top contenders have done so far ?  She's travelled more than any of the top contenders and have raced in G1 races.

Also, I doubt St. T losing a shoe had any impact with outcome of the Vanity.  St. T was accelerating and never broke stride from the top of the stretch to the wire.  She got beat by a determined Zenyatta, if you can't see that then you're just blinded by your dislike of Zenyatta.

Truth : I agree with Laz, I think if RA had some lameness issue, it would be in the news.  I assume you were talking about the long vacation, if I have to guess, it maybe some kind of inflammation maybe from her previous chip surgery but I doubt it's any more serious than that.  If it were, she probably would've been retired.  Actually, is there a law in the horse racing world that says the owners should divulge any injuries on the horse ?  Or is it, if you can hide it and fix it, there's no need to let the public know ?  The betting public is investing on a horse to win so if there's any ailments or physical issues, should that information be made available to the public ?

08 Jul 2010 6:24 PM
Footlick

Sylvester- those were not the words he used in the text message.  He said, I believe, "Isn't it time Zenyatta left California?"  Totally different meaning than what you have twisted it into.  No threat, no gauntlet.  Possibly a wish so he wouldn't have to face her again. If you are going to slam a horse at least get the facts right.

08 Jul 2010 8:19 PM
sodapopkid

Zenyatta will have no problem beating St.Trinnians again.  You know, I cant see were anyone doubts Zenyatta?  RA , Yes, and thats only because she came back nothing like she left.  I am a hard rockin Zenyatta fan.  I have all the faith and trust in the big girl.  She will win all her races this year including the BCC, that will be the easiest race for her.

Everyone is looking for Qr and Blame to be the big boys,  they may run with her but she is going to show you all something in the BCC on dirt.....Look for a great big beyers figure.  Zenyatta is going to go out the best in the west and in NA this year, She will take the HOTY right away from QR.

Call me anything you want to call me but she has never showed us what she is capable of. We will see it this year.  

08 Jul 2010 8:20 PM
Footlick

Sylvester- do you know Dray???

08 Jul 2010 8:23 PM
Zookeeper

Just as the blog was calming down and Jason was ready to close up shop, here comes Sylvester, the latest version of a Zen-disser, stirring the pot all over again! It's ok LAZ, I've got Tweety safely tucked away! He's missing a few feathers but he's allright.

08 Jul 2010 8:58 PM
PMAC14

STML,

In the AB   Big Z made the lead at the head of the stretch and was in cruise control all the may to the wire.  Watch it again!  Look at her final 1/16 in the Vanity!!!  She will never have fast times(due to her running style) although her BCC time was excellent!!  You Zen haters say some hollow statements about her.  They are always full of smoke and mirrors.  I love Zen and think she is one of the greatest, but I also realize RA is a great also.  I just prefer Zen.  But I would never belittle RA for "faults" with the comp in her races. If only you could appreciate them both!!!  We may never see 2 more like them ever again!!

08 Jul 2010 9:07 PM
sylvester

JayJay: Affirmative.  She's the most overrated horse in the history of horse racing.  Hate to break the news to you but beating a bunch of filly claimers who've weakly qualified for gr 1 out on the west coast (everyone knows the real action is on the East Coast) races doesn't impress anyone of importance.  Why do you think she's lost HOTY 2 times in a row while being undefeated?  Because she hasn't proven anything. And she won't win it this year. You can look forward to the Moss sitting at their table pouting again when QR name is read out. Truth hurts. I'm not sure what race you were watching but St Trinians definitely is favoring her left leg in the homestretch.  

Sodapopkid: You obviously need to get your vision checked if you can't see why anyone doubts Zenyatta. Put her on dirt and they real Z will be exposed.  This crap about her not traveling well.  What a joke.  Z will not beat St Trinians next time.  After that she'll be retired and sent off to broadmare duty.  Enjoy the next race.

Footlick: No I don't know Dray but I find him humorous and agree with most of what he says (except about Mine That Bird).  

08 Jul 2010 10:07 PM
Jermon

Laz  08 Jul 2010 11:09 AM

Re: Northern Dancer (A race where he could have been the

Tiple Crown champ if Hartack would have let him him go instead

of trying to rate him.)

If you've been agonizing all these years at Northern Dancer's

failure to win the Belmont, relax, there was no way he or any

other horse was going to beat Quadrangle that day, no matter

how they were ridden.

I had been high on Quadrangle since day 1, when I looked him

over as a first time starter. He won, paying 7.20. Based on his

breeding and conformation, he was my cup horse. Unfortunately,

he suffered an injury early in his 3 yo year, which set him back a

couple of months. When he won the Wood Memorial, I was more

concerned than elated. Winning as easily as he did with his ears

pricking did him little good from a conditioning perspective in

prepping him for the classics. When some friends called from

Chicago for my advice on betting him in the Derby, my response

was to forget it, that he didn't have the necessary foundation, and

that hopefully, he woul round out in time for the Belmont. A week

before the Belmont he went in the Metropolitan H'cap; a race

which horsemen considered the toughest in the books. He was

beaten by Olden Times, one of the top older handicap performers

in the country. There wasn't any doubt in my mind that he could've

won that race if Ycaza had been instructed to do so. His instructions

probably were to allow him to run on his own courage and not sub-

ject him to punishment, in short, a training move. He was now ready

and the Belmont would be his.

On that day, I got lucky, betting the winners of the first five races and

the daily double, laying off the sixth, and parlaying it all on Quad-

rangle in the seventh. He paid 15.50. That score was my second

highest, in the five figures. I wouldn't have bet that kind of money

if I wasn't absolutely certain of the outcome, as certain as one can

be at the races.

I duplicated that feat of going five for five plus the double then par-

laying it all on the winner of the feature on closing day of the same

year, 1964. The feature was the Display H'cap. at 2 miles and the

winner, Primordial II, was the South American champ who had

been invited to the Washington D.C. Itn'l. at Laurel. That race was

finally won by Kelso. His time of 2:234/5 was an American record,

breaking The Bastards record set in 1903. Primordial II won the

Display easily by 17 lengths, paying 29,90, and netting me my

highest score ever. His jockey, incidentally, was Laffit Pincay Sr.

08 Jul 2010 10:44 PM
Kay

Sylvester is made of awesome. Unlike draynay, I feel compelled to read him/it. I don't think he IS dray, although I can't truly compare styles because I don't read his/its posts. But you gotta give it to syl. He's going above and beyond to incite and sometimes it's the simple things that make one smile. I especially love that he thinks St Trinians is lame, when everybody knows that she paddles with that left leg.

Still awesome, tho.

08 Jul 2010 10:53 PM
LDP

Kay,

Oh, god, probably worse. Also SS and EG. There are many who still believe EG was the better of the two.

08 Jul 2010 11:25 PM
jayjay

sylvester : LOL, I don't get it why you have to change your name just to bash her.  Is it because you wanted to see if you can bash her with multiple sentences ??  You still don't make sense, your comments are based on nothing.  You still have the same lame things to say about Zen.  Try again, and try harder next time.

08 Jul 2010 11:42 PM
Kit J

My,my,my all these clairvoyants, the people with ESP must be making a killing in the stock market, know when to buy and when to sell!

Playing with dolls I had a Shirley Temple doll when I was 5 but no bobbleheads.

Also I got to thinking Billy's Empire. You said "People say he has a bunch of great 2 year olds in the barn for next year. Bless their hearts." in reference to Mr. Lukas. Someone had to tell you he has a bunch of 2 year olds, I read it on here too, yet you know enough about what he's doing to question his "judgement" and know so are others? You have to read the form to tell you how and why he's running his horses in the wrong races?  

So in other words you know nothing more about what he does than anyone else living in any other place on earth?

Haven't you heard of people who hit down periods or horses who seem to be doing well yet have trouble? I do believe that Mr Baffert had the same thing happen to him and maybe that filly likes synthetics? Oh MY!

I think you may be agist. I suspected that you were young and  and now that I see your child's age and that you like to see people make fools of themselves on TV, it confirms it.

Everyone was talking about Mine That Bird being a fluke I don't agree, but if so then Mr. Lukas is doing him no harm. I'm very curious what drives your dislike of that man, just like I'm curious what drives the dislike of Zenyatta and Jerry Moss. Do any of those talking about them even really know anything about them other than from afar?

Did they ignore you guys when you asked for an autograph or turn you down for a job?

Humans are a strange and complicated bunch.

I think I like the company of my little pup and the conversation of the horses that Slew translates, they make a lot more sense.

Sorry if I'm late on this but I've had the grands and they take up a lot of my valuable time from here. :)

08 Jul 2010 11:55 PM
John

Hello Lazmannick,

I'm the person that had the story about my father and grandfather regarding the names of horses in Steve Haskin's column.

I've been following your blogs for a while now, and without question you express the most knowledgeable and yet fair opinions from anyone by far.

I can't imagine how you get your information...

However, I have a question for you.

Jon White of HRTV and Racing International both agree that if Zenyatta wins her remaining races including the Classic - Zenyatta should break the glass ceiling as the only female racehorse into the all time ten list of America's greatest thoroughbreds.

blog.racingint.com/.../zenyatta--12th-in-20th-century-american-thoroughbreds.aspx

www.expressbet.com/columns.aspx

If Zenyatta does indeed finish with those aforementioned two or three wins, where would you rank Zenyatta then?

09 Jul 2010 12:22 AM
CV

"Truth hurts. I'm not sure what race you were watching but St Trinians definitely is favoring her left leg in the homestretch."

sylvester  08 Jul 2010 10:07 PM

Truth may hurt sometimes, but that's not what you're peddling so it has no bite. I'm not sure what race you were watching but I saw the one with the British mare trained by Mike Mitchell, who said St Trinians jogged well on that foot the next day. She wasn't sore.

Since you insist that you know better, I encourage you to call Mike Mitchell and tell him he was mistaken, he doesn't know his horse and she definitely was lame.

Hate to break the news to you but maybe you're not aware St Trinians paddles with her left front leg and you saw that and thought she was somehow "favoring" it.

09 Jul 2010 12:45 AM
Slew

Moodygirl:

"During the winter months mares often are not in heat. Once spring comes and days get longer (March to April) Mares will often begin to go into heat.

Typically once they start, every 21 days approximately they go into heat. So they are in heat 3 to 7 days, adn then out of heat for about 14 days, then back. In the fall, when days get shorter, they often stop going into heat or it becomes very erratic."

09 Jul 2010 2:26 AM
sodapopkid

Sylvester, Say what you want but it still doesnt change the fact that she beat the boys in the BCC last year,

She beat the boys in records this year(Citation,Cigar)

She beats the older mares(by the way have proven to be extremely tough ask RA)

and she is still 'UNDEFEATED' in doing all of that...'AWESOME MAN, AWESOME!!

Did I mention she is six years old and  has earned over $6 million dollars to date.

And she will beat the boys again this year in the BCC.

09 Jul 2010 7:15 AM
LAZMANNICK

Jermon

Great post.  It sure brings back the memories.  Believe it or not I have the PP of that Metropolitan Hdcp. (run between the Preakness and the Belmont).  It was one tough race.  The top weight was Ahoy at 132 Lbs.  I’m not sure if he ran but he was top weight.  A few others were Red Gar, Bonjour, Choker and Sunrise County.  Quadrangle, the only 3 year old, got in with a feathery 110 lbs.  Olden Times was good that year and to show you how tough they were he had already run 9 times with 4 wins, and this on May 30.  Saidam, who was 3rd faced Kelso 4 times the year before and though he never defeated him, he was second twice.

The 3 year old crop in 1964 really didn’t take a back seat to any 3 year old crop ever.  Besides Northern Dancer and Quadrangle there was also the Derby favorite Hill Rise, Roman Brother, who would be HOY in 1965, and others like Chieftain, Malicious, The Scoundral and Bupers…..the list goes on.  Northern Dancer was unquestionably the best three year old but really didn’t get to do much because of his retirement from injury after the Queen’s Plate and I don’t believe he ever faced older horses.  He had defeated Quadrangle all three times they met that year going into the Belmont (the Florida Derby 1.47.4), The Derby (2.00 NTR) and the slow Preakness.  Quadrangle had 3 wins going into the Belmont (allowance) (the Wood Memorial) and the Met Hdcp.  However as awesome as Quadrangle’s win was in the Belmont, many people were upset with Hartack because the Dancer wanted the lead and Hartack continuously chocked him off, this for nearly the first mile or so.  When it was time to go, all his energy was gone and he was basically a non factor despite finishing 3rd.  It would have been interesting if he had been allowed to go whether or not he would have been able to hold off Quadrangle.  The Belmont is that kind of a race where when horses get the  lead they are often hard to catch.  We’ll never know, but in any case Quadrangle won the race decisively and that’s what counts.

09 Jul 2010 12:19 PM
CV

"Sylvester is made of awesome. Unlike draynay, I feel compelled to read him/it. I don't think he IS dray, although I can't truly compare styles because I don't read his/its posts. But you gotta give it to syl. He's going above and beyond to incite and sometimes it's the simple things that make one smile. I especially love that he thinks St Trinians is lame, when everybody knows that she paddles with that left leg.

Still awesome, tho."

Kay 08 Jul 2010 10:53 PM

True, at least Dray appears to post under one name. "Sylvester" sounds an awful lot like "Truth Be Told," who sounds an awful lot like "AfleetAlexforever," etc. In fact, TBT and AAF ARE the same person because he admitted it on another blog.

09 Jul 2010 12:23 PM
LAZMANNICK

Sylvester can't be Draynay unless he is trying to throw us off with his apparent liking or soft spot for Mine That Bird.

09 Jul 2010 12:38 PM
SMTDL

PMAC14

I am not a Zen-hater.I respect all horseracing stars because the sport needs them.I have been responding to so much"sour grapes" attacks on Rachel Alexandra for winning HOTY over Zenyatta which is counter productive. I find Zenyatta more enigmatic than some do.How would she have done if one or both of her BC races had been on dirt?Her dirt races have been good but not against the best competition ( except for Ginger Punch in the 2008 Apple Blossom who ran her worst race ever).Its hard to compare Zenyatta and other top female runners of all time since she did nothing at 2 and 3,winning her 1st stakes race at 4..Its almost like comparing Forego to Fav Trick to compare her to Ruffian or even Rachel Alexandra.They are both great in their own unique ways.You say Zenyatta's times are slow because of her running style.With Zenyatta running the Vanity 3 times ,does she even have the 1-1/8 stakes record? Secretariat had the same running style and was dead last in the Derby before setting the track and stakes record that still stands.  My point was its the competition not just the grade of a race that also that makes it compelling.Winning authoritatively in a slow times doesn't say as much as doing it in a fast time.That takes away some of the weak competition argument and the horse is running against the clock and history.Zenyatta over 3 years has raced in 15 graded stakes races (1 against males,13 on Calif synthetic tracks).By comparison Lady's Secret ran in 15 graded stakes in 1986 alone all over the country;in the money every time (3 G1's & 1 G2 against males).That is far more impressive to me than Zenyatta being undefeated over 3 years running 7 times in 2008 and just 5 times in 2009.I am not putting Zenyatta down,just putting her accomplishments in perspective.I am old enough to appreciate the more durable;more often raced stars of years past over today's fragile seldom- raced horses.I readily admit my bias on this.Rachel Alexandra's campaign  was more like Lady's Secret and Busher so I favor her somewhat over Zenyatta.I still respect and appreciate Zenyatta and her undefeated record!!

09 Jul 2010 12:57 PM
Kay

Lots of initials person:

"Its hard to compare Zenyatta and other top female runners of all time since she did nothing at 2 and 3,winning her 1st stakes race at 4..Its almost like comparing Forego to Fav Trick to compare her to Ruffian or even Rachel Alexandra."

Ironic, because you've got it flipped around. Zenyatta has had a CAREER. Last year, Rachel had a YEAR. Even Ruffian only had two years but that was one more than Rachel. Some horses are just great-year horses while others can translate that form over an entire career. Right now, Zenyatta has been running at the top level for three years. Rather than hating on her supposed "soft" schedule, doesn't racing NEED a horse who doesn't retire after winning a GI? While I think it's great Jess brought Rachel back this year, we can all see that she hasn't been able (so far) to translate her 2009 dominance to 2010. It's a lot easier for a horse to have a great year than it is for one to have a great career. As you said one great year means more to you but it's definitely the opposite for me.

09 Jul 2010 1:39 PM
jayjay

SMTDL :  Kay said it, I'd rather watch Zenyatta run in G1 races for 3 years than watch Rachel have one good year and then be disappointed with the races she's been running in this year.  From the standpoint of her just being back and running, yes but considering what she did last year and what she has done this year, a fan of hers would be pretty disappointed.  If you're not then you insult her accomplishments from last year.  It's normal to expect the same if not more from her in her 4 yr old campaign.  But as most rachel fans out there, it's okay she hasn't run in a G1 race yet, after all she's the reigning HOTY.  Let's give her some time.

The only reason I'm not on JJ's case about where she's running is because I want her to make it to the Classic so that Zenyatta can beat her fair and square, JJ won't have any excuse.

If I was a rabid Zenyatta fan, I'd be all over those ungraded and G2 races but I'm more forgiving, she needed to be babied and have some races written for her to get back into shape.  So with all that, I'd have to say that Zenyatta is a far better horse than Rachel.

09 Jul 2010 2:45 PM
LuckySon

OK, we all know that Zen is the greatest, but please no putting Rachel down.  It's obvious that last years Woodward took more out of her than JJ or Steve thought. As a Zenyatta and RA fan I was very disappointed when she lost, and when she lost again by a head, right in front of me since I was there, I hung my head quite low.  But she is showing improvement and as long as she continues to show improvement, I will always be her fan.  Heck, I will always be her fan even if she doesn't show improvement, I have to blame Steve for his bad training.  Trying to rate her was the worst thing he ever could have done. But now they're taking it slow, letting her get back into form, and I for one hope they DON'T run her in the BC this year, I'd rather see them just use this year as a strenghening and training year, so that she can come back next year in top form.  Is she Zenyatta?  No, never will be.  But she's still an amazing horse that brought a lot of excitement and new fans to the sport, which it desperately needed.  I'm glad they're both still running, so I can witness the two great girls of the sport of kings, I doubt we'll see anything like this again.  So instead of trashing either of them, we should cherish them, honor them, and love them for who they are and what they've accomplished.  I know everyone says horseracing is all about what have you done for me lately?  I disagree.  Look at Gio Ponti. He's on a bad losing streak, yet his fans still love him.  Once they get into your heart they are there to stay.  If you're (in general) that fickle and stop liking a horse because it's not doing well, then you never really liked the horse to begin with.  So here's hoping that both the girls have a tremendous second half of the season!

09 Jul 2010 3:30 PM
LAZMANNICK

Luckyson

Good, fair post.  I can't always say I've been as fair as you, but I've managed to cut Rachel a lot more slack lately.  If she goes to the BC, she will have to be absolutely in peak condition or there will be no use, so I think that at the very least we can expect that.  I don't want to say anything against Steve because I have a feeling he had absolutely no say in her schedule last year.  The owner obviously did.  As far as seeing Rachel next year, I think it's highly unlikely.  There's a big stud waiting and it'll be interesting to see what her offspring will be like.  

09 Jul 2010 3:53 PM
kathleen o

CV, you're right. ST paddles, has an egg beater style of running.  The interviews with Mitchell don't mean anything to people who don't want to believe Zen is as good as she is.  BTW, keeping shoes on egg beaters is a nightmare.

09 Jul 2010 4:03 PM
LuckySon

Lazmannick - You are right, I put the blame in the wrong hands.  Poor Steve has his hands tied with a boss such as JJ.  It's his fault.  And as far as seeing her next year, I can always hope.  She has many years ahead of her to be a Moma, Curlin's not going anywhere.

09 Jul 2010 4:07 PM
jayjay

LuckySon : I don't see any recent post from anyone putting Rachel down, most if not all of the recent posts are pretty much putting Zen down (sylvesters) and our responses were just to defend Zen.  Any mention of Rachel is also a response to the comparison of their seasons to date.  There are some folks (not you) on here that would just say "Zen fans are hating on Rachel" so that they can justify their bashing of Zenyatta.  To them, when we respond questioning what JJ is doing (I won't say Team Rachel because obviously it's all JJ at this point running the show and it's unfair to include SA in any criticisms towards JJ), they consider it an "attack" on Rachel.  I just wanted to say that because it's tiresome to see the Zen haters use Rachel so that they can justify their bashing of Zen.  I never claimed to be a fan of Rachel but I don't put her down, I would love to see her get back to her form if not better so that she makes it to the Classic and JJ won't have any excuse.  I also don't want her pushed to her limit again just so JJ can feel good about his HOTY last year.  If she gets better the rest of the year, then run her back next year, if not, retire her and let her be happy with Curlin.

Laz and Kit J : Thanks for that "paddles" and "egg beater" comment, I forgot what the term they used to describe St. T's running style and have been wanting to throw that back to sylvester's ridiculous comment with regards to St. T losing the race because she lost a shoe.

09 Jul 2010 5:00 PM
Jermon

Laz

Great post? For me, mine pales in comparison to yours.

In reading your posts, I've assumed you've got good

reference material. I discarded mine many years ago.

At one time I had back issues of the Morning Telegraph

that stacked up 4 feet high, used to buy the American

Racing Manual every year, and had assembled a very

nice library of books I ordered from a publishing house

in London, something like J.A. Allen & Co. I foolishly gave

every thing away when I relocated to a western state in

1970.

I recall every one of those horses you mentioned, mostly

with fond, even great memories. The one exception is

Bupers, who was a half brother to Buckpasser. Up at

Saratoga, I decided to bet him after watching the field warm

up. Then, at the window I jumped off of him at the last second.

He won and paid something like $106.

Two that I've occasion to think of in recent times are Choker

and Saidam. In reference to getting a horse to get a piece of

ground, is it the breeding or the training? This sort of question

pops up at the time of the Belmont. Choker had been a sprinter

who was stretched out to a mile and a half when his training was

taken over by Allan Jerkens.

As you are well aware, there has been a lot of discussion about

how well a horse can do coming back after a long layoff. Years

back, a knowledgeable racetracker could easily make correct

assumptions. Not so much today. The only trainer that I can

think of that had a big rep in bringing a horse back solely on

works was Max Hirsh, who trained Saidam. When he made his

first start against Kelso, which was after a long layoff, I thought he

was going to beat Kelso. He put in one helluva a race.

And now for Malicious. Perhaps you'll do me a favor and relieve

the frustration I've been feeling. Up at Saratoga, Kelso put it in one

of the most amazing finishes I've ever seen. Picture Personal

Ensign against Winning Colors in the BC Distaff. Malicious, a

speedball, was on the lead and until the last jump there was no

way anyone thought Kelso could win that race, but somehow he

did. The most awed person at the track was Malicious' jock.

Bobby Ussery, who said that because Malicious never shortened

stride, Kelso did it all on his own. Inside the 1/16th pole he felt

there was no way Kelso could catch him that day. That finish was

periodically shown in a sports show segment called Fantastic

Finishes. The only info I've been able to locate among my things is

Kelso's racing record thru hisJCGC win on Oct. 31, 1964, at which

time set an earnings record. He was seven years old, and the only

additional start he would make that year would be in the D.C. Int'l.

No where can I find Malicious' name among the first three finishers

of those races. I find it hard to believe that Kelso, as great as he was

could throw in such a race as an 8 year old. Do you have the means

to research this and identify the race and year?

Incidentally, in reference to the money I won in 1964, I will sound a

familiar refrain. It was lost for me in the stock market.

09 Jul 2010 5:13 PM
sylvester

Thank you Kay for noticing that I'm awesome.  You're correct about that.  If we met in person you would be taken back by my awesomeness and charm.

Jayjay: This whole blog is full of a lot of nothing from you pal.  Especially your comment about Zenyatta being a far superior horse than Rachel.  Made me snicker.

Lazmannick: Draynay is right on but not on my level (MTB is great).

Sodapopkid:  Z will not win the BCC. She will not even be in the BCC.  Like I said before she will lose to St Trinians next time and then be retired.  You remind me of Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

Give Mike Mitchell credit for not using St Trinians losing her shoe as an excuse.  However, he can't wait to line up against Z again.  If Zardana or Unrivaled Belle should ever line up against RA again, her camp will be totally unconcerned.  Z's camp is like Lady GaGa in church over facing St Trinians again.  And you people should notice that I gave Z credit for winning the BCC (although against a bunch of exhaused dirt and turf horses) but not this year. Look for Quality Road to win with a runner up nod by RA. And Lazmannick: RA will run next year. You heard it here first.  Have a great weekend everyone (especially you Kay) ;)

09 Jul 2010 5:36 PM
merlinmerry

Jermon - I was just reviewing First Dudes' 5 Cross pedigree and there, back in the female line, is Quadrangle.

Not only did Quadrangle deny Northern Dancer the Triple Crown, he sired Angle Light - the horse that beat Secretariat and Sham in the '73 Wood.

09 Jul 2010 5:37 PM
LuckySon

JayJay - There was a comment or two that wasn't that nice, not bashing, but putting her down in comparison to Zenyatta.  Loving both girls is hard, because you don't want to see either of them do badly, or be talked about in a negative way.

But you are absolutely correct.  There is no Team Rachel, that was apparent when JJ fired Dominick Terry, whom I'm sure Rachel misses horribly.  If there is anything that is making her unhappy, it's not the racing, it's having the people that she's known all of her life suddenly taken away, and she doesn't understand why.  SA is I think one of the winningest trainers in the country, JJ should just let him do what he is paid for.  Oh, I better just stop or I'll go off for a long time.  We Rachel fans ARE pissed at JJ, for not doing right by our girl!!!

09 Jul 2010 6:07 PM
kathleen o

Moodygirl, you are mostly right about herd behavior.  The dominate mare leads the herd, the stallion drives the herd.  As far as their cycles go, most show and race mares are put on cycle inhibiting meds.  Most are subcutaneous.  In the herd, the stallions checks for estrous continually, the mares are generally not aggressively seeking out the stallion.

09 Jul 2010 6:59 PM
kathleen o

BTW, the unmentionable pot stirrer by any other name deserves to be ignored.

09 Jul 2010 7:00 PM
DinkyDiva

Well said: Lucky Son with your post at 3:30pm.  I've been saying the same thing over and over again!  Enjoy both of these Champs for what they have accomplished and that they are still on the track running for our pleasure!  Putting on shows and tugging at our hearts!

About St. Trinians: They were talking about her running style but, I had never seen her race before.  That girl paddles like no other!!  How in the world do they keep her sound is beyond me!  I would never show a horse that moved like that, let a lone a racehorse!  Yikes!!!!

09 Jul 2010 8:09 PM
jayjay

sylvester : and yours is lol, you didn't say anything that hasn't been said many many times in the past.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised that you're the same person that said the very same things in the past.  You needed another name to post it again.  Give it up.

09 Jul 2010 8:35 PM
Livesoutwest

LuckySon,

Team Rachel absolutely screwed up by taking too long to get her back into training at the beginning of the year and then rushing to get her ready for the Apple Blossom.  And they'll be the first to admit they screwed up.  But they're going at the right pace now, and the results will bear fruit, even if it seems like they're afraid to take on real competition.  You have to walk before you can run, and I think she's just one more prep away.  I can't say if she'll ever develop to the point where she'll be competitive with Zenyatta.  She probably wouldn't have beaten Z last year except in the slop and the Hirsch.  But she would have soundly beaten Quality Road at her peak.  It's true he hadn't yet developed into the monster he is this year, but I still think she'll handle him if they meet.  QR may still be improving, but I think Rachel is also just entering her prime, and you've yet to see the best of her.  I reject the idea that she's washed up like Mike Tyson or something.  I'm not putting any limits on where her top is, I don't think we've seen it yet.

09 Jul 2010 9:05 PM
Footlick

About male female dominance- then why are there very talented fillies/mares who cannot reproduce their race when they are surrounded by colts/stallions?  There has to be something else psychological combined with physical or every superior female horse would run their race against every superior male horse, and we know that isn't true.  That's why Europeans train their fillies in groups of males, to see how they handle it. If they don't handle it, they don't run them against males. Whether the mares dominate the heard or not, I don't think they dominate the stallion.  He is the dominant force of the heard.  They go where he takes them.  Unlike elephants which are matriarchal.  This cannot be the reason that some females run well against males and some don't.  And it isn't size either because Lady's Secret and Serena's Song were not big horses but were not intimidated by male horses.  That's why I said it was very complex.  It obviously has to be the right combination of many things.

09 Jul 2010 9:16 PM
moodygirl

Kathleen O and Slew, thanks for the info on mare estrus. I knew cycles could be altered but did not know they did it to race. Good grief, a 21 day cycle. Poor girls. My fillies aren't old enough so I'm not looking forward to it. I know some are worse than others. It's good to know RA & Zenyatta (& mine too) won't be trotting after the boys. Can you imagine if they acted like cats? Now that's a mental picture.

09 Jul 2010 9:30 PM
Footlick

Jason- I'm sorry but I'm going to have to rename the blog "the Dray Jr's" or "Perseverators Unite".

09 Jul 2010 9:39 PM
LAZMANNICK

Sylvester

If you want attention so much then why don't you just ask for it.  All you have to do is say.....hi, my nade is Earl.....I mean Sylvester and I want attention....Could all you sensible bloggers that know what you're talking about have a little patience with a novice like me.  I'm learning, but in the meantime can I PLEASE HAVE SOME ATTENTION.....waa, waa, waa.

09 Jul 2010 9:46 PM
Jermon

Merlinmerry;

Thanks for pointing out Quadrangle's influence. Overall, I've been

disappointed in that line. His sire, Cohoes, was the embodiment

of the classic thoroughbred horse, impeccably bred and could

run all day. His sire, Mahmoud, given his success at stud, made

gray horses fashionable. His dam, Belle Of Troy, was a full sister

to Big Event and Businesslike, by Blue Larkspur out of the great

La Troienne. Enough said, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Cohoes and a stablemate, Fisherman, a top handicap performer

shipped abroad for the Arc, but being up against it didn't do much.

That's not a race American based and trained horses can merely

ship to and be expected to do well.  

09 Jul 2010 9:50 PM
LAZMANNICK

Hey Jermon

You might be seeing this twice.  My computer kicked off and I don't know whether this went or not.  Anyway, her goes.

You’re the one with the awesome posts.  That must have been quite the day to be there and witness one of the great races in history.  I managed to scrounge up some of Kelso’s PP’s though I really don’t have much on Malicious after the TC races.  The race where Kelso beat him by a nose was the ’65 Whitney.  He also beat Kelso pretty convincingly by 9-L while getting 14 lbs. in their next meeting, the Aqueduct Hdcp…….Also, do you remember a horse called Analine, 3rd in the DC International?  He was a Russian horse, one of the few times I can ever remember the Russians racing a horse in N/A, anywhere for that matter.  These were Kelso’s final 11 races.  Hopefully this swill shed some light.  

• 2Mar-66 Hial-Allow-6-F.…1.10….4th by 4 1/2….113 lbs….Davus 119 (hd), Time Tested 119 (1),  Country Friend 113 (3-1/2)

• 22Sep-65 Aqu-Stymie-1-1/4….2.02.2….1st by 8….128 lbs….Kelso 128 (8), O’Hara 107 (3/4), Ky. Pioneer 110 (3/4)

• 6Sep-65 Aqu-Aqu Hdc-1-1/8….1.49….4th by 9….130 lbs….Malicious 116 (3), Pluck 116 (no), Roman Brother 121 (6)

• 7Aug-65 Sar-Whitney-1-1/8….1.49.4….1st by no….130 lbs….Kelso 130 (no), Malicious 114 (6), Pia Star 127 (nk)

• 24Jul-65 Aqu-Brooklyn-1-1/4….2.00.3….3rd by 4….132 lbs….Pia Star 121 (2), Roman Brother 121 (2), Kelso 132 (1-1/2)

• 10Jul-65 Del-Diamond-1-1/16….1.42.2….1st by 3 ½….130 lbs….Kelso 130 (3 ¼), Kilmoray 109 (3), Big Brigade 114 (no)

• 29Jun-65 Mth-Allow-6F….1.11.1….3rd by ½….122 lbs….Cachto 117 (no), Communique 122 (1/2), Kelso 122 (hd)

• llNo-64 Lrl-DC Intl-1-1/2T....2.23.4….1st by 4 ½….126 lbs….Kelso 126 (4 ½), Gun Bow 126 (9), Aniline 122 (3 ½)

• 31ct-64 Aqu-JCGC-2 M….3.19.1….1st by 5 ½…..124 lbs….Kelso 124 (5 ½), Roman Brother 119 (6), Quadrangle 119 (16) as in sixteen lengths.

• 3Oct-Aqu-Woodward 1 ¼….2.02.2….2nd by no….126 lbs….Gun Bow 126 (no), Kelso 126 (4), Quadrangle 121 (25) as in twenty five lengths.

Valenzuela rod him in every race except the two allowance races (will Boland), and in every one but the last Kelso was favored.

This is from stuff I have I've managed to scrounge over the years.  It's a good hobby and keeps me out of trouble.  Have a good one.

09 Jul 2010 11:00 PM
Jermon

merlinmerry:

Correction to my prior post:

Cohoes and Fisherman, although related in a way, were not

stablemates and did not ship abroad together. They had been

bred and raced by bothers, the Whitneys.

I was in the military from 1951 to 1955, which was during their

time. Didn't have consistent exposure to racing then, hence,

my memory can be faulty.

09 Jul 2010 11:26 PM
LAZMANNICK

Jermon

Speaking of Chieftain from that great 1964 three year old crop, he never won a black type stakes, but he did finish second to Gun Bow in the 1965 Meet Mile.  Chieftain (Bold Ruler) was also a half brother to Tom Rolfe (Ribot) who won the ’65 Preakness.  It was Tom who went over and contested the 1965 Arc and had the misfortune of having to face Sea Bird.  Sea Bird of course romped in one of the great Arcs and has the distinction of gaining the highest Time Form Rating of 145.  It’s interesting to note that Aniline, the Russian horse was 5th.

09 Jul 2010 11:46 PM
merlinmerry

Jermon, Quadrangle also sired one of the all time great distaffers - the very courageous Susan's Girl. This Hall of Famer made 63 starts with 29 wins, 14 seconds and 11 thirds.  Of her 29 wins, 24 were in stakes.  She was named 3 Year Old Champion Filly in 1972. She was named Champion Older Mare in 1973. Her 5 year old racing season was cut short by a leg fracture, after "only" six starts. She was operated on and rested for 9 months before making a return to racing at 6.  In that, her final year of racing, she had 17 starts with 7 wins, 4 seconds and 4 thirds.  She was again named Champion Older Mare in 1975.

As a broodmare, her best son was Copelan, a very speedy grade 1 winner, named for the veterinarian who did Susan's Girl's leg surgery.

10 Jul 2010 12:09 AM
sodapopkid

Sylvesty,   Zenyatta will be in the BCC, Zenyatta will take them all on.

By the way, In Zenyatta's case, you can say 'Been there, Done that'

What does she have to gain?, Nothing, just number 20.

She isnt' chasing a miracle this year in the BCC(like other fillies). She mastered that feat in 2009.  She not only has a BCC win, she has a BCL also.

Zenyatta is 17-0 and you dont' get their by being good, You get there by being great.

Any mare or filly that ever enters the BCC now, Will be chasing Zenyatta's dream that so many tried but never succeeded,  she did it.

You are lying when you say she will not be there, You know she will , I can truthfully say, No female will win over her , if anything wins , it will be a colt, not a female......But Sylvester, I can promise you one thing , If she enters in the gates at CD on November 6, she will win it....or she will be second, nothing else...

My gut tells me she will win it....

What will really be bad, is if any other females enter it and cant win it to beat Zenyatta' s achievement.......

10 Jul 2010 12:20 AM
Zookeeper

In no way do I pretend to be an expert on herd behavior but here's what I have learned from documentaries and books:

The herd consists mainly of females and one stallion. Juvenile males are tolerated up to a point but must leave the herd if the stallion is still strong enough to run the show. So females, in the wild, do not run with a bunch of adult males. They run with other mares and juveniles. The dominant mare leads the herd, the stallion runs in the back to protect the herd from the enemy (real or imagined) that the herd is running from.

So it stand to reason that running against males is not a "natural" thing for fillies and mares to do. I would imagine that it takes some getting used to (as in England) and it would explain why few females do it successfully in this country. They aren't trained to do it. Some of them can handle it, most of them are completely taken out of their comfort zone and do not run as well as they do against other females.

Does it make any  sense to anyone else?

10 Jul 2010 1:33 AM
Footlick

Laz- Tom Rolfe ran a strong race for 10 furlongs in the Arc.  The French assessed that the last 2 furlongs in the Arc would be a little too far for him and it proved to be the case.  He hit the front at 10 furlongs if I remember correctly.  Tom Rolfe was of course sired by Ribot, the 2-time undefeated Arc winner.  Sea-Bird sired Allez France, the great French filly who defeated Dahlia every time they raced each other.  He also sired Little Current who won the Preakness and Belmont and was champion 3 yr old of his year.  Aniline was a tough competitor who also ran in at least 2 DC Internationals.

10 Jul 2010 9:27 AM
kathleen o

Laz, don't forget the birthday cake was followed up by a Guinness.  I would have given her two.

10 Jul 2010 10:09 AM
LAZMANNICK

merlinmerry

I love reading your posts.  That piece about Susan’s Girl brings back memories.  It just shows how hyped up people today get regarding females racing against males.  Susan’s Girl was as tough as they come and yet in five years and 63 races, which included 8 G1 wins and another 5 that would have been G1 (pre Graded rating system in 1972), Susan’s Girl only raced males 5 times, including the G1 Century against Cougar, three G2’s and an allowance race.   She never won any of them and her best finishes were thirds in the G2 San Pasqual to Tri Jet (a good one) and the allowance race. It just shows how physically demanding it is and that females don’t have to race against and defeat males to be considered great.

10 Jul 2010 12:47 PM
SMTDL

To Kay and Jay Jay...no intentional rhyming meant..lol

I'm glad that you support Zenyatta so much..but some are not as excited as you(s) to see her run in 3 straight Vanity H's,Clement Hirsch,(Ca)Lady's Secret H's,etc.Look at her Career and you see a lot of the same horses and races over and over.The 2 really prestigious ones were the Two BC races.I didn't say I just respected one year vs a career.Lady's Secret ran 3+years in 45 races at ages 2->5 and fit Zenyatta's whole 3 yr stakes career in just one year(1986).She ran in the Breeder's Cup Distaff twice when it was at a classic distance(a win as a 4yo and a 2nd as a 3yo) She won the NY fall distaff triple twice ( as 3yo and a 4 yo).When 3yo's have success against older horses, it says a lot about how good they are.When females horses are successful gainst males,it also speaks to their greatness.Lady's Secret ran in 3 G1's(Met H,Whitney,Woodward) and a G2(Iselin H) against males in 1986 ( a win,a 2nd,2 3rds).She won the La Canada and Santa Margarita in California as well as running in the Apple Blossom(Ark),Hempstead(NY),Molly Pitcher(NJ),facing the best of both sexes all over the country.In her career she raced 4 times at a mile and a quarter winning 3 times and 1 second.Zenyatta never ran in a stakes at 3 against older horses,only has run twice on dirt/out of Calif,once against males/beyond 1 1/8 mi.Sorry but she was given a big advantage in the 2 Breeders Cup races.All of that makes it hard to really compare Zenyatta to other great horses of the past despite her undefeated record.Heck she never even raced on a wet track and is being immortalized!!Don't you realize that limiting Zenyatta so much is the reason she has not won HOTY which is still the big prize even tho somehow many of you Zen Fanatics besmirch it now without regard for objectivity and its history of recognizing California runners.I respect Zenyatta for what she has done but also judge her based on what she has not done or has not been asked to do that others horses did when they were less mature than she.I expected a more demanding campaign from her in 2010..so far that has not happened.I still hope they change up a little but doesn't look like that will happen with so few races left .

Rachel Alexandra was one of the top 5 or so 2yo fillies in 2008 then had an undefeated Busher type campaign at three.So she is hardly a 1 year wonder.To some she has less to prove even now than Zenyatta because she did it on dirt and 7 different tracks and beat males 3 times.Her longest race (Preakness) on just 2 weeks rest!Zenyatta has never been asked to do that against fillies let alone males!Don't be so quick to disregard what  Rachel(and others) have done when you are praising Zenyatta.

Why doesn'tZenyatta get challenged a little more?I would think all fans want that!

10 Jul 2010 12:51 PM
sodapopkid

People critisize Zenyatta for running two or three times in the same races in order to keep her titles in them.   I ask you?  Is Rachel going to run in the Haskell or the Woodward to try and defend her title??  More than likely not. Maybe one but sure to heck not both,  Zenyatta is not only going after her previous titles but she is going to defend her title in the Classic as well,  I dont see Ra trying to defend any race she has been in, I dont mean the ones restricted to three year old's either....Before you start knockig on Zen, Look and see if Ra is doing any better, more than likely she is far from it...

10 Jul 2010 3:40 PM
sodapopkid

Why doesn'tZenyatta get challenged a little more?I would think all fans want that!

We would also like to see a 2009 HOTY bieng challenged a little bit more too in 2010, instead of running in ungraded races.

10 Jul 2010 3:42 PM
LAZMANNICK

SMTDL

Zenyatta has been challenged.....three major challenges that I can see when considering the BCC (an extremely tough race against males that was made considerably tougher because of her antics), the BCL and the Apple Blossom when she deserted her so called comfort zone and took on the reigning champ Ginger Punch and turned an 8-1/2L disadvantage into an 8-1/2L advantage (17L differential) over that one and in a less than a half mile.  Contrary to what many still harp about, she doesn’t need synthetics to be at her best and she wasn’t purchased to begin with because she would excel on them.  I’m sure if she was stationed in the east or Midwest in a primarily dirt track environment she would have been just as successful.  She is a horse that is full of herself and as long as she is physically able she is going to refuse to lose.

I don’t want to get into Rachel bashing and I won’t, but I will say that the races she competed in-in 2009 up until the Haskell were easier than the majority of the races that Zen raced against fillies last year.  Her times were at times exceptional, but the competition wasn’t.  I’m sure the Moss’s could ship Zenyatta anywhere you want and race her against week competition when the level of that competition would virtually guarantee her a win.  That’s not their intention.  They’ll show up when the appropriate time comes and not before.  They did it once this year to meat Rachel’s challenge and when JJ scratched her they were left with an extremely weak field that they should have backed away from but didn’t, this only to be criticized for facing allowance type fillies and mares.  This race wasn't their idea.

In the meantime, anyway you slice it, it’s all about the money.  Lady’s Secret, an all-time great, chased the money and from 45 starts earned $3 million.  Zen on the other hand has raced 17 times without much travel and has earned virtually twice as much.  Why shouldn’t they back off and pick their spots?

10 Jul 2010 4:35 PM
My Juliet

   Monmouth Park is certainly rolling put the red carpet for Champion Rachel Alexandra. Her presence certainly helps them; that race, and day now, has the Star power she brings. Changing the date of the race will bring the many fans and admirers who will love to see her at the place she Demolished the field of colts in last yrs Haskell in the slop. She earned the highest Beyers Speed rating for any horse running that race for @20 Years. Changing the purse of the race honors this Star filly.

    I was surprised she isn't entered in a tougher race. Her last outing was big time impressive. Don't look at the field she beat. This filly is back. She clocked a faster time than colts in the S.F., carrying more weight. I read on here her time was the fastest at the Churchill meet so far this year. I think the races are being spaced farther to keep her fresh. No reason to have her races close like last year. I think they're making it as easy as possible for her now, main goal Breeders Cup.

10 Jul 2010 4:48 PM
Livesoutwest

Uh, Sodapop, the Haskell is restricted to three year-olds, so unless you have a time machine handy, I don't think it's likely Rachel can defend that title.  Of course, that makes your prediction that she can't defend both of those titles odds-on.

In fact since Rachel was running a three year-old campaign last year other than the Woodward, that is the ONLY title she's eligible to defend.  

If Zenyatta defends the BC Classic title, I'll certainly agree with you that's a great and rare accomplishment.

10 Jul 2010 6:26 PM
LDP

My Juliet,

Why don't we take a look at the field, since Jesica is Back just came back to win the Princess Rooney.

10 Jul 2010 7:06 PM
My Juliet

   The comment posted 4:48pm should read that Monmouth park is rolling out the red carpet for Champion Rachel Alexandra. (Actually I just wanted to get to say it again, ha ha :) Maybe the word put actually fits, it will always be there for her, this Star filly!)

10 Jul 2010 7:18 PM
sodapopkid

Laz,  Wasnt Jessica Is BAck in the FDL?  IF so, Why is she running in a grade 1 race today and won it(Princess Rooney), but RA is going in ungraded race next?  

10 Jul 2010 7:39 PM
LAZMANNICK

SMDTL

If you just saw what I saw now maybe you'll begin to realize that up to this point in her career, Zenyatta is definitely in a class by herself when measuring or comparing her to today's horses.  Zen literally ran away from Awesome Gem and Richard's Kid was a long way back when she defeated them in the BCC.  Rail Trip definitely had no excuse today and in spite of the dwadling fractions, top horses overcome them, just check out the Gio Ponti race.  A lot of people are going to say Zen should ahve contested this race just like they're saying Rachel should have run in the Foster.  Her time will come and on a bigger stage.  And if you watch the race, Awesome gem was actually last at the 1/4 pole and made a Zen like side step to get clear sailing.  Great for him.

10 Jul 2010 8:13 PM
sodapopkid

lIVESOUTWEST,  I CAUGHT THAT AFTER I POSTED IT.. WELL SHE WONT HAVE BUT ONE RACE THAT SHE COULD  TRY TO DEFEND HER TITLE IN .......THE WOODWARD....

10 Jul 2010 8:37 PM
jayjay

SMTDL : Team Z are not looking for a HOTY.  Their target is the Classic.  If the Classic is not a challenge, then I don't know what is.  So far this year, she's the only one other than Blame that has had a good race where she had a real horse to beat.  QR has had 2 easy races against overmatched competition.  Rachel has had a confidence builder against a very overmatched field.  Blame is the only other one out of the top contenders that has faced a legitimate field.

What challenge do you need more for Zenyatta ?  I don't get the criticms about her year this year.

Oh and yeah, she's 6 yrs old, not sure if you know that.  Rachel and QR are 4 yrs old, and Blame is 5 yrs old.  Out of the 4, the 6 yr old is the only one that has travelled across multiple states and over the rockies this year.  She has also carried the highest weight out of the 4 top contenders.

So....you were saying ?

10 Jul 2010 9:25 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

Jessica is a real world beater.....what is that something like 6 wins in 43 or so races and several of her earlier races were for a tag?  The Rrincess Rooney, for a G1, was extremely void of major talent.  This race wasn't any tougher than Zen's wins so far this year except there wasn't a horse racing that would be on the same page as St. Trinians.

10 Jul 2010 9:44 PM
LAZMANNICK

sodapopkid

Rachel's on a reasonable schedule which is an improvement for her well-being rather than the tough schedule they subjected her to last year.  The Princess Rooney did noting for me as far as being called a G1 sprint but that's the way it is today for filly and mare races, apparently in the east as well as on the west coast chuckle chuckle.

10 Jul 2010 9:50 PM
Carl

"The BC is the championship." Really? By that logic, the "Horse of the Year" last time should have been the horse that won the Classic?!? Yes? No?! Oh, but wait: the horse that won the Classic last year has never lost a race..hummmn? Something smells funny here. O.K., maybe the horse of the year should be running in grade 1's this year and carrying a lot of weight!? Hummmn...still stinks in here. So wait, we're talking about Rachel Alexandra, not "2009 Horse of the Year Zenyatta", right?? Will someone please wake me up when this whole thing makes itself right. Surely, I am living in bizarro world right now.

10 Jul 2010 10:26 PM
LDP

Laz,

I never said she was a world beater or that she was better than St. T. I just love it that RA's fields get called weak when the horses she beat come back to win in their next start.

10 Jul 2010 10:42 PM
jayjay

SMTDL : If you think all her races are easy and weak and all that, can you please please answer the question I've asked other Zen bashers and name me a horse that has gone 17 wins in mostly G1 races (11) and is undefeated.  If it was that easy and she is not challenged then why can't Rachel do it ???  She had 8 wins last year, undefeated, the hardest races she already won, she started with an ungraded race this year and she couldn't continue the streak.

Doesn't that tell you how hard it is to accomplish what Zen did ??  I'll tell you why Zen was able to break that record, because her owners know how to take care of her.  They don't care what the people say, they went after G1s and they won them.  There are courageous horses that tried and raced against her and they all failed.

Instead of bashing Zenyatta, why don't you put some comments on how devastatingly and surprisingly disappointed you were when Rachel lost her first 2 races.  Most of her fans felt that way, heck the whole sports racing probably felt that way because we were expecting better.  It showed us what the cost of the award was last year.  It's something that Team Z would never do to Zenyatta.

10 Jul 2010 11:23 PM
Jermon

merlinmerry

Thanks again for the rundown on Susan's Girl. She was

admittedly one of those real tough, hard hitting females

one had to love. Unfortunately, I never saw her race live

and only about 5 or 6 times on TV. My loss. By being

disappointed in that line, I meant not getting a son that would

win the triple crown so convincingly, he would leave no doubt

he was the champion, and not merely the best of a poor crop.

Ever the purist, ever the dreamer.

_

Laz

I do remember Analine. Another that was invited to the D.C.

International was Zagreb. Although he was named after a city

in Yugoslavia, his connections were Russian. I'm sure of it.

_

Aah, the '65 Whitney - Kelso and Malicious. I kind of thought it

was the Whitney, but only about 80% sure. What a relief! Many,

many thanks. Yes, it certainly was thrilling seeing such races.

After that race and once before, after the race, I was able to go

to the area the horses were taken to have the various specimens

collected for later analysis. I was able to stand within 12 to 15 feet

of Kelso as a vet swabbed his mouth causing him to salivate into

a shallow pan. We might say this is part of the charm of Saratoga.

I was never able to do that at any other track.

_

Chieftan and Tom Rolfe were bred and raced by Raymond Guest

a former ambassador to England. Their bottom line is one of a few

I personally have been familiar with the longest. A filly I really liked

years ago as a 2yo was Sequoia, a full sister to How, the grand-

dam of Tom Rolfe.

Chieftan was a sprinter, no surprise, being a son of Bold Ruler. Tom

Rolfe was heartbreak for me. I loved that little guy from the first time

I saw him as a 2yo. He took the smallest size shoe available at the

track, but he was not the smallest Ribot. That distinction went to

Romolus, Europe's top miler in his time. The only other Ribots I

remember from his european crops are Ragusa and Molvedo,

who may have won the Arc. At one time I had saved a series of

articles written by Leon Rasmussem detailing the history of his

european crops, but they too probably wound up in the trash can.

After Tom Rolfe won the Preakness Joe Hirsh's headline of his

article in the telly was "Its Ribot's Preakness". Dapper Dan, who

finished second, was also by Ribot, and according to John

Galbreath, who stood Ribot at stud at Darby Dan, if Maribeau

had been able to run, the Ribots would have finished 1,2,3. They

were from Ribots first american crop.

_

Should Ron Turcotte be reading this, please don't misunderstand.

You were one of my favorites, bless you. Any time I broke a race

down to two horses and you  were on one of them, I would bet yours.

You always impressed me as one with courage.

Its possible that with better handling, Tom Rolfe would have won the

triple crown. After last year's Belmont when Borel was criticized for

his ride abourd Mine That Bird, Ron Turcotte, himself, submitted a

posting in which he admitted giving Tom Rolfe a poor ride in his

Belmont which may have cost him the race. It is even more probable

that his ride in the derby cost him that race. As near as I remember,

word for word, as stated in the commentary accompanying the chart

in the telly. Tom Rolfe "coming out of the turn and into the stretch like

a horse possessed when his jockey for some inexplicable reason

changed course and put him in blind switch." For as long as I can

remember, the derby was referred to as a circus. That atmosphere

does strange things, not only to horses, but humans as well. I'll take

the Belmont, where the race and only the race is important, and no

one really gives a damn if the governor ever shows up to make a

presentation.

_

Cohoes and Fisherman - I'm about 90% sure Fisherman ran in the

Arc, and about 75% sure that Cohoes did, also. As I said before,

they were bred and raced by the Whitney brothers, Jock and Sonny

as they were known. Thinking about Malicious has triggered off

some thing and presents another poser. The Axe II was a half

bother to Malicious, both being out of Blackball. The Axe II was

raced by Jock of Greentree. Why was he foaled and raced abroad?

I can't think of another Greentree that was foaled abroad. Was it

because of the poor experience trying to win the Arc with Cohoes

from here? The Axe II was by Mahmoud, the sire of Cohoes. Did

the Axe II ever make it to Arc?

10 Jul 2010 11:56 PM
LAZMANNICK

Jermon

From what I can see, the Axe was actually foaled in the US in 1958 and was sent over to the UK as a yearling and when he returned he was renamed The Axe ll.   If he ran in the Arc it would have been in the fall of 1961 as a 3 y-o.  I know he won the Newmarket Stakes that year, but whether he went in the Arc I don’t know.  He returned to N/A for the San Juan Capistrano in early 1962 (finishing 3rd to your buddy Olden Times).  He later finished 3rd to Beau Purple and Kelso in the Man’O War and would win that race in ’63 defeating Will I Rule (a horse I remember).  His career ended in ’63 and it looks like he won 9 stakes in N/A and two in the UK.  I say N/A because he won the Canadian International Championship in one of his final races.  I remember him because I was born in Toronto (moved away many years ago).  I never got to see that race, but I remember reading about him because I think he set a course record of 2.41 for the 13-F.  When Secretariat ran in that race he went in 2.41.4, but he won eased up.  I was lucky enough to be there for Secretariat’s last race along with 35 or 40 thousand other people and I was also lucky enough to save a $2 win ticket which I still have (mint condition).  I actually had two and gave one to my brother.  They stamped Big Red on it which for the ultra conservative Jockey Club was going out on a limb back then.  It was also at Woodbine where I also remember watching Will I Rule.  He made a couple trips up north although he raced primarily in the US.

From what I can see, Cohoes never raced outside of N/A and if he did he didn't fare too well.  He won 5 stakes, the most important the Whitney in ’58.  I especially remember him because he sired Great Cohoes who ran at Woodbine as a 2 year-old and finished 2nd to Dancer’s Image in the Vandal (I was there).  Dancer’s Image would win the Derby the next year and then lose it by DQ I think because of Bute, which was illegal at the time.  Great Cohoes was also 2nd to Hawaii in the ’69 Starts & Stripes and beat One for All in the Bougainvillea the next year.

Fisherman was a real good one.  He won 9 stakes including the DC International and the Travers and was 2nd in both the Belmont and JCGC to High Gun, a horse that bet him 3 times.  I cant’ see where he went over to race in the Arc.  In ’54 he raced in the DC and the JCGC, both held in the fall.  If he did it was in ’55 although he only won one stake that year and the next year he never won any (losing twice to Nashua).  Also, he appeared to race mainly on dirt though he appeared to be super on turf winning the DC International.

I couldn’t get that two year old filly Sequoia off my min so I looked her up.  Surprise, surprise.  She was the dam of Sham?

11 Jul 2010 2:16 AM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

I just gave myself a slap on the back of the hand.  I'm not trying to pick on you.  Jessica ran well today, but the thing to remember is that it was a sprint, not a route.  If you think of her last race with Rachel she was up close early then faded and and she actually ran 6F faster against Rachel then she did in the Pincess Rooney which suggests that her major target was the PR all along and that the FDL was actually a tune-up.  Good workout for Rachel though.

11 Jul 2010 2:37 AM
kathleen o

smtdl, Zen may be running in some of the same races, she's not facing the same horses.  In fact, I don't believe there is a single horse that she's run against all year that she has faced before.  Your arguments against Zenyatta have become tedious, I don't understand why you just can't sit back and enjoy the ride.

11 Jul 2010 9:25 AM
kathleen o

Zookeeper, watch a replay of the Vanity and you will see that ST ears were straight back.  In mare speak, she said stay back!!  ST is obviously a dominate mare, despite her size.  The top mare in the herd I had was under 14 hands, so size is not always a factor.  Zen read the mare and hesitated for less than a heartbeat, you can see that when she was a half length behind.  She chose to ignore it and it took her about 4 strides to pass her.

I think Zen's only response to running against the boys was her reluctance to load into the gate.  She had never run against them before and I think she didn't want to be 'trapped'.  She even broke on the wrong lead, which indicates to me that she was distracted.  It didn't take much time to get her focus back, so it became just another race to her, just another chance to get to the finish line first.

11 Jul 2010 9:36 AM
LDP

Laz,

I'm not being rude, but if people want to play the sprinter cards for BD and JiB, many can play the turf cards for TO and Gio, meaning they are at their best on turf. I wrote a blog this morning, basically saying now matter how you look at it, the four horses that got the G1's yesterday turned from zero to G1 hero when they finally got out of the shadows of Zen and RA.

11 Jul 2010 11:31 AM
Zookeeper

kathleen o,

Thanks for the feedback. Horse behavior is very interesting and is the answer, many times, to how a race turned out. I'll go back and watch the Vanity again. I hadn't noticed Zen's momentary hesitation...

I'll watch the Big Cap again also where St Trinians raced against the boys. I'd love to read your observations on that race. You seem to understand "horse speak". quite well. I, on the other hand, need a translator. lol!

11 Jul 2010 11:56 AM
Livesoutwest

Kathleen,

I agree with you.  Radio host Jason Levin related a story about how Zenyatta and Rail Trip passed each other in the paddock one morning when both horses were working.  And she gave the impression she was just staring him down as if to say, "I can take you, boy."

Lazmannick,

I don't think you can compare dawdling fractions on turf.  It's easier to overcome them on the grass when you can count sheep for most of the race and then just make one late run.  What's more, the Gold Cup isn't a good example of how dawdling fractions were the reason the winner won the race.  Compari set those glacial fractions, all alone on the lead, and then collapsed anyway!  A closer still won the race, just not Rail Trip.

The truth is, Bejarano gave him a terrible ride.  When the expected speed duel didn't materialize, it seemed like Bejarano didn't know what to do.  He sat back and rode Rail Trip as if there was still a speed duel to sit behind.  Even deep closer Richard's Kid was ahead of him on the backstretch.  As a result, he was forced to go four-wide, and I don't think he even saw David Flores slipping through on the rail on Awesome Gem until it was too late.  Rail Trip's former jock Jose Valdivia must have been watching the race and gloating "You got rid of me for that chump?"

But I'll agree with you on one thing Lazmannick, Zenyatta is a class above the Gold Cup horses.  And yeah I think she should have been in there, that race was hers for the taking.  In Rachel Alexandra's case, she hadn't shown she was at the top of her game this year like Zenyatta is, so it's understandable they didn't go in the Foster.  I think she's legged up enough to beat the Foster horses now, but is still a race away from being in shape for Quality Road.  We'll see what happens.

11 Jul 2010 12:50 PM
SMTDL

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ZENNERS -I get it now every horse is weak if they run against anybody except Zenyatta.Then they are automaticlly grade 1 quality.YOU can't have it both ways/Rachel won more grade 1's last year than Zenyatta but you all say is how weak her competition was.I guess Brownie Points and Anabaa's Creation would have won the Preakness or Haskell or Woodward!!!This year's Santa Margarita and Apple Blossom were no better fields than any of the other races for older filies and mares.If not prove it .Who stands out with a strong record?The Apple Blossom was so slow the horses behind Rachel in the FDL were as fast as Zenyatta.That says weak competition in the AB.The Vanity was a little better but only because of St Trinians and Zardana who had just finshed 15 lengths behind Rachel.

If you(s) would stop just criticizing everything Rachel does there would be no need to put a reality check on Zenyatta.Do you honestly know for sure she would be undefeatedif she raced more often and outside of California or against males more than once?.You probably will say yes but I'm asking how do know that when she is so limited in where she runs and who she runs against.YOU criticize Rachel for now doing what Zenyatta has done except for 2 times.Zenyatta's BC classic was a great performance but would she have been as good on dirt against dirt horses?Maybe maybe not.  Stop acting like she's Secretariat and give other horses not named Zenyatta some credit for what they do also.Your double standard is indeed tedious!!!

11 Jul 2010 1:43 PM
Kay

SBMGROTLFGGROTLLLFM:

Geez. Now you're moving Rachel's goalposts to claim that she was a leading 2YO filly. Let's look at that sensational 2YO campaign: 6th Mdn, 1st Mdn, 2nd G3, 1st Allw, 2nd G3, 1st G2. Wow. SO impressed. Looks like her 4YO season. So far, Rachel has NOT had a career yet. She's had a year and so far, 2010 isn't doing the job for her. In contrast, here's Zenyatta's 4YO campaign: 1st G2, 1st GI, 1st G2, 1st GI, 1st G2, 1st GI, 1st GI BC race. Champion older filly or mare.

That's a pretty good year, right? Here's her 5YO season: 1st G2, 1st GI, 1st GI, 1st GI, 1st GI BC race. Champion older filly or mare.

And so far this year: 1st GI, 1st GI, 1st GI.

That's a CAREER.

Zenyatta HAS been successful against males, but like all of her detractors, you keep moving the goalposts. One time isn't enough for you. One time shipping isn't enough for you. Only shipping to Oaklawn isn't enough for you.

What you fail to remember is that Zenyatta has run in two handicaps this year, and is likely headed to a third. And she's carried A LOT of weight. Maybe you don't understand the purpose of a handicap, but a horse that can win with a lot of weight, while giving a lot of weight, is a great horse. Zenyatta's carried 127 and 129 pounds this year. How much weight have the older handicap horses carried? 119? 123? They haven't even carried 3YO classic weight. So when you look at the weight assigned all over the country, it's pretty clear that Zenyatta is considered the greatest horse right now.

Saying that Zenyatta's connections are being conservative would mean a lot more if they skipped the handicap races.

Lastly, they don't care about HOTY. They know how to win it, and that's just not what they care about. They are not Jess Jackson. So you need to get off this because it's becoming a torturous fallacy that you can't stop clinging to.

Zenyatta is already great. She's done things no other horse has done. Not every great horse has done every single thing that could possibly make a horse great. So why are you holding Zenyatta to a different standard?

Kathleen:

There was A LOT going on for the load in the Classic! The helicopters didn't help. And only a few horses in the field had started from the chute. Since it's the way to the backside, some of the horses got stirred up about that. I can't get enough of watching that race. Goosebumps every time. When you see something that really has an impact on you (not to mention everybody else at the track), it's frustrating when people utterly refuse to acknowledge that and just throw numbers at you.

What nobody seems to be saying about Rachel is how emotionally affected they were by her. With Zenyatta, that's all people can talk about. What's ironic about that is that until Zenyatta won the Classic, Rachel's Kentucky Oaks was the most magical race I saw all year. But when people are tone-deaf about magic and emotion, all they have are numbers and the discussion is at cross-purposes.

11 Jul 2010 1:54 PM
SMTDL

Hello Kay..I never moved any goalposts for Zenyatta .I have always wanted to see her race more often,more against males,more classic distances,off synthetics and out of California.

You make everything about her undefeated record and inflate her competition to a degree at least!

For example: Made for Magic won The 2010 Milady ( a G2 race won  in 2009 by Zenyatta).She then runs behind Zenyatta in the Santa Margarita after leading.Then she runs against Rachel in the FDL ,never makes the lead and finishes 15+ lengths behind.Zardana finishes 15+ lengths behind Rachel/Unrivaled Belle in the La Troienne and then maybe 5 lengths behind St Trinians and Zenyatta in the Vanity.Why is Rachel's competition so weak and embarrasing again??The horses behind Rachel in the FDL ran as fast as Zenyatta did in the Apple Blossom.Rachel carried 124 in her last race to Zenyatta's 129 and ran faster so were their performances about the same or as usual Zenyatta's was so superior just because ..it was GRADE 1 with the 3rd place horse one that just finished well behind Rachel.Rachel has been 1st or 2nd in 16 of 17 races..why is that so mediocre? Oh well her name isn't Zenyatta.I believe if you check you will find Rachel was in top 5 on experimental free handicap list for 2 yo fillies in 2008 which is what I said!!!!

I know you don't beieve it but I do like Zenyatta a lot I just don't see her record as you do.As a 6yo that never raced in a stakes at 2 or 3 and who raced just once at a classic distance and once against males,there are other female racehorses in history that can be put into comparison with her on greatness.She shouldn't be compared to Secretariat/ManOWar just because she's undefated while running in 16 filly races and a BC classic on a synthetic track.

11 Jul 2010 2:49 PM
Kay

DFROFSMTFODL:

"This year's Santa Margarita and Apple Blossom were no better fields than any of the other races for older filies and mares.If not prove it .Who stands out with a strong record?The Apple Blossom was so slow the horses behind Rachel in the FDL were as fast as Zenyatta. That says weak competition in the AB."

Then why did Rachel duck the Apple Blossom? Look, here's the problem. You people seem to believe that the ONLY things that matter are time and Beyer figures. You may join up with all the others who threw Zenyatta out in the BC Classic because her numbers didn't measure up. Great horses defy numbers. If all you look at are numbers, then it makes sense why you can't see her greatness.

At the end of the day, any horse who runs in a GI can't control the quality of the field. All they can do is enter in the highest class of race available, and that's a GI. Zenyatta has run in three this year. Rachel hasn't run in any, and it's confusing as to why. Zenyatta hasn't just run in two races that matter. She's won 11 GI races. Sorry to break this to you, but that matters. I don't think Rachel beat the best older horses in the country last year, while Zenyatta did. HOWEVER. Rachel won the GI Woodward and had no control over the quality of the field. She still had to go out there and win it, and she did. A GI is still a GI, no matter how you slice it. That's my opinion, at any rate.

"The Vanity was a little better but only because of St Trinians and Zardana who had just finshed 15 lengths behind Rachel."

And remember, Zardana beat Rachel earlier in the year. Or are you fudging your numbers?

“You make everything about her undefeated record and inflate her competition to a degree at least!”

Do I? Where did I do that? You won’t be able to find it, because I haven’t. Yes, her record is important. Very important. A racing milestone. Not only is she unbeaten, she’s won 17 races. You seem totally unable to accept that, which is a little weird. She’s carried a lot of weight in actual handicaps. She’s the first horse to win two different BC races. She’s won three back-to-back runnings of the Vanity. She’s won seven GIs in a row, which ties a record. She’s the only filly or mare to win the BC Classic. There’s a lot of stuff she’s accomplished but you are unable to acknowledge any of it, which is why it keeps being brought up.

“Why is Rachel's competition so weak and embarrasing again??”

Where did I say it was? If you’re going to argue with me, at least do me the favor of actually speaking to what I said.

“Rachel has been 1st or 2nd in 16 of 17 races..why is that so mediocre?”

Where did I say it was?

“I believe if you check you will find Rachel was in top 5 on experimental free handicap list for 2 yo fillies in 2008 which is what I said!!!!”

Being in the top five of that particular list doesn’t mean that’s a career year. Sorry, but it doesn’t. Look at the actual race record. You’re so enamored of numbers that I thought this would mean something to you. So far, Zenyatta has had a career. Rachel hasn’t. That doesn’t denigrate the amazing year she had. You’re so fired up about things being black and white that you can’t have a cogent discussion about anything.

“As a 6yo that never raced in a stakes at 2 or 3 and who raced just once at a classic distance and once against males,there are other female racehorses in history that can be put into comparison with her on greatness.She shouldn't be compared to Secretariat/ManOWar just because she's undefated while running in 16 filly races and a BC classic on a synthetic track.”

Hilarious. So the only thing you care about is running at two? That’s just stupid. Rachel’s four, and she won’t be running at six. And her 2YO season wasn’t anything special, either. I personally don’t care WHEN a horse has a career, just that they have them. And your precious little Rachel has never even run at the classic distance, much less won. So even the glorious Rachel doesn’t meet your bizarre, random conditions. And don’t drag that tired old synthetic nonsense out or I’ll have to post the quotes from the BC Classic horses’ connections again. You claim to like Zenyatta. You’re a liar. Just admit that you are incapable to acknowledging her achievements and we’ll be just fine. I’ve acknowledged Rachel’s. What’s the matter with you?

And for the record, I never compared her to Secretariat or Man O War. I think she’s one of the greatest horses of all time. ONE OF. What’s so egregiously horrible about saying that? Please enlighten me.

11 Jul 2010 3:09 PM
jayjay

SMTDL : I didn't see anyone compare her to Secretariat/Man O'War, I've compared her to Citation and Cigar, she broke their records.  Why is it that you are so intent in comparing the two, they're not even in the same league.  You can like Rachel all you want but it seems you're irritated, frustrated and annoyed that you're seeing happy Zenyatta fans.  Is it because you can't say much about Rachel's races this year so you had to bring back her 2008 and 2009 records to put down Zenyatta ?  Zenyatta is one of the all time greats, you know her accomplishments, you can spin all you want but she is and will forever be great, nothing will take that away.  And yes, I stand by my comment that Zenyatta is a far better horse than Rachel.  Let's see if she does well enough to come back next year at 5 and maybe she can take a crack at breaking Zenyatta's record.  Any way you compare their win loss record, it will show that Zenyatta has a better record than Rachel, career wise.

11 Jul 2010 3:26 PM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

You're right, but synthetics do play closer to turf.  The fact is, the fractions shouldn't have had anything to do with it.  Rail Trip was always within reasonable reach.  And he was never that wide, ceretainly not wide enough that it meant the difference between winning and losing.  Bejarono should have taken Rail Trip to the front when he tried to move the horse up when they turned into the back stretch.  If Compari would have stepped it up RT could have went with him or backed off just a bit, but he didn't, which tells me that it wasn't all the ride.  The horse had one hell of a lot to do with it.  Don't forget that abnormally slow work for 6-F.  I think that if RT was the same horse he was in his last race he could have run around the outside fence and still won this race.  This not to take anything away from Awesome Gem.  He was  a deserving winner, but like many horses that step up after being an also ran for so long, something had to give and it was RT.

11 Jul 2010 4:12 PM
jayjay

SMTDL : Stop living in 2009, Rachel had that year, it's in the past.  Why is it so hard for you to focus on 2010 ??  I'd like to see you comment about 2010.  If you want to compare G1 wins, then go ahead, let's see :

Rachel :

2008 : 0

2009 : 5

2010 : 0

Zenyatta :

2008 : 4

2009 : 4

2010 : 3

You and the Zen bashers are the ones that keeps bringing up how weak Zen's competitions are and when the same is thrown back at you, then you scream about it.

All the Zen fans have said have been how great she is, how we admire how she runs and how she beats her competition.  How great she is.  She is one of the greatest of all time.  I know now that it hurts so much for you to hear these things because you can say the same about Rachel.  We never put Rachel down or question her competition except when you start that nonsense about Zen's competition.  

It's obvious you're reaching, you have to keep going back to 2008 and 2009 to compare Rachel to Zen.  What you don't get is, we all know what Rachel did in 2009, and if you think about it, 2009 HOTY came down to Rachel and Zen.  Even though Rachel went all out and had a much much more rigorous campaign than Zenyatta, it still came down to the two of them.  What does that tell you ??

Now let's move on to 2010 and let's see what you have to say.

11 Jul 2010 4:30 PM
kathleen o

Give it up, Kay.  Smtdl is one of those who compare race times and beyers.  You'll never convince them that the intangible factor, heart, trumps any speed chart in the world.  Anyone comparing horses in different races have no clue about the individual race strategies, the number of horses in the field, or the weights and conditions on the track.  Speed figures mean nothing when it comes to Zenyatta, she's a late closer and her time is a reflection of the pace set by the early leaders.

Beating your head against a brick wall would be time better spent.

11 Jul 2010 4:37 PM
sodapopkid

The Woodward boys still cant get a win in even if you cannonballed them to the finish line...

11 Jul 2010 5:30 PM
Ropvanwinkle

Kay

You make the most wonderful well written points. Unfortunately you are wasting your time trying to be heard.

Maybe now that the sound of the vuvuzelas has subsided, those with Zenyatta Derangement Syndrome will be come around and enjoy.

She may never race again, and her career to date goes down as ONE of the best ever.

11 Jul 2010 6:20 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

You're not being rude and you certainly have every right to question whatever I say.  My problem with the Princess Rooney wasn't meant as a negative reflection on Rachel.  None of the horses in the race even approach Rachel's class and determination.  However, in this day and age when you can count the number of G1 sprint races on dirt for fillies and mares on one hand, maybe even a couple of fingers, we get one with a 350K purse and not one bonafide G1 horse shows up.  This is flattering to Jessica, a reformed claimer, but it doesn’t make Rachel’s resume look any stronger.....As for Gio, he was nominated and seriously considered for the HGC instead of the MOW and if he was west, or if the MOW wouldn’t have been such a significant turf race, he might have gone to Hollywood.  In listening to Clemente, he actually considered the idea.....The one that gains in credability this weekend would be Zen only because of the way she defeated Awesome Gem and the way he out gutted Rail Trip, but once again that is hindsight just like it's hindsight in saying that Rachel should have gone in the SF because she won the faster FLD and Zen should have run in the HGC because she beat Awesome Gem.  However this raises the question, just because A defeats B and B defeats C does that mean that A will defeat C?

11 Jul 2010 7:35 PM
moodygirl

If it were ALL about the numbers: Breyers, fractions, race times, etc. then every handicapper would be rich. Think about it.

11 Jul 2010 8:31 PM
robinm

I too am really surprised that RA's next start will be in an ungraded race.  Perhaps the reason is that there wasn't a graded race that could be manipulated to meet JJ's date and distance?  One has to assume the date of July 24th has some meaning in the timing of her campaign to bring her up to the BC in top form.

I guess we can look at it this way; JJ could have retired her at the end of her 3-yr old campaign (as many RA nay-sayers insisted he would)in which case we wouldn't have seen her at all.

I for one hope there is a method to his madness, and we'll see RA challenged, and prove to be up to the challenge, by the end of this year.

11 Jul 2010 9:53 PM
Nancy

A horse winning a handicap carrying a lot of weight while giving a lot of weight does NOT make them great, and no this is not the purpose of a handicap. Weights are assigned so that all horses arrive at the finish line at the same time. Think about that. When Z gives a lot of weight to her competitors it speaks volumes about their ability  regardless of the race being a G1. But hey if you thinking carrying weight makes a horse great, then what does it say about Rachel considering she carried 122 lbs as a 2yo, which is 1 lb less than Z carried in this years AB. ;-)

11 Jul 2010 10:46 PM
Kay

Kathleen and Rip:

Yeah, I know it's pointless. But it's fun, right? Because of people like the wonderful, wonderful Nancy, who disingenuously says:

"A horse winning a handicap carrying a lot of weight while giving a lot of weight does NOT make them great, and no this is not the purpose of a handicap. Weights are assigned so that all horses arrive at the finish line at the same time. Think about that. When Z gives a lot of weight to her competitors it speaks volumes about their ability  regardless of the race being a G1. But hey if you thinking carrying weight makes a horse great, then what does it say about Rachel considering she carried 122 lbs as a 2yo, which is 1 lb less than Z carried in this years AB. ;-)"

Show me where I said that the purpose of a handicap is to make a horse great. You may want to read my post again.

This is what I said:

"Yes, her record is important. Very important. A racing milestone. Not only is she unbeaten, she’s won 17 races. You seem totally unable to accept that, which is a little weird. She’s carried a lot of weight in actual handicaps. She’s the first horse to win two different BC races. She’s won three back-to-back runnings of the Vanity. She’s won seven GIs in a row, which ties a record. She’s the only filly or mare to win the BC Classic. There’s a lot of stuff she’s accomplished but you are unable to acknowledge any of it, which is why it keeps being brought up."

If you'll notice, Nancy, I did NOT say that ONLY carrying weight makes a horse great. Do you see all those other things in there? It would be fine for you to pick and choose if it were impossible for me to just scroll back up and prove you wrong. So from what I gather, carrying weight does NOT make a horse great (and yes, I'm fully aware of why handicaps exist, thanks). Would you like to tell that to the great horses of the past who shouldered a ton of weight? Didn't think so.

I see that you're being cute by mentioning the weight Zenyatta carried in the Apple Blossom and weirdly comparing it to weight Rachel carried at two. Well, call me when Rachel carries anything CLOSE to what Zenyatta has carried in her career. You DO understand that you can't make your point by just singling out what you want, right? It's the whole package, dear. Not just one thing.

But then... you knew that. So stop playing games, hmm?

11 Jul 2010 11:27 PM
jayjay

Nancy : You might want to clarify the following statement, I thought about it and still can't make sense of it :

"Weights are assigned so that all horses arrive at the finish line at the same time."

Also, who said that Zenyatta's greatness was all about the weight breaks ?  It adds to her greatness but only an idiot would suggest that just because she carries weight and gives weight to her opponent made her great.  I know enough about horse racing that I can call her great because of what she has accomplished, how she accomplished it and who she accomplished it with.  Zenyatta is a great horse but I always fail to mention that she became great because she has a great and loving family.  The human factor helped made it possible, the one time a human (Mike S) screwed up, she made it up for him (last year's Hirsch.)  She had his back ;)

11 Jul 2010 11:33 PM
Livesoutwest

Lazmannick,

At least we agree about when Bejarano should have moved Rail Trip to the front.  I think he should have stepped on the gas the minute Richard's Kid started to move up on his inside, I don't know what he was waiting for.  I think it would have made the all the difference.  Rail Trip was closing as fast as Awesome Gem, he just couldn't catch him because the latter got the jump on him.

Moodygirl,

Monmouth's willingness to alter the schedule to suit Jackson is exactly why she's running there.  It was the same reason Oaklawn was willing to do it.  Horseracing has a handful of nationally recognized stars, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Quality Road (at least by fans of horseracing).  And right now that's pretty much it.  So if a track can get one of them, they'll jump through hoops to do it.  The Saratoga meet doesn't start for another week after and Asmussen is determined to keep Rachel on an every five week schedule now come hell or high water.  Rachel will absolutely run in one of the two G1'a at the end of the Saratoga meet, take it to the bank.  I'm hoping it's the Woodward again personally.

11 Jul 2010 11:56 PM
jayjay

livesoutwest : It's more likely that Saratoga didn't want to move the Ruffian one week earlier.  As far as I know, Saratoga meet starts on the 23rd of July, not one week after the LS.

12 Jul 2010 12:43 AM
LAZMANNICK

Nancy

Horses that carry above scale weight are considered better horses than those that carry a lesser weight.  The weight is assigned (in handicaps only) according to their past records.  You are correct when you say weight is assigned in a mythical way so that all horses will arrive at the finish line at the same time, but this is only for handicaps.  Allowance weights are assigned according to the conditions set out in the race and are often based on various factors which include the number of wins, the amount of money won, age, etc.  About Rachel being assgned 122 lbs as a 2 YO, this was in an allowance race and she was coming off a 2nd place finish.  In that race 2 other fillies carried 122 lbs also and several carried 120 lbs.  It's interesting to note that throughout Rachel's entire HOY campaign in 2009 the highest weight she carried was scale of 121 lbs.  In her only handicap, the Fleur De Lis, she was assigned 124 lbs. which was the same she carried in the La Troienne, an allowance stake.

12 Jul 2010 1:11 AM
LAZMANNICK

Livesoutwest

I totally agree.  Rail Trip could have and should have gone on for the lead, upped the pace, and made the others work harder.  He is very capable of controling the pace against a group like that.  Awesome Gem appeared to get the jump on him before Rail Trip realized it because he was hidden along the rail.  But Rail Trip also had plenty of time to catch him and couldn't.  I think he was sluggish.  His actual final quarter was slower than his forth quarter and his final work was way off.

12 Jul 2010 1:21 AM
kathleen o

lsw, notice the only one forcing tracks to jump through hoops is JJ.  I guess he's like the spoiled kid who won't let the other kids play with his ball unless they play by his rules.

12 Jul 2010 10:57 AM
SMTDL

Its not worth commenting further but I will anyway.

Zenyatta is one of the best female racehores in history and so is Rachel Alexandra!

Just compare them in the same way when you assess the level of competition they faced last year and this year.I am just pointing out facts about race times ,beyers and their common opponents.It is not intended to disparage Zenyatta just put her 2010 into perspective as you who discount most if not all that Rachel has done in 2010 while lauding  everything Zenyatta does.I have certainly seen bloggers claim Zenyatta is the best of all time( you know who you are).I certainly know the intangibles of assessing the class of a racehorse ,but when they have not raced each other its all speculation and needs some facts (like common opponents, racetimes,etc)to attempt to predict.I find it interesting that opinions are used like facts.

FACT: Male racehorse generally are faster than females racehorses.Of course there are exceptions as Zenyatta,Rachel and others have shown.

Rachel has made that exception work 3 times ..Shouldn't Zenyatta race against males at least once before the Breeder's Cup?

12 Jul 2010 12:41 PM
Livesoutwest

Damn, JayJay's right about opening day, egg on my face.  I'm guessing that's correct, that Saratoga wouldn't move the Ruffian around to suit Jackson's schedule.  JJ is a billionaire winery owner, so I don't think the extra $150,000 Monmouth kicked in made that much difference.

We'll never know if Jackson offered Saratoga Rachel for the Ruffian if they moved it.  One thing I heard was that Monmouth treated them like gold during the Haskell last year and he wanted to give them another race this year, especially on a track she obviously loves.

But if they did have a chance to get her, I think they blew it.  They already lost Life At Ten because the Ruffian purse is so puny since NYRA's so strapped for cash.  Right now it's likely to be Unrivaled Belle vs a bunch of mostly G2/G3 mutts.  If you were Saratoga and you had a choice between that and a UB/RA rematch, wouldn't that have been worth moving the race?

12 Jul 2010 12:48 PM
LuckySon

For one thing, I can't believe that this is still going on!  And still all the Rachel bashing!! Totally unnecessary!  You don't NEED to trash Rachel to make Zenyatta look better, her record says it all. 17 for 17, I don't think anything else needs to be said.  But all the bad mouthing of Rachel.  First of all, you would need to be a psychic to know if Rachel will be running at age 6, whether or not it looks unlikely today.  And I can tell you two of the boys from the Woodward who HAVE won since.  Cool Coal Man and Munnings.  Please believe me, I'm NOT trying to start anything with anyone, I try to stay as fair as possible.  I know how great Zenyatta is, and I know the greatness that Rachel has in her.  I hate the bashing of either horse.  I think we should all just be grateful that the horse we love is still running and is sound, and stop worrying about any other horse.  Zenyatta fans worry about Zenyatta, and Rachel fans worry about Rachel.  Those of us like me who are lucky enough to cherish both of them get to revel in both of their greatness!.  Those that choose to fight, lose.  You lose time away from the track, time away from loving Zenyatta or Rachel, because obviously all the fighting has not changed one person's opinion, it's probably only enforced it.  I know I'm starting to babble at this point, but if everyone could just love who they love and leave everyone else alone, especially the Zenyatta fans, I'm not picking on you, but her career says everything that you would.  So love you horse, leave the others alone, and you'll find happiness at the track again, instead of hate behind of a computer.

12 Jul 2010 8:24 PM
My Juliet

  LDP, I agree it is definitely worth mentioning that the horse Rachel A beat in FDL just won a Gr1 race, I wasn't aware of it, very glad it was mentioned on here. Because the FDL race itself wasn't Gr1 I didn't want anyone dismissing RA's impressive win.

12 Jul 2010 8:30 PM
Jermon

Laz

I wish to apologize for you feeling the need to respond to my last

post which has led to this overly long ramble. When I got into the

Cohoes, Fisherman, and The Axe II thing again, I did so rhetoric-

ally, thinking aloud as I typed. I wasn't thinking of submitting that

part. When I realized what I had done, I like a jerk.

Your response, as per usual, is great, not only clarifying some-

thing, but bringing back some great memories as well. After I

was discharged from the military in 1955, I worked in the elect-

ronics industry for nine years in a capacity that required a lot

of traveling. I definitely recall plans to ship Fisherman abroad

for the Arc. What probably happened is when the plans were

changed I was out in the field somewhere and was unaware it.

The big problem is with The Axe II. I don't recall ever seeing

him run. How I cannot recall seeing him in the '62 Man O'War

is beyond me. I was there!!. That race solidified Allan Jerkens'

reputation as the Giant Killer. Beau Purple was another speed-

ball, his most prominent, that he stretched out to a mile and a

half.

Its amazing how the mind and memory work. For about twomonths

I've tried to think of the name of the winner of the '56 Carter H'cap;

and couldn't do it, even though I was there. At  your mention of

Nashua and High Gun the answer came immediately without

thinking about it, Bobby Brocatto. This was a case of two super-

stars prepping to do battle throughout the year and which would

culminate in JCGC at two miles, going at it in a sprint at 7 panels.

Nashua shouldn't need any introduction. High Gun was this

country's top older handicapper, trained by Max Hirsh for King

Ranch.

Because its relative to what is being discussed today about

expanding the fan base of racing, getting more publicity in print,

more TV exposure, etc;  I'll explain the problems I encountered

in keeping abreast of racing in 1957, the year of that great vintage

crop of three year olds, which included Bold Ruler, Gallant Man.

Round Table, and Calumet's ill-fated General Duke. I was in Texas

and Oklahoma, horse country. There wasn't any local coverage

whatsoever of their early races when Bold Ruler and General Duke

took turns in breaking one track record after another. I had to make

long distance calls to N.Y. to find out who had won. The alternative

was to wait and pick up the following week's issue of Sports Illustra-

ted, which I did anyhow. Whitney Towers' coverage was particularly

welcomed. On the day of the Derby I was in Oklahoma City, when,

even though it was advertised in the TV section, the telecast was

pre-empted for the AAU swimming matches at OU at Norman. At that

time OU was still in its 47 game football winning streak. It reigned,

understandably. But to pre-empt the greatest two minutes in sports

for a swimming match?

I remember Dancer's Image well. He raced for the Bostonian, Peter

Fuller. He had notoriously bad ankles. My choice in his 1968 Derby

was Calumet's Forward Pass. When Dancer's Image was disqual-

ified because he was on Bute, he was not set down by Churchill, It,

not wanting to monkey with tradition, in that there never had been a

disqualification in the Derby, ruled that the purse would go to Calumet

but Dancer's Image would remain as the winner. Calumet rightfully

said "no, its all or nothing" and went to court. It took years to settle the

issue, maybe three years, I'm not sure. I think the court first ruled in

Churchills favor, but then Calumet won on appeal. I thought about this

during recent discussions about making changes in conditions to

favor easier triple crown possiblities. In my opinion, any changes

should begin with Churchill cleaning up its act. One of the complaints

is that field is too large at 20 horses, its a rodeo. Thats only part of the

problem. When racing received a lot of publicity, in the articles leading

up to the Derby there would generally be a photo near the finish of the

1933 running, of the jockeys on Brokers Tip and Head Play, reaching

across for the bridle of the others horse. This was shown so many times

it became famous. It was shown to illustrate what jockeys could get

away with because Churchill will not alter tradition and disqualify a

horse. If it will let it known that from here on out, it will enforce the rules

of racing and subject horses to disqualification, then maybe it will make

it easier for the bonafide  contenders to claim the first leg of the TC.

Sequoia, the dam of Sham, wow!! Another one. All I knew about Sham

is he raced against Secretariat. I never checked his pedigee.

Toronto - anything I ever heard about it was good. Its one city I regret

not checking out, it, and Woodbine. Years back in the in the 1940s I

went to the races at Blue Bonnets not far from Montreal. Was always

treated nicely and hospitably in Canada. People respond in the

manner in which they are treated. The hostility between the Zen and

Rachel camps at times is incredible. When I made my posting, in no

way was I bashing Rachel. When i said that if Zenyatta had run in last

years Woodward, the qualifier was "as that race was run." Rachel had

let it all hang out, and would nothing left to fend off Zenyatta. IMO the

same thing would have happened if she then ran in the BCC. Thats

not bashing her.

When I returned to civilization, I couldn't believe how badly racing

had deteriorated. I thought of it in the same words Greg Gilchrist used

when he retired recently, its a joke! Then Barbaro came along Watch-

ing his early races I became excited, I thought, there he is, a future

champion, a genuine TC contender. We all know what happened.

More heartbreak. I started turning my back on racing again. Then

last year these two females came along, one a lovely lass, the other

a gracious lady, and provided me with thrills and excitement in mouth

dropping fashion that I hadn't felt in years. I'm not about to bash either

one of them.

Its been my pleasure to have these exchanges. Because I'm going

to be out of touch for awhile, theres no need to respond to this

Perhaps we can do it again in the future.    Stay well.  

13 Jul 2010 12:13 AM
Footlick

Just a note about Fisherman- he was sent to the '55 Arc with Career Boy.  Ran off the board.

13 Jul 2010 9:51 AM
LAZMANNICK

Footlick

Do you know if the Axe, probably 1961 or maybe 1962, and Cohoes, mid fifties, ever ran in the Arc.  It's almost impossible to find this info.  If you should happen to get it, please post it on this blog.  Thnx

13 Jul 2010 12:47 PM
moodygirl

Regarding that "moment's hesitation" by Zenyatta loading at the gate of the BCC: the man that was head of the starting gate crew at her last race said they leave the front door open for her while she goes in. He said she is hesitant because she is so BIG and the space is small for her. Leaving the front gate open makes it easier (mentally) for her to go in. If there was a hesitation I don't think it had anything to do with running with the boys. I'm sure winning was the only thing on her mind. IMO when she looks around with her head held high and alert, it looks like she thinks she owns the world.

As previously stated in the herd behavior posts, the Alpha mare runs out front, leading them where she wants for grazing, water & rest. The stallion brings up the rear, moving the slow horses along and watching for predators or interlopers. He also sniffs around the mares all the time, when they are stopped I assume.

Zenyatta & RA are definitely Alpha Mares, besides being endowed with tremendous physical talent which enables them to beat the boys. Possibly the females that can't run with the boys are not made of Alpha Mare stuff. Someone mentioned that in England they run fillies with males to see if they will compete. Maybe this screens out those fillies that aren't Alpha types.

13 Jul 2010 12:48 PM
jayjay

moodygirl (or anyone) : Is there a way to spot a mare if she has alpha qualities through her demeanor ?  If I ever get a chance to own a horse, I want one that has diva attitude and doesn't take orders from male horses but also doesn't take 2-3 hours putting make up on like the wifey.

13 Jul 2010 7:23 PM
Kay

FRDSMGTOFLLLT:

"Just compare them in the same way when you assess the level of competition they faced last year and this year."

Well, as everyone keeps correctly pointing out, what happened in 2009 happened. Now it's 2010, and what they've done in 2010 is all that matters. And so far, Zenyatta has won three GI races and Rachel hasn't run in one. Those, my dear, are indisputable facts.

"I am just pointing out facts about race times ,beyers and their common opponents."

But see, holding onto times and Beyers is the thing that made people pick against Zenyatta in the BC Classic. The numbers said she wasn't fast enough. But numbers are just numbers. If they truly meant anything, there wouldn't be any point in running the races.

"It is not intended to disparage Zenyatta just put her 2010 into perspective as you who discount most if not all that Rachel has done in 2010 while lauding  everything Zenyatta does."

Once again -- Zenyatta has run in three GI races. Rachel hasn't run in any. So far, Zenyatta has done more.

"I have certainly seen bloggers claim Zenyatta is the best of all time( you know who you are)."

Okay, but when you're responding to something specific that has been written, and nowhere in that particular comment were those words said, then you're not doing it right.

"I certainly know the intangibles of assessing the class of a racehorse ,but when they have not raced each other its all speculation and needs some facts (like common opponents, racetimes,etc)to attempt to predict.I find it interesting that opinions are used like facts."

Kind of what YOU'RE doing, which is amusing me to no end.

"FACT: Male racehorse generally are faster than females racehorses.Of course there are exceptions as Zenyatta,Rachel and others have shown."

Sigh.

"Rachel has made that exception work 3 times ..Shouldn't Zenyatta race against males at least once before the Breeder's Cup?"

Why? How is what you're saying any kind of a rule? Rachel ran against males last year. This is 2010. Zenyatta ran against males last year. This is 2010. The way things are shaping up, they're all going to meet up in the BC Classic. So all of these races are simply preps. But if you are going to stop and look at what leads which division right now, Zenyatta is the frontrunner in the older filly & mare division. I used your facts to determine that, BTW.

Again, 2009 doesn't count. This is a new year. That's why they give awards every year, and they run the BC every year.

Here's something interesting. Mace Siegel just took Rail Trip away from Ron Ellis and sent him to (gag) Rick Dutrow. Here's what Siegel had to say about that:

“It’s simple,” said Mace Siegel. “We had a game plan that included winning the Gold Cup. The race was run so slowly it was a travesty. He should have won by six lengths.”

“I believe this is the best horse I’ve ever owned,” Siegel stated. “Our goal is to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), and to do that you have to think you can beat Zenyatta. I don’t think we’ll know that unless he runs on dirt. If Rick Dutrow thinks he can get him to the Breeders’ Cup and win it, we’ll go. If not, we’ll continue on with him and have some fun later.”

I find it VERY interesting that he's sending Rail Trip AWAY from Zenyatta and towards Quality Road. Not that he'd be facing her until the BC, but he doesn't even bat an eye at the possibility that he'll face Quality Road or Blame. He's only concerned with Zenyatta. See, I don't think the folks on the East Coast really get Zenyatta. But the people who see her every day are terrified of her.

She worked today, BTW, in company with Theodora and Green Cat, Mike Smith aboard. 6F in around 1:14. Getting ready...

Livesoutwest:

"We'll never know if Jackson offered Saratoga Rachel for the Ruffian if they moved it."

That was my first thought. I would sure love to know!

13 Jul 2010 11:16 PM
LAZMANNICK

jayjay

Yeah Jayjay.....If she kicks the living crap out of the biggest stood, she just might be the alpha female.

13 Jul 2010 11:43 PM
LDP

Jayjay,

Watch their actions in a field. They also carry themselves differently, almost arrogantly. The ones that give off that "I'm a queen" presence, the ones who are first to the gate, the ones who flatten their ears and fight back when others try to assert superiority. Those are the alpha females.

Pixie, my first pony, was an alpha. She was 14 hands tall and a dainty little thing. When we first got her, she was put out w/two TB's. For maybe two weeks we would bring her in cuts on her legs and barrel. Not too long after that the owner of the farm said she may have to move them apart because Pixie had become too rough on them! Well, it didn't take them long to figure out she didn't like to pushed around and ended up following her around.

In a race, yes we had our little races, she hated to be beat, even by the geldings. She would lay her ears flat back and bear towards them slightly if they even got near her flank.

In the field, she would also tend to seperate herself from the heard, until time to come in, and the worst she ever was in the pecking order was second. That was to a witch of a mare, a tb/hanovarian cross. Still, even when racing that mare, who tried to kick Pix when we raced, she still did all she could to keep her little dainty head in front.

She was such a cool little pony.

14 Jul 2010 12:04 AM
Footlick

Laz- I've found nothing so far on either horse in the Arc, but I'll keep looking

14 Jul 2010 12:37 AM
Zookeeper

LDP,

Loved your pasture story and the tough little Pixie. You described it so well, for a moment I thought I was there observing the mares sorting out their pecking order.

14 Jul 2010 12:41 AM
moodygirl

LDP, I loved your Pixie the poney story, great example. Jayjay, you can often tell by their behavior toward food. The alpha will push the other ones out, giving a nip if necessary to get their way. My 2 fillies have their routine they carry out every day. There are 2 feed pans and the alpha goes to the first feed pan, has a few bites and then moves on to the other feed pan (hers) which has not been touched and eats it all. If the other filly ties to horn in the alpha's food, she never succeeds. Just a threat of a bite is all it takes. Basically they get their way on everything. Mine likes to run in front too.

If you want a kick butt, male dominating mare, just remember you have to be the alpha mare human over that alpha mare. You will have to take charge if she is dawdling over her makeup, totally not like in marriage. You must be The Boss.

My alpha filly actually has a calmer, easier to train temperment than her buddy, who is kind of spooky. Just remember horses are smarter than we think they are and sneaky too.

14 Jul 2010 1:01 AM
jayjay

LAZ : LOL, I'll keep an eye out for those.

LDP : Thanks. Pixie sounds like a cool pony, but I would probably have a high blood pressure if I owned her and see her with cuts on her legs everyday.  You kept saying "was", not sure when you had her but I take it she's gone.  Hope you found a new pony like her.  That was actually a cool story.

14 Jul 2010 1:11 AM
sodapopkid

What is so scary about Zenyatta is not her running fractions but the final fraction, her closing stride, her last throw it on the line to get to the finish line first, stride, aka her last gears.

And damn, when she unleashes that like she did in the CH last year and agaist St.Trinians in the Vanity.  Thats some powerful moves there.......thats why no one wants any part of her.....Do you blame them..I dont!...Thats why when she came to the AB everyone parted like the Red Sea.  I dont care were she goes on the EAST, she will never get anything to run agaisnt her but colts.

14 Jul 2010 10:35 AM
Touch Glory

The RA camp is and will always be AFRAID of Zenyatta, I bet they will make every excuse on why RA will NOT run in the BC Classic! Zenyatta should have been HOY last year and will most definitely get it this year when she wins the classic again.

I don't think Zenyatta is afraid of quality road she'll run right by him like she passed gio ponti last year.

It is the RA camp that has been ducking the mighty Zenyatta.  All the RA camp had to do last year from day1 is point her towards the BC.  That's all they have to do this year if they want to face Zenyatta but they don't.   We will never see the 2 meet.  

As for Zenyatta's so called easy road this year, so what if she stays home in cali, she has absolutely NOTHING to prove to anyone, she is going to the Classic and anyone that wants to challenge her can meet her there.

14 Jul 2010 12:16 PM
LDP

Jayjay,

Well in a sense she is gone, but not dead. We had to sell her due to financial issues. We had her, Tray and Majec. The other two are TB's that we bought after I out grew Pix. Tray we also had to sell and he was also "mine." Not as dominant as Pix, but the sweetest horse. He was a deep red chestnut, and he was huge. 16.2 and probably over 1250lbs and yet he spooked at every little thing, at least when he couldn't see me next to him. When I was at his head he was fine.

Majec, when we had all three, was the tallest, but not by much. Golden bay with a little barbaro star and four socks. He also thinks he is a prince. He was an ex-racer, but didn't do too much, how I don't know. I gallopped him once and he could FLY! And god forbid if another horse tryed to look him in the eye. I personally think he would've been best as a turf sprinter, because his best finish was over turf and he was never raced at less than a mile. Good lord knows he was explosive enough when I gallopped him.

14 Jul 2010 12:19 PM
LAZMANNICK

Jayjay

Moodygirl explains alpha mare perfectly.......It's all about dominance and control.  I have two cats, one male and one female.  The female is in aboslute control.  The cats eat out of the same dish and she alwasy eats first (the males sits close by and waits his turn).  The female always gets the choicest place to sleep and if we drop a couple of treats on the floor for them, she gets hers first.  We had a dog (85 lbs.) and he had a large pillow which he loved to sleep on.  However, when the female decided she wanted to sleep on it she more or less got in his face and crowded him off.  If she was already sleeping on it then he would sleep on the floor beside it.  And to show athat she was in charge, whenever our daughter brought her dog over and he started chasing the male, the female would get in his face and start hissing to protect him.  I guess when you are the alpha you also gain a certain amount of responsibility.

14 Jul 2010 12:24 PM
Livesoutwest

Regarding Rail Trip, kind of a dumb owner move IMO to blame Ellis when the expected pacemaker practically dwelt at the start and took himself out of the race. And Rail Trip's jock reacted terribly with the worst ride I've ever seen from him.  And normally Bejarano's a top rider.  I don't know about "should have won by six lengths", as Awesome Gem ran the race of his life, but I agree that with any kind of competent ride, Rail Trip wins the race.

But as far as winning the BC Classic goes, yeah Siegel is stating the obvious.  Zenyatta is the defending champ of the race, is rated #1 in the NTRA poll and has won at the distance.  Clearly she has to be considered the one to beat, assuming nothing changes in the next few months.  Quality Road and Rachel Alexandra have yet to prove they can win at 1 1/4, but they have proven one thing Rail Trip hasn't - they've won on  dirt.  RT will have a better chance in this year's Classic with a race over the dirt under his belt.  And he can't do that in Southern California, unless they want to run him at the Pomona Fair.

But he could have still done that under Ellis, who's being made an undeserved scapegoat for the loss.

14 Jul 2010 12:33 PM
sodapopkid

You know something, The easier the path to the BCC that Zen takes, The greater the fury she can and will unleash on her victims..

John is will be training her on the dirt track back at Hollywood Park...Gettting her Primed Up....

14 Jul 2010 1:23 PM
Carlos in Cali

Livesoutwest,

I don't think they're making Ellis the scapegoat for RT's awful ride.They had planned his relocation to the east before the HGC in order to acclimate him to the dirt surfaces before the BC.I know I read that somewhere..

Plus,the Siegal's regularly use different trainers like Ellis' brother-in-law Paul McGee(mid-west) & recently Dutrow(east) when relocating their horses.

14 Jul 2010 1:32 PM
GailGro

I said at the on start of Rachael's season she would not race against

Zenyatta.  While I still feel strongly Zenyatta should have been horse of year, oh well,  I think Rachael is smart enough to know she doesn't feel like racing any longer.  She refuses to put her heart and soul into it because she has lost that love for racing.  She should be retired.  There have several other great youngsters' who made the discovery, after a fantastic 2/3 year old campaign that they just didn't like it anymore and refused to win.

14 Jul 2010 1:34 PM
jayjay

moodygirl : Thanks, that's a cool story too.  I guess it's pretty much the same with cats and dogs like Laz said also.  I've never had a pet, I'm allergic to pet hairs for some reason.  I can't stay near the paddock at GG as I go into a sneeze attack and don't want to scare the horses.

If I ever get a chance to buy a horse, I think I'll start with a non-alpha.  I need to learn more and be closer to them before I can tackle and alpha.  

Thanks for the info!  I learn more on these blogs through personal experiences than reading books.

14 Jul 2010 2:22 PM
flashyfilly

I'm not sure about what is going on with Team Rachel and Team Zenyatta, but I must say I'm tired of thinking and hearing about it all. Yes, Zenyatta is great yet needs to have her horizon broadened by racing against better competition, etc. Yes, Rachel proved herself with a remarkable '09 racing year, has fizzled so far in '10, and yet the future may not become any brighter as the remainder of the year rolls by. These gals are good. No one can take away their accomplishments, just hinder any new ones. I don't know if it is greed on one side and being scared on the other side that is showing through the actions of the owners of these horses, I do wish the horses all the best but as it is said "all good things must come to an end". I say to the owners-Either do it or don't.

14 Jul 2010 2:41 PM
moodygirl

Jayjay, I was thinking some more about the Alpha Mare. They have all the characteristics of a wife most men would not like.

They are bossy, sometimes mean and even violent. They don't want to be touched by a stallion unless they say so and again may resort to violence if necessary. They also have food issues, better let her eat first and all she wants. Oh, and don't forget she has her time of the month every 21 days.:) Sounds a little scare, huh?

14 Jul 2010 3:06 PM
Boy in a plastic bubble

OhMyGoodness! jayjay

I'm soooo sorry!You never had a pet because of allergic reactions?I weep for you,I feel for you.

Have you ever smelled a flower before?Please tell me how it smelled.

Maybe Draynay can be your pet- kind of like that dude in Pulp Fiction was.I'm afraid I have noticed he gets off on being told where to go and what to do with himself,shamelesssly I might add.

S.O.S.  H-E-L-P

14 Jul 2010 3:06 PM
jayjay

Boyinaplasticbubble : Thanks I think, but Draynay being a pet ?!?  No thanks, at least a pet can be potty trained.  I can be around cats and dogs and even had a hamster but suffered with my allergies to the point that I had to give up the hamster lol.  My lil girl cried for a couple of weeks until I got her Zsu Zsu, a pink one and she finally forgave me.

moodygirl : For a minute there, I thought you were describing my marriage lol.  I can survive violence, but the cycle, I just don't know how to deal with it.  I guess the wife will have to deal with the mare on those days (and I'll be far far away.)  It's just something that I'll never understand. :)

14 Jul 2010 6:33 PM
Livesoutwest

Carlos,

Mace Siegal's quote when asked about the barn change was: “It’s simple,” said Mace Siegel. “We had a game plan that included winning the Gold Cup. The race was run so slowly it was a travesty. He should have won by six lengths.”

Doesn't sound to me like he takes the horse away from Ellis if he wins the race.  Besides, Ellis trained on dirt tracks for years before the synthetics were installed, so he knows his way around them.  And the training tracks at Santa Anita and Hollywood are both dirt so he could work the horse on it.

I still think he's blaming Ellis for the loss.  But in sports, the coach is usually the fall guy when the team doesn't play well - whether it's his fault or not.

14 Jul 2010 8:21 PM
kathleen o

The 'moments hesitation' I referred to was when Zen took note of ST's demeanor on the stretch run.  She noticed it, then ignored it.

I used to love to watch my broodmares.  The signals were always very subtle.  In reality, the herd mentality dictates that there is safety in numbers, therefore it's very rare that mares will do any real damage to each other.  My role has always been, whether with my stallions or my mares, alpha mare.  It's amazing how just raising my carriage ever so slightly would back a problem horse right down.

15 Jul 2010 10:57 AM
MonicaV

I have to admit that I too was disappointed in the race chosen for Rachel.  I think she's ready for a Grade 1 but this hesitancy may be the result of the campaign Rachel had last year.  I see all the posts saying she's not the same horse, she will be retired so on and so on.  If that's your opinion you certainly have a right to that but so many people seem to forget exactly what she did last year.  Oh, yes, there are lots of people who give her no credit last year because she raced against the worst horses in the country but take a closer look.  She raced against the TC colts in the Preakness after two weeks rest and won, after having been hustled to the lead from the very far outside and kept the lead.  5 pound weight break and beat MTB.  MTB fans hated her for that and said she stole his TC even though he came in 4th in the Belmont.  She won the MG by almost 20, in stakes record time while being eased the last 100 yards and was a tick off of Secretariat's track record.  Didn't matter who else was in the race she beat the clock.  The Haskell was possibly her best race having won it on the slop by 6.  By the time she ran the Woodward she was already tired.  She had competed against males twice before the Woodward and had 7 races for the 2009 year.  This was a tired horse coming into her last race.  She was on the lead the whole way and was pushed hard and she still prevailed.  That takes an enormous heart.  She wsa put on the shelf for almost 6 months and everyone expected her to be the same horse after having been completely drained in 2009 and having lost over 100 pounds and sat idle for all that time until she had some workouts before the NOL.  She lost that race by 1/2  a length and the next one by a head.  She was away from the races a very long time but her last race was showing that she is just about where she should be.  

Mr. Jackson has been talking about the BC for over a year and I do believe he is pointing her there.  He will have to put her against tougher competition to sharpen her for that race.  Right now, I think he is just satisfied with public workouts as not to do to her what he did last year.

Make no mistakes, Rachel is an amazing race horse.  She has guts, determination and heart and that is her nature.  At total fitness, she is a monster. It is my opinion that we will see the same horse as last year and one even better.  She's older, bigger and now fit.  You may think I'm crazy but I don't care.  So many say she can't do this and she can't do that.  It's going to be great fun watching her the rest of the year.

15 Jul 2010 4:21 PM
Livesoutwest

Right on, Monica!  I also believe we haven't seen the best of Rachel yet.  Whether it will be good enough to ever beat Zenyatta, who can say?  Time will tell, but time can be cruel.  Look at 2007.  At the time of the Dubai World Cup, Curlin was king of the world, and Zenyatta had made a mere three starts.  But by BC time that year, Curlin was done and I think Zenyatta would have finished ahead of him.

We'll see what time has in store for both girls.  Zenyatta is still at the top of her game and Rachel is getting back to hers.  There are people who say Rachel has slipped and that makes the race irrelevant now.  But like you, I feel exactly the opposite.

16 Jul 2010 3:41 AM
Livesoutwest

OK, before anybody corrects me again, I meant 2008.  I'm terrib;e at keeping those years straight.

16 Jul 2010 11:35 AM
Carlos in Cali

Livesoutwest,

I disagree.Ellis is based in SoCal,Dutrow is Siegel's East coast trainer.I still don't see where he's blaming Ellis, it seems like he's upset @ Bejerano's terrible ride.

Maybe the article in NTRA might clarify it a bit better for you.

16 Jul 2010 12:36 PM
sodapopkid

WoW, after looking at the field that Rachel A. is running against in the LS next Saturday,  she should have no problem jogging past this group of unheard of fillies..  What graded horses are these??  Or are they?

17 Jul 2010 10:33 PM
Livesoutwest

Did you see THIS article, Carlos?  It gives a good take on what happens.

sports.espn.go.com/.../story

18 Jul 2010 11:59 AM
LAZMANNICK

Sodapopkid

Sad to say, but this will be a money allowance race with a purse of 400K.  It's embaracing to Rachel and no matter what she does, it will not enhance her reputation with most people.

18 Jul 2010 1:23 PM
Mike G.

Rachel's performance this year is serving to validate that her 2009 season may be one of the most overrated performances of all time.   Was her victory by a head over Macho Again (carrer winner of 6 out of 24 races) really that impressive?  Was her victory over Mine That Bird (winless since the Kentucky Derby) really sensational??  Was her front-running victory in the slop over the closer Summer Bird really dominating???  Perhaps the year 2010 Rachel and the year 2009 Rachel really aren't that good.    

18 Jul 2010 5:50 PM
YYZGUY

What's the point of Monmouth Park adding a $150k to an ungraded stakes race and luring the connections of RA to this race?

After perusing the nominations, and eliminating the obvious that won't enter because they just raced yesterday, this looks another unbettable walkover of a short overmatched field.

Will RA's appearance do anything to increase the handle? Not when the race she's in is a short over matched field. IMHO.

Monmouth should get a lot of credit for trying new things to stimulate the sport, but this exhibition is a waste of purse money that could be better spent.

18 Jul 2010 10:30 PM
jayjay

Let's see if JJ ducks Life At Ten.  I don't think he can, he'll run out of options.  It would be a really good test for Rachel going 10F if she can handle pressure going that distance, same can be said with Life At Ten.  The match up with Rachel should set her up for the Ladies Classic.

19 Jul 2010 12:01 AM
Livesoutwest

Rachel's next opponent will either be Quality Road in the Woodward or Life At Ten in the Personal Ensign, count on it.

As for the Ladies Classic, I think that's a fallback race for them, which they'll only run in if they're convinced Rachel can't beat the top horses.  In any case, Rachel like Zenyatta last year will be cross-entered in more than one BC race to give them options.  And I expect the weather to be a factor in the decision.

19 Jul 2010 1:53 PM
Livesoutwest

Disclaimer:  I used to work in the racing industry, though it's been a few years.  Occasionally I get some dirt from a colleague.  Thought some people here (especially you, Kay) might find this interesting:

Here's the rumor swirling out of NY.  The NYRA is PISSED that Jackson chose the Lady's Secret over the Ruffian Handicap at Saratoga on August 1st. Here's the story:

The NYRA was trying every which way to get Jackson to run in the Ruffian Handicap on August 1st and then the Personal Ensign on August 29th.

Jackson said, "Fine, if you want me to run in both, shorten the Personal Ensign to 1 1/8th mile." Nominations had already been taken for 1 1/4 mile, so it was too late.

Then Jackson said, "If you want me to run in both, put up a $1 Million

bonus." Bankrupt NYRA can't do that.

Then the NYRA said, "Look, your filly is training at Saratoga, we can just pull her stall." Jackson said, "Go ahead, the media will love that!"

There's more, but these posts are moderated so I really can't go any further.  I'll just say the threats got even nastier and leave it at that.

My comment: I criticized Jerry Moss a lot on this blog, but as a human being, someone you would want to know and keep company with, no question he has it all over Jackson.  Jess has a nasty personality and is an absolutely cutthroat businessman.  He won't do business unless he extracts a concession from the other side in the deal - and he doesn't even need the money, it's just a matter of him getting over.  But if I owned a piece of a star racehorse, given a choice between the two, I would rather have the decisions made by the ruthless, cutthroat guy.

21 Jul 2010 6:31 AM
jayjay

I can see that as believable and my gut feeling says that all along.  Saratoga would never accomodate Jess because they probably think more of the other horsemen than just getting one horse to race there.

I expected that last comment from you livesoutwest, I never for once questioned your admiration towards the "cutthroat businessman" Jess Jackson.  I differ though, if I had a star racehorse, I would rather have Jerry making decisions for me because he really understands the value of the animal, not just from a financial perspective but also that IT is an animal.  They do need care and understanding and love.  I would rather see my star racehorse run in top level competition year after year than run in one good year then have to figure out what to do the following year, fire one of my most loyal worker and figure out a way to get my horse back in form.  I also wouldn't want my decision maker having to design races for my horse, it all comes down to planning.  If you plan with the horses' health in mind, the horse will give it all back to you.  I want my horses' legacy to be all about what the horse did, not what the owner did to make the horse.  If my horse is truly good, I don't need to make arrangements for my horse to run in a race.  After all, this is HORSE RACING.  Then again, it's a difference of character I guess.

21 Jul 2010 2:56 PM
sodapopkid

So what happens if RA loses to Life at Ten in the 1 1/4 PE race????

21 Jul 2010 4:23 PM
jayjay

I was all for RA running the FDL to get her confidence back, an easy race to let her get a win, an easy race to dominate other horses but I don't know what this race will tell JJ as far as determining whether Rachel is back.  I guess JJ will go to her running time and beyers to determine that.  If she is truly back, then she probably doesn't need to be tested against legitimate contenders before going to the Classic.  I guess, we'll see it in the PE.

21 Jul 2010 5:25 PM
jon

I'll venture out on a limb to say that Blind Luck could beat both Rachel and Zenyatta....she has the speed to do it, and she could have beaten the males, also, this year.

So...run Blind Luck in The Haskell....

21 Jul 2010 11:20 PM

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