This Chalk is Making Me Thirsty

You guys know me well enough by now to know I don't like to play favorites very often. Trying to beat favorites has cost me a lot of money over the years, but it's in my blood; I can't help it.

This weekend is a rare exception. I like all four morning-line favorites in the Saratoga grade I races. I'm not happy about it, but what can I do? For these three days, feel free to call me Mr. Chalk.

Woodward: They are not going to beat Quality Road here. Not happening. There is no Blame-caliber horse to challenge him and he should have some pace to run at with Arcodoro. I think he wins big to set him up as the horse to beat in the BC Classic. I probably won't play the race since he will be 1-5, if I do, it will be Mythical Power to place/show and/or a tri box with Quality Road, Mythical Power, and Arcodoro, who might carry his speed a long way. Enjoy the Quality Road show.

Forego: This is a much better betting race than the Woodward but I can't go against the coupled entry of Vineyard Haven and Girolamo, who will probably go off at about 9-5. Vineyard Haven loves Saratoga, loves seven furlongs, and his effort in the James Marvin Stakes off an eight-month layoff was a thing of beauty. Bribon and Big Drama are both serious sprinters in good form, so I would use them underneath. And I might also include Checklist, who could find himself on the lead.

Spinaway: Pletcher has half the field in here, all of them pretty good looking fillies with top jockeys aboard. But I think Valiant Passion is the best of all of them. Her maiden race on Aug. 12, in which she won by 9 1/4 lengths, was so impressive that Team Valor bought her privately after the race. She is the lukewarm 3-1 morning-line choice but could go off as the second or third choice. We'll see. Either way, I'm playing her. Could it be an all-Pletcher tri? I don't think so. I like Le Mi Geaux to sneak into the money.

Hopeful: Wine Police, Boys At Tosconova, and Stay Thirsty all looked like world beaters in their maiden wins and have all the makings of colts that could be factors next spring. Stay Thirsty may have the most upside but will probably be better as he goes longer. Wine Police devoured his opponents in his July 24 debut and I cannot fault anyone for playing him here, since he could nice value as the third choice. But I'm going with Boys At Tosconova. Did you see his July 2 maiden win at Belmont? Sick. He already has the benefit of a good effort in stakes company when he ran second in the grade III Kentucky Juvenile. I think he will get the lead early and never look back. The slow work on Sept. 1 is worth noting, but Dutrow tends to do that stuff.

Good luck to everyone and have a great holiday weekend. I sure hope that chalk tastes good this weekend!


Leave a Comment:


I love Stay Thirsty, but though he can win, I'm looking for him to just run a promising race. He shouldn't be as precocious as he is, with his pedigree. I just hope the track is fast so that everyone has a fair shot.

03 Sep 2010 1:57 PM
Smoking Baby

 Jason.  LOVE the title of this blog.  This making me THIRSTY!!!

I'll tell you.  Sometimes it's just nice to sit back and watch a good horse do his or her stuff and this weekend looks like one of those times.  I'm thinking Big Drama in the Forego but that's more of a "finger crosser" than a strong opinion.  Whoever wins the Forego will have beaten the best group of sprinters assembled top to bottom this season so far in my opinion.

03 Sep 2010 2:43 PM
Mike Relva

I see MTB winning. Also VH.

03 Sep 2010 4:05 PM
Frank J.

I love QR, but he is about 3rd choice right now in the Classic, behind Blame and Z. "horse to beat", who says he can get a mile and a quarter when he got caught a mile and an eighth?? Sorry Jason, your choices of beating Z are pretty thin right now.

03 Sep 2010 4:08 PM
Jason Shandler

Frank: Let me know if you would like to make a wager come BC time. I would enjoy taking your $.

03 Sep 2010 4:12 PM


 Sometimes the chalk can taste pretty good. If you can sniff out the exacta in all of those races you r.o.i. will be very respectable. I am going to pass and just sit back and watch. Good luck to anybody that is wagering this weekend.

03 Sep 2010 4:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I've been a fan of Quality Road's for a long time, and was touting him as a probable monster with versatilty prior to his comeback races. If he wins, he will be pointed to The Classic where he most likely will be second or third choice in the morning line. He is slightly suspect at 1 1/4 to be the favorite in The Classic. I do believe you will see Mine That Bird back in form in The Woodward, and if you don't think he was in great form for the entire Triple Crown series then I don't know what to say. Convocation, Mine That Bird, QR, and Tranquil Manner look best to me. QR will be tough but it is possible he could lose. I'm looking for a big race from Mine That Bird, and he's my pick. Twirling Candy in the Del Mar Derby on Sunday is the best bet. The Forego is the race of the weekend and a true Grade One. As highly as I think of Vineyard Haven, there is competition here and many who could win with their best. It will be interesting. I still would pick Vineyard to get the lead and turn back all challenges. If he gets seriously challenged and there is a duel, a closer could win. Warrior's Reward runs best closing. Starforaday, or Bribon could close for the win also. Those would be my top four picks but none would shock me. Big Drama might be capable of challenging and putting away Vineyard. Did I say nice race? Vineyard Haven is my pick. Good luck to the 2yo's and my top pick Runflatout at Del Mar. Wine Police in The Hopeful is my weak pick there, haven't seen pps. Spinaway-Alienation to win.

03 Sep 2010 4:13 PM
Frank J.

No prob Jason.

03 Sep 2010 4:18 PM
Ted from LA

These pretzels are making me thirsty.  I say chalk this weekend up to Draynay.

03 Sep 2010 4:35 PM


I'll join Frank J. in putting up some $$ come BC time.  I'll definitely take Blame and Zenyatta over Quality Road at 10 furlongs.  While I'm a fan of QR, I think he wants no part of 10 furlongs, and would be better off going in the Dirt Mile.

Anyway, put me in on that wager. ;)

03 Sep 2010 4:37 PM
Mike Relva


Having issues w/ Zenyatta's connections are one thing,but you've managed to punish a truly great racehorse. If she wins  in Nov hope maybe you will give her credit instead of a spin.

03 Sep 2010 4:39 PM
steve s

take Big Drama

03 Sep 2010 4:53 PM

Wow, what a crappy day at Saratoga so far...

03 Sep 2010 5:03 PM

I think that the correct term is "chalk eating weasel."

03 Sep 2010 5:23 PM
Jason Shandler

kyrailbird: I did not say I would take QR over Blame for the BC. That is still TBD. I only said QR would beat Zenyatta. That is the wager on the table.

Mike: Grow up. This is horse racing, a sport. I dont have to cheer on every horse like a school girl. I like who I like. I dont make any apologies for that. Stop getting offended every time people dont worship your favorite horse.

03 Sep 2010 5:38 PM

QR was the most visually impressive horse I saw at the Breeder's Cup.  He reminds me a lot of Alysheba.  Just stunning in his appearance.  

Breeders Cup Mile...I would say he gets beat on a 2 turn mile oval by a Conveyance or Sydney's Candy type.  One turn mile would be a different play.  

I hope QR blows the field away by 10 so he won't have any excuses when Zenyatta passes him like like he was tied to the fence come BC time.  She's grown up on a 1 mile oval and can duck and weave better than a Honda down the 405.  She constantly goes 8-9 wide to avoid the stalled traffic.

03 Sep 2010 6:12 PM
Jason Shandler

Householder: CD is a one-turn mile

03 Sep 2010 6:18 PM

Householder, Zenyatta's grown up on a synthetic surface running against fillies and mares. Big difference when you actually have to fly "over the rockies" and take on the best horses at a 1 1/4 miles on dirt. And remember, Curlin, the best dirt horse in training in 2007 and 2008, failed at the Classic distance on synthetics. It will be interesting how Zenyatta does going that far on a surface that will not hinder the top choices, as it did in last years BC.

03 Sep 2010 6:38 PM
Mike Relva


Sorry to inform you,but there's a contrast between cheering and respecting a "once in a lifetime horse". You know,"growing up" sometimes goes both ways.

03 Sep 2010 6:43 PM

The only way QR beats Zenyatta in the BCC is if she falls asleep.

Does anyone think for a minute, that big long stride of hers, she is going to let QR get the best of her?    Huh,  that will be the day...  She aint letting no ONE  get a nose in front of her........

She will win the BCC.........She may hit all gears going in but she will come out winning.........

03 Sep 2010 6:49 PM
Assault on the Senses

I adore QR but don't think he can collar Blame OR Zenyatta in the BC Classic as he is better at shorter distances where he can funnel his speed and go all out for the duration. He is a MUCH better 1 1/8 horse than he is longer than that. The longer stretch at Churchill is IDEAL for a horse like Zenyatta and others who  are deep closers. Blame and Z are going to be hard to beat there as the longer stretch gives them the time they need to get rolling. Zenyatta's connection have stated that she is better on dirt but is just a victim of this ridiculous CA mandated poly strack BS!! Her Apple Bloosom wins were awesome to watch and it looks like she handles dirt just fine to me. Is she a wonder horse? Well nobody knows for sure but she is doing a great job so far of proving herself yet it is sad to see that journalists like you have blinkers on and like so many others knock her because of where she is located. UNDEFEATED doesn't have to travel to prove anything. Lava Man was a GREAT Cali horse but never won outside of Cali, so does that mean he wasn't a great horse? NO it does not. He WILL got down in history and so will Zenyatta, meanwhile I am sure in those history books we'll hear very little about Quality Road. I like him alot but he isn't not the same caliber of horse as Zenyatta. He came unglued when he saw her last year and most likely will do the same thing this year!! Hahahahahahahahahaha! Laughable! Time to stop sniffing the chalk!  

03 Sep 2010 6:59 PM
Mike Relva

Quality Road is a miler,just like last week myself an a few others' stated RA probably get the 10f. QR is very special,but I won't worry if he's in the gate against Zenyatta in Nov.

03 Sep 2010 7:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Quality Road's true brilliance in my opinion is at a mile. I would love to see him running the dirt mile. He might be able to carry his brilliance through a mile and quarter. The connections believe so, and want The Classic because of the prestige of it. They work with him so they know better than I, however he has world record talent at a mile, not at 1 1/4. Tommorrow should tell them more depending on how he looks doing it, assuming he wins, but their hearts are set on The Classic so unless he weakens in the final eighth that is where they will be. He didn't weaken in his loss to Blame, he just got overtaken with no time to respond, but he has run better. It wasn't his strongest race. The ride could have been better too. What's the point of looking around unless you're going to immediately get down to business? It's possible for QR to win at any distance 7f-1 1/4. I believe he is that good, but more vulnerable at 1 1/4, and even 1 1/8. Zenyatta is the one to beat in The Classic. Her last quarter will be astonishing. Under 22, close to 21. How far back will she be and how dominant will the front runner be? Once again, the ground she makes up will make it look like most or all are standing still. I do believe it's a tougher task than last year but I also believe she will be better on dirt. Mine That Bird will be flying tomorrow. If JR doesn't stick to task who are you going to BLAME when MTB buzzes by him?

03 Sep 2010 7:26 PM

the woodward--pass. too emotional for me. won't even watch it.

the forego--warrior's reward

the spinaway--le mi geaux

the hopeful--stay thirsty

the glen falls--liberally

03 Sep 2010 7:34 PM
John T

Sept.1st is a date I look forward

to each year because that is when

things really start to heat up for the Breeders Cup races.Quality Road

will be a short price favourite for

the Woodward but this race will go a long way in telling us just were

he fits in the big picture of the Breeders Cup Classic.

03 Sep 2010 8:17 PM

Hmmm.....funny, I read, QR " the horse to beat". I didn't see any specifying of QR or Blame as being the *ones* to beat.

Anyway, I'll still take the big Z over QR in the Classic, so you're on. :)  If QR goes in the Classic, he'll be running out of gas at the top of the stretch.

However, again, I'd love to see him in the Dirt Mile against Vineyard Haven. :)  That certainly would be interesting.

P.S.  How did you do in the Personal Ensign?  I don't remember if you had mentioned if you were betting on that race or not.  Anyway, I certainly enjoyed my winnings from Persistently. ;)  

03 Sep 2010 8:35 PM
Mike Relva


Agree. QR is a miler.

03 Sep 2010 8:40 PM
Jason Shandler

You people saying QR is a miler are clueless. The horse set back-to-back 9F track records at Gulfstream. Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Wake up. Let me clue you in on something and teach you a bit about horse racing: When horses run on the front end like RA and QR do, they are sometimes at a tactical disadvantage, especially if there is a quick pace or a speed duel. That doesnt mean they "can't get 10F," as many of you like to phrase it. It just means they need the race to set up the right way for them. Furthermore, when they lose by a half-length or a neck, it doesnt mean they raced poorly, cant get a certain distance, or should retire. It means they lost a race.  Understand? Good, glad I could help.

Also, kyrailbird: I did just fine in the Personal Ensign. Re-read my blog. I had Persistently to place/show and threw out LAT because I knew she was overmatched and was a sucker bet. Show me where anybody else said they liked Persistently.

03 Sep 2010 8:47 PM
Paula Higgins

I agree that Quality Road can get 10F. But I do not think it his best distance. It is Zenyatta's. As you said Jason, it has to set up the right way for him or it gets tougher to nail down the win. Zenny always finds a way to win. But it is still true QR and Blame are her biggest problems this year in the BCC. However, if she doesn't have trip problems in the BCC, I still think she will win. She can't afford to have trip issues with these two beastie boys.

QR and MTB this weekend.

03 Sep 2010 9:01 PM
needler in Virginia

oooooooooooh, everyone is SO cranky! What a lovely way to begin the last weekend at the Spa. Think I'll just sit back and watch the opponents go at it hammer and tongs....ESPECIALLY about a race that is almost three months down the line. Now THAT makes a LOT of sense!

Cheers and safe trips.

03 Sep 2010 9:01 PM


I fully admit I didn't read your blog last week regarding the Personal Ensign.  That's why I asked you about it.  I'm glad you had Persistently in there.

I tend to stay away from your blog, for the most part, because I need to control my blood pressure. ;)

03 Sep 2010 9:03 PM

Some dude sitting three bar stools down from me at Siros also liked Persistenly.  He won enough money that he faught the crowd leaving the track to go cash his ticket.  Wish he had purchased me a "can" of beer?  What's with a fine dining establisment serving "can" beer?  Girolamo, Alienation, QR and Devon Rock.  

03 Sep 2010 9:05 PM
mike rullo


I'm not a fan of zenyatta like yourself. she wont win the classic,I doubt she will even make the classic. the connections will com up with some excuse.

03 Sep 2010 9:15 PM
Jason Shandler

Mike Rullo: How dare you say you are not a fan of Zenyatta?! That is blasphemy. Dont you know, everyone HAS to love her and youre not a true fan of horse racing if you dont. It's sacrilege not to.

03 Sep 2010 9:22 PM

All I have to say is that you folks better hope it doesn't rain on 6 November in Kentucky.

03 Sep 2010 9:23 PM
Jason Shandler

TVnewsbadge: If it does rain, we know one horse that wont show up for sure.

03 Sep 2010 9:24 PM

If it does rain, we know one horse that wont show up for sure.   JS

Re:   Jason,  Its not going to rain,  I have already consulted with  a RAIN man,  The wise little old Indian Rain man assurred me he wouldnt make it rain on Nov. 6, 2010, at CD.    Now, it could rain around there, but not near the horse track...

So, that ought to hold your fears of Zenyatta not running on that day.

Note:  The same wise little Indian, told me that a mighty mare comethn from the West soon to unleash a fury on a race track.......

NOw, we know who is referring to,

none other than the queen..


Jason,  I pay good attention to the wise little old Indian man when he!!

03 Sep 2010 9:50 PM

If anyone can find a horse in the Classic that can close a final quarter in 22 and change going a mile and a quarter, they will be the only horse to stand a chance of beating Zenyatta to the wire in November.

Quality Road is a brilliant horse and I think he shows his old self this weekend. Well, self from a couple races ago. I can't see MTB turning his form around dramatically enough to run down QR. Maybe picking up the pieces in the exotics.

03 Sep 2010 9:57 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

As good as QR is, if he is in the Classic he will probably be an underlay. The powerful closers will be annihilating him in the final eighth, including Mine That Bird. QR set 9F GP records on a very fast surface where he could easily carry his speed. No, he isn't just a miler but he is great at a mile, and through 1 1/8 in the right race and surface. His ideal distance might actually be 1 1/16. He can be caught at 1 1/8 or 1 1/4. I think he might be training up to The Classic after tomorrow. Blame's connections aren't at all worried about The Jockey Club taking too much out of him. He very easily could be the ML favorite for The Classic, and absolutely has the edge over QR at the distance as does Zenyatta. No matter who is in The Jockey Club, if Blame loses it will be a shocker. He is one tough customer, and should be propelled to Classic ML favorite off of that win. QR might get second or third in The Classic but he should be no less than 6-1 for the win. Don't confuse 1 1/8 with 1 1/4. The last eighth could be torture for him.

03 Sep 2010 9:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The earth will be rumbling that day my friend. Hang on to your hats and beer mugs, as the grandstands are shaking when Blame and then Zenyatta go roaring by making mincemeat of the field, and raving maniacs of the fans for the power of what they have just seen is too astonishing to imagine. Yes, mighty QR has struck out as he is then passed by Mine That Bird. 2010 Classic order of finish-First-Zenyatta, Second-Blame, Third-Mine That Bird, Fourth-I don't know, maybe QR, or a longshot.

03 Sep 2010 10:05 PM
Mike Relva


Do we really wanna go down this road,cause correct me if I'm mistaken but you thought RA could get the 10f,I didn't. You have your opinion and if you wanna say we're "clueless" be my guess. But,it's not exactly like you were right about RA. I've suspected she had distance limitations,obviously  was proved. I still say QR is a miler.

03 Sep 2010 10:05 PM
Jason Shandler

Dr. D: As soon as you wrote Mine That Bird would be closing in the Classic I laughed and then stopped reading, as everyone else did. QR just beat him by 10 and will beat him by another 10 tomorrow. Hopefully then Lukas will come to his senses.

As for the part about Gulfstream being a "very fast surface, do you mean like Churchill?

03 Sep 2010 10:05 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks for the laugh. lol

03 Sep 2010 10:06 PM
Jason Shandler

Mike: Watch the race again. She crushed the horse you picked to win, LAT, by 10. How does that make you right? You couldnt have been more wrong, so to sit there and take credit for anything is absurd. RA dueled on the lead all the way around the track without a breather. What horse could do that at 10F and not be leg weary in the final sixteenth? Not many. Horse racing is about pace my friend. One day you will eventually learn that. It doesnt mean she cant "get 10 furlongs" because she was beaten by a length after being hounded the entire way around the track. Is 10F her ideal distance? No. Is it for QR? No. But to say she "cant get 10F" is overstating it. If LAT didnt commit suicide for one mile do you honestly believe RA wouldnt have won?

03 Sep 2010 10:12 PM

Given a clean trip on a dry track, Zenyatta should win the Classic.  If those two elements aren't present, I think Quality Road has the strongest chance of winning.  As good and gutsy as he is, I think Blame finishes out of the money, just a gut feeling that he's half a notch below the best in class.  He could well prove me wrong and would obviously be no surprise.

If it's a sloppy track, bet the farm on Rachel Alexandra in the Ladies Classic.

03 Sep 2010 10:20 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  No GP was faster than CD. Too hard as a matter of fact. I'm hoping that MTB shows more than that tommorrow. Honestly I'd be very happy if he lost by seven lengths or less. He'd be progressing quite well towards The Classic if he lost by seven or less tommorrow. Tall order I know but attainable. It will be interesting. QR will be anywhere from 1-2 to 1-9. 1-4 actually sounds about right. Is he going to easily destroy the field as his odds and stature would suggest? His Bris Prime Power is way up there for a dirt horse, and 18 points higher than anyone in the field. On paper it sure looks like a cakewalk but there is just enough talent in there for someone to make it somewhat interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing what QR and MTB will do tommorrow. If MTB loses by 10 or more then it probably will be time to start over. It could be a WOW performance by QR. I'm OK with anything. It is what it is. Like I've said-I'm a QR fan, but I'm a bigger Blame, MTB, and Zenyatta fan. If he's not running against one of those then I'll root for him. If he wins, that's great but I want MTB to show something special. MTB might not even be in The Classic, but if he is I believe that means that he runs very well tommorrow. The Classic is still a long way off but QR will have to be the best he's ever been to win. Absolutely peaked for a monster performance. Second would not surprise me, first would. One of the closers should nail him.

03 Sep 2010 10:26 PM
joe p.

Jason you do know your horses, don't get bent out of shape if someone disagrees with you. I also feel that Zenyatta will beat Quality Road in the BC Classic. Waiting to see how Blame looks in his next race. Jason you have to admit that Quality Road is at a disadvantage against Zenyatta because of his front running style. Once Zenyatta gets a target and closes in it will be all over for Quality Road. If there is a speedball faster than Quality Road in the BC Classic then maybe he does have a chance to win, if he has the staying power to finish strong at 1 1/4.

03 Sep 2010 10:34 PM

My handicapping genius had hit upon summer doldrums as my good friend Lazmannick was eager to point out recently BUT like Quality Road, I expect to rebound in style this weekend, so here goes:

Big Drama should cop his first Grade one at the expense of Vineyard Haven, Warrior's Reward and Bribon in the very contentious Forego.

Quality Road (a cinch) reasserts his authority over rivals in the Woodward and sends out a Breeder's Cup Classic Alert and HOTY advisory. Mine That Bird is capable of a respectable runner-up spot here.

Abide to upset calculations in the Spinaway.

Boys At Tosconova is a smart cookie and should cause rivals to "stay thirsty" in the Hopeful.


03 Sep 2010 10:34 PM

People seem to conveniently forget that Z trains on dirt everyday!  The training track at Hollywood Park is, yes, traditional dirt.  So saying she is a "synth horse" is not accurate.  She loves and feels most at home at dirt.  I wish East Coast racing fans could put there biases aside.  It doesn't reflect well on the sport.

03 Sep 2010 10:37 PM

Mike Relva


I thought that running a mile in 1.37.54 while not really being pressed, maybe hounded a little, but not really being pressed, and certainly not going all out as one person tried to suggest to you, was supposed to be well within the grasp of a horse that less than a year ago some were blatantly stating was much better than Ruffian.

FACT..…the PE was not an all out war on the front end.  It was a moderate pace, much easier than what to expect in either the BCC or the BC Distaff.

FACT..…LAT might have finished 10 lengths back of second, but at the 8th pole when she was 3 1/2L back the Jock let up on her when he realized he wasn’t going to improve and wasn’t going to be run down by another horse.  And LAT might have won six in a row, but she was no world beater.  Only one of those races was a G1 race and her highest Beyer was only 101 in the Sixty Sails.  And the comment dueled for the lead all the way around the track without a breather causes me to wonder.  I think that running a mile in the BCC or the BC Distaff in 1.37,2 would be considered a breather.

03 Sep 2010 10:39 PM
Jason Shandler

Joe: I get bent out of shape sometimes because when I see five straight people write that QR is a miler, its tough to take them seriously. A horse sets track records at 9F yet he is a miler? Geez.

I do agree with you that QR could be at a disadvantage against Zenyatta at 1oF. But only if there is other speed in the race. If he is lone speed, Zenyatta is at a disadvantage against him. Again, pace is the key.

03 Sep 2010 10:52 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Sounds like you're in the same mood that you were in when touting Setsuko and Pleasant Prince for the Kentucky Derby as well as campaigning for revamping the system.  Physician, heal thyself I say! Take it easy Doc.  Quality Road winning at 10 Furlongs at Churchill Downs in November will be a thing of beauty. Seems like you haven't found a cure for derby "fever" or Breeder's Cup "virus" .  Try running flat out for half a furlong and when you're flat out on your back say "Quality Road is the king" ten times and you'll feel better(LOL) ...then give Zookeeper a call.  Let me know how you make out.

03 Sep 2010 10:56 PM
Mike Relva


I take nothing away from RA. Unlike Draynay I can come on here and admit error when selecting the wrong horse,such as the case when I stated was wrong about LAT winning. I'll say it again Calvin made a mistake having her on the lead.

03 Sep 2010 11:08 PM
Mike Relva


Do you really think QR is going to win in Nov? Mr Dray likes QR depending on what week you catch him,that's the kiss of death! lol

03 Sep 2010 11:19 PM


You never know, Dr D. may be a marathon runner. But if not, Paula Higgins may be more helpful, she's a flat out great nurse!

Quality Road IS a thing of beauty but in the BCC he may not be. Remember he had to  be vanned back after taking one look at the big mare. Who knows what will happen when he sees her again. :)

03 Sep 2010 11:38 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Mike Relva

  The spin is already there. It's guaranteed to be spun in Nov.


  No need for revamp. Purse increases, and SA back to dirt. All is well. Next year whoever is in is in. I'll be happy with it. Thanks for your concern though. Sorry about QR in The Classic. Hope you won't be too disappointed in QR's loss, and can keep a straight head for the Triple Crown. Oh, if only QR was pointed to the mile, that would be  sight to behold !!! Go Runflatout!!! Did you try epsom salts yet?

03 Sep 2010 11:41 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks,you always do your homework. Regarding Ruffian,I never believed it when people like Dray and others' tried to make Ruffian almost a claimer. Again,RA is a great horse,but to slam Ruffian is just stupid!

03 Sep 2010 11:41 PM
Paula Higgins

I agree with Jason also about Rachel. She does get 10F, she ran a very gutsy race and the speed duel did do her in. But 10F is not her best distance by a longshot. I think if this had been a shorter race she would have won hands down.

I also think that at 1 1/4 Quality Road will not have a fast enough closing speed to keep up with Zenyatta in the BCC. He will start to fade. Mike Smith just has to make sure he doesn't run out of track and wait too long to make his move with Zenyatta. He also can't let QR and Blame get too far ahead before they get around that last turn.

I think this is the perfect set-up for Zenyatta in the BCC and her style of racing. She loves the 1 1/4 distance. All she needs is two horses to fight it out at the front for a while. If both QR and Blame are in the BCC, I think that will happen and they will wear each other out. I think she can and will win it if she doesn't have insurmountable traffic issues or a bad ride.

Thanks Zookeeper for the nice comment about being a good R.N. I like to think so too LOL.

04 Sep 2010 12:44 AM

You are all a bunch of rookies.  Talking garbage about Quality Road.  What is wrong with you people?  I guess I have to remind you that Blame got 5 lbs. when he faced QR.  That made the difference and will never see that 5 lbs. again.  Make no mistake he is still the one to beat.

04 Sep 2010 1:00 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I need to see your ticket stub. Where's your stub? I'm sorry we can't let you in without your stub. There are none so blind as those that will not see. Spin around on your Sit n' Spin ten times then stand up and try to walk. That's how QR will feel against The Great Queen Zenyatta. Check your pockets again.

04 Sep 2010 1:07 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  What do you expect? They call that puny storm a hurricane !!! We  would call Earl light wind and sprinkles out here. They say the "ocean is pounding the beach" when it looks like a calm day for us, not even worth surfing. Their cold is nothing to sneeze at though, but it makes them jealous with envy. If Zenyatta was back east she'd be the greatest thing since Paul Revere's horse even for Jason. She'll get her due when the movie comes out. Til then she'll only be truly appreciated by those that understand horse racing, and horses.

04 Sep 2010 1:20 AM

Zenyatta is the best horse in the world and she is definately better on dirt. So many people get jealous of winners in every sport it's sickening. The whole country bashes Boston teams when they win championships and they do it to Zenyatta because they can't accept the fact that their favorite horse or team just isn't that good. QR loves Gulfstream but isn't as fast on other surfaces. RA is facing a little competition now and she's showing that the Eclipse award doesn't mean a thing because of the East Coast bias. Facts are facts.

04 Sep 2010 2:46 AM

I'll bet my life Zenyatta beats QR in the Classic. If he finishes ahead of her you can kill me, and vice versa. Deal?

04 Sep 2010 3:47 AM


04 Sep 2010 6:05 AM

QR was sensational in the Met MILE.  He broke a Saratoga track record in a sprint.  That's fast.  Last year, he took one look at Ms Z, threw a tantrum and scratched from the BCC.  If it rains in Kentucky...guess what...QR will just spin his wheels...he doesn't like the slop. ....and he doesn't do well on it.  He did ok in the Whitney, but didn't seem interested in the race.  Time will tell.  9f isn't 10f...a distance he won't do well at.  But I like QR for the Woodward....hope to see him run to form.  Hope Big Drama takes the Forego, and the Boys At Toscanova in the Hopeful.  

04 Sep 2010 6:19 AM

Mike Relva - Jason is absolutely correct. Grow up or go away. One need only look at your nasty little posts on any of the barbaro blogs to see your true nature.

04 Sep 2010 7:51 AM
Ann in Lexington (aka Pedigree Ann)

Householder - handsome is as handsome does. The most impressive physical specimen is not always the best runner (eg, Affirmed vs Alydar).

Jason - Quality Road has already failed twice at 10f, in the Travers and the JCGold Cup. He is a brilliant horse at GP (especially when the rest of the field consists of midpack and closing runners) and just very good elsewhere. He has a racing profile similar to Dr. Fager, although he has yet to reach the heights the Good Doctor scaled.

04 Sep 2010 8:28 AM

Saratoga and Churchill Downs are much deeper tracks than the speedway down at Gulfstream, and they are not synthetics. Quality Road and Zenyatta in the Breeders Cup Classic will be sucker bets, who will be lucky enough to hit the board.

I'll take Bribon in the Forego and Convocation in the Woodward.

04 Sep 2010 8:51 AM

Who's riding Indian Dance with Desormeaux hurt?

Man, that was awful...

04 Sep 2010 9:09 AM
Trading Places

Why is it a slam to compare RA to Ruffian, but not Zenyatta. The only thing the latter have in common other than size is records, and then it ends. RA may not be a huge filly, but she is larger than average, is normally a filly who likes to be close to the front, was a dominant three year old, and last year was so dominant over her own sex she was able to completley crush her rivals, as Ruffian did.

On the distance question, I believe RA can still get the distnace. Final times and quarters seem to have gotten progressivly slower at Saratoga through the years when competing at 9 furlongs or over at the grade one level. Also since 2006, when competing at those distances and levels, only three horses have carried their speed wire to wire. One was Fleet Indian, two Commentator, and three was Rachel Alexandra. What does this reveal, Saratoga is a deep and tiring track that seems to be a little biased against frontrunners trying to wire a field, when distances get longer.

04 Sep 2010 9:23 AM

I've got no problem believing he will win today against a bunch of second rate horses.  But, I have no idea why you think he would be the horse to beat in the Classic.  There will most certainly be a full field, he will be challenged early in the race and at the far turn and he'll still need to hold off the closers.  I just don't see him as a 10f horse... heck, has he even run in a 10f race?

04 Sep 2010 9:29 AM
Citation II

"I'm sorry to say I don't believe "Z" will be able to repeat her win of last year in the BC Classic?" "Z" did not beat beat Gio Ponti by that much? But a win is a win, right? I think this might be the race that breaks that winning streak of hers, I hate to see it happen. I do love to watch her close coming to the finish line! Speaking of retiring how long are they going to run "BIG Z?" I would love to see some "Z" babies out there. She has nothing more to prove.

04 Sep 2010 9:31 AM

OK Jason, fess up....Ed Evans had you pronounce Quality Road a lock in the Woodward so the odds would be driven up right? I just hope nobody gets hurt in the stampede to bet on MTB now.

04 Sep 2010 9:38 AM

*Indian Dance...I think I said Dancer.

I wonder why BH hasn't said anything about KD getting hurt, or all the stuff that happened at Saratoga yesterday?

04 Sep 2010 9:46 AM
Mike Relva


I agree w/ you on that.

04 Sep 2010 9:55 AM
The Rock


You know what he difference is between Zenyatta, RA & QR? Zenyatta doesn't need any type of pace scenario to develop in her favor to win. And again, I'll gladly take that bet with you in the BC. Hoping to be there this year. If you are too even better. That way I can collect quickly. lol.

Anyway, back to this weekends races. The first 3 @ SAR could be a hammer P3. In the first, I like Rose long as they stay on the lawn. Pletcher firster in the 2nd to take his 2 year old win total to 200 this meet. And good ol' Mr. Fantasy in the 3rd. He really hasn't looked the same since he was injured last year. He did get pushed on the lead last out. If he can sneak away just a bit at this trip he could finally chalk one up for Jason's Derby future pick from last year....??? or was it 2 years ago?

Forego: I really like this race. I'm with you Jason on the Entry. tough to go against. One could go to the front, the other can rate. they both love the track. But I also like Warrior's Reward to complete the exacta. He was way too close to the pace last time and he should get a pace to chase here. One run might get him there. Hammer the exacta box

Good luck all

04 Sep 2010 10:27 AM

complaining about beer in a can?

bottled beer sucks - 1 out of 10 are messed up

I have never had a bad beer in a can

04 Sep 2010 10:33 AM

Still beating up on Zenyatta, eeh Jason?  Your blogs always seem to turn into a slug fest over Zenyatta which is really starting to turn me off.  Are we not talking about the Saratoga and the Woodward?  

04 Sep 2010 10:44 AM
Jason Shandler

How am I beating up on her Jodie? Because I think QR and Blame are better? How dare I have an opinion like that. The nerve of me.

04 Sep 2010 10:58 AM


Ever go visit a retired race horse on the farm when their careers are over?  MIKE RELVA does it all the time.  Who are you to tell him to go away?  Maybe you should try it yourself.

Just because he challenges Jason, so what.  Maybe you should try challenging things you don't believe.

04 Sep 2010 11:11 AM

Trading Places

Interesting fact you stated about horses wiring the field at Saratoga.  I'm still trying to get it clear in my mind though.....

Do you mean G1 races only?

Do you  mean races @ 1 1/8M and more?

Please clarify if you get the time.

04 Sep 2010 11:26 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Nice post at 11:11am. Jason never said grow up and go away. He said, "grow up." I just see it as the heat in the moment of the battle. A lot of it is pre-race opinions or goat getting which often means nothing other than defending your favorites. I personally believe that Mike Relva's true nature is a good guy, from what I've read of his posts. He's just defending horses he likes, and often has defended horses against other's snide remarks. The horses and jockeys do all of the real talking. Anything we say actually doesn't mean much. We're just having fun with a sport we deeply love, The Greatest Game.

04 Sep 2010 11:35 AM
LouAnn Cingel

Quality Road all the way home-

Go big boy, show 'em what you truly are made of!

Love & Blessings

LouAnn Cingel of Union, Missouri

04 Sep 2010 12:20 PM

I give you credit Jason, but until Zenyatta is put into a real race, you will never hear the end of the Zenyatta fans and their arguments laced with the word "would." Isn't it funny that a horse that won the Breeders Cup Classic last year won't actually run in a race open to all competition until this Breeders Cup, a full year later? Why does everyone say she is the best horse on the planet? Whatever happened to looking at data and forming an conclusion off that? Zen has been kept in filly and mare races all year, with only one coming off her favorite surface of all, the synthetics. And for those of you that say she is better on dirt, 16 of her 18 races have been on synthetics, so action speaks louder than words. Sorry, but that is the truth. If she was better on dirt, she would be running on dirt. And the Zenya...I mean Lady's Secret is run at 1 1/16 miles, a distance she apparently hates, while the Goodwood Stakes is 1 1/8 miles on the same day at the same track. Why is she not in the Goodwood? Does it have to do with males being in that race? Oh I forgot, she WOULD beat the males anyway so it is better for them she runs in the Lady's Secret. It is absolutely great how Team Zenyatta campaigns their champion. No wonder she gets no respect outside of California...

04 Sep 2010 12:28 PM

Mike Relva= Passion!

Lazmannick= Knowledge!

Ranagulzion= Tenacity!

GunBow= Logic!

Dr Drunkinbum= Kindness!

Jason= Trouble Making Blog Master!

This is too much fun!!!

Where's Kay? She can out-blog all of them!

04 Sep 2010 12:34 PM
Jason Shandler

Dont you understand Jimmy? They are saving her for one big race at the end of the year. That means, they dont have to enter any tough race the rest of the year. This way, they can have her go 19-0 and tie Pepper's Pride, who ironically wouldnt leave the state either. Make sense? lol. Honestly, it is pretty amusing. You are right on the money. Why no Pacific Classic? Why no Goodwood? They dont want to ship they say. Fine. At least face the best in your own state.

But any time objective people like us bring this up, you know what the Zenyatta fans say? "But what about Rachel?" It always comes back to comparing the two horses. None of them can ever see Zenyatta on her own terms for what she is: A very good mare that has had one of the easiest careers of any top horse in the history of horse racing. That is undisputable.

04 Sep 2010 12:44 PM

Jimmy: "Whatever happened to looking at data and forming an conclusion off that?"

18 races 18 wins. Sorry! just not good enough....must have more data. ROFL.

04 Sep 2010 1:18 PM
Pam S.

Trading Places,

Rachel "completely crushed" her male rivals in one race, the Haskell.  In the Preakness and Woodward, she hung on.  She had a great year in 2009 (except for the fact that it ended right at this time), and there's no need to embellish it.  Zen fans sure do get taken to task for that sort of thing.

04 Sep 2010 1:28 PM
Mike Relva


Really? Well you know something,some people like to always be in control,when they find themselves back on their heels playing defense they can't hamdle it. It's always easy when you're doing the attacking,but be prepared to be answered. BTW as far as Barbaro site goes,weren't you the one last week bragging about "the thousands" of cash you and your wife contribute. You know what,many give without even broadcasting it. As far as going away,if you don't like my comments you've got two choices,but only one can I say on this blog..... don't read them!

04 Sep 2010 1:36 PM
Mike Relva


You can't have it both ways,months ago you sliced and diced a reader for making a suggestion regarding a racehorse. You told them something along the line that connections could do whatever they wanted. Don't you think it should be the same for the Mosses'? I don't believe in making up rules as you go along as the situation calls for.

04 Sep 2010 1:40 PM

Jason, weren't you the one that said Rachel by 5 in the Personal Ensign?  So you think your opinion is worth more?  Remember what they said about Seattle Slew, how he has not races against anyone, he has not proven himself, blah blah blah and he went on to win the triple crown?  Where you even born yet?   He is still one of my all time favorites and I could never get enough of watching him race.    Like Zenyatta he just kept on winning and like Rachel they did not know when to quit with him. I have absolutely no problem with an owner and trainer taking care of their horse and doing what they think is best for them. What I have a problem with is running a horse into the ground to rack up wins and awards.  I for one have absolute faith that Zenyatta will prove herself again on the track.  And she will be at her peek and ready to run.  

04 Sep 2010 1:43 PM

Doesn't anyone ever get tired of this????  It is just repeating the same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over........

04 Sep 2010 1:53 PM

With all the upsets that have happened this summer, Quality Road has to be the best bet in a long time.  In the Personal Ensign Rachel was a good logical bet, but there was still LAT, a mare who hadn't tackled a true G1 like Rachel, sitting in the wings.  Coming off six straight wins there was still that little bit of mystery and perhaps it was enough to out psych Calvin.  Quality Road himself looked like a mortal lock to many in the Whitney.  There was still Blame to deal with and maybe Musket Man too, but Blame's slow Foster made him look a little suspect, and MM had to step up and take advantage of the additional 8th of a mile more to travel than in the Met.  So what happened?  Blame showed that the slow time in the Foster was a bit of a mirage and got up in time.  Musket Man was gallant once again in defeat and looks like a horse that will one day pick up the pieces, but I really think he needs the top ones to falter or show some vulnerability.  However, in the Woodward Quality Road shouldn’t have a problem.....or could he?  It's amazing how many people are picking Convocation to possibly upset possibly because he seems to be the best of the rest and he has had two good races since the Met and one of them in good time over this track.  I don't see it, but if it happens, then I guess the old adage that Saratoga is the graveyard of champions is back for sure this year after a short respite.

As far as the Forego……can anyone say Bribon?  This race, with the extra furlong and the come from behind possibilities if the track plays that way will set up nicely for him.  At seven years old this might be his last big chance.  He made a move and hung in the 6F Vanderbuilt.  I think Garrett will let it all hang out today.  A good race and he’ll be BC bound probably for the mile.

04 Sep 2010 2:01 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason, what is indisputable is that Zenyatta is a great horse, she is not a just "a very good mare." I guess Ruffian, Personal Ensign.... all had "easier careers" because they raced against the girls too. So I guess they weren't great either. Your argument is full of holes and lacks credibility. It's the equivalent of saying Rachel is not a great horse, and that she just had one good year (a sportswriter I will leave nameless or you won't post my comments, said this and he was dead wrong). Step back and look at her objectively. You talk about objectivity, well it's a two way street. Zenyatta isn't great because I want her to be great, or because I think she is great, but because the facts speak for themselves and she IS great. 18 straight wins is a measure of greatness in primarily Grade 1 races any way you cut it. End of discussion. You can't keep throwing her schedule in her face. She raced against whoever showed up at the time, in Grade 1 races.  When you fail to acknowledge her accomplishments you are dissing the sport and the individual races. If these races are not worthy of a top horse than why have them, and better yet, why call them Grade 1 races? In your world, they are unworthy. I would love an answer to that question.  No less than Bob Baffert gets it. Most of America and Britain gets it. Why don't you???

04 Sep 2010 2:02 PM
Mike Relva


Regarding my comments on Barbaro's blog,if you were paying attention,I was defending Matz regarding the vicious  attacks he received from this guy JON,who doesn't have a clue and disrespected a class trainer. Deal with it!

04 Sep 2010 2:03 PM
Forbidden Apple

At 15-1 morning line I am taking a shot with Tranquil Manner. He closed last time into a slow pace and only needs moderate improvement to be close at the finish. Of course Quality Road can get 1 1/4, but he will be finishing up like Rachel Alexandra did last weekend, slowly. His track records at 1 1/8 were at his favorite track, Gulfstream Park. The last time I checked, the Breeder's Cup will be run at Churchill Downs. Blame is clearly the best horse in this country on dirt at 1 1/4 miles. He won the Whitney in an easy hand ride with plenty of energy left in reserve. Watch the replay again, Gomez only had to shake the reigns and throw a few crosses at Blame to ignite his explosive kick!

I also give Bribon a big chance today, but he will have to run the race of his life to run past Vineyard Haven.

04 Sep 2010 2:04 PM


Don't be shy! Tell us how you really feel. All of us should be as objective as you. After all, anybody should be able to see that QR is a 1 1/4 miles horse and that Rachel should have won the PE by 5. No?

The trouble with racing is that there are other horses entered in the race and they have a habit of trampling all over one's objectivity. Maybe that's what happened to mine. :)

04 Sep 2010 2:06 PM

How did this blog devolve into another Zenyatta fest?  I just reread Jason's initial article and nowhere did he mention Zenyatta.  In fact, he didn't even use the letter "z."  He made the comment, "I think he wins big to set him up as the horse to beat in the BC Classic." He did not disparage Zenyatta.  He was just stating that a win by QR could set the horse up to be a major factor in the BCC.

If I say that my niece just had a beautiful baby girl, will I be attacked for thinking that she is prettier than Zenyatta?  If 2 ballet aficionados argue the merits of Nureyev versus Baryshnikov, will they be assailed for not appreciating Zenyatta's dancing hooves?

Does Zenyatta (or Rachel) have to be brought into every single conversation?  The last time I looked, she wasn't running this weekend and this edition of Jason's blog concerns this weekends racing.  He made the point that some results MAY have some impact on the Breeder's Cup. That's all.

04 Sep 2010 2:20 PM

Jason,  Don't cash in any monies out of that piggy bank on your dresser until AFTER the BCC,  You will need it worse then............

Paying up all those bets against Zenyatta is going to be costly....

Zenyatta- Winner of 2009 and 2010 BCC.......

04 Sep 2010 2:37 PM
Jason Shandler

lol merlinmerry: It's an insecure group we are dealing with here. Her connections made them that way, it's not their fault. When you have a fan favorite horse like this and she keeps avoiding the top competition race after race, they feel the need to hang on to something. Just deal with and move on, like I do. People like you and I know the truth.

04 Sep 2010 2:42 PM
Mike Relva


That's your opinion,let's see what spin you come up with after the Breeders'. Are you gonna say you wouldn't like to own her?

04 Sep 2010 2:43 PM
Mike Relva



04 Sep 2010 2:45 PM
Mike in SB

I think most people will agree that Zenyatta and Rachel have had very conservative races this year, but this is a trend that has been going on for the last decade. Look at the top older males, Quality Road is going to run in only five races before the Breeders Cup, Blame in only four. They are going to face each other only once before the Breeders Cup. Look at the field that Quality Road is facing in the Woodward. The last two runing of the Woodward have been one great horse and a bunch of horses running for second money.

This is a big problem for racing, there must be a way to reverse the trend of horses running so few times and avoiding facing the best horses in their division. Zenyatta and her connections did not start this trend and it will continue next year after she is retired unless the structure of racing is changed. There should be a series of races tied to the Breeders Cup, with point awarded for results in the races. The horse in each division with the most points after the Breeders Cup wins the Eclipse Award and a nice bonus. If the current trend stays the same older horses will be running only 3 or 4 times before the Breeders Cup and this is not good for the sport.

04 Sep 2010 2:56 PM

Wow, what a great weekend of racing! John T, you're right. I've always looked forward to September, eagerly anticipating all of the great races to be run.

In the Forego, I really like Here Comes Ben. I think that the race sets up for his closing style and he should be coming in the stretch.

In the Woodward, I'll pick Mine That Bird. :)

No, I'll pick Quality Road this time. I can't see him losing again. If anyone is going to beat him, I think that it will be Convocation or Tranquil Manner.

As for the other great races. . .

DARLEY DEBUTANTE: Wickedly Perfect

HOPEFUL: Boys at Tosconova


Did anyone see Rose Catherine in the first race at Saratoga? She is a very serious turf sprinter! I would not be surprised to see her in the BC Turf Sprint this November.

Also, Cape Blanco easily defeated Rip Van Winkle, Twice Over, and Beethoven in the Irish Champion Stakes today, winning by five and a half lengths in wire-to-wire fashion. Does anyone know if he is Breeders' Cup bound?


04 Sep 2010 3:01 PM
Pam S.

Trading Places:  

I reread your post about RA vs. Ruffian and I see you were talking about her completely crushing rivals of her own sex, not males.  Sorry, read too fast!!

But this seems like a good time to point out how hard it is for females to crush males.  Hard for Rachel, Goldi, Zen etc., and something that, IMO, is best attempted sparingly.

04 Sep 2010 3:12 PM

I can't imagine Quality Road losing today. Even his C-game is enough to beat these. THIS is the field they assembled for the Woodward? Pathetic. But we've been having this problem all year. Everywhere. I don't think Quality Road is a miler, but he's more of a middle distance horse. He can get 10F, but it's at his upper distance range which means he needs perfect conditions to excel at 10F. Not sure he'll get that in the Classic but it's not like every horse is going to make the race. So there's a good chance the pace won't be as quick as it looks like it'll be now.

I love how Rachel's defenders keep pointing out how she beat Life At Ten by the length of the stretch. Um, so what? Johnny V obviously stopped riding and it's not like Rachel WON the race by ten lengths. She got beat. Same thing in her other two losses this year -- she was a mile in front of the third-place horse, but she still got beat. And now, apparently, we're all getting a pace lecture because OMG THEY WENT SO FAST EARLY!

Only they didn't. Not only was the pace moderate, Rachel was doing it EASY. And the internal fractions are VERY telling... but it's not like Rachel's 10F defenders ever acknowledge that. Do you REALLY think that a 27-second final quarter ISN'T going to get her run down by all the closers? If she'd rocketed early and was miles ahead of everyone (like she did many times last year), then a slow final quarter is justified. But that's not what happened. Look, just because Rachel is VERY suspect at 10F doesn't take away from how brilliant she was last year. Anyone who would suggest that is just being a jerk. If she makes the BC, I want to see her in the best spot for her. I don't think it's the Classic, and I hope Asmussen and my dear Jess don't think so, either. I suspect that she'll be cross-entered in the Ladies and the Classic, with an eye towards going to the Classic with a strong promise of rain.

Now as a Zenyatta fan, I should WANT Rachel in there because she will ensure some pace. But honestly? I want to see her in the best race FOR her and I think it's at 9F. If there was a male race at 9F, that's where I'd want to see Quality Road, too. But I do think he has a much better shot of getting 10F in the Classic than Rachel does.

BTW, Rail Trip just worked what seems like an awesome 6F in company. PRAYING that he and Blame both make the Gold Cup. That'll be the race of the fall. Also, Zenyatta's half-brother, Souper Spectacular (yes, THE NAME IS HORRIBLE) just won on the grass at Saratoga. By Giant's Causeway. Looked like a headcase as well.

Zookeeper -- Thanks for the name check!

Paula Higgins -- massive kudos on your last post. Really terrific.

04 Sep 2010 3:22 PM


You forgot three.....and overs.

04 Sep 2010 3:23 PM

Paula Higgins

One of the best, well thought out posts in a while.  I really enjoyed it.

04 Sep 2010 3:27 PM

I don't want to see this develop into another WE HAVE TO DEFEND IT blog from people that don't seem to get it.  What easy schedule is a G1 schedule?  You don't cherry pick G1 races.  You enter them and wait for the competition to enter them also.  This bit about travel to meet the big guys is total BS when the so-called big guys don't travel very far themselves.  QR and Blame tangled, so what.  They practically live beside each other.  What if Blame was stabled in California?  Do you think QR would travel all the way out there just to meet him, and vice versa?  I doubt it.  Zenyatta races in the races her owners enter her in, the very highest rated races in the filly-mare group.  All others in her sex can enter them if they want to try and win a G1.  For some that’s not good enough.  They always bring up males.  Before Zen and Rachel, how many times did you insist that females race against males?  Now it’s the first thing out of your mouths.  But of course the know-it-alls who always get it right jump all over QR’s bandwagon, only so eager to show us how much they really know.  I would like to hear their justification regarding the below average group he’s facing in a $750K G1 race.  There can’t be any justification on QR’s part because he can’t control who he’s racing against.  It works for him,… should work for everyone else.

04 Sep 2010 3:51 PM

Who saw the With Anticipation live? and what did you think? I just watched the replay and, boy, Soldat looked really good, he's gorgeous...

04 Sep 2010 4:00 PM

wow, Did you all see 'Souper Spectacular' in her race,  She is a great runner because her half sister is the Queen Zenyatta!!!  

Poor Kent D.  Three weeks off, that was a bad injury.

Well,  on another note ,  it was some good news coming for JJ and Asmussen,  their horse 'Astrology' ran good and won......

04 Sep 2010 4:34 PM

Excuse me, folks, but don't forget about LAL in the Breeders Cup Classic.  He is the horse I fear the most for the Queen.  LAL could run right by QR and Blame and oh no, here comes ZENYATTA.  It coud so happen that way.  What then?

04 Sep 2010 4:54 PM

Zenyatta's half brother won a maiden special weight at Saratoga! His name is Souper Spectacular and he was making his first start on the turf. He ran the one mile race in 1:36.16.

Perhaps Zenyatta should try the turf someday. . . :)


04 Sep 2010 5:11 PM
Bet Twice


O'Brien suggested the Breeders Cup, along with the Arc were possibilities for Cape Blanco.

Mike in SB,

I totally agree.  There needs to be an institutional change.  We need a way to encourage owners to keep their horses in training and reward horses who compete against the best.  

Nice workout by Rail Trip this morning.  He adds a really intriguing pace component to the BCC and it looks like he likes the dirt.

Hard to go against Quality Road here, but I join others who think he'll be up against it in the BCC.  I dont know how you make him the favorite when he's never won at the distance.  

04 Sep 2010 5:18 PM

I tell you one thing, That Street Cry sure does produce some great winners.    Here Comes Ben in the Forego is dynamite.   EArlier,  Zenyatta's half sister won her race.


04 Sep 2010 5:46 PM


Here Comes Ben came and flashed by them all.  Great selection.  I hope you put a few bob on him.  Congrats.

04 Sep 2010 5:48 PM
Greg J.

I will say this, #6 Tranquil Manner looks great, and Mine that Bird sure isn't little up close, short, but huge legs, and looks great with the blinkers!  Tri box of Convocation, Mine that Bird, and Quality Road.  After seeing Tranquil Manner up close, He will get my biggest wager for W-P-S. It goes without saying, Quality Road is a BEAST up close, wow!  

04 Sep 2010 5:49 PM
Paula Higgins

Lazmannick and Kay, thanks and back at you. merlinmerry you are being disingenuous. If you read Jason's blogs you know his regard for Zenyatta is, shall we say, not real high. As for your niece, who I am sure is precious, I will take Zenyatta. She is a big, bold beautiful girl, kind of like the Marilyn Monroe of horses. However, beauty is subjective and the facts are the facts. 18 for 18 is a fact. When your niece does that, we'll talk.

04 Sep 2010 5:49 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason, loved the insecure comment. Laughed my head off. We have no weak sisters or brothers on this blog, trust me. They can give as good as they get.

04 Sep 2010 5:50 PM
Paula Higgins

Freetex, you are so right about LAL. No one should forget him. he is capable of 10F in my opinion, big time.

04 Sep 2010 5:51 PM

Well, as one of only two on this blog who loved QR from race one and always believed in him even after he lost his second race even when JS 'tossed him' for the FOY" all that? Yippee!

I stinkin hope they finally find a race for MTB and let that horse get his confidence back...geeze louise.

04 Sep 2010 6:03 PM
Pam S.

Okay, I have to say I feel TERRIBLE for Mine That Bird.  The blinkers didn't work, nothing works, I'm no longer even sure about dropping to lesser stakes because other than QR, that's what the Woodward was, a G3 or listed stakes.  He still finished last.  I can't help but think that this summer has broken his heart as well of the hearts of his many loyal fans.  I know they won't retire him because he's gelded, but there has to be something better than this.

On to QR:  I wouldn't compare his talent to Secretariat, but maybe his looks!  He is a very, very handsome boy.  His performance was fine, but wow, that was a pretty crappy field for a G1.

Sodapopkid, Souper Spectacular is Zenyatta's half-brother, not sister.  Looks like he has a future on the soup, I mean the grass!

04 Sep 2010 6:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

JR stuck to task this time with no monkeying around. Nice job and congrats to the Quality Road barn. Yikes !!!! On Mine That Bird. Regardless of how good he is or isn't, I hope he goes back to Chip, and he starts from scratch. MTB and Chip still deserve a ton of credit for their Derby win and entire Triple Crown. Paula Higgins-nice post. Some people just don't get it, because they refuse to, and you can't help them, but lucky us that do get it. Thanks for your post and all of your posts. Watching Zenyatta these last few years is sheer joy. What a treat she has given to mankind. She's very, very special.

04 Sep 2010 6:07 PM

Laz- I didn't want to go overboard.

04 Sep 2010 6:30 PM
Mike Relva

Ok,was wrong picking MTB to win,I admit it. Giving QR all the credit,he ran well and deserved the win.

04 Sep 2010 6:31 PM
Mike Relva


Everytime I don't think you can write any better,you always suprise me. Bravo!

04 Sep 2010 6:33 PM

QR will be no problem for Zenyatta in the BCC.   I just watched him in the Woodward and I can tell you Zenyatta can take him for sure.

It will be down to Blame and Zenyatta,  and Zenyatta don't like to lose.....and this won't be her first time either... Remember, I told yall so...

04 Sep 2010 6:42 PM

Good job Jason focusing on Mythical Power.  I've been a  Mythical Power fan and thought he could be a star, but he's about as inconsistent as they come.  The simple fact is, he's just realy not that good, but he's also not as bad as he sometimes appears.

The Woodward field was very weak.  With all the talk about the weak, small fields out West, the Woodward wasn't exactly an advertisement for Saratoga.

However, I do think Quality Road's presence was related to the weak field.  Like I wrote in the last topic, the connections of Blame conceded the Woodward to Quality Road, and I bet the connections of Quality Road skip the Jockey Club Gold Cup and leave it to Blame(and Rail Trip + Afleet Express).

I don't think you're right Jason that Quality Road will be the Breeder's Cup favorite.  Quality Road did his job in the Woodward, but none of the other horses will likely be in the Classic field, and that final eighth in 13 and 2 is not going to convince the doubters that Quality Road can get 10 furlongs against top competition.  If Blame wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup either he or Zenyatta will be the Classic favorite.  And HoY is all coming down to the Classic.

04 Sep 2010 6:49 PM

"Souper Spectacular"  is a half-brother to Zenyatta not half-sister,  My Bad.....

When I was typing after the I watched the race,  I had fillies on my mind,  I guess that's how I got it messed up.

Well, Either way both of her siblings, on both her Dam and Sire's side, they won beautifully today.......very impressive..

04 Sep 2010 6:50 PM
Jason Shandler

Can we stop talking about MTB finally? He isnt even a stakes-caliber horse anymore. Wayne had no business putting him in that race. Mike: The fact that you picked MTB in that race makes me wonder how much you know about racing.

GunBow: I never said QR would be the BC favorite. I said he is the horse to beat. Zenyatta will be the favorite because of the pom-pom wavers. No doubt about that. Getting 7-2 on QR or 4-1 on Blame will be a gift from God.

04 Sep 2010 7:22 PM
Pedigree Shelly

          Congrats to Quality Road ! What a Quality performance ! The 1 1/4 miles suits him just well 1 Mine That Bird , did not belong in that race ! Send him back to Mr. Woolley ! This is a nice horse but , he's not the same , he must step down in class ! What is Lukas trying to prove with this horse ??

04 Sep 2010 7:24 PM
Tom V

Jason I'm so happy you stay so objective and positive.

I hope you do get 7-2 on QR. lol

04 Sep 2010 7:30 PM
Frank J.

wow, Jason, your really getting beat up here and I love it! Quality Road's 1:50 today was impressive  and being ridden the entire way?? nice, that will get you a win over Z for sure. I love that you get so pissed that Z is so popular and you really have nothing to come back with. Save up your money. I love QR but I'm a realist.

04 Sep 2010 7:36 PM


Ditto on Mine That Bird. Geez. It's really sad. So what did you think of the Woodward? I think it's a great prep for him. He didn't have to do too much. A Good maintenance race. I know the final eighth was slow but he seemed to be doing it pretty easily. He didn't collapse like Rachel did. Kind of the best of both worlds for him -- he stalked pretty well and finished okay. Very professional. We already know he's a really good horse, now it'll just be up to the pace and Quality Road's sometimes magic mind as to whether he gets 10F. But I actually think that if Blame wins impressively in the Gold Cup, he may be the favorite. And no way you're getting 7-2 on QR. That is wishful thinking!

04 Sep 2010 7:48 PM

Thank you Paula for your 2:02 post, I think the truth hurts sometimes and certain people can't take it specially when the horses they like doesn't perform to the same standards as Zenyatta does.  Zenyatta IS a great horse.

04 Sep 2010 7:48 PM

" merlinmerry you are being disingenuous. If you read Jason's blogs you know his regard for Zenyatta is, shall we say, not real high. As for your niece, who I am sure is precious, I will take Zenyatta. She is a big, bold beautiful girl, kind of like the Marilyn Monroe of horses. However, beauty is subjective and the facts are the facts. 18 for 18 is a fact. When your niece does that, we'll talk."

I have read Jason's blogs before and know that he does like to stir the pot. But - in THIS blog he did not.  He only discussed the the races coming up this weekend. Yet still, here come the Zenyatics.  It is impossible to say anything positive about another horse without one of the Z-ites taking offense.  (As far as my niece, her daughter is precious but my niece is an MD specializing in infectious diseases.  She has done her tours abroad, assisting in underdeveloped countries.  When Zenyatta does THAT, get back to me.)

04 Sep 2010 7:48 PM
President of the Players Haters Club

Jason,since your recent posts suggest your lack of objectivity which is one of our requirements,here's my personal invitation to you and all of your Zenyatta hating friends.

"Gulfstream Park is very fast,like Churchill". lol,no it's not.

"I said QR would beat Zenyatta". I'm assuming in the Classic right?

"I agree that QR could be at a disadvantage against Zenyatta at 10f". Umm,the Classic IS @ 10f.Hello.

"If QR is lone speed,Zenyatta will be at a disadvantage". lol,when has Zenyatta been at the mercy of any pace scenario?

"A very good mare that has had one of the easiest careers in the history of horse racing". What?,you cannot be serious? All they do is enter her in Gr.I races and a few Gr.II's,what's so easy about that? You expect her to run exclusively vs. males because she won last year's Classic? She'll be there again this year don't worry.

Good stuff! I hope you print this since you love to call people out on their "lack of horse racing knowledge"

And,as an added incentive-- I'll send you 3 cases of Haterade for free,just so you can replenish some of those lost sour-grape flavored electrolytes you loose when popping off.

04 Sep 2010 7:50 PM

Good for Quality Road, but wow, not so great for racing in general.  Here we are with a G1 $750K historical race at the track where all the best thoroughbreds come to race (at least that's what we've been told all summer), a race that throughout the storied anals of N/A racing history has been one of the cornerstone races for our stars for years.  What do we get……the 3rd slowest running of this storied race in its 31 starts at the distance…...The winner gets a pedestrian 13.34 final 8th and a 38.48 final 3/8ths.  Not the stuff legends are made of…… The field other than QR…..collectively 34 starts in stakes, 11 –  G1…..10 – G2…..6 – G3…..9 – unlisted with 1…G1 win, 3…G3 wins, and 3…Unlisted stakes wins.  I can’t wait to see THIS BEYER because I’m sure that the Beyer Group will scratch their heads and look for every possible excuse or reason to pump it up.

As far as this race you can’t fault Quality Road.  He can only race against horses that are entered to face him and I guess we can accept it for what it is and get on with it.  However, I can’t help thinking of the slams if instead of QR, Zenyatta would have run this race, with this low level of G1 competition, in this slow time, with these slow fractions, with the slow finish.   WOW.

04 Sep 2010 7:54 PM
Jason Shandler

Hey President of ...: Blah blah blah. Thanks for filling up space by saying nothing really.

Again, talk is just that. Talk. If you want to man up and put some money down on the BC just say the word. Im taking all bets from you Zenyatta zealots.


04 Sep 2010 7:56 PM
Jason Shandler

Kay: I thought it was a good effort by QR, but not great. He didnt really accelerate through the stretch as much as Ive seen from him before. But it certainly wasnt a bad run. It was good to see him rate. He will like CD better I think because is not as deep.

04 Sep 2010 7:59 PM

The Woodword is 9F,  Why is everyone saying 10F or 1 1/4?

04 Sep 2010 8:04 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Paula Higgins

   Zenyatta shipped over 3400 miles this year. Quality Road shepped about 2700 miles. Zenyatta is a six year old mare. Quality Road is a 4 year old colt. I'm not here to say anything negative about Quality Road who I've always liked and is a great talent but the shipping argument is just one of many that are wrong. Why is there so much jealousy from some? I don't know. We already know that even if she wins The Classic AGAIN that she won't get her just due from some. I really hope Lookin At Lucky can make it to The Classic. He is another that has the talent to win. I don't want any left out. Make it the toughest test of champions possible, and let there be no excuses. Any one of the top four that wins should be HOY. LAL, QR, Zen, or Blame. If the Woodward was Zenyatta's race today, some would be saying, so what, she had no competition, instead of celebrating the win of a champion. And when it comes to picking and betting, wouldn't it be a sad affair if everyone bet the favorite. Horse racing can only survive because people take a stab at betting longshots, instead of a 1-5, 1-9, or 1-20 favorite. I don't know who bets those odds. It isn't me, I'd rather lose taking a shot on a longshot. Since every horse in the race gets bet on, and it has to be that way for racing to survive, how can someone say someone else doesn't know what they are doing because they bet the longshot instead of the favorite?

04 Sep 2010 8:05 PM

Is QR disinterested or just lazy? He looked like he felt the Woodward was beneath him and he justed wanted to get it over :)

Jason, I don't want to stop talking about Mine That Bird. He's a neat little horse, and I hope they figure out the proper thing to do with him.

04 Sep 2010 8:05 PM

Damn,  We can rate this race with QR like you all rate Zenyatta's races.  Overmatched, Right?

Except there was no St.Trinians in here.

They can only run with what enters against them...

QR , hasnt done a whole lot of traveling himself...

I know Zenyatta has traveled more miles than him this year. counting air mileage to.

04 Sep 2010 8:09 PM
Tom V

It seemed like John was getting after him more than one would think he needed to.

The distance okay if you say so Jason lol.

04 Sep 2010 8:11 PM

I thought it was workmanlike.  Not bad, not good.  I never thought that he couldn't rate, but I would have liked a little better finish.  Now he trains up to the BC, right?

04 Sep 2010 8:15 PM

Ok Jason, you didn't say Quality Road would be the Classic favorite, but what does "The horse to beat" actually mean?  I took it to mean that Quality Road would be YOUR favorite for the Classic.

And is the Woodward going to make Quality Road any more of "the horse to beat" than if Blame wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup impressively?  

I could see how one could say Quality Road is one of the horses to beat, or the speed to beat.  But I took "the horse to beat" to mean he's the horse you plan on picking, all things remaining constant.  And if not, who is your very, very early favorite?

04 Sep 2010 8:28 PM

Velazquez thinks that Quality Road gets lazy once he hits the lead. Well if wants to have a chance at beating Zenyatta, he'd better not have the lead at the top of the stretch. Churchill's got a long stretch with plenty of time for Zenyatta to run down Quality Road, lazy or not. This Woodward has made me even more confident that Zenyatta is not only the favorite, but also the horse to beat. If she gets 5-2 it would be an overlay.

04 Sep 2010 8:39 PM

President of the Players Haters Club


Thanks for telling it like it is.

04 Sep 2010 8:43 PM


I think you might be overestimating how much the Zenyatta "pom pom wavers" will actually bet.  Zenyatta was 3-1 for the Classic last year, racing on a familiar track in front of her most adoring legions.  If the Classic was back in SoCal this year, I would say maybe she could get close to even, but not in Kentucky.

First, Kentucky fans know racing as well anybody, and the crowd for a Breeders Cup is about as knowledgable as you can get.  So, I don't see sentiment driving the wagering.  Second, Zenyatta is not nearly as huge outside of California; her lack of travelling might actually work to drive her odds up.  Then, with Blame being one of Kentucky's own, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he ends up the betting favorite, assuming he wins the JGCG.  Sentiment will be with Zenyatta, but there will be alot of Kentucky sentiment for Blame.  

Finally, the Breeder's Cup is going to include pools from throught North America and like last year, the Eastern money is going to go against Zenyatta.  My guess is the Eastern money will be split between Quality Road and Blame.

It wouldn't surprise me if Zenyatta is Even in California, Blame the 2-1 favorite in Kentucky, and Quality Road the 2-1 favortie in New York.

04 Sep 2010 8:44 PM
Jason Shandler

GunBow: I think Z was 5-2 last year, not 3-1. I expect her to be 5-2 or 2-1 this year.

As you know, I have been a big fan of Blame from the start of the year. I am not going to decide who I like for the BC until the week of, but I would still say QR is my horse to beat right now, even before the JCGC and the even though Blame beat him in the Whitney. The fact that Blame beat him by a head while getting five pounds doesnt mean Blame ran a better race. They were both equally good. Blame does have a huge advantage running at CD though and he is probably more of a true 10F horse because of his running style. But again, I think QR is probably rated just a little higher for me right now.

04 Sep 2010 8:58 PM

jason said, "Let me clue you in on something and teach you a bit about horse racing: When horses run on the front end like RA and QR do, they are sometimes at a tactical disadvantage, especially if there is a quick pace or a speed duel. That doesnt mean they "can't get 10F," as many of you like to phrase it. It just means they need the race to set up the right way for them. "

wow...that's really insightful...especially since it applies to every horse and every running-style, even "flukes" :rollseyes:

i'm really glad quality road won today though actually. he'll go to the BBC for sure now.

i just hope he keeps it together in the starting gate at CD come november, so that we can all watch as his pristine mane finally gets sullied for the first time by all the dust kicked up by 1200 pounds of tall, dark, and happy as she flashes by him, ears twitching saucily, in the equine version of the one finger salute to the jason shandler's of the world....


04 Sep 2010 9:14 PM


Any horse that ran against Rachel all out has never been the same and had their heart brokrn. check them out after the Oaks,Preakness, Haskell woodward. Mine that Bird, Summer Bird, Macho again. Rachel is not the same but she earned her wins by dstroying the competion.

She will always be special to me no matter what she does in the future.

04 Sep 2010 9:17 PM
Tom V

Maybe you'll win the Del Mar Pick 6 and be able to cover all those bets without taking out a second.

Fifth Third gets tougher every day.

04 Sep 2010 9:22 PM


Your reasoning on Blame and Quality Road is sound.  

If Rail Trip and Afllet Express show up for the JCGC, a win by Blame will mean more to me than Qualiy Road's Woodward, at least as it concerns preparation for the Breeder's Cup.  

And if Blame does win the JCGC, the recency of that race will make him more of a "horse of the moment" in the betting than Quality Road, whose Woodward victory will be distant history.  I think the Northeast money will stay with Quality Road, but it's possible that for many Quality Road, not having run in about 2 months, might be the "forgotten horse", driving his odds up a little.

And Zenyatta was 2.8:1 in the 09' Classic, so right between 3-1 and 5/2; I rounded up for dramatic effect.

04 Sep 2010 9:25 PM

Quality Road is definitely one of the leading contenders for HoY.  He's obviously placed himself so that a win in the Classsic will seal it for him.  The same is true for Zenyatta, Blame, and Lookin at Lucky.  If some other horse wins the Classic, the HoY would be thrown wide open.  

04 Sep 2010 9:28 PM

Quality Road IS a thing of beauty! Not a great win, but he didn't pick the field and he did what he had to do with some urging, but not much.

Now I have a question for all you guys in here: If Rachel Alexandra had been in the Woodward, how would the race have turned out?

My favorite winners of the day: Here Comes Ben and Tell A Kelly! Didn't bet them but they impressed me.

04 Sep 2010 9:29 PM


I love your statement......"I'm really glad quality road won today though actually. he'll go to the BBC for sure now."

You and a few million other people.  I don't want to see any crap outs, back outs, any kind of outs.  I want them all there so that when the time comes for the final reckoning there will be no one left unconquered.  

04 Sep 2010 9:33 PM


That was really funny! :)

04 Sep 2010 9:35 PM

Tony,  Not true,  Summer Bird won more races and better races after he lost to RA,  IN fact, He was just starting out when he ran against RA.

04 Sep 2010 9:44 PM


I think Rachel would have won the Woodward by a nose.

04 Sep 2010 9:57 PM
Pam S.


I stated in a recent Breeders' Cup Chat blog that horses that run against Rachel AND ZENYATTA do seem to be pretty pooped in their next start or couple of starts.  Look at poor St. Trinians.  She ran so hard against the Big Z she still can't get up off of her straw!  Queen Martha would be a good example of a filly running poorly after a race against Rachel.  Summer Bird is not a good example, as he won the Travers and JCGC after the Haskell.  Also from the Haskell, Big Drama has a G2 win and two seconds in G1's in his last three races.  (He is just a better one-turn horse.)

But MTB's performances have been so poor for so long, I just don't think it has anything to do with Rachel.  On another forum someone said that the way he stopped today, rather suddenly, it looked as if he still had a breathing problem -- like maybe his surgery wasn't completely successful.  I don't know.  But I do wish all these valiant horses the best and I hope the "cream" rises to the Breeders' Cup.

04 Sep 2010 10:01 PM

Quality Road wins again and needs just one more win in November to wrap up HOY.  Bet the house on him to win.

04 Sep 2010 10:19 PM
Paula Higgins

merlinmerry, I think it's wonderful that your niece does such important work in underprivileged countries. That is admirable. I have a twin brother who does likewise. HOWEVER, I do believe we are talking about equine achievement on this blog and not humanitarians.

Dr Drunkinmbum thanks and agree with all you said. Absolutely right. Thank you too JaJay.

Quality Road did just fine and I saw nothing wrong with his race. He won. He is absolutely a beast and he, Blame and LAL will be the biggest challenges Zenyatta ever faces, hands down. They are tougher than the competition she had last year without a doubt. As I said many posts and blogs ago, when QR was scratched last year, I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe that makes me less of a sportsperson, but there it is. Zenyatta's connections will have to run a different race to win this year.

04 Sep 2010 10:20 PM
Paula Higgins

papillon, stop it. You're insecurity is showing LOL. (Sorry Jason I couldn't resist). Great post papillon.

04 Sep 2010 10:26 PM

Can you people stop the nonsense about Slowyatta please.  She barely beats weak females and you honestly think she can beat horses like Blame and Quality Road? It's laughable.  Hey, where are all the Mine that (dead last) Bird fans?  Time to put that boy in a allowance race don't you think ? He is not a G1 horse.

04 Sep 2010 10:39 PM
Mike Relva


Regarding your small meltdown last nite over the term,"miler". Did you hear that Ron Ellis today called QR well,you know that word. lol

04 Sep 2010 10:55 PM


Have you heard the story about the guy who takes his friend to see the ocean.  The friend has never seen it before.  They get to the shore and step out on the sand.  The guy says to his friend, well, here's the ocean.  The friend says, "where, what ocean, I don't see it".  

This is a story about people who can't see what's in front of them because they're looking for some preconceived idea of what something is suppose to look like, sound like, etc.  This is how you are about Zenyatta, you just don't get it.  

04 Sep 2010 10:55 PM
Mike Relva


FYI I picked MTB cause Obviously he was way up against it,but was hoping for a comeback. No,he shouldn't have been there. As for "how much I know regarding racing",let's see how much you know after the Breeders' is over. lol At least if Zenyatta loses I won't come with a spin!

04 Sep 2010 11:05 PM
Mike Relva


How long has it been since you've picked a winner? How long has it been since you've admitted you're wrong? lol

04 Sep 2010 11:06 PM

LAL,Blame will be the only contenders  Zenyatta will have to work some to put them away.   QR,RT, won't be a problem at all.

The biggest problem for most is going to be the distance.

Another aspect here is going to be more horses,  All of these have competed over the year with smaller fields, in the BCC, they will be running with about 12 or more contenders.   should I say, "TRAFFIC" will slow most down.  getting caught up in it...

Zenyatta loves a challenge,  This will be custom made for her.

04 Sep 2010 11:10 PM


They could put MTB in an allowance race.  I know just the babe that might be entered to face him.

04 Sep 2010 11:13 PM

Hey, Mike R. , If all we had to worry about in life was Zenyatta losing the BCC,  Well, heck, we wouldnt have any worries......

Unlike our friend Jason, He has alot to worry about losing, $$$$ when she crosses the finish line first....all those bets he has to pay up!!!!

Maybe by then, Ted from LA will be the CEO for BH then he can give Jason some OT.

04 Sep 2010 11:20 PM

Jason:  On HRTV, Gary Stevens said that QR looks like he gets bored when he gets in front in the stretch .  Even so, he had an emphatic 4 3/4 victory.  I think that he will be a better horse at Churchill, and that Pletcher will have him ready.

04 Sep 2010 11:31 PM

"HOWEVER, I do believe we are talking about equine achievement on this blog and not humanitarians."

No, THIS blog started as a forecast of the weekend's races. It was NOT about Zenyatta.  For some reason, NO race can be discussed without referring to the big mare.  It is getting so old.

04 Sep 2010 11:33 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Now tomorrow-Sunday, we get to see the big boys run: Twirling Candy, and Runflatout in his debut. Not expecting a win from Runflatout, but for him to show some talent. He has a future. Twirling Candy is going to display his dazzling closing speed. I think he might be better than Paddy and Gio although he still has to prove it. Here Comes Ben was the most impressive today but you'll see something more impressive with Twirling Candy. Quality Road did what he had to do with JR taking zero chances this time. Training up to The Classic is a tough task for 1 1/4. Personally I think it's a tad too much time off for that distance with this horse. We know he can fire very strong off of a layoff but can he at 1 1/4? I know it isn't a long layoff but for the caliber of competition and distance it leaves a question mark as to it being the right approach or not. Only his performance in The Classic will provide the answer. Now spin it.

04 Sep 2010 11:34 PM
Jason Shandler

That's a fair point Stevens made skyfire. He did look a bit lazy today.

Dr. D: Twirling Candy should win by 10. That could be the weakest grade II collection Ive ever seen. It's like stealing $180k for his connections.

04 Sep 2010 11:36 PM

I would love to bet the house on QR, but I lost it on Nobles Promise in the Derby.

04 Sep 2010 11:41 PM

Oh dear, I love Zenyatta and Rachel..but it`s come to the point that on this blog if I even see thier name in a post, I just skip it.

Jason, what did you think of Tell A Kelly`s win?  I thought she looked spectacular...but any horse coming from Del Mar makes me a bit iffy.  Thoughts? Oh I love it when the 2yr's come out haha!

04 Sep 2010 11:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Wow. I just saw that Runflatout is ML favorite in his debut from the one post. I thought for sure Prayer For Relief would be. I thought RFO would be 6-1 or 8-1. The oddsmaker thinks RFO has a future too. Jason-I wish the competition was tougher for Twirling Candy. He hasn't had enough yet and has to get ready for The Breeder's Cup.

04 Sep 2010 11:45 PM

Bonnie - Jason saw the "Ocean" in 2008.  He was saying things like "..thank our lucky stars for Zenyatta" in those days because she was coming back to race at 5.  I believe he's stated that he even voted for her to be HotY in '08 over Curlin, didn't you, Jason?

The thing is, Jason's grown bored with the Ocean.  It just isn't as exciting for him after two more years of looking at it.  He was hoping for a tsunami or at least a major hurricane; but he just sees the same ol' Ocean calmly going about the business of being an Ocean (briefly interrupted by a lousy Category One called the 2009 BCC - but the sand was synthetic so, you know, it doesn't count ;-).

For those of us who love to observe the Ocean, calm is a GOOD thing.  We find excitement just being in the presence of it and/or knowing it's there.  But we have to understand that there are people who are awestruck only if a certain amount of risk is involved.  

I may disagree with Jason's disappointment, but I think I understand it.  The Ocean, to him, is all Chalk.

05 Sep 2010 12:16 AM

I thought Tell A Kelly had the most impressive win today, too.  It was a breeze for her.  One to watch for sure!

05 Sep 2010 12:20 AM


You are speaking out of both sides of your mouth when on the hand you defend Zenyatta's anemic campaign by saying ...and I quote you:

"What easy schedule is a G1 schedule?  You don't cherry pick G1 races.  You enter them and wait for the competition to enter them also."

Then on the other hand you thrash Quality road's Grade One win in the Woodward by scoffing at the field.  Friend you lose a lot of credibility with that kind of double-talk.

05 Sep 2010 12:33 AM
Kit J

Dr D we have an owner of a budding superstar in our midst!

05 Sep 2010 1:04 AM

I wonder why some things said by people like Gary are justifiable reasons for certain horses yet excuses for others? Is beauty and bias in the eye of the beholder?

One of the most forgettable Woodwards I've seen and that includes Quality road.

05 Sep 2010 1:12 AM

"Just the babe that might be entered to face" MTB, a horse that hasn't won a race in almost a year and a half, Lazmannick?

I hope we're not talking about a certain babe who's a G2 winner and G1-placed this year.  Because some might consider that bashing.

05 Sep 2010 3:05 AM


05 Sep 2010 6:08 AM

I thought Rachel already won this year's Ladies Secret Stakes?

Thye should just call it the "unZenyatta"...

PS I absolutely love the big girl, think she's the best and I like her toe-tapping dancing...just not the dancing of her's gotten ridiculous.

05 Sep 2010 7:31 AM

There's nothing in QR's pedigree that says he can't get 10....his sire produced Smarty Jones, his dam is a granddaughter of Alydar...he's line bred on Raise a Native, Bold Ruler and Northern Dancer, his DP is weighted Classic...

Coming up short one race to another really good what?

05 Sep 2010 7:38 AM
David Ingordo

Jason and Mr. Drew Raymond,

I would like to take you up on the offer to wager with you both on Zenyatta   vs. Quality Road in the Breeder's Cup Classic. Please let me know the amount and the terms. Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin both know how to reach me directly.  

Reading both of your opinions and very strong opinions, let us put our money up instead of blogging about it.


David Ingordo

05 Sep 2010 7:47 AM

Jason: In any sport the name of the game is winning pure and simple. Has Zenyatta faced top competition in most of her races? Of course not...but you could say the same thing about the undefeated Miami Dolphins of 72 or the career of Muhammad Ali. When you are tops in your sport there are a lot of opponents not eager to take you on as well so it cuts both ways.

05 Sep 2010 8:52 AM

In honor of the US Open, Paula Higgins, in her Mixed Singles debut, kept smashing Aces against the very over matched young Mr Shandler.

Yes, Lucy, those "iffy" colts and fillies coming out of Del Mar do worry me, as well.  Blind Luck only ran 2nd, last year, in the Debutante and I believe there was a very "iffy" character who won the Futurity at DM as well.  His moniker is something about Luck.  Looking For, Looking Wherever, dang it all, it continues to escape me.  LaL, perhaps?  Geez, whatever became of those two "iffy" runners?

Just love 'dem Toe Tapping Tapits.

05 Sep 2010 9:45 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

The oddsmaker got it wrong, he won't go off as the favorite. Your odds are more like it. First time out, drew the rail, 6 of 7 opponents have run before... what was he thinking?

How am I feeling this morning, two hours before I leave for Del Mar? Excited, nervous and wondering whose "bright" idea it was to join in this partnership anyways? Oh that's right, it was mine. I guess there's no accounting for foolishness. LOL!

05 Sep 2010 10:03 AM

You're not going to believe this, but Runflatout was coughing this morning. He's full of mucus AGAIN and has been scratched from today's race. Maybe the ocean air is not agreeing with him. There's been so much weather fluctuations this summer, maybe that's what got to him. In any case, he can't run with his breathing apparatus out of order.

So now, we're back to square minus one or two. I'm disappointed but glad the symptoms showed up before the race, not after. Now my fingers are crossed that he gets truly well and that he'll be able to start during the Oak Tree meet.

Roller coaster ride, they say? They're not kidding!!!

05 Sep 2010 11:07 AM
Carlos in Cali

President of the PHC:  you're brutal..simply brutal.LOL.

QR is definitely NOT the horse to beat in the BCC, I'm hoping he gets all of the east coast's money though.

Tell A Kelly looked very impressive pulling away from the previously undefeated Doug O'Neil filly yesterday @ Del Mar.The longer the distance the better she'll be,I'm on her like white on rice as she gears-up towards the BCJ Fillies.

05 Sep 2010 11:23 AM
Jason Shandler

David: is how you can reach me.

And for the record, I have not picked QR to win the BC yet. Ive only said Zenyatta wont win. We can work out the details of the wager privately.

05 Sep 2010 11:31 AM

Thanks, Lazmannick! I have followed Here Comes Ben's career for several months now and was excited to see him win at this level of competition.


05 Sep 2010 11:43 AM

David Ingordo:   Thankyou so much,  Had it not been for your keen eyes for horses, Our beloved Zenyatta would not be where she is today.  Give yourself a great big pat on the shoulders. I am a die hard Zenyatta fan.  I know what the big girl can and will do on Nov.6, 2010....    I think you , John, your mom and the Mosses have done an exceptional job with her.

I have never seen a horse so eloquent as she is.....

05 Sep 2010 11:45 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  That's great they caught it. Honestly, I didn't like him running at Del Mar anyway. He's building up his immune system, that's good. They'll have to stay on top of it with him. One race at Hollywood then over to SA to train for the winter meet sounds great to me. I do believe he is a dirt horse for sure or possibly a turf horse, not AW, despite his good training times on it. I really wanted to see him, but his health comes first. Oh well. I really think there is a reason he wasn't able to run at Del Mar. He has a future, there I have no doubts. Now you can relax, right? Thank you very much for the update so I can get on with my day, although I still want to see Twirling Candy.

05 Sep 2010 11:46 AM

Aww, Zookeeper!  I'm so sorry RFO is under the weather again.  I'm with Dr. D, tho - wasn't real happy that he was to start at DMR.  Hollywood will be much preferable!

It's very reassuring that the connections (that includes YOU!! :) are willing to scratch from his debut if there's the slightest question that he may not be 100%.  

05 Sep 2010 12:09 PM

"Okay, horses, get it straight.  Slew was going for the 3/4 Exacta.  You got that?  First is # 3, Second is #4..get that straight.  But nooooo...You had to show off, Ben.  You had to do it 4/3 instead.  Are you dyslexic?"  said Slew while tearing up the Forego ticket. "Big Drama, why, why?"

Keelerman: Great are the only one who got it right in the Forego. (Good call on the others too).

While Papillion expects QR to go on British television (BBC, right?) I believe Cape Blanco will be there sooner.

Now, as far as the BCC, I keep thinking, Lookin At Lucky is the best 3 year old colt, and Zenyatta is the best 6 year old and a mare....and this is the year of the Cougar.....well just check out Demi Moore and Ashton.  I think Zen will stay on top!  

Finally, MSG aired the "Ruffian" movie last night.  Spent a half hour in tears.  Let's appreciate what we have while we have it....stop arguing, and just bask in the talent and determination we are finding on the tracks every day.  What a glorious sport, and what a shame to disparage any horse.

05 Sep 2010 12:16 PM

Zookeeper, what a bummer...:-(

05 Sep 2010 12:21 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Much more relaxed. Thank you for your kind words. Hope Twirling Candy rumps!

05 Sep 2010 12:28 PM

I think QR has already peaked, his last two races were pretty demanding.  He won't have any left for the Classic even with the 2 month layoff.  I thought the Donn field was a tougher field altogether against the Woodward and yet he wasn't able to get away from this bunch.  I didn't see him progressing after dispatching arcodoro.  JV had to work him or otherwise MP would've been much much closer, he didn't have that cruising stretch run just like his races at Gulfstream Park.  It was suppose to be a workout, but I don't know how much it took out of him to win the race.  I hope he goes to the BC Mile, he really is a miler in that he would win a lot of the mile races and there are great G1 mile races, nothing to be ashamed of.  Let's all cheer for QR : BC Mile!  BC Mile! BC Mile!

Excited to watch a real horse race in the JCGC.

05 Sep 2010 12:41 PM

Giddyup, how can you make that comment about Muhammad Ali? Do I need to run down the list of opponents he fought when he was at the top? That is one of the worst comments on this blog and is insane that you would even write that. Wow. As for horse racing, if you enter the best races race in and race out, and others don't show up, then you can't be knocked, but when you stick to filly and mare races on a synthetic race track, then you are not facing the best and you are not entering the best races. Why in the world would any of the top horses back east ship west to run on a synthetic track? And we are only talking about female horses because males cannot enter Zens races. Go back and read about Cigar and Citation, the horses Zen passed on the winning streak. Those champions took on all comers and were clearly the best horses of their time because of what they did on the track, beating every other horse race in and race out, not waiting for some year-end race and hoping to defeat the best competition just once and then claim to be the best. If everyone could take a step back and look at Team Zenyatta's plan, they would realized this. Run against their own division on Zens favorite surface all year, not travel, and at the end, place all their eggs in one basket, cross their fingers, and pray she gets to the finish line first in the Classic. If so (like last year) then run around telling everyone you have the best horse and she would have beaten them all year anyway. It is quite funny when you can spin one victory against top competition into that. Clearly they don't have the confidence she could beat the best race in and race out, otherwise they would do it.  

05 Sep 2010 12:58 PM


I hear there's some really big, nasty fish in that ocean.  Kind of like land sharks.  They devour everything that's in their way.

05 Sep 2010 1:13 PM

I don't know why anyone would say that QR couldn't get 10 Furlongs he has alredy gotten twice when he ran 3rd in the Travers and 2nd to a very good horse (Summer Bird) in the JOckey Club Gold Cup.

Why would hje have lost the ability o go a distance that he could go at three

05 Sep 2010 1:17 PM

However Quality road may have peeked in the met  MIle and Donn earlier on.

When I say he can get 10 I certainly do not mean that he isn't a spectacular miler.

05 Sep 2010 1:23 PM

Jimmy, What are you going to say on Nov, 6 when she beats the best again?   Then all this babbling of yours will be moot, won't it?

Zenyatta is just as strong and willful as any colt running today.

I say she is 2X better than any colt running today...

You think just because she hasnt ran all around the US beating up on colts, that she can't run at CD and beat them,  HOw foolish,  She is running in grade 1 races, just enought for her to have a workout,  She will be ready to peak and put forth her 'gears' come Nov. 6 2010.    Just you wait and see..    Dirt is easier for her to run on then synthetics...

05 Sep 2010 1:25 PM

I was disapointed by the quality of the field for he woodward I thought you get another top horse, like Blame, Rail Trip or Musketman in it.

05 Sep 2010 1:26 PM


I don’t think you read my entire posts my friend.  If you would have you would have read the following:

The first post:

“I would like to hear their justification regarding the below average group he’s facing in a $750K G1 race.  There can’t be any justification on QR’s part because he can’t control who he’s racing against.  It works for him,… should work for everyone else.”

It seems to me I said……”he can’t control who he’s racing against.” which is true, so what's to justify?

The second post:

As far as this race you can’t fault Quality Road.  He can only race against horses that are entered to face him and I guess we can accept it for what it is and get on with it.  However, I can’t help thinking of the slams if instead of QR, Zenyatta would have run this race, with this low level of G1 competition, in this slow time, with these slow fractions, with the slow finish.   WOW.

Once again I qualified it by stating…… “He can only race against horses that are entered to face him and I guess we can accept it for what it is and get on with it.”

Unlike many on this blog.....I am trying to be fair.

05 Sep 2010 1:26 PM

Oh no! Terrible news about Majesticperfection. Best wishes for a full recovery.

05 Sep 2010 1:28 PM


I'm abiding by the gag rule that's in effect.  The first letter of the only horse that is allowed to be named when even the slightest hint of bashing is present is Z......and I don't think Zardana is the correct name.

05 Sep 2010 1:33 PM


you haven't picked Quality Road to win, but you pick Zenyatta to lose? I fail to understand that viewpoint. Are rooting for Zenyatta to lose, because that's what it sounds like. I'd like to think that if Zenyatta won, people would be happy, not because so-and-so lost, but because Zenyatta won.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

05 Sep 2010 1:37 PM


I didn't know you played tennis......I hear that Mike Relva's an excellent player.  Perhaps he might be kind enough to give you a lesson or two seeing he's already schooling you about the upcoming BCC.

05 Sep 2010 1:38 PM


Until yesterday here Comes Ben was just another horse to me.  After yesterday's thrilling finish he sure woke me up.  Hope he goes in the BC Sprint which is shaping up as an extremely exciting affair.  However, the way he finished yesterday and the time which was good on that track, the mile is only one furlong longer and he might also be a possibility there.

05 Sep 2010 1:44 PM


Sorry for your scratch.  Sure hope the youngster is alright.  Keep us informed.

05 Sep 2010 1:46 PM
Jason Shandler

Steve: I havent picked a winner for the BC yet. It would be unwise to do so until a couple days before the race. I would think most handicappers would wait to see the horses training on the track, weather, post positions, etc. That being said, I think Blame and QR are better horses and unless something changes in the next 2 months, I will try to beat Zenyatta like I did last year. She will be the favorite and I do not think her campaign will have adequately prepared her for this race. As far as people being "happy" when she wins, I dont know about you but I am only "happy" when the horse I pick wins. That is the only way money goes into my pocket. Horse racing is about gambling. I dont get emotionally involved with the other stuff.

05 Sep 2010 1:46 PM

A horse losing but your horse losing as well doesn't put any money in your pocket either.

You aren't betting a horse to win you're picking a horse to lose.

Unless you can get a bet that a certain horse won't win, which I don't think you can get at the track. That seems like a sucker bet to be sure and definitely sounds more like an emotional investment and not a gambling investment.

If they had bets for which horse would lose the tracks would really be broke.

05 Sep 2010 2:19 PM


Thank you for responding to my "what if" question yesterday. I found it interesting that nobody else commented on it. Maybe it was a dumb question, maybe RA's fair weather fans have crawled under a rock somewhere or the QR's fans are not too confident. Hmmm!

Jason- My post to David Ingordo did not appear. Did you zap it?

05 Sep 2010 2:19 PM
Jason Shandler

I dint think she is going to win the race Chris. Stop making more complicated than it is.

You people need to get over it.

05 Sep 2010 2:23 PM

From that explanation it sounds like you're more emotionally invested in Zenyatta losing than you are any other horse winning.

From your previous discussions about gambling I don't think you wager enough to make a favorite pay off for you on a straight bet.

From what I saw of QR yesterday he won't be beating peaking horses at a mile and a quarter. I look for Blame and Zenyatta to be the prohibitive co-favorites and what will you do then with your $100 bet, exotics?

05 Sep 2010 2:24 PM

"That could be the weakest grade II collection Ive ever seen."

Um.. guess you didn't see the Fleur de Lis field this year.

05 Sep 2010 2:29 PM

Zenyatta will win the BC Classic. I don't need to put money on it against a bloodhorse writer, but it will happen. There's no chance of a slow pace - in fact it is certain they will all go too quick up front. If Blame can out kick Zenyatta at Churchill with a quarter of a mile to run, I will never watch another horse race again.

05 Sep 2010 2:31 PM

This is what I know about the upcoming BCC.  Many knowledgeable handicappers are confident and are already betting that Zenyatta is going to win inspite of not knowing what the weather will be like, the track condition, the post position, even the exact competition.  The other handicapers are waiting until two or three days before the race.  They are still not committed at this time and wish to reveiw the OTHER HORSE'S current form and watch them work on the track, the post position, etc., and etc.  Confidence is wonderful isn't it?

05 Sep 2010 2:36 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

Jason - Horse racing is only about gambling? I was under the impression that a lot of peoples lives depended on the sport as a way of life. I seriously doubt they practically live at the barn 365 days a year for their health. Oh, and every day living breathing animals lives are at stake as well as their rider. I guess they are all just flesh or hair covered mechanical cogs in your gambling machine.

05 Sep 2010 2:43 PM

If you say so Jason. But you seem more hellbent on her losing than you do on another horse winning.

I almost think you don't care who wins as long as you can prove her fans wrong. Which, by the way I'm not really a fan. I try to actually BE objective.

05 Sep 2010 2:46 PM
Jason Shandler

Fuzzy Corgi: Ask any of the horsemen if they would have a job if it wasnt for the gamblers. The answer is a clear no.

05 Sep 2010 2:46 PM

Just figured out why this is the greatest blog ever.  It is a reincarnation of the West Coast / East Coast gangsta rap feud of the mid 1990's.  Tupac vs. Biggie, Suge v. Puffy all over again.

For the record, I like Blame right now in the Classic although I also like Zenyatta.  QR is a beast too.  Wouldn't be surprised if any of those won.  Think Blame's campaign gives him a slight edge on Z.

Right now, I would lean towards Blind Luck by a head over Rachel in the Distaff.  Another couple of great horses.  Think Blame has a slight edge based on being battle tested this year.

05 Sep 2010 2:48 PM

Interesting point sodapopkid. You think she is twice as good as any colt in America. What is her record this year against colts, by the way? So maybe your feelings aren't shared by her connections? Why would John Sherrifs say before the Hollywood Gold Cup, a race they ducked, in regards to Rail Trip, they "weren't ready to try and climb that mountain quite yet?" Interesting comment from the trainer of the best horse in the world, wouldn't you agree? Look, maybe Zenyatta is the best, but her campaign has been absolute crap, and all Zenyatta fans know this. How boring it must be to watch her races when she is against an allowance quality field and you know she is going to win, yet since she only does enough to win, you are not going to see any records fall. She is a wonderful horse, but to train a horse of that quality and load her schedule up with cupcakes is sad, especially when the sole point is to pump that overinflated record up. Horses lose, that is part of the game, but it is when horses rise to the occasion against the best that we realize why we love this sport. Zenyatta running against cupcakes is a shame, and if she ran a real schedule, she would get much more respect than she currently gets. So all the Zenyatta fans can say all they want about after November, "what spin will you come up with this time," but I actually feel bad for you guys because you will have to wait a full year to watch your beloved horse in a real horse race. Sorry, but watching a horse work out is not the same as watching your horse dig deep to win, and watching Zenyatta race against the Made for Magics and Rintervals of the world is flat out boring. But if you would rather watch a horse go through a paid workout than a real race, enjoy her in the Zenyatta Stakes. I bet the boys in the Goodwood Stakes are sleeping easier now since Team Zenyatta took the easy way out, again....

05 Sep 2010 2:50 PM

After watching QR run against a bunch of allowance runers and come home under a drive in a pretty slow final eigth I am convinced he's a brilliant miler but Pletcher like Lukas wants to make sure he runs every one of his horses into the ground. Uncle Mo is an awesome sprinter who could put together a streak like Lost in the Fog but Pletcher will not keep him in sprints and he'll get killed in the Derby preps. I can't stand the fact that he's with Pletcher. Just look what he's doing now,running him in the Champagne off of one six furlong race. It sort of reminds me of Unbridled's Song when he sprinted away from the field in the Champagne and tired to finish fourth then won the Juvenile and ended up with a short career. Anyways it would be nice to see QR in the Dirt Mile where you can just let him go and run 1:33 or maybe even 1:32. Why have so many races on Cup day if most of the races don't have the same quality as the original seven?

05 Sep 2010 3:29 PM
Forbidden Apple

With a slightly faster pace Quality Road was going to get beat by Tranquil Manner. Running 1 1/8 in 1:50 is far from spectacular. QR ran more than a full second slower than he did in the Whitney, what a joke. I just do not understand all of the hype that this horse receives. His bubble has already bursted, good luck to all of you Pletcher groupies. Blame is the current heavyweight champion, get used to it folks.

05 Sep 2010 3:35 PM
Pam S.

Tough game is an understatement, especially this last week or so.  I was so sorry to hear about Majesticperfection; the Sprint has lost some luster with his misfortune.  Wish him a speedy recovery.  We also had Timber Reserve fatally injured; two horses dying the same day at Saratoga; and Kantharos out of the picture due to injury.  Rachel's loss in the PE last Sunday could be taken as a bad omen for the sport!  In any case, I bet everyone at the Asmussen barn(s) is pretty down.

On a related note, Zookeeper, sorry to hear about your maiden runner having to be scratched again.  Must be frustrating to get all geared up and then be let down like that.  Hollywood will be better!

05 Sep 2010 3:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Sorry for the delay. To answer your question, If Rachel was in The Woodward yesterday she would have won. Despite the fact that she lost at 1 1/4, she was ready for 1 1/8. They chose the wrong race for her because of the wrong goal. If she was pointed towards the Ladies' Classic like she should have been then they would have let her defend her title in The Woodward. 1 1/8 is her limit in Grade one races. The Woodward came up easier this year except for QR, and he was a little flat. I think Rachel was in very good shape and would have beat him. He would have had to pass her, after she had a 4 to 5 length lead. He could have beaten her but I think she would have pulled it off. The duel wouldn't have dusted them both. No one but one of those two could have won. It would have been a classic matchup. Now maybe you can answer my question- When you said "hope twirling candy rumps" did you mean really get her rump muscles into it, or did you mean "kick Butt" or did you mean to say romp?

05 Sep 2010 4:00 PM
Ted from LA

I have never seen a horse so eloquent as she is.....

sodapopkid 05 Sep 2010 11:45 AM

Mr. Ed was pretty eloquent too.

05 Sep 2010 4:17 PM
Jason Shandler

Good stuff 2:24 aned Jimmy. lol

Forbidden Apple: You dont understand all the hype? Umm...QR is a seven time graded winner, including four G1s. He has set 3 tracks records from 6 1/2 furlongs to 9 furlongs. And he would have been the mL Derby favorite had he not had a quarter crack. That's hype?

BTW: Pletcher's comments today: “The Jockey Club Gold Cup was not a bad race,” he said. “I think he gets the 1 ¼ miles, obviously, we’d just like to do it on a fast surface.”

05 Sep 2010 4:18 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Great post at 3:29 PM. With the current climate of raging Derby fever far too many sprinters and milers, and even routers that can't possibly win at 1 1/4,and turf horses all get ruined in The Derby, and some even continue on with routes when they should be in sprints. I am thrilled with what is happening with Discreetly Mine. They found his niche as a sprinter rather than continuing on forcing the wrong path. Uncle Mo's bottom is excellent for The Derby. The top is iffy, but I'm willing to give him a shot at routes. I don't think it's that clear that he's just a sprinter or could be as good sprinting as the Great Lost In The Fog, who without cancer would have proven to be the greatest sprinter of all time. I totally agree that the extremely talented Quality Road would be a brilliant record setting miler, and that is where I wish he was. As talented as he is, 1 1/4 is really stretching it although with a peaked QR, and a perfect race he still could win it but I don't think so. Every one of the Breeder's Cup Championship races is a championship race, and I wish more were placed where they belong rather than trying to win The Classic, or thinking that The Classic is THE championship and the rest are minor awards.

05 Sep 2010 4:30 PM

Dr D.,

LOL! I meant ROMPS!!!

Funny how, so far, only two people have answered the question, both of them Z-fans, both of them answered Rachel. Hmmm! The silence from QR's camp speaks volume.

05 Sep 2010 4:38 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

Jason - If horse racing is only alive because of gamblers then how do so many other equestrian sports thrive? I think your gamblers ego is thinking for you.

05 Sep 2010 4:46 PM
Jason Shandler

I was talking about Thoroughbred racing Fuzzy Corgi. Last time I checked this was a racing blog.

05 Sep 2010 4:48 PM
Paula Higgins

bertheclock, LOL that was hilarious! Thanks for the compliment.

David Ingordo!!!! Thanks for finding Zenny and thanks to your Mom, John Shirreffs and Jerry and Ann Moss. Woohoo, calling Jason out are you?!!

Jimmy, they haven't run Zenyatta into the ground for obvious reasons. That may be some people's agenda but it's not theirs. We can argue the case forever about running horses ad infinitum in races you all deem appropriate. But I am pretty excited whenever and wherever they run her. If you aren't, don't watch. The excellent and careful care they give her, is the reason she will make the BCC and the reason she is still running at 6 years of age. If that isn't good enough, well again, don't watch. That should make about 3 people in the country that don't watch Zenny race.

05 Sep 2010 4:52 PM

Jimmy- do you read what West Coast trainers think about her?  They are not anxious to run against her.  They will sleep better knowing she won't run.

05 Sep 2010 6:08 PM

David : Found a profile of you in another site and your "Personal Motto" is great :

“Opportunity does not ask for you. You have to ask for it.”

I think you asked for that opportunity to the tune of 60K and you got rewarded.  I also thought you asking Jason to put his money where his blog is...well, a really great opportunity :)  I think Jason's going to be in deep in this year's Classic betting - I'm sure he can cover all the bets, just don't bankrupt him so that he can pay us "unknowledgeable" racing fans.

05 Sep 2010 6:29 PM

Forbidden Apple

You don’t understand all the hype?  Umm...QR is a sixteen time graded winner, including twelve G1s.  He has won a BCC and a BC Distaff and has won from 6 1/2 furlongs to 10 furlongs. That's hype?

OOOOOOOPPPPPPSSSSSS...... Did I mention that I was talking about Zenyatta?

05 Sep 2010 7:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Twirling Candy is one beautiful, beast of a monster. That's some sweet, sweet candy. Glad they didn't DQ, he was just too powerful. No one could have beaten him anyway, but that turn was ugly.

05 Sep 2010 7:17 PM

Dear David Ingordo, why such a pathetic campaign for a champion like Zenyatta? If she ran a real campaign, all of this nonsense would be settled on the race track instead of debated in a blog. Personally, it is sad to see a race horse of her talent not be allowed to show off her ability to the racing world, and to protect an undefeated record at the expense of actually challenging the horse is extremely disappointing. Zenyatta is a champion; let her show off her talents against the best and stop running her in races like the Zenyatta Stakes. The Goodwood Stakes against the boys is the same day at the same track; what is your reason for not running her there? -Jimmy

05 Sep 2010 7:39 PM

Jimmy:  you are right on -- I believe Zenyatta would have stated her case on her own in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga -- her connections are running an "afraid to lose "campaign with a mare who would be headline news  on all networks if they had showcased her like Jerry Hollendorfer has done with Blind Luck.  

About Twirling CandY;  wow!! Thank God that John Sadler trains him - nuff said.

05 Sep 2010 7:59 PM

Jimmy:  I could not agree more with you 2:50 and 7:39 posts.  What frustrates me is that I have thought for awhile that Zenyatta is the best horse in training.  Alas, her connections have denied her the chance to prove it.  So many are left to argue she is the best in the world, and she may very well be, but unfortunately we don't know it because of her weak campaign.

05 Sep 2010 8:08 PM
Paula Higgins

Dear Jimmy,

The only thing that is pathetic is your post. Personally, I doubt David Ingordo is going to answer you since the reasons are obvious to anyone who cares about horses and not just about horse racing.


05 Sep 2010 8:28 PM
Paula Higgins

O.k. I have a question for you 2:24, why would you think Zenyatta "is the best horse in training" given "she hasn't had the chance to prove it." Do you realize you are contradicting yourself? You know she is the best horse in training because her races have proved it. Talk about two mutually exclusive comments. Geesh.

05 Sep 2010 8:34 PM

Jimmy,  How much are you paying each month to take care of Zenyatta?

If the answer is 0,  then its not up to you were or what they choose to do with her or where they want to run her next.   I expect it isnt cheap keeping a 6 year old mare in tip top shape so she can remain undefeated.   Go ask JJ what he is going to do with RA next.

05 Sep 2010 8:43 PM

I am so shocked Twirling Candy didnt get disqualified.

Jason, or any bloggers,  I didnt catch the name, but what was the horses name that flipped backward in the starting gate and had to be scratched?   That was dangerous,   I havent heard anything more, but is he and the jock OK?  in was at Saratoga.

05 Sep 2010 9:21 PM

Paula Higgins

Get up on the right side of the bed this morning?  it sounds like you got up on the Zenyatta side.

05 Sep 2010 9:23 PM

Paula, I'm sorry you feel that way, but we are just going to have to agree to disagree. I am a fan of the sport of horse racing, and I believe this sport is at its finest when the best horses run in the best races. Would you agree with that? Were you not excited when Blame and Quality Road stepped in the gate of the Whitney Stakes, or when Blind Luck and Devil May Care stepped in the gate of the Alabama? How about last year when Rachel Alexandra took on the best 3 year old males in the Preakness Stakes? Wasn't that exciting? The point of this is Zenyatta is a terrific horse, no doubt about that, but her campaign has been weak at best. When she has stepped in the gate during her races this year, has the outcome ever been in doubt? Has she even faced a Grade I winner this year? Zenyatta is a champion and should be campaigned as such, but she is not and it is very disappointing as a fan of the sport of horse racing. In regards to Mr. Ingordo, I hope, but actually don't expect him to respond, because he couldn't do it honestly. That is the truth. Most of us know why they keep Zenyatta on this ultra-conservative campaign, and her record shows it. So I am not taking anything away from your horse, I just wish they would put her in a campaign that matched her abilities. Not only could we see the depth of this champion, but it would also be much better for the sport.

05 Sep 2010 9:34 PM

jayjay - Cheering for QR to go to the BC Mile?  What?  All you Zenyatta fans calling QR a miler and hoping he points to the Mile instead of the Classic - you all sound a little scared.

Repeat after me:  QR can get a mile and A HALF!  He can run forever!  He's a world beater!

Did you get that?  QR can get a mile and A HALF!  He can run forever!  He's a world beater!

Now I love QR, and I was hoping that he would COMPLETELY dominate in the Woodward (although part of me was still wishing MTB would pull it off).  I love QR, and I want him at his best, because I want Zenyatta to beat the best.  The same for Blame, Rail Trip, Lookin' at Lucky, and any Euros that show up.

I have no doubt that Zenyatta can beat these horses, even when they're at their best.  She's that good.  Post position doesn't matter to her, pace doesn't matter to her - the only thing that might not bode well for her is the weather and maybe traffic problems if they all gang up on her.

And Zen fans, no need to keep arguing the same old points.  Her schedule is set.  Her connections have done what they've done.  Yes, it's disappointing to some, me included, but I don't think that will in any way detract from her success in the Classic.  She's been kept sound so far and that's all I want from here on out.  A sound, happy mare soon to be traveling East!

05 Sep 2010 9:43 PM


This is in answer to your question on the last blog.

Obviously Blind Luck ships well and readily adapts to different environments.  She's still young so she will probably be a good shipper all her life.  I also love her and pull for her in every race.  At this time, the only similarity between her and Zen is in their running styles.  Their careers are obviously being handled differently which to me is a credit to the connections of both.  If Blind Luck continues to race until six then all the more respect and admiration for her and her connections.

As for Zenyatta, what can I say other than they are doing what they obviously think is best, probably for themselves as well as the horse.  I think that they have gained a fair degree of success in that Zen is undefeated in 18 races, has won 16 graded races, has won 12 G1 races including 8 in a row, has won from 6 1/2F to 10F, has defeated multiple G1 and Group One winners, has defeated several Eclipse award winners, has won the two top dirt BC races in the BCC and the BC Distaff, is only filly or mare to win the BCC, has won over $6 million, and is still racing at age 6.

Should she go to Dubai?  No.  The BCC will be tougher than the World Cup……it always is.  Besides, she doesn’t travel well so why send her half way around the world?  She really doesn’t take well to being away from home for an extended period of time either.  I know that these sound like the same ol’ same ol’ excuses, but they are fact, so who are we or anyone to argue.  At times I find it perplexing, but I still respect their judgement and why shouldn't I or anyone else for that matter?  Defeating the top dirt males in racing two years in a row is a feat that no filly or mare has ever accomplished.  Competing against them two years in a row has, to my knowledge, never been tried either.  If her legacy would still be tarnished if she enters and wins this year’s BCC and retires undefeated that means that she would have tried the pinnacle of N/A racing in some form three years in a row and it wouldn't be enough.  To put that into perspective, none of the leading contenders in the BCC or Distaff has even tried the BCC or the BC Distaff once.  If that’s not enough then I guess it would be too bad.  My guess is that 85% to 90% of the people that follow horse racing would think it is and give her the respect she deserves.  Who cares what the other 10% to 15% think.  And as for her international reputation, she has a lot of respect around the world.  Go to some of their sites and you’ll see what I mean.

05 Sep 2010 9:57 PM

Go David!

However....Jason is right about gambling paying for racing.    

About Z racing in California--Every

time I think I've see the last of her racing in person, I'm thrilled to have another chance to see her run.  


Dottie was kind enough to look at photos of my yearling pre Santa Margarita in March.  She's doing great and looks the part.  Hoping to have one small bit of Zenyatta's success rub off.  Best of luck with the big mare and all of her connections.

Go Zenyatta!

05 Sep 2010 10:08 PM

Zookeeper - Sorry to hear about RFO.  I too am glad that the problem was found before the race.  It IS a rollercoaster!  Hang on!

So sad to hear about Majesticperfection.

And how cool is it to hear from David Ingordo?  Thanks for spotting her for the Mosses!

05 Sep 2010 10:10 PM


I am a huge Zen fan.  I am an even bigger fan of horse racing in general.  I feel perplexed at times and even though I am a Zen fan, believe it or not I like your last post.  In a way it makes a lot of sense, but you still have to admit the following.  They did put it on the line during her career.  The first meeting with Ginger Punch in the AB, Ginger Punch was 2 to 5 (Quality Road odds).  Zen annihilated her.  She did go into a deep BC Distaff that year and again she annihilated the field in typical Zen fashion.  She ran in last year’s BCC against a pretty deep field with no automatic win guarantees, far from it.  She was prepared to meet Rachel this spring in the AB, with Rachel’s last win the Woodward and with no idea that Rachel was having problems.  She’s going to go into a very deep BCC this year.  In a 20 race career, I would say she has taken some chances.  Expecting her to do it every time is too much.  That’s like saying that Quality Road should have scratched from the Woodward because it was too easy and wait for the JCGC.  The truth is she has been ducked.  The AB was for $5 mill.  Other than Rachel and Zen, where were the others.  They shied away.  And as far as trying the HGC or the Pac. Clc. Or the JCGC, why?  The only filly or mare to tackle males in a top route race on dirt or synthetics this year was St. Trinians.  Because the Moss’ chose not to do this at this time they are robbing racing of what could have been.   Sorry, but that’s a little much.

05 Sep 2010 10:16 PM
Paula Higgins

O.k. Jimmy, nice response to my snarky post. I understand your points but I think we have to take into account her age, her continuous racing for 3 straight years, and the fact that she is a girl, albeit a really big girl. I just don't think you can compare a mare to Secretariat, Man O' War and Citation. It isn't fair. They were colts and great colts. They can't race Zenyatta like those horses were raced. If you do, you end up with a burned out mare i.e. Rachel (and I absolutely love Rachel, don't get me wrong). You know the old adage that a really good colt should be able to beat a really good filly, well I don't think that is so far off. If a girl does race the boys consistently and win, she will pay a price at the end of the season. They are trying to add Zenyatta's legacy and preserve her for the BCC. Picking her races with that goal in mind is her best chance for winning the BCC this year and in her best interest overall. Her races were legitimate Grade I races. IF they had raced her all out against the boys this year, you can count on it that she would not be racing in the BCC. She would have been done. Even Todd Pletcher gets that. He isn't racing QR until the BCC.

Yes, Lazmannick, I got on the "Zenyatta side of my bed" today LOL. I am being a pistol. I love Zenny and Rachel. As a girl myself, I can't help it.

05 Sep 2010 10:18 PM

Abolutely true, Lazmannick.

05 Sep 2010 10:20 PM

Paula Higgins - even though I may think or suspect that Zenyatta is the best horse in training, the simple fact is that she has been denied the opprtunity to prove it by facing the best horses.  I really hope she does win the Classic and proves me right.  Still it's frustrating the way she has been handled to me anyway.

05 Sep 2010 11:29 PM

ruffianruns : Yes, I am cheering for him to go to the BC Mile and will hope for that.  It's not about being scared, you yourself said Zenyatta can beat him and I've always felt that way.  I've always said Blame is Zen's main competition from NA (not sure who's coming to the dance from Euro).  I don't believe he can get 10F, let alone 12F.  What is it about QR that makes you think he can get 12F , are you talking about against top level competition or the Donn / Woodward type horses ?   I'm not knocking QR, as I've said before, if he goes to 1 mile races, he'd probably be undefeated.  What's so bad about that ?  He gets 9F too but the Whitney shows that if he is up against top horses, he doesn't dominate.  If the Whitney was a mile, he would've beaten Blame by at least 2 lengths.

A world beater ?  Come on now, I'm hoping that that was a joke but probably not.  Zenyatta beating QR in the Classic is not the highlight, her beating Blame is.  There's an article on DRF that says it all, QR is not the same as what we have seen earlier in the year.  I think it's because he has not faced top competition prior to the Whitney.

If ever QR runs in a 12F race, I would be willing to make a bet with you that he won't finish in the top half of the field.

06 Sep 2010 12:33 AM


06 Sep 2010 1:08 AM

Still not sure how Twirling Candy wasn't disqualified.  The stewards ruled that because Summer Movie finished last and was 6 lengths behind the next-to-last horse, the few lengths they determined he lost when Twirling Candy sideswiped him wasn't enough to warrant a dq.  But couldn't they recognize that after being whacked by Twirling Candy, Summer Movie might have lost mental focus, momentum, or even suffered a mild injury?

I have been a fan of Twirling Candy since seeing him win his 2nd start at Hollywood, and was rooting for a big performance, but I really am surprised he stayed up.

Sadler says the gr.1 Goodwood at 9 furlongs on Cushion Track will be Twirling Candy's next start.  The Goodwood should be a strong race as it should also draw Richard's Kid. What's great about Twirling Candy is that it appears he can run on anything, and that he has no distance limitations.  

The word beast is thrown around quite frequently on this blog, but rarely is the term used to describe a West Coast horse, with the exception of the big mare.  Well, in Twirling Candy California racing my have a true male beast.  If he can win the Goodwood in career start #5, then the term will be appropriate.

06 Sep 2010 4:26 AM
Sam Not Spam

To paraphrase the great E.P. Taylor, all horses can get 10 furlongs, some just get it faster than others.  I love Quality Road and would have liked to have seen him in last year's Classic, but in all honesty Blame has the pace to win this year's race.  Zenyatta is legendary, but I can't see her getting past him - not that it'd be any disgrace to finish second in a Classic!

06 Sep 2010 4:57 AM

Physically MTB looked great. I am not saying that MTB is a GrI horse but Lukas can not train anymore PERIOD. Do they take trainers out of the Hall Of Fame? The horse is a dead closer. Lukas has no business putting blinkers on him and sending him. What a shame...

06 Sep 2010 7:38 AM


 I am curious as to what you think of Boys at Toconova's pedigree. He looked awesome last out and I think he should win today. I am no pedigree expert but I don't see where his pedigree screams KY Derby. What do you think?

06 Sep 2010 8:00 AM

Kay wrote:  "I love how Rachel's defenders keep pointing out how she beat Life At Ten by the length of the stretch. Um, so what? Johnny V obviously stopped riding and it's not like Rachel WON the race by ten lengths. She got beat. Same thing in her other two losses this year -- she was a mile in front of the third-place horse, but she still got beat."

Come on Kay.  I know you know that horses are rated, judged, and handicapped by the lengths they are ahead and behind their competitors.  That's why the charts give length separation at every point in the race and lengths between every horse in order of finish.  It is a big deal that so many lengths separated Rachel and LAT despite the fact that Rachel lost.  The chart says that LAT steadily tired, so people will have to decide if JV pulled up, stopped riding, whatever, but 10 lengths is a large margin even if JV stopped riding.  LAT is singled out, obviously, because she's a G1 winner, has won at a mile and a quarter, and was carrying two pounds less than Rachel, whereas Persistently got a six pound break from Rachel.  All these things weigh into the decision.  Take it or leave it, but it's not like it's the first time it's been done.  And the win column isn't all that matters for most race horses.  They're not machines.

And once again, that's what makes Zenyatta's streak so amazing.  So what if she's not facing world beaters every race, who is?  And has Laz has pointed out, she has taken many risks - her first Apple Blossom facing the reigning Champ, the Ladies Classic, the Breeders Cup Classic, this year's match with Rachel that wasn't meant to be.  And when ANY horse wins ANY graded stakes race three years in a row it's a testament to consistency and greatness - that's why it's so rare.

I love what The Rock wrote:  "You know what the difference is between Zenyatta, RA & QR?  Zenyatta doesn't need any type of pace scenario to develop in her favor to win."  It's true!  I LOVE Rachel and I really like QR, but it's true.  All pace scenarios have been tried with Zenyatta, fast and slow on the front end.  Nothing matters.  Post position doesn't matter.  Traffic problems haven't mattered.  And not only that, the Classic last year:  the toughest field she'd ever faced at the longest distance she'd ever run, she made it look like child's play.  Excuse the rambling, I just watched the Classic again.  I don't see how she's beatable.

And so Rachel is beatable.  She's a racehorse.  Most race horses get beaten.

06 Sep 2010 8:35 AM

It's time to dispel the illusion with a reality check.  Just because Zenyatta make every race look like a stroll through the park doesn't mean that's what it is.  That's simply an illusion. It's the way she glides past every competitor.   That's the illusion.  She's not racing against nags, as the illusion might suggest.(along with half the bloggers on this page).  How many times did she easily defeat Life is Sweet last year?  But who won the Ladies' Classic last got it...Life is Sweet. How highly was St Trinian touted before she met Zen?  The illusion is ease; the reality is her record 18-0.  She remains a Champion. And she is no less a champion just because she lives in California. (Isn't she bred in Kentucky?) Thank you David Ingordo for discovering a National Treasure.  It's time to toss out the sour grapes folks, and begin to appreciate the miracle that is the Zenyatta.

06 Sep 2010 8:47 AM
Bob Bright

Jason, NTB has no chance with his career being managed by the three stooges. Lukas lost his mojo years ago and MTB really went south when the owners chose a parade over the Travers.

06 Sep 2010 9:08 AM
Greg J.


The last two weeks have been extremely busy for me, so busy that I forgot to thank you for the tri in the Travers.  Funny story, I was stuck in traffic at Saratoga the morning of the Travers, so, I went on my Droid and read your travers blog.  While it was a little confusing, I did box Afleet Express, First Dude, Fly Down and Super Saver for the $2 tri.  So, I owe you Jason!  Between this and the Preakness super, my wallet thanks you!  

You will get a chance to take some of that from me when the Classic is run, even though I don't think Zenyatta will ever lose ;)

06 Sep 2010 9:19 AM
Greg J.


I am shocked but not surprised Twirling Candy wasn't DQ'ed.  What amazes me, is that the stewards didn't even wait to hear from the jockeys involved before making their decision?  That is plain crazy!  On top of it all, Summer Movie came out of the race hurt...

06 Sep 2010 10:51 AM
Jason Shandler

No problem Greg. Glad you hit it. The Zenyatta zealots might make you think I'm only good for picking on their hero, but I actually have been doing quite well with my selections on this blog and THS over the past half-year.

And now football has started!! Let the games begin.

06 Sep 2010 10:54 AM

You will get a chance to take some of that from me when the Classic is run, even though I don't think Zenyatta will ever lose ;)Greg J

Re: GregJ,  When Zenyatta wins the Classic, Jason will be adding more to that payoff for you...

06 Sep 2010 11:03 AM

jayjay - Of course I'm kidding about QR getting 12 furlongs.  And no, QR vs. Zenyatta is not the highlight in the Classic, but it's one of them, especially with the last TB World Rankings having Quality Road as third worldwide with Zenyatta in fifth.  Blame might move up there with him when the next Rankings come out in a few days, but I'm not sure as QR's rating is based on his Donn and Met Mile races.  I don't think Blame has set any track records this year like QR has, but I could be wrong.  Anyhow, I expect Zenyatta to beat the best in the world and that includes Blame and any others.  Since QR is currently ranked the highest among her possible challengers, and since he's NOT going to the Mile, it's in Zen's interest to have the best present when she blows by them.  Hopefully he can come back into better form - I'm hoping Churchill's track will work better for him than Saratoga's track.

Greg J. - Did Summer Movie come out hurt?  I hadn't heard that.  Too bad.  And I didn't know that the riders weren't talked to.

06 Sep 2010 11:24 AM

I think Twirling Candy should have been disqualified also. This wasn't some small debatable infraction. It was a doozy! Just because he was the best horse in the field doesn't mean he can create potential havoc, the way he did, and get away with it.

He is an awesome horse with fantastic abilities and versatility but he is a head-case. Even saddling him is a challenge!

Hope he matures quickly because the possibilities seem endless for him. He is scary-good!!!

Oh! those late-developing 3yr olds! Remember Tiznow...

06 Sep 2010 11:56 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

  You got that right. Truer words have never been spoken. Well except maybe when Mr. Ed said he was going to wear his straw hat until it goes out of style and then eat it.

06 Sep 2010 12:20 PM

Jason, just pondering this and wondering your opinion.  Obviously RA is a very very talented mare, but given her record this year and how she's kinda been getting into speed duels and then getting run down...if she went into the BC Distaff, do you think her or Blind Luck or DMC would be favored?

Including DMC because I think she is a monster and her last race was a toss.

06 Sep 2010 12:55 PM

Slew, love your comment @8:47 AM and couldn't agree more!  It isn't that Z's competition is that bad-- it's that SHE is THAT GOOD. She just makes her wins look effortless and some folks interpret that as a reflection on the comp.  To those, I say: Wrong! It's the Reflection of Perfection! :-)

06 Sep 2010 1:52 PM

Gunbow - appreciate your comments on Twirling Candy, was hoping you'd check in on that.  He does look to be a monster in the making; but I think the stewards may have set a very bad precedent when they didn't rule against him yesterday.  To not even talk to the jockeys involved was bad form. Clearly, it was no fault of JR's - actually, the correction was to his credit, I think - but there can be no argument that it wasn't detrimental to Summer Movie's race and may well have cost him a place or show.  Is it possible for SM's connections to contest the ruling?  

06 Sep 2010 2:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

That was such a tremendous race from Rachel in the 2009 Woodward, with those fractions. Really amazing, I wish she would have defended her title. Is everyone just guessing that The Woodward took too much out of her and that was the reason for the long layoff, or did that come from the connections? Anyone? Anyone?

06 Sep 2010 2:07 PM

A freshened up Quality Road will definitely be the horse they all have to beat in the BCC.  He will not be denied HOTY 2010.  This forcast was made last year after he quite intelligently refused to be hoodwinked into running on the Pro-ride and nothing has happened so far to change that prediction.  At level weights Blame is safely held and Rachel Alexandra could share the spotlight if she ran in the Distaff.  Queen Zenyatta will (probably) for the first time be unable to successfully close in the BCC.  I will gloat when Quality Road wins but will surely welcome another possible ecstatic mezmerization IF "Big Z" pulls it off this time.  I promise to forgive all the multitude of (transgressions)padded resume, slighted opportunities to compete on dirt and all the ducked competition with the top Synthetic horses by her connections, should she be able to defeat the "king of the dirt" Quality Road in the Classic (as well as Blame).  Amen Hallelujah!!

06 Sep 2010 2:26 PM

Another Beyer joke.........

Quality Road gets a 106 Beyer for running 1 1/8M in 1.50 on a fast track at Saratoga.  This is 3.2 seconds off the track record and the 3 year best time.

In the Saranac at 1 3/16M on turf, Lethal Combination runs the race in 1.53.18 seconds.  The three year best time is 1.53........For this Lethal Combination gets a whopping huge 90 Beyer.

In the Red Bank Stakes at a mile on turf at Monmouth, Get Serious wins the race in 1.32.37 against a 1.31.1 track record and gets a 100 Beyer.

Something smells I'm afraid.

06 Sep 2010 2:32 PM

Further to the Beyer debacle.....

In the Forego, Here Comes Ben runs the 7F in 1.22.2, 2 seconds off the track record and only 1.2 seconds off the three year best time and receives a 104 Beyer.  Quality Road's 1.50 is 3.2 seconds off both the three year best time and the track record and he gets a 106 Beyer.  Wow.

06 Sep 2010 2:38 PM
Jason Shandler

Laz: It's clear you havent a clue how Beyers work. I suggest you research it further before blindly blasting something that has been around for more than 30 years. Here's a hint: The track at Saratoga was playing very slow on Saturday. This, the final times were slower than usual--for all of the races. That's where Beyers come in.

06 Sep 2010 2:59 PM
Mike Relva


Im going to tell you've what I've said on numerous post here. Zenyatta's connections could care less what you and others' that slam her/them. It's THEIR CALL TO MAKE,NOT YOURS!

06 Sep 2010 3:01 PM
Mike Relva


Why don't you this time put something up since you feel so good about your boy,QR? When I took that three month exile hit you HAD NOTHING INVESTED BUT ALOT OF TALK. I'm betting Jason,what are you doing?

06 Sep 2010 3:04 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks for finding Zenyatta. Her connections set the gold standard that places her welfare FIRST and doesn't cave to media pressure. I admire them.

06 Sep 2010 3:08 PM


Let's cleear.  I have a clue how beyers work.  I have four books here by Mr. Beyer himself and i've read them all twice.  you tell me how they work.

06 Sep 2010 3:14 PM

Jason heres's a further hint about the slow Saratoga track.  Explain to me the difference between Quality Road's Beyer and Her Comes Ben.  Ben runs the better race and gets the lower Beyer and on the same track on the same say.  Explain to me how a horse on turf can run within .18 seconds of a three year best time and get a 90 Beyer.

06 Sep 2010 3:17 PM
Jason Shandler

Just because the 'evil enemy' Quality Road scored a 106 Beyer doesnt mean it's a "debacle."

06 Sep 2010 3:19 PM
Mike Relva


To tell the truth I'm seriously wondering if A. Beyer knows how they work. Didn't he state last year Zenyatta was too slow to win the Classic?

06 Sep 2010 3:23 PM
Jason Shandler

Mike: Not everything in horse racing has to come back to Zenyatta. Try talking about something else for once. Andy Beyer forgot more than you know about racing. That is a fact.

Lots of horses have Beyers "too slow" to suggest that they have a good chance to win. They are not an end-all, be-all to handicapping. They are one tool to use among many.

06 Sep 2010 3:27 PM
Paula Higgins

Zookeeper, sorry about Runflatout.

06 Sep 2010 3:29 PM
Mike Relva


I like how you make up rules as you go along. Recall just before this yrs. Preakness when the focus should been there,instead you wrote a "Zenyatta blog",which drew over a thousand hits. BTW,I could care less how much Beyer knows or you think he does.

06 Sep 2010 3:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  At the time, I thought it was a difficult decision. They should have taken more time in hindsight, talking to jockeys etc. If you DQ, where do you place him-last? I wasn't even sure that Summer Movie wasn't clear. It certainly was unfortunate, but what talent !!! The horrible news of the day is the Charles Town fire. Just terrible what happened there.

06 Sep 2010 4:19 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Last year's Woodward was very tough on all the horses, especially Rachel. I think it definitely led to the long lay-off and this year's difficulties. I'm glad she did not run in it this year. Racing against QR might have done her in again.

Wonder how she's doing. The PE was no piece of cake either...

06 Sep 2010 4:20 PM

Paula Higgins,

Compared to what's happened to promising 2yr olds at Saratoga lately, Runflatout's throat infection is a very small problem. But thank you for your kindness.

I see you've taken the gauntlet in the never-ending argument... I've decided to just let her do the talking in November at CD. lol!

P.S. A new threat has risen its gorgeous head at DM yesterday. Twirling Candy, if he can get his head straight, could deflate everybody's bluster.

06 Sep 2010 4:37 PM
Ted from LA

That's it.  Cage match.  Jason "The Beast from the East" Shandler vs. Mike "All Psych" Relva.  Dr. Drunkinbum will ref.  Philly Park, next Saturday between the 8th and 9th in the winner's circle.  Ted from LA will be taking bets.

06 Sep 2010 4:46 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

OMG! I didn't know... What an absolute disaster!

06 Sep 2010 4:48 PM
Paula Higgins

Yes Zookeeper, I have gone nuclear in my defense of Zenny LOL. I saw that about Twirling Candy, darn it. Why can't these super colts just wait 6 more months before they start peaking. Just hope the Queen can do it. I have no idea if she will beat this crop, but I know she will be a factor. Now we have QR, Blame, LAL AND Twirling Candy. Geesh. Jason is going to be smiling all the way to the betting window.

Lazmannick, I am so with you regarding Beyers. I also agree that they lack consistency.

Dr Drunkinbum, I absolutely do think the Woodward took too much out of Rachel. I think it was the whole year/schedule and then it ended with a whalapaloozer i.e. the Woodward. Fillys and mares can keep up with the boys race to race, but not non-stop. That's where you start to see the difference in my opinion. John Shirreffs gets that I think.

The West Virginia fire is horrific. Every horse lovers worst nightmare. Animals have no chance to get out without human help. This is just horrible news. I just don't understand how this can happen. Don't these barns have fire alarms?

06 Sep 2010 5:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

  Since I'm referee, I say we make it a true cage match brawl, free for all. Andy "The Beyers" Beyer has got to be in there. The Sodapop Kid should be in there.  May the best man win. No biting, no scratching, no hair pulling. Last man standing or not crying wins and is blog champion. Everything he says for the next year is right, and the others have to agree with him. Losers get a free trip to the dentist. Let the games begin. Sponsored by Ted "PT Barnum" from LA.

06 Sep 2010 5:04 PM
Mike Relva


That's funny,but I'm not a great shipper.

06 Sep 2010 5:05 PM

Just read Ron Mitchell's report of the fire..27 horses ... horrendous.

06 Sep 2010 5:24 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

It looks like Dutrow really has something with Boys At Tosconova. His pedigree on the surface wouldn't suggest that he'd like 1 1/8, or 1 1/4 but the way he runs it wouldn't surprise at all if he can win Derby preps and do well in The Derby. This one is going to be really interesting stretching out. I don't think he'll have any trouble moving up the distance ladder, and looks to be the favorite for the Breeder's Juvenile. He beat two good colts today and looked like he did it fairly easily. Certainly 1 1/6 won't be a problem.

06 Sep 2010 5:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Paula Higgins

  It's devastating news. There has to be a better way. There has to be a way to free them in case of fire. It drives me nuts. I don't know why the person that saw it starting didn't go back and open the doors rather than just alerting security, or why security didn't open the doors rather than just calling the fire department. But that aside all barns should have more fire protection and a way to get the horses out.

06 Sep 2010 5:44 PM

ruffianruns : I'm glad you confirmed it was a joke, I truly was scratching my head and had to read your comments twice and then had to double check it was really you who said it.  I totally agree with you, if QR goes to the Classic, I want him in the best form possible, just like I want Blame and the colts and RA if she goes and whoever else from Euro is coming.  This is THE race of the year and I wouldn't want any excuses, I want a clean break, clean trips for everyone.  I want Zenyatta to beat the field without having to hear any excuses.

LAZ : I've never been a fan of the Beyer formula, for the simple fact that it's really just a formula that some guy developed.  It's a formula based on the best scenario of racing.  If there's one variable is off, you have to re-calculate.  There's too many to take into account in my opinion and only guys like you that understands it can use it.  It's not for the regular handicapper.  I hit an 18K Pen 5 at SA earlier this year without looking at the form let alone the beyers.  I thought it was funny Jason saying you don't know anything about beyers.  I don't think Jason has even entered that discussion in the past.  Jason, how does beyers work ?  Give us the technical details instead of saying Laz doesn't know anything about it.

06 Sep 2010 5:48 PM
Jason Shandler

Jayjay: Thanks for telling us Beyers are too technical for "regular" handicappers. They've only be used since the 80s. I'll make sure to tell Andy to dumb them down for you. Maybe a little less time boring us with your Zenyatta talk and little more reading handicapping books and you'll get it one of these days.

The $18k Pen 5 you hit, were you upset when you woke up and the money wasnt in your pocket? I hate those dreams.

06 Sep 2010 5:55 PM

Well! I didn't eat the chalk and I'm still thirsty. Boys At Tosconova, on sheer talent, not even being pushed. Rated well, took over, a walk in the park! WOW!

Ted- Whatever you're selling... I'm not buying. I'm no Paula Higgins, the sight of blood makes me woozy!

Dr D.- Don't get in that cage! There be monsters in there!

Yes, Twirling Candy should have been DQ'd to last. Behind the horse he interfered with. The PP's would still show him coming in first, along with the DQ notation. Maybe there should be a warning label plastered to his butt: Danger! run on the outside at your own risk!  :) Sadler's comment: "He'll run better against better horses" (or something to that effect), uncool!

06 Sep 2010 6:04 PM

It wasn't a dream, I can show you the W-4 if you want.  I never said I didn't understand it, I said it's not a solid formula.  I'm sure you use it to pick your winners like this weekend's picks.  Did it help you pick the two winners (QR and Boys) ?

Cause I picked QR and Boys too, but never had to use Beyers.

06 Sep 2010 6:42 PM

So you still haven't explained the technical details of Beyers, for us dumb handicappers.  I say you don't know anything about it either...but I guess you can prove me wrong instead of boring us with your beast of the east comments, for once, answer some questions posted to you and stop avoiding them. :)

06 Sep 2010 6:46 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason, Zenyatta is NEVER boring. Beyers are boring.

06 Sep 2010 6:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Summer Movie is sore, not injured. Here Comes Ben is probably going to the dirt mile. Vineyard Haven is unknown. I say put him in the sprint and let him fly. I like Twirling Candy in longer races if they can get him under control. That kind of nonsense would be terrible in a Breeder's Cup. But what talent. He could be in The Classic or Turf, or dirt mile or turf mile. Next to the blogger's cage match, this year's Breeder's Cup has to be the event of the century so far. Quite an uproar over the No DQ for TC. Some of those decisions are not so easy as fast as they have to make them, but I've seen them take a ton more time than they did with that one. With hindsight I think he should have been DQ'd. It's not like he was all by himself. Where do you place him is the question. 3rd, 4th, last?

06 Sep 2010 7:13 PM

Interesting how the Zenyatta fans hate beyer speed figures so much. Is it because her numbers generally reside in the mid to upper 90's?

06 Sep 2010 7:22 PM
Bet Twice

They aren't too technical, they're just way too subjective and completely useless on synthetic.  

Aqueduct (2003-2006):

333 Beyers of 100 or greater; 38 at 110 or greater; 2 at 120 or greater

Aqueduct (2007-2010):

320 Beyers of 100 or greater; 9 at 110 or greater; none at 120 or greater

Belmont (2003-2006):

420 Beyers at 100 or greater; 78 at 110 or greater; 3 at 120 or greater

Belmont (2007-2010):

410 Beyers at 100 or greater; 28 at 110 or greater; none at 120 or greater

Saratoga (2003-2006):

214 Beyers at 100 or greater; 38 at 110 or greater; 3 at 120 or greater

Saratoga (2007-2010):

167 Beyers at 100 or greater; 17 at 110 or greater; 2 at 120 or greater

Santa Anita (2003-2006):

429 Beyers at 100 or greater; 42 at 110 or greater; 1 at 120 or greater

Santa Anita (2007-2010):

162 Beyers at 100 or greater; 4 at 110 or greater; 0 at 120 or greater

Del Mar (2003-2006):

143 Beyers at 100 or greater; 18 at 110 or greater; 1 at 120 or greater

Del Mar (2007-2010):

135 Beyers at 100 or greater; 2 at 110 or greater; 0 at 120 or greater

Hollywood (2003-2006):

277 Beyers at 100 or greater; 37 at 110 or greater; 1 at 120 or greater

Hollywood (2007-2010):

110 Beyers at 100 or greater; 1 at 110 or greater; 0 at 120 or greater

06 Sep 2010 7:23 PM

I should correct myself, guys like Laz are the only folks who can use the beyer formulas EFFECTIVELY.  There are draynays out there who just use that beyer figure without thinking about the other variables and probably don't know how to adjust what Andy gives a horse.  They see a 106 like what QR got and they thought "Man, that horse is a beast!".  There have been numerous times where Andy himself have to backpedal with the figures he gives out and again, the draynays and the jasons out there pretend to not see it until the next "beast" runs.  With all those high beyers that QR and Rachel produces, I'm surprised they're not undefeated this year nor running against top level competition.

06 Sep 2010 7:24 PM
Bet Twice

Sorry, meant to credit and thanks Dan Illman for the above Beyer research.  

06 Sep 2010 7:24 PM


Here's the deal: if Quality Road is beaten by Zenyatta in the Breeder's Cup Classic I'll change my moniker from Ranagulzion to RUMPELSTILSKIN as a perpetual tribute to the big mare.  How's that?  QR gets beaten and you'll see no more Rana ...and whenever you see a posting under Rumpelstilskin you can have a good laugh, compliments of Zenyatta, the Mosses and John Sherrifs.  You should guess by now that I'm a man of my word so you can wish and hope that "Queen Zen" wins, but I don't think its going to happen for her this year.  That's how confident I am about this "monster" called Quality Road and trainer Todd Pletcher's ability to have him razor sharp for a "hatchet job" under the twin spires in November.  You can have a laugh now but its the last laugh that's best. Deal?

06 Sep 2010 7:28 PM

Jason - speaking of Beyers not sure if you noticed Mr. Fantasy on Saturday ran a 104.

06 Sep 2010 7:37 PM


Beyers aren't all that complicated and anyone can understand them once they read one of his books like Picking Winners.  One of the problems is to try and evaluate how a track's surface is playing (fast to slow).  It is difficult when only five of the races on Satuday were on dirt and of them, four were sprints, two of them for 2 year olds, and only one was a two turn race.  The track was dull, but how can you properly evaluate how much it was off based on that limited amount of data to work with.

06 Sep 2010 7:45 PM
Mike Relva


Your thoughts regarding the terrible fire are on point, agree with you.

06 Sep 2010 7:55 PM
Jason Shandler

That is good info Bet Twice. Thanks. I didnt realize East Coast horses were THAT superior to West Coast horses. That makes it official :)

I saw the race SSA. Mr. F looked good. What is next for him?

Jayjay: Buy the book off Laz and learn about Beyers on your free time. I dont have the time to explain the basics about horse racing to you. I'll repeat the same thing I did for Mike to you: Andy forgot more about racing than you'll ever know. The fact that you come on here and ridicule one of the most respected writers/handicappers that we have and try to brag about some $18k winner tells me all I need to know about you.

06 Sep 2010 8:25 PM


Synthetic Beyers or maybe we should say pars, have nothing to do with dirt Beyers because they haven’t been properly developed.  The data used is collected over a period of time.  There is a good rule of thumb if you want to apply it......for comparing synthetic Beyers to dirt in route races add 8.  To compare dirt Beyers to synthetics in route races subtract 8.  Of course we couldn’t image Zenyatta having Beyers in the 105 to 112 range, but that’s what they would be.  She runs a 1.49 in the Vanity and gets a 103 Beyer.  QR runs a 150 in the Woodward and gets a 106 Beyer…… I would think, all things being equal on tracks that aren’t lightening fast, a 1.49….9F race should be at least 5 points better than a 1.50…..9F race…..The difference between the two times (1.49 as compared to 1.50) on the Beyer 9F scale would have been more like 9 points, not 5.  This is fact, not fiction.

06 Sep 2010 8:36 PM
Jason Shandler

Just watched the Hopeful. Wow. That is a good looking horse. He looks like he'll have no problem going longer eiter.

06 Sep 2010 8:41 PM

I wasn't bragging about the 18K, my point is that you can win big without using those beyer figures.  As I said in my email to you, I'm a longshot player, I lose big because I don't normally play the favorites, I always try to beat them.  When I hit, I hit big, that's not to say I hit big all the  time but hitting big to me means having to go to the IRS window.  Anything less than that is just money to try and hit the big prices.

LAZ : I know it's not hard to understand but my point is, it's not a necessary tool.  How many times have you and GunBow and others discussed the numbers given to RA and QR vs other horses ?  How many times have you and the others knowledgeable about beyers been shocked by what Andy gives horses.  It's a tool, anyone can use but IMO, it's not a helpful tool.  I don't study that much when I'm handicapping, I play the horses.  I look at the horses and play the odds.  I don't even read the form that much, if I do, it's just to see who the horse ran against last time and how they finished.  It has worked for me year in and year out.  I'm not knocking you for using the beyers, I'm saying there are people who use it as it is printed on the form, not thinking that it could be a false figure based on how the race was run.  In the Classic, people will see QR having a 106 running in the Woodward, they would go with that figure and wonder how a 106 beyer rated horse doesn't hit the board.  Do you understand now ?  I'm not sure how else to explain it.  Or maybe I'm too dumb to explain it ;)

06 Sep 2010 8:41 PM
Jason Shandler

You dont look at the Form when you handicap? Huh? What is this secret method you have? I'd love to know. Pick numbers? Gray horses? Favorite names? If you're not using speed figures or past performances, how does one handicap? I'd love to know and so would a few thousand others.

06 Sep 2010 8:45 PM

Jason - probably going to take a shot at the Vosburgh on 10/2, the Kelso on 10/3 or the NYB Hudson on 10/23. All at Belmont. He ran a 99 Beyer and a 3 on the Ragone sheets in his prior start at Monmouth in the Decathalon, grabbed his hind quarter really bad at the start and just got beat at the wire. We had to ease off his training almost 4 weeks to let it heal 100%.  Saturday at the SPA Ramon said all he had to do was hold on and not fall off. He wants him again wherever we run him. Last 3 Beyers were 90, 99, 104. Hushion has done a great job with him.

06 Sep 2010 8:45 PM
Jason Shandler

SSA: That's great. Let us know what you guys decide on. Glad he is getting back to form and on to stakes company. BTW, don't go by those Beyers, they don't mean anything I was told :)

06 Sep 2010 8:47 PM

This could be the year of the two year olds and if they all hold up, maybe we'll get a super 3 year old crop.  Too bad about Kantharos.  It'll be interesting to see if J P's Gusto stretches out in the Delmar Futurity.

06 Sep 2010 9:00 PM

Football is a great way to fill the time between races -- Go Colts!!

06 Sep 2010 9:07 PM


It's like Jason said.  Beyers are a tool.  I'm not sure the success rate based on betting the top Beyer in a race (like say betting the favorite in each race), but they are a measurement and help to equate class and current form, etc.  There are so many things to utilize in handicapping.  There are people that don't use a form.  They study odds and identify when abnormal money is bet on a horse. They might make a play or two a day and often not to win, but place or show. They aren't looking to break the bank, just to make a profit.  It works for some.

06 Sep 2010 9:12 PM


Could we not have a contest and the winner would get to pick your moniker.

06 Sep 2010 9:16 PM

Jason, dude, it's not that hard to understand his post. He says he looks at the horses. There's a lot to be said for who catches the eye, and not because they have a pretty blaze :)

Y'all seem to both agree. Beyers are not the be all, end all.

Now go to your corners, boys, for a well deserved time out.

06 Sep 2010 9:24 PM
Jason Shandler

He "looks at the horses." Gee, that's where I was going wrong all this time. Who knew it was that easy? Learn something new every day.

06 Sep 2010 9:26 PM
Saratoga AJ

Was at the Spa for closing day and witnessed a possible future superstar in Boys At Tosconava. He toyed with 2 very good colts in Stay Thirsty and Wine Police.  And very well may be as good or better than Big Brown, just as Dutrow said in an interview 2 weeks ago. Stay tuned.

Best of all, I actually finished the Meet with about a $400 profit. Made up for last year. Well, almost! :)

06 Sep 2010 9:27 PM
Mike Relva


You know what?  She's 18-0 you can harp about low Beyer numbers all you want. Maybe you're confused,it's not 0-18.

06 Sep 2010 9:32 PM


Don't do this to yourself.

06 Sep 2010 9:35 PM

There's always the good old hat pin.

06 Sep 2010 9:39 PM
Jason Shandler

Who is everyones Super Bowl pick? Hate to say it but I think the Patriots rebound big time and take it. Brady looks like he's on a mission early.

For those of you who like to play futures, here's a winner for you: Take the under in the Eagles total wins, which is 8.5. They wont win more than 7. You're welcome.

06 Sep 2010 9:39 PM
Bet Twice

Anything I can do to help.  Its kind of amazing how much better they get once they race on the East Coast.  Maybe its the air or the hay?  :)

06 Sep 2010 9:40 PM
Jason Shandler

Yeah, Bet Twice, including all those California-based Derby winners shipping in over the last 20 years.

06 Sep 2010 9:44 PM

Where is Bret Favre?

 With the way this conversation is going tonite on this blog, I think some boxing gloves are needed.   So, I might as well add fuel to the fire and throw old Bret in here.

06 Sep 2010 9:48 PM

Really Ranagulzion?  Really?  Will you forgive Zenyatta's "transgressions" when she blows by QR, Blame, and the rest?

Jimmy - I thought you knew more about handicapping than that!  Beyer himself admitted that his numbers don't work on certain racing styles.  But he hasn't admitted that they don't work on synthetics….  He certainly got Zenyatta wrong last year, and I'm sure he'll make the same mistake again.  But I love Beyer!  He said that Ruffian ran a race as a two year old that would be a 120 or greater today, thus putting her in a completely separate class from anybody else.

Bet Twice - Thanks for the Illman research on Beyers.  Horses ARE getting worse!  Especially when they run on synthetics!  Not!

Laz - I think you're right about the two year olds - sure seems like they're coming out of the woodwork.  I'm still sick about Kantharos.  I'm sending super vibes to all of them, all ages, to protect their delicate, beautiful legs.

Just read the news about the fire!  Oh, I pray for those horses, for their souls.  I can't believe the rash of really, really bad news lately.

Also, Dr D, awhile ago you asked about the latest with Tuscan Evening.  I don't know if you caught it, but she died of acute pulmonary hemorrhage.

06 Sep 2010 9:48 PM
Paula Higgins

The Patriots but it pains me to say it, and I am originally from Massachusetts. I cannot stand Tom Brady. He is his own biggest fan.

06 Sep 2010 9:53 PM
Ted from LA

Super Bowl 2011 Final Score:

Green Bay Packers 27

New York Jets 21


The "Sport of Kings" should make powerful sprinkler systems mandatory in all thoroughbred racehorse barns.  Ted from LA has spoken.

06 Sep 2010 9:59 PM
Saratoga AJ


Is there any doubt? J...E...T...S...JETS JETS JETS!

Been waiting patiently since January 3, 1970. The time has come!

Remember, Rex isn't here to kiss Belichick's rings. He's here to kick his ass. And it will be fun to watch this year.

06 Sep 2010 10:05 PM
Jason Shandler

They arent winning anything with that QB. Sanchez is 3 years away from being an NFL caliber QB. Your wait will continue A. J.

06 Sep 2010 10:13 PM

I think it is shortsighted to ridicule or dismiss Andy Beyer or Beyer speed figures.  The simple fact is that BSF revolutionized horse betting.  I find them to be an extremely helpful tool.

I do think that the numbers are sometimes off for some horses specifically horses that have alot of heart and will to win and who sometimes do just what they have to to win.  I think Zenyatta falls into this category.  You might find Blind Luck there as well.  Beyer was a known skeptic of Seattle Slew (until Slew's epic loss to Exceller in the JCGC).  I don't think we have to dismiss his very valuable numbers just because there are some horses that have the heart to win and may not run the fastest times.

Boys of Toscanova was very impressive today.

06 Sep 2010 10:16 PM


Do you really believe that a 6YO mare Zenyatta (as lightly raced as she may be) can beat a fit and razor sharpe 4YO crackerjack colt like Quality Road in the BCC?

Trust me friend, it aint gonna happen.  Ranagulzion will appear smarter, brighter and as honest as the day is long when the Breeder's Cup dust has settled.  

06 Sep 2010 10:25 PM
Tom V

Jason maybe Ron or Stuart could find a spot on here for you to write about football.

Similar to the DRF.

MikeM, when you get in they can take him out.

I think we should have a gambling contest. We put the most objectionable posters and bloggers on an Island then wager who comes off of it alive. Like Lord Of The Flies or Survivor Racing Fans vs Bloggers.

06 Sep 2010 10:27 PM
Greg J.

Saratoga AJ,

Look forward to your comments on the 19th about 7:15, after my Pats make you realize this will not be the year, once again! After they beat your team at their home field, wait, or is it the Giants home field?  Always confusing.

Anyways, sorry, but the wait will continue for your J-E-T-S...

06 Sep 2010 10:42 PM

Hey, I was just making a simple observation. Nothing more, nothing less. By the way, Zenyatta did earn a beyer speed figure of 112 in the Breeders Cup Classic in her toughest race, so maybe there is some merit to the speed figures. I do think speed figures are important, but they are obviously not the only thing to use when handicapping and comparing horses.

Jason, for the super bowl, what do you think of a Packers/Ravens matchup? Those teams look good on paper, and Green Bays offense should light up the boards this year.

06 Sep 2010 10:43 PM
Greg J.


Just read your pick for the Super Bowl, spot on!  Brady and the Pats are on a mission, I see 12-4 and taking the toughest divison in Football.  Then getting by the Colts and taking down the Vikings and Brett(If he hasn't retired again by then).  We shall see...

06 Sep 2010 10:51 PM

Boys At Toscanova is a top brass colt but his pedigree will catch up with him next season IMO.  I have yet to see an Officer offspring that wants to go two turns in top company.  Uncle Mo strikes me as "el supremo" right now in the 2YO division and he appears to have a better shot at really stretching out.  Still too early to pull out the waggon.

06 Sep 2010 10:52 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

  You're right about the sprinklers.


  Thank you very much. I did read that.


  I believe that you're correct. He should have been dropped to last. They'd lose some money but it wouldn't have any effect on the talent quotient. They'll make a ton of money anyway if he stays healthy and they can control him.

Beyer Numbers: Secretariat's Belmont is a 138 or 139. Established dirt tracks, the Beyer's are more precise than turf, or synthetics. The numbers given for Saratoga for example are very close to what they should be if not right on the money. QR's last at 106 is about right. Any figure can be a point or two off but so what. If you take all of the figures literally to the exact number, you are in trouble. 2:24 and Jason are correct-You can't say the system or Beyer is bad because you don't like a figure. His contribution to the sport is tremendous. Beyer's and other speed figures eventhough just one handicapping tool, is an important one, especially on dirt. There are more variables on turf that make them less precise but they are still valuable. It's tricky to go from synthetics to dirt comparing speed figures so you have to adjust the numbers sometimes and use other skills also. As far as QR's last, the lowest it could go is 104 based on the competition, but he may have run an even higher number with better competition. I have no quarrel with 106. QR is very talented. The Pamplemousse and QR had similar styles and talent on opposite coasts at the same time although Pamplemousse was injured before the Grade Ones. I hope he can come back. They are taking it very slow.

06 Sep 2010 10:55 PM
Saratoga AJ

Greg J:

The N.E. Pats(ies) will be just that.

The Jets are loaded this year.

06 Sep 2010 10:56 PM
Mike Relva


No,this isn't about Zenyatta. This is regarding the way you went on a rant slamming Farve after the conf. final. First,I'm not a Farve fan,but the fact is without him last year,they wouldn't ever made it that far. Don't tell me Jackson could get them into the Conf final last year,impossible.

06 Sep 2010 11:04 PM
Jason Shandler

Mike: you mean that conference final that was as predictable as anything in sports? When Favre threw another interception that cost his team a playoff game? Oh, now I remember.

06 Sep 2010 11:06 PM


If the razor-sharp Quality Road doesn't beat himself first, the 6 year old mare may indeed take him down come Breeder's Cup.

06 Sep 2010 11:09 PM
Mike Relva

As usual you avoid my question. What do you think would've happened if Jackson played instead of Farve last year??

06 Sep 2010 11:13 PM

It's possible that Ranagulzion, with the new alias, will at least appear smarter and brighter with his new-found education after the Breeder's Cup dust has cleared.

Or if it rains, Zenyatta and Quality Road may go for coffee or Guiness instead.  No room for anyone else (they're both tall):)

06 Sep 2010 11:27 PM
Jason Shandler

Tavaris Jackson? He stinks. He's a backup. Who cares about that?

Fact is, Favre did what he always does.

06 Sep 2010 11:37 PM

Sounds like a monster clash Aluminaut vs Ranagulzion.  Give me some odds.

06 Sep 2010 11:51 PM
Tom V

On the subject of football that was an awesome game between Boise St and Va Tech.

Yes too bad some players just don't show up on the big day, have to be taken out of the game for an interception or some sort of meltdown.

I heard a helicopter caused Brett's eyes to water, oops THAT game was in a dome.

He starts well but just doesn't finish. Oh well guess he could be one who doesn't start or finish.

07 Sep 2010 12:00 AM
Bet Twice

Patriots.  Really?  I was in Arizona.  Brady doesn't like to get hit.  Too pretty.  Its not his fault.

I dont feel too bad about Cali trained horses in the Kentucky Derby.  Of course, one race doesn't make a career.  

07 Sep 2010 12:06 AM
Jason Shandler

Yeah, those 3 Super Bowl rings Brady wears sure make him look like a pretty boy.

07 Sep 2010 12:12 AM

Jason : If you pay attn, you would know I already stated how I handicap.  I look at horses, that's it.  Nothing fancy, but it works.  You should try it.  I look at the form to see who my pick ran against the last time and how they did.  It's really very simple.

07 Sep 2010 12:25 AM

I'm not telling you to stop using the form nor stop looking at beyers, from your last post, it seems that's pretty much what you use.  It's all just to guide you to who the winner is, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.  I prefer to look at the horses during the post parade because it gives me information in real time, not a past performance.  To me, past performance is just that, in the past.  Has nothing to do with the current race.  A lot of things could've happened to the horse from the last race to the current race.  I try to spot those during the post parade.  I don't know, maybe you can spot longshots from past performances and if you do, good for you.

07 Sep 2010 12:36 AM
Tom V

jayjay, spell it out.

Jason doesn't DO subtle.

Wonder if there's the time and money to still build a dome over CD?

07 Sep 2010 12:41 AM

Dr. D : Laz posted comments about QR's 106 compared to other horses that ran in the same day and on the same track with faster final times.  Laz pointed out the differences on how Andy gives out his beyers.  I've no doubt that Laz knows a lot about beyers and if he questions those figures, how can I trust that tool to help me pick the winner ?  I know it works for some but the question is, does those folks who use the beyer figures know that there's a lot more involved in determining that figure ? And that Andy, has made mistakes before ?  I say it's a tool that you use at your own risk...and I don't want to take that risk with my money :)

I'm not asking for someone to explain why the differences in beyers because I don't use it and it really doesn't matter to me.  I'm just saving Jason from asking Andy to dumb it down for me, since I don't use it.  Dumb people like me can't figure those things out at all :)

07 Sep 2010 12:43 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

It's great that America is going to have millions of people that are smarter, brighter, and honest as the day is long after they pick one of the Breeder's Cup Classic favorites to win the race and they're right. I hope a bunch of them are lawyers, used car salesmen, and politicians. But alas, I fear that poor Rumplestiltskin won't be one of them, but if he is it's OK with me because with his theory, America will be a better place. Brilliant !! Let's all have a Guinness with the winner, the Great Queen Zenyatta.

07 Sep 2010 1:14 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Congratulations on your nice score. You're not the only one I've heard of that has made money at the track by physicality and nuances, without really handicapping. There's more than one way to fry a potato.

07 Sep 2010 1:19 AM


I think the point to Dan Illman's Beyer stats that Bet Twice provided was to show how dramatically the Beyers have declined IN California since the surface switch from dirt to synthetic.  Of course, that's because the Beyer scale for synthetics is as different from the dirt scale as the turf scale is.  I also know that one of the Beyers of 120 at Aqueduct between 2003 and 2006 was earned by Congaree, a Cali based horse who won the Cigar Mile in both 02 and 03(each with 120 Beyers).

The Cali-based horses of the last 20 years who won the Kentucky Derby?  What I find personally very interesting is that the last 3 Santa Anita Derbys I attended before moving to the Midwest, the runnings from 1997-1999, each produced the Kentucky Derby winner.  Silver Charm in 97', Real Quiet in 98', and Charsmatic in 99' all ran in the SA Derby and also won not just the Kentucky Derby but the Preakness as well and placed in the Belmont.  

Fusaichi Pegasus technically made his final prep in the Wood, but before that all of his races had come in California.  In 2001 California produced Point Given, one of the best 3 year olds of the decade.  Since then, times have been a little leaner for the Cali horses, but both Empire Maker and Peace Rules wintered in Cali and made starts at the Santa Anita winter meet, Giacomo did emerge from the SA Derby to wear the Roses in 05', and Rags to Riches won both the Las Vigenes and Santa Anita Oaks before winning the Kentucky Oaks and Belmont.  This year, Lookin at Lucky got the SA Derby back in the Triple Crown win-column by taking the Preakness.

Yes, Lookin at Lucky and some of the others listed weren't Kentucky Derby winners, but who cares so much about a race that flukes like Mine That Bird and Super Saver can win?  :)

07 Sep 2010 2:52 AM

My first year living in Michigan was 1999.  The quarterback at U of M that year? Tom Brady.  

07 Sep 2010 2:54 AM

Regarding Beyer speed figures, doesn’t Andrew Beyer himself admit that the figs for turf and synthetic are lower? If the system was developed for dirt tracks, then it makes sense that the different running styles on turf and on synthetic would lead to different numbers. Given that, isn’t it up to the horseplayer to see the difference and bet accordingly? Seems like a lot of people just blindly went with the numbers but that they’re wising up a little about that. I think people will still say that horses like Zenyatta and Blind Luck are too slow, but they won’t just summarily toss them like they used to.

Twirling Candy:

Ay yi yi. He should’ve been DQed. But what a talented horse. Looking forward to seeing him in the Goodwood. Now what would the Classic stretch duel look like with the suspenseful Twirling Candy down inside a lazy Quality Road?

Speaking of Quality Road, throwing him out because it’s a FACT he can’t get 10F is a big mistake, IMO. He was second in the Travers off a 6 1/2F prep. And he ran fine in the Gold Cup. I honestly don’t know if he can out-finish the big closers in a 10F race. I don’t think so, but if he gets a great trip sitting just off the speed and stays focused, maybe he’ll show that he’s a fighter. Seems like what Pletcher’s dealing with right now is a horse that pulls himself up when he makes the lead. Zenyatta’s doing this, too, but she’s in a better position to because she pulls herself up when she gets in front but she STAYS in front. Quality Road just kinda stops down the lane. It’s not like he’s tired or anything. He just loses focus, like he’s done his job already. That’s NOT going to work against top-class, 10F company. He couldn’t re-rally against Blame because he’s a big colt who can’t get himself going again. I’m not worried about him not showing that turn of foot off the turn, honestly, because I don’t think it’s a fitness issue or a lack of ability. He’s a bit of a headcase, that one.

Thought Boys At Toscanova looked phenomenal in the Hopeful, but is it true that he’s going to train up to the Juvenile? That seems risky. If he were truly bred to go two turns, then it wouldn’t seem quite as risky. He may just be that much better than the rest but I would hate to see a lack of conditioning get him beat if that’s the case.


“Yes Zookeeper, I have gone nuclear in my defense of Zenny LOL. I saw that about Twirling Candy, darn it. Why can't these super colts just wait 6 more months before they start peaking. Just hope the Queen can do it. I have no idea if she will beat this crop, but I know she will be a factor. Now we have QR, Blame, LAL AND Twirling Candy. Geesh. Jason is going to be smiling all the way to the betting window.”

I know that John Shirreffs was quite disappointed when Quality Road had to scratch last year. He’s confident in his horse and he knows that any pace is going to be to her advantage. So if all those boys go in there, the pace will be pretty damned quick. And Blame will get first run so all Smith has to do is keep her in touch with him. Then we’ll see who’s the best down the lane. Of course that may put her outside of Twirling Candy, so she could end up in the river. I do worry a little about Blame, though. He’s quite lightly raced this year, and he’ll have a 10F race a month before the BC. Kind of walking the line as to whether it’ll be just enough to move him forward, or too much that it will put him over the top.


“Come on Kay.  I know you know that horses are rated, judged, and handicapped by the lengths they are ahead and behind their competitors.  That's why the charts give length separation at every point in the race and lengths between every horse in order of finish.  It is a big deal that so many lengths separated Rachel and LAT despite the fact that Rachel lost.  The chart says that LAT steadily tired, so people will have to decide if JV pulled up, stopped riding, whatever, but 10 lengths is a large margin even if JV stopped riding.  LAT is singled out, obviously, because she's a G1 winner, has won at a mile and a quarter, and was carrying two pounds less than Rachel, whereas Persistently got a six pound break from Rachel.  All these things weigh into the decision.  Take it or leave it, but it's not like it's the first time it's been done.  And the win column isn't all that matters for most race horses.  They're not machines.”

I know that. But there’s a double standard at work here. What’s irritating is the way people yammer on about how far ahead Rachel is of the third-place horse. Doesn’t it bother anyone that this has happened to her three times this year? Doesn’t it bother anyone that when she gets looked in the eye, she just lets the other horse go past her? It bothers ME. And for the record, I was not one of those people who thought Life At Ten was all that good. I hated her Delaware win. Thought it was mediocre at best. Just because a horse wins a 10F race doesn’t mean they’re dangerous at 10F. So Rachel beating Life At Ten that way was not in the least unexpected. Rachel getting passed without much response, after getting decent fractions and then seeing those fractions slow considerably, well… THAT was unexpected. And then when people go on about the weight Rachel gives while discounting the tonnage Zenyatta has given to her fields, that’s incredibly annoying. Let’s see Rachel carry 129 pounds and give Persistently nine. Then we’ll see where we are.

“I love what The Rock wrote:  "You know what the difference is between Zenyatta, RA & QR?  Zenyatta doesn't need any type of pace scenario to develop in her favor to win."  It's true!  I LOVE Rachel and I really like QR, but it's true.  All pace scenarios have been tried with Zenyatta, fast and slow on the front end.  Nothing matters.  Post position doesn't matter.  Traffic problems haven't mattered.  And not only that, the Classic last year:  the toughest field she'd ever faced at the longest distance she'd ever run, she made it look like child's play.  Excuse the rambling, I just watched the Classic again.  I don't see how she's beatable.”

I don’t either. She’s got a great tactician riding her. She actually has a few little moves in her, which is amazing for a horse her size. And she only really runs a few jumps a race. I think it’s going to take a monstrous performance by another horse to beat her. We’ll see! I’m just thinking that the Classic is going to come up a little light. If a race like the Woodward draws that lousy a field, it doesn’t bode well for the division. The Gold Cup looks like it’ll tell us a thing or two.


“Go back and read about Cigar and Citation, the horses Zen passed on the winning streak. Those champions took on all comers and were clearly the best horses of their time because of what they did on the track, beating every other horse race in and race out, not waiting for some year-end race and hoping to defeat the best competition just once and then claim to be the best.”

Go back and look at the part where one race in the midst of Citation’s streak was a walkover. See? Goes both ways, dude.

07 Sep 2010 3:27 AM

So, the 2 best juveniles in the East, Boys at Tosconova and Uncle Mo, were both sired by Cal-breds, Officer and Indian Charlie? Interesting.

07 Sep 2010 3:27 AM

I don't know why people are making it seem like a 106 Beyer is particularly high for a gr.1 older male running on dirt.  It only appears high because a third of the maintrack gr.1 races are run over a surface which produces Beyers not directly comparable to dirt Beyers.

When I was growing up in SoCal, a 106 would have been considered quite slow for races such as the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Pacific Classic.  In fact, from 1991 until the 2007 Hollywood Gold Cup, when all 3 races were run on dirt, the LOWEST Beyer for any of the 3 races was 107 for Rock Hard Ten's 2005 Big Cap.  So, the winning figure of the Big Cap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic between 1991 and mid-2007 was never as low as 106. Growing up, I remeber figs of even 110 to be subpar for major dirt races for older males.  And a mare like Bayakoa would consistently drill Beyers in the 110-115 range.

07 Sep 2010 3:35 AM


07 Sep 2010 5:51 AM


07 Sep 2010 5:58 AM

TomV- Now Lukas has another brilliant idea. He's going to shorten him/MTB up because he likes the way MTB was into the race early on. I guess he liked the way he finished too. Don't need to be in the Hall to know he has lost it.

07 Sep 2010 7:12 AM

Greg J., You are correct about the Patriots!!  Boys at Tuscany's pedigree will not allow him to win at the classic distance.  Just think back to D'funnybone.  

Zookeeper, bummer about Runflatout.  

07 Sep 2010 7:39 AM
Meydan Rocks!


Per Steve Christ (DRF) 9.5.2010

"The only Woodwards during the last 20 years to earn figures as low as a 106 were Saint Liam's 106 in 2005 and the 105's from Lido Palace in 2002 and Lemon Drop Kid in 2000. Saint Liam was the Horse of the Year and champion older male that year and Lemon Drop Kid was the champion older male of 2000.

Two footnotes. First, the Woodward was run at Belmont until 2006, usually at the unique configuration of nine furlongs around one turn rather than two. Second, yesterday's Woodward was the only dirt race of the day longer than seven furlongs or around two turns.

Since 1994, 9 of the 16 Woodward winners have been named Horse of the Year. During that same time, only 6 of the 16 winners of the Breeders' Cup Classic have won that title."

07 Sep 2010 9:22 AM

Tom V

Was that Quality Road you're talking about playing football in a dome and failed to get the job done?

07 Sep 2010 10:16 AM
favre forever


Your dislike for Brett Favre and the crap you have said about him shows how closed minded you can be about things. Certainly you can't be serious that he alone was responsible for the Vikings loss at NO. If you actually do believe that you know less about the game than I thought. Up to that moment the courage and tenacity he showed while playing beat up and injured was sureal. The week before he threw virtually the same pass to the same receiver and completed it. The only difference was in the previous game the receiver came back for the ball and put his body between himself and the defender allowing the reception. Favre expected the same effort and when it didn't happen you and all the Favre bashers jumped up to ridicule and blame him. Being the man he is he didn't offer excuses. Those fans who understand the game at a higher level know what really happened. The receiver didn't do his job. I'm thrilled he's back for another season. At the same time I think it will be difficult to match what he did last year. He's one of the best to have ever played and quite possibly the only QB playing that could have excelled in any era. Most of today's QB's would not have held up to the physical punishment that was allowed before the modern day rules protecting QB's.      

07 Sep 2010 11:44 AM
Forbidden Apple

Yes, I completely believe that QR has been hyped up as a super horse by many people on these blogs. This past spring people were saying he was unbeatable and now they are saying HOY, I don't think so. Four of his graded stakes wins were at his favorite speed favoring  race track, Gulfstream Park. If the B. Cup was being held at G.P., then I would include him on my tickets. When he faced Summer Bird and Blame, he lost. Here is a list of the average horses that have run second to QR.




Dry Martini

Musket Man

Mythical Power

The only horse of that group that I have any respect for is Musket Man. When he faces tough competition, he loses. When he is entered on turf at 1 mile, I will take some interest in his racing career. But turf racing for some silly reason has smaller purses, so he will most likely never touch the grass. At 1 1/4 on dirt, Blame and Zenyatta will run past QR with ease.

07 Sep 2010 12:26 PM
Jason Shandler

Yes, I am blaming Favre for the loss. All he has to do is protect the ball on one final play and the kicker has a 45-yd FG to win it. Instead, he does what he has done his entire career--throw the big INT. Do I have to run down all the big picks he has thrown in playoffs games for you? Obviously, you dont know football.

Im glad the egomaniac came back for another year again. This way, he can tarnish his legacy futher in 2010.

07 Sep 2010 12:28 PM
Jason Shandler

Thanks for listing all the horses that QR beat Forbidden Apple. Now list all the world-beaters Zenyatta defeated this year...

Ummm...I'm waiting.

Fact is, you cant control who shows up in the race. All you can do is show up yourself and win. QR has won three of the most prestigious races in the nation this year--the Donn, Met Mile and Woodward. Zenyatta won the same events she won the last 2 years and refused to take on males as the defending BC Classic wiiner--even in California. Undisputed facts.

07 Sep 2010 12:33 PM
The Rock


Give me a 3 team parlay for opening weekend.

Right now I'm leaning towards the following:

SAINTS -5 (Min)

Mia -3 (BUF)

Packers -3 (Best Bet)vs PHI

I may also do some multiple parlays with the following:

Cowbowys -3.5 (May swap them with saints)vs WAS

49ers -3 vs SEA

Raiders +6 (TEN)

NE -4 (Cin)

Noticed a lot of road teams on here.

I'm still not sure about Boys At Tosconova. He obviously has ability, but I don't like it when horses have been facing small fields and getting their wins without being somewhat roughed up in races. Battle tested if you will. I know they can't help it on who enters, but I'd want a bit more seasoning before going 2 turns for the first time in the BC.

Same goes for Quality Road. What's with this 90 day layoff prior to the BC? Didn't this horse have this issue of not being ready to go 10f's because he didn't have enough seasoning last year? 6 1/2 furlongs last year is a different story. I'd prefer one more prep in the JCGC before the BC

07 Sep 2010 12:39 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Yes, most handicappers know there are speed figure mistakes and that it is just one tool to consider, but NO most don't just go by speed figures to pick a winner. That would be for me, although sometimes in hindsight the top three are the top last out speed figures, or the average of the last three or the top three lifetime. No one is telling anyone they have to use them, but they are very helpful to many people in determining current form, class, and talent comparisons etc. I use physicality too, but sometimes I can easily eliminate some based on numbers no matter how good they look. Most of my longshots come from physicality but there is almost always a clue in the numbers also. If you win strictly by odds and physicality, that's fine. Whatever it takes !!! Everyone is different. It's more about how a bettor's brain is working that day than anything anyway. It's all about betting decisions. I'm sure Laz knows what he's talking about for him. I don't doubt that.

07 Sep 2010 12:39 PM
Jason Shandler

Rock: I only like one game this weekend and it is your best bet. I LOVE the Pack -3. I pounded it when it first came out because I have a feeling the line will go to 3.5 by this weekend. I think the Pack will smash Philly. Im talking 35-17 or something along those lines. Easy $ to get the season started.

I used them and New England in my two knockout pools.

As far as QR, Pletcher loves giving his horses freshenings going into the BC. He hasnt had the best success as far as his record goes, but that has always been his style.

07 Sep 2010 12:44 PM
Tom V

Turnip patch it is Laz.

Those dang helicopters!

MikeM Like your OPINION matters with all those winners you've trained, you matched his record even yesterday?


07 Sep 2010 12:46 PM
Tom V

"Fact is, you cant control who shows up in the race. All you can do is show up yourself and win."

Yes that is the most factual thing I've seen in a while. OOPS, maybe you should re-write and qualify that with "Fact is, you cant control who shows up in the race that we think is important. All you can do is show up yourself and win. As long as the race is East of the Mississippi you've given it your best."

Otherwise the comment is applicable to ALL horses.

07 Sep 2010 12:52 PM
Jason Shandler

It doesnt have to be East of the Missisippi Tom. It just has to be against males--the Big Cap, Pacific Classic, Goodwood, etc. That is what is expected of BC Classic winners. She had already proven she could beat males on the fake stuff. Why didnt they have confidence in her to do it again? And I dont want to hear, "well, she will prove it in the BC." The best horses prove it all year long, not in one race. See Blame, Quality Road, and Blind Luck.  

07 Sep 2010 12:58 PM
The Rock


Glad we see eye to eye on the opening weekend. Let's make some money.

07 Sep 2010 1:25 PM
Mike Relva


Have you any new info. regarding Buddys' Saint???

07 Sep 2010 1:33 PM

Yes Tom.  I'm with you and like you I guess I don't you get it?  She could take on males in the top male races on the fake stuff and then we all know what the answer will be.  She can beat males on the fake stuff so what, but what about the real stuff.  And of course we all know the standard answer to that.  That is why she is going to go in the BCC.  Like you, I believe she is the best and when the real race comes up with more than one or even half a legitimate contender like most eastern G1 route races have today, then we'll see who's boss.  And to make sure they all participate I hope that the President orders all helicopters grounded on BCC day.

07 Sep 2010 1:35 PM

Forbidden Apple

I think you're being a little unfair to Dunkirk.  Don't forget that famous GP Bias that Pletcher was complaining about in the Florida Derby and then his breakdown during the stretch run in the Belmont.  In fact, I feel that if he would have remaioned sound, Quality Road and Blame might be looking up at him right about now.

07 Sep 2010 1:39 PM
Tom V

Maybe they know something about her that you don't?

Too obvious.

Maybe they're old school when the Breeders Cup actually DID influence which horses were crowned champion? Too logical.

I NEVER thought I'd live to see the day when a multiple G1 undefeated winner on ANY surface would be treated with so much disrespect.

The next question is do we say QR is superb at Gulfstream and at a mile and just okay at Saratoga, but it will take him winning the unimportant BC Classic to be named Hors of the Year?

So Blame beat QR in ONE race, does he have to win against him multiple times to prove that he's the better horse and not just a one-off?

I guess I haven't read the rules that state: a horse must win on multiple surfaces or come in second to a horse that we also like, a horse must run against the opposite gender if they are running on multiple types of synthetic surfaces, a horse can win on dirt and not win on synthetics against her own gender and any other reason we can find in order for a horse to win the Horse Of The Year award if we even give a dam*. I'll re-read those guidelines before I breed or sell any more, want to be sure I meet those guidlines that the buyers are setting out there.

I just believe that your statement is contradictory and here's that B word, biased.

07 Sep 2010 1:39 PM

Kay, in that race that was a walkover for Citation, the Pimlico Special was open to all horses of all ages. The fact that no one took on Citation is a testament to how great that horse was. Any horse could have entered that race; none chose to do so. For Zenyatta, could any horse enter any of her races this year, or are they just restricted to mares and fillies? How about for her entire career? And in regards to Citation, there really shouldn't be any criticism. He won 16 races in a row, including the triple crown, started off his 3 year old year with two victories over older horses which included the 1947 Horse of the Year Armed. Citation is arguably the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and it showed when any horse could, but chose not to challenge him in the Pimlico Special.

07 Sep 2010 1:45 PM
Jason Shandler

Mike: I havent heard anything on Buddy's Saint.

Tom: Old school? lol. No, 'old school' would mean that they would take on all comers and run the horse all over the country in the best races. The 'new school' thinking is waiting until the end of the year for one race.

I think youre confused. Glad I could help you Tim, I mean Tom.

07 Sep 2010 1:52 PM
Mike Relva


Your posts are always to the point and show alot of knowledge regarding racing. Your loyality to Zenyatta can't be ignored.

07 Sep 2010 1:56 PM
Billy's Empire

Miami, Henne, Ronnie, Ricky and Marshall too much for Buffalo, even at home. Spiller has a big game, but not enough. Miami 31-20

Packers continue to roll, just like preseason. Finley becomes top 3 tight end NFL this year. Kolb has a big game, passing over 35 times, but cant keep pace with Rogers. GB defense forces 3 turnovers. GB 37-24

Cowboys against the Redskins and Grossman?? McNabb hurt? Skins lose, and that is my team. Line should be much more than 3.5, more like 6.5 or 7.

I am also taking Cincy over NE. I think that Cincy offense this year will be tough to stop, and too many questions on NE Defense.

Too Bad MTB not running in California. I could then bet on him, to finish last... POOR BUDDY

07 Sep 2010 1:57 PM
Tom V

I've been called a lot of things in my day but never Tim.

Whatever helps you make it through the day.

I also think Blame is in the front of the rest of the pack for Horse of The Year what a shock.

I mean old school as far as the owners of Zenyatta. Maybe that's their interpretation. I don't know I don't profess to read minds.


07 Sep 2010 2:04 PM

Kay wrote:  "But there’s a double standard at work here. What’s irritating is the way people yammer on about how far ahead Rachel is of the third-place horse. Doesn’t it bother anyone that this has happened to her three times this year? Doesn’t it bother anyone that when she gets looked in the eye, she just lets the other horse go past her? It bothers ME."

It does bother me, because I love Rachel and I worry about her.  Does it bother you because you are also worried?  I almost think that you're always in "Zenyatta-defense" mode, which I completely understand, because I find myself there a lot.  But some people are just talking about Rachel and they aren't slamming Zenyatta or ignoring her accomplishments.   Unless, of course, they are slamming Zen or ignoring her accomplishments….

When you say:  "And then when people go on about the weight Rachel gives while discounting the tonnage Zenyatta has given to her fields, that’s incredibly annoying. Let’s see Rachel carry 129 pounds and give Persistently nine. Then we’ll see where we are."

Yes, I mentioned the weight Rachel carried vs. the pounds she gave LAT and Persistently.  I was talking about Rachel and her race.  I think I'm the only one "going on about the weight Rachel gives" and I was just mentioning it in terms of handicapping horses, not bragging about the weight Rachel gives.  I was not in any way slamming Zenyatta, nor ignoring her amazing capabilities.  I was talking about Rachel's race.  There is no comparison between Rachel and Zenyatta in terms of weight carried.  There are few horses in the last thirty years that have won under Zenyatta's weight assignments.

If I sometimes sound like I'm MORE of a Rachel Alexandra fan, it's cause I feel sorry for her not being able to sparkle like she did last year.  But I would never slam Zenyatta to build Rachel up, like some people do.  In all reality, I simply adore them both and I think the rivalry between them has become COMPLETELY irrelevant.  I think Zenyatta would beat Rachel head on (unless the track came up sloppy), and I always hoped if they did meet on the track that it would be a dead heat, which is how I wanted the HOY race to end up last year.

Let's go back to agreeing how AwEsOmE Zenyatta is - she's the real deal.  Well, Rachel is, too, just a little more of a mystery.  I just wish that girl some happiness.

Laz! - Yes, Churchill is now RESTRICTED AIRSPACE.  No flyovers around the gate when they're loading for the Classic.  Just thinking of last year, I get chills.  It just couldn't have been more suspenseful with QR having such a hard time - thank heavens he was caught after breaking through the gate - the loading and unloading and reloading - Zenyatta stuck in the gate - on the wrong lead - freaking out in the back.  Boy was my stomach in my throat!

Kay - I think you mentioned that Shirreffs was bummed that QR scratched.  I hadn't heard that, but I believe it.  Well, you know what the spin would have been:  "Dirt horses were zero for 40 something on that crap, what do you expect?"  Can't wait for November.

07 Sep 2010 2:11 PM
Forbidden Apple

My point was that QR lost twice to last years 3 year old champion. And Blame might have only beaten QR by a head, but he did it in hand. We will have to wait until the B.C. for the rematch since Pletcher is in love with 6-8 week layoffs for his horses. That is if QR even makes it into the starting gate.

I could not agree with you more about Zenyatta's very week lineup of races. Since her goal is the B.C. Classic, they want to take the easiest road possible before then. I was expecting Zenyatta to show up in NY and face colts.

After Blame wins the J.C.G.C. and the B.C. Classic, he will be declared the 2010 HOY.

07 Sep 2010 2:13 PM


Not to knock Citation……he very definitely is right at the top in N/A thoroughbred history.  But for a 2nd place finish at odds of 3 to 10 when he was carried very wide and lost to Saggy, he would have won 24 races in a row.  During his 16 race streak he raced at something like 8 different distances ranging from 6F to 2 miles.

However, you’re missing a few points about his streak and especially about restricted races.  Besides the walkover, he also raced in 5 races with only 3 competitors.  In another 3, he had 4 competitors.  It’s not like his races were against 8 – 10 – and 12 horse fields throughout the streak.  Also with regards to restrictions……in three of those races geldings were ineligible, 7 of them, including the first 5 were restricted to 3 year olds, so no one can say they were open to all competitors.  They weren’t.

Zenyatta is a mare.  She races against her sex which apparently is the weaker of the two.  That is why they have races written for the female gender.  Winning against her own kind is no easier than Citation winning against his won kind. For her to step up and race against top males is a great feat.

07 Sep 2010 2:21 PM

TomV Sounds like you're the expert. How many years did you walk hots for Lukas?

07 Sep 2010 2:27 PM


One other thing about Citation's Pimlico Special.  It was worth a whopping 10 grand.  Why race against a monster when the total pot is ten grand.  If in those days it would have been worth 50 grand there would have been some competition because second place money would be greater than the firt place money in the Pimlico Special.

07 Sep 2010 2:32 PM
Billy's Empire

Old School, what a movie. " you my boy blue"

07 Sep 2010 2:46 PM


07 Sep 2010 2:47 PM

Rachel should've run in the Woodward again. I think she would have won. Quality Road's not all that, Macho Again was tougher last year, and she certainly would have beat the other horses, whoever they were.

07 Sep 2010 2:48 PM

Has anyone noticed the ganging up on Jason in these blogs, well an on anyone else that raises a question about Zenyatta.  its amusing to watch people step away from blood horse and go to and talk on the blog about how they are going to come back and gang up on Jason and others even more.   its like the days of our lives. I find it amusing.

07 Sep 2010 3:29 PM

Mike Relva;

Buddy's Saint has just returned to the work tab. He recorded his first breeze since the Fountain of Youth on August 28th, working three furlongs in :39 flat at Crupi's New Castle Farm, Inc. On September 3rd he breezed three furlongs in :38 3/5 at the same track. I imagine that if there are no further delays, he might be able to return to the races some time in October.


07 Sep 2010 3:53 PM

The competition QR beat in the Donn, Met Mile, and Woodward are about the same level Zenyatta's beaten this year. But they both ran in grade 1 races and beat who showed up, Zenyatta against females because she IS a female. And all those races were just preps for the BCC. Both QR and Zenyatta's people have been aiming for that race as their goal since the beginning of the year. They'll both be going into it fresh and ready, not worn out from lots of tough grueling prior races. That's the shape they need to be in if they want to win the biggest, toughest race out there. Fair and square the best horse will win. No need to want to see Zenyatta run into the ground before then so she'll lose. She already has a disadvantage being female. How many other females have won that race or even attempted to? And she's 6 years old. Most race horses are past their prime by that age, especially after having had two championship seasons and having won two Breeders Cup races.

07 Sep 2010 4:09 PM
Tom V

Never, but I can't speak for some of my relatives who advanced pretty quickly. :)

Dubby or AAF whomever, Jason can take care of himself.

07 Sep 2010 4:17 PM
Tom V

What I originally wanted to ask you Jason was what do you think of the name change of Philly Park to Parx Racing?

I know you're a Philly boy. Think it'll make any difference?:)

I got sidetracked.

07 Sep 2010 4:24 PM
Billy's Empire

Afleetalex. You call that amusing, I call it disturbing.

Keelerman, nice hit with Here Comes Ben. I love that horse also. I was to busy at a college football game to bet the ponies. Hope you had him. Paid 21.40 or so, right?

Jason, so you are going with GB in a confidence pool this week? I would save them for the end of the year, but a win is a win. Any big upsets you see this weekend?

07 Sep 2010 4:35 PM

Laz - In your response to Jimmy, you said that in some of Citation's races geldings weren't eligible.  What is the reasoning behind excluding geldings in a race - a race with males?  The first thing I thought of was last year when some owners were trying to exclude Rachel from the Preakness because the TC races are supposed to be a stallion display.  Does it have to do with that?

Afleetalexforever - I'm a Rachel and Zenyatta fan.  I know you like Rachel, too.  I'm curious as to your take on her last race.

And while I'm asking newbie questions and trying to get back to the topic... can someone explain why chalk is associated with picking favorites?

07 Sep 2010 4:42 PM

Honey, Get back to the track. The kids are hungry.

07 Sep 2010 5:01 PM
Ted from LA

I wonder if Draynay could have picked the winner in Citation's walkover race.

07 Sep 2010 6:14 PM
Ted from LA

Parx Racing?  Are you serious?  What a farcex.  Philly Park is one of the great mysteries of the world.  It is the only hole above ground.

07 Sep 2010 7:13 PM
Greg J.


I am surprised that Draynay didn't answer your question?  Anyways, Here is the meaning of "chalk":

The history of chalk dates back to the old days of horse-racing, when bookmakers (or "bookies") would set the odds for each horse by writing them on a chalkboard at on-track gambling stations. The odds would change during the pre-race betting period depending on the amount wagered on each horse, so the bookmakers would often need to erase the posted odds and "chalk up" new ones before the beginning of the race.

The bookies at the track had to be skillful with the chalk to keep their slate-boards up to date with the latest odds. In the reporting on horse-racing around the turn of the twentieth century, sports journalists often referred to bookmakers with such flowery appellations as "the lively knights of the chalk and blackboard," or more simply, "the knights of the chalk." Chalk gradually came to stand for the bookmakers and their oddsmaking though the process of metonymy, defined by the Visual Thesaurus as "substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself." For instance, a racing column in the October 15, 1903 Atlanta Constitution reported, "In the first race the chalk figures made it look like five entries and six favorites for the event."

Those who followed the odds put up by the bookmakers could thus stay loyal to the chalk and bet on the favored horses, or they could look for an entrant with long odds that could potentially bring in a bigger payoff.

Thanks Ben Zimmer...

07 Sep 2010 7:48 PM


I don't know, but back in the day quite often races excluded geldings.  In 1953 when Native Dancer raced his PP's show that geldings weren't eligib;e in the Travers, Belmont, Withers, Wood Memorial and two other races.  Apparently from 1918 to 1957 geldings were prohibited from Racing in the Belmont. (There was a footnote that stated that geldings were not permited to race in major races from 1918 to 1957 so I'm surmising that it was a pretty widespread rule).

07 Sep 2010 8:08 PM
Paula Higgins

Kay, I totally  get what your saying about Zenyatta and pace with QR. But I am still not convinced that he can't win at 10F. My hope is that QR, LAL and Blame burn each other out and Zenny just blows past them. Mike Smith is a great tactician, I totally agree. He will need to be all of that and more. I really believe this is a tougher bunch then last year. But I also believe she can beat them. She has another gear we have never seen. Mike Smith knows it too. He knows he has a lot more horse under him. Zenny's competition always underestimates her because she wins by such a small margin. It's not because she is just barely winning, it's because she only does what she has to do to win.

07 Sep 2010 8:08 PM

Lazmannick, I don't get your point about Citation and the Pimlico Special. All you're saying is Citation was clearly the best horse in the country as no one wanted to take him on. That is the point I was making. Also, whatever the pot was worth, that was still a prestigious race to win, as you see 4 triple crown winners in addition to many other top horses to ever set foot on the track that have won that race. But what you are saying is no horse could beat Citation, and since second place money wasn't good enough, they chose not to run hence the walkover. I completely agree.

07 Sep 2010 8:17 PM
Greg J.

OK, off subject, but can someone explain this one to me.  Opening day at Fairplex this Thursday in race 6, They have only two entries, Cat Brando and Dave's Ruler with a (AE) Derrick Do.  Wouldn't that be a match race?  Would the AE only go if one scratched? Confused on this one, thanks in advance...

07 Sep 2010 8:18 PM


“Kay, in that race that was a walkover for Citation, the Pimlico Special was open to all horses of all ages. The fact that no one took on Citation is a testament to how great that horse was. Any horse could have entered that race; none chose to do so. For Zenyatta, could any horse enter any of her races this year, or are they just restricted to mares and fillies? How about for her entire career? And in regards to Citation, there really shouldn't be any criticism. He won 16 races in a row, including the triple crown, started off his 3 year old year with two victories over older horses which included the 1947 Horse of the Year Armed. Citation is arguably the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and it showed when any horse could, but chose not to challenge him in the Pimlico Special.”

Okay. So you DO have a double standard – horses didn’t run against Citation because he was too good, but horses don’t run against Zenyatta because they aren’t allowed to. This notion that her races are “restricted” is retarded. You know that, right? There’s a reason fillies and mares get a weight break against males. And what you are all asking her to do is to REPEATEDLY step up in class against males who are NOT stepping up in class. That puts her at a disadvantage. Get it? It’s one thing to get a mare ready to take on males once, but when you start throwing them in that bullring over and over again, you get Rachel Alexandra’s 2010 campaign. For the record, I am not arguing that Citation isn’t a great horse. Just exposing your hypocrisy.

Tom V:

“I guess I haven't read the rules that state: a horse must win on multiple surfaces or come in second to a horse that we also like, a horse must run against the opposite gender if they are running on multiple types of synthetic surfaces, a horse can win on dirt and not win on synthetics against her own gender and any other reason we can find in order for a horse to win the Horse Of The Year award if we even give a dam*. I'll re-read those guidelines before I breed or sell any more, want to be sure I meet those guidlines that the buyers are setting out there.”

Apparently, that rule was set down somewhere and shared privately, because it sure has been all over the place. Only Zenyatta is force to jump through all of these qualifying hoops. One easy way to make sure you abide by the guidelines is to not run your horse in California. That’s another big no-no.


“It does bother me, because I love Rachel and I worry about her.  Does it bother you because you are also worried?”

YES. It does. It bothers me a lot because this filly lays herself on the line when she runs. If she’s got a mental problem or, God forbid a physical problem, I don’t want her to over-reach. I don’t want her to strain and try and not be able to do it anymore. The Woodward bothered me because even though she won, she was just so spent afterwards.

“I almost think that you're always in "Zenyatta-defense" mode, which I completely understand, because I find myself there a lot.  But some people are just talking about Rachel and they aren't slamming Zenyatta or ignoring her accomplishments.   Unless, of course, they are slamming Zen or ignoring her accomplishments….”

I’m in Zenyatta defense mode (or I guess formation would be more appropriate given the football talk) when people say dumb stuff about her. That is completely independent of Rachel. And in fact, I thought Rachel had a great 2009 and I didn’t have a problem with her being named HOTY. But she can be named HOTY without anything being taken away from Zenyatta. However, it seems like that’s what some people tend to do.

“When you say:  "And then when people go on about the weight Rachel gives while discounting the tonnage Zenyatta has given to her fields, that’s incredibly annoying. Let’s see Rachel carry 129 pounds and give Persistently nine. Then we’ll see where we are."

Yes, I mentioned the weight Rachel carried vs. the pounds she gave LAT and Persistently.  I was talking about Rachel and her race.  I think I'm the only one "going on about the weight Rachel gives" and I was just mentioning it in terms of handicapping horses, not bragging about the weight Rachel gives.  I was not in any way slamming Zenyatta, nor ignoring her amazing capabilities.  I was talking about Rachel's race.  There is no comparison between Rachel and Zenyatta in terms of weight carried.  There are few horses in the last thirty years that have won under Zenyatta's weight assignments.”

My bad. I was really reacting to that as a meme that DOES slam Zenyatta, in that there are a lot of people talking about weight while they diminish Zenyatta’s accomplishments at the same time. Annoying!

“Let's go back to agreeing how AwEsOmE Zenyatta is - she's the real deal.  Well, Rachel is, too, just a little more of a mystery.  I just wish that girl some happiness.”

You sure said it! She seems to be doing okay now so we’ll see what happens in her next race. I just want her to be safe. On another note, apparently Mike Smith was over the moon with how Zenyatta worked this past week. He said she’s scary good right now. This is pretty much how she was coming up to last year’s Classic.

“Kay - I think you mentioned that Shirreffs was bummed that QR scratched.  I hadn't heard that, but I believe it.  Well, you know what the spin would have been:  "Dirt horses were zero for 40 something on that crap, what do you expect?"  Can't wait for November.”

Yeah, he wanted QR in there for the pace. At that point, you can’t worry about whether or not your horse is better than all the rest. You just want the right scenario. Of course, that was a moderate pace but still the quickest she saw all year. The way things have been going this year, ANY pace is going to be lightning fast to her.

07 Sep 2010 8:31 PM

Afleetalexforever: There are quite a few posters and readers who agree with Jason's viewpoint.  These rational people are balanced, have lives and jobs, and don't feel the need to constantly post and/or retort to every ill-informed comment.

07 Sep 2010 8:38 PM


That's what I was saying.  However, in looking at the DRF PP's it stated the value of the race was $10K and yet when I looked it up on Wikipedia it said the purse value was $25K.  He just defeated a good horse named Phalanx twice in a row leading up to the race so he probably was being ducked by everyone else.

07 Sep 2010 9:15 PM


I certainly am a Rachel fan, I am one of her biggest fans. And I always will be, I am a fan of a horse that is allowed to show greatness and not just in 1 race per year.  I’ve seen her race a number of times in person, I’ve followed her career from Arkansas to New York, Louisiana, Kentucky New York and then I’ll be there on BC day enjoying seeing her run again.  There are a number of ways that you can view the race.  You can view her race as her distracters who say she didn’t get the distance, or you can say that this race was viewed by Asmussen and Jackson as a (Prep) a 10 furlong prep, that would allow her to develop the bottom needed to move forward.  

Look at it this way, if Calvin had backed Rachel off the pace, and let Life @ Ten dictate a slow pace, you’re looking at Rachel flying by her in the stretch, possibly winning by a couple of lengths and not really getting what she needed out of the race to be competitive at 10 furlongs in Nov.  Do we remember what a prep is, a prep race is a race that is used to vault a horse forward towards a bigger goal.  Here is the problem, 1. Due to the Undefeated mare in Cali people don’t consider races preps anymore, some have a weird idea that a horse should win every race, if the races were all the caliber they are in Cali then we wouldn’t have any issue with or needing a prep, because all of the horses that would be running would be coming out of optional claimers or allowance horses.  In the east its not that way, the races run at Saratoga and Monmouth are top class, multiple Grade 1 winners show up for these races, therefore the quality of competition that Freddie head mentioned is totally different.  

So with that said which race do you think that Jess Jackson and Steve Asmussen want to win, the Personal Ensign or the BCC, this race sets Rachel up perfectly to cut back to 9 furlongs and then the progression back to 10 furlongs in the classic.  Think to yourself why would they go out and run a match race basically regardless of what was behind them, you want to give your horse the best chance of winning the race, and that tactic was not that, they were wanting to get the 10 furlongs into her system, let he see how she navigates the distance and set her up for an explosive couple of races.  Don’t bet me wrong, they were disappointed that she lost, that’s the nature of the game, but when Jackson is holding the Breeders Cup Classic trophy he’ll be a lot happier.

07 Sep 2010 9:20 PM

Jason : On your 12:23 post :

IF QR continues to run for the next two years, where do you think he'll run....that's right, the same races he raced this year unless he goes on and raises the bar and runs in a Formula 1 race.  Oh wait, that's not fair, he's a horse, not a machine.

And I love this quote :

" Fact is, you cant control who shows up in the race. All you can do is show up yourself and win. "

It sucks it only applies to east coast horses :)

07 Sep 2010 9:28 PM


Perhaps you should blog about football as you seem much more animated about it. (Or maybe it's just that you have an emotion connection to that sport.)\

Mike Relva: Not a good shipper?  No worries. You are the King. The others should come to you!

07 Sep 2010 9:34 PM
Will W

You couldn't have said it better, Jason, in your rejoinder to Tom V. That was right on the money. So much so it's worth hearing again. Here goes:

"It doesnt have to be East of the Missisippi Tom. It just has to be against males--the Big Cap, Pacific Classic, Goodwood, etc. That is what is expected of BC Classic winners. She had already proven she could beat males on the fake stuff. Why didnt they have confidence in her to do it again? And I dont want to hear, "well, she will prove it in the BC." The best horses prove it all year long, not in one race. See Blame, Quality Road, and Blind Luck."  

07 Sep 2010 10:00 PM

Jason!  I leave for a few days and nothing has changed I see.  Hey, I want to get in on this whole Zenyatta in the Classic thing bet.  I see there are still some people dumb enough to think she can win. Let me know how much $ to send you in advance. I am willing to put up any amount of $ that she doesnt win. I don't want any excuses from these goofy Zenyatta fans who think she can actually beat males on dirt.  How dumb can they be?

07 Sep 2010 10:04 PM
Jason Shandler

Thanks Will. Too bad logic doesnt apply to the Zealots. Its all about making excuses and waving pom poms.

Dray: I only have $500 worth of bets that she loses right now. Im trying to get more action, though I havent heard back from David Ingordo. Maybe you can get in on some of that action!

07 Sep 2010 10:06 PM

Has anyone heard anything on Rachel Alexandra?   Steve A.  said last week they were going to take her to the training track on Tuesday (today) .  I havent seen any posting of her workout anywhere.

07 Sep 2010 10:09 PM
Tom V

Will W, you obviously didn't read my whole comment, like someone else didn't. I and a lot of others don't see how all of these qualifications can keep being set for just one horse.

I'm not from the East Coast and I'm not from the West Coast. As I said, right now I have Blame and Zenyatta as the two favorites like a lot of people. I also don't think she needs to win the Breeders Cup Classic again to prove anything. She's proved her worth to a lot of people and no small contribution to the Moss' bank account. Excellent return on their investment.

Funny Skyfire I'd say you have several more posts than I or some of the others that AAF, Dubby, Billy or whatever name he's going by now commented about. Talk about people being someone they aren't or having multiple names.

Lets just say that when you get to a certain age, are involved in a certain type of business you may have days when you don't have as much to do as others. It's still a job or two or three but more like an investment or self employment.


07 Sep 2010 10:21 PM
Mike Relva


Seems like you were signing the same tune about this time last yr. that she couldn't win the Classic. The only time I would worry is if you were backing her. lol

07 Sep 2010 10:46 PM
Mike Relva


Sorry to disappoint you,but there's several HOF trainers and distinguished writers that label Zenyatta,"a super horse".

07 Sep 2010 10:50 PM

"It doesnt have to be East of the Missisippi Tom. It just has to be against males--the Big Cap, Pacific Classic, Goodwood, etc. That is what is expected of BC Classic winners."

You're right. That's what every other BC Classic winner has done....Oh wait! All the other BCC winners have been MALE. Kinda hard to apply generalizations to Zenyatta since we've never seen anything like her before.

07 Sep 2010 10:51 PM
Mike Relva


Appreciate the kind words.

07 Sep 2010 10:51 PM

First off, those who uses Beyer to judge horse ability is not making any money.

2nd, Even if Zenyatta wins the Goodwood or whatever male G1 there are in SoCal, the Draynays and the Shandler will use the same excuse that 95% of east coast pro-dirt handicappers said after Zenyatta won the 2009 Classic "IT WAS THE SYNTHETIC".

Of course this is after these same 95% expert handicapper said Zenyatta's Beyer heading to the 2009 Classic was weak and she had no chance. HAHAHAHAHAHA

OH, If for some reason the BIG MARE WINS THE 2010 Classic in CD. These field (Blame, LAL, QR etc) that the anti-Z is calling a great field will somehow turn into one of the weakest field ever assembled.

That I am willing to give odds on.


07 Sep 2010 11:35 PM

Ted from LA - If Draynay had picked Citation, Citation would have lost.  It would have changed history forever.

Greg J. - Thanks for the vivid, informative answer!  

Laz - Thanks for getting back.  That is SO weird!  And it does seem like it was widespread.  The only other thing I could think of was that maybe geldings might have some advantage because they're generally "better behaved" - but I really have no idea.

Paula - You said you think Zen has another gear that we haven't seen.  I think she has at least two more gears, maybe even three, above her BCC Classic performance.  She won that race as easily as any of her races - even easier than many.  Didn't her task look completely impossible at the quarter pole?  And then she starts her charge and skips by everybody - even Mike Smith said that when the crowd roared she stopped to pose (!) so he had to get after her - and she still looked like she was out for a Sunday stroll.  I hope they put extra cotton in her ears at Churchill - she doesn't need to be stopping everytime the crowd roars!

Kay - Thanks for your response.  I really, really appreciate it.  You wrote:  "Yeah, [John Shirreffs] wanted QR in there for the pace."  So who will be the pace this year?  QR does better with a target to run at in the beginning and he's loafing on the lead more, Blame's a closer, LAL likes to hang back, as does Rail Trip, right?  All the Euros will probably hang back.  Hell, maybe it will be MTB as the pace setter!  Just kidding.  

afleetalexforever - Thanks for your take on Rachel's race.  I was hoping you wouldn't slam Zen or Cali racing in the process, but I was afraid you might.  So you think they're still pointing Rachel to the Classic?  It will be interesting to see her next works and if she decides to go to the Beldame.  I'm hoping this launches her to better things, but I just don't know.  I sure hope she's OK in all respects.

08 Sep 2010 12:28 AM

Dr. D : Thanks!  It was a long time coming and I did smart on it and paid off my credit cards before I contribute it back to the GG fund.  Had to save some for the little girl too.

With regards to Beyers, yes I have no doubt that there are people who knows how to use the Beyers, I only know of one blogger that doesn't and you know who that is lol.

I totally agree with the "how the betting brain works on that day."  There were many times I have said to myself "I had that one, why did I not bet on that horse!", those were the times were I picked a horse and at the last minute changed my mind, either the odds were too high or I decided the other horse's name is prettier or the deciding gray is a nicer color :)

08 Sep 2010 12:40 AM


08 Sep 2010 5:18 AM
Billy's Empire

Tom V, I would never change my display name. That is as weak as Zenyatta's schedule this year. Other's have been known to, but really, what is the point. Have your opinion, and own it.

Also, in regards to Beyers, there is more than one way to peel an onion. E1, E2, Late pace, Bris Power, Prime Power, current class, back class, hot trainer jockey combinations, 2nd or 3rd start off a layoff, etc. Any fool that does not look at the program is just that, a fool.

08 Sep 2010 8:50 AM
Mike Relva


Hey,how are you?

08 Sep 2010 9:31 AM


I think geldings were held in lower esteem than entire horses, sort of like Zenyatta fans are considered beneath real dirt horse racing fans.

08 Sep 2010 10:26 AM

Ruffiansruns; I hope you didn’t take offense to my statement, a fact is a fact, there are a couple of things that Jerry Moss and his campaigning of the horse as if she is a lower class allowance horse other than 2 races has done.  Its caused people to look at a career when trying to vote for HOY, this can be seen by his summation of her 2009 in drf when he mentioned her career victories and her 2008 Apple Blossom win.  Sad but true, I can’t change what the man said, its shameful that her career is focused on 2 races, both invalidated by the removal of the surface at Santa Anita.  The second thing that they have caused is a great deal of ducking and dodging, many forget that Mr. Moss said in Drf last year in June they were coming East to seek out and race Rachel-he made that statement on June 27th, and then two days after the Mother Goose was run he decided that it be best not to rush to try to take on a horse that just ran 9 furlongs in 1:46.33 without much effort at all.  Honestly a smart move on his part because IMHO, Rachel in 09 would have absolutely embarrassed Zenyatta.  The last thing that Moss has caused that is ruining the sport is the 1 and only focus on the BC, the BC is a nice event but it is not the beginning and the end of the world.  This can be attested to by the HOY vote in the last few years, a campaign like that of Zenyatta’s 3 years ago would have went ignored. The Santa Margarita, Vanity, CL Hirsch and Lady’s Secret do not a HOY make, she’s undefeated so she gets a lot more respect which is fine.  But the truth is the ducking and dodging that we see all over the country other than the connections of QR, Blame, Blind Luck and L@L is abysmal, and honestly embarrassing.  It started with Rick Dutrow being afraid to face Curlin, moved on to Moss being scared to face Rachel last year and now is Jackson scared to take on Zenyatta.  Which of these connections has a legit excuse, Dutrow didn’t, Moss Certainly didn’t, Rachel’s not been the same so if there was a legit excuse that would be it,  whats sad is to watch people say she’s close to where she was other horses have just caught up.  That’s the biggest crock of BS I’ve ever heard, her BSF line of 103,108, 111,116, 109, compared to 100, 103, 108,105, 95 show she’s nothing close to where she was last year, oh yeah so BSF are not valid, ok look at the 9f times 1:48&change, 1:48&change 1:49&change, compared to 1:48&change 1:46&change 1:47&change 1:49&change.  She’s never run this slow, so will she come back to 09 form, 2 races to go to get there, if she does blow up in the Beldame, people will be scared of her in the Classic.  As a matter of fact I enjoy seeing the west coast fans that all yell, Blame and QR and RA should run in the dirt mile.  That way I guess Zen gets to run in another race like that out west, sorry folks it don’t work like that when u run in the East, the top horses show up and give their all.  It should be an interesting 57 days, I am excited.

08 Sep 2010 11:39 AM

Am I the only one who has no idea what Bellwether is talking about in any of his/her posts?

08 Sep 2010 11:47 AM

A agree with you, Zookeeper. I don't neither.

08 Sep 2010 12:21 PM

AfleetAlexForever,   Do you ever take a look at the NTRA polls,  Apparently,  they see things differently than you do.   Or what about the World Rankings.  

They must look at horses completely opposite as you do.

You trash Zenyatta, but if my eyes are doing me justice,  I see her at the top  and not at the bottom of these polls,   Someone with a higher knowledge than YOU have , must disagree with your way of thinking.    They do stand for something.  

By the way, AAF,  Where is RA?

aint heard from her in a while....

Has she joined St.Trinians?

08 Sep 2010 12:27 PM


The only ones who did the ducking is Rachel. First the 2009 BCC and then the Apple Blossom.

As far as your fantasy of Rachel not being the same as 2009. What a farce! that 116 is on a wet sealed track. She is the same horse as 2009 but tougher and more mature opponents..

08 Sep 2010 12:51 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I don't read them ever. All capitals makes me dizzy. I get vertigo, then my whole world comes crashing down. It's a nightmare. Just seeing all capitals with a quick glance makes my blood boil. I can't move past it quick enough. I need some kind of blog zapping machine so I can zap those posts permanently. Does that answer your question? If not I can give more details.

08 Sep 2010 1:01 PM
joe schmoe

Hey, I want to get in on this whole Zenyatta in the Classic thing bet.  I see there are still some people dumb enough to think she can win. How dumb can they be?

Draynay 07 Sep 2010 10:04 PM

That's exactally what you said last year when you were dead wrong!! If those people are so dumb then it would have put you in the "special needs" category. The things you write are making you look like a fool. Any sane person would have given up long ago if they had been wrong half the time you are.  

08 Sep 2010 1:19 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Nope, that was clear enough! Watch out for your blood pressure! :)

08 Sep 2010 1:28 PM
Ted from LA

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08 Sep 2010 1:36 PM

Nice point that you made PJJ, Charles I’ll discuss your statement later.  Yes I do look at the NTRA polls, and the world rankings, well not so much, nothing about my statement first off trashed Zenyatta, again if you don’t believe Zenyatta to be the world’s best horse in training you are considered out of line or are trashing of the horse. Do I take issue with her connections and her fans, YES, her connections because of the way that they campaigned her as many in the industry have, and then want to back into or walk through the back door for HOY honors, those honors don’t come to you for running against allowance horses and optional claimers and making excuses.  Honors of that nature come to you by means of a (Slightly) ambitious campaign. (I mean pick a race in your back yard SA Handicap, HWGC, PAC Classic, Goodwood) 1 out of 4 would work lol. Unfortunately nothing about her campaign is ambitious, EVER, except maybe Mike Smith waiting to long to ask her to move and having to be all out to beat the likes of Anabaa’s Creation, St. Trinians and Reinterval.  Did you see the list there PJJ, not a winner of 1 grade 1 race and 2 out of the three were not winners of a graded stakes of consequence. As for these polls, PJJ, did you see the polls during 2009, all year Rachel led, then with a (single) victory Zenyatta vaults her, and all of you on her bandwagon since the Classic might I add by the way :), all of you start talking HOY, for what, I mean looking at what she accomplished I was astounded that Summer Bird didn’t make the HOY list.  Let’s compare objectively,

Zen- Vanity, Milady, CLHirsch, LS, BCC.

SM- Belmont, Travers JCGC, 4th BCC.  

Be serious about it and please tell me that the 4 f/m races she ran in against how many graded stakes winning horses in 2009 (oh yeah 1, LIS) trumps the triple that SB pulled off.  

So your polls told you in 09 who the HOY was right, remember Zen led the polls from Nov 7th on, come Jan 18th and the voters let u know that just like in 08 and just like will happen in 2010 a full year of the best racing trumps running against mediocre in 1 circuit and showing up for the BC no matter what race and no matter the outcome.  You’ll all be disappointed again.  As for the world rankings, not sure you even know how those work.  But if you do then I know you’d take offense to Euros being ranked higher than our horses most times for a race run back in January or March.  You might want to do research on that before you point to the Timeform ratings to prove your point about a horse that as Freddie Head says faces lesser competition all year long, and even runs down to the level of that competition.  

As for Rachel, Asmussen said after the race that she would go to the track on Wed or Thurs of last week and breeze a week later to get back on the Monday schedule.  This was in Drf: “Asmussen said he is considering skipping Rachel Alexandra’s traditional postrace breeze nine days after the race, to get back on a Monday schedule.” I am sure you probably only have a subscription to one magazine, therefore wouldn’t have that information, or you think its funny to try to knock a horse.

Here’s a better question, where was Zenyatta after racing in the Apple Blossom, did she need 4 months to come back, we didn’t hear from her for a while.  See when you enjoy championship racing at the highest level or sports in general at the highest level you applaude those that step up and out of the box, those of you with very little or no athletic background or prowess, may not get the full import of lets say watching the L.A. Lakers take on and beat a college team over and over and over again. At some point you step up and face better.

Charles, there is not much to say to someone who felt that a horse that missed enough training due to weather is considered ducking to miss the apple blossom, and then please explain how its ducking when an owner says in may of the year we’re not going to run on a false surface?  And then I give you times and Beyers that show she’s not close to the same and you, I guess being confused, come back with what I said people said incorrectly about other horses catching up.  Ok here we go Charles, which of the horses running today that Rachel faced, (that would be Zardana, UBB, Made for Magic, Queen Martha, Life at Ten and Persistently) have run 9 furlongs in under 1:48 or which of them has a 110 Beyer on their resume, that would be her opponents catching up when they run faster. As for the 116 on a wet sealed track, what does that matter, she ran 109 and 111 on dry fast tracks and was taken in hand in one of those races 1/16th from the wire, does the 108 or 105 she ran this year under a heavy hand ride validate your statement. Lol there are handicapping books out there for you to purchase so that you are not so confused.

08 Sep 2010 1:40 PM
Ted from LA

"I think geldings were held in lower esteem than entire horses, sort of like Zenyatta fans are considered beneath real dirt horse racing fans."

LAZMANNICK 08 Sep 2010 10:26 AM

Actually, research shows geldings have 46% less self-esteem than those horses whose goodies are still in working order.  

08 Sep 2010 1:40 PM

Many of you took offense to what Freddie Head said about comparing Goldi and Zen, there is not much of a comparison, one is a champion proven over and over again the other is a champion on Nov 6th 2008 and Nov 7th 2009.

Here is a true breakdown of what Freddie Head was saying for those that cant comprehend what the competition you face means.

In the 2008 BC Mile, Goldikova (as a three year old at the end of a long season) defeated the winners of 8 Grade 1 races who went on to win a further 3. In 2009, she defeated the winners of 4 Grade 1 races, who went to win a further 3. However, you must remember that these races were all won on the same surface: turf. Looking at Zenyatta's opponents, a very small proportion of them actually won their Grade 1 races on the synthetic, most were on dirt and turf.

Goldikova's strongest races have come in Europe anyway. In the 2008 Prix du Moulin, she defeated 3 Classic winners (including Henrythenavigator who finished ahead of Curlin) and 5 Group 1 winners of 13 Group 1 races. Considering the field size, thats very impressive. Likewise the 2009 Prix Rothschild, where she defeated another 6 Group 1 winners in a small field. In total, she has defeated 30 Group 1 winners of 55 Group 1 races, which is actually more than Zenyatta, who stands at about 16 Grade 1 winners of 44 Grade 1 races.

It must also be remembered that there are far fewer Group 1 races in Europe (especially at a certain distance such as a mile), so the contests are usually much more competitive. So far this year, Goldikova has defeated 7 Group 1 winners of 15 Group 1 races (including 4 Classics). Zenyatta has defeated none. That is what Head is referring to.

COMPETITION means something people, hate to say it but head is right look at this year Zenyatta has faced 0 Grade 1 winners on purpose, just to get to the BC Fresh, that’s embarrassing, no grade 1 winners faced in a year and zero open company races even in her home state, but somehow you are going to make a horse racing fan believe she is the top horse in the world when she’s not the top horse at her track. LOL

08 Sep 2010 2:09 PM


The last time I looked Zenyatta didn't get beat by a horse that was still eligible for a non winners of 3 and on her previous start had just won a non winners of 2 on her 5th try at that level.  In fact, this was only Persistently’s second race at 9F or more.  At least Zenyatta’s competition had all passed through those conditions and had all participated in numerous stakes races.

08 Sep 2010 2:24 PM
Jason Shandler

Laz: Again, you guys always compare what Zenyatta has done to RA. Stop making excuses for once! Repeat after me: Both campaigns have been weak and disappointing. Both have been an incredible let down to racing fans. It's okay to admit that. It doesnt make you a bad person.

08 Sep 2010 2:34 PM


“You couldn't have said it better, Jason, in your rejoinder to Tom V. That was right on the money. So much so it's worth hearing again. Here goes:

"It doesnt have to be East of the Missisippi Tom. It just has to be against males--the Big Cap, Pacific Classic, Goodwood, etc. That is what is expected of BC Classic winners. She had already proven she could beat males on the fake stuff. Why didnt they have confidence in her to do it again? And I dont want to hear, "well, she will prove it in the BC." The best horses prove it all year long, not in one race. See Blame, Quality Road, and Blind Luck."  

Blind Luck? The three-year-old filly who has only run against three-year-old fillies? If Blind Luck was running against colts or even older mares, then you have one withered leg to stand on. But she isn’t. So I will repeat this for the millionth time – what you are asking Zenyatta to do – REPEATEDLY – is to be at a disadvantage in every one of her races and then have enough left to run 10F against males. Zenyatta has already been at a disadvantage this year – twice, in fact. She gave a ton of weight to horses in two of her starts. She carried 127 and 129 lbs. But you just ignore that, don’t you? Call me when Quality Road or Blame carries more than 126 lbs. I won’t be hearing from you.


“Has anyone heard anything on Rachel Alexandra?   Steve A.  said last week they were going to take her to the training track on Tuesday (today) .  I havent seen any posting of her workout anywhere.”

I think she is supposed to work on the 13th. Asmussen wants to get her back to Monday works so they skipped this week. She did gallop, though.

Tom V:

“Will W, you obviously didn't read my whole comment, like someone else didn't. I and a lot of others don't see how all of these qualifications can keep being set for just one horse.

I'm not from the East Coast and I'm not from the West Coast. As I said, right now I have Blame and Zenyatta as the two favorites like a lot of people. I also don't think she needs to win the Breeders Cup Classic again to prove anything. She's proved her worth to a lot of people and no small contribution to the Moss' bank account. Excellent return on their investment.”

You’re being WAY too sensible! It IS astonishing that Zenyatta is being asked to win the Classic again before anyone will consider her as one of the best. What I love is how nobody will acknowledge points made. They just ignore you.


“Paula - You said you think Zen has another gear that we haven't seen.  I think she has at least two more gears, maybe even three, above her BCC Classic performance.  She won that race as easily as any of her races - even easier than many.  Didn't her task look completely impossible at the quarter pole?  And then she starts her charge and skips by everybody - even Mike Smith said that when the crowd roared she stopped to pose (!) so he had to get after her - and she still looked like she was out for a Sunday stroll.  I hope they put extra cotton in her ears at Churchill - she doesn't need to be stopping everytime the crowd roars!”

Heh. But if she IS stopping, that means she has the race well in hand. I’ve watched the Hirsch over several times. It’s interesting to see how Rinterval’s ears are up the entire way, until Zenyatta comes to her. Then she pins her ears and sticks her neck out, while Zenyatta’s ears just flop back and forth. She really only runs about three jumps a race, which is why she’s doing so well right now. If Mike Smith is really on point about her being better than ever right now, well… this is exactly what happened with her before the Lady’s Secret LAST year. And by all accounts, she was digging Churchill Downs last year, before they sealed the track. I realize that she “ducked” running in the mud, but it was the sealed track and the fact that it was her first start of the year that made Shirreffs scratch her. But everyone who saw her work was amazed at how well she got over the surface. I don’t think a muddy track will be all that much of a problem for her. She’s got that big turf stride. But a sealed track is a problem for a lot of trainers. They just won’t run on it.

“Kay - Thanks for your response.  I really, really appreciate it.  You wrote:  "Yeah, [John Shirreffs] wanted QR in there for the pace."  So who will be the pace this year?  QR does better with a target to run at in the beginning and he's loafing on the lead more, Blame's a closer, LAL likes to hang back, as does Rail Trip, right?  All the Euros will probably hang back.  Hell, maybe it will be MTB as the pace setter!  Just kidding.”

Poor thing! There will be pace in there. Quality Road’s got a high enough cruising speed that no matter who jumps out of there to take the lead, he’ll ensure that the pace isn’t crawling. It’s his ability to finish and get some separation that’s the issue. With the various running styles, there will be pace the entire way around. I expect Blame to get first run and Mike to follow him into the stretch and then we’ll see who closes better. They may be running down Lucky and Quality Road at that point.


“Am I the only one who has no idea what Bellwether is talking about in any of his/her posts?”

I think Bellwether may be a genius. We are not yet sufficiently advanced to understand him/her/it.


I was momentarily interested in the Blog Blasting Machine, but then I found a much cheaper machine – the Afleetalexforever Ignoring Machine. It’s been working sensationally well so far.

08 Sep 2010 2:34 PM


08 Sep 2010 2:58 PM

First off, those who uses Beyer to judge horse ability is not making any money regardless what they tell you or post.

2nd, Even if Zenyatta wins the Goodwood or whatever male G1 there are in SoCal, the Draynays and the Shandlers will use the same excuse that 95% of east coast pro-dirt handicappers said after Zenyatta won the 2009 Classic "IT WAS THE SYNTHETIC".

Of course this is after these same 95% expert handicapper said Zenyatta's Beyer heading to the 2009 Classic was weak and she had no chance. HAHAHAHAHAHA

OH, If for some reason the BIG MARE WINS THE 2010 Classic in CD. These field (Blame, LAL, QR etc) that the anti-Z is calling a great field will somehow turn into one of the weakest field ever assembled.

That I am willing to give odds on.


08 Sep 2010 3:18 PM

Jason.  I'm with you on Blind Luck.  I think it was only Hollendorfer's fourth start of his career at Saratoga and he had to take on the best filly of the east on her track.  He puts his horses where they are competitive regardless of who is entered in the race (e.g., Lilly Fa Pootz against W-Tears...what?).  And Blind Luck looks to be the best 3 year old filly right now after blasting the Devil.  Even her "rivals" like Switch and Evening Jewell continue to win in her absence.  

On a side note.  I read where Hollendofer's assistant trainer, the one who spent all that time with Luck in Kentucky prior to the Oaks was murdered in Sacramento. She's lost her traveling companion.

08 Sep 2010 3:20 PM
Jason Shandler

Charles: If you dont use speed figures to handicap I guarentee YOU arent making any money. Every horseman/handicapper I've talked to uses speed figures to help gauge the ability of their horse. Just because you dont use them doesnt mean they are wrong.

As for your Zenyatta comments, thanks for putting words in my mouth. Have you been fitted for your pom poms yet? I hear you can get a good deal on them now. Hurry before November gets here.

08 Sep 2010 3:26 PM

i hope rachel runs in the classic so her and zenyatta can beat all the boys. zenyatta 1st, rachel 2nd, don't know don't care who's 3rd the other horses are all boring

08 Sep 2010 3:37 PM

Laz - Do you think geldings like Kelso and Forego changed the anti-gelding attitude?

Afleetalexforever - I'm asking you your opinion on current Rachel news.  I already know what you think of Zenyatta's campaign and even though I wish she would have had a slightly more ambitious campaign, she hasn't.  I'm over it.  I hope you get over it, too.  And for you to say that Zenyatta's career has been invalidated because SA is going back to dirt is just ridiculous.  Come on, turn the page.

Zookeeper!  LOL!  I've been wondering about those posts for awhile!

Kay - I'll have to check out the Hirsch again.  I'd seen Rinterval's pinned ears at the end, but didn't catch her ears before Zen caught her.  About the muddy track...  So you think Zen will run if it's just muddy?  She's never raced on anything but a fast track.  Do you think she'll scratch again if it's sealed?  So many variables in the mix.  I've also read that she loved Churchill last year.

Sunny - I'll take that finish!  I would prefer the girls to win in a dead heat, but I'll take it!

08 Sep 2010 3:45 PM

Zenyatta's campaign in 2009 was also weak. No different than this year. And it would still be weak even if Zenyatta wins the 2010 BCC at CD.

What is clear is that she won the toughest field put together in NA in 2009.

If (big if) she wins again the 2010 BCC at CD, then she will again beat the toughest field put together in NA in 2009.

Conclusion, SHE JUST WINS REGARDLESS OF HER COMPETITION's CLASS and she transcends from being a an all-time great horse into a LEGENDARY HORSE....

08 Sep 2010 3:59 PM
Kit J

Oh same old same. I thought I had already left my third grade class that I teach seems like I haven't.

Isn't everyone cheering for their favorite horse to win? Whether it's the one we just like or the one we bet? I think gamblers cheer louder and curse more than even a fan does.

I'd bet unless we're betting thousands of dollars and I think no one on here falls into that column then we're all just cheerleaders.

I even wear my old cheer squad outfit to the races when I go. I have my pom poms from High School and those from College.  Unless I stand to win a million dollar pick six I don't crack them out, then I even bring my megaphone.

08 Sep 2010 4:34 PM


It's hard to say.  Geldings were excluded from participating in major stakes from 1918 until 1957.  Obviously Kelso and Forego raced after that so it wasn't because of them that this so called rule changed.  I still believe that it was some kind of a blue blood rule.  It’s interesting to note that one of the most famous geldings all time, Exterminator, raced in something like 78 stakes after 1918 and was even HOY in 1922, but during 1918 participated in and won the Kentucky Derby and the Travers.  This must have been just before the ban on geldings, which would have had to be by racing’s governing body at the time.  Whether or not a gelding winning these races had anything to do with the ban, I can’t say for sure.  Incidentally, Exterminator raced 100 times according to the DRF and won 50 times and was in the money 84 times.   Some people say that when he was at his best he could have beaten Man o’ War, Citation and Kelso.  He raced during MOW’s time but the two, of course, never met.

08 Sep 2010 4:36 PM
Jason Shandler

There's a difference between rooting for a horse and being objective. Third-graders arent capable of the latter. Supposedly, adults are. Get it now?

08 Sep 2010 4:38 PM


First off, let me say that I never ever bet all these top level graded races that everybody fancies. It's laughable to me how anybody could use a Beyer or any figs for QR at GP & BEL and then uses the Beyer for Blame at CD & PIM and try to apply and handicap these figs at SAR! talk about not making any sense and a losing propostiion.

Mid-level claimers is where I make money on. Watching the same horses ran at the same track against each other. The very very few pros knows this.

08 Sep 2010 4:46 PM


You mean the 95% of handicappers who used Zenyatta's WEAK BEYER BEFORE THE 2009 Classic and said she was a throwaway!!??

PLEASE! hahahaha

08 Sep 2010 4:50 PM
Mike Relva


I couldn't agree with you more regarding the Zenyatta/ Breeders' thing. Bravo.

08 Sep 2010 4:58 PM
Mike Relva


Don't you ever tire of it? Always a neg about Zenyatta. Bet it kills you how RA's campaign has turned out this year. It doesn't hurt what Freedie stated. What do you think regarding what Mike Mitchell said about Zenyatta "is the greatest mare in my lifetime", or Jim Cassidy placing Z. in the same league as Ruffian? Don't think you have a concept of what reality is!

08 Sep 2010 5:12 PM
Mike Relva


Many instances you're an astute writer. As far as playing defense,not so much. Something tells me you will be playing lots of that trying to spin it after the Classic.

08 Sep 2010 5:16 PM

Kit J,

Hi there! Hope you had a nice vacation. No, things haven't changed. Just so you know, we have gratuated from being rabid fans to being abject cheerleaders. They call themselves objective but I see them as obsessed kill-joys. The beat goes on! but I'm glad you're back.

08 Sep 2010 5:19 PM
Jason Shandler

I'll say it again Charles, this time s-l-o-w-l-y. Speed figures are a single tool, one of many to use in handicapping. Because Zenyatta won the BC Classic last year doesnt mean speed figures are useless. I hope that makes it clearer.

08 Sep 2010 5:38 PM

In the latest pole published by  the World Thoroughbred Rankings Harbinger was 1st, QR was tied for 3rd and Zen tied for 5th. Before the latest rankings are to be published expect some changes.  Harbinger has been retired, QR has a loss and a win, Work Force, Rip Van Winkle and Paco Boy ahead or tied with Zen have all lost and Zen still has a win still to be considered.  That means that Zenyatta should at least be rated second and if she wins her next two including the BCC she'll be number one. (BTW Goldikova is rated tied for 12th with a loss still to be factored in.  So much for Mr. Head)

08 Sep 2010 5:44 PM


Using speed figures, times or whatever figs derived from one track and then applied to handicap a race on another track, (this time s-l-o-w-l-y)...IS USELESS.

Not only are dirt tracks surface varies from track to track, it even varies from hour to hour on the same track.

At least I know of one person who made a lot of money on Beyer figs.

I give you his first name as a clue. "ANDY"


08 Sep 2010 6:22 PM


Just keeping it real.

For example, even if Beyer did work (lol), how long has it been out there? 20-25 years?

By now, your edge would be gone. Everybody would have figure it out by now.

08 Sep 2010 6:31 PM

Laz - Thanks for the Exterminator info.  I've read bits about him, but should check him out more.  It's so mind boggling these days to see that a horse raced 100 times!

About the World Rankings.  The new list should be released tomorrow, but unfortunately, Zen won't move up on the list unless they think the Hirsch ranked better than the Vanity, and I doubt that will happen.  And all the horses above Zenyatta will probably stay there unless they've severely tailed off.  The ranking is based on each horse's best performance and rarely do the rankings drop during the year.  If they do drop it's only by a point, as a past race is revised based upon what other competitors have done.  The first poll of this year still had Sea The Stars at the top even though he had retired - the rankings went from October 1 to March 31st.  STS on top for the Arc and Zenyatta was second for the BCC.

It's not like the NTRA poll, where people vote weekly based on wins and losses and rankings fluctuate more.

Hopefully Zen's Classic this year will vault her higher on the list, but I doubt she'll get a number as high as Harbinger's 135.  Her Classic last year was 128, so I expect this year's number to be around 130, maybe higher.  I'm giving her the win.

Oh, a better way to explain it, and forgive me if you know all this already, but last year's end of year rankings had Rip Van Winkle (129) AHEAD of Zenyatta (128), even though she demolished him in the Classic.  His 129 was based on two races in July.

08 Sep 2010 7:10 PM
Jason Shandler

Whatever Charles. You have no clue. See last week's issue of B-H and the story we did on Ragozin and Thorograph. The story details how every major owner, trainer, etc uses speed figures before they do anything--buy, sell, place a horse in race, handicap a race, etc. You may not use them for handicapping your $4k claimers at the county fair, but nearly everyone else in the biz does. This conversation is over.

08 Sep 2010 7:58 PM


Nobody is going to come close to Harbinger’s 135.  It was mainly based on his resounding 11 length victory as the second favorite to Workforce in the King George Stakes.  He retires with a Time Form rating of 142, unbelievable for a 3 year old with only 9 starts and 6 wins, a second a and a third.  That puts him tied for 4th all time with Ribot and to put it into perspective, Sea of Stars the all everything wonder horse was given only a 140.  This more than supports your best performance statement.

As we stand now, a dominating win in a deep BCC field by QR or Zen or Blame still might be enough for a number one ranking, but then the Euro horses have some big races coming up

08 Sep 2010 8:14 PM

Everyone keeps talking about Beyers this,  Ranagulzion that, Thorograph, whatever,

Its one thing none of these can measure, and this is for certain, I dare any of you to disagree with me on it.  

None of these can measure the HEART, and the WILL of a DETERMINED horse that loves the game of WINNING.

08 Sep 2010 8:18 PM
Jason Shandler

lol Sodapop. The word is Ragozin. Ranagulzion is a famous blogger.

08 Sep 2010 8:25 PM
Carlos in Cali

I'm ready for some football!

It'll keep me occupied right up until Zenyatta rolls past the males in the BCC.  :}

Zenyatta is the Boise States of horse racing... they get no respect. All they do is win and yet some people still think they can't compete with the 'elite'.

08 Sep 2010 8:28 PM

Jason : It goes both ways you know, if you are going to keep mentioning Zen's campaign, I think it's only fair that you say something about your beast QR.  At least the Zen fans stay loyal, you have gone from QR being the beast to now saying that you don't know for sure who you'll pick in the Classic.  This, after QR "annihilated" the strongest Woodward field in the last 30 years running the fastest 9F race that I can remember.

You can say that QR is no longer a beast, it doesn't make you a bad person.

AAF : Who are you comparing Zen's campaign to ?  Or is it just a special rule that since Zenyatta is the best horse in training in the world right now (as you suggested and I wholeheartedly agree), she owes it to the fans that she runs against males before the Classic ?

What happens if she did and she's used up ?  If she runs in the JCGC, what would that accomplish that the BCC wouldn't ?  Again, IMHO, Team Z do not care about the HOTY, if they win it, it's a bonus but they are after something much much bigger.  A record that will last a long time or may not even be broken.  Back to back Breeder's Cup Classic winner, the only female in the history of this sport to ever do it.  Can she do it ??  I certainly think she can, will it be easy ?  NO.  But that's what Team Z wants, not a year's award.  If they were after the HOTY, I don't think they're stupid enough to use the same campaign as last year as they know it didn't work.  All year long, they had the Classic in mind, they want a fresh horse, not used up for the Classic.  The fact that other folks are talking about the HOTY for Zenyatta is due to the other supposedly top contenders not winning their races.  You can't blame Zenyatta nor her connections for that.

08 Sep 2010 8:51 PM

Laz- Harbinger is a 4 yr old, I believe.  To me it is a little high, but that's what they give him.

08 Sep 2010 9:45 PM
Mike Relva


Great points!

08 Sep 2010 9:50 PM

The FACT is Zenyatta couldn't break 2:03 on dirt if her LIFE depended on it.  She is just too slow to be taken seriously on dirt going 1 1/4.

08 Sep 2010 10:02 PM

Jason:  I wouldn't count on hearing from David Ingordo.  That was probably Tom V. posting  as someone he isn't.  (See Tom V 07 Sep 2010 10:21 PM)

The real dude is probably too busy working the yearling sales right about now.

08 Sep 2010 10:03 PM
Paula Higgins

Kay great post, but it is wasted on a few of these people. Perhaps 10 years from now when they are older and wiser they will gain a  historical perspective about what Zenyatta has accomplished. Until then, it's a lost cause. If she wins the BCC by 20 lengths, it won't matter. Carlos in Cali a truly GREAT analaogy.

Ted from LA I have no idea what you do for a living, but you need to give Letterman or Leno a call. Your are hilarious.

08 Sep 2010 10:08 PM
Paula Higgins

You are so right sodapopkid. The heart and will to win of any athlete is crucial and can mean the difference between winning and losing. That includes the equine kind. No figure can quantify that.

08 Sep 2010 10:16 PM

Dr. D:  One thing I forgot to mention in my post last night about the beyers is that most handicappers don't question the beyers given to a horse after the race because the beyers come out a day or two after the race.  When regular handicappers look at the form to use the beyer figures, they no longer have the chance to confirm it was a correct figure.  You would have to watch the video of that race which could be 2 or more weeks back to see if the track was playing fast or slow, if the weather was too hot and some other variables.  This is why I say that most handicappers take Andy's figure the way he gives them out unless is it a high profile race.

If you're playing the beyer figures, you're pretty much betting your money that Andy is right.  I'm already a longshot player, I don't need to take any more chance that Andy is right about his figure for my picks.  If I was going to lose my money, I'd rather lose it on my own pick, not rely on someone's information.

08 Sep 2010 10:29 PM

Zenyatta winning the BCC?  How funny.  You'd have better luck betting on Detroit winning the Super Bowl this year.  There's a reason they've kept her in CA after saying they were going to showcase her greatness.....she's not that good people.  Learn it, live it, and accept it.  

08 Sep 2010 10:32 PM


They check the speed figures? eh...

HAHAHAHA and you really believe that!

no wonder you don't make any $$$

The first thing they check out before they run is the track surface.



Claimers is where the pros play.

08 Sep 2010 10:35 PM


You are right! conversation over because 99% of horseplayers LOSE!

You're in that group. Ragozin, Beyer, track variant. lol

Those buyers could look at all the figs on a horse but it's still a crap shoot.

Too funny.

08 Sep 2010 10:41 PM

jayjay - you pretty much made my point right there, Freddie Head was comparing Goldikova to Zenyatta, and I was comparing Rachel's 2009 campaign to any campaign that Zenyatta has run in.  Rachel ran in the Preakness off 2 weeks rest, there are 2 positives there for RA, 2 negatives for Zen, she is incapable of running off 2 weeks rest, can barely handle two months rest, and never won or ran in an American Classic.  Rachel came back and ran the fastest 8 furlongs we've seen in 5 years or so, mind you this is after facing males, then came back to run against males again in the Haskell, another strike against Zen who at this time in her career last year still hadn't faced males once, then came back to win a race never won by a filly or mare in 56 years, again another negative for Zen as we see again things pointed out that she is incapable of doing beating grade 1 competition on dirt. So yes she could possibly be the best horse in training but as Head pointed out you have to prove that all year long during a championship campaign, and according to her connections Zenyatta is not capable of that.  Good job pointing that out friend.

08 Sep 2010 10:45 PM

LAZMANNICK and Ruffianruns;

I've always enjoyed reading about Exterminator. What has always amazed me is the fact that he could win at any distance from six furlongs to 2 1/4 miles. In 1922, at the age of 7, he beat Billy Kelly in the six-furlong Harford Handicap. Billy Kelly was one of the top sprinters in the country, and had won the Harford three times previously. That same year, Exterminator won his fourth consecutive Saratoga Cup at a mile and three quarters.

An interesting side note: Billy Kelly was the stablemate of Triple Crown winner Sir Barton. In the 1919 Kentucky Derby, Sir Barton (who had yet to win a race) was entered as a rabbit for Billy Kelly, but ended up going wire-to-wire to win by five lengths.

Thanks for bringing up the subject of Exterminator!


08 Sep 2010 10:48 PM
Jason Shandler

Charles: Tell me, are you one of the 1% that makes money? If so, let me know. I'd love to challenge you to a handicapping contest to prove you wrong. I'll even give you Jayjay on your team. This way, you guys can look at all the pretty horses on TV, study the odds board, not look at PPs or speed figures, and pick all those winners. You'd make a great team. I'll even take Dray on my team. We'll see who comes out ahead.

08 Sep 2010 11:50 PM


About Exterminator.  When reading some of the stories about him one that jumps out is that Exterminator was always credited with 100 starts, 50 wins, 17 seconds and 17 thirds.  Then apparently his record was corrected to read 99 starts with the same number of WPS.  Even Wikipedia confirms that he had made only 99 starts.  However, I have a copy of his DRF PP’s, have counted through them and looked for duplicates and I can’t see where he didn’t make the 100 starts.  Kind of like a mythical missing start if you know what I mean.  He also had seven different trainers, two walkover wins, carried as much as 140 lbs. in a loss and won with 137 lbs. in the Toronto Autumn Cup and 138 lbs. in the Kentucky Hdcp.  I could go on for the next two pages and still not touch on all his exploits.


Further about geldings.  I think I read somewhere that geldings were not allowed to participate in the top stakes races, especially the classics because the powers that be wanted these races reserved for horses and colts so they would be on their resumes for breeding purposes.  To have a gelding win these raises would be a waste.  Might be true, might not be, but in a way it makes some sense.


Yeah, Harbinger was 4.  Too bad he had to leave the scene after only 9 races.  I do think it was not enough time to properly evaluate a horse’s true qualities, especially when he wasn’t even the favorite in his greatest win, but the people who do the evaluating obviously know, hence such a high rating.  The question to me is, who was better, him or Sea the Stars.  Harbinger’s top rating was 135.  Sea The Stars got a 137 for the Irish Champion Stakes and finished though with a 131 after the Arc.  Interesting.

09 Sep 2010 12:05 AM


Did someone tell you that Detroit WASN'T going to win the Super Bowl this year?  Interesting.

09 Sep 2010 12:09 AM

AAF : Are you back to 2009 ?  Because I thought we're in 2010 and you conveniently ignored this year altogether.  I had no problems with RA winning HOTY last year, I've said multiple times.  Think of this, if Zen wins the Classic, every year the Classic is run, they will most likely mention Zenyatta because she would set the bar, and some would argue would be a higher bar because it would be the Classic where the best horses comes to play for the championship just like this year's Classic.  The HOTY this year will be decided upon who wins the Classic, that's a fact.

I don't know what point I made that made your argument legitimate since I didn't know you were still living in 2009.  You're like Draynay, hanging on to the Donn Handicap for QR.  But to satisfy you with my point, RA has not won a G1 this year, ran in two G2 races and lost one, ran in two ungraded stakes and lost one...and this is her campaign all year for 2010.

Jason : I don't know what you're thinking but my handicapping is pretty much real time.  I don't stay up all night reading the form, so how are you planning to do this ?  Seriously, how ?  I'm thinking maybe you didn't get it the first time but my handicapping is watching the horses during the post parade.  If I had a way to post my picks just prior to the race, I would love to accept that challenge with prize money.   Judging by your picks this weekend, 2 for 4 with both heavy favorites as being the 2 you picked.  I'm not too scared.  Did you go with the beyers or the odds board on those two picks ?  If Draynay was here, he would've been 100% on his picks, rather than 50%.

09 Sep 2010 1:13 AM
Ted from LA

I'll even take Dray on my team. We'll see who comes out ahead.

jshandler 08 Sep 2010 11:50 PM

I laughed, I cried, I giggled like a school girl.

09 Sep 2010 1:41 AM


09 Sep 2010 2:40 AM

Exterminator is buried about 10 miles from my house.  Every year, during the first week in May, I put a red rose on his tombstone. (I'm not the only one.)  There is a good article by Ron Hale at

In keeping with his owner's muddled feelings, Sun Briar is listed first on the tombstone, with Exterminator second and Suntica third.  Mr. Kilmer never could accept that Exterminator was the superior horse.

09 Sep 2010 2:51 AM


09 Sep 2010 2:59 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I have no problem with the way you pick winners. I use Brisnet speed and pace figures more than any but I don't consider any speed figures to be precise. I consider it to be a ball park figure, and Beyer's and other speed figures are just one piece of the puzzle. Personally I love the puzzle, and figuring it out. I love to get to know the horses by studying the pp's and watching replays. I like that every race is unique and it's own challenge. Still, I could pick a bunch of winners in a day and still lose money if I don't bet right. I've had days where I walked away saying, "I can't believe I lost money, I picked every winner." I've made money just going by looks, when I get on the computer and just happen to see a race where I see two or three fantastic looking horses, far superior looking to anyone else, I've also lost screwing around like that. I make paper picks, and watch replays, but also use physicality sometimes when they look outstanding. Speed figures are just one of about twenty factors anyway. I look for odds also. If I feel certain that the favorite will lose and I have a live longshot, that's the kind of race I like. I make rooting picks here like most people, or like Jason says "cheerleading" picks, but if I make a pick close to post time, or do a write up on a horse, or say it would be a shock if he loses then it's a serious pick, and I've studied the race. You should take Jason up on his handicapping challenge. Obviously it has to be live, and you can pick all the way up to a minute or two before post. That's especially important since you go by odds and physicality. Pick a day and 9 races. Every bet is $2 WPS, one horse per race. Biggest bankroll is the winner. May the best technique win !!!!

09 Sep 2010 3:07 AM
Kit J

Actually my Third Graders are much more objective than 90% of the people on here. They're also more mature.

They don't beat it to death with a stick.

09 Sep 2010 3:22 AM

Fun day at Del Mar to close the meet.

JP's Gusto validated himself again as the best male juvenile out West with an easy 4.5 length score in the gr.1 Del Mar Futurity.  He battled through solid fractions in the Futurity, opened up at the top of the stretch and then was never challenged.  

I wrote about JP's Gusto back in May when he won a listed stakes at Hollywood, and since then he has won the gr.3 Hollywood Juvenile, gr.2 Best Pal, and now this gr.1.

I really don't see JP's Gusto as a classic horse, and his trainer Dave Hoffmans has always had suspicions about distance limitations, but like Hoffmans said after the Futurity, JP Gusto is a fast, consistent and professional youngster.  Put all those attributes together, and I think it's possible JP's Gusto can get 8.5 furlongs, but after that it looks doubtful to me.

That's not the case with the runner-up, Jaycito, a son of Victory Gallop.  Although still a maiden, Jaycito put in a strong late run after going 5 wide coming into the stretch to finish a clear second.  This after he was nailed on the wire in his debut while setting the pace.  Jaycito is a big, long legged colt, and appears to have some class; could the Norfolk see him turn the tables on JP's Gusto?

None of the other horses in the Futurity field made much of an impression.  However, I would be willing to give 3rd place finisher(deadheat) Indian Winter a look.  He is a well bred colt and has a nice appearance; in the Futurity he wasn't near the pace like he was in his winning debut(over Jaycito), and came with a mild run to get the deadheat for 3rd.  I think he can do better.

And it was kind of weird seeing P Val in the winner's circle after a gr.1.  Can there be any doubt that he is one of the most talented jockeys of his era?

Speaking of jockeys, I stayed for the final race to see who would win the Del Mar jockey title.  Joel Rosario and Rafael Bejarano went into the finale tied.  In a blanket finish, Rosario brought Tiz Argent from last to win the race and jockey title in the final jump.  I'm a big fan of Rosario, and believe he's all set to become one of the nation's best rider for the nest 2 or 3 decades.  He's the real deal.

09 Sep 2010 3:54 AM

Timeform rankings for older horses in Europe ,Sept 5,2010:












09 Sep 2010 7:11 AM

Jason, you just doomed yourself.

09 Sep 2010 7:54 AM

Charles and JayJay will come out ahead.

 I'm confident in their analysis. They have mastered the qualities to look for in a WINNING horse.Its obvious who crosses the finish line first.

I firmly believe the eye is better than figures.  

That will be pretty easy if Zenyatta is in the race....

I believe in CLOSERS,  they have the endurance to percieve,  we just witnessed that in the PE.


CLOSERS make a race, A RACE....

09 Sep 2010 8:00 AM

Jason and Dray vs charles and jayjay?  That's like a Pittbull (Jason and Dray) taking on a Yorkshire Terrier (charles and jayjay).  Not a fair fight.  Jason, you'd have to give them some lengths or something.  

09 Sep 2010 8:12 AM

Zenyatta winning the BCC?  How funny.  You'd have better luck betting on Detroit winning the Super Bowl this year.  There's a reason they've kept her in CA after saying they were going to showcase her greatness.....she's not that good people.  Learn it, live it, and accept it.  

Sylvester 08 Sep 2010 10:32 PM

Ssssufferinnnn sssssukatashhhh Sylvester you been endulging in too much catnip. You make it sound like Zenyatta is one of Chareles 4k claimers when you say she "isn't that good". She's plenty darn good, even a third grader who can't be objective is smart enough to know that. Whether or not she's good enough to win a second Classic at 6 yrs old against the world's best remains to be seen. Even if she goes in the race and loses that's what it is going to take to beat her. This is not RA who has lost this year and in previous years many many times to much less. Enjoy her as long as you can, she won't be around next year.  

09 Sep 2010 8:46 AM
Mike Relva


Didn't you say months ago that Zenyatta "wouldn't win another race this Year" ? Right.

09 Sep 2010 9:14 AM

Laz- Timeform has just as many biases as other rating systems.  There is still a debate going on, as I understand, as to whether Sea-Bird should be ranked so high.  The reason some feel he should be lower?  His margins of victory.  People are still swayed by that.  As far as who was better between Harbinger and Sea the Stars, I feel Sea the Stars class would prevail.  Don't take his Arc number as the best number he could run.  He was at the end of his campaign.  He did what he had to do when he was probably a little over the top.  He was very high class throughout his career.

09 Sep 2010 9:46 AM


Thanks for the comment about Exterminator.  I feel of all the great horses he is one that never really got the respect he deserved.  He was 29th on the BH Top 100 pole, in the Hall of Fame, was award winning Handicap Horse seversl times and HOY.  He carried 130 plus pounds dozens of times and in some of them raced as far as 2 1/4M.  Now I'm going to check out the Ron Hale article.  Thanks.

09 Sep 2010 10:03 AM

I don't know what planet Bellwether is on...I only know it's not this one.

I think it's odd that folks tend to spend so much time and expend so many words just to try to rip into a mare who hasn't lost a single race yet.  Maybe all of you can understand under the bell wether.  I can't.

Handicapping....hahahahaha.  Isn't that the same as guessing?  I'm with jayjay...check out the post might show you more than you're willing to admit.  

Will Cape Blanco come to the BCC?  Apparently Euros hold the BC in higher regard than Americans seem to. Perhaps one day we'll see a Triple Cup with Meydan, Prix d'Arc and the BC Classic.  Interesting idea.

By the way...nice of Kempton to have colored saddle cloths...sure makes watching the races easier.

09 Sep 2010 10:15 AM

PS Jason:  Very chalky of you this past weekend.  So happy to see the best looking horse win the Forego...followed by the next best. How did you miss out on  Here Comes Ben and Big Drama? didn't watch the post parade..did you?  Darn those Beyers!

09 Sep 2010 10:20 AM
Billy's Empire

Question? What type of race do any of you find it most difficult to handicap? This blog is about chalk, and handicapping, so I am interested to see responses.

thanks in advance for your candid responses.


09 Sep 2010 10:21 AM


On the Time Form ratings for horses retired from racing, Harbinger was given a final rating of 142, tied for 4th all time.  I think the 140 rating was before he was retired.  This is how they are listed with the horse, the year foaled and the final rating….

• Sea Bird (1962)……………….145

• Brigadier Girard (1968)…..144

• Tudor Minstrel (1944)…….144

• Abernant (1946)…………….142

• Harbinger (2006)…………….142

• Ribot (1952)………..………….142

• Mill Reef (1968)………………141

• Dancing Brave (1963)……..140

• Dubai Millennium (1996)..140

• Sea The Stars (2006)……....140

• Shergar (1968)………………..140

• Vaguely Noble ((1965)….…140

09 Sep 2010 10:25 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

The gaunlet has been thrown down. First the cage match, now an even more brutal event, a Handicapping Contest. Go Mano to Mano, forget about this tag team stuff. That's weak. Jason vs. jayjay, the Handicapping Event of the Century. Can't wait. Talk about blogging bragging rights. Now that could get brutal. It could change the way the world looks at handicapping.

09 Sep 2010 10:26 AM


Yap, I used to make tons of money but that was a long time ago. Last time I bet was 1985 or 86 can't remember.

But it was the old fashion way. Being early in the track, networking with those in the barns. Spending tons and tons of time talking to people. And finding out which horse are going to really run. Not just run but RUN! I be lucky to bet a dozen races maybe even less than that in a whole meet. But they are all winners.

Beyers, Rigozin, yeah sure. That works. lol

Anybody who thinks they can predict a race months from now is a comedian and have no clue.

Hell nobody even knows if Zenyatta is going to be there at CD. Of course we know Rachel won't make it in the classic. She might even be in any BC race. She is done. It took a lot out of her to beat what? soso 3 year olds and a super horse Macho Again by a head. :)

Wow people fall for gimmicks ie speed figures, track variants, is there a new one coming up?


09 Sep 2010 10:33 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Paula Higgins

   Don't you know who Ted from LA is? He's a famous host and comedian. He hosted the original American Idol way back when. It was called The Original Amateur Hour. He was the sole judge. When they won he said, "You got it kid, and you can take that to the bank."  When they lost he said, "Tough luck kid, now beat it, and go find a job."

09 Sep 2010 10:34 AM

Tweety, I think you might be correct for a change.  I just read in the San Diego Tribune that Jerry Moss has ordered 20,000 ponchos for Zenyatta’s fans to wear on BCC day.   The ponchos will have her likeness on the back.  In honor of her, he’s requested that everyone throw their poncho on the track right before the BCC starts so she’ll feel at home on the plastic.  Ingenious idea Mr. Moss.  I think she may win after all.

09 Sep 2010 10:54 AM
Single in LA

To hell with eHarmony..

Ted From LA:  Will you marry me?

09 Sep 2010 11:04 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Contest Results, in advance. Jayjay watches Jason's Handicapping show and uses all of Jason't picks and wins the contest. Jason changed all of his own winning picks from the show to all losers. When interviewed after the contest, a dejected Jason said, "I wish I wouldn't have changed my picks."  Jayjay stated, "Coincidentally, all of Jason's picks were the best looking horses in the post parade." When asked if he watched Jason's show he took the fifth, and said he couldn't answer anymore questions without an attorney present.

09 Sep 2010 11:10 AM

Nice point tweety, it'll be great to be able to get back to watching championship racing from top class horses ("ALL YEAR LONG") not just targeting 1 race for 11 months. lol NICE.

09 Sep 2010 11:11 AM


I read that Exterminator had a "race against time" to see how fast he could go in a perfect situation. The race was a mile and a quarter on a fast track and it was believed that he could break the world record under those circumstances. However, with no one to run against, he refused to extend himself and completed the ten furlong race in 2:10 flat. Perhaps this race was counted as a start on DRF's PP but not elsewhere?


09 Sep 2010 11:40 AM
Jason Shandler

Quite a group of handicappers we have here: Jayjay watches all the pretty horses in the post parade to see who is dappled out the best before making his choices (pretty tough to do on TV if you as me); Charles talks as though he knows everything yet hasnt placed a bet in 25 years; and Slew says handicapping is a waste of time. Wow, such valuable opinions from some of the best racing minds in the country. Thanks guys!

Also, Jayjay, help me understand something: You say you watch the horses in the post parade and the odds board before you decide who you will bet. If that is the case, how did you select your horses for that miraculous $18k Pen 5 that you won? You cant see the horses in the post parade or the odds board for the other four races. The bet has to be placed in advance. Care to explain? If this were a police interrogation I would have caught you red-handed. In this case, you have as much time as you would like to fix your story. Cant wait.

09 Sep 2010 11:42 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Billy's Empire

  Cheap claimers, all about equal class. 10k and less.

09 Sep 2010 11:45 AM
Ann in Lexington (aka Pedigree Ann)

So many topics!

Geldings couldn't race in ANY group 1 race in Europe until the 1980s(?), and I think some countries still bar them from classics. Something about 'improving the breed' being the point of classics and geldings can't help in that line.

Citation's Pimlico Special -  'Special' in a race name used to mean that the whole purse went to the winner. Without second money to run for, why face Citation?

Slew - Winning streaks don't make a horse great or Camarero would be the best horse of all time (he won 56 in a row). Kincsem was great because she won Derbies, great wfa races, beat all comers, all over Europe, not because she won all 54 of her races.

Rachel - pedigree gives possibilities, not guarantees. Kona Gold was bred to win the Belmont, but ended up a sprinter. Quality Road has already failed twice to win at 10f.

Paula, etc. - grading of races is supposed to be an average of a race's quality over a number of years and some years the race is stronger than others.  BUT there has been a major amount of grade inflation over the years (not just for high schools!) due to the way the current committee does its calculations. Moreover, there are way too many G1s (and G2s) for the way horses are campaigned these days. When the best horses on a circuit raced one another every 2-3 weeks, the schedule made sense; nowadays, it means weak fields and cheap G1 blacktype. Just remember, the grading system was created for sales catalogues, because new buyers were too uneducated to know the relative importance of races, or to distinguish between races of the same or similar name, something fans had been doing quite well for decades. Yes, I am old enough to remember all this first hand.

Boys at Tosconova - Officer throws his dam, good 2yos and sprinters, maybe up to a mile. Little Bonnet could handle a bit longer, one-turn miles, and placed in a 9f listed stakes at Belmont. Second dam Valid Bonnet was a G3 winner, G2 placed, in sprint and 8-8.5f races. Third dam Miss Cox's Hat was 3rd in the Matron (G1) at 2, didn't train on at 3. It's a pretty solid winning family, but 10f seems unlikely.

09 Sep 2010 11:56 AM


Charles say only gullibles believe in these speed figures and easy money. True I haven't bet in 25 years because it takes a lot of time and patience to really make $$ gambling and it definitely ruins your personal life.

That's fact!

My advice to everybody is if you don't have the patience, don't even bother gambling. The only ones making any money of speed figs like Beyer are those that invented those gimmicks.

There is no way in hell you can apply a speed whatever figs on a track in upstate New York and believe that that figure will hold up in Florida or California.

Only the gullibles would ever believe that.

Even when southern Cal was dirt, it's dirt was SO DIFFERENT THAN THE DIRT in the east coast.

Only way to win in this game is to play ONE TRACK AND FOLLOW THE HORSES THAT PRIMARILY RUNS ON THAT ONE TRACK and their connections.

That is why the insiders always wins.

anything else is horse manure!

09 Sep 2010 12:06 PM


You hit the nail right on the head.  In Exterminator’s first race with no competition, the Saratoga Cup, Aug. 31, 1921 at Saratoga, they called it a walkover.  His second race with no competition Sept. 30, 1922, was called a race against time (1 1/4M in 2.10 with the comment “good run”).  Instead of calling it a stake they actually listed it as a Special.  Exterminator’s fastest 10F in numerous times at the distance that I can see was at Saratoga…..2.01.4.  The tracks back then were in no way as fast as now.  His previous race on a track listed heavy was at 9F was run 2.01.1, only 3/5ths slower for one less furlong.  However, the race before that also at 9F on a muddy track was 1.50.1.  There are a lot of stories linked to Exterminator.

If you do a guest blog again, maybe you could do something on one of the old timers.

09 Sep 2010 12:09 PM
Jason Shandler

Charles: None of us here are professional handicappers I dont think. We do it for fun. It's a form of entertainment; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. If you ruined your personal life by gambling too much, that's on you. I do it as a hobby, as do most others I know. As for the few pros that I know who do this for a living, they all use speed figures as part of their handicapping. And none of them play just one track. Sound slike you are stuck in 1985. They have a new thing called simulcasting now. You should check it out. It's pretty cool.

09 Sep 2010 12:13 PM

Ann in Lexington (aka Pedigree Ann)

Great information.  What I really enjoyed about your post (I enjoyed all of it by the way) is that you posted something like 36 lines on a variety of topics and not once did you mention Zenyatta or Rachel.  I know I write about Zen a lot, but it shows us that there really is life beyond those two.

09 Sep 2010 12:18 PM
Ted from LA

Ted From LA:  Will you marry me?

Single in LA 09 Sep 2010 11:04 AM

Perhaps, but it is a complicated matter.  It depends on how big your... how can I put this delicately?....

It depends on how big your 401K is.  No, that would be shallow.  How willing are you to move to Utah?

Dr. D, thanks for having my back.  Jason, I have won over $6,000 on three different races in my life, once over $11,000.  I should have broke my own record on the Beverly D., but I was running low on cash at that point in the day.  Each big hit was when I was betting birthday or anniversary numbers.  When I marry Single in LA, I'll have another set of numbers to bet.  I handicap much like you do, but you're a fool if you don't make hunch/luck bets in this game.  The speed figs, etc. tend to lead you to the program #s selected in most cases, thus, lower odds.  So that is my way of saying yes, I will marry you if you're like Dolly Parton (wealthy), into polygomy, and this sport needs anyone who will place bets at the window by any method.  You should like the fact that people are betting that way since you're betting against them and taking their money. Go in peace and help spread the word.

09 Sep 2010 12:36 PM
Jason Shandler

I do make hunch bets from time to time Ted. We all do. But to make hunch bets the basis for all of your betting and not look at PPs in senseless.

09 Sep 2010 12:38 PM


I think Sea Bird was all he was reported to be and I think it would be a shame for his career achievements to be downgraded in any way.  However, a horse that might have been rated with him was Brigadier Gerard 18 – 17 – 1 – 0.  I saw some of his races on You Tube and he was awesome.  He was considered more of a miler, but he did win at 12 and 14 furlongs.  One of his victims was Mill Reef, the 7th highest rated on the list by 3 lengths.  His year, 1968, was also strong as Shergar another top rated was foaled that year.

It’s also important to note that N/A horses were not really considered for Time Form ratings until Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, and especially since the turn of the century.  I wonder how Secretariat and the Bid, etc. would have been rated on the list.  Considering that Cigar was given a 138, I think it’s safe to say that Secretariat might even have topped the list, especially considering his unbelievable win in the 12F Belmont and his record Derby at 10F.  The Bid’s world record 10F would have placed him right up there too I would imagine.

09 Sep 2010 12:46 PM


OH OK! I must have misunderstood.

Duly noted its for fun!

I apologize!

ps Anybody who tells you they are a pro and making money while playing multiple tracks are living in a fantasy world.

09 Sep 2010 1:11 PM
Jason Shandler

Ok Charles, I'll be sure to tell my friend's wife who does this for a living that her husband isnt really making any money. It's all an illusion.

Just because you didnt make it doesnt mean others cant.

09 Sep 2010 1:32 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks for the info. on Buddys' Saint.

09 Sep 2010 1:46 PM
Mike Relva


I hope you don't take yourself too seriously. lol

09 Sep 2010 2:34 PM
Ted from LA

Ted from LA I have no idea what you do for a living, but you need to give Letterman or Leno a call.

Paula Higgins 08 Sep 2010 10:08 PM


Leno's #s are falling below Draynay's success rate picking winners.  He could sure use some help.  My dog is funnier than he is and he speaks very little English (roof, art, Ruth (his favorite baseball player), ruff, etc.).

09 Sep 2010 2:43 PM

I only bet on horses that have 3 Derby preps prior to the Kentucky Derby or horses that come into the Breeder's Cup Classic with two or more months layoff.  I also never play Baffert in the Preakness or Zito in the Belmont.  

09 Sep 2010 2:51 PM
Billy's Empire

Dr D. thanks for your answer. I find those races, the low lever claimers, very tough. The track always seems to card a few of these right in the middle of the pick 6. HMMM.

Jayjay, I am sorry to say this, but Jason took you to the cleaners. I was going to comment yesterday about this, but thought to stay out of it. You contradict yourself brother. You wait til the post parade to pick your so called 5-1 longshots, then bet a P5, without looking at any of the horses for the next 4 races???? How did you handicap that card without seeing the pretty horses? Was it speed figures? Trainers? Numbers? I bet you handicapped the races, like 99.8% of other horseplayers. It is awesome if you won, congrats, but really? Is it true. Sounds like Tim G after the derby

09 Sep 2010 3:02 PM

Ted from LA and Single in LA, I may send you a toaster but, the match up I'd REALLY like to see is Pedigree Ann (Ann from Lexington) and Gunbow!  The resulting foal, er, baby could be the perfect handicapper.  His keen eye at the track and her analytical view of pedigrees, combined with both parties knowledge of horse racing history... I'd buy the tout sheet.

09 Sep 2010 3:05 PM

Billy's Empire,

Maybe jayjay takes a page out of the draynay book of handicapping. Hit the "all" button so you can crow how you chose a winner.

09 Sep 2010 3:07 PM
Billy's Empire

Draynot, LOL. I hit the all button once, when I was picking toppings on my pizza.

09 Sep 2010 3:42 PM
Single in LA

Ted, dear,

Thank you for not rejecting me outright. That would have been too crushing. I like Utah, particularly the southern part, but I (and my enormous 401k) are pretty settled here in L.A. so I guess I have to withdraw my offer (despite your acceptance, which was conditional and therefore not yet binding). I hope you don't mind if I occasionally & surreptitiously stalk you on the blogs and laugh myself silly at your entries.

So sad. I think it could have been a beautiful thing.  *sigh*

09 Sep 2010 3:43 PM
Kit J

To me Billy it sounds like Draynay.

He is the only one I remember posting Super Saver as his pick after the Derby and I remember he liked some horse because he had lived in a town by that name.

I also recall you making fun of one of my picks in a race and then congratulating me when my horse won.

I just think that Tim hit you where it hurts with the truth. You either accuse others of being him and you can't let it go.

Maybe Jason that is why these pick six pools are getting so big, people can't handicap them?  I don't know it just seems like there have been so many of them lately.  As you said though none of us are professional handicappers not one single one and to act like some of us are is silliness to an extreme.

Single how soon Ted forgets he was hitting on me a couple of months ago I think I was his female alter ego, Paula and I and a couple of others.  When he suggests you register for your wedding on an online betting site or at the local simulcast you'll see that he can be a cad at times.

09 Sep 2010 4:39 PM
Ted from LA

It would have never worked Lovely in LA.  Surreptitiously is a really big word and it makes me wonder if it has some covert meaning.  That, and I am prone to colposinquanonia.  Anyone who quarrels with this proposition is merely an addlepated ultracrepidarian.  

09 Sep 2010 4:40 PM
Kit J

Jason I was very curious if you think Lookin At Lucky will be ready for the Breeders Cup?

What is the opinion of any of the posters out there, other than a few that I don't care to hear from?

09 Sep 2010 4:48 PM
Jason Shandler

Kit: It's a good question. I spoke with Baffert yesterday and I dont think he even knows at this point. He made it clear the horse lost a lot of weight and important training time with his illness and is not close to being able to race right now. He wont be ready for the Pa. Derby on Sept. 25 and who knows about the first week of October. It could be that he has to train up to the BC, which obviously would not be ideal.

09 Sep 2010 4:52 PM


A point of correction:  Shergar the Epsom Derby runnaway winner of 1981 was foaled in 1978 (ckeck facts before posting Bro.) There's no way he and Mill Reef (another Epsom Derby winner) could be from the same crop.  Was that a lapse in concentration ...or too much Zen-punch?)  Life in racing beyond Zenyatta will resume after the BCC ...thought you devout Zen-followers knew that.  

Ann in Lexington,

Geldings do help to improve the breed indirectly when the pedigree of good ones such as Funny Cide are studied by Breeders.  Good sense usually prevails the long run, hence the change among the Euros.

09 Sep 2010 4:53 PM
Ted from LA

If that is LAL's problem, Baffert should just have him hang around with Kirstie Alley up to the Cup.

09 Sep 2010 4:58 PM
Kit J

Thank you for that information Jason!

Maybe you could give us snippets that you hear from Mr. Baffert once in awhile?

Now I'm really interested. Quality Road is also training up to the Breeders Cup. In your opinion is it different for Lucky because it will be a bit more time or because he was ill? Or a little of both?

09 Sep 2010 5:07 PM
Lonely Single in LA

Oh, Ted! You had to flaunt all those impressively huge words and make our break-up all the harder to bear. So heartless.

KitJ: don't you know it doesn't really matter 'bout the ones who came before just as long you're the last. (Which neither of us is. You're right. He's a bit of a cad, roue, ne'er-do-well. But he's really, really funny.)

09 Sep 2010 5:49 PM

Like Rodney King said,  "Can't we all just get along".  

Oh Well, What the hell, I'ts horse racing...

Jason, anyone,  Do you think LAL is going to have enough prep races and training to get him ready for the BCC by November 6 ?   thats just a month and a half away...

Going that distance to.

09 Sep 2010 6:05 PM


I must have been wearing my Ranagulzion handicap issue eyeglasses my friend, you know the ones that can't see Zenyatta no matter how hard you try.  In any event you are correct ( I wish I could type that in size 2 font).  I made a mis-mis-mis-mis-take.  That makes our reporting skills about even.  Our handicap scores remain the same.......18 right for me, dozens wrong for you

09 Sep 2010 6:08 PM

Lookin at Lucky.  There is always the Goodwood which will now be held at Hollywood Park's Oak Tree meet.  I think Tiznow may have used this as his spring board.  The BC Classic seems like a tall order for a 3 year old who has been ill.  Plus, all the "buzz" is on Twirling Candy's ability to handle older horses by being entered in the Goodwood.  Sadler seems to be on a roll with the Candy Rides as well as Switch.  I still say the Ladie's Classic could be the race of the 2-day event.  Zenyatta, RA, Blind Luck, Evening Jewell, Switch, Devil May Care...would blow the boys away.  Rail Trip, A-Gem, Blame, Quality Road...yawn.  

09 Sep 2010 6:38 PM

Keelerman - That's amazing about Exterminator winning the Hartford.  I love horses that can win short and long, which is one of the reasons I love Ruffian.  The Sir Barton rabbit story is one of my favorites.  And didn't he win the Preakness just a few days after the Derby?  Your later post about the "race against time" is interesting.  And it looks like you and Laz solved the 99/100 mystery!

Laz - Too cool about Exterminator!  About the geldings, the breeding thing makes a little more sense to me and that's what came up with Rachel at the Preakness last year.  Not with geldings, cause MTB was fine to race, but cause she was a girl and not a boy.  But I find it really strange just excluding geldings cause they're not "full" horses or whatever.  About the Euro horses, I'm really sad that we won't be able to see Harbinger race anymore, just to see what could have been.  I feel that way about STS too - retiring so soon.  I need to go check out the latest rankings

merlinmerry - Your Exterminator story is too cool!  Thank you for honoring him!  Thanks also for the link - he is simply amazing.  Maybe Kilmer just listed them on the gravestone in the order he acquired them - that's the only thing that makes sense to me.  I also love your later post about Pedigree Ann and GunBow!

GunBow - Thanks for your racing rundown!  I loved reading about the jockey race.

Footlick - STS was one of those horses that loafed on the lead, so he couldn't hit the front too soon.  It reminds me of Zenyatta and how hard it is to rank these horses unless they're pushed by their competition.  I kinda think STS was better than Harbinger too, but what if Harbinger was just starting to take off?  We'll never know.

Ann in Lexington - Thanks for weighing in with from the historical angle!

Jason - Thanks for the LAL news.  Scary for him.

And I agree with Paula on Ted from LA.  Ted, call Leno, he needs the help.

09 Sep 2010 7:05 PM
Jason Shandler

Yeah, like I said I dont know what is going to happen with LAL over the next few weeks and I dont think Baffert will know until he works two more times. The weight should come back on if he is healthy, so I think its a matter of getting him fit and sharp again in two months time. I doubt Baffert would put him in the Goodwood. He probably wants a softer spot and just a tightner  before the BC, if he is ready. They've already all but wrapped up 3YO champion, so the pressure is off in that respect. Im not sure what else is out there on the stakes calendar but Im sure Baffert will find something. The first or second weekend of October are probably the two options. If he's not fit by then, he would have to train right up to the BC.

09 Sep 2010 7:13 PM
Ann in Lexington (aka Pedigree Ann)

Alas, Merlinmerry, my historical perspective comes from living through it. Hence it has been a decade and more since your scheme could have been successful.

09 Sep 2010 7:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I usually don't like to weigh in on the awards of the year before the Breeder's Cup is over, but I think there is a lock for a duel award. Ted from LA has funniest blogger, and most marriage proposals for a blogger awards  sewed up in a landslide. Good work Ted and we hope to see you defend your titles in 2011. Speech, speech !!!!!!

09 Sep 2010 7:37 PM
Ted from LA

..."but I (and my enormous 401k)" are pretty settled here in L.A.  Single in LA 09 Sep 2010 3:43 PM

Does anyone besides Ted from LA hope her "enormous 401k" is a euphemism?  I see that Hulk Hogan look-alike preacher called off his book burning.  Only in America can a hick like that get that much attention.  I am sure Kate +8 would agree with this sentiment.  And last but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Drunkinbum for all of his love, support and Lear jet flights.  Without him my wives Paula, Kit J, and Lonely in LA would never get out of Utah and to the beautiful race tracks across America.

09 Sep 2010 9:03 PM

Jason : To help you understand, it's the PEN 5 at Santa Anita.  It's always on the last race and you have to pick the top 5 finishers.  It was on April 9th.  It came in as 8-2-4-6-5 and paid $18,167.30, taxes taken out were $4,717.60.  Go check it out, if you can promise me to keep my name out of the blogs, I'll send you a copy of the W-2G form so you can be satisfied.  Like I said, I play longshots, I lose a lot but when I hit, it's a pretty good payout.  Sometimes enough to break even but I do make profits.  I don't hit all the longshots that wins but I play it because it's where the money is.  I do play favorites but only with big longshots.  It's not to show off, I'm just telling you how I play the horses.  You seem to be offended by it, it really had nothing to do with Beyers, I commented on Beyers because you seem to think that people don't win without using Beyers and I happen to disagree with you (and Draynay) LOL

09 Sep 2010 9:54 PM

Billy : Just like Jason, I have to edumacate you "experts on betting".  The PEN 5 is ONE RACE, top 5 finishers of the race - the last race of the day at SA.  I just took you both to the dryers and I didn't even have to spend my quarters.

09 Sep 2010 10:03 PM
Paula Higgins

Dr Drunkinbum, all I can say is Ted from LA is famous to us. So are you by the way.

Ted, you are just the person to bring up Leno's numbers. However, I really doubt they are lower than Draynay's successful picks. What is lower than 0?

Ann from Lexington, I understand exactly what you are saying but it doesn't change the fact that she ran in Grade I's as they are now. They are what they are. If she hadn't won the BCC there would be more of a debate about who she has beaten, but that win made it a moot point. I mean let's face it, is there any horse currently on the planet that could race again and again like Citation and Seattle Slew? They just don't breed them like that anymore. We are comparing Zenyatta to the horses of the past 20 years. Her greatness is indisputable; where she lands on the list of greats is worthy of debate. If we want to carry this point to its furthest conclusion, the greatest horse of all time was Kincsem.

09 Sep 2010 10:17 PM
Tom V

Skyfire you may not think much of people in racing but I doubt anyone would feel the need to sign David's name to a document and tell Jason to ask his BloodHorse colleagues for his contact information if they weren't expecting him to do so.

I assure you David is no busier or not as busy as I at sale time. :)

09 Sep 2010 10:19 PM


It's called the Super High 5.

09 Sep 2010 10:20 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA, only in America would a crackpot preacher with all of 13 parishioners get wall to wall coverage from the national media. Coming from Georgia, I know many hicks and not one of them is as nutty as this guy.

What's this about a Lear Jet???!!

09 Sep 2010 10:23 PM


When I bet, I typically focus on my hometown circuit as well.  The only races I bet via simulcast are stakes races.  And if I really wanted to make money betting the local circuit, I would probably only bet stakes and high level allowances and maybe non-claiming maiden races.  Claiming turf races and sprints are usually losing propositions for me.

09 Sep 2010 10:32 PM
Tom V

Yes jayjay, the Super High 5, S-5,

S Hi 5 and variations thereof. Replaces the Superfecta in certain races at certain race tracks. Santa Anita the last race of the day. Churchill and Calder both added it to their program a few years ago.

I read that someone won one at Santa Anita through one of the on-line wagering companies in the amount of 56,000 or so.

09 Sep 2010 10:33 PM

I quoted the charts for the Del Mar Futurity when writing that Jaycito had to go 5 wide entering the stretch.  Well, the charts actaully read 4 wide, but I just watched the video again and it seems more like 8 wide to my eyes.  

Like I wrote earlier, 2 horses ran very well in the DM Futurity, JP's Gusto and Jaycito.  They ran opposite races, but I really liked what I saw.  JP Gusto's is a tough, classy, professional miler type while Jaycito has the look of a horse that could take Mike Mitchell along the Triple Crown trail.

09 Sep 2010 10:43 PM

ZooKeeper : Yes, it is also called that.  When I go to the window I always say $1 pen 5, which is the same thing.  It probably doesn't exist in the east coast since they only play favorites over there so they only have to pick one horse.

All this talk about LAL is really making me nervous, having watched his races again, he does seem like the one peaking at the right moment.  His recent "news" is not good but I think Baffert is one of the best trainers out there that can get a colt ready and in top shape.  Now I have to worry about Blame and LAL, this is going to suck at Classic, I'll need a rebreather.  

Ted From LA : If I wasn't already married, I'd ask you to marry me, purely for financial reasons.  Assuming of course you hit those 3 6K winners and 11K winner this in the last 2 months.  Plus, in UT it wouldn't count as polygamy so you'd still be able to marry a damsel to de-stress.

09 Sep 2010 10:45 PM

Paula Higgins said:

Ted, you are just the person to bring up Leno's numbers. However, I really doubt they are lower than Draynay's successful picks. What is lower than 0?

Apparently some people's knowledge of the Santa Anita Pen 5 Bet.

09 Sep 2010 11:01 PM


That was quite the bet.  You win 18K with odds of 7-2,11-1,18-1,9-2 & 2-1.  Did you box the five horses or bet them straight?  If that was a straight bet you must have been going crazy with all the photos.....the margins.....1L,no,no,hd,no.  The fith horse only made it by that nose and had to hang on against a fast closer.  Even if you had boxed the top five you still had to wait out a photo for fifth.  My heart isn't that strong. Congrats.  

09 Sep 2010 11:14 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

It's getting so that I'm looking forward to the jayjay and Jason Handicapping Contest as much as the Breeder's Cup, well maybe except for the sprint, dirt mile and Classic. Jayjay-I've never played the Super High Five.didn't even know it existed until I had five horses at SA, 9th race, and I wasgoing to play the superfecta, then I found out they didn't have a superfecta, just the Super High Five so I didn't play it, since it was a dollar minimum and I said, "what are the chances that my five are the exact five that will come in", so I passed. My five was the Super High Five for 40k. I think now they have the superfecta and Super High Five so if it happened now, at least I would have won the Superfecta, probably playing it for between 10 cents and 50 cents.

09 Sep 2010 11:15 PM

Dr Drunkinbum

On the day JayJay showed the handicapping geniuses on here how to win 18K, there was also a superfecta.  The super paid 4,290 for a buck which is understandable because the favorite was the fifth horse in the Pen 5.

Now let me get this straight.....are you saying that you missed out on 40K?  Wow.  I hope you don't live on the fifteenth floor with a balcony.

09 Sep 2010 11:57 PM

LAZ : It was a lucky bet to be honest.  I did like and singled the 8 on top and put the two longshots, then I had 3 horses on the bottom.  I didn't like the favorite at all but I had to play it because it would've been a disaster for me if I had the top 4 and missed it not playing the favorite.  The photo for 3rd, 4th and 5th took forever but I knew I had the numbers in the right spot.  I was just hoping that the favorite finished 5th and it did.  I was running around all nervous and sweating, but not screaming as I didn't want too many people to know I had it.  I was shaking like you wouldn't believe.  It was my biggest hit and I'm hoping it will happen again.  I'd probably won more if I had been playing WIN bets but even though I bet a lot on exotics, I can't seem to put more than $5 on a win bet lol.  Even if my pick's odds are 10-1 or greater, I just can't do it, I end up playing exactas and tris instead and that's where I lose a lot.

Dr. D : Damn, imagine what you could've done with 40K, you could decorate the interior of your lear jet with 100.00 bills and enjoy it everytime you fly to UT.  I hardly play the dime supers, I always play .50c.  I look at gambling this way, I go to the track with my budget, since I'm playing the money away anyway, I'd rather go for the big odds.  If I hit an 8-5 to 6-5 to 9-2, I feel like I wasted my time and with my type of betting I'd probably still lose even if I hit the Tri.

I love that they have dime supers though, it still allows me to play when I'm down to chump change after a really bad day lol.

10 Sep 2010 12:12 AM


I re-watched the DM Futurity and I agree with you, Jaycito was way more than 4 wide after the turn. Did you notice that, in spite of the margin at the finish, Jaycito passed JP Gusto in the gallop out. He will definitely appreciate a longer distance.

JP Gusto ran a very good race. In spite of being pressed the whole length of the back stretch, he did not weaken at the end. He finished very strongly. Why do you say that he is a "miler type"? His physical appearance? or his breeding? or his running style?

10 Sep 2010 12:49 AM


Sir Barton won the Preakness just four days after his Kentucky Derby romp. Ten days after the Preakness, he won the Withers Stakes at Belmont Park. Eighteen days after that he won the Belmont. Four major races, including the Triple Crown, in the span of 33 days. It has never been done since. Count Fleet succeeded in winning the four races several years later, but had a little more time between races.

Of course, this was back when the Withers was one of the most prestigous three year old races in the country. Today, it is more of a prep for the Preakness.


10 Sep 2010 11:20 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

lazmannick, jayjay

  Yeah, I missed out on 40k. It was real simple too. All I had to do was hit "submit." My brain talked me out of it because I only had five horses, so I thought what are the odds. What's really bad is that I was really hot at that time, and had plenty of money in my account to play it. I had just hit three trifectas for $600 to $900 each for a dollar tri, in the previous two weeks at SA. I couldn't believe I didn't go for it but I wasn't even really a superfecta player let alone a Super High Five player. With the superfecta, I was used to just taking cheap stabs at it. I learned my lesson but that opportunity hasn't arisen since where I have the Super High Five figured out so I never have bet it. It's a difficult one to play. I haven't taken the time to try to figure out the best way to play it because it seems like such a daunting task. I actually stopped playing that last race at SA for awhile in 2009 because I didn't want to face that decision again. I often don't play that race anyway because it's usually one of the toughest to win at on the card. I still think that the Super High Five is one of the worst bets because of it's difficulty. The superfecta is much easier and there are tons of massive payouts for it. Even trifectas have been over 40k many times. I just wish they had the superfecta at that time like they do now. It would have been a really nice payout. There were no favorites, and there were some high odds in there. That 40k isn't my worst no bet, and from far easier decisions. It's a tough game. Right decisions at the right time is the key. I turned pro once in the 90's on vacation from my job intending to quit my job if I won enough. I made a lot more than I made from working but spent more too, and also realized that without a backup source of income it would be almost impossible to make it, so I went back to my job. What do you do when you hit a cold streak? I've seen it, they panic and make a big bet on a sure thing even odds horse to double up and he gets his butt kicked. Then they go begging for their job back. Even most of the top handicappers have a backup income. You have to be able to relax to make the right decisions. If the house payment is riding on a betting decision it makes it that much tougher. So you bet the 3-1 over the 12-1 you like equally as well, and the 12-1 wins, and the 3-1 is out of the money. If the house payment wasn't riding on your decision you'd probably go for the 12-1. I have no logical excuse for not making that High Five bet. There was no pressure, it was easily affordable but yet I talked myself out of it. Anyone that's bet the races for a long time like I have has numerous stories like that.

10 Sep 2010 11:34 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

It wouldn't have been 40k anyway because I would have split it with what was probably one other winner. Same with when I didn't combine two cheap Pk6 tickets for 350k, which would have been a paltry 175k, because there was one winner. That was 1986 at GG Fields. The same year I actually played a Pick 6 for only $2 total. One horse in each race. I got 5 of 6. I left out the biggest favorite of the day and my high odds horse came in second in that race. That one paid around 40k to the winner also. 5 of 6 was around $260. No more horror stories. That''s it!!! Now on to the cage fight and the handicapping contest mano y mano.

10 Sep 2010 11:52 AM


Any time you bet multiple horse exotics like the tri-super-super 5, it doesn’t matter how great of a handicapper you are, you’re always going to need a LOT of luck, and that’s even if you box them (like your favorite finishing 5th by a nose to that closer).  Sometimes I play numbers when I make tri bets, certain combinations, like say 1-3-5, a $1 box, $6 in total, and stick to it and that’s my tri bet at any track, sort of like using the same numbers in a lottery.  My account number at my site is 9415.  I never play this combo in supers because it would cost too much money to play them over a period of time with no guarantee of a win.  However, you’d be amazed at the size of some of the supers when this combo does come in.  I remember one time a few years back, it was either Belmont or Aqueduct, it came in and paid just over 90K.  For a $1 box that’s $45K, but it would probalby take me into the thousands of dollars to get to this bet.

My bets at the track are mainly straight and most often place or show.  I target a certain amount of money each day and that’s it and I also have a loss limit.  But I bet big.....$100 and $200 and confine my bets to tracks with big pools.  You can do this on the internet.  Some people say how can you bet $200 on a horse that’s going to pay $2.80 to show and I say no problem.  And yet the return is $280 which translates to an $80 profit.  A $100 place bet on a $4 place horse is even money and a $100 profit.  Win bets are okay, but unless you really limit your bets over a period of time it’s very difficult to win consistently and show a profit.  My feeling is no matter what handicapping criteria you use, you still have to lean to what works a high percentage of the time, have patience.....lots of patience, and don’t panic or chase lost money......just consider it as being out there for you to collect back at some time in the future.

I spend a lot of time on excel.  I have developed some pretty good spreadsheets using mile long formulas and some pretty complex macros.  I have a progression program where I plug in my point, plug in the odds and know what to bet to get my bet money back and make my profit.  If I lose it automatically recalculates.  But you have to be reasonably consistent.  Too many consecutive losses translates to a very big bet.  I also have a program where I can calculate minimum place and show bet payoff odds by looking at the individual pools, and then apply these odds to the progression program.  I have another program for dutching up to five horses, which I would never do, but would work if I was a millionaire and bet at the Hong Kong tracks and their humongous pools.   Developing these programs though is mainly a hobby.  I still like to stick to straight place and show bets 90 or 95% of the time and make the odd win bet.

10 Sep 2010 12:06 PM


I read your post about Count Fleet.  What makes those four races even more incredible for him were the number of workouts in between.  I count AT LEAST 8 different works ranging from 3F in 34.4 to a mile in 1.36.2. (and I probably missed a couple of others).  This makes you wonder what happened to the breed doesn’t it.  Also, I have the PP’s for his Derby.  One of the things I noticed was two published workouts on the same day, April 28 at CD, 4F in 47.1 and then April 28 at CD, 1 1/4M in 2.07 flat.  He then followed this up with 4F April 30 at CD in .49 and ran in the Derby on May 1 winning by 3L in 2.04.  Did you ever hear or read anything that would dispute those two workouts on the same day.  They are right on the DRF form.  If this is true then Count Fleet wasn’t just a horse he was a MONSTER and I can see why he was rated so highly, and even at that maybe he should have been rated higher.

10 Sep 2010 12:25 PM

jayjay - I don't know how your heart could survive a win like that.  But it sounds like you did OK.

Dr D - I'm sorry about those near misses, but you have your head right about it.

Laz - You sound like a handicapping FREAK!  And that's a compliment!  And thanks for the Count Fleet work info.  Yikes!

GunBow - I just watched the Del Mar and there is no way Jaycito was 4 wide OR 5 wide.  I think you hit it with 8 wide.  And that gallop out!  He's impressive.

Keelerman - Sir Barton is too much!  I read more about him after I posted.  I know races weren't graded then, but so you think the Withers would have had G1 status back then?

10 Sep 2010 1:12 PM


You make me understand why I always lose money in the long run. My favorite bet is a Trifecta. I think I should go back to square one and do what you do. The only problem is that I don't have the brains and patience you have and I don't have the guts to bet the amount of money you do.

There a guy, who often sits next to me at Santa Anita, who parlays a $50. show bet for several races in a row. It gets to a point where my nerves can't take it for him. When he wins, he wins big. When he loses, he figures he only lost $50.

I wish I could look at it that way. :)

10 Sep 2010 1:53 PM


At least eight workouts?! That is amazing.

As for the two workouts on the same day, I have never heard anyone dispute them, but upon looking into the matter I found some information that brings those dates into question.

From the May 1st 1943 issue of Daily Racing Form. . .

"Last Tuesday, Count Fleet, working between races, gave the public a sample of his prowess when he breezed a mile and a furlong in the mud in 1:53 2/5 and galloped out the Derby distance of a mile and a quarter in 2:07."

This workout matches the one in his past performances, but Tuesday would have been April 27th, not 28th.

The dates of the other workouts appear to be accurate. The same issue of DRF states that Count Fleet breezed a half mile in :49 on April 30th, which matches his Past Peformances. It also states that prior to the workout on April 30th, his last workout had been on April 28th, which is likely the half mile breeze in :47 1/5.

I really enjoy discussing topics like these. Thanks for bringing them up!


I do believe that the Withers would have been a grade I race back then. It was considered to be the American equivalant of the English 2,000 Guineas, which is the first leg of the English Triple Crown.


10 Sep 2010 2:13 PM


Patience.....yeah, well maybe.

Brains......I'm laughing HAHAHA.

If I had any brains I would have moved up to the North Pole without TV, yhr iInternet and racing forms about a million years ago.

10 Sep 2010 2:23 PM
Meydan Rocks

Question to any and all of our esteemed posters:

Zenyatta posted a bullet work before this current one where she had the "2nd fastest" work of the day.

Are they sharpening her speed for her to stay closer than she normally is during a race??


I get all the anti Z arguments about "wasting" her talent (so to speak) and not finding her true depth by "challenging" her in seeking out the stiffest competition during the regular racing season.

My other question is, IF Zenyatta wins the Breeder's cup on dirt, does that make her a synthetic specialist who also excelled on the dirt @ Churchill downs?

I get that it would be quite an incredible feat but to hear some of the arguments about her not being a champion in the "truest form" (however that is defined) is getting a tad confused...

Thank you all!

10 Sep 2010 2:54 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thank you !!! It's all part of the game. No pain, no gain.

10 Sep 2010 4:40 PM
Bet Twice

Meydan Rocks,

As I recall, Z's works were sharper this time last year too.  I think you'll see her working faster all the way up to the BCC.  

Hard to know if she does it on her own (as they've suggested) or if they are trying to get her to peak at the right time.

No way they change her running style.  She runs the way she runs.

As to the rest of the questions, ask afleetalexforever and whoever is most excited to champion Z for the day.  No way I get sucked into the abyss of that debate.  

10 Sep 2010 5:31 PM

Laz and Keelerman - Now I'm reading about Count Fleet, and he was a monster.  I still can't get over all those workouts while running in the TC races.  And by the time he ran in the Derby, he was 12-4-1 out of 17 starts.  He ran 15 times as a two year old, winning 10.  Wikipedia says he set a track record in the Champagne Stakes, but the May 1, 1943 DRF says he set the two-year-old WORLD RECORD in the Champagne - going the mile in 1:34 4/5.  About him that DRF says, "generally acclaimed the fastest juvenile development of all time."  Then he goes unbeaten as a three-year-old, winning the Triple Crown (taking the Withers Stakes in between) and winning the Belmont by 25 lengths - a record that stood until guess when.  He was still alive when Secretariat broke his Belmont winning margin record, I wonder if anyone told him?

The other thing I found very striking in that DRF was the mention of the war.  On the front page, the main headline across the top is "Sixty-Ninth Kentucky Derby To Bring Out Field of Twelve."  Then the first smaller headline on the left side of the page is about Derby attendance with a sub headline "Restrictions on Travel Give Fifth War-Time Derby Back To Residents of Louisville."  Out of town visitors couldn't travel to that Derby, so they were hoping that more Louisville residents would pick up the slack.  Another article notes that "this will be a localized, mintless-julepless Kentucky Derby.  Colonel Winn and his associates, however, are not at all perturbed by the stifling transportation restrictions the various government bureaus have placed against racing in general and specifically the Kentucky Derby."  Do most Americans today EVEN KNOW that we're at war?

Dr D - You're very welcome.  My motto:  No pain, no pain.

10 Sep 2010 6:07 PM

Dr. D : I totally get all the things you said, we've all been there.  I have had misses where I didn't play the favorite and the flip on the payout is sickening.  I have days where any longshots I play hits the board and I never had them in the right place.  I mainly play trifectas and .50 supers, sometimes I would throw in an exacta if my one of my picks are lukewarm favorites.

LAZ: I'm glad to hear (or see) that you don't always rely on the beyers.  Like you said, luck is one thing that you can't handicap.  It comes and goes.  The one thing about winning big is that it gives you a false confidence.  I lost 1K coming back in the evening to play Los Al...and this was at a time where the fields were short.  I was betting $20 trifectas and every bet, whether it's the favorite or a longshot, I would miss 2 out of the 3 that comes in.  It was depressing, and yes, that night, towards the end, I was chasing my losses...and that's why I gave up 1K after the last race lol.  I managed to keep most of it, gave the wife 3K for herself (although it took me a week to actually give it to her) and gave some to the folks.  

Believe it or not though, winning big is only 50% of it.  I get the thrill of beating the odds.  Going against a 9-5 horse or even a 1-2 horse (happens a lot at Cal Expo) and beating them with 10-1 or higher.  I know it sounds sadistic but I smile while most are cursing the favorite, I do get my share of people laughing at me because I single a 30-1 on top of my tri lol.  It's just a good feeling when you pick a longshot and it actually wins, even better if the horse wins like it was the heavy favorite.  It's a really great feeling.

ruffianruns :  It wasn't the heart I was worried about, it was my hands and legs, they were shaking like crazy.  I had a security guard walk me to my car and gave him 50.00.  I've never held a wad of 100 bills that thick.  It was surreal.  I would really really really like to hit another one like it :)

10 Sep 2010 8:39 PM

Zenyatta will be HOY after she wins the Breeder's Cup Ladies Classic and Blame and Quality Road get beat by Awesome Gem or some European who can actually run 1 1/4 miles at 50-1 odds.  

This has been the plan all along.  Let the wheels come off of Quality Road's HOY campaign unless of course he can take HOY without winning the Classic.  I'm not so sure.  

What do you think?  Does QR win HOY prior to the Breeder's Cup Classic?

10 Sep 2010 8:49 PM

Bet Twice : I actually had a dream last night that Zenyatta changed tactics in the BCC.  She made her move at the half mile pole kinda like Secretariat and never looked back, winning by 25 lengths in record time.  The talk was that it was time to empty that big arse tank of hers on her last race.  She went all out on her last show, it was a fantastic ending.

Meydan Rocks : Zen has posted bullet works in the past, I think it's more of a tightener than anything.  They will never change her style, it's the only style of running that suits her.  She's too big to have speed.  The only time you'll see Zen in front before the half mile pole is if the other horses stayed in the gate out of fear. :)

As for the last question, I doubt they will put an asterisk on her record.  If synthetics is now an accepted surface in North American racing, then any future east coast horse champions will have to have an asterisk on their record for not being able to win on synthetics.  All of that are trivial though, synthetics or dirt or turf, I doubt anyone will ever come close to 18 wins and undefeated in NA, regardless of the surface.

10 Sep 2010 8:49 PM

People your smoking too many Beyer's!  Unless they are planning on entering Lady's Secret none of these horses can set a pace over 1 1/4 to outrun Zenyatta.  Your telling me that QR is going to run a 46 half mile and a 1:10 3/4er and keep going?  What was QR's final 1/4 again?  He was so tired because he was pushed through every split?  This is the Breeder's Cup Classic!  Not some holiday at the Spa.  Rest up QR.  Perhaps 3 months would have been in order.  

10 Sep 2010 8:56 PM

Jimmy.  California sent "Little Polyetta" over the Rockies to take on that mythical "Devil" monster and according to Jason, Lookin at Lucky has the 3 year old division locked up.  Throw in Evening Jewell for the western trifecta as she ran one hell of a race under the twin spires.

The East (e.g, Curlin) can't win on sythetics and the West can't win on dirt.  I get it.  After all Texas is a western state so a horse like Wasted Tears can continue to roll up wins at places like Del Mar.  Perhaps Curlin should have had a stop over in Houston before hitting the plastic.  

I am looking forward to the full page article by Beyer on Zenyatta's declining speed figures as I will be looking to confirm my bias in favor of QR and Blame.  

10 Sep 2010 9:08 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

ruffianruns, jayjay

  Did you see the old Twilight Zone where the guy died and went to heaven? He couldn't lose at any kind of gambling. At first he totally loved it. Then it drove him insane. He hated it. Without losses the wins meant nothing. He was bored senseless. Turns out he was in hell, not heaven. You'll hit another one jayjay. Have no fear, Underdog is here !!!

11 Sep 2010 12:07 AM
Meydan Rocks

Bet Twice and Jayjay,

Thanks for the illumination on my earlier questions. I should have been more clear in communicating my thoughts.

By "more speed", I was saying that maybe instead of Z lagging say 10 - 12 lengths behind the field in the early going, she would be 6 - 8 lengths behind and "closer" than she normally would.

I was at last years BC and witnessed what she did from up close by the rails. I know what my eyes saw and believe me, I have NEVER seen a performance like that from a racehorse. Ever.  Most of the people around me were STUNNED! And the way she waggled her ears after she hit the finish line made it even more astounding to me because to me, she was almost saying "that's it"?

The only analogy I can think of that fits is when super athletes gear down at the end of qualifying races leading up the the championship race. You can literally tell their superiority over the field. This is what I felt when I witnessed that race.

I should also say that I find myself actually trying to be "objective" and see what people are saying about her "weak" championship season.  And then I look at what her competition is out there it honestly seems that it isn't out of the realm of possibility that she wins the BCC.... AGAIN!

And so I wonder if the argument that mares can't take physical toll of frequent jousting against the boys hold water? Even to an amazon filly like her.

But if you say she firing bullets around this time last year then I guess good ole John Sherreffs is stoking his magic potion according to plan!

PS: I stood up close to her on a few occasions. And she is "TALL" (if I can use that word to describe her).

I visited General Challenge up at Golden Eagle Farm a year ago and believe me, that boy is"tall" and massive. I could hardly recognize him from his 3 year old season as he was more slender and sleeker back then.

I think she might be actually taller than he is!!!

I'll be at Churchill Downs. I can't wait to see what happens...

11 Sep 2010 12:30 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Meydan Rocks

  I think the relationship between Smith and Zenyatta is so good that if he thinks she needs to be closer to the pace then he will ask her to pick it up and she will. Her workouts right now are just a sign that she likes the track and is feeling good, and she is well conditioned, but only the trainer knows for sure. If she wins The Classic she is NOT a synthentic specialist who won on dirt. She has already proven that she loves dirt at Oaklawn. I think she will have proven that she is a dirt horse that was magnificient enough to also win on AW. Would she be undefeated if the CA Racing Board didn't force the CA tracks to go to AW? That would be pure speculation. There is no way to know if she would have stayed healthy on all dirt, still be racing, or faced someone so fast that she couldn't get there in time. Every trip would have been different. I'm sure you've heard the rumors that she loves the CD surface and is five to ten lengths faster on dirt than AW.

11 Sep 2010 1:50 AM

Handicapping the Breeders Cup now seems an exercise in futility.  It's all going to come down to the weather and the track conditions on BC day at Churchill Downs.  In November, it's an iffy proposition.

11 Sep 2010 9:17 AM
Bet Twice


It would be awesome to see her open up on them, but lets be honest, I'd be over the moon with a win, whatever the margin.  


She may not be as far back at CD.  Her style seems a little different on dirt.  Wasn't she closer up at Oaklawn this year?  

I agree with jayjay on the asterisk.  I think her legacy as a great race mare, win or lose the BCC, is assured.  If she wins it, certainly the accolades are greater (and the complaints about her campaign louder), but IMO she's been good for horse racing and I feel lucky to have seen her race.  

11 Sep 2010 2:47 PM

jayjay - Carrying all that money would freak anybody out!  Geez!  I guess that's a problem most people would like to have.  I CANNOT BELIEVE YOUR DREAM!  Oh, and when you say that she's too big to have speed, what you REALLY mean is she's too big to have EARLY speed, right?  Cause she certainly has LATE speed...

Householder - Zen is going to the Classic.  No, QR doesn't win HOY unless he wins the Classic.  If a real longshot wins the Classic - it will be a tossup.

Dr D - I actually think I've seen that one.  I believed his misery at the time, it was obvious, but now I find it hard to believe!

Meydan Rocks - I remember after last year's Classic, Smith talked about how bad her start was and that he didn't want her that far back.  And remember the Hirsch?  I think it was that race.  She was up closer to the pace than usual.  I think she'll be a little closer in the Classic.  You describe how easily she won.  She's ALWAYS looking around saying THAT'S IT?  Which is one of the reasons I thought she could easily take on stiffer competition at least once or twice this year, with no ill effects, but that's not up to me.

Slew - I think you're right that it's all gonna come down to the weather.  I'm trying to figure out what Zen's connections do.  I don't think they run on a sealed track, but I think they might run on an unsealed sloppy track.  Anyone else?

11 Sep 2010 3:19 PM
Meydan Rocks!

The Good Dr!

Thanks for the moment of clarity and further illumination!

I can't wait for November.

11 Sep 2010 4:07 PM

Dr. D: Your post on 12:07AM made me think and I think I would feel the same if I never lose.  I think the challenge and the thrill will no longer be there to motivate me...wait...nahhhhh, I'll take the wins but I would probably play less and do other things where I can fail like tennis to stop me from going insane :)

Meydan : The closest Zen has ever gone from the pace was the 2008 Lady's Secret against Hystericalady - she was about 5 lengths from HL in that race.  The one thing you have to watch about Zen and Mike S is that they study the race, they know who their top competition are in a given race and that's who they stay close to.  The only exception is with Anaaba's creation - and Mike S admittedly said he screwed up in that race.  Anytime they race a top horse, they stay close to who they think is the horse they have to beat and they plan their strategy based on that.  At least that's what I think.   In the BCC, I think they will pay close attention on where Blame is.

Also, with regards to the weather in CD on Classic day, if they win the LS at Oak Tree, they won't run if the track is sealed and preserve the undefeated record.  If they lost, then I think they will go ahead and run in the sealed track and rely on Mike S to take care of her.  They would probably stop her if she's not liking the sealed track and not take risk.

I'm also thinking about going to CD on Classic day and just fly for the day, take the late flight back after the Classic.  Hopefully I'll get to go :)

Dr. D :  One thing to add on your 1:50AM post.  Mike S probably knows as much as JS about her.  I made this point in the past.  Mike and Zen knows each other so well because Mike spends his time working her, so he knows a lot about her.  He's on her every workout, he knows how she's doing at anytime.  Mike S can ride live horses anytime but he still finds time to work her out and that's not very common.  Just like MGarcia and LAL but LAL was being ridden by Gomez before they switched to Garcia.  He's undefeated under Garcia.

ruffianruns  :  Yes, that's what I meant, early speed.  It would be really weird to see her go to the front but with that big tank, I wonder how far it'll take her.

11 Sep 2010 6:22 PM
Meydan Rocks!


You’re absolutely right! I went back and watched the 2008 Clement L Hirsh race and yes; she was much closer to the pace and looked good and sprightly doing it.

It’s going to be a doozy that’s for sure in the BCC.


I wholeheartedly agree with you that Z could have been able to take on stiffer competition with no ill effects. I guess this era of synthetics has really done a number on this sport. I hope it’s sorted out before too long.

Dr Drunkinbum,

Yes, I have heard that Zenyatta loves the Churchill surface and yes, I was astounded when I read a comment ascribed to Bob Baffert saying that she was more than a couple of lengths faster on dirt. I believe the number I saw was 10 and had to turn my eyes away from the screen for fear of losing my eyesight!

She ‘s almost like the goose that kept laying the golden eggs. I guess we shouldn’t wonder how many eggs are in her and just enjoy the performances she gives us.

12 Sep 2010 12:02 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Physicality is my true love. I had a knack for it and was picking winners by looks before I ever studied it. I initially learned from Bonnie Ledbetter, then Joe Takach, and continued to learn on my own. I also do everything else. Watch replays for trips, and other clues for how they will do next time out. I use trainer stats, and Brisnet pp's. It's all relevant and valuable. I'm sure you know that physicality is very tricky, and there is a very fine line much of the time. You can't discount class, training and many other variables, including most importantly the matchups in the race. I surprised that you aren't working on expanding your technique. I am very rarely surprised by who wins a race regardless of the odds. I either see something on paper or with looks. If you haven't tried Brisnet pp's, try them. It is true that many longshots are the best looking horse in the field, but since you are a trifecta, superfecta, and High Five player you can't expect to win as much going with just physicality. Yes, you can throw in the favorite with your two best looking longshots and hit some trifectas, but I'm sure you've noticed that sometimes the three worst looking is the trifecta. Maybe you've tried using pp's too and it messed up your game !!!!! Who do you put in your trifecta with your single great looking longshot? I think that makes a difference when the jockey is on the horse for workouts also. They tend to do that only with high profile. Why would a top jockey want to waste his time on workouts unless there is a big payoff from it in a future race?  

12 Sep 2010 11:07 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  One thing I've learned with stewards and DQ's-They are 100% certain to DQ a horse from the win spot if it would have given me a big win, if they didn't DQ. I don't know how they know, but they know. I do believe that's the first thing they look at when making their decision.

12 Sep 2010 1:23 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Meydan Rocks!

   The golden egg is being a fan of hers and still being able to watch her race. The chances of me making any money from her are almost zero. Her odds are too low. The only way is to key her for exotics, if the field is big enough, and you know the next two or three spots and decide to play a big wheel. Zenyatta is one horse that I'm ecstatic just to watch. I don't have to bet. Yes, I loved that Baffert quote. I certainly respect his insight and knowledge. I won't even bet The Classic this year unless I think someone other than the Big Three will be in the trifecta. It might just be a watch and enjoy. I'm more likely to be betting other races, and just sit back and enjoy The Classic. I doubt if I'd even bet exotics. Maybe a longshot WPS if there is one to bet, but I doubt if I'd want anything to distract me from rooting for The Queen so it's probably a "No bet." I expect Blame to be tough. QR will have to be a masterful training job but a win by him wouldn't surprise me. There was a time just before he started his comeback that he was my pick to win the 2010 Classic. That was the goal for the barn from the beginning, even before his first comeback race. Almost everything has been mapped out. It's just that I like Blame and Zenyatta better. Anyone who wins this year's Classic will have achieved a tremendous feat regardless of the track condition as long as it's not that souped up rail trip again. That's not a play on words. Rail Trip would be a toss for me against this field. I hope that statement doesn't resemble Beyer's "toss Zenyatta" statement of last year !!!

12 Sep 2010 1:41 PM

Dr. D : Yes, there are other things that I look at other than physicality but I try to minimize it because the more info I look at the worst it gets for me.  You are right that I stopped using PPs as my main handicapping tool because it has messed me up, it has pushed me away from winners I picked.

I normally look for 3 or 4 horses during the parade, then I watch the odds throughout for my picks - see how much they change against the favorite's odd.

There are times though, I will just play out of instinct, I look at a horse and decide I will put 200 on that horse to win or place.  

I do play favorites but 90% of the time I play like the way I played my pen 5.  2nd or 3rd favorite on top, with longshots and the favorite somewhere in there.  If I like the way the favorite looks then I will single them on top and have bombs on the bottom.

But my real secret handicapping trick is playing my favorite numbers, looking for gray horses and the ones that has pretty names like "Dawifewillneverknow" or "ItsmymoneyandIneeditnow" lol

12 Sep 2010 7:04 PM

Dr D - You're killing me with the DQ stuff!  That sounds like MY kind of luck!

Meydan Rocks and Dr D - My favorite Baffert story with regard to Zen is the one he told about watching last year's Classic.  He talked about how he jumped horses at the eighth pole.  When Richard's Kid folded he started shouting for Zen and Richard's Kid's owner got all excited again thinking Kid was making a comeback.

12 Sep 2010 7:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Like I said-whatever works. I understand what you're saying about instincts. The trick is knowing when they are instincts or strong visions rather than a false or imagined instinct. It's hard to explain what I mean, you may know what I'm talking about. I also know what you mean about the pp's. Sometimes the harder I study, the more confused I become, and it turns out that my initial impressions were right on but I studied too much and changed my picks. If you look hard enough they can all start looking like the winner in some races. The great thing is that you can pass any race if it doesn't feel right. Some of my best days are when I pass race after race, saving a lot of money. I can even have the bets picked out and then not bet them. It's a great feeling to save hundreds of dollars from not betting rather than betting because I'm afraid that if I don't bet, they will come in and I will miss out on a big payout. Some of my most satisfying wins are "no bets." I consider not betting when I would have lost to be a win. What do you think of 11-1 odds? it's one of my favorite odds.


  Another great Baffert story !!! i assume you read his book. I loved it.

12 Sep 2010 10:39 PM

Dr D - I haven't read Baffert's book.  I guess I'll have to find it.  I have a cousin who grew up in Nogales, AZ and speaks highly of him and his family.

13 Sep 2010 2:52 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   It was only $2.95 at Bloodhorse. I guarantee that you'll love it. See if Bloodhorse still has it. If you can't get it, let me know.

13 Sep 2010 3:59 PM

Baffert.  It's kind of neat hearing that someone of his caliber can still get excited by a great race even when he has a dog in the fight.  I know the crowd, a lot of them already throwing their tickets on the ground, gave Zenyatta a standing ovation which I though was pretty cool.  

13 Sep 2010 7:05 PM
Meydan Rocks


HILARIOUS story about Bobby Baffert jumping horses!

That would make a great slapstick comic moment in a movie!

Trainer cheers, owner glares, trainer cowers, owner strikes with a rolled up DRF!

13 Sep 2010 10:57 PM
Meydan Rocks

The Good Dr!

Amen on the joy of watching her run. Thinking about betting the exotics is like me swimming in the deep end. Terrifying! I'll have to wade in slowly...

A bit of news that might be scrutinized by the QR camp.

From the DRF

09/13/2010 3:50PM

Rachel Alexandra sharp in Saratoga drill

"After failing to get the 1 1/4 miles of the Personal Ensign, it is more likely Rachel Alexandra would be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 5, rather than the $5 million Classic against the boys – and perhaps Zenyatta – on Nov. 6."

Does this mean the pace will be less taxing with her potential absence?

13 Sep 2010 11:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Householder-Baffert, who has a great eye for talent is in awe of The Queen. Frankly, I don't know why anybody wouldn't be. Meydan-good one, I like that vision. I still want to know if Richard's Kid is going to The Cup.

13 Sep 2010 11:36 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  We don't know about the pace because we don't know who is entered. I wouldn't be surprised to see some more speed, but it doesn't matter. When Zenyatta and Blame and others move will depend on the fractions. They can move Zenyatta into 4th gear to get close, then 5th gear to blow by them to time the wire. She lets up after the lead so they can't get it too early. I thought QR would pull away with those Whitney fractions but he didn't. I think he will be keyed up after the layoff and he will get the lead fairly early. Can he keep it is the question. Last year it was the track that he didn't like, not the competition. Well, some say it was the helicopter. Maybe, but I have a different opinion. He hates poly track. He'll have no trouble loading despite the layoff. Those days should be over. It wouldn't surprise me if they have trouble rating QR after the layoff, and maybe they won't have to. If there turns out to be no other real speed, he'll take the lead, JR will try to slow him down and explode the last quarter, or eighth depending on where the competition is. I can't wait to see who's in the field and start evaluating. I don't think it's a done deal for Rachel not being in The Classic. I bet they wait to see how her next race goes. They still want The Classic if they think she can pull it off.

13 Sep 2010 11:48 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I love the looks of the Dynaformer filly that Roy and Gretchen Jackson bought. I'll be looking for her. Hopefully she can run as beautifully as she looks. Here she comes Miss America......

14 Sep 2010 1:49 AM

Dr D - I'll look for Baffert's book at Bloodhorse.

Householder and Meydan Rocks - I think I read that in Steve Haskin's rundown after the Classic last year.  It must have been hilarious.  He also said something like it was the first time he didn't mind getting beat in a big race.

Dr D - The pace DOES matter!  If it's not a fast pace, then how is my dream of her breaking Secretariat's track record (or running a 1:59 and change mile and a quarter) going to come true??

14 Sep 2010 1:58 PM

Speaking of Baffert...  Did you guys see what he said at the sales?  He really thought he was going to get Zenyatta's nephew.  "I thought we would get him for $2 million," he said.

14 Sep 2010 2:59 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   In that respect, you're right. It's funny that I had the same dream !!!

14 Sep 2010 3:32 PM

Baffert.  As much as he hates synthetics one sure does not hear him refer to Zenyatta as a "poly specialist."  

14 Sep 2010 6:17 PM

Dr D - It's gonna happen if we get a speedster in there!

People will see what a "dirt specialist" Zenyatta is after the Classic.

14 Sep 2010 10:06 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  That was my thought when I thought QR could do it in two flat, then Zen would have to be under two. You know she can't do it without help. She just does what it takes. I know that she can go under two, just has to have someone to catch that is blazing. Yes, she is a dirt monster, but would it surprise you to know that she could win The Breeder's Turf also? This is no ordinary horse. Like the Oaklawn race caller called, "It's a bird, it's a plane, NO, it's Zenyatta." Under two will happen if Gio Ponti is in there. The more talent, the merrier. I'm hoping Rachel goes too. I'd like to see more speed than just QR. But I've seen under two in the 2010 Classic for awhile. It should happen.

14 Sep 2010 10:34 PM

Dr D - I'm worried that even QR will be crawling on the front end trying to save some for the onslaught.  I think QR would prefer someone to track, and if no one's there, I find it hard to believe that they would send him.  I can't believe I'm so obsessed with something two months away.  Do you think that one of the speedy Candy Rides could make the Classic and pour it on on the front end?

14 Sep 2010 10:58 PM

Dr. D : You know who that dynaformer filly reminds me of ?  2002 HOTY.  That is one good looking horse, I believe dynaformers do really well on synthetic so this might be the east coast horse that travels west of the rockies.  I prefer a thinner neck but she looks well rounded.  I'll be following her too.

If she runs at 8-1 or above in her first race, I'll bet some good money on her. :)

What do you think of that 4.2M colt ?  I don't know if he'll run to his purchase price.  He might be another Green Monkey...although he'll probably have a lot of speed being a Balance colt.

I've always wondered what the buyers are paying for, future breeding or winning races.  I don't know if this sport will survive with babies running less than 10 times in their career and then going to breeding.  The hard knockin horses of the 80s and early 90s will soon be gone from breeding and we'll be left with the our current breeders, hopefully the AP Indy's and Afleet Alexes will save our future from being 6F to a mile babies.

BC Classic will be 1:57 and 4/5ths, with a 1/4 left in the tank...enough for the post race dance :)

15 Sep 2010 1:48 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   The 4.2 looks really good. I don't think there will be another Green monkey but I'm surprised they are paying so much for these. Derby Fever is kicking in. For the AP Indy, part of it is future breeding. Afleet Alex will save us. He'll be romping. That's the babies I would be buying.


   Twirling Candy- I think they need to be careful with him, and move him along slow, or they might lose him. Mentally, he's got a ways to go. He could be too much of a handful if they don't watch. Physically his talent is amazing. He could win anything, but I'd be shooting for nest year. Sidney's Candy is going for the turf mile I think. He will stay on turf.

15 Sep 2010 11:20 AM

jayjay! - 1:57 and 4/5ths?  I would literally DIE, so I'm sure some folks are wishing for that!  But hell, why not wish for the stars?

15 Sep 2010 12:36 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

ruffianruns, jayjay

   Interview with Mike Smith after Zenyatta wins in 1:57 and 4/5ths - "I haven't even gotten to the bottom of her yet. She's not even breathing hard. She did that real easy. She never had to get out of third gear. Well, maybe a little bit of fourth gear to get by them, then she shut it down again and cruised in. Isn't she amazing? Did you see her woosh by them all? Or did you blink?"

15 Sep 2010 3:41 PM

Dr D - You got it right!  OMG!  I'm not going to be able to sleep for two months.  And after not sleeping for two months, I hope I don't blink.

15 Sep 2010 3:53 PM

Since David Ingordo posted on this very blog and since many of you know about him discovering Zenyatta, I wanted to post again with something I just found.

Did you know that David Ingordo also "discovered" John Shirreffs?

Check out this article I just found:

"Five years ago, [the Mosses] sent [Dottie] Ingordo to interview [John] Shirreffs, on the recommendation of Ingordo's son David, who was then a 19-year-old animal-science major at the University of Kentucky and working during the summer for the veterinarian who treated Shirreffs' horses.

'David had been around John's barn a lot, and thought he was the kind of guy who would be comfortable working with me, Jerry and Ann,' Dottie Ingordo said."

15 Sep 2010 4:49 PM

ruffianruns: Nice article...Yes the Moss' owned Rhulmann was a beast.  He went head to head with Criminal Type, held the track record at Santa Anita for the dirt mile (1:32 and change) and his biggest accomplishment also came at Santa Anita against another very accomplished mare...Bayakoa.  The Moss owned horse showed the "lady" no mercy in the Santa Anita Big Cap. It's ironic that some 20 years later their "Big Mare" faces off against the boys at the same track and wins. Somewhere Bayakoa is smiling.  

15 Sep 2010 7:08 PM

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