Divisional Rankings

With less than two months until the Breeders' Cup, here is a quick ranking of the leaders in some of the divisions. It's unclear what race some of the top contenders will point for, so here is a general breakdown of horses that have had at least one start in North America.

Handicap Males

1. Tizway--A clear leader now. JCGC win would make him BC Classic favorite.

2. Stay Thirsty--Gets first test against older horses in JCGC. Is he up to the challenge?

3. Flat Out--Consecutive runner-up finishes to two top BC Classic contenders makes him a viable threat.

4. Twirling Candy--Had every chance to win his last two. Classic distance isn't ideal.

5. Game On Dude--Hasn't won since Santa Anita Handicap but is always in contention.

6. Uncle Mo--Kelso is next, but don't be surprised if he goes to Classic off that one.

Handicap Females

1. Havre de Grace--A nose away from being undefeated this year. She's as good as any male horse out there. Beldame is next.

2. Blind Luck--Not convinced that she didn't have something minor going on. Maybe Hollendorfer wanted to give her a two and half month break, but I think there were other factors at play. Everyone hoping for Beldame appearance but Lady's Secret is more likely.

3. Royal Delta--Alabama win was overwhelming. She's peaking.

4. Ask the Moon--Two decisive grade I wins at Saratoga. Dangerous on the front end.

5. Quiet Giant--She is getting really good for Pletcher at the right time. Class test is next.

6. Switch--Suffered some tough losses this year. She has a lot of class.

Turf Males

1. Cape Blanco--The best of a very mediocre distance turf division.

2. Acclamation--Earned Classic berth but I think he'll wind up in BC Turf. California-bred is a very nice story.

3. Winchester--Back in the mix after Sword Dancer win.

4. Courageous Cat--Woodbine Mile is next, then BC Mile.

5. Gio Ponti--Will point for BC Mile again. Rematch with Goldikova looms.

6. Sidney's Candy--I guess he'll go back to turf now?


1. The Factor--Winning against older horses the way he did at Del Mar was freaky.

2. Big Drama--Defending BC Sprint champ was impressive in return.

3. Caleb's Posse--Can't say enough about his last two wins.

4. Euroears--Return to the U. S. was very good. Baffert will have him peaking at the right time.

5. Trappe Shot--Ready for grade I breakthrough.

6. Jackson Bend--Found his niche at one turn. Showdown with Uncle Mo could be next.


Leave a Comment:


Jason, I agree with you for the most of the lists.

Handicap Males

1. Tizway

2. Stay Thirsty

3. Flat out

4. Game on Dude (finished ahead of twirling candy in 2 of their 3 meetings this year.)

5. Twirling Candy

Handicap Females

1. Blind Luck

2. Havre de Grace

Those 2 last meeting is a definitive answer to me who is the best. You should agree Jason, Blame beat a head over Zenyatta, that was your definitive answer for Blame HOY.

3. Royal Delta

4. It's Tricky

5. Zazu - yep that's right, she is better on dirt and at longer distances; she'll show in the BS Distaff

Turf Males

1. Cape Blanco

2. Acclamation

3. Winchester

4. Courageous Cat

5. Gio Ponti


1. The Factor

2. Euroears

3. Big Drama - not sold on the fact that he is back in his best form or will be

4. Trappe Shot

5 (tie). Jackson Bend - Might be a saratoga horse

5. (tie) Caleb's Posse - same reason with jackson bend, not convinced until they have a win like that over a different track

13 Sep 2011 2:40 PM

Stay Thirsty wins the Jockey Gold he is 3 year old of the year no doubt.  Uncle Mo was unreal coming off a 4 month illness to miss by inches from winning.  The Kelso is the perfect spot to prepare for his win in the Breeders Cup Classic.

13 Sep 2011 3:10 PM

Why isn't Acclamation on the list of Handicap Males? Even Uncle Mo is on the list and all he's done is win an allowance race disguised as a stake. Acclamation has 3 grade 1s for crying out loud! Or is it because he's a Cal-bred? And Jason, I thought you of all people would take head-to-head matchups into account when deciding the rankings. Any objective thinker would know Blind Luck is clearly the better racehorse.

13 Sep 2011 3:29 PM
Jason Shandler

The Acclamation owners have already said they are leaning toward the Turf, not the Classic. And please stop crying out loud. Grown men shouldnt do that.

As for Havre de Grace vs. Blind Luck, it's an opinion. Relax.

She lost. Get over it.

13 Sep 2011 3:36 PM

Jason, so does the Azeri hold more weight than the Delaware Handicap? That race proved that at their best Blind Luck is better. Grace's win in the Woodward only flatters Blind Luck. "She lost. Get over it", gee I've never hear that before! So you believe that even though Blind Luck has bested Grace 4 out of 6 times that Grace is better, yet based on one race Blame clearly proved he was better than Zenyatta? Way to contradict yourself! There goes your credibility!

13 Sep 2011 3:59 PM
Jason Shandler

How many waking hours do you spend replaying the agonizing 2010 BC Classic finish in your head? Must be tough on you.

She lost. Get over it.

13 Sep 2011 4:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

From head to toe the sprint division is the strongest of all, and I would rank Euroears ahead of Big Drama also, and maybe even Caleb's and Jackson ahead of BD. The Factor is a clear number one freak until someone shows he can be beaten in a sprint. The JCGC will tell us a lot about the 10fer's. I'm rooting for Tizway but I'm not certain 10f is for him yet. Stay Thirsty hasn't even been tested since he has matured. Will he battle and run faster if pressed hard or just cruise along as usual? If he battles, he will be very tough. Will not be surprised to see Mo in the Classic off of a mile prep. And I really can't blame them for sneaking in the 10f distance before he has a chance to dislike it. Mo is a winner, a champion, and gutsy. He could possibly gut out a Classic win before he knows what hit him. Blind Luck still has a miniscule edge over Havre but it's basically a tossup. Acclamation is the top distance turf horse and Courageous Cat the top miler. I give both a shot against Euros.

13 Sep 2011 4:13 PM
Betty S

I have also been very concerned about Blind Luck.  The Hollendorfer barn simply said she didn't like DelMar but I never thought that was it because there were other tracks like Hollywood where she is now she could have gone to.  Is there a reason why they don't want us to know? Everyone would be sympathetic if she is even slightly unwell---she's built up a big fan base and no one wanted her to end up like Rachel Alexandra.

13 Sep 2011 4:31 PM


We don't often see eye to eye, but this is one time I hope you are right.  Uncle Mo all the way.

13 Sep 2011 4:57 PM

Excellent lists Jason, but the two best horses in America are Stay Thirsty and To Honor And Serve.

I expect THAS to blow away the field in the Pennsylvania Derby in eleven days and become the mount of John Velazquez in the Classic.

13 Sep 2011 5:01 PM
It aint easy being good!

As much as I love uncle mo it would be better for the sport and connections to go face the factor. Stay Thirsty I a grinder and doesnt have distance limitations. I think Stay Thirsty is peaking at the right time and will win the classic. Must be tought for Mike Repole to figure out what do since he knows uncle mo owns churchill!

13 Sep 2011 5:02 PM

Jason, I've been "over it" for quite some time. The question is, when are you going to get over yourself? I don't grieve over losses and I certainly don't continue to pat myself on the back almost a year after picking a 9/2 Churchill specialist. Though I can't say I blame you. If I was losing on a regular basis I'd probably relish every rare victory too. Let me know when you're not hundreds of dollars in the red on THS! Must be tough on you.

13 Sep 2011 5:04 PM
Carlos in Cali

I would add It's Tricky to the Female Handicap division and drop Switch who is more or less a sprinter/miler type.Then drop Quiet Giant who hasn't beaten anyone of significance and replace her with the classy & consistent Zazu.

If anything,Uncle Mo belongs in the sprint/mile division.And as far as Uncle Mo going in the BCC,when was the last time a horse won it without a prior race @ 10f or more?.... Uncle Mo will fare better in the BC Dirt mile where he belongs,Repole & Co should not go chasing waterfalls at this stage of the game.

13 Sep 2011 5:12 PM


Here's my take: Tizway is currently head and shoulders above all in the Handicap males division.  Stay Thirsty is improving steadily but is no threat to the BIG horse.  The Stay Thirsty fan club will get a reality check in the JCGC: mark my words.  Uncle Mo appears to be the only 3YO with the class to challenge Tizway and he'll prove it next time out.

In the Turf males division Acclamation has improved beyond belief and will be very tough against Cape Blanco and Winchester.  In the mile I'm staying with Sidney's Candy.  I don't know what happened to him in the Forego (that's a toss out performance) but he can run them off their legs at a mile on turf.

In the Sprint division Big Drama looks a cinch for champinship honours. Flashpoint and Euroears are his main threats.   The Factor has the class to challenge here but I think that Bob Baffert will opt for the "easier" spot (LOL) in the Dirt mile. TF already has an impressive score over Caleb's Posse, so Baffert might figure that he has that one safely held, should they meet in the Dirt mile, which I think is right up CP's alley. Jackson Bend and Trappe Shot are also better suited to the mile than the 6 Furlong sprint at the Breeder's Cup and if these two plus The Factor and Caleb's Posse converge on the Dirt Mile it will be one of the races to see at this year's Breeder's Cup.  

Amongst the Fillies & Mares it has got to be Blind Luck at the head of the class.  Havre de Grace needs to go after BL in the Breeder's Cup or risk losing everything aiming at big bad Tizway in the BCC.  Personally I'd like to see the two top fillies hook up one more time in the Distaff (Ladies Classic).

I noticed that no mention has been made of the 2YO division and I guess that most observers want to see more. As for me I've seen enough in Union Rags to predict that he'll sweep the Champaigne and Breeder's Cup Juvenile double, ending the season undefeated and copping championship honours while having all the 2012 Derby watchers and prognosticators begging for more.  

13 Sep 2011 5:56 PM

I hope Uncle Mo enters the Classic, that will make my odds that much better.  A definite bet against in my humble (and often wrong opinion).  I would bet him in the Dirt Mile however.  

I'm a Twirling Candy fan, always have been, and hope he takes a step forward on the CHurchill dirt.

The only other firm opinion I have right now is Sydney's Candy wont win the Mile; thinking he likes the shorter firmer grass out West.  I know I'll regret going against Ranagulzion and Lazzmanick, but.......

13 Sep 2011 6:23 PM

Zenyatta beat Ginger Punch!  Get over it.

13 Sep 2011 6:58 PM

To many unknowns at this point....Havre De Grace can't do a mile and quarter so should stay in Ladies Classic, Blind Luck can do a mile and a quarter so should go to the Classic but is resting after a long campaign so may not be sound right now. Tizway is unproven at distance but is bred for it, Stay Thirsty could run all day but hates Churchill Downs so where does that leave him in Breeder's Cup?  Uncle Mo--is he a sprinter or a stayer--too soon to tell. would love to see The Factor take on Big Drama....love Courageous Cat's big white face and hope to see him give Goldikova a little bit of challenge in the mile.

13 Sep 2011 7:23 PM
Arts and Letters

I can't find it in me to care much about the North American leaders.  It's been so much more fun watching the Europeans this year.  Cape Blanco isn't even the best of the Europeans, but he's dominating over here.  If So You Think can handle the dirt, he should win the Classic.  And hopefully we'll see Frankel and Black Caviar next year.  And then there's Blue Bunting, Snow Fairy, St Nicholas Abbey, Midday, Opinion Poll, Twice Over, Nathanial, etc.  Even Hoof It has been fun to watch.  Not sure who's coming over, but the Europeans definitely seem to have the edge.

13 Sep 2011 7:47 PM
Paula Higgins

ITA with Draynay and Lazmannick. I am still in Uncle Mo's corner and still think Stay Thirsty is turning into a stellar horse. Tizway will have his hands full with both of them. I really hope Mo does well in his next race and Mike sends him to the classic. I normally would put Blind Luck ahead of HDG but I agree with those who think something isn't quite right with her now. I am just hoping it is nothing significant and she will be back. Love both the girls and think Blind Luck could beat the boys under the right circumstances. The Factor is a beast right now and will beat all comers.

Jason, I think there is a medical condition where the patient keeps saying the same thing over and over again. I can't remember the name of this neurological condition but "Get over it. She lost" is beginning to worry me. I am beginning to think we need a neurological consult here.

13 Sep 2011 9:28 PM

Arts and Letters- I have been enjoying them too!  So many wonderful horses running over there this year!

13 Sep 2011 11:16 PM

RANAGULZION~Brilliant post and rundown of what we might expect in the BC.

Jason~You need to find another line to dismiss Zenyatta supporters rather than your tired canard, "Get over it". I think you need to get over shortchanging her at every opportunity.

I, too, am a little concerned about Blind Luck's health but do believe Hollendorfer recognizes he over-raced her during her 5 race runner-up finishes.  Personally, I feel she is the best TB running in the country and will prove it in November.  I also think Twirling Candy will redeem himself in the BC Classic.  His overall talent dwarfs our best runners at even weights and assuming Sadler is successful in getting him to rate successfully.

13 Sep 2011 11:25 PM

Paula is right Jason.  Just say, "Blame was a much better horse."

13 Sep 2011 11:37 PM

Uncle Mo at best runs in the Dirt Mile.  If he is pointed to the classic it would be the biggest mistake of Repole's life.  Stay Thirsty is deserving of the Classic.  Mo wouldn't get the distance if he had been healthy all year, nonetheless just coming back into training and having two warm up races. In my opinion he should be pointed to either the Sprint or Dirt Mile.

Jason, any big opinions on two year olds yet?

14 Sep 2011 12:00 AM
Ally Sheba

Havre de Grace should be getting more credit for winning the Woodward than she has and should be the favorite for the Breeders Cup and horse of the year. I know the Woodward's not the toughest race out there, but everyone made such a big deal when Rachel Alexandra won it and gave her Horse of the Year because of that. Rachel barely hung on to win against an average horse who never finished in the money again and she quit racing for the year after that. Havre de Grace won it easily and came back in great shape and is nowhere near ready to quit, she's just getting started. She's much better than Rachel was and deserves more respect whether she wins a Breeders Cup race or not. And unlike Rachel she can go the 1 1/4 mile distance. She just missed by a nose to the other great filly Blind Luck.

14 Sep 2011 1:43 AM
The Rock

Gio Ponti should in know way be ranked behind Courageous Cat. If Gio Ponti's odds were ever higher than CC, i'd take that price any day.

14 Sep 2011 8:38 AM

Not going to throw out Coil just yet...he reminds me of Curlin. Not the sharpest tool in the shed but a lot of natural talent. Also eye injury and Saratoga surface may mean throw out the Travers and you still have a dangerous Baffert talent to deal with yet.

14 Sep 2011 9:16 AM

I think TC is a good play at his odds and ranking on this list for the classic.I think UM is a good play against at a mile and a quarter against older horses off a mile prep.I am glad UM still has believers that think he can step up in class and distance,Repole and company are pulling all of you in to his emotional management of an excellent racehorse, because he is still sore because he was not able to run in the derby.

14 Sep 2011 11:38 AM

Thanks for the list Jason.  Too much time yet to sort things out.  Good stories too:

 Where will UM end up, will he face off with Stay Thirsty?

 Havre de Grace vs Blind Luck vs the Boys.

 What route will The Factor go?

I also like Courageous Cat.  The Mile buildup will be another great story.

But the biggest story will be the domination of The Factor whether the Sprint or Dirt Mile and a possible HOY.  I hope he can square off against UM in the Dirt Mile.  The Factor will defeat UM and all comers.


Any info on Baffert's Secret Circle?  I really like this 2 y.o and saw he had a 7F work at Del Mar on Aug. 28.  Thanks.  

14 Sep 2011 12:31 PM

Glad to see Jackson Bend mentioned here. When Eskendereya was destroying the competition the contentions of JB didn't shy away from challenging that colt like some others did. JB never really got much respect back then but hopefully that is about to change.

14 Sep 2011 1:02 PM

Blind Luck fired a bullet work today 1/39 @ HP (exactly one week after her 4f in 47:40) going 5f in 59:20 handily.  Will you all now just stop with the rumor mill already?  

14 Sep 2011 1:26 PM

Two works in 3 months, that certainly dispels all thought that there might be something wrong.  Everyone can breath easy now.

14 Sep 2011 2:04 PM

Let me guess Draynay, Havre De Grace is much better than Blind Luck? Hypocrite! I just heard some breaking news, your BCC pick just crossed the finish line!

14 Sep 2011 2:08 PM

My biggest dilemma is the dirt sprint.  I really like Big Drama; I always have...ever since he sat down in the gate at the Preakness, and still managed to finish 5th.  But then, there's that little lion-hearted Jackson Bend.  Both horses trained at classic distances; both have excelled at the sprint.  But Big Drama had a very, very long lay off, and I hope he gets back into shape.  He had no competition in his first race back.

Presently we really don't know which races the others will enter.

14 Sep 2011 3:16 PM

Don't understand why Mo is included in Handicap males when he's not won past a mile this year, and still not a graded stakes winner in 2011 at any distance.

He's likely next in the Kelso, a sprint.  I realize in the USA, there are few horses who can go 9f let alone 10 but to include Mo in the handicap division is a joke.

So he might go to the classic.  So what.  Brilliant Speed has shown more as a handicap horse than Mo.  Time to move accept he's not a classic horse.

14 Sep 2011 5:58 PM

Ally Sheba - "Much better than Rachel" except Havre didn't face males until she herself was in the older division.  Faced them once and beat one of the softest crop in history.  That makes her better?  Where are her margin of victory records?  Her stakes records?  

As for Havre de Grace "getting 10f" she has never won at that distance.  She ran it twice, both times LOSING to Blind Luck.

Rachel won at 9.5f against older males while she was just 3yo.  So Rachel's won at longer distances than Havre.

She's a very nice filly, but to get HOY she has to win the BCC and I don't see her getting past Tizway at 10f.

14 Sep 2011 6:06 PM

Rachel beat two G1 winning males that busted their guts to catch her and could not.  Havre won a tough race and deserves a lot of credit but Rachel did it to cap off a UNDEFEATED year which included beating the best 3 year old male that year.  When Blind Luck beats males on dirt let me know.

14 Sep 2011 8:41 PM
Paula Higgins

Draynay, at least for Jason there may be a cure. You are going to go over the "Rainbow Bridge" with a terminal case of cynicism :).

14 Sep 2011 10:14 PM

Jackson Bend is pointing to the BC Dirt Mile, as he should. He is a miler-per Zito.

Big Drama has had much time off but ran his comeback race at Calder, a deep, tiring track, and he did so with his ears up the entire way. Fawkes said he was not breathing hard after-so hopefully Trappe Shot will give him a run in their final prep before the BC Sprint.

The Factor is a freak BUT Big Drama has set 2 track records at 6.5 and 7 furlongs and a stakes record at 8.5 at Delta Downs. The horse can flat out fly and has a ton of heart.

Also, the horse that was runner up to Big Drama in that last race had won 3 straight sprints, including 2 minor stakes, so he beat something there. Just not a graded stakes winner.

The Factor-Big Drama and EuroEars (along with TS) should be the best showdown in the BC. I think Baffert may opt for the Sprint, but feel TF could probably do even better at 8 furlongs.

Until another horse beats Tizway, and they will have a shot in the BC Classic, he is the horse to beat. And, that includes the fillies because we are talking 10f and I do not think BL will run in the Classic.

14 Sep 2011 10:37 PM


Don't forget the importance of being seasoned. When those of you predicting that The Factor (a horse that I love) will beat Big Drama and all comers, remember this:

Big Drama has speed figures comparable, if not faster, than The Factor. Big Drama has broken 2 track records to TF's 1 track record. Big Drama has looked many horses dead in the eye and pulled away on class and guts--including This One's For Phil and Custom for Carlos and West Side Bernie. He was taken down for bumping TOFP but still broke the track record for 7 furlongs (and should not have been taken down). TOFP had run a 118 BSF. TF has NEVER looked another horse in the eye in deep stretch. Ever. What will happen if The Factor and BD look each other in the eye in the stretch? And make no mistake, BD has the speed to meet The Factor in the stretch.

Remember Bernardini vs. Invasor? Bernardini looked to be the dominant horse at any distance. He had never looked another horse in the eye in mid stretch. Ever. Until Invasor, who had been there and done that--and laughed at Bernardini and pulled away in the BC Classic. Bernardini was completely unnerved and taken by surprise. Maybe TF will be up for the challenge, but maybe it will be his undoing. You don't know.

Unless you have three year olds that are just head and shoulders more talented than the older horses (like in 2007 with Curlin, Hard Spun and Street Sense), the advantage when even-up goes to the older horse that is a proven warrior. That wants to fight.

Its great that The Factor beat Smiling Tiger and older horses (on poly). Big Drama beat Smiling Tiger on dirt even easier at CD in last year's BC Sprint. Dirt is Smiling Tiger's best surface and he could not get close to BD at any point in that race (he finished 3rd behind Hamazing Destiny). BD loves CD and Calder is a great track to prep on before running there. Just look at last year's results.

So, I agree The Factor is great. I think he is even more talented then Uncle Mo because his action and stride is so much more efficient--but remember the above before handing the sprint to The Factor. And Mo should go to meet Jackson Bend and Co. in the BC Mile.

14 Sep 2011 10:55 PM

Good list Jason, I pretty much agree.  I agree with Dray too on this, Mo, to do what he did last time out, was unbelievable.  I think in some ways Mo's 2nd was as good if not gutsier than Thirsty's win.  I'm all for Mo in the Classic and would love to see him get the win.  Indian Charlie did a good thing when he made Mo, thank you Indian Charlie.

A lot of credit to Gio Ponti, I've seen him several times in the flesh.  He's been running a long time and I wish him luck.  Hope my schedule allows me to get to Belmont if HDG runs in the Beldame.

Anyone know of Animal Kingdom's healing progress? Is he out until his 4 yr.old campaign?  Is anyone else starting to get depressed to think of after the BC races then what do we have?  I guess we await patiently for the winter and spring and the birth of the two superfoals in the making, Rachel's and Zen's.  That will have to carry us through until the 2 yr.olds gear up at 3 yrs. old come January!!

14 Sep 2011 11:04 PM
Splits of 12

I like Tiznow alot and feel he is deserving of top honors to win the Classic. The only horse who I can see being able to run with him would be Havre de Grace. I can't see anyone beating Goldikova in the turf mile, but I do think a fresh Sidneys Candy could be dangerous this year. In the sprint, there is three horses I have my eye on: Caleb's Possee, Smiling Tiger, and Trappe Shot. In the Turf Classic,  Acclamation will be tough to beat. But if I had to pick a sleeper in that race, mine would be Winchester. Were just about 45 days away from the greatest show on earth. Can't wait. Until then, lets hope everyone stays healthy, sound, and strong! Peace.      

14 Sep 2011 11:06 PM
John from Seattle

Tizway - a horse that until his last race was 0 for 3 in races past a mile.

Stay Thirsty - a horse that is 1 for 6 in Grade 1 races.

Flat Out - a horse with just a Grade 2 win.

Come on Jason.  It would be better to just leave the male handicap divison blank.

14 Sep 2011 11:58 PM
John from Seattle

Acclamation - nice story.

Come on Jason.  You can do better than that.

Acclamation - only North American racing horse with 3 Grade 1 wins.  Only North American racing horse with two wins in a mile and a quarter race.  Winner on both synthetics and turf.  Established stakes record in Million dollar Pacific Classic.  Has already beaten the winners of the Santa Anita Handicap, Blue Grass Stakes, Malibu Stakes, Strub Stakes, Del Mar Derby, Californian Stakes, San Juan Capristrano, San Luis Rey Stakes, San Marcos Stakes, San Luis Obispo Stakes, Del Mar Handicap, Hollywood Derby, San Gabriel Handicap, Robert. B Lewis, Muniz Memorial Handicap, Sunshine Millions Turf, San Diego Handicap, another Strub Stakes, and another Del Mar Handicap.

It's a little more than nice...

15 Sep 2011 12:09 AM
John from Seattle

You even missed it with The Factor.

The Factor - near track record for seven furlongs for the San Vincente, second fastest time for the Rebel Stakes in the last 23 years for a mile and a sixteenth, second fastest time for the Pat O'Brien on polytrack.  Only loss was due to injury.

15 Sep 2011 12:20 AM

Its too early to comment on handicap male.

Hcp. Female: Blind Luck

Turf Male: no argument because its gonna go to a Euro(Frankel)

Sprinter; Euroears/Smiling Tiger(remember the were trying to get him to rate this year & in his last race there was no other speed hence he was rushed after breaking slow). The Factor will be going for a mile.

Although we are focusing on horses raced in US this year.....I'm gonna be rooting for the "Kova Sister's" thats Goldi & Gali.

15 Sep 2011 12:35 AM
Ally Sheba

Lmaris, why does Havre de Grace have to win the Classic to be HOY when Rachel didn't even have to compete in it? She can finish a close 2nd like Zenyatta did or win the Ladies Classic if she goes in there and still be HOY.

And yes, I'd consider losing by a nose as being able to get 10 furlongs. And no, she never set any margin of victory records because she raced against top class fillies like Blind Luck,  not those weak ones Rachel beat up on. If Blind Luck hadn't been in the Del Cap she might've set one in there though, but then she wouldn't have had to run as fast as she did. No need to win by a large margin and run so fast when there's no competition. It was stupid of Rachel to do that, that's probably why she didn't last very long.

HDG already deserves HOY more than Rachel did even if she doesn't win another race. Rachel shouldn't have even been in the running for HOY. It should have been between Zenyatta, Gio Ponti, and Summer Bird. They were the most accomplished horses of 2009.

15 Sep 2011 12:55 AM

From the Racing Post today:

"Aidan O'Brien has confirmed that the mighty So You Think will go for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 2".

15 Sep 2011 6:33 AM


The above quote about So You Think was taken from the Sporting Life, not the Racing Post.

15 Sep 2011 6:38 AM

Thank you Lmaris.

HDG winning the Woodward can't compare to Rachel winning it.  Rachel was a 3yo filly who got pushed every step of the way in that race.

That being said...I think if HDG and Blind Luck had been at equal weights in Delaware the result may have been different.  But who knows?  Hard to say who is better at this point.  

I think Hollendorfer made the right decision in not running against TC, Game on Dude, and Acclimation.  That was a much tougher race than the Woodward.

What I do know is Blame gave Zenyatta weight in the BC Classic and still beat her.  I can't wait to still be debating this when i am 70.  

15 Sep 2011 7:25 AM

Paula and Draynay are correct. "Blame was a better horse" is much more accurate.  Thanks for your input Paula.  For once it was worthwhile.

15 Sep 2011 8:20 AM

Jersey Boy...you just broke my heart.  SYT and Frankel are tied for the Cartier HOY, so I suppose the Arc makes sense.  But if there is any horse I've wanted to see up close and personal, it's So You Think, and I really wanted him in the BC Classic.  Perhaps I'll just hang on to the fleeting hope that SYT might do both the Arc and the Classic, no matter how improbable it seems.  Damn!

15 Sep 2011 9:19 AM

Winter Memories wins for fun Saturday and Blame is the real 2010 HOY.

15 Sep 2011 10:04 AM
Smoking Baby

Winter Memories wins for fun Saturday and Blame is the real 2010 Horse of 5 1/2 Months.

15 Sep 2011 10:20 AM
Smoking Baby

 I'm with Afleet Alex Forever.  A nice work doesn't necessarily mean all is well with Blind Luck.  A Tiznow colt I've had my eyes on for some time worked a bullet 59 flat at Del Mar last month and was a vet scratch five days later.  While I think she's better than Havre de Grace right now I'm not sure she will be for much longer only because I think Havre de Grace continues to improve.  Just my opinion.  I'm actually hoping I'm wrong.

15 Sep 2011 10:30 AM
Jason Shandler

Let's cool it with the SOY talk. Dray, leave her alone. After all, she did beat a lot of grade II and grade III winners last year, and she was ever-so-close to winning the championship race.

15 Sep 2011 10:37 AM

Ally Sheba,

Are you crazy? Did you forget about the two other races RA faced males in? How about the Preakness? Where she beat the Derby winner and Runner up? Where she was pushed every single step for the entire distance and still had MTB's measure?

How about the Haskell where she whipped Summer Bird, the same horse you said that should have been in the running instead of her. In that race she was again in a speed duel that included her, SB and another star sprinter, Munnings, and she still drew away from them with easy.

The Mother Goose may have only contained two horses but both stakes winners, both went on to win Grade ones and one actually won two more that season. RA set a new stakes record, so even in if you discount the margin, the fact that she ran a 1.46 says she was legit.

The Oaks, she won by 20 and with Calvin not moving at all. Her time was 1.48 and change, quite a decent time over that track.

You say Gio Ponti should have been nominated. Tell me how many races did he actually win in 2010. I believe it was two, and you want him to be HOTY? Are you serious? Summer Bird? I'm sorry, but he was beaten by the very horse you claim should not be in the running. Zenyatta, I'm sorry, she didn't even start until May, and the only horse she face that was legit that year, before the BC was LIS.

Nobody can take you seriously if you actually meant that statement.

15 Sep 2011 11:09 AM

If Blame was a much better horse he would've won by a whole lot more than he did. He had everything his way in that race. You people are silly. You need to put your glasses on and watch that race again.

If Havvre De grace's people are smart they'll put her in the Classic. She'll have a much better chance to win that one than she will if she goes up against Blind Luck in the Ladies Classic.

15 Sep 2011 1:03 PM

Good Lord, whoever does when the Classic I hope he or she does it by more than a nose! You can't keep arguing any horse is "much better" than another when winning or loosing by just a nostril! The only lamenting should be for a rematch.

15 Sep 2011 1:22 PM
Jason Shandler

How many narrow wins did the mare have in her career? Many. She loses one close race and all you guys can do is cry about it for a year. I'll repeat...

She lost. Get over it.

15 Sep 2011 1:35 PM
It aint easy being good!

You guys need to stop with HDG she is no superhorse. She is a nice filly but put her up against the fastest males on the planet no chance! I will bet a proven older male on dirt over a filly or a 3 year old any day of the week. Looking at lucky was a tested champion and he couldnt hang with blame or zenyatta. Also what ever happened to the 3 year old that was third in the breeders cup classic last year forgot his name?

15 Sep 2011 1:46 PM
Smoking Baby

 It aint easy being good!  Fly Down was the nice colt who ran a bang up third in last year's Classic.  He had the misfortune of being my early 2011 Horse of the Year pick so naturally he was up against it from the get go.

15 Sep 2011 1:56 PM
Ian Tapp

Z fans, please explain this logic:

Zenyatta defeats French SW Anabaa’s Creation by a head (Zenyatta is amazing!)

Zenyatta defeats G2 winner St. Trinians by a half length (Zenyatta is amazing!)

Zenyatta defeats Turfway Park SW Rinterval by a neck (Zenyatta is amazing!)

Zenyatta defeats G2 winner (now G1 winner) Switch by a half length (Zenyatta is amazing!)

Blame defeats G1 winner Zenyatta by a head (Blame sucks, Zenyatta is better)

15 Sep 2011 2:05 PM

DeadHeatDebates-- Thank you for your response to Ally Sheba. Saved me a lot of time not having to respond to that ridiculous statement.

15 Sep 2011 2:33 PM

When a race is decided by a nose the horse coming on strong at the end is always better than the one who's leading and losing ground. A tiring horse is not as impressive a winner or loser than one who's just hitting their best stride at the end. That's why Zenyatta was better than Blame and Blind Luck's better than Havvre de Grace. Zenyatta never tired in a race and neither has Blind Luck.

15 Sep 2011 2:38 PM

I know 1 thing, that California horse Rail Trip just got whooped again, by Pleasant Prince.

15 Sep 2011 2:44 PM
Ian Tapp


That's a popular opinion, but not necessarily correct. Sure, it's exciting to see a horse closing strong, but people wrongly ignore that early/tactical speed is the weapon that allows the leading horse to be in a competitive position. If racing was judged only by what a horse did in the 2nd half of a race, then racing would be entirely different (meaningless), and there would be no advantage for a horse to do anything but jog the first half of the race.

Remember, both horses are competing at the same distance, even if the race results in a close finish. It's easy to think that the closing horse is superior had the race been longer, but that wrongly ignores that the leader would also be ridden for that longer distance. Had the race had been shorter, you might assume the closer would have been even farther behind, but of course the closer would have begun his/her run earlier.

A horse race is a function of early speed, pace, acceleration, rate of fatigue, and closing speed/stamina. Recognizing some of these factors but ignoring others is incorrect.

15 Sep 2011 3:08 PM

Wow, sign back on and run into the Zenyatta/Blame argument again.  Agree with the comments made by Ian Tapp.

Listen, I think Zenyatta is one of the 20 best racemares of all time.  She was a great horse.  That said, you run that Classic 10 times, Blame beats her in 8 of them.  Better rider, better horse on that day.  And Blame should have won HOY.

Do I think Blame was a better horse than Zenyatta based on career.  No.  Zenyatta will go down as one of the best 20 racemares of all time.  Blame will not go down as one of the top 100 male horses of all time.  But please, this crying over the Classic and saying Zenyatta was a better horse than Blame last year is ridiculous.

15 Sep 2011 3:48 PM

I can't believe that all you "Blame only won by a head instead of half the stretch" whineres are still going on about the fact that he didn't get HOY.  

Get over it please, especially you Draynay.  You too Sylvester.  

15 Sep 2011 3:58 PM
Jason Shandler

We could care less than about the SOY Award. It's meaningless. We'd rather have all the $ we made on Blame any day.

15 Sep 2011 4:01 PM
Carlos in Cali


I noticed you didn't mention Zenyatta's 'romp' in the Apple Blossom.

So,you're saying European/turf racing is "meaningless" because they only run the 2nd half of a race?..

Come on,Zenyatta was much the best vs. Blame.The whole world thought she was gonna' pull a Life At Ten during the first 5f.Mike Smith moved a little too late on her and he knows it.One thing people forget is she closed and won going against the grain(slow fractions) in 80% of her races,w/out a rabbit mind you.

She proved to be a whole lot better than what her detractors thought.Admit it,then get over it.

15 Sep 2011 4:01 PM
Ian Tapp


The racing factors I mentioned are at play on all surfaces. Your suggestion that all Euro/turf races are paceless indicates your unfamiliarity with that kind of racing, where tactics and acceleration are quite important.

Also, don't miss the point: my list of close finishes was means for comparison to the 2010 Classic finish. Looking at the 2010 Apple Blossom field, that race really doesn't help your argument.

Z was certainly a top class racehorse, and her race in the Classic was impressive. However, due to several factors (including some you mentioned), she was 2nd best on the day given the conditions of the race.

The Classic wasn't a test to decide who was the all-time better horse, Zenyatta or Blame; it was a G1 race at 10f on dirt, which Blame won.

15 Sep 2011 4:16 PM
Smoking Baby

We could care less than about the SOY Award. It's meaningless. We'd rather have all the $ we made on Blame any day.

Jason Shandler 15 Sep 2011 4:01 PM

Jason, you make a good point.  Back in the day Gate Dancer made millions of dollars but didn't win too often which drew some criticism.  Gate Dancer's trainer Jack Van Berg used to always say he couldn't buy much with win pictures but the cash spent quite nicely.  

15 Sep 2011 4:57 PM

It's like freakin' "Groundhog Day" over and over again.  I was almost certain this was 2011, and Blame, Rachel Alexandra, and Zenyatta are are retired.  Will you folks please get over yourselves and on with the 2011 Breeders Cup!

15 Sep 2011 5:05 PM

Billy- he is a Dutrow horse now, not a California horse.  

15 Sep 2011 5:32 PM

And now another blog that I will not come back to again because it is another let's slam Zenyatta blog.  Have fun.

15 Sep 2011 5:33 PM

I understand that there’s a certain rogue trader that used to work for a major bank overseas that would like all you Blame bandwagon riders that made all that money to contact him.  Of course Draynay already lost all his Blame winnings to certain bad thoroughbred investments that he made this year (a lot of them actually).  Too bad Dray.  Maybe you should contact AAF.

15 Sep 2011 5:49 PM

Just wondering, Jason, did you come out even combining those winnings with your losses in the previous year's Classic?  Considering your continued bitterness towards the big mare, apparently not.

15 Sep 2011 5:56 PM

Perhaps Jason and the Nay would provide us with their last 4 years of picks for the Ladies Classic.  I recall predications about a well rested Music Note and comments about Careless Jewel and whatever "Eastern Wonder" horse pletcher was parading at the time.  Don't seem to recall "bet the bank" on Zenyatta or Life is Sweet. Too bad you let you bias influence your pocket book. Have either of you hit this in the last 4 years?

15 Sep 2011 7:02 PM
Carlos in Cali


Then why do most of the Euro turf races have bunched fields in the early going before they accelerate the last 3-4f? Even in sprints. Unless there's a rabbit or two setting quick splits,or a horse is just so superior and runs them off their feet,you mean to tell me the rest of the field has the same cruising speed?..  I don't think so.They're waiting for the right moment to make their move,usually 3-4f out.And that's why they're moving faster towards the end than they are at the break.Yes,it's tactics,usually do to the lay-out & condition of the track,but just because they cruise the 1st part doesn't make the races "meaningless".It's how they run their races over there.And all surfaces/tracks play different,some favor speed-some don't so you can't take it for granted that early/tactical speed gives the horse an advantage.

Obviously,Zenyatta ran to her competitions level.She was better on dirt and that's why her 3 dirt races were some of her most impressive.She ran past males in both her BCC because she had to.According to your logic regarding her close finishes,please don't tell me you think Anaaba's Creation,St.Trinians,Rinterval or Switch would've finished a 1/2l behind Zenyatta in last yr's BCC?

I never mentioned Zenyatta being better than Blame,I said she was much the best that day.But now that you brought it up-yes,she was way better than Blame and twice on Sunday... just for you Jason.

15 Sep 2011 7:48 PM

So your telling me that Harve De Grace's win against the males was so impressive that she is now at the top of her division and now is going to win the Breeder's Cup Classic?

Let me know where Zenyatta ran her FIRST 1 1/4 race.  Let me know where Zenyatta chose to first try the males?

I don't hear anyone complaining that 3/4ers of HD-G races have been at the SAME track.  

Seems to be more than the typical bias operating here.

The only mistake with Zenyatta's campain is that they did not run her against Curlin in the Breeder's Cup Classic.  Then she would have been able to add "beat a HOY winner" to her resume as she would have whooped his butt that day.  

15 Sep 2011 8:35 PM

Since Blame was the favorite Jason you could not have made much money on the race (especially since you would not have had that 'nag' Zenyatta in your exacta) so maybe you want to give the bragging a rest.  And it appears as though you are the one who needs to "get over it" since it is you who has a rude response virtually every time someone mentions her name on your blog. Evidently on here nobody is permitted to have an opinion that is different than yours or they will be subjected to sarcasm and rudeness.  It's very old and tired by now and completely unprofessional...  

15 Sep 2011 9:56 PM
Jason Shandler

Racingfan: You might want to check the final odds from last year's Classic. Get back to me after you do. Thanks, in advance.

15 Sep 2011 10:08 PM
John from Seattle

Come on folks.  This is getting really stupid.  Zenyatta was the Horse of the Year for 2010 and is the considered the greatest female racehorse in history.

Blame, on the other hand, will always go down in horseracing history alongside the names of Upset, Dark Star and Onion.

If you don't believe just ask Allen Jerkens.

15 Sep 2011 10:40 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason, when you repeat the same word, phrase etc. the neurological term for it is "perseveration." It's a pathological condition.  Sylvester, always so good to hear from you. Reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it? Those words about Blame were posted by Draynay, not me. Obviously, I did not agree with them. As for my posts being "worthwhile," anyone with the name "Sylvester" should not be taking potshots at other people's posts. Nothing but love for you buddy. Furthermore, isn't this rubbish about Zenyatta getting old? You, Jason and Draynay have your opinions and we have ours. Time to move on for the sake of all mankind, or at a minimum the sake of this blog.

15 Sep 2011 11:31 PM
Ally Sheba

DeadHeatDebates, yeah i meant what i said about Rachel not deserving to be in the running for horse of the year. What races of any real significance did she ever win? She got off to a good start in all different divisions but she never followed through to prove she was best of any category, not even 3-year-old fillies. She quit against them after the Mother Goose, skipping the much tougher Alabama, and never raced against older females. She won the Haskell impressively, but skipped the Travers, which is what the Haskell is used as a prep for. She quit against 3-year-old males after that and jumped over to the older horse division winning the Woodward, a prep for the JCGC, but never went on to that race and quit for the year. All she did was win prep races without going on to contest the bigger races those preps are used for.

Sorry, but Havre De Grace is a more accomplished filly and will be deserving of the horse of year award.

16 Sep 2011 1:25 AM
Ian Tapp


It's not that simple. Euro/turf racing has strongly run races and slowly run races. In either scenario, pace is important to the outcome. The fact that fields are "bunched" or not is independent of the fact that certain horses prefer certain pace scenarios. A slow pace might shift importance to tactics, acceleration, and closing speed; fast pace shifts to stamina/rate of fatigue. So, regardless of surface, just because two horses are traveling at the same speed early, that doesn't mean the pace is equally beneficial to both. If a horse is unable to adapt to race conditions better than the others in the field, then they lose. So give credit where credit is due. The entire race (not just the stretch run) is important to the result.

16 Sep 2011 8:58 AM

Racingfan, you need to go look at all of Jason's blogs and count the number of times he's the first one to bring up Zenyatta. It's always one of her zealot fans who feel her legacy is threatened by him mentioning the accomplishments of another horse.

Seattle, Zenyatta's record has too many asterisks for her to be considered the greatest race mare in history.  Way to many.

16 Sep 2011 9:08 AM

Zenyatta never beat males on dirt and that is the bar for any female.  She tried once and failed.  Rachel won against males EVERY time.  Winter Memories is too good for this group and the jockey change is genius.  Winter wins.

16 Sep 2011 10:33 AM

John from Seattle,

Zenyatta..."considered the greatest female racehorse in history."  IMO that's a little over the top.  Maybe "one of the greatest", not "the greatest."

My list of the greatest female racehorses in history: Ruffian, Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Lady's Secret.


Great take about this current blog reminding us of "Grounhog Day."  I agree.  Prediction: no matter what happens at this year's BC, no matter what the story lines and HOY chatter develops, we will be gauranteed on this blog to refight the Zenyatta/RA/Blame game again.

I pulled out an old tape we had of the 1989 movie "Let it Ride" with Richard Dreyfuss.  What a great racing/comedy movie.  Provided some comic relief from the "Groundhog Day" on this blog.  

If they ever do a remake of "Let it Ride" they should gather some of the Zenyatta/RA/Blame gamers on this blog, set them around a race track bar, pour some pitchers of beer and let 'em debate, racing fan style.  Now there's a scene I'd like to witness.

16 Sep 2011 10:39 AM
Jason Shandler

Good idea about the Let It Ride remake Trackjack. I'll play the guy with the fistfulls of cash that keeps saying, "She lost. Get over it."

16 Sep 2011 10:42 AM
It aint easy being good!

You guys are all talking about the same old crap when you should be talking about how bad Jason has been this year at handicapping. I watch his show every week and Tom is making him look like a third grade handicapper! Jason when are you going to pick something correct! Btw you do look professional now on the camera so you do have that going for you.

16 Sep 2011 11:21 AM

I was a big fan of Zenyatta but have moved on. My advice to all: GET OVER IT.

16 Sep 2011 11:26 AM

Ally Sheedy - your comments about Rachel Alexandra must be some sort of joke.  All she did was win prep races?  Are you insane?  What race is the Gr. 1 Kentucky Oaks a prep race for?  The Preakness, Gr. 1, is not a prep race for anything.  Nor is the Mother Goose or the Haskell.  The Jim Dandy is the prep race for the Travers, the Haskell is a race steeped in its own history.

Every race that Rachel won that year from the Kentucky Oaks on was a race of significance.  And against the top class horses of the day.

16 Sep 2011 11:44 AM
Jason Shandler

You weren't a big fan of the mare Tom. Stop your BS.

16 Sep 2011 11:50 AM
John from Seattle


Asterisks? You mean the ones that credits her with one World Record (most Grade 1 wins in a row), two North American records (most consecutive wins without a loss against non-inbred horses & most Grade 1 wins by a female race horse racing entirely in NA)

Or how about the only female racehorse to win the BC Classic-you can put an asterisk there as well.  I can add on a few others as well...beaten or finished ahead of the winners of 7 Eclipse Award Champions and beating or finishing ahead of over 20 multiple Grade 1 winning horses.

trackjack - you're entitled to your opinion.  Just like me.  But how do you explain that Zenyatta was voted the greatest female ever by a poll on this site (Bloodhorse), again in a poll over at the Daily Racing Form, and is listed #1 on Sports Illustrated list of greatest female racehorses.  Besides Mr. Jerkens, you can John Nerud (Dr. Fager, Ta Wee) Penny Chenery (Secretariat) Bob Baffet, D. Wayne Lukas, Jack Van Berg, Shug McGaughey and on and on.  The list is too long.


16 Sep 2011 12:01 PM

Add the cowboy Larry Jones to the list of those who believe Z ranks higher than RA.  He was quoted as saying Havre de Grace could be another Zenyatta -- yes, he said Zenyatta, NOT Rachel Alexandra -- i.e. he would like his special mare to emulate the big mare.  That is the is the highest compliment.  

Jason:  Zenyatta beat you in 2009.  You need to get over it.

16 Sep 2011 1:07 PM

It has been documented I greatly appreciated the mare's accomplishments. I just wasn't over the top about it--or obsessively negative as Shandler was an after all this time, still is.

16 Sep 2011 1:15 PM

2:24 is right, maybe Rachel was expected to step up in company and go against, Allicansayiswow or Briecat or dawn after dawn or lethal heat or maybe Anabaa’s Creation, remember that optional claimer that the synthetic wonder defeated by a nose in a photo.  For Zenyatta the photo finish was an amazing feat, barely running down a horse that won how many races 2 maybe for the career, we can stop with the posturing.  Zenyatta did all that she was capable of doing and I applaud the Moss’s for the smoke and mirrors in Fooling the Naïve into thinking that it was some sort of feat to run down optional claimers 15 or 16 times in allowance races.  I believe in quality of competition, and thankfully Jess jackson believed in the same thing.  He placed her perfectly at the top echelon of horse racing’s elite, oh and did it on a surface that would actually continue to be run on.  Not the plastic and rubber bands and wax/paper mache at Santa Anita.

And what we mean by asterisks is *Grade 1 wins on a surface that is currently nonexistent at the venue, any questions there, good. *Only horse EVER to get HOY votes without defeating 1 Grade 1 winner in a race in which she won. That one has to hurt.

See everything that you speak of in terms of Zenyatta is Female this or female that, Rachel after her 3rd win against males transcended gender on the track, she was simply the best horse running.  So make the comparison, Zenyatta the best female in the west, certainly not the best horse overall, as she wouldn’t take on males in the top races in the west. Rachel the top horse in America Period in 2009. Glad we could clear that up, that wasn’t hard now was it.

16 Sep 2011 1:38 PM

Seattle, Let me count the asterisks:

1. Raced exclusively in CA except for three races

2. One race outside of CA she lost.

3. Raced on synthetic surfaces 16 races.

4. One of the races on real dirt, she lost.

5. Not one race in 2010 she won had a grade 1 winner

6. Never once raced at Saratoga or Belmont.

7. Only raced males twice.

8. One of the races against males, she lost.

I could go on.

9. Raced once at CD and lost.


16 Sep 2011 1:50 PM
Ally Sheba

2:24, the Haskell IS a prep race for the Travers. A horse wins that race or does well in it, they go on to the Travers. It has no significance as a race on its own unless the winner  backs it up with a Travers win. Is Coil the #1 3-year-old right now because he won the Haskell? How did him and the 2nd place finisher Shackleford do in the Travers? Winning the Haskell proves nothing if it can't be backed up.

16 Sep 2011 2:28 PM

RA beat mostly 3yos in her HOY campaign.When she turned 4 she couldnt compete confirming that fact.So she won some races with small fields by 10 or more.Jess Jackson bought her at the right time because that was as good as she was.Zenyatta 20 races 19 wins 1 2nd,no other horse has this type of record in graded races nowadays.You can editorialize all you want with all the astericks you like but 10 years from now she will be remembered as one of the best period.

16 Sep 2011 2:55 PM

Ally Sheba - So Lookin' at Lucky's victory in the Haskell meant nothing because he didn't run in the Travers?  Come on.  Nothing personal, but your logic is faulty.  Sorry.   The Haskell is a race that stands on its own, much Like the Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, Mother Goose, and Woodward.

16 Sep 2011 3:17 PM
John from Seattle


Never raced at Saratoga or Belmont?  What?  After I read that I gave up.

Your East Coast bias has really blinded you.

But think of this, though.  Ruffian never raced east of Buffalo, NY and Personal Ensign raced once outside of New York and beat just two males in one race - neither of them doing much going in the race.

16 Sep 2011 3:26 PM

Good idea about the Let It Ride remake Trackjack. I'll play the guy with the fistfulls of cash that keeps saying, "She lost. Get over it."

Jason Shandler 16 Sep 2011 10:42 AM

I will too.  The proposed movie will need some comic relief.

16 Sep 2011 3:30 PM

AAF: "See everything that you speak of in terms of Zenyatta is Female this or female that, Rachel after her 3rd win against males transcended gender on the track, she was simply the best horse running.  So make the comparison, Zenyatta the best female in the west, certainly not the best horse overall, as she wouldn’t take on males in the top races in the west. Rachel the top horse in America Period in 2009. Glad we could clear that up, that wasn’t hard now was it.

AfleetAlexForever 16 Sep 2011 1:38 PM

I know one thing which must be hard for you, AAF.  Having Larry Jones say HDG would compare to Zenyatta one day.  Ah, where was the comparison to RA?  Not there.  HDG is doing extremely well this year but she is light-years away from accomplishing what Zenyatta did.  She's going to need a lot more than 2-G1 wins to even start a discussion of what might transpire for her as she progresses.  And, we both know, it would take her another 2 years of running and winning a BC race before she could even be mentioned in the same breath as the great mare. Good luck with that ever happening.

16 Sep 2011 3:39 PM

Ally Sheba is making some refreshing and much needed points around here.  

2:24, winning both the Preakness and Haskell didn't even get Lookin at Lucky considertion for HOtY.  I believe Raitch got extra credit for being a girl, jmo.  Ask Any Given Saturday how much it meant to win the Haskell.  He will never be considered in the same class with Street Sense, Hard Spun, Curlin.

16 Sep 2011 3:56 PM
Jason Shandler

John: Here's a Newsflash: New York racing matters in the context of history. There is a reason that Saratoga is the best racetrack in the country--the best horses race there.

She lost. Get over it.

16 Sep 2011 4:18 PM

I agree with you.  If the Haskell is such an important race than why did Kiaran McLaughlin say that he would skip the Haskell and TRAIN rattlesnake Bridge up to the Travers?  Seems that by doing that he missed a million dollar payday as he was second in the Travers and all those Haskell horses were out of sight behind him.

Sylvester……I think that your sour grapes crap about Zen not beating a G1 horse in 2010 is getting kind of nauseating.  She lost a 10F race by a diminishing head to a good horse that basically dominated the handicap males.  In doing that she was many lengths better than the nation’s top three year olds and top handicap horses, many of whom naysayers like you still talk more highly of than her.

AAF.  I always like a good comedy sketch on a Friday afternoon.  It kind of makes my weekend go better.  Dig into your files and give us some more.  In this day and age we could all use a good laugh.  

16 Sep 2011 4:22 PM

I know one of the best horses in history that never raced at Saratoga.

16 Sep 2011 4:51 PM
John from Seattle


Then why did the Breeders' Cup completely ignore New York's tracks.  Again.

Or are you East Coast guys still bitter over it.

And why hasn't Saratoga never, ever hosted the BC?

16 Sep 2011 7:05 PM
John from Seattle

And Jason,

We're not talking about the 2010 BC Classic.

We're talking about what racehorse was crowned the 2010 Horse of the Year.

16 Sep 2011 7:07 PM
Jason Shandler

John: You're obviously not equipped to have an intelligent debate if you're asking why Saratoga has never hosted a Breeders' Cup. I'm sorry I wasted my time.

16 Sep 2011 7:34 PM

Ruffian then zenyatta in my book but I have enjoyed RA ,Blind Luck Goldy, Ashado, Rags and all the exciting females I've been able to see run.  It's the guys that haven't moved me as much as when we had Alydar, Slew, Forego, John Henry - some have been good -just not legends. The girls have been eaten their oats.

16 Sep 2011 8:13 PM

I assume that Saratoga would be out as a BC Site because of their inability to conduct mile and 1-1/16 mile main track races.  Also possibly because they are incapable of holding 70,000 people (I believe).  I wouldn't think it would be because of the weather.  In '96 the BC was held in Toronto with similar type weather that time of year.  It turned out that the weather couldn't be better.

16 Sep 2011 11:42 PM
Ally Sheba

Lookin At Lucky didn't run in the Travers because he got sick, if I remember correctly. Otherwise he would have, but it doesn't matter anyways because he got whooped by Zenyatta and Blame in the Classic so he wouldn't have won HOY even if he had won the Travers.

17 Sep 2011 12:33 AM

Jason,  not surprisingly the point of the comment was lost on you while you looked for some small detail to dispute....   Sylvester-it's not the fact that perhaps Jason doesn't mention her "first" that I was making - it's the fact that it appears nobody can express an appreciation of her without a sarcastic response that I was referring to.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I just don't understand the attitude when we express ours....?

17 Sep 2011 10:19 AM

LAL got whipped by the restricted State Poly Champion and Blame ?  Huh ?  Blame whipped them BOTH end of story.  By the way WINTER MEMORIES....wow

17 Sep 2011 6:15 PM

Write all you want in the Older Male category - England's (via Australia) SO YOYU THINK will crush them all in the BC Classic.

18 Sep 2011 8:38 AM
John from Seattle


It might or might not be the issue of attendance.  Santa Anita averages about 45,000-48,000 for the Friday card and 55,000-58,000 for the Saturday card.

There was even talk earlier this year about Del Mar hosting the event.  I think DM is busting at the seams with 45,000 on their opening days.  Management did say they can make adjustments to accommadate an additional 10,000-15,000.

Also, I've been at Del Mar in November in the early 80s for an experimental meet for harness races.  This coastal town is basically empty of any tourists and shrouded in fog, cold,  and misty clouds from the Pacific. It is downright bleak.  It has all the appeal of Skagway, Alaska in early November.

18 Sep 2011 12:00 PM
Your Only Friend

Debate all you want on who is in and out of Breeders Cup and who will win.........TOO WIN GOTTA BRING YOUR "A" GAME ON THAT DAY OF RACING. Not only good trip but lot of luck.

20 Sep 2011 12:36 PM

The reason we're still in the Zenyatta/Blame debate is because there is no exciting talent around this year. So many have had interrupted preps this year with injuries. No sooner does one become a standout than they retire injured. Why do we have so many injuries?

Don't short change the Euros. If So You Think runs in the Classic (which seems unlikely if he's running in the Arc) he will, as Zaskar13 says "crush" them. Dirt won't be the problem but the fickle CD weather might do him in. He could run in the turf mile and ruin Goldikova's party as he can run and win over a mile to a mile and a half. The constitutions of the European horses is so much stronger than ours. Time to phase out the Lasix and give our horses a chance to race a bit longer before they're retired.

Will Blame be remembered as Zenyatta will be? Yes, but only as the horse who beat the Queen.

23 Sep 2011 1:19 AM

Who: I have always been a Zen AND and RA fan.  But the comments you made were pure fiction, and you really should read more.

RA beat older males in the Woodward when she was 3.  That race took so much out of her (and the competition), none were ever the same again.

Zen had a great record...but you should really look at the unbelievable records of Man O War (20 for 21)..major G1 stakes, and Citation (27 for 29) including the Triple Crown and multiple G1 stakes.  There have been so many great heroes in our sport, Secretariat, Slew, Affirmed, Cigar, even Curlin,it's unfair to claim that Zen outshines them all.  

And to others, it's extremely rude and unfair to denigrate the accomplishments of Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra just because you have some personal burr under your own egos.

Again, I must say...it's 2011.  Can we please discuss today's BC hopefuls instead of rehashing stale arguments that are simply a waste of space.

24 Sep 2011 8:08 PM

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