Countdown to the Cup: Fields Taking Shape

 Now that the preps for the Nov. 5 and 6 Breeders’ Cup have been completed, it is time to go over all the races and see who will be and might be showing up.

A number of trainers and owners are uncertain in which races their horses will be participating, so expect to see several prominent hopefuls pre-entered in two races. For a few it’s name your poison: Zenyatta or Goldikova. The final choices should prove interesting.

This first column will deal only with Saturday’s races. Friday’s races will be discussed in the next column later in the week.


Read Steve's full article for Countdown to the Cup: Fields Taking Shape here.


Leave a Comment:

Diane J

Steve, thanks for letting us know which horses are considering each race.  I'm really excited this year about the juvenile - it would be nice to have a standout two year old progress on at three years!  Of course, Looking at Lucky hasn't been too shabby this year!  :)  The Sprint is the most disappointing for me - I was really looking forward to seeing Discreetly Mine run in it.

18 Oct 2010 3:46 PM

Thanks for the run-down on the upcoming fields that are shaping up to be some exciting races.  One phrase of yours regarding Mine That Bird kind of rang an alarm bell for me : "to conclude his career".  Does that mean there are indications that he is going to be retired?  He doesn't have the option of going to the breeding shed, so what's in store for the Kentucky Derby winner?  I keep hoping he will show up with another big win, so maybe going to the mile will be his best distance.  Thank you, Steve, as always for your detailed analysis.

18 Oct 2010 4:41 PM
Stanley Marcinkowski- Plowville, Pa

Juvenile turf, Air Support (family of Ruffian).  Is Utley coming from Europe?     BC Classic Blame

18 Oct 2010 5:08 PM

One minor correction: the name of the horse who won the Arlington Million this year is Debussy, not Dubussy. It should be pronounced DEB-you-see (at least, if he was named after the French composer Claude Debussy, as I think he was).

Other than that, very good article. I'm really looking forward to the Mile; I so hope that Goldikova can three-peat! She's really an incredible mare.

18 Oct 2010 5:59 PM
Linda in Texas

Thank you for your thorough and in depth analysis and report. I have to go back and re read it slowly so it will sink in to my bones.

Steve, not to be a tattle tale, but some of us absconded to the other post because the topic was too hot not to defend. I kept quietfor a while but couldn't take it anymore and put in my 1 penny's worth a couple of times.

It is unbelievable how some people come to their conclusions. I am

stunned. Then i just went back and watched Zenyatta win last year and it inspired me more.

I feel safe here but was ready to take my whipping by the toughies when i blogged over there, but i made it okay. Zoo, Gunbow, Sodapopkid,Paula, Gary at Rough Creek and so many more defended Zenyatta. But no one seems to be able to change the mind of the monitor 'over there.' LOL

To think that the Zenyatta haters  think if none of the top contenders who have not won a race don't win and Zenyatta does that Zenyatta should not be HOY. Using the criteria that Rachel was not there and won it, heck maybe Elmer The Bandit The Competition Trail Horse could win it posthumously. RIP Elmer, i took every step with you for 3 years.

There is the most bizarre reasoning with the against Zenyatta folks i have ever encountered and they are dead serious.

Thanks Steve. 19 more days almost to the hour CST, and we will know we were right.

18 Oct 2010 6:31 PM

Steve -

Love these articles as always.

Anything reported why Bridgetown ran poorly?

Anything on the 'reported' sale of Sidney's Candy?

Thank you.

18 Oct 2010 6:31 PM

Wow! Even Terrell Owens has enough class to recognize the greatness of Zenyatta. For anyone too young, or born after Secretariat, this may be the one Super Horse we will see in our lifetimes. Goldikova is brilliant, but no horse in training or recently retired gives a chill up the spine like the magnificent Zenyatta. Whatever happens in the Classic, I thank the stars and her classy, dignified team for giving us Zenyatta.

18 Oct 2010 6:55 PM

Good overview Steve.  I think that this must be the most anticipated Breeder's Cup challenge ever and it should certainly settle championship honours in every division including HOTY, except probably the Sprint division, unless Big Drama can pull off an impressive victory.  Majesticperfections is still the divisional leader here IMO.  Looking At Lucky is also vulnerable as 3YO champ if he fails to make the frame in the BCC, in which case the injured Eskendereya could still have a legitimate shot at being voted champion 3YO colt.

Needless to say Zenyatta's quest to repeat and silence/rubbish all her critics and skeptics and bring out her 'closet' fans will be the major highlight of the meet.  Quality Road, Goldikova, Sydney's Candy and Uncle Mo will have to be content with supporting cast roles until their respective races are run.  

I remain confident that we'll be celebrating "the return of the King" when the dust settles on the BCC (certainly not Jay Hovdey's version).

18 Oct 2010 6:56 PM
Mindy C.

Tizway ''all''  the way in the Dirt Mile !!!!!  He is peaking @ the time when you need it !!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 Oct 2010 7:33 PM
Mindy C.

P.S.  I also like Morning Line...  He

is going to be an ''outstanding''  4 year old I feel...

18 Oct 2010 7:34 PM

I can't wait for 11/5-11/6, but also am disappointed about Discreetly Mine & Wickedly Perfect.

18 Oct 2010 7:44 PM

Thanks for the lineup (so far) Steve!  I'm anxiously awaiting who from europe will be coming.  I wasn't aware the Paddy is considering the Classic but yeah if it comes up sloppy they might actually take a shot.

It's looking like half the field are speed/off the pace horses and a few closers.  It's going to be a very very exciting race.

You got your picks yet ?

18 Oct 2010 7:53 PM

Wow! What a line up! And that's not all of it. There's more coming later for the Friday races. I hope somebody publishes the PP's prior to the week of the BC, the way they do for the KD, so we can study and prepare for the two greatest days of racing in the U.S.

That's a lot of data to look at and assimilate. Then comes the agony of deciding on our bets... that, in itself can take me days!!!

Don't you just LOVE it?

18 Oct 2010 7:55 PM
Redondo Johnny

We should not "surrender" the turf races to the euros. They don't win them all. There is nothing wrong with betting super sharp U.S horses like Prince will i am or Champ Pegasus that are true distance horses that can kick after casing slow paces, and at juicy odds. Remember Johar? He deadheated with the "great" High chaparal. So lets take a swing against who ever they bring over here. Don't think they are bringing High Chaparal!

18 Oct 2010 8:13 PM
Matthew W

I Think The Usual Q T's Eddie Read was the best turf kick seen this side of Goldy--think that's the two horse box--Q T has been somewhat mis-managed, in my opinion--his Eddie read screamed of a miler's kick--then they doubled back/went for the Pacific Classic--can he rebound? I'm willing to take a chance....Unusual Heat has had so many good runners--The Usual Q T is his best--perhaps his Breeders Cup Champion, I think he's that good....

18 Oct 2010 8:21 PM

Hi Steve, wasn't Northern Taste an 11 or 12 time leading sire in Japan? To be in the top 2 most successful sires in Japan.

18 Oct 2010 9:13 PM

Excellent writeup. Any word on A Little Warm in the Dirt Mile?

18 Oct 2010 10:02 PM

As much as I am looking forward to the Classic, I am REALLY looking forward to the Turf Mile.  I love my Z but I am giddy just thinking about this Race.  I thought Gio Ponti looked better than he has all year in his last race, and Proviso who has helped me cope this year with Ventura's retirement just keeps getting better and better, and Goldikova...need I say more?  With all the possible entries in this race, I am expecting a 14 horse photo finish.  Maybe that is wishful thinking, but has there ever been a better chance?

18 Oct 2010 10:46 PM
Pam S.

I know I heard on TV -- think it was one of ESPN's Keeneland shows last weekend -- that after the Dirt Mile, MTB is going home to New Mexico to stay.  I guess that could change if he would run a bang-up race Nov. 6.  Since winning the Derby, he has run in all G1's except the West Virginia Derby and I guess the owners would rather not drop him in class.

18 Oct 2010 11:12 PM
Steve Haskin

Kim, Debussy was just a spelling typo. I fixed it. Thanks.

ThoroGreats, I was referring to money won major stakes won and Sunday Silence eclipsed all of Brian's Time's records.

19 Oct 2010 12:18 AM

txhorsefan: I had the same alarm bell ring when I read the comment about Mine that Bird concluding his career. Maybe for the year...???

Has anyone heard anything about what is going on with Dublin???

19 Oct 2010 2:06 AM

Steve:  Is Twice Over making the trip over across the pond, he finished a very respectable 3rd last year in the Classic and has also performed exceptionally well this season.  No mention of Twirling Candy, he is on the sidelines or have the connections nt as yet figured out where to run him. Lastly, no word on I Want Revenge. I know he hasn't come back this year for Dutrow the way they had hoped but I have seen nothing on him for some time.

Thanks much...........

19 Oct 2010 2:33 AM

PamS,  I sure hope that is true.  I hope MTB can go back home and run in NM races only, since he catches so much slack in the US.

Maybe he will do better for awhile in his home state running races, and being back with Chip.

19 Oct 2010 6:06 AM

Steve: Great write up on the possibles, but I still remain quite confused as so many horses are uncertain entries. I feel the Classic will be Zen battling LAL in the final stretch, but no matter how Zen runs, I still think she is the best and will win out, even if she gives me a heart attack doing it.  I think Espoir City and QR will run each other out early, while Blame won't catch the big Z. (but may get in her way)I feel the turf mile will have one of the deepest fields, and I'm hoping Goldie does a three-peat, though I can't rule out a strong challenge from Gio Ponti.  I watched Kinsale King work out at Fresno last weekend, and he still looks extraordinarily impressive, as did his work mate.  Between his bold good looks, and his trainer's exuberance at Meydan, one just can't help enjoying them both. I like Midday for the marathon.  It's the juvenile colts who may light up the stage.  If Frankel comes, he, Uncle Mo, and Boys at Tosconova look to be the strongest contenders.  Oh well...just some thoughts from the sidelines.  

While I'm at it, the 'Boys continue to embarrass themselves with those penalties.  We definitely need a stronger coach who won't have to put up with interference from the owner.  I really miss Landry more than ever.


19 Oct 2010 8:13 AM

Do you think Acaffella will run in the juvenile?

19 Oct 2010 9:23 AM

Great Article, Steve. I can't wait to see, Queen Zenyatta win the Breeder's Cup Classic....again!! My question is, has anyone heard from Diva Delite, the 3 year old filly that clipped heels with C C's Pal back in May of this year?? I had such high hopes for her....Awesome Feather the 2 year old filly has caught my eye as well.

19 Oct 2010 9:35 AM

The comparison of Uncle Mo to Seattle Slew has me very anxious to watch the BC Juvenile. He has won impressively, twice, and while his speed suggests a sprinter to some, Pletcher did try to get him to rate. He demolished the maiden ranks in the same way Mr. Fantasy did, and then came close to setting a record in the Champagne.

Clem Florio knew Secretariat would be a champion after watching his maiden race, and I sense people know that Uncle Mo has both the speed and brilliance to carry him to the Triple Crown. The two scenarios are: he regresses in the BC Juvenile, or he blows the doors off, and would be a highly anticipated colt on the Derby trail. I am thinking that the other colts I've watched don't match up to Uncle Mo. But we'll see.

19 Oct 2010 9:51 AM

Great overview of the various races Steve and I especially appreciate that you didn't short change the European contingent as some bloggers tend to do. I noticed that no mention was made of D'Funnybone in your sprint analysis...what is his status at this point?

19 Oct 2010 10:12 AM

Deacon, Twice Over is not heading for Breeders' Cup.

Henry Cecil said on Saturday that his next target would be the Dubai World Cup in March.

19 Oct 2010 10:49 AM

Deacon- Henry Cecil said he is not pointing Twice Over to the BC.  But as we know things can change.

19 Oct 2010 10:53 AM
kathleen o

Steve, I saw Secretariat over the weekend and decided that the reporter with the hat and beard was you.  

Thanks for the run down, and as always, thanks for your professionalism.

19 Oct 2010 10:59 AM



Our Mission Statement:  To stop that California horse, Zenyatta, from becoming one of horse racing's greats!

DON'T LET THOSE CRAZY ZENYATTA ZEALOTS OUT-SHOUT YOU!  If they get on a roll, attack them personally.  For example:  say "Another zealot who's gone coo-coo, probably from jumping up and down too much when Zenyatta makes her stretch move, sad!"

ATTACK THE HORSE:  say "She's a detriment to the industry.  So far she's created 14 minus show pools!"

ATTACK THE TRACK:  say as much as possible:  "Polycrap", "Plow-ride", "tinsel town", "Lindsay Lowhan"  etc.

DOOZY AWARD!  We want to give our DOOZY OF THE MONTH award to DRAYNAY who has used the word "plastic"  37,415 times in September.  DRAYNAY broke the previous record of 31,256 set in August, also set by himself.  Way to blog, DRAYNAY!

MUST BE GELDED DEPARTMENT:  Even though he lives in Gotham City (New York for those of you west of the Mississippi) Steve Haskins has dranken way too much Kool-Aid!  He continues to ~~PRAISE~~ Zenyatta.  Steve, have you forgotton what area code you live in?  Knock it off.

ZENYATTA IS A LOSER! Look, during the last two years, camp  Curlin, Rachel, Jess and Steve have won 2 HOTY awards, no Breeders Cups, but who the hell cares about that!  Meanwhile, Zenyatta has won ZERO HOTY awards, and 2 Breeers Cups, but who the hell cares about that!  Please think of this example in a way to put the words: ZENYATTA and LOSER, in the same sentence.

OK soldiers, it's off to bloggerland and remember: SHE MUST BE STOPPED!  THE BC CLASSIC IS OUR LAST CHANCE TO PROVE TO THE WORLD HOW LOUSY SHE REALLY IS.  IF SHE CATCHES THEM WE'RE THROUGH! . . . why do i hear the theme from the Roadrunner cartoon in my head,  oh, never mind . . .

19 Oct 2010 11:06 AM

I think there will be a blanket finish in the Turf Mile, all for second place, as Sidney's Candy daylights the field. Twirling Candy may be green and slightly crazy, but Sidney seems for real. Yes, Goldikova and Gio Ponti should be flying late, but if the jock times it right, Sidney will be so far in front at the eigth pole that nobody will catch him. I'm prepared to be wrong here (unlike the despicable people on that other blog), but I think Sidney has found his niche. Hopefully we will be celebrating two west coast champions that day.

I also agree that Eskendereya should be solidly in the mix for three year old of the year. That was true brilliance we lost when he had to be retired. If he had remained sound, I would actually fear for Zenyatta in the Classic.

Also, thank you moderator for having a blog that remains positive and welcoming to all readers who truly love the animals. I can never again read anything moderated by one of your colleagues, so again, thank you.

19 Oct 2010 11:11 AM
KY Kid

"PamS,  I sure hope that is true.  I hope MTB can go back home and run in NM races only, since he catches so much slack in the US."

LOL Sodapopkid, New Mexico IS IN the US!

Steve, has someone told you that MTB is retiring?

Dublin is recovering from the removal of an ankle chip.

19 Oct 2010 11:37 AM
Pam S.


They meant, when MTB goes back to New Mexico, he'll just be a "pet."  He'll be retired from racing.  Like I said in my earlier post, I don't think they want to drop him in class.

19 Oct 2010 11:39 AM


Acafella has a cannon bone injury and is out for the year. I feel bad for Mandella, who I think is terrific. At least he still has Crown of Thorns and Champ Pegasus.

19 Oct 2010 11:58 AM

I truly marvel at the taste level of the American public when the movie, "Secretariat" has a gross of $27 million after 2 weekends, while a dumb movie like "Jackass 3" amasses $50 million in one weekend.  How sad.  

19 Oct 2010 12:48 PM


Thank you for the early odds coming in from over the pond..

I have LAL in the place after Z.

Was hoping to get a little more value on him. Then Z is 7/2 to 4-1 and to me that is some decent value on a undefeated horse..

What is the word with Cindys Candy?

I was thinking that could be a sneaky pick their but now I dont like him off the long lay off.

Hope the weather is good and everyone comes out of their races healthy..

19 Oct 2010 1:03 PM

Do you think Acaffella will run in the juvenile?

GMYAD 19 Oct 2010 9:23 AM

Acaffella out of BC Juvenile Turf with cannon bone injury. 10-15-2010

From DRF.

19 Oct 2010 1:04 PM

Good summation, Steve. Also, good point on Paddy O'Prado. He ran a heck of a race on muddy Churchill back in May and should be live for hitting the board, whether it's the Turf or the Classic.

I'm really looking forward to the Mile; Dirt Mile; Turf and, of course, the Classic this year.

19 Oct 2010 1:13 PM
Meydan Rocks

Hi Steve -

A European based horse with a French sounding name ran once around the oval on the grass before the races at Hollywood Park this past Sunday.

She was moving so well and at such a fast clip

I thought my eyes were deceiving me until Vic Stauffer announced that she was prepping for a Turf race in the upcoming BC.

I was very impressed and  I can't seem to find her name.

I was wondering if Vic might be able to give you that name?

Thanks so much in advance!

19 Oct 2010 1:37 PM

Good luck to Zenyatta in the Classic.  You go Girl!

19 Oct 2010 1:39 PM
Zen's Auntie


I enjoy your stories and comments the most here on the Blood Horse. I also like you and Lenny from the living room.  Just saying.

I am going to have to invest in an AED for the classic this year, I know it.  Im thinking my best bet will be to sign up for $59 a year medivac air group coverage.  

I know everyone is talking about the Classic deciding HOTY but I want to say, that if Goldikova 3-peats the mile and doesnt at least get to share it with Zenyatta then what the heck do you have to do to get it when the competiton is this good?  

I love Z and all her connections with all my heart. Really I am as big a fan as you can find. I have never felt so good about a racehorse ever - this is 40 years of fan talking.

In my heart though, to me, Goldikova this year is the co- favorite for HOTY.  For both mares to be racing at the very top of the game at 6 for 3 years at this level, says mounds for real training and horsemanship. God bless them all.

PS... not for nuthing but has anyone ever done (and released the number) a Length of Stride analysis on Zen in the final, lets say 1/16 of a mile in any race - I know its impresive but I havent seen it measured officially just looking at the footage a few times lately, it has to be 2.5 to 3 feet longer than Gios in last years classic, Wish I had hi tech measuring gadgetry to examine the video and measure it.

I have a interesting theory and  formula based on observation worked out for hind leg proportioins in closers.  because its measured agains the horses own body parts it works in any decent conf. picture but the stride length thing I just cant get a good read on without gadgets.  come on video nerds help me out.  

19 Oct 2010 2:10 PM

Linda in Texas,

I don't think anyone hates Zenyatta.  How could they?  The horse is glorious and gorgeous and always wins.  How can anyone hate a horse at all.  I think it's just that they think her campaigns have been not as challeging as they could be.  I really don't think anyone hates her.  

19 Oct 2010 3:20 PM


I gotta tell you, I'm with you.  I really believe there is a good chance Sid can wire this field.  The jocks in this race will have way too many other horses too worry about and could get lazy on Sid.

If he has a length and half coming out of that far turn and lets go he could be gone.

Yes sir, I am as crazy as you are.  We may get double digits on him too. OH MY!

Of course I will play that other horse, oh what's her name, you know the one, anyway, I will have her on most all my multi race wagers.

I'm crazy, not stupid.

19 Oct 2010 5:14 PM


Not ALL of them hate her but SOME do. It's ugly out there!

Mr. Haskin,

I'm exhausted and battered from defending Zenyatta and her connections. I'm so grateful that you came up with a blog that discusses other races along with the Classic. I also don't care if I ever hear the expression HOY ever again!!! Now, I'll go back and re-read this article and try to get my blood pressure back to normal. There is so much to ponder!

19 Oct 2010 5:50 PM

Hang in there Zookeeper!

You're doing great work!  Don't forget to pace yourself.  We need you around for the Classic.

19 Oct 2010 6:09 PM
Redondo Johnny

Hey Carl it's Sidney not Cindy. Come on man.

19 Oct 2010 6:43 PM

KY Kid,  I know NM is in the US.

But for some strange reason some people act as though they(horses based in NM) are foreigners.

PamS,  Whats wrong with putting him in shorter races? That wouldnt be dropping him in class.  Damn, look at how class dropping RA went to.  

19 Oct 2010 7:12 PM


It's a good thing I won't be the one doing the running on Nov.6, you'd be very disappointed. LOL!

Richard's Kid is not going to the BCC. One less horse to worry about. Although I never considered him a major threat, you never know.

The Usual Q.T. is not going either. He's staying in California. I thought HE could be a threat to Goldie's 3peat in the Turf Mile. I like him a lot.

Back to studies... I find it hard to concentrate, maybe I need blinkers. :)

19 Oct 2010 7:28 PM

Mr Haskins, im disappointed you didn't print my "DOOZY" satire.  I wanted it to be on the record as to how far some will go to deny Zenyatta'a place in history.  It examines just what some bloggers will do or say and asks "Why are they doing this?"  I think it's very relevant and it's also funny.  I'm hoping you will re-think and print it.  I think it would be good for some of the doubters to take a good look at themselves.  Thanks, Steve,   Markinsac!

19 Oct 2010 8:15 PM

How have I missed all this info on MTB? I had no clue he was going in the DM. I would love to see a major upset by him. Perhaps he will go back to Chip and run next year. I agree that I too will have a heart attack when Z runs which is why I may have to only do an audible for most of the race. Except for the Classic I really believe there will be some unexpected surprises and I cannot wait for the betting to begin.  

19 Oct 2010 8:26 PM

Monica V,

Sorry to lay this on you because we live in an imperfect world but the fans and bloggers are not the only people that totally hate and loathe everything about Zenyatta, but sadly enough, also members of the media.  

It's based solely on jealously and envy.

19 Oct 2010 8:41 PM


I wonder if the same people that made "Jackass 3" the top grossing movie this past weekend are the same people that denigrade any and everything about Zenyatta in these blogs?

19 Oct 2010 8:46 PM

Hey Redondo Johnny, I went back and read my post again: nowhere did I call "Sidney" "Cindy". I like this blog because everyone is civil to each other. I sure hope it stays that way.

Shiznik: thanks for the vote of confidence on Sidney. It just seems no one really talks about him. I think he is freakishly fast, just like his daddy 'Candy Ride'. I hope they bring him back at 4, after teaching him how to ration his speed. I threw out his Kentucky Derby because I don't think the Derby is a good barometer of horses, unless you are Secretariat, Affirmed or Seattle Slew.

19 Oct 2010 10:13 PM
John T

With the Breeders Cup committee

deciding to waive entry fees and

give travel expenses to overseas

entries starting from next year it,s going to be interesting to see

how the inaugural Champions Day of racing makes out at Ascot which will be run 2 weeks after the Arc and 2 weeks before the Breeders Cup.The two races that could end up

suffering the most is our own Canadian International and E.P.Taylor Stakes which has always

been well supported by Europeans.

 Good reporting for the Saturday card for this years Breeders Cup.Looking forward to the Classic to see if Zenyatta can retire unbeaten and how well the late blooming 3 year old Lookin At Lucky can perform.

19 Oct 2010 10:27 PM


I noticed there was no favorable mention of Etched. You dedicated a post to Musket Man the vanquished in the Formal Gold and in so doing diminished the victory by Etched. Remember Etched was an extremely promising 2YO before his problems set in.  He remains an unknown quantity with only 9 races in four years with seven victories. He has speed and stamina for 10F. Revisit his dame’s remarkable victory in the 2001 BC Distaff. She was blocked and had to be switched at a very acute angle when others were in full flight. Her acceleration to win was breath taking. Her son has been showing this determination as displayed in the Formal Gold and must be sitting on a big effort. I wish his trainer would remove the blinkers/visors.

The last four winners of the BCC were all from the Mr. Prospector sire line. There is going to be a change of guards. I do not see the 2010 winner emerging from this sire line. Quality Road’s last race was not very impressive suggesting he is going backwards. History is against him as no stallion has sired two different winner of the BCC. Elusive Quality got his winner with Ravens Pass. The same applies to LAL. Smart Strike was the sire of Curlin. LAL has been beating an average crop of 2007 colts and will be hard press to defeat genuine G1 horses. Zenyatta is 6YO and a winner has not to date emerge from this age group. The only repeat winner Tiznow did it at 3 & 4YO. She is an exceptional mare but she will not have the home field advantage. If she is able to spot the like of Quality Road and others 20 lengths and win then the race should be renamed after her. It is interesting that the remaining horses featured in your classic section are not from the Mr. Prospector sire line. The winner will emerge from that group. The Japanese horse looks a great physical specimen and is from the Halo sire line via phenomenal champion sire Sunday Silence. Saint Liam was a winner from this sire line.


You mentioned that Girolamo is not a stand out. How can an A.P. Indy son that sprints not be a stand out? They normally rout and are much better as 4Os if they stay sound. Girolamo spotted the field in the 8F Jerome H several lengths and won handily in an impressive time. Which of the other contenders can spot a field 4 length in a mile race and win 1:33.81. The highly regarded Discreetly Mine could not record such a time with batteries added.  Girolamo is miler that sprints. He will only get stronger as a 6F race progresses while other will weakening or be one pace. The long stretches at Churchill Downs will suit the closing kick of Bank Merger who was second in King's Bishop to Discreetly Mine. If it rains he will dangerous.

20 Oct 2010 8:22 AM


I agree that Etched is not an appealing prospect but he is a bit of an unknown. He started his career at two and has only raced 9 times. An annual average of 2.25 races over four years. The last major upset winner of the BCC was 43-1 Volponi. His major success going into the BCC was a victory in the (Gll Pegasus H) Etched will enter the BCC with three graded victories with two being over 9F. His credential are therefore more impressive that those of Volponi. In his victory in the Meadowlands Cup H. (G2,9F) he recorded a mile split of 1:33 and fractions. We therefore know that he has G1 speed. What is unknown is his ability to effectively stay 10F in G1 Company. Based on his last race against Musket Man I think he has a legit shot. Musket Man finished very close to Quality Road on two or three occasions. Etched would not allow Musket Man to pass in the Formal Gold S. In fact, Etched was pulling away in the latter stages of the race and pulled up with a ton of energy. If Musket Man’s performances against Quality Road are used as a measure then Etched cannot be ignored.

The boys in Blue are overdue to win this race and I believe they will win when it is least expected. In the 2009 Melbourne Cup Crime Scene was dismissed at 40-1 he almost pulled of a shocker when second.

Your likely up setter First Dude has only a maiden win to his credit. He has been beaten by the first and second string 3YOs. Do you seriously believe he has a better shot than Etched who has seven victories including three graded? One has lost two of nine the other 10 of 11. One knows how to win and the other knows how to lose. The cold facts suggest the BCC will not be the race in which he will achieve his second victory. He is not worthy of a miracle and that’s what it will take.

20 Oct 2010 8:29 AM


Nobody hates Zenyatta. What are the cold facts? Her record is impressive and that cannot be disputed. Her management has been exceptional and that cannot be disputed. Her connections have avoided starting her in races that are likely to threaten her unblemished record and that cannot be disputed. The major part of her record has been achieved against the same set of fillies & mares that she beats every day and twice on a Sunday and that cannot be disputed. Her 19 consecutive victories was has some softness to it and that cannot be disputed. She is brilliant and that cannot be disputed.

There are those that believe the pedestal on which she has been placed is not justified because of carefully selected starting spots associated with her career. These folks are entitled to their opinions just as you are and should not be demonized for same. Zenyatta is from the 2004foal crop. The late start to her racing career coincided with the early retirement of some of the top 3YOs from 2004 crop i.e. Street Sense, Rags To Riches, Hard Spun, Any Given Saturday etc. Curlin was the only top horse from that crop that raced as 4YO. She had an opportunity to race against him and passed for an easier spot. It cannot be disputed that she did not race against the best of her generation.  

It is unfair to demonize the folks that do not share the views of the Zenyatta faithfuls. They are entitled to their opinions that I believe are driven by some of the cold facts cited above. Zenyatta is a great mare but I do not consider her the greatest and those who harbor this opinion have presents cold facts to justify the opinions Emotions must be put to the side as it is not a measure for greatness.

20 Oct 2010 9:05 AM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, I didnt give Zenyatta or Lookin At Lucky any favorable mentions either. Have patience. That previous column was about Musket Man, not Etched. Neither has a true 10-furlong pedigree, but Musket Man has a better style of running to overcome it. But Etched is a talented horse. I will get to him.

As for Girolamo, will he be odds-on in the Sprint? Will he be an overwhelming favorite? If not, then he's not a standout, as far as being a horse the others are going to be afraid to run against. It has nothing to do with whether he's going to win. He's definitely the horse to beat, but a standout off one win in one of the worst Vosburgh fields ever? This is not one of your strongest Sprint fields by any means, so he will be the favorite. It's all about your interpretation of the word standout.

20 Oct 2010 9:26 AM
Pam S.


As far as running MTB in shorter races, it's true that wouldn't necessarily be a drop in class, as they could choose sprints or mile races that are graded.  That's exactly what they're trying in the Dirt Mile.  Maybe MTB will give a good account of himself and he won't be retired after all.  But if he runs poorly again, I wouldn't blame them for calling it quits.

One thing, I am totally confused as to what distance or surface is best for MTB and I'm not sure Lukas knows either.  Earlier this year, I thought he might be pointed to the Marathon, but they're going for the Mile.  It seems to me they are throwing stuff against the wall and hoping something sticks.  If the horse is just not performing, though, at some point you have to conclude he doesn't want to race any more.

20 Oct 2010 11:42 AM

Hello to all of you.  First of all I want to apologize for my writing,  I am from Mexico and it´s a little hard to express ideas and feelings in another language.  Well, I want to start telling you, that since some years now, I am a very regular follower of this page, and specially of the blogs of Mr. Haskin,  who I think is the best turf writer, the Jason Shandler blog, the one of Bob Ehalt in NTRA and a few others.  I also enjoy a lot the post of all the people here, you are great fans….I laugh VERY MUCH of all the fights between the exaggerated fans of the two mares ( I´m with Zenyatta, but think that Rachel is EXTRAORDINARY, and with a trainer with few horses, she would still be running) I specially like the posts of gunbow, he explains the things incredible.  I think that all of you should be very grateful of having the quantity and quality of racing that you have in you country, here I am an owner of thoroughbred horses in the only track with this kind of races in Mexico, Hipodromo de las Americas. We will have our own Breeders cup,  it is called Copa Criadores and is for two year olds born exclusive in Mexico.  Our purses are very very low,  that is because we aren´t anymore a  country with the fanatics for thoroughbreds as we were in the past.  Tijuana used to be a very important track.  Well, in the copa Criadores,  we have two stellar races,  one for colts and one for fillys,  the purses for each one is of 2 million pesos, aprox 160k, the total purse of the 10 races of the day is about 600k. We also have the Handicap of the Americas, which is the race with most tradition in Mexico,  the purse is 80k.  This year a son of El Corredor  won this race, last year a son of Deputy Commander won it.  My passion for racing is huge,  I had the opportunity to see when I was fourteen years old,  the woodward stakes won by one of my all time greats, Holy Bull,  beacause of this I bought one daughter of him two years ago,  her name is Star Bull,  I lost her early this year in a claming race…I also have a grandson of him through Woke Up Dreamin….I also had the privilege of watching the mighty Cigar in the 1995 Jockey Club Gold Cup.  I really love those two.  From more recent times, I think the explosion, speed, of Ghostzapper is unbelievable.  I think is to much writing for now,  I just want to say to you all, that is a real delight reading you, and is a real honor to be part of the posters in the blog of the legend Steve Haskin.  One last thing,  Zenyatta wins the classic, over blame and lookin at lucky,  Goldikova the mile over Paco Boy and Gio Ponti.  Bye the way,  I saw Paco in person an unbelievable personality.  Boys of tosconova the juvenile,  Uncle Moe is qoing to run as Quality Road,  very fast but very short!!!.  Easy races to gamble!! Hahaha.  Thanks for you time, and see you very soon.

20 Oct 2010 12:30 PM


Apart from the Classic the Mile is the next race with the most intrigue. Goldikova will be trying for an unprecedented third consecutive victory at five years old. What’s the point in mentioning her age? Well the age record of the past winners speaks for itself:  3YOs (8), 4YOs (12), 5YOs (3), 6YOs (2) and 7YOs (1). The Golden girl won at the ages that dominate the race. (A combined 20 out of 26) She is now in an age category that has produced 3 winners.

Who were the runner-ups in her two victories? Why highlight the runner ups? Well they were the ones who had the best chance of beating her if that was possible. In 2008 it was defending champion 5YO Kip Deville, a very worthy opponent that had his problems in 2008. He recorded only two graded wins in 2008. In 2009 it was 3YO Courageous Cat who entered the Mile with a win in the Gll National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. She caught him in deep stretch. The Golden girl is now 5YO and will be facing a much tougher bunch of Americans and Europeans. Included in the Americans contingent will be 2009 runner up Courageous Cat who is now a 4YO and should be much stronger. He falls into the age group that has won the race the most; The brilliantly fast Sydney’s Candy who she will likely track to the detriment of her 5YO legs. He has the sort of speed to which she is not accustomed; The durable Gio Ponti whose recent Mile victory in hand suggests that the Golden girl will not be the only one closing rapidly for a part of the major prize. Most of the other Europeans have never run on a flat firm track or with lasix. These factors could make a significant difference in their performances. Rip Van Winkle is now a 4YO and belongs to the age category that has the best winning record. He is the horse to beat.

Goldikova’s 5FYO legs will be chasing speed she has never experienced before. If the best competition she had in the stretch in 2009 was Courageous Cat, then a 2010 repeat is virtually impossible. I am confident she will not win.

20 Oct 2010 3:02 PM


Good stuff. Keep us updated on that grandson of Holy Bull.


I love me some Candy Ride. I want Sid to rate in the Mile, but, on the lead after he is up a couple lengths, lol.


That 2004 crop (the horses you mentioned) were a real let down for me, with only Curlin going on with his 4 year old campaign. I really took a liking to Any Given Saturday and thought that Monmouth slop didn't give him a real chance to show what he could do.  I thought he was loaded for that race, but, he couldn't hook any ground in that slop.  That BC (especially the Classic) still rates a top disappointment for me. Curlin won it and deserved it, but, I sure would have loved to have seen Sat, Hard Spun, Street Sense and Curlin on a dry fast track that day.

I have always thought Hard Spun could have been one of the top milers ever if they would have focused him on that.  Could have been a great 4 year old.

Man, that class still gives me a bunch of what ifs everytime I think about them all retiring.  I don't know why, it has been happening for a few decades now, but that could have been a special class, imo.

Anyway, Coldfacts, just rambling thinking back too that class from your bringing it up on an earlier post. Not necessarily directed at you. Thanks for listening, lol.

20 Oct 2010 3:06 PM
Meydan Rocks

Hi there Steve,

I believe you gave me the answer to my earlier question in your latest post.

I believe the horse that trained just before the 1st race this past sunday was ECLAIR DE LUNE.

And so if our horses are so fleet of foot heaven knows how those Euro turf horses are.


20 Oct 2010 3:13 PM


Your comment was one of the more enjoyable ones posted on this website. I'm glad you decided to join in and wish you the best of luck with your horses.

P.S. Your English is excellent!

20 Oct 2010 3:37 PM

Riket -

I love your post!  Welcome and Thank You!

I hope you're right about Zenyatta and Goldikova.

Tell us more about Paco Boy's personality...

20 Oct 2010 3:38 PM
Linda in Texas

Riket - your writing is perfect. Your knowledge shines through and your heart and love of the sport do too. But most of all, you can see why so many of us hold Steve Haskin in such high regard.

Mr. Haskin is the best and obviously after your post, also an  International Guru of Horse Racing.

Muchas Gracias y por favor regrese a menudo porque todos somos amigos de los caballos de carreras.

Le deseamos buena suerte con el tuyo.

De Linda in Tejas

20 Oct 2010 3:38 PM


I enjoyed reading your posts.  Good stuff, especially your reply to John.

Your comments on Girolamo were also interesting.  I think that the Godolphin camp is confused about where to place their horses.  This colt should be entered in either the Dirt mile or the BCC IMO.  In the Dirt mile he'd be a cinch and Vineyard Haven (also an excellent miler) would have a better shot than he of going "pillar to post" in the sprint, irrespective of how hot the fractions are.  As it stands now Girolamo may get up for a piece of the action in the sprint but I can't see him stopping the classy and consistent Big Drama.

20 Oct 2010 3:56 PM
Zen's Auntie

I cant wait for the minors review Steve I have to ask if you heard on HRTV that Bandbox may be in the Juv. Turf.  I just love this boy what do you think??

20 Oct 2010 4:55 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I really miss Bobby Frankel.

20 Oct 2010 4:55 PM
Steve Haskin

Hi Riket, thank you. Very nice to meet you. And you expressed yourself beautifully.

Meydan Rocks, Eclair de Lune isnt a foreign-trained horse. She's trained by Ron McAnally.

20 Oct 2010 5:16 PM


Welcome!  I think you expressed yourself just fine.  

20 Oct 2010 5:42 PM

Thank you all very much for your kind words!!! and specially to Mr. Steve Haskin.

Linda in Texas:  Gracias por tus palabras en español!!, les estaré platicando como van mis caballos!, tengo un hijo de Thunder Gulch de nombre Ajusco!

In regards of the personality of Paco Boy,  I sincerly think that he is the only one who can defeat Goldikova,  I had the privilege of watching him in the Lockinge Stakes and what most shocked me mas the change of gear.  I also noticed what in spanish we call "Mira Lejos", being the translation something like "Looks far” or “sees far”.  I guess I saw that look in Invasor as well, and also in some Zenyatta pictures, they look very focus and like seeing something far away that we can´t…

I think Gio Ponti, even though his last impressive race, won’t catch them, I would like that he can, but I realy don´t think so. For some time know, I am a firmly believer that the turn of foot of the Europeans is amazing,  maybe is because they work,breeze and do mostly all of their trainingis in the Right-Handed side,  people have told me that that training helps alot in left-handed races.

Also in regard of Paco boy, I have to tell you that the white Stripe in his face is very intimidating, he is very handsome, strong but not huge.  My opinion is you have to play him in an exacta,  with goldikova in one, and why not, Gio ponti in another.  Paco Boy, surely gets the second place.

20 Oct 2010 7:09 PM
Redondo Johnny

Carl my bad man i realized that i had the wrong guys name when i posted the "Cindy's candy" post.

20 Oct 2010 8:18 PM


Yes, I remember the track in Tijuana. It was Aqua Caliente, which means hot water.

Phar Lap ran there once. And before Sunday racing in America, many people, including the Hollywood movie stars, used to frequent the racetrack.

Actually, it was Aqua Caliente that pioneered the "Pick 6" but called it the "5-10" instead (picking the winners of races 5 thru 10). They also pioneered the exacta, calling it the perfecta instead.

Yes, I remember Aqua Caliente very well. They used to have the "Gold" room and the "Silver" room for vips, and featured off track betting from tracks around the country. They even had a "Future Book" where you can wager on the Kentucky Derby or the Santa Anita Handicap months in advance with very attractive odds.

I also recall they paid out in Mexican silver dollars throughout the early 1960's.

20 Oct 2010 8:33 PM


Sorry to disagree with you, but they ARE people who hate and loathe Zenyatta, and everything about her.

Go on to other sites and see the garbage that Steve Haskin and his moderators refuses to post here.  And that garbage is tame compared to what's really deleted. And I'm not talking about someone with a difference of opinion that can communicate with mutual respect.

Sorry to tell you this, but there is hatred for Zenyatta out there.

20 Oct 2010 8:42 PM


I really enjoyed your post.  It's always interesting to learn something new about racing.  My first horse was a 17.1 hand claimer that ran at Caliente in the 60's.  I bought him at the Joe Hernandez auction at Del Mar after he retired.  My family bought two broodmares after that, one was actually bigger than the gelding at 17.3 hands.  She had a great runner that pulled a suspensory ligament in his first race.  That horse beat everything in his works and was a great horse who never got to prove it.  We're so lucky now to have Zenyatta in our lifetime, and every year the Breeder's Cup and Triple Crown races promise so much.  There's a saying that you want to live forever if you have a good two year old in the barn. I have a promising yearling coming up who has a half sister that has done well on the So Cal race circuit.  

I'm waiting a while to handicap the Breeder's Cup.  There are a lot of horses dropping out now like Richard's Kid and Rip Van Winkle.  I like Lookin at Lucky and of course, Zenyatta.  Quality Road was my Kentucky Derby pick last year before he was scratched.  I went to the Del Mar Satellite to watch and didn't learn he was out until I arrived.

Again, welcome to Steve Haskin's blog family.

I speak Spanish very well, but I didn't learn in school, so I don't write it well.  I love Cumbias and La Tropa Valenata (don't think I'm spelling that right.)  

20 Oct 2010 9:18 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve, great blog as always and super overview. Riket, really enjoyed your post and Linda from Texas, loved it that you were able to respond in Spanish!!

I think LAL is Zenny's biggest comepetiton by far. He is a steadily improving horse. I still think if she has a good trip/ride, she wins. I do think she is better on dirt and hopefully 2-3 lengths better than her competition. If she runs into problems/traffic, she will have to go wide again and I am not sure she can outrun this bunch going wide. Her only hope if that happens is if they don't like the distance and then she runs them down. They will be gunning for her and they won't make it easier for her that's for sure.

Monica V, I wish no one hated any horse. I certainly don't think Jason hates Zenyatta at all. He is upset about her campaign and perceives it differently than many of us. But there were a few bloggers who were suspect and I think qualify as founding members of the Anti-Zenyatta Club.

I love Gio Ponti but I am not sure he can run Goldilocks down LOL. She is greased lightning on 4 legs.

The group of horses running in the Breeders Cup races are really a strong bunch. Can't wait for it. My main hope is that they all stay safe and whoever wins, wins.

20 Oct 2010 10:17 PM


The "Mira Lejos" is probably what we call the "Look of Eagles" (Aquila).  Eagles "look far" and "see far."  Sometimes Zenyatta is looking at something we can't see--with her head held high, she's looking into another world.

Invasor is a great horse and was supposed to be a kind horse around the barn.  I saw him win the Breeder's Cup Classic in 2006 at Churchill Downs.  On Monday I went back to the empty track to stand in paddock #11.

20 Oct 2010 10:51 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Paula Higgins

  Goldi will have to run Gio down. He always gets the lead, and if he times it right, he's the winner.

Bob Baffert

   Tough loss. They made a bad move. Richard's Kid could have won.

Ward Bond

   The Euros are coming, the Euros are coming !!!!!


  Sorry about dem boys. How bout my SF Giants !!! My second favorite Giants team of all time next to 59-65 Giants


   I wish I had all of the American Silver dollars my Grandfather gave us after his Reno trips. Probably spent most of them on candy and baseball cards but Mom threw out the BB cards when I was an adult and they were in a big box in my old closet.


   Pace yourself Haskin Derby Dozen is a doozy. You'll need your thinking cap. He keeps you on your toes.

21 Oct 2010 1:10 AM

Coldfacts: I have to recognize that you do a lot of research into bloodlines.  However, at the same time, I think the stats you provide just muddle the picture.  For the Derby you predicted Pletcher and an AP Indy line horse could not win the Derby simply because they had not done so before.  But you were wrong on both counts.  Face it.  There are 2 major bloodlines racing now: Seattle Slew (via AP Indy) and Mr Prospector.  Some horses lay claim to both bloodlines.  So I really cannot accept winning predictions based on bloodlines alone.  I must still insist, watching how a horse does run probably lets me know more about what he/she can do in perfect or adverse conditions.  I certainly don't discount your information, but I also don't rely as heavily upon it.

Riket, welcome aboard.  You communicate quite well with in depth knowledge.  But I really don't know if Paco Boy can beat Goldikova.  She's had the best of him twice so far....but one never knows.  I still think Gio Ponti is Goldi's big rival.  It might be even deeper if Makfi weren't retired.  I'm still hoping for a 3-peat from the mare.  I think the turf mile would have taken the star billing if not for Zenyatta running again in the Classic.  A shade over 2 weeks left, and I can't wait.

DR. D:  Don't worry, maybe Frankel will come and show what he's got.

21 Oct 2010 9:46 AM


I agree with you about some people hating Zenyatta. I even often wonder about the people that constantly blog the same negative things, however civil, about Zenyatta over, over, and over again in this venue and other blogs sites to try to get their point across. Is it an obsession or really something that borders on hate?

I don't know.

21 Oct 2010 10:34 AM

Riket -

Thanks for telling us about Paco's personality.  Your description of Paco Boy "looking far" really reminded me of the time I spent with Zenyatta.

She is one of those that reminds you of how small you are - not really because of her size - but because she looks so far beyond whatever is happening right in front of her and so far beyond you - it's almost the way I feel when I'm standing at the edge of an ocean.

Thanks for joining in again.

Linda in Texas - Thanks for welcoming Riket in Spanish!

John - I could read about your time at the Mexican tracks forever!

Dr D - Goldi WILL run Gio down.  She better!  Go three-peat girls!  About the Derby Dozen, is Jaycito still your #1?  Uncle Mo is pretty scary!  Who do you like in the Juvenile?  I'm rooting for the Giants for you.

Thanks Aluminaut!  I love your stories!

21 Oct 2010 12:36 PM
Linda in Texas

De nada RIKET, es un honor para mi dirigirme a usted en espanol. Yo soy el mismo que ALUMINAUT, habla espanol mejor que yo pueda escribirlo.

Hemos de entender y que nos entiendan y que es todo lo que es importante.  Gracias.

(we understand you and you understand us and that is all that is important. Thank you.)

You have a son of Thunder Gulch and his name is Ajusco. That is a great name for him since Ajusco means Volcano !!! Muy bien.

I favor Zenyatta. And she surely does have 'Mira Lejos' especially when she is looking from the back of the pack to figure out how she is going to maneuver to the front of it. I think she is a grand dam for sure. But in reality, i admire and respect them all.

Gracias RIKET, y hasta pronto.

SLEW: Can we talk football on here also? Had no idea i was not the only fan of the 'boys' but have been on the fence sorta for 2 years. When Jerry was deciding on a new coach, i emailed him multiple reasons why i thought he was making a big mistake if he selected Bum's son. I lost, he hired him anyway. I feel like the energy level projected by Phillip's is lacking. I also felt a younger coach would work better with the 'boys' and perhaps feel the energy from them and redirect it in a positive direction. Hasn't happened. In each position they have talented players, it is just that they cannot 'get it all together at the same time.' And 11 penalties and 2 interceptions in one game is dreadful and is just not going to do it. And it is getting too late to catch up now. But i am a dreamer, so i won't give up, yet.

I would love to see Gio Ponti do well and i am bothered that horses that have not raced on our tracks can come in and race in the ultimate races of the year.

Yes, i know our horses go to Dubai and other countries, but i feel the Breeder's Cup should be for American Bred, Born, Raised and Raced horses. Am i short sighted also?

To me, it would be like bringing a Russian Football team in to play in the Super Bowl. Yes i know i am red necked. But also protective and loyal to all things i consider correct and sacred.

Thanks Steve, i know this is long. But i covered a lot of subjects here. I will try and refrain from postulating for a while.

21 Oct 2010 1:11 PM
Linda in Texas

Ruffianruns - just read your comment about how Zenyatta makes you feel like when you are standing at the edge of an ocean. Perfect description and you experienced that in person. She looks right thru you and then some.

I appreaciate your posts and knowledge as well as everyone's.

And especially the folks who go back a few years probably before many who post were born.  

I have already broken the promise to Steve that i would refrain from posting and postulating but your post came while i was writing mine and i just wanted to thank you for all of yours.

Now i am done Steve. Thanks

21 Oct 2010 1:20 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I guess we still don't know if Gio is going in the mile, or Classic. I thought it was an easy decision after his last. I could be wrong but I don't remember any turf horse winning the Classic on dirt. You're right, a threepeat for Goldi would be awesome. Uncle Mo is scary !!! Just in time for Halloween. Even after just his first race, I've never been more impressed but Jaycito still is my number one. Uncle Mo is definitely the one to beat in the BC. I would be really surprised if Jaycito could beat him at 1 1/16. Mo is going to be very interesting at 1 1/8 and then 1 1/4. He could do it eventhough there are others with seemingly better peds for a mile and a quarter. BC Juvy is going to be one of the top races because of Mo. He is already a superstar after just two races. If Mo loses the BC Juv it has to be a big upset in my mind. Boys will get plenty of action but he's no Mo so far. I'm a big Mo fan, but  a bigger fan of Jaycito. There are others with big credentials but I'll wait for post BC. But honestly I can't wait to see what Mo does next. He's unreal. What a pro.

21 Oct 2010 1:42 PM
zenyatta mondatta

I think Zenyatta is a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode.  John Sherriffs has her this way for a reason.   He wants her to peak in the Classic.   I bet we see one hell of a race out of her.

I guarantee that most trainers and owners know this.    I bet we see others withdraw before NOvember 6, 2010.

21 Oct 2010 2:54 PM


ZENYATTA IS RUINING OUR ENVIRONMENT! Last year, 20,000 fans showed up for the Apple Blossom, this year it was 44,000.  Do you know how much more emmissions Zenyatta has caused?  She just melted another iceburg!  Furthermore, to all those of us who used sound handicapping skills and bet against her, she is responsible for wasting enough losing tickets that was equal to 3,456 trees.

ZENYATTA IS A LUSH!  This just in:  there's a video circulating on youtube showing Zenyatta drinking a bottle of Guiness Beer!  It's kind of fuzzy but it looks like Lindsay Lowhan is standing right next to her with a straw.  Looks like the two California girls forgot to report to re-hab.

EVEN THE GREAT ONES LOSE ONCE IN AWHILE!  Man O War lost to Upset, Secretariat lost to Onion proving that even the great ones lose once in awhile.  Zenyatta has lost to NO ONE proving she is not a "Great One!"

Keep blogging, our time in the meter is getting short.  Remember: IF SHE CATCHES THEM WE'RE THROUGH!

21 Oct 2010 4:57 PM

Thank you and welcome to Riket!  I really do appreciate your jumping right in and becoming part of the conversation Steve's great blogs generate.  Another point of view and history of different horses is another significant way to add to our experience and learning about racing, so its great to have you here.  

Maybe I'm not posting much, I don't really have much to contribute, but I'm reading and enjoying this blog, so thank you, Steve, and thank you all.

21 Oct 2010 5:01 PM


I find it horrifying that anyone would hate a horse.  I don't understand it.  Even if you are not a fan of a horse how could you possibly hate that horse?  I think some hate the connections so much that it tanslates over to the horse such as what happened to Rachel.  Zenyatta's connections are not hated like Rachel's as far as I can tell. Quite frankly, I don't understand hating the connections either as most of us have no first hand knowledge of them.  It seems so easy to sit in judgement of people on the blogs.  I don't get it.  I don't get anyone hating any horse.  They are totally pure and innocent and only do what is asked of them.  One of God's most beautiful creatures.  Especially Zenyatta and Rachel.  Just gorgeous.

21 Oct 2010 6:44 PM
21 Oct 2010 8:39 PM


(Sorry Steve, slightly off topic, but following the chain...)

Didn't Seabiscuit run at Agua Caliente at some point? If I remember the story, during Prohibition, they took horses down to Mexico to run so you could drink  while watching the horses race, and as John mentioned, many celebrities showed up there for that reason. Am I crazy?

21 Oct 2010 10:00 PM

Linda: I've been a fan for 50 years.  'Boys have the talent and the potential.  Super Bowl is at Cowboy stadium this year...and they have absolutely no discipline.  Over 500 yrds and they LOSE?????? Do you think Jones interferes too often in the coach's decisions?

But I've been a fan of horse racing for 60 years.  I've seen some awesome horses in that time, and I have never been as disappointed in a horse as I have been with the Cowboys.  Big news yesterday was that Paddy O'Prado seems to be cross-entered in the Classic.  Just when we thought the fields were dwindling because of defections, more trainers have opted to enter more races.  I just knew Gosden would come, and he's loaded with talent.  I'm getting more excited by the day.  

Dr. D.  I watched that @#$%& game on Sunday, and I'm feeling quite wretched.  Congrats on the win; I just may make like an ostrich for the remaining season as soon as I find some sand in which to bury my head!...or buy more beer to cry in.

22 Oct 2010 8:39 AM

PS: Linda, the more international the Breeders' Cup scene, the greater the prestige of a win.  How else would we get to see these Euros et al in person.  I'm thrilled the trainers are coming from other countries.  It would be nice if it became as big as the Melbourne Cup is in's practically a national holiday.

And Steve Haskin is a Cowboy fan, which is why I occasionally cry on this blog.

22 Oct 2010 8:46 AM

No, Linda in Texas, football talk is NOT allowed, ESPECIALLY if you're a Cowboy fan!  Ask Slew!  :-)  Thanks for everything and the ocean.

Dr D - Uncle Mo and his brilliance reminds me of Ruffian.  She broke her maiden by 15, under restraint, and tied the track record.  Then went on with more and more brilliance.  Can you imagine the hype about Uncle Mo if he wins several more races with similar brilliance as Ruffian did?  Shiver me timbers!  I can't wait for the boy's Juvy.

zenyatta mondatta - I completely agree.  Especially with what Shirreffs said after today's work.  They purposefully didn't let her pass anyone in the work!  Yowza!  Go Zenyatta!

22 Oct 2010 6:38 PM
Linda in Texas

Slew - I am mortified at The 'boys' and have been referring to them to my closer friends as the 'girls' and that is tacky, but deserved.

When T.O. was there at least we had something to blame it on. But bring me back a Michael Irvin - Emmett Smith and Troy Aikman trio again. The good ol' days were really just that. Nothing i loved more than to see Aikman land a long one at Michael and have him shimmy into the end zone. Poetry in motion Michael Irvin was and i loved to watch his enthusiasm. And Emmett Smith was a gutless wonder and in pain many times and was still on the field scoring. The way they played reminded me of the really good ol' days of football. George Halas's Chicago Bears playing The Green Bay Packers in snow so deep i could hardly find Coach Lombardi, another man i really admired for all he stood for. Watched those games with my dad when i was probably 12. Golden Toe Groza and Y.A. Tittle. Remember them all. I admire greatness whether it is with 2 footed or 4 footed creatures. I am not big on wimps and whiners.

And Slew,

The only interference being run on a field with the Cowboys, is Jones not accepting that Phillip's is nicht gut (not good) and needs to take a hike. Been watching The Cowboys since they were going to be called The Steers, then The Rangers, but changed to The Cowboys by Mr. Murchison and Mr. Wynne because The Ranger Baseball team rumored at that time about to fold didn't. And now look what those Rangers are doing !! And i used to cheer for the Yankees years ago.

Re: The Breeder's Cup Races, i am just thinking of the huge money lost to other countries if a shipper inner from yonder pond wins, that is all. Just being selfish. Thank's for the lesson in looking at it through wider glasses. Sometimes i am short sighted. I am so anxious about all of the races now that November 5 and 6 cannot get here soon enough.

Love Paddy O'Prado as you all know i have stated before, my love of the Grays. He was a trooper in the slush. The suspense of who is going to run in what race is tantamount to hanging by 2 ropes wondering which one is going to give way first. Lordy, Lordy Miss Claudy.

Don't ya'll just wonder what Zenyatta is thinking when they don't let her pass in training. Better not make a habit of that. She may think it is the norm !!!

Steve, do you have any idea how much money you are saving most of us at the Psychiatrist's Offices by being able to shout and spout out on this blog???? Thank you.

Maybe Blood Horse should start charging us to post and the proceeds be donated to A Jockey and or Old Racehorses/Rescue Fund.

Bandbox will be racing tomorrow.

I mentioned him a couple weeks back when he won by at least 9 lengths at Charles Town on Pink Day there in the last race. A Gray with Tapit in his bloodlines.

I need to shut up and quit hogging the mike here.

Thank you Steve and have a great 2 weeks coming up on The Breeder's Cup Races.

Go Rangers !!!!!

22 Oct 2010 9:32 PM

Be of good cheer, Slew, and grateful that your "home" team isn't the Carolina Panthers.

markinsac, I've lol'd at your "DOOZY" posts! Please don't be offended <grin>.

I am positively torn between Uncle Mo and Jaycito, both having shown me that they are capable of Great Things (pray the Racing gods, they stay healthy and happy).  Boys at Toscanova hasn't run past 7f (iirc), so he'll have to show me he can do it.  As 2yos, any of them can rise to the top so I'll just look forward and enjoy watching them.

Mr. Haskin, is Get Stormy going to the BC for sure?  Some lists have him, some not.  I never know just what might trigger that "I LOVE THIS HORSE!" response in me, but he's one that's done it. Here Comes Ben, too.  

Riket: I, too, welcome you to the Haskin blog.  I enjoyed your comments very much and hope you will share your thoughts frequently.

ruffianruns, I loved your likening the Zenyatta experience to standing before the Ocean.  As someone who (growing up in Nebraska) never saw a mountain or an ocean before I came to NC at age 18, I remember that first visit to the ocean like it was yesterday (some 45 years hence).  It stirred something very primal in my being, exciting almost beyond bearing. Seeing Zenyatta is akin to that, even on the various "tubes" where I have to watch her.  She is a Siren and I am completely enchanted by her.

One last comment: it's such a relief to be/read here, under the auspices of Steve Haskin, where I know Respect rules the day. Thank you, sir!

22 Oct 2010 9:51 PM


Yes, Seabiscuit ran there as well as Round Table. If I'm not mistaken Aqua Caliente was the first track to host a $100,000 race.

Speaking of the Hollywood celebs and drinking I remember that in those "Gold" and "Silver" that had an army of waiters dressed up in tuxedos with white towels draped over one forearm running all over the place.

22 Oct 2010 11:49 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I agree- Shiver me Timbers. One of those times I suspect that the hype is justified. Uncle Mo is like finding a buried treasure. Blimey. Aye aye Capitan, I'll walk the plank if Mo loses the Juvy. I wish I could have seen Ruffian's first few races. It was a sight to behold I'm told. I did see the replays but that's not the same feeling you get from watching it as it happens. Mo's first two races had my jaw dropping. Definitely the most impressive 2yo this year for me, maybe ever. The BC Juvenile usually doesn't grab my attention like this one does. Can't wait to see him again. And Jaycito.


  Maybe we'll have your Triple Crown next year so you can forget about dem Cowboys, although they're not out of it yet.

23 Oct 2010 12:27 AM

DR. D...Just found the nice sweatshirt my kids gave me last year.  Big question...Can I wear my Dallas star in public?  Oh well, at least it's the same colors as Penn State.  I'm also pulling for the Titans because 1) I like Fisher's discipline & 2) I have never recovered from the awesome Championship game Vince Young played in college.  I explained it to my kids this way, "Young throws a long pass, runs down the field, catches the pass, and runs in to score a TD."  

At least, that what the game looked like to me.  Too bad he's having such a hard time in the NFL.

As far as the BC, I'm waiting to find out where each horse will finally be entered because it seems to constantly be in flux...except for Zen.  She's the "it" girl of the season, and I think she'll be the one to join Tiz Now with 2 Classics. (fingers crossed along with toes...difficult to walk around like this for 2 weeks).  While I like Uncle Mo, I also like the Boys at Tosconova.  I am a Kinsale King fan in the sprint, and I'm looking forward to a Gio-Goldie duel in the mile...unless he enters the ...oh never's just too early to pick the winners.  

23 Oct 2010 8:26 AM

markinsac - Love your posts!

sherpa - In elementary school here in NM we had these kid maps.  They just showed the U.S. and nothing else, no oceans, Canada or Mexico, just the shape of the mainland U.S.  I knew that California had an ocean and that the east had an ocean, so I figured that the edge of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas must have an ocean too!  (Nebraska would have had an ocean too!)  I started hounding my mom to go to the ocean!  She said, it's too far.  When I insisted that it was only a little ways south of us, she had to pull out a REAL map and burst my bubble!  Darn!  At least I have big, beautiful mountains!

Slew - Vince Young blew me away too!  That's a great description of that Championship game, one of the best performances ever.  I followed him for awhile, but never saw that same magic.

Dr D - I know you think Jaycito will be better over the Classic distances, but you never know.  Many thought Ruffian couldn't go long, but she did!  Throughout the Filly Triple Crown, they were trying to teach her to rate, so in the Mother Goose when she ran :47 and 3 for the first half they were excited that she was going so slow!  Even being heavily restrained in that race she set a stakes record and was 4/5ths off of Riva's track record.  In the mile and a half Coaching Club American Oaks, again they restrained her into running the slowest fractions of her life, a :49 flat half.  They finally let her go the last furlong, which she ran in :11 and 3, not even running all out.  She was bucking after the wire.  She had won the Filly Triple Crown without even trying.  What a special horse she was.  I really hope Uncle Mo can continue on as brilliant, and Boys, and I like Jaycito too!  There are so many good young boys out there.

23 Oct 2010 11:27 AM

This is an "opinion" blog we all have one, some good, some bad, some right some wrong, but they are opinions and predictions. If you don't agree so what, who died and left you in charge. Enjoy the fact that many of us agree to disagree, and move on ! Nothing personal but how can anyone hate the great horse Zenyatta really is? She just goes about her business and "wins" ! Don't dis-respect her for being "perfect", or her fans for adoring her ! Blame the trainer & owner if you must ? Go ZENYATTA, 20-0, you are the queen ...

23 Oct 2010 1:58 PM

John:   The Santa Anita Handicap was the first race track to offer a purse of $100K. I believe that happened in 1935. Seabiscuit won his last race there in 1940.

Great blog Steve as always. Excellent conversation and sportsmanship by all.

No one has mentioned her but I think that the only lock (if that is possible) in all of these Breeder's Cup races is Blind Luck in the Ladies Classic. So many of them dropping out, what we finally see on Breeder's Cup Friday and Saturday is still so wide open. Good fortune to all.......

24 Oct 2010 3:12 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  You wear whatever you want to wear in public, or don't one to wear.


    I think Mo might get the Classic distances.

24 Oct 2010 1:18 PM
Arlene positions are drawn. I hate to be a fairy tale optimist..but at this time of year..with the horse talent.trainer talent.and jockey talent..can at one time each year..knowing that they know any quirks..such as track bias..that everyone has been prepared..or been preparing..for showing that the best horse at this time will win..barring post is no excuses..the best (horses) with the beat (training) with the best (jockeys) with the best (track presentation)..that is what I like about the Breeders levels the fiedls..if they ARE the display the best..every race is a best in its' own..but these connections have the tiime to prepare. Please, dilute the variables..and let the more talented, best prepared horse and connectiosn win, and get heir name in the books. This is what it is all about!

02 Nov 2010 9:28 PM
Ashley McConnell

I know that the Classic is the race everybody focuses on, but I have to confess that I would LOVE to see Zenyatta turned loose in the Marathon, and just let run.  I think it would be amazing.  (And it might get the endurance horses a little more respect!)

06 Nov 2010 4:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

When does the Derby Dozen start? Please tell us that you're still going to do a Derby Dozen blog.

06 Nov 2010 8:06 PM

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