Farewell, Frankel

With Frankel having run his final race and retiring undefeated following another sensational score in the QIPCO Champion Stakes, we thought we would update our column on the son of Galileo and his namesake that ran last October and add a few new twists to it.

Well, there’s no escaping it now. Frankelstein cannot be destroyed. Racing’s four-legged monster has run amok for the last time. All that is left is to write books about arguably the most exciting horse ever seen in Great Britain, at least in modern times. Has anyone in England, even veterans of the sport, ever seen a prop wager offering 8-1 on a horse winning a race by over 10 lengths? We’re talking European racing, where a three- or four-length victory is considered a romp. For Frankel, that’s a photo finish.

Frankel doesn’t beat his opposition, he pummels them into submission and leaves them reeling far up the track. There was great concern about the soft condition of the Ascot ground in the Champion Stakes, but Frankel was able to get the better of a top-class mud freak like Cirrus des Aigles, who had won his last five starts on soft ground by an average margin of almost eight lengths. For Frankel, he had to work harder than usual to wear down Cirrus des Aigles, but considering his bad break and the ground, and his favorite whipping boy, Excelebration, dominating the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes the race before, he did nothing but add to his legacy.

Frankel’s historic victory, capping an unbeaten career, was much needed in a year where history was thwarted a several occasions. An 11th-hour injury before the Belmont Stakes prevented I’ll Have Another from attempting to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years. A heartbreaking defeat in the St. Leger prevented Camelot from becoming the first British Triple Crown winner in 41 years. A quarantine regulation in Germany prevented Danedream from trying to become the first filly to win back-to-back Arc de Triomphes in 75 years.

Frankel, however, came through, not only for Great Britain and Europe, but the entire world, overcoming the kind of footing that he has been able to avoid in his last 12 races. Frankel showed it doesn’t matter how far his swift legs sink into the turf, they bounce back up as if on springs. His smooth, powerful stride makes everything seem effortless, and he has the ability to separate himself from his opposition with such alacrity, it’s as if he’d been demagnetized from them. To him, the two-furlong marker, often a seemingly brick wall to his opponents, is merely a launch pad.

Some have anointed him the greatest horse ever, while others are more restrained in their praise. Having never run over the classic distance of 1 1/2 miles, it is difficult to compare him to horses like Ribot, Sea-Bird, Nijinsky, Mill Reef, and Brigadier Gerard, or even Sea the Stars and Shergar. After Saturday, it is difficult to imagine any horse beating him up to 10 furlongs. Beyond that, it is pure conjecture. In the end, history will place Frankel where he belongs in the pantheon of greats.

From one American’s viewpoint, it just doesn’t make sense. Frankel seems an aberration, a contradiction; something that defies all the rules of genetics and racing tradition. At the risk of sounding pompous and disgustingly provincial, Frankel should have American blood coursing through his veins, especially on his sire’s side; a Seattle Slew incarnate let loose over the grassy expanses of European racetracks. After all, how else can you explain a horse who contradicts all the principals of European racing and breeding by running with the brilliance and controlled reckless abandon of, well, an American. Yet he is by an Irish-bred staying sire, out of an Irish-bred mare, by a staying stallion who was the leading sire in England, Ireland, France, and Australia multiple times each?

Europe has, of course, produced fast enough sprinters, but nothing like Frankel, who carries sprinting speed a distance of ground and just keeps going, crushing his opponents, who cannot match his devastating speed and power. You just do not see horses in Europe winning all 14 of their career starts by an average margin of six lengths, including victories of 13, 11, 10, 7, and 6 (twice) lengths. You don’t see horses opening up a 10-length lead midway through the 2,000 Guineas and winning in a canter. Here is a horse who can beat a top-class miler like Canford Cliffs with an explosive turn of foot or simply run his foes into the ground right from the start, as he did in the Guineas. If you think you can bottle him up in traffic, just watch him shove Excelebration aside in the Queen Anne Stakes like he was swatting a gnat.

So, what is the explanation behind an enigmatic wonder like Frankel? Could it be the American blood from his female family through Danzig, His Majesty, and Stage Door Johnny, gushing forth like it never has before? Those names evoke stamina more than speed, although all three displayed brilliant speed on the racetrack.

Could it be there is something mystical about this horse? Could it be the American influence is not from any of the horses in his pedigree, but from the person for whom he was named?

When Bobby Frankel died in Nov. 2009, it’s as if his spirit was whisked away to England, manifesting itself inside a yearling colt by Galileo. Why would Juddmonte name a son of Galileo after Frankel, rather than a colt with an American pedigree who could show off his brilliance in the States? Did they know something? Was it gut instinct? Was this particular Galileo yearling running around his paddock cursing out his fellow yearlings and finding something to complain about? Or perhaps he walked up to the fence one day and boldly stated he was going to be a super horse, and if you didn’t believe him you were a moron.

Whatever the reason, it is beginning to look more and more as if Frankel the horse embodies the spirit of Frankel the human, whether you buy it or not. If Bobby were granted one day to return to earth, as Emily Webb was in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, he would have chosen today in order to say goodbye to his namesake, and he would have flashed that cocky Cheshire Cat grin of his as if to say, “Hey, it was the name that did it.”

Let’s look at the facts, Bobby hated to lose. Bobby dreamed of having that one immortal superstar for Juddmonte and believed he did with Empire Maker. Bobby was so competitive he took no prisoners on the racetrack. If he could crush you he would. Bobby was defiant and never afraid of any opponent. He never backed down from a challenge and would love to have seen his namesake come here for last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile and attempt to thwart Goldikova’s bid for a fourth consecutive victory. If Frankel the horse had come and knocked off everyone’s favorite heroine, or crushed America’s top Horse of the Year candidate, Wise Dan, this year, Frankel the person would have given that same grin and relished having spoiled the fairy tale endings, just as he did when he defeated the darling of New York, Funny Cide, in the Belmont Stakes.

Bobby may have enjoyed playing the bad guy, but behind that crusty exterior was a marshmallow of a heart and soul that always had a warm place for his special circle of friends -- human, equine, and canine; not necessarily in that order. He was almost childlike around his horses and especially his Australian Shepherds. When the love of his life, Happy, died in his arms he wept like a baby and was grief-stricken for weeks, unable to talk about her without breaking down. When Happy was seriously ill, Bobby had decided to stay home and care for her rather than attend the Breeders’ Cup. As a result, he missed Ginger Punch’s gutsy victory in the Distaff. He would name his next dog Ginger and the following one Punch.

Several days before his filly, Flute, won the Kentucky Oaks in 2001, he stood outside her stall with a big smile on his face and lavished affection on her, hugging and kissing her and talking baby talk to her. He said he wanted her to win badly, simply because she was such a sweet filly to be around. That was the Bobby Frankel few people ever saw.

As for Frankel the horse, he is the culmination of a miracle that began in 1990 when a brash, outspoken Jew from the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y. formed a long-lasting bond with a Saudi Arabian prince.

It was an unlikely partnership that somehow became one of the most successful alliances in racing history. Everything they built together and everything they strove for has been realized in one very special colt, who in some ways has lifted Thoroughbred racing into an almost ethereal-like sphere. Perhaps it is appropriate that Frankel the horse remains a wonderment; unlike anything ever seen before. Some things are just meant to be enjoyed and are not worth trying to explain.

100 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Past The Grandstand

As always, great piece, Mr. Haskin! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece. What a show Frankel put on today to carry on the legacy of Bobby Frankel. Your portrayal of Bobby touched my heart and I am so grateful that this horse was chosen to be the one to honor him. Thank you so much for posting this.

Ironically, I posted a post on my blog by the same title shortly before I read your piece. The link is here: pastthegrandstand.blogspot.com/.../farewell-frankel.html

My words are not as touching as yours, however, Mr. Haskin. Keep the great posts coming! I really loved this one. Farewell, Frankel!

20 Oct 2012 12:04 PM
Cyd Beevers

And surprise of he did run on drugs and the same sire line as numerous American horses!

20 Oct 2012 12:05 PM
Mary Zinke

So much for the suggestions that Frankel had anything to prove by running in the BC.  He's faced and dominated top competition, but he has had no peer.  Many thanks to Frankel's entire team, including Bullet Train, for every brilliant moment. Happiness for this win countered by sadness that it was his last race. Too many superlatives--a great Thoroughbred.

20 Oct 2012 12:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

When I saw the title of this article I started cracking up at the timeliness of it. Already !!!!! Frankel's final race was a sight to behold. It was scary seeing the divots on the turf pre-race but he handled it as if it was a perfect putting surface sinking the putt from 10 furlongs despite the treacherous read. Soft surface, a bad start, no problem. I have followed Frankel from the beginning simply because he was named after the great Bobby Frankel who mezmerized me with his demeanor, talent and will to win, very much like the horse. It's been a special ride, not quite like Zenyatta, who was a better dancer and in our own backyard but thrilling nonetheless. Now all that is left is for those with the power to do so is to get Frankel and Zenyatta together for a little twirl on the dance floor followed by a night on the town and breakfast in bed.

20 Oct 2012 12:39 PM
anna12

i think that he very well could be the european's dr. fager, even if that one ran many yrs before i was born, but from what i've heard about him, that frankel acts like him and remember he never ran past 10 furlongs.

20 Oct 2012 1:22 PM
Warlaine

Maybe there is something behind the reincarnation theory.Sometimes I wish they could go racing forever the great ones. Well done Team Frankel. You will be missed.

20 Oct 2012 1:26 PM
Triptych

Thank you so much fpr this touching words Mr. Haskin. I love your wonderful stories!

For me, this wonder was able because of the name and the story behind.

I just wish Sir Henry all the best, he looked awfully ill. Prayers for him to a full recovery.

20 Oct 2012 1:37 PM
Linda in Texas

So glad he ran today as i do not relish the number 13 and did not

want him to retire with that number.

Fourteen and a Win and Frankel the horse named after the great trainer is forever in the record books.

I believe in The Racing Gods and have no doubt Mr. Frankel had a hand in the win. I can see his smile as i write this. And Steve,

i buy everything you wrote about his spirit. Thank you.

20 Oct 2012 1:46 PM
SAK MAN

Another great posting Steve.

Looking forward to sons of GALILEO as sires. CAPE BLANCO will lead the list with a ton of babies for 2015 and beyond. I was so impressed with his 2011 USA campaign back and forth across the pond. I witnessed his impressive win in the Arlington Million during a day of thunder storms and boggy turf outdueling America's best in Gio Ponti. Lots to look forward to.

20 Oct 2012 1:50 PM
Wrensflight

Finally a happy ending this year, just as you pointed out, Steve. Frankel has given everyone an exciting racing hero at a very opportune time. I hope that his stud career will be every bit as brilliant as his running.

20 Oct 2012 1:59 PM
Karen in Texas

Frankel's obviously one of the greats; it doesn't matter from which side of the Atlantic he comes. I am struck by his beautiful physique and physical balance and his very, very professional demeanor. He will be missed.

20 Oct 2012 2:00 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Well Written Piece Steve.

Wonderful touching piece on Bobby Frankel. I was at that Belmont for Empire Makers Win, I cheered for Bobby that Day and his colt, NY guy winning The biggest New York Race. One last racing memory I have of Bobby was his Japan Cup win in '88 with Pay the Butler. He could win big races anywhere he went, and  The stories of his personality never get old.

20 Oct 2012 2:19 PM
Grande Fan

Thank you for another great tribute to a champion. It is a fond farewell we bid Frankel, and will look forward to many years of talented progeny. How fortunate we have all been to see him run and share the thrill of each victory. A great heart and bold courage - that's what we love about this TB. Thank you for the ride.

20 Oct 2012 2:51 PM
JorgeG

Now, this is a poem...thank you very VERY much Mr. Haskin....!!

20 Oct 2012 3:46 PM
billpyers

Mr Haskin, the recent debate is pointless. Your best horses run on dirt, the rest of the world choose another surface.I used to think America was the benchmark of equine excellence but it isn't because of their obsession with this awful surface.

20 Oct 2012 4:01 PM
Paula Higgins

Great post Steve! Frankel is a great horse and I think the comparison with Dr. Fager is most appropriate. He would certainly be on anyone's list of all time greats. His race today just confirms his greatness against some very good competition and after a rough start. Only a great horse can do what he did today.

But I am one of those that thinks the classic distance is a requirement to be considered for the greatest horse of all time. It is an accolade that still belongs to Secretariat. He set speed records that still stand today. He ran and won on both dirt and grass, won our Triple Crown, and ran the longer distances against another truly great horse, Sham, and beat him. Man O' War is his closest competition in my opinion.

Bobby Frankel is my favorite trainer along with John Shirreffs. His love for his dogs is legendary and that is something I can truly relate to. Staying with Happy while she was sick told us exactly what he was about and that was a very big heart. He loved his horses and the people closest to him as well. He was a gem and it is totally fitting that a spectacular horse was named for him. A very fitting tribute.

20 Oct 2012 4:08 PM
Paula Higgins

Also, one last thing, Sir Henry Cecil is a brave man and he will be in my prayers. He did a remarkable job with Frankel. Training a horse of Frankel's greatness and dealing with stomach cancer should be mutually exclusive, but he did it and did it brilliantly.

20 Oct 2012 4:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

King Frankel + Queen Zenyatta = Prince Frank or Princess Z. Or both, or maybe more in a long line of royalty. Long live the Queen and The King !!!!  Bravo Frankel, Queally, and Sir Cecil.

20 Oct 2012 4:31 PM
Dooquila

Goodbye to an amazing horse, the lifted the roof of at Ascot today.  The top rated horse in the world judged by the top horseman in the world as the best there is. The true legacy of course is the brilliant handling of Frankel by the master Henry Cecil who had us all in tears today.  One wonders if the loss of Frankel will diminish him in some way for he is gravely ill.  For all unfamiliar with him he is a different creature temperament wise to the hot headed colt in the 2000 guineas.  That race is my favourite, so many of us have a different one.  He took Group 1 winning sprinters clean off their feet, it is the most visually impressive site I have certainly watched in horse racing.  Frankel retired unbeaten.  He beat 60 winners of 243 races.  Of these there were 22 Group 1 winners of 49 races at the top level.  The form lines stacked up every which way.  He has made front page news in England already.  We are all gonna miss him.

20 Oct 2012 4:59 PM
ksweatman9

It's wonderful when a horse comes along in this era and we can talk about greatness in the present rather than reaching back to the glory days. I can't say Frankel is the best horse of all time and I can't say he isn't. 14 notches in the saddle doesn't give me that type of insight. However, I believe in my heart that "The best of all time" is too heavy a crown for any one horse to wear. Too many great horses, all kings in their own right. So glad you pulled off a final victory, Frankel. I see you had to work a bit on this one, that's good, shows heart. I wouldn't have wanted Frankel fans to feel the agony and disappointment that Zenyatta fans did when she suffered her one and only loss before being retired. I'm happy for you all. So, be a great sire Frankel. Give those folks across the pond something to look forward to!

20 Oct 2012 6:12 PM
Racingfan

Nice article as always Steve!  And for all the naysayers, the amazing Frankel has 41 North American bred ancestors in his 5 generation pedigree so he has plenty of that "inferior" North American blood...  In fact, both his sire and dam sire trace to Northern Dancer and he has 5 crosses to the great Native Dancer!  In fact, most of the sires in the 5 generations are bred in the USA or Canada....

20 Oct 2012 7:11 PM
Zen4Zen

To the Frankel of racing writers, a big thank you for your unbeatable writing, revealing to us here the legendary trainer as well as the horse.

20 Oct 2012 8:23 PM
Abigail Anderson

Thanks for this, Steve. Like Dr. D (above) I kind of giggled when your article came up within seconds of his win. I figure there must have been another version, just in case things didn't go his way? Anyway, it was a most befitting send-off and Frankel did well, considering the poor start and soft ground. Like you, he's also precious to me because I just feel Bobby right there, guiding him safely home.

20 Oct 2012 8:30 PM
kincsem

It is so wonderful that the namesake of one of our greatest trainers turned out to be one for the ages. Bobby Frankel did not run horses where they had slight chance to win - he knew they only had so many efforts in them & he didn't cavalierly waste them in better company or at distances that were not suited to them. That shows a respect for the animal that is lacking in so many trainers. Frankel, the horse, embodies Bobby's brilliant philosophy: and I am so happy that his trainer is of very like mind!!

20 Oct 2012 9:25 PM
steve from st louis

I just hope there are astute enough horsemen in the US to buy some of the young Frankels when/if they see the light of day at auction. It is far more likely Juddmonte will keep all of

the "young Bobbys" for themselves.

There is a yiddish term for Bobby Frankel that would make a good name for one of the more astute sons of Galileo, "Mensch"(rhymes with "bench") and  which translates to one with a good soul.. That would be a perfect name for a son of Frankel.

20 Oct 2012 10:04 PM
-Keelerman

What a wonderful piece, Steve. Once again, you have beautifully captured the essence of a truly great horse.

It was so wonderful to see a fairy tale ending actually play out the way it was supposed to. So many times in horse racing the perfect endings fail to materialize, leaving us wondering what might have been. But in the end, Frankel was able to overcome all obstacles and get the job done, giving us a spectacular ending to a spectacular story.

And yet, I honestly believe that if it weren't for Bullet Train, that happy ending would not have occurred. It is easy to forget about the poor guy, as he always finishes last, but he played a key role in ensuring Frankel's victory today. If not for that bold run around the second bend, Cirrus Des Aigles would have surely continued to set a slow pace, and he might have had enough left in the tank to stem off Frankel's late run.

I have written a tribute to Frankel and Bullet Train that I would like to share. Obviously, it will be many years before we encounter another horse as brilliant as Frankel. But at the same time, let us hope that Bullet Train does not become a mere footnote in the history books. He deserves better than this, because he performed above and beyond the call of duty when it mattered most.

triplecrowncountdown.blogspot.com/.../of-frankel-and-bullet-train.html

-Keelerman

20 Oct 2012 10:08 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

I watched a video about how they picked this colt to name after Mr.Frankel.  From what I saw he had one of the highest ratings all around as a yearling, and they picked him because he was top rated yearling at the Prince's stable.  He then went to Ireland, and returned back after to begin his training under Sir Henry.  Also My heart dropped seeing Sir Henry after the race with no hair, and looking as fragile as I ever have seen him.  I pray his chemo works, and can be in remission asap.  

Wonderful Frankel Video for you all to enjoy:)

www.youtube.com/watch

20 Oct 2012 10:40 PM
captainsmistress

Beautiful writing, Mr. Haskin, Thank You! But, I so wish Frankel had come to this year's BC! What an event, with the whole world watching! Godspeed, Frankel! Enjoy your retirement!

20 Oct 2012 11:27 PM
Lexington Bloodstock

Another fabulous article.  Thank you.  If you harbor questions about Frankel's pedigree, throw them out.  He is one of the most classically bred horses or his generation.  He is blessed with both multiple levels of Nearco/Phalaris blood and Native Dancer/Polynesian blood.  The ultimate Golden Cross.  I predict he will be one of the great sires in the sport.  dpromano@outlook.com

21 Oct 2012 12:33 AM
Dooquila

Goodbye to an amazing horse, he lifted the roof of at Ascot today.  The top rated horse in the world judged by the top horseman in the world as the best there is. The true legacy of course is the brilliant handling of Frankel by the master Henry Cecil who had us all in tears today. I am scared if the loss of Frankel will diminish his fight for life, that he kept going to deliver Frankel to his destiny .  To see the transformation temperament wise to the hot headed colt in the 2000 guineas was amazing.  That race is my favorite, so many of us have a different one.  He took Group 1 winning sprinters clean off their feet that day within a couple of furlongs.  It was an awesome sight.  He beat 60 winners of 243 races.  Of these there were 22 Group 1 winners of 49 races at the top level.  Even the Queen waved at Frankel yesterday, no-one wants to say goodbye.

21 Oct 2012 2:50 AM
PNkt

Sak Man, there are several active sons of Galileo at stud already. 4 of them are old enough to have runners:

Teofilo - oldest crop are 3, including G1 winner Parish Hall

New Approach - oldest crop 2, including unbeaten Ch 2yo elect Dawn Approach

Heliostatic - oldest crop 3, including G3 winner Crius. Only very small crops to date

Sixties Icon - oldest crop 2, including G3 winner Chilworth Icon. A leading first season sire from small number of runners - 15 runners to date, 8 of them winners, 5 of them placed

21 Oct 2012 5:44 AM
Kelso1966

Steve, you nailed it-brought tears to my eys--Frankel was a joy to behold, I can't tell you how many times I have had to explain to folks who the horse was named for and how appropriate it turned out to be. Are there coincidences in life?  I don't think so, it was just meant to be.

21 Oct 2012 7:11 AM
PNkt

RacingFan, it's not the "old" American bloodlines that are the problem. It's the stallions and mares at stud right now that are the product of several generations of running on medication that international breeders are concerned about.

Frankel may have American bloodlines but 10 of the 14 ancestors in the first 3 generations of his pedigree were turf runners in Europe.

Also take a closer look at Northern Dancer's pedigree. You'll find an awful lot of Italian and British blood there ;)

21 Oct 2012 9:45 AM
Slew

Wow! What a race!  While I am not prepared to raise Frankel's laurels above Sea The Stars or Shergar or Mill Reef, He has certainly proven himself to be more than a miler, and has done it in grand style.

Perhaps the biggest secret to his success may simply be his name.  Bobby Frankel would not allow this champion to fail...ever.  And I have been thrilled by Frankel with every race.

Talk about Northern Dancer, and Mr. Prospector, and that bluest of hens, Urban Sea.  Breeding to spare.  A Danehill mare. Didn't Danedream almost match Secretariat's Belmont time in the Arc last year, shattering all previous records?

Perhaps it's best to say it's Magic.  Bobby and Frankel each gave us a glimpse into how a horse becomes immortal.

21 Oct 2012 9:52 AM
Pedigree Ann

Keelerman, do you realize that Bullet Train is Frankel's year-older 3/4-brother? He won the Lingfield Derby Trial (G3) at 11.5f as a 3yo; mayhap now that he isn't needed to set the pace for Little Bro, he can run at distances more suitable for him and pick up some more wins.

Steve, I don't quite understand your premise. Frankel is largely of American background. Both Galileo's sire and damsire are (USA)s, although I agree a lot of his phenotype comes from German 2nd dam Allegretta (what a dominant mare she was!). Dam of Frankel is Kind, whose sire, damsire, and second damsire were all (USA)s. And even Frankel's 4th dam, the imported Rock Garden, is by a stallion with some US roots - his sire was by Relic (War Relic-Bridal Colors, by Black Tony) and he is tail-female to Frizette.

Twelve of the sixteen horses in Frankel's fourth generation are (USA)s or (CAN)s; most of them raced on dirt or were intended to be.[One of the (FR)s in that 4th generation is by the (USA) dirt SW Red God, who also raced well on turf in GB at 2.]

21 Oct 2012 10:09 AM
Paula Higgins

kinscem, loved what you said about Bobby Frankel not running a horse in a race that he didn't think he had a good shot at winning. He was all about his beloved animals.

21 Oct 2012 1:56 PM
-Keelerman

Pedigree Ann;

Yes, I was aware of that. To me, that is one of the best parts of the whole Frankel story. I too hope that Bullet Train will be able to pick up some more victories now that his pacemaking duties are over.

21 Oct 2012 1:57 PM
Soldier Course

Sunday afternoon. Sitting at the indie bookstore on Kiawah Island, SC. I started reading the first page of the novel "Bring Up The Bones". This year's winner of the UK's Man Booker Prize. I came across a word, "transmigrated". Hadn't seen it in ages. Looked it up to be sure.

Then I turned to this article. About the very same thing. Transmigrated = Frankel  > Frankel. Believe.

21 Oct 2012 2:40 PM
ofelia

Frankel is a breeding sensation. If you look at his pedigree, the mares stand out for the black-type as well. Mr. Prospector mare-line with Northern Dancer sires have produced many great horses. I think Zenyatta needs to pay Galileo a visit. Wouldn't that be a sensation?

21 Oct 2012 3:50 PM
Bret Stossel

Wouldn't it have been so much more interesting if they had chosen to run Frankel in the Epsom Derby...or the Arc...or the BC Classic? And wasn't it too bad Juddmonte decided to send Empire Maker, the horse Bobby Frankel believed would be his and Juddmonte's "immortal superstar," to Japan because they had no faith in his prospects as a sire? Unfortunately for North American and European breeders, that has sure turned out to be wrong! Too bad there couldn't have been more of a story book ending but I guess that only happens in story books.

21 Oct 2012 4:19 PM
Dawn Strosko

Steve, you have left me speachless!!! Thank you for a beautiful article!!

21 Oct 2012 5:52 PM
mz

Keelerman I am with you about Bullet Trian.  Considering he is by Sadlers Weels, I wonder if they will give him a chnace at stud?  

21 Oct 2012 6:18 PM
The Deacon

Well written and classy post Steve. You are the perfect gentleman to write about our beloved sport.

Frankel was brilliant, no arguement from me but I have a hard time comparing Europeans horses to American horses in terms of greatness. Euros run on turf, American horses run on many different surfaces. Nuff said there in my opinion.

My standard for all time greatness is the ability to run and win at any distance, and to carry weight.

As much as I respect Paula Higgins posts I respectfully disagree with her opinion in saying Secretariat is the greatest ever. He got beat many times and never won a race carrying more then a 126 lbs.

He is mostly everyone's favorite because he was the 1st horse to win the Triple Crown in the modern racing era. I also believe it is senseless to argue who is the greatest ever. Mr. Haskin has said this many times, in fact he won't even get into any discussion regarding who was the best ever.

Lets just put about 8 or 9 of these greats in the conversation and call it good.

Good luck to Frankel in his next career. He was to Europe what Big Z was to the Americans. A race horse who captured the hearts of millions and came along when he was needed.......

21 Oct 2012 6:48 PM
Bill Two

I can't wait to see what Frankel produces at stud!  I'm certain he will receive the best mares in the world, but will we see any of his offspring here in the states???

21 Oct 2012 9:29 PM
Linda in Texas

Dr. D your post on October 20 about Zenyatta and Frankel would no doubt produce the next Equine Couple formerly known as Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair.

As i watched Frankel being ridden to post, he was prancing a bit himself. With his neck arched like Zenyatta. So prancing and dancing would no doubt show up in a foal if

that duo came to pass on their genes. I was wondering where would be half way between Kentucky and England. Couldn't even google it. And don't forget Zenyatta does not

travel well and would probably have to nurse a headache for a few days if she traveled to meet him. It would no doubt be, "so sorry Frankel, not tonight!" :)

Very nice tribute Keelerman, just

superb. So many wonderful people who bring such grace to the place

we call Hangin' With Haskin. How

lucky we all are.

Thank you Steve. It all revolves around and is because of you and what you bring to the discussion with your thought provoking articles. One right after the other.

21 Oct 2012 9:31 PM
Needler in Virginia

With thanks again, Steve; you've given us a lovely tribute and farewell to a grand horse and a thrilling ride.

With respect to those who look at bloodlines as if they were crystal balls, I submit the following: Great horses have been known to spring up from unlikely bloodlines and surprising sources; Secretariat was NEVER supposed to be able to get a classic distance, never mind do what he did in the Belmont. Great horses are allowed to become and remain great by the trainers who raise, train and guide their careers; in this case, Frankel's greatness is undeniable and the talent of his trainer is unarguable. SO three cheers for Sir Henry and his achievements...........and best wishes for him in his latest battle. Thanks to both him and his horse for the most fun I've had in years..............

Cheers and safe trips.

21 Oct 2012 11:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Farewell to Chantal too. I wonder if Dana Fitzpatrick will retire also?

21 Oct 2012 11:50 PM
Paula Higgins

The Deacon, I certainly understand your perspective. I have seen cases made for Man O' War, Citation, Seattle Slew, and Dr. Fager on our side of the Atlantic for the greatest racehorse of all time. All good cases, all truly great horses. Maybe we should say Kinscem who won 54 out of 54 and raced in 5 different countries in the 19th century. I could be happy with that. As for the Euros, I would never place Frankel above Sea Bird, Ribot, Nijinsky or Mill Reef. But Frankel IS a great horse. Along with Black Caviar, another great horse,they have been two great stories this year. My favorite horse is the incomparable Zenyatta. She will always be the greatest in my heart.

21 Oct 2012 11:57 PM
28 Furlongs

Needler, speaking of top runners from obscure bloodlines, the Japanese triple crown winner from last year, Orfevre, and dual classic winner, Gold Ship, from this year are out of mares by Mejiro McQueen.  

Mejiro McQueen traces in-tail-male to the Byerley Turk. This line is all but extinct in the US  and rarely found in Group winners in Europe.

22 Oct 2012 3:18 AM
Dooquila

Keelerman, well done on flagging up ole Bullet Train and his role in the Frankel story.  He has quite the following over here and is very much loved and appreciated by the British Racing public.  They are like two peas in a pods.  Bullet Trains was not only pacemaker but work horse and gallops companion.  He was the calming equine influence on his younger sibling.  Another of the clan made his debut last week.  Luckily he doesnt know his half brother is or he might have run a little better!  Teddy Grimthorpe was asked if he was going to miss Frankel and he replied no as I've only to look out the window and he's up the road (Banstead Manor).  Needler in Virginia you have hit the nail on the head, who knows who Frankel will go best with, it could be anyone.  I am personally routing that the brilliant unbeaten french mare Zarkava goes to meet him although her first filly Zerkaza has yet to race.  His next chapter could be just as successful as his last. Frankel has that sparkle in his eyes that only the Irish can have, I am sure he will adapt well.

22 Oct 2012 7:03 AM
Wahoowa95

A wonderful tribute, Steve, and agree that racing needed this sort of "happy ending" to the year. And regardless of whether or not people think he's a wonderhorse, agree this is something we as an industry should just celebrate and enjoy.

22 Oct 2012 8:39 AM
The Deacon

Paula Higgins:  Well put and I agree. I would throw in Spectacular Bid in that mix and Damascus.

As for Frankel, yes he is brilliant no arguement from anyone on that but I am not too sure his competition was the best. A few years back there was a lot of talk about Dubai Millineum being the next super horse, then came Zarkova whom I happen to think was as good as about anyone from across the pond.....

My attitude is just enjoy the moment with these precious animals because we don't see them for very long........

22 Oct 2012 11:05 AM
Ranagulzion

Steve, How about a photo essay on Chantal Sutherland?

22 Oct 2012 11:16 AM
Mary in VT

Agree with all of you. Frankel was a wonder. There is nothing I can say about him that hasn't been very well said already.

But there is something else evident in all of the above .. I love how very gracious Americans are to so readily acknowledge and celebrate a great horse anywhere in the world. Oh we might proudly point out American bred ancestors when we can, but we do readily and quite happily give credit where credit is due. Love that about you all.

Case in point; the Breeders Cup in which the world was invited and most genuinely welcome from it's inception. Indeed, if anything, we are disappointed when the best in the world does not come so that we can see them and celebrate them side by side with their foreign connections.

Anyway, long live Frankel. Can't wait to see his get.

22 Oct 2012 12:12 PM
lunar spook

Lets see . . .  10 Grade 1 stakes wins , 14 for 14 , a 147 timeform rating , several wins by a blowout , secretariat , man o war , zenyatta and YES !! ill say it FRANKEL !!!!!!

22 Oct 2012 2:09 PM
Slew

Deacon: You must admit Excelebration demolished the field in the mile...and yet Frankel beat Excelebration..how many times??? 4? 5? by how many lengths? 7? 8?  

I'd love to know why Nathaniel did not do better.  And I can't help wondering how Snow Fairy would have fared.  It's a world full of what if's and if only.  I think it's simply best to enjoy the moment, and appreciate a horse who did his best, whether or not you choose to call him "great".

22 Oct 2012 2:21 PM
The Deacon

I see where Street Sense is off to Japan. I am wondering Steve if you like this move. I really love this horse and do not like the fact he is being shipped abroad.

Dr.D: Its Dana Patrick, you were probably just cracking a funny.

Maybe when Chantal Sutherland lost the mount on Game On Dude she started re-thinking her future.

22 Oct 2012 2:57 PM
slee

Somebody said once that among thoroughbreds a runner can win easy, but a racehorse can win hard.

Frankel has done both, as only the great ones can.  It's one thing to flash astonishing (and enviable) speed when the sun is shining, the weights are low, the fields are small, and the course is perfect.  I loved the earlier races of Frankel where Queally opened his wrists just a little, Frankel flipped back an ear, and suddenly there were 6 lengths of daylight behind him.

But Saturday Frankel did it the hard way.  Deep, slow course, dwelt at the gate, tucked in 4th, then ran down the leader stride by stride and breath by breath.  And was that a flashing whip in the last few yards?  Well, yes, just to be sure.  When you're headed for immortality as a racehorse, you have to be sure.

Unbeaten.  Challenged really only by the conditions.  Frankel - have a nice life at stud, and thanks!

22 Oct 2012 3:27 PM
Britfilly

I had the great pleasure of attending Ascot on Saturday, and witnessing Frankel's last race. I also saw him in the flesh on 6 other occasions. As you can imagine, I am so proud of the horse for British breeding and racing. I have found it very refreshing to read the comments on here, where everyone obviously appreciates great Champions wherever they come from.

Frankel always had great prescence and character in the parade ring, often stopping to look and listen to the clicking and whirring of the hundreds of cameras pointed towards him. I met him at Henry Cecil's as a two year old and he would kick te door to his box and make a fuss until he received the attention he wanted.

He is more than a horse. There is something else extra special about him, so maybe Bobby is there somewhere.

Frankel will be a great sire in my opinion, 2008 Derby winner New Approach (also by Galileo) is going to be the top First season sire this year over here. Frankel won't sire anything as good as himself though. Odds are stacked against it unfortnately.

Thanks to all connections of Frankel for a thrilling last three years!

22 Oct 2012 3:40 PM
PNkt

Slew - Nathaniel was pulled out of the Arc due to running a high temperature, so it is entirely possible that he hadn't fully recovered from whatever caused that.

22 Oct 2012 3:41 PM
Footlick

Slew- according to Racing Post Nataniel matched his top rating of 127.  Cirrus des Aigles  ran a new top of 132.  Frankel ran a 136+, meaning he could have gone faster if needed.  

22 Oct 2012 3:41 PM
Ranagulzion

Frankel the phenominal horse in Great Britain might have outshone his namesake, the late genius trainer Bobby from America by a nose. I agree that this colt is a pretty awesome tribute to Bobby Frankel. His performance in the Champion Stakes left us wanting more and still wishing that we could have seen him remove every doubt about his all time #1 status (among Turf horses) with a win in the Arc. What's not in doubt is that he belongs in the same conversation about the likes of Sea Bird, Ribot, Brigadier Gerard, Mill Reef, Nijinsky and Sea the Stars. The Brits have been truly blessed to have seen horses of the calibre of Sea the Stars and Frankel emerge within two/three years of each other. With all that American blood out there producing such incredible quality thoroughbreds overseas the indictment against american breeders is warranted IMO.  

22 Oct 2012 8:10 PM
Paula Higgins

Deacon, ITA about Zarkava. She was very, very special. Dr. Fager is a horse I have always thought was in the mythical/Mt. Olympus category (along with Man O' War of course). He could do it all. Let's face it, there have been some incredible horses over the last 100+ years.

22 Oct 2012 8:55 PM
Age of Reason

Britfilly: Wow, you are one privileged person! Like the older set (most of whom now passed) who loved to awe the younge set with stories of seeing Man O' War or Seabiscuit or Citation "in the flesh", you will truly have a story to tell your children ad grandchildren, or else nieces, nephews and young friends, for many years to come.

Ranagulzion, I'm hoping you meant "un-warranted"?

22 Oct 2012 10:07 PM
Ted from LA

Is anyone besides Ted from LA having difficulty finding footing on this blog?  Aside from the censorship, TedBob feels unwelcome.  Dr. D, I need your advice and a hug.  We were once upon-a-time pals in cyberland.  Now I feel we're just lonely people trying to forget each others' names.  What came between us?  Maybe we were just too young to know.  And it was Danika Patrick you were inquiring about, but I want to avoid any controversy in this post.

23 Oct 2012 1:43 AM
The Deacon

Paula Higgins:  Totally agree about Dr. Fager, truly a magnificent running machine. Carried weight and set a world record at a mile. For good measure Nerud ran him the turf carrying around 134 lbs and he only beat arguebly the best turf horse around at the time Fort Marcy, and Advocator. Still, because horses evoke passion and a personal sense of far away ownership in us, we will always have our favorites.

Whether it be Man O War, Swaps, Native Dancer, Damascus, Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Seattle Slew, Secretariat or Spectacular Bid there will always be an opinion on who is the best.

Now the Euro's have their own arguement on who is their greatest champion. Mill Reef, Nijinsky II, Ribot, Dahlia, Goldikova, Ouiga Board, Sea the Stars, Zarkava, Sea Bird or now Frankel. All were brilliant. Hard to argue on what Frankel has accomplished but I just want to remember all the greats and still enjoy my memories of them.

As Bagger Vance so eloquently said

"golf can not be won, only played".

With horse racing, there is never only one all time horse, there were given to us in trust to enjoy and for folks like Steve to write about.......

23 Oct 2012 3:38 AM
lunar spook

THE DEACON- I must disagree with your comment about "one" all time horse , thier was one an his name was S-E-C-R-E-T-A-R-I-A-T

23 Oct 2012 8:46 AM
Karen in Texas

Ranag---I'm wondering if "warranted" is what you meant as well.

Dr.D, Deacon, and Bob/Ted---You guys are needing some serious help with the name of our race car girl--it is Danica Patrick. Bob/Ted, how could anyone possibly think you are controversial?

23 Oct 2012 9:14 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted From LA

   You'll be alright kid. Everyone gets censored once in awhile. You get the gloves back on, get back up on the horse, test the waters again, take those training wheels off and get back into the ring !!!!! Now go get 'em kid. Atta boy !!!!

Ted and Deacon- It's not Dana or Danika, it's Danica Kilpatrick !!! Danica !!! I do appreciate the help though. I do think her best bet is too become a jockey and take Chantal's place.

23 Oct 2012 10:47 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted From LA

   I'm not sure, I have difficulty keeping up but I think hugs are out, fighting is back in, stiff upper lip, and all that jazz. It's the batting average that counts. You get half of them posted and you're batting 500 !!! Best of all time. How bout those Giants !!! Woohoo. If they can do it, you can do it. Make a strong comeback. Three good posts in a row and you're on your way.

23 Oct 2012 11:05 AM
The Deacon

Lunar Spook: Your comment made my point, everyone has their favorite. Arguing about who is greatest of all time is ridiculous. It can never be proven. People need to take their ego out of the equasion. No one person is qualified to say that any one horse is the best ever...who cares anyway, I choose to just enjoy them all.

23 Oct 2012 12:40 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Just one final comment to Ted from LA if I may. Sometimes people are just too far ahead of their time but setting future standards, like Lenny Bruce. Someday they'll be writing books and making movies about your censored and deleted comments.

23 Oct 2012 12:51 PM
Ranagulzion

Karen in Texas and Age of Reason,

"Warranted" is precisely what I meant. I'm not convinced that the American breeders have done their best to produce the best classic thoroughbred. I agree with those who say that breeding for speed, precocity and the sales ring, especially the latter, has resulted in us falling behind the Europeans.  Its hard to defend the American breeders when you look at what Japan is producing with North American "rejects".  I welcome your rebuttals.  

23 Oct 2012 2:00 PM
DontHateMe

Common Slew.....Snow Fairy? Really? Sea The Stars was good but No match for the "Beast" Frankel!!!!

23 Oct 2012 3:32 PM
Footlick

Ranagulzion- I agree.  The Europeans have taken our bloodlines and have kept them infused with stamina, whereas the American breeder has tailored their breeding for speed and quick return on the buyer's investment.

23 Oct 2012 3:51 PM
Karen in Texas

Ranag---I was just asking for clarification. The "rejects" remark tells me more about what you meant--thanks.

23 Oct 2012 4:27 PM
skyfire

I would like to say "Thank you" to Juddmonte for bringing this great horse back for his four year old  campaign.   With the internet, it really doesn't matter that he never made it over here. { I am so grateful  for my computer (and HRTV, of course) because it brings horses like Frankel and Black Caviar into our homes.)

It was amazing that Frankel raced this year; I can't think of another owner that would have  kept him in training.  Good luck to Frankel and Juddmonte!

23 Oct 2012 6:08 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Dooquila- I remember Zarkava foaled a Sea The stars Colt who should be 2 years old by now.  No word on whether he is going to the track or not.  Also Goldikova is in foal to Sea The stars also.  I am hoping her STS Colt makes it to the track...that is unlimited staying power!.

My opinion is the of all the mares that could visit Frankelfrom the USA I would choose Rags to Riches, or Blind Luck.   If they come from Europe normally you would say a Danehill mare but with Kind being by Danehill I would pass.   So  I will take the Dalakhani Mare Moonstone who is part of the Aga Khans Broodmare band. Her breeding is impeccable with no mention of  Northern Dancer or Sadler's wells in any generation.  Her 5th Generation is loaded with Mill Reef(ok sire), Mr.Prospector, Nijinsky, and she has the Ribot line from Hoist the Flag.  Nice Broodmare  Cheers.

23 Oct 2012 6:48 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Don't Hate Me-  Sea The stars resume says it all.  Great Middle Distance horse, and as far as resume, he tops frankel, as does Nijinsky. As far as pure athletic ability Frankel and Nijinsky are 1-2 for me. One was devastating, and the other smooth as silk and devastating. All Nijinsky needed was a hand ride from lester and he would run on by horses just like Frankel did when he coasted by St.Nic in the Juddmonte, and to close in on Cirrus Des Aigles in the Champions stakes.  

23 Oct 2012 6:52 PM
Freetex

Well, what a fine article and an amazing concept.  

Both Frankels, just stellar in their fields.  

Of course, Steve, no one writes like you.  No one.  Thanks for getting me inspired in racing once again.

23 Oct 2012 7:33 PM
Slew

DontHateMe:  Sea The Stars won the Arc, a 12 furlong race.  He often ran at 10 and 12 furlongs, victoriously.  All but 2 of Frankel's races were at a mile. Only 2 races went to 10f.  Frankel did not attempt the Arc, and has never run beyond 10f.  However, his final race in the Championship Stakes was his crowning achievement simply because he overcame so very much to earn it, and won it with flair.

Snow Fairy won 7 G1 races all at 10f and 12f.  And she's sooo fast!  She almost caught So You Think in the 2011 Irish Champion Stakes..run in 2:04, but came back in 2012 to win in 2:00 over Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abby.  Only an injury kept her out of the 2012 Arc, and the Championship Stakes.  I always considered her a great threat in any race because she has a long stride and speed to spare.

Footlick: Thanx for the info.  I really thought Nathaniel would run better than he did, and that explains a lot.

23 Oct 2012 7:36 PM
Age of Reason

Midnight Lute--Rags to Riches was sent to Ireland a couple years ago, if memory serves me correctly. Speaking offhand, if I were to try and think of an American mare whom I would like to see go to Frankel, I'd say Tapitsfly, Rainbow View or Winter Memories.

23 Oct 2012 7:39 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Age Of Reason- I had no idea she was in Ireland. Ok scratch her.. I'll take the Canadian breds Marketing Mix and Never Retreat.

23 Oct 2012 9:02 PM
Karen in Indiana

Needler in Virginia,

You make a very good point about the trainer's part in a horse's greatness. Would Frankel have been the horse he became if he didn't have a trainer with many decades of experience that gave him insight on how to deal with the mental makeup of Frankel? Would Zenyatta have accomplished half of what she did if she did not have John Shirreff's patient dealings with her? So You Think is an example of a horse on his way to greatness that was taken away from the one who knew him and given to a very good trainer, but one who didn't match well with him. Aidan O'Brien admitted he had made mistakes with him. So you are right to commend Frankel's trainer for the part he played. As you did as well, Steve.

23 Oct 2012 9:03 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Age of reason-  Ok then,  I will pick Marketin Mix(CDN), or Never Retreat(CDN).  

Had no idea Rags was in Ireland.  Interesting.

23 Oct 2012 9:04 PM
The Deacon

Yep, it's official I can't spell anymore. All are correct it's Danica Patrick, my brain said one thing, my hands typed something else. Getting old ain't for the faint of heart......

Before long I will be able to hide my own easter eggs :) not so funny......

23 Oct 2012 10:20 PM
TripleCrownKaren

Steve, this article brought me up short becasue it made me think once again of Bobby F. and how much I miss him on the racing scene.    A true marshmallow hearted guy when it came to his animals for sure.   And as for his "namesake", well it doesn't matter if you are from Europe or USA....as great horse is a great horse no matter where they show up.   I've watched this horse since I heard they had named him for Bobby, and like him....Frankel the racehorse did not dissapoint and in fact gave us American racing fans another horse to root for after our Triple Crown kinda fizzled out.    Here's hoping Frankel does as phenomenally at stud as he did at the track.    I know I'll be waiting for his "kids" to arrive at the track!  

23 Oct 2012 11:54 PM
PNkt

Midnight Lute - Sea the Stars oldest crop are only yearlings. Zarkava has a 2yo by Dalakhani who has yet to race. Her Sea the Stars yearling is as yet unnamed.

Also, Goldikova was sent to Galileo this year (a picture of her arriving at Coolmore was put on Twitter earlier this year).

24 Oct 2012 3:11 AM
Dooquila

Midnight Lute thanks, re your thoughts on Moonstone very interesting.  I share your sentiments that a blending of the Aga Khan mares would be amazing but who knows what will happen.  I am wondering if a Dynaformer filly could throw up something considering how well Roberto is working with the stock.  Pnkt, Zarkava also has a Galileo foal!!  

24 Oct 2012 10:19 AM
Dooquila

Just Fyi Midnight Lute....Rags to Riches foaled her Henry the Navigator at Coolmore I believe and has been bred back to Galileo twice since then I think.

24 Oct 2012 10:31 AM
Footlick

No problem Slew.  I haven't seen the Timeform numbers, but Racing Post feels he ran his race.  3rd in this field is not bad, considering Frankel and the soft to heavy ground loving Cirrus des Aigles in the group.  Cirrus ran a huge race on ground that favored him, but was second best.

24 Oct 2012 11:03 AM
an ole railbird

salute: to the frankel& all the fickel fans,who support horse horse racing, all the while surviving in a fanticy world,created by story books & story book situations.

there is no way to take anything away from frankels race record. he took on all the comers, on that side of the pond, AND beat them soundly.

  lets compare what the fans are saying about frankel, to what would have been said if he had done his running in the usa& and his name had been "plain frank".

i can just see it all now. the comments on "hanging with haskins" would have read.

' plain frank" has won 14 ina row, but hes distance challanged.

 plain franks trainer picked his races. he never was ran in stiff competion.

plain frank only ran on turf, because hes sore & his trainer is hiding it.

plain frank is a speed horse& not suitable for stud service.

plain frank was probaly given drugs & his records should not be reckonized.

 plain franks trainer should be tarred & feathered for racing him so often.

last but not least, non of his racing record would be reckonized in new york state, because he was never raced out of a n.y.stakes barn.

  if it happens anywhere but the usa. & the trainer speaks with a forgien accent. it is considered the gospel truth. because these people dont cheat.

how do we know they dont cheat?

 of course they dont cheat, because they say they dont.

& n.y.r.a. is not there to police them.

good luck in the shed FRANKEL. personally im glad you were spared the scrutniy of the fickel fans of fanticy racing in the usa.

 i remain, " an ole railbird".

24 Oct 2012 3:52 PM
Greg R

So if you had a nice mare and wanted to breed a Frankel, which would you send her to:  Frankel (which never sired anything), or Galileo (which gave us Frankel)?

I would unequivocally say, "Galileo!"

Galileo has proven he can sire a Frankel.  Frankel may turn out to be a good stallion, but he is unlikely to do what his own sire has already done.

Frankel, as a 2-yr-old and 3-yr-old, always looked to me like a sprinter/miler in build. I wouldn't be surprised if his offspring are throwbacks to the speed element in his pedigree, rather than 12 furlong classic types.

25 Oct 2012 12:05 AM
Greg R

Several mentions of Zarkava as one of the Euro greats.  She would not have been so visually impressive in the Arc, scooting away from the field as she did, if she had been carrying twelve pounds more, as were all the older males in the race.  I consider this a form of optical illusion. Then she was spirited away instantly, so the newly-minted legend could not be tarnished.  She was good.  She didn't do enough to show me she was THAT good.

One who is "THAT good" is Snow Fairy.  I was buzzed that she might come to BC, then gutted when she was injured.  At least they didn't wrap her in mothballs after one outstanding race.  She has taken it to the world.

25 Oct 2012 12:28 AM
Footlick

Greg R- Zarkava got the same weight break s every 3 yr old filly does in that race.  The fact that she won so easily as a 3 yr old filly attests to her talent, as did every other race she ran in as a 2 yr old and 3 yr old.  She also set a new record for the Pouliches at one mile and equalled the record for the 12f Vermeille against older fillies after dwelling at the start and spotting the field something like 4-5 lengths, for those who like horse who set records.  Was every race of hers an optical illusion?  Was Soumillon never even uncocking his whip in any of her races an optical illusion?  I get so tired of people criticizing this filly.  She did everything asked of her with ease.  Zarkava had more than one outstanding race.  Her whole career was outstanding.  Period.  And if you knew anything about the Aga Khan, if a filly has a career like hers, they are usually retired.  He likes to get  horses like her in the gene pool of his breeding operation.  He only brought Sarafina back because she did not win the Arc.  The same with Shareta.  If either had won the Arc they would have been retired also.  I love Snow Fairy.  She is a wonderful animal.  But she was not Zarkava at two or three.  But to each his own.

25 Oct 2012 11:58 AM
an ole railbird

by any means, i dont claim to be a prophet. but i like to predict what i think will work.

if i were in the race horse business, strong enough to swing it.

i would start making arrangements to go to england in year 2017& purchase a stud colt, sired by frankel & out of a nijinsky bred mare,( or a mare bred like nijinsky).

IMO, that cross will produce an outstanding individual, who can run from the length of a spoon handle, to starvation. and run it on or off the lead.

i may or may not be on earth to see it. but some of you younger ones, remember to watch & see what happens.

and remember that "an ole rail bird" said it.

25 Oct 2012 12:29 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

PNKT- your 100% correct about Galileo x Goldikova. I (BLEEPED) that one up.  But it would be nice...lol.

25 Oct 2012 7:25 PM
Greg R

Footlick, who's "criticizing" Zarkava?  I just said that as soon as she ran one race against top males, she was gone.  I know perfectly well about the Agha Khan's longstanding practice of early retirement of his horses to protect their records.  I don't like it.  I reserve the right to say so.  I also know perfectly well about the weight conditions for the Arc.  I think it somewhat distorts the results and, again, I reserve the right to say so.

So Snow Fairy was not Zarkava at two or three?  So what?  Neither was Zenyatta, at two or three, what she later became, because she didn't race early.  Neither was Cigar, or countless others.  That is irrelevant to anything I said.

26 Oct 2012 12:53 AM
Footlick

So you feel it is fair to compare a horse's two and three year old record to other horse's records as older horses?  Interesting.  And as far as the Aga Khan's retiring them to "protect" their records, he has never said that but he has said when they accomplish wht he wants them to he wants them at stud or in his brood are band.  He believes in young bloodstock.  But you are right, you are allowed to say whatever you want and criticize whatever you want.  As am I.  As far as age being irrelevant, it is never irrelevant.  The weight break is there for a reason and I don't know any country that doesn't utilize it.  We obviously are going to differ,so this will be my last comment on it.

26 Oct 2012 1:20 PM
Slew

Footlick and Greg R.:  No point in arguments.  I think Greg R feels much the same as I do about retiring any 3 year old, and that holds for Bernardini and Sea The Stars too. What will we not get to see?  

At least Frankel ran at 4.

Danedream came back at 4 but has not shown quite the same magic as the Arc.  While she may have had a weight break in the Arc, and a compact surface, she shattered the record, and almost matched Secretariat's Belmont time...which he did at 3.

But don't we just adore those 3 year old champions who come back at 4...and create their legends...with Seattle Slew as a great example.  What about Curlin?

Goldikova?

Face it...we love come-back kids, and we root for them.  Was anyone not cheering for Take Carge Indy yesterday?  He tried...and isn't that what we respect?

Now I have to run and unwelcome Hurricane Sandy.  Stay safe, folks!

28 Oct 2012 10:02 AM

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