Palace Malice Should be Admired

With Palace Malice, it’s not about how fast he is; it’s not about he stacks up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic; and it’s not about where he ranks among the top 3-year-olds. In fact, it’s not even about how good he is. All that is opinion, and like all horses, he’s going to have his fans and detractors.

With Palace Malice it is all about admiration. Regardless of how you feel about his ability, his brilliance, his competition, and all the other factors used in determining the merits of horse, you have to admire the colt for what he has accomplished, despite bad trips, failed experiments, altered schedules, and downright rotten luck.

Now, there will be skeptics who lump all that into the category of forced excuses and adhere to the philosophy that good horses don’t need excuses. That may very well be true, but it is just possible that we have yet to meet the real Palace Malice and simply don’t know just how good he really is or how good he’s going to be.

And again, this is about admiration and nothing more. Let’s first take into consideration that in an era of conservative training, and with having a relatively conservative trainer himself, he has managed to race in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September – yes, that’s every month this year.

Should his record be better than it is? Definitely, through no fault of his own. Just when it looked as if he had a big shot to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup and knock off top-class older horses over a track and distance, and trip, to his liking, he ran into one of those occasional freaky performances by Ron the Greek, who has been known to shed his glasses, rip off his suit, and leap tall buildings in a single bound when you least expect it.

So, Palace Malice, despite finishing a clear-cut second, beaten 6 3/4 lengths, still winds up running a time that would have won the last nine Jockey Club Gold Cups. And according to Trakus, he ran 67 feet farther that Ron the Greek, which equates to 7.8 lengths, more than he was beaten.

Let’s back up one race to the Travers. Sent off at 2-1 coming off a brilliant victory in the Jim Dandy Stakes over Will Take Charge in a sharp 1:47 1/5, he stumbles coming out of the gate and instead of being right up there on the pace, as expected, he drops back to last in the nine-horse field, while front-running Moreno is allowed to get away with sloth-like fractions of :48 4/5 and 1:13 2/5. Despite coming home in :23 4/5 and :24 2/5, he has to settle for fourth, beaten only three-quarters of a length by Will Take Charge, whom he had just beaten, while missing third by only a nose. The majority of experts maintain he was the best horse in the race.

OK, we all know about the Belmont Stakes, in which he put everything together, had a beautiful trip, and dominated his field, winning off by 3 1/4 lengths, beating the Preakness winner and Kentucky Derby winner, who finished second and third, respectively, with no excuses.

Now, let’s back up to the beginning to see how Palace Malice got to where he is now.

In his first start of the year, a seven-furlong allowance in the slop at Gulfstream, he ran into a mud-loving speedball named Majestic Hussar, finishing a solid second in a quick 1:22 2/5. A good start to his Triple Crown campaign.

Next came the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. He dropped back to ninth after a half mile, put in a strong rally four wide turning for home and finished third, beaten only a half-length after a three-horse stretch duel. Considering, of the 12 horses in the race, he was the only one who had never been two turns and had only that one sprint in the slop in the past 6 1/2 months it was an excellent effort. Step two completed in good order.

Now came the Louisiana Derby. This was the race in which he was ready to run lights out. He was sent off at 7-2 in the 14-horse field, with Edgar Prado up for the first time. Racing along the inside in eighth early, but close enough to the pace, he launched his bid on the turn, moving effortlessly into fourth and about to collar the leaders, but ran into traffic backing up into him and was forced to steady and lose his position at a crucial point. Prado then asked him for another run in the stretch and he moved strongly into contention and again appeared ready to charge to the lead when he got stopped cold behind  a wall of horses that closed up on him. The DRF comment was “Stymied from 5/16 pole to 1/8 pole.” He wound up seventh, bottled up in traffic almost all the way to the wire with no place at all to run. This was a total throw-out race and created a major problem in regard to getting in the Kentucky Derby.

There was no way he was going to get in the Derby with the meager earnings he had from his third in the Risen Star. So it was desperation time for Pletcher and Cot Campbell. Their only recourse was to try to pick up enough earnings in the Blue Grass Stakes, even though Palace Malice had never run on Polytrack, which a good number of dirt horses despised. Keeneland was littered with top-class dirt horses who floundered over the Polytrack.

In the Blue Grass, now with Garret Gomez up, his fourth jockey in his last four races, he did all the dirty work chasing the highly touted Rydilluc, who had been unbeatable on the grass. He was the only horse to challenge Rydilluc on the far turn, eventually putting him away. His effort, however, had taken its toll over that track, and he began switching leads and drifting in the stretch. Still he fought hard to the wire and was just nipped in the final stride by the late-closing Java’s War, who had finished a close third at Keeneland the year before in the grade I Breeders’ Futurity. It was a tough defeat, considering all he had to do and overcome, but mission accomplished in getting into the Kentucky Derby.

One handicapping rule many of the experts follow when it comes to the Derby is never bet on a horse making a major equipment change going into the race. And the main equipment change they hate to see is blinkers on. They don’t even like to see blinkers on the race before the Derby, as it creates too many question marks. The feeling is that by April, a trainer should know his horse and have his equipment down pat, and putting blinkers on is a desperate move. Pletcher had tried the blinkers-on experiment once before with Flower Alley and the colt got fried by one of the hottest paces in Derby history.

Because Palace Malice seemed so unfocused in the Blue Grass, Pletcher decided to put blinkers on for the Derby. As it turned out, Palace Malice, who had come from fifth, eighth, and ninth in his previous three starts, shot to the lead in the 19-horse cavalry charge under Mike Smith, his fifth jockey in his last five starts, and quickly was out of control, winging out there in the slop. Seeing Palace Malice on the lead was a shock to everyone, including Pletcher, especially in a race with brilliant speed and pace horses such as Verrazano, Goldencents, and Oxbow.

If being on the lead was a shock, that was nothing compared to the fractions on the tote board, which Palace Malice lit up with a blazing :45 1/5 half and 1:09 4/5 three-quarters. That was it for him. He was on a suicide mission and there was no turning back. Horses who run that fast in the Derby usually wind up at the back of the back, beaten off badly, As it was, the horses running second, third, and fourth early, wound up finishing 14th, 17th, and 18th. Palace Malice was still right there at the quarter pole, but finally gave up, finishing 12th, but beaten only 1 3/4 lengths for sixth. Another throw-out race and an experiment gone bad.

Then, of course, we finally saw the real Palace Malice in the Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy.

Here is a horse who has run well at six different distances from five furlongs to 1 1/2 miles at six different distances and about to be ridden by his sixth different jockey, and few can argue that his record should be a lot better than it is. Despite a tough nine-race campaign that began in January he is still at the top of his game, and most likely would have won the Jockey Club Gold Cup most any other year. As it is he finished ahead of five tough older horses and four grade I winners, including Flat Out, who had captured the last two runnings of the Gold Cup and was five-for-six at Belmont Park.

In the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Palace Malice will again take on Will Take Charge, a pretty tough colt himself who has improved noticeably since having his blinkers removed and who is getting better despite a long, grueling campaign that actually began last fall. But more on him another time. For now, we can look forward to the championship race within the championship race and hope one of these two colts can prove himself worthy of the title.

As for Palace Malice, whatever one may think of his ability, there is no denying his toughness and resolve. No matter what obstacles he’s had to overcome he still gives 100 percent and keeps coming back for more. And for that he should be admired.


Leave a Comment:

Rusty Weisner

Steve Haskin,

This horse has been my one bright spot this year, as I had him on top in the Belmont.  You turned me on to him after the Louisiana Derby and after the Bluegrass effort I was all over him in the Derby with Orb.  Before the Derby I was asking around if anyone knew of a prior blinkers-on experiment in the Derby...I wish I had asked you!  You've done an excellent job with the Derby Dozen list all three years I've been here, with lots of helpful observations about the characters of these animals and the tactics in the training and races, as well as on the spot observations about how they look.  

Yes, Palace Malice is a very reliably fierce competitor.  I don't like his chances a lot in the BC, but I don't think he's one to quit and finish up the track, and I think SA will be kind to him and his latch-on style.  I will have him on tickets out of a rooting interest and the chance that he can step way up and do what his sire did.  In any case, I much prefer him to WTC.

04 Oct 2013 3:04 PM

Steve, I believe that both Palace Malice and Will Take Charge have the potential to be stand outs as four year olds. Hope they both stay sound, healthy, and in training!

04 Oct 2013 5:20 PM

Perfectly put Steve. As always. Palace Malice and Princess of Sylmar have given me thrills all year and it looks like they will both be back next year God willing.  I'm giddy with excitement and anticipation for that. But first - PM in the Classic and I'm really believing he will surprise a whole lot of people. He is a gutsy horse and I just love him!    

04 Oct 2013 5:28 PM

Palace Malice is a good colt and would've won the Preakness if they'd skipped the Derby, after his taxing Blue Grass effort but as they say hind sight is 20/20 vision.  I still believe that Verrazano is his superior in terms of sheer class. I wish Todd Pletcher would put Verrazano in the Breeder's Cup Classic, especially now that Cross Traffic is out injured. I think that the connections will wish that they did after the Breeder's Cup Dirt mile (he's expected to romp).

04 Oct 2013 5:59 PM

Steve, regarding the 3YO championship, is it true that Orb may not be done for the year and could quite probably show up at Santa Anita for the BCC or possibly at Churchill Downs for the Clark?

04 Oct 2013 6:03 PM
steve from st louis

Palace Malice is the closest horse running we have who is a throwback to 40 years ago when a 15-20 race campaign was considered typical. I guess you can call his owner "old school" since Cot Campbell invented the school, that of group ownership. He must be having a ball with this colt, hoping the music never ends, at least until after the Classic. Are there any three more respected players in our sport than Shug, D. Wayne and Cot? What a year for karma!

04 Oct 2013 6:27 PM
Bloodline Bob

I've been betting every horse that has been sired by CURLIN since they all hit the race tracks. My prediction is that in the next 2 years you'll see CURLIN as the #1 Sire in North America. We will get good odds in the 2013 BC Classic but it will tough for him to get to the Winner's Circle. Though in a $5 million race, he will get a good payday that is for sure.

04 Oct 2013 7:17 PM
Brown brother

He is a total throwback horse about whom it is easy to be fanatic because of his frequent (by today's standards) races against top competition and consistency of effort, if not results. I hope he is made of the hickory he appears to be because Pletcher, for al his great accomplishments, is also known for training so many horses who retire or suffer injuries before they perform at the top level as older horses. S far, he is a perfect example of a horse in which a purist fan may root.

04 Oct 2013 7:33 PM
Eddie S.

Mr. Haskin,

I thoroughly enjoyed your article. I have been a major fan of this horse since February 2013, when he raced in the 2013 G2 Risen Star Stakes. He was all over the track that day, he was green, lugged his head and drifted. I immediately knew he would be my "favorite" colt, just like Creative Cause was a year ago. I bet Palace Malice in the Kentucky Derby along with Orb and I also bet him in the Belmont Stakes and the JCGC.

I also reached the conclusion he was the best in the Travers. For crying out loud, the presser-type horse broke terribly, got cut off by Transparent (the #9 horse), was 8th place early, and was forced 5w around the turn. There is no doubt in my mind he was the best that day, and not to mention, he was only bettered by less than a length.

Palace Malice is not just one of those horses people "admire" for their longevity and toughness (like Caixa Electronica or the late Saginaw). In my opinion, he is a very good racehorse capable of becoming something very special. I always think he "started over" when he returned from bucked shins. I honestly think that slowed him down, and it took until the G2 Jim Dandy when I truly believe he figured things out.

It should be noted, as you mentioned, his G1 Jockey Cup Gold Cup, he ran a stellar race. He ran the distance in an impressive 2:00.68. He showed grit with elder horses, a tough bunch, and Ron the Greek just so happened to run like Secretariat that day; finishing in 1:59.70.

I've also met Palace Malice himself when he was at Saratoga leading up to the G2 Jim Dandy. He's a very mean racehorse and he bit my finger when I tried to feed him a peppermint. I've also been in contact through with Mike Schneider (I believe), who has a partnership in Palace Malice.

Even though I don't post very often on Bloodhorse, I'm a big fan of your articles, Mr. Haskin. Keep up the good work.

04 Oct 2013 8:14 PM
Stellar Jayne

Hi Steve,

Your right, Palace Malice should be admired and respected, as he shows up no matter how wide he travels, or the obstacles he encounters.  One wonders what Pletcher had been thinking, given his experience as an award winning trainer, when he put blinkers on Palice Malice and had a jockey change with every race.  Edgar and Mike were good selections for PM.  They usually connect very well with horses they ride. Hopefully, PM stays healthy for the BC with a jockey who has bonded with him and respects his talent and style to help him achieve the win he deserves to score.

04 Oct 2013 8:31 PM

Great article! What I find most impressive about him is that after the Derby when he ran those suicide fractions and after the big win in the Belmont he woke up the next morning ready and willing to do it again. After the triple crown I remember an article (or maybe something Dogwood posted) where Pletcher mentioned he'd have to work him earlier than he originally wanted to because he had so much energy. Running in the LA Derby, Bluegrass, and KY Derby barely phased him. It's something I find refreshing when it seems like many horses are hard pressed to run once every two months let alone every single month against tough competition and manage to thrive off it like Palace Malice does. He's a true racehorse that loves what he does and can't get enough of it, that is what I admire most about him. The fact he's sired by Curlin who was another favorite of mine is icing on the cake. Also, Dogwood stable announced that despite interest in him as Stallion prospect, they have every intention of running him next year. Curlin did some of his best work at 4 I can't wait to see what his son does next year :-)

04 Oct 2013 8:49 PM


“I still believe that Verrazano is his superior in terms of sheer class.”

I see you are still promoting Verrazano. The cold facts do not support your conclusion above.

Palace Malice and Verrazano have met twice and on each occasion PM has finished ahead of him. It is therefore puzzling why you harbor such an opinion. The colt with the superior class should at least have a winning record over his perceived lesser stable mate

Superior class that is not displayed when it matters is class that only exists in the minds of those driven by emotions.

“I wish Todd Pletcher would put Verrazano in the Breeder's Cup Classic”

My learned colleague, are you sure you are presently of sound mind? Such a wish can hardly be associated with sane thinking. Verrazano has contested two 10F races and has finished 7th and 14th. Do you seriously believe a responsible trainer would enter a 3YO with that type of record over the distance against best older horses in the country?  I have major concerns for you my brother.

“He's expected to romp the Breeders’ Cup Mile (Dirt)”

Are you aware that Pants On Fire recorded a time of 1:33.78 in the 8F (G3) Ack Ack? After Holy Lute wins the Indiana Derby his next start will be the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.  Verrazano will be lucky to hit the board.

05 Oct 2013 1:04 AM

There is no doubt Palace Malice is a tough and consistent colt considering the fact that he is a May foal. However, does he merit special admiration for his toughness and consistency?  Are there others more deserving of such admiration?

Will Take Charge and Orb contested all three legs of the grueling TC and both have returned to finished ahead of Palace Malice. Both also finished ahead of PM in the grueling Derby.

Admiration for toughness should be directed to Will Take Charge as he has emerged from the ultimate test of toughness and has defeated both the Derby and Belmont winners. He also has the best post Belmont record with two victories and a runner-up finish.

As for consistency, the admiration should be directed to Orb. He is the only top 3YO colt that has won five consecutive races and was on the board in all three TC races. In addition, he has been on the board in 8 of his last 9 races. Palace Malice has finished off the board in 2 of his last 8 races with only two victories. Will Take Charge has finished off the board in 4 of his last 9 races with four victories

There is no doubt that the three TC races have impacted Orb more than they have WTC. It should be noted that WTC was never in contention in any of the 3 races and therefore might have been eased when it was apparent he had no chance of hitting the board. Orb on the other hand was hard ridden in all three legs.

PM is very nice colt but no amount of spin can make him more deserving of admiration than Orb and Will Take Charge in the categories of toughness and consistency.

05 Oct 2013 2:11 AM
Tiz Herself

Palace Malice reminds me of Summer Bird - both the kind of horses with the longevity, stamina... I saw Curlin in 2010 and am so happy that he is having success as a stallion as there were other blogs were people were ready to dub him as the next 'failure'

I applaud and appreeciate his connections for not yet making stallion deals and indicating he should be back next year at four.

Steve, there was talk that perhaps Orb may be rested for the remainder of 2013 - have you heard anything on how he is doing since the JCGC?

05 Oct 2013 5:08 AM

This bis the kind of horse that i would like to OWN.

05 Oct 2013 10:20 AM
Smoking Baby

Tiz Herself. I agree that we're seeing a few more Curlin's in some of these big races. He's going to have to do better than his current 2% stakes winners to keep his current fee and to be labeled anything other than a failure at stud. He may be like Ghostzapper in that he's started slower but will pick up momentum as he goes.  Time will tell.

05 Oct 2013 10:52 AM
Smoking Baby

Coldfacts. LOVE your stuff. Ranagulzion, I'm off Verazano at this point. He'll need to win me back.  I just don't think he's as good as touted.  Hard to ignore that Haskell though.

05 Oct 2013 10:54 AM
Karen in Texas

Steve, Thanks for the thoughts on Palace Malice. So far, he does seem to be sturdy and made of "hickory" as someone said above. I always keep in mind that he has come to this point after essentially starting over as a 3y/o since he was out for ~4-5 months with bucked shins after his 2y/o starts. I'm glad to read that Mr. Campbell plans to race him next year.

Ranagulzion, How are you doing? I miss conversations with all the veteran BH bloggers! About Verrazano--I'm not sure that a mile and a quarter is a good distance for him.

05 Oct 2013 11:41 AM

Tiz Herself;

It sounds as though Orb is doing fine in the aftermath of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and Shug McGaughey is pondering the possibility of running him one more time, either in the Breeders' Cup or the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.

05 Oct 2013 12:23 PM
Rusty Weisner


I agree with Coldfacts.  You're crazy for wishing that on Verrazano.  This horse can be a big winner up to 9f next year.  Why do you want to ruin him?  He needs to gear down after overdoing it at Monmouth.

I think Orb was going to win anyway that day, but I think Palace Malice definitely would have hit the board without the blinkers, maybe just been nicked at the wire even.  I don't think the Bluegrass took it out of him, because he improved off that race.  He was cranked.  I'm very ambivalent betting-wise about him in the BC.  He bested them all in the JCGC (except, you know, that other horse), yet it was only a 105 Beyer.  He's run three straight Beyers in the 105-107 range.  He loves the classic distance and I give him a chance making that same winning move at SA if GOD has an off day, if Fort Larned is off form.  My heart tells me he still has it in him to still step up.  My brain?  My brain often fails me in this game.

05 Oct 2013 2:15 PM
Rusty Weisner


On WTC being eased:  take a look at the chart call for the Jim Dandy.  I noted it at the time but I didn't take the clue for the Travers.

05 Oct 2013 2:16 PM

The World of Racing From Eclipse to Kelso - if you try to feed a horse a peppermint, there is a very good chance you might get a nip on the finger, that does not indicate that the horse is mean.

I agree that Palace Malice is to be admired for his races this year. I hope he comes back in 2014. I love to see these talented horses get the chance to race past their 3 years old careers. I have so many favorites in the BC, but Palace Malice and Will Take Charge are at the top of my list.

05 Oct 2013 2:51 PM
Pedigree Ann

Ranag -

Like putting the 'superior' talent Uncle Mo in the BC Classic after he'd shown he didn't want a distance of ground was such a hot move.

It doesn't matter how 'fast' (figure-wise) or flashy a horse's prep wins are; it's how they perform in the big tests against the big boys. And at this point, Verrazano has proven he doesn't belong in a major 10f race any more than Mo did. Give the poor horse a break - let him run at a distance where he can compete instead of campaigning for him to get another shellacking.

05 Oct 2013 4:40 PM


You question my sanity because I rank Verrazano as a classier colt than Palace Malice? ...(LOL) ...I think that you may be having a senior's moment (old folks lapse of memory) because some outsanding horses are all-or-nothing types. Try to recall the race record of the great Holy Bull? The races in which he finished down the track are best forgotten ...same thing with Verrazano. I tell you one thing, the latter will not be beaten in his next race ...which ever race that is.  Mark my word!

05 Oct 2013 5:13 PM
Paula Higgins

First, I can't believe Wise Dan lost the Shadwell Turf Mile to Silver Max. Silver Max was impressive. I wonder if this was throw out race for Wise Dan or he didn't like the surface, or worse yet he is getting tired? The Groupie Doll lost. Geesh. The racing world is getting rocked. Sorry to be off topic Steve. I have always thought Palace Malice was a really good horse. I think year 4 could be a good one for him.

05 Oct 2013 5:45 PM

hhmmmm...palace malice has run every month, orb has run ever month but july--but he did run all three TC races in 5 weeks, which should at the very least cancel out palace malice's once every month record. and is really fair to say that neither oxbow and orb, coming out both the derby and the preakness, had no excuse to finish 2nd and 3rd to the fresher horse?

palace malice has a 22% win percentage on the year; orb has a 50% win percentage on the year. orb is 8: 4-0-2; palace malice is 9: 2-3-1; yet orb has no excuses for his 4 losses (only 2 of which were out of the money), but palace malice's failure to win an allowance race in january, the risen star in february, the louisana derby in march, the blue grass in april, the kentucky derby in may, the travers in september, and the JCGC in october--is not only excusable but is deserving of my admiration?

i have nothing against palace malice, but he has an uncanny knack for losing races, of which  everyone is always willing to say, "but for...he would have won/he ran the best race." i don't know, but in my book a horse who always seems to manage to lose a race in which he was the best and should have won, doesn't seem great, he seems overrated in the truest since of the word (calling orb overrated is ridiculous, the horse entered the derby off of a 4 race winning streak, managed a 3rd at a mile and half and a 3rd in the travers losing by only 3/4 of length, off a 77 day lay off, jumping straight into a grade one; and had never been worse than 4th until his none effort in the JCGC).

i see many people condemning orb for burning up money bet on him, but if you've played orb this year--you cashed 4 win bets, 4 exactas, 6 tri's, and 7 supers. if you've played palace malice--you've cashed 2 win bets, 5 exactas, 6 tri's, and 7 supers....

i'm not sure why palace malice needed another article saying how great he is and how deserving of respect he is--no one is failing to acknowledge the horse, despite the fact he's won 3 races in his life and almost always manages to loose.

the rodney dangerfield of this year's crop isn't palace malice, it's orb. a horse who really does deserve admiration but has received nothing but condemnation since the preakness.

05 Oct 2013 6:17 PM
Golden Gate

he has been wonderful to follow and now he gets a jockey change for the classic even if the new one is great too

I liie your comment on Super Greek (-: but I do wish he had let Pal Mal shine and do his wondrous feat somewhere else

05 Oct 2013 6:44 PM

I have been high on this colt since the very beginning and feel that some have just finally caught up with my beliefs in him. As for Curlin being a "failure" at stud I believe is unfair as he is with the last report I saw in the top ten of second crop sires and now on the current leading sires list. His daughter the stakes winning Stopshoppingdebbie is undefeated and has had other sons and daughters recently placing in stakes races. I've always thought that his offspring would be late developers much like Tiznow's first few crops were. Palace Malice just keeps getting better and yes Ron the Greek just pulled off one of his "I've decided to run today" races and when he does this he is a tough one to beat. I thought those odds were too long on him that day. Hope they keep Palace Malice running at 4 as I believe he can and will develop into an extremely good older horse. I will be at Santa Anita on Classic day just to see Palace Malice and plan on betting him to win. It will be a tough race but this colt has shown that he has the heart and toughness of his daddy to get it done. Go Palace Malice.

thanks for the article Steve and for catching up with me on Palace Malice.

05 Oct 2013 7:13 PM

In the opinion of professionals who rank horses worldwide, here are the latest rankings of 3yos in North America.

This is the Timeform update as of Sept 29.











122 ORB


05 Oct 2013 10:27 PM

Palace Malice? We discovered how fast he could be in the Ky Derby. We saw his steamload of stamina in the Belmont. What's not to love? As desperately barricaded as he has been in so many races, we see the perseverance. Again, what's not to love? And folks...he's only 3. Just imagine the powerhouse he may be when he's mature at 4.

I remember the year of the competing Bernardini colts at 3, and everyone saying how weak the crop was...simply because they were evenly matched. And then...they came back at 4...and won, and won, and won, and kept on winning.

And please, folks. My boy, Ron, needed a big win this lackluster year. 21-1 odds?  O, ye of little faith! I'm thrilled he took the JCGC with flair.

Coldfacts: I have to say, my favorite this year has been bred, most talented, most beautiful stride. But even I must admit, the race TO the Derby, and his brilliant Derby performance have taken everything out of him for this year. He's tried, but the final kick is missing. Maybe next year? (Or maybe he'll pull a Ron the Greek performance in the BC?)

I have to admit, girls are drawn to bad boys.  It's probably why I fell in love with Slew. Craziest, wildest horse I've ever seen. And black is a favorite color of mine. (Don't forget, Kelso's runs were more often on radio.)

I'm watching the Arc broadcast on HRTV. In the 1,000 meter Qatar, the trainer and the groom had a terrible time getting Reckless Abandon to the gate. Aptly named, he wouldn't even let the jockey get on, sidestepping in classic dressage fashion. And he was black. Who else would I cheer for?  Of course, being so emotionally invested in the horse defies any handicapping logic. Who cares? ...other than my wallet?  He came in 5th. But as I always say, wait 'til next time. He's good; he had a great charge in the final furlong.

Linda in's good to be back.

It's been a hectic year. Life is finally settling down, and I'm able to try and stay on top of my racing.

Back to the Arc. Next time...

06 Oct 2013 8:49 AM

Wise Dan had his win streak snapped when least expected and by an opponent who previously won at the G2 level.

What can we learn from his defeat? I would conclude humility and balance.

I have been repeatedly accused of knocking down top horses. I have always regarded such conclusion as misplaced. All I have tried to do repeatedly is to bring balance to  over the top and emotionally driven  statements/positions.

Euros wise to stay home.

Wise Dan is such a powerful force in the horse racing industry.

Wise Dan will not be beaten for the rest of the year.

The boy wasn't hardly breathing heavy after yesterday's race at Woodbine.

Conservative connections aside, you can't find fault with this horse.

Let the Euros come, they are up against a monster.

I don't believe we will hear "The British are coming, the British are coming.

Wise Dan is, without question, one of the most impressive equine athletes in many decades.

What a shame Fink's homebred couldn't have faced Frankel at Santa Anita.

I believe it is unlikely that the Euros will race Wise Dan.

The above are few of the statements posted in support of Wise Dan. I reviewed most I felt obliged to remind those in awe of Wise Dan and who were of the opinion that he is unbeatable in his current form, of the following:

Such conclusions fail to take into account historic losses recorded by exceptional thoroughbreds.

To suggest that Europe’s top milers should stay home ignores history and the glorious uncertainty of thoroughbred racing.

Next out races are not won on past performances.

Wise Dan has beaten a group of average G2 & G3 horses in 2013.

Thoroughbred racing is at a stage where serious racing enthusiast are not impressed with résumé building races but instead competitive racing involving horse with varying strengths.

Wise Dan's achievements can be celebrated without berating others by suggesting they will be mere race fillers in the BC Turf Mile.

06 Oct 2013 9:53 AM

And Treve, a mare, takes the Arc easily. 2:32 on soft ground. Won by about 4 lengths.

06 Oct 2013 10:25 AM

I like Palace Malice- always have,behind Orb, and a couple others. However, I agree with Coldfacts- there has been a lot of spin  used to rationalize his non-winning efforts including the Travers.  The same could be said for any of the 3 year old colts including Orb, Oxbow, Will Take Charge, Revolutionary, Verrazano, etc.  Wet track, bad post, bad ride, sent out too early, sent out too late, blinkers on, blinkers off must be looked at for what they are: excuses.

For the Travers, those who saw Will Take Charge (steadily improving to that point) in the paddock could see he was on form, just like Cross traffic in the paddock prior to the Whitney. On page 6 of DRF Travers day, Steve Christ handed the winner over on a silver platter (along with "rationalizing" his earlier & non-winning performances).  At the very least he gave cause to have one go back and review the PP's.

Palace Malice's poor break cannot be looked at as an excuse- it's horse racing, and stuff happens, such as Orb's exhaustive campaign prior to the race, Moreno wiring the field until the last stride, Verrazano simply spitting the bit. It's refreshing to see that 2 of the trainers of those 3 horses accepted that they lost to a better horse, while the third pursued an "excuse" -unfounded- that the winning jock had used a buzzer.

In my opinion, there are very few situations where a losing horse has a claim to rationalize losing: undetectable drugs used by the winner (which the losing connections obviously cannot cite), blatant contact that the stewards choose to overlook and an impediment, such as a fallen horse, in front of him come to mind.

Could have, would have, should have need to be tossed out the window in almost every other circumstance, and Palace Malice's career is no different.  What is important is that the connections recognize and move to correct the situation for the future, and I really hope this colt has a bright future and more wins ahead of him.

06 Oct 2013 11:31 AM

a few thoughts on some comments above--

orb resumed training right after the JCGC. he is not going back to fair hill--all of shug's fair hill horses have come up short. i think that experiment is over for good.

shug said they are pointing orb toward the cigar mile--personally, i'd like to see him in the clark--orb seemed to relish the track at churchill, but both are G1's. i also would have pointed him toward the whitney and/or the woodward instead of the travers becuase they are 9f not 10 (esp. when the woodward came up sloppy and given that the east coast older male division has been erratic all year).

if the travers had been 9f, orb would have his 6th win on the year, his 3rd G1 on the year, and would be the undisputed 3 year old champion. but even so, he only lost that title by 3/4 of a length.

note that unlike palace malice, will take charge, and verranzo, orb has only run in G1's since march.

orb was one of the 75% of horses in the JCGC who bobbled badly at the start. the only two horses that didn't were palace malice and ron the greek. any horse can throw in a head scratcher--game on dude did last year in the BCC at a track he owns.

orb's head to head with verranzo is 2-0, his head to head with will take charge is 3-1, and his head to head with palace malice is 2-2. it's hard for me to rationalize that horses with loosing and/or tied head to heads are better than horse they've lost to and/or are tied with. (does nayone think that silver max is now a better horse than wise dan? i love silver max, and am ecstatic he won yesterday, but i'm not willing to say "the king is dead, ling live the king" just yet).

verranzo in the BCC is unfair to the other horses--he backed-up badly in the derby impeding will wake charge. he back up badly in the travers, but luckily didn't impede anyone. if he runs in the BCC he's likely to back-up just like quality road, who impeded zenyata in her 2nd BCC, causing her to have to restart her run (her fractional times and the video prove this). without quality road, that nose may have been hers not blame's. verranzo is not a 10f horse--the mile is where he belongs.

hard spun has an insurmountable lead over his former rival curlin in the breeding shed, even though curlin has gotten far better mares. hard spun may prove to be the next tapit.

summer bird was not a durable horse he was retired as a 3 year old immediately after his 6th place finish in the BCC with an injury--while poor little mine that bird, despite never having won again, retired sound in after his 4 year old campaign.

i have no problem respecting palace malice and will take charge and verranzo, but i do have a problem with those who argue they deserve more respect than orb--in terms of records and durability and win percentage and head-to-heads, to paraphrase steven colbert--reality has an orb bias.

this article suggests that palace malice is not getting the respect he deserves, yet almost all pundits and those with eclipse votes have said that palace malice is their choice for champion 3 year old--how is that not getting the admiration he deserves? everyone is touting the greatness of a horse who has only put together one back to back win in his life, and has only 3 wins in his whole career. i'm baffled, but still maintain the that the reason orb is so disrespected is because he didn't give everyone the triple crown they think he owed them...

06 Oct 2013 2:03 PM
Paula Higgins

Coldfacts, every great horse in the U.S. has lost: Man O'War, Secretariat, Citation, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, etc. So really, what is your point? The reality is that ANY horse can be beaten. But when a great or superior horse gets beaten, it is always a shock or surprise, or in your case, a wish fulfilled. Enough already.

06 Oct 2013 3:18 PM

Well let see this.

Treve blows away one of the best fields ever assembled for the Prix de l'Arc . She travelled wide from a poor draw, circled the field and they could not see which way she went.

This means that the last three ARC’s have been won by fillies.

Moonlight Cloud dazzles the field in the Prix De La Foret.

The world’s top horse according to Timeform is Black Caviar, a mare.

The top 3yo in America is the filly Princess of Sylmar, according to Timeform.

This should be the end of people raising questions about whether fillies can beat colts.

All that matters is whether horse A is better than horse B regardless of the horse’s gender.

06 Oct 2013 3:38 PM
Karen in Texas

Alysheba4ever,  Curlin is #3 on the second crop sire list and has been there for many weeks. It's easy to check if you go to the BH sire list heading on the left side of the main page.

06 Oct 2013 6:12 PM

I wonder how Timeform gives Verrazano more "definitive measure of racing merit" than Orb? In their 2 meetings Orb has demolished Verrazano.

Even better, Orb gets the same "measure of racing merit" as Goldencents and the unfortunate Mentor

Even better, here are Timeform's top US 2 year olds:












Guess they spend a great deal of time, forming their opinions.

Jokes aside, I wonder how












Jokes aside, I wonder how Palace Malice would have coped had he run in the Preakness and not skipped that race. From what I've observed, since the introduction of lasix et al, the Triple Crown is an impossible feat.























Jokes aside, Palace Malice is to be admired but he did skip the Preakness Stakes. Since the introduction of lasix et al, a Triple Crown Winner appears to be a feat too far.

06 Oct 2013 7:30 PM

I've let PM beat me all year (and at good odds) and I don't think that will happen again.  If I lose money on him, so be it.  I picked this horse last year as the one I was going to watch throughout the TC crown trail.  His "catch-up" schedule due to minor injuries and frankly I thought maybe some indecisions/conflicts from his connections regarding his schedule ruined his chances in the Derby.  I thought he should've skip the Derby instead of trying to make it by running in races he shouldn't have just to earn the points.    I'm very glad he won the Belmont, he brought back some kind of legitimacy to that race after last year.  I will play some money on him to win but ... my horse for the classic is WTC.  

I'm hoping that people forget about WTC in the BC Classic.  My other favorite horse this year, RTG won the JCGC like it was a workout but his inconsistency is what makes me pick WTC as the BC Classic winner this year.  I'm not going to hype WTC, he's done pretty much a good job of doing that himself.

I'm still not sure of Orb but I'm starting to see the argument  that Orb is used up from his TC campaign, but something also nags at me whether he's a true 10F horse, lately, he seems to be hanging right at the end and I don't see any forward movement once he reach a certain level.  I'll have to watch his derby win again before the Classic.

If we are partly talking about the Classic, how come GoD is hardly mentioned ?  The horse has not done anything wrong this year, without Cross Traffic, GoD will eat and spit out Verrazano or whoever is on the lead coming into the final turn.  I'm not saying he'll win because I don't think he'll be able to hold off WTC.   I mentioned him because I'm curious as to what everyone thinks of him in the Classic

Pedigree Ann :  In your 05 Oct 2013 4:40 PM post, I was laughing.  Ranagulzion loves to pick horses who dominates their last race and hypes them up like they are the 2nd coming.  He does this without taking into account what race the horse won, just that the horse won by many lengths and/or fast.  His Uncle Mo this year was DoJ and now it's Verrazano, he'll ride this horse all the way to the Classic.  Notice he hasn't posted anything about DoJ ?  The same horse he was pushing to be included in the Kentucky Derby ?  She'll drop down to a G3 and dominates and ... Mark my words!!!  Ranagulzion will be all over the blogs talking about her winning the BC Classic against the boys in a romp.

06 Oct 2013 11:56 PM


"You question my sanity because I rank Verrazano as a classier colt than Palace Malice?"

You need to under take fact check. The section of my post that raised the issue of your soundness of mind related to your wish for Verrazano to be entered in the Breeder Cup Classic.

It had nothing to do with you class comparison between the two colts.

"I think that you may be having a senior's moment (old folks lapse of memory)"

While I consider myself an adult I doubt I have reached the age for senior moments.

"Try to recall the race record of the great Holy Bull?"

You do a grave disservice to 'The Bull' by comparing Verrazano to him.

The Bull finished 12th in the KD whereas Verrazano finished 14th.

The Bull won the Travers whereas Verrazano finished 7th.

The Bull won the Haskell in a time of 1:48.20 whereas Verrazano recorded a time of 1:50.68.

The Bull was voted HOY as a 3YO and I guess Verrazano is well on his way toward a similar Eclipse.

"I tell you one thing, the latter will not be beaten in his next race"

Have you forgotten that you inferred that Wise Dan was unbeatable in his current form. Have you not learnt anything from history.

Did you see Moonlight Cloud's performance? She is one of the horses Wise Dan defeated in the 2012 renewed of the BC Turf Mile.

That was then! Your are one that endorsed the notion that the Euros are well advised to say home. If that mare shows up in that type of form sparks will certainly fly at SA Park with the addition of the performance enhancer Lasix.

07 Oct 2013 9:21 AM


Below is an extract from a post I made preceding the Shadwell Mile. Needless to state I made a handsome return on Silver Max but was bitterly disappointed that Winning Prize could not get his NS in front of the Wilcox Inn for third as I had the tri straight.

"There are two 4YOs that I think have a great chance of defeating Wise Dan. Ironically the dams of both horses were sired by sons of the great Kris S.

Winning Prize made a very impressive US debut covering 8F in an Allowance Optional Claim in 1:32.96. The true ability of this 4YO is unknown and he can only get better second time Lasix.

A lot of horses that have invaded from South America have whipped our top horses. How can we forget the likes of the Argentine bred Invasor and Candy Ride? Both were undefeated in a combined 9 races after entering the US. The Brazilian bred Leroidesanimaux became a monster miler.

Dismiss this latest Argentine invader at your own peril.

Silver Max has won an amazing 10 races. When he met Wise Dan in the 2012 renewal of the Shadwell Mile he had won 6 of his last 7 races. In those 7 races he covered 62F with his last two prior to the Shadwell Mile being the 10F Virginia Derby and Secretariat. It is therefore no wonder he got destroyed by The Dan.

At the end of his 3YO season he was given 7 months off. He must now be a bigger and stronger horse. He enters the 2013 renewal of the SM covering 20F less. This colt will be tough as well.

Wise Dan better be on his best game or he will join Royal Delta as another 1-5 flop.

07 Oct 2013 10:14 AM

Welcome back Jay Jay,

i miss your comments and hopefully Footlick , forbidding Apple and other good knowledgable peoples will come back here too.

We don't have those crazy peoples like Jason and the crew any more,

we may still have some nonsense in here sometimes, ignore them.

Thanks for the comment.

07 Oct 2013 11:44 AM
Rusty Weisner

Those saying they wonder how PM would have looked had he not skipped the Preakness are ignoring the fact that he ran three races in five weeks: the LA Derby, Bluegrass and Kentucky Derby.

07 Oct 2013 1:06 PM

Rusty Weisner, you make an excellent backhand complement to Orb when pointing out that Palace Malice ran in the Louisiana Derby, Bluegrass Stakes, and the Kentucky Derby  in 5 weeks - overall, Palace Malice managed a total of one placing and no wins.

Orb was on the board in all the Triple Crown races in 5 weeks - which feat is superior?

07 Oct 2013 5:56 PM

Karen in Texas 05 Oct 2013 11:41 AM

Glad to have you back around here. I'm taking some heat for touting Verrazano as superior to Palace Malice and wishing that the connections would enter him in the BCC instead of the Dirt Mile but I'll survive.

Jersey Boy 05 Oct 2013 10:27 PM

You and I know that the Timeform folks know what they are talking about when they rank Verrazano as the best 3YO colt in America so keep those posts coming. BTW congratulations on your confident selection of the brilliant undefeated 3YO filly Treve in the Arc ...that was a jaw dropping performance against a stellar field.  It makes me want to see what Princess of Sylmar can do against the "boys" in the BCC, if her connection would be bold enough to enter her ...she looks the type to blow by them up the lane.

Pedigree Ann,

your reference to the ultra smart Uncle Mo doesn't make your point in my view because he was a sick horse as a 3YO for most of the season and appeared to have relapsed after his impressive victory in the Kelso.

Jay Jay,

Nice to see you back on here dude.  With you my patience usually wins the day while you're having your day ...I wont let you forget Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes (LOL) after you made a fool of yourself calling him a miler because he lost all chance at the start of the Kentucky Derby.

Go ahead and have your day now my friend ...Dreaming of Julia will be back for sweet redemption, don't you worry.  Please tell our mutual friend Signal that its all good fun ...will you?

07 Oct 2013 6:45 PM

holy bull also won the met mile as a yo (just to add to coldfact's fact sheet)

jay-jay--i think the only reason no one is talking about GOD and the BCC yet is just because this is a thread mostly about 3yo's.  the older male division has een so inconsistant, aside from GOD that it will be hard to make a case for anyone, but most didn't expect him the flop on his home track last year and for fort larned to win--horse racing is a sport that constantly crushes hubris =)

can't see how you can say orb's not a 10f horse, when he won by 2 lengths at 10f and lost by 3/4 of lenght at he might very well not be a 12f horse...

davids--time form is like beyers, it has a strong front runner didn't even include orb in the JCGC pace projection (which prove prescient...). all you need to know about time form and fallibility is their ranking of strong mandate, and the complete absence of honor code and havana, who just smoked him. it's a fool's errand to rank 2 year olds until the end of december, just like it is to pick your derby horse in january.

hard spun vs curlin (even though they are the same crop, hard spun entered stud a year earlier):

first crop--hard spun 2nd (143 runners/70 winners 49% win average); curlin, 9th (104 runners/47 winners 45% win average)

second crop--hard spun, 1st (166 runners/88 winners 53% win average), curlin 3rd (100 runners/38 winners 38% win average)

third crop--hard spun, 2nd (176 runners/81 winners 46% win average), curlin not available yet.

hard spun--23 stakes winners, 7 graded stakes winners, rank among all stallions = 38

curlin--5 stakes winners, 1 graded stakes winners. rank among all stallions = 52

(curlin started off receiving better mares than hard spun)

signal--i'm not familiar with your name from jason's blog, but almost everyone posting in this blog was a regular poster at jason's.

07 Oct 2013 7:11 PM


I was stunned by the ease of Treve’s win.

I cannot wait to see her new Timeform ranking. I expect a number of about 135, putting her among the

all-time greats.

I hope the connections do enter Princess of Sylmar in the Classic. I think she has a great chance be finish in the first two.

By the way, as a pedigree buff, did you notice that 4 of the last 5 Arc winners are inbred to Northern Dancer?

The other one, Sea The Stars, is from the Northern Dancer sire-line.

I imagine any European breeder who wants to make money must inbreed to Northern Dancer.

As an aside, do you think the Breeders' Cup Mile will be run on wet synthetic surface?

07 Oct 2013 8:14 PM
Dueling Grounds

Lost on so many of you is the fact that Palace Malice forced THE FASTEST BELMONT PACE since SECRETARIAT, while racing wide, and then won by himself.  He has had major excuses in at least 3 of this year's races, and Pletcher may have committed the blunder of all blunders in costing himself a Triple Crown winner with that blinkers experiment.

No question Palace Malice is sitting on a booming effort come November 2, and it's obvious that Pletcher has not squeezed the lemon dry.

07 Oct 2013 11:28 PM

papillon - I used to be one of Timeform's acolytes up to 1989, when they gave Old Vic a higher rating than Nashwan. A horse that needs soft going and can't run on a fast surface, is, in my view, lacking something.

Zilzal, who was a brilliant but fractious horse, was rated the highest of the three but he was a miler only. I have a jaundice opinion on milers vs classic distance horses as well.

Ever since, I have been quite sceptical of Timeform's ratings and you do make a valid point regarding the "front running bias."  

08 Oct 2013 1:24 AM

A note about the Timeform ratings I have shown on these blogs.

This quote is taken from TIMEFORM itself:

"Please note that these are form ratings, not TimeformUS pace/speed ratings".

08 Oct 2013 7:27 AM

Treve's Timeform rating, 10/6/13:







08 Oct 2013 7:42 AM

Signal : Thanks, I never really left, just read most of the time.  Lots of good reading here, still learning things even after all these years reading people's comments.  Agree with the nonsense but those can be easily ignored.

Papillon : I didn't say he's not a 10F horse, I said it's a nagging feeling that he might not be a true 10F horse.  That's why I said I have to watch his Derby win again.  I first noticed it in the Belmont, he was driving but then seems to have hanged, maybe you're right, maybe 12F is a is too far for him but I saw a similar move in the Travers and that's why I'm starting to wonder.  It could be that he is tired from the TC campaign, and just needs a good rest.  Winning the Derby doesn't make him a distance horse.

I guess you're right, this is a blog for 3 yr olds.  Hopefully Mr. Haskin will help us go through the older horses.  I'm one of the few that expected GoD to flop last year, I had RTG but he also flopped hehe so what I do know.    I'll do what I usually do for the big races, read people's comments and thoughts and then watch the horses during post parade.. then look at the odds for the price plays.  

Ranagulzion : I stand by my belief that UR IS a miler and I based that on what he has shown, not by his pedigree.  Retiring him was a good way to prevent exposing his limitations and keep the impression he's a distance horse.  I think you're the one who made a fool of himself guaranteeing UR the next triple crown winner... in JANUARY, but that's last year.  I see it humbled you a bit as you didn't make any triple crown guarantees this year lol.  It's good to see people learn their lesson.    Just be happy that Verrazano will race in the BC Mile and not retired, he might even win that race.  There's nothing wrong with being a miler.    

Seriously, what do you base it at ?  What info do you look at when you guarantee Verrazano will win his next race regardless of what it is... is it all from your pedigree crystal ball ?  You don't even know who he'll run against in his next race.  It's easy to make guarantees when you don't have to own up to it when you're wrong.

08 Oct 2013 8:53 AM


I was more of a reader than a blogger in Jason's , there was many time I like to put in some info not an opinion when some rediculous commemt comes in with no truth to it.

I have been breeding horse for over 30 years and I can say that I have seen every stallions or prospect in Lexington, if I miss one it will be the case that they sold before they even come to farm

08 Oct 2013 11:57 AM

A bunch of upsets and a ton of value when one doesn't have to worry about the juice people...

08 Oct 2013 12:23 PM
Linda in Texas

Slew and JayJay - Treve was brilliant wasn't she? If ever one wanted to see a real turn of foot watch the video of her splitting from the rest. In looking at her bloodlines, i am reminded she is the granddaughter of Montjeu,"the highest rated horse ever," according to Coolmore, unfortunately he died in 2012 at the age of 16 due to Septicemia. And further, interestingly enough, Montjeu won the same The Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe in 1999 that Treve did! So a few 'hooves up' in the paddock in the wild blue yonder, 'Like grandpa like granddaughter.' And a handsome son by Montjeu who was by Sadler's Well's just recently sold for 2.85 Million at Goff's Orby Sales to Coolmore. I read about Montjeu on when he died, have his photo and bio in my gallery.

That aside, Montjeu and his son Motivator who is Treve's sire all have ties that bind America to Britain, Ireland and France in their pedigrees. So we can all applaud her brilliant win in L'Arc de Triomphe.

And not to forget St. Nicholas Abbey was sired by Montjeu also. At the time of his injury he was rated the 7th best racehorse in the world. He is now retired due to a serious injury and colic but responding right along as welcomed updates on state.

Re Verrazano: I never give up on anyone or anything when they are in the game and I hope he does well in his next race. I think he is a splendid looking chap. I say that with Ron The Greek's win fresh in my mind.

And Orb, another handsome horse, i told a friend recently 'that he was simply used up too soon.' Or something went wrong and he has not been the same since. As large as the behemoths are, they are terribly sensitive in many aspects. So it isn't just the females who suddenly show a mind of their own and become temperamental.  All goes to show us that it takes a multitude of things to go right for these big  creatures to win and continue winning and stay healthy at the same time.  

"Winning is not everything - but making the effort to win is." As my favorite Coach Lombardi stated. Shortened i get from that "never give up." And i don't, but best i give up right now before i draw criticism from hogging the blog here and being 'off topic.' And heaven forbid, nonsensical! :)

Hello Jay Jay, glad to see your posts and JerseyBoy great info/posts. Please note re: the listing of Mentor Cane, he is no longer with us, euthanized in early September due to a broken hind leg suffered during a morning breeze. Had just watched him race at Saratoga and he showed such promise, owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and he had a fine pedigree. This is a rough sport to follow when suddenness rears it's ugly presence and steals them from us.

And thank you Steve.

08 Oct 2013 12:30 PM

Rusty Weisner,

My statement regarding WTC being ease relates to the TC races. Why continue to punish a horse if he has nothing left and the has no possibility of hitting the board.

It is always wise to save him for another effort.

He closed willingly in the Jim Dandy. I wager him that day and was hopping he could have landed the coup with blinker s removed.

08 Oct 2013 12:39 PM


If Mr. Haskin will allow I would like to address an issue you raised regarding Moonlight Cloud under another blog since you cited her in this one.

Your quote:

Consider the following statement about Moonlight Cloud:

(Coldfacts post extract)

“Her best distance appears to be 7F”

You specified in your rebuttal to the above that she had recently beaten the best milers in Europe. Again, I am not as well learnt as you are and consequently I might have misused the word ‘appears’.

As you are well aware, what appears to be is not necessarily reality. A horse that has won most of its races at 7F will appear to be comfortable at that distance. However, this might not be the case and that is why I specified that it appears her best distance is 7F. I did not definitively state that was her best distance and that’s a distinction one as brilliant as you are should be able make.

As usual you have selected a sections of my post that you think you can use to reflect my statements/positions as baseless.

What you have failed to recognized in your latest quest to discredit is the fact that I listed Moonlight Cloud as being amongst Europe’s top milers. This is a clear indication that I did not restrict her to the distance at which she has been most successful.

You will never give up on your quest to expose my views as baseless. Again I must refer to the Law Degree you advised you possess and state that you have yet again failed to make your case to Haskin Jury.  

Wise Dan – ‘Euros are wise to stay home’

“What I find amusing is people basing their comments on the headline rather than the contents of Steve’s column. I have never seen this before.”

The theme of a blog is normally supported by the contents that will ultimately provide insights into how/why a certain conclusion was reached.

Irrespective of how balanced Mr. Haskin’s contents were, they led to one conclusion and that is, Euros are wise to stay home.  Mr. Haskin is a brilliant writer and I am sure he justifies with pertinent facts how he arrives at his conclusions.

Is Mr. Haskin always right? No! When he posts at the end of his blogs ‘Leave a Comment’ does he expects a combination of agreements and disagreements? Yes!

If agreement are based on the contents of his post so too will disagreements.

For you to state that you have never seen this before, denotes ignorance of the highest order.

08 Oct 2013 1:53 PM
Rusty Weisner


"Orb was on the board in all the Triple Crown races in 5 weeks - which feat is superior?"

Orb's, I guess.  So what?  Orb has lost twice badly to PM since then and beat him once by a neck.  PM was competitive against older horses in the JCGC and has a good shot at hitting the board in the BC Classic.  He is the better horse now.  I don't understand this fan stuff in the matter of betting on horses.  What are you trying to tell us, that you bet Orb in the JCGC because he won the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby?  I hope not. By the way, my Derby bets were Orb/PM, as I thought they were the two best back then.  That's not the case any more.  PM has way outstripped Orb.

Dueling Grounds,

PM might have had a shot at the Triple Crown if he had qualified for the KY Derby in the LA Derby instead of having to race two weeks later.  But I doubt it. then, Oxbow was a monster in both the Derby and the Preakness and I don't think PM would have beat him twice.  I thought this was a great TC year, very formful, good odds in all three legs on three good horses.

08 Oct 2013 2:25 PM

Papillon : I didn't say he's not a 10F horse, I said it's a nagging feeling that he might not be a true 10F horse.  I first noticed it in the Belmont, he was driving but then seems to have hanged, maybe you're right, maybe 12F is a is too far for him but I saw a similar move in the Travers and that's why I'm starting to wonder.

Jay Jay, Below are Orb's race's from 3-30-13 and after. Included will be date, track, Distance, surface, Track (Surface) Condition, Finish, and race.

3-30-13 Gulfstream 9f d FAST 1st Fl. Derby.

5-4-13 Churchill 10f d SLOPPY 1st Kentucky Derby.

5-18-13 Pimlico 9.5f d FAST 4th Preakness Stakes.

6-8-13 Belmont 12f d FAST 3rd Belmont stakes.

8-24-13 Saratoga 10f d FAST 3rd Travers Stakes.

9-28-13 Belmont 10f d FAST 8th Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Stakes. So far, any win of 9.5f or longer seems to have been on a off track, (SLOPPY). ???

08 Oct 2013 2:34 PM

jay jay,

Try as you may, Union Rags gave me the last word in that debate're the one who's still in denial, trying to convince the world that a colt everybody saw won the Belmont stakes with a very strong last furlong rally is a miler. Anyway your opinion is yours to defend problem with that.

Regarding Verrazano, I have a very high regard for the talent of this colt and its not baseless as Jersey Boy has shown above that Timeform ranks him atop the 3YO colts list in America. i assert that he can beat any horse on dirt between 8 - 10 Furlongs. His 10 Furlongs losses were not due to stamina limitation in my opinion, thats why I'd want to see him in the Breeder's Cup Classic.

08 Oct 2013 2:40 PM

When showing a quote to which some replied, show the reply in the exact words, show the exact context also.

I will show you how.

This is what I wrote:

“Consider the following statement about Moonlight Cloud: “Her best distance appears to be 7F”. Well she just beat the best milers in Europe at a mile. What does that say about the milers and what does that say about the sprinters she beat or almost beat at 6 furlongs? This Moonlight Cloud must be something.”

08 Oct 2013 4:59 PM


The connections of Wise Dan could have scratched him when the race was taken off the Turf.

He has contested 8 races on synthetic to date and has won 5. If the results of my research is correct, Silver Max made his first start on a synthetic surface in the Shadwell Mile.

The advantage on the surface belongs to Wise Dan. It should be noted that Wise Dan defeated Silver Max on both previous occasion they met.

Wise Dan loss was due to the rain and the surface change. Interesting! How many of his opponents finished ahead of him? The records reflect one. It therefore means the elements and surface did not prevent him form defeating 8 other opponents but it prevented him from defeating one.

I will not request an explanation as the spin will be just too much to handle.

Despite your emotions, you are knowledgeable enough to understand that a talented 3YO put away for 7 months will return bigger and stronger and more capable of defeating older horses.

The 6YO Cigar's 16 race win streak was brought to an end by the 5YO Rare and Go. Subsequent that defeat he was again defeated by the 4YO Skip Away  in the JCGC.

Zenyatta suffered her only loss as a 6YO to the 4YO Blame.

Are you seriously implying that a 4YO that has won 10 races from a 1 1/6F to 10F is incapable of defeating an aging champion with 25 races under his belt without the help of the elements?

To infer that Wise Dan at 6YO was not vulnerable to his younger talented opponents requires a suspension rational thinking.  

08 Oct 2013 7:08 PM

LiT (hope you don't mind me calling you that).. you "lit" up the blogs ;) ) :  Yeah, I thought it was brilliant, even more impressive was that she was always on the outside at least 3 wide but with so many horses, it's really the place to be.  When I first watched the race, I noticed her moving but didn't know it was her (I youtubed it and it was a french announcer).  I kept thinking, that can't be her, that's like a Frankel type run, as they turn for home I realize the horse was going to win and I had to rewind it to see if I can hear the announcer say "Treve" lol.   Also, did you notice how compact the field was during the race ?  It seemed like they were shoulder to shoulder throughout the race.  I'd be wetting myself if I was one of the jockeys in that race.

derbygal :   Thank you !  That's interesting, I forgot that the Derby was run in sloppy track.  I guess that means I'll have to take a closer look if it's an off track at SA on Classic day.  I'll wait and watch his derby run closer to the day so it's fresh in my mind.   Who's your early pick for the Classic ?

Ranagulzion : Yes, that seems to be what's important to you, the last word.  I am seriously questioning your knowledge of horse racing, everytime you respond to Coldfacts, it's always about "because you said so" coupled with an insult, no information whatsoever to support your claims.   And again, you provided nothing except point to Timeform as to why you think Verrazano will win his next race.  You didn't even know the Timeform info until someone else posted it.  You remind me of my niece who is so in love with Bieber, she doesn't know any of his songs, just that she saw him in a big stage and everyone was screaming.  She told me the other day, Bieber will win the Classic this year and he'll romp.

Coldfacts : Agree with most of your last post except the Zenyatta part, her Classic run wasn't any different than her other runs except that she was too far back against the boys...I believe that she lost because she was given too much to do, not because she was older.  As for Wise Dan, are you going to try and beat him in the Turf Mile ?  If so, who would be your pick to beat him ?  I myself, will probably try and beat him but still not sure who to pick.   He was my sure bet win in all of the BC races last year and I knew he was going to be the heavy favorite, just couldn't deny that he was the best horse in his race.

09 Oct 2013 12:17 AM

Rusty Weisner, I don't bet on horses. I just feel that Orb is being belittled for 1 bad result while others are forgiven for numerous bad results.

09 Oct 2013 2:24 AM
Pedigree Ann

I would just like to note that Treve was getting 11 pounds from older males and 8 lbs from older females. Three-year-olds of both sexes get a larger age-allowance in the Arc than they do here in the states for similar distances.

09 Oct 2013 10:04 AM


I concur that Zenyatta's Classic race was similar to many others she contested. I do not believe she was given too much to do.

Derby winners Street Sense, Giacocom and Mine That Bird were very far behind the field and close to win. Denis Of Cork close from another zip code to finfish 3rd in the Big Brown Derby.

It is therefore a common occurrence for horses to close from far back at CD. It probably has something to do with the surface.

Like Wise Dan, Zenyatta was only beaten by one opponent. Her position in the race cannot be   exclusively attributed to her loss. The talented 4YO Blame is to be blamed. Forgive the pun.

The BCM (Turf) will be hotly contested. Of the US based horses I think I will be focused on Winning Prize and Silver Max.

Silver Max is much improved as 4YO and has in abundance one of the most prized asset a thoroughbred can possess i.e., exception speed. He is even more dangerous because  he is capable of carrying it over very long distances. It should not be forgotten that he has won at 10F but he appears to be a 1 1/6F specialist as 8 of his 11 victories have been at that distance.

The Argentine bred Winning Prize ran a somewhat uneven race likely due to the unfamiliar surface. He was on the lead briefly and gradually dropped back to 5th. He made a move approaching the turn and battled on for 4th without threatening.

It was evident he was not enjoying the surface as the long fluent extension in his strides displayed in his turf debut in the US was absent.

One thing he showed in the SM was heart. I think he can run 1:31 plus on the rock hard SA strip. Such a time is capable of winning the race.

We must also not forget that the good ones that invade from South America in general and Argentina in particular have been brilliant in the US.

Invasor, Candy Ride and Byacoa serve as a few important reminders.

The Euros in general and particularly Moonlight Cloud are in great shape. My  views could change dependent of which of them shows up

09 Oct 2013 11:43 AM
Rusty Weisner


Try it some time.  It's fun!

09 Oct 2013 11:57 AM
Rusty Weisner


My point about WTC was that they seemed to have saved something for the Travers.  But maybe I'm just reading too much into charts.

09 Oct 2013 11:59 AM

Regarding TimeForm ratings, as soon as they started to rank Frankel higher than Sea The Stars, I stopped relying on them as accurate. Frankel was superb, but he didn't contest the Arc.

While Treve was smashing in the Arc, don't forget about 2011 winner, 3 year old filly Danedream, who shattered the record for the Arc, running it in 2:24:49 on dry hard ground. (Darn close to Secretariat's time for the Belmont). Treve's time on soft ground was 2:32:04 for the 12f.

And no Euro is going to be scared off by any American-bred horse in the BC. They win without any medication. Even Wise Dan won't won't keep them away. True competitors relish meeting their toughest rivals, because then a win means twice as's golden!

09 Oct 2013 12:31 PM

I always get interested in a discussion involving colts and fillies and the sex and age allowances.

These discussions most often focus on the allowance received by 3yo fillies. So Treve’s allowance is mentioned.

What is overlooked in this case is that the last three ARC’s have been won by fillies.

Let us not forget that last year when Solemia won the ARC, she gave 5 pounds to the 3yo colts.

Urban Sea, Gold River and All Along must also have given weight.

09 Oct 2013 2:48 PM

If Wise Dan runs in the Breeders' Cup Mile and is drawn in post 1-6, and starts at more the 2-1, I will lay the bank on him no matter who else enters.

09 Oct 2013 2:53 PM

jay jay,

You're still saying that Union Rags is a miler? Tell me what kind of horse Palace Malice is, after staggering home in his Belmont victory in a slower time, albeit well clear of his comparitively weaker opposition? Do you know that Union Rags' Belmont Stakes is the fastest of the last four renewals of the race?  Do you regard Palace Malice, Ruler On Ice and Drosselmeyer as milers?  I tell you something ...give up on this debate because you'll never win no matter how much you try to shift to focus by attempt at ridicule by comparing me to your neice or whatever.

Arguing an issue with a guy like you who refuses to admit you were wrong in the face of hard core evidence makes having the last word real sweet. Union Rags shut you up real good and I say Amen to that Bro.

09 Oct 2013 4:00 PM


I haven't tried to defend Wise Dan's loss to Silver Max at all.  Maybe you're confusing me with another poster.  I think that Silver Max is a very good colt and that he produced a career best effort to win. Lets see him repeat in the BC Mile on the turf. My feeling is that he's going to "bounce" but even if that doesn't happen I fancy Wise Dan to turn the tables, come Breeder's Cup day.

09 Oct 2013 4:04 PM

Hi Slew,

Welcome back, and please keep sending more comments I enjoy reading it.

I am with you in regards to the euros will not afraid of our horse in the breeders'cup even they have to fly over here, imagine if the Breeders'cup runs in Europe, i douted we would have more than 5 horses from the each race.

Footlick and forbidden apple,

if you still read this blog, we need to hear from both of you, the Breeders'cup is fast approching and your comments is welcome.

09 Oct 2013 4:55 PM

My dad died loving Curlin, so Palice Malice must be special. Wise Dan's winning streak was snapped just like my mind was snapped when I heard that Hansen was sold to Korea. I tried to contain myself but ended up emailing the good doctor. Broke my heart. I don't know why Hansen wasn't given a chance to prevail as a sire in this country, and South Korea? I'd say that's the bottom of the bowl. It's best not to get attached on an emotional level in this sport. Sometimes horses are easier to "read" than their owners. Cheers, Palice Malice. Here's to you, have a good life, be one of the lucky ones.

09 Oct 2013 5:02 PM

Wise Dan is not a cinch as many people think, he definitely has to deal with Silver Max and the new comer No Jet Lag, but the biggest test of all will come from the top miler Moonlight Cloud if they decide to give her a chance to redeem herself and shows people here that she is a much better horse than the one they seen last year.

I hope the send her here and hope the Wise Dan fans bets heavy on him, that will make my day

09 Oct 2013 6:27 PM
Paula Higgins

Zenyatta came in second because of several reasons: Quality Road backing up, she lost her sense of where she was in the pack (which were in fact 2 groups of horses), she was racing under the lights for the first time  and on an unfamiliar surface that was playing very differently per the jockeys, than it ever had before. This was not a typical race for her at all. She was further back than she had ever been for the first half. Everyone, including her connections, knew she was having an issue with either the surface or the dirt in her face, or both. None of that was normal for her. This was Blame's home court. He had a dream trip. He should have been 5 lengths in front of her. He was  a very talented horse, but he was no Zenyatta. What he was, was very lucky. As John Shirreffs said (paraphrasing)"If they raced each other another 9 times, she would have won." ITA. Personally, I believe that in spite of all the other issues she had to contend with, Quality Road cost her the second she needed to get by Blame.

ITA about Timeform ratings. Frankel was not better than Sea The Stars.

I think Wise Dan will come back and win in the Breeders Cup Mile.

ksweatman9, I couldn't believe they sent Hansen to S. Korea either.

09 Oct 2013 7:46 PM

"If Wise Dan runs in the Breeders' Cup Mile and is drawn in post 1-6, and starts at more the 2-1, I will lay the bank on him no matter whom else enters”

The ages of the 29 winners BC Mile (Turf) are summarized below:

3YOs – 8

4YOs – 12

5YOs – 5

6YOs – 3

7YOs – 1

I was too lazy to research the number of 6YOs that have entered the 29 races. Irrespective, it is safe to assume that the number of 6YOs that  have contested the race are few.

Base purely on the fact that only three 6YOs have won the race, I do not like Wise Dan’s chances.

Goldikova was a better miler than The Dan and in her quest as a 6YO for her 4th consecutive victory, she was defeated by the lucky 7YO Court Vision. If not for a troubled trip by then 4YO Turallure, there would be no 7YO winner of mile.

BTW where was Wise Dan the 4YO in November of 2011?  Seven days before the Mile he contested and won the G2 Fayette. I guess he was not considered good enough or was he afraid of Euro invader Goldikova?

The age of the possibles for the 2013 renewal of the Mile are summarized below:

3YOs – 4

4YOs – 5

5YOs – 5

6YOs – 1

7YOs – 1

The age groups that have dominated the Mile are well represented. Wise Dan’s performance in the Shadwell Mile indicated his age and 26 races are catching up on him. He might be able to defeat many of the possibles but it is virtually impossible for him to defeat all.

Anyone who is prepared to bet an entire bank on Wise Dan based on post position and starting odds, is clearly driven by emotions. It is the type of emotions that promote a refusal to see consistent with self-imposed blindness.

I have provided some cold facts above that might influence a rethinking such decisions.

09 Oct 2013 9:35 PM
Rusty Weisner


"Tell me what kind of horse Palace Malice is, after staggering home in his Belmont victory in a slower time, albeit well clear of his comparitively weaker opposition?"

It's hard for me to be diplomatic. You need to acquaint yourself with a fundamental aspect of handicapping, pace.  Palace Malice staggered home in the Derby, too, as did Oxbow.  Yet they were excellent, obvious bets in the Preakness and Belmont, respectively.  Palace Malice again staggered home in the Belmont, yet was a cinch in the Jim Dandy.

Examine why.  To address your specific mention of Belmont, the pace was insane and neither Palace Malice and Oxbow should have been expected to hold on for the place, much less win. Just look at the splits for 6f and a mile.  If you don't want to bother to do that, just watch the race again or read the coverage of the race, where it's no secret that the pace was taxing (and second fastest in race history, I believe).

I thought the game here was to win money on horses.  With your comments over the years you've behaved as if the goal was to seize the mantle of Number One Fan for a series of high-profile favorites, usually Pletcher chalk.  It's like reading a more literate Draynay.  Few care that you can shout loudest about how great Wise Dan is; that doesn't gain you any credibility, much less money.  That's bad enough, but when you play cheerleader for a clearly vulnerable Verrazano in the Travers, that should be embarrassing, and a cause for introspection, as is crowing about getting Union Rags at 5/2 in the Belmont after losing it all on his Derby fiasco.

10 Oct 2013 7:39 AM

Paula Higgins,

A very insightful post regarding the collective reasons for Zenytta’s loss!

“She was racing under the lights for the first time and on an unfamiliar surface”

Almost the entire field was racing under the lights for the first time. Zenyatta won the G1 Apple Blossom twice. That race is contested on dirt. The surface at OK Park was unfamiliar to her when she recorded her fist win on dirt.

“This was not a typical race for her at all.”

Is there such a race? I contend no.

“She was further back than she had ever been for the first half.”

She was not in a race against over matched females that were being saved to repel he late kick. She was in a race with colts/geldings with high cruising speed and the ability to accelerate in the last two furlongs.

“Everyone, including her connections, knew she was having an issue with either the surface or the dirt in her face or both “

Paula the above does not compute. If she was so far behind the field how was she taking dirt in in face? The surface was not prepared to suit any particular horse. They all had to run on it.

“None of that was normal for her”

Are you implying that conditions were normal for the other runners?

“This was Blame's home court.”

Blame made 5 starts at CD and won 4. Zenyatta made 6 starts at SA and won all. She won the BCC at SA Park to the jubilation of her many fans. There was not suggestion then that she had home court advantage and was familiar with the Synthetic surface.

The horses that occupied the board with her had the following Synthetic Track records- Gio Ponti - 2, Twice Over – 0 and Summer Bird – 0. Zenyatta made 11 starts on Synthetic Tracks prior to her BCC victory.

“He was a very talented horse, but he was no Zenyatta.”

Blame contested races at 7 different tracks in his 13 starts and won 9 times. Zenyatta contested races at 5 tracks in her 21 starts and won 20. She had 8 more starts and 11 more wins. The only cold fact tht matters is he allowed her weight and defeated her. He was better on the day.

“He was very lucky.”

The horses that Zenyatta finished ahead were therefore unlucky. A top rated 4YO male defeats an aging 6YO mare and he is lucky. What will they think of next?

"If they raced each other another 9 times, she would have won."

A clearly emotionally driven statement! She could not catch Blame at 10F at CD. Was she prepared to follow him around to various dirt tracks to contest the hypothetical 9 additional encounters?

This is the type of nonsense that drives rational thinker crazy.

10 Oct 2013 8:08 AM

"It is the type of emotions that promote a refusal to see consistent with self-imposed blindness".

Here is a perfect example of your statement:

“Mr.  Gomez has chosen to take the ride on Place Malice(sic) who is returning from a short recovery period and who will be contesting a race on a surface over which he is unproven.  

Mr. Gomez is the regular rider for Footbridge who like Palace Malice has only a maiden victory to his credit. However, he enters the Bluegrass off a victory, at full rest and with proven synthetic surface pedigree.

Delhomme contested the Rebel off a very long rest but on a familiar surface. He finished last. Palace Malice will be returning from short rest to contest a race on an unfamiliar surface. Add the fact that his trainer does not have a stellar record with short rest horses, it is quite likely that Delhomme will be joined by Place Malice(sic) just ahead of the medical emergency vehicle.

What was Mr. Gomez thinking?”

Coldfacts 11 Apr 2013 10:28 AM

Palace Malice, at 9-2, was second in that race, the Blue Grass at Keeneland. He is now a Classic winner.

Footbridge, at 23-1, finished last beaten 23 lengths. He has not raced since.

It is my money. I've got loads of it. I will do exactly as I said.

10 Oct 2013 8:18 AM

I have never considered a horse's age when placing a bet on a horse.

I only consider relevant factors.

I certainly do not need advice from someone who once touted a 4yo to win the Kentucky Derby.

10 Oct 2013 8:35 AM


Why the heartbreak? Were you heartbroken when the fastest son of Mr. Prospector was sold to South American interest. Edubia Is the sire of the 2012 Breeders Cup Classic winner Fort Larned.

Some thoroughbreds that have influenced the Breeding Industry in the US were sold to American interest. Did the folks I Europe complain?

Its a business for most owners/breeders. Thoroughbred ownership has ruined many as revenue inflows did not match outflows. It is wise for Owners/Breeder to capitalize on profitable deals as both parties are involved in a high risk business.

The US has an oversupply of stallions.

10 Oct 2013 8:54 AM

Re Moonlight Cloud:

“ Moonlight Cloud is a possible runner at Hong Kong's international meeting in December but a visit to America's Breeders' Cup next month does not seem on the cards. That meeting produced the filly's only defeat in the past year and Head said he was "not that keen" on a second attempt”.

The Guardian Oct 7.

10 Oct 2013 9:04 AM


POSTED - 07 Oct 2013 2:27 PM


“Your assessment of Silver Max's chances against Wise Dan was spot on. At least you could have told us that it was going to rain heavily and that the race would be switched to Polytrack (LOL)”

Well, I must request your forgiveness for assuming  that there were either hidden or indirect excuses contained in the above.

Whereas The Dan was battling the elements and a surface on which he had been successful on 5 occasions, Silver Max was trying to win his 1st G1 on an unfamiliar surface.

He was trying to achieve this against a perceived unbeatable opponent that had beaten him on two previous occasions like rented mule.

I contend the elements and surface change were the least of Silver Max’s challenges.  The fact that he defeated WD at level weights and at a major disadvantage, suggests The Dan will be hard pressed to reverse positions in the BCM.

There are some cold facts that suggest you should be looking elsewhere for the 2013 BCM winner.

Consecutive winners:

Miesque - 3YO & 4YO

Lure - 3YO & 4YO

Goldikova - 3YO, 4YO & 5YO

The 5YO to 6YO sequence is not in play. The BCM will be The Dan’s 27th start. There are some 4YOs and 5YOs with much fresher legs.

10 Oct 2013 9:29 AM
Pedigree Ann

Re: Moonlight Cloud not coming

The grass course at SA and other 8f tracks is a 7f bull-ring, with a home-straight of barely 1.5f. Most Euro milers are used to either straight mile courses or ones with a single bend and a 3-4f home straight. The tight turns inhibit their stride, then they don't have time to fully wind up their late run. Not true for every Euro, but for too many of them, US turf tracks are a major adjustment they can't make quickly enough for one race.

10 Oct 2013 10:11 AM

I'll add one more facet to Paula Higgins post about Zen. On the wet, cuppy track, Zen was hit in the eyeball by a clod of mud early in the race, and dropped farther back than usual...causing her to have to make up even more ground.

Coldfacts, if a person can't get emotional about these racehorses, what's the point of following them and blogging about them? You seem quite emotionally attached to Orb yourself.

And face it's time to give Blame credit for his win. Johnny V. positioned him just right, and Blame beat the best..(but only by half a step.)

My most heart-wrenching moment in that BCC came when Zen, on her way back to the barn, amid her cheering fans, stopped...and stared from afar at Blame in the winner's circle...seeming to wonder why She wasn't the one there. (Yes, I anthropomorphise..

..and I talk to my cat too.)

10 Oct 2013 12:37 PM

Rusty Weisner 10 Oct 2013 7:39 AM

That post was a sucker punch ...i thought we were buddys (LOL). Anyway if you want to gang  up with jay jay and rumble, I'm game.

I'm sorry to hurt your feelings about Palace Malice but I had to make reference to the manner of his Belmont victory to drive home my point to jay jay who also happens to be a Palace Malice fan.

You see Rusty, the game isn't only about winning the gamble ...there are other aspects to the SPORT my friend.  When you know the game well enough the money falls into place, and besides there are other blogs and websites that focus specifically on that aspect. I happen to enjoy spotting the equine stars and calling them BEFORE everyone is on their wagon and I've done that many times over the years of posting on here. Therefore dont blame me for touting the elite runners when their odds have fallen because sundry waggonist have gotten on board ...when you cant beat the favourites, there's always the exotics and I've successfully called some good exactors in the past.

Please understand to point of my argument with jay jay about Union Rags. Anyway I do get your gambling perspective. Peace.

10 Oct 2013 2:03 PM

Pedigree Ann:

You have it dead right.

This is what the trainer said about Moonlight Cloud:

“She ran badly at the Breeders' Cup last year, it's two turns. We're not that keen on taking her there.

It is one turn in Hong Kong, which is better for her." 10/8/13

10 Oct 2013 3:43 PM

I have repeatedly labeled some statement posted by contributors over the top and emotionally driven. There are those who take offense to their statements being so labeled. But what option does a rational thinker have?

Paula Higgins cited in a recent post that John Sherriff the trainer of Zenyatta, issue a quote after her loss to Blame in the BCC that was as follows:

"If they raced each other another 9 times, she would have won."

Assuming Paula is accurate, the quote is classic example of emotions driven, ridiculous hypothetical.

Zenyata was 6YOs when she lost to Blame. Let’s assume they both continued their careers in 2011. Zenyatta would be 7YO and Blame 5YO.

Which 9 races would Blame contest that Zenyatta would also be entered?

Assuming Blame enter the Don Handicap, The Jockey Club Gold Cup, Pimlico Special, Whitney, Woodward, Steven Foster. Which of those would Zenyatta leave CA and enter? Would she win or finish ahead of Blame in all. That’s only six G1 races.

Include three G2 to bring the total to nine. Would Zenyatta leave CA nine times to compete against Blame.

The quote was emotionally driven and without merit and certainly does not warrant be referenced.

10 Oct 2013 5:04 PM
Paula Higgins

Uh Coldfacts, I will decide what I reference in a post, not you. A rational man would NEVER have made that suggestion, or some of those comments about Zenyatta's race either. So there goes your theory about being rational. Secondly, when John Shirreffs made that statement it was quite a while after the race. It was not an emotionally driven comment at all. John Shirreffs does not make nonsensical comments. He is a very rational man, an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam, and he is known for being calm, rational, intelligent and reasonable. It was his opinion and one which I and many others share. Just because you don't, doesn't mean you are more rational than the rest of us.

As for your post above about Zenyatta, you can't see the forest for the trees. Yes, she got mud in her face early on and then more mud once she joined the group. That was not the norm for her since she usually raced on synthetics and when she did race against the girls on dirt x 2, she flew by them quickly because they were small groups. She wasn't behind them long enough to get plastered with mud.

The one thing Zenyatta did not have in that race Mr. Rational Thought was luck. I don't know where you got that idea. She had problem after problem and in spite of it all, she flew by those colts with the exception of one. That is not about good luck or bad luck, but about an otherworldly talent seen in very few horses in history. The colt's high cruising speed was never a factor. She made the ground up quickly just like she always did. Blame had the advantage of running at CD before and yes, that is an advantage for any horse to run on familiar tracks. It was his advantage that day. He also had a very smooth trip on the inside. She had to go wide and weave through traffic i.e. Quality Road. She normally  spotted one group of horses and she was spotting two in this particular race. More than one racing expert believed she miscalculated where the wire was due to the two groups, unfamiliar track and possibly the lights. Blame is a very good horse, a tough little guy and he hung in there. But he also got lucky. When you win against a horse like Zenyatta, by all of half a head, you are one very lucky horse.

Slew, I felt bad when it appeared she was looking back at the winner's circle too. Mario said he was sure that she didn't understand why she wasn't going to there. But the crowd gave her huge applause when she came back to the stands. Blame is supposed to be a very sweet horse and he did win.  I felt bad that he didn't get more of an acknowledgement from the crowd. He deserved a better response and so did his connections.

10 Oct 2013 10:37 PM

I like Palace Malice and admire him and his trainer.  Is he another Curlin, man I don't think so.  

I'm slightly disappointed in the 3 yr. olds, no consistency other than maybe Will Take Charge.  Let's see what they do in the BC races.  I think G.O.D., Paynter, and Mucho Macho Man, who has really become a man, have the edge over the 3 yr. olds in the BCC so far.  It remains to be seen though. G.O.D. wins BCC, gets HOY?????  Not written in stone yet.

And what is up with Orb?  He wins the Derby and can win nothing else?  Was it a fluke?  Or is Orb caught in the same vortex of a downward spiral as Garret Gomez appears to be?  I hope they both straighten out, two good ones I would like to see come back to form.  Has Shug given us any answers about Orb?

And holy jumping bluetailed catfish, Batman.  Wait a minute, I missed something.  Hansen was sold to Korea?  Wait, did or did not Dr. Hansen swear that Hansen would remain in America about the time of IHA's selling or did I dream that up?  I agree thoroughly with ksweatman on that.

10 Oct 2013 11:24 PM

Can I agree with the rating of Princess of Sylmar as the top 3YO this year?  Consistent and classy.  I just hope they decide to  go to the BC.

Speaking of which, I have always admired the Euros for not being afraid to run fillies and mares -- even 3YO fillies -- in the Arc.  Same with the Australians and their big races. And look at how successful they've been.

Does anybody think we will ever see a great 3YO filly in the BC Classic?  Americans are so afraid of running females against mares.

And  congratulations to the BC head honchos who finally figured out that it was the DISTAFF and not the "Ladies" Classic.  Makes me think they still talk about Chairladies and Manageresses and probably even Lawyerettes or Doctorettes.  

( And no, I am not getting sucked into the maw of the Hurricane Zenyatta controversy again -- although I must commend her connections for choosing the Classic. )

10 Oct 2013 11:29 PM

Coldfacts, I hate it when ANY of our horses are exiled to foreign soil. Some countries I find harder to swallow than others. I know a little more than I'd like to about how certain cultures treat and view animals. I could write about the horrors of accepted animal abuse in some of these countries but it would not fit in a post. China, worst offender, Korea right up there with them. I don't expect you to understand. I just didn't think the doctor would part with his namesake so easily. Oh what am I talking about, some people would sell their own mother if the price was right. I hope and pray Hansen is well cared for and not mistreated while he's alive. If he proves a good sire, he'll be around awhile and I won't speculate how he'll meet his fate in the end. I'm sad about it and profoundly disappointed. I can't help how I feel.

11 Oct 2013 5:50 AM

Paula,  Zenyatta lost to Blame for the same reason Man O' War lost to Upset and Secretariat lost to Onion. The racing Gods just wanted to prove these great horses were flesh and blood, besides, Pegasus was envious. They wanted to appease him.

11 Oct 2013 6:03 AM


“A rational man would NEVER have made that suggestion, or some of those comments about Zenyatta's race either”

I was not trying to be offensive and probably could have used less impacting words to communicate my displeasure at what can clearly be regarded as an over the top and emotionally driven statement.

I do not recall making any negative statements regarding Zenyatta. I remain a fan of the brilliant mare but will neither be fanatical nor irrational regarding her .

Mr. Sheriff’s quote - "If they raced each other another 9 times, she would have won."

“It was his opinion and one which I and many others share”

I recognized that you were in agreement with quote then and now.

I outlined in my post why I considered the hypothetical a stretch. I have provided some cold facts, reasonable assumptions and an all important question.

Would a 7YO Zenyatta be entered in 9 races at various tracks to compete against Blame?

During her career she left CA three times. She twice won the Apple Blossom in Arkansas and she lost the BCC in Kentucky. It is unlikely that Blame would travel to CA and consequently a 9 race encounter would be on his coast and on dirt.

I have no problems with hypotheticals that do not equate to building castles in the sky. However, I find ridiculous quotes from professionals and knowledgeable folks disturbing. This is due to the fact that there are others who will endorse them and become part of the nonsense.

I would advise the valuable contributor to choose the quotes you endorse wisely.

11 Oct 2013 9:05 AM


That is what you get when you response to a nonsense self proclaim expert, not worth it.

Please post your knowledgeble comments we like to read.


11 Oct 2013 10:05 AM
Pedigree Ann

What is wrong with Orb? Could be he is going through a growth spurt or something. Three-yos are not fully grown - horses aren't mature until they are 5 or more. I have even seen a 6yo sport-bred mare (TB/Hungarian) who still looked gangly like a youngster. Look at Mucho Macho Man - a late foal, he has always been behind the curve a bit with his contemporaries.

11 Oct 2013 10:54 AM
Steve Haskin

Time to settle down, folks.

11 Oct 2013 11:49 AM

Re: my 11:29 pm posting last night: Ack! I mis-typed!!  It should have read: "Americans are so afraid of running females against MALES"  Otherwise, makes no sense -- and I keep trying so hard not to type like a Republican.

(Anyways, my excuse is that this is what happens when you have to get up at gawdawful in the morning to take your mother in for cataract surgery and then your body tells you that you should later still keep your usual vampire hours notwithstanding.)


Anyone know yet which BC race My Conquestadory will be running in?

11 Oct 2013 11:53 AM

For those of you who keep accusing Dr. Hansen of selling his namesake to South Korea well he did no such thing, he sold Hansen to Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky and they have turned around and sold him to South Korea. He said in the article on this sale that he was upset about the sale.

16 Oct 2013 7:42 PM

Recent Posts



Social Media

More Blogs