Breeders' Cup Aftermath

Here's your sounding board for the 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championships. Racing fans certainly have had plenty to say since Nov. 6 about Blame and Zenyatta's remarkable battle in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), but what about Goldikova's three-peat in the Mile (gr. I) and Uncle Mo's big kick in the Juvenile (gr. I)? Share your thoughts here.


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With a new year approaching. I'm really looking forward to following Uncle Mo's progress towards the Triple Crown races. He looks like he might be a good one to watch. I think all in all. Fans were treated to a great year of racing. My hope is many will come to understand and appreciate what they have witnessed over these past few months. It might be a good while before it happens again.  

09 Nov 2010 11:48 AM

Good:  Marvelous Goldikova, Awesome Feather and Uncle Mo (still think it's a sort of goofy name, tho)

Bad AND Ugly: Pre-emption for College Football on TV

Finally:  Since for the past few years, colts and fillies running / winning / placing etc in the Natalma Stakes and the Summer Stakes have consistently won / placed in the 2YO Turf races, should those two Woodbine stakes be up-graded?  The Natalma is a Grade II and the Summer Stakes is a currently a Grade III, I think.  Doesn't seem to fit -- particularly when there aren't very many Grade I's for 2YO turf races anyways.  (Speaking of which, too bad no Frankel this year.  Maybe next year.)

09 Nov 2010 11:53 AM

Zenyatta closing 5 lengths against another closer and never giving up.Thanks team Z for what you have done for the sport

09 Nov 2010 12:06 PM

First off Zenyatta's connections should have taken a page outta Goldikova's connections book.  I didnt think Goldikova could do it again, but after this years mile she looks better than ever.  Once again from an outside post. What a remarkable year she has had.  

09 Nov 2010 12:12 PM
average joe

Saturday saw the 2 Greatest Horses perform for the world !

Goldikova is without a doubt, the Greatest miler to step foot on a racetrack and is deserving to be put up there with the greatest there is and ever will be !

Zenyatta ONLY enhanced her greatness in defeat as - It not only showed she can race and not only compete with the world's best, but beat them on DIRT... Like Mike Smith said, she was the best and the only reason she got beat was because he didn't time her run right. ( I am not taking anything away from Blame but Zen is by far, the superior racehorse... Zenyatta is NOT only HOTY, but Horse of the Decade !!!

09 Nov 2010 12:29 PM
the derby dream

This will have to go down as one of the most memorable Breeder Cups ever. Certainly the most thrilling Classic since maybe the first one. Maybe the best thing of it all is no matter where I go whether it be in restaurants or convenience stores people are talking about racing, which is music to my ears. Zenyatta's furious closing rush, Goldikova now looking at a four peat and what about Bret Calhoun starting 2 and winning 2 BC races.  

09 Nov 2010 12:43 PM
John T

Goldikova winning the Breeders Cup

Turf Mile for a third year was an outstanding performance.When we think how easily Gio Ponti won his mile race at Keeneland before that and the record she had all year over the more than useful Paco Boy

it truly was a remarkable performance.

 Uncle Mo is a young 2 year old who has shown lots of promise and

winning this race at Churchill Downs were the Derby will be held is certainly a step in the right direction.

09 Nov 2010 1:11 PM

I hope they don't make the same mistake this year that they did last when RA was awarded HOY.  What a nag she was this year.  Queen Z was the BC, she was responsible for the TV ratings, she lit the fire.  If she hasn't done enough to win HOY, then I don't know what could be said.  She is truly the ONLY candidate.

09 Nov 2010 1:17 PM

Blame deserves horse of the year and I agree a lot with what Jason said in another blog.  I feel her connections lost her HOY not the performance of the great mare.  True, they wanted to coddle her and didn't want her to turn out like Rachel this year.  But, now, the unbeaten streak means nothing, only in the history books.  Goldikova is amazing and look after Uncle Mo.   Another horse with Kris S in his pedigree much like Zenyatta and Blame. Hopefully it will balance out Indian Charlie

09 Nov 2010 1:26 PM
Gary Tasich

Headline....."Breeder's Cup Attendance and Handle Increase".

Question begs to be asked....How much of this was because of Queen Zenyatta. wouldn't have happened without her!

She held up her end...will the sport hold up theirs? Guess she can run on dirt after all. She went east and raced on the dirt....Rachel stayed home, got HOY and hit the wall in 2010. Kind of diminishes the stature of the award...doesn't it?

The Zenyatta team has exhibited such style and grace. Too bad the East coast never has demonstrated the same.

She is a true champion! It's a good thing she never had to read the tawdry press or blogs coming out of the East....She's a class act and deserving of HOY! But if she doesn't get it, she won't care. As far as she's concerned she got her target and won.

Awards like the Eclipse, the Oscar and the Nobel are losing their luster because of the politics and the quality of the recipient's work. Go Zenyatta!

If we're lucky....the Moss' won't retire her and will go east to whack whatever they decide to put up against her. We know Blame won't be there because he's already cut and run.


09 Nov 2010 1:36 PM

1. Some embarrassing moments for Churchill Downs. Loading horses in the wrong gates; problems figuring out how much to water the turf course, and a horse slipping and falling and having to be put down; and failure to scratch Life at Ten when she clearly should have been. Is this the worst performance by a host track ever?

2. A shout out for Gio Ponti's connections. Last year they ran him in the Classic, and a strong second got him an extra Eclipse Award. This year the decision to run him in the Mile, and another strong second puts him in the mix for another Eclipse Award. Missing Intelligence Awards to the connections of Awesome Gem, Musket Man, and especially Paddy O'Prado for choosing the wrong races. Paddy's non-threatening fifth in the Classic might have been good enough to win the Turf. It seemed apparent that Dangerous Midge won because somebody had to finish first. Winchester and Bekhabad had dead aim on Champ Pegasus and couldn't do anything.

3. Good work by Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, who jumped on the problems with Life at Ten and pointed out how undistinguished the Turf was. They pointed out why the outside post in the Mile was especially unfortunate for Proviso's racing style. The role of Kenny Mayne and Hank Goldberg was minimized, which is always a good thing.

4. On the other hand, the camera work was atrocious. Cameras set up at almost every angle except where you could actually follow the race.

5. Whatever the conditions of the turf, the Mile was probably the most formful race, with the seven best horses finishing in the top seven spots. Mine That Bird was the worst underlay in BC history, and horses like Dakota Phone that have won a Gr. 2 and placed in two Gr. 1s in their previous three races shouldn't go off at 37-1. Arguably, Shared Account at 46-1 vs. Miss Keller at 8-1 was equally bad. There were some spectacular betting opportunities.

6. Goldikova, Uncle Mo, and Pluck all ran amazing races in different ways. I was also happy to see Big Drama get a big win.

09 Nov 2010 1:46 PM
Donna Melendez

I drove hundreds of miles just to see her,  to see her magnificence and when she walked past in the post parade to the gate  I cried at her majesty and prowess.  That was the most courageous race I have ever seen in my life and my heart broke when she lost by so little but after a few days I realize that she is still as immortal as ever by her heart and will to win, by her sheer courage.  Zenyatta's effort was nothing short of valiant!!  

09 Nov 2010 2:19 PM
Flora Reekstin

On Team Z: They could have chosen any race to get the 20th victory, but they chose the hardest one.  They knew, like afterall always did, where the finish line was – and it was not on the track.  It was in the character of each and every one of them – human and horse alike.

On afterall: In my article which appeared in The Backstretch Magazine (July/August 2000) I wrote the following words about the great Ruffian.  I rededicate them now to afterall:

“She was, after all, just a horse they say - an animal with four legs that could run faster than any other animal she had ever met. What she carried on those four legs, though, was not horseflesh, but the spirit of a dream.  She was the tangible proof that something can be done well; that winning, not losing, is a way of life - losing is the exception and the not-to-be accepted.  She made us believe that there were still heroes and the solid taste of victory.  And for a few minutes each time she ran, those of us who loved her knew we were capable of anything”

My memory of Queen Z will always live 5 strides before the wire – where anything is possible.

09 Nov 2010 2:22 PM
George Horn

The Zenyatta saga like all good things has come to an end.  Her detractors may say "See, she lost!" and ignore all the good she brought to racing.  She lost to a very good horse who beat her by about half a head after she fought her way thru a difficult trip.  The fact that he was a Claiborne horse was fitting as they celebrate a century of breeding horses the right way.  Can she run on dirt or can she compete against the boys?  Ask all the good horses she passed on the way to her showdown with Blame.

What to do now?  No doubt her offspring could bring a pretty penny, but she doesn't owe anyone a thing.  It would be unthinkable to sell her as happens to so many once their racing days are over, but the Mosses love racing not breeding.  She already knows the basics of a dressage routine so who knows?  Keep her happy and treasure her for she's a rare jewel indeed.

The 2010 Breeders' Cup was good, but the commentators could better talk about horses than jockey's who act stupid.  Speaking of jockeys her loss is nothing for Mike Smith to hang his head over.  He guided her to 19-0 and was a class act all the way.  They were a special team and both always did their best.  Thanks for the memories!

09 Nov 2010 2:23 PM
Anne Mackintosh

I have finally caught my breath after what has to be one of the most thrilling Breeders Cups in recent memory. What a wonderful two days of racing we saw and what a parade of champions from around the world were sent out for our delight! I enjoyed every moment of it, courtesy of HpiTV in Canada, even with the TVG hosts blabbing long after the betting windows were closed and obliterating Trevor Denman loading the gate. In fact, the only things really spoiling two otherwise exciting days of world-class racing were just a couple of things that struck a very sour note with me as they were discourteous at best and unprofessional at worst.

           Hosts are there to explain what's going on and help build excitement for the races, which results in more wagering and more fun for the fans - but they are not supposed to openly demean the performance of any competitor, let alone a winner. One remark that really disgusted me was made as the Classic horses were loading, when one of the simulcast announcers suggested that Goldikova's historic accomplishments would become little more than one of the side-stories after Zenyatta won the Classic. A side-story? I fail to see how the achievements of a 5-year old mare who has faced the world 21 times, including the best males in the world, to win 15 times and add 3 shows and 2 places to her record, could possibly be reduced to a mere side-story! She literally took on the world, both in Europe and in the U.S., and won 3 Breeders Cups along the way! There was no carefully orchestrated campaign for her, just a list of tough races on the international stage in which she showed the highest level of class, speed and pure grit. Okay, she missed the winners circle 6 times - but she took on all comers and proved herself a bona fide champion. For the TVG announcer to have demeaned her accomplishment in public was insulting to Goldikova, her connections and the fans who believe in her.

           I won't get into Zenyatta and whether she should or should not have won or whether she should or should not be Horse of the Year. The Classic is now history and her amazing accomplishments are history too - and all of them are what they are. If we want to give the special Eclipse award to the greatest contributor to the sport over the year, I can't think of anyone who deserves it more than Zenyatta who, no matter how she was campaigned and what her connections' goals were, is a great mare and has probably done more for racing than anyone in the last 40 years or so - and it's hard to imagine that that could be anything but good. She won hearts and brought to the racetrack people who had never paid attention to racing before. It is now up to racing to make sure they all want to come back.

           The other sour spot is just a sad reflection on the mentality of some people. I noticed that, as Blame was being led into the winners circle, someone threw something into his face, making him shy backward as it hit him. Whether or not you had a ticket on him and whether or not you're a rabid fan of anyone who finished behind him, Blame won the race and he deserves the respect and accolades due a crowned champion. To express one's displeasure in such a petty manner is the ultimate in poor sportsmanship.

The Classic was a thrilling, stirring race and every horse who ran in it deserves a round of applause, just for being good enough to make it there.

Those who hit the board have proven themselves truly the elite of horsedom.

The winner deserves his moment in the sun and the full, unshadowed light of his triumph over the very best. He too ran the race of his life to earn it.

09 Nov 2010 2:25 PM
Megan Young

I've been a horse racing fan ever since my dad (who actually saw racing in the 1970s) told me stories about the great Secretariat when I was nine. Since that time I've been waiting for my own generation's Secretariat. Yesterday, while disappointing, may have diminished Zenyatta's chance for HOY, but I do not believe it diminished anything she's done for the sport. Therefore, at this year's Eclipse Award ceremony, I suggest the Secretariat People's Horse Award. This would allow registered horse racing fans to have their say in the process and would keep the spark that Zenyatta reignited in racing fans alive by allowing people like me to feel like our opinion matters too. HOY must consider races won, where they were, competition level, and the manner in which they were run. However, The Secretariat People's Horse Award leaves this analysis behind and considers who touched people who aren't specifically involved in racing. In this case, Zenyatta deservedly wins hands down.

Secretariat's groom Eddie Sweat said that he belonged to the turf and the public. I think Zenyatta will go down in history with the same sentiments. Let her have her moment. Let the fans say thank you. Create the Secretariat People's Horse Award and let Zenyatta's following dedicate the first inaugural award to her!  

09 Nov 2010 2:26 PM

My 2 favorite horses were girls.....Goldikova and Zenyatta, with Midday in 3rd.   I would have loved to see Workforce run, but I will settle for YouTube.  

I enjoyed ALL of the races and do believe the Breeders Cup should keep the current format and give a stage to a variety of horse talents.  I would never have known a Presious Passion or Cloudy's Knight were it not for the Breeders Cup.

09 Nov 2010 2:35 PM
Sher Williams

I've been involed with the B C since it's beginnings with both a stallion and racing stock, foal to track. I am  elated to see it still be a vibrant part of our industry after 27 years!

We need more Z's. Blame being retired to stud makes her legend loom larger. Headline should be: Zenyatta breaks Blames 'heart', Blame retires to Stud! This is one of the problems I see with racing today. No one has the patience to keep a good horse racing. More power to the Moss's for their superior horse and decision making.

Goldikova an amazing runner, not given her due here in the States. Speaks volumes to the training methods used in Europe and Australia...horses with long racing careers.

09 Nov 2010 2:59 PM
Darla Burton

@Jim....Plese leave RA out of this...She certainly is not a nag as you call her...2009 is over...Let's hope Zenyatta can win HOY this year......2010!!

09 Nov 2010 3:12 PM

This was an outstanding Breeders Cup. I loved almost every minute of it. I had been so afraid that bad weather would spoil the fun, although I was watching on my TV in sunny So. Calif., it's not as pleasant when it's raining cats and dogs at the BC venue.

Friday started with a PUNCH! and ended with a WHAT? But everything in between was great, with the highlight being Awesome Feather who convinced me that I had missed the opening act in Florida. I don't intend to repeat that mistake.

Saturday, started sadly with the tragic accident of Rough Sailing. Oh! the irony of appeasing Workforce's trainer by watering the turf more than planned and having the Brit scratch his horse anyway. It cost our young colt his life and the dour trainer left us hanging without an expanation. There's a lesson there, somewhere. I hope we've learned it.

Big Drama and Chamberlain Bridge followed with their dazzling speed and beauty.

Then Uncle Mo took the stage. What an amazing young race-horse! May he stay safe and sound because the promise he brings to the next TC Season is priceless.

Exit one star, enters the Queen of the Turf Mile. I never ceases to be amazed that this little brown horse delivers such a devastating punch. To win that race three years in a row is phenomenal. The sight of her groom dancing for joy on the track will stay with me forever.

Dakota Phone, an under-appreciated horse if there ever was one, reminded me of the lesson I thought I had learned: when Hollendorfer comes to town, you better pay attention.

Who the heck had ever heard of Dangerous Midge? Certainly not me. I'm so tired of myself ignoring horses from England just because I'm too lazy to educate myself. His name alone should have raise a big red flag.

The grand finale was the stuff of legends. Zenyatta already had my heart but the tremendous effort she put forth in the Classic left me gasping for air. I knew that Blame was a force to reckoned with but I didn't think he could withstand the freight-train charge of Zenyatta. He did! Kudos to the winner!!! He dug in and his grit was certainly rewarded. Too bad we will be deprived of his presence next year because of his immediate retirement. That is regrettable for the fans and for the sport.

09 Nov 2010 6:27 PM

Waiting for next year...hoping Smith will be able to keep Jaycito in a straight line and revenge Zenyatta and the west coast by stealing Uncle Mo's derby...what goes around comes around...

09 Nov 2010 7:35 PM

GO. ZENYATTA.  Having always been a passionate Rachel fan, it took me a while to jump onto the Zenyatta bandwagon.  But for all who got to witness her heart, strength, and will to win on Saturday, you got to watch something that touched my, and most probably your, hearts.  I'll say it again in a way I've never been able to say it before: GO ZENYATTA!!!!!!

09 Nov 2010 9:41 PM
Gary Tasich

Under the lights on that evening of November 6th, Zenyatta transcended the sport. Like an angel she took flight and coursed through the hearts of the fans that so desperately encouraged her to get up one last time.

Zenyatta was victorious in more ways than one. She did her part...will the sport return the favor?

As far as she's concerned..she won...she hit her target even if it was a hop and a half beyond the wire.

As far as history is concerned...she won...with or without being named Horse of the Year.

Thanks for the memories great warrior!

09 Nov 2010 11:58 PM
queen z <3

Zenyatta made history whether she won the 2010 Breeder's Cup Classic or not. She was a truly amazing horse and she will be forever remembered as my generation's Secretariat. Winning 19 out of her 20 races was unbelievable to begin with. She made many people open their eyes to horse racing and she did it with style and grace. If Zenyatta doesn't win HOY then there is seriously something wrong because although she was not a perfect 20 for 20 she did more for the horse racing industry than any other horse in a long time.

10 Nov 2010 8:55 AM
Zen's Auntie

I agree with you Zoo on Dakota Phone and Jerry H - Nice, very nice.  I could not believe the odds at post.

Z and Blame in the Classic - best race I have ever watched. Nuff said bout that already.

And how bout that Pluck? Has he got a nitros tank or what? I had to rewatch the to really grasp his turn of foot at the finish as I was so concerned about the fallen horse that almost took him out.  Im glad Anna N is ok but Rough Sailing is a hard loss.  He looked ok when he got up but it just shows you can never tell. I hate foreboding names for horses, there I said it.  

I heard Atta Boy Roy was injured too?  Havent heard anything does anyone know?

Goldikova - she is amazing! A Mare for the ages!  are they seriously contemplating a 4 peat? - OMG I sure hope so.

Some things, but not much have been said on the boards about media focus on the Jockey fight but the first thing that came to my mind was oh here we go giving our sport a black eye right out of the gate. Lots of families tuning in for the first time and thats the opening - NICE,,, way to keep up the seedy rep.

Now I dont want to get into right or wrong or any of it Lord knows about everyone with passion gets fighting mad at one time or another but I will say this:  these fellas are professionals and I know there is HUGE $ at stake but that kind of scene and the ridiculous amount of time ESPN spent on it was DISGUSTING.  Sorry had to get that out.  

Im kinda numb thinking about how I am never going to see Z race again.  I think thats the only part of her whole career that makes me sad - the end.  

I seriously hope they keep her more available to the public than the normal brood mare.  In fact - although I know she must be bred - I wish she could just go on tour with her grooms for a while.  The transition to brood mare can be tough on the very best gals and I hate to think about her not being the center of attention - its a tough transition.  She is used to her lifestyle and obviously relishes it.

Im sure that, as they have done for her entire time with them, Jerry and Ann Moss will do right by her in retirement.  

Come on Delta Jackpot, I feel like Im having withdrawals. "Hi my name is ZA and Im a TB racing Addict...."

10 Nov 2010 9:05 AM

After Goldikovas win when her connections referred to her as the greatest mare in the world, a couple of fans standing next to me were utterly shocked. They couldn't believe that anyone would suggest a mare was greater than Zenyatta. The truth is that Goldikova is the greatest mare in the world and I feel this would still be the case had Zenyatta won the classic. Goldikovas resume is much more impressive. Her Euro victory's are big time and to cross the pond and win three times at the Breeders cup is phenomenal. Nobody is a bigger fan of Zenyatta than I am, but lets give Goldy  the credit she deserves. The Breeders cup mile is every bit as difficult to win as the classic. Moving on, Uncle Mo made a believer out of me. Maybe the most impressive win of the event. After his win my wife turned to me and said " Triple Crown". My reply after a moment's thought, "Could Be".  

10 Nov 2010 10:46 AM

"ZENYATTA", horse of the year, H.O.T. DECADE, despite coming up a few inches short she finally proved what a courageous, super horse she truly is. Bad timing Mikey, she should have won, and would have without a doubt. Perfect horse, a not so perfect ride. They race 10 times Zenyatta beats Blame, and all the rest 9 of them, believe it !!!

10 Nov 2010 11:07 AM

Horse with most guts, Goldikova Horse with most charisma, Big Z

Horse with movies star looks, Blame

Loved it all, even the brawling jocks.  (and the crying one)

10 Nov 2010 11:18 AM

I also disliked the extensive coverage of the jockey's brawl.  Not only is it extremely bad for the sport, I am watching to see and learn about the horses, not jockeys acting like imbeciles.  

Absolutely hated the camera angles.  Couldn't see the horses well enough to tell who anyone was.  Somebody needs to take the Breeder's Cup away from ESPN or get someone who can do a better job.

Loved Goldikova, a great mare.  So glad they are bringing her back for a 4-peat.

Zenyatta is UNBELIEVEABLE! She accomplished everything any of her detractors said she couldn't do.  Definately deserving of HOY.

10 Nov 2010 3:14 PM
Cowboy Adventure

I thought the racing was amazing - especially the last race. The more I watch the more I am just amazed with both Blame and Zenyatta. She just won't give up even with all that dirt in her face - she just keeps coming back, she is all heart. It reminded me a little of when Blame one the Whitney and his owner said how he was a closer and he is just covered in dirt while Quality Road always looked so clean - and then I see Zen like that.. Maybe Zen should be bred to Blame and their baby will win the triple crown!  I was so proud of her! And I thought Garrett just did great with Blame, he doesn't give up either.  And I was soooooooo happy for Big Drama!  I have followed that horse for a long time and I just love him! I am so happy his owner said he will come back for another year!

Bad stuff was the host track did a poor job; one horse euthanized due to track conditions is one too many. Life at Ten should have been scratched - that was painful watching that on tv and then realizing they weren't going to do it!  The fight was ugly but hey - can't blame ESPN for filming the ratings opportunity.  Still - the fans really do just want to watch the races.  Can't wait until next year! - Would also like an update on Atta Boy Roy...

And a special thanks to all owners who bring back their awesome horses for another year of racing - those who return are true racehorses.  Goldikova - AWESOME and Quality Road, I thought he had a great year and after last years Breeders Cup I wasn't so sure he would return - but he did and what a great year he had. I will miss him!

10 Nov 2010 4:06 PM
Slew was a deep Breeders Cup this year for every race.  Goldikova, Zenyatta, and Blame were spectacular.  Dangerous Midge surprised me.  Finally, Big Drama got his stage...and did it wire to wire.  Uncle Mo and Awesome Feather stung because we weren't certain their form would carry to the big dance...but it did in singular fashion.  More than Real was that, doing the unexpected.  Dubai Majesty looked like a winner in the post parade, but proved why in the race. Pluck from last to first was an amazing run that came while I was begging him to move.  Chamberlain Bridge did not disappoint...but in the dirt mile, I was looking for Morning Line to make daddy proud...but the Tiz Now colt was edged out by Dakota Phone. And Unrivaled Belle was just that, while Life At Ten floundered.  (no points for her connections for not scratching before the race).  And I was surprised that Red Desire did not finish in the $$, but Shared Account was not sharing with past champion Midday.  And Eldaafer was marvelous in the marathon (it's just the jockeys who got over heated.)  It was simply one of the best BC meets I've seen, and I'm grateful to all the athletes and their connections.  (and saddened for the loss of Rough Sailing).  And one of the high points of the ESPN telecast was William Nack, and the power of his words that were a total pleasure to hear against the backdrop of pounding hooves.

10 Nov 2010 7:17 PM

Leave the blame of Zenyatta, and the Blame behind. of the year.

10 Nov 2010 8:07 PM

Who is anyone kidding?  The Breeders Cup was all about Zenyatta.  She proved how ignorant her detractors were.  And Zenyatta proved how great she was.

10 Nov 2010 11:13 PM

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