She's Still A Star

Another Goldikova update from our guest blogger/photographer John Gilmore. Enjoy!

The stage was set, with a large crowd hoping to witness another memorable performance from Goldikova and jockey Olivier Peslier, in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at the picturesque La Touques Deauville track on August 15. It seemed nearly everybody at the track was willing Goldikova to win.
Before the Race
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I spoke to some of the Goldikova fan club- identically dressed in dark blue outfits, with baseball caps to match. who work at the Wertheimer et Frere Haras (stud) de Saint Leonard in Normandy. One girl summed it up, "we all love her, she's a real star and always gives her best" The racecourse joined in the fun by giving out "Allez Goldikova" posters.
The Fans Are Crazy for Goldikova

But sadly it wasn't meant to be and despite Olivier Peslier entering the race on a hot streak after winning the first four races, including a Group 11 on Goldikova's half sister Galikova, we didn't have a fairy tale ending. Drawn 11 of the 12 runners wasn't considered an inconvenience, though low numbers are normally favoured, nor the ground, which was on the soft side of good. In the race everyone was anxiously waiting with baited breath for Goldikova's customary birst of speed in the last furlong, bot on this occasion it just wasn't forthcoming. The mare being upstaged by a brillant acceleration from the 3 year old upstart Immortal Verse, with Goldikova still running on gamely for second place, without her usual sparkle, but losing nothing in defeat.
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As Goldikova was brought back into the unsaddling enclosure, she still received a fantastic applause from the appreciative spectators. Perhaps in Hindsight, to win two top class races in the space of 14 days is asking a lot. But some of the fans I spoke to after the race were not too disappointed, including a couple from Paris who are going to the Breeders Cup and expect after a rest," "Goldie" will be back with a bang in the Autumn".after race
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So, even though she didn't win the Prix Jacques Le Marois, do you still like her chances for a repeat victory in the Breeders' Cup Championships this year?


Leave a Comment:


Oh I have no doubt that she'll win the BC again this year.  She's fantastic.  Losses can happen when owners choose to take a chance with race timing, but it's no skin off this great mare's nose.

18 Aug 2011 7:09 PM

This gr8 star is 6 years old now- Only 2 weeks rest in softer ground- She did great, even so- She is still the Queen of the milers, past and present and I believe even the future- Breeders cup #4- Go Goldi

18 Aug 2011 8:07 PM

This most likely is her last year, usually they ret. at 6 years- I am gonna miss her sooooo much- I have been watching her 1/2 baby sister- Nice filly, but there will never B another Goldikova!!!!!

18 Aug 2011 8:18 PM

She is a Queen forever, running so consistently in so many countries, a talent to cherish!  We are so lucky to see her this year!

18 Aug 2011 8:22 PM

Goldikova has done plenty to deserve a place among the greatest horses of all time.  At this point, anything more would be the cherries on top.

Whether it is the competition or the age, however, it is clear that Goldi just isn't as dominant this year.  She was defeated, without excuse, by Canford Cliffs, who was in turn handled by the star miler in Europe this year, Frankel.  And in this most recent race, Goldi lost to a filly.

Goldi can still win the BC Mile, especially if Frankel doesn't make the trip, but it won't be as easy as the previous 3 attempts.

Goldi's 2011 is reminding me of Zenyatta's final season last year.  Zenyatta kept winning all the way up to the BC Classic, but instead of facile romps, she was really having to dig deep and pull of remarkable last second runs.  Whereas in previous years Zenyatta would win races with her ears pricked excuding dominance, last year Zenyatta was barely getting up to beat St. Trinains, Switch and even Rinterval.  Although she would still run incredibly well in the Classic, I don't think she was quite at the level she was at for the 09' Classic.

18 Aug 2011 9:05 PM
Paula Higgins

Gunbow agree with all your comments/observations re: Goldikova and Zenyatta. But Zenyatta won every race with ears straight up. Never once were they pinnd back. Not even in the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic. But yes, she had to dig deeper, and the competition was definitely tougher.

18 Aug 2011 10:52 PM

Amen,  Paula.  

Goldikova is a true champion, at her age and the traveling and the races I think its starting to catch up with her.   I think after some much needed and deserved rest,  she will come back to win the Breeders Cup race.    

Coming from behind like she always did,  Its amazing that Zenyatta won all the races she did.  I haven't seen any other filly or mare in horse racing win 19 in a row yet!  

That's why she will go down in history as an amazing race horse.

Time against time,  both fillies and colts have proving that it's not normal to win every race against your own (filly/colt) but with Zenyatta she proved to be DIFFERENT, no she proved to be GREATNESS through and through.  I expect we will never see a mare like Zenyatta again.

Just thank God you got to live long enough to witness her.

19 Aug 2011 6:20 AM

In no disrespect for Zenatta who i consider to be a great mare,she never faced the type of competition or the racing shedule that Goldikova has.They are two completely different horses one a miler and the other a distance specialist and therefore cannot be compared.If you had to pick one on a body of work over thier career and the type of horses they faced,sorry it's Goldikova.

19 Aug 2011 9:06 AM

I don't think anything is "catching up to her".  The ground was far from what she prefers, and it was just 2 weeks from her previous major race.  Compare that to the snowflake treatment of Zenyatta.  Datflippinrabbit is right.  Goldikova is nails!!

19 Aug 2011 9:40 AM
Love 'em all

Goldikova will shine forever; she's loved by her many fans.

Thank you for this Friday morning treat ... "Go Goldikova"!

19 Aug 2011 9:52 AM

Lmaris and DatFlippin, thank you for correcting this interjecting of Zenyatta into another discussion of a superstar horse whom Zenyatta couldnt have warmed up at 8-8.5 furlongs, for the life of me I can't understand why people feel the need to hijack a thread about a true superstar to talk about Zenyatta, It’s a travesty that this is continually allowed and ongoing.  Years from now we’ll be talking about horses and Zenyatta wont be mentioned because in looking back at her career she should have been winning these allowance quality races with her ears up instead of having to dig deep to trump horses coming out of optional claimers. Let's do a quick comparison of the company they faced in 2010 alone.  

In her four Group 1 victories in Europe and her Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile triumph, Goldikova was beating 16 winners of 37 Group or Grade 1 races. The overall Group/Grade 1 record of her competition in those five races is 157-37-25-19.

In her five Grade 1 victories this year, Zenyatta was beating not a single Grade 1 winner. The overall Group/Grade 1 record of her competition in those five races is 28-0-1-2. Moreover, Zenyatta beat just two Grade 2 winners in those five races, St Trinians in the Vanity Handicap and Switch in the Lady's Secret.

In fact, while Zenyatta’s five victories this year were all technically Grade 1’s, the quality of the competition indicates that they were no better than Grade 3’s.

More over In the Mile, Golidkova was beating four winners of nine Group or Grade 1 races at a mile on turf. In the Classic, Zenyatta was facing a single winner of a Grade 1 race going 1 1/4 miles on dirt, that being Haynesfield. Goldikova has 14 G1 victories compared to Zen's 13 and has 9 open company wins to Zenyatta's 1, and 5 wins travelling to different countries to Zenyatta's 0.  Glaring difference in class, so please Zenyatta fans give it a rest or please go post kudos to Zenyatta on Steve Haskin's Blog.

19 Aug 2011 10:09 AM

Amen AfleetAlexForever!  Golidkova is a true racehorse queen and deserves to be horse of the year! Amazing athlete with owners who don't treat her like a piece of porcelain.  We are all lucky to witness her career.

19 Aug 2011 10:40 AM
Rachel NH

She's a truly great racehorse.

PS Not to be mean, but you really need to run spellcheck ♥

19 Aug 2011 11:18 AM

Goldikova and the super impressive career she has had is the Platinum Standard by which ALL modern day fillies and mares will be judged and compared.  The fact is her connections took on all comers and therefore showed by their actions, not their interviews or Full Page ads in other horse racing magazines or publications that they felt that their mare was the BEST HORSE on an international level, and not just the best filly or mare in the region in which she competed against the best In Open Company on a Consistent basis. Some may never understand it but the level of competition matters. In all other sport the teams travel and play against the best available on a consistent basis, its not just on the final day of the year that they play the best.  Could you imagine the Steelers and Packers playing the 2-14 Carolina Panthers and the 4-12 Broncos, Bills, Bengals and the 5-11 Arizona Cardinals over and over against showing their supremacy?  These teams and their records match up very well with the competition that Zenyatta was entered to face in her 5 races in 2010, and she barely eked out victory against these sorts by long necks and noses, all out in some of these races.  Goldikova never faced an optional claimer in a race in 2010, the horses that she faced won almost 40 Grade 1 races in 2010 alone.  That stat alone is mind boggling.  So if you Zenyatta fans would like for us to make a comparison we’d be happy to start with the fact that Goldikova defeated 16 Grade 1 winners in 2010 compared to the Zero or let me say 1 being switch who won a sprint at the end of December.  The comparisons can continue, but it would get embarrassing quite quickly.  

19 Aug 2011 12:09 PM
Karen in Texas

Whether or not Goldi wins the BC again, she is a consummate champion and one of the greatest racehorses ever. I, too, am weary of certain other horses being brought into every discussion.

19 Aug 2011 2:29 PM

Its very frustrating Karen, next year we'll have another set of fillies, lets say Plum Pretty goes on a roll and Its Tricky keeps winning and they match up a few times and one is considered for HOY honors.  they will do a blog here at Bloodhorse and someone will come in and say but she's not Zenyatta.  I mean seriously. I just hope people can move on to horses that are actually in training and on the track.

Whats amazing is that Rachel Alexandra fans who watched her defeat males 3 times in 1 year, dont come on to blogs and yell "But she's not defeated males so she's no Rachel Alexandra" its hard to understand some people.

19 Aug 2011 3:25 PM

Golidkova is worthy on her own.  

Agree with ...rabbit and AfleetAlexForever.

STOP with the Zenyatta-itis.  All you guys are turning into THAT guy who said all his faves are better than Secretariat.

Look up Shuvee and Gallant Bloom and Park Top and Corrida and .....

Lots of great fillies/mares.

19 Aug 2011 4:23 PM
Tropical Downs

In today's racing, I see two factors that separate the best from the almost best: career longevity and racing without Lasix. Goldikova has both. Yes, the last two of her three BC wins were with Lasix, but all the others were without, including her first BC win.

It probably won't happen but it would be great for racing if she did her fourth BC without the L.

19 Aug 2011 5:15 PM
Golden Gate

I wish I would be able to see Goldikova race in person. She is so beautiful. As far as her age goes my little race mare is 6 yrs old too and I am going to race her at 7 but she gets a 3 month turnout just to be a horse each year. When she gets back she is happy to be at the track.

Since it is 3 1/2 yrs horse years for ever human year at 7 Goldikova (and mine) will only be the equivalant of a 25 yr old person. If they are not hurt and still want to run I hope they will both get to.

19 Aug 2011 5:26 PM
Mike Relva


Really? Your comment was absurd(one of a million) on NTRA when you were slamming Zenyatta's time in the Apple B. Last time I checked,a win is a win! In fact,she's won that race twice.

19 Aug 2011 9:27 PM


As usual your fitting tribute to one of the great filly-mares of all time, Zenyatta, isn't really worth commenting on.  The blog is supposed to be about Goldikova, not Zenyatta.  Anyway, you can take note that when the Bloodhorse crew do the next top 100, Zenyatta will be somewhere around Ruffian at 45 and Goldi will probably be rated around Miesque, still the best European filly-mare all time, probably around #83 or so.

19 Aug 2011 9:28 PM


That Ginger Punch was surely an "optional claimer" (snicker!).

Oh! Twice Over and Gio Ponti, too. What a bunch of posers...

19 Aug 2011 10:22 PM

I should have said Miesque was the best filly-mare miler all time.  Goldi has had a solid career, but Miesque faced better (IMO).  When it comes to the best filly-mare in Europe all time, the list starts with Allez France and would include Zarkava, Dahlia and All Along, a former N/A HOY and winner of 3 of the world’s top 12F races and another at 13F……the ARC, Rothman’s, Turf Classic and DC International, in three countries and on two continents in a matter of six weeks.

Anyway, it’s time to stop with the Zenyatta bashing.  Many of the top horse people in the sport, past and present, talk about her like she’s a treasure and treasures are something we should cherish.  Anyone who doesn't see that are really missing out on something.  

19 Aug 2011 10:50 PM
Mike Relva


Then maybe you should go back and research the hundreds,at least of posts AAF made on NTRA,BH,HRN regarding Zenyatta slams,insults,etc to her and connections.You see,he's made a TOP PRIORITY to address her in about ninty per cent of his blog rants. Isn't that right,AAF? lol

19 Aug 2011 10:57 PM
Paula Higgins

You know what is really interesting, we Zenyatta fans speak of Goldikova with nothing but respect and admiration for her undeniable greatness. But the reverse is not true for some of you and that is truly unfortunate. Zenyatta is part of horse racing history, and recent horse racing history at that. She will ALWAYS be mentioned when the context is appropriate. Some of you need to get used to that and stop with the pettiness. She is not going away and neither are we.

19 Aug 2011 11:19 PM
Mike Relva


You don't have a clue what the word,truth means. You couldn't be depended upon to give the correct answer if anyone asked you the time.

19 Aug 2011 11:23 PM

I still love ya Goldi!

19 Aug 2011 11:57 PM
Karen in Texas

Mike R.---You and I have both been on these blogs for a long time. I did not address AAF in my post, nor have I ever. I have not taken part in any of the arguing. I only meant to say that this thread was about Goldikova and there was no need for comparison. I appreciate Zenyatta and have never said anything derogatory about her or her place in history.

20 Aug 2011 10:12 AM
Mike Relva


Ok,but am I far from being correct on my point? He's a joke!

20 Aug 2011 12:02 PM
Paula Higgins

Mike Relva, you are correct about your point. When we speak of Goldikova and Zenyatta in the same breath we are talking about two of the best horses in the history of racing. We are honoring both horses and acknowledging their greatness. We have been very lucky to have seen them both. I love Goldikova and always have. She is one gutsy, fast horse and I am pulling for her in the Breeders Cup for another repeat win.

20 Aug 2011 7:25 PM
Mike Relva


As always your comments are interesting. Really enjoy reading them and appreciate your input.


20 Aug 2011 7:54 PM

Great performance by Royal Delta in the Alabama today, great patience shown by the rider and more importantly where did the West Coast horse finish in this race.  4th I believe.  Pretender.  

Now out west the other coast got their wish and an East Coaster flew over that Rocky Mountain range that they are so scared to fly over, but Summer Soiree took down the Cali field in an impressive time.  What is going on with the West Coast Horses seems like they struggled mightily at Saratoga this weekend and then let a shipper come in and take down a Grade 1 on their home turf.  hmmmmmmmm.

20 Aug 2011 9:52 PM

Gee Alex

Your three aboslute favorites didn't do so well in their last did they.......Goldi 2nd, Havre de Grace, 2nd......gee, even Rachel in her last race finished 2nd.

21 Aug 2011 1:57 AM
Mike Relva


Make sure your spins are ready when Grace loses her next race.

21 Aug 2011 11:08 AM
Linda in Texas

Thank you for this article, Mr. Gilmore, i was heartsick when Goldikova lost and empath that i am, i will be quick to find a believable excuse if you will. Two grueling races in 2 weeks. Says it all.

Miss Goldi, we will be awaiting your's and your handler's return to The United States for The Breeder's Cup Races. I will hope that your travel time is such that you are allowed plenty of time to rest before your journey here, so that once here you will have ample time to adjust to the water, vittles and environment before you race again.

Galikova i am sure agrees with me.

This is your blog Goldikova, and i admire you for everything you have left on many tracks in several countries. You deserve more than honorable mention when it comes to Miesque et. al.

Right now i truly believe she needs to be treated like a porcelain doll so that her will gets a little re enforcement.

You are so right Lazmannick. Great is great no matter how it is defined or maligned. And Paula, Mike and Karen in Texas, i always agree with you.

In the photo Goldikova looks weary.

I want to see her with her head held high, rested and content.

21 Aug 2011 3:59 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks for your comments.

21 Aug 2011 5:29 PM
Karen in Texas

Linda in Texas----Thanks for your nice comment. It helps to bring the focus back to the subject of the thread/blog--that Goldi is still a star regardless of her recent loss. Perhaps she does need a rest.

21 Aug 2011 6:16 PM
Paula Higgins

Goldikova owes no one anything. If she never ran another race, her place in the horse racing Pantheon is secure. I will tell you something, and I hate to say it because as we all know I am a major Zenyatta fan. But the first time I saw Goldi run in the Classic, I turned to my husband and said "I am darn glad she isn't running against Zenny because she is something very special." I wasn't sure if she had distance limitations or not. She finished with more in the tank. She was clearly a powerhouse to be reckoned with. In a matchup with Zenny, with both still in their prime, I am not sure who would win at the shorter distances. Very possibly Goldikova. I do agree she needs a rest right now. I hope they give it to her.

21 Aug 2011 10:58 PM
Mike Relva


As always you put things into perspective. I agree she needs a rest to be sharp in Nov.

22 Aug 2011 12:57 AM


I heard that they aren't going to race her again until October, a month before the Breeders Cup and then finish her career in the BC Turf Mile.

22 Aug 2011 1:49 AM
Central Valley Dame

 I think that coming in second after being raced fourteen days prior is quite the accomplishment.  Goldikova is one of my favourite race mares in my lifetime.  I believe that her, Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Zarkava, and all the current runners are beautiful results of careful breeding programs.  I think the best is to come as far as future runners and each will be in unique history making positions.

 Goldikova holds a special place in my heart.  I have watched her since the 2008 Breeders' Cup races and admired her for her hard-hitting, gritty, stretching neck and nose, I want to be first style.  Cannot wait to see her in November!

  All I can think of is that she is a result of her breeder's efforts and I am impressed and in awe.  I believe I (and all race fans) am the recipient of these better breeding programs and am going to enjoy the results.  There are some quality horses coming!

  In my opinion, there seems to be more and more Grade 1 winners who are not just specialists at a particular track or track conditions.  In the past it seems to me, there would be one or two horses (and maybe one filly or mare) that were standouts.  Not so now.  Both horses and mares are showing how good they are.  And US trainers are starting to follow in their European counterparts by racing their fillies against the colts!  One of those trailblazers was Goldikova!  She is a special horse and not just a fluke from the breeding shed.

  This is why we have Breeders' Cup races, huzzah to showcasing the best outcomes of those breedings!

22 Aug 2011 2:57 PM

Goldikova is an outstanding athlete and inspiration to all who witness her races. We can admire all of these beautiful athletes, each with their own style and prowess, giving their all to get to the elusive finish line first. They do what is asked of them to the best of their ability on a given day despite the conditions of the race, race course or their own undetected illnesses and infirmities. Let's praise them and let our biases towards their connections remain silent. Black Caviar, an undefeated Australian mare racing in open company is another inspiration to watch. Most importantly, let them always come home safe to run another day.

22 Aug 2011 7:23 PM

Linda in Texas,there's no need for Goldi to arrive early and acclimate to vittals and water,she only drinks EVIAN,cases of it on the plane.

22 Aug 2011 9:12 PM
Bill Two

Goldikova is a treasure.  It is so impressive to see a mare take on the best in Europe and the U.S. and come out on top most of the time.  Year after year she rolls on.  Long live Goldikova.  Pure class.

22 Aug 2011 9:48 PM
Paula Higgins

Thanks Mike Relva and Lazmannick! I think we all agree that she needs a little rest and then on to the Breeders Cup. She is a gift to racing, and for me, the highlight of the Breeders Cup this year.

23 Aug 2011 7:04 PM
Ida Lee

YES INDEED...SHE IS STILL A STAR AND WILL ALWAYS BE A STAR. what a Treasurer she is. I adore her.

24 Aug 2011 11:24 AM

Goldie is one of the greatest fillies to ever run. Tons of heart. And I get tired of all the bashing of horses, we all have our favorites but I would take Goldie's or Zenyatta's or Blind Luck's babies over anybody elses not because the others werent great only because of the personality and heart these girls have shown. But, then I saw RUFFIAN and trust me there have only been two horses, both triple crown winners, in my lifetime who could run with that. Just enjoy the wonderful horses and have your favorite without being so mean and low.

24 Aug 2011 6:59 PM
Mike Relva


Nice. You nailed it.

25 Aug 2011 12:53 AM
Linda in Texas

datflippinrabbit i did not know Goldie's choice of water is Evian. Thanks for that info. I wonder what flavor of 'suds' she prefers?

barryaksarben - i am a personality and heart horse person myself. I agree with your post. :)

And i hope i never appear as coming across mean or low as all horses are concerned, from the $2,500 claimers to the Million Dollar Babies of the Biggest Races.

None of us should. And thanks for your comment regarding that very subject. I love them all.

26 Aug 2011 11:44 AM
G. Rarick

Great shots, John. She'll definitely be back in form for the Breeders' Cup. It was a pleasure to see her back in Deauville for what surely is her last season. Now we'll have to keep an eye on Gali.

27 Aug 2011 11:25 AM

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