Q & A With Rachel Alexandra Trainer Hal Wiggins

With all the buzz surrounding Rachel Alexandra's sparkling win in last weekend's Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn, I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with Hal Wiggins. Though the veteran trainer did not say his talented filly would be pointed towards a Derby run, he definitely left the door open.

I'm not sure what to make of Rachel Alexandra yet. Her last two wins were eye-catching, but personally I would like to see her win the FG Oaks convincingly before they decided on a Triple Crown run. But one thing is for sure, if she does make the Derby starting gate I will be rooting for her. Just for the simple fact that Wiggins is one of the nicest, down-to-earth and forthcoming trainers we have in the game today. In a way, he is a lot like Larry Jones, only instead being of a Kentucky guy, he's a good ol' Texan.

 

JS: With all the exceptional performances over the weekend, it seems that Rachel Alexandra's sensational run in the Martha Washington was right at the top of the list. I know from talking with you after the Golden Rod you have always like this filly. But was her performance at Oaklawn a surprise even to you?

HW: It really was. For her to do what she did off a two and a half month layoff was tremendous. She really answered a lot of questions for us very quickly. We certainly know where we are right now.

JS: Her final time of 1:36 2/5 was a full second faster than what Old Fashioned ran one race later. That alone was impressive, but what was it that raised your eyebrows the most?

HW: Well, you're right, the final time was surprising, but there were other things. First, Calvin (Borel) never even pressured her down the lane once she got going. He said he just sat on her and never moved. That is a good sign. Also, her final eighth was better than the boys and considering how she came in, that was impressive.

JS: Speaking of the boys, everyone wants to know if you are now considering her for the Derby rather than the Oaks. Have you talked about it with the owners yet?

HW: It has certainly entered our minds now. That's the second race in a row where she ran a better time than the colts (Golden Rod was the other) and did it by a full second. Now, that doesn't mean if she lined up in the gate against the boys she could do again. Honestly, we haven't talked about it a whole lot yet but we will in the next two to three days. Right now the plan is the Honeybee (on March 15th) at Oaklawn or the Fair Grounds Oaks (on March 14th). I'm guessing that the Rebel (on March 14th) will enter our discussions now too, but we're not there yet.

JS: Any particular way you're leaning right now?

HW: Well, the money always becomes a factor and the (Fair Grounds) Oaks carries a bigger pot ($400,000 compared to Honeybee at $100,000). But we'll just have to see.

JS: With Rachel Alexandra, Stardom Bound and even Evita Argentina's great win last weekend, a lot of people are talking how the top fillies might be every bit as good as the top colts this year. What are your thoughts on that?

HW: Well, some of the colts may still step forward a bunch here in the next month or two. There is still a lot of time. But it is exciting for the sport to have these nice fillies. Generally, you know, I think fillies should run against each other, but every once in a while you have a Winning Colors or Genuine Risk that deserve a chance against the colts. It might be one of those years.

JS: You have been around this game for a long time but have never had a prominent Kentucky Derby contender. If Rachel Alexandra becomes that, how ironic would it be that your first one is with a filly?

HW: It is kind of funny. You go to these sales always looking for a colt who can take you to the Derby. To have a special filly like this is fun. She has certainly given us some options and that is always nice.

JS: The owners (Mike Lauffer and Dolphus Morrison) have also been around for a while without the big Triple Crown horse. Do they have Derby fever?

HW: No. Mr. Morrison makes all the decisions and he is very level-headed. Even before the Triple Crown nominations he said it is very hard to race these fillies against the colts. Of course, that was before this last race. But he is pretty conservative and always does what's best for the horse. We'll sit down and talk and consider our options, but he is a level-headed man.

JS: I'm assuming there were some substantial offers for Rachel Alexandra after the Martha Washington win?

HW: Oh yeah. My phone lit up all of Monday and so were the owners' phones. I don't know all the figures but there were some pretty substantial offers. The thing is though, these owners are in this game to race. They aren't looking to sell. Now, if the offers got to be so big that you had a hard time turning them down, then things might change. But right now they are happy to have this filly.

66 Comments

Leave a Comment:

da3hoss

Well, as a native Texan and my name being Rachel, big thanks to  you and Mr. Wiggins for this great interview about a super filly.

19 Feb 2009 11:38 AM
OdeToRevolution

It is great to see this guy with a great filly.  I still think winning the Oaks is better than running even 2nd in the derby.  I would win the Oaks and then maybe try the boys in a race like the Travers if she is that good.  20 horse races are hard to win for any horse or filly. You need luck.

19 Feb 2009 11:56 AM
Wanda

Thanks Jason nice to hear first hand from the connections. Common sense at this time of year when people tend to get Derby fever lol!

19 Feb 2009 11:59 AM
Draynay

By the way thank you very much for that interview.  I can't wait to see her run again.

19 Feb 2009 12:01 PM
Pat

Good for you Mr. Hal. She's one nice filly and she couldn't be in better hands.

19 Feb 2009 12:10 PM
Barbara

Best 3 yr old filly in the country IMO.  But I hope she stays with the girls for now.  If she wins the next one as well - then try the colts in April like Stardom Bound is going to do.

19 Feb 2009 2:18 PM
Brian

Congratulations Hal! Great guy and and a very good trainer.Trained a horse for me and I really enjoyed working with him.Good luck with this super filly.

19 Feb 2009 2:52 PM
Campbell and Wyatt

Go Pap!  

19 Feb 2009 3:01 PM
Tom

Good Luck the rest of the way !Still looking for that match race.

19 Feb 2009 4:39 PM
zarvona

 I really don’t get all this talk about Fillies jumping to the Derby!!! They are few and far between!! “Eight Belles” proved to be an exceptional fillie in a year of “the Freak”, where the general Mare pool was otherwise relatively weak!!! and so she threw her hat into the ring to see if she might be the one to run “the Freak” down, and she couldn’t, but gave her All a most commendable effort. She likely would have easily been the Oaks Favorite, although not necessarily the Oaks winner! Maybe they should just raise the purse in the OAKS and make it a bigger deal!!! You don’t see Serna Williams jumping onto the Mens circuit this year do ya???  

 As to the 2009 “Kentucky Oaks”!!, that is, since no one else seems to want to have Blood-Horse create a list for you  prior to Pool #2!!! (but me!!!)…try some research on some of these just in case they make the Pool list!!! and also since everyone ODDLY seemingly wants to keep throwing their favorite Fillie up against the Mares since Frankel once hinted about running in the DERBY!?!?! and then the media seemed ran away with that thought....

“Stardom Bound”;

“Evita Argentina”;

“Rachel Alexandra”;

“War Echo”--half sister to “Pyro”;

“Sara Louise”; “Pamona Ball”;

“Frolic’s Dream”--now to B. Tagg;

“Just Jenda”;

“Bon Jovi Girl”;

“Livin Lovin”;

“Mani Bhavan”;

“Gemswick Park”;

“Four Gifts”;… I could go on, but… let us look at those off the Turf next also!!!...

“Maram”; “Gozzip Girl”;

“Heart Shaped”; “Dream Empress”;

“Love Apple”; “Oilgonewile”;

“Pasar Silano”;

“Saucey Evening”;

“Gold Goddess”; “Navigator”,

“Wyoming Ride”; and, etc.  

 Did I leave someone else out that YOU are in love with???

 I don’t mind if the fillies run preps against the guys since they mature ahead of them and it's a great test for mares too, but I hope that many of these get to run in the OAKS and show us who is the best Fillie and NOT run in Derby!!

But, that is just my way of thinking!!!

19 Feb 2009 4:59 PM
draynot

Zar,

Eight Belles was an good filly. You are correct in saying she ran in a "freak" year. The "freak" was the total lameness of the field outside of one horse. The decision to run her in the Derby was based largely on the fact that the colts were so weak. Prior to the Derby she wasn't even considered the best 3 yr old filly. She had been running fractions right around :48 for the half-mile, 1:13 for the 3/4's, and 1:39 for the mile going in. Just ask draynay, those are slow times. The weakness of the field enabled her to run second. In the end it proved to be both a good decision and a tragic one.

19 Feb 2009 6:24 PM
da3hoss

Fillies compete against the boys in a lot of venues...it's odd they seem so delicate in American racing, well, not Quarter horse racing, the girls beat the boys a lot...reining, dressage, 3 day eventing, show jumping...horse pulling even...no one thinks a thing about the girls competing with the boys...I guess that's why a lot of us like to see a TB filly good enough to run with the boys...we think it should be the norm, not a rarity...that's all it is. ;-)

19 Feb 2009 6:35 PM
txhorsefan

Thanks for a great interview, Jason!  I love what Mr. Wiggins said in answer to the last question, that these owners are in it to race and want to enjoy their filly.  I wish them the very best for her.  She certainly does appear to be something special!

19 Feb 2009 6:40 PM
Quira

Regarding Zarvona's post, I have to majorly disagree.

It is my opinion in America, owners are being far too conservative with their female TBs. There are always fillies/mares that can beat the boys but they aren't normally given a chance to do and strut their stuff against the boys. They do it all the time elsewhere in the world.

The 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner was a FILLY named Zarkava. It's a 1 1/2 mile on grass, Grade 1, with a purse of over $4 million. The 2008 winner of the Arima Kinen, G1, on grass, at 1 9/16 mile, was a FILLY named Vodka. She also stole one of the Triple Crown races from the boys in her country. That race is run at 1 1/2 miles on turf and has a purse of over $3 million US dollars.

I believe you guys get my point. The girls we have in America cant be that much different from the other girls elsewhere. A lot of them have the same sire lines. A lot of them have ND blood, etc.

The problem are the OWNERS. They're just too sissy.

19 Feb 2009 7:01 PM
Quira

Oh yeah and let's not forget the great Down Under mare named Sunline. She ran regularly against the boys in G1s and beat them.

I dont think I need say more.

19 Feb 2009 7:05 PM
Householder

Loved Lady's Secret and Winning Colors (her Santa Anita Derby score, and those fractions left Lively One and I think Rhulmann in a cloud of dust).  They are once a decade horses.  Fast forward one year...I still remember Bayakoa being the heavy favorite in the Santa Anita Handicap after her 16 month reign of terror.  Rhulmann (was back) and Criminal Type left her last.  At some point boys become men.  There is that brief 3 year season where the boys are still green and have not put on weight yet where a great filly can dance.  But these are once a decade fillies.  Lady's Secret could beat older males primarily due to her freakish ability to carry speed over a distance of ground. She also put on a show winning the then 1 1/4 Breeder's Cup Distaff at Santa Anita. It was no mystery who her papa was.  Very special ladies indeed.

19 Feb 2009 7:17 PM
zarvona

Fine! And I do get the point!!

BUT please, just let the Mares run in the Derby and Fillies in the Oaks. And then. we can have all the match races you want thereafter to settle the BEST question! Wouldn't that be good or BEST for the SPORT of AMERICAN RACING?? And isn't that what its all about??  SAVING AMERICAN racing in this ecomony? What are gonna see in 5 years?? all the racing in Southern Hemisphere because AMERICAN RACING went bankrupt too???  IF there is some super Fillie, line her up against the best mares on the track of your chosing!! I Love the OAKS as much as Derby and am one of the few I know who also track fillies the sportwriters don't tout!! But, I like to see them separated over that weekend. And I am all for stepping the OAKS up to Derby status if that can ever be acheieved. But like last year, why diminish the OAKS taking away one of its best competitiors? And, beleive me I do respect others opinions and am glad to hear them. BUT wouldn't it have been fun to have "Eight Belles" have run in and won the OAKS and then down the road have seen her in a match race with say "Curlin" and "Big Brown"? before they all got retired once they were all worth more than their insurance payoffs?!!!! And wouldn't such have been an added card you would have found interest in??

19 Feb 2009 7:49 PM
Laura R

Zarvona,

Having a match race between a mare Big Brown and Curlin is hyperbole and conjecture. They couldn't even get Brown and Curlin in the same race and neither party was interested in a match race. I highly doubt an owner or trainer is interested in pitting their mare against two colts in such a race, no matter the amount of money.  The “Best for the sport of racing” certainly can’t be solved by such a match race and I find it amusing that when someone wants to gather support for an off the wall idea they bring up the old dog of “best for the sport.”

So you propose to run a "mare" (5+ and older) against 3 year old colts in the Derby?  I don't understand that reasoning and it’s not even worth addressing.

Three year old fillies get their chance to run against older mares in the fall of the three year old season. Running a three year old filly against older mares in the spring instead of against colts the same age makes no sense as the mares are larger and older, and again, one would be desperate to find a trainer that would subscribe to that idea in modern racing.

Why not point Rachel A. and Stardom Bound towards the Derby? They've already beaten most of the fillies on their respective coasts. What would be the point of racing them against competition to which they've proven superior?  I don’t know about you, but when a favorite wins a race over horses they’ve beaten before, I find it anticlimactic and somewhat boring. What would you rather see – a superior favorite once again trouncing the same fillies in the Oaks or the same would-be favorite facing colts?  I know which race would make the headlines and become memorable.  

I would sincerely like to see an end to the discrimination against fillies in T.Bred racing in the US. Up until the fatal match race of Ruffian, fillies ran against colts much more frequently and won a good percentage of the races. After Ruffian's death, only Amazon fillies took on the colts, and with much controversy. A good filly has the same temperament in the stall as a colt. With a few exceptions, most don’t want to be loved on. They want their feed and get the hell out of my stall and leave me alone or I will bite you to get my point across. If these fillies have nothing left to prove against their own sex, let them beat the colts too.

19 Feb 2009 8:45 PM
John T.

 I think more fillies like Regret,Genuine Risk,and Winning

Colours should be taking their chance in the Kentucky Derby.Curlin has been voted horse of the year twice and was,nt it a filly that beat him in the Belmont?And how about Zarkava who absolutely demolished the boys in the Arc last year.

19 Feb 2009 9:01 PM
Householder

I think Winning Colors is only the 3rd filly to win the Santa Anita Derby and no filly has done it sense.  It's nice to see Medaglia d' Oro and Candy Ride (Evita Argenina) offsping doing well.  Takes me back to the 2003 Pacific Classic "match race."  Baily vs. Krone.  Racing at its finest.

20 Feb 2009 12:42 AM
Householder

Lady's Secret's fractions at the 1986 Breeder's Cup Distaff.  23, 46 1/5, 1:10, 1:34 2/5, 2:01 1/5.  This is fast enough to have beaten the last 18 of 20 Kentucky Derby Winners!  Lukas had these fillies cranked up and his background in quarter horses (where fillies race males) allowed him to be competitive.  The Iron Lady...all 900 pounds of her.  

20 Feb 2009 12:58 AM
Householder

Winning Colors fractions in the Santa Anita Derby (1 1/8).  22 1/5, 45 3/5, 109 2/5, 1:47 4/5.  Only 3 horses have equaled or bettered her final time in the last 21 years...Sunday Silence, Free House, and Indian Charlie.  She could have won the Santa Anita Derby 18 out of the last 21 years!

20 Feb 2009 1:14 AM
Chuck Haworth

When I first came to the backside, Hal was the first to welcome me...He deserves this filly. I started watching her as a baby and she's the real deal. When good horses and good people come together it's what our sport needs. I can't wait for March !!!!

20 Feb 2009 7:20 AM
rideandcook

Heck, Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup three years in a row!  I agree with Quira, the owners are sissies.  The American media always has to hype the "can she beat the boys" line and it gets tiresome.  If the filly is that good let her run.  A 20 horse field is ridiculous, and the KY Derby isn't the only good race on the calendar.

20 Feb 2009 7:20 AM
draynot

zarvona,

Match races are a thing of the past. besides the connections of big brown had no intention whatever of having him face anything but weak rivals especially after his Belmont flop. They couldn't afford another defeat. He could have met Curlin but they chose to duck the race knowing full well that on dirt Curlin would have thoroughly trounced him.

20 Feb 2009 7:44 AM
the_wiz

First a question for da3hoss,

I'm asking because I do not know the answer. In the events you listed above are there any allowances given for being a Filly or Mare? For instance in pulling, do they pull equal weights?Thoroughbred racing gives weight allowances for Filly and Mares going against their male rivals and that sometimes makes all the difference in the world.

Take the great Rags To Riches who would have won a Triple Crown given the chance if she had been born a year later. She defeated Curlin by a nostril but got a 5# weight allowance going a mile and a half. Without that allowance she would not have beaten him. 5 pounds is a very large weight allowance especially at that distance. I'm recalling what her Trainer said. He stated that Filly's and Mares are well suited against the boys in long distance races given the weight allowances they receive. He said that among other things before the race when questioned why he was running there.

We've seen some very good Fillies and Mares in the Breeders Cup Sprints as well run huge races against the boys. Again with weight allowances.

I'm just curious if where it is commonplace for the opposite sexes to compete against each other if all things are "equal"?

In my opinion if it were to become commonplace in Thorughbred Racing the weight allowances should go away.

20 Feb 2009 8:02 AM
Whatever

I just read the article on Dunkirk.  IMO this colt being by Unbridle'd Song, with the number of unsound horse that stallion has sired,  who wants to make a bet that this gray colt doesn't make it to the Derby, gets injured before.  Just wait,  there is still about 3 months and I have no doubt this Unbridled Song offspring will be injured before then,  with his pedigree its inevitable.

20 Feb 2009 8:28 AM
Midwest Luck

I was at Oaklawn to witness how easy Rachel won this race. Horses that were close to the pace won every race all weekend.Oaklawns track from the four path out is like quick sand.No horse can close at Oaklawn.There is no question this horse is a monster,when you run against Rachel your running to place second.

20 Feb 2009 8:38 AM
BittelRoad

Hey Jason,

What do you think of Dunkirk?

I hope Rachel Alexandra keeps progressing.  She is an awesome filly.

20 Feb 2009 9:29 AM
Nicole E

My compliments Laura R, I really couldn't have said it better myself.

It frustrates me that more trainers/owners today are not bolder with their standout horses (female or male).  I frequently think of the Azeris/Zenyattas/Rags to Riches of the world when these debates arise.  The above were all FANTASTIC horses that proved themselves repeatedly in their own devision.  They had every right to face the boys, and indeed did so.  Zenyatta still has that chance and I hope her connections throw her into the top races against males.

As to the oaks, sending a top filly into the derby thus skipping the oaks does not reflect badly on the oaks.  An owner with a horse like Rachel A or Stardom B would be ludicrous to pass the derby when their horse is completely sound just because she's a filly.

Imagine what might have been if Rags to Riches had run in the derby instead of the oaks...what if we had seen our first female Triple Crown Winner!  She was good enough to drag Curlin to his death at 1 and 1/2 miles...

20 Feb 2009 10:05 AM
T.J.

AT A TIME WHEN RACING SEEMED TO BE FILLED WITH LIARS, CHEATS AND THIEVES.  IT'S REFRESHING TO SEE ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS GET SOME PRESS.  ITS LONG OVERDUE FOR THIS FINE GENTLEMAN, AND I WISH HIM NOTHING BUT THE BEST WITH HIS RISING STAR.

20 Feb 2009 10:33 AM
Wanda

Jason really enjoyed reading about the Boyle family's long association with Claiborne Farm. Well done!

20 Feb 2009 10:53 AM
Wanda

NicoleE:What do you mean that Rags to Riches "dragged Curlin to his death"?. He got beat a long nose{giving away weight} after running head and head all the way down the stretch. I recall that he went on and won some more races while she was never the same after that race and was retired. No disrespect to her, she was one heck of a racehorse.

20 Feb 2009 12:09 PM
Nicole E

Wanda--I meant no disrespect to Curlin.  In fact, Curlin was my Derby pick and I followed him faithfully through the rest of his career.  He was, what I call, one of my 'babies'.  Horses that I stop my whole schedule to watch their races because I love them so.

My only point was that in the Belmont Rags and Curlin hooked up for the length of the stretch and Rags refused to let Curlin get a nose in front.  Those kinds of guts are extremely rare and as I watched them duel, I was strongly reminded of Affirmed's/Alydar's Belmont--one of the best races in history.

The weight allowance aside (I generally disagree with this rule and think horses should be weighed based on age ALONE)I saw a fantastic performance that day and I don't think Curlin would have gotten past her under any circumstance--that was simply Rags day to shine.  

It made me feel vindicated in my long held belief that strong fillies can hold their own against strong colts any day.

20 Feb 2009 1:32 PM
Wanda

I agree with your last comments,but it was on the bebop{head bob} and the same could be said for Curlin. I think they could have gone around again head and head, and man wouldn't have that been something!

20 Feb 2009 2:23 PM
Justine

I wish owners and trainers were more fearless about where to place their fillies and mares. By all means keep them among their sex if they're not up to the task but when the right filly or mare comes along, please don't hold her back. This idea that the girls are more delicate is ridiculous and needs to die.

I hope Zenyatta runs with the boys later this year, and beat them.

20 Feb 2009 2:55 PM
The Rock

How about Unbridled's Song dropping Dunkirk, Old Fashioned & Midshipman just to name a few. Wow. There is that soundness issue but I'll take the risk with any of these three! And it would be unfair to single him out too. There's plenty of those to go around.

20 Feb 2009 3:51 PM
The Rock

I think we should ban any comment with regards to Curlin vs Big Brown or Curlin vs Rags to Riches. Totally beaten issues on woulda coulda shoulda between them.

20 Feb 2009 3:53 PM
Slew.em.All

Remember that Rags to Riches went to her nose at the break and raced 5 wide all the way around. With a better trip,she would've won by 5 lenghts,at least.

20 Feb 2009 4:36 PM
Driftin Sage

Ha ha!  I think Curlin saw Rags and thought to himself..."What a dish" and she flirted, promised him her 'apple' and he said "Okay, Gorgeous" and let her win.  It was almost like he just didn't want to leave her side. (A little humor here)

20 Feb 2009 4:46 PM
Jason Shandler

Hey Rock: Add One Caroline to that list of recent impressive Unbridled's Song winners. Wow, she is good.

20 Feb 2009 5:51 PM
helsbelles

Hi Jason and Rock... you can also add Song of Solomon to your list of impressive Unbridled's Song Winners (full sis to Rockport Harbor).... ummm, he has been around for a while, why is he making such a splash now?... and let's hope for the best, if you know what I mean.

20 Feb 2009 6:45 PM
zarvona

Well, I was thinking of course a 'match race' that other could enter not a 2 horse duel! but... And, why not open an OAKS Blog!??!  It sounds like a fine plan to me with Pool #2 soon to be out and the ONLY FILLIES POOL this year!! I might learn something useful from my expert blogger peers there!!, and looking over my books lately going to window, I need all the help I can get!!

20 Feb 2009 7:53 PM
Householder

Part of the problem is that fillys and mares get no respect.  Bayakoa reeled off 12 grade 1 wins in this county, sometimes carrying 127 pounds, and she did not start in America until she was 4 or 5!  "You Tube" the 1989 Spinster and tell me how she ranks 95 of 100 on the Blood Horse best horses ever. Few males could put up a better resume.  She would be on my top ten period...right along with Lady's Secret and Genuine Risk.

20 Feb 2009 10:22 PM
The Rock

Hey JS:

Absolutely! He's really throwing out some serious horses on the dirt. Anybody know off hand what his stats are like with turf/synthetic types?

20 Feb 2009 11:29 PM
The Rock

Oh yea, Unbridled Song might be the next one worthy of a stud fee creeping to what Storm Cat had in his prime...depending on the turf/synthetic stats.

20 Feb 2009 11:31 PM
SCIENTIFIC

ZARVONA...I am getting to this late, and not to be picky, but easy on all the 'yelling' and punctuation and mish-mash of ideas and statistics.

1) You are saying you are okay with fillies running preps vs. boys, and that is fine because they mature quicker.. then why run mares against 3year old boys.. that would seem 'unfair' by your logic. Wouldn't they be TOO mature then?

2) Seems like you love horse racing as anyone does who is reading this or making comments... but your 'comment' about the 'retiring of BIG BROWN and CURLIN' vs their insurance payoffs seems a little negative. Yes, its economics, but not in the way you are thinking.

3) Its' great that you keep track of horses and races and such, but please don't list a bunch of 'female' horses and some random statistics (half sister to PYRO, now to B Tagg etc...) without some kind of context. YOu are just coming off a little 'no-it-all-ee' without the knowledge.

4) Owners/trainers should run their horses where they see fit, that's how its always been. Deep down, everyone roots for the filly because she is the underdog, statistically and historically...and if one or two fillies decide to run the DERBY v the OAKS.. are you telling me there aren't enough quality 3 year old 'girls' to make the OAKS exciting enough for you? You listed off like 20 female horses, that you keep tabs on....

5) Sorry to sound harsh and critical... but just some advice.... read, watch and listen before you start spouting off knee-jerk, ill informed suggestions and comments.

21 Feb 2009 5:44 AM
Asst. Hotwalker

Why not have equal purses for the oaks and the Derby?

21 Feb 2009 9:13 AM
draynay

Householder ... you are 100% right male or female talent is talent and for people to think Stardom Bound or Rachel Alexandra belong below Friesan Fire on any top list is beyond my imagination.  I just saw Jeff Siegel place Dunkirk No. 1 on his derby list.  Is he serious?  He wins an allowance race against nothing and is now No.1 ??? SIMPLY unreal.

21 Feb 2009 11:54 AM
Z

Thank you so much for the interview. Rachel Alexandra's a classy filly and regardless of where she runs, she'll be a force to reckon with, regardless of where she runs. The filly's division is indeed strong this year with Rachel, Stardom Bound, Laragh, Evita Argentina, Sky Diva, Dream Empress, Maram, and Heart Shaped are in my tops. If this kind of a field is in the Oaks starting gate, I won't be disappointed.

Flashbacks for me where fillies have beaten the boys, I can remember Makybe Diva, Miesque, Six Perfections, and my other favorites Alexander Goldrun and Ouija Board... it redefines the sport.

21 Feb 2009 1:14 PM
Householder

Just saw last year's derby trail and fan favorite horse Georgie Boy (Del Mar Futurity, San Vicente, San Felipe winner) close very nicely to win in the San Carlos-Gr. 2. It looks like Kathy Walsh has found his right distance (Under a mile). Santa Anita looks like it is playing very well to form and it is an ideal time form STARDOM BOUND to close at 1 1/8 in the Santa Anita Derby.  She could give Pioneer of the Nile and Chocolate Candy fits. I see all three hitting the wire together.  

21 Feb 2009 5:34 PM
Slew.em.All

draynay:

Are you talking about Dunkirk or BB?..whats the difference?..please dont mention the splits either.

21 Feb 2009 5:47 PM
zarvona

Hey 'scienticfic', I appreicate all the backlash , corrections, the counter points, and the constructive critism, etc., and am glad someone is reading these blogs. I am not offended. I look for all the help going to the window I can get and hope whatever I throw out helps someone else also. If you want to make a point about one of my off the wall thoughts, PLEASE feel free.  

21 Feb 2009 7:05 PM
MIKE RELVA

DRAYNAY:

I also seen last nite Siegel place Dunkirk number one,I don't see it. I think he could be talented,but no way over Pioneer and others' @ this point.

21 Feb 2009 7:24 PM
RJPPDP

To me the Derby is 20 best 3 year olds in th e country. And right now Stardom bound and Rachel Alexandra have the right to that title. I would to see Rachel Alexandra to go after Old Fashioned in Arkansas and see Stardom bound take on Pioneerof the nile at Santa Anita. Then have them all come together on the first Saturday in may where the one who can survive against 19 other horses and win. These fillies deserve a shot and they have the earnings to get in are there two year old and three races so far.

21 Feb 2009 10:20 PM
zarvona

"Dunkirk" is easily into my top 4 !!! Unfortuantely, he is taking the 'NO 2 yr. old' campaign trail and hanging his hopes on the Fla., Derby as his only potential entry to 'the dance', thusly only 3 runs to the Derby!!!, (Remind you of anyone???), but he looks FOR REAL to me. And what is Dutrow doing with "Patena", the same thing? Also, Baffert may be soon springing another of his on us, having gotten "Zenzational" (one of "my barrel too full") out of his stall! (Whether you are high on "Unbridled's Song"'s breds on not!)

21 Feb 2009 11:28 PM
Draynay

Dunkirk is in my top 4 !!! Based on what ?  You do realize Unbridled Song horses cannot win the Derby right   Hey, its Triple Crown season and we all get excited but Dunkirk running a 1:37 mile ?  In  a couple of weeks some big races will take place and we can start to get rid of some of the pretenders.  Dunkirk running average splits beating average horses is nothing to get excited about.  The real running starts in 2 weeks.

22 Feb 2009 12:10 AM
zarvona

Believe me, I will take a well bred Kty. horse, that is well trained, running a 1:50.15; on a cold Feb. track vs. the likes of "Warrior's Reward" on any day to any Derby!!! But, Dray, that's just me, I don't berate your choices!!! And,if we owned 'em, I'd be happy to see you put your "Vineyard Haven" up against this mere 'Allowance hoss' at

1  3/16's anytime!! NOW you wanna talk 1  1/4 ??

22 Feb 2009 3:51 AM
Draynay

You think Dunkirk can get 1 1/4 ? Vineyard is a 2 time G1 winner and Dunkirk is an allowance winner.  When they show up at the dry parking lot called Churchill you take 2 race winning Dunkirk and I will take the back to back G1 winning Vineyard Haven and run circles around Dunkirk. When Dunkirk wins a G1 come back here and tell me all about it.

22 Feb 2009 11:39 AM
Ida Lee

The day of the Belmont when Rags went against the boys, I could hardly move because of major surgery. I had been home a couple of days and felt miserable and didn't want to get out of bed. Next thing you know, I hear my husband yelling "Oh my God, the Filly fell on her knees - she's out of the race." Then, I hear "Oh my God - she's back in but running way wide - she's not going to make it". Then I hear "Oh my God, she's back and after Curlin - get over here". I put a pillow to my stomach to hold my stitches in and saw the end of the most exciting race ever. I couldn't stop yelling for Rags (even though Curlin was and is my all time favorite boy). This beautiful and talented Filly brought fun and laughter to me during one of the worse times of my life. So, yeah, I have a special place in my heart for fillies and I will continue to follow Zenyatta, Stardom, Rachel, Evita and the rest of the lovely ladies that bring so much excitement and fun to so many lives regardless of who they race.

22 Feb 2009 11:52 AM
Householder

That's why it's called "Derby Fever" Draynay.  The "fever" completly coulds judgement.  What was Mr. Frisky, like 16 for 16 wins heading into the derby?  I know he was sick and all but history has a way of writing off all of the "should of...could of...would ofs."  Let the crowd take Dunkirk derby day at 2-1 based on press rankings, if he even has enough earnings to get in.  I like others.  Who out there thought PYRO could actually get 1 1/4?  I'm sure his trainer had doubts from the start.

22 Feb 2009 2:33 PM
Guninpocket

Draynay........ you wouldn't know a top notch horse if he ran over you. Who makes your picks for you, some greeter at Wal-Mart ? I'll take my top 3 and give you the field for a grand, you up for it? :-)  gun

24 Feb 2009 12:19 PM
Slew.em.All

Guninpocket:

funny first line you wrote..as I mentally visualize the incident,it's even funnier.....lol

 

26 Feb 2009 6:12 PM
Wanda

Guninpocket: What's wrong with Wal-Mart greeter's? lol.

27 Feb 2009 12:39 PM
Vic B Quick

In my opinion, we will not be seeing any fillies against colts in classic races, because we remember how persecuted Larry Jones and his owner were last

Ky Derby.  

07 Mar 2009 12:35 PM
Dan the Horseman

Sometimes a horse picks you. I love the game and have been picking them for a long time. My first born daughter we named Rachel and my second Alexandra.....Good Luck to this talented filly, I'm picked by her!!

09 Mar 2009 6:19 PM

Recent Posts

Resources

Recommended Links

Video

Twitter

More Blogs

Archives