Old Man Brass Hat Keeps on Truckin'

Since we have a little lull in the action before the Belmont Stakes takes center stage, I thought it would be a perfect time to make mention of the remarkable Brass Hat, who won the Louisville Handicap yesterday in thrilling fashion.

Now 8, Brass Hat had been winless since scoring the Massachusetts Handicap back in September of 2007. Although he was riding an 0-for-10 streak, trainer Buff Bradley was confident that the veteran was sitting on a big race. He was very pleased with his third-place effort in the Elkhorn at Keeneland on April 24, a race that came up very strong.

In the Louisville, Brass Hat sack mid-pack through the backstretch and then was swung wide by red-hot Calvin Borel for his stretch drive. He collared both favorites inside the sixteenth-pole for a half-length score. It was his first win in eight starts on turf and his fifth graded stakes triumph. What an accomplishment for a horse that has overcome two serious leg injuries in his career. His earnings are nearly $1.9 million and would be around $3 million if he wasn't disqualified from the Dubai World Cup in 2006. His record is now 9-5-2 from 30 starts. This is one special horse.

I've spoken with Buff Bradley several times over the last couple regarding Brass Hat, so I know his story very well. Bradley, and his father Fred, have done everything right with this gelding. They don't rush him, pick his spots very carefully and are in-tune with his mind and body. To learn more about his incredible history, here is a link to a story I did on Brass Hat in December of 2007

In talking with Buff after the Louisville, he and his father were very emotional, and rightfully so. The win came nearly eight years to the day when they foaled him. As Buff said, "we pulled him out of his mama and raised him. He is part of our family."

Bradley said they will keep racing Brass Hat as long as he is sound and shows that same burning desire to run. They will, as they always do, pick his spots very carefully. Bradley mentioned the United Nations at Monmouth Park on July 4 as a possible next race.

Don't be surprised if you see the old man racing beyond this season and into 2010. He is a fan favorite (here's a link to his web site); a horse that fans come out to the racetrack to see. We need more of these in racing. Congratulations to the Bradleys and Brass Hat.

The Brass Hats of Thoroughbred racing are becoming few and far between. Please help me remember some of our older stars by listing some of your personal favorites. Happy Memorial Day everyone!

*** By the way, I went with a Mr. Sidney, Smooth Air, Imperial Council and Riley Tucker tri box in the Met Mile.


Leave a Comment:

Makybe Diva

Any comment section about the great old guys has to include With Anticipation. He was robbed of that Eclipse! Robbed, I tell ya! His second in the BC Turf at age 7 was so fantastic - I wish things had gone differently that day, as a win would have been out of this world. In that same race - The Tin Man, another great old guy who believed that age was just a number.

25 May 2009 3:27 PM

how about lava man and john henry

people came to see these horses and

visited with john henry until the

day he died at the kentucky horse

park... lava man is still with us

and is a big attraction

25 May 2009 3:43 PM

I'm thrilled to watch Einstein every time he runs. Was really bummed when Evening Attire was retired.

But of course, my favorite is Well Armed (not that he's that old, but what a horse).

25 May 2009 3:47 PM

I can see it now...the Breeders Cup Classic with horses like Einstein and Well Armed and some three year old males, but add some Euros and 2 special fillies, it could be one for the ages

25 May 2009 4:23 PM

Don't forget about With Anticipation.

25 May 2009 5:03 PM

Did anyone just read the article on Zenyatta's possible campaign for the rest of the year?

I have to say, I'm somewhat underwhelmed. All of the races (I believe 4 of them) are in California, and all are against fillies/mares.

I would love to see her try the males, or race outside of California. I know she's raced outside of California once, but it's exactly that. Once.

Anyone else feel slightly disappointed?

25 May 2009 5:10 PM
Matthew W

Melissa....to answer your question if I feel slightly dissapointed...lets put it this way, I LIVE in So Cal and when I heard they might move the BC to Churchill this year my heart raced with anticipation! It's not their fault the BC is in So Cal again---It doesn't make sense to ship her out if the Cup's at home---but, yes, I was hoping to see her at Churchill...heck, she'll probably retire undefeated and still lose HOY if they duck her, but who cares?....I find myself going out of my way to view her, NO horse feels good ALL of the time....yet she slingshots off the bend time after time---that's greatness, enjoy her while you can, Eclipse or not, "Zenyatta's Zenyatta"!

25 May 2009 5:46 PM

Rest his soul, John Henry was my man but I will say that recently it had to be Pappi Chullo.  I could have cried when I saw that beautiful horse going down and down in the claiming ranks because he didn't have it any more. From the outcries of many people I understand that he has finally been taken off the track and I hope that whoever got him will treat him with the dignity he deserves for all the years he has given to us.

25 May 2009 6:11 PM


Not at all disappointed to not see Zenyatta pointed for a race outside the West. How come we do not demand that the stars of New York and Florida win races in California? I guarantee that there have been more horses from California that have won grade 1 races in the East than Eastern horses that have won a grade 1 in California.

What I am disappointed with concerning Zenyatta's schedule is that they are not going to run her in a grade 1 race against males like the Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, or Goodwood. Sheriffs mentioned that running at 10 furlongs vs. males is asking too much(but has he seen how bad the older males are?), but he seems to have conveniently forgotten that the Goodwood is only 9 furlongs. The Goodwood would seem to be the perfect race to take a chance in; if she runs poorly, they can regroup and have enough time to get her ready for the Ladies Classic.

If Zenyatta were to win the 4 remaining races on her scehdule, including defeating Rachel Alexandra in the Ladies Classic, and retire 14 for 14, Zenyatta would certainly deserve a place in the Hall of Fame and deserve to be mentioned with some of the all-time greats. However, I personally would still have to rank her below the very best, such as Personal Ensign, Lady's Secret, Susan's Girl, Shuvee, and Gallorette among other older fillies and mares. However, if Zenyatta were to win the Hollywood Gold Cup or Goodwood, I would rank her right up with those aforementioned greats. I'm not saying Moss and Sheriffs need to be like Jess Jackson and campaign Zenyatta in the Stephen Foster, Whitney AND Breeders Cup Classic, but taking ONE risk, running her in ONE race outside the "typical" would do wonders for her place in history and her popularity with fans(which is already strong).

25 May 2009 6:39 PM

No mention of Kelso?  He was the one to watch when I first started following the races (am I showing my age?.

25 May 2009 6:43 PM

Brass Hat has been a favorite of mine ever since I saw him in person at Hossier Park win the 2004 gr.2 Indiana Derby. Hoosier is a smaller facility, so I was able to position myself 3 feet outside the winners circle that night as Buff, his father Jeff, and the entire family heaped love onto Brass Hat. Talk about a win for the "little guy", Buff and his family not only train Brass Hat, but they have owned him as well. It is a true family affair.

And the family has done right by Brass Hat. They have had to be very patient with all the injuries to Brass Hat, but they have always gotten him back to the track in prime condition. Some of it, of course, is the horse.  Brass Hat is a true warrior, and I continue to be surprised, but extremely happy, that Brass Hat keeps on fighting and keeps on winning graded stakes. I just wish the family had been able to keep the nearly $1 million from the Dubai World Cup in 2006.

My prayers are with Rene Douglas and his family+friends.

25 May 2009 6:48 PM

What a thrill for the connections of Brass Hat. To have bred him and train him all his life with the races he's won, it's a dream of anyone in the racing game. Thanks for keeping the old boy around for another year!

25 May 2009 6:55 PM

I do love Brass Hat. His win was VERY exciting! As for faves...I adored Evening Attire and was so sad that he was injured when he had a "win and you're in" invite  to the BC. He was awesome. And someone mentioned The Tin Man, loved him too, his shoe is hanging over my front door. As far as one still in training it's gotta be Better Talk Now. He's 10 and still going strong.

25 May 2009 7:22 PM
Mike Relva


NO! I'm a very huge fan of Zenyatta,from the beginning. I don't second guess her connections,without a doubt they have her best interests first!

25 May 2009 7:28 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks! I remember and enjoyed your earlier writing on Brass Hat. I also recall some idiot on your blog posting last year "slamming" him. If anyone can't appreciate what he's experienced w/injuries and continues to inspire,then they aren't what a real fan should be!

25 May 2009 7:32 PM

Earlier this decade IIRC, there was a local horse named P. Day that was constantly showing the youngsters how to win. He did win a Grade 3 race (Baltimore BC I think)in his golden years as well.

We Maryland race fans also remember Little Bold John during the 80s.

25 May 2009 7:39 PM

A big Congratulations to Brass Hat!!! What a come back. Love to see the fan favorites out there at his age...healthy and looking good. It's nice to know the horse is always first. There is sun shine in this industry and not to hard to find.

25 May 2009 7:39 PM
sweet terchi

No, fine with me that Zen is a California girl. Glad to read that Brass Hat's races will be carefully picked. He's still looking like a handsome youngster to me! One of my fav old guys was John Henry.

25 May 2009 7:40 PM

Growing up in southern California, my absolute favorite horse was Best Pal. He was a 7-time grade 1 winner, and won a grade 1  at 2,3,4, and 5. He also ran 2nd in the gr.1 Pacific Classic at 6, and 2nd by a head in the gr.1 Santa Anita Handicap at age 7 while conceding 6 lbs. to the winner. Prior to the Big Cap, Best Pal had won the gr.2 San Antonio that year.

Some of my other favorite "warriors" growing up in SoCal were the Dick Mandella turf horses Sandpit(5 time gr.1 winner), Leger Cat, and South Americans Romarin and Redatorre(Mandella's best S. Americans were Gentlemen and Siphon).  Although Baffert's image is mostly flash these days, he did a great job early in his thoroughbred training career with Cal-bred sprinting gladiators like Letthebighossroll, who won the gr.1 Triple Bend at age 8 in 1996, and Gundaghia, a horse that competed in stakes through age 9. Another great Cal-bred from the early 90s was Meagan's Interco, Jeanine Sahadi's first really good horse, a beautiful and brilliant 2-time Cal Cup Mile winner on turf and Cal Cup Classic winner on dirt. I also saw Cardmania a number of times, a horse that won the 1993 Breeders Cup Sprint at age 7 and ran 3rd in the race the following year. Lastly, I can't forget Ron MacAnally's great mares, Bayakoa and Paseana, two Hall-of-Famers.

Before I left California in the Fall of 1999, I had gotten caught up in the great sprinting duels between Kona Gold and Big Jag.  Kona Gold, who I  believe is the best sprinter of the last 15 years, was an absolute warrior, and went on to win graded stakes races until age 9, as well as an Eclipse Award in 2000.  In the 99' San Carlos with Kona Gold and Big Jag, there was another warrior, 8 year old Dramatic Gold, a horse that had won the gr.1 Molson Million and run 3rd in the Breeders Cup Classic in 1994 at age 3, and then beat Formal Gold when winning the 1996 gr.1 Meadowlands Cup. Like Best Pal, Dramatic Gold was a Golden Eagle Farm runner.  

Going back to California for family visits over the last 10 years, I have had the fortune of seeing, in person, Lava Man, Sarafan, and The Tin Man, who I also saw win and run 2nd in the 06' and 07' Arlington Million.  Of those, Lava Man is a personal standout, given that I was on-track for all 3 of his Hollywood Gold Cup wins as well as his Sunshine Millions Turf triumph. That 3rd Gold Cup win, with Lava Man looking beaten with a sixteenth of a mile to go, is one of my favorite racing moments. I know that the competition Lava Man beat is considered suspect by many, and that Lava Man never won outside of California, but Lava Man dominated handicapping racing in California like no horse ever has. Even if we leave out Lava Man's win in the 2006 Pacific Classic, his 3 Hollywood Gold Cup wins and 2 Santa Anita Handicap victories are tied for the most wins in the history of those 2 classic races; Lava Man's 5 combined wins in those 2 races are two more wins than the 2nd most successful handicap horse in California history, Native Diver(who won all 3 of his races in the Hollywood Gold Cup). Lava Man was also the first, and of now the only, horse to win a grade 1 race and dirt, turf, and synthetic,  won the hollywood Gold Cup by a record 8.75 lengths in 2005(120 Beyer), and at one point had won 12 of his last 13 races in California. For Easterners still dubious of Lava Man's accomplishments, consider them to be, at the very least, on par with Slew O' Gold's exploits in New York's Fall Championship Series, except that there is no California equivalent of Forego or Kelso for Lava Man to be compared with.

In my 10 years in the Midwest, Perfect Drift, Balto Star, Brass Hat, and Einstein have been top warriors. Perfect Drift is the standout, although of the 8 or 9 times I saw Perfect Drift in person, he never won a race. I was absent for Drift's wins in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, Washington Park Cap, Kentucky Cup Classic, and Stephen Foster. However, I did see Drift run 2nd or 3rd what seems to be a million times.  Einstein is a similar horse for me, in that I saw him race about 5 times without seeing him win a race. That is, until this year's Woodford Reserve, when I witnessed him courageously run down the quality runner Cowboy Cal.  As mentioned in my previous post, Brass Hat has been a favorite of mine since the 04' Indiana Derby.

In the Breeders Cups I have attended, 2000, 01', 03', 05', 06', and 07', I saw Miesque's Approval win the 06' Breeders Cup Mile at age 7 and John's Call run 3rd in the 2000 BC Turf at age 9.

Finally, I cannot leave out my Michigan breds, Rockem Sockem and Meadow Vespers. Neither horse is top quality, but each has won over $400,000 the hard way, running in $50,000 Michigan-bred stakes for multiple years. I first saw Rockem Sockem as a 3 year old in the Spartan Stakes at Great Lakes Downs on the West coast of Michigan. Rockem Sockem was the state's horse of the year that year, and won the Spartan by 6.  In all, Rockem Sockem has won about 10 Michigan-bred stakes and $575,000 in 40+ career starts.  Meadow Vespers has not run as often, but he won the 2005 Michigan-Sired championship race for 3 year olds in 2005, and the 2006 and 2007 Michigan-Sired championship race for older males over Rockem Sockem.  This past year, I saw them clash in 4 races at the newly built Pinnacle Racecourse, and even made a rare bet, which I won, when Rockem Sockem and Meadow Vespers ran 1-2 in the $50,000 Michigan Breeders Handicap. In the $80,000 Michigan-Sired championship race, however, Meadow Vespers turned the tables and won his 4th straight Michigan-sired championship race, with Rockem Sockem 3rd. In his career, Meadow Vespers has won 10 of 28, and run in the money 25 times.

25 May 2009 7:55 PM

Years ago(long before he became famous) my grandfather had a horse stabled just down the shedrow from Brass and I got to know him as the good natured, determined horse  that he is and I've been a fan ever since. Now with my job I end up on the backstretch alot and whenever I see Buff I always ask him how Brass is and without fail he always stops and actually tells me how he's doing, not the "oh he's great" that alot of trainers give you, Buff is a true gentleman of the industry. We desperately need more people like the Bradleys. Congrats to the Bradleys and Brass and heres to many more years of seeing the old boy!

25 May 2009 7:55 PM

Melissa, I'm with you.  Her owners have handled her so well but it will limit her legacy to stay with the fillies.  

Jess Jackson's attitude is what makes racing history.  He should get an Eclipse for owner of the year no matter what.

Let's hope Mine That Bird stays sound and maintains his high level of performance for years to come!!

25 May 2009 7:57 PM

One of my all time favorites was a mare named Brown Bess (1982), she was something truly special. I'm probably showing my age by bringing up her name, but she was at the age of 7, named the 1989 Champion Grass Female. I believe her record for the Yellow Ribbon Stakes at 1 1/4 mile over the Santa Anita turf still stands, accomplished in 157.6 when she was 7 years old.

25 May 2009 7:59 PM

barb's right:

I going back through my Racing Forms of the 2006 and 2007 Breeders Cup, I realized that I have seen Better Talk Now run 8 times in person. Better Talk Now was a true warrior. How could I forget him? I saw him in the 03' Sycamore(9th), 04' Dixie(9th), 05' Arlington Million(4th), 05' Breeders Cup Turf(7th), 06' Arlington Million(7th), 06' Breeders Cup Turf(2nd), 07' Woodford Reserve(4th), and 07' Breeders Cup Turf(out of money).  He was 0 for 8 in those races, but his 2nd in the 06' BC Turf was awesome. Overall, he won $4 million.

25 May 2009 8:14 PM

My oldie but goodie favorites right now have to be Better Talk Now & Commentator. They are raced conservatively & have remained in top form. They, along with Brass Hat, are remarkable athletes & command a substantial fan base. We know their days on the track are numbered. Then we'll collectively say THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!!

25 May 2009 8:46 PM

After posting my first comment I was thinking about the topic and remembered a great book that I have called The Eagle & The Plum by Gene McCormick. It is the true story of 2 claiming horse who raced until they were 12 and 13. Not "famous" horses but certainly awesome enough. If anyone is looking for a good read you should check it out.

25 May 2009 9:46 PM

How about the unforgetable giant, Forego and his thundering stretch drives, usually under an impossible weight impost.  The 1976 Marlboro with Forego carrying 137 pounds still brings chills.  (And, if you disagree, my 96 year old grandma will CUT you!)

26 May 2009 1:04 AM

These old "warriors" whether famous or not are the real heroes in horse racing that always put a smile on our face when they run.  Let me add Forego to the list and a special nod and a bow to Wanderin Boy--may he rest in peace.

26 May 2009 2:33 AM

barb rings up the harness horses. They are simply in another league. Clearly, pacing and trotting are much easier on horses than full-out sprinting. On Saturday at Hazel Park in Detroit, I saw the following horses win:

Talon Seelster, age 9

182 starts, 49 wins,  $348,000

Bronson Hall, age 9

145 starts, 32 wins, $187,000

and the following horse run 2nd:

Bobnoxious, age 9

198 starts, 60 wins, $982,000

About 4 years ago I saw a Michigan-bred horse, Jerry's Cadet, run through age 14 and win more than 100 races.  The sensational Michigan bred, Admiral's Express, a winner of over $1.7 million and one time Canadian Horse of the Year, is still racing at age 13 at the Toronto tracks.

26 May 2009 2:33 AM

With all the debate on the last topic about all-time greats and now the question of favorite warriors, I was reminded of Cougar.

Can anyone explain to me how the "experts" who selected the Bloodhorse's Top 100 of the 20th century left off Cougar? How is it possible that Cougar is not considered to be one of the 100 top thoroughbreds? I wasn't old enough to have followed Cougar, but I look back at his past performances and see a horse that won at least 10 races which would now be considered grade 1s, on turf and dirt, while also running 2nd or 3rd in numerous other stakes. The only explanations I can think of is that he did most of his work on turf, and in California. Talk about East Coast bias!

As for warriors, one before my time that deserves mention is the ill-fated Exceller, an 11 time gr.1 winner on turf and dirt, in the US and in Europe.  A warrior whose last few years came just as I was getting into racing, was the equally ill-fated Great Communicator.  He had a monster year in 1988, winning the Breeders Cup Turf among other gr.1 victories mostly in California, and had a fair 1989, picking up a few more big graded stakes.

Mac Diarmida in 1978, and Sunshine Forever in 1988 were both very good 3 year old turf stars.  However, I do not understand how they were given the Eclipse award for champion turf horse over Exceller and Great Communicator, respectively.

26 May 2009 3:05 AM

A special place in my heart is

Swan's Way, who raced his 81st start at age FIFTEEN! Talk about a hard knocker...8-16-15=$63,000.

Happily he's retired at "Old Friends"..a "worker's worker" for the bettors at Suffolk, and strangely enough, his payouts at the window equal the same payout at the same odds as a Grade 1!! Imagine that?

Running right now:

Better talk Now, and Einstein..Einstein is a true 3 surface champion..

I loved With Anticipation, Tinman, Evening Attire...

How about the great old warrior Affirmed Success?

26 May 2009 7:19 AM


    Yes, i am very dissappointed. I honestly believe if RA keeps on doing as well as she is, and Zens connection decide to race just in CA, just against fillies, they will be runner up again. Zen may be queen of the fillies right now, but you can't claim the title queen of racing if you haven't face everybody in it that is of consequence.

26 May 2009 7:29 AM

I admire and am in awe of all of the older horses in racing, whether they be the Brass Hat and Einsteins of the game, or the Freddy The Caps.  There is just something about these guys coming out and doing their thing race in and race out that is inspiring.

I wonder though about the injuries Brass Hat has had in his career.  Is his will to run more than his physical body able to endure?  I worry that he will suffer a catastrophic injury, as Wanderin Boy did.  And I think about the quality of life after racing, for a horse with two mended bones.  Horses live a long time, not just the few years they are on the race track.  

That said, I will as I always do root for the Brass Hats of racing.  They normally don't get the attention they deserve.  Thanks for keeping these guys in the news!

26 May 2009 10:07 AM

Melissa- I, along with many other people, were all over Twitter in an uproar over Shirreff's hypocritic quote about how it would "make it harder" for her to run against the boys at 1 1/4 miles because she's never done it before. This is the guy who's still bitter that Curlin won HOTY over her, a horse who raced at five different tracks on three different surfaces. If he wants this champion mare to have a chance at this year's HOTY, he needs to take one risk with her, and I'm afraid he's too paranoid at the thought of breaking her record to do it. How will we know how great she is unless she's put in a new situation? I cry BOO. You should look me up on Twitter (wowhorse is my username) and see the convos.

But about older horses running- I have a soft spot for those old warhorses on the track like Brass Hat, Grasshopper, and Well Armed. When The Tin Man was trying to win his second Arlington Million, I cheered until my throat was hoarse. What a game gelding. I find myself rooting for these older horses whenever I see their ages in the program, or people talk about them on TV. I can only hope Mine That Bird becomes such a long-racing hero.

26 May 2009 10:13 AM

Speaking of Standardbreds, the stable I worked for as a kid routinely raced their horses until the mandatory retirement age of fourteen and retired them SOUND and placed them in good homes, every single one of them, so I'll add my special pals: Millie's Pride, Whisper Advice, Staley Hanover, Afton Vernon to the list as my sweet old pals who were so kind to a kid learning the ropes...never once tried anything on me and let me make many, many mistakes...even let me learn how to drive a sulky when I was 11, trustworthy fellas, so many happy hours jogging you...xoxoxoxo, boys.

26 May 2009 10:14 AM
Greg J.


     Great Article on Brass Hat!, What a great race that was on Saturday!, He just kept coming, No quit in him at all!, Almost on his birthday, also, Awesome...

   FYI, Got incredibly lucky on that race, Hit the $2 Trifecta(which wasn't that hard to pick 7,8,9, $2 Tri=$82.00), Then had no clue on Superfecta, So I threw in the #1 horse, My Happiness!!!, Complete Luck on my behalf, but I will take it($2 Super=$1,559.80)...

   Lost on Sharbat, And hit nothing in Met Mile, Though, But hit Carolyn's Cat in Vagrancy, and also had Giant Oak, A great Weekend, Hit the Tri in Zenyatta's race, Get this $2 Tri came out to a whopping $12.00, lol...

   Also a tragic weekend also...

My thoughts and Well Wishes go out to Rene Douglas and his Family and R.I.P. "Born to Be"...

26 May 2009 10:27 AM

Champions race at Saratoga.  Zenyatta has made no effort to face the best on the East Coast.  She will forever be a paper champion. Stay in California Zenyatta you are the STATE Champion....good for you.

26 May 2009 10:52 AM

Matthew W, if WHO ducks Zenyatta? It certainly can't be the male racehorses of the world if they CAN'T race against her! However I can see both sides- the BC is there (for better or worse) but there's always the San Diego or Goodwood, right?

Thoughts and prayers to the Douglas family and the Arlington community, especially J. Theriot. I remember an article written several years after Mike Venezia was killed in New York, about the terrible struggle Robbie Davis (I think it was him, soemebody please correct me if my memory is faulty) had, being involved with the tragedy. Please let us not forget Theriot in our thoughts.

As for the original topic, all I can say is HOORAY for the geldings!!

26 May 2009 11:58 AM

GunBow...The book I mentioned is about thoroughbreds not standardbreds, they are low level claimers. I think you would really enjoy it. I agree about Cougar...over the years I have come across several horses I would've thought would make the list who didn't. But I can understand that since I can't keep straight who I like best!! When I sit around thinking of all the greats all of a sudden there are 15 or 25 in the "Top Ten" LOL.

As for Zen vs RA...I read yesterday that JJ is NOT planning to go to BC because HE doesn't like the surface at Santa Anita. I feel like he should find out if RA likes it before he makes that decision. He should have learned a lesson last year and give her an actual race at SA instead of one workout ala Curlin. I don't get how he can say he wants to run a HOY campaign for her and then say no BC...so much for the best running against the best. And I don't think his protest is going to get rid of synthetic surfaces. It's just going to ROB the fans. As for Zen...where did you guys see her proposed schedule? If it's true that she's going to stay in Cali and JJ won't come to Cali...well then we are screwed. I don't see why JS wouldn't ship Z again, he's done it once this year and he knows that she runs well on dirt. My feeling is that RA will not tackle older horses til late in the year but when or where I don't know. I'm very worried that JJ is going to keep them seperated. I REALLY hope Zen runs in the Hollywood Gold Cup (since I'm going) and I think JS IS planning to race Z against boys...possibly the BC Classic (cross our fingers!).

26 May 2009 12:33 PM

The 1999 Triple Crown introduced me to horse racing. I was in such awe that I decided to go to Hollywood Park to see Thoroughbreds in person.

That's when I found Budroyale, a 6yr old gelding, at the peak of his career. His grit and determination won me over and I became his biggest fan. I followed his every move. He did not always win but he ran his heart out all the way to the Breeder's Cup where he came in second to Cat Thief. AMAZING feat for a former claimer.

To this day, his picture sits by my computer. It was taken during a post parade. He looks so alert, so eager for the fight... His white bridle and the bright hot pink colors (of his owner Jeffrey Sengara) worn by Garrett Gomez, made him easy to spot during his races. My eyes were glued to him whenever he ran. I will remember him always.

When his full brother appeared on the scene, I was not dissapointed. Tiz Now filled the void after Budroyale's retirement and the gritty performances in his two Breeder's Cup victories sent me into hysterics.

BUDROYALE and TIZ NOW!!! What a fantastic pair of full brothers. No wonder I got hooked!

26 May 2009 12:44 PM


So, you think that Zenyatta is making the decisions about where she races and who she races against? WOW!!!

26 May 2009 1:26 PM

Perhaps this is a far reach, but  if the syndication program were revived, whereby groups of individuals owned a horse, perhaps we might see more such senior equines running and enjoying a following. Present conditions in the racing industry are doing nothing to save it. The sport has truly become the "business of kings" because no one else can afford to be in it anymore.

Racetrack, by racetrack, it is dying a slow and painful death. It broke my heart to see Bay Meadows reduced to a pile of rubble. How many more will go down that greedy path? I've heard rumblings that beautiful, unique, Delmar might be next. Where does it stop? Are we destined to one day have  a supertrack somewhere and only satellite wagering?

26 May 2009 1:37 PM

I remember Silky Sullivan, a fiery chestnut who always was a crowd pleaser, the come from behind horse.

Of course, on a higher level, my favorite was Alydar, a truly gutsy horse.

26 May 2009 2:10 PM

6 was obviously the lucky number this past weekend, with Thorn Song, Its A Bird and Bribon all scoring GS wins.  With Brass Hat's victory, it was definitely one for the old warriors weekend.  I had a chance to visit with Brass Hat last year a CD.  What a great horse and connections!  Of Course Einstein this year has been outstanding!  You go guys and hats off to all!

  Forego is #1 when it comes to top handicap TB and gelding. What he did, long or short, muddy, wet or dry, hauling weight that no one today would allow, and ducking no one, there is no comparisson.  To show my age, others to consider that raced on that are not necessarily geldings are Cougar II, Dahlia, Susans Girl, Bayakoa, Precisionist, Best Pal and crew (remember back when we had the ACRS), John Henry, Paseana, Kotashaan, Lure, Bien bien, Paradise Creek, Sandpit, Kona Gold, Bucks Boy, Da Hoss, Bet on Sunshine, Music Merci, Cardmania, Lava Man, With Anticipation (I'm a big fan of Mr Strawbridge who breeds to race and actually races his horses), Perfect Drift, The Tin Man, Better Talk Now, Red Rocks, Evening Attire...Course back in the day they actually raced horses at 4 and often 5 before heading them off to stud where now we're lucky to have them finish a 3YO campaign, and they wonder at the soundness of todays horses....go figure.....I am Glad Mine that Bird is a gelding and hope we get to enjoy him for a long time to come!

26 May 2009 2:11 PM

as for Zenyatta running against the boys.  does the name Azeri come to mind?  running her against the boys took her heart out of the game and then they ran her into the ground

I do hope that Rachel Alexandria doe s not run in the Belmont.  I think that the distance is too long for her.

She has proved herself, now let her go and make beautiful babies.

Zenyatta has nothing more to prove either.  let her go and make more beuatiful babies.

26 May 2009 2:48 PM

Brass Hat represents all that is admirable in the thoroughbred. That competitive spirit that we saw Saturday hasn't been ebbed by the advancing years.  Congratulations to his "family" for allowing us all to witness this wonderful horse and his accomplishments.!  My personal favorite is the old gelding Lexington Park, who ran many, many years ago in Maryland.  Trained by Dickie Dutrow - a masterful trainer - this horse raced at a high level for 10 years!  I cannot think of any horse able to maintain top form for so long.  Dutrow also distinguished himself with King's Swan who ran on the NYRA circuit for many years.  Good trainers know what it takes to keep a horse on top of his game.  Finally, Above The Wind.  A Michigan bred [I believe] and a horse for a course [Tampa Bay Downs] who kept winning sprint stakes at Tampa year after year after year.  Just love to see that happen.

26 May 2009 2:54 PM

I loved watching Funnycide while he was still racing and hope to see him at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Loved old John Henry there too.  Commentator is one of my favorites to see - he can be so exciting.  Plus Well Armed and Einstein.  But especially I want to mention Shakis. He was a super little horse and great fun to watch.  I will miss him.  

26 May 2009 3:10 PM

Hopefully some great racing minds can talk some sense into the Zenyatta and Rachel connections.  They should meet on dirt in the east like Saratoga and then rematch in the breeders cup. If they split races this would setup for a fantastic match race. Asmussen should stop blaming the synthetics for Curlin's and Pyro's defeats and give his dirt horses a proper prep on the surface before the breeders cup.

26 May 2009 3:10 PM
C.R.Hoerauf II

Hey GunBow,

Do you remember Ruffian. She ran against the boy(s) once and look what happened. And yet she is still considered by many to have been the greatest filly of all time. And I agree. What Rachel did was truly fantastic, but I feel that it was done because of greed and hubris. What would the racing world be saying if she had been hurt in the race. The same blame game that went on with Eight Bells. I gallop for the man that was the assistant trainer for Frank Whitley when Ruffian was running. We both agree that the boys should run with the boys and the girls run with the girls. BTW, Zenyatta will dominate Rachel in the Breeders Cup showdown.  

26 May 2009 3:21 PM

Kudos to another older horse Bribon who won his first G1 (met mile)at 6. It's also the first time he's won back to back races but it took a field loaded with last yrs 3 yr old nobody's for him to pull it off. I guess you can never say never especially when you face smooth air and company. More of this to come in the future if they keep retiring the best at 3 or 4.

26 May 2009 3:27 PM


    He would want to ship Zen to show her talent outside of one state. She did ship once this year but she scratched. If he wants HOTY over RA then ship or run against colts. Where did you see JJ say that RA wouldn't go to SA. I don't see why she wouldn't since she already has won over synthetics. You can also have a HOTY season w/o the BC. Is it big, yes, but it should not be the be all end all to the whole year and trump what one had done a whole season. There is currently no HOTY running now, so the title is up for grabs, which means may the best horse with the best season get it. Zen is the queen of the fillies as of now since that is all she has beaten, and that was her award last year, but since she has not faced males she can't call herself queen of all racing. In order to do that she needs to beat all challengers, girls and boys alike. If you dominate one sex only that is what you are top of. Until you go and allow all comers to challenge you and you beat them, you can't say you top of everyone. That is why Curlin won last year, he was in grade one open company all year, and still had a winning season. Zenyatta faced just fillies, and dominated, so she got top filly. As of now RA is the top of her class, colts and fillies. Zen, still only top of the older females. If RA takes on older males and wins, and then like zen will ends the year perfect, then she will have outdone Zen w/o having to face her, and Zen will have to settle for second best again. Sheesh you would've thout her connection would've learned from last year that if you don't take risks when another does you don't when, ala Zen runner up and Curlin HOTY.

26 May 2009 3:30 PM

From what I have read out there, Zenyatta is staying put. I've seen quoted "the same schedule as last year" and her trainer saying "Saratoga is a long way". Of course so is Santa Anita going the other way.... I would at least like to see Z. against the males, if she's not coming east to run on real dirt. Yes, I know she has run on dirt- ONCE. As for those who are already blasting Jackson for indicating that he is not inclined to run RA on artificial surfaces, (although she has run once and won I believe on Poly) what exactly is the difference then, between Zenyatta staying on doctored dirt and RA staying on real dirt? Yes I know the BC is the "championship" event, which to me makes it almost as courageous to say "no" to it, if you feel it would not be the best thing for your horse. Besides, Jackson changed his mind with Curlin, nothing to say he won't with RA.

26 May 2009 3:39 PM

Hey J.C.Robinson,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on Rene and Jamie. I know them both and rode races myself. Believe me, no one wants this to happen. Everybody in that jocks room becomes more than family. I was riding in New England in the mid 80's when a friend was paralyzed. All of the jockeys had to go the race films the next day with the stewards and there was not a dry eye in the room. Some of us even left without permission. Trust me, Jamie is having a very difficult time right now, as did Robbie Davis. Worst off is Rene and his family. Let's keep them all in our prayers.

26 May 2009 3:41 PM

Zenyatta...  Will beat anyone anywhere.

Hi Mike Relva and Greg J.  :)

26 May 2009 3:44 PM

What about Four Star Dave? He won a race at Saratoga, what, seven or eight years in a row. Talk about horses for courses. They even now have a street in Saratoga named after him and upon his retirement brought him to Ciros restaurant to sign autographs. What can I say? That's Saratoga, the August place to be.

26 May 2009 3:52 PM

I'm chuckling at people "showing" their age with horses like Best Pal. How about Alsab and Equipoise?

In the 50's I loved a horse named Comiston who ran in Vancouver until he was 10 years old. People came to the track to see these old warriors and cheer them on.

Give the races back to the fans -the sentimental favorites are the ones we want to see. Good going Brass Hat and connections.

26 May 2009 4:03 PM

so now the nay nay dude has taken to ripping zenyatta? for someone who professes to love the sport nay nuggets you spend most of your time trashing the participants. it makes one wonder how bad it would get if you hated the sport. such negativity comes from the minds of the disturbed.

26 May 2009 4:03 PM
blazing saddles

Dan Patch, greatest racehorse who ever lived.

26 May 2009 4:06 PM
Greg J.

Hello Stardust and Mike Relva,

    You gotta love Zenyatta "Prancing", Read this yesterday about her:

    In the paddock, Zenyatta did her high-stepping routine, raising eyebrows among those who hadn't witnessed that before.

    "She started doing that a few races ago," said John Shirreffs, her trainer. "She kind of does a little dance, kind of like a dressage walker. She gives us her John Travolta moves."

    I love RA, But I think Zenyatta sent a reminder to anyone with horse-of-the-year aspirations, You will have the 5-year-old Street Cry mare to reckon with....Zenyatta!!!

26 May 2009 4:12 PM

RA has nothing to prove at the Breeders Cup.  She could win on dirt in the Travers and Jockey Gold and have HOY locked up before the Breeders Cup is even thought of.

26 May 2009 4:27 PM

"Do you remember Ruffian", Yes, what a heartbreak, do not run Zen against the boys! Now a bit of a road trip to a dirt track? Why not? Say for start 14 after the BC. IMHO, Kelso and Forgo were two finest race horses ever.

26 May 2009 4:28 PM

I have known Brass Hat since before he won the Rushaway at Turfway to break his maiden, and his owner, Buff since he was A.T. for Mr Picou.  Usually I sit calmly and watch the races, but when it comes to the "Hat" it's a different story.  Wish more people were like that horse and the 100's I've had the pleasure to groom and love.  God bless you Brass Hat, Buff, Fred and Calvin, good luck!

26 May 2009 4:38 PM
The Rock


Yea, and derby winners don't prep in New Mexico either. lol.

26 May 2009 4:54 PM
Greg J.


   I know it is a long way to the Belmont, But just a early heads up, Watch out for the other "Bird", "Summer Bird" now has Kent Desormeaux riding, not Joe Talamo, Kent knows Belmont like the back of his hand, and Summer has the distance in him, Could it be a one, two for the Birds...

26 May 2009 5:16 PM
Mike Relva


Zenyatta isn't a "paper champ". Here's another example of a horse not doing anything wrong and someone slamming. Zenyatta has done EVERYTHING right. I've got news,her connections couldn't give a damn what some individuals think! No doubt that they place her welfare first above what anyone might say.

26 May 2009 5:18 PM

LDP... After reading your comment I had to go back to see what I said(you should too). My comment isn't about who is better or the way to decide HOY it is about JJ saying he wants to run the best against the best and then not going to BC( I read it in the article on BH yesterday re. RA workout). BC is the "showcase" for the best to face off. I am saying that I will personally be VERY disappointed if RA doesn't run in the BC( and I'm assuming others will be too). I  doubt whether Zenyatta "wants to call herself" anything, she just loves to run and would probably enjoy life more if she got to do it more often. And you should remember that she doesn't get to make ANY of the decisions about who she races against or where, so don't blame her(or me! The connections aren't taking my suggestions either! LOL). Don't forget that RA has only raced against 3y/os, Zen can't enter those races(Alabama & Travers are 3 y/o races too). They both have to leave their comfort zones to meet up. Besides that HOY is not an issue for many months, I am willing to argue about last year though. :)

26 May 2009 5:25 PM


    I have no doubt Zen is great, but if she is that much greater than everyone else, why does her trainer and connections keep her tucked away in CA to only race fillies, never colts, or the best there is. There is no east bias hear, but she's beaten everything in the west, but refuses to take on anything in the east. Until she does you can't say she'll beat anyone anywhere.

26 May 2009 5:52 PM


    The reason Ruffian was considered by so good is becacuse not only was she never asked, never touched with the whip, and won by daylight each time, but also because she broke or equaled track or stakes records every time she stepped onto the track. Zenyatta has done that once. Is she amazing, yes, but she is no Ruffian. Also show me a stat that states that fillies racing colts break down significantly more than colts with colts or fillies with fillies. Just like in any sport the best go with the best.

26 May 2009 5:58 PM

    Being from Louisville, my three favorites would have to be Brass Hat, Einstein and Perfect Drift.  I don't think we'll ever see another horse race in as many BC Classics as Perfect Drift & what more can you say about Einstein.  Hopefully he has 2 or 3 more years in the tank.  Same for Brass Hat.

    Many people have already mentioned some of the other greats we were fortunate to see race for many years, but two other horses I was a big fan of and loved to watch run was Congaree & Kimberlite Pipe.  Congaree didn't race nearly as long as some of these other great geldings, but I believe he did race until he was 6 or 7.  You got to love a horse who was as consistent as he was and did almost all of it while racing in 22 consecutive graded stakes races.  The best part about Congaree is, unlike some of these other greats mentioned, we get to see what he can do at stud.  As for Kimberlite Pipe, he may not have had quite the career as some of the others, but I loved to watch him run.  He ran a good 6th in the '99 KY Derby (only beaten about 3 or 4 lengths by Charismatic) and as of about 3 or 4 years ago, he was still running.  I think he raced until he was 10.

    Finally, I don't think anyone has mentioned him yet, but I'll give a little love to Funny Cide.  These days, you don't get to see a KY Derby winner run until they're 7.  Hopefully we get to see Mine That Bird run until he's 7 since he's a gelding as well.

26 May 2009 6:03 PM


Sorry, I just assumed that when you were talking about 12 and 13 year olds running  it just had to be standardbreds(lol). Wow, those were incredible thoroughbred warriors!.


I'm glad you mentioned Budroyale. He got really good the year(1999) I was moving from Cali to Michigan. On a spring break I was able to see him in person in the 2000 Santa Anita Handicap. Bud was just starting to tail off a bit, but he still ran gamely, fighting on to finish 2nd behind the mercurial General Challenge. At the top of the stretch, it appeared General Challenge was going to blow Bud away, but Bud stuck with him and lost by less than two years.  

And how about General Challenge?  I'm sure those outside of Cali do not think much of General Challenge since he ran terribly any time he was shipped, but General Challenge was an absolutely awesome physical specimen and had world-class talent. When he got his long legs going, he could really be overpowering.  He won the Santa Anita Derby(by 3), Pacific Classic(at 3 w/119 Beyer),Strub(by 12), and Santa Anita Handicap(117 Beyer).  Bob Baffert claimed that General Challenge might have been the most talented horse he has ever trained, with the possible exception of Point Given. Unfortunately, as Baffert admitted, General Challenge was not a smart horse and didn't have alot of fight in him. When faced with a stern opponent, General Challenge typically surrendered and finished 2nd.  

General Challenge and Budroyale had met prior to that 00' Big Cap, when the game and little Budroyale won a stirring stretch duel in the Goodwood by a head over the giant General Challenge, earning a 118 Beyer.  As good as Budroyale was, his younger brother, Tiznow, took the family to a whole new level, and is now in the Hall of Fame.  

General Challenge, who was a gelding, was injured after running 2nd in the 2000 Hollywood Gold Cup, but came back almost 3 years later in an allowance race with fellow tough-luck Cal bred, Sky Jack. Sky jack cruised in the race, as General Challenge just simply did not have his old talent anymore. Baffert raced him one more time before Golden Eagle Farm retired him.

Sky Jack deserves to be mentioned as a great warrior as well. Unlike some of the other horses that have been mentioned, Sky Jack did not run often, making only 18 starts while winning 10 of them. However, he had to overcome so many significant injuries and raced strongly until 7.  Sky Jack had burst onto the scene with a dominating win at age 4 in the 2000 Cal Cup Classic, then turned in one of the fastest performances when running away with the Native Diver with a 122 Beyer late in the year. Sky Jack was considered to be fellow Cal-bred Tiznow's toughest opponent in the upcoming 2001 Big Cap. Unfortunately, Sky Jack suffered a fracture to a knee, and was forced to the sidelines for 15 months. With great courage, Sky Jack returned, won the gr.2 Mervyn Leroy by open lengths with a big Beyer and then won the Hollywood Gold Cup with a 115 Beyer after setting brutal fractions and enduring a furious stretch duel. He was injured yet again in the 2002 Pacific Classic later that year, but retured to win that allowance race with General Challenge before winning the gr.3 Longacres Mile by a record 6+ lengths in a stakes record 1:33 flat.

26 May 2009 6:07 PM


    Whats the point to racing if we retire them after they throw in one or two great efforts? It's like buying your first car as a teen, and paying for the insurence and proper matinence, but you never take it out of the garage because you are afraid you make get in an accident. Well why'd you buy it? Why buy these horses. In a more human perspective it's like a mother and father never letting their child play sports, because they might get hurt. Well i'm sorry, but you'll get hurt in anything you do. You could walk down the street take an akward step and sprain your ankle. You could be on you way back from work and get in a car accident and die. Same goes on with horses. Lets say you retire both well say they get spooked in the barn one night kick the wall and fracture their leg. They could've done that on the track. Lets say their running in a feild, having fun, being horses, then they take a mistep, and shatter their leg, ends up having to be put down. That can happen in racing. Don't say it Oh well this doesn't happen as often, well it happens enough. There was a horse, the most beautiful thoroughbred i will ever see. Coppery chestnut, beautiful build, white star with a couple of sock. He was young six years old, had so much fire and potential. He went outside one day, stepped in a rabbit hole. His left hind ankle was hanging by a thread. He was put down that day. Point is no matter what you do, racing, jumping, barrel racing, or frolicing in a field, you always are at risk. So why not make the most of what you got, instead of wondering what if.

26 May 2009 6:14 PM

CR Hoerauf II:

I'm not demanding Jerry Moss and John Sheriffs run Zenyatta in 4 races against males, all on East coast dirt tracks.  I'm just asking for ONE race, ONE race out of the typical.  Personally, I think the Goodwood makes sense, given it is a grade 1 and at 9 furlongs, since Sheriffs seemed (surprisingly) concerned about Zenyatta running 10 furlongs.  If Sheriffs and Moss are like you, and do not want to run her against males, then bring her East for the Go For Wand or Personal Ensign. Again, I'm just asking for ONE race, for Moss and Sheriffs to take ONE risk.

Notice, that the females I held Zenyatta up for comparison were fillies and mares that had great success after age 3. I did not compare Zenyatta to Ruffian.  I find it very hard comparing a mare like Zenyatta, who never even ran in a stakes race at 3, to a filly like Ruffian who never raced beyond age 3 and did not face anything but 3 year old fillies(not including Match Race).

26 May 2009 6:18 PM


Yes, Above the Wind was a Michigan bred.  He came along a little before I became aware of the Michigan bred stakes series. Like many of the horse that raced at Great Lakes Downs in the summer and fall, Above the Wind spent his winters and springs at Tampa Bay Downs.  Above the Wind dominated Tampa Bay's sprint stakes like the Pelican and Super Cap' in the early years of this decade.  Another Michigan bred that fared well down in Tampa was Secret Romeo.

26 May 2009 6:23 PM

I want to second some of the warriors marapace mentioned.  

Da Hoss- He didnt exactly run alot, but to win a 2nd Breeders Cup Mile at age 6 after 1 race in 2 years was remarkable. I saw him race once in person, when he was a game(was he ever not game?) 2nd to champion Thunder Gulch in the 95' Swaps.  Da Hoss collapsed twice after that race due to heat exhaustion, but obviously made a full recovery. He was excellent on turf and dirt.

Evening Attie: I only saw him run twice in person, and he ran poorly both times (03' Breeders Cup Classic, 04' Pimlico Special). However, he was an absolute warrior, running until very recently while still winning a few stakes.

Bet on Sunshine:

I saw him, I believe when he was 9, run a game 3rd in the 2000 Breeders Cup Sprint. He also ran 3rd in the 1997 BC Sprint.

Music Merci, With Anticipation, Buck's Boy:

I never saw any of them in person, but they were certainly hickory.  Music Merci was a gr.1 stakes winner at 2, ran against Sunday Silence multiple times at 3, and then became a quality sprinter at ages 5,6, and 7.  Another tough horse from that group of Cali 3 year olds was Flying Continental, a cal-bred that won the 90' Jockey Club Gold Cup and Strub, and then ran in gr.3 level stakes in the Midwest at ages 6 and 7.

With Anticipation was a disqualification away from winning 6 gr.1 races, and Buck's Boy won the 98' BC Turf, ran 3rd the next year behind two Euro Monsters(Daylami, Royal Anthem), and won graded stakes on dirt earlier in his career.

26 May 2009 6:43 PM

GUNBOW I too grew up in California and think it is an abosulte crime that they left Best Pal off the top 100 thoroughbreds of all time!  $5,668,245 in earnings including a runner up finish in the Derby.  Cal Breds, Geldings, and Ladies get no respect period.  Winning Colors completely left off the list despite racing boys BEFORE the Kentucy Derby.  Bayakoa ranks 95 after her 16 month reign of Grade 1 terror (2,861,201 in earnings) so her race against the boys hurt her.  Lava Man (like Best Pal...2 stikes Cal Bred Gelding) After Zenyatta's race last Saturday...I thought about Personal Ensign's perfect record.  With or without Rachel Alexander...this ones retiring undefeated as a 2 time eclipse award winner.  That's money in the bank.  The public be damned.

26 May 2009 7:25 PM

Greg J., in case you didn't read my comments on the Dire blog, I want to say thank you for your great commentary and research on all out horses.

My memories include:

Kona Gold

John's Call


Wanderin Boy

Funny Cide

and my all time favorite,


26 May 2009 7:28 PM

Ah yes...LAVA MAN.  As a 2 year old he started in a claiming $12,500 at the Stockton fair where he finished 4th with a 27 Beyer.  He went on to win 7 grade 1s, and is the only horse in this country, ever, to have picked up grade 1s on Turf, Dirt, and Synthetics.  LAVA MAN. Nice Cal-Bred gelding out of Sanger California.

26 May 2009 7:41 PM
sweet terchi

Draynay, I will say one thing, you DO make me laugh. Champions don't have to prove themselves by going to contenders. Zen is already a champion, and RA is going down that very same path to be one in her own right. I believe both the mare and the filly have not really run flat out by the simple fact that they both are not blown out after a race, and their ears are never pinned back on either of them in the heat of a race. As a matter of fact Zen's big floppys are left and right and occasionally one will point forward as if sending a feeler for the crowd roar. Now if RA can shake her shapey hips like Zen (she's a freak video)does, well then.....As for girls going against boys, in Europe it is par for the course, so why not here? I would appreciate it if someone would enlighten me on that subject

26 May 2009 7:43 PM
John T.

 Sweet Terchi

The pace is so much different in European racing,that and the fact that most of the top races like the King George and Arc are run at one and a half miles and run on turf at a much slower pace our the main reasons why girls go against the boys more often their.

26 May 2009 9:40 PM


With all due respect, I just did say that Zenyatta could beat anyone anywhere.  :-)

26 May 2009 9:43 PM

One of my favorites is an 11 year old gelding who was given the irreverent name, THE GARBAGE MAN.  His pedigreequery page says that he has 72 starts, but I am sure that this page needs to be updated. Go, G-Man GO!  Keep earning those oats Dear Boy! Also...what ever became of BUTTERFLY BELLE? Where is she now?...You know...she's the horse that took Russell Baze to his record. Raced down & down in claimers...and now...no word of her. Ever hoping for happy endings.

26 May 2009 10:19 PM
Matthew W

JC Robinson the "who" I mean is Rachel---If they romp in Belmont (I think they will) they can duck coming West and win the Eclipse without facing off with zen---it CAN happen, many people thing Z was robbed last year--she did everything you can ask for a filly and Curlin DID NOT do everything asked and he beat her out, so why couldn't Team Rachel just "win out" in the East--after all, it was the East Coast and the Dubai races that seemed to dominate the Eclipse voting last year---Why think that would change this year??

26 May 2009 10:45 PM
Matthew W

sweet terchi I'll try to explain--grass is way less taxing on a horse than dirt--unless it's very short or very long fillies are at a huge disadvantage v males on dirt--while pure speed and pure stamina are inherant in both sexes, it is the middle distances, from 5 fur thru 1 1/4 actually, where a male truly dominates---males have the better strength---of corse, turf is another question--I think fillies are much more "equal" on turf--I'd LOVE to see Zenyatta in the Arlington Million....I was critical of Rachel Alexandra's going against males and still am.....at least the Belmont will be more fair--being that it's a stamina race and, as I said, fillies are equal to colts in that respect...Winning Colors beat males twice--they kept running her v males and she probably should've been undefeated herself going into the Breeders Cup v Personal Ensign....I'm just gonna enjoy Zenyatta, I've never seen a horse that kicks like that every time, HATS OFF TO JOHN FOR KEEPING HER LIKE THIS----Four more? That's four more chances to beat her....good luck!

26 May 2009 10:59 PM
Matthew W

I made a bundle of dough on Ancient Title at del Mar in 1977...I think he was 7-1 and he won for total fun! That horse, I came to like him....he was a sprinter, a big, muscular sprinter--who just wanted it so bad....I saw him, after a tough Carleton Burke, he had gone out with a fast horse from washington, then Double Discount (another great big Cal Bred) ran by him, as well as Vigors...as he walked by me towards the barns, he was drenching with sweat, just blowing for dear life, eyeballs bugged, veins bulging...what a tryer, and NICE to get him in the Hall Of Fame...by the way, if Best Pal is not in the Hall....that's a SHAME! He wasn't that consistent, but when he put it all together, he ran some of the biggest races of the past twenty years!

26 May 2009 11:07 PM

effy you have no idea what you are talking about.  As a fan of the sport I want to see the best race with the best. People want to compare Zenyatta to RA ?  The connections are just trying to keep a perfect record and are not thinking about racing or its fans.  The horse staying in California is best for the horse? Huh ? Why ? The horse can't travel?

This is just nonsense.  Rachel Alexandra has already accomplished more then Zenyatta EVER will.  Zenyatta will never beat a G1 winning colt, she will never beat a Derby winner, and she will never win a Triple Crown race. Like I said before the connections for Zenyatta have set her up to be nothing more then a paper champion. SWEET TERCHI... Champions don't have to prove themselves ??? Yes they do... that's what makes them champions. I was no big Curlin fan but you had to give him credit for showing up to the big dances and running and winning at Saratoga.  Zenyatta hiding in California makes her a state champ but that is about it. ROCK.... do me a favor and bet every horse that comes out of New Mexico for the next 20 years in the Derby and let me know how it works out for.....  Mike Relva she has done nothing wrong ? Not running on the East Coast and facing the best at the finest tracks in the country like Churchill and Saratoga does nothing for the sport and nothing good for her reputation.  You won't win HOY being a state champ.

27 May 2009 12:29 AM

You hear it all the time, but is it par for the course for the fillies to race the colts in Europe?  Didn't Zarkava ONLY meet the boys in the Arc?  Hadn't all her previous races been against other fillies?  There is a strong filly/colt division for 3 and under in Europe, isn't there?  And what is the status of geldings?  They are not allowed to run in the classics?

27 May 2009 1:36 AM


    Zen has to prove she can go anywhere first, thats my point, now that i have to spell it out for you. This mare has won only in two state, big whoop. Rachel has won in four states and last year Curlin won on two different continenents and raced a four different tracks in America. Zenyatta has come nowhere close to that. So no disrespect intended let her prove she can win anywhere before you make statments that hold no water.

27 May 2009 6:11 AM


    I know Zen doesn't make the choices, that's why i normally say her connections sorry if i didn't in that post to you. I read the artical too, i can't remembering JJ saying that he wouldn't go to CA. Also RA has stepped out of her comfort zone, thats what the Preakness was. Zenyatta's connections at all. If she's better on dirt why not run her there? If she's beaten all in the west, why not come east and see if you can beat us. If you've beaten all the top older fillies why not try the top older horse? She doesn't though. She's not being stessed, and i doubt the boys or ten furlongs will stress her, unless she's not as great as we think her to be. Oh, i'm just saying, no you don't want to get into last years HOY. I get pretty insulting and rude, and don't want to do that.

27 May 2009 6:32 AM

Fourstardave! Thanks for remembering him for us! 100 races 21-18-16 = $1,636,520

Thanks for reminding us about Perfect Drift and Kona Gold!

PS Isn't this blog for remembering our great long time runners and not arguing about the same stuff the same people argue about every blog?

27 May 2009 7:12 AM


    I'm sorry, i went back and rechecked the artical this morning on RA and the BC, i see you were right. It said it was last updated at a little after 8pm, which was after i'd read it. I am sorry.

27 May 2009 7:27 AM
Kathy from Va

Hats off to Brass Hat.....so many old boys , my very favorite "Evening Attire", so glad they finally retired him....another Dr Icabod(remember him anyone?).....will miss you "Broad Brush"..."Waquoit".."Crowd Pleaser"

Get Well Rene Douglas!!

"To all the Brave Horses & all the Brave Jockeys"

27 May 2009 7:29 AM
Greg J.


    Perfectly Stated on a particular person, lol....


    Your quite welcome!, I to loved seeing "Chelokee" outside enjoying the retired life, One of my favorites, as well as Mr. Matz's, Great to see he is completely healthy!

Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra,

     I don't know why certain people feel like it is alright to put Horses down as far as "Paper Champion", The lack of respect is mind boggling. I know you are entitled to your own opinion, But Paper champion?, Why don't you go to Youtube and watch all 10 of Zenyatta's Wins, Poetry in Motion, Every Win is from last to First in the Stretch, She is just amazing with her long strides, She passes everyone like they are standing still, And I don't think Mike Smith as ever asked her to run, She just knows what her job is, and does it! She is a Perfect 10 for 10, She does everything she is asked of, I hope she wins her remaining three races(The $300,000 Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 9, The Lady's Secret Stakes at Santa Anita in early October, and the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic in November), Then she can retire a perfect 13 for 13.  Paper Champion???, Yeah, Maybe in someone's clueless brain.  

    As far as sending her to Saratoga?, I think her trainer Mr. Shirreffs stated it best, "With the Breeders' Cup out here, what's the need?, When it gets closer to [Breeders' Cup] time, you don't want to ship around too much. Saratoga is a long way."  

    As far as Sending Zenyatta against males in a race such as the $700,000 Hollywood Gold Cup in July?, Once Again, Mr. Sheriffs said it better then any "Blogger", "The Gold Cup is a mile and a quarter," he said. "She's never run that far. It would be an ambitious spot and against the boys? Let's make it even harder???, Please..."

     So, Everyone should respect both Zenyatta and Rachel for who they are, Great Champions in their own right....

27 May 2009 9:53 AM

    Dray, although it's true that Zenyatta has been running mostly in Cali, the one time she did venture out of the state, she dominated the defending Eclipse winning mare Ginger Punch in the Apple Blossom.  She ran on Ginger Punch's surface and beat her soundly.

    In addition, how can you say her connections are not thinking of the horse and the fans and only trying to keep her perfect record in tact?  For the most part it's actually just the opposite.  Though they are obviously trying to keep her perfect record in tact, they are thinking of both the horse and the fans.  Connections are supposed to do what is best for the horse right?  So how is keeping the horse from shipping, still winning GI races and keeping her on surfaces she obviously likes not thinking of the horse?  That's crazy.  As for the fans, I'll bet the racing fans in Cali have no complaints.

    Now I love Rachel Alexandra.  I've been a big fan of that horse since her run in the Debutante last year and I've stated that on this TC blog back in February, but I don't care if she won a TC race and beat a Derby champion, blah, blah, blah (BTW isn't this the same 3 year old class that you were just recently saying was the worst since 2005 and one of the worst in many years), she has never faced anything like Zenyatta.  She's an exceptional filly, no doubt, but unless she goes into Zenyatta's backyard, beats her in the Distaff and takes away the title of champion filly and mare like Zenyatta did to Ginger Punch (The Apple Blossom and then the Distaff), she can't be considered better than Zenyatta.  Before the Oaks/Derby, RA's connections were stating how they had absolutely no intentions of running her against males.  Nobody had a problem with it including you who was stating how great she was, but when the shoe is on the other foot and Zenyatta's connections are leaning towards not running her against males, you're calling her a paper champion.  You change your mind more than the weather changes her in the Ohio River Valley.  I officially declare you the paper champion of the Triple Crown blog.  Now can we please get back to the topic on hand of listing some of our favorite OLDER stars?  How ironic is it that this topic has begun to deflect the attention from the older greats of racing just like it always happens to these great horses?

27 May 2009 9:56 AM

My fave old-timers:

Evening Attire

Funny Cide

Einstein (still kickin')

Commentator (still kickin')

27 May 2009 10:10 AM

My list consists of Lava Man, Evenung Attire, Perfect Drift and The Tin Man, the latter of which I took a picture of when he last raced at Arlinton in 2007 and came in second that year in the Million having won it in 2006.

I have to agree with Draynay on the Zenyatta controversy. She needs to get out of California and race in other states or she is no better than Peppers Pride who only raced in New Mexico. Yes, Zenyatta has raced a much more talented group of fillies and mares than Pride but people want to see her run out of state to prove herself.

27 May 2009 11:24 AM
sweet terchi

John T and Matthew W, thanks for the info, Now I understand.

Draynay, Draynay, Draynay... well at least you keep the fires burning. If you were actually talking I bet I would see spittle coming out, however read correctly, I posted champions don't have to prove themselves by "GOING TO CONTENDERS", and Zen is already a champion, ( I know that's a bitter pill to swallow).  If any connection feels that they are better than Zen then what's stopping them from coming out to Cali? Not all arrows point east. No matter what, Zen's  wins are etched in stone. As for Pepper's Pride, like it or not she also is a champ. Same goes for her, if anyone thought they had a better horse then they could've trotted themselves right out there. The ones that did got beaten, and the connections retired her SOUND, which is a feat in itself after 19 straight wins.

For MTB, I also hope that he won't be run into the ground and that he will be in racing form when he's  past six.

27 May 2009 11:27 AM

LDP, I am not saying to not race RA and Zenyatta because they may get hurt.  I am just asking what's left to prove.  they have done all that they have been asked to do. and How come nobody has mentioned Cigar?

27 May 2009 2:16 PM

Zenyatta = Pepper's Pride and Black Ruby !

27 May 2009 2:40 PM


   I get what you mean, but whats the point in having horse racing, or any sport at all, if after you have one good race or seasons you bow out. Part of being a champion is if you can defend your status and still stay on top.

27 May 2009 3:21 PM

Draynay, for ONCE only, I agree with you on comments regarding Zenyatta. If she is SOOO good, then why don't they try to race her against the poor crop of older males? It doesn't make sense to keep running her against the girls, when gee isn't it obvious, that she will win against them?

Let's all see what ELSE she can do! Cushy races where they know she is going to win, isn't the answer and we the racing fans want to see more!

Jason, how's about an update on Quality Road and how's he doing?


27 May 2009 3:35 PM


Zenyatta does not know where she is.  Hell she doesn't even know she is in a country called the United States LOL.  Horses don't have maps and directions like people do.  I believe that she is good enough to beat RA.  Time may tell and it may not.  I was not trying to start anything with you.  None of us know the future.  None of us really know anything but what is going on "today". :)

27 May 2009 3:39 PM

Back to the sturdy old timers.  For 9 years, from 1987-1996 Red Scamper was in the trenches in New York.  After a few tries in stakes company at 2, he ran in mostly claiming company.  He ran in a total of 112 races. He posted 24 wins, earning over $445,000.  He finally retired in 1996 at the age of 11.  Oh - Red Scamper was not a gelding.  He was retired to stud in Massachusetts and actually had a minor winner just this year.  Another oddity, Red Scamper was not red, he was gray and, at retirement, was almost pure white. 112 races and he retired sound.  He was a gritty, hard knocking old boy who never ceased to surprise.

27 May 2009 4:53 PM
Lady Ruffian

Draynay never ceases to amaze me with unbounded ignorance. LOLOLOOLOLOLOLLLL

I was at Hollywood last week for Zenyatta's romp. (if anyone wants pictures let me know) She takes Rachel anyday. Her prancing routine was cute & she genuinly looked like she LOVED the attention that she was getting. Though after I saw what her schedule consisted of, I was also underwhelmed. The mare is the best of the best. Racing her out of the state (against the boys or not) would solidify a place in the Hall of Fame for her. I don't understand the conservatism, unless there was a reason behind her 7 month layoff... (minor injury?... I hope not)  

Zenyatta has beaten the best of the best... but on her home turf. And her connections have said previously that they believe she'd run better on natural dirt. Which is incredibly contradictory to them keeping her in the state where tracks only have synthetic surfaces.

I'd love to see her in a more prestigeous race if they do keep her in Cali all year. The Hollywood Gold Cup or Pacific Classic. The Vanity is just another gaurenteed romp... I'd love to see the big girl tested as much as anyone else.

27 May 2009 5:00 PM

Greg J.

I don't think that half the people on this blog no what the word respect means LOL!  Yes they are both good horses, hell all horses are good horses.  Even the ponies at the fairs that take little kids around in cirlces.  Horses are ALL cool.  :)

27 May 2009 5:06 PM
Mike Relva


Hey there! I'm a big Zenyatta fan and you are CORRECT,Zenyatta has and can beat anyone on the planet!

27 May 2009 5:20 PM
Mike Relva


You've got your opinion,that's cool! I know you're a betting man and like I told you her connections could care less,trust me they don't spend probably a second out of a week caring if a fan,blogger,etc agrees with their methods. I don't blame them! But,last yr. you must have been in a coma when Zenyatta blew past Ginger Punch like she was standing still. That was out of her "comfort zone" ,as you know it wasn't in Calif. She hasn't a damn thing to prove to you,me or anyone else! If she isn't HOY so what! Like yourself,I'm a big fan of RA,but remember RA ISN'T UNDEFEATED.

27 May 2009 5:26 PM

Jo...I was thinking the same thing about Cigar. The horses I mentioned before raced til 9 or 10 but I guess 6 counts as being an old timer these days. And of course I loved Cigar! I also would give much respect to Lava Man.

Gunbow...I can't believe I forgot Sandpit. He was one of my very favorites to watch. I cried the day I heard he died.

LDP...No sweat, I ain't mad at ya. If you take everything I said into account you'll see that I want Z to race boys and to travel. I also want RA to run in the BC as long as she's still racing by then. But what I want doesn't really matter so I will be happy with what I get...ok maybe not happy, but I'll take it. I look forward to watching both of them for the rest of their careers and will reserve judgement on who is better until they are retired (though my money is on Zenyatta). P.S. I find this back and forth fun and TRY to choose my words carefully to convey my meaning without disrespecting anybody, of course I'm not always successful. I hope that you enjoy this also and that you have a great day.

27 May 2009 5:41 PM

Freetex, thanks for mentioning Cigar.  I meant to list him too - he is another of my favorites.  He's a joy to go visit at the horse park too.  I'll also take this chance to mention Holy Bull.  I just love this horse and always watch for his offspring.

27 May 2009 5:58 PM

Comparing Zenyatta to Peppers Pride and Black Ruby is hilarious. I use the word hilarious to reflect that I think the comparison is ridiculous, but also very funny.

For those unaware, Black Ruby was a female mule that ran mostly in the Central California fair circuit for about 7 years during, I believe, the late 90s and early 2000s. Her popularity grew to such levels that Del Mar carded a match race involving Black Ruby prior to the first thoroughbred race. Although the match race went off hours before the first thoroughbred race, over 10,000 people were there to see Black Ruby win her match race.

Dray, you have to remember that Black Ruby, unlike Zenyatta and Peppers Pride, faced the males repeatedly. She was the top mule, male or female.

sweet terchi:

I respect what Peppers Pride accomplished and think her winning streak was fantastic. However, every race she ran in was restricted to New Mexico breds. So, not just any horse could travel to New Mexico to challenge her, even had their connections wanted to.  And the fact is the connections of other top female racehorses would have had little incentive to race against Peppers Pride in New Mexico, even if allowed to run, because the races Peppers Pride competed in were ungraded stakes with purses between $50-200,000. So, there would have been little prestige, and only modest purses. All this is moot anyways, because like I mentioned earlier non-New Mexico breds were not eligible for those races. This is completely different from races like the Milady and Vanity which are grade 2 and grade 1 races and are open to horses bred in any state, and in any country. The only restrictions on these two races is that they are limited to female horses.

27 May 2009 6:01 PM

Mike Relva have you been drinking ?

HOY honors goes to the best horse this year and this year RA is undefeated.  Last year has nothing to do with this year.  Would you like to compare records THIS YEAR with the paper champion and RA ? Good luck with that !  let me know when Zenyatta beats a colt or a Derby winner or wins a Triple Crown or wins in a State this year other then California.

27 May 2009 6:03 PM

Householder + Matthew W:

Best Pal was the first horse I followed from the very beginning of his career to the end. After he died of a heart attack at age 10, I was one of thousands of fans who wrote a letter to commemerate his life and career.  Surprisingly, I received a card about a month later with a hand-written message from Betty Mabee thanking me for my letter. Obviously, I cherish it greatly.

Because Best Pal did lose a bunch of races at ages 5, 6, and 7, some people forget just how good he was at 2,3 and 4. Best Pal swept Cali's 2 year old series, taking the Del Mar Futurity, Norfolk, and Hollywood Futurity. At 3, he ran 2nd in the Kentucky Derby, and later in the year won the inaugural Pacific Classic over Twilight Agenda, Unbridled, Farma Way, Festin and others with a 118 Beyer. However, he was at his best in the first 5 months of his 4 year old season, winning the San Fernando w/ a 121 Beyer, the Strub w/ a 119 Beyer, the Santa Anita Handicap w/ a 123 Beyer, and the Oaklawn Park Handicap w/ a 121 Beyer. Unfortunately, he was injured following a dull 4th in the Pimlico Special, but I still think he deserved the Eclipse award for older horses over Pleasant Tap. Best Pal's top performance returning from the injury was his win, at age 5, in the Hollywood Gold Cup w/ a 117 Beyer. Overall, Best Pal not only won the three top Cali races for 2 year olds, he also won the top 3 races for older horses(Big Cap, Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic) for a total of 7 grade 1s(if one includes the then ungraded Pacific Classic).

Thinking about the primarilly West Coast horses that were left off Bloodhorse's Top 100 is really frustrating.  No Cougar, no Winning Colors, no Ancient Title, no Best Pal, Exceller only 96, and Bayakoa only 95!  Exceller only won 11 grade 1 races, on turf and dirt, in Europe and North America. As for Bayakoa, she just won 12 grade 1 races, completely dominating fillies like Open Mind(7-time grade 1 winner), Goodbye Halo(7-time grade 1 winner), and Gorgeous(4-time grade 1 winner).

I think it is really interesting that in the book, Champions, the past performances of a handful of horses that did not win a championship(Eclipse or its equivalent) are included. The non-champions included are Eight Thirty, from a crop with Challedon and Johnstown, Lure, who lost the turf Eclipse to Kotashaan and Paradise Creek, as well as Ancient Title, Exceller, and Best Pal.  These last 3 horses, each based in California for its North American campaign, were disrespected by the Bloodhorse Top 100 voters(Best Pal + Ancient Title excluded, Exceller only 96) and/or Eclipse voters(Ancient Title never won an Eclipse because he was from the same crop as Secretariat and Forego, but Best Pal and Exceller should have won an Eclipse). Add them with Cougar, left off the Top 100 and only won 1 Eclipse Award, and a bias seems very real.

27 May 2009 6:34 PM
Virgil Fox


I got the impression you were referring to current runners, but I could have misunderstood.

Either way, you know where I’m going with this one.

Pennsylvania’s own - Fabulous Strike.

Although, I’m not sure about these recent 7Fs, while having to carry around an extra bowling ball.

(And Prado is still on my S list for that ride in the Gen George)

Real Dirt, 6Fs – he is a monster.

Props to Commentator and Indian Blessing in the Guts and Speed Department.

- Paul

27 May 2009 7:29 PM


    Horses do in a scence know where they are, they can sence changes in the enviornment, just like we can, but better. My thoroughbred picks up on anything, and i mean that literally, he notices it all, if one stupid partical is out of place he knows. He knows if he's at a home show or away, because he's more comfortable at a home show. This is my point with Zen, she may preffer on environment and it's sounds and surrounding to another, so we can't just assume she'll like every track, so far she's run at Hollywood Park, SA, and Oaklawn. She performs great in CA, we can see that, especially on Cushion track which plays to dirt more. I think Oaklawn normally has a dryer type of climate like CA, so what would she do if brought to a place that was wet humid and buggy? We don't know, because she's never dealt with that before. By the way i know you weren't trying to start anything this morning, i was just in a bad mood, stress and studying for finals will do that to you.

27 May 2009 7:38 PM
Virgil Fox

You know you ain’t never, ever gonna forget that day at Belmont.

Fabulous Strike,

English Channel,


The best.

- P

27 May 2009 7:43 PM
Matthew W

Draynay SO WHAT if they don't win HOY---The Cup's at Santa Anita my friend, EVERYONE'S invited---Nice "out" you added in case Zen goes by Rachel like she's standing still (that's if Jess can show up!)..."She'll never beat a Derby Winner"....Nice! Hey guy, even AFTER she smokes them again in BCup...take it (the HOY)....Hats off to a trainer and a horse that blows by them all time after time! Criticize them if you must, they've done "something right" with this horse...it makes NO SENSE to travel when it's at your digs---I'd love to see her in the Eddie Read at 1 1/8 turf v males....face it, though, you would have an excuse no matter what the scenario, that's why you say the innane comment "she will never beat a Derby winner (like Rachel)"...that comment is for when (and if) they ever meet, and "you" come up on the losing end...I get it!

27 May 2009 10:08 PM
Matthew W

Dray--Black Ruby and Zenyatta??? AND Peppers Pride?? Yes, for once you're right---about five more in a row and we'll add Rachel!! NO animal feels good ALL the time---horses that win over and over don't always FEEL 100%--they just always GIVE 100%--That IS greatness--at ANY level....you see? You simply cannot dis zenyatta---Cuz "Zenyatta's Zenyatta"!!

27 May 2009 10:14 PM

Black Ruby was cool!  She could scoot a good 4 furlong.  Let's hear it for Cal-Bred mules, great geldings of the past, and the best California based horse in training Zenyatta. After nearly a 7 month lay off she toyed with the competition and had her ears pricked as the jockey sat motionless.  And the whole "faking" to the inside on the backstretch to get Gomez to drop in only to pull her up and to the outside so she did not go "too wide" on the turn was awsome.  Smith 1...Gomez 0. Regardless of how one feels about Zenyatta she is simply fun to watch and is a great example of the ugly ducking with bad skin that no one wanted to buy taking it to the racing world.    

28 May 2009 1:35 AM


   Thanks, I normally do enjoy all the back and forth, as long as it doesn't get too out of hand. I normally try to keep in mind that i need to choose my words carefully too, though it doesn't work all the time. Other times i get to mad to think and then i just type. I especially enjoyed all the live blogs, it's fun and a lot faster, kinda like a chat room for horse racing fans.

28 May 2009 5:58 AM


Are you finally to the point that your mind can grasp the fact Mine That Bird is not a "fluke"? Or is it just that you can now use his name to argue with someone else? For weeks you bashed him and his Derby win and now you use him to measure Zenyatta and RA. Since he's the only Ky Derby winner out there it is a very convienient arguement to say RA has beaten a Derby winner and Zenyatta has not. Since MTB is racing in 3 yr old company only Zenyatta has no chance of facing him even if they wanted to for now. What a pathetic way to argue. The only chance they have to meet is the Br. Cup Classic and we all know that's a long shot. I think we all hope thet Zenyatta and RA face off sometime this year. I'd rather sit back and enjoy 2 extremely talented horses going against each other than be in your position of bashing one all year and praying the other wins in a face-off so I could say I told you so. In your case it's more like a little kid bragging his dad can beat up another.

28 May 2009 7:59 AM
Greg J.


   I love how now you are giving "Mine that Bird" respect, When all you have said about him that he is a "Fluke", Got lucky, Will never win again, Yada, Yada, Yada.....In your last comment to Mike Relva regarding Zenyatta/Rachel A., You said, "let me know when Zenyatta beats a colt or a Derby winner", Love how you are giving RA kudos for beating a "Fluke", It just never ends, lol...

28 May 2009 9:16 AM
sweet terchi

GunBow thanks for the info on regulations.

There was a horse who raced till he was 15yrs or so, then he went to a retirement farm in Kentucky, but I can't remember his name. Now that is one heck of a feat. LDP, you are so right in horses sensing their environment. They know. I used to be at a TB farm in Cali, (it no longer exists due to development), and no matter how well you schooled the youngsters in gate training, on a actual bona fide track it was a whole different story. I remember one colt who refused to leave the gate because of the crowd noise.

28 May 2009 12:43 PM
Mike Relva


You're correct! Zenyatta has blown by her rivals over and over.

28 May 2009 6:21 PM
Mike Relva


Look,I like both horses very much. I'm only saying that like it or not Zenyatta's connections are going to do what they want regardless of what everyone thinks.

28 May 2009 6:23 PM
Mike Relva


Cigar is my all time fav. I live over fours hrs. from Kentucky,but I visit him a few times each year. He still looks great far younger than his actual age of nineteen.

28 May 2009 6:28 PM
Greg J.

Sweet Terchi,

    I believe the horse you are thinking of is, "Hermosilla"(Afleet/Alas De Oro), He ran until he was fifteen!, The horse launched his career in 1994, when he won a maiden race at Hollywood Park under Chris McCarron.  Amazing, His record was, 68 Starts, 14 Wins, 8 Seconds, 6 Thirds, Earnings $116,507!!!  I believe that his last race was at Wyoming Downs, at the age of 15 in 2007(Finished Second!).  At the age of fourteen, He raced twice in six days!, and won both...

     I read this about him, Which, I thought was quite funny.  His owner is only 29 years old, Shaun Story, This is his quote how he trains him, lol,  "He's got about a half-acre pasture, and I just turn him out in it and he wanders and eats grass all the time, Most people don't train them like that, but he likes it and so that's what I do."   He will then retire to Story's farm, where he has befriended the trainer's 1-year-old son, Parker.  "He'll probably be a good mountain horse," said Story. "I'll probably go hunting on him and stuff."

    Last update, last year from his owner, "Just to let all you Hermosilla followers out there know. He has retired and is living a wonderful retirement life at our home. He is happy and healthy life. Him and our 2 year old are best friends. Our 2 year old rides him everyday. Thanks for caring.

     What a great story! Sweet Terchi, thanks for mentioning it and giving me a chance to read about it, Cool Story...

29 May 2009 9:50 AM
sweet terchi

Greg J.,  Hermosilla, of course! I am so glad that all his well with him, and a big thanks to you for the follow up.

29 May 2009 11:52 AM


    Never seen Cigar live, wish i could. Maybe I will plan a visit to him along with Curlin if i ever get to travel.

01 Jun 2009 8:18 AM
Ann in Lexington

I've been a fan of Brass Hat since he broke his maiden in the Rushaway on the Jim Beam (or whatever) undercard. I thought he was one of the best 3yos of his crop, and felt justified in that after he started his run at 4/5 that culminated in his Donn H win. (He came from behind on a wet track on which all the other races were won by horses near the front.) At that point, I thought he was going to be one of the ones, the next John Henry or Forego or Native Diver. Alas, the trip to Dubai, then the injury that summer. While I'm pleased that he has won another stakes race, I can't help but remember what he might have been and sigh.

02 Jun 2009 6:12 AM

All the old guys are so fun to watch. One of my personal favorites was Perfect Drift. I hope Mine That Bird is with us for years to come. We should have a race for 7year olds and up.

02 Jun 2009 10:45 PM

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