Is Zenyatta Really Going to the Vanity? Say It Ain't So

Let me preface the following opinion by saying this: I am ready for the criticism. I have braced myself for the backlash. I have found a safe place to duck for cover. OK, now I am ready. Here goes...

Are the connections of Zenyatta really serious about racing her in the Vanity Handicap on June 13? Are they kidding?

On April 26, DRF reported that John Shirreffs has decided to race the undefeated mare in the Vanity--for the third consecutive year. Explaining his decision, Shirreffs said "it's the logical choice," and "for us to ship, it's so much different. We have to ship across the Rockies. It's so much different out here than going up and down the East Coast."

When the story first came out it was Derby week, so I let it go. With the insanity of the classic now over, I feel compelled to address the issue. And I must say, I find it hard to believe they are actually going to enter that race, for several reasons.

First of all, do we really need to see Zenyatta beat a few California-based mares on synthetics again? We know she can beat them and can probably do it running on three legs. She has done it time and time again, wowing all of us along the way with her brilliance. There is nothing left to prove in that arena, especially at her home track where she is invincible. With only a few races left in her career, isn't it time for her to leave her comfort zone?

As far as I'm concerned, once Zenyatta won the Breeders' Cup Classic she raised the bar so high that she should have raced exclusively against males in 2010. That being said, I was OK with her first two races of the year because the Santa Margarita was a prep for the expected showdown versus Rachel Alexandra in the Apple Blossom. We all wanted to see that race. Jerry and Ann Moss, and Shirreffs, were doing the sporting thing in that situation. They kept their word and showed up in Hot Springs. It was not their fault that Rachel didn't show. I was OK with all of that.

But now it's time to step up. The Mosses said they wanted her last season to be about the fans. They wanted racing fans everywhere--not just in California--to be able to see this exceptional horse. The June 12 Stephen Foster is the "logical" spot, not the Vanity. The Foster is the same weekend as the Vanity, only it is at historic Churchill Downs, on real dirt, and against males. With this year's Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill, it also makes sense to give her a run over the same track she will race over in November. The "shipping across the Rockies" excuse is pretty laughable.

Is Zenyatta the best female racehorse of our lifetime? Maybe, but we will never know if she continues to face the same competition. As great as she is, she has still never faced males on dirt. There is no getting around that.

The Foster offers the connections a perfect starting point for what should be an East Coast summer campaign that would also include races against males at Belmont and Saratoga--two other historic racetracks she has never been to. At this point, I'm not sure we will see her in New York. It seems like they are content to continue beating the same level of competition, and if that is the case, it will be a shame for racing fans everywhere.

This is not about Zenyatta vs. Rachel anymore (though I wouldn't be surprised if Rachel showed up in the Foster). If the showdown happens, it happens. If it doesn't, then so be it. I'm tired of talking about that, and quite frankly, with every subsequent loss by Rachel the gap widens between the two superstars. This is about challenging Zenyatta and letting fans outside of California see her--not just in November, but all summer. She is 16-0 and has proven without a shadow of a doubt that she can beat females, especially on synthetics. With only about four races left in her career, let's see her on real dirt against males--more than just once.

The Mosses were obviously upset at the Eclipse Awards in January when Zenyatta was denied Horse of the Year. But she clearly did not win the award because her campaign included only one race against males, and now it seems, she is headed down the same path in 2010.

Fire away Zenyatta fans, but please keep it real...

1,291 Comments

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draynay

Zenyatta is a poly horse.  She has raced on dirt twice but that was against the girls.  Those races have not shown her to be a great dirt horse.  She can't break a 100 Beyer on dirt and her times have been slow.

Zenyatta is all smoke and mirrors. Is she the best on poly ? Yes, but to be honest who cares? She has never raced in the mud and she never will.  She is a fair weather horse and they are taking no chances with her at all.  She will not face males until the BC.  When she finally does she will get beat and they know it.  No one really believes she can beat Rachel or Quality Road at their best.  The CLOCK doesn't lie and she is simply not on par with those two. Mr. Moss hopes to pad her record and will not race at Belmont, Churchill or Saratoga.  Mr. Moss will race in the same lame races take his 3rd place at the Breeders Cup and then pray they give Zenyatta HOY.  It won't work.

06 May 2010 11:02 AM
LAZMANNICK

I don't like it either, but why not.  It seems to me that she just entered a so-called big time race with $5 mill on the line.  It was open to all the top contenders.  Where were they, especially you-know-who?  Excuses are a dime a dozen.  The fact of the matter is that Zen showed up and not a lot of her competitors did.  Now it seems like she's been villified for it.  Talk is cheap, but the fact of the matter is, the tough show up, the weak find excuses.

06 May 2010 11:09 AM
Real Quiet

I totally agree. I was disappointed in 2009 when the Mosses brought Zenyatta back to win the same races she had won in 2008. For them to do the same in 2010 is ridiculous.

Alan Shuback in the DRF had an interesting read when Vodka (the fabulous Japanese mare) retired. Basically, he said you couldn't compare Vodka (who raced exclusively against colts in her final 10+ starts) to Zenyatta - that Zenyatta was not even in the same league she was that much better. And I agree.

How are fans to know how good Zenyatta really is when the Mosses refuse to let her be tested?

06 May 2010 11:11 AM
Ted from LA

I'm confused.  Which horse is better?  Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra?  Which has the best chance or winning the Preakness or the Belmont Stakes?

06 May 2010 11:11 AM
TJLuvsTizs

As a horse racing fan, I would like to see her challenge the boys on dirt this year.  I doubt that they will run her in the Vanity as her weight assignment would be astronomical.  

The Vanity would be the "logical" spot as Hollywood is her favorite track.  That being said, her two biggest victories have come in both Apple Blossom victories.  I think she may like the dirt that much more.

They didn't want to bring Z to the NY tracks due to the isolation barns for race day, and that is understandable, but I would still like to see them try.  

Their likeliest race schedule would be to run her at Churchill in June, rest through July, run in California in August, possible run in NY late September/ early October, and then breeders cup.

Hope it happens that way, so she can finally shut her critics up so they can appreciate the brilliance of a horse who has shown up and won EVERY TIME she stepped onto a track!

06 May 2010 11:12 AM
Bob Z

Absolutely correct....

If I was Team Zenyatta I would wait to announce where she is running until a week before the race and then say that she is running in the Stephen Foster...

... and then leave it up to Team Rachel to decide if they are running in it...

JJ said in the video

www.youtube.com/watch

that Rachel is not ready to meet Zenyatta...

By Zenyatta running in the Foster at Churchill she will have run in 2 races outside of California, Arkansas and Kentucky... which negates the argument that she just runs in California....  

Between the Foster (June 12th) and a fall run in New York, and I'm sure wanting to run in front of her own fans... once or twice there doesn't leave a whole lot space to run against Rachel unless they meet in the fall in New York...

By Zenyatta running in the Foster I think it simplifies their strategy for the rest of the year... 2 races in Califoirnia, 1 race in New York in the fall and then the Breeders Cup...

You know their thinking HOY.  By running in the Foster with Rachel able but probably not showing because she isn't ready... that would make 2 races where they could have met but didn't because Rachel was able but just not ready...

If that happens Rachel would have to hit some serious home runs to get back to parity with Zenyatta...

06 May 2010 11:15 AM
tweetypie

I agree with you ! They want to be HOY they have got to race out of Calif, an against different Horse's ! I hope we see Zen at other place's !!

06 May 2010 11:15 AM
RachelLover

Finally, someone brave enough to say what so many are thinking.  While I am a huge Rachel fan, it sure would be nice to have the big Z come to the East Coast so we can appreciate her here.  See, believe it or not, Rachel's fans do love and appreciate Zenyatta.

06 May 2010 11:16 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jason

  I'm a gigantic Zenyatta fan but I tend to agree with you on this matter, but I don't know what their entire plans are. We'll have to speculate there. When I heard about The Vanity race I was very confused. If they want to show Zenyatta to the country, and race in The Classic then The Stephen Foster at CD is the correct race. Excellent article, and I don't get it either, however I do support the connections because they've always done what's good for the horse. They must feel it's in Zenyatta's best interest to not travel at that time but to keep racing her so she doesn't lose her edge.

06 May 2010 11:21 AM
cgc

maybe they are planning on the Foster but want to keep it under their hats til the last minute so as not to scare away Rachel?  I'd love to see her at Saratoga this year!!

06 May 2010 11:21 AM
Footlick

Hey Jason- Do you think St Trinians and Tuscan Evening are up to challenging Zenyatta?  And Careless Jewel just worked 58.8 at Woodbine and has been training at Keenland, (I guess whatever made them pull out of the La Troienne wasn't serious), so I don't think Cushion Track would be a problem for her.  This may be the only time they will be able to run against Zenyatta and get weight, as well as the only time Rachel would get weight from her unless it's in the Foster.  I do see both sides, but it is not Zenyatta's fault nobody will run against her unless there is big money.  The field would have been there for 5 mil, but nobody wanted to run against her for 500k.  There is no law that says horses can't ship to California to run against her.  The problem is running against Zenyatta.  The Vanity is a handicap, so let's see who is entered and what the weight spread is.  Do you think they will cross-enter in the Foster also?  What is the prospective field for the Foster?  Again, I do understand.  I also think she needs to be challenged.  But I also see their reasoning not to ship every race.  If they run in the Vanity, do you think they will run in the Gold Cup?  As far as running out East, I think Belmont is the best bet.  I hope Rachel does keep rounding into form and runs in the Foster, but we won't know probably until right before the race if that will happen.

06 May 2010 11:21 AM
Blue Blue Sea

Hear, hear! I totally agree. She really needs to move out of her comfort zone.

06 May 2010 11:26 AM
Lexington

I agree that that comment was so lame (no pun intended). They said they were going to do different things this year and her goes back for the 3rd time against the same group of horses. One reason may be that they want to assure that Zenyatta breaks the win record by going 17-0. But after that I hope they give her more to do. I thought they learned last year that a perfect record is not enough for HOY.

06 May 2010 11:26 AM
EileenG

I understand that 99% of the California race horses are run on Bute!! Does that percentage include Zenyatta? If it does, how can we expect to see her run at Belmont or Saratoga? Doesn't the NYRA still ban the use of Bute on NY tracks?

06 May 2010 11:27 AM
mike rullo

jason

this is why it's hard for me to root for this mare.why not run at churchill or even belmont to show the whole world I have the best mare in the country.you will get the respect of the east coast when you run at belmont in a gr I it's that simple. the connections keep winning and everybody on the east coast is suspect.

06 May 2010 11:30 AM
Anna

I agree with you to some extent. She does need to race against males, no question. She can take them on! I think they are being cautious with her, which is sort of understandable. She IS a special mare, and they want her to stay sound and happy. However, she IS a racehorse! She needs to be challenged! I am sure if she was human she would be suppressing yawns!

06 May 2010 11:31 AM
Dewarsprofile

It's THEIR horse, not ours. So deal with it. As long as she is healthy and happy, run her wherever you want, Team Z!

06 May 2010 11:32 AM
Catherine

Ted, the Preakness and the Belmont, like the Derby, are only open to 3-year-olds. Rachel (last year's Preakness winner) is 4 and Zenyatta is 6. Neither are eligible to compete in any of the Triple Crown races. As for who is the better horse...last year, it was Rachel. This year...it's hard to say. Rachel's not performing at the same level as last year and Zenyatta, once again, is facing the same bunch she's beaten time and time again.

I, for one, am extremely disappointed that Shirreffs and the Mosses are running Zenyatta in the Vanity. I love this mare and I want to see what she's truly capable of, but we WON'T see it because her connections are scared that she'll be defeated. Keep in mind, I'm not knocking her. I love Zenyatta and I don't want to see her lose, but at the same time, I want to see someone make a run at her and make her dig deep to EARN the win, not just lope into the homestretch and go by everyone like they're standing still. If I'm knocking anyone, I'm knocking her connections (save for Mike Smith, the only innocent member of Team Zenyatta).

Jason, you're right that we won't see her run in NY. Shirreffs has said before that he's not a fan of the detention barn, so that pretty much rules out any of the big races at Belmont and the coveted Saratoga meet. They won't bring her out east to run against the competition here. They'll keep her in California where it's "safe" and "logical."

06 May 2010 11:38 AM
Alexaso

We are lucky that Zenyatta is even racing. How many top six year old males are racing? Just let the connections do whatever as long as she shows up for the Classic again. Hopefully, Rachel continues to comeback, horses like Quality Road continue to progress, and our top three year olds make it to the Classic, and everyone will forget about these preps. People are being far too critical on all sides. Let's just get them to the big race healthy and ready for a big showdown!

06 May 2010 11:39 AM
Zfan

So how is it that any other horse in the Sheriff stable can ship wherever but not Z??  She shipped to Churchill last year and didn't run but she still shipped.  Why take her back to CA if you say this year is for the fans?  If shipping across the Rockies is an issue, AR to KY is a no brainer and HELLO, you have how many stabled there?  Not like she would be the only one.  He can ship one mare everywhere to chase Rachel but not Z?  I am so disappointed.  Z belongs in KY, she started here and will be here as a broodmare but to not race here?  Inexcusable.  Z doesn't have a favorite track, her connections do.  Don't blame her for something she can't control.  Her favorite thing is to win and she'll do that wherever she runs.  Too bad her connections are so selfish.

06 May 2010 11:43 AM
NoCal SC

Eileen, NYRA has allowed bute for almost 20 years.

While I'd like to see Queen Z take on the boys, you have to understand Shirrefs.  He's a homebody, and I think he hates to travel because he likes his routine set up just so.  So it is probably very difficult for him to step outside his own comfort zone.  While I agree he should 'get over it' for the sake of Zenyatta, I do understand where he's coming from.

06 May 2010 11:45 AM
Somethingroyal

This is one article Jason I have to really agree with you on. Although I'm a big fan of Zenyatta's and as much as I love the opportunity to see her in person again. I am really disappointed her connections are not branching her out. We already know she kicks boodie on the dirt. So, why not keep her running on dirt tracks and face new competition. Unless it's Sherrifs intention to run Zenyatta in the Hollywood Gold Cup facing males. Then I'd understand the logic of bringing her back to CA and not onto Churchill to run in the Stephen Foster.    

06 May 2010 11:45 AM
curlinWins!!

i agree 100%. running her in the vanity will prove nothing. running her in those soft races is no way to get her HOY. they are thinking if they run in easy races like last year and then she wins the BC Classic that she will get HOY. and thats not going to happen. they at least need to travel, any horse can stay at the same track for months and win race after race, thats no surprise. if they are going to keep her in the west until the BC then at least go to the gold cup in july and then go to the pacific classic. then she would me make a great case for HOY.

06 May 2010 11:51 AM
LAZMANNICK

Zenyatta raced against males in North America’s top race last year……a) the top males, B) 1-1/4M, C) She was the favorite, D) Had a terrible trip, C) Won like a champion……..She doesn’t need to race against males, that’s bull.  Of course, she could go out and search for a race filled will G-3 wannabe males and win and then maybe be voted HOY.  RA picks and chooses and backs out and stubs her toes and people are still under the illusion that she’s great.   All the Mosses have shown is that they are better strategists than Rachel’s connections.  Maybe they should have entered the Foster.  I wonder how many of those males would have dropped out if she did.  When it comes time to show up for the big dance, we know Zen will be there.

06 May 2010 11:54 AM
Dakota

Jason: I'd just like to make a couple of points. Horses are creatures of habit. As prey animals, they are often uncomfortable in new situations. I don't think people appreciate how taxing traveling is for horses. Giving Zenyatta time at "her home" will undoubtedly keep her happier and able to perform at her best. Also, unlike Asmussen, John Shirreffs runs a relatively small operation. He doesn't have stables at multiple tracks. In fact, I've never even heard of an assistant trainer. So when/where Zenyatta goes, so goes Mr. Shirreffs. He can't very well abandon his other horses and owners. Give Zenyatta's connections a break. Their long term goal is the BC Classic in November. You don't really expect that they would spend the next six months traveling around the country, do you? That would be unreasonable and not in the best interest of the horse. I applaud them for putting Zenyatta first.

06 May 2010 11:54 AM
Jo

Interesting article, I am a huge fan of Zenyatta, have been since her first race. I love racing, I love seeing our equine athlethes perform. I cheer for Rachel too, I guess I'm one of the few who likes both horses.

And I have to admit I was a little disappointed when they announced she would once again go in the Vanity.

I am so sick and tired of all the "nay-sayers". I want this horse to get the recognition she deserves!

But to do that, they have to let her race outside of Cal and take this awesome mare on the road! It's the only challenge left for her; win at different tracks.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Vanity announcement is a smoke screen and they will enter her in the SF as well.

That being said, I do respect the decisions of her connections and I'm sure glad I don't have to decide anything for this horse.

The safety, health and happiness of the horses has to come first.

Bottom line, like has been said: it's their horse, they decide where to run her.

06 May 2010 11:56 AM
TiznowLover

I think that Zenyatta should get a race against the males on dirt before the Breeders Cup. I also think Californians should be able to see her 17th win live.

06 May 2010 11:59 AM
Diane J

I don't think they're afraid of her getting beat - if that was the case, they would not have entered her in the Classic last year. As for this year, I wonder if shipping also has something to do with John Sherriffs having a small stable - I don't know how big his staff is but if he's traveling all over the country with Zen who's training his other horses?  With Asmussen and Pletcher, their stables are so huge they have assistant trainers helping out.  Just a thought I had, for what it's worth!  I do hope they reconsider and go to the Stephen Foster, though.

06 May 2010 11:59 AM
Jason Shandler

Footlick: I at least hope we find out the answer to your questions. If not, she will facing an even more inferior group.

Dakota: To be called the best, you have to travel. It's not an option. If horses could travel by truck all across the country years ago, they certainly can do it by plane today. I don't buy that excuse.

06 May 2010 12:00 PM
Zenyatta's biggest fan

No one would have loved seeing Zenyatta run against Rachel more than I would, but what else does Zenyatta have to prove? Why not do all we can to try and keep her safe and just enjoy seeing her runwithout worrying about whether or not she is on this track or that one? Seems to me that she has won the best race already beating the boys in the BC, and she has 16 wins in a row, what else does she have to prove? One wrong step and it could be over for her, so lets stop pushing her and let her race on whatever track she feels comfortable with!!!

06 May 2010 12:03 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

  To answer your questions. Rachel has a better chance of winning The Preakness in 2009 than Zenyatta. In fact I expect Rachel to win The Preakness in 2009. I would even go so far as to guarantee it, that's how much confidence I have in Rachel in that race. I don't think either horse has any chance against The Great Setsuko in The Belmont. As far as who is better, it depends on if you like a horse that has never lost(16 wins in a row) or one who has lost two straight. I hope that answers your questions. Feel free to ask more dumb questions if you'd like. We here at The Blogging Center are more than happy to answer them. That will be $19.95 please, DO NOT SEND CASH.

06 May 2010 12:06 PM
carol b

If you think that Rachel Alexandra will be running in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs then you must be living in some kind of fantasy world.  Right now Rachel can't even beat third string fillies in female races.  I think we are seeing the result of running Rachel exclusively against males in the last part of 2009.  I think the Mosses and John Shirriffs can decide what is best for Zenyatta and they have done a fabulous job handling her so far.  I love seeing Zenyatta run in any race they choose to run her in and people who don't own her should mind their own business and not be so critical.

06 May 2010 12:06 PM
Dee

Jason, I agree. Unless flying over the rockies produces some sort of horse jetlag, I don't see why a smart, healthy mare like her would have a problem shipping now and then. I would love to see Zenyatta racing against males on dirt, not so much a Rachel-Zenyatta matchup unless Rachel returns to her form of last year. I think she is better on dirt and would continue to amaze us, even more than her performances against the same mares at the same track. I'm not saying a grueling Rachel 09 campaign, but at least give her a better advantage for the Classic by running against males at Churchill. Zenyatta, running as fast as she can- apparently we haven't seen that yet. I want to see how good greatness is. And, I hope they bring her to New York so that I can go see her in all her glory!

06 May 2010 12:06 PM
el

Why would Zenyatta's connections want to risk her perfect record and race her anywhere else besides CA and against females that are nowhere near her level?  After all, they would risk all the accolades they have been receiving as well.  I think it's about time we see just what Z is really made of.  Race her on dirt against some real competition and let's see if she remains undefeated.  

06 May 2010 12:09 PM
Windy City

Ok, Zenyatta didn't win HOY not because she wasn't good enough, she lost because her connections took the easy way to go through the season... and they are doing it again - what a shame and disrespect to the great big mare and fans all over the US :-( I was sure that they learn their lesson when Zenyatta lost HOY in 2009, but now I think that they are pretty resistant. My heart belongs to Rachel, and even that she keeps loosing, I feel that her connections are not staying in the comfort zone, they do "think outside the box". And fans love it (even that I'm not JJ fan at all). I like Zenyatta's connection's much more, but as much as I don't know the reasons behind their decisions, their choices regarding Zen's path seem little too much cautious....shame. Fans would rather see Zenyatta lose in a better field than win at lower level - and that's what they are trying to do. The effect of their actions will be defeat in HOY again. I'm not sure if I'll even bother to watch Vanity - the race has nothing to offer for Zenyatta and the result, is too easy to predict, to get me excited. Go Rachel, win or lose your races will be more exciting due to competition!

06 May 2010 12:09 PM
Toral

Aside from Shirreffs spouting that drivel about traveling across the rockies, he also had another gem to offer "Why put her on the plane to run in another handicap?" per a DRF article.  

Is he serious? Isn't that the point of handicap races? To gauge how good a horse is when facing open company and carrying weight? I understand weight concerns, but only to a point. She's a massive mare- even carrying the 129lbs she carried last year shouldn't have been a big deal.

How do her connections expect to win HOY this year by beating up on the same competition on the same tracks? Unless they spend the majority of their time on the East coast, all Zenyatta will end up with is another Eclipse for older mare.

06 May 2010 12:13 PM
Mousse

Ok folks here's the deal....the blog writer is correct....been there, done that.  Also they would actually be punishing this greatest racehorse of ALL time by not only the weight she would have to carry but the weight she would be conceding to her vastly inferior competition.  So yes the Forster is the "logical" choice, we can only hope that her connections realize that.  

  As for that first listed response, "intelligence has it's limitations, ignorance has none"!

06 May 2010 12:13 PM
spitting the bit

Maybe they just want Zenyatta to be unbeaten before retireng her.  Maybe they want to take Pepper's Pride title a way. Maybe she is so brilliant that she just cannot be beaten,   She is sensational, but gee I would like to see her face some serious competition.  

06 May 2010 12:19 PM
Karen in Indiana

I love Zenyatta and she doesn't have to prove anything to anybody. Anyone open to see it knows how great she is - both with her running ability and that fabulous personality. That being said - she's won Grade I's on dirt and synthetic, I'd love to see her add one on turf. Maybe the Arlington Million or the Secretariat...

06 May 2010 12:20 PM
Tiznowbaby

Hey, I know. Since Sheriffs can't pick up his entire stable and move east to be with Zenyatta, why doesn't he just put her under the care of Asmussen? I bet that would work out super! Asmussen could race her up and down the east coast, and he knows all about managing a filly so that she'll be at her best come Breeders Cup Day.

And btw, just imagine criticizing Forego for winning his fourth Woodward. They should have told Martha, "Come on! Been there, done that! It's the same old, same old! Race him somewhere else!"

The Vanity is a freaking Grade 1 race. Who wouldn't want to win it? Yeah, no east coast bias here.

06 May 2010 12:21 PM
MTBFan(still)

Lamannick, Rachel didn't "pick and choose and back out". Her connections did. She was excellent last year and Zenyatta was excellent last year. I really want to see Zenyatta be challenged this year. She's a solid horse and running the same races will, eventually, only tarnish her legend in the big picture. She needs stimulation! Even if the fields aren't as quality as she is or as experienced she will still be up against different running styles and different "movers".

06 May 2010 12:23 PM
Rechelle

Jason, THANK YOU for putting what I've been thinking & saying into a much more eloquent way.  There is no competition for Zenyatta in California.  They are trying to beat Pepper's Prides record and the only place they can guarantee that record is in California.  But she should be shipped to Churchill at the very least.  I can't blame them for not wanting Zenyatta to go to Belmont if they use the dentention barn, since Giacomo went nuts there.  But there are still several great tracks they can go to, including Saratoga.  It's not giving Zenyatta the credit she deserves by running her in California.  She's beaten those fillies & mares to a pulp the past 2 years.  Whether Zenyatta & Rachel ever meet is yet to be determined, but there is absolutely NO reason to keep Zenyatta in California nor is there any reason to not race here against the boys, not after her dazzling performance in last year's BCC.  I also think Zenyatta needs to meet Quality Road this year before the Breeders Cup.  Quite frankly, Zenyatta needs to race outside California this season, period.  She's great enough and she deserves to show that to all her fans across the country.

06 May 2010 12:24 PM
Jodie

I want her to run in the Steven Foster.  Sheriff said last week, in spite of the news about the Vanity, no decision has been made.

06 May 2010 12:25 PM
Michele

I agree with everything you have said.  It is time for Zenyatta to travel and prove she is the best.  At this point I am not convinced she is the best.  

What are they scared of?  Her byers are not the same as Rachel even while Rachel is taking seconds.  Rachel redeemed herself to Zardana and she will redeem herself again to Unrivaled Belle.  Rachel may not of won but she is not being beat by much.  Once Rachel is back to her 100% she will be untouchable again.

As far as a race between Rachel and Zenyatta I could care less however I will only be convinced that Zenyatta is the best once she beats the boys more frequently.  However I know they have no intentions on racing her against the boys.  Not until the Breeders Classic.  I am not convinced that will be enough to win HOY.

Take tea mare out of her comfort zone already.  Convince us she is the best.

06 May 2010 12:26 PM
s lee

Shipping across the Rockies is a problem?  What, is she going to walk it?

What about all the horses who ship between here and Japan, here and Europe, here and Dubai?  They used to pack Seabiscuit and others of his generation back and forth across the country by train - took DAYS!

Sure, some horses hate shipping and go off their feed, etc.  Some horses love shipping and thrive in new places.  And CA to KY isn't that much farther than CA to AR.  It seems that Z has traveled well to Arkansas, so why not to Churchill or Saratoga?  If traveling makes her sick, then say so!

I agree with the proposition that if she's going to run in the Breeder's Cup this year, why not test the surface earlier to see if she can handle it?  If she can fly in Nov, why not June?

06 May 2010 12:29 PM
Diana

And this is why she was not HOY last year, and won't be this year either if they don't step it up.

It's getting a little old watching her basically put in a work against other horses.

06 May 2010 12:29 PM
paul watson

 Draynay, what is a "poly horse" other than an animal which wins and you get to continually rant about ?

 How does one breed an animal to perform on "poly". Are all types of "poly" the same ? Is the Oaklawn dirt actually "poly" ?

 So I guess if your grandkids ask you about Zenyatta, you're going to tell them that Macho Again was better because he won on dirt.

06 May 2010 12:30 PM
Christine

Please explain to me: what does it mean: HOY???

06 May 2010 12:38 PM
dr fager01

DRAYNAY, I BELIEVE HER LEGACY IS GONNA COME DOWN TO HER 2010 SEASON,AND HER BEATING THE BOYS MORE THAN ONCE ON DIRT,I HOPE JOHN SHERRIFFS IS MAKING AN UNTRUE STATEMENT AND IS JUST THOROWING US A CURVE,BUT THE ZENYATTA HATING IS JUST SO YESTERDAY DUDE,PLEASE GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE MAN, AS FAR AS THE RACHEL DISCUSSION I BELIEVE ITS OVER AND SHE SHOULD JUST RETIRE WHILE SHE STILL HAS SOME VALUE, LETS HOPE RA DONT GET BEAT BY SOME FORMER CLAIMERS AND THE REALLY RUIN HER LEGACY,AND AS FAR AS THAT HEADCASE QUALITY ROAD, DONT MAKE ME LAUGH, BECAUSE ANDY BEYER GIVES HIM A BIG FIGURE IN A MEANINGLESS RACE DOES NOT MAKE HIM A WORLD CHAMPION. I HAVE SAID IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN QR REMINDS ME OF JAMAICAN 100 METER SPRINTER OSAFA POWELL, WHO CAN PUT UP BLAZING TIMES IN NEEDLESS MEETS BUT IS 0 FOR 2 WHHEN IT MATTERS MOST, THE OLYMPICS.

06 May 2010 12:41 PM
Jason Shandler

Im a bit surprised to most of you agree with me, but I'm glad you guys are keeping it real. When you raise the bar to a certain level, you can't be afraid to keep going.

As far as those of you that say she has nothing to prove?? Well, I disagree for one because she has not beaten males on real dirt, and if she does have nothing to prove, then they should just retire her.

Tiznow: Please dont put the Vanity and the Woodward in the same sentence. You are embarrassing yourself.

06 May 2010 12:42 PM
Nick

Thank you for this article, I couldn't agree more. I was disappointed when I heard Zenyatta was going straight back to California and I hope they change their minds.

06 May 2010 12:42 PM
2:24

I agree with you.  I think Zenyatta is a better horse right now than Rachel and that Z v. RA is essentially irrelevant.  I also wonder why as to the Vanity.  Why even risk the injury inherent in any horse race if you are going to pick meaningless spots to race her.  Just retire her if you are going to pick races like the Vanity.  A close loss in the Stephen Foster, The Whitney, The Woodward or the Jockey Club Gold Cup would do nothing to tarnish her legacy at this point.  Why risk injury or a (although unlikely) loss in a meaningless race.  Very frustrating.

06 May 2010 12:44 PM
Pam S.

Huge Zenyatta fan here, but I agree with much of what Jason is saying.  I would rather Zenyatta race in the SF than the Vanity.  I don't think the connections are concerned with her having an easy race to guarantee Win No. 17.  Because really, if she runs in the Foster, who's going to challenge her?  You won't see Quality Road and I don't think you'll see Rachel either.  I would predict a win in that spot, no problem.

I know the Mosses said they want fans all over the country to see their star, and I think the Foster, one race at either Belmont or Saratoga, then maybe Goodwood at home, then BC Classic would be an ideal schedule.  I do think the Mosses will travel/take on males at least once before the BC, and I agree with all those who said that for a small operation like Shirreffs has, logistics might be a challenge.  

This is one time I really wish horses could talk, because I would love to hear where Zenyatta herself would most like to run.  Well, they can't talk, so Z's connections are trying to make the best and most responsible decisions on her behalf.  After all, they are the ones who know her best.  It does appear that they tend to err on the side of caution.  But I will point out (again) that Rachel's connections might have been better served by a bit more conservatism in their plans.  It's true that far fewer fans are clamoring for a Z-RA matchup like they were last year.  I think the reason why is in this paragraph.

06 May 2010 12:45 PM
ALB

Agree with you 1000% on this,Jason! Zenyatta should have gone to Dubai and competed with the world's best. No one wants to see her race against the same female horses over and over again. BORING! We all want to see her go against the best older males! Zen vs. Quality Road would be an awesome race and I'm pretty sure that Gio Ponti wants a rematch!

06 May 2010 12:45 PM
Buster B Quick

Lazmannick, Zen was NOT the favorite in the BC! And I thought she had a fine trip... just running in the rear. Agreed: she won like the champion she is.

Sure, the Vanity is not the race I'd pick for making history... I'd put her in the Hollywood Gold Cup. But I DO agree she should win her 17th in California! But that's just me being selfish, since I'm going to be there when she does it. ;)

06 May 2010 12:52 PM
AMEN!

All I have to say is AMEN!  This is why I find it so hard to jump on the Zenyatta band wagon...

Dakota: Who do you think travels the country with Zardana?  Shirreff's can ship her to New Orleans and Churchill but not the might Zenyatta?  Zardana must be the better horse then as she doesn't have to carry her track with her...  (Before any jumps down my throat, its called sarcasm)

06 May 2010 12:53 PM
draynay

Paul, you mean to say my Great Grand kids because I am already a Grandfather.  I will tell them that Zenyatta was the greatest poly horse ever.  She ran on a specialty surface that many cannot run on. For the last time, NO ONE HATES THE HORSE. The connections are turning her into a Peppers Pride.  Why is she not racing at Churchill or Belmont ? WHY ? Instead of trying to do the least to get to the BC why not try to do the most to get to the BC. Taking a soft route to the the BC leaves her no room to lose and she will lose. Quality Road is in the 110+ Beyer range and Rachel will soon be in the same range where is Zenyatta? Jason, just so you know I talked to MIKE RELVA last night in my dreams and MIKE finally agrees with me that Zenyatta is just not as good and needs to hide out in California.  I knew he would come around.  Mike thanks for finally coming around.

06 May 2010 12:55 PM
LAZMANNICK

Christine

HOY means that if you are the second best horse in the country you are voted Horse Of The Year.

06 May 2010 12:56 PM
papillon

I'm hoping Big Z runs in the Vanity and not the Foster--having as many of my grade 1 stable horses spread around the country, as opposed to all racing each other in one race, makes it easier for me to win $10,000 from Derby Dreamer =)

Besides there is already a deep closer planning on entering that race and he needs the win more than she does.

Rachael isn't running in the Foster. She's not beating the girls right now; there is no way they are going to set her against the boys until she looks like "the old Rachael" (if they ever set her against the boys again).

I wouldn't be surprised if they retired her (not because I think she deserves to be retired but because they don't want their golden filly to be tarnished anymore than she has been--course true gold doesn't tarnish....)

At least Z has raced on dirt--why not let Rachael try her hoof on poly in the Vanity against Zenyatta--why is that Z has to be the one to go to Rachael? Why is it poly horses have to prove their versatility but not dirt horses?

Z isn't being raced to prove anything, she's just being raced for the fun of it; unlike Rachael who is being raced largely to justify her HOY title. Nobody really believes that the Moss's and the Sheriffs are afraid that Big Z won't beat whomever she races, and no doubt shipping horses is somewhat of a pain in the a$$ for all involved, not least of which is the horse (and Jason, even for humans a 2 hour flight is a lot less of a hassle than a 5 hour flight)--especially if it isn't for a huge race like the Derby or the Breeders Cup...seems a reasonable excuse to me...

06 May 2010 12:56 PM
democraticjack

OK, this appears to be more about selfish fans than about what is best for the horse and her owners.

Zenyatta was prepared to take on RA twice and she won both races.  Both Grade 1's.  RA just lost lesser graded stakes against lesser competition.  Zenyatta has nothing left to prove.  Let the competition come to her.  Secretariat was HOY racing against two year olds.  Ack Ack raced exclusively in CA.  Fort Marcy was strictly a turf horse.  Can't we just enjoy these marvelous creatures where they perform best?

06 May 2010 12:58 PM
draynay

I have one question for all you Polyetta fans.  When do YOU think she will face G1 winning males on dirt ? Do you honestly think the connections will let her try before November and if so in what race so I can laugh when it doesn't happen.

06 May 2010 1:00 PM
sidekickflats

Much ado about nothing!!!

Jason,

Your cohort at the Bloodhorse, Lenny Schulman, reported during Derby week.  He said that he had spoken to John Sherriffs and "contrary to rumors, they have NOT decided where Zenyatta will run next".  You can look it up on one of the Derby minutes.

PERHAPS it will be the Vanity.  That would set her up nicely for the Hollywood Gold Cup against boys.  PERHAPS it will be the Stephen Foster.  It's early May for pete's sake, give them some time.

I'm sorry Rachel lost but why pick fights when there is no basis for one( at least until they do announce where's she's going)?

06 May 2010 1:01 PM
Hmm

I think Z's connections have the right to run her where they think is best.  They have managed her to perfection and put the horse's needs above all else.  I'm glad to see them continue to do so.  Its not about what will excite the fans....its about what is best for the horse in the long run.  Face it, Zenyatta doesn't owe anybody, anything.  God willing, she will retire sound, healthy and undefeated....

06 May 2010 1:01 PM
Jason Shandler

Papillion: Why? because dirt is real and poly is fake. Quite simple.

And to all you RA haters, she got a 103 Beyer and ran a sub-1:43 last out. How many horses can you say that about this year? She will back to her old self by the summer.

06 May 2010 1:02 PM
Kate

I totally agree with Jason's commentary, and I'm a huge Zenyatta fan.  We will never hear the end of her naysayers if they don't get her out of their comfort zone (I'm not even sure it's really her comfort zone).  Race against boys, or shoot, at least race against girls on dirt again in a different state.

It doesn't seem to make sense that this would be a smoke screen for the SF though.  They are usually pretty up front about their schedule, right?  This would be very out of character if they are in fact intending to enter the SF (though I'd be happy to see it).

Also, for those who say "Don't push her, just enjoy her running wherever she is, one wrong step and she's gone."  Um, one wrong step anywhere and she's gone, even at her home base.  Retire her if you're not willing to take that risk, or as a fan, just don't watch her race.  I'm fine with them keeping her out of races when the track is sloppy, but it's silly to think she's less likely to get injured because she's racing at home.

I enjoy watching her race always, but I would enjoy it more if she faced some real competition.  That's the point of racing.  If you really just want to see pretty horses run, go watch them play around in pasture (though a lot of horses get injured there as well...)  I just don't understand comments like that.

If they really do race in the Vanity, they HAVE to step it up the rest of the year.

06 May 2010 1:03 PM
tarascheland

all i have to say is thank you and i couldn't agree more

06 May 2010 1:04 PM
Rechelle

Tiznowlover wrote: "I think that Zenyatta should get a race against the males on dirt before the Breeders Cup. I also think Californians should be able to see her 17th win live."

Let me guess .... you're in California, close to Santa Anita.  Y'all have seen 14 of her 16 wins, why is it not time for the rest of the country to see her get her next wins?  Why is not time for people in Kentucky to see her race live at Churchill?  Why is it not time for Saratoga to finally have one of the greatest mares in history at their track?  Why should California be the only state allowed to see her wins?  The rest of the country deserves to see her run.  There are a lot of other tracks then Belmont.  Pimlico, Oaklawn, Lone Star Park, Churchill, Keeneland, Saratoga ... There is no reason she can't go to one of those tracks.  All of them have stakes races that she could easily run in and be on dirt (except Keeneland).  For all those people who say that Rachel should go to Cali to meet Zenyatta, if the Breeders Cup was there and Rachel was entering, then yes.  But it's not on synthetic this year, it's on a real dirt track.  If any of y'all had a race horse, would you not want that horse to race on the surface a couple times before the Breeders Cup, the crown jewel of the season?  If you were fortunate enough to have a star like Zenyatta, would you not want to take her to meet other competition that she may not faced yet to prove her greatness?  What is there, at this point in her career, left for her to do in California?  Let another filly or mare claim the spotlight in California.  It's time for her to travel outside California for her final season & face new challenges.

06 May 2010 1:05 PM
Ted from LA

"This is one time I really wish horses could talk, because I would love to hear where Zenyatta herself would most like to run."

Horses can talk.  Google "Mr. Ed."

06 May 2010 1:10 PM
Swale1984

If I'm not mistake, the rationale for running Zenyatta in the Vanity was also to obtain a historic three-peat in that race.  No other mare has won it three times.  

I'm not defending their decision (honestly I'd rather see her run in the Foster), but there seems to be SOME reasoning other than simply staying at home.  

06 May 2010 1:11 PM
democraticjack

I have to laugh.  Calling poly a "fake" is ridiculous.  They are all real racing surfaces.  Let Quality Road and RA beat Zenyatta on poly if you think that is the test of a champion.  I suggest you take another look at the BCC and digest that before you slam the big Z anymore.  Poly or no poly, the Beyer's go out the window when the hooves hit the track.  It's been proven over and over and over.

06 May 2010 1:12 PM
dr fager01

CAN I ASK A LOGICAL QUESTION, EVEN IF ZEN RUNS IN THE STEVEN FOSTER AND ANNOUNCES IT, WHAT TOP MALE WILL SHOW UP TO FACE HER? THAT WILL BE A WEAKER FIELD THAN THE VANITY ,SHE IS TAKING MORE OF A RISK IN THE VANITY THAN THE STEVEN FOSTER H, ESPECIALLY IF THEY SLAM ZEN WITH A BIG 133LBS IN THE VANITY. FOLKS GET OVER THE STEVEN FOSTER THING, LIKE SOMEONE SAID SHERRIFFS, SMALL OPERATION, ZENYATTA NOT OUR HORSE. LETS JUST BE FANS, AND HOPE THEY GET TO THE BCC SAFELY, AND IF RACHEL RETURNS TO TOP FORM, AND QR KEEPS WINNING AND ONE OR TWO OF THESE THREE YEAR OLDS STEP UP, THE BCC WILL RETURN TO ITS ONCE GREAT PROMINANACE.THAT WOULD BE WHAT THE BCC WAS MEANT TO BE. THAT WILL BE ONE OF THE GREATEST RACING DAYS OF OUR LIVES, SO LETS GET OFF THE TALK FROM SOME OF THESE MEANINGLESS PREPS,AND AS WE ALL KNOW CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE WON IN THE FALL.

06 May 2010 1:14 PM
Zenyatta Rocks

So much about racing on the East Coast, but when is the last time they have had a full field. I love Belmont but it seems the cards are never full. You see Derby prospects running against three other horses.I think the Zenyatta camp should do what is could with Zenyatta and let her set a record for wins without a loss. I think she has proved herself against the males and I think there will be a time all horses are running on a track that will not cripple them. I own horses and have had to put a couple down because of the dirt track. These magestic animals give us everything they have, so lets keep them around. Zenyatta put up and that other horse did not join the dance. Love ya team Zenyatta.

06 May 2010 1:17 PM
sodapopkid

Question??  How many times this year is Rachel going to fly over the Rockies???

06 May 2010 1:17 PM
Ted from LA

"We here at The Blogging Center are more than happy to answer them. That will be $19.95 please, DO NOT SEND CASH."

If I ask extra/multiple dumb questions, will you give me a discount on that $19.95 price?

That was my way of saying I would prefer to discuss the Preakness and Belmont on the "Triple Crown Talk" blog.  The Z and RA talk gets really old.  It's so redundant.  It just keeps repeating itself, over and over again.  The same thing.  It's so redundant.  It just keeps repeating itself, over and over again.  The same thing.  It's so redundant.  It just keeps repeating itself, over and over again.  The same thing.  It's so redundant.  It just keeps repeating itself, over and over again.  The same thing.

06 May 2010 1:19 PM
Goose

The last time I checked,there is no law that prevents Rachel from traveling west to meet Zenyatta.I am so sick and tired of the Rachel camp saying she is not 100 percent but only 85 or so.Zenyatta is ready to run at all times.Thats what makes her special.She has run at Oaklawn and has done very well on the dirt.Rachel will be retired before this season ends.

06 May 2010 1:20 PM
sodapopkid

Don't be picking on Zenyatta because Ra is fading to black.

Sorry,  Zenyatta has more than one race in the east she can run in other the S.Foster before the BCC.

You just be warned, leave her out west until you have too because when she gets her and kicks butt ,don't be complaining then.

That is if we can find any grade 1 daring enough to take her on.

We know it wont' be the 2009 HOTY.

JJ ain't going up against that anytime soon.  NOt with that grade 2 stringer Ra.  I guess Careless Jewel would have swallowed RA and UB in the La'Troinne.

06 May 2010 1:22 PM
Totally

I hate to say this, but I kind of want to see Zen lose.  If she lost maybe her connections would actually be willing to take a risk with her!  But that will never happen because they are content running against the same tired horses at the same tired tracks...  I so hope I am wrong tho

06 May 2010 1:25 PM
AfleetAlexForever

Finally someone man enough to step up and call these people out for what they are doing to this mare, they are tarnishing her reputation and legacy.  When you look at the rest of the horses that are stabled out in California and most notably Zardana, she has shipped as much in the last 2 months as Zenyatta has in the last 2 years. And stop making excuses for them, they look awful enough doing that all on their own.  Can't ship over the Rockies did u really say that out loud, and stop talking to me about having a small stable and no assistant, who brought Zenyatta to Arkansas prior to Sheriffs flying in, yeah there you go.

It’s sad for racing fans and those that love the Mare to be lied to by the connections over and over again and no one calls them out, we just ignore it because we are fine with settling to see the same boring campaign over and over again, seriously 3 years straight, winning the vanity. LOL, what is the vanity, a So Cal race that is pumped up for what reason, what history does the vanity hold, its not the Personal Ensign or Ogden Phipps or Ruffian.  Remember it was Moss that said “We are bringing Zenyatta back to showcase her to the rest of the world” I guess that only means Arkansas is considered the rest of the world.  The flip flop action of Mr. Moss is worse that that of a politician, one thing is said and then another thing is done each time, she’s coming east, no she’s not, she’s retired, no she’s not, we’re looking at the Stephen Foster, no we’re not, we have to play at home some time.  I mean really 16 races 14 at home. I would guess that running at home 88% of the time is not enough and that they have to push the % over 90 to feel positive about what they are doing.  Here is the simple break down, Zenyatta is a great mare, one of the best we’ve seen touch a racing surface, has she been pampered and placed in the softest spots, without a doubt in 14 of her 16 races, the 08 Apple Blossom and the 09 B.C.C. were the two times she’s been challenged in 3 years of racing, and in both of those she had advantages, Ginger Punch was coming off a grueling campaign and not fully cranked for that race in 08 as evidenced by her finishing behind a allowance horse named Brownie Points, in the Classic the dirt horses we knew would not perform well, the Euro’s were tired and beat up from long campaigns over there and the synthetic horses were all off form as evidenced by their awful records, so two races that could have been a challenge, they found huge glaring weaknesses that they exploited to benefit her chances of winning. Going forward 2010 Apple Blossom in April, most horses are just starting to get ready for a campaign that is most likely going to be hard and demanding, Zenyatta because she faces inferior competition on the West Coast had 8 or 9 works already compared to other horses that had 3 or 4 works so those that would have wanted to challenge her would have been quite short, who wants to take that chance.  She runs 9 furlongs in 1:50.71 which is quite unimpressive even if not pushed or asked for her best, she gets a 95 beyer for that effort.  And you wonder why they don’t want to ship east to face the boys in the Stephen Foster, good thing Quality Road is pointing towards the Met Mile, that could lead to a trouncing and they not only don’t want to lose they don’t want her to get embarrassed.  I understand the connections, this aura of the undefeated is much too much for them to shake loose and they want to make sure they do everything in their power to win Grade1 races where she has to put forth the least amount of effort, but that impresses no one at this point.  Running against mares that have not won a race in 12, 18 or 24 months or even entering a horse in a race of that nature is not good for the legacy of the horse, beating horses that are in form and running well in Grade 1 or Grade 2 races is showing the true ability of the horse which they don’t want to do until the B.C. when other horses have run 6 or 7 or 8 times and she’s run 4 or 5 and is fresher and ready to beat tired horses.  This is called trying to “Back into a HOY award” and since doing so for the last two years has not been successful, you had that thought that they would try to go after and grab onto the HOY with both hands, thus far due to other horses losing races, they feel they should go stick their heads in the synthetic surface and get HOY their way again.  Unfortunately for them a horse like Super Saver winning the Preakness and showing well during the summer puts her behind the Eight ball again.  Wake up Mr. Moss, horse racing is about taking chances not putting on a show to garner an award it has to be won on the track, dirt tracks.

06 May 2010 1:26 PM
Runfast159

A few things I want to mention. Right after that DRF article appeared Sherriff's called HRTV and told them that was not entirely accurate, that they had not made a 100% commitment to the Vanity.  So, I'm not sure if anything has changed that cemented their decision.  I still thought it was not quite decided where her next start would be.

Second, and unfortunately, I can see the Vanity as an appealing spot for her.  You are right, it's her home track and she won't be challenged.  If she wins she has that historic 17 race win streak that alluded both Citation and Cigar. I'm not saying that is the motivating factor, but surely it can't be completely out of their thought process.

All that aside, I really thought they were going to start her 2010 campaign in the Big Cap, and I was woefully disappointed when that was not the case.  I thought it was setting the stage for a softer campaign than I was anticipating.  But given that she was pointing for the Apple Blossom, I conceded that her start against her own was perhaps more appropriate.

But fully by now I too expected her campaign to be about taking on the boys and the Foster seemed a logical spot. Perhaps if she does go to the Vanity then there will be the JCGC or Woodward, after her 17th win is notched.

We cannot know what her connections are really thinking.  Certainly they would not admit to anyone outside their circle if they really want to notch #17 before getting more aggressive with her again.

I love the mare and I respect her connections so it pains me to be negative about the path they are choosing with her. It's the armchair trainer in all of us to second guess their intentions.

However, its also the racing fan in all of us who wants to see something truly incredible happen on the track.  Zenyatta romping past the boys in the Stephan Foster would be AMAZZZZING.  A practical walkover in the Vanity?  ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

06 May 2010 1:28 PM
Bill Daly

This controversy reminds me of the criticism Sam Riddle earned for keeping Man o War out of the Ky. Derby because he had a distinct dislike for Kentucky.  He also kept the horse away from the blue blooded Ky. mares when he went to stud for the same reason. In that era  there was a rivalry between Maryland and Kentucky and feelings ran deeply.  I wonder whether Shireffs has a problem with the east coast?

06 May 2010 1:30 PM
mz

Ted from LA: I got it the first time.  Some people have problems with humour (I added the "u" because you guys spell your English wrong)and sarcasm (whatever happened to a "sarcasm" emoticon?).  

I also agree with your redundant redundancy at 1:19p.m.  

Finally, re: the subject of this blog: pththth to the owners if the only reason they brought Z back WAS TO DO THE SAME STUFF OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND MAKE MORE MONEY AND TRY TO WIN HOY THIS YEAR BY NOT DOING ANYTHING TO RUIN A REPUTATION LIKE TRYING TO RUN OUTSIDE THE BOX.

(sorry about the caps.  I felt whoozy there with all this binderdonedat stuff again.)

06 May 2010 1:32 PM
ThePixiePoet

My sentiments exactly.

I hate boring campaigns like I hate tofu without sauce.

The Mosses have totally underestimated their mare. She could go down in history as being the SUPER MARE, instead, all they will say is "but most of her races were on blah..." There will always be the question of "WHAT IF?"

06 May 2010 1:32 PM
papillon

Jason says: "As far as those of you that say she has nothing to prove?? Well, I disagree for one because she has not beaten males on real dirt, and if she does have nothing to prove, then they should just retire her."

Last time I checked the Breeders Cup this year is on real dirt against real boys, and the real plans are still to enter Zenyatta in that race--just because the Mosses and the Sheriffs aren't entering her into the Foster--doesn't mean they will never ship her east again, never race her on dirt again, and never race her against males again--it just means they don't feel that the Foster is worth the hassle of proving to you, what pretty much everyone else is is already satisfied about--that Big Z can and will handle all comers.

Zenyatta has something that most of us haven't seen in horses since we were little kids with pigtails, riding around on banana seat bicycles, in tube tops and satin hot pants--heart.

There have been tons of talented horses since then, but very few with true heart. I think that's why, despite his failure to win after the Derby, MTB captured the public's imagination--even though he didn't win that little horse has tremendous heart.

As for your claim that Big Z should be retired if she has nothing left to prove--if a writer wins a pulitzer or a nobel prize, should he stop writing, since he's got nothing left to prove? Should Micheal Phelps retire because he's won enough olympic golds to open his own bank, and has nothing left to prove? Are you happy that horses like Sea the Stars are shuffled off to stud in the blink of eye, because they have nothing left to prove, or would you maybe, just maybe, like to see them run a little bit longer just because it brings you joy?

I can't think of another horse who seems to enjoy racing in front of people more visibly and joyfully than dancing, prancing Zenyatta does--and that racing actually seems to give Z pleasure--unlike the thousands of demoralzed, short walking, limp eared, over worked claimers racing everyday around the country, with everything (but really nothing) to prove--well, that's enough for me.

06 May 2010 1:34 PM
sidekickflats

Someone asked about Bute.  In the Apple Blossum ( the only program I had handy), Zenyatta raced with Lasix only.  All of the field raced with Lasix.

Jason,

Why don't you do a blog about where Rachel is going next?  Do you think she' make the Ogden Phipps Gr 1 at 1 1/16 at Belmont?

AfleetAlexforever - give me a break.  The Mosses took a risk and ran her in the BCC and WON.  They took another risk and brought her back for a campaign this year.   John Shirreffs and the Mosses are class acts.  To bad you can't recognize that.  

06 May 2010 1:36 PM
sodapopkid

Question?  Since Rachel had such a good beyers and ran such a strong race, and was training 'crazy good' and having them 'bullet works',  Why in the heck did she lose the race to a grade 3 horse???

She will be like Stardom Bound.

06 May 2010 1:37 PM
Bob Z

So maybe Rachel really DOES let JJ know when she wants to run...

www.youtube.com/watch

Maybe she has the empty feed bag blues!

www.youtube.com/watch

06 May 2010 1:37 PM
nonnonheinous

I understand the sentiment, but I also understand there are probably a lot more variables that the connections are considering than we could ever know about. Only they know exactly how stressful it is to ship Zenyatta, how long it takes for her to recover from shipping, what condition she is in, how many races she has left in her, how best to prep her for the BCC, etc. Obviously they've done a masterful job of keeping this mare sound, happy, and winning for all this time, so I'm disinclined to question their judgment too harshly.

I would love to see her run in the Foster. I think the Vanity is generally beneath her, and the only way to make it not a complete joke (I say that not to put down a Grade 1 race, but to imply just how talented Zenyatta is) is if they saddled her with a bunch of weight. I personally would be hesitant to put tons of weight on my 6 year old mare. She would get a much better weight assignment in the Foster and I don't see anyone entering the Foster who looks like a monster. And with that long Churchill stretch? Hooboy.

Also, if they're running in the Vanity as a prep for the Hollywood Gold Cup, then that would be more exciting.

We also need to consider the state of CA racing and Hollywood park in particular. I get the sense that the connections are very loyal to CA racing, want to support it, and see racing Zenyatta in CA as a way to boost it. That could be a factor in their decision to race her in CA again.

That said, part of me is kind of hoping she DOES run in the Vanity, because then I would totally make the road trip down from Oregon to see her. I have never seen her run in person, and don't believe I would die happy if I never did. So, from that perspective, I hope she runs in CA at least one more time during the summer, when I have the time to go see her.

06 May 2010 1:38 PM
Jason Shandler

Papillion: I lost interest in your last post a couple sentences in. Let me repeat: She has not yet beaten males on dirt. Period.

06 May 2010 1:39 PM
Marty

Ok. I am a big Zenyatta fan. I live in L.A close to Hollywood Park and have been fortunate to have seen her race many times. I also went to both of her farewell parades. I am going to Hollywood Park on the day of the Vanity (June 13th) because it is Zenyatta bobblehead day. I would love nothing more than to see her race that day I was also extremely dissappointed in the Vanity running announcement. I don't want her running in the same races as last year because her lack of travel cost her the Horse of the Year award. And she needs to be tested. Run her against the boys. take her to Churchhill let her get a feel for the track that's why the SF would be perfect but I don't own her and I don't train.

So what do I know I'm just a crazy, obsessed Queez Zenyatta fan. Hopefully I will see her in the Breeders Cup Classic in November, I have booked my trip.

I hope she stays healthy and fit and keeps on kicking butt.

06 May 2010 1:43 PM
sodapopkid

AfleetAlex:   So out of that book you just wrote, You can actually say that the horses didnt show up in the 2010 AB, because thet were scared to take her on........Thats the truth.. And the 2009 HOTY earned a 100 beyers in the NOL , so why did she duck Zenyatta in the AB??  And why didnt' JJ run her against the older female division last year?   He avoided that division like the plague.

But he whipped up on flatlining filies and meticre males , never going against Zenyatta's division.

NOw we know why don't we??  She can't get a damn nose past them.........

06 May 2010 1:45 PM
sodapopkid

She has not yet beaten males on dirt. Period.  jason

But she will this year more than one time............

You all are expecting Zen to do this and that ,

Why don't you expect more from the 2009 hOTY,  she should be proving herself more than this lame duck crap you fans and JJ are coming up with.  We expected more from her for the way you all put her on that pedalstal last year.

She can't prove herself this year.

She only runs if CB is beating the crap out of her. Zenyatta wins naturally and on her own.

06 May 2010 1:52 PM
Carlos in Cali

First of all..I think Zenyatta's connections are probably pissed-off at RA's camp for flaking-out of the AB.They were looking forward for the match-ups against the reigning HOY and put down the gauntlet when they announced they'd nominate Big Z to any race RA was headed to. Now that it's obvious RA's people don't want any part of Zenyatta,plan-B comes into play. I'm sure we'll see Zenyatta tackle males here before the BC. Sure!...ship her all-across the Country and knock her out before the BC Classic...brilliant!

Plus,which horse of any significance will she run against in the Stephen Foster?  Macho Again? Bullsbay? Arson Squad?. She'll easily handle these Gr.II/III types and in the process prove nothing at all,so why ship east and take on mediocre competition when she can do that at her home state. Honestly,what real competition is there for her back east? You have Quality Road,but he won't be in the SF.

Bottom line is:  Zenyatta will be ready to rumble come BC Classic time against whoever show's up and frankly,that's all that matters in the end. --Zenyatta vs. males @ 1 1/4 ON dirt.-- Saving the best for last.

06 May 2010 1:54 PM
mz

Z is the only horse with "heart" since the late 70's - early 80's?

Wow! So I guess that I've been watching and reading about plugs with no courage all these years.  Who knew?

I'm sorry, Papillon, but not everyone is satisfied that Z can and will "handle all comers".  Ain't no way that's true unless they start taking some real chances and running her in something other than the same races over and over and over again.

BTW: how is Careless Jewel these days?

06 May 2010 1:54 PM
Bob

I agree that it is not Zenyatta's fault that nobody showed up for the Apple Blossom.  Zenyatta is a superstar, she shouldn't have to chase anybody.  The real shame here is how lame Jess Jackson is about synthetics.  A race between Rachael Alexandra and Zenyatta in June in Los Angeles would bring over 40,000 to people to Hollywood Park and have huge media attention.  No offense to Churchill Downs, but the press was just in Louisville and they aren't going to put their reporters on a plane to go back no matter who is running.   That would be the greatest thing for the sport bu6t all Jess jackson does is play games with RA and she isn't very good anyway.  The bottom line is she is 0-2 this year and the Woodward was a long time ago.  There is no proof anywhere that a campaign over 9 months earlier has anything to do wtih this year.  Zenyatta has earned whatever she decides to do.  If she decides to not run out of Cali until the BC, her connections have earned that choice.  They have announced where they are going to be on June 12 well in advance, I wish some horseman had to guts to come west.

06 May 2010 1:56 PM
sodapopkid

'WOW',check out the Taylor Made brochure on this website (on your right).

They have it announced for the world to see that Unbridled Belles offspring beat 2009 HOTY Rachel Alexandra.

NOw every one is going to want to run in a race with her. So they can take a pot shot at beating her and they can stand on their soap boxes and brag their horse beat her also.........

06 May 2010 2:03 PM
Runfast159

Nonnonheinous:

I live in Oregon too.  Pick me up on your way to Hollywood Park to see Zenyatta! LOL

06 May 2010 2:05 PM
sodapopkid

Hey Jason,  Maybe the Mosses will read this article of yours and answer your call and decide to run her in the SF.  Say it isn't so, You never know!!  

Jason I am predicting about 850+ posts to this blog...LOL!!!

06 May 2010 2:10 PM
miramartzu

Great blog!!I too was disappointed when the Vanity was announced as Zenyatta"s next start.I was surprised they didn't take her to Dubai of the World Cup,especially since it was run on synthetic.  To be the best you have to run with the best.  I think the only horse in this country that comes close to Zen is Quality Road. At a mile and an eight  that can go either way, at a mile and a quarter Zen has the edge.Zenyatta has not even broken a sweat in any of her 16 races, she never been asked to run.

I hope a year from now, when Zen is in the breeding shed, we won't all be wondering what might of been.This is bigger than Zen vs. Rachel. I do hope her connections start believing in her as much as her fans do and let the world see, and who I think is, the best horse to hit the track,male or female, since Secretariat or even Man O' War.

06 May 2010 2:11 PM
Batty

Blah...blah...blah.

As a few others are saying-Im just happy she is racing as a 6-year old.  

All I am asking for is this, please bring Zenyatta to Churchill for the Breeders Cup Classic.  

06 May 2010 2:12 PM
RS

I'm a huge Zenyatta fan, but I'm going to lose interest in her if she keeps running against females.There's no excitement in watching her race  when you know she's going to win easily. I was a big Rachel fan last year, but I've already lost interest in her because she can't even beat fillies any more. I thought this would be an exciting year for the both of them, but so far it's BORING.

06 May 2010 2:18 PM
Lucy

   I am always a little surprised at how unpleasant people can become on these blogs.  I really love all the horses, they are HORSES, for God's sake, and it is the humans who make decisions for them.  Zenyatta is my current favorite, but how can one dislike Rachel Alexandra?  

  Zenyatta has only done EVERYTHING asked of her.  As someone noted, her trainer has a smaller operation, so it is a little more difficult for him to travel, and I have a feeling he does not love traveling.  I also suspect they would like Zenyatta to get her 17th win in California.  I think VERY well of her connections.  They love this horse and really try to do what is best for all their horses.  That said, I do think Zenyatta should spend the rest of the year racing the boys, even if it is on polytrack in California.  I do think a race in Kentucky, on the dirt, with a decent field of males also seems a good idea, since that is where the Breeder's Cup will be held.  

  Traveling is hard on many horses.  I showed horses for years and can tell you, even the most solid competitor wants to go home and sleep in his own bed.  I really cannot belive how well so many of these high-strung, super-fit thoroughbreds do with all they must face, especially considering most of them are not truly "adult" horses!  I am so happy Zenyatta is racing, and I think she is happy to be out there.  No matter what, let's enjoy it.

06 May 2010 2:21 PM
shuvee

I have to agree with this blog post. When the Mosses agreed that Zenyatta would run again this year, I was extremely pleased. Horses don't really mature until they are 5 or 6 so I figured we'd get to see her at her best in a campaign for the ages that would challenge her and establish her ranking in the pantheon of thoroughbred greats.

I understand the first two races but now the Vanity? Let the mare show how good she is, please! Beating up on an inferior group on Polytrack proves nothing and I really doubt the handicapper out there is going to weight her appropriately. Frankly she should be carrying 135 or 136 pounds against this group but that will not happen.

I am a fan of Rachel and Zenyatta (as well as any other exceptional examples of the thoroughbred breed). I have been following this sport for almost 40 years and would love to see Zenyatta really tested. That is how you measure true greatness in the thoroughbred, by challenging them, not babying them.

For example, Seattle Slew really defined his greatness in a loss; he lost by a nose to Exceller in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 1978 after engaging in an absolutely suicidal pace duel, being passed in the stretch and then coming on again in one of the most courageous performances I've ever seen (yes, I was lucky enough to be there).

I hope the Mosses will not be so afraid of "tarnishing" Zenyatta's unbeaten record that they avoid real challenges this year. Let her prove her greatness. I think she's more than up to the challenge.

06 May 2010 2:23 PM
ChrisieZfan

I have a great amount of respect for Team Zenyatta. What ever decision they make it is always in the best interest of Zenyatta. John has been very clear his goal is for Zenyatta to meet the boys at the Breeders Cup in Kentucky. This will be the race of ages. She will beat the boys in Kentucky on the dirt and all of the discussion of what races John chose prior will all be forgotten.

06 May 2010 2:28 PM
Bob Z

Carlos in Cali,

Good point but the way I look at it is it would give Zenyatta another race outside of California, its against males and it would really put the screws to Rachels connections because the timing is right for Rachel to run in the Foster...

So if Zenyatta runs there and Rachel doesn't show... that puts the Rachel issue to bed at least until late summer.... then Zenyatta goes back to California rests up runs once or twice for her home town fans and then maybe once at Saratoga in September and then get ready for the Breeders Cup...

If I was Team Z I would run in the Foster and if Rachel doesn't show my attitude would be ... "Don't bother me about Rachel... see you in the Breeders Cup....

06 May 2010 2:35 PM
Cashmoney

Zenyatta reminds me of Floyd Mayweather. Loved by many, disliked by many more.Unbeaten and untested. A champion should not need to travel to face her challengers, it should be the other way around. After she wins the Vanity at her home track, she can focus on beating males on  dirt tracks. Her campaign will not be restricted to just 3 races. it is too early to start whining about her campaign. If she only faces males in the BC Classic that will be fine with me. How many mares have won the BC Classic?? I don't care if Rachel run a 103 beyer or a 126 or a 97, if she gets beat, she gets beat. And she got beat. Twice already this year.And if Zenyatta runs a 103, 97 or a 88, as long as she continues to win. Apart from Quality Road, no other horse poses a threat to this Great mare. and whether she waltzed into the BCC beating up on Grade 2-3 mares or storms into the Twin Spires having beat the Grade 1 males (if there are any true top quality older males), her swan song will be the sweetest.

06 May 2010 2:36 PM
Tiznowbaby

Hey Jason, you embarrass yourself on a daily basis -- witness your Derby picks :)

No, I don't equate the Vanity to the Woodward, but to act like it's a claiming race is ridiculous.

The horse cannot ship for EVERY SINGLE RACE the rest of the year. No one does that. Do I want to see her in the Foster? Yes. But is it the end of the world? No. She either goes or doesn't. She wins her races or she doesn't. They make their choices and she wins horse of the year or she doesn't.

She's been far better managed than any horse I can think of. She came off an unprecedented, historic win to be just as dominating. Rachel has not. I'm not going to argue with the way they manage their horse.

06 May 2010 2:40 PM
Betsy

Let me first say, as Northeasterner, I'd love to see Zen race in NY. So while I hope she'll come east (which I think she will as some point), I won't think any less of Zenyatta or her connections if she doesn't come for the SF.

One thing I want to address is synthetics. I want to echo democraticjack's sentiments. It seems to me people are anti-synthetic because we - as an industry - don't understand them because they're so new - ie. the relationship between turf, syn, and dirt. We often can't tell if horses who race on synthetics are as good as dirt horses, and Beyers don't help, so we get frustrated (myself included) and just say synthetic isn't "real". So, often syn. horses are called "only" turf specialists; yet so often this year syn. horse have shipped to dirt and won. (I'll never understand why common opinion says that gr. 1 dirt horses are better than gr. 1 turf horses when they actually run slower than turfers.) So while I'd love to see Zen come east, I don't see proving herself on dirt as the point; rather, it's to race against harder competition and lets us easterners see her. I doubt the mares in the Ogden Phipps, Personal Ensign, etc. are much faster than those in the Vanity etc.

And as others have mentioned, who's going to face her in the SF? Without QR and RA, it won't exactly be a race for the ages. Zen's connections have kept her safe and 16-0 this long; I trust they know how to race her far better than any of us do. Perhaps us bloggers should stop thinking we know what's best for the horse and enjoy her (and Rachel's) talents.

06 May 2010 2:40 PM
partly cloudy

First let me say I love the mares and fillies over the colts and always have.  From Ruffian to Landaluce and Genuine Risk and Winning Colors to Rags to Riches and Eight Belles and RA and Zenyatta.  However, I agree with you.  This is exactly the reason i prefer RA over Zeyatta, Jackson sent her out against the boys.  Now if Jackson would just dump Asmussen and Borel, neither of whom know how to train or rate a front runner to condition her to go longer distances.  

Zenyatta needs to come east, run in Kentucky or NY or both, and beat the boys.  And RA needs a different trainer and a different jockey.  She is not a comefrombehind horse, and she cannot be rated.

06 May 2010 2:40 PM
anders g

first off I love ZENYATTA always have but I wished she had retired after breeders cup just for safety reasons, but since she didnt but if the Mosses goal was to have best all-time on their mandel They should have pointed her to the World Cup which she wouldve won and then had highest career earnings. She should have horse of the year anyways and beating Rachel Alexandra has already been done so why bother. If I owned the Great Zenyatta I would retire her, so I dont blame them playing it safe on the polytracks of california better safe then sorry the Industry doesnt need another Big Named horse dieing on the track.

06 May 2010 2:45 PM
keenelandcat

1.  I don't not think the Zenyatta's connections are interested in running her into the ground and leaving her a broken horse like Racheal's connections did in 2009. Was winning HOY worth ruining a beautiful filly?  I hope RA can make it back so we can all get our answers at Churchill this Fall.Is beating the boys (which Z did in the Breeder's Cup Classic)and winning a race in slop worth it, just so you can say your filly or mare did. If an owner is more concerned over the well-being of their horse than to elect running in unfavorable conditions-God bless them.   2.  Draynay, have you actually ever seen Zenyatta run in person, or better yet, do you even own a race horse?  I have seen her on dirt(Apple Blossom 2008)and Zenyatta can run on turf, dirt, poly, or concrete & still beat QR & RA on their best day going a mile and a quaerter.  A distance I believe neither RA or QR has ever been able to complete.  3.  Zenyatta's connections have already said they are pointing to the Classic at Churchill this Fall.  Which, unless it has changed since I left this morning, is dirt.  How they choose to prep Zenyatta shouldn't matter, if she is heading to Churchill for the Classic! All her critics will be silenced at the Breeder's Cup.

06 May 2010 2:45 PM
sodapopkid

I honestly doubt we see the 2009 HOTY in the S.Foster if Zen was in it. Seriously,  She can't even beat grade 3 stringers on April 30, yet six weeks later she will go up against Zenyatta in the S.Foster?  Yeah, thats funny.   JJ don't even know what he is going to do next with her and you think he is going to run her in that if Zen is in it???"??  LOL!!!!!!!!!!  really laughing too..................

I highly doubt we even see RA in the BCC.

06 May 2010 2:45 PM
moodygirl

Batty, I agree. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

I am so sick of hearing the same old stuff. First, are you sure she is going to Santa Anita next? In one of the columns here on Bloodhorse, Shirreff's camp who were here with Zardana at Churchill the week before the Derby, denied any decision had been made about her next race and that what was widely spread in the press was untrue. I am too tired to look up the article but it was one of you writers at Bloodhorse.

I am very sad at the thought she might not come to the Stephen Foster. I bought tickets. I am not going to critisize or second guess Shirreffs. He has kept her in perfect health and form. What other trainer does that? They have said their goal is the Breeders Cup! That's boys and dirt.

Whatever they see as a good plan  to get her there is more than fine with me. They are pleasing fans wherever she runs. If Summer Bird had won the Classic last year would there be all this whining and saying it didn't really count because it was on poly?!!!! Think about it.

Zenyatta will race when and where they think best. They will prepare her for the Classic on dirt the way they see fit. There is no need for them to run her all over the place to try to prove something to you. Get over it! Their real concern is the horse, which is what a lot of people say but few actually do.

06 May 2010 2:52 PM
sodapopkid

One more loss for RA and she will be headed to the breeding shed with Mr. Curlin.

I say she will be in foal to him by this year's end.

06 May 2010 2:55 PM
Piroette

Have a little patience, folks. The road to the BC is a long one and we don't know exactly what Shirreffs and the Mosses are thinking.

Maybe Zen needs an easier warm-up race before she's cranked up to meet the boys again. Maybe she's a little tired from the trip to Arkansas. Maybe they want to make sure Zen's razor-sharp for the BC and if they race her hard now and throughout the summer she'll peak too early.

Even if Zen retired today she'd still be remembered as one of the great ones. Remember when Secretariat went off to the breeding shed after his 3-year-old campaign?

Every time Zen  lines up for the post parade is another chance to see racing history being made, no matter where she runs or whom she faces. I'm grateful to Shirreffs and the Mosses for sharing Zen with us a little while longer.

06 May 2010 3:00 PM
Rita Robinson

I don't think Zen has anything to prove.  I think she was brought back for 2010 racing for us, her fans, to enjoy, and to help the racing industry.  And we should do just that, enjoy her wherever she races, instead of trying to beat her into the ground.  She showed up for the "race of the century".  Rachel did not.  Now let's just enjoy a beautiful, talented mare for one more year and stop complaining.

06 May 2010 3:00 PM
Ange

I agree. Zenyatta needs to leave California and head east. It would be awesome to see her run at Saratoga & Churchill. I really want to see her beat the males & females on dirt racetracks just to shut the naysayers up. All of the people who think that Zenyatta is a sub-par horse. Mr. & Mrs. Moss, do what you said, run her elsewhere so her fans can see her!

06 May 2010 3:02 PM
GreyK

Lazmannick:  In your absurd irrational bitterness over a done deal (2009 HOY) you have managed to insult Cigar, Kelso, and Secretariat, among other winners of this honor.  Were they second best?  And guess what?  If Zenyatta hides out in California for a third year in a row, she just might lose HOY again for another "three-peat".  Historic!

Jason is right.  Team Zenyatta promised a different kind of campaign this year for her.  Let's see it.  Of course if the weather is like it was Derby Day for the Breeder's Cup, we know they won't risk her on a sealed dirt track, and no one should blame them.  So they better be coming to the Eclipse Awards with some victories against males on dirt or at least a less snarky attitude when they lose again.  

06 May 2010 3:04 PM
LDP

Sodapopkid you've said the same thing after each of RA's starts this year, predicting she would be heading to the breedings shed after each one. Well so far she hasn't so can you please shut up with all the "she's gonna retire crap."

06 May 2010 3:05 PM
Leenza

I'm wary of the idea that the media can pressure connections on where to run their horses. Reminds me of Charles Howard being forced to run Seabiscuit when he didn't want to - Seabiscuit usually lost in those circumstances. We aren't the ones around Zenyatta every day; we aren't the ones who have any idea what's best for her. She's happy and healthy at six, why isn't it enough to just enjoy that for now? Two Grade 1 wins under her belt this year and counting, that's good enough for me (and I'm an East Coast fan). They took a risk with her last year, and I'm confident that they will again. Everyone's going to have an opinion on where they'd ship her, but the only opinions that matter are her owner's and trainer's. I'm just glad we get to see her run at all. If they decide to ship her East, I'll be delighted and make every effort to see her in person. If they keep conservative, their choice. The Mosses don't owe us anything after bringing her back at six. Do they owe Zenyatta? Yes, and I'm sure her connections will do the right thing.  

06 May 2010 3:10 PM
Citation

Betsy, the answer to your question about the G1 turf and dirt horses is that firm turf in general is a faster surface than dirt, so of course quality horses will run faster on turf. I don't like synthetics because I think that California was far too hasty to install the untested surfaces, and I never could stand the repeated insistence that these synthetics were "better" than dirt when they had so little actual data to draw from.

06 May 2010 3:12 PM
Bob Z

Reuters News Wire... 2:45EST

Zenyatta decision to run in Vanity sends markets reeling.

The NYSE sold off sharply at 2:45EST when it was announced that Zenyatta the 6 year old mare from California would be running in the Vanity Handicap...

Prior expectations called for her to run in the Stephen Foster held at Churchill Downs on June 12th.

Within minutes the market plunged over 1,000 points.

At 2:52EST John Sheriffs  trainer of Zenyatta reached at home said that no decision had been reached...

Shortly afterwards at 2:54EST the markets surged 600 points in response to the possibility of Zenyatta running in the Stephen Foster.

06 May 2010 3:14 PM
Pam S.

I would like to comment on something Bob said.  It's true, Rachel meeting Zenyatta at Hollywood Park could be a huge event for racing just as much as it could anywhere east of the Rockies.  Yes, it would be an even bigger deal had Rachel not lost her last two, but still it would attract fans in droves.

Hollywood Park has the most dirt-like surface, it's said, and once in the long-ago time Rachel did win a race at Keeneland.  Last year, Jess Jackson and his aversion to "plastic" was well-publicized and supported by many.  A year later, after another great, safe Breeders' Cup, the success enjoyed by Calif. runners on dirt surfaces, and the many injuries suffered by horses on natural dirt ... Well, I think that now JJ's stance seems like a losing battle and just kind of silly.  And then there's the interview I read about his proposed three-race series with Zenyatta, WITH ONE OF THE RACES ON A SYNTHETIC TRACK.

IMO, JJ blamed the track at Santa Anita for an over-the-top Curlin's loss in the '08 BC Classic.  Further, I don't think he is very good at judging when a horse is over the top.  

So Bob, I know it'll never happen and that's a pity, but I think you had a good idea.

06 May 2010 3:16 PM
b

Zenyatta is going to race in the Vanity... where have I heard this before?? Oh yes, she raced in it the last two years!!! Oh come on, she's capable of so much better! get this mare racing against the fields she deserves!!!

06 May 2010 3:17 PM
MLR

I say let them race her where they want to.  If other horses want to race against her they can enter the race that she is in.  She doesn't need to chase around the country just so other horses can race against her.  Let them go to where she is.

06 May 2010 3:17 PM
Freetex

Whatever Sherriffs and the Mosses' decides to do, I don't care.  Zenyatta is back, isn't she?  She showed for the Apple Blossom, didn't she?  Whatever and wherever she races, they are all just preps until the Breeders Cup Classic.  At least, that's how I see it.

The connection have proved they know what they are doing with Zenyatta.  She's happy, she dressages, she wins.  Now, tell me if Rachel looks happy.

Rachel proved last year the boys didn't matter, didn't she?

The synthetics make for great preps, keep that in mind.

Oh, and by the way, the East Coast didn't much care about Zenyatta's accomplishments last year and they won't this year.

Enough said.

06 May 2010 3:21 PM
GJU

I agree if it's reasonable, Zenyatta should go to more challenging races. But, I also do not want to see her go what seems the way of Rachel Alexandra. Rachel's first two 2010 races were not disgraceful, and I personally thought she would romp at Churchill. When she was beat, I started to believe that last year's campaign had taken its toll on her as some people have suggested. I DO NOT want that to happen to Zenyatta. I'd rather see her win the Breeders' Cup than horse of the year (even though she deserved it the last two years) at the cost of running her into the ground. Maybe Rachel will go on to win more races and will bounce back her 2009 form. Only time will tell. And, maybe Zenyatta will run in the Stephen Foster or another more challenging race. If not, I will cheer her on wherever she runs. She's magnificent!

06 May 2010 3:24 PM
Bill Daly

The whole country, understandably, wants to see Zenyatta. It would be nice if Moss and Shireffs - in the spirit of Charley Whittingham - would be sporting enough to send her east.  Charley didn't always win when he did that, but he was never thought less of for making the trip.  When Exceller came east and beat Affirmed and Seattle Slew in that memorable JC Gold Cup it certainly validated his greatness. He came east with Cougar II and lost.  I believe he also brought Kennedy Road and lost.  In the seventies there were many other examples of western horses invading the east and doing quiite well.  John Gosden brought Bates Motel to Monmouth and beat Island Whirl - another western horse. I certainly agree that it isn't as easy to find examples of horses travelling east-to-west and succeeding.  One notable example, of course, is Spectacular Bid.  Buddy Delp wanted Californians to see this great horse and above all he wanted Bill Shoemaker to validate his opinion that the Bid was the "greatest horse to ever look through a bridle."  The point is that these men and their horses enriched this sport beyond measure with their willingness to accept a challenge.  I just hope that Moss and Shireffs can find inspiration in these examples and send this great mare east to face whomever wishes to challenge her.

06 May 2010 3:30 PM
anniedixie65

I got to see Zenyatta race in the Apple Blossom because they traveled out here. If they chose to run in the Stephen Foster I would again be able to see Zenyatta race, but if she skips it for the vanity i won't be able to make the trip in october to see her in the BC Classic. I would rather her race in the Stephen Foster, I am die hard Z fan and i want to see her every chance I get.

06 May 2010 3:31 PM
draynay

Freetex why should we care about a horse that won't run on the east coast ?  She has never run east of the Mississippi.  Why is that ? Be honest think about it !!!

06 May 2010 3:42 PM
jayjay

Thanks for the article Jason, at least now we have an official blog to talk about Zenyatta and Rachel.

Although I don't agree with your opinion, I think the Mosses have been the racing for far too long for me to question their plans.  They have a great horse, a horse that will hopefully set the record for the most consecutive unbeaten wins at 17.  She's already in company with horses like Cigar and Personal Ensign.  I really don't care if it's polytrack or dirt, she's ran in both and won convincingly.  I don't think she has that much more to prove to the fans in general.  The so-called RA fans of course will berate her as much as they can because they know that their horse is not doing so well.  

Everyone who has seen Zenyatta run knows what she's capable of and I think the Mosses are very confident with her ability that they don't need to ship her and try her on dirt.  They already know she can win on dirt.  Whoever ends up being the best in the east coast will have to face her in the Classics and when they do, that means she will be facing the best male horse running on dirt.  

I agree that the main reason they ran her again this year is because they lost the HOTY last year.  I guess in some way, what Jackson did with RA last year has forever changed the way HOTY will be voted on and that means it will always go to a male horse unless there's a female horse that beat male horses 3 or 4 times.  In a sense, that is what you're saying in this article.  It's no longer enough that she faces the best male dirt horse in November but that she needs to beat them in other races.

With most of the other sports, the number 1 seed never faces the other number seed, they always face the last seed first, because in the end you want the best teams to face each other right ?   It's not quite the same in horse racing but you see my logic.

You do not have to travel to be called the best, you have to beat the best to be the best.

06 May 2010 3:42 PM
Sam

THANK YOU!

Someone else as shocked as I at this outward display of cowardice from Zenyatta's owners and brave enough to call them on it.

J. Moss' sour grapes speech after HOTY was announced was poor sportsmanship, this latest nonsense is just pathetic.  I received a handful of hatemail from people yelling at me when I first made the same statements immediately following the announcement of her aiming for the Vanity, so I know what you're likely in for.

To use the excuse that it's so much harder for her to ship out of CA is a pretty poor excuse.  Yes, I'll grant that it is difficult, but the bottom line is there is no competition in CA for her anymore, unless she faces males.  The HystericalLadys and Cocoa Beachs have all retired or gone elsewhere and I for one and tired of seeing her continue to beat up on increasingly inferior 4-horse fields under the guise of "doing it for the fans."  If her owners and fans truly believe she's the best ever, then she needs to travel and do something new.

At the VERY least she should step out of restricted company from here out.  Another start in CA?  Fine, then she runs in the Californian (which is the day before), not the Vanity.

06 May 2010 3:45 PM
draynay

Keenelandcat you can't be serious. NO ONE really believes Zenyatta can beat Quality Road on dirt.  NO ONE. Quality has set multiple records on dirt at different tracks.  Zenyatta has not come close to setting any kind of record on dirt.  To believe she can beat him on dirt is to believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy.

Must be nice to live in your world.

06 May 2010 3:49 PM
BigBadAndMean

Zenatta's connections have handled her perfectly with her best interest first and formost.I also believe the Moss's could care less of the eastern biased Eclipse award .I put total trust in where they run and space here races their interst is 100% behind Zenyatta ,not like"Ducky" Alexander conections

06 May 2010 4:00 PM
Rachel

The conservative "safe" path is why Zenyatta is not a 2x HOY...in 2008 they would not run her against males and in 2009 they did not race her on dirt...

Zenyatta deserves and has earned the right to run against males...I would never think less of her if she lost a race...never...

Very astute article.

06 May 2010 4:01 PM
TheEvilMarie

This may sound like a dumb question but here goes:

Isn't a poly track -- dirt that has been treated with special polymers?????

So why is everyone saying that Zenyatta doesn't do dirt.  Yes the surface is slightly different but when it comes down to it -- it just dirt.  It still hurts if you get flicked with it

06 May 2010 4:02 PM
dustywhipp

Zenyatta runs her best race on dirt, and while I would love to see her race males on the dirt, hopefully twice, I don't feel she needs to prove anything. She's unbeaten, even against that full Classic field last year, and the way she wins her races... I believe Rachel's races are faster because she's a front runner.

Zenyatta can run from far back into a slaw half-mile. It's not a problem for her. I would love to she her face Quality Road, Rachel Alexandra, and the other top horses this year at the Breeders' Cup. Then all questions will be answered.

06 May 2010 4:07 PM
LAZMANNICK

GreyK

Take a pill.  I didn't insult the memories of Cigar, Kelso and Secretariat......maybe the voters last year did.  As far as Zen hiding out in California.....that shows how absurd you are.  What's she hiding out from?  Rachel…..Ha, ha, ha.  Maybe she's tired from her trip to OP to face our HOY who decided to hide out instead.  Last time I looked it’s still early May…..Zen didn’t even have her first race of 2009 by this time.  I have a feeling you’re going to eat you words probably around the latter part of August, then people like you can find something else about her to find fault with.

06 May 2010 4:12 PM
Rechelle

Christine, HOY stands for Horse of The Year, the top honor a horse can be given for their performance during the previous year.  It is given out in January of the following year at the Eclipse Awards.  (ie 2009 HOY was given out in Jan 2010).

Hope that helps!

06 May 2010 4:14 PM
EileenG

NoCal SC, Thanks for the clarification on NYRA's policy on Bute. I was much more involved with racing 30 years ago when it was in effect. And I'm glad to hear that Zen doesn't run on it, it is a very destructive drug.

06 May 2010 4:14 PM
RGGC

First let me say I am a huge Zenyatta fan living in NJ. Secondly I feel a owner should do what they will with their horse as long as they are not abusing it. But with that said, to think I will not get to see her because they don't want to come east is driving me insane! Her legacy is forever ingrained, she has nothing to lose and all to gain. Jason, thank you for saying what my heart wants to scream!

Please, please bring Zenyatta eastand against the boys!

06 May 2010 4:18 PM
Mokey

I wish that they owners where true to thier word. They said she was retiring then Oops "we're going to race her" . Next they said "We'll do something different this year". When will that be?? Maybe as "record" people they should listen to their own words. They could get to KY last year (didn't run because it rained). Maybe she's like the hollywood starlet's not so real???

06 May 2010 4:20 PM
WWSTP

I agree.  Last year it was "nice", all year, to watch Z do her pre-race dance, check out the setting, then skip her way through another race with the females, but it was not GREAT.  Her BC Classic run was GREAT, and the bar is now set higher.  I think the Mosses are very hungry for the HOY award this year, otherwise they would have retired her as they said they would.  RA is not currently any threat to her status and that hype is at least on hold, so.....she needs to step it up a notch to reach these goals.  The Mosses have taken the laid back route two years in a row and just missed the HOY.  Let's see what she can do when she has to consistently stretch - when she travels and meets the boys on dirt and takes on even a partial resemblance to RA's campaign last year.  That perfect record is not worth much if it's always way too easy.

06 May 2010 4:22 PM
Criminal Type

Has eveyone forgotten Zenyatta beat the best male horses in the WORLD in the Breeders Cup Classic? Why all the critisism? Jealous? Bitter?

As fans it is not our job to say where she should run or who she should run against. As much as im sure we would all like to see her come to our area and race, Especially, It seems, the New Yorkers. Mr Sheriffs has already stated they do not care for the detention barn scenario. The man knows his charge, im sure there is a good reason he does not want Zenyatta subjected to isolation. We are not her connections. Surely they know whats best for their horse.

It seems like everyones "plan" for Zenyatta's schedule includes her meeting supposed Horse of the year, Rachel Alexandra at some point. In my opinion this is ridiculous. Obviously Rachel is not the same horse she was last season. I for one do not think it is necessary for Zen to race Rachel to prove herself. Zenyatta has proven she can carry her winning form from 3 to 4 to 5 to 6, which is something Rachel has been unable to duplicate to date.

Zenyatta has done it all. She has nothing left to prove.

06 May 2010 4:32 PM
Elizabeth

I'm feeling some east coast bias over here. Apparently if you race on the east coast you are great. If you race on the west coast you suck and can't be considered great until you race on the east coast.

Basically what some of you are doing is saying that any graded race on the west coast isn't really a race at all. What would you say if I said RA isn't great because she hasn't run on the west coast?

For those that argue that they have to see in person to believe Zenyatta is the real thing is rather sad. I haven't ever seen Rachel in person but I still believe she is a very nice horse and I would love to see her travel over here but I know she won't because Jackson hates synthetics. I'm not going to take anything away from her because of that, she is still a very nice horse.

I think the other problem here is there simply aren't as many high level tracks on the west coast. On the east coast you can find several high class tracks within only a few hours driving time. That is a major difference from flying across the entire country, which is what Zenyatta has to do. Also remember that Sherrifs trains out of Hollywood park year round and has no "bases" anywhere else. Unlike Asmussen who can send RA to a track where he has a stable set up and she can stay there and never have to go back to the track she came from. Zenyatta has to haul/fly to Oaklawn, Churchill, Belmont, Saratoga and then go back to Hollywood only a day or two later. Thats tough on any horse. For that reason I do buy into the "shipping across the rookies" excuse. Also remember that she does have wins at the 3 top tracks on the west coast, it is more coincidence that they are all in the same state.

This being said, I disagree with them opting for the Vanity, they need to look for a race vs males on the west coast, then they can venture over to the east coast again.

06 May 2010 4:32 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Leenza

  Very well said. You said it all, and with great clarity and sense. When it comes right down to it-all I really care about is Zenyatta's health and safety. Nothing else really matters. It seems that the Stephen Foster would be a good race but like you said, who knows her like the trainer and owner. The answer-NOBODY, and they have done a great job taking care of her so far. What the media or fans want should have no impact on where they run her. That can be dangerous. Thank you for your superbly written reminders.

06 May 2010 4:33 PM
Assault

Jason Shandler,

Let's focus on Rachel Alexandra.

Rachel Alexandra is the bigger story here. Rachel Alexandra is the reigning  "Horse of the Year".

Rachel Alexandra cannot beat a 5 horse field in the "New Orleans Ladies" and a 6 horse field in the "La Troinne".

Rachel Alexandra is making the Eclipse award look cheap.

Meanwhile, Zenyatta dismantles her Grade I opposition with ease.

In fact, no one from the east wants to tackle Zenyatta on a "dirt" track at Oaklawn this year.

Where are those Grade I east coast mares and their trainers?

06 May 2010 4:34 PM
Kate

@draynay:  I think there actually are quite a few people who legitimately feel Z can beat QR on dirt at a mile and a quarter.  Both have them have holes in their resumes that each side can pick at - Z hasn't beaten males on dirt, and QR has been a bit inconsistent and has not won at a mile and a quarter.

I am a big Z fan, but I would love to see a healthy QR take her on in the BC.  That's the only real way to see which horse is truly the best.

Also, to others, I'm a Z fan, but she really does have something left to prove.  She doesn't have to prove anything else for me to consider her a great, but she does need to prove (as in, physically do it) she can beat open company on dirt.  I think she can do it, and so do most of her fans, however, until she ACTUALLY does it, all we're doing is speculating.  She has NOT proven she can beat open company on dirt because she's never done it.  Currently, it's just an unproven theory.

06 May 2010 4:39 PM
Diane J

WWSTP

I know it's been said ad nauseum by now, but if a perfect record is not worth much then why aren't more racehorses undefeated in their careers?

06 May 2010 4:39 PM
Frank

This article coming from a guy that voted for Rachel Alexandra as HOY?

Imagine that!

Keep bashing Zenyatta and watch her surpass the legendary "Eclipse".

06 May 2010 4:40 PM
Michael

draynay...you are a sorry excuse for a race fan. It appears you've jumped off the RA bandwagon and jumped on the QR express. Give me a break. Zenyatta doesn't have to race east of the mississippi to establish her greatness. It's already been established. QR had his chance to run at her and he acted like a 2 year old learning to break from the gate. What I want to know is when Zen finally meets and defeats QR, who's bandwagon will you jump on next? You're just a hater to the 10th degree!

06 May 2010 4:46 PM
Rechelle

Lazmannick wrote: "Zenyatta raced against males in North America’s top race last year……a) the top males, B) 1-1/4M, C) She was the favorite, D) Had a terrible trip, C) Won like a champion"

Get your facts straight.  

(1) it was not all the top males because it was run on a synthetic surface and a lot of horses won't run there, plus Quality Road was scratched at the last minute and he was one of the top 3yos last year.

(2) She did NOT have a bad trip, she had the same trip that she's had for her entire racing career.  She stays in last place and then makes her move going around the final turn or on the stretch if it's long enough.  Not sure what horse you've been watching for 2+ years but it must not have been Zenyatta.

I will give you that she ran like the champion she is.  I was betting against her just because it seemed like any horse should lost a race and I thought the most likely spot was the BCC.  I was wrong.  Watching her win that race gave me goosebumps.  I still don't think she had done enough last year to be HOY and obviously others agreed with me, since the voting was not as close as expected.  Regardless, Zenyatta has a lot to prove and it needs to be proven outside of California for the season.  There are plenty of tracks she can go to other than Belmont, since the Mosses justifably don't like that track after Giacomo went nuts in the detention barn.  We've seen other horses do the same thing, most recently that I remember specifically was Big Brown, kicking his back legs up at his exercise rider.  He was never settled in the barn and that may have been part of his bad race.  But there are 3 main things that Zenyatta needs to do this season to get top honors: (1) she has to come out of California and race against new competition (2) she has to face the boys a couple of times before the Breeders Cup and (3) She really has to meet Quality Road before the Breeders Cup.  Quality Road has proven he is a horse to be taken very seriously.  Had he not gone nuts in the starting gate at last year's BCC, the race could've gone differently.  But could've beens don't count in this industry.  Quality Road is going to be one of the top horses this season.  I am hoping that I Want Revenge, when he starts his season in a couple of months, will be the same horse he was when he was before he was injured.  Friesian Fire is also back and may be a horse to watch.  Don't count out General Quarters either. There are a lot of horses that could give Zenyatta a challenge, which is what she needs to prove that she is the real deal both in California and out of California.  We already know she can't be beat in California.  We do NOT know that on dirt.  She won the same race on dirt twice.  She needs to be tested on different tracks.  The time has truly come for the connections of Zenyatta to quit being so damn conservative with her and start taking risks with her.  Otherwise, we will never know what Queen Zenyatta is truly capable of.  It's not fair to Zenyatta and it's not fair to the fans.  

06 May 2010 4:49 PM
I Davis

I'm a Rachel fan who really appreciates Z's accomplishments...she's awesome and I'd like to see her run on the East coast...have yet to see her live.  Obviously the owner/trainer can race her as they please..and they probably want to beat another record...the # of consecutive wins/undefeated champion, etc.  However, what happens if we have a triple crown champ this year??  Z, I would assume, will NOT be HOTY...will she?? So at this point, it's a gamble. If Super Saver wins the next two...Z will then have to do stand on her head, I'm afraid, to get HOTY...and perhaps she can do it! :)

06 May 2010 4:49 PM
Dave Johnson

I would like to give a little insight to the bloggers of Jason Shandler's article and what was going on with Zenyatta and Churchill Downs last year.

Once this is posted, the cat will be out of the bag "so-to-speak".

Sherriffs already knows what he has when it comes to Zenyatta and the Churchill Downs racing surface.

Before the track was sealed (last year at Churchill Downs) Zenyatta was eating the track.

Her best surface to date "according to her connections" is Churchill Downs.

John is "very" conservative and did not want to race Zenyatta on a sealed hard surface, due to his main goal of the 2009 Breeders Cup World Championships (later in the year).

Whether people choose to listen or not is up to them, but this mare will absolutely destroy Quality Road and any filly/mare on the North American continent in regards to Churchill Downs racing surface.

Most people (meaning the public) do not realize "just how good" Zenyatta took to Churchill's racing surface.

They will soon find out.

(a.k.a: 2010 Breeders Cup World Championships

Best Regards,

Dave Johnson

06 May 2010 4:51 PM
Rechelle

Buster B Quick wrote: "Zen was NOT the favorite in the BC! And I thought she had a fine trip... just running in the rear. Agreed: she won like the champion she is."

Actually Zenyatta was sent off as the favorite at 5-2.  Next favorite was Rip Van Winkle at 7-2 and third favorite was Summer Bird at 9-2.  I got this from this site: horseracing.about.com/.../aabcprev09cl.htm

I agree with everything else you said, just wanted to correct you on that one little fact. :) :)

06 May 2010 4:53 PM
Freetex

Dear Draynay,

Your statement to me could be turned around, now couldn't it?

06 May 2010 4:54 PM
Secretariat

Draynay,

East Coast tracks.... We don't care about them. They are inferior to the West Coast tracks.

West Coast horses are constantly destroying the East Coast horses on their "dirt" tracks.

East Coast horses cannot win races out west.

Let that be a firm reminder to you.

06 May 2010 5:00 PM
Rechelle

Criminal Type, the Breeders Cup may be called the Breeders Cup World Championships, but do you honestly believe that the best horses in the world are there?  Are the champions from Argentina there?  Are the champions from Japan there?  Just because we get the occasional European horse there does NOT mean that they are the best horses from that country.  A great example from last year is Sea The Stars.  He was the best European horse last year, but rather than come to the "world championship" races, he ran the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on October 5.  He was retired instead of travelling to the States because of his long season.  They felt, rightfully so, that Sea The Stars had a great season & didn't have anything more to prove.  So just because a race is called a World Championship does not mean it is.  The Dubai World Cup attracts horses from many more countries than the Breeders Cup does and is a true showing of World Champion horses.  

06 May 2010 5:05 PM
ThePixiePoet

For all you Rachel Critics out there:

Although she lost the La Troienne last Friday (by between a nose and a head), her finishing time was a little over a second away from the Churchill Downs track record for that distance! That put her (and Unrivaled Belle's) Beyer Speed Figure at 103! This was the career best speed figure for Unrivaled Belle. In the New Orleans Ladies, Rachel came in second, losing by a head. Zardana, who won, had her career best speed figure of 101 in that race as well! The two horses that beat Rachel, by such a small margin, both had career best races when they competed against Rachel. It took a career best race for both horses to narrowly beat Rachel, who by all reports was only racing at only 85% and 90%. Yet in those same races where she came a close second, she achieved respectable speed figures over 100.

06 May 2010 5:06 PM
ThePixiePoet

Just for fun, let's compare Rachel's speed figures with Zenyatta's speed figures. Zenyatta achieved a speed figure of 95 in the Apple Blossom early April of this year. That was the slowest speed figure Zenyatta has run in the last 2 years, and the lowest Apple Blossom speed figure in 21 years! In her prior race, the "Santa Margarita" in March of this year, her beyer speed figure was 102. Of course, with deep closers like Zenyatta, we can't judge by speed figures alone, but nevertheless, speed figures do show the level of the field she was competing against was not even close to Rachel's class. Winning against such a weak field may not really prove all that much. I like Zenyatta, but I would rather her owners put her in more challenging races with stronger fields.

06 May 2010 5:06 PM
CV

"Papillion: I lost interest in your last post a couple sentences in. Let me repeat: She has not yet beaten males on dirt. Period."

-- jshandler

Then go back and read the post at 1:12 PM from democraticjack, where he points out a truth you stubbornly continue to ignore, "Calling poly a "fake" is ridiculous. They are all real racing surfaces."

Jason, the truth is synthetic tracks can contain as much as 70% sand and dirt tracks weren't put there by God.

It's telling that you and your anti-synthetic pals don't criticize tracks like Woodbine and Keeneland. No, your venom is only directed at California tracks. I wonder why that is.

Zenyatta will always be attacked by the anti-synthetic crowd whose irrational hatred for the tracks spills over to horses that run on them.

Unfortunately, this column has provided a perfect platform for these folks, and Zenyatta can never do enough to overcome their bias.

06 May 2010 5:06 PM
Rechelle

Criminal Type, the reason the Mosses dislike the detention barn is because their other horse, who may have heard of, Giacomo went nuts in it.  Truly nuts, along the lines of Quality Road's historic freak out at the Breeders Cup last year.  HOWEVER, it must be pointed out that Belmont Park has agreed that if Zenyatta comes to Belmont, they will NOT use the detention barn for her race.  They stated that last year when they were trying to get Rachel & Zenyatta to meet.  So that reason to not bring Zenyatta east is out.  

06 May 2010 5:07 PM
keenelandcat

Yes, Draynay it is nice to live in my world.  Want to come see some of the horses we breed & sell some time!  I didn't finish my final sentence completely in my last post.  We will see Zen win   at Churchill this Fall & beat the boys AGAIN.  I have a bet for you-if Z & QR do meet.  If QR places higher than Z, I won't post again.  If Z finishes ahead of QR (I'm that confident), you won't post again.

06 May 2010 5:07 PM
Jerry B.

AMEN!!!!  2 everything you said!!

06 May 2010 5:14 PM
DinkyDiva

Thank you Jason for the blog.  I read in an article from Hollywood Park that one main reason that they are pointing her toward the Vanity is to prep her for the Hollywood Gold Cup against the boys.  Also, they had planned on having Zenyatta day for the Vanity, giving out bobble head souveniers to the fans.  The Mosses had stated also in an earlier article on drf that, they will be shipping her a few times before the BCC.  

I mean, come on, it is still too early in the season to say whether or not she should ship here, there or wherever!  You also know that where ever she goes, owners and trainers won't have the guts to run their horses against her!  Or, they will have another Quality Road freak out!  He wanted nothing to do with the Queen!

So, it makes sense to me that the Mosses keep her home for the time being.  It makes no sense to ship her and have noone show up for the race.  They have been able to keep a 17 1/2 hand, monster of a mare, sound, happy, safe and still loving her job!  You don't see that anymore.  So, kudos to you Mosses and Sheriffs!!!  Keep up the wonderful job and Thank You, Thank You for sharing your gift from Heaven!!

06 May 2010 5:15 PM
Rechelle

Elizabeth, no one is discounting the stakes races in California, there are some very important ones.  What people are getting tired of is seeing Zenyatta beat up on the same fillies & mares EVERY YEAR and seeing her run the SAME races over & over & over.  She needs to be given the opportunity to race against different horses.  She is the champion right now of California.  She needs to prove that she is a champion in the eastern states now.  She has run on dirt twice, but both times it was at the same track for the same race.  She needs to go to Churchill, Saratoga, Monmouth, Belmont Park, Pimlico, any dirt track. Heck, if they want her to have a couple easy wins, then take her to Lone Star Park.  I love LSP (I live in that area) but they don't get a lot of top horses there, mostly due to the heat, which is why our season starts in April & ends in July. The Breeders Cup is being run on dirt, and it makes more sense to race her this season on dirt at different tracks then it does to train her on synthetic.

And if it's a concern to fly her across country, they have flown her to Churchill before, so if they don't want to fly all the way to New York, then take her to Churchill, let her train there for awhile, maybe run a race or two there, then either van her or fly her to Saratoga or any other east coast track and let her run on the dirt there.  I don't think anyone can disagree that there are some important stakes races in California.  It's just that it's now redundant to run Zenyatta there if they are just going to enter her in the same races that she's won for the past 2 years.  It isn't doing anything for Zenyatta's credibility running those same races and if they insist on running her in them, then they need to accept the basic fact that she will miss out on HOY again next year.  Zenyatta deserves better than her connections are doing now.  She's a better horse than that.    

06 May 2010 5:15 PM
CV

"Why should we care about a horse that won't run on the WEST coast?  Rachel Alexandra has never run WEST of the Mississippi. Why is that ? Be honest think about it !!!"

(slightly altered post from) draynay 06 May 2010 3:42 PM

Puts things in a different perspective, doesn't it?

06 May 2010 5:16 PM
Cgriff

Jason - I cannot argue your points.  They are valid.  It doesn't gel with what they hope to achieve (HOY) and with what they said about getting her out to the fans.

Maybe showing up at the Foster when saying they are going Vanity is the "smoke and mirrors" that Draynay led with in his latest bloviation against Zenyatta.

Funny thing about Draynay, though - get him on another blog by another writer, and he's all sunshine and sweetpeas talking about how he totally "gets" the incredible rareness of ability and personality of Zenyatta.  

But the minute he gets back here?  Same old, tired old talking points.  

He truly is the Sarah Palin of this blog - lots of shrieking noise, signifying nothing original or based in fact.

06 May 2010 5:19 PM
LAZMANNICK

MTBFan(still)

I get your point about being challenged, but do you really think the Stephen Foster is going to be a challenging race?.....Most of the probable competitors raced on Oaks day in the Alysheba.  What's so tough about them.  And if she did go against them someone would pop up and say yeah, but Quality Road wasn't in that race.  It's a no win situation for her. I do believe that Rachel's connections will consider going into the Foster at the last minute when they see what the competition is, but if Zen was entered they'd opt out......Like a lot of poeple on this blog, I'm disappointed also, but I'm also a realist.  People can say what they want about bringing her east.  She plans on being east later this year, especially for the BCC.  I somehow have the feeling that that still won't silence the critics.

06 May 2010 5:19 PM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

I don't know who spews more stupidity - Jason or Draynay.

If your final criteria is beat G1 males on dirt - that is just silly. There wasn't a single legitimate G1 horse in the Woodward even though it is listed as a G1 - it was really a G3 at best, as was the Haskell facing a sprinter in Munnings and the over- rated Derby winner - so RA beat a bunch of rats and collected your precious golden ring(males on dirt).

The field that Zenyatta simple ran away from in the BC Classic was a legitimate G1 field. She beat the best of the USA and Europe that day.

Zenyatta doesn't need to travel just to make all the loud mouth RA fans happy. Its called taking care of the horse. They won't make the same mistakes the Asmussen made when he gutted RA by running her in the Preakness, Haskell and Woodward.  RA will never be the same. They ruined her. So let's try and ruin Zenyatta too?

06 May 2010 5:21 PM
mike williams

I will not second guess the owners or the trainer of Zenyatta. They are doing what is best for the horse.Maybe she will lose a race one of these days.Horses are not machines,they suffer the same fatigue as humans when they travel.Those who criticize the connections for not having her compete against males on eastern dirt tracks, should remember that Rachel Alexandria did not race on a synthetic surface last year and did not appear at the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita.Her connections were doing what was best for Rachel Alexandria.Zenyatta has on her resume that she did compete on dirt at Oaklawn.Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta have nothing else to prove to anyone and I hope that their owners will avoid any pressure and always make the right decisions for their horses.

06 May 2010 5:23 PM
Funny1991

Hey Zenyatta stop racing in California and race against horses that aren't afraid of you like the boys on dirt. The girls in Cali are scared of you that they either run away and hide in their stalls or try to race for 2nd. GO FACE SOME REAL COMPETITION FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE ZENYATTA!!! That's why Rachel won HOY and not you. The boys right now have the best shot to be HOY this year beacuse of Quality Road, Super Saver, Ice Box, Lookin at Lucky and many others. Race on a real surface for once and not the girls because it is the same stuff different day, when it comes to you Zenyatta.

Also Peppers Pride still has you beat and if you think you should be HOY because you are undefeated then Peppers Pride should be also HOY. GET IT

GO FACE SOME REAL COMPETITION!!!

I hope your connections read this Zenyatta.

06 May 2010 5:24 PM
ljfmolly

Great post I agree 100%.  If they really believe their horse is the best then what are they afraid of?  I do believe they do not have enough faith in their own horse.  What a waste. In order to be called the best you need to PROVE IT BY RACING IN THE BIGGEST RACES.  NOT JUST 1 BIG RACE!

06 May 2010 5:28 PM
Funny1991

O and another thing the fields that are beating in Cali more 8-year old quarter paint mare can beat them too.

06 May 2010 5:29 PM
LaurieK

I think, quite honestly, it will depend on the weight she's given.  If they saddle her with a ton of bricks, then she'll probably go in the Foster.  As a SoCal based Zenyatta Zealot, I'd much rather see her run in that race, for obvious reason that she has zero business running against her sex any longer.  The Santa Margarita was a fine prep.  The Apple Blossom was supposed to be something other than what it was, and her connections were keeping their word that they'd bring her.  Not her fault the competition chose not to show.  Now, however, it's time to crank things up a bit, and I'm not so sure they won't.  If they keep her at home, they should at least go in the Gold Cup.  But if they don't do either of these things and run in that damned Vanity Handicap again, I'll happily go see her again.  Besides, Vanity Day is Zenyatta Bobblehead Day.  Maybe she'll autograph it for me!

06 May 2010 5:31 PM
silverscrngirl

What?!?  What are they thinking? No comfort zones anymore, she needs to travel east and get some more dirt races under her belt and visit other tracks at this point in her career.  Don't bring her back from retirement for the same mundane routine a third year in a row.  Do something more memorable like running on the East Coast on other tracks and against the males.  I think we would appreciate a 2nd or 3rd to the boys on the east coast dirt a little more than a third win on the same poly against the same Cali Mares.

06 May 2010 5:37 PM
Zookeeper

The sad part of all of this is that NO DECISION has been made regarding Zenyatta's next race. A fact that most of you ignore as you go on and on repeating the same thing over and over again and pretending most of you are geniuses for aping each other's rants. SAD!!!  :(

For the arrogant blogger who had the gall to comment that the "East Coast DESERVES to see Zenyatta run on dirt against the boys" get over yourself. Zenyatta is a GIFT that NOBODY deserves. She is GIVEN to those who can appreciate her no matter where her connections decide to run her.

06 May 2010 5:39 PM
disappointedinu

It is absolutely clear than nobody here has horses or understands enough about them to realize shipping is incredibly stressful on a horse. It puts an extreme amount of stress on their legs, almost as if you were to exercise them for the same amount of time. Plus, it can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as ulcers, which ultimately lead to colic. Colic is the leading cause of horse death in the world! And the complications that can arise from colic (eg laminitis, read about Kip Deville) can be equally fatal. So it is outrageous to expect the connections of any racehorse to take those kinds of risks for a race that won't mean anything. Why should the Mosses or John Sherriffs put Zenyatta through that, when the benefits don't outweigh the risks? Even if she handles traveling well, it still is very risky, and there is no reason to take that risk. The SF is a handicap as well, and there is no guarantee that Zenyatta will get any less weight there than she will at home. She likely will scare away any serious competition, so other than running on dirt, which I suspect she will be doing closer to the BCC, what's the point? Last time I checked, her fans in California would like to see her race too.

How can any of you be so selfish? You seem to forget that Zenyatta has tackled every challenge thrown her way, with style. Can you really take away from her victories just because she ran on a surface that is slightly different than what you're used to seeing? If you would stop taking your frustrations out on the owners for being partial to California, you would see that they are doing what is in the best interest of the horse. Would you rather put your own desires( to see her race more on dirt/against males, etc) above her safety? Perhaps you all should do research before becoming so emotional. Google how traveling stresses horses, and see for yourself how dangerous it can be. I have several horses, some of who have colicked from traveling stress. Then maybe you won't scold responsible horse owners for taking care of an animal that cannot fend for itself, that depends wholly on them for making the right decision not only for success, but for their lives.

06 May 2010 5:42 PM
Jasmine

Jason, I actually don't see her starting in the Vanity and the reasoning is simple weight assignments. The Vanity is a handicap and considering the last time she started in it she got her highest yet I would expect this year's to be even higher. So my personal theory is that it is a game of weight and see IF the weight assignments aren't too the satisfaction really of her connections I can see one of three things happening: she runs in the Vanity (which I really don't see happening), two she doesn't run in June period and is pointed to some race in July (I actually have a theory that Sherrifs might be using the Vanity as a springboard for the Gold Cup they are close enough part this year that I think it falls in their comfort zone), or three if the assignments for the Stephen Foster are more reasonable for her they change their minds and ship her to Churchill.

06 May 2010 5:44 PM
ALB

Not to be mean or anything, but in regards to RA, maybe Asmussen needs to call up Hal Wiggins and get some training tips from him since last year he got RA in May and she was already conditioned by Hal, so Steve didn't have to really do anything with her! Just a thought....

06 May 2010 5:46 PM
BILL C

why didn't Rachel run in The Apple blossom. why? ZENYATTA.

06 May 2010 5:47 PM
ALB

Also, I just thought of something else, since the BC Classic is on dirt this at Churchill in October, what if it rains? Are they going to scratch Zenyatta due to the off track?

06 May 2010 5:48 PM
merlinmerry

Interesting how differently horses are treated these days. Back in 1927, another 6 year old mare was finishing up her racing career before being retired to the breeding shed. Her name was Princess Doreen, foaled in 1921, died in 1952 at 31 years of age.  The Princess had 94 starts, with 34 wins at 15 different tracks.  She had a total of 82 starts against males including 63 of her final 64 races.  Of those final starts, 48 were stakes - she won 12 of them. Her final stats were 94 starts, 34 wins, 15 seconds and 17 thirds.

And Zenyatta's team doesn't want to cross the Rockies?  Thats the tie up?  Maybe they don't know that its been a real long time since anyone had to resort to cannibalism during the trip.

06 May 2010 5:49 PM
Red Ransom 423

If the end of year goal for Zenyatta is the BC Classic, a logical path could be the Vanity, then the Pacific Classic.  I just do not think you'll see her in NY or anywhere on dirt prior to the Classic.  And, she'll need to be running at her best distance (1 and 1/4) to attain the speed fig. some think she may not have in her.  What's wrong with a showdown in the BC Classic with Q-Road, Rachel (if they go that way) and others.

06 May 2010 5:58 PM
shuttleworth

hey, thanks for this can of worms!! lol... I couldn't agree with you more - Zenyatta has been there and done that. She is obviously a very talented superstar legend-in-the-making mare who deserves some real quality competition. This is akin to the Beatles not performing at Madison Square Garden, opting to stay in clubs... you have to show up for this one!! Mosses, please, please me and bring Zenyatta to the Stephen Foster!!!

06 May 2010 6:02 PM
Shelle

Pepper’s Pride has19 consecutive wins and holds the record.  Zenyatta has 16 consecutive wins which means she is only 3 wins behind Pepper’s Pride.  Therefore, it only make good sense to keep Zenyatta doing what she does best on the tracks that she likes best until she ties or beats Pepper’s Pride, then campaign her all over the country and against the boys once the title is secure.  

06 May 2010 6:10 PM
Betsy

144+ comments in 8 hours? Clearly the Triple Crown is boorrring; let's just get rid of it and have East vs. West coast horses duke it out in a series of dirt vs. synthetic races. We'd actually have some exciting races - or at least some interesting talk and speculation. Ah, the drama - it'd make a smashing movie...

Seriously, although I don't agree with some people here, Zen's and RA's careers are more interesting than the current 3yos. Here's to both making the BCC and fufilling our dreams.

06 May 2010 6:28 PM
Jason Shandler

Frank: I didnt vote for HOY last year. Get your facts straight pal. In fact, I voted for Z two years ago.

06 May 2010 6:29 PM
Criminal Type

Rechelle your a fountain of misinformation.

06 May 2010 6:47 PM
Barbaro

Wow. I must say Jason and Draynay, it's quite obvious that you're both Zenyatta haters. ZEN showed up at the Apple Blossom, RA didn't(big suprise) Zen is undefeated AGAIN this year.. RA's been beaten by inferior fillies twice. Yeah, Zenyatta could race in KY, but it may not happen. Is it a big deal when RA misses a race that was only a possibility? No. So why is it so bad for Zen? Hm.. because she's never been beaten?

06 May 2010 6:50 PM
Greg J.

    First, I will start off by saying I am a huge fan of both Champions, Zenyatta & Rachel.  Seeing Rachel in person at The Spa when she won the Woodward was one of the most thrilling experiences in all my years going to the track.  I haven't seen Zenyatta yet, Being from Connecticut, But, I have no doubt she will come to either Saratoga or Belmont, Or both! Then I will get my chance.I think some seem to forget that Zenyatta was to be retired after she won the Breeders' Cup Classic(Against Males!), So, Getting to see this undefeated Mare at all is icing on the cake.  She is undefeated for a reason, Besides her amazing class and talent, She has been handled perfectly.  Who am I, Or for that matter, Anyone, To question where she runs or what race? The end goal is for her to win the Classic and go down in history as one of the best ever.  If she goes in the Vanity and becomes the first to win it three times, So be it.  I still think there is a very good chance she will go in the Stephen Foster instead of the Vanity, Nothing is set in stone.  After the Vanity or Stephen Foster, I honestly believe she will goto Saratoga and Belmont, Then Churchill Downs to finish her Career 20-0.  When that happens, These arguments will seem silly and a waste of time.  We are witnessing a great of our generation, Why not enjoy every moment while we can?  I know I will...

     I just want to remind everyone also, The DRF can be wrong, They have been before and will be in the future.  Just two days before printing that Zenyatta will go in the Vanity, They wrote, "Trainer John Shirreffs has said he intends to point Zenyatta toward the Grade 1 Foster on June 12."  Also, Mr. Shirreffs called TVG after they said Zenyatta was going in the Vanity and told them nothing was set in stone.  I am not saying she won't go in the Vanity, Just that it is still over a month away and that is a lifetime in this sport...

      Lasty, To all the people that feel the need to bash Zenyatta, What will you say when she goes to Saratoga,and or Belmont and wins?  You people will always find some excuse, Which is sad, Let your hatred go and enjoy History while it is happening...

06 May 2010 7:00 PM
Kate Harper

Funny1991-"Hey Zenyatta stop racing in California and race against horses that aren't afraid of you like the boys on dirt. The girls in Cali are scared of you that they either run away and hide in their stalls or try to race for 2nd. GO FACE SOME REAL COMPETITION FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE ZENYATTA!!!"

Hey, Funny, where was all that competition in the Apple Blossom this year?  Were all those great non-California-based fillies and mares on spring break?  As for facing "real competition", I would guess you might want to check out the field in last year's BC Classic.  Btw, do you think running 2nd in an allowance at the Fairgrounds and a G2 at CD is  more substantial than winning 2 G1's already this year and now going for her 7th straight?  Laughable.

Zenyatta and her connections owe us absolutely nothing.  We are privileged to see her run again this year.  No one knows what the Mosses and John Shirreffs have planned for her other than the end target of the BC Classic.  If she wins that race, on the precious dirt for those who continue to discredit Z, let me know the next time you get to witness 1 horse claim 3 consecutive BC championships.  Don't hold your breath.  

06 May 2010 7:03 PM
jimthepimp

We all thought that this year would be different for Zenyetta. It is more of the same old stuff and it is a shame for Zenyetta. Zenyetta didnt lose horse of the year last year it was the owners who lost it. If she would of come east and won on dirt she would of won it the last two years. Now this year when someone has a good year and she losses again I wont feel bad for the connections. They are the ones to blame with all of this going to spend my life at my home track stuff. The great ones have always proved it all over the country. Zenyetta is great and her owners and trainer are going to make her legacy ordinary. She had a chance to go down in the same breath as Secretariat if she would of beat everyone at all surfaces. Time will just remember this great horse as a horse that ran up her legacy at home and we will never know if she was the best of all time. Zenyetta could be the best but she wont be remembered as such because she wants to run one big race a year. The owners found out last year that one big race doesnt make HOY and I for one hope that one big race doesnt make HOY this year either. I can see there faces now and saying what more does Zenyetta have to do? Well the owners are the ones that need to step up to the plate and stop making this great horse look like a California State Fair wonder.

06 May 2010 7:06 PM
Dale

To draynay - the first to post

Your first problem is you put faith in Beyer speed figures - these means you lose money if you bet - they are unreliable to say the least..  The slower the pace the lower the beyer fig is "most cases" and the harder it is to close on the field. Zenyatta may be the girl horse of all time

06 May 2010 7:07 PM
Greg J.

   I forgot to add, Some people are saying Jason hates Zenyatta, Big difference between Jason and the ones on here that obviously hate Zenyatta(Draynay!).  If Jason hated Zenyatta, Would he have voted for her in 2008 for HOY?  Would he have wrote, "with every subsequent loss by Rachel the gap widens between the two superstars"?  He is giving his opinion, I might disagree, But, To call him a "Hater" is just wrong and ignorant, I say grow up to you people...

06 May 2010 7:07 PM
Bob Z

www.rosenblumtv.com/.../mistered2.jpg

Rachel and the Z are laughing at all the hoopla they cause...

06 May 2010 7:11 PM
The Rock

I'm as big a Zenyatta fan as anyone out there, but if either the Owner or Trainer decide to enter her against females again I hope the racing secretary packs on a ton of weight for them doing so. I'm done with her running against fillies. Its time to raise the stakes.

06 May 2010 7:15 PM
Kauto Star

Actually the undefeated record is Kinscem, amazing mare from Hungary. 54 wins from 54 starts in countless stakes, Group One's, handicaps, against males etc

06 May 2010 7:16 PM
vikingblood22

From reading this article and the comments, I have concluded that the Mosses' do not want Z to lose and are just going to keep her in races they know she will win, i.e., make the history pages. However, I will never view her in the same light as the great Cigar no matter if she wins 100 races in a row. She is a pleasure to watch, but I agree that she could run the races she has been entered in, both last year and this year, on three legs and win--there simply has been no competition.

06 May 2010 7:20 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Dave Johnson

   WOW. That is good stuff. No wonder they may not feel that they need to run on the CD surface prior to Breeder's Cup. It was apparent to me that she loves dirt after she so easily jogged to victory in The Apple Blossom. This years Breeder's Cup will be magnificent. Thanks for your post. I have said for a long time that Zenyatta is one of the greatest of all time, any sex, any surface. I do hope that she proves it to the doubters in this year's Breeder's Cup Classic.

06 May 2010 7:20 PM
Funny1991

Kate-tell me the best horse that showed up in the AB. If Zardana can chase Rachel around then why can't Zenyatta try to as well. O thats right she is the one is ducking some horse like males on dirt or males in Cali. I dont care but if she wants to win HOY she needs to race the boys at LEAST ONCE before the Breeders Cup, and then she needs to win the Breeders Cup if she does not as far as I am concered she does not deserve HOY because everyone knows that boys are better than girls.

For example, I'm a swimmer and in swiming boys are faster than girls everyone knows this. So in pracitce the girls will challenge the boys and sometimes win somethimes not but they get better. Some girl swimmers want to have boys vs girls swimming against each other. Myself (who is a boy) would love it because it can show that the girls can race against the boys. So Zenyatta wont be the great orse until she races the boy. If she wants to stay in Cali. then fine but dont race the girls or you wont be HOY. I just dont want to hear all the diehard Zenyatta fans bash another horse because their great horse could not win an award. PATHETIC

06 May 2010 7:24 PM
Rechelle

Criminal Type, if you are going to say that I'm a fountain of misinformation (your exact words), then you need to be prepared to explain to me how I'm misinformed.  The only reason these last 2 Breeders Cup had the Euros in it and running successful is because it was on synthetic, which is favors turf more than it does traditional dirt.  Euros when it has been run on traditional dirt, like it is meant to be, have not faired as well in the Classic and other dirt races.  

Please enlighten me .... How am I misinformed?  I deserve to be able to answer your claim.

06 May 2010 7:27 PM
tvnewsbadge

Nothing new here. This has been a hot topic of discussion since the announcement was made.

It's clear that Zenyatta's connections are banking on her remaining unbeaten to secure her place in hisory (and win  HoY) and they figure it's best to throw softballs at her.

It probably scared the pants off them when Rachel got beaten and they are not going to take that chance with their champion.

06 May 2010 7:30 PM
Tim G

One of the saddest things going on in Cal right now, to me, is Greg Gilchrist giving up the game.

Kind of sad to think about it. Then to hear him say he's leaving because of the state of racing in

Cal is sadder yet.

06 May 2010 7:30 PM
Rechelle

Criminal Type, if you are talking about the detention barn at Belmont, I am trying to find the article I read.  However if you search Zenyatta on any site, you get an overwhelming amount of information.  I will find that article & will be able to post the link.  Belmont was desperate to get Zenyatta & Rachel to the Beldame and knew about the issues that the Mosses have with their track & that detention barn.  The 2 ways that they were trying to entice Zenyatta was a higher purse and no detention barn.  If Rachel would've gone to the Beldame, I believe that the Mosses were going to as well and they would never have even considered that for a second if the detention barn was going to be used.  

06 May 2010 7:37 PM
Touch Glory

I am a big Zenyatta fan and I agree with you too (also because I am on the east coast and was looking forward to her possibly coming to NY).

It will be a big disappointment if she does not come east like they said.  Maybe they are waiting for the fall for her to come out here in prep for the BC in KY???

06 May 2010 7:38 PM
Rechelle

Criminal Type, read this article before you ever call me misinformed again.

www.timesunion.com/.../story.asp

06 May 2010 7:40 PM
Bob Z

Betsy,  (you wrote)

"144+ comments in 8 hours? Clearly the Triple Crown is boorrring; let's just get rid of it and have East vs. West coast horses duke it out in a series of dirt vs. synthetic races"

How about a softball game between the Zenyatta Zealots and the Rachel Rabids?

They can each be their own team captains...

We know they can both run... but did you know that they can hit?

www.youtube.com/watch

06 May 2010 7:41 PM
Mark

Hey to all the Zenyatta haters you can find her in the Breeders Cup Classic at CD on November 6, 2010. I sincerely doubt that Rachel Alexander or Quality Road will even be in the Classic. She will surprise all the critics when she runs on a closer favoring surface instead if the fair poly track. I hope all you haters will spend a moment to appreciate the great race filly that Zenyatta is.

06 May 2010 7:45 PM
Meghan

Zenyatta absolutely needs to run outside of California some more. But why is everyone getting angry with the Mosses? We should be kissing their feet for even bringing her back this year. Whatever they do with her now is just extra.

06 May 2010 7:51 PM
Householder

First of all Pepper's Pride spent a lot of time, like RA, in races that were restricted.  Could Zenyatta have entered the Preakness last year?

She is a two time winner of the Apple Blossom (Boring?)  

She beat the BC Distaff winner and runner up (yawn?)

How many eclipse award winners has she beat? (Doesn't matter?)

Why?  Because she hasn't raced where?  Churchill?  Belmont?  Show me the HOY candidates there worth shipping for.  

If she stopped racing tomorrow she is sitting pretty for HOY.  This is what team Zen is after.  They now recognize it won't go through RA so they are waiting for the next competition to emerge.

They are betting that it won't.  I think this is a safe bet.

06 May 2010 7:54 PM
draynay

Greg J. What will I say when Zenyatta goes to Belmont and Saratoga and wins?  I will say wake up Greg you're DREAMING.  The horse is SIX YEARS OLD AND HAS NEVER RACED EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI.  Do you think that is a accident? Wake up. Secretariat has better odds of racing at Saratoga then Zenyatta does.  Lol, you have to be kidding. Call me when Polyetta CROSSES the Mississippi River.  Hey, that's it maybe the connections don't want to fly over the Rockies and the Mississippi river all in one day. HA HA HA...

06 May 2010 7:55 PM
Mike

Hey Jason

Great article.I was curious do you think it would be a good idea to have Rachel race in a mile race?Just let her go no holding her back to get her back in form.What do you think?

06 May 2010 7:55 PM
draynay

Dale, what a bunch of Beyer nonsense. Rachel ran into slow fractions but came flying home and they finished UNDER 143 and a 103 Beyer.  Call me when Polyetta comes anywhere CLOSE to a sub 143 or a 103 Beyer on dirt.

06 May 2010 8:00 PM
Kay

I don't disagree with the sentiment, but I do disagree with the rampant moving of the goalposts. The notion that the Mosses and John Shirreffs have always "played it safe" with Zenyatta is ridiculous. They could have played it safe by running her back in the BC Ladies but they went for the Classic instead. So now that race doesn't mean anything because it wasn't on dirt? Why does Zenyatta have to prove anything else? Who's making the rules, anyway?

Besides, if you're talking about her "earning" HOTY (like she didn't earn it the last two years already), then shouldn't the discussion be about her facing the 2009 HOTY? She's not ducking Rachel here. As a point of fact, Rachel ducked Zenyatta. But that, apparently, doesn't mean as much as Zenyatta not running against G3 colts in the Foster. I'm just mystified as to why her ability is suspect because she won't go face colts on dirt. What's with the double standard? Why do Jackson and Asmussen get pass after pass, but the people who -- let's face it -- actually MADE the more difficult decision (running Zenyatta in the Classic) are being castigated? And is dirt REALLY the ONLY qualifier here? Rachel's Woodward was greater than Zenyatta's BC Classic because it was on dirt? You know that sounds kind of stupid, right?

Personally, I had no problem with Rachel bowing out of the Apple Blossom. I hope they were doing what was right for the horse. And seeing how Zenyatta's been handled since she was purchased, her connections are doing right by the horse. She's not a car you can just drive down the road, people. Honestly, this argument just smacks of East Coast bias. Because if the situation were reversed and it was Zenyatta who was running on dirt but on the West Coast, and Rachel had run on synthetics but on the East Coast, then y'all would be bleating about how Zenyatta hasn't proven herself on synthetics yet.

BTW, all the above questions are rhetorical <g>.

06 May 2010 8:02 PM
Kate Harper

Funny: "Kate-tell me the best horse that showed up in the AB..."

I guess you missed the gist of what I wrote.  You said Zenyatta needed to run outside of California and face some "real" competition.  She did run outside in the AB and no one of much caliber showed up, including RA. So that's Zenyatta's fault?  Didn't the great Personal Ensign only run once outside of NY?  So, that automatically brings into question her ability.  Btw, Jason Shandler's article was about Zenyatta and where her next race would be, it didn't involve RA so why is she of concern? And if boys are better than girls, why was it 2 distaffers up for HOY last year.  If you can't appreciate Zenyatta's achievements, so be it.  Concentrate on where Jackson will run RA next, guaranteed it will be as far away from Zenyatta as he can get.

06 May 2010 8:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Tim G

  Greg Gilchrist is a great trainer, and his retirement is very disappointing to me. I don't think he ever fully recovered from losing Lost In The Fog the way he did. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Fog at anywhere near his best in his later races because he already had cancer. If I was ever able to own a sprinter he was going straight to Gilchrist. I went to the races with my uncle in the early 80's at Bay Meadows and he pointed to a guy and said-"Now that is a great trainer." I asked who it was and he said-"Greg Gilchrist, remember that name, and bet on his horses." That was well before Gilchrist had a lot of success.

06 May 2010 8:03 PM
Footlick

It is just so interesting how vehement people are, some to the point of almost hatred.  It is also interesting how some people feel that the connections of horses owe it to them to run them according to the fans rules and wishes.  It is not realistic to think that Zenyatta will run only against males and only on dirt all year.  It would be nice if horses would step up and run in California so there is competition, but that is probably as much to do with Zenyatta as the synthetic surfaces.  And that some people think that she should be chasing Rachel Alexandra and Quality Road down to run against them is absurd.  Laz is right in regards to the Foster field.  Who is really going to run in it? And then all of the critics will say that the field wasn't really gr 1 males, why didn't she run in the Met Mile...... it is a no-win situation.  So, I'm now hoping they will run in the Gold Cup.  The competition will be better.  And I'm still hoping for St Trinians and Tuscan Evening and maybe Careless Jewel for the Vanity if Zenyatta goes in that.  But regardless, I have no say and will watch her wherever she runs.  You all can call each other and Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra all the names you want and slam them all you want.  They are still magnificent animals and deserve respect.

Jason- you are brave for opening this up again, but better on it's own blog than on one about the Preakness-lol.  

06 May 2010 8:06 PM
Mike S

What's with all the complaining about how ZENYATTA beats up on the same horses all the time, and how she needs to prove something with tougher competition? She can't have any "tough" competition, she's the best. It's like SPECTACULAR BID's 1980 campaign, he was the best and he had no competition (although FLYING PASTER and GLORIOUS SONG were fantastic horses). Same thing with ZENYATTA, she's just the best, that's all, and there's really no one to challenge her.

And for all the people complaining about ZENYATTA's level of competition didn't you notice that Jess Jackson was so afraid of ZENYATTA in the Apple Blossom that he stayed out of the race even though it offered a FIVE MILLION DOLLAR purse? It was to be the richest race in the history of horse racing for fillies and mares and $5 million was not enough money to get the Horse of the Year into the starting gate against ZENYATTA!

I don't think a lot more needs to be said. The reason ZENYATTA can't beat any tougher competition is clear - it doesn't exist.

06 May 2010 8:09 PM
gammyp6

When Zen does beat the boys on dirt (and she will) Jason and many others will find something to pick apart. "Inferior field" seems to be the mantra. Let's not forget slow fractions,no pace,others had bad post positions..blah blah blah.

Grow up. Just to set the record straight I also am a fan of RA. I have both of their tapestry throws. If you can still get them these are quality pieces and quite beautiful. Anyway my gut feeling is RA will be retired soon. I can't wait to see how Jason handles Zen winning the BC Classic again.  

06 May 2010 8:10 PM
Footlick

Rechelle is right.  Belmont said that if Zenyatta ran there they would make concessions about the detention barn.  And since Zenyatta should love Belmont's sweeping turns, it is a logical choice for them to run there.

06 May 2010 8:11 PM
draynay

Michael, me a hater ? Nope, not me. I am just not living in a fantasyland like many of you. They continue to dodge males on dirt the thing everyone wants to see. The thing anyone with a brain wants to see and put an end to asking just how good is she? The answer is the connections DO NOT think she is good enough to face the best on dirt so they will avoid doing it.  She will continue to race on poly in California and all you poly lovers will continue to stroke Mr. Moss telling him how wonderful he and his horse are while anyone that knows anything about racing is LAUGHING at you. Take a look at what Curlin did after winning the BC so you know how a real champion should race and act.

06 May 2010 8:14 PM
Footlick

Tim G- But he went out a winner!!!  He will be missed, but he seems ready for the change.  Good luck to him.

06 May 2010 8:16 PM
curetheblues

Zenyatta is an amazing mare, however for the last 2 years she has run in the exact same race against the same horses, thereby not really proving much.  The only major change in her races last year was running in the Classic, which, even as a Rachel lover, I can say was amazing.  However, I would have a lot more respect for Zenyatta if her connections would realize that they're just belittling her accomplishment of being the first female to win the Classic by running her against inferior females, shes proven she can beat some of the best males in the world, so why not let her run against the best males in the country???

06 May 2010 8:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Great, The Fantastic, The Unbelievable, The Queen, The One, The Only, ZENYATTA. She achieves the impossible. Ladies and Gentlemen no one, I say no one could have done what she has already done. Closing from out of nowhere to win every race, every time, demoralizing the competition, many of whom are never the same again. Their poor egos are crushed. "I ran my best race and out of nowhere comes this Super Horse and just destroyed me. I mean really, what's the point of working so hard. Just to get annihilated like that. It's not fair. I'm going back to the barn. And I'm staying in the barn !!!!" And may I remind you ladies and gentlemen that she beat the boys in The Breeder's Cup Classic. So we don't want to hear about this-"she doesn't run against the boys" nonsense. Be patient friends and you will once again see her destroy the boys and send them all home to momma once again. The moral of the story-Doubt The Great Queen Zenyatta at your own peril. The only one that came out of the Breeder's Cup Classic with any ego left was Quality Road, and that's because he was smart enough to not race against her. "Zenyatta, no way. I'm not going out there to be humiliated by a girl. No way. She's too good."

06 May 2010 8:17 PM
Ida Lee

How dare you viciously attack the Queen of all things equine? You must be some kind of sexist pig!!! Just kidding ... I actually agree with you. If her connections don't put her into the big name races against the boys this year, she'll lose HOTY again even if she wins every race she's in. I don't think racing against the ladies and winning the Breeder's Cup again will be enough. I love her very much and want her to retire safe and sound, AND as HOTY. But, she has to get out of CA (as everybody should - but that's another issue).  P.S. As to my beloved Rachel, she'll get used to her bigger size and weight and come back and kick major butt like she did last year.  

06 May 2010 8:18 PM
Arlene

Wow..I couldn't get through all the comments..but this appears to be a heated subject. But, you know, a race is a race. And, all the serious commentators should know..every time you put the entry out there..it is a new race. Think Ruffian. Any race is a risk..and it seems to me..everyone thinks about human decisions and not about the horse. A race in the pasture is a risk. So, where ever, when ever the "humans" decide to run this horse..she cannot determine her risk, worth, competition..us "humans" do. They put her in the gate..and she runs.Does SHE know if this is the right slot? I bet she just likes to run, if she feels good.and fit..and..us "humans" do all the debating and analyzing. Good luck and good trip to an exceptional mare, where ever and when ever she runs.

06 May 2010 8:23 PM
bettywolk

I would love to see Zenyatta go to the Arc and meet the best in the world there, and then remain in Europe to be bred to Sea the Stars!

06 May 2010 8:31 PM
CV

From: Funny1991 06 May 2010 5:24 PM

"Also Peppers Pride still has you beat and if you think you should be HOY because you are undefeated then Peppers Pride should be also HOY. GET IT GO FACE SOME REAL COMPETITION!!!

I hope your connections read this Zenyatta."

I hope you read this, Funny. Pepper's Pride only ran between 5-1/2 furlongs and one mile, never farther. Plus, she ran in the restricted company of only New Mexico-breds, as opposed to, you know, top horses from around the world!  

From: Rechelle  06 May 2010 4:49 PM

"(1) it was not all the top males because it was run on a synthetic surface and a lot of horses won't run there, plus Quality Road was scratched at the last minute and he was one of the top 3yos last year.

(2) She did NOT have a bad trip, she had the same trip that she's had for her entire racing career.  She stays in last place and then makes her move going around the final turn or on the stretch if it's long enough.  Not sure what horse you've been watching for 2+ years but it must not have been Zenyatta."

Rechelle, I'm not sure why you feel it necessary to post nonsense bashing Zenyatta, which you could easily have debunked by using Google.

(1)Which top male was left out, other than Sea The Stars who was retired for breeding? Jockey Kent Desormeaux said he'd never seen anything like Zenyatta just galloping by the BCC field and he added, "My colt was running." The jockey on Gio Ponti said he thought he was going to win until he looked over and saw Zen race by him. He said, "There was nothing I could do." Many other trainers conceded after the race her victory was an amazing feat.

(2)It's either ignorance or obstinance that prevents you from comprehending Zenyatta had a bad trip in the BCC. At the news conference afterward, her jockey Mike Smith said this...........

(a)she just stood there when the gate opened and he had to help her out; (b)she broke on the wrong (left) lead and ran awkwardly for about 200 yards until he could get her onto the right lead.

(c)the combination of those problems left her in last place in a crowded field and he didn't want to be that far back knowing she'd have to make up the ground and potentially circle the field.

"Please enlighten me .... How am I misinformed?"--Rechelle  06 May 2010 7:37 PM

I think I've answered that already. Please educate yourself.

06 May 2010 8:35 PM
jayjay

Jason : Have your opinions changed after reading the responses ?  I too would like to know why the article was purely questioning Zenyatta's plans when the reigning HOTY is Rachel.  Since she is the HOTY, then she must've accomplished a lot more last year, beat males 3 times in G1 races, how come you never asked why she started in a G3 race this year?  Why not start her first race in a G1 ??  I mean she was the one that set a higher level last year so going back to a G3 seems silly to me.  Like most Zenyatta haters have said "she's been there done that" with regards to Z racing against females.

What's really FUNNY is that people are still comparing RA with Zenyatta LOL, RA will not be in the classics this year.  Draynay knows it and that's why he stopped talking about RA and have now switched to QR, if RA races again and wins (in an ungraded race with probably claimers just to ensure a win), I'm sure he'll start babbling about her fast times and the "quality" of the horses she beat LOL.  The RA fanatics sure love to hate on Zenyatta

Like I said before Jason, what matters is the big dance in November.  Whoever that best MALE dirt horse that comes out of the east or west coast will face Zenyatta.  If Zenyatta wins, would you vote for her as HOTY or will you consider the fact that she never raced out of california ?

@ CV great post at 5:16PM

@ ZooKeeper post at 5:39PM - you nailed it !

06 May 2010 8:35 PM
Brigitte

This is not about Rachel, forget Rachel.

It's about Zenyatta, who may be one of the all time great racehorses. The way she won the Classic suggests she didn't even give it her best! She is the most exciting horse racing today.

How good is she, really? She only does what she has to do to win, so she has to race against the best to show how good she is. That's why the Vanity won't answer the question but the Foster might if QR runs his best in it. Let Zenyatta take on all comers in a prestigious race open to both sexes on dirt. She is in form NOW. The BC is months away and the conditions could be bad this fall.  

When there are arguments about the greatest racehorses what comes up is races they ran magnificently. They will talk about Zenyatta in the 2009 Classic and ... winning the Vanity 3 times?

It's good to hear that her next race isn't decided yet.

06 May 2010 8:37 PM
Jimmy

Well said Jason. I agree with you 100%. Zenyatta needs to ship and run against males on dirt to define how great she really is. Running beyer speed figures of 95 and winning by 4 lengths proves nothing against this inferior competition. Running in the Vanity is a joke. I believe the Mosses are doing this so they can get win number 17 and pass Citation and Cigar, but when you look back at her streak, the races pale in comparison to what those other two legends had to face (in competition and travel). Sheriffs made the idiotic comment of "shipping over the Rockies is tough," but during Cigars streak, somehow he was able to ship to Dubai and back. Great horses travel, and are removed from their comfort zone. They overcome these challenges, and that's what makes them great. Zenyatta needs to be challenged, and if she is the best horse in the world, as people like to think, then she needs to run in the best races in the world. Sorry, but that does not include a race against fillies and mares on a synthetic surface. People can bag on Rachel Alexandra all they want, but last year, she faced males on dirt in Grade I races 3 times, something Zenyatta has never done. I believe Zenyatta is a great horse, but now is the time to prove she is a great horse, and that is done by running in the best races and putting her talent on display against the best competition. P.S. Hey Mike S, go look at the times Spectacular Bid ran in 1980. He set the world record in the 1 1/4 at 1:57. It doesn't matter who the competition was in that race, but when you run a BSF of 95 and win, that does raise some questions.

06 May 2010 8:42 PM
2:24

For those who have questioned who Z would face in the Foster, I know Musket Man is going.  I think he is a serious race horse.  And you have to respect Arson Squad and Macho Again.

Come on guys.  I love Zenyatta and Rachel.  But Zenyatta's connections need to come east now and face the best.

06 May 2010 8:44 PM
Zarkava

Great blog Jason! I see you sure found a safe place where you could duck for cover too; behind Rachel... You made the Zenyatta zealots mad, and now they are throwing **** with both hands, at Rachel...

Personally I really don´t care where Zenyattas connections plan to race her. I´m not a big fan of her but I do enjoy to watch her race, not because it´s very exciting, but because I like to see a horse enjoy her job the way Zen does.

And before the zealots have a go at me: NO, I´m not bashing Zen by saying this. I like Zen, I really do. I just like Rachel more...

Funny1991

Your posts so far displays a lack of class, I think your parents need to take you behind the woodshed and teach you some manners. I´d expect better from a Rachel fan, IF that´s what you are... "Everybody knows boys are better than girls..." ROFL

It aint easy when it´s hard...

06 May 2010 8:47 PM
Jason Shandler

Jayjay: Opinion changed? Seems to me about 75% of the people on here agree with me. You must be reading different responses than me.

06 May 2010 8:48 PM
CV

From: Kay  06 May 2010 8:02 PM

"I don't disagree with the sentiment, but I do disagree with the rampant moving of the goalposts. The notion that the Mosses and John Shirreffs have always "played it safe" with Zenyatta is ridiculous. They could have played it safe by running her back in the BC Ladies but they went for the Classic instead. So now that race doesn't mean anything because it wasn't on dirt?...And is dirt REALLY the ONLY qualifier here? Rachel's Woodward was greater than Zenyatta's BC Classic because it was on dirt? You know that sounds kind of stupid, right?"

You're absolutely right, Kay, it IS stupid that the anti-Zen crowd is obsessed with dirt tracks, as if they are all that matters.

Never mind that the U.S. is in the minority around the world horse-racing circuit for its preponderance of dirt tracks. Never mind that top horses in most countries run on turf. Never mind that the richest horse race in the world is run on a synthetic track.

All you hear from these haters are shrill cries that only dirt races count. It's pathetic that they feel the need to hate on an undefeated champion like Zenyatta, who can run on both dirt and synthetics.

And it's irritating that they apply standards to her that no one else has to meet. Can you imagine what the Z haters would be saying if she'd lost her first two races this year?

06 May 2010 8:50 PM
CC

Great article--Zenyatta and Rachel are both great horses. I hate the which is better talk--who cares! They both have accomplished amazing feats. Given their current form, Zenyatta is proving that she may indeed have an edge between the two. However, those who still argue that Zenyatta should have been horse of the year last year are crazy--its horse of the YEAR, not horse of the race. Rachel's campaign, regardless of how you may feel about the two sets of owners, was brilliant, varied, and backed away from no one. I would love to see Zenyatta do it this year--but she has to leave her backyard to do it. Beating males once, on your home track, even though it was in the Breeders cup, is not enough. After raising that bar, I agree, there is NO excuse for her to not run against the males multiple times this year if she wants the award. As someone who would like to see that happen, here's hoping she is booked a plan ticket to the Stephen Foster!

06 May 2010 8:52 PM
vegasvixen

I love Zen!! I also love RA. Both are fantastic race horses, but RA has earned her unique spot in history, not just HOY but the way she did it. Zen will win her spot in history by winning #20 (since one female has already won 19).  The one way the Mosses can 'guarantee' that 20 consecutive wins is to place her in the races that she can win. I don't think that HOY is a target any more since she was 'cheated' out of that honor by naming Curlin a second time.  I am cheering for #20 for Zen, and for RA to return to the form she showed last year. I salute both ladies and will be watching and cheering for them both. (By the way, CB does not race on RA the way he raced with the KD winners -- why?? His last race on RA was very bad.)

06 May 2010 8:55 PM
Mike S

The East Coast crowd is trying to put down the West Coast based ZENYATTA. So if she wins three Vanity Handicaps in a row it doesn't matter, huh? Did it also not matter when FOREGO won four Woodward Stakes in a row? I think it's a tremendous accomplishment for ZENYATTA to win all the premiere events in Southern California year after year. I loved it when FLAWLESSLY won the Ramona and the Matriarch three years in a row.

ZENYATTA doesn't "need to come east to face the best," there's really nothing going on back east, and there's no special horse back there that even looks capable of beating her. So ZENYATTA can stay home and beat whoever wants to show up to race against her. Believe me, there will be few challengers. Everyone is scared.

06 May 2010 8:58 PM
Rachel F

seriously, i think that if zenyattas owners and trainer wanna run her in the vanity they should, its not up to the fans and if we were true fans in which i am, we would be happy to see her just run anywhere... its not about running down horses here n there if its on dirt and shes slower on dirt then u know what keep her where shes good!! no need to risk her being hurt for a fans enjoyment... I say good luck in the vanity girl u dont have to prove anything anymore and her connections will do whats right for her.

06 May 2010 9:03 PM
sodapopkid

Question?  Where will Rachel be at six years old?

I think  

they need to try her on synthetics for a change.

06 May 2010 9:08 PM
Rechelle

Mark, I will give you Rachel may not go into the Classic, if she doesn't improve to the horse she was last year.  But why do you think Quality Road will skip it?  He now loads back into the starting gate with little to no struggle.  There was something about that gate at that track that made him lose his mind.  I am so glad that the handler never let go of him when he busted out of the gate blindfolded, that could've ended up very badly.  Beyond that, though, since he has returned to racing, he has been incredible and has not have problems again to that extent and most likely, as he matures, never will again.  He won his first race back by 2 and 3/4 and his next race, the Donn Handicap, he broke his own record, going the distance in 1:47.9 and the previous record of his was 1:47.72, which he set in last year's Florida Derby.  Also, his Beyer figure was 121, which was the highest Beyer since 2005.  If you doubt me (as we know Criminal Type does, foolishly) the information is easily found here:

en.wikipedia.org/.../Quality_Road

So when you take all that into that into consideration, he has been nothing but fantastic since the BCC problems.  There is absolutely no reason to think that QR won't be in the BCC and no reason to think that he could be the only horse who could defeat Zenyatta.  

06 May 2010 9:11 PM
Lava Fan

The way it looks right now, you'd have to look at Quality Road for Horse of the Year if Zenyatta has a similar schedule to last year. I'm hoping Rachel comes back to what she was last year, but Zenyatta needs to do more than have a better campaign than Rachel this year - she needs to have the kind of campaign Rachel did last year. Staying in CA and beating up on the same fillies up until the Breeders Cup will only work IF everybody else has a worse campaign, not just Rachel. Yes, I'm a huge Rachel fan, but why have a horse like Zenyatta and hide her away? Don't they trust her abilities enough to do a tough campaign? The worst thing that ever happened to Zenyatta was going unbeaten - if she weren't, then they would likely take more chances and put her in tougher races. The Apple Blossom looked tough way back in February, but it sure didn't look like it when you looked at the PPs. She can only run against those who show up - but if there aren't very many top older mares, and there aren't, they need to take on the best colts and get her travelling some.

Ask Cigar about travelling and flying across the Rockies. Heck, he flew to Dubai. Furthest Zenyatta has ever travelled was Arkansas. She may be a great horse on polytrack, but she's not a great horse right now simply because she's stayed unbeaten and won easily. She needs to take on tough fields several times and she needs to travel to be considered truly great, especially since her final times are not spectacular.  

06 May 2010 9:11 PM
BlindLuckthebeast

I agree,  but these kind of decisions made by John have kept Zenyatta around racing.  I can appreciate that he is making the best decisions for his girl...better than any other horsemen could do in my opinion

06 May 2010 9:13 PM
Footlick

Betty- I would love to see her in the Arc too

06 May 2010 9:15 PM
sodapopkid

Mike S,  You are completely right!

Whats waiting back here in the east dying to take her on?  Nothing is, sure aint no grade 1 fillies or mares, sure wont be Macho Again or Bullsbay or the 2009 HOTY, this group, aka (woodward washedup gang) sure ain't calling her to come east for either of them.  She has plenty of more races and time to prep in the east before the BCC.  Maybe by then we will find some that actually wont' duck her........

06 May 2010 9:15 PM
Rechelle

Thanks Footlick!!  Appreciate the support!  Just for the haters who claim I am misinformed, I posted an article that specifically stated that Belmont would not use the detention barn if Zenyatta showed up at Belmont, knowing how the Mosses feel about it.  If the haters don't believe that Giacomo went crazy in the detention barn, I can produce documentation for that too.

06 May 2010 9:19 PM
draynay

jayjay let me know when Zenyatta runs a sub 143 on dirt or a sub 150 on dirt.  Hey just tell me when she runs on some dirt east of the Mississippi.  Rachel and Quality Road are BOTH better then Zenyatta. If she does show up to the BC in November she will be a toss in my book.  There will be more then 3 horses better then her on Churchill dirt and Borel won't be riding her.  Hey, how does Mike Smith do at Churchill.  Lol. funny.

06 May 2010 9:20 PM
Anne

What people seem to forget is her size. She obviously has some ailments as she receives back treatments and extra time off. She is 6 years old and instead of people excited to see her still running and still wanting to race, they continue to bash her. She carried more weight than her male counter parts last year and she carried 127 already this year. That would be one more pound than the males of the Derby. Weight matters I don't care who the horse is. Spoting fields 10-16 pounds is major. Try it and see. Granted,  years ago the males carried major weight in the 130 range the Forego's and Kelso's... Breeders have weakened the breed. We won't see that weight. But...as  I listen to other sports writers they feel Zenyatta should carry 130. A few of us on this blog, have noticed that no matter what this mare does it will NEVER be enough. By the way,the Woodward last year was not a top notch group.Again,as someone else mentioned, you run against who shows up. They were dodging RA last year too. In the Woodward, RA was tons the best than her counterparts even if she ran on one leg which after the 20 some whip beatings she could have.

Ask Rachel about carrying weight this year and spotting fields. I think she would agree. It ain't so easy.

 I have had friends that have shipped horses cross country and some adjust to it better than others. Who knows how she does flying etc... not like a horse van ride. Yes, I would love to see Zenyatta run in the SF but... I also want them to do what is best for this mare, NOT what some insensitive sports writers or handicappers want to see.  There maybe some issues that you all have no clue about unless you are sleeping in her stall every night.

06 May 2010 9:21 PM
Greg J.

Draynay,

    You have been wrong on EVERYTHING you have stated about Zenyatta, Just to refresh your memory:

"Gio will be flying but i think Quality Road holds him off. Zenyatta will be exposed tomorrow and will be left off the board finishing mid pack.  The real race will be between her and MTB."

"I just simply cannot believe you Zenyatta people.  There is a very difference between running down some allowance winning filly and running down G1 winning males.  Anyone who tries to convince me she can run down Quality Road will get laughed at right in their face.  She is going to out kick Gio Ponti ? It's completely laughable and a waste of time.  She can't beat Careless Jewel or Music Note.  But to suggest she is going to run down G1 winning males is just plain crazy talk.  Why you ask, simple she has never done it and there are horses in the race who are proven G1 winners at the distance."

"I forgot all about Einstein.  So people think Zenyatta can beat Einstein?  Too funny. I can't wait until Nov. 7th I am going to have so much fun listening to all the excuses it really is going to be fun."

"zenyatta is in way over her head finishing mid pack. anyone betting a penny on her is just plain crazy. she will be chasing g1 winning males not allowance fillies from california."

"she barely gets by and now she has to face horses that are 5 to 10 lengths better then anything she has seen all year! how do you expect her to make up that distance? she is a 2 01 horse in a sub 2 minute race."

"All of you keep running your gums.  You only have 5 days left.  Then I can listen to all the excuses why Zenyatta got whipped.  Trust me she wants no part of CJ or Music Note. Her times THIS YEAR are simply too slow.  She is simply not fast enough to factor in a race against the boys. Anyone with real racing knowledge will not bet a penny on her to beat the boys."

"If Zenyatta wins ANY race Breeders Cup week I will wear a pink hat to the Derby that says, "I WAS WRONG"

Case Closed Dray...

Lastly, Just to show what a hypocrite you are, These are YOUR WORDS about Zenyatta over on Mr. Haskin's Blog :

"To be honest I can't wait to see her run at Churchill I will be there like many others to take pictures and enjoy her prerace dance...She is a racing treasure that should be shared with the all of racing not just the West Coast."

draynay 18 Apr 2010 9:31 AM

06 May 2010 9:24 PM
L.Stein

All you naysayers can just keep on naying. Zen's connections have made all the right moves with her to have her at the top of her game at 6. Yes they are more conservative, but it has been very successful. Their goal is to obviously have her peaking in Nov for the Breeders Cup, so why take too much out of her so early in the year. I'm sure if they do go in the Vanity it will not be followed up with the same exact campaign as last year. Their are some California races with the boys and other races against the females back east I'm sure they will look at, but again the ultimate goal is the Breeder's Cup. They obviously know how to get her ready for that. So keep on naying. Long Live The Queen

06 May 2010 9:25 PM
goodwin

What does this incredible mare have to do, sprout wings to please the snobs back East? Your "superstar" didn't bother to show up, did she? neither for the BC, or the Apple Blossom. If the Mosses want to make it easy on their horse by NOT shipping across three time zones, please shut up about it. Maybe that is why Zenyatta is more consistent in her efforts: her connections know she is flesh and blood and not a machine. I think they just might know what is best for the horse (the FIRST priority, fans be damned!).

And while we are at it, when is the East going to upgrade to synthetics, like Turfway and Keeneland? Time to upgrade, and then there'd be MORE excitement with horses switching back and forth from turf to synthetic.

06 May 2010 9:27 PM
goodwin

PS I don't remember seeing Mineshaft or Ghostzapper on the West coast - are THEY still champions because they didn't ship?

06 May 2010 9:29 PM
The Dance

Someone said that the RA/Zenyatta debate is outpacing Triple Crown discussion this year--it's true. When is the last time this happened that the TC was less interesting to race fans than the older mares??

Just a few random thoughts:

i.) When will people shut up about mares/fillies "getting hurt" vs. males?? This has nothing to do with RA losing two v. close decisions at the wire this year either--she wasn't "destroyed" by racing males.

ii.)why did Life Is Sweet nearly run in Dubai but Zen wasn't considered for the big race?

iii.)how can anyone think the older mares are a deep group this year? Look at all the retirements/injuries among the top females: Icon Project, Stardom Bound, Bambera, LIS, Vodka... Zenyatta MUST face males.

iv.)Don't want to face the boys? Then try TURF vs. GOLDIKOVA with Zen & she will get all she can handle & then some!!

06 May 2010 9:32 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

gammyp6

 Loved your post !!!

CV-

  Zenyatta and Sea The Stars-I think you're onto something special there. Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, make me a Star, make me a Triple Crown winner lalalala tada !!!! That little guy could be named ZStar or Ztar, or Walk On Z Sea. Or Star Gazing or Zuper Star.

06 May 2010 9:36 PM
Denmark

Just read all your blogs. What have I learned?  No one is reading the other's blogs just waiting to repeat their mantra over and over again.  Now, don't throw anything on your screens for what I'm about to say.  Why is Curlin given such greatness?  He lost more than one race not just Breeder's Cup.  I don't want Zenyatta to race in Saratoga, it's too humid and she's a Californian, we're not used to such horrid weather. That's why Easteners are crabbier than Westerners.   Zenyatta will run down whatever is put in front of her.  Mike Smith has said it many a time, they've never gotten close to all she can do.  Rachel is a great horse, she just has bad taste in owners/trainers.  They used her up as a three year old.  How many 3 year old greats were never seen again?  The thing we do not want, is for Zenyatta to be hurt.  It could happen.

06 May 2010 9:38 PM
Rechelle

JayJay, I'm not hating on Zenyatta.  I am giving her all the credit she is due.  I am hating on her connections for not doing right by her and bringing her out to face the caliber of talent that she deserves.  Not to say that horses in Cali aren't talented, but she has beaten them to a pulp.  If they were staying there and entering her in races against the boys, then I could understand that, but no, they are putting her into a race that she's won twice against horses that she's beaten countless times.  Where is the challenge in that?  How is that far to a horse as great and talented as Zenyatta?  Even the Apple Blossom didn't have horses of the caliber that Zenyatta deserves.  

Zenyatta was in her usual position for the race.  She has ALWAYS been in the back.  She fixed her poor start very quickly and ran her normal race.  I don't consider a poor start that is fixed in seconds to be that problematic, not for a horse as talented and experienced as Zenyatta.  I will say the problems at the gate probably upset her and then standing around like they did getting Quality Road under control and away from the gate probably made her lose her focus.  She picked it up quick enough and from that point, her trip was not troubled.  A trip is the entire race, not just the start.  She had a bad start.  Others have had worse, going nearly to their knees leaving the gate and overcoming that.  Slow starts and a wrong lead were fixed very quickly and with a horse as talented as Zenyatta that start didn't affect her as much as it would've done for any other horse in the field.  

Look at the enteries and tell me how many top DIRT horses were in that field and how many top TURF horses were there. horseracing.about.com/.../aabcprev09cl.htm

When you look at the starters, most of the horses running in the Classic were turf horses (Twice Over, Colonel John, Gio Ponti, Einstein & Rip Van Winkle). You had 3 that were synthetic specialists (Richard's Kid, Awesome Gem and it was home track for Zenyatta so she falls into the synthetic catergory, especially since she never ran on dirt last year).  You had 4 that were dirt horses (Summer Bird, Einstein, Mine That Bird & Giralamo who came in with 2 allowance wins and a win in the Jerome Handicap).  So tell me, since the Classic is a dirt race, what top DIRT horses were there, other than Summer Bird & Einstein?? Keeping in mind, of course, that Einstein is also a turf specialist so he would be better suited to a synthetic track than Summer Bird, Mine That Bird or Giralamo were.  If you can tell me what top DIRT horses ran in the race that is a DIRT race, more power to you.  But I maintain that a lot of top dirt horses were not there.  Until all tracks are either dirt or synthetic, it is not fair to the true dirt horses for the Breeders Cup to be held at a track that does not have dirt.

06 May 2010 9:49 PM
Lil Darlin

I would like to see Zen race in the SF...it's a bigger challenge and something different, I could get excited about that race. But she's not mine, and I don't make the decisions. If the Moss' want the Vanity, then go for it.  I'm sure they have considered what they will need for HOTY, so I have to assume that this race fits into a larger plan.

Any discussion that involves the Z or R word breaks down so quickly into a "your horse sucks" conversation, and it's sad because instead of enjoying these horses we are too busy defending them. The fact of the matter is,  Zen is a great horse, and I will never forget her. And Rachel could retire tomorrow,,,she still lives in my memory for the rest of my life because of the thrills she provided to me last year.  These two will never be forgotten and have already written their pages in the history books. To those who are constantly bashing one or the other...your opinions won't even be a footnote, FYI.

06 May 2010 9:50 PM
Rechelle

Cgriff wrote in regards to draynay: "He truly is the Sarah Palin of this blog - lots of shrieking noise, signifying nothing original or based in fact."

LOL I couldn't have put it any better if I tried!  

06 May 2010 9:53 PM
Dakota

Rechelle writes: " So just because a race is called a World Championship does not mean it is."

You are right. The BC is NOT the world championship. There is no such thing in horse racing. But the Eclipse awards are not "world honors"; they are American awards recognizing top achievements in American racing.  Since the BC's inception, it has had a significant influence on year end Eclipse awards. So for American racing, it is the World Championships just as the World Series determines the champion in American baseball. Was Zenyatta last year a better race horse than Sea the Stars? There's no way to know. She can only run against those who show up in the gate.  

And to say that it's not fair to the fans to race Zenyatta in California is just ludicrous. Zenyatta, the Mosses & John Shirreffs owe no one anything. So get off your high horse, people. If you're a true fan of horseracing, then it shouldn't matter if you see a particular horse run in person or on TV. This whole conversation has become ridiculous. Thank god Zenyatta's connections have her best interests at heart and are (hopefully) impervious to the absurd hue and cry of these "fans".  She'll race where/when they choose. If you want to see her, go to where she's racing. Otherwise, shut up.

And Jason: yes, there are people posting here with the audacity to disagree with you. Would a little civility be too much to ask?

06 May 2010 9:56 PM
McSock

I am constantly amazed at the audacity of many people concerning Zenyatta.  Not one of the talking heads has a vested interest in the horse, but still insists they know better than the connection where and when she should be running.  She can run every race this year in Southern California then go to the classic and “prove” everything she needs to prove.  If she does not win the classic oh well.

I have not seen one person posting or even suggesting that RA should just come to CA to run again Zen.  I am not a fan of the flubber tracks either, but damn it they are part of life now and I am not sure we will see it changed.

There is a mass of know it all gamblers and now hack writers trying to decide what is best for the horse.  When they are clueless about what is planned for the horse, but still have to get in their two cents worth.

06 May 2010 9:57 PM
Rechelle

Funny191, very few people even knew what Peppers Pride looked like, much less who she was.  She made her unbeaten streak in one state in allowance races & very minor stakes races. If you are such a huge fan of Peppers Pride who never left her state in her entire career and never ran in races that would be on TV, even when she broke Cigar's record of 16 wins, she doesn't deserve to be said in the same sentence as Zenyatta.  At least Zenyatta has run & won in major stakes races, including the BC Ladies Classic & the BC Classic.  Be more informed before you start spewing anything about Peppers Pride and Zenyatta.

06 May 2010 9:59 PM
Freetex

Jason, have you read all the posts?  

What passion, humor, drama, and oh, comedy.

As long as Z and RA stay healthy, that's all that matters.

06 May 2010 10:00 PM
Andrea Courson

I have thought exactly what you have stated in this article for quite a while. Zenyatta has not been challenged nearly as much as Rachel Alexandra, especially last year, and the correct horse was selected as HOY. The handlers of Zenyatta would rather continue her record of no defeats against weak females than really test the mare. HOY award? 2009 no way, and if her racing scheule doesn't change, no way in 2010.

06 May 2010 10:03 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason I do not agree with you at all on this issue. If at the end of the season she hasn't hit the east coast and raced against the boys on dirt, then you will have a point, but not until then. They just shipped her for goodness sakes. They will ship her east again, you can count on it (probably after the Vanity), and it will be to race against the boys on dirt. Why so much angst so early on? John Shirreffs knows what he is doing. Their goal is the BCC again and they don't want to burn her out like a certain other stellar horse I shall leave nameless. That other stellar horse never made it to the BCC last year and it wasn't about the synthetics. I don't care what they said. They knew she was done for the season because of her very grueling campaign. Clearly Jerry and Ann Moss and John Shirreffs do not want the same thing to happen to Zenyatta. Personally, I want a healthy SIX YEAR OLD horse to make it to the BCC and not one who is toast. I also agree they want to see another win so she gets past the number 16. I get that, and don't have a problem with it.

Zenyatta does not have to prove anything in my opinion. Her greatness is there for all to see, including Draynay. Some things are self evident and that is one of them. For those that refuse to acknowledge what is right before there eyes, well you are missing out on one truly great horse.

As for Rachel, I totally agree that she is actually doing better than people acknowledge. I don't know whether she will get back to last year's form,  but she may get very close. I would love to see it.

06 May 2010 10:06 PM
Rechelle

CV wrote: "Calling poly a "fake" is ridiculous. They are all real racing surfaces." Jason, the truth is synthetic tracks can contain as much as 70% sand and dirt tracks weren't put there by God. It's telling that you and your anti-synthetic pals don't criticize tracks like Woodbine and Keeneland. No, your venom is only directed at California tracks. I wonder why that is."

Ahh CV you are embarassing yourself.  Regardless of how much sand is in the track, it is still plastic and a man made surface.  It has not definitively been proven that there are less injuries on synthetic & the jury is out on breakdowns during races.  I know there have been breakdowns on tracks but there is no documentation that I have seen stating that synthetic surfaces are safer. Heck, Del Mar had 6 catastrophic breakdows in 10 days in 2008.  To me, that does not spell safer.  Woodbine & Keeneland don't seem to have the breakdowns & injuries that the California tracks have had.

06 May 2010 10:12 PM
Bonnie

I totally trust the decisions of John Sherriffs and the Mosses to be in the best interest of Zenyatta.  We don't know what those best interests are...what we want may not be what's right for the horse.  I'm happy to see her run wherever they choose.  

06 May 2010 10:13 PM
markinsac

Personal Ensign only raced outside the state of New York twice and one of those was at nearby Monmouth!  I'm not sure Ruffian ever raced outside New York.  I don't hear you complaining "But the California fans were deprived of Personal Ensign and Ruffian, that's not fair!"  Furthermore, an undefeated, triple crown winner Seattle Slew met his Waterloo when he DID venture out west and got soundly defeated at Hollywood Park.  There's an arguement "Let's put the pedal to the metal and see how good she is . . ."  and we end up with Racel now.  There's the other arguement, "Let's save her best for last", unfortunately with Ruffian, we'll never know how good she is, but with Personal Ensign, she exited with a BC victory to remain undefeated.  Was Ruffian ans PE campaigned way too conservatively too?

06 May 2010 10:22 PM
LDP

Ok, Here are my observations, everyone brace yourselves. Zenyatta should not be racing in the Vanity. I hate when it is said she has has no more left to prove. That is wrong as can possibly be, as long as a horse is actively racing they always have something to prove. If they didn't then why in the heck are we waisting our time trying to see who will win.

Secondly, the travel crap is just that crap. Many have already stated this, but if Zardana can be shipped or kept out of Cali, why can't the Mosses do the same with the mighty Zenyatta? Is she so fragile that she cannot handle being away from her home track at all? She is six years old, and from what little information is given to us, sounds like she has no ill effects from the shipping she has done. Why is it such a big deal that she come to the east and stay east for a couple of races.

The logical choice, that the Vanity is supposedly is also crap. In the Vanity, if the handicappers are fair and will not favor Zenyatta, you can expect into the high 130's for a weight assignment. Tell me why the connections of Zenyatta make such a big deal about "the weights will determine where she runs next" only to run back in a race she will surely have over 132lbs on her back?

Now, personally I do not mind Zenyatta running in Cali, but against females again? Come on! The only female in Cali that can possibly hold a candle to her is a turf horse, Tuscan Evening. She should've pointed towards a start in the Hollywood Gold Cup where she could've met up with Rail Trip, last year's winner. He is anything but a third stringer and is a very tough horse to beat.

Also to those trying to use Forego's fourth Woodward as a measuring stick for the Vanity, stop it please, it is stupid and pointless. The Vanity has nowhere near the prestige of the Woodward, it never has and never will. The Vanity is also against restricted competition, restricted to females, the Woodward is open to ALL comers, which is why a win there is more impressive, since a horse opens itself to any and all who wish to come. Zenyatta has done that but once in her entire career, and yet again it was in her own backyard, where she was sure to like the track and others had huge question marks over the surface.

Lastly, I agree with those who say Zenyatta should be racing males exclusively now. After the Santa Margurita and Apple Blossom she should be able to tackle the males. Being the first mare to win the Hollywood Gold Cup, IMO would be more historic than a Vanity Triple. Going unbeaten against males for the majority of her 2010 season would impress more than a safe year topped off with a BCC again. She needs to be challenged and deserves to show us what she can do.

06 May 2010 10:26 PM
Lyle

I'm starting to wonder if they should call the Eclipse award the Zenyatta award (after she surpasses Eclipse's undefeated record in unrestricted competition)

06 May 2010 10:26 PM
Sylvester

I can sum it up in two (2) words why Zenyatta is not running in the Stephen Foster: Quality Road.  Jerry Moss knows he would make Zenyatta look like an allowance mare.

06 May 2010 10:27 PM
Vic S

I HOPE EVERYONE READS THIS!!!!

@draynay let me say this as nicely and politically correct as possible YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE IDIOT AND A DISGRACE TO THIS GAME.  Rachel hasn't done sh*t this year and Zenyatta is a sweet and solid 16, if we base times Zenyatta still OWNS Rachel look it up stop being an arrogant no nothing snob and take your BS talk to another sport I have stood by too long to let you belittle such a great horse as Zenyatta.  Great horses win races, Zenyatta is going into her 3rd year of winning on the G1 level, with 2 wins on dirt.  Beyer speed figures are NOTHING.  They are opinions of know-littles out east who couldn't handicap a poly race to save their lives.  Guess what, I'm on the east of the Mississipi(Central to be more exact - UNBIASED)!  Zenyatta has beaten everything thrown at her, Rachel coudln't say the same even with a more free running style after her two year old season.  Learn something before you ever start blabbing again.  I am so enraged right now, if I was bloodhorse I'd have you permanately banned for ever making such rude remarks about the greatest mare thats ever graced the turf.  16 for 16, NEVER done BEFORE in US HISTORY - especially not against Graded Co.  Learn history, it's made to teach fools like you.  Zenyatta has nothing to prove, she has raced on dirt and poly, whether it's in mud or not is not her choice, it's Gods.

@jason As for you I'll treat you with more respect but in all history doesn't lie.  Great horses win races.  Secretariat couldn't beat Citation why??  Secretariat was "supposedly" only right 3/4 of the times he raced, I don't buy that BS great horses find a way to win.  Citation was a great horse, Secretariat was a great horse - BUT not as much.  Triple Crown aside Secretariat was great but without it he wouldn't be in mosts top 10 lists.  Citation won 19 of 20 at 3!  32 of 45(whole career) after breaking down!  Let's put it this way NOT A SINGLE HORSE in the Bloodhorses's top 100 greatest of all-time could make it past their two year old season without a blemish.  Zenyatta is in her 4th year of racing and 3rd against G1 Co.  Today's competition is its FITTEST ever, not versatile but FITTEST (due to training) and even with her last to first move nearly every race Zenyatta ALWAYS finds a way to win.  No horse in the history of the sport can say the same on ANY CONTINENT.  I'll say it one last time Great Horses Win Races.  If you lose - too bad, Rachel is mediocre this year and her fans and connections still find reasons for her loses.  Put this in perspective Rachel's best race unbiasedly is the Haskell, she beat 1 G1 winner in that race and he was hardly at his best.  Zenyatta won the BCC against multiple G1 males at a distance she had never raced at before and did her usual EASY. FACT, DONE.

06 May 2010 10:29 PM
ZensDaddy

One vote, counted late, nullified RA as HOY. It was cast by Rachel Alexandra. RA's two losses show the vote for the farce that it is - and now the same RA fans (not indy-minded journalists) are trying to hustle Sheriffs into facing males in every start.

Winning the BC Classic wasn't enough to gain Jason or any RA fan's respect. Thus, winning the nothing Foster race won't do it either. No other mare has ever won the BCC. No other HOY has ever lost its first two races the following year.

The mares have spoken!

06 May 2010 10:29 PM
CV

A post (edited for clarity and spelling) from draynay 06 May 2010 7:55 PM

"Greg J. What will I say when Rachel goes to Santa Anita and Del Mar and wins?  I will say wake up Greg you're DREAMING.  The horse is FOUR YEARS OLD AND HAS NEVER RACED WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI.  Do you think that is a accident? Wake up. Secretariat has better odds of racing at Santa Anita than Rachel does.  Lol, you have to be kidding. Call me when Dirtalexandra CROSSES the Mississippi River.  Hey, that's it maybe the connections don't want to fly over the Rockies and the Mississippi River all in one day. HA HA HA..."

They say a sharp knife cuts both ways.

06 May 2010 10:33 PM
THE Better Half

My husband and I were discussing this. We don't always agree but I am also curious about this blog. I know people requested a forum to discuss this. However what is the point?  Do we think random posters discussing this subject will influence the decisions of Mr or Mrs Moss?

I think it is quite hurtful to dissect these people and their decisions like this. I feel it would be if our decisions were. Well actually some of them have been. I also do not believe it is helping horse racing one iota.

But then again I've never understood living vicariously through others.

Perchance that is a fault of mine.

06 May 2010 10:37 PM
Gary Tasich

Anyone who agrees with this is an East Coast loser whose Eclipse vote was ill-conceived. Not only was Rachel the wrong choice but so was Asmussen. You have to respect the Zenyatta team for their excellent management of Zenyatta. She'll race against the boys on dirt in the Breeder's Cup Classic if not sooner. Trying to goad and second guess Zenyatta's connections is unbecoming. Rachel's best days are behind her thanks to her connections mismanagement. Too bad the wrong horse got the Eclipse. Doubt she'll make it to the Breeder's Cup....

06 May 2010 10:37 PM
vikingblood22

Enough Rachel "should not have been HOY of 2009" & other RA bashing . . . RA won HOY fair and square, in fact, she would have broken yet another track record in 2009 had Borel not started waving his finger at the crowd just before the finish line . . . reminds me of Shoemaker when he lost with Genuine Risk and what a shame that was. Shoemaker actually visited GR in the horse's elderly years and apologized to him, lol. Borel owes RA an apology. She would have had one more reason ON PAPER (FACT) to be HOY 2009, no question.  RA's connections had the guts to run her with some competition. Unriveled Belle has been an up and coming filly and may continue to be a force to be reconned with in the future. RA tried to stare her down and Belle has guts. Z should run in a race with the "new kids in town." That is what horseracing is about for me--excitement--and Z has become boring and I am losing interest fast in following her. I've "met" Quality Road and I wouldn't want him in the barn with RA, but there is no shame in retiring to the breeding shed, if that is RA's destiny. She will always be HOY 2009. I will watch her next race positively just for the excitement and speed.  "RA is a racehorse, she wears a high head . . . "

06 May 2010 10:46 PM
Jimmy

Hey Mike S., the Woodward is a top Grade I open to ALL competition. The Vanity is run on a synthetic surface only open to fillies and mares. That is a big difference. And as to no special horse back east, I would not be so quick to say that about Quality Road. A 123 beyer speed figure and a track record are a little impressive, and according to my calculations, 28 points higher than the speed figure Zenyatta ran in the Apple Blossom.

06 May 2010 10:50 PM
ThisCatGetsAround

Ok, i'm throwing my two-bits in- THE GREATS ALWAYS LOSE SOME. So WHAT if Rachael has lost, *gasp* oh my gosh, two races in a ROW! if you look at the racing careers of some of the greats (minus Man O War) almost all of them have lost more than what Rachael has. This is the normal process a TB goes through to get up to par. Races are part of training and condition. I'm just standing by and watching Rachael get better every race, and every workout. Asmussen uses slow works, long gallops and races to get horses to 100%. Sherriffs doesn't do that. I bet you anything, that Rachael will peak at the right time. I bet you that is also why she didn't race in the BCC last fall, because she wasn't at the top of her game. Z didn't make her debut until June(?) was it? Correct me if i'm wrong=) Rachael, had a long 3YO (Feb-Sept)year and deserved every bit of the rest she got, and the HOY honors.

Z is freakin' babied. I'm tired of it, and i really want to see her race on the east coast, and pull Beyers, and track records up the wazoo. THAT is why RA won HOY. You have to show more than a perfect record and that you can beat the same old MARES time and again. Winning on the same TRACKS. SHowing heart, by gutting it out, is so much better. The classic was great, don't get me wrong. Just that race  and the records isn't good enough. Didn't that prove it last year?

06 May 2010 10:53 PM
robinm

Good post Jason.  I agree with your comments 100%  The comments don't make you a Zenyatta hater, just a realist.  Jerry Moss promised a more challenging campaign for Zenyatta this year and the Vanity isn't that.  Yes, it's a Grade 1, but only in name, not in status.  

What has Zenyatta got to prove? She has to prove she can carry her game outside of California and win against top males on dirt.  The 2009 BCC win didn't prove that. No, she did NOT beat the best male horses in the world. She beat America's #1 GRASS horse, she beat Europe's (maybe) #3 GRASS horse, and she beat the top American 3-yr old male, but he was running for the 1st time on a synthetic surface and had had a much more grueling campaign than Zenyatta with her 4 previous starts in 2009.  Keep in mind that all three of these horses mentioned had to travel to Zenyatta's home base of So. Cal.  I'm hearing now that one of the main reason for keeping Z in Ca. is to avoid travel which is SO HARD on a horse, but the "Zenyatta Zealots" don't seem to consider the fact that the horses that finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th to her in the BCC had to travel considerable distances to Santa Anita, therby giving Zenyatta a big advantage. Yes, she was impressive but she had every right to win it.

Let's see something impressive this year please, because Hoseholder, how on earth do you figure if Z stopped racing tomorrow, she is sitting pretty for HOY?  If all racing stopped tomorrow, Super Saver would be HOY because he's won the only truly important race run this year.

Rechelle; I too would love to hear why Criminal Type believes your comments are "misinformed".  They make a lot of sense to me!

And for the record, while I'm not a "Zenyatta Zealot", I am definitely not a Zenyatta hater; I'd truly love this great mare to get the chance to really show her stuff!

06 May 2010 11:03 PM
Susan

Here's the reality Jason... as gracious as the Mosses have been about sharing Zenyatta with the public,  the only priority any owner or trainer has, is to do what's best for their horse.There's no need to travel " to show her off to her fans" though her fans would love it. Their goal is the Breeder's Cup, on dirt, against the boys again and you can be sure they will get her there the right way. And while there are a host of comments here with suggestions about what to do with Zenyatta and how to do it, I don't think John Sherrifs and the Mosses need any help in figuring it out. Opinions are one thing, but, come on, it is absurd to think that anyone knows better than the connections on planning the strategy for this horse.

06 May 2010 11:03 PM
chowderman

rachel should go to the vanity and would beat zenyatta..on thorograph, her two races this year she earned her third and fourth best numbers of her career, pairing up...her third start off the layoff, she should be ready to explode...asmussen should take the shot now...

06 May 2010 11:06 PM
dehjort

Do you really blame the Mosses for wanting to take care of that unbelievable Mare??   How many times have we seen the great mares be put up against the big boys and be physically destroyed??  Ruffian, Rags to Riches, a couple examples.  If she were my mare, I would be very proud to have managed such a successful path.  Rachel is obviously not the same filly she was last year and SHE ran against the boys as a 3 yo;  she ran her a-- off but she is dun now;  I respect her very much but feel sorry for her as she appears to be out of her big firing tools.  I hope, as a trainer myself, and a fan, that they keep doing what is best for Zenyatta;  that is what matters, not what some of these people wanna see;  SHE is the greatest mare we have seen in some time and we can only hope to watch her become a GREAT broodmare too

06 May 2010 11:11 PM
Shannan

Finally, someone speaks the truth in public for all to read. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

06 May 2010 11:14 PM
LAZMANNICK

Sam

Yeah, the Californian is much tougher than the BCC. Were her connection being cowards when they entered her in that race too?

06 May 2010 11:15 PM
LAZMANNICK

Rechelle:

I know you don't get it.  People like you never do.  Take a luck at the BCC.  Look at the start of the race coming out of the gate.  Look at how she didn't change leads in the stretch the first time around.  Look at how she actually had to wait for a horse to clear at the eighth pole to get outside.  And then if you can keep up, look at the blurr when she finished.  And if you really want an education, watch how she was barely breathing hard when she came back to the grandstand after the race was over.

06 May 2010 11:21 PM
Butch Coyoca

Ann and Jerry Moss are the owners.

John Shirreffs is the trainer.  The decision when and where to run Zenyatta are theirs no one else.

People have opininions and they could express it through the betting window where it count.

06 May 2010 11:23 PM
LAZMANNICK

ThePixiePoet

Zenyatta received a low Beyer in the AB because she had the race won when they turned for home and her connections were at least SMART ENOUGH to save something for tomorrow (not like certain other connections that I know of).  Just in case you don't get it, of the horses she beat in the AB, Just Jenda, Be Fair and War Echo were all defeated by Rachel during her DREAM SEASON FOR THE AGES last year.  It was okay for her to beat them then, but not okay for Zen to beat them this year.

06 May 2010 11:37 PM
Mark

If the goal of entering Zenyatta in The Vanity is having her ready to take on the boys in the historic Hollywood Gold Cup with a potential matchup vs. Rail Trip than I am all for it.

If Jerry and Ann Moss are simply entering her in The Vanity to duck facing older males than it is outrageous on their part that they brought her back to race against inferior competition which only has the effect of tarnishing her legacy.

Lets hope indeed The Vanity is a tune-up for The Gold Cup and that Zenyatta makes history at Hollywood Park this summer.

06 May 2010 11:39 PM
Mark

Oh and anybody who thinks the field in the Gold Cup will be weaker than the Stephen Foster I suspect Rail Trip would trounce Arson Squad, Musket Man, and all those other weak older male dirt horses out east.

06 May 2010 11:42 PM
BMCRacing

East Coasters….WAKE UP!!!!  Rachel is done.  She is no more…. Stop your complaining about the undefeated and 2009 and soon to be 2010 HOY Zenyatta.  Yes I said 2009 HOY… haven't you all heard.  Team Jackson is planning to send the trophy to Team Z after those two uninspiring races to second stringers!   HAHAHAHA….

BTW, did DRAYNAY ever wear his pink shirt or was it a blouse after 2009 HOY Zenyatta won the Breeders cup classic, you know, the world championship race. You folks are absolutely PATHETIC!!!!

06 May 2010 11:44 PM
paul

 Hey Draynay, you're a grandpa. Wow! Well so am I. Are you a grandpa who can tell me what it takes to breed a "Poly" horse ? I don't think you've shared that with us.

I do remember, though, people making light of the accomplishments of horses from the west coast no matter what the surface was. Since you are old enough, may I presume you were also a detractor of runners out here then ? My guess is that you were. My guess is that you are like the guy who told the fellow who had a retriever that could walk on water that he wouldn't have the dog because he couldn't swim.

 Cynicism is a funky life style. If I have a horse that I believe is capable of winning the Breeder's Cup Ladies Classic and then the Breeder's Cup Classic, and the races are in the state I have my operation, I will stay home and do just that. It really doesn't matter if that upsets you.

 You have already taken up more of my time than I would like.    

06 May 2010 11:50 PM
Mike

I agree 100%.  I'm tired of seeing her beat up against stiffs.

Moss should be ashamed of himself beating up on second-rate competition.

Enough.

07 May 2010 12:00 AM
dr fager01

jimmy! jimmy! jimmy! bid won the strub going 1:57.4/5 a world record, but you have to look at his competition flying paster who got beat by 3 lenghts would have ran 1:58.2/5, you make it sound like bid won by fifteen. horse racing is based on relative competition and pace scenerio's bid was the better athlete and he was pushed by another athlete who ran 1:58.2/5s. so to down a BIG Z who just wins no matter the competition is stupid, give quality road the front end and whatch how BIG Z closes on him. lets get away from beyers, his formula wasnt even around when the best horses were on the racetrack. if beyers really worked we would all be milionaires, the truth is its speculative at best. I am afraid that there is alot unknowledgable people that watch racing, we all know that beyers go out the window when that steel monster opens, and horses start looking each other in the eye, these are living breathing creatures, beyers dont know what their feeling on any given day. andrew beyers is not god! but, a man who created a theory based on speculative mathematics.

07 May 2010 12:11 AM
okie girl

I will continue to hope that Z's connections will announce that she will be running in the SF.  (fingers crossed) or as someone else pointed out if not the SF..then skip the damn Vanity even though it's a G1 and run in the Californian instead.  At least that will be against the opposite sex.  I wish they believed in their mare like the rest of us do.  If she loses...big deal..I bet she won't loose by much and might actually get something out of a race instead of a public "work".  

As for the BCC at the end of the year I can't wait.  I believe QR will be hard to beat..but I think if she is at the top of her game it will be a great match up and let the best horse win.  As for RA, I don't think she will be running in the 'Classic' at the BC.  I don't think she can handle a mile and a quarter.  Maybe that's just me, but I see her maybe in the Dirt Mile instead.  I hope she returns to form also.  It would be nice to see the old RA :)

07 May 2010 12:57 AM
jayjay

LOL yes, 75% agrees with you but their reasoning is pretty much the same as your opinion.  The Zenyatta fans have spoken as to why there's no reason for Z to run back east but I guess you really never meant to listen to the Z fans (even though your last comment was "Fire away Zenyatta fans, but please keep it real")

There's no reason for me to ask you to respond to the Z haters because they already agree with you.  I just thought that your last comment was meant for the Z fans to express their opinion on your article.  That was my bad.

I take it you agree what JJ did to RA then, the same mindframe where "let's go all out to win HOTY. We'll worry about next year...next year."  Of course, Z will be retired after this campaign and that's where the real money is, the breeding.  The owners are already taking a huge risk running her again this year...so far be it for the fans to question their plans for their horse.

I'll say it again, whoever will be the best east and west coast dirt horse will face Zenyatta in the Classics.  It doesn't really matter where she runs in between.  It's looking more and more that RA is a one year wonder, hopefully I'm wrong and we get to see her face Z in the Classics.

07 May 2010 1:05 AM
jayjay

So question for the east coast fans, who else besides QR is there who is considered a top contender for the Classics at this time ?  I can't think of any horses out there that Zenyatta didn't already faced in the Classics last year.  Can someone please help me out ?  I checked Watchmaker's Watch list on DRF.com and this is all he's got listed :

Older Males

1 - Quality Road

Brilliant colt has Met Mile as next goal

2 - Battle Plan (3)

Proved at FG that he's a serious horse

3 - Rail Trip (4)

His workout line is looking very good

4 - Summer Bird (2)

Still no published workouts in 2010

5 - Gio Ponti

6 - Blame (7)

7 - Misremembered (8)

8 - Researcher (9)

9 - Neko Bay (10)

10 - Awesome Gem (new)

Are those the horses that you think are the best in the east coast ?  If not, can someone please list them here :)

07 May 2010 1:10 AM
Gary

Zenyatta, Personal Ensign, Genuine Risk, Winning Colors are the best filly/mares I've seen in my lifetime. The opportunity to see her race another year is fantastic. I would be concerned where she races later in the year but right now I don't care. I am more concerned if Rachel can return to previous form so we can have the race we've been waiting for.

07 May 2010 1:13 AM
Gary Lynn

I believe you all missed la ted's sadcasm.

07 May 2010 1:17 AM
C C Rogers

Here is the thing that so many east coast people simply don't understand. Most of the higher level California "poly" horses perform BETTER on dry dirt. Take a look at the Derby preps won by California "poly" horses on dry dirt this year. When Churchill downs was not muddy, look what happened in the OAKS.  Not one but two California "poly" horses running away from the east coast dirt specialists. I can understand fans wanting to see ZENYATTA come to them, but to insinuate that somehow she would not be anything but faster on dirt is, at the very least, misguided.  She did ship over the rockies to meet Rachael, but Rachael did not show up!  One other thing.  ZENYATTA will not be running against males, at least not the kind of males that Rachael runs against.  ZENYATTA will run against only the best males,and that will be in the Breeders Cup Classic which will definitely be on dirt this year. If that won't be enough for east coast writers to admit she should be HOY, nobody will care because she will simply be remembered as the best ever. The only people that wont view her that way are a bunch of people struggling to justify why they voted for the wrong horse in 2009

07 May 2010 1:18 AM
Gary Lynn

Dee...if you've seen her races on a screen, you've already seen greatness, as I did watching Secretariet that way in the day. Relax, all y'all: it's only Springtime. Wait and see what  Summer brings. Have a drink. Take a valium.

07 May 2010 1:22 AM
Kim R

Without a doubt, I love Rachel.  BUT, Zenyatta is cut from a different cloth.  I honestly believe that wether on dirt or poly, she would prevail.  Will we see the showdown? Probably not.   Each one of them no longer have anything to prove b/c they will both go into the history books as two of the greatest fillies/mares to run in our time.  I'm just happy that I am able to say I witnessed both of their brilliant careers.

07 May 2010 1:22 AM
Gary Lynn

I couldn't get past two more posts; Windy City, have two drinks.

07 May 2010 1:24 AM
y-ski

Your submission is 100% accurate. Bring Zenyatta to Churchill, Belmont and Saratoga before the Breeder's Cup. Talk about a shot in the arm for the sport. You are spot on, my friend.

07 May 2010 1:24 AM
Kate Hughes

(geez, too many Kates on here...)

I got to see Zenyatta run in the Apple Blossom - it was a cinch for her. She looked like she was out for a breeze. Would I love to see her race on more dirt? Yep. Do I think she needs to get out of California if she's gonna be HOY? Yep. Does she need to prove anything? Nope. Does she still have time? Yep.

It's only May. Let her race in California in June. Ship her to Saratoga in August. Leave her on the East Coast and take her down to Churchill for the fall meet. Let her show Super Saver, Ice Box, Dublin, Noble's Promise, and whoever else shows up for the Classic that a six-year-old mare can beat three-year-old colts. She wins HOY and is a momma in 2012.  

Rachel won't be meeting Zenyatta - she's clearly not in the same form she was last year. Zenyatta would be pulling so far ahead of her that it'd just be embarrassing to RA.

07 May 2010 1:26 AM
keenelandcat

Zenyatta's connections have kept this horse going at the top of our sport for three years.  I'm not going to deny that it would be nice to see her sometime soon back East.  But, they already plan to be at Churchill for the Classic. You can not fault her perfect record and her longevity. It wasn't racing luck that has kept her running for the past three seasons. Her connections will do what they think is best and so far it has worked.  I find it very irritating so many find fault in that.Fans need to understand what makes the great horses last long after others have headed to the shed. Its exceptional horses that give their hearts & souls and the owners & trainers that lovingly guide them through safely & victoriously. I'll trust Sadler & Jerry Moss to do what is the best for Z.

07 May 2010 1:39 AM
Kay

CV:

"Never mind that the U.S. is in the minority around the world horse-racing circuit for its preponderance of dirt tracks. Never mind that top horses in most countries run on turf. Never mind that the richest horse race in the world is run on a synthetic track."

That's a fantastic point. And really, it seems like the only reason dirt is SUCH an issue here is because the West Coast tracks are synthetic. It's ALWAYS been about East/West and there are ALWAYS excuses for why horses won't ship West. It used to be about how hard the tracks were, remember?

What's boggling me about the whole thing is that if Zenyatta is THE horse to beat, then why does she have to travel? Shouldn't Quality Road (a horse I like quite a bit, BTW) and the rest of them travel to beat HER? Hasn't Zenyatta earned that? As someone said about Personal Ensign, she ran mainly in NY. But because that's on the East Coast it's okay? The Mosses bring Zenyatta back at five AND six, and that's apparently still not good enough. Is there anything -- really -- that would satisfy everyone's conditions about what Zenyatta should do? I feel like if she went to the Foster and won, people would say that she didn't beat pre-designated foes.

ANY horse has the chance to show up and run against the champions. So far, Zenyatta hasn't ducked anyone. She's run against the horses who've shown up. And frankly, the field in the Apple Blossom was MILES weaker than the fields she's faced in California. I fail to see how THAT is cowardice on the part of her connections. They can't control who's in the race.

07 May 2010 1:48 AM
Tim

Jason is just angry because he was realy hoping Zenyatta's age caught up with her by predicting she would lose three times this year but his little darling RA is the one who can't win. Now he's nit picking trying to find a way to bash Zenyatta. Face it she will run 4 more times this year and break Pepper's Prides record of 19-19.

07 May 2010 1:51 AM
keenelandcat

Dave Johnson is correct in regards to Zenyatta loving the track at Churchill. She flew across it with such authority and ease. She can handle dirt and anyone who challenges her on it.  

07 May 2010 1:53 AM
Jim C.

Jason,

I am in SoCal, and the biggest Zenyatta fan on earth.  The 2009 HOY vote was a joke, an absolute travesty, and will go down as a black mark on the Sport.

That said, I do tend to agree with your post.  Not because I give a hoot about East Coast clowns like draynay, who do not understand that Beyer figures do not take into account a slow pace and lost ground.  

And not because I accept the illogical unstated premise of your post that Zenyatta somehow needs to be "validated" be running in New York.  That's b.s.  Who cares about NY?

And not because I accept you other illogical unstated premise that Zenyatta needs to beat males on dire to "prove" something.  That is completely illogical.  She's already won the BC Classic against the best males, and has nothing left to "prove."

No, I'd like to see Zenyatta run on dirt because it allows her to showcase her superiority.  Synthetic courses tend to result in closer finishes.  Zenyatta is even more devastating on dirt.  Just ask John Shirreffs (who loathes synthetics) which surface she likes better.

I do get a kick about all the Rachel fans in here bashing Zenyatta.  Good grief, people.  Rachel in March couldn't even handle Zardana, Zenyatta' second stable mate.  That JJ walked away from the $5 million potential purse at Oaklawn spoke volumes.  As they say, money talks, and the other stuff walks.  Zenyatta would have inhaled her.  This, of course, was the second time Rachel's connections ducked Zenyatta, the first time being the Breeders' Cup Classic last November.  

At this point, however, Rachel does not belong being mentioned in the same sentence as Zenyatta.  JJ, rightly, will avoid Zenyatta,  as he has been doing all along.

07 May 2010 2:19 AM
Citation

Horses racing on bush tracks like Churchill Downs, Saratoga and Belmont aren't worth Zenyatta's time.

Her 17th victory will be front and center at beautiful Hollywood Park.

07 May 2010 2:42 AM
CHS

They haven't decided where she'll run next. If she does go in the Vanity she still has the rest of the year to run on the dirt against males, and the BCC is her main goal.

07 May 2010 2:54 AM
Nick

If the east coast owners/trainers want to try Zenyatta, they know where she's at. The west coast welcomes all.

If not, then Zenyatta will break Citation and Cigar's record and there is nothing you can do about it.

Zenyatta dismantles everything in front of her.

Zenyatta: A first ballot "Hall of Fame" slam dunk.

07 May 2010 3:01 AM
Jim P

The Vanity is fine with me. We don't want her over-raced the way Rachel was; which is a complaint I have with Asmussen.

Nick Luck said well as our Euro commentator at last year's Classic: Shirreffs has taken could care of Z, she's a big girl with a big body, and thus potentially more prone to injury. Keep her running, keep her in shape, get her sharp, and demolish Churchill this November.

07 May 2010 3:01 AM
Blythe

Jason Shandler,

If your talking and writing about Zenyatta, that's all we care about.

This means she's bothering you and that's all that matters to us on the west coast.

07 May 2010 3:13 AM
Zenyatta

Zenyatta's next start will give her 17 wins and over 6 million in earnings.

N-I-C-E!

07 May 2010 3:18 AM
Gary Lynn

Taking Names: Mousse, Spit, MTB(needs more stimulation), Rechelle(lost creibility saying SS was opening lengths on Ice Box; and jeeze, RA did not win Horse of the World last year, abb. HOW ; Gio was better horse that RA ever hooked), Michle, S Lee, Diane, JAYSON, Nick(Beyer beware), Pam S.(Dr. Doolittle fan), Amen, dreadneigh(all Laugh at you now; yike, Mike, you're in his dreams!), Ted-Pam S, Pam S-Ted, Totally(I'll say), afleet Alex, Bill Daly, Pixiepoet, MZ, Shuvee(how good she is?), Bob Z.(Big Z doesn't care about RA now), Partly Cloudy, B(real), AnnieDixie/RGGC(a schedule just for you! how special),  JayJay(Gio Ponti again- pretty nice male), Sam(you am), Rachel, Mokey, WWSTP, Vikingblood(BC Classic), Liz(nothin fake about National Velvet starlet Moke), I Davis(until the Classic on her hooves),  Funny 1991(still funny 2010), Molly(she lives neigh!), Silverscrngirl, Merlin Merly(did that, will Rocky your world again soon enough), Shuttleworth(Beatles were happier in the clubs and wasn't that Yankee Stadium?), JimthePimp(Hollywood Park and SA bastions of Legends--and send over whatshername tonite), CuretheBlues, Jimmy, CC.....Did you ever think Mr. Sheriff's just might be messing with your heads(seems to be working anyway) for the lack of respect shown by Eastern  part of country in '09? It's only Springtime; give it time. Hey, just paraphrase E.E. "Springtime is Z's time, RA's time, is their time...for Springtime is love time(wouldn't know it^), and viva sweet love! Fianlly...THANK YOU DAVE JOHNSON!

07 May 2010 3:37 AM
ponyboy

well john sherriffs like a lot of other trainers of top horses somtimes do not enter their horses in races because of the high weight being assigned is unfair. true it makes for compelling history when a horse carries 10 to 15 pounds more then  field and still wins but that is not equal. instead of forcing zenyatta to carry more weight give her a weight break against the boys and at the same time silence your critics by letting her showcase her greatness the way personal ensign did in the 1988 distaff. In conditions the mare clearly didnt like she came flying at the end to show she is a champion. If the mosses want horse of the year then they have to show why she is a champion as well not just that she is a racehorse.

07 May 2010 6:03 AM
WinnahPickah

Forget New York, Forget Kentucky and Forget California. She would love grass love a mile and a half with the longest stretch imaginable.  Campaign her for the Arc de Triomphe. The euro's wouldn't know what hit 'um.

07 May 2010 6:16 AM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

Draynay - just stop with your silly posts, you show how ignorant you are every time.

You can't compare race times from Polytrack to dirt - the same way nobody compares dirt times to grass times. They are apples to oranges. Do you ever hear anyone say a grass horse is faster than a dirt horse because their race times say so? It doesn't compute. SO STOP SAYING IT!!

If you can't see that RA races while giving everything she has - while Zenyatta only does what see needs to do to win - then you should go back to Tiddy-Winks. Watch a few million races first and you will see the difference.

I swear some of the people who make the dumbest statements on here can't have followed racing for very long - that includes you Jason. Never in US racing history has there been such stupidity calling for a mare like Zenyatta to ship all over just to face males. You all sound like morons.

07 May 2010 6:31 AM
Richard Gross

I disagree. Zenyatta was brought back to race this year probably because of losing HOY and having a point to prove against Rachel (do we need to prove that point now?). When Sherriffs brought her back, he said they wanted her fans to see her race another year. Commendable. But, of course, it was also to see her finally race against Rachel since it was said Zenyatta was avoiding her. It didn't happen and probably won't. No bad on Zenyatta or her connections - the Jacksons remain spooked by what happened to Curlin in his second BC at Santa Anita on synthetics. Their bad call - he should have been groomed for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe to secure his legacy. I love Curlin and, like a majority of his fans, wanted to see him enrapture Paris the way he did Dubai (where I live and write about racing). Zenyatta should now race only for her fans since her competition ran in the other direction. Her fans as in the West where they have always been. What's left to prove? Only that it's beautiful to watch her race. I'll be thrilled when, hopefully, she retires undefeated and sound.

07 May 2010 6:53 AM
JawJacker

I think we'd all like to see how great she really is. But I think her connections are wise to wait a little bit longer to start pitting her against males in tough races this early in the year. I, for one, will be more than content if she runs in one prep for the BC against males and then of course in the BC itself. She's 6 years old, she's undefeated, and her connections are wise to choose her spots very selectively. Oh, and a race vs. Rachel is totally moot now... Rachel left it all on the track last year... she'll go down as one of the great three year olds of all time but she's not going to be crushing top level competition from here on in.

07 May 2010 7:11 AM
Kauto Star

Richard Gross, I agree the 2008 BCC was not the right race for Curlin, but do you seriously think he would have been anywhere near winning the Arc? Mile and a half on softened grass, round a right hand bend, across the Atlantic, against a certain French Champion Zarkava? Unlikely to say the least.

07 May 2010 7:56 AM
KMAC

This article is laughable and so are all of the anti-Zenyatta comments. Who cares how many people get to see her in person east of the Mississippi? The connections have handled her perfectly. They didn't dodge the showdown in the Apple Blossom and shipped her to OP regardless of Jess Jackson's cowardly bailout. She faced the boys and beat them in the Classic. Where was Rachel? She'll run her campaign in California and we are just going to have to live with it until the Classic in Louisville. I'm guessing that she'll be there and I'm also guessing that Borel will not have a decision to make that day since Rachel won't show again. I cant wait to hear the excuse this time.

07 May 2010 8:10 AM
Somethingroyal

hoofprintsandhorseplay,

Brovo!!! You read my mind.

07 May 2010 8:43 AM
Gary Lynn

Derek Ryan looking for Preakness revenge with Schoolyard Dreams. Had anyone been aware that Musket Man was kicked at the three-eighths pole in last years Preakness; made him drop twelve lenths back according to Ryan. Otherwise MM might have been only several lengths behind Rachel turning for home. He made up the double digit gap losing to her by only that lenth and a half. Catagorically says MM would have beaten her.

07 May 2010 8:47 AM
LDP

ZensDaddy,

Really, Affirmed was named Horse of the Year after losing three races, then lost his next two as a four year old before winning seven more. Really, no other horse has been HOTY and lost two starts in a row. Do you research before you speak.

07 May 2010 8:48 AM
Gary Lynn

Yeah, Shannan, that was Dave Johnson.

07 May 2010 8:48 AM
Slew

I simply can't agree with you Jason.  Rachel had an outstanding year in 2009.  Yes, she deserved HOY for 2009 at 3.  But now she's 4, and no one knows if she'll ever be the same horse again.  She was burned out by the 2009 campaign.  I desperately hope she'll recover from it.  JJ started mentioning breeding right after the NOL loss.

On the other hand, Zenyatta has not been used up.  At 6, she's still the same winning mare who has been blessed with so much TLC. I am simply assuming that she may not have handled the Air Horse One trip to and from Arkansas as well as we may like to think.  We know her connections will take on the BC in due time.  She doesn't have anything to prove.  Don't forget, she originally was retired, but because her form was in tact, they brought her back...that's like icing on a cake no matter where she runs.  I just like to see her run...anywhere.  With only 5 races last year, she already has 2 in this year.  She's an older mare, and I think she started the year great.  I don't expect anything.  I think her connections will always do what's best for her, not necessarily what's best for the demands of Eclipse voters.  So, I for one, am just thrilled by any opportunity I get to see her..

..and those folks in California just get an even bigger thrill because she's a treasure there.

07 May 2010 8:55 AM
Gary Lynn

Thanks Greg J. for the freshening on neigh; soak it in everyone. What a raving lunatic.

07 May 2010 8:55 AM
Bill Daly

ThisCatGetsAround got it right.  We who criticize the Mosses and Shireffs for not allowing Zenyatta to get out of her comfort zone aren't Zenyatta haters.  If anything, we would love to see this mare get on the road and take on whomever wishes to challenge her. Only when she does that will she be viewed by everyone in the same light that Californians do.  To be a champion, like Rachel, you've got to get out of your comfort zone and accept challenges.  That's why Rachel won HOY last year.  She simply did unprecedented things more often than Zenyatta.  The BC Classic was superb and it's a shame Zenyatta didn't have more opportunities last year to prove just how great she is. It reminds me of football coaches who play not to lose and wind up losing. You can argue all you want that the challengers should come to California to meet her and I have to agree with that, but I think her people should reciprocate and meet them someplace other than SA, Hollywood or Delmar. Leave no doubt in anyone's mind that she is the champion!

07 May 2010 9:06 AM
Marilyn

I STILL don't understand why SO many people who CLAIM to love horse racing are such haters.  First of all,  Zenyatta needs to get out of California and take on some real competition, not the allowance fillies she's been running against most of her life.  I know someone is going to slam me for that but that was actually a compliment, she can and ahould be handling tougher competition than is being thrown her way.  If the Mosses really want to "share" her with the fans, either 1. ship her to the east coast so that the rest of the country besides Southern California can see her race, or 2. breed her and let her blood line live throughout her children.  That would be the ultimate "sharing".

Now, as for Rachel, yes, she has lost her last two races, (and since when has Zardana and Unrivalled Belle been crappy horses? as someone has mentioned) but has anyone noticed the crap that her trainer is doing to her.  Last year, when she just romped over anyone that came her way, she was running her own race, free and loving every minute of it.  Now Steve A. has decided to rate her, and put some stupid figure 8 bridle on her.  Experiment tried and failed boys, time to take the equipment off and let the real Rachel run, THEN you just might get a win out of her, but not with that crap on her.

But please people, these are just horses we are talking about, and this is not high school, so stop the bashing, especially when you are supposed to love this sport, and you shouldn't be happy that Rachel has a crappy trainer, you should want her to be her old self so that we can see them race each other.  Wasn't that the original plan?

07 May 2010 9:06 AM
Stacy

The Mosses and John Sherriffs say they won't "ship across the Rockies" because it is too much of a handicap. What are they going to do come November when the Breeders Cup is at Churchill Downs? This year is going to be just like last year. They are running the same races, beating the same caliber fillies and mares. They will never win HOY with this campaign. They better watch out for Super Saver. If he continues to run well and they run the same BORING cammpaign, then he WILL be the next HOY. It's not about how many races you win but, about the competition that you run against. The Mosses and John Sherriffa are only concerned about one thing and that is that she maintains a perfect record, even if it means running a majority of her races in California on the synthetic tracks.

07 May 2010 9:23 AM
Eric

Really? You "wouldn't be surprised if Rachel showed up in the Foster"?!?!?  The only thing that would surprise me more is if Dr. Fager showed up in the Foster.

07 May 2010 9:25 AM
Gary

How many bottles of Wine will Jackson have to give away for the vote this year? Rachel has six loses and is nothing special, just a good Handicap horse, Physically she can't compare in looks to

Zenyatta, Ones undefeated the other has six loses.

Horse of the Year, this a bigger theft than The Great Train Robbery.

07 May 2010 9:38 AM
draynay

hoofprint thanks for making my point! Poly and dirt are not the same not even close and being that almost all of Polyetta's wins are on Poly and not dirt MAKES my point.  She is not a great dirt horse.  Her times on dirt don't compare with Quality Road or Rachel.  For you Polyetta fans to tell us how great she is we all agree she is on Poly but when you try to spread that over to dirt that is where the problem comes in. Rachel has done things on dirt Polyetta can only dream of.  Quality Road and Rachel have set records on dirt and Polyetta has set NONE ON DIRT.  Yet day after day we have to listen to total nonsense how Polyetta would do this or that on dirt.  It is laughable and to a handicapping expert like me it represents a chance to make a lot of $ when betting suckers bet on her in the BC in November.  Do us all a favor and stop telling us how great a Poly horse is compared to dirt horses like Quality Road and Rachel until she does anything close to what those DIRT horses have done.  Thank you.

07 May 2010 9:40 AM
wendyg

I think a lot of you won't be happy until she drops dead or loses.  She is an older mare.  Powerful yes, but still an animal with a beating heart.  If she dies you all will say how great she was but she didn't do everything.  If she gets beat then you will say she wasn't all that good. If she makes HOY you won't like that either.  I wish they would retire her and let her make babies since so many will never fully appreciate what she has done.  If she doesn't run another race, she is one of the greatest.  How many mares even qualify for the arguments you are making.  NONE.  Her owners were nice enough to let you see her again, quit complaining.  She's done plenty, and no matter what she does from this point forward, it's an added bonus just getting to see her.  

07 May 2010 9:46 AM
wendyg

Greg J,

Awesome comment. Goes to show Draynay doesn't have a clue, just likes to stir people up and should  find another job or hobby or whatever.  Those were all stupid comments, but I personally appreciate the walk down memory lane you took us on.  There's an old saying about a fool who keeps his mouth shut, and a fool who opens it and proves he's a fool  everyone.  

07 May 2010 9:51 AM
Jimmy

Dr.Fager, are you saying Spectacular Bid could only run that fast because Flying Pastor pushed him? That is pretty surprising that you would say that about one of the best and fastest horses of our lifetime. Does that mean Secretariat could only break the record in the Kentucky Derby because Sham made him run that fast? Interesting, because when Rachel Alexandra set the stakes record in the Mother Goose, who exactly was pushing her? All I know is I hear a lot of "Zenyatta WOULD beat this horse and WOULD beat that horse." Why doesn't she do it? If Quality Road poses no threat to her, then why not enter a race that Quality Road will be running in? Why does always have to come down to one race, the Breeders Cup? It's just interesting to me that the best horse in world, according to many, doesn't even run against open competition. Isn't that strange? I guess she can take on all comers, provided they are a filly or mare. Hasn't she already done that? I just don't see why Zenyatta is not running in the Foster. The competition would be similar to what Rachel faced in the Woodward. So why then is Team Zenyatta ducking them? Doesn't make any sense...

07 May 2010 9:58 AM
Gary Lynn

Taking names/the beat goes on...CC(senor, not enough for you?patience), rechelle (again, yawn; and no reason to believe that angels don't sit on pinheads; while rummaging the documents, please find Obama's and Z's U.S birth certificates), neigh(let us know when you run a sub 1:43 getting to therapy), TheDance(you and Z on Dancin Wid Da StarZ), Andrea('s fault-Z earthquake coming in due courson), Sylvester(lame Puddy Cat..tawt I taw you), Thiscatgetsaround(visit Sylvester), RobinM, Mike(second rate post).....Thank you Mark In Sac and Vic S.  

07 May 2010 10:02 AM
C2

Interestingly, she belongs to the Moss', not the public or race fans.  THEY decided where they want to run her.  Why is it up to the non-owners.  She ships, the competition is as lame as the Cal horses - so why bother with the cost and risk of shipping?  Just to prove something to the doubters?  Negatory.  You don't take unnecessary chances with a horse like that period, especially with no benefit to the horse.  They have done a good job with this mare and her care.  Leave it to them to decide.

07 May 2010 10:10 AM
LAZMANNICK

Lava Fan

You say that if Zenyatta runs the same schedule this year as she did last year, Quality Road will be HOY......First of all, outside of Dunkirk, very on in Dunkirk's career, who has QR ever defeated that could be considered a legitimate G-1 horse?  The competition he faced this year aren't even close to that quality.....Secondly, if Zenyatta wins the BCC this year like she did last year, are we going to have a second consecutrive year of a horse that beats up on inferior competition winning HOY?

I'm not trying to knock QR.  I think he is special.  However, I want to see him win against real G-1 horses, not wannabees.

07 May 2010 10:13 AM
EMD

Jason, I have to agree with you.  Z has no chance at HOY unless she steps up.  Especially after the Breeders Cup win, she SHOULD be racing the boys, traversing the country, not beating up on the same Cali horses on Poly.  Her connections care only about her undefeated record, but the continuation of last year's route simply doesn't cut it.  This is the "something different"?????

An intersting sidebar, coming out of Cali -- I don't want to mention names -- Z's "retirement" was a bit of a sham, bucking for HOY votes. Clearly, it didn't work.  Comments from a few trainer were they'd never seen a horse on the verge of retirement training so hard.  

07 May 2010 10:15 AM
LAZMANNICK

Rechelle

Give it a break.  We all knew about the Beklmont detention barn last year.....Find something else to whine about.

07 May 2010 10:15 AM
tvnewsbadge

I'd be worried about 2010 rather than 2009. Her connections lost last year by being too protective and it looks they are on track to do the same thing THIS year.

The problem is that too many fans are so wrapped up in fighting battles they've already lost that they've lost sight of the prize.

The danger in watching the hole  and not the doughnut is that someone can steal your doughnut and you'll never know it's gone.

07 May 2010 10:20 AM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

The Alysheba was open to all comers.  Why didnt' Rachel enter it instead of the LADY'S race (restricted to female horses) she ran in?  In fact, her Woodward stalwarts were there.  You know the ones, the ones who finished behind her in the G-1 Woodward and brought up the rear-end in the G-3 Alysheba.

07 May 2010 10:22 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Markets sink further after it is announced that Zenyatta will team up with John Travolta to dance to the tunes of "Grease" in Dancing With The Stars rather than run in the Stephen Foster.

07 May 2010 10:30 AM
tvnewsbadge

WinnahPickah says  "Campaign her for the Arc de Triomphe. The euro's wouldn't know what hit 'um."

I would like to see that too. But how likely is it that she can take  truly great horses, the likes of Zarkava or Sea The Stars on a race course unlike anything she's ever faced?

The 'Arc is a whole different ball game, racing at a whole different level, than anything we have in the States.

07 May 2010 10:30 AM
Marilyn

OK, I already posted something about this article, but after reading some of these posts, I have to say, that I am SO glad to be a New Yorker, who is not so childish to beat up on a horse, or on people who like that horse.  Everyone is different, that's what makes the world go around.  Horse racing would be pretty damn boring if everyone was a fan of the same horse, but I have NEVER (and I am no spring chicken) seen such childish, hateful behavior before in my life.  It feels like I'm on the playground in Elementary School.  This article was about Zenyatta, so I don't know why everyone is using this to fire away at Rachel, oh, wait a minute, yes I do, because you're all acting like children!!!!! Get a grip people!  I used to live in California too and I have never seen such behavior.  You are making the entire west coast look bad!  I hope you're proud of yourselves!

07 May 2010 10:37 AM
Mel

Are you nuts? Why does Zenyatta have to prove herself race after race against the males? She is the best horse ever and she just needs to show up for the Classic at Churchill to prove her point. Why aren't you asking the same question to the Horse of The Year?

07 May 2010 10:45 AM
CV

From: Kay  07 May 2010 1:48 AM

"As someone said about Personal Ensign, she ran mainly in NY. But because that's on the East Coast it's okay?"

Exactly Kay. Notice too, no one denigrates the great Ruffian, who ran almost exclusively in New York. Also, Ruffian only faced fillies until her tragic match race against Foolish Pleasure. No one faults her for that.

Why don't we see nasty comments from Draynay, Rechelle AfleetAlex and their mean-spirited friends saying Ruffian needed to run against colts to be considered great? Because she ran on the East Coast, of course.

"The Mosses bring Zenyatta back at five AND six, and that's apparently still not good enough. Is there anything -- really -- that would satisfy everyone's conditions about what Zenyatta should do?"

Another good point Kay. Will we see Rachel Alexandra racing at 5 years old, or even 6? No, of course not. She will be whisked away to meet Curlin.

Truth is, there appears to be a lot of bitterness among Rachel fans that she isn't doing well this year. They're also bitter that even Steve Asmussen concedes she has a "hangover" from last year's punishing campaign.

There is nothing Zenyatta can do to appease these bitter people, so when Jason gave them a platform to unleash their hate on Zen, you  see this result.

07 May 2010 10:51 AM
The Dance

lol I love how people keep saying Zenyatta has been racing in "unrestricted" company but RA's wins were against "restricted".

What is racing in distaff races only?? Racing only fillies & mares--a restriction.

Also: the "females break down racing the 'Big Boys'" crap is so lame. Look at the # of broodmares who die from breeding/foaling/paddock complications or accidents & comapre it to the # of mares/fillies who raced males & broke down. Statistically, a filly/mare is far safer racing males than being bred, so this is a bogus argument. Let the best race the best--Zenyatta doesn't need any excuses like this. Don't forget that females can break down racing females too...Go For Wand, anyone???

07 May 2010 10:54 AM
CV

From: Rechelle 06 May 2010 10:12 PM

Ahh CV you are embarassing yourself.  Regardless of how much sand is in the track, it is still plastic and a man made surface.  It has not definitively been proven that there are less injuries on synthetic & the jury is out on breakdowns during races.  I know there have been breakdowns on tracks but there is no documentation that I have seen stating that synthetic surfaces are safer...."

OK, here's one report:

"November 6, 2009

Although Critics Remain, Synthetic Tracks Show Progress

By JOE DRAPE

ARCADIA, Calif. — The number of thoroughbreds in California who had fatal breakdowns has fallen by 40 percent since the state

switched from dirt to synthetic surfaces, according to a study compiled by state regulators..."

Rechelle, you clearly missed the point of my post, which wasn't to argue synthetic tracks are necessarily better than dirt. It was to expose the hypocrisy of you and others when you scream only races run on dirt "matter."

You have embarrassed yourself by bashing a champion Thoroughbred racehorse. No real racing fan does that.

07 May 2010 11:13 AM
Marilyn

hoofprintsandhorseplay - You say that Rachel's face looks like she runs with all she's got, while Zenyatta barely has to do anything, that's because Zenyatta has barely ran against anyone except allowance fillies in her own backyard, while Rachel ran against real competition.  Even the BCC (which I know you're going to bring up) was against turf and dirt horses that don't like the plastic track!   Don't bother replying, I'm not coming back here to read any further insults from a bunch of children.

07 May 2010 11:17 AM
Richard Gross

A couple of other points:

One: Rachel won HOY last year in a relatively close vote because the voters from National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers Association and the Daily Racing Form are predominantly East Coast based. As late as mid-November, Zenyatta was still the HOY choice in their not-unbiased poll. Both had great years, but allow me a boxing analogy: to BE the champ, you must BEAT the champ. If Rachel had to go find Zenyatta (as Seabiscuit did with War Admiral), so be it. Again, this year, Zenyatta seems in her usual form and Rachel is 0 for 2 (oh, and also as with boxing, managing is part of the sport and Zenyatta is being managed better). Zenyatta is the better of the two until Rachel proves otherwise and I don't care if she races on cat litter.

Two: for all you Rachel fans, there is an easy solution: enter Rachel in the Vanity. Why should undefeated Zenyatta go East. Let twice-beaten (this year) Rachel ship West.

To BE the champ, you must BEAT the champ.

07 May 2010 11:19 AM
C C Rogers

The true hypocrisy of this article is that it is obviously written about the wrong horse. Why aren't you bashing Rachael's owners for only running her against females.  According to your logic, The "GREAT RACHAEL 2009 HOY" should only be running against males and shipping everywhere including California to let everyone see how great she truly is! The one thing that Zenyatta's connections have consistently stated is that she is better on dirt.  They accepted the challenge and shipped to Oaklawn to face the HOY.  It's not their fault that the HOY could not win "Horse of the Week" by winning her prep race. The Rachael lovers are the same people who would now be voting her "Horse of the Month" because she was so gallant in defeat. Their reasons would be that Super Saver obvioulsy should not win the award because he  had an unfair advantage with Calvin Borel riding at his home track!  

07 May 2010 11:23 AM
GailG

Zenyatta beat the "boys" in the Breeders Cup Classic, running against the best of the times.  I don't think she will ever be tested against Rachael Alexander, because at this point in time

Rachael's connections know Zenyatta will beat her.  Mainly because Zenyatta wants to race, Rachael does not.  Why should the Moss' risk anything happening to Zenyatta if they don't have to.  While I enjoyed cheering for both girls, Zenyatta should have been horse of the year, but knowing how the good old boys operate and the North versus the West, I had already figured the outcome before the official announcements were made.  Having said that, I believe the Moss' are keeping their word and allowing the racing public to see Zenyatta for one more year, before she is retired to broodmare status.  If people want to see her, they can vacation in California and visit Sea World and DisneyLand at the same time.

07 May 2010 11:28 AM
david in arkansas

Team Zenyatta fears nobody!

They will and have done what's best for the horse. This I firmly believe!

07 May 2010 11:40 AM
RK

I agree no one wants to see Z beat the same Cali mares on plastic. But you are all talking about Rachel like she is still in the picture. Rachel is done. They are not going to let her keep getting beat by the bad mares that have been beating her. Jess Jackson destroyed  Rachel with all them races last year and now everyone is mad that Mr. Moss won't do the same thing to Z. You cannot keep running these fillies against colts, its not fair to the horse.

I agree I want to see Z in Ky and NY. She would run great on broken glass, so saying she is not a good dirt horse unbelievable.

07 May 2010 11:41 AM
AfleetAlexForever

This is addressed mostly to Assault 06 May 2010 4:34 PM

Made this statement yesterday. Meanwhile, Zenyatta dismantles her Grade I opposition with ease. Assault unfortunately you are like many of the other Zenyatta fans that don’t know a fact from an opinion.  Its sad really because you for some reason think that Zenyatta runs against Grade 1 competition because the race is a grade 1, not the case.  Do you know how many Grade 1 winners Zenyatta has faced in her last 6 races against mares.  The answer is 1.  In her last 6 races against mares do u know how many horses have won a race of consequence in the last 2 years.  The answer to that question is 1, the name of the horse is Life is Sweet, who is now retired.  That would be the reason that the article is written, there are many on blogs like this, you come in and you state that Zenyatta is racing and beating world beaters, untrue, as a matter of fact the competition she faced in the Santa Margarita was a combined 4-39 in the last 18 months of competitive racing.  2 horses that won 2 Grade II races and 2 stakes races, the others were either still working thru conditions or still non-winners which means they were lower than allowance level horses.  So please keep in mind that the level of competition matters, being undefeated not so much as attested by Pepper’s Prides Record.  Unfortunately I see more and more people make the comparison between Zenyatta and Pepper’s Pride, and as for the person who stated that she just missed out on HOY for 2 years straight, that’s also a opinion and not fact, she lost the vote to Curlin in a landslide almost 100 votes, and after pulling at the heart strings of many of the eclipse award votes still finished 30 or so votes back of the deserving 2009 HOY.  I really feel awful for the Zenyelots because your horse is running in the weakest division in horse racing out in So Cal, on a surface that will be long gone in a couple of years and the ******* that will appear by her name will mean “a synthetic specialist that ran on dirt 3 times” unproven against top level competition on a consistent basis, and 3 time HOY loser.  That’s where it really counts, win all of your optional claiming quality races but a Loser in HOY voting.  Mr. Moss will look just as classless at this Eclipse award ceremony as he did in January, he looked like a child who had his toy taken away from him, about to cry for his trophy.  Sorry Zenyelots.

07 May 2010 11:44 AM
Wabstat

Another example of how the Breeders Cup has hurt more than helped.  Zenyatta's people want HOY, they are not going to spend the year shipping all over and chasing Quality Road and his ilk.  They want to win the BC Classic to shut up the critics, they shipped to meet Rachel, but Rachel is not up to it right now or ever, so the BC Classic is the one and only goal.  Given what racing and the racing press have become, keep her unbeaten and point for that race. This is the clear path to HOY.

07 May 2010 11:45 AM
Mokey

Gary Lynn,

Mr. Sheriff is the TRAINER - MOSSES are the owners and they decide what the horse does. I just think they double talk! I'm not putting another person nor horse in that statement. THEY said "they were going to do things different" which so far hasn't happen.

I never said she HAD to come to NY, heck that will most likely never happen because of the Trainer. But remember is, Their "Derby" horse went more places then her and why is that? That is just odd.

I hope Zen can stay unbeaten - and sound, but I think her owners need to keep their words. (laugh would be for them to put her in the Breeder's Cup Marathon, then she could win three different sections of the breeder's cup!)

07 May 2010 11:51 AM
Caren

No backlash here, I totally agree.  I love Zenyatta, and being that I live in KY, I really hope she races at Churchill, the Stephen Foster would be great!  Especially because there is never a guarentee that she will make it to the Breeders' Cup, anything can happen between now and Nov.

07 May 2010 11:59 AM
Citation

Hey, other person who posts under the name Citation, we need to work something out about our names. About Zenyatta, I wish she would do something more exciting than the Vanity, but nothing is a sure thing and she could lose, even there, so it's not like there is no excitement. And Quality Road is faster than every other horse running, in my opinion.

07 May 2010 12:11 PM
Greg J.

It boggles my brain on some of the selfish comments I have read here.  Does everyone  realize how hard it is for a horse to win EVERY race with the style of Zenyatta's?  Let this sink in for a second....ZENYATTA IS UNDEFEATED, 16 WINS, 0 LOSSES, 10 GRADE ONE WINS, 4 GRADE TWO WINS....If she goes in the Vanity, Another Grade One race, She will be the first to have won three, Breaking the tie with the great Azeri(And two others)  Does anyone think they have the right to dictate where and when she runs?  Does anyone honestly think that if the Mosses listened to the "Public" she would be undefeated?  No way, They race her with a plan layed out, To have enough in the tank for the Breeders' Cup, Which she will be attempting to win for the THIRD TIME!  Thank God they don't listen to some of the idiotic comments by the "Public" !  Zenyatta will go down in history as one of the greats of my generation, If not of All-time.  Instead of questioning where she runs, Why not enjoy her before it is over and she is retired?  Retirement can come in a blink of an eye in this sport, People seem to forget that!  In the grand scheme of things, The "Horse of the Year Award" means NOTHING!  Going Undefeated is the Ultimate Award, NOTHING tops it!  

One last thing, Zenyatta has won two Grade one races this year, She has beaten 11 others in those two races, Compare that to Rachel, Rachel has raced twice also, With two second place finishes, Rachel beat 7 others and two beat her, One race was Un-graded and one was a Grade two.  In my eyes, A well managed Career that will span three years and possibly, A undefeated Career at that, Is what should be commended and held to the highest regard.  I will say it one last time, To question where and when Zenyatta races is just plain Selfish thinking, Thank God I know better and appreciate Zenyatta while I still can...

07 May 2010 12:14 PM
Richard Gross

Good points re Curlin and the Arc, Kauto Star, but the point is, who knows? He shipped to Dubai and won both his Jaguar prep and the DWC in hand rides. Note that DWC winners usually have experience racing here (Well Armed and Gloria de Campaeo are the latest examples), but not Curlin. He ran a good second in the Man o' War later in the year to Red Rocks, a great turf runner, and finished in front of Better Talk Now, an even better turf horse. The decision not to continue to prep for the Prix still mystifies me. Even had he lost, no problem - he wouldn't have been expected to win. And he would truly have been a WORLD class runner. Why blow the chance at legend for a cheap win - which he didn't get - in a second BC? The horse I saw in Dubai could have won any race on any surface. He was mismanaged that year and, oh, who's managing Rachel's career?

07 May 2010 12:23 PM
lindaw

Zenyatta is a great race horse.  Her tepid campaigns (excluding the Breeder's Cup) do not do her justice.  The horse deserves accolades, but despite what her fans say, her 2009 campaign was not worthy of Horse of the Year title. One race (the Breeder's Cup, however brilliant, does not make a horse worthy of the Horse of the Year title.  Her connections need to rethink their choices so that they showcase this magnificent creatures talents and contribute to her legacy in a positive way.  To continue to race her against only females on synthetic tracks out West is to limit her greatly when ther is no need for it.

07 May 2010 12:27 PM
mglynn

Amazing how these horses and the actions of there owners can inspire such Passion! Love them both and would not lose one ounce of my reguard for Zenyatta Win Lose or draw she will forever hold a special place in my heart.

07 May 2010 12:29 PM
Householder

Here is how HOY is won folks.

Breeder's Cup Distaff

Santa Margarita

Apple Blossom

Milady

Vanity (2 x winner)

Clement Hirsch

Lady's Secret

La Canada

The year was 2002.  Azeri shipped twice and faced NO males.  

If Zenyatta retires tomorrow she will win HOY and she will not have even had to go to another boring Breeder's Cup and beat up more boring horses.  Sound familiar?  HOY without a Breeders Cup?  It can't be done?

If I were RA's connections I would get her a little closer to west coast "wine makers" like Hollendorfer.  I'm glad RA's trainer and Jockey got a good look at Zenyatta's behind in the Apple Blossom.  Perhaps if the are fortunate enough they will get another good look some day.  

07 May 2010 12:29 PM
Richard Gross

lindaw: by noting Zenyatta races "out West," you again betray an East Coast bias. Let the challengers go meet the champion - out West if need be.

07 May 2010 12:32 PM
Richard Gross

ThePixiePoet: BeyerSmeyer. Rachel lost both races. Horses run against horses, not a stopwatch.

07 May 2010 12:40 PM
Kay

So now y'all are saying that Zenyatta has to continue to prove herself. How many times, exactly? I love that none of you have answered the question about horses shipping West. So clearly, it's all about Zenyatta shipping East. And that's the only thing that matters. Again, the onus to tackle a champion is on the CHALLENGERS, not the champion. Zenyatta has proven herself 16 times in a row. Some of you find amusement tossing speed figures and Thorograph numbers out. And those can be helpful handicapping mortal horses. But Zenyatta's simply not mortal. She's won her races at Del Mar, a track her trainer and jockey say she detests. DETESTS. But as a champion does, she still finds ways to win. There is nothing she could do that would make you guys see that. Y'all thought she had no chance in the BC Classic, but then she goes out and wins so now you have to find excuses for that victory. It's a shame that you can't enjoy her. A horse like this doesn't come around often. You're missing something amazing.

As somebody pointed out above, horses tend to do VERY well moving from synthetic to dirt. That should scare the hell out of you. If the plan for Zenyatta consists of the BC Classic again, don't expect to see Rachel in there even if she IS fit and back to her old form. You think she wants any part of 10F?

Rachel didn't run against older fillies last year. Instead, she ran against Macho Again and Bullsbay. I would've had more respect for her if she'd taken on the cream of the division, but she ducked them. See how that works?

Rechelle -- it's so adorable that you're posting links to Wikipedia entries! I love that. You said something above about how suspect the BC Classic field was because it was filled with synthetic and turf specialists. Since Zenyatta's connections have stated that she's much better on dirt, her victory looks even better!! Are you REALLY saying that turf and synthetic horses aren't as good as dirt horses? I'm not sure what your point is there. If dirt really IS the only surface by which we measure, then All Along had better give back that HOTY trophy. I don't think for a second that turf horses are weaker than dirt horses. And if a horse beats others who are running on their favorite surface, then that's kind of fantastic, isn't it? You're using a very weird yardstick.

07 May 2010 12:42 PM
Leenza

Draynay - Zenyatta's only going to be given the chance to beat Quality Road if he stays sound...which is not a sure thing. It's your opinion that he's far superior to her, but it's my opinion that he's not. Just because you state your opinion emphatically as if it's fact doesn't mean it is.

07 May 2010 12:43 PM
Jason Shandler

All: Off to see Pearl Jam in Indy. Your comments will be posted tomorrow afternoon. Sorry for the delay. Glad to see everyone took this so lightly :)

07 May 2010 12:49 PM
Tim G

This is just ONE race. Why don't we wait and see what lies on the horizon?

Whatever the future brings? I think both Rachel and Zenyatta have done amazing things the last several years and it's been a pleasure to watch them. I would have LOVED to own either one, what an honor that would be.

07 May 2010 12:49 PM
teresa

Totally agree, Why didn't they keep her on this side of the Rockies until Nov- there's certainly plenty of races to challenge her on the east coast- unless you are not looking for a challenge; Love the mare but...

07 May 2010 12:54 PM
Gavin

Personally I'd like to see her run against stiffer competition, but if she's my horse, why not keep the stakes record going and going, winning in hand, not extending her or hurting her and let her last race be the big one? I can see the path she is taking. Just hoping for no injuries between now and the Breeders Cup!

07 May 2010 12:56 PM
Gavin

One last comment: I think the whole East coast vs. West coast thing is awesome for us horse daydream lovers who grew up on the Black Stallion movie. Maybe we can anticipate a meeting of Rachel, Zenyatta and Super Saver this fall? Did someone say Quality Road is a monster this year? I'd hate for any of them to meet up and spoil a super monster race with all contenders this fall...

07 May 2010 1:02 PM
Mark

JShandler,

In your reference to Tiznow (above).

Jason Shandler quote:

"There is no comparison between the Vanity and the Woodward".

Your right Jason. The Woodward doesn't even come close to the Vanity.

The Grade I Vanity has been in existence since 1940. The Woodward has been in existence since 1958.

Go recalculate before making ignorant statements to Tiznow.

07 May 2010 1:05 PM
Terry

Just having a sound mare still running in stakes at age 6 is amazing. She's beaten males before. We know how good she is. She should run in races that suit her. Let the competition come to her.

I give the owners tremendous credit for keeping her running when they could have retired her two years ago and be selling her foals for big money. Instead they chose to keep competing. Good for them! They know her best, so they should decide where she runs and not be influenced by all the back-seat drivers.

07 May 2010 1:15 PM
SBP

Why would they enter her in a race that she should win easily? Duh. Because she's 16-0. A win makes her 17-0, forever mentioned before Citation and Cigar. It would certainly be more exciting to have her get her 17th consecutive win in a more challenging race; but I can understand why her connections would want to hedge their bets on this one.

07 May 2010 1:18 PM
Bob Z

Somebody wrote...

"Two: for all you Rachel fans, there is an easy solution: enter Rachel in the Vanity. Why should undefeated Zenyatta go East. Let twice-beaten (this year) Rachel ship West.

To BE the champ, you must BEAT the champ."

Just my opinion ... Rachel is the champ... as per the HOY award...

Now ... who is running better right now?  Obviously Zenyatta..

Thats why I think its in Zenyattas best interest to run in the Foster... If she beats Rachel.. then Rachel passes the baton...(for the time being)

...because Zenyatta will 3 for 3 beating Rachel once... and Rachel will be 0 for 3 losing to Zenyatta once...

If Rachel doesn't show then thats 2x that Rachel could have run against her but chose not to...

Then Zenyatta can forget about Rachel until late fall in NY or at the Breeders Cup ...

07 May 2010 1:23 PM
Raye Source

Seems we have lot's of EOE's (expert's on everything)out there.

Let the trainer train and the horse perform.  She didn't get to where she is by listening to everyone's opinion.

07 May 2010 1:27 PM
democraticjack

How many boys has RA beaten on poly?  Why won't her connections share her with West Coast fans?  How many 1 1/4 mile Gr.1 races has RA won?  How many champion mares have won the Grade One Vanity 3 times in a row?  Why is Zen being held to a higher standard than Secretariat, Man O War and currently, Rachel Alexandria?  Riddle me that.

07 May 2010 1:30 PM
lynnhurst

There is not a horse racing today that wants a part of Zenyatta.  I have never seen her race with her ears back which makes me believe she has never laid it down on the track.  She is a gift and just enjoy because she will soon be on a farm in Kentucky.  I hope her fate will not be like Azeri's, Charismatic's, Silver Charm, etc. and sent to Japan.  I want her to race on the east coast also.  Everyone should be able to see the best female in my lifetime.  I hope

she comes to Churchill for Breeders

Cup.

07 May 2010 1:38 PM
Marilyn

Somebody said that synthetic horses do much better on dirt?  I have two words for you.  Sidney's Candy.

And for all you Rachel bashers, she is far from done, when has 2nd ever become bad, and it's her trainer, not her, that's making all the mistakes.  Last year she had Hal Wiggins, and by the grace of God Steve A. didn't change anything he was doing, now he's rating her and puting a figure 8 bridle on her, probably confusing the hell out of her by making her stay back when she wants the lead.  Sooner or later they will realize their little experiment didn't work, and we'll all see the REAL Rachel again.  Then you bashers will have to bite your tongue.

And for all of you insisting that everyone go west to race her, no one said that any horse wouldn't travel to race her, the Mosses themselves said they would travel her (and yes, to NY too) so that her fans all over could see her.  Southern California is not the world.  We are not saying that Belmont or Saratoga is better, we just want to see her like the Mosses promised, and now they're ducking us, the public who adore their horse.

07 May 2010 1:38 PM
Pam S.

I agree with Eric, I would be very surprised if our reigning HOY showed up in the Foster. If she can't get a head in front of fillies (with great trips at tracks she adores), how is she going to be competitive against the top-class males who will be in the Foster?  The mighty males who would trounce Zenyatta if she showed?  The males who strike such fear in Shirreffs and the Mosses that they are remaining cloistered in California?  Come on now, Rachel won't be there.  

07 May 2010 1:40 PM
C C Rogers

One last thing.  Just wanted to inform so many Rachaelites that ZENYATTA'S home track is not Santa Anita where the Breeders Cup was held. Her home track is Hollywood Park. The difference between those two surfaces is night and day.  They are not even close to being the same surface. They are as different as the Aqueduct Inner Track and Saratoga. Just check the track profiles and you will see that Hollywood Park is a speed favoring track. Up until last weekend, the Rachael connections were bragging about bringing her back to Churchill because she simply adores the track there. She loves the environment there. Surely she would silence the doubters with a great win on the track she loves the most! She got beat again! This time on the track she loved the most.  Why is it so RIGHT for Rachael's connections to run her on her favorite track, and so WRONG for ZENYATTA to go back home and run a race or two on the way to Churchill Downs for another BC Classic win.

07 May 2010 1:45 PM
dr fager01

DRAYNAY IS A CLOWN THAT JUST KEEPS ON AND ON WITH THE SAME OLD LAME JIBBERISH. FACE THE FACTS YOU SOUND SO SILLY COMPARING THE GREAT ZENYATTA TO QUALITY ROAD AND RACHEL AT THIS POINT IN THE GAME, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING IN THE LAST YEAR,ON GILLIGANS ISLAND, OH! I THINK THEY WERE MORE INFORMED THAN YOU ARE. DUDE GET A LIFE. YOUR POINT IS SENCELESS AND WITHOUT TRUTH

07 May 2010 1:47 PM
jjd

I don't understand this train of thought that if you're criticizing anything about Zenyatta's campaign, you're bashing her and aren't respecting her greatness.

Maybe this will blow the mindless Zenyatistas' minds: I believe Zenyatta is a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime horse who would almost certainly crush Rachel A and most of the older males out there with ease today.

And yet, if I am upset that she might be running in the same old boring races she won last year, I'm bashing her?  Please.  Take the blinkers off and try hard to use your brains.

I want to see her barnstorm across the US to show everyone how great she is.  I want the chance to see her in person at a track here on the east coast so I, too, can see her strut her stuff.

07 May 2010 1:51 PM
helsbelles

One major reason Jess Jackson put an abrupt halt to the 5-million dollar Apple Blossom, is that it finally dawned on him that a Zenyatta victory would put her 1.5-million dollars closer to his beloved stallion Curlin's 10-million dollar career earnings mark.

07 May 2010 2:05 PM
Scotty

I was "steaming" after reading this article, but after having a wise old racing fan & supporter help get my blood pressure back to normal I'll say this. Dirt vs synthetic surface, mare vs. the "boys", eastern track vs. western....  All you card carrying members of the east coast biased, prejudiced horse racing crew don't have a leg to stand on against this mare!  Zenyatta is not running on some back yard dirt track, she's out winning stakes races against good competition from both coasts.  She didn't just win the Breeders Cup last year.  She ran away from the pack, "SMOKIN"!  I want to see her take the all time undefeated title.  For me poetic justice would be to see her blow ya'll away in the Breeders Cup again this year in your backyard, and say make it win number "twenty"!

07 May 2010 2:09 PM
GunBow

Well, there's nothing like Zenyatta and/or Rachel to get people over their post-Derby hangovers.

For me, the cure will be going to Hollywood Park on Saturday.  Tomorrow will be the first can't miss day of the young Hollywood meet because it features the return of Rail Trip in the gr.2 Mervyn Leroy.  Having never seen Rail Trip in person, I've been looking forward to the Mervyn LeRoy all week.

From what I have read from handicappers and writers as well as local fans, Rail Trip was the best handicap horse in Cali last year and should be the best again this year.  And with Misremembered now on the sidelines being given an extended rest, I would probably have to agree with the latter point.

I followed the progress of Rail Trip from afar last year when he won his first 6 starts.  After that, he was thrown into graded stakes, and his ascension to the top hit some snags.  For as much hype as Rail Trip gets, and he seems to be the only Cali handicap horse respected by the drf Eastern clique, he is only 1 for 4 in graded stakes.  Rail Trip finished 2nd in his 1st 2 graded stakes races, last year's Mervyn LeRoy and Californian.

However, Rail Trip's 3rd graded stakes race more than made up for the first two disappointments; Rail Trip won the 10 furlong gr.1 Hollywood Gold Cup in smashing fashion, with the winning margin 3 lengths and the 3rd place horse(Life is Sweet) 9 back.  Many consider it to have been the finest synthetic performance ever, with the possible exception of Zenyatta's BC Classic.  Rail Trip's Beyer of 111 is the 2nd best synth Beyer behind Big Z.

There are some negatives concerning Rail Trip tomorrow.  The M.LeRoy will be Rail Trip's first start in about 9 months, since his close 3rd in the Pacific Classic behind Richard's Kid and Einstein (his only start, thus far, after the easy H.Gold Cup win).  Also, Rail Trip did lose this very race last year, one of just 3 losses in 9 career starts.

On the positive side, Rail Trip has been working northing short of brilliantly for this return, including a 1:24  7 furlong workout.  Also, his trainer Ron Ellis has been on a tear and typically has strong Hollywood meets.  Finally, the field for the M.LeRoy did not come up strong.

Tres Borrachos, the 08' Swaps winner(over Colonel John) and last year's Hollywood Gold Cup runner-up, is in the field.  TB loves Hollywood, but he hasn't run well since last year's meet.  Dakota Phone is the other logical contender.  Last year, Dakota ran 2nd behind Rail Trip in the Santana Mile, 3rd to Rail Trip's 2nd in the M.LeRoy, 3rd to Rail Trip's 2nd in the Californian, and then ran poorly behind Rail Trip in the Gold Cup.  This year, Dakota was a close 2nd in the gr.2 San Antonio and 3rd in the gr.1 Santa Anita Cap.  However, his last was a stinker, a last place finish in the Oaklawn Cap.  

I would be disappointed in anything but a Rail Trip victory.  The Cali handicap division desperately needs him.  And if Team Zenyatta wants to keep the big mare out in Cali, how about a match up with the only horse who could give her a run, Rail Trip, in the Hollywood Gold Cup?  

07 May 2010 2:10 PM
GunBow

Fans of Tiznow:

Colonel John's full-sister, Kayce Ace, broke her maiden at Hollywood on Thursday.  She won a 8.5 furlong race by a head in 1:44 and change.

I had seen Kayce finish a fast closing 2nd(or 3rd) in a sprint race at Santa Anita and absolutely loved her size and long stride.

07 May 2010 2:12 PM
Barbara W

As a Zenyatta lover supreme, I have to say I agrre with you, Jason. I am more disappointed than anything because I was at Oaklawn to see and experience firsthand Zenyatta's magic. Anyone who has not seen her in person does not have a clue what I'm talking about.

I was so zealous for other fans across the country to get to see her.

However, that is my selfishness showing. Her connecntions know far more than we do and they have the right to plan her course. I remember reading that the plane experienced a rough landing coming into Hot Springs. Only they know all the in's and out's that we are not privileged to know.

As far as Draynay's comments about Beyer figures, aren't they meaningless when a horse isn't being fully extended? According to Mike Smith, she always has plenty left in the tank. After the BC, she looked as if she could do it again.

07 May 2010 2:22 PM
sodapopkid

RACHEL FANS:   I have a suggestion! Since RA is running so good and she bowed out of her planned meeting with Zenyatta in the AB,  Lets see if JJ won't send her to the Vanity,  Why not,  She has won on these surfaces before and she needs some tuning up,  Lets e-mail old JJ and see what he says,  She has plenty of time to get on a plane and fly over the Rockie's and train on the surface.

This way she and JJ can prove to the world that she aint' ducking the queeen Zenyatta.

I think this would shut you Ra fans up and make us Zenyatta fans damn happy as well.

So get on your cell phones or home phones or pony express, and call old JJ and demand he send RA after Zenyatta in the Vanity.

Tell him to book her a flight on 'Air HOrse ONe' like Zen did and hurry up and get her out there.

Steve A. has so many barns he sure to hell won't miss her, and he has some trainers out there or he can send Scott Blasi out there with her.

Go on Rachel fans  , show us and the queen Zenyatta what RA is made of  right now,  RA needs some damn good publicity and seeing her running out to the Vanity sure will get some people in a good mood.

Call him, you're wasting time, that RA can be training on that surface,  she ain't afraid of it , she won on it before........

07 May 2010 2:23 PM
Richard Gross

And Jason: Why does Zenyatta have to race against males to prove she is the best mare of our time? That's just plain equine-sexual politics - the same kind of thinking that pitted Ruffian against Foolish Pleasure in a 1970s-stupid race of the sexes and Eight Belles in the Derby. Let's all get this once and for all: males and females are biologically different. Let's appreciate them for their respective greatness and not force human foibles onto them.

07 May 2010 2:26 PM
little horse

Jason, sorry dude you went too far.  I agreed with your assessment of the Vanity but when you later said "you have to travel to win HOY" you lost me.  See Forgo, Azari etc.  East coast horses really don't have a choice but to travel do to weather and when tracks are open.  Top west coast horses have the purse structure to stay in the region and compete at a high level.  But back to the topic.  This isn't about Racheal or sythetics, frankly those are non-issues.  It is about your opinion on how John Sherriffs should manage his horses campaigns.  Are you suggesting other horses can run in 13 "easy" graded races and be undefeated?  If they could have, they would have!  After the Moss's announce her return do you think her home fans should be denied a chance to see her again?  And what about the campaign after the Vanity.  I could see Hollywood Gold Cup, Ruffian, Woodward, Lady's Secret, BC Classic!  Would that "make up" for choosing the GI Vanity?

07 May 2010 2:27 PM
jayjay

Hoofprints : just ignore the clown draynay, he desperately wants to be a handicapper.  Not one person here have listened to his predictions and those who did will never come forward because they lost money on NP and RA lol.  He plays $2 to win on favorites (no higher than 6 to 5) and claims he's made a killing lol.  He's here purely for amusement, he's the blog clown.

I'm surprised that none of the east coast folks couldn't post any other contenders, I was hoping I'd see other names besides Quality Road because seriously, he is NOT worth flying over the rockies for.  He's good but I wouldn't even waste a breath comparing him to Zenyatta.  He would not have come close to Gio Ponti in last year's Classic.  Even this year, who did he beat in the Donn ?  Past the Point? Dry Martini ? Delightful Kiss ?  Can anyone of of the east coast folks please post the major contenders from the east coast ?  

Or maybe you already have and just haven't been posted because Jason is off watching Pearl Jam!!  Have fun man!

07 May 2010 2:31 PM
Cyane

Take her anywhere---but PLEASE not Saratoga!

07 May 2010 2:42 PM
AfleetAlexForever

Quick Question, how long as Baffert been in Louisville with Lookin At Lucky. Hmmmmmm its ok for a 3 year old to travel away from the home base for lengthy period of time but dare we think that a 6 year old mature mare can handle that.  Oh my. That’s asking too much of her.

07 May 2010 2:43 PM
Kay

For those who are under the misperception that Zenyatta was returned to training because she didn't win HOTY... you're wrong. Zenyatta's return was announced on January 16th. HOTY was announced on the 19th.

Teresa -- okay, seriously? So Zenyatta is supposed to spend the year on the road, like she's a brush salesman or something? John Shirreffs only has the one barn. He's not an industry. To repeat AGAIN -- THEY need to travel to face HER. She's earned that.

Householder -- excellent points about Azeri! But then she probably didn't have someone like Jackson lobbying against her...

Since the notion here seems to be that Zenyatta's star is being tarnished because she only runs on synthetics, I contend that continuing to run Rachel only on dirt and not at 10F is diminishing HER reputation. Personally, I have a problem with a HOTY being finished by September. I DO think the BC should have more weight in the Eclipse votes. And when they occur on the East Coast, they do. But the West Coast BCs simply aren't considered as important. After all, not a lot of East Coast trainers will ship their horses over the Rockies to run in the California BCs. I wonder if shipping is really taxing on horses? Hmm...

Jason -- have fun at Pearl Jam, and thanks for letting this drag on <g>.

07 May 2010 2:47 PM
GJU

To Greg J.,

Thanks for your great post (on 5-6-10, at 9:24 pm). I can't stop laughing! Zenyatta rocks, and her record speaks for itself.

07 May 2010 2:48 PM
Don

The most logical post so far:

"Ann and Jerry Moss are the owners.

John Shirreffs is the trainer.  The decision when and where to run Zenyatta are theirs no one else.

People have opininions and they could express it through the betting window where it count.

Butch Coyoca 06 May 2010 11:23 PM"

07 May 2010 2:49 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

The road runs both ways.  Rachel can come to California.  I love watching Zenyatta wherever she runs.

07 May 2010 3:00 PM
Sammi P

I'd love to see Z run on dirt against males, and we all will one day I'm sure. However this is not our horse, we don't control where she runs. We are lucky just to see her running still. And they may change their mind and run her in the Foster. Or they will use the Vanity as a prep for the Hollywood Gold Cup. It's against males at 1 1/4 miles. Dirt/turf/synth. doesn't matter it's still against males. I for one will watch her run without complaining just glad that I still can watch her run.

07 May 2010 3:00 PM
mz

GUYS!

comments ...do NOT equal bashing

east coast/west coast .... some of us are NO coast

race horses .... we like to see them race

walkovers ... are boring

I like Zenyatta

I like Rachel

I like lindaw's comments at 12:29

( I also think I'm in love with Ted from LA)

07 May 2010 3:05 PM
LDP

Laz,

Why is it that when RA is included all Zen fans can do is complain that Zen has not spotlight to herself, but when it's all about Zen you bring in RA to move Zen up. In my post I didn't post anything about RA and I refuse to post anything about her. This blog is strictly Zenyatta. I would've though you all would be happy about that.

07 May 2010 3:07 PM
helsbelles

Please allow me to make my point more clearly.  A victory for Zenyatta in the 5 million dollar Apple Blossom would have been worth 3.5 million dollars.  Added to her then 5 million in earnings would have put her at 8.5 million, within 1.5 million dollars of Curlin's career mark of 10 million dollars.  This to me is a major reason why Jackson chose to withdraw from the Apple Blossom commitment.  Not only would Rachel have been damaged by losing to Big Z in this race, but Curlin's legacy would also have been damaged.

07 May 2010 3:12 PM
ksweatman

Zenyatta may be the best this generation will see, but unfortunately we may never witness her full potential, which I believe to be immense. This mare has an unparalleled sense of drive and determination. Zenyatta wins for Zenyatta, she loves the game. That's a rare quality in a racehorse. They are trained to win, but you can not teach a horse to run with conviction for self gratification. A thoroughbred like Zenyatta will only come around once in a lifetime. She's talented, she's entertaining, and she has a unique unmatched personality, the total package. What a shame the Mosses are holding her back from attaining true greatness.

07 May 2010 3:23 PM
Kate Harper

Perhaps Jason's next article could be to question what Jess Jackson's plans are for Rachel.  Does Jackson still think he'll run his filly against Zenyatta 3 times this year, what percentage of fitness does RA need to be to run against quality competition--90.93%92.37% 94.62%, will she run against males again, when will she run in a G1, will she ever run the Classic distance, will she even be pointed to the BC, does he think maybe allowing Borel to whip her with a big lead in the Haskell and then the relentless whipping in the Woodward might have just taken the competitive fight out of his great filly?  Does he think RA benefited from being removed from Hal Wiggins' excellent care? Lots and lots of potential questions probably a tad more important than worrying if Zenyatta runs in the Vanity rather than the Stephen Foster.

07 May 2010 3:29 PM
Kauto Star

To be honest Richard, I would have been surprised to see him placed, especially as his form had started to tail off by then. Even the incredible Deep Impact was only third before being disqualified. That's what made Sea The Stars so amazing, in that he was on the go from early spring, won a tough Group 1 race every month and still won the Arc with ease.

To be honest, I'm sick of this Zenyatta vs Rachel business, they're both fantastic horses who have accomplished different things. In Britain we have a similar situation with the two champion chasers Kauto Star and his stablemate Denman. The former has won 13 Grade 1's from 2 to 3.25 miles, including a four timer in the King George VI Chase and two Cheltenham Gold Cups. The latter beat Kauto in the 2008 Gold Cup, won two Hennessey Gold Cups off top weight and was undefeated over fences prior to 2009. They're very different horses with different styles, both true greats but still people insist on downgrading their achievements. Just as infuriating as on here.

07 May 2010 3:34 PM
Mark

I know that they want to keep her sound BUT horses of yesteryear were raced everywhere and against everyone. yes it is great that she is undefeated and has beat other Grade I horses, but it's time to see her out East, and against colts again. Zenyatta shows she can run on the poly and dirt. KAY, If the BCC races are held at Churchill this year and it Rachel is still racing, and if she is a no show then for a fact I can say that JJ doesn't want to compete. I agree Rachel is not bred to handle the distance at 10 furlongs. This 2010, new year, so stop dwelling about who earned HOY for 09.

Also, about horses transitioning from dirt to poly, not all of them handle it well.

07 May 2010 3:44 PM
Anna

Bmc your full of it, basically Jason is right. Zen needs to go East. I agree with Alexforever and some others. Rachel may have passed her peak I don't know. I am not the trainer nor is anyone else who assumes they are ducking Zenyatta. I respect both.

07 May 2010 3:57 PM
Nick

I for one am astounded that the comments have degenerated into a Rachel vs Zenyatta shouting contest.

/not really

07 May 2010 4:02 PM
Saratoga AJ

Finally, a turf writer who tells it like it is concerning this issue. I have been saying this all along, and have been attacked on  blogs as being not respectful of Zenyatta.

I have said all along she is obviously a great mare and a sure Hall of Famer. But you're so right Jason, who on earth wants to see her beat up on over matched inferior fillies and mares on the rubber of California anymore? She's done that in all but two races.

But I think I know the real reason her connections are doing this.

Don’t give me the shipping being tough nonsense. The real reason is they want to make sure she wins what would be a record 17 straight races. Break the tie with Citation and Cigar. And the Foster would have been a lot tougher spot to accomplish that. And some easy money. Very disappointing to all racing fans and especially those rabid racing fans of Kentucky, who would have only enhanced her fan base.

If/when she comes East and duplicates her California form against better competition, including colts on the great and historic tracks in NY and Kentucky, then and only then will I put her on the pedestal too many of her fans have already bestowed on her prematurely.

She then will deserve any and all accolades she gets.

Fine article, Jason.

07 May 2010 4:02 PM
CV

From: AfleetAlexForever 07 May 2010 11:44 AM

"Unfortunately I see more and more people make the comparison between Zenyatta and Pepper’s Pride, and as for the person who stated that she just missed out on HOY for 2 years straight, that’s also a opinion and not fact, she lost the vote to Curlin in a landslide almost 100 votes, and after pulling at the heart strings of many of the eclipse award votes still finished 30 or so votes back of the deserving 2009 HOY.  I really feel awful for the Zenyelots because your horse is running in the weakest division in horse racing out in So Cal, on a surface that will be long gone in a couple of years and the ******* that will appear by her name will mean “a synthetic specialist that ran on dirt 3 times” unproven against top level competition on a consistent basis, and 3 time HOY loser.  That’s where it really counts, win all of your optional claiming quality races but a Loser in HOY voting.  Mr. Moss will look just as classless at this Eclipse award ceremony as he did in January, he looked like a child who had his toy taken away from him, about to cry for his trophy.  Sorry Zenyelots...."

This is typical of the rambling, hysterical gibberish spewed by Zenyatta-haters who type away as they make shrill, cackling noises with flecks of spittle on their lips.

I say again, NO ONE who bashes a horse is a real racing fan. These folks are pathetic.

07 May 2010 4:04 PM
Billy's Empire

Jimmy Buffet next saturday in indy at Verizon.... You going to that Shandler. We have a huge group going up from the Ville.

07 May 2010 4:09 PM
iceman99

RACHEL CANT EVEN WIN A RACE!!..

I dont live in California, I live in N.Y.C. So I am not jumping on the Cali bandwagon. I am so tired of hearing Rachel fans about how great she is. She was the best horse against the fillies and the owners spot raced Rachel in other races AGAINST THE MALES. If she was THAT GOOD why didnt they put her in all three triple crown races??. you know why? because they spot raced her. The only reason Rachel won THE SCAM setup horse of the year award was because The jacksons donate $$$ to the racing association with his big winery...

You can say what you want about Zenyatta SHE beat the best of the best horses in the world on breeders cup day.

WHERE WAS RACHEL ON BREEDERS CUP DAY???. Oh thats right, she chickened out of the Breeders cup..

07 May 2010 4:47 PM
vikingblood22

This is to AfleetAlexForever:  Thank you 100 times, thank you for the FACTS. On another note, does anyone know about Seabiscuit's descendant, a filly named Bronze Star? She was foaled on May 23, 2007, the exact same birthdate as the great Seabiscuit and I thought her owners were going to race her in 2009 or 2010 . . . .

07 May 2010 4:55 PM
Joy

The discussion about where Zenyatta's racing next, will she be worthy of HOY, she has to come East etc. is really getting to be a pain.  People may want to see her race elsewhere, others may thing she "has" to race in the East, others make the assumption she is aiming to be the HOY.  I call bunk on all of it.  When was the last time all of these "comers" came to the West Coast, maybe after last year's hoopla the owner and trainer could care less about HOY because they care more about the welfare of the horse?  That is a refreshing thought!  Everyone should quit whining, get on with life.  Zenyatta is Zenyatta.  She's perhaps more loved as an animal by her owners that as a racehorse.  I don't presuppose to know what they're thinking.  But I do know this - in John Shirreffs barn at Hollywood Park, there is no horse more loved, paid more attention to than Zenyatta and she's never been raced to the point where she is going to break down just to prove something.  Amazing, people who are in not only for the money.

07 May 2010 5:06 PM
onemoretime

This is once again about Zenyatta and her brilliance in the same round of California races. Her owners do not want to race anywhere else, but expect all the honor and glory? What else can I think of a career but that it is mismanaged when Z is expected to earn HOY over the same ground?  Take all the competition to SA and she is the greatest thing since surcingles.  We can only thank the racing gods that SA and Breeders Cup did not wangle a third season together!  I'll be interested to see how long it takes them to declare her for the distaff at Churchill.

07 May 2010 5:48 PM
Annette

Rechelle;

       Do you KNOW for a fact that team Zenyatta, is trying to break Pepper's Pride's record?

Your "snarky", and "venemous" attitude against Zenyatta, is apparent in every single blog you get on.   There are times when saying the least, shows more INTELLIGENCE.

07 May 2010 6:12 PM
Julie L.

Personally I just wish Draynay would just shut up. Sorry but that is how I feel, all he ever does is down grade horses that he feels are a threat to the horses he favors. Second, though I would love to see Zenyatta run in the Stephen Foster just to shut up Draynay and I don't have any doubts about her winning as I've seen this mare in person but perhaps because she will have a weight impost that should be higher than last year's, the Z Team may want to see how she handles it. The only way to stop this mare is by higher imposts. If you have not seen her in person with her size, demeanor and running style then it is really difficult for the individual to truly judge this mare. Her mind set is on one thing and that is winning. She is not ready to jump to the breeding shed as Rachel may be wanting to do now. I still cannot understand how people can still question this mare's ability. Though my leanings are towards Zenyatta I still love and believe Rachel is a unique mare and do not down grade her one bit. Why must certain people always be so negative? I really dislike this behavior.

07 May 2010 6:17 PM
Annette

Wretchell, and Draynay:

It's time you two pick your toys up, and go play somewhere else.

07 May 2010 6:36 PM
Ann in Lexington

Bill Daly - Which year are you referring to? In 1971, Cougar II came east and pulverized the Woodward field (run at 10f back then), but was disqualified for coming in an the fading front-runner. In 1973, in the first Marlboro Cup (a race devised to test Secretariat vs. the best older horses), Coug got banged around in the gate, held up in traffic and was still quickly getting to Riva Ridge for second, at a distance less than his best. The following Woodward doesn't count because it was on an off track; Coug hated any kind of wet going.

07 May 2010 6:42 PM
boatrocker

Thanks for the forum and good article--you are as consistent as Borel. Say, my Dad had a horse named Jerry that beat every single horse no matter at what age he was or the other horses were on our farm every single time they raced! Isn't that fantastic? Take good and keep writing.

07 May 2010 6:48 PM
Ann in Lexington

Criminal Type - The best older horses in the WORLD? I didn't see Sea the Stars in that line-up. Nor Vodka. Nor Viewed. Nor Lingote de Oro. The best older horses in North America, I'll give you. Some of the better ones from Europe, okay. The WORLD is a lot bigger than you think.

07 May 2010 6:53 PM
Bellwether

LET THE CHIPS FALL...U ALL...

07 May 2010 7:14 PM
LauraS

Why is it some people are expecting Zenyatta to just jump on a plane and travel clear across the country (JS said "over the Rockies") and back home every time she races, some 6,000+ miles round trip, by the way?  Remember, everyone involved in team Zenyatta is based in SoCal. They don't have horses all over the place like some bigger outfits, with a legion of assistant trainers to do the day-to-day-training, nor do they move their stables like the East coast seasonal progression of south in the winter, north to NY/NJ via KY in the spring/summer. There are a lot of Grade I's in SoCal year-round so why not stay home until it's time to really get serious for the BC? And what's so different about vanning between the three SoCal tracks than vanning between Belmont, Aqueduct and Monmouth? The distances are about the same between those tracks, and just a few more hours to Saratoga. And before anyone screams "plastics" California racing has always been considered by many east of the Mississippi to be second-class, even when those same "second class" horses came East and whupped the locals. It's just geographical bias for the most part. (I'm from Iowa, by the way.)  Before synthetics, California tracks were denigrated for being "too hard" and therefore inferior to every track back east and unfair to any (beaten) east coast shippers. The horses were disrespected too: even though Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer three of their four meetings, all in the east, many east coasters insist to this day that Easy Goer was the better horse, despite the results on the track. There are a lot of other stories like this.  Now, with the whole surface debate, there's a whole 'nother thing thrown into the mix. Sigh. BTW, a European blog recently said Zenyatta cannot be considered a great horse because she's never won on the "true racing surface" - i.e. grass. It suggested she needed an Arc win to be considered the equal of any European champion.  What about that one, huh?

How much weight do you think Zenyatta will get in the Vanity if she goes? 130? 135? She won easily last year under 129 lbs. and her two races this year, both Grade I's, have been soooo easy. How many other horses running in North America in the last decade have carried that much weight? How many horses do you think would even START if they were assigned that much weight in these days of race-shopping? Today, many "high" weights in even Grade I handicaps have been 122 lbs. What a joke!  That's not even weight-for-age. It's just another instance of the "dumbing down" of the breed so to speak, just like the average race distance having dropped in this country from 1-1/16 miles to less than 7 furlongs in under than 30 years is. What happened to all the horses who could race 6 to 12f and beyond and carry real weight, like Dr. Fager, Buckpasser, and Forego?  They were here only 40 years ago. For that matter, where are all the 12 or 14f races?  Europe, Australia and Japan, that's where. Most of the US races have been dropped to 9f or below. The Woodward was 14f in its glory days, when it was a true championship race, but now it's only 9f, the Jockey Club Gold Cup's been shortened from 2 miles, and I've heard more than one person call for shortening the Belmont. But that's a topic for another day.

Everyone knows where Zenyatta is - running in G1 races, announced well ahead of time. It's not her fault if so few are willing to even try for black type and second money in said G1 races, even when they're getting 15-20 pounds from her. She may beusing the G1 Vanity to prep for the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup: I don't think there IS a G1 against the boys in CA they could have chosen to prep since they don't want to ship her at this time. I'm sure she'll head east later this year to prep for the B.C. The Mosses said she would.  Until then, if you want to unseat the champion, you come to the champion. The champion doesn't chase you.  

A couple of comments and statistics: Life is Sweet (different owner, remember) was headed to Dubai before she was injured, but Zenyatta was already committed to the AB and RA, and we know what happened there. Zenyatta has posted times of 1:40-1/5, 1:40-3/5, and 1:40-4/5 for 8-1/2f. All before the others started slowing down the early pace on her in an attempt to thwart her closing kick. That's why her final times have slowed down - nothing else. The fractions were faster in the BCC last year, and she ran a pretty quick 10f of 2:00-4/5, with the final mile faster than the winning time in the BC mile. Only as fast as she needs to be.

LauraS

07 May 2010 7:14 PM
Zen Up

Its extremely tough to make an arument against Zenyatta being the greatest racehorse of a generation, male or female.

She has hit full tilt perhaps once in her carreer and has so comprehensively beaten

Some have suggested her times on dirt are poor, but thats a ridiculous argument and only serves to show how little these people understand about the mare and how she runs.

She lets the 'pace' determine what the final time of the race will be, fast or slow, she simply beats them, each and everytime, her easiest and perhaps most emphatic have been the two at Oaklawn on dirt.

Basically if the pace runs fast, she beats them with a high beyer/ fast time, if the pace runs slow she beats them with a low beyer/ slow time, full stop, she beats them.

There is no other horse in living memory that is able to run that fast that late in a race. her biomechanics are flawless and her desire (unlike her rival last year, Rachel) is unparallelled. She loves it, has rarely been urged to crank it up and has never failed to fire.

I would like to see her racing males at a mile and a quarter, which if you saw her gallop out after crossing the line at the Breeders Cup Classic, its hard to deny would be her most effective distance, but the reality is there are not any real stand outs of her class in either the male or female division.  

She would beat them all while still just winding up into full stride.

She would need a Sea the Stars or another Curlin to offer a true test, none of this calibre are racing at present, so disappointed as I am at the thought of her running in another Vanity, there is little to offer in the way of a challange.

Churchill Downs, November in the cold slop mounts perhaps the only obstacle in the way of this magnificient racemare and her place as the greatest of all time.

07 May 2010 7:26 PM
Rechelle

robinm wrote: "Rechelle; I too would love to hear why Criminal Type believes your comments are "misinformed".  They make a lot of sense to me!"

Thanks, Robin!  Unlike a lot of people on here, I can back up most, if not all, of my comments with facts, articles, etc.  I have noticed that Criminal Type has stopped saying I'm "misinformed".  Wonder why that happened.

07 May 2010 7:35 PM
Rechelle

Gary Lynn wrote: "rechelle (again, yawn; and no reason to believe that angels don't sit on pinheads; while rummaging the documents, please find Obama's and Z's U.S birth certificates),"

Gary, I have been posting those to prove that I am not just spewing c*ap out my a*s and that I am actually able to prove my points.  It's too bad most people who spew stuff on here can't say the same thing when they're trying to state "facts".

07 May 2010 7:37 PM
Ms WTF

Let's just hope we see the match race of the century between these two. Seems like Rachels connections duck for cover when it's mentioned. Whether Z races in the East or not it will be a long time before we have another like her so enjoy her while she's here. Racing will be so pale without her.

07 May 2010 7:40 PM
Rechelle

CV, I am so NOT bashing Zenyatta, by any means.  I am a Zenyatta fan.  I am, however, bashing her connections.  Zenyatta deserves to face competition that she hasn't yet faced.  Zenyatta deserves to show that she is as good on dirt as she is on synthetic.  Zenyatta deserves to go to Saratoga, Belmont, and run in races that she hasn't yet won, but most likely would win.  What she doesn't deserve is to continually run the same races against the same horses on the same tracks.  She's proven she is a true champion on synthetic.  The two dirt races she ran were great, but they were at the same dirt track, which she showed at 4 that she thrived on and she did have some classy horses in it when she was 4 and still somewhat unknown to anyone outside California.  This year when she was there, who in that race who could actually pose a challenge to her?  

I am not saying that Zenyatta has anything to prove.  I am saying that she deserves better than she's getting by her connections.

07 May 2010 7:42 PM
Rechelle

CV, I have never once said or thought that Ruffian needed to run against the boys to prove her greatness!  Ruffian breakdown was extremely tragic and still causes tears when I see the video or when I watched the movie on TV.  She was a great racehorse who should never have been put into a match race.  She didn't need to prove anything.  I'm not saying that Zenyatta or Rachel necessarily need to face the boys, but they are both so talented that they can handle the boys without having to beat up on the same fillies & mares over and over and over.  What are they proving?  Nothing.  Where is the challenge in going up against fillies & mares who are inferior to them?  Most fillies & mares are inferior to Zenyatta and most likely Rachel when she gets back to being 100% fit.  

I am a strong advocate AGAINST match races, which is why I never once said that they should create one for Zenyatta & Rachel.  Pitting 2 horses against no one but themselves is not a true race.  They (and any other great horses in the past or future) should enter a race with other horses.  It's more exciting that way.  

07 May 2010 7:47 PM
Rechelle

CV, also, I don't care where Ruffian raced.  She could've raced in some little unknown track & still have been one of the best.  She could've raced in Alaska or the Canadian Yukon or Northwest Territories and still been great.  But it was a different time when Ruffian raced versus now.  The east coast has the better tracks for now.  Saratoga is the Graveyard of Champions.  For now, most of the best races are run on the east coast or in Kentucky.  Not saying it should be that way, but that is the reality of it.  I don't care where a horse runs.  I have NEVER said Zenyatta isn't great and one of the best horses and deserves to have her name included when talking about Man O'War, Ruffian, Secretariat and all the other great horses.  My only point is that she deserves to face NEW competition.  

07 May 2010 7:58 PM
Rechelle

Kay wrote: "Since Zenyatta's connections have stated that she's much better on dirt, her victory looks even better!! Are you REALLY saying that turf and synthetic horses aren't as good as dirt horses?"

No, I'm not saying that.  Turf & synthetic horses are just as good as any other horse.  I'm just saying that jockeys & trainers even agree that the synthic tracks tend to favor the turf horses than they do the dirt horses.  I think the ultimate situation should be that tracks have 3 different surfaces: Turf, synthetic and dirt.  There are horses who simply run better on each surface.  The BC races that are supposed to be on dirt had a lot more turf/synthetic specialists in them the past 2 years because of the synethic surface leaning more towards turf.  The BC Committee should never have put the BC at Santa Anita for 2 years running.  It's not fair to the true dirt horses who get stuck on a surface that they have never raced on or don't necessarily like.  Turf horses generally seem to run better on synthetic than dirt horses have, overall.  That was my only point there. I am not knocking any horse who prefers synthetic or turf.  There are truly great horses who prefer turf & synthetic.  That's fine, more power to them.  I'm just saying that synthetic should never be compared to dirt.

Also, Shireff may say that Zenyatta prefers dirt to synethic, but out of her 14 starts, only 2 of them were on dirt, so the fans can't really take that at face value, because they haven't taken her to dirt tracks often enough to prove it.  

Glad you like the links anyways.  Seems some people don't, but that could be because I proved some of them wrong. :)

07 May 2010 8:08 PM
LauraS

I recently had the opportunity to read an older (1965 or so) comprehensive history of North American racing (unfortunately I didn't write down the exact citation so I can't list the title and it's gone back to the library) and found out that the preference for dirt racing in the United States came about for two reasons: early on, racing was conducted between plowed fields or on ground not suitable for farming. Later, it was because the organized tracks wanted to be able to have nine or ten races a day, six or seven days a week, and it's harder (read more expensive) to keep a turf course in good shape on that kind of schedule. In other words, dirt racing came about for economic reasons that later became tradition. Period.

Horses evolved, and are designed, to run on grass and ANYTHING else, dirt, sand, cushion, tapeta or poly, is "artificial" to them. Horses may get used to another surface so that they perform well on it, but it's still unnatural for them biologically speaking. BTW, I've read that the rate of catastrophic/fatal breakdowns per 1000 horses on overseas turf courses is less than 25% of what it is on our dirt tracks; and the most recent statistics on synthetics, which play closer to grass, seem to show a 50% reduction in the same from conventional dirt. (Note: catastrophic/fatal breakdowns - not "merely" career-interrupting.)  I'm not saying necessarily that we should switch to all-turf racing, but if we really and truly believe that the welfare of the horse should come first, beyond all other considerations, it's something that really should be thought about. Mother Nature usually knows what she's doing.  

LauraS-knowing she'll get slammed...but with science on her side.

07 May 2010 8:23 PM
TerriV

I am a huge Zenyatta fan.  She is just about perfect and I don't care who she runs against or who is ducking who or any of that; but I am disappointed to hear she is running again in CA.  If she is running as a 6 year old, for the good of the sport, for the fans - she needs to run outside of CA.  We all need to be able to see her dance and watch her breathtaking move from last to first.  She could leave a legacy like Secretariat if given the chance.  And quite selfishly, I live on the east coast.

07 May 2010 8:45 PM
Ranagulzion

The Mosses need to think through their strategy for Zenyatta's campaign properly and not simply react to Rachel Alexandra's no show in the Apple Blossom or retreat back into conservatism.  They have some "simpathy capital" "in the bank" due to Big Z's undefeated status over three seasons without a HOTY title to show.  The mare is so good that she needs to dodge no one, however if the public begins to perceive another timid campaign while "His Royal Highness" Quality Road (being no gentleman on the racetrack) continues to strutt his track-record-threatening, stratospheric-Beyer-figure stuff (having started the season off with a bang at Gulfstream Park), Zenyatta could again end up in a spot of bother at season's end.  The mare is good enough to wrap up the Title BEFORE the Breeder's Cup.  That should be their goal, with the Breeder's Cup Classic or Distaff being used as insurance against serious challengers such as Quality Road, a resurgent Rachel Alexandra or a possible Triple Crown champion from the 3YO ranks (Super Saver).  

As for Rachel Alexandra, she should be back to her jaw-dropping performances very soon.  Her two narrow losses were good prep races after the long lay-off.  She has obviously moved forward off each of those and will be ready to humble all-comers in the Distaff races next time out.  Get ready for Rachel to put on a show ...you heard it from Ranagulzion.  

07 May 2010 8:47 PM
tvnewsbadge

david in arkansas says

"Zenyatta fears nobody!

They will and have done what's best for the horse. This I firmly believe!"

I agree they have no fear regarding the current competition available, but there is ONE thing they clearly fear, and that's defeat.

07 May 2010 9:21 PM
WinnahPickah

I've read most of the comments. I ignore the long ones (FYI ). I can't believe how many of you can't wait to bet against her in the BCC.

She has two huge handicapping angles working for her BESIDES her immense talent.

The 2010 west coast synth to east coast dirt, freak out.

&

The Stretch!  Santa Anita 990 feet vs. Churchill Downs 1,235 feet

07 May 2010 9:30 PM
dbs

We have not seen Zenyatta's best effort yet and sadly we may never. She is sooo much better than her competition.

I also want to say that I'm thankful Zenyatta is even running in 2010. It's better that she run in the Vanity than not at all.

07 May 2010 9:39 PM
Convene

And a heartfelt AMEN! What a shame that this fine horse is to be denied the chance to prove her true quality. Glad someone other than me (and with a public forum) has said it. If they want to convert those of us who favor Rachel, let us see what she can really do. Raise the bar on her, as Rachel did, and then we'll all know for sure.

07 May 2010 9:52 PM
Connie Harper

Afleetalexforever,

I have watched you write disparaging comments about Zenyatta on various message boards and blogs over the past 2 years.  It is almost nonsensical that you could resent what this mare has accomplished and discredit her connections for the tremendous training job they have done with her.  I had the honor of meeting Jerry Moss last summer before Zenyatta won the Clement Hirsch.  He is pure class, someone who obviously cherishes the gift of Zenyatta and only wants the best for her.  I would guess that even if Zenyatta wins her 3rd BC Championship this year, you will find fault with it.  It's unfortunate that you fail to embrace one of the true stars of this sport.

07 May 2010 10:25 PM
ThisCatGetsAround

Bill Daly: THANK YOU. Guess what? I'm from the east coast, haha. Bet i fooled you? I love both horses to pieces.

Can't ya'll Just shut up and quit bashing each other? Good grief. Both horses are great. 2009 HOY is done. Quit talking about biasis or whatnot. it was 5 months ago. it is 2010.  And if you go off of a handicaping view (which most voters DO) then you know, RA had a much much bigger list of credentials.

I hate these boards, and don;t frequent them very often, because Z fans LOVE to come on, and bash RA. and  RA fans, like to Bash Z. WHy can't we be sportsmanlike and actually put a liable argument up? I actually wonder how many of us are actually real horsemen, and know what we are talking about, when it comes to a horse in general.

Listen to others' comments. don't right them off. if you read, you might actually learn something. Some people who are on here (like me) love BOTH horses. i watch Sherrif's youtube all the time to see a new Vid of Z. i LOVE it. RA, i keep track of her works. and watch her races again, and again.

Also, a bunch of people were saying above that if Z retires now, she's got HOY. don't forget, The TC is not over... and Nobel's Promise is Now going over to England. If he wins there, comes back and races in the Haskell and puts a good campaign.. we will have very good HOY campaigners=) I can't WAIT!!

07 May 2010 10:49 PM
John T

Synthectic surfaces,dirt tracks,

turf,it does not matter only the truly great ones can win on any racing surface.Without question it,s the main reason why connections of Rachel Alexandra have alreday avoided Zenyatta twice,once in the Breeders Cup Classic,and once on her own prefered surface,dirt in the Apple Blossom.

07 May 2010 11:01 PM
Michelle

I would love to see Zenyatta finally get tested.  However, I do not want her to run a campaign like Rachel did last year.  I want her to stay healthy and sound.  Something in the middle would be good.  One or two races against males before the Breeder's Cup.  Maybe one on poly and one on dirt (that shouldn't be too much travel).  Would 2 races on dirt against males be enough to shut the naysayers up - I doubt it?  I feel confident that the connections have a plan and will do what is best for Zenyatta. In the long run it's their horse and they can do whatever they want.

07 May 2010 11:04 PM
susan k

Jason,  Perhaps you should send a quick email to the Mosses and the Shirreffs with a link to this blog.  Really.  I know they have been doing "right" by Zenyatta thus far, but it is time she faces males on dirt, to prove without a doubt she is one of the greatest horses in thoroughbred history.  Letting the Mosses and the Shirreffs see all the longing and support for Zenyatta to challenge herself for the rest of 2010 may make them think twice about their current strategy of pointing her toward the Vanity...again.

07 May 2010 11:33 PM
robinm

I'm compelled to weigh in on the HOY debate.

to Zen'sDaddy, BCMRacing and Mel;

Rachel Alexandra earned HOY in 2009 by going undefeated in 8 starts, 5 Grade 1's, 3 against males including a Triple Crown race and a race against older males NEVER previously won by a female horse of any age.  She accomplished something no 3-yr old filly had ever done and I seriously doubt will ever do again. Her 2010 starts do not negate or somehow erase the accomplishements that earned her HOY in 2009.  And "no", while I recognize sarcasm when I see it (at least I hope it was sarcasm) Jess Jackson isn't going to hand over the 2009 HOY trophy to the Moss's and Rachel won't vote for Zenyatta.

Mel; Rachel's already won HOY.  If the Moss's brought Zen back for another shot at he top prize in 2010, they need to engineer a different campaign than in 2008 or 2009.  Or maybe they are just hoping that no other horse will have a strong year, which was the case in 2002 when Azeri was HOY.  Azeri was a great race mare, but if there had been a strong male contender, she would not have been HOY.

Finally, to Kay (and others with similar comments, dirt horses aren't shipping West to California because CA has synthetic tracks that favor grass-type runners.  Santa Anita in particular is very unkind to dirt horses; Hollywood Park maybe less so.  But why on earth would a dirt runner ship "West of the Rockies" to run on synthetic surfaces when there are so many great dirt races in the East, Midwest and even Florida?

07 May 2010 11:34 PM
Rechelle

Gavin, they said after last year's Breeders Cup that she was retired, then decided to run her this year.  If she runs as well as she did last year, what are the odds they bring her back again?  They're kinda like Brett Favre, making a decision, then changing it.  She's already proven this year that she's the same amazing horse she was at 4 & 5.  I really hope this is her final season, she has earned enough and done enough, she deserves to be just a horse now.  

08 May 2010 1:26 AM
Rusty

Hogwash!!!!  Zenyatta's COMFORT Zone is crossing the finish line first, regardless of the competition. She won the Super Bowl last year, which, btw, was open to anyone. Why should she have to chase a bunch of mediocre males all over the country, she has nothing to prove.

Make it worth her wile and she'll be there, regardless of who shows up. She's proven that. She showed up at the B.C. Classic & the Apple Blossom. Rachael didn't. So who is really picking the soft spots, give me a break.

Rachael didn't show up because she has and never will have a shot at beating Z in a mile and a quarter, or any other horse for that matter. How a horse can be horse of the year and not be able to get the "Classic" distance is beyond me.

Rachael wasn't dodging the Polytrack or Zenyatta, she was dodging the 1 1/4, simple as that.

So forget R.A., she's done as far as being at the same level as Z.

One more thing. If they moved the Foster to California how many males you think would ship out there to try to beat her? I'll answer that for you, ZERO.

Bottomline, she has nothing to prove, she's the best. And she'll close the deal in the BC classic, win horse of the year and retire undefeated.

BTW, I'm an East coaster. I had no problem with Rachael winning HOY last year, it was a coin flip and she beat the males at differen't tracks, even if she never ran a 1 1/4.

This year, forget it, it's no contest. You won't see Rachael at the breeders cup classic this year either. Why, the distance of course. If she does try it, she'll finish well up the track and the proof will be in the pudding.

GO Z, you're the champion of Champions.

Rusty,

Lex., KY

08 May 2010 2:20 AM
Swapsfan

I thought this was Triple Crown Talk.  So: If Super Saver wins the Triple Crown, he will be HOY, no matter what Zenyatta does.

08 May 2010 2:33 AM
Deacon

Draynay needs some new material, it's always the same old tired, pathetic Zenyatta bashing. Polytrack this, synthetic track that, who cares? Obviously many tracks in the country deem it to be a viable racing surface. Zen doesn't need to prove anything to me or anyone else, she's earned the right to coast. Draynay would complain if he got hung by a new rope. These blogs about Zenyatta's racing out west are tired and old, find some new material...........please

08 May 2010 2:37 AM
Bellwether

COME ON JERRY...KEEP OWN THEIR TOES Jason!!!...

08 May 2010 3:55 AM
jayjay

Anyone know who QR will be facing in the Met Mile??  I'm also waiting for any word on Summerbird, seems he's most likely the main competition that Zenyatta will face in the Classics along with Gio Ponti.  SB already won at 1 1/4 at Belmont and onyuThis might be a year when the Classic will have more foreign horses than ever.  I don't think QR will get the 1 1/4 distance.  I don't see any other male "dirt" horses out there.

It would be nice if Z can beat horses from around the world in the Classic, that would really show her greatness and hopefully will silence her critics forever.

08 May 2010 3:58 AM
Jethro

School the mare over hurdles and "raise the bar" a tad higher. Who wouldn't want to see that girl race over jumps?

08 May 2010 8:12 AM
Gary Lynn

teresa...don't you like going home after a hard day's work...it's only Spring, folks!

08 May 2010 8:39 AM
PomDeTerre

This mare has absolutely nothing to prove to anyone.  People love to bash a champ,and it's pathetic.  She's done everything that's been asked of her 16 times.  (On the other hand, the reigning HOY can't seem to win to save her life.)  Zen has no peers, and no matter where she's entered, people are going to make excuses compromising her talent.  "Oh...so-and-so wasn't entered...oh, she's a poly horse...oh, she won't come east". OH, GET REAL.  If she doesn't run, she's criticized.  If she does run, there is the inevitable "lack of depth of field" rationale.  The Moss' could have retired her & then there'd be even more excuses for ducking out.  No matter what this mare does, some people are going to do nothing more than complain.  Honestly, I think some posters won't be happy unless she loses or, God forbid, breaks down, just so they can say "I told you so".  How bout this: until you've got the horse who can beat her, just lay off the criticism, stop trying to second guess her connections (as they are obviously doing something right) and enjoy the talent that this gal has.  She's given the sport a whole new dimension, brought in new fans and just keeps on ticking.  If you don't like her, I'd suggest this: don't watch her races.  

And a sidebar to Asmussen: if I were you, I'd call Hal Wiggins- and quick.  You were given the gift of a talented, push button, no assembly required filly last year, you ran her eyeballs out (I was at the Woodward- I saw her after the race, and she was totally spent), and now you can't get her back to form.  That's training?  You need help, buddy.

08 May 2010 8:53 AM
AngelaFrom Abilene

I really wish people would quite knocking Peppers Pride.  Joe Allen , her owner and breeder said all along "I know we can get her beat."  What the mare did was commendable, no matter the competition.  Apparently, you have no idea how remarkable it is for a horse to get to the wire FIRST in EVERY SINGLE out.  

As for Zenyatta and the Vanity, until you are footing her bills, it's really none of your business where she runs!  Just enjoy the show, when and where she runs and be glad they didn't send her to the breeding shed.

08 May 2010 8:56 AM
PomDeTerre

To AfleetAlexForever:  Where did you learn YOUR math?  Colonel John, Gio Ponti, Einstein, Mine That Bird, SUMMER BIRD, and I won't go into the Euro's in the BCC- but that's...ah, let me think...this might take awhile...FIVE G1 (many multiple times) WINNERS in ONE race that Z beat.  Last I knew, 5 was a higher number than 2.  If you insist on spouting off statistics, they should have at least some modecum of credibility.  And if you think you can do better than Zen's connections from your arm chair trainer's position, I suggest you get yourself a horse.

08 May 2010 9:25 AM
vikingblood22

Hi. Jimmy, I didn't mean to say Quality Road wasn't an exellent racehorse because I agree with you 100%. Let me clarify why I said I wouldn't want him in the breeding shed with Rachel, because he is an ornery devil! Take care everyone and keep on blogging!

08 May 2010 9:32 AM
catbird

Well said, Jason.

I feel that Rachel was best last year, and she proved it; she took on all the competition.  That she does not appear to be back this year is another thing entirely.  She had 2009.  Perhaps 2010 is the year of Zenyatta.

I was hoping to see Zenyatta face the competition this year.  I don't care if we don't see Rachel and Zen race each other; like you, I am tired of all the debate, and if they can't do it with both at the top of her game, then it means nothing anyhow.  

But we have the whole season to be treated to Zenyatta, and if she remains doing the same old, same old, then I'll have doubts about her (and I don't like that; I was hoping for another exciting year of over-the-top performances).

Yes, the Mosses and Sherriffs looked upset at the Eclipse Awards.  That, to me, was of their own making; they could have turned Zenyatta loose last year.  If they miss the opportunity this year, then they've let the horse down and they have no room for complaint. It is no longer about Rachel and Zenyatta. It is about how good Zenyatta really is.

08 May 2010 10:38 AM
PomDeTerre

Jimmy-

Yer memory's pretty short.  Zen DID enter against Quality Road.  I believe it may have been the 2009 BCC.

08 May 2010 11:10 AM
Red Ransom 423

Hmm.  Z ran a 104 Beyer on the dirt, 142/3, April 5, 2008.  Why the polarization re:  the two horses?  So what.  Let's just hope for high quality races here the best horses collide.  Hopefully some top horses from Europe try the Classic on the dirt at Churchill, not unheard of and the best from the U.S. show as well.

"Dale, what a bunch of Beyer nonsense. Rachel ran into slow fractions but came flying home and they finished UNDER 143 and a 103 Beyer.  Call me when Polyetta comes anywhere CLOSE to a sub 143 or a 103 Beyer on dirt.

draynay 06 May 2010 8:00 PM"

08 May 2010 11:51 AM
Ted from LA

Pearl Jam?  I had you pegged as a Miley Cyrus fan.

08 May 2010 12:29 PM
PC

Sheer ignorance.  HP is Zenyatta's home track, it is the last time she will hun in front of her fans, and it is Zenyatta bobblehead day.  It is the best thing for racing popularity to run her there.  It is amazing to me that so many people state Beyer figures when determining the quality of a horse.  Brisnet, Thorograph, Equidaily, and Ragozin are much better indicators.  There is a word used to describe people who use Beyers for handicapping:  Losers.  I made a prediction last year after Rachel was shut down that she would not win more than 3 races this year; it appears that I was overly optimistic.  Either the late bloomers have caught up to her, she was overrated, or her campaign raced the will out of her.  It will be interesting to see when the Breeders Cup comes around.  If both Rachel and Zenyatta are still racing it is probable that Rachel will run in the Ladies Classic based on her performance so far this year, so does Zenyatta run in the Classic or drop down to the Ladies Classic just to run aginst Rachel?

08 May 2010 12:37 PM
Ted from LA

( I also think I'm in love with Ted from LA)

mz 07 May 2010 3:05 PM

I have that effect on a lot of women mz.  You are a woman, correct?

Who's going to the Belmont?  If Super Saver wins the Preakness I will be all over it like fur on a weasel.  

08 May 2010 1:08 PM
Kathleen

What about Goldikova??...She is an awesome 5 year old Mare who has beaten males decisively several times including Henrythenavigator..She is the reigning BC Mile winner (2008 and 2009)and the Eclipse American Champion Female Turf horse for 2009.  She is scheduled to race again May 23rd.  She is the only horse who could possibly challenge Zenyetta (who I love and admire)-- perhaps both will run in the BC Classic race.  Now that would be an EXCITING BC Classic race with 2 Superstar Mares running against the boys!...Hopefully Rachel will be in top form and will race in the BC too.

08 May 2010 1:12 PM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

If you think that this blog is supposed to be all about Zenyatta, think again.  If Rachel didn't beat up on the weak bunch of males she did last year, I doubt a filly or mare racing against males would be this much of an issue this year.  And if Rachel does go in the Foster and it includes the same cast of G-2 and G-3 males she beat last year, then the argument will rage even more.

08 May 2010 1:13 PM
Footlick

From the way so many people are going on here you would think the Foster is the only dirt race that she can run against males in.  It's a long year people.

08 May 2010 1:19 PM
SMTDL

I think this article summarizes exactly  what needs to be said regardng Zenyatta.She is undefeated ...but it has been a very conservative campaign for her in her yrs of racing..2 races as 3yo,7 races as a 4yo and just 5 races last year.Even now after 2 races in 2010, a total of 16 races..14 in California on synthetic tracks and just one race against males(but on a synthetic track).How can she be accepted as best female racehorse ever let alone best horse ever( as some are already claiming)if she doen't expand her resume?In my opinion her owners have no basis for being miffed at not winning HOTY with just a 5 race California campaign in 2009.I was hoping the 2010 campaign would add some dimension to her resume but running in the Vanity yet again is not going to do that.Hopefully it will be a prep race for a race against males.As the writer of this article pointed out with so few races left she needs to be running on dirt and some against males on dirt!!!

She has beaten good dirt horses on poly but the only good horse she has beat on dirt is Ginger Punch.

Come on,provehergretness andexpand her fan base.She was in Arkansas so why not move her to Churchill for the Foster instead of going back to California?It doesn't make sense unless the only goal is keeping her undefeated not to enhance her scope of accomplishments!She deserves a HOTY award but should earn it with a more ambitious campaign than last year!

08 May 2010 1:25 PM
longwaytomay

Red Ransom 423,

Don't try to confuse Draynay with facts. He won't play that game.

08 May 2010 1:25 PM
Kay

Mark:

“Also, about horses transitioning from dirt to poly, not all of them handle it well.”

Well, sure. And I didn’t say that. But it’s a widely-known fact that synthetic horses have been moving up when they ship East. Sorry, but they just HAVE.

Saratoga AJ:

“If/when she comes East and duplicates her California form against better competition, including colts on the great and historic tracks in NY and Kentucky, then and only then will I put her on the pedestal too many of her fans have already bestowed on her prematurely. She then will deserve any and all accolades she gets.”

From SaratogaAJ, of course! And nothing she beats will fulfill your criteria. There will always be excuses. It’s a good thing you don’t make the rules.

Zen Up:

“There is no other horse in living memory that is able to run that fast that late in a race. her biomechanics are flawless and her desire (unlike her rival last year, Rachel) is unparallelled. She loves it, has rarely been urged to crank it up and has never failed to fire.”

That’s a huge part of it, IMO. Zenyatta has been so well cared for and that’s why she’s been able to continue winning. So to turn around and treat her like a machine isn’t in her best interests. One of the things I’ve admired so much is her connections’ unwillingness to go down that rabbit hole.  They don’t bow to temptation. And regardless of what all you rule-makers think, it was an incredible risk to run her in the BC Classic. Remember all the handicappers just flat-out tossing her? It’s a different method for sure. Jackson/Asmussen’s method with Rachel was to squeeze her dry and it paid off for them with HOTY. That’s fine. She’s theirs; it’s their prerogative. And I would never believe they put her in the gate unless she was sound. I just happen to appreciate the way the Mosses and John Shirreffs have handled Zenyatta.

Rechelle:

“The two dirt races she ran were great, but they were at the same dirt track, which she showed at 4 that she thrived on and she did have some classy horses in it when she was 4 and still somewhat unknown to anyone outside California.  This year when she was there, who in that race who could actually pose a challenge to her?  

I am not saying that Zenyatta has anything to prove.  I am saying that she deserves better than she's getting by her connections.”

Oh, okay. So that’s not good enough for you. You wanted her to ship and run on dirt. She did, and she won. But it wasn’t the right track because she already proved she loved it? How does THAT make any sense? What exactly are you looking for here? And for the hundredth time, she can only run against the horses that show up. After the Santa Margarita, they were ready to take on Rachel in the Apple Blossom. Why is Zenyatta being castigated because Rachel didn’t show up?

And:

“I am not knocking any horse who prefers synthetic or turf.  There are truly great horses who prefer turf & synthetic.  That's fine, more power to them.  I'm just saying that synthetic should never be compared to dirt.

Also, Shireff may say that Zenyatta prefers dirt to synethic, but out of her 14 starts, only 2 of them were on dirt, so the fans can't really take that at face value, because they haven't taken her to dirt tracks often enough to prove it.  “

So what’s the magic number for you? Three? Five? Eight? How many dirt races does she have to win to finally earn your strange dirt respect? And since there has been a pattern of synthetic horses shipping and moving up on dirt this year, how do you reconcile that?

Robin M:

“But why on earth would a dirt runner ship "West of the Rockies" to run on synthetic surfaces when there are so many great dirt races in the East, Midwest and even Florida?”

By your reasoning, why should a horse ship East when there are perfectly safe, fine tracks near her home base?

08 May 2010 1:30 PM
Paula Higgins

Angela from Abilene, I think what Pepper's Pride did was phenomenal. She did something very special. No one should knock her.

I also think the bottom line is that we should be grateful for what we have here and that is a healthy Zenyatta who is still racing. They have done nothing wrong here Jason. She is 6 years old and still winning, that says it all. We also have a healthy Rachel and she may well be getting back to form. I was pretty happy with her last race. I think she improved off her first race.  Let's be thankful for what we have. There is also Quality Road, Super Saver, Nobles Promise and Ice Box.

You know, we don't own these horses, we don't invest in them, and we don't have the responsibility for taking the best possible care of them. Their owners and trainers also love them, you can count on it. We need to keep that in mind as we question what their connections do or do not do. I understand why Rachel's connections made the choices they made last year (yes it was grueling, but they were trying to do something no other 3 yr. old filly had done) and I understand why Zenyatta's connections made their choices as well (most consecutive wins and the BCC). Someone said that Zenyatta's connections are afraid she will lose. Well, excuse me, but NO ONE wants to see their horse lose. They want them to come out of the race healthy and they want them to win. It's kind of a no-brainer. They are not risk averse or they would not have entered her into the BCC last year. But they do pick and choose their races carefully, and for that, I say good for them. If Zenyatta had raced the same campaign Rachel did, she wouldn't have been at the BCC either. These horses are living, breathing creatures, not machines. It seems to me, some of you want a machine.

I would like to see some warm and fuzzy feelings here. We may need Dr. Tim to start prescribing some Wellbutrin for this group.

08 May 2010 1:51 PM
Richard Gross

Well, Kauto, I'd have to disagree with you about Curlin's potential in the Prix (isn't it refreshing to completely change topics?). Curlin lost the Belmont to Rags by a head and she ran 2:28.7. Zarkava won the Prix in 2008 at 2:28.8. Hmmm. As for the soft grass and the right-handed course, that would have been the object of the training. I agree Curlin was on the downside by the BCC, but I believe it was because of his race in the Jockey Club Gold,

1 1/4 run that year in the very slop. Muddy dirt? Soft turf? Not a lot to choose methinks. And he would have had the additional advantage of training and not racing in the slop. We'll never know. That to me is sad because I truly believe he would have taken Zarkava and the Prix that year, he was that good. By the way, let's all bow down for a moment in respect to Secretariat who ran the mile and a half at Belmont nearly 5 seconds faster than Rags at Belmont or Zarkava at Longchamps. Incredible.

08 May 2010 1:54 PM
Pam S.

Pom de Terre, very good post at 8:53 a.m. today.

08 May 2010 1:58 PM
LAZMANNICK

PomDeTerre

I believe that Zen beat the winners of 19 G-1 or Group One races in the BCC.....Kentucky Derby, (2) Santa Anita Derbys, (2) Travers, Belmont, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Champion Stakes, Pacific Classic, Arlington Million, Manhattan, Man o' War, Kilroe Mile, (2) Turf Classic, G.P Turf, Queen Elizabteh Stakes and the Sussex Stakes.

She won the race convincingly, despite countless troubles, and was pulling away from each and every horse in the race at the finsih.  She was also the betting favorite which suggests that knowledgeable people, people willing to bet money on her, were confident that she was the best horse in the race, even better then Quality Road (before he was scratched).

If any other horse did that I don't think anyone would question that Horse's willingness to take on all comers.  Yet we still manage to get major detractors like Draynay and Afleetalexforever, both of whom were hiding when Rachel lost her two races, but managed to surface when it came time to bad mouth the GREAT MARE.  LOL

08 May 2010 2:06 PM
jayjay

I still haven't seen any list of contenders from the east coast fans.  You guys keep whining about Zenyatta going there to run against "east coast top horses" but you can't post any ??  Who do you have over in the east coast besides QR  that would be a major contender in the Classics, I can only think of another one which is Summer Bird (who I believe can beat QR easily in longer races) but he hasn't even done a workout this year.

Stop complaining about getting Zenyatta over there, post some worthy opponents first then you can complain.

08 May 2010 2:09 PM
LAZMANNICK

Kay 08 May 2010 1:30 PM

Great logical post. LOL

08 May 2010 2:11 PM
draynay

Wow.  I can't believe all the stuff you Polyetta fans come up with.  The excuses you come up with are amazing.  Voters for HOY don't care about more poly wins in California.  It is obvious Zenyatta is not the same horse on dirt.  Her 95 Beyer isn't going to scare Quality Road or Rachel. Fact is it's not going to scare any top G1 winning males.  She can win 4 more poly races and it won't matter.  What matters is what she does on dirt.  When she does show up and gets whipped what will be your excuse?  Even Mr. Moss knows she can't beat the best on dirt that is why she continues to avoid it.

08 May 2010 2:19 PM
jayjay

Most of the Z bashers are the RA fans who can't figure out a way to explain why RA is 0-2 this year and doesn't really represent the HOTY honors.  Her fans calls her superhorse, the greatest of all time (yawn), but would never tell you face to face why she can't win her races this year (I posted to Draynay after her first loss that she's not the same horse as last year and that she'll most likely not win another race again this year) and the fact that east coast horses including RA won't go to the west coast to "meet" Zenyatta.  If you all think your east coast horses are great, then there should be no problem what surface it is.  I'm sure you'll say it's not safe but if that's the case, how come the horses in CA are still running on it...and WINNING and WINNING.  

Again, I'm asking the east coast / RA fans, who else besides your Quality Road is out there that Zenyatta will face in the Breeders cup ?  The 3 yr old crop ??

It's one thing to say "she should go to the east coast so we can see her run because we are fans" but to bash her because you can't see her run in person is childish.

08 May 2010 2:30 PM
merlinmerry

( I also think I'm in love with Ted from LA)

mz 07 May 2010 3:05 PM

Hands off, mz!  He's mine!

08 May 2010 2:32 PM
sodapopkid

ALL you RACHELITES,   You can post on here and down Zenyatta and your 2009 HOTY came back and can't win a damn grade 2 race agaisnt grade 3 mares?  I say WTH???  None of you have a leg to stand on here.  

Zenyatta is 16-0 and has won all sixteen races,   Your 2009 HOTY has ran 16 and lost 5 of them, and cant' seem to win against the older females/mares,  What can you say about that???

And Draynay, we have noticed your disappointment in Ra because you dont' even mention her in the same breath anymore, now it's Quality Road,  you need to work for 'Ben&Jerrys' since you have a new flavor for the month.

Zenyatta just flew to Arkansas to race the ducking Rachel ,  I know you RA fans are glad she ducked that race or we would be sitting her listening to you all whine at how Zenyatta cheated because she ran faster and RA won't ready, and Mr.JJ would be crying because Zen would be so close to smashng Curlin's earining list.  Don't worry by this year's end she will more than likely be close.........

If Ra is still running in the next couple of months, someone else will offer that jackpot again to lure both girls...................And then on to the BCC. Zen will be there anyway but  I can't speak for the filly that can't win a grade 2 race , right now!!

08 May 2010 2:34 PM
Jimmy

How many times has Zenyatta beaten males on dirt? Bob Baffert has said about synthetic surfaces "they make average horses great, and great horses average." Why can't Zenyatta take on the best on a track with ZERO bias? Zenyatta won the BCC against males, on a track she clearly adores, but what kind of effect do you think the track had on the rest of the horses, primarily the horses that are run on dirt and turf? Do you really think Summer Bird wasn't hampered by the surface? Why hasn't a dirt horse won a main track race the past 2 Breeders Cups? If you don't think the synthetic surface has any effect on the horses, you are ignorant and in denial. It does. And that brings the question to this: Why has Zenyatta, the mighty Zenyatta, not raced against males on a dirt surface, where the best horse will win, not the horse that is best on that surface? And the question can't be answered with a "well she WOULD or COULD do this," because no one cares if you can talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. And Rachel Alexandra, last year, beat males THREE TIMES in Grade I races on the DIRT. Tough pill to swallow?  

08 May 2010 2:55 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay:

With regards to Zen's BCC triumph and the 19 G-1-Group One winners she defeated in that race alone, could you ever envision your beloved Rachel lining up against such a quality field and defeating them in such a resounding manner?  No, I don't think so.  What about Quality Road?  Could you see him defeating that field also (the surface doesn't matter, it's your choice)?  Rachel's only legtimate G-1 competitor was Summer Bird (no offense MTB) and Zen easily handled him.  Quality Road hasn't defeated many if any G-1 winners.  Hopefully the field in the Met Mile will have at least one legitimate G-1 winner.  I love the horse, but I really don't think he has proven much to date. Hopefully he will then he can go humting for Zen or she can go looking for him.

08 May 2010 2:56 PM
Francis

Hi Just a up date.I think next year Gomez will not ride for Bob in the kderby,my opinion is that if gomez had taken the rail in the derby the out come would be different but Bob dosent like the rail i surpose if he had just took the rail LAL would have made it.Its all about the decision the trainer makes and we all know BB quite well. I think the Gomez made wrong decision to go to bob after the SA derby and mount LAL on Kderby if he thought gomez is not a good rider for lal he should make a change and not blame the rider or the  post , we havent lear'nt are lesson the rail is the best position to win at Churchill downs but yet trainers not like the rail Learn from Calvin he does not special but he knows the rail is the best trip Bob should take coaching lesson from Calvin.

08 May 2010 2:59 PM
Saratoga AJ

This article is about Zenyatta and the easy race her connections have again placed her in. So how come the Zenyatta juinkies immediately keep bringing up Rachel Alexandra? What does she have to do with Zenyatta bypassing the Foster to run at the same old place against the same lousy competition.

In fact, Rachel should be the LAST thing they should bring up. Because Rachel ran the kind of campaign last year (7 different tracks, 6 different states, and against colts multiple times) that we are still waiting for Zenyatta to attempt. And waiting, and waiting, and.....  

08 May 2010 3:04 PM
Kay

Jimmy:

"How many times has Zenyatta beaten males on dirt? Bob Baffert has said about synthetic surfaces "they make average horses great, and great horses average." Why can't Zenyatta take on the best on a track with ZERO bias? Zenyatta won the BCC against males, on a track she clearly adores, but what kind of effect do you think the track had on the rest of the horses, primarily the horses that are run on dirt and turf?"

Show me a track with zero bias. Unless you're insinuating that dirt tracks are all bias-free. Which you can't be doing, because that would be hysterically inaccurate. Once again, it's about y'all making up new rules and moving the goalposts to set new conditions for Zenyatta that STILL will never satisfy you. What I'm really hoping for is your complaining when Zenyatta DOES satisfy your conditions, but then you whine about track bias for her beaten foes. I can't wait for that.

And your Baffert quote works both ways. Zenyatta's connections have been on the record several times  about how she's a better horse on the dirt. Nothing she's done has disproven that. Not that any of you acknowledged this, but they've also been on record repeatedly saying that she utterly detests (THEIR word, BTW) Del Mar, but she seems to have found a way to win her races there.

All synthetic tracks aren't the same and as anyone with a racing brain knows, all dirt tracks aren't the same, either. I find it hilarious that you guys go on and on about Zenyatta beating males on the dirt while completely ignoring the records of the horses she beat in the BC Classic. But you give Rachel props for beating Macho Again? So I'll say this again -- it doesn't matter WHICH males she faces, as long as it's on the dirt? Or would you like to set the rules for THAT as well?

08 May 2010 3:22 PM
sodapopkid

So easy for you Rachel  fans want to leave her out of the equation, right?

When all we have heard about is the princess RAchel going to kick Zenyatta's butt and so on and so on, Now, that your beloved Rachel is fading to black and is ducking the best competition because she cant beat second hand stringers you don't want her brought into the conversation.  

Jason needs to make a blog just on Rachel and her falling from grace so to speak,  and what it's doing to her reputation and I bet you Rachelites will bring Zenyatta into the mix also,  So dont give us that crap about not bringing Ra into this .  You all brought this on yourselves, all last year until she lost her first race , you people critisized everything and said how she was going to out run Zen and QR.  

Well, I bet you dont' put to much into them lies anymore,  She shut yall up pretty quickly,  so now, all can do is pick on a horse that is making RA look like crap...........LIVE WITH IT.  BLAME JJ FOR HER PROBLEMS..BUT

IF WE BLAME JJ FOR HER PROBLEMS AND STEVE ASMUSSEN, THEN WE WILL HAVE TO BLAME THE OWNERS AND TRAINERS OF MACHO AGAIN AND BULLSBAY, BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST LIKE THE 2009 HOTY , THEY CAN'T SEEM TO WIN IN A GRADE 2 OR GRADE 3 RACES EITHER............REALITY CHECK...ITS THE HORSE OF COURSE...

08 May 2010 3:58 PM
Footlick

Jimmy- why don't you bring up the direct quotes that Baffert has said about Zenyatta?  Because they wouldn't support your insults?

08 May 2010 4:27 PM
Footlick

Dray- what will your excuse be if Rachel and Quality Road get whipped?  It is one race- the Vanity- and so many people are acting like this is the last race of the year.  You people are like the yellow press with all your hatred. And it goes both ways- the hatred to Rachel Alexandra too.  This is whyt I don't like getting sucked into this because people who spew vwnom are really low.

08 May 2010 4:31 PM
Footlick

Kathleen- I don't see Goldikova's connections putting her in the Classic at Churchill because it's on dirt, but stranger things have happened.

08 May 2010 4:41 PM
Zookeeper

Jason,

What have you done? You have sucked the life right out of the TC races talk and replaced it with this?

A blog about a race that Zen may or may not enter in JUNE! After reading 376 comments, you exit stage left for a PJ Party? (Aren't you a little old for those?)lol!

Yes, a lot a people responded to your call to arms, but please do not confuse quantity with quality. I didn't read all the comments (who's got time for that?), I didn't need to, as most of them are a repetition of what has already been said and often by the same redundant people.

08 May 2010 4:57 PM
Julie L.

To Kay - thank you so much for your excellent blog. They are always setting new standards for Zenyatta but never for Rachel. I believe that no matter what or who Zenyatta beats it will never be enough. Even when she beats Rachel they will come up with unsound reasons for why Rachel lost and Zenyatta won. Again, thank you.

08 May 2010 4:59 PM
pas

i think what annoys me most about the whole RA/Zenyatta thing is the lack of Zenyatta coverage regarding her workouts and races. just now we are seeing the increase of interest in her from writers because RA hasn't been up to the same standard as last year. honestly, everytime RA had a workout it made a headline. even a story about her made its way onto the Oaks blogs this year. but with Zenyatta, fans are lucky to see an announcement of what race she is going to run in and then the results of that race. sometimes there's an article about Zenyatta herself, and Steve Haskin has been especially good about that. but it just seems a little lopsided toward RA, and considering how she's been running lately, and how well Zenyatta has always done, I don't know why. and this has been going on since last year, so it's not because of HOTY. the press just seems to favor RA. so while i don't dislike her, i dislike hearing about her constantly. especially when she's doing less than well right now. (i was a little surprised there wasn't a blog about her second narrow loss recently though.)

on another note, i never in my life thought i would see the day a mare took the BCC. i'm not sure i ever will again. the TC races are special, but they've been done before. and most other stakes races just aren't as important. not to mention that the BCC tends to have a full field with plenty of depth. and again, most other races do not.

i have to say, some of the posts have me in stitches! you guys are so funny! (i mean the ones that are meant to be funny, btw.)

08 May 2010 5:02 PM
draynay

If Polyetta even shows up at Churchill I will be shocked.  The fact that Polyetta is going to the Vanity tells me they are not serious about running her against the Big Boys in November.  Footlick, if she shows and wins I will admit she is the best since Ghostzapper.  BUT WHEN SHE LOSES I want you and everyone else to admit she is just a great poly horse that padded her record in 1 state. Lol. you really think she can beat horses like Quality Road and Rachel Alexandra? Silly.

08 May 2010 5:38 PM
draynay

Red Ransom, maybe you are not aware but it is 2010.  Rachel is already running a 103 Beyer and Zenyatta can't get over a 95.  It's not hard to figure out what will happen when 103 meets 95.  Zenyatta is a poly specialist you will NEVER see her win a race against males on dirt.

08 May 2010 5:49 PM
Jimmy

Kay, you're saying that the differences between one dirt track to another is the same as the difference between a dirt track and a synthetic track? Really? And obviously Zenyatta is a better horse on dirt than synthetic, as evident by her competing on dirt twice out of 16 races. Somehow that doesn't add up. Maybe they came to that reasoning after her 95 beyer speed figure....And once again, her win in the classic was over dirt and turf horses. If you don't think the synthetic surface had any impact at all in the race, I'm afraid me or actual facts won't be able to change your mind.

Footlick, since you didn't bring up Bafferts quotes, you're probably just making that up. But even if you're not, is it too much to ask to see Zenyatta run on a surface where other top horses are at their best, and then see who the best horse really is? Sorry, but ignoring that her win last year in the classic was on a synthetic surface doesn't cut it. Yes, she beat those horses, but they were not running on the surface where they excel, so not only were they running against Zenyatta, they were also running against the surface. It would be like beating Cigar in a turf race, a surface he clearly did not like, and then bragging that you "beat the great Cigar."

08 May 2010 5:57 PM
Val

Love Zenyatta.  No doubt right now they are going for breaking a record, hopefully, in number of lifetime wins. After that, who knows?  As to Zenyatta traveling around to prove herself, how about other horses doing the same, like Rachel Alexander?  Why doesn't she come out to the west?  Perhaps she would do well out here.  As Mr. Baffert says, a great horse runs well on any surface.   If Rachel is that great horse, let her come out and face west coast horses, instead of facing the same competition again back east.   If traveling is necessary for Zen to prove herself, then so should it be with all GREAT horses.  Let's see Rachel move around!

08 May 2010 6:04 PM
jayjay

Jimmy : Since you are still spewing about males that Zenyatta should face, why don't you answer my question that I'm posting for the 3rd time.  NAME a male dirt horse that is WORTHY of travelling for Zenyatta to face ????  

I've asked who QR will face in the Met Mile, the horses he beat in the Donn...Past the Point, Dry Martini and Delightful Kiss, these are G2 horses...these are the horses that you believe will give Zenyatta a run for her money ???  Why don't you just be nice and say, "I'm a die hard fan of Zenyatta and I wish they would run her in the east coast so we get to see her run in person, it would be privilege!"

Let's be real now folks, stop complaining about what Zenyatta has done.  You all are acting like cry babies, I bet most of you don't even bet, you just sit there whining like you know anything about how to handle a horse let alone a legend in the making like Zenyatta.

08 May 2010 6:14 PM
LAZMANNICK

Saratoga AJ

Why should Rachel be the last thing Zen lovers and respecters bring up?  We both know and so does every one else on this blog that if Rachel would have won her first two races this year, or even one of them, you would be talking about her to no end and making all kinds of comparisons.  To suggest that Zen couldn't travel around and beat the kind of fields she beat last year is ludicrous.

08 May 2010 6:32 PM
Footlick

The best named 3 yr old just ran second at Churchill- Absinthe Minded!  I love that name.

08 May 2010 6:35 PM
jayjay

I agree with Julie, Kay is like the Zenyatta of this blog, she's whippin' the RA fans/Z bashers on here like it's the Classic.  The boys avoid her responding to her blogs now because they can't figure out how to respond to her :)

If I wasn't already married, I'd say Kay is a candidate to be my future ex-wife just cause I like her so much...well her blogs.

Zookeeper : Judging from this blog, I would guess that Jason is an RA fan.  His questioning of Z's plans are indicative of him favoring RA as well as his little comment "it's not about RA and Zenyatta anymore" but at least he kind of admits that RA is no longer in the same level as Zenyatta.  I really don't want another blog solely on RA because it will be the same comments that you'll see here, same lies about RA and same bashing about Zenyatta so I think this should suffice.

I'm still waiting for the Z bashers to name the horses from the east coast ... the so called dirt horses that Zenyatta must face to become a legitimate HOTY...but I'm starting to wonder why no one has come up with a list.  If it's really just QR then you might as well give the honor now because I will bet Draynay's paycheck that QR will not even be close to Zenyatta, he'll fold at the 1 1/8 mile and surrender.  He has not beaten any solid horses this year, not ONE.  He got beat by the better 3 yr old last year (Summer Bird) but I'm sure they'll find an excuse for that too.

08 May 2010 6:37 PM
Zookeeper

One more thought: If you don't like Zenyatta's racing career, buy yourself a horse or if you can't afford it, find one who's owner and trainer follow your instructions, plan its career, cheer your lungs out for it... But I bet you its record won't be 16-0 as a 6yr old. Do THAT and get off Zenyatta's back and the back of her connections. If you think her races are boring, I have a simple solution: DON'T WATCH THEM!!! Find yourself another horse, there are thousands of them. Pick one!

08 May 2010 6:39 PM
afleetalexforever

Lazmannick posted this at 2:56 pm. Draynay:

With regards to Zen's BCC triumph and the 19 G-1-Group One winners she defeated in that race alone.

I have to say that I have a totally different view of Zenyatta after finding out that she faced 19 other horses in the BC.  I find it funny that Santa Anita and the Breeders Cup only list 12 horses starting in that race, but Lazmannick says there were 20 that left the gate.  There is something for all of us to take into consideration, we have to watch our televisions more carefully and recognize when 20 horses start in a race instead of 12.

08 May 2010 6:54 PM
jayjay

sodapopkid : Draynay jumped off the RA wagon right after the 2nd loss, he actually hates RA now because she made him look like a fool with his infamous prediction of "90% ready and will thrash her competition" (not the exact words).  The only sure thing about predictions and Draynay is that EVERYONE else predicts that his prediction will be wrong LOL.

It's not even worth reading his comments anymore, he's just babbling and you know when he doesn't have any good excuse when he starts babbling about run times, splits and beyers, he is so predictable lol.  Like I said, he's a clown and everyone realizes that now, even the RA fans.  They're probably wishing he would jump off the RA bandwagon as he's not helping their cause lol.

I still enjoy poking fun at him though :)

08 May 2010 7:01 PM
jayjay

afleetalexforever : I think and I'm sure many of us understood what LAZMANNICK meant which is a TOTAL of 19 G1 / Group One wins amongst the horses that ran in the Classic.  I don't think LAZ is that stupid to make that mistake of seeing 20 horses in a 12 horse field lol.

08 May 2010 7:06 PM
LAZMANNICK

afleetalexforever

That post to (Draynay) is a followup to my 2:06 post in which I stated:

I believe that Zen beat the WINNERS of 19 G-1 or Group One races in the BCC.....Kentucky Derby, (2) Santa Anita Derbys, (2) Travers, Belmont, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Champion Stakes, Pacific Classic, Arlington Million, Manhattan, Man o' War, Kilroe Mile, (2) Turf Classic, G.P Turf, Queen Elizabteh Stakes and the Sussex Stakes.

Even I can count.  In fact, I am really proficient at counting to 16 which is the number of races the GREAT UNDEFEATED MARE has won.

Regarding one of your earlier posts when you stated that Zen beat Ginger Punch after she had a tough campaign.  Can you please clarify if you meant when she beat her in the Apple Blossom or was it later in the year when she trounced her in the BC Distaff?

08 May 2010 7:24 PM
afleetalexforever

Zookeeper, How about this, you ask your favorite horses connections to stop running her against the lowest tier competition that they can find, ask them to step up and run her as if they believe she is a champion race mare and not a claimer. Ask them to stop running her in races where she not only has to put forth very little effort but in races that are significant on the national level. Thus far in her career she has won 2 races that are nationally significant.  Let's look at the rest of the horses out there running.  Summer Bird in 2009 wins the Belmont, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, all within 6 months of each other. Quality Road won the Donn Handicap and Florida Derby all within a 9 months of each other.  Goldikova has won the Prix De Toutevoie, Prix de la Lorie, Prix Chloe, Prix Rothschild, Prix du Moulin, Falmouth Stakes, Prix Jacques Le Marois, Breeders Cup Mile twice, this mare has beaten males 5 or 6 times in her career, but you know what she has lost 4 times and Zenyatta is no where close to the level of this mare, I wouldnt even begin to compare careers because Goldikova has been campaigned like a champion.  Zenyatta on the other hand has been campaigned like an allowance horse with a winning streak.  Sad for you Zenyatta fans to hear that huh. Here is another example, anyone know who the amazing Zarkava is, she is a French Throughbred racehorse, campaigned by the aga khan.  She at 3 ran in the Prix Vermeille winning a race against fillies and mares 3 and older, and she did so in race record time.  Zarkava was sent to the Arc to race against males on a even fair surface where there were no excuses and won that race in hand.  The reason that I bring these two mares into the situation is because they were campaigned to be champions, not to run away from competition with excuses like, we can't fly over mountains or we have to run at home.  Its like she is a 2 year old filly that they are trying to protect and as we can see from the responses people are tired of it, not tired of where she runs, but tired of her connections and fans talking about how great she is. Here is what I mean,

Zenyatta won her maiden race and then in 07 won 1 more race, in 08 she won the El Encino Stakes, the Apple Blossom, Milady, Vanity, C.L. Hirsch, Lady's Secret and BCLC. In 09 she won the Milady, Vanity, C.L. Hirsch, Lady's Secret, and BCC. Both years the path of the absolute least resistance was taken, its pitiful because when the connections keep yelling about how great she runs on dirt but 14 or 16 races have been on the synthetic surface. Why u might add, well look at the time she ran in the apple Blossom 1:50.71, people talk about the bias that some have about times and races and horses. She runs an awful time slower than any 3 year old running 9 furlongs this year, much slower than QR ran the Donn Handicap but she gets all of these accolades for this awfully slow time.  Do you understand the bias now, every other horse has to run against serious competition time in and time out on a surface (dirt) that is on a level playing field.  Zenyatta runs on a surface that doesnt fit front runners and where horses come back to her more than not and you wonder why they dont bring her east.  Horses wont come back to her on the east coast, and sadly, all of you thinking she might go in the Hollywood Gold Cup, well check the results of the Leroy Handicap, Rail Trip just put a damper on that winning that race in hand in a time of 1:42.37, yep that means they will be ducking that race also to im sure take a shot at the Milady to win that for the 2nd or 3rd time straight, that would really be history making, at least against allowance competition again.  Woohoo Go Zenyatta's Pride, facing similar competition as Pepper's Pride just a few more wins and you'll be right there. Yay

08 May 2010 7:29 PM
LAZMANNICK

Jimmy

I find your rants fascinating, but then it takes very little to fascinate me at times.  To suggest that horses traveled across the country and flew across the Atlantic to race on a surface that they weren't capable of producing their best on is beyond being laughable.  I suppose now you'll say that the winner of the Dubai World Cup is a paper champion too.  If you want some sort of a parallel to measure just how good Zenyatta is, look at Einstein a multiple G-1 winner on all surfaces.  Of course you'll say that Einstein was over the top and wasn't at his best in the BCC, but he came back a few weeks later in the Clark (a narrow loss) and finished a country mile ahead of Macho and Bullsbay.  Of course you'll say that they were over the top too and I guess that they were still over the top when they got dusted in the Alysheba.  If you think Zen can't race on dirt, just hang in there.  By the end of the year you'll have to look for another reason to put her down.

08 May 2010 7:41 PM
Kay

Julie L:

Gosh, thanks!!! I certainly don’t have any enmity towards Rachel Alexandra, although I carry a lot of it for Jess Jackson. The synthetics have just made the reasons for the East/West bias all that more palpable.

Footlick:

“Jimmy- why don't you bring up the direct quotes that Baffert has said about Zenyatta?  Because they wouldn't support your insults?”

Ah, good point! After the Classic, my friends and I ran into Baffert at the receiving barn. He was just blown away by what he’d seen. And all of his quotes about Zenyatta have been along the lines of “Holy crap. Can you believe that?” He even said the sport would suffer if Zenyatta wasn’t named HOTY. I’m curious about how many of Zenyatta’s detractors were actually at the Breeder’s Cup last year. I haven’t seen Rachel run live and maybe it’s magical and fantastic with unicorns and rainbows, but I’ve been going to the races for many years and I’ve NEVER seen anything like that Classic and what it did to the people who witnessed it. Except that Chip Woolley, of course. But that’s to be expected.

Jimmy:

“Kay, you're saying that the differences between one dirt track to another is the same as the difference between a dirt track and a synthetic track? Really? And obviously Zenyatta is a better horse on dirt than synthetic, as evident by her competing on dirt twice out of 16 races. Somehow that doesn't add up. Maybe they came to that reasoning after her 95 beyer speed figure....And once again, her win in the classic was over dirt and turf horses. If you don't think the synthetic surface had any impact at all in the race, I'm afraid me or actual facts won't be able to change your mind.”

You stated (in your very own words) that you wanted to see Zenyatta on a track that had no bias. Ergo (as to your own stated preference), a dirt track. I wondered if you thought dirt tracks had no bias. At no point did I say ANYTHING about the differences between dirt tracks being the same as the difference between dirt and synthetic. Which I suspect you understood but because you know that was a goofy thing to say, you’re trying to reverse-engineer the discussion. But just like synthetics are different from one another (witness the quirky Keeneland and the difference between Del Mar and Hollywood Park), dirt tracks are extremely different from one another. So really, it’s not too bright to just use the all-encompassing “dirt” in your argument. Different dirt tracks favor different kinds of runners on different days and a lot of the times, from race to race.

You, BTW, are doing the same thing others have done here – assuming that EVERY MALE HORSE in the BC Classic struggled on the synthetic, thereby allowing Zenyatta to beat them at less than their best. And also that NO OTHER HORSE had run well over it, which we simply know isn’t true. Some horses didn’t handle it but according to the jockeys after the race, an awful lot of them DID fire big (you know, the thing that usually happens in racing – so far, only Zenyatta has been able to fire with every race). She just outran them. And frankly, I don’t hear you saying anything when horses don’t handle DIRT tracks. Or does that just not matter for this particular discussion?

I do love that y’all are throwing out Oaklawn, though, because Zenyatta has run there twice. And that it’s you guys, and not her trainer and jockey, who just KNOW she’s only a synthetic specialist. There’s nothing more heart-warming than railbirds who think they know more than professionals. BTW, I deal with this sort of thing in my business so I see the signs. To add insult to injury, you then drag Beyer speed figures into it. Oh, Jimmy. And I had such hope for you.

Guys. To repeatedly make the statement that Zenyatta’s connections are ducking ANYONE after she became the first filly or mare to win the BC Classic is just kinda, well… bizarre.

Jayjay, I will happily be your future ex-wife!!

08 May 2010 7:47 PM
LAZMANNICK

afleetalexforever

Zen’s 1-1/16M race record:

• Dec 15-07 – Hol…..1.40.4

• Jan 13-08 – SA …….1.40.3

• Apr 5-08 – OP………1.42.3

• May 31-08 – Hol…..1.41

• Aug 2—08 - Dmr……..1.41.2

• Sep 27-08 – SA………1.40.1

• May 23-09 – Hol…….1.42.1

• Aug 9-09 – Dmr………1.43.1

• Oct 9-09 – SA………….1.42.4

What’s your point?  Rail Trip ran a 1.42.1 in a 1-1/16M race.  He couldn’t duplicate that time in the Marvin Leroy last year, but maybe the field was tougher.  The field today was really weak.  Out of nine races Zen beat that time 6 times and tied it another.  In fact, Rail Trip has run the distance four times including today and that’s his best time.......Rachel’s best time at the distance in four tries was 1.42.4 (losing effort).  

08 May 2010 8:05 PM
dbs

Convene,

I thank you very much for what you said, but I am still a huge Zenyatta fan. I also think she is much better than RA.

08 May 2010 8:26 PM
Footlick

Jimmy- that's what I do.  Come on here and make things up.  So, instead of posting them myself, since I still may be accused of making them up (like you can't put quotemarks around anything and attribute it to what you want), go find them yourself.  Use that brain of yours and do the research.  Find the quotes that Baffert said after the BCC. Find the quote that he said he was hoping Zenyatta wasn't pointing to the Big Cap this year when he was with Misremembered.  Find out how many horses in the BCC field were successful runners in California before the race.  Maybe you could also find out what the trainers of Gio Ponti and Twice Over said about their horses performances- seeing that they were handicapped by the synthetic track, and about Zenyatta's performance.  Then find the quotes of their respective jockies.  But you won't because they won't support your stand, so why would you possibly want to put out the minimal effort to look them up yourself.  Look how many owners and trainers were willing to face Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom once the 5 mil was taken away.  Why were there so few if she is a fluke on dirt?  If she is a synthetic prodigy, where were all the dirt fillies/mares to run against her?  She's not invincible on dirt, only on synthetic according to many.  Look at her Beyers, because they proved so accurate in the BCC.  Such a predictor of how she would run. She was just way to slow.  Randy Moss said something about Beyers and Zenyatta, and he is a big Beyer devotee.  Maybe you should read that too?   And she was so taxed running, or should I say having a public workout, in the Apple Blossom.  That 95 Beyer must be the best she can do.  Yes, Jimmy.  I make things up and you are the all-knowing.

08 May 2010 8:27 PM
Footlick

afleetalexforever- how dare you mention Zarkava.  She deserves much better than you mentioning her in order to spew venom.  And for your information, until the Arc, the British press said she was facing nothing.  That she was just running against overmatched horses, her times were too slow with the exception of the Vermeille, and the Arc will expose her.  You forgot to mention that she dwelt at the start of the Vermeille and spotted the field about 4 lengths.  And that she finished with such a burst of accelleration that the crowd gasped.  Sound familiar?   As far as the Apple Blossom is concerned, if you knew anything about horse racing, you could see that it was just an afternoon gallop.  Maybe we should start putting Beyer figures on workouts.  Have you looked at Zenyatta's times before they started to try to beat her by crawling early?  I believe she has run 8.5 furlongs under 1:41 three times.  She ran 9 furlongs in under 1:47. She doesn't make her own pace.  She deals with whatever is thrown at her.  1:43 and change for Rail Trip isn't scary at all.  Give her the pace and she will run faster.  I guess you know-it-alls can't comprehend that.

08 May 2010 8:43 PM
afleetalexforever

Here is ur statement Laz:

"Draynay:

With regards to Zen's BCC triumph and the 19 G-1-Group One winners she defeated in that race alone, could you ever envision your beloved Rachel lining up against such a quality field and defeating them in such a resounding manner?"

Now if i can read correctly you said "The 19 Grade 1 -group one winners she defeated in that race alone, clarify how she beat 19 grade 1 winners, u were not quoted as saying 19 grade 1 wins by horses, u said 19 grade 1 winners.  I know you are confused by read it again and you'll understand or maybe not.

08 May 2010 8:51 PM
afleetalexforever

Great point Laz. lets talk about the competition she faced in those races, in 2009 how many Graded stakes winning females did Zenyatta face in her 4 cream puff races.  I'll wait for that answer, I'll certainly wait.

08 May 2010 8:54 PM
THE Better Half

I was told this was still going on and I did not believe it until it was shown to me.

We had a wonderful day at the races heard some exciting news and had a horse do well. So seeing all of this just stunned me.

I thought there is just so much positive and exciting going on right now.

I do have a question for everyone. If Zenyattas owners decide to send her elsewhere or if she runs in a race at Saratoga if they are still up and running by then will you folks feel like you unfairly judged the owners and wasted your time?

08 May 2010 8:54 PM
Footlick

And I did misquote Rail Trip's time.  I don't want anyone to think I'm making something up-lol!

08 May 2010 8:54 PM
ruffianruns

I have a compromise - something to make both sides happy.        

  x Zenyatta ships East to face males on dirt.

  x Draynay-sayers finally shut up once she leaves your boys in the dust!

Zenyatta fans, wouldn't it be worth it?

But then, the Draynay-sayers will probably compare the competition she beat to donkeys, huh?

So to head off that excuse, answer jayjay's questions about legit competition.  Is Musket Man good enough?

And Jason, if Zenyatta targets the Hollywood Gold Cup, and shows up for the Classic, would that help things in your book?  Is facing Rail Trip, who just won big again, enough?  Or does she still need to run another race against males on dirt?

I'm just trying to get some idea of the expectations here.  I like your post, and I'm glad you brought the subject up.

I lean toward Zenyatta, under the watchful care of her connections, pushing the envelope, just to show the world how GREAT I really think she is.  I really got my hopes up when her connections said that they wanted everybody to see her and that she could run in Moss' native New York.

I also suspect that Mike Smith, hell ALL of her connections and fans, want to know just how much might be in that tank!

I DON'T like the Zen and RA bashing.  They've both been an absolute joy to me.  And, especially after the news about Esky yesterday, I'm happy that they've both stayed healthy.

08 May 2010 9:05 PM
afleetalexforever

Well JayJay thank you for complementing all of the ladies on this blog but lets get away from the flirting, lol just joking, here is my thing and maybe Jason opened a can that will be difficult for some of you Zenyatta lovers to deal with but, I guess what we're saying is that at this point, why is Zenyatta still racing against or even considering racing against allowance/optional claiming quality females in the west, there are no quality females other than St.Trianians that will be facing her..  Therefore whats the point, you all say she is the best ever then step up and face the males on either coast and do so consistently, not just in 1 big race per year when the rest of the horses who go thru a grueling campaign step onto the track with a horse that has run 4 or 5 times.  I am a Rachel Fan from a-z, started out really really impressed with Zen after the Apple Blossom in 08, yes i was there at my hometown track in Hot Springs and when she blew past GP I was like wow she could be a monster.  Then guess what, blah blah blah blah blah, BCLC, blah blah blah blah, BCC, blah AB2010, do u know what the blahs are for, well 10 races that Zen was entered in many the same over and over from the previous year against horses like Hot N' Dusty or Allicansayiswow, who are optional claimers, allowance or Grade III winners, i mean in 09 she faced 1 mare, let me make sure i make it clear, 1 mare in LIS that won a Graded stakes race in 09, what does that mean, well while Rachel was out beating boyz who were incredibly fit and in form by means of the likes of PON, FF, Take the Points, SB, MTB, and others that won a number of grade 1 races in 09 on dirt, Rachel didnt get the benefit of running on a third surface and the other horses come over to her surface train for 15 or 20 days and be asked to run in a Grade 1 race.  its just common sense, the reason I love Rachel and have followed her to NY and NO and KY to see her every race in the last few months is because she is exciting, she's been asked to raise the bar, and to do it CONSISTENTLY, race in race out, maybe its had an affect on her and she's getting back to form in 2010, but you know what, i respect a horse and connections that take chances and ran a championship campaign compared to a horse and connections that ran in a weak, cream puff series of races set up to MAKE SURE THE HORSE DOES NOT LOSE. Thats weak, and the reason I am so glad they keep her on the West Coast, she deserves to face the least possible competition because if she loses that would break the heart of her connections and her fans even more.  But even more than that, keep her out west all year long so she can set another record, to be the first horse to lose HOY not 1 not 2 but THREE YEARS STRAIGHT, all hail the Mighty Zenyatta, Runner up for HOY 3 years straight. lmbo

08 May 2010 9:17 PM
Jasmine M

AfleetAlexForever -

Considering the Milady is in a week, that might be a little hard to do.

I don't particularly want to see her run against the same overmatched California females either. But comparing Zenyatta to Pepper's Pride is ridiculous. And I would think that even most of the die-hard Rachel fans would agree (except Draynay - but who wants to be agreeing with him?)  

08 May 2010 9:21 PM
Zookeeper

Footlick,

You got sucked in again! I've danced to this tune too many times to do it again. I appreciate your effort and those of the many others who are trying to inject logic into the discourse even if their opinion is not one that I share. But the good comments fall on deaf ears on both sides of the argument. It's a shame!

08 May 2010 9:21 PM
Greg J.

Afleetalexforever,

      Your last two comments shows your utter lack of knowledge on this sport, Like Footlick said, You honestly need to do your homework, Too funny.  Also, Why don't you read up on what all of the other trainers have said about Zenyatta?  Finally, You mention Rail Trip, Did you even listen to what Mr. Ellis said about Zenyatta after Rail Trip's Victory?  Obviously not, Please, Get a clue, Thanks...      

08 May 2010 9:24 PM
PomDeTerre

Kay-  Your posts are well thought out, I - as noted earlier- agree with you.

AfleetAlex- YOU WANT TO BE A MASTER AT MANIPULATING STATISTICS TO SUPPORT YOUR fanatical rantings.  Yes, anyone who has a clue knew the reference was to 19 Graded/Group 1 wins, not horses in the BCC.  Your agruements have no merit, and you sound like a whiny child.  I have to believe you are in politics. Good luck with the nexzt election as you will need it.

Dray- Beyer-Schmeyer,total bs.  Ya wanna know what REALLY counts in this sport?  It's whose nose hits the wire first.  Now THERE'S a surprise! (Of course from what I've read on numerous blogs it sounds like that rarely, if ever, happens to the horses you play.)  If you've got an easy lead on a hand ride with a clean win, I suppose you'd take the crop and beat the horse to sh*t just to run for the Beyer.  Here's a novel concept for you:  WHY WASTE THE HORSE (or mare, in this case)????  But since YOU bring up the Beyer issue, let's look at the reigning HOY.  You DO realize that the Beyers she "earned" in her 2 2010 starts were her LOWEST EVER including her maiden race (and from my TV it sure did look like she was being ridden all out).  Just chew on that a bit, however please don't choke, as I'm not sure if anyone here knows the Heimlich manuver.

08 May 2010 9:31 PM
skyfire

Zenyatta's connections have a chance in 2010 to make her career unique in horse racing history --- they aren't choosing to do so by going to the Vanity.

I guess we could have anticipated Esky quick retirement --- all Z stable 3 year olds with talent are quickly retired (see 2009).

08 May 2010 9:46 PM
LAZMANNICK

afleetalexforever

Of course you can read correctly.  That's why I told you to read my 2:06 post to Draynay if you wanted a clarification of what I really meant.

Of Zen's cream-puff races I need a clarification……You mean the three G-1’s and one G-2 that were on a par with the following cream puff races…….the '09 Martha Washington, the '09 Kentucky Oaks, the '09 Fair Ground Oaks, the '09 Fantasy and the ’09 Mother Goose?……It seems to me she dusted Life Is Sweet in three of them.  That’s the same Life Is Sweet who would win the BC Lady’s by 2-1/2L against a tough field and finish third in the Hollywood Gold Cup at 1-1/4M to males.  Do you think any of the participants in the five listed cream puff races I mentioned above would win the BCC Lady’s?

08 May 2010 9:50 PM
LAZMANNICK

afleetalexforever

Regarding cream puff competition.  As I stated before, three of the horses Zen trounced in the Apple Blossom (Just Jenda, Be Fair and War Echo) raced against Rachel in her 2009 DREAM SEASON FOR THE AGES.  It seems to me that it was okay and loudly applauded that Rachel defeated them last year, but is a negative for Zen because she beat them this year.

08 May 2010 9:56 PM
merrywriter

In amongst all this bickering, someone said if only Z could talk and say where she wanted to race.  I bet that wouldn't be on her radar - she'd say, "More oats."

I don't care who or where she races.  I just want to see her dance before the race, hang out at the back of the pack for eons, and then pick off the other horses one by one and not break a leg doing it.

I get nervous as a hoe in church everytime she runs.  I want her safe.  Safety 1st.  Her happy life and her genes are worth more than "can she beat the boys on dirt?" or HOY.  How trivial in the long run.

08 May 2010 9:58 PM
Greg J.

Afleetalexforever,

     So far in her Career, Zenyatta has defeated the winners of no less than 36 grade I stakes, won by eight male grade I winners and eight female grade I winners. Her victims included two male classic winners (Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes), two Breeders’ Cup Distaff/Ladies Classic winners, two Travers winners, two Beldame winners, two Ruffian Handicap winners, and the winners of the Santa Anita Handicap, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, Arlington Million, Champion Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, Man o’War Stakes, Spinster, Coaching Club American Oaks, Mother Goose, Personal Ensign, Lady’s Secret, and Santa Margarita among others, Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, She became the first horse ever to win two different Breeders' Cup races...

08 May 2010 9:59 PM
kyoaks09

draynay

I, like you, am a Rachel fan but I would like to ask you why you feel the need to make such nasty comments about Zenyatta and her fans in your attempt to defend Rachel?  As much as I would like to see Rachel at her 2009 level, she obviously isn't.  She's just not the same filly that she was last year and there's no getting around it.  I don't think there's any doubt as to whether or not Zenyatta could beat her at this stage of the game.  That by no means changes my opinion of Rachel nor does it mean that I'm throwing her to the wolves.  I've always loved her and I will continue to do so but NEVER will I condemn Zenyatta or her fans in an attempt to make Rachel look better.

sodapopkid,

So what is your reason for feeling the need to condemn Rachel?  Zenyatta is obviously the better of the two at this point, so why the need for nasty comments? Couldn't you and draynay give it a break and try being nice and just appreciating both horses?  I would think you would both consider yourselves lucky just to have witnessed both of the two.

08 May 2010 10:04 PM
Paula Higgins

It is amazing to me that some people refuse to acknowledge greatness when they see it. It speaks to a small mindedness that is perplexing. Some things are self-evident and not up for debate. For example, Michael Jordan was a great basketball player. No one would argue that, ever. It makes you wonder what the motivation is behind all of this rubbish about Zenyatta. Zenyatta is probably the greatest filly of all time and one of the greatest horses, male or female, ever. As a firmly planted east coast girl, I would hate to think that east coast bias is behind the low regard held by some for Zenyatta. East coast and west coast horses are all American horses. That's the bottom line. We shouldn't be having a racing civil war over this.

Kay excellent posts.

08 May 2010 10:06 PM
jayjay

afleetalexforever : you really should change your name because you're ruining the name of one of the best 3 yr olds I've seen run.  

You made some good points about Goldikova and all those things you said but I'm going to ask you what I asked Jimmy :

TELL US WHO SHE SHOULD FACE IN THE EAST COAST ????

GIVE US THE NAMES OF THE GREAT DIRT HORSES OVER IN THE EAST COAST.

Is Goldikova running here ??? NO

If she runs in the Breeder's Cup then she'll face Zenyatta but at this time, you and other Zenyatta bashers can come up with all the lame excuses for not recognizing her but then can't name one horse other than QR that would give her a run for her money.

Enough crap, just post here who she should face that would make her really nervous...name all of them...or even 2 or 3.  I'll be WAITING FOR AN ANSWER, I certainly will be WAITING....

08 May 2010 10:15 PM
jayjay

ruffianruns : I'm glad to see that you commented on my question because I was wondering if people are not understanding it.

They keep coming up with all this nonsense about Z's plans but then can't come up with any horse except Quality Road, I mean seriously, why would Zenyatta travel all the way out there when all she has to face is Quality Road ??  The fight is in the Classic, that's when the best of the best of the year will show up.  I don't even know if QR will be there and we know the chances of RA getting to the Classic is all but gone and I really really hope she can turn it around so the two of them can meet once and for all.

08 May 2010 10:25 PM
kyoaks09

Pom De Terre,

"And a sidebar to Asmussen: if I were you, I'd call Hal Wiggins- and quick.  You were given the gift of a talented, push button, no assembly required filly last year, you ran her eyeballs out (I was at the Woodward- I saw her after the race, and she was totally spent), and now you can't get her back to form.  That's training?  You need help, buddy."

Thank you for your opinion.  I couldn't agree more but I also have to wonder who's really making the decisions about Rachel - Asmussen or Jackson?  As much as I love Hal, I'm not sure he could even bring her back now.  I definitely feel like he would have a better chance but I'm afraid that the Woodward took too much out of her.  I think Jackson got his HOTY at the expense of his 2010 Rachel and now I'd like to know if he thinks it was worth it.

08 May 2010 10:27 PM
Red Ransom 423

Hey, draynay, I was just taking you up on the 103 Beyer/sub 143 edict.  Cannnot hold a grudge againt me if I remember a healthy pick three win when Z took down G-Punch, BC winner.  What are you going to do, she just does not see that surface very often.  Come on comparing Beyers --- and Bellamy Road was the second coming after the Wood.  Rachel has come up short both races because of compromised training.  Hopefully, all parties will be healthy and ready to go in NOV -- we'll see no matters of articulation solved before then.  Spend some energy on the Preakness and bring in a price.  Good luck.

08 May 2010 10:28 PM
Kathleen

Footlick - Yes Goldikova's connections are aiming her for the BC Mile for a third straight win if she stays healthy :) so it is unlikely they would run her on dirt in the Classic - however it would be very exciting to have 2 superstar mares (possibly 3 with Rachel) challenging the boys; my money will be on Zenyatta coming from behind with her usual breathtaking acceleration in the last quarter mile; there's a reason other trainers and jockeys call her a freak.  As one handicapper said recently she is one of the most unusual horses ever to race due to the fact that she wins no matter the pace, fast or slow.  It's her closing style, brilliant acceleration and huge stride that make her so unusual for a racehorse.  Beyer speeds don't really apply to Zenyatta because she only turns on the jets in the last quarter mile or so.

Jason - obviously there's no interest in your article on Zenyatta (LOL !)...only 500+ blog entries.  I guess the Triple Crown debate/discussion is not that exciting this year.  Does anyone think a longshot like Super Saver can win the TC ? I hope so....stranger things have happened !

08 May 2010 10:35 PM
sodapopkid

I bet Jess Jackson would love to buy Zenyatta!  Hell, I bet he would give the Mosses 25 million for her..............

08 May 2010 10:54 PM
sodapopkid

Jason, You're a good man but you cannot leave this blog unattended any more. We gave you your time to go to a pearl jam concert , I personally love PJ myself, Did they sing my favorite song, its called 'Black'. I can't fault you for that but its time to get back to this 'can of worms' you opened up.  

Are you going to church on Sunday? If so thats the only other time we can give you away from this maddening blog.

08 May 2010 11:03 PM
Rechelle

Annette wrote: "Rechelle;Do you KNOW for a fact that team Zenyatta, is trying to break Pepper's Pride's record

Your "snarky", and "venemous" attitude against Zenyatta, is apparent in every single blog you get on."

OMG, how many times must I say that I like Zenyatta?!?!?!?  All I have been saying has been against her CONNECTIONS!!  Her CONNECTIONS are NOT doing right by her!  Zenyatta can't tell them where to run.  She is a BRILLIANT mare who deserves to run against new competition!  She is not proving ANYTHING by running the same races against the same competition at the same tracks that she has already proven the past 2 years that she can dominant any horse that comes there!  She is 3 races away from Pepper's Prides record, so yes, I suspect they are trying to beat it.  But come on, you can't honestly say that Zenyatta doesn't deserve better than this.  She has proven herself in the Vanity!  WHY shold she have to race it again??  There is no reason not to start moving her east onto dirt tracks.  Shireff says that she is better on dirt than synthetic. If he's going to talk the talk, then he better start walking the walk to prove it.  2 races on dirt at the same track doesn't prove she's better on dirt.  Out of her 16 races, she has run on dirt twice.  And why shouldn't the fans across the country get a chance to see Zenyatta prove her greatness?  Her fans aren't just in California.  She deserves SOOOO much better!  Especially if they want HOY this year.  Right now, her main competition that I can see is Quality Road.  If she ships east and shows the same dominating style and maybe meets QR before the Breeders Cup and wins, then that will help her chances of getting HOY.  

I would love to see FROM THIS BLOG where I have said anything to make you think I am saying negative about Zenyatta.  I am bashing her connections who aren't doing anything for her other than running in the same damn races that she has already won!

08 May 2010 11:06 PM
Rechelle

Kay, my point that I've been trying to make is that at this point in her career, Zenyatta deserves a lot more than she's getting!  Where is the sense of her continually running the same races??  She has already proven over & over again that she dominates any horse who meets her on synthetic.  Yes, she's run twice on dirt, but it was the same track.  WHY shouldn't they ship her to Churchill?  There are plenty of great races there.  WHY shouldn't they go to Saratoga?  Or Belmont?  Or Pimlico?  Or any of the other great tracks across the country??  She deserves to run against new horses to show her dominance and to set her up to win HOY this year.  The reason she didn't get it last year was simple, she didn't travel or meet new competition.  They are too damn conservative with her!  They need to quit with the excuses and start doing what is best for Zenyatta and that is not running the same races that she has already won once or twice.  I don't care if her & Rachel meet, but I would love to see her have some new competition.  It's like watching the same movie over & over, after a while, it gets rather boring.  If they want to keep her in California, then switch to turf.  I bet she can run the same way on turf that she does on synthetic and has done twice on dirt. Put her in races against the boys.  Just don't repeat the races she's already won.  Give her new competition.  Just do something DIFFERENT with her.  I am not saying a single negative thing about Zenyatta!   My problems are with her connections who are too conservative and not doing enough to showcase her talent.

08 May 2010 11:15 PM
Big Brown

This "afleetalexforever" is a clown and talks out of both sides of her mouth.

afleetalexforever:

What you don't seem to get and maybe you need to learn "through the school of hard knocks", is the following:

The facts are "no one wants to show up against Zenyatta".

Not even Rachel Alexandra wants to show up to race Zenyatta. Where are all of these Grade I east coast mares? Why does Zenyatta continually scare away the competition? Why did the field fall apart and everyone decided not to race against Zenyatta once the Apple Blossom was reduced to $500,000.

Could it be that the east coast trainers knew they couldn't beat Zenyatta, so it was not worth the shipping costs to run for second in the Grade I Apple Blossom?

Zenyatta shows up. She runs. The others run and hide.

08 May 2010 11:28 PM
Assault

Draynay Quote:

"Rachel is already running a 103 Beyer and Zenyatta can't get over a 95.  It's not hard to figure out what will happen when 103 meets 95.  Zenyatta is a poly specialist you will NEVER see her win a race against males on dirt."

A simple question to Draynay (the Andy Beyer lover):

Why didn't Jess Jackson show up for the 2010 Apple Blossom (if Zenyatta has such low Beyer speed figures)?

You laughable Draynay. Do yourself a favor and disappear.

08 May 2010 11:34 PM
CV

Some excellent points have been made here by Kay and PomDeTerre.

Also from: Kate Harper 07 May 2010 3:29 PM

"Perhaps Jason's next article could be to question what Jess Jackson's plans are for Rachel.  Does Jackson still think he'll run his filly against Zenyatta 3 times this year, what percentage of fitness does RA need to be to run against quality competition--90.93%92.37% 94.62%, will she run against males again, when will she run in a G1, will she ever run the Classic distance, will she even be pointed to the BC, does he think maybe allowing Borel to whip her with a big lead in the Haskell and then the relentless whipping in the Woodward might have just taken the competitive fight out of his great filly?  Does he think RA benefited from being removed from Hal Wiggins' excellent care? Lots and lots of potential questions probably a tad more important than worrying if Zenyatta runs in the Vanity rather than the Stephen Foster."

Another good point, Kate, but you will never see that article. Jason would never consider asking the owner/trainer of Rachel Alexandra whether they mismanaged her so badly in their quest for the HOTY trophy that they damaged her for this year's racing.

See, only the connections of California horses must be questioned because their home bases are the hated synthetic tracks.

Draynay said: "Rachel is already running a 103 Beyer and Zenyatta can't get over a 95..."

This post from you is stunning in its intellectual dishonesty, because you know Zenyatta simply cantered to her win and Rachel was running for her life and lost. Yet, you deliberately ignore that fact time after time.

Draynay, afleetalexforever and the rest of the venomous, Zenyatta-bashing crowd here will fabricate and twist anything to attack her and pump up their favorite, Rachel Alexandra, whose punishing campaign last year appears to have cost her dearly.

Blinded by hate, you will never "get" that Zenyatta is a champion, but these people do -- www.youtube.com/watch

Zen's 16-0 record has already proven her championship to them, and legions of others who can appreciate her talent.

08 May 2010 11:58 PM
CV

Since this blog is titled "Triple Crown Talk," I have a TC-related question if no one minds.

I just read the sad news about Eskendereya's retirement due to a soft tissue injury and wondered if there is any more detailed information about it.

Is it a given that horses can never recuperate from these types of injuries?

09 May 2010 12:05 AM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay and Beyer lovers:

The fallacies of Beyers:

• 2009 JCGC – time:  2.02.2 – Beyer  111…..Summer Bird beat Quality Road

• 2009 Travers – time:  2.02.4 – Beyer  110…..Summer Bird beat Quality Road

• 2009 BCC – time:  2.00.3 – Beyer  112……Zenyatta defeats the strongest field in N/A in 2009, a field that included the winners of 19 G-1 and Group One races, and runs her race on average 2 seconds faster than the JCGC and the Travers.

Why is Zenyatta’s Beyer so low when her competition was so much tougher?  Even the competition Rail Trip faced when he received a 111 Beyer in the 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup does not come close to the competition in the BCC.  Their times were identical, but the BCC Beyer was only one point higher.

• 2009 Haskel – time 1.47.1 – Beyer   116……Rachel defeated Summer Bird.

• 2010 Donn – time 1.47.2 – Beyer  121…..Quality Road defeats G-2 and G-3 horses (no G-1 winners)

Why is Rachel’s Beyer 5 points less when she ran her race faster and the field she defeated was arguably tougher than the field Quality Road faced?

And please don’t try and tell me about track variants, etc.  I’ve got every book Andy Beyer wrote.  I know how Beyers are determined.  I still think that there are more fallacies than truths when dealing with them.  Most knowledgeable handicappers look at them, but they are only one factor to consider and quite often they are inconsistent with the best Beyer in a race having a relatively low win percentage.  LOL

09 May 2010 12:24 AM
mz

521 posts!

My brain hurts too much to make any further comments, whether funny (at least, I think so) or deep and thoughtful (again, at least I think so)about Zenyaddahyaddahyaddah.

All I have the energy to do now is to reassure Ted from LA that yes, I am a woman ( although, really, Ted, not that there's anything wrong with that...) and Merlinmerry:  my hands are off.  Can I just laugh maniacally by myself every once in a while when he makes a particularly smart-ass comment?

09 May 2010 12:48 AM
Matthew W

Jason have some cheese with that whine--what kind did Jess send you guys??!! HaHa--Why not prep for the Gold Cup v Rail Trip in the Vanity? Got anything better back there--besides Congaree Road in the one turn Met Mile??....The Hol Gold will be a nice preview of the Breeders Cup Classic! Who in the S F Foster would you rather see her face than Rail Trip??....

09 May 2010 12:58 AM
mikey

DRAYNAY and AFLEETALEX and a very few more Rachelites (getting fewer and fewer) still in fantasy land that Rachel a grade 2 (two) horse at best last year had ANY chance of beating the mighty Zenyatta on dirt, turf or plastic. HAHAHAHAHA

09 May 2010 1:00 AM
mikey

AFLEETALEX: Rachel could have entered any race that Zenyatta entered in 2009 while Zen could have only entered the GRADE 3 (THREE) Woodward but JJ picked that race a few days before it was ran. LOL

YEPPER. JJ ducked Zenyatta last year and this year. JJ's shoes is getting worn out from dancing and you and DRAYNAY as partners. HAHAHAHA

09 May 2010 1:03 AM
LAZMANNICK

Rechelle

You're like those movies you say you watch over and over again.  You're right.  It gets kind of boring.  In a way you remind me of a movie.

09 May 2010 1:35 AM
LAZMANNICK

Kathleen wrote:

Footlick - Yes Goldikova's connections are aiming her for the BC Mile for a third straight win if she stays healthy :)

Geez.....Another mare trying to beat up the competition in the same race three years in a row.....BORING.  Just Joking LOL

09 May 2010 1:42 AM
Marty

I am so tired of reading about beyer speeds... blah... blah... blah....

One mare gets a beyer speed of 103 but comes in second and the other mare gets a 95 and wins. Who cares People WINNING is all that counts!!!

Don't rely so much on that stuff...

It's all FLUFF!!!

and stop with all the Zenyatta bashing. What does she have to do to get the respect she deserves?

Winning 16 races and being undefeated doesn't that mean something... All great horses have off days and get beat even to inferior competition... But Zenyatta never has. That's an amazing feat... Does she have to learn to fly??? COME ON!!!!!!!

09 May 2010 1:48 AM
afleetalexforever

LazMannick, You are embarrassing yourself when you start talking about the cream puff competition. Just Jenda, Be Fair and War Echo are all horses that Rachel beat by double digit margins out for a nice canter around the track in respectable times.   Zen ran in the Apple Blossom and her time was horrible in the same nice canter, what you fail to realize is that after they parted ways, Jess Jackson decided to challenge his horse and run her in the Preakness, Mother Goose, Haskell and Woodward, a championship campaign.  Sadly your horse’s owners decided they would keep her hidden out in Cali on surfaces that she doesn’t run as well on according to them, she runs SOOOOOOOOO much better on dirt, although you can’t tell that by that 1:51 4/5 she put up in the Apple Blossom, so one horse went right down the road to horse of the year – bar raised- the other horse went to the left beating anabaa’s creation and Hot N Dusty in her 4 filly and mare races run against all of 1 graded stakes winner on the female side in 2009.  Hey that’s Laughable.

09 May 2010 1:49 AM
afleetalexforever

Great point Laz about the cream puff schedule, Let’s look at the Milady, Vanity, C.L. Hirsch and Lady’s Secret, only facing 1 horse that won a race of consequence on the female side is well pitiful, was she challenged when beating an allowance horse by a nose in Anabaa’s Creation, great horse huh.  What about the rest of the mares she faced in 09, hey lets talk about Briecat, Dawn after Dawn, Hot N Dusty, Allicansayis  Wow, and Modification, how about the Gamblers Justice, Champagne Eyes, Taste’s Sis, Anabaa’s creation, Lethal Heat, Tidal Dance.  Of all of those horses tell me which one won a Graded stakes race in 2009.  I’ll wait.

09 May 2010 2:07 AM
Kay

Paula Higgins:

First of all, thanks! And secondly:

“It is amazing to me that some people refuse to acknowledge greatness when they see it. It speaks to a small mindedness that is perplexing.”

I couldn’t agree more. After the BC Classic, I had friends posting it on Facebook, friends who have NEVER cared about racing and have never even seen a race. They weren’t even THERE and the knew nothing, but they recognized the enormity of the event. I’m simply boggled by racing fans, who should know this stuff, not recognizing this.

Laz & Greg J:

Thanks for posting about the times and the horses Zenyatta has beaten. Even more impressive when you see things in lists!

Rechelle:

You’re just not getting this.

“Kay, my point that I've been trying to make is that at this point in her career, Zenyatta deserves a lot more than she's getting!  Where is the sense of her continually running the same races??  She has already proven over & over again that she dominates any horse who meets her on synthetic.  Yes, she's run twice on dirt, but it was the same track.  WHY shouldn't they ship her to Churchill?  There are plenty of great races there.  WHY shouldn't they go to Saratoga?  Or Belmont?  Or Pimlico?  Or any of the other great tracks across the country??”

So you get to make the rules? How many tracks should she run at before you’ll be satisfied? I hope you’re not insinuating that she simply be shipped and left there. Because that’s just ridiculous. And for the record, she DID ship to Churchill last year but due to the sealed track, they decided not to run her… which must be one of the reasons she’s been so sound and happy this long.

ANY horse can enter ANY race she’s in. But they don’t. Her connections don’t control who runs in her races. I mean, they’re GIs, not little restricted state-bred races. They are restricted only by age and sex and sometimes, not by either. You’d think horses would love to get some of that black type. So shouldn’t your argument be against the trainers and owners who don’t run their horses against Zenyatta? Geez, Zenyatta shipped East to run in a $500,000 GI race and nobody showed up. If we’re talking about divisions, I’d like to point out that Rachel Alexandra has pretty much failed against the older filly division, and she didn’t even run against them last year.

And for the last bloody time, running a mare in the BC Classic is NOT BEING CONSERVATIVE. They could have run her back in the Ladies Classic. BUT THEY DIDN’T. Ergo, they took a chance. And all the press up to raceday spoke to that.

CV:

That video is one of my favorites. I was on the apron during the race, jumping up and down like an idiot. Glad someone filmed it from the grandstand. I’ve NEVER seen people react like that at a race!

And Greg J, what did Ron Ellis say after the LeRoy? I missed that…

09 May 2010 2:44 AM
jayjay

RECHELLE : Can you please POST on here the list of what you and the believe are the great dirt horses that Zenyatta should be facing to justify your claims about last year's BCC where she didn't really beat the best dirt horses.

I've been asking that question all day and none of the east coast geniuses have posted any list.  I asked other than QR, who are the male (or female for that matter) dirt horses that you believe Zenyatta should face that is worth travelling for ??  Who did Quality Road beat in the Donn??  Past the Point, Dry Martini...Delightful Kiss...these are G2 horses.  Who is he facing against in the Met Mile ??  I also mentioned that SummerBird is the only other one I can think of since SB has already won twice on the 1 1/4 distance and beat QR in both of those races but SB was injured (ironically on dirt track in Oaklawn while preparing for the Japan Cup) and I've not heard anything recently about him returning to races anytime soon (only article I found was from Feb 2010 and no mention of timeframe when he'll return to racing.)  Can you please be so kind and post the legitimate east coast dirt horses ?  

I was going to ask Draynay the same question but I know he'll just come back with beyer figures of different races LOL.  He's good for a laugh though.

On another note : Rail Trip won very nicely albeit against suspect field but this was after an 8 MONTH layoff :)  That's how a good horse should do it, comes back strong after getting that much rest ;)

09 May 2010 3:00 AM
jayjay

afleetalexforever : I complimented Kay, not all the females.  I can turn that question around and ask you, if RA was so great, why didn't she travel to the west coast to run against the best synthetics horses ??  If she's only a dirt horse and synthetic tracks are now used in many major tracks then she should be running on them and demolishing her competitions right ?  Why is it that dirt is the only acceptable surface to you (and the writers voting for the HOTY) ??  There's no truth to Jackson's claim that horses tend to get injured more on synthetics than dirt, there's really not much difference so I don't buy it.  RA can't run on polytrack or plastic or synthetics (I can pretend to be an RA basher and call her a dirt bias horse and avoids synthetic horses but I won't :) )  and to me honestly, the only reason she won last year's HOTY is because the writers are biased to dirt tracks like most of you east coast folks are.

I am not an RA hater, I know what she accomplished last year, and doing it as a 3 yr old beating older males in the Woodward regardless of the quality is still impressive.  I enjoyed watching her even though I'm not really a fan.  

What I'm confused about is that you can't appreciate what Zenyatta has done.  You consider RA a great horse but she has been beaten so you should appreciate what it takes to keep an unbeaten record.  Zenyatta has beaten similar horses yes...but has RA beaten the same horses more than once?  I can turn around and say that Asmussen was great in picking spots for her, and I'm sure you would feel insulted being an RA fan because I'm taking away her win insuating that it was a weak field.  

Is RA capable of defeating the same horses in the same races 2 years in  row? At this time, it's not looking like she can, I don't even know if they would run her in the same races as last year.  I doubt it very much.

I'm not asking you to like her, I really don't care what you like or dislike but I'll always back up my Zenyatta :)  The greatest mare that ever raced :)

She lost HOTY honors to a great horse named Curlin in 2008, I can't say she lost HOTY honors to a great horse last year.

09 May 2010 4:24 AM
draynay

jayjay let me make this perfectly clear.  Polyetta will never win a race on dirt vs. males.  NEVER.  She is a Hall of Fame poly horse but she is just another horse on dirt.  They have kept her away from dirt for 4 years do you think that is by accident? She is going to hide and race in California like she always does.  Let's face facts she is basically a regional hero like Peppers Pride.

09 May 2010 7:43 AM
draynay

Well, now it appears Zenyatta will have to avoid Belmont, Churchill, Saratoga, and RAIL TRIP. I'm sure she will.

09 May 2010 8:10 AM
Rusty

This blog is worn out.

Zenyatta has been dead last in all 16 of her races. She's won ALL of them. That's unheard of for a closer. If a race doesn't set up for a closer they come up short, simple as that.Z has closed on all types of fractions, most of them slow.

Horses don't come back to her, she goes and gets them. She has yet to go into overdrive. She has more gears than a semi.

Male, female, dirt, poly and probably turf, makes no difference, she simply knows where the finish line is and makes sure she gets there first, BRAVO

09 May 2010 8:38 AM
sodapopkid

Zenyatta haters, you know who you are.  Zenyatta will give you what you want in time to come.

There are plenty more races coming up in the east she can prep for before the BCC.

"Have no fear,Your favorite horse will see enough of Zenyatta's great big rear" as she passes them to get to the finish line.

"Zenyatta, She comes from behind and gets you everytime"

The true fact about Zenyatta is "She gets the job done"

What else can we ask for , NOTHING

09 May 2010 8:55 AM
Footlick

Zookeeper- yes I did.  It builds up and then finally after not saying something for so long it explodes out of me.  I should know better.

09 May 2010 9:08 AM
Footlick

CV- it really depends on whether the connections feel that it is worth trying to come back and if the horse will be able to perform at the same level.  I think they feel Eskendereya will be more valuable in the shed.  Was it on this blog or another that asked why Mr Jackson would buy into this horse?  He is homebreeding, and he obviously feels Eskendereya's bloodlines will be beneficial to the broodmare band, plus he will get a percentage of the income from breeding to him.  I think it was a smart move.  The horse is well bred.

09 May 2010 10:00 AM
Footlick

afleetalexforever- Tuscan Evening also performs on synthetic, so you can include her also.  Careless Jewel can ship in anytime she wants, as well as Rachel since they both have performed on synthetic.  Cushion track is closest to dirt so here is the perfect opportunity.  I do not believe that Pro-Ride was the reason for Careless Jewel's performance in the BC.  I think it might have been the huge crowd that unsettled her.  She didn't mind polytrack at Woodbine and is training well over it at Keenland and Woodbine this year.  So that would make 4 quality opponents who have the opportunity to challenge Zenyatta while getting weight in the Vanity.  Will they step up and take the challenge?  That's the question.

09 May 2010 10:13 AM
Greg J.

Tim G. and the Dr.,

     Kudos for mentioning Greg Gilchrist, Sad indeed that he is leaving the game, Wish him the best in the future, A great trainer and a better human being...

09 May 2010 10:25 AM
Rachel

CV, I think the "soft tissue injury" is more than likely a "bowed tendon" (anyone know for sure what happened?)...it takes a very long time of rest before even thinking about returning to the racetrack and even then it could very well be a losing effort...a colt of his worth is far more valuable in the breeding shed.

09 May 2010 10:38 AM
Rachel

I love Zen, but you know what? Zen WASN'T READY to even begin racing until November of her 3-year-old season...2 races, a maiden and an allowance.

Rachel, by the end of her 3 year-old season, had set a number of speed and distance records, won the Oaks, won a TC race, beat the boys 3 times and won a Gr.1 race no female had ever won, as well as dominating her peer group...

Now, early in her 4 year-old season, she's taking a little time to get going...so what. We know she'll face the boys again this year, run in the BC against whoever shows up, win or lose she's a race horse and the greatest 3 year-old filly of all time.

09 May 2010 10:47 AM
Kathleen

Rechelle and others who this applies to:

I don't think it's fair for you to keep knocking Zenyatta's connections because she may run in the Vanity for the 3rd time.

There are obviously some things we do not know but may be known only by Zenyatta's trainer John Sheriffs.  He implied that she was very nervous or stressed when the plane landed in Arkansas for the Apple Blossom. From what I know, riding in a plane especially for 2 hours or more (with the take offs and landings) can be very stressful for horses! Hey!  They don't know what's going on but imagine it could be terrifying with the noises and sensations.  Look what happened with Quality Road after he freaked out at the Breeder's Cup Classic and then balked and refused to load onto the plane back East.  These long flights take their toll before and after races!  This is one theory as to why Team Zenyatta doesn't seem interested in flying her East (over the Rockies)to race.  What would it prove and for what?  I do agree they should try to race her against the boys in the Gold Cup or more competitive races other than the Vanity in California. However, I respect them as they ultimately care about Zenyatta most and are ultimately pointing her East to Churchill for the BC (and perhaps would like to keep her undefeated and healthy first and foremost !)

09 May 2010 10:50 AM
ruffianruns

Greg J. wrote:

"Did you even listen to what Mr. Ellis said about Zenyatta after Rail Trip's Victory?"

What DID Ellis say about Zenyatta?  I can't find it anywhere, and I'm really curious.

09 May 2010 10:57 AM
Saratoga AJ

LAZMANNIACK:

"Why should Rachel be the last thing Zen lovers and respecters bring up"?

Because this thread is about Zenyatta taking the easy road rather than taking on the colts in the Foster. If you are defending Zenyatta, why on earth would you compare her to the horse that DID have the kind of campaign that earned the Horse of the Year title? It only supports what JS is saying.

"To suggest that Zen couldn't travel around and beat the kind of fields she beat last year is ludicrous".

No it's not. Because she didn't. She has a chance to do it this year. But hasn't showed up yet. And that's the topic of this thread. Deal with it!

09 May 2010 11:29 AM
Tiznowbaby

CV, Esky's connections said his injury would have required about a year for recovery and that he probably would not have returned to the level he was at pre-inury.

09 May 2010 11:30 AM
James Scully

Jason,

Liked your take on Zenyatta. Her connections want to run her at Hollywood Park this summer and I hope they target the Gold Cup. With Rail Trip winning like he did yesterday (and I hope he rolls in the Californian), it would be a good match-up for her and would generate a lot of enthusiasm. That would be a great race for her fans.

09 May 2010 11:58 AM
Ted from LA

I'm confused.  What does this thread have to do with the Triple Crown and Sarah Palin?

09 May 2010 12:09 PM
CV

From: kyoaks09 08 May 2010 10:27 PM

"I think Jackson got his HOTY at the expense of his 2010 Rachel and now I'd like to know if he thinks it was worth it."

So would I. I cheered for Rachel in the Preakness, but was a little sad to see her whipped in the Haskell when she was well ahead.

Later on, I was shocked to see her beaten (sorry, 21 whippings = "beaten" to me) in the Woodward. She was so spent afterward and yet neither the turf writers nor her connections questioned her condition. It was all rah-rah, look at us.

It was a HOTY campaign evidently has taken a huge toll on the HOTY. The nastiest Zen-haters on this blog appear to think all that matters is the spectacle without acknowledging its true cost.

09 May 2010 12:23 PM
Zookeeper

Eskendereya has been retired. Fly Down ran a great race in the Dwyer. Rail Trip came back to win after a long rest. Gomez gets to ride Dublin. Still no word whether or not Lookin at Lucky will be at the Preakness and who will ride him if he does. Gilchrist retired from training, for the time being, I hope. Very few on here care about all of that... much more fun to bash horses who are not running in any races at the moment!

09 May 2010 12:25 PM
bellesforever

Well said..i do not understand why Zenyatta's people will not race her against stiffer competition.Running in Cally against the girl's just ain't cutting it..Why does Rachel have anything to do with this subject?We all can see that last year's very tough racing schedule has had an effect on Rachel.Zenyatta should be looking for the cream of the crop not just victories.A win is a win ..but a win in the Stephen Foster is a really big----deal!

09 May 2010 12:35 PM
Ida Lee

In reading the above, I noticed some putdowns of Pepper's Pride. PP was 19 for 19. Yes, it was in New Mexico. But I don't care if it was in the Congo. She is beautiful and was talented and perfect at her job. And like Zenyatta, her connections didn't like to take her out of state nor race her on a sloppy or less than perfect surface. She was always scratched if there was any perceived danger to their beautiful and talented filly. Her connections always put the horse first and that's why I admired them so much. Was she in Zenyatta's league? Of course not. I'm starting to wonder if even Secretariat was in Zenyatta's league. But still 19 for 19 is pretty great. PP is having babies now and I for one am looking forward to seeing them on the track. Also if I may....this is a horse racing blog. I very much enjoy reading everyone's comments and learn a lot about horse racing. But then I come across a sarcastic remark about Sarah Palin?  What? Sarah Palin? What does she have to do with horse racing? That's like bringing up Obama in a discussion as to why Garrett Gomez can't keep Looking at Lucky out of trouble. As a news junkie, I can tell you that Sarah Palin is the least of our problems. Look to Washington for your destruction!!! Oh, and Happy Mother's Day.

09 May 2010 12:35 PM
mr pibb

Nobody shoulld be talking about RA at this point at all. She's already been whipped twice this year and until she proves more than once she can win again she's history for now. It's silly to talk abut a loser. Maybe now that Zenyatta isn't going to the Foster they will send RA over there to race. RA has a confidence problem, she's back to her losing ways from 2 years ago. Zenyatta has been hands down the best horse over the past two years. Who cares what the nay nay's of the world think? Bitter old man that he is. He can't even pick a Derby winner unless its the favorite that happens to win. Nobles Promise LMAO.

09 May 2010 12:40 PM
sodapopkid

AfleetAlex, Draynay, SaratogaAJ,Rechelle and all you RA fananigans:

Have you called old JJ and ask him to send RAchel out to California yet??

GET ON WITH IT ALREADY,  What the heck are you waiting for?  The sooner you people get her on a plane and fly her across the Rockies, the sooner she can start training some more on that surface.

She won't need much considereing she has raced and won on these surfaces before.

So you all get on the phone and 'GET R DONE' .....

THE 2009 HOTY NEEDS TO SHOW SHE IS A TRUE HORSE OF HER TITLE, SO SHE NEEDS TO RUN DOWN THE CHAMP AND TRY TO BEAT HER ON HER OWN STOMPING GROUNDS.  HOTY'S NEED TO PROVE THEY ARE STILL HOTY'S AND NOT DUCKING DONKEYS.

AND by the way, while Ra is out in Cali she can hang around and run against Rail Trip in his next race.

Dang it, she and Zenyatta can race each other in back to back races and then they both can come back east and run some more on dirt.

GET IT GOING YALL,  TIME'S A WASTIING.......CONTACT OLD JJ RIGHT AWAY.......

09 May 2010 12:46 PM
Zookeeper

I would like to know the exact nature of Esky's injury. "Soft tissue" is rather vague and doesn't add anything to our knowledge (if any). I realize that Esky's connections do not owe us any explanation but, it would be helpful in understanding their decision.

Once again, Mr. Jackson rides in to save "the legacy of American Horseracing"!!! Durability and soundness are just as important as stamina. Maybe that would be a good place to start.

09 May 2010 12:48 PM
Matthew W

I'll say it again: The Vanity would probably be the best chance for Rachel to beat Zenyatta--no way will she beat her v males--the interior fractions would fry her--why not come out here and try her--heck, Jason, I wanted Forego to stop running in the same races year after year, and come West--I don't recall you guys complaining about that! Anyway--Zenyatta will go ast--after Hollywood--so will Rail Trip--you'll get your fill of them both--good luck trying to beat them, maybe Quality Road at 1 1/8, but Zenyatta/Rail Trip will be the Classic Exacta!

09 May 2010 12:52 PM
Nancy

Well, it is evident that the Mosses and Sherriff have caused a maelstrom of confusion and anger for all of Zenyatta's fans and critics, because of the disappointing news that she will not race in the Stephen Foster at CD, or at any of the previously announced venues.  Hopefully they will read this blog and have some sense of the pain they have caused us all.  Unless of course they changed their minds because, there is a physical problem with Zenyatta, or her stamina at six years of age?

One thing I'd like to point out is that NYRA is in BIG financial trouble, so my speculation is - who knows if racing will even continue in NY state  after the Belmont Stakes!  So, where would they go to next after CD?

09 May 2010 12:53 PM
Kay

It seems to be okay with people that Jackson's pretended disdain for synthetic meant Rachel Alexandra wouldn't even come to the BC and meet Life Is Sweet. But we all know that it's JACKSON who hates and fears the synthetic and not Rachel, who has a win over synthetic. He blames Curlin's defeat in the Classic on the track and not on the fact that he was so clearly over-the-top by that time. Sure, Jess. Don't take any responsibility, just like a good lawyer. If he owned Zenyatta, she would probably have hurt herself and been retired years ago. I have NO idea why y'all gulp down everything that guy says. I would drown him in his own cheap Merlot.

But if the question is about where Zenyatta's being placed, she's already won two GI races this year and is being pointed towards a third. Rachel Alexandra made her first 2010 start in an ungraded stakes written just for her that should have been called The Easy Pickings For Rachel Stakes, and then a G2. Is that REALLY the path a HOTY should be taking? You can talk about layoffs all you want, but if she's THAT great, she should be coming back in GI company. Yet nobody seems to have a problem with that.

09 May 2010 12:55 PM
Blind Squirrel

I see that William Hung has resurfaced as the commenter known as Draynay.

09 May 2010 12:59 PM
sodapopkid

RA FANanigans,

Here is what Bill Finley (RA fan himself) has to say about her second loss, this is only a paragraph from the original article.

THIS IS WHAT THE WORLD EXPECTED FROM THE 2009 HOTY

Rachel Alexandra set the bar so high last year that anything less than another extraordinary campaign would be unfitting and tarnish her legacy. No one, not even the Zenyatta zealots, should want to see that. Maybe Asmussen will find some very sound reason to expect he can bring Rachel back, but that's unlikely. The prudent course will probably soon become obvious to Asmussen and Jackson, and Rachel Alexandra will be retired. That sure seems like the right thing to do.

 

09 May 2010 1:09 PM
sodapopkid

BLINDSQUIRREL:  Who was William Hung?  He can't be to bright if he is being compared to Draynay. So, I know he was either evil or a bad person in some kind of way, or both....lol!!!

09 May 2010 1:21 PM
Zookeeper

Nancy,

Which part of "NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE" do you not understand? Zenyatta's fans are not HURT by her connections. We love and appreciate them and their magnificent horse.

I sincerely hope they DO NOT read this blog but IF they do, I hope it doesn't influence them in the least.

footlick,

I know the feeling! See, I've just done it also! lol!

09 May 2010 1:23 PM
LAZMANNICK

Afleetalexforever Wrote:

Jess Jackson decided to challenge his horse and run her (Rachel) in the Preakness, Mother Goose, Haskell and Woodward, a championship campaign.  Sadly your horse’s owners (Zenyatta) decided they would keep her hidden out in Cali on surfaces that she doesn’t run as well on according to them.

Ya, you’re SOOOOOOOOOOO RIIIIIIIIIGHT.  They hid Zen out in Cali because they were afraid of the ULTRA TOUGH Woodward.  Then they realized that she needed a race so they entered her in the ULTRA WEAK BCC.

09 May 2010 1:28 PM
Kate Harper

While Afleetalexagain is waiting, maybe he could spend some time coming up with his list of all those horses East of California that could, would, possibly beat Zenyatta.  While decrying those cream puff victories Z has won, perhaps he could list the world-beating fillies his racing queen, RA, beat last year.  Or tell us again how Bullsbay and Macho Again were older horse monsters whom RA was all out to beat.

Instead, he should be wondering why this filly can't get past true allowance runners this year instead of constantly demeaning one of the finest runners we have seen in decades.  

09 May 2010 1:31 PM
LAZMANNICK

Saratoga AJ

How many of the horses, you know those G-1 stalwarts that Rachel beat last year and brought up the rear four positions in the 2010 G-3 Alysheba are going to enter the Stephen Foster?

If you think that Zen or any horse is afraid of them then think again.  I would venture to say that Zen has an agenda and that her agenda will be very ambitious later in the year.  The G-1, 1-1/4M Hollywood Gold Cup is a possibility and after that who knows, maybe a trip east.  In any event, barring injuries she will be running in the east this year in the BCC and I'll even venture to say that if she does then Rachel will opt out for the BC Lady's instead of facing her.

09 May 2010 1:35 PM
Paula Higgins

JayJay, really gallant this comment: "I complimented Kay not all the females." That comment is sure to win the hearts and minds of every woman on this blog. Way to go buddy.

Kay, thanks for your comment. We are of like minds you and I. You make an excellent case and it is irrefutable. However, there are people on this blog that are immune to logical thinking.

Nancy, what planet are you on? The majority of the people complaining about Zenyatta's races are not fans, just critics pretending to be fans. It is pretty plain for all to see what is happening here, and no, I sure hope John Shirreffs and Jerry and Ann Moss don't see this blog. It would be very disheartening to them. John Shirreffs has stated publicly he does not read "this stuff" (blogs). I can certainly understand why.

Ted from LA, Sarah Palin has nothing to do with this blog and the Triple Crown. Good point. It must be draining for some people to try and link Sarah Palin to every thought they have. Next thing we know, Sarah Palin will be the reason we don't have a race between Rachel and Zenyatta. Yup, must be Sarah's fault.

09 May 2010 1:38 PM
LDP

Kay,

You call the two races Zen has run in Grade ones? Lets see who Zen beat in those two, well the runner up in the Santa Margurita was Dance to My Tune, not really a horse that strikes the fear into any stakes horse. Then who was second in the four horse field Apple Blossom, Taptam, who the heck is that? It's amazing the double standards you people have, when most people would take Zardana or Unrivaled Belle over any of the two runner ups in Zen's last two races. RA beats nobody so she sucks. She races in restricted races, she beats nobody. Well at least she opened herself to males and then went to the Woodward. What kept Zenyatta from that race? The Wooward truely welcomed all, and yet you people refuse to see that.

Kay,

Jackson never said that synthetics are more dangerous, what could be is the sudden switch. Synthetics require different muscles to be used than on dirt, so when a dirt horse switches to a surface that requires those muscles they've never used, they overextend themselves risking injury.

09 May 2010 1:53 PM
LAZMANNICK

Afleetalexforever

Regarding G-1 wins, show me one horse that Rachel defeated in 2009, (outside of Summer Bird whom Zen dusted in the BCC), that went on to win a G-1 on dirt or synthetics last year, (races restricted to 3 year-olds EXCLUDED).  I know that you’ll say Macho and Bullsbay, but come on.  They beat each other in their G-1 wins and failed miserably at everything else even to the point that they can’t seem to get out of last place in G-3 races.

I really don’t want to denigrate Rachel.  Believe it or not I think that she WAS the real deal before they ruined her and I’ll give her credit for her season, especially for her body of work.  As I stated before, the races she won were awesome races and at times she was awesome too.  The only problem is that her competition wasn’t awesome and her connections know it.  The real telling point was; (A) they opted not to face Summer Bird in the Travers and/or JCGC.  She might have beaten him in the Haskell but he was cutting back in distance by 3/8ths.  There was no way she would beat him after that and his race against Macho in the JCGC and Rachel’s desperate (career changing) race against him in the Woodward proves my point.  (B) Rachel never faced older fillies or mares.  How come?  Those 3 year-old fillies she beat last year won G-1 races restricted to 3 year-olds, but not against older fillies or mares.  So far in facing older fillies/mares she's 0 for 2.  And I don’t see where any of those three year-old fillies tried males but some of the fillies Zen faced did.

And, oh yeah, your round about way of trying to exclude that filly LIS which "won one race of any meaning against females" last year is typical.  That one race was the toughest filly/mare race last year and she devastated the field, many of which Rachel’s connections refused to face.

09 May 2010 2:09 PM
Citation

First, whoever tried to call Jason "ignorant" for saying that the Woodward is a better race than the Vanity, I dearly hope you were being sarcastic, because by your reasoning, the Phoenix Stakes, a Grade 3 in Keeneland, is the best race in America because it's the oldest. Second, criticism of a horse's campaign does not equal bashing of the horse. Third, not everybody who wishes Zenyatta would face tougher competition in more races is an East Coast person, as I think she should face tougher horses and I live in Oklahoma. Fourth, I saw Zenyatta run at Santa Anita, and I thought it was impressive, but I was more impressed with Raven's Pass, who sadly was retired. Fifth, everybody seems to act like the Vanity is a lock, and I don't think anything in horse racing is a lock, although she gets very close to it. Sixth, why do people assume every person who wants Zenyatta to have a tougher campaign is a Rachel Alexandra devotee? It makes no sense. Seventh, Zenyatta is an exceptional mare, and I am not taking that from her, I just want to see her face some good dirt horses, male or female, on dirt. The horses who were second in both of her Apple Blossoms I remember seeing in person at Remington Park. Although Taptam may not have run there, it may have just been a horse with a similar name. Eighth, horses who detest a surface don't run track records on it. I don't see why Zen's connections would say she detests a surface that she ran a record on. I could see it perhaps not being her favorite track, but the detest stuff just sounds silly to me. Ninth, Zenyatta would probably take most every horse racing and whip them good. I just want to see her actually do it. Tenth, whoever said she could get the all time wins record, that is held by Kingston with 89, so I'm afraid that's out of the question. Eleventh, I apologize if this sounds like I'm trying to criticize Zenyatta, because I'm not and don't want it to come out that way. Lastly, isn't it cool that Noble's Promise is going to England to try to win the St. James's Palace Stakes? I hope he wins.

09 May 2010 2:58 PM
Pam S.

Kay,

I think many Rachel fans who are clamoring for Zenyatta to accumulate Frequent Flyer miles may not have noticed that their filly's connections have been quietly (quietly for JJ) trying to get her a win in SOMETHING.  Of course it's not going to be a G1.  

I know I said that I too was disappointed to hear Zenyatta would not travel to Churchill (if indeed that has been ruled out), but after reading every single post and reconsidering the arguments for and against, I am less disappointed than I was.  I'm also joining jayjay in calling for this list of top G1 dirt males that Zenyatta needs to locate and defeat.  The best performance I saw all year from an older male was Rail Trip's yesterday, and he's a fellow Californian.  

I hate to single out posters in a negative way, but afleetalexforever, are you aware that almost no one except you is still praising Rachel's connections for her "daring championship campaign" of 2009?  People have eyes, they can see what it has done to the poor filly.  If they are horse lovers, and most of us are, they cringe at the memory of the Woodward.  There has been a LOT of revisionist thinking about Rachel and her path since she was purchased last year.  Have you noticed this at all?

09 May 2010 2:59 PM
CV

From: Nancy  09 May 2010 12:53 PM

"Hopefully they will read this blog and have some sense of the pain they have caused us all."

I'm thinking you need to put a sarcasm tag after that sentence. It couldn't possibly be serious, right?  

09 May 2010 3:07 PM
merlinmerry

Forget Rachel Alexandra. If Zenyatta is to be compared to any other horses, it should be to Cigar and Citation, the other 2 holders of a 16 win streak.

The most recent, Cigar, posted his streak all over the map.  He won in New York, Florida, Arkansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Illinois and Dubai. During his campaign, He met the best and dusted them all.

60 years ago, Citation set his record running in Florida, New York, Kentucky, Maryland and California. And 60 years ago transportation wasn't as horse friendly as it is now.

Zenyatta is one of the greatest of all times - sure to be a "first year on the ballot" Hall of Famer. But - she needs to come out of her wheelhouse and do a bit more roadwork.

Let Zenyatta dazzle the East like she has the West. Seeing her in her big, beautiful person would silence the "nay-sayers" soon enough. After all, its easier to fall in love when you see the real horse and not just a 2 inch figure on a TV screen.

09 May 2010 3:13 PM
shane

U can count me on the Rachel bandwagon also....geez....they filly loses by a total of 3/4 of a length and you guys are saying that she is horrible. She is just not a horse that comes back off of breaks well. She will be fine and you Z fans should have hoped to hook her early because she will be there later in the year.

09 May 2010 3:40 PM
Shane

Kay,

You might not like Jess Jackson but any people in the industry knows that he cares about his horses. Also he has made a BILLION from that cheap merlot. I think he deserves a little respect at least for hard work.

09 May 2010 3:42 PM
Kauto Star

Richard,

I'd have to disagree straight back at you! I seriously doubt Curlin could ever have beaten Zarkava, she was an incredible filly. I read on another blog that someone calculated the number of Group 1 winners she had beaten (a very high number)and the number they have won since she had beaten them (I think over 20 by now), so her form is very well franked. She also had a long sustained change of pace, and enough pace to beat a champion miler (Goldikova) despite being a middle distance horse. Basically, she would have blown past Curlin in the final furlong.

Goldikova would never race in the BCC as she is an out and out miler. The only time she raced over 10 furlongs she was beaten into third. I believe her comeback is in the 9 furlong Prix d'Ispahan, so it will be interesting to see how she fares. A match up between her, Zenyatta and an in-form Rachel Alexandra over 9 furlongs would be a fascinating race, and I honestly couldn't call the winner.

re the whole Zenyatta debacle, as a British racing fan I would been keen to see her challenged more. Regardless of what other people think, I don't think she has faced excessively tough opposition or had a demanding race schedule. I would personally prefer her to race in the Stephen Foster or some other race against males, as quite frankly the mares only races in California are not deserving of such an outstanding competitor.

09 May 2010 4:10 PM
GunBow

I could not have been more impressed seeing Rail Trip for the first time.  Ron Ellis had him looking sharp before the race.  He really did look fantastic, coat smooth and mane just perfect, on the muscle, a solid and strong horse.  He was kept out in the paddock instead of in the semi-enclosed saddling area to the side, and just calmly walked around his #6 spot.  Rail Trip looked equally good in the post parade, bouncing on his toes, looking spot-on for his first start since August.  This is how a horse is supposed to look first back from a layoff.

The race itself confirmed all the positive pre-race signs.  Rail Trip comfortably stalked rival Tres Borrachos through moderate fractions, breezed by him at the top of the stretch, opened a clear lead on the field mid-stretch, and coasted the last sixteenth under minimal urging from Bejerano. The field was certainly not the strongest and the final time was not unbelievable(given the moderate early fraction), but Rail trip could not have won with anymore ease.  It was a thoroughly dominating performance.  The final 5/16ths were run in :29 and 3 and Rail Trip covered the final sixteenth in :6 and 1 even though he was just cruising.

Bejarano, riding Rail Trip for the 1st time, came away overwhelmed, predicting the horse will be the "best around". Ellis suggested after the race that Rail Trip is better now than he was last year, pointing to greater physical and mental maturity as well as increased professionalism.

As I wrote on Friday, Rail Trip has re-emerged just in time.  With Big Cap champ Misremembered on the sidelines, the Cali handicap division is wide open.  Rail Trip would now appear to be the clear leader.

Literally seconds after Rail Trip crossed the wire in the Mervyn LeRoy, my thoughts did go to a possible showdown with Zenyatta in the Hollywood Gold Cup.  We already know that Rail Trip, assuming he remains healthy, will be runnung in the Gold Cup.  The question is Zenyatta.  The timing of the Gold Cup would appear to be perfect for Zenyatta, given the spacing between it and the Vanity will be one month.  If Zenyatta is going to remain in Cali for a few races, why not the Gold Cup?

Can Rail Trip beat Zenyatta?  Sure.  I would give Zenyatta the advantage, but Rail Trip has the ability to really push her.  In last year's Gold Cup he handled Z's stablemate Life is Sweet by 7 lengths.  Given Rail Trip's tactical speed and the fact Hollywood's Cushion Track plays most like dirt, Z would be at a tactical disadvatange, particularly if the connections of other speed horses are scared away by the big 2.  And with all respect to Life is Sweet, Ginger Punch, Hystericalady, Muisc Note, Cocoa Beach, Gio Ponti, Summer Bird, Einstein, Richard's Kid, Twice Over and others, Rail Trip would possibly be the best synthetic horse Zenyatta has ever faced.

Personally, if Zenyatta is to remain in Cali, I think the Gold Cup would make great sense.  I understand running in the Santa Margarita to prep for the Apple Blossom and then keeping the commitment to the Apple Blossom after Jess Jackson wormed out of the big showdown.  From now on, however, I propose the following few rules:

1) If Zenyatta is to run in Cali, she should run against males.  The one exception would be the final BC Classic prep.

2) If Zenyatta is to run against females, she should run outside of Cali and on dirt.

Running against Cali females does seem passe.  I will still be at Hollywood for the Vanity and rooting for her.  But for the Vanity to be any sort of test, how much weight will they pile on her?  Last year she won under 129 lbs.  I believe Gamely won the Vanity under 131 lbs.  If Z were to win with 132+ lbs, that might make up for running in the same race a 3rd time.

09 May 2010 4:16 PM
Kauto Star

Oh, I forgot to mention. Times don't mean as much in Europe as in America due to the vast differences in course layouts, undulations, direction, pace and ground condition. Zarkava won the Prix Vermeille over the same course and distance as the Arc in 2:26, but it doesn't really make a difference.

09 May 2010 4:52 PM
Rechelle

Kathleen wrote: "He implied that she was very nervous or stressed when the plane landed in Arkansas for the Apple Blossom. From what I know, riding in a plane especially for 2 hours or more (with the take offs and landings) can be very stressful for horses"

Kathleen, the reason she was nervous is most likely from how little she's flown.  Horses fly all the time, to & from races, to & from other countries, to & from Olympics (for show horses), etc etc etc.  That is her CONNECTIONS own damn fault if she was nervous when they got to the Arkansas.  They could've shipped her a lot sooner than they did so she could've had time to settle.  

By your logic, then they shouldn't ship her to Churchill for the Breeders Cup because she'll be too upset from the flight.

09 May 2010 5:34 PM
Rechelle

Kay wrote: "And for the last bloody time, running a mare in the BC Classic is NOT BEING CONSERVATIVE. They could have run her back in the Ladies Classic. BUT THEY DIDN’T. Ergo, they took a chance. And all the press up to raceday spoke to that."

Yes, Kay, they did enter her in that and that was the ONLY chance they have ever taken with her!! Because of an off track at Churchill, who a lot of the other fillies & mares ran on that day, they scratched Zenyatta because they were AFRAID of how she would or would not handle it!  She is great enough, she could've handled it great.  What are they going to do come Breeders Cup at Churchill?  If the track is sloppy again, are they going to scratch her?  This is another reason for her to ship east.  She has to start getting used to all the different ways that a dirt track can go, including sealed and sloppy.  She can not get this experience in California because of the synthetic tracks.

All of this is NOT Zenyatta's fault, this is her CONNECTIONS damn fault.  I don't care how many tracks she goes to, I just want to see them actually CHALLENGE her!  She's proven she can meet any challenge presented to her, so WHAT are they trying to prove by running her in the same races and see most trainers & owners backing out of the race because they know they won't win.  If they want to stay in California and show their cowardice, then put Zenyatta against the MALES and into NEW races.  If they want HOY, they have GOT to travel and meet new horses.  If they would've done that LAST year, they probably would've gotten the HOY over Rachel.  But staying where they are is not doing any favors to Zenyatta nor is it doing anything to show that her connections aren't afraid of new competition.

And I did notice, Kay, that you were unable to show a single time that I said ANYTHING negative about Zenyatta in this blog.

09 May 2010 5:44 PM
xkfireflieskx

Thank you so much for voicing this opinion, because I am in complete and utter agreement. I did not know that the connections of Zenyatta were planning on the Vanity AGAIN, but when I read your entry I had an identical reaction as you did--

"Are you serious??"

I beseech you, Mosses. Give the horse a challenge. And take her where us East Coasters can see her!

09 May 2010 6:25 PM
WWSTP

Hello Diane J.  Your point is well taken.  The fact is most race horses are very good, especailly at this level.  Z happens to be great, but history wont have much to record to back that up if she doesn't show some serious stretch.  Running her in these races against the females is like dropping Super Saver into the Vanity or Gio Ponte down to a $75K purse race.  Of course they are going to win, with three legs even, but what does it prove?  It's a strategy for getting a perfect record, but certainly not one for seeing what Z can really do.

09 May 2010 6:31 PM
JS

Zenyatta needs to step up against the boys again and head to Churchill. She can beat females no problem and we know what she can do on poly. Her connections really need to get her out to KY or NY to race on dirt against males if they want her to do well again for the BC and also if they really do want her last year to be about the fans. We all want to see her dominate everybody in new challenges. She's a great horse so bring it!

09 May 2010 6:55 PM
dbs

Shane,

We tried to hook RA in the Apple Blossom and she was to scared to come. And also, Zenyatta has NEVER lost a race and the RA fans are trying to say that she is horrible

09 May 2010 7:13 PM
sodapopkid

I was reading Jay Hovdey's article about Zenyatta training today on Mothers Day, and he was  quoting what John Shirreffs says about Zenyatta flying.  He says it takes her about a week to get settled down after she flies. Her dam and offspring have the same conditions.

He says you don't want to see their  veins sticking out , it shows dehydration .  NOw what trainer or owner would want to put a horse on a plane for every damn race and put your horse through this.  Not to many would they, so would you expect this out of a six year old mare? Would you expect this out of RA?? Heck No, you wouldnt' ,  This is what you call loving and managing a horse correctly.  She has the rest of the year to prove herself, but she ain't the one that needs to prove anything right now, Is she??

09 May 2010 7:31 PM
Matthew W

Ellis has gone slow with that gelding--he'll dirt! He'll dominate back there just like out here! But that filly of Dan Hendricks, ridden up the rail early, then holding sway from a good horse--that was some kinda race....probably a good Beyer #...but you haveta consider making that early (inside) run into the pace, at seven furlongs, which usually is a losing move/which is the sign of a really good horse...

09 May 2010 7:39 PM
Draynay

What many of you fail to understand is Rachel is good enough right now and has been to beat Zenyatta.  But Mr. Jackson doesn't want to just beat her.  He wants to whip her and whip her good.  Remember, the current HOY is Rachel and she will have a chance to prove it this Summer and in November.  Mr. Jackson isn't worried about beating Zenyatta he is worried about beating a very tough very fast Quality Road.  Racing out East on the dirt is different and when Zenyatta finally runs on it for the first time in November she will be out of her league.

09 May 2010 7:39 PM
Zookeeper

merlinmerry,

Maybe you should consider getting a better TV. They make really good ones now. Nice big ones with high definition. Maybe you've heard of them?  

09 May 2010 7:51 PM
Zookeeper

GunBow,

What wrong with winning the same race 3 years in a row? It is usually highly praised, unless it involves Zenyatta, of course. Were you yawning when Azeri was racing? Or Megahertz? Were you bored when Lava Man won his 3rd Gold Cup? Did you roll your eyes when he tried for a 4th one? Should Rail Trip skip this year's Gold Cup, since he's already won that one last year?

I guess I should consider it a compliment that normal rules of the game do not apply when talking about the great mare... but for some reason, the praise bestowed by the critisism goes right over my head.

09 May 2010 8:13 PM
JIm C.

What many of you fail to understand is Rachel is good enough right now and has been to beat Zenyatta."

Good grief, Draynay.  If you understood anything about Beyer speed figures (i.e., they do not take into account slow pace and lost ground) you would be handicapping races and making money, not constantly polluting these online forums with your incessant, low class, hateful invective aimed at Zenyatta and her connections.

Where was Rachel last month during the Apple Blossom?  Where was she last November during the BC Classic?   Her absence speaks volumes.

I am disappointed that the Blood Horse provides a forum for clowns like Draynay.

Jason, in case you were not aware, the world does not revolve around the NYRA.  There is no serious argument that Zenyatta's connection have done anything less than optimally manage their mare.  Keep it real.  (That said, I do agree with you to the extent that I wish Zenyatta had run more on dirt, because she is even better on that surface).

09 May 2010 8:22 PM
Draynay

Comparing Citation to Polyetta is a complete insult to Citation and should never be done.  She isn't the horse Ghostzapper was so please.

09 May 2010 8:25 PM
Saratoga AJ

LAZMANNICK  

"If you think that Zen or any horse is afraid of them then think again".

LOL. Of course I don't believe Zenyatta is afraid of them. Horses aren't that smart. LOL.

But I do think her connections wanted to take no chances in getting that record 17t straight win. And the Vanity is a lot easier spot than running outside the friendly confines of a California synthetic track, on dirt, against colts.

If you believe otherwise, then please  don't try to convince me...you'll be wasting your time.

I don't want to debate the obvious.

09 May 2010 8:32 PM
2:24

I believe Zenyatta is the best horse in training.

I believe Zenyatta is one of the 5 greatest mares of all time.

I believe Zenyatta will beat Rachel on any surface at any time.

I believe Jess Jackson believes the same thing.

I believe Zenyatta is a better horse than Quality Road.

I believe Zenyatta will win the Breeders Cup Classic and Horse of the Year.

With all that being said, I am at a loss as to why Zenyatta's connections are even considering the Vanity.  Why risk your horse in such a race.  Why not map out a path to the Stephen Foster, then the Whitney, then the Woodward, then the Breeder's Cup Classic.  Sweep those races or even go 3-1 and Zenyatta goes down in history with the likes of Secretariat, Man o War, Dr. Fager, Citation, Slew, The Bid, Count Fleet, Native Dancer, and Forego as without a doubt one of the top 10 American horses of all time.

09 May 2010 8:45 PM
helsbelles

Zookeeper, Martin  Garcia will replace Gomez on Lookin at Lucky.  Martin is Lucky's exercise rider, and knows the horse as well, if not better, than Garrett.  It seems that Garcia is becoming Baffert's go-to jockey, as his Big Cap victory on Misremembered will attest.  With Lucky and Caracortado both running in the Preakness, I will once again be conflicted as to who I will be rooting for.

GunBow, thanks for your onsight observations of Rail Trip.  Nice to see he is starting the year out right.  The only problem I have with him is his pedigree.  I very much dislike inbreeding to Mr.Prospector.  It seems to produce brilliant but unsound horses.  That may be why Ron Ellis is wisely choosing to race him lightly.

09 May 2010 8:49 PM
Zookeeper

merlinmerry,

I forgot to add that I have one of those new fandangle TVs. That's the one I use to watch all the great horses who run on the East Coast and the Mid-West. Since they don't often (if at all) come to California, I'm reduced to having to watch them through this clever device. Somehow it doesn't keep me from appreciating them and applauding their success. Imagine! There must be something quite different about the two of us. I wonder what it is... Eyes? In-home electricity? The ability to appreciate greatness even from a distance? What???

If you absolutely must see Zenyatta in person (I can't fault you for that), I've also heard that not only can horses fly on airplanes but people are also allowed to do it. Amazing isn't it?

09 May 2010 9:00 PM
Draynay

Maybe they can bring her to run against the males at Beulah Park.  At this point I would even settle for that.  More poly races is just silly.

09 May 2010 9:04 PM
Kate Harper

DBS,

By any chance is your 1st name Dottie?  If so, I want to commend you on the marvelous job you and your husband have done with one of the greatest mares of all time.

09 May 2010 9:19 PM
tvnewsbadge

Richard Gross says, "That to me is sad because I truly believe he would have taken Zarkava and the Prix that year, he was that good. "

We can never be sure since the race never happened, but you remember that Curlin was aiming for the 'Arc until Jess Jackson pulled the plug because he felt Curlin would lose.

I have to go with his opinion because I assume he knows his horse better than any of us.

We also have to remember that Zarkava was a truly great horse in her prime racing on a much tougher course than anything Curlin had every seen.

I think it's fari to say that Curlin would not have had a chance in hell against this great granddaughter of Secretariat.

09 May 2010 9:28 PM
dr fager01

DRAYNAY  RACHEL DONT NEED TO BEAT ZENYATTA, OR THE IRRELIVANT CONVERSATION GUEST QUALITY ROAD, RACHEL NEEDS TO JUST WIN A RACE AGAINST ANYBODY RIGHT NOW CLAIMER OR OTHERWISE. YOU ARE SO INSANE, THIS BLOG IS NOT ABOUT RA OR QR, DUDE YOU ARE ON THE WRONG BLOG, PLEASE SAVE FACE AND STOP WITH THE TIRING CONSTANT ZENYATTA BASHING. THE BLOGMASTER SHOULD JUST BLOCK YOUR NONSENSICAL REMARKS ABOUT A FANTASTIC RACEHORSE OF THE AGES THE GREAT ZENYATTA.

09 May 2010 9:54 PM
Zookeeper

Rechelle,

There used to be another person whose sole purpose in commenting on this blog was to spew bile on Zenyatta's connections. She was from the great horseracing capital of Vermont. Are you that person, under a new name?

There is something very familiar about your style. It is the sneaky way you degrade the mare's accomplishments by repeated insults *supposedly* aimed at her connections. I compared that Vermonite to a viper, whose slithering ways always ended up with a vicious injection of the same venom.

Similarly, multiple long-winded diatribes were a part of her M.O. and, like you, she proclaimed to be a fan of Zenyatta. She didn't fool me and neither do you (that is, if you are not one and the same).

09 May 2010 9:56 PM
Kay

LDP:

“You call the two races Zen has run in Grade ones?”

Yes. Because they were. My POINT (which I thought was bloody obvious, but let’s go again) is that Zenyatta ran in two GI races. She has no control over the competition (except to apparently scare them away). Whereas the 2009 HOTY ran in an ungraded race written just for her, and a G2. My point, you see, was not about the competition in those races but the level. RACHEL HAD A RACE WRITTEN FOR HER. If that’s not spoon-feeding the mighty genius Jess Jackson, then I don’t know what is. Zenyatta also carried weight in a GI handicap. When has Rachel carried legitimate handicap weight? Never, because horses don’t do that anymore. Well. Horses except Zenyatta.

“RA beats nobody so she sucks. She races in restricted races, she beats nobody. “

Don’t ascribe the same dualism to me that you and your zealot pals use.

“Well at least she opened herself to males and then went to the Woodward. What kept Zenyatta from that race? The Wooward truely welcomed all, and yet you people refuse to see that.”

So did the BC Classic. And the Ladies Classic, if they didn’t want to go the American classic distance of a mile and a quarter. Where was Rachel Alexandra?

“Jackson never said that synthetics are more dangerous, what could be is the sudden switch. Synthetics require different muscles to be used than on dirt, so when a dirt horse switches to a surface that requires those muscles they've never used, they overextend themselves risking injury.”

Oh, buddy. I quoted Jess Jackson, who said he didn’t want to run Rachel on “plastic” and therefore would not be entering her in the BC. I didn’t actually extrapolate beyond that but let’s do that. Why on EARTH would he make that statement and then not run his filly if he thought synthetics were dandy? Also, Rachel had already proven herself on the synthetics. So was he doing the best by his horse, or by his own ego and reputation?

Citation (not sure which one):

“Eighth, horses who detest a surface don't run track records on it. I don't see why Zen's connections would say she detests a surface that she ran a record on. I could see it perhaps not being her favorite track, but the detest stuff just sounds silly to me.”

It may, but the word “detest” is the word John Shirreffs used to describe how Zenyatta feels about Del Mar. And I do believe that great horses DO overcome dislikes and obstacles. I would hope that we could agree on the fact that Zenyatta has overcome obstacles. Just because we haven’t seen a truly great American horse for awhile doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the definition, does it?

“Lastly, isn't it cool that Noble's Promise is going to England to try to win the St. James's Palace Stakes? I hope he wins.”

YES. It’s extremely cool and I’ll definitely be rooting for him!! I wonder if all his owners will go. Will they all fit in England?

Shane:

“You might not like Jess Jackson but any people in the industry knows that he cares about his horses. Also he has made a BILLION from that cheap merlot. I think he deserves a little respect at least for hard work.”

I have yet to see any evidence that he truly cares about his horses, outside of them being spokesmodels for his own ego. He desperately needs to shut his yap. As for him making billions, well… the Twilight books have made millions, too. Doesn’t make Stephanie Meyer the world’s greatest writer.

Rechelle:

“Because of an off track at Churchill, who a lot of the other fillies & mares ran on that day, they scratched Zenyatta because they were AFRAID of how she would or would not handle it!”

OR… they were afraid that the track wasn’t safe. And knowing how many other trainers kick up a fuss when a track’s sealed, that seems like a legitimate concern to me. Or is running at any costs more important than a horse’s welfare?

“And I did notice, Kay, that you were unable to show a single time that I said ANYTHING negative about Zenyatta in this blog.”

I wasn’t unable. It’s frankly obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about. All you do is bash her record. Which is hers. You do the math. Hint: Use the transitive property.

I’d also like to join the “Great East Coast Male Champion List, Please” petition. We’re waiting.

09 May 2010 9:59 PM
sherpa

hovdeyblog.drf.com/hovdeyblog

Read, relax, and rejoice in the knowledge that Zenyatta's people will never take unnecessary chances with her well-being. NOTHING is more important to them.

I imagine the Mosses and JS have realized that Zen's detractors won't be satisfied, no matter the challenge - dirt, "boys", East, etc. - but that the legions of her admirers are with them in the desire to protect her health and happiness first. Always, Zenyatta is and will be First. No compromise.

So let's just get over this "debate." None of us has any say about her schedule, none of us has a right to criticize her connections, and none of us has any business trying to select the fields that will "challenge" her. Trust those who have given her such exquisite care and preserved her magnificence for our continued pleasure, and theirs, and most especially, Zen's.  I'm sure we'll all be rewarded for our patience.

First and last comment from me.  

09 May 2010 10:11 PM
LDP

Secratariat lost after he won the TC, they didn't retire him. Affirmed lost twice in his first two starts as a four year old, they didn't retire him, Spectacular Bid lost the Belmont and he still kept racing. Man o War, Native Dancer, Kelso, Forego, Cigar, Skip Away, etc, all LOST. All were great and yet somehow even though they lost there owners didn't feel the need to give up and retire them. Anyone who thinks just because RA had a couple of tough breaks in her last two should, that she should be retired is not a true fan of the sport. Greats horses lose, and unless you are a version of Peppers Pride or have the perfect handlers or that horse is the perfect horse, they are going to lose.

Personally, I do think we have seen Zenyatta's best, when she ran a final quarter in 22 seconds in the Clement Hircsh last year. Did Mike Smith lay into her no, but he was asking her for every bit greatness she had to win. He used his whip and was pushing away with his hands, it does not take an expert to see he was asking her to lay it down that race. Had Smith waited a fraction of a second longer or was half a length farther back Zenyatta would be 15 for 16 right now.

Imagine if Zenyatta had run into a fit RA, QR, or even Rail Trip in that race. All of the above have the ability to seperate themselve in the blink of an eye, and with with their tacticle speed they could put enough distance betweeen themselves and Zen to hold her off, like Annaba's Creation nearly did. Do I think Zen will lose this year, yes. If she runs into any of the above at their best I think she will prove her courage, but I think she will lose. However a loss by her would leave me w/o words. She has that aura, and even I, just sitting at a TV set can see that glow she has. A loss would not take that glow away, it wouldn't even dim it. However, it would mean no more perfection, which is not all together bad.

I feel the exact same way about RA. I was disappointed to say the least, about her losses, but I think she just needs some time. Some horses can come back off layoffs better than others, and two narrow losses to fillies who are very capable of throwing out that wow performance, is not a bad thing.

09 May 2010 10:38 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

You belong on Saturday morning TV with the rest of the clowns and cartoons.

09 May 2010 10:42 PM
mz

Hey Jason: is there still a Triple Crown this year?  Just wondering 'cause according to this blog, it seems to me that the only two horses running anywhere this year are Zenyatta and Rachel and I was wondering which one I should bet on to win the Belmont.  (Ted, I think Sarah Palin won't get the distance...and I also doubt whether she has the class to keep up with the other two)

09 May 2010 10:47 PM
LDP

On the subject of Zenyatta again. To compare the Vanity to the BC mile or Woodward is rediculous. BC Mile normally attracts it's fair share of Euro's top milers, Goli is one, and doesn't normally contain most of the same horses every year. The Woodward, though not a old race is historic. In it's heyday it was one of the biggest races a horse could win. It was and still is open to all comers and is held at the Graveyard of Champions. The Vanity, though a Grade one, does not hold a candle to the BCM or Woodward.

Some of you ask why must Zen run with boys if RA is not. Same reason you can't have a match race, they are two different horses. RA obviously needs a bit of time, to get back to her old self, Zenyatta is still winning. If a horse continues to win an move forward, then by all means let them move forward. Zenyatta has show she can travel, and that she can win against boys, let her prove she can keep doing it. I know an unbeaten record is nice, but some of the greatest in history, Seatle Slew, are defined by a loss. I would rather see a race for the ages with QR/SB/RT/RA vs Zen and have Zen lose after fighting gallently, than to see her unchallenged against a group of Cali fillies that she has proven she can beat w/o coming out of a jog.

Also as a note. If Zen were to have a season that included the Holly GC, the Whitney, Pacific Classic, and Beldame (doesn't have to be those specific races, just some against boys and some in the east), yet lost to RA, who had a lesser season, in the Classic I would vote for Zen, if I had one.

09 May 2010 10:49 PM
jayjay

sodapopkid : that's what I told Draynay back in May 1st in the "Derby 136 Picks" blog :

DRAYNAY : Before today's race, you kept talking about how a 90% RA will blow away this field.  You keep forgetting what you said, or is it that you can't admit that you're wrong about RA ?  I told you before, she'll never win a race this year, she's not the same, she's a Stardom Bound like horse.  She's done, Jackson is going to retire her before she gets hurt by pushing her to get her to the same form as last year.  Just give it up, post your comment that you were wrong about RA.  No one hates RA, everyone just wants you to admit you don't know anything about horse racing :)

You kept talking about the splits again, the race is over, she got beat cleanly by a horse she should've beaten by many many lengths.  What is up with you and the splits, who cares if they ran faster than the boys, you were hyping she would win and well, she DIDN'T.  And she won't win another race again this year if she ever races again.

jayjay 01 May 2010 2:09 AM

Paula Higgins : No offense intended, that comment was meant for afleetalexlover who thought I was complimenting her as well but I wasn't.  It was meant for Kay.  I'm sure there are other great women bloggers here like you, I just don't believe afleetalexlover is one of them :)

I find it funny that NO ONE can post a list of east coast dirt superstars that will make Zenyatta nervous, all these east coast Z haters can't come up with any list.  I'm looking forward to a Rail Trip/Zenyatta match up.  It would be nice to see Zenyatta win the Hollywood Gold Cup if they decide to run her in that race but if they don't, it wouldn't bother me.

In fact, after the last HOTY, I don't think the Mosses actually care for the honor anymore because breaking the unbeaten streak record means much more than a HOTY honors.  HOTY means you were the horse for that year (and last year's winner is proving to be a one year wonder), but having the unbeaten record ???  That lasts lifetimes, if Zenyatta can set that record, people will remember her forever and not just for one year.  So you all can cry and whine about her being after HOTY, I don't think that's the ultimate goal.  Once they beat the record for undefeated, they'll think about the writers/voters and say "you can take that honor and shove it..." with big grins on their faces including Z :)

09 May 2010 10:52 PM
jayjay

Citation / GunBow : Can either of you please post a list of east coast dirt superstars who Zenyatta should run against that is worthwhile of her travelling to the east coast and therefore makes her a legitimate BCC contender ??

If you're talking about the horses that QR beat in the Donn and whomever he's facing in the Met Mile, that would be the same as running in the Vanity so why ship her elsewhere ?  There are no horses over in the east coast that is worth shipping her over there for...period.  You guys still haven't explained why dirt is the preferred surface ??  The HOTY last year never ran on synthetics, but it's okay ???  Tell me who the superstar dirt horses are and tell them to fly to california and run against Zenyatta, until then, stop whining about zenyatta facing males on dirt, it's really a stupid argument.

09 May 2010 11:12 PM
MAT

I love how people who don't know this horse up close are trying to dictate what her racing schedule should be. Zenyatta's connections have kept her in top form for three racing seasons.  They are doing just fine, thank you, and don't need any advice from anyone on this blog.

09 May 2010 11:29 PM
Greg J.

From Jay Hovdey at DRF:

When Shirreffs says "you can't ship for every race" he is politely leaving off the "or else you could ruin your horse" ending. For evidence, please turn to the pages that catalog the carnage among 3-year-old colts this time each year as they travel far and wide to qualify for and then pursue Triple Crown events. Shirreffs is also talking about Zenyatta in particular, and what he learned about the effects of her three well-spaced shippings from California, which included the aborted Churchill Downs start in May of 2009.

"Dehydration," Shirreffs said. "No matter how well the ship goes, it takes her time to recover. She's a big mare, and she can still get a little wound up when she travels." This you can blame on Zenyatta's dam, Vertigineux, whose other offspring have shown excitable tendencies. Thanks, mom. According to the trainer, Zenyatta required a quiet week or so after returning from her win No. 16 in the April 9 Apple Blossom, waiting for her system to be restored before doing anything at all.

Link:

hovdeyblog.drf.com/hovdeyblog

Enough Said on this subject...

09 May 2010 11:55 PM
moodygirl

"What many of you fail to understand is that Raechel is good enough to beat Zenyatta right now and has been all along. But Mr. Jackson just doesn't want to beat her. He wants to whip her and whip her good."

Draynay, have you gone off your medication or forgot to use some Windex on your chrystal ball? That was a JOKE. The last time I tried to poke a little fun they edited me out! I repeat this is just said in humor with no harm intended.

Now to get to the point. That statement is probably the most ridiculous, outrageous thing I have read in a blog. I suppose Rachel was just taking a dive the last 2 races in order to psych Zenyatta out, lull her into a false sense of security so she can eventually whip up on the Mighty Mare. That really IS funny.

I don't think Zenyatta gives one flip of her tail about what Rachel is doing; afterall, they haven't ever met. Zenyatta is out there enjoying herself, dancing and prancing her way to the finish line and basking in the adoration of her fans. It is really too bad Rachel can't have the same experience and I hold JJ and Asmussen accountable.

By the way Jason, I am still asking the question that I believe is at the heart of Rachel's problems this year: Why did they keep Rachel in such a long lay off if they were planning on racing her this year? Why would a prominent trainer do that????

Draynay, I don't believe you really believe everything you say. You just like to stir the pot, so to speak, and get the bloggers all riled up. While you may enjoy that, just remember the little boy who cried wolf. If you ever have something worthwhile to say, people may not pay any attention!

I encourage all you bloggers out there to stop responding to his outrageous comments. No positive reinforcement! I can almost hear him snickering all the to my house when you get "het up" and blog a response to him.

P.S. My response to this whole Zenyatta needs to go east NOW arguement: she will in her own sweet time. I have tickets to the Stephen Foster & desperately want her to be there but that is entirely up to Moss & Shirreffs. They obviously know what they are doing and the Breeder's Cup is their goal. She obviously will come east & race on dirt. You all want her to have a year like Rachel's 2009. Look at her now. So unless you have successfuly trained a horse of Rachel or Zenyatta's caliber, your opinion really doesn't matter much.

10 May 2010 12:21 AM
Jason Shandler

Sherpa and Greg: What did the Hovdey article prove? To me, all it says is that other trainers, Bill Mott was cited in this case, embarked on more ambitious campaigns with their superstars.

Sorry to disappoint you Sherpa, but yes, we are allowed to question the campaign they set for the horse.

10 May 2010 12:21 AM
Jason Shandler

Moody Girl: I think it was a mistake for them to give RA all that time off between training and you are seeing the results now.

10 May 2010 12:34 AM
Matthew W

No tellin if we've seen her best--let's see her get some pace to run at--LDP I'll take that bet, at 1 1/4 v Quality Road or the others you have mentioned--give her pece, give her dirt, I don't know what it is you see about her that would make you believe you've seen her best/also don't know what it is that makes you think she'll be beaten--give her pace, give her a little bit of pace--she doesn't need your respect....

10 May 2010 1:02 AM
jayjay

Jason : Did you mean "we" as in the writers that votes for the HOTY or "we" as in the fans ?

So far, the list only has QR and the clown mentioned back RA LOL...then someone added Rail Trip who I believe runs in the same coast as Zenyatta...

Let's see, can Jason provide us a list of the super dirt horses from the east coast that is worthy of the travel ??   I'm not saying there isn't any (other than QR who's been mentioned numerous times), but I'm having a hard time finding who from the east coast will actually be a formidable opponent for Zenyatta.

All of you who wants Zenyatta to go to the east coast sounds like Draynay, all nonsense.  We already know why you want her to run in the east coast but none of you can answer a simple question :

WHO, BESIDES QR IS WORTH TRAVELLING FOR ??  Please provide the names of the horses and again, besides QR and RA.

10 May 2010 1:14 AM
dr fager01

LDP your comments on why rachel should not retire was totally unbelievable to me.  i can give you more than one reason why i think she should bow out. 1]she continue to risk her value by loosing to horses of far less caliber, tarnishing her once undisputed reputation. 2]she risks breaking down risking her great value as a broodmare 3]and its obvious to racing fans that she is not the greatest mare in the land. so when you begin to make comparisons to legends like affirmed, spectacular bid, secretariat forego, native dancer. first she is not in that league, second she is from an era where they breed horses for value,and not raced for any extended period of time. in this day it is value over substance, rachel looses again jackson has no choice but to send her to the breeding shed he just has too much to loose.

10 May 2010 1:14 AM
Zarkava

LDP

Your posts at 09 May 2010 10:38 PM and 09 May 2010 10:49 PM = very nice reading!

"Also as a note. If Zen were to have a season that included the Holly GC, the Whitney, Pacific Classic, and Beldame (doesn't have to be those specific races, just some against boys and some in the east), yet lost to RA, who had a lesser season, in the Classic I would vote for Zen, if I had one."

Yup, I agree. (Being a Rachel fan it felt a bit weird writing that...) =)

Moodygirl

He he I think you´re spot on regarding Draynay. I find it hilarious that people are dancing to his pipe the way they do...

10 May 2010 1:30 AM
CV

From: Zookeeper 09 May 2010 12:48 PM

"Once again, Mr. Jackson rides in to save "the legacy of American Horseracing"!!! Durability and soundness are just as important as stamina. Maybe that would be a good place to start."

I wonder about the soundness issue, too. I can appreciate the comments from Zayat about wanting to "bring stamina back in racing, not just speed."

But shouldn't the ability to run and stay sound count for something as well? Eskendereya only ran six times before he was injured and retired.

Just asking.

10 May 2010 1:32 AM
CV

"Sorry to disappoint you Sherpa, but yes, we are allowed to question the campaign they set for the horse."

jshandler 10 May 2010 12:21 AM

"Moody Girl: I think it was a mistake for them to give RA all that time off between training and you are seeing the results now."

jshandler 10 May 2010 12:34 AM

In light of those comments, I look forward to reading your next blog post seeking answers about Rachel Alexandra's condition and asking questions about when/if she will race next.  

10 May 2010 1:35 AM
Kay

Jason:

And lest we forget, all that shipping took a big toll on Cigar. He seriously tailed off that year. I think the article was talking about how some horses ship well, and others don't. What John Shirreffs was saying made sense in the case of his horse. I didn't like what Jackson did with Rachel last year, although I appreciate the efforts the horse gave. It's funny, because horses do seem to be more lightly raced (especially the 3YOs) but I think they overshot the balance and ground her down. To see Zenyatta is to see a happy horse. And at the end of the day, she's more than just a business. She's an animal who depends on human beings for her welfare. I would hope that in every case, the horse's welfare comes first. I know it does with Zenyatta because it's impossible to miss. That is one happy, secure, healthy horse.

I feel like a lot of this is due to Shirreffs' operation, which is substantially smaller than Asmussen's. Not that he's neglecting his horses. I don't mean that. But Shirreffs really does live with them all the time and that has to make things a bit different. Given how he's handled his horses and what I've seen up close, I would have no hesitation in giving him a horse to train. Whereas with the bigger trainers... I dunno.

10 May 2010 1:52 AM
GunBow

Zookeeper + Jayjay:

Me and other people's expectations about a tougher campaign for Zenyatta were created by Moss and Sherriffs' own comments earlier in the year.  When they un-retired her, they specifically pointed to their desire to show off their great mare to people who haven't yet seen her in person.  Towards that end, they mentioned bringing Zenyatta back East to places like New York and Kentucky.  They also made it fairly clear they wanted to do it multiple times.

Listen, I already think Zenyatta is one of the greatest horses ever, and in the top 5 or so female horses.  However, I was led to believe this "extra" season was intended to separate her from the other top females and stake a clear claim to being the best of her gender.

I don't think Zenyatta has to run against males or on dirt or back East to prove her greatness.  She already is great.  She's already accomplished more than Personal Ensign, who won almost all of her career races at one track, Belmont.

Also, I was never someone who demanded Zenyatta run 6 gr.1 races against males on dirt this year.  In the whole debate, I take a more moderate stance; the campaign I've suggested is the Foster, Hollywood Gold Cup(?),Personal Ensign Cap', Lady's Secret or Goodwood, BC Classic.  In my opinion, the Foster was sitting there as an attractive race for Team Zenyatta, given it is a gr.1 race against males over the Breeder's Cup track.  I understand that the BC Classic is the ultimate objective, but I really think Zenyatta is good enough for a slightly more demanding campaign and think that if her critics back East were able to see her in person, they would be left in awe.  

And I'm not encouraging Team Zenyatta to take her back East because I feel that's where the best horses are.  I grew up in Cali and live there now, and have great respect for Cali horses.  Over my 20 years following the sport, I've seen many, many more Cali horses win back East than vice versa. You are coorect that outside Quality Road, there are not many good older males back East.  However, it's really not about beating particular horses; it's about running in different areas, different tracks, and against members of both gender.  

So, why do I feel Zenyatta should run back East and on dirt? First, I want the racegoers back East to see her in person; I think most would be swayed just seeing her in the paddock.  Second, I think it would benefit Z's historical legacy if she were able to versify her resume.  Having run only twice on dirt and never having run east of Arkansas, running in New York and Kentucky will better round out her career accomplishments.  Third, even if there are no worldbeaters among the male handicap division, a win in the Foster would be more significant than a win in the Vanity, particularly since she has already won the latter twice.  Possible Foster horses like Battle Plan, Duke of Mischief, Arson Squad, Researcher, Flying Private, and Awesome Gem are superior to any filly or mare that is possible for the Vanity.  While I'm sure not every critic will be satisfied, a win in the Foster would be a powerful statement.  Also, if Rachel is entered in the Foster, although I doubt she will be, Zenyatta could kill two birds with one stone(actually 3 birds: 1)Win a gr.1 on dirt back East; 2) Win a gr.1 over Males on dirt; 3) Beat Rachel).

Yes, the reason why I have set such standards for Zenyatta is because she is so great.  She is not Sky Beauty, or Heavenly Prize, or even Azeri.  Zenyatta has already surpassed top females like that, and given this, she should be allowed to go after new and bigger goals.  Like I wrote earlier, I thought that was the reason they brought her back this year, to transcend the definition of what it means to be a great female thoroughbred in North America.

While I think the Foster is the better choice, I will reserve final judgment  on the Vanity until I see the rest of the campaign they've set up.  If after the Vanity, Z goes in the Hollywood Gold Cup, then the Personal Ensign, then the Goodwood or even the Lady's Secret and concluding with the BC Classic, and she wins, the whole Foster-Vanity debate will be moot.  However, if the campaign turns out to be the Vanity-Clement Hirsch-Lady's Secret-BC Classic route she followed last year, I think Team Zenyatta will have openend up themselves to criticism.  In the end, a win in the BC Classic would probably trump everything else and earn Z the title of "best female ever", but in the meantime be prepared for the criticisms, frustrations, insults, and attacks from the Zenyatta skeptics.

Finally, I'm sorry that you missed the point that come Vanity day, I will be there and rooting Zenyatta on.  I know she's great.  But why risk her if you are merely going to repeat what you did the previous 2 years?  If Zenyatta is to be put through the rigors of competitive running, at least make it for extraordinary reasons.

10 May 2010 2:05 AM
afleetalexforever

Well JayJay,  don’t be confused, when you have a good horse (Zenyatta) and you want that good horse to be considered great, and you take the path of least resistence, then what you do is you target 1 race all year long, u make sure to enter races that she can win in a canter and then you go to the media or racetracks that she runs at and you beg them to have Zenyatta days, or check this out, retire the horse (which it was never your intention to do in the first place) and then have a number of Zenyatta appreciation days to try to garner HOY. Lol Announce one day that you are coming east to face the leading HOY contender and then a couple of days later back out, and say U really only want to focus on the BC.  Then a couple of months later claim that you wanted to meet up with the horse in the Beldame, never really giving an indication by means of actually shipping to run in the race, lol. Hilarious huh, but remember the whole time you are running in a division in So Cal that is as weak as any division we’ve seen in years.  I can appreciate that Zenyatta is beating inferior competition time and time again, I can appreciate that Zenyatta has run on the surface that she prefers most according to her trainer twice in 16 career races, lol I can appreciate that Zenyatta is incapable of shipping across the Rocky Mountain range due to um, what was the reason, turbulence…………. Rachel is a great horse because she stepped outside the box a number of times last year.

Footlick, whenever a horse wins a BC race on synthetics that has trained primarily on dirt then we can talk until then please continue to back your next coming of Pepper’s Pride in silence.

Bellesforever, well the reason they won’t run her against stiff competition is because she has beaten Less than Mediocre competition 13 out of 16 races, therefore there is the unknown with regards to racing the top horses in the east on dirt.  Careless Jewel, Seattle Smooth, Unrivaled Belle,  & Rachel Alexandra are all horses that when turning for home won’t be struggling on dirt like the optional claimers that Zen has been and will be facing in the Vanity, or Quality Road, Summer Bird, Arson Squad, Duke of Mischief, and a few other dirt horses will cause them some grief when she is unable to run them down.  This would be the reason for their cowardice.  Zenyatta has run in 16 races with 15 of them being restricted, sad to see since some here feel she is such a wonder horse, even Kate Harper refers to her as “the greatest mare to have run” it takes a very naïve person, or one just focused on quantity not quality to be unable to recognize that when a 3 year old in 1 year has done all and much more than a 5 year old in 2 or 3 years there is something wrong.

To the lowly Mr. Pibb, u seem like the lowliest of all on this blog, to call a champion a loser is well classless, but what should we expect from Zenyatta fans, it takes me back to Eclipse award night, as Mr. Moss and his wife and the rest of the Zenyatta crew toasted the LOSER of the Horse of the Year voting for the second straight year.  A great deal of respect for these people were lost this night, U campaigned your So Cali champion as such, running her in races of no consequence 4 out of 5 times and when HOY was announced I was so happy to see my favorite horse get recognition for putting forth effort in 09. Beating many multiple grade 1 winners throughout the year, not just in 1 race. Lol Zenyatta faced 20 horses or so in her first 4 races and only 1 was a graded stakes winner in 09, so racing claimers does nothing for the majority of us.  Her fans would mostly be happy to see her run in optional claiming races “just as long as she’s undefeated” lol

Laz u have all of these technicalities, please advise me of Zen’s great competition last year, who did she face in the mare division that won graded stakes other than Life is Sweet?  Can I get an answer..  lol

And this dbs person really came in and said something that Kate Harper enjoyed, We tried to hook her in the Apple Blossom and she was scared to come, usually if this person is legit, he or she would use the term “the connections” were scared to come.  Let’s say dbs is actually someone that has something to do with Zen’s connections. Let’s ask a few questions.

1. Why did Mr. Moss announce on June 27th of 2009 that they were coming east, and then on the 29th announce they had changed their mind. Lol And did the near track record in the Mother Goose have something to do with that, oh yeah Zenyatta ran that day 2 full seconds slower than Rachel lol.

2. Is dirt really Zenyatta’s preferred surface, and if so why run her 14 times on a surface she doesn’t like as much, also please explain the sloth like time in the Apple Blossom, 2 & 3 year olds run faster times.

3. Why after 16 races has the mare only faced open competition once? Is it that she’s unable to compete on the highest level race in and race out.  Can she only perform against the best 1 race per year is that the reason.

It would be great to get ur feedback dbs, since you come on here and put forth the appearance that you have something to do with the connections.  If you don’t u sure fooled the simple minded on this blog.

10 May 2010 2:07 AM
GunBow

Matthew W:

Yes, I noticed Tanda's nice win in the Railbird.  However, just like for the Santa Paula, I wasn't able to make it out to the track to see her in person.

I had become a fan of Tanda after watching her break her maiden Jan 3rd soming down Santa Anita's downhill turf course.  She was tall but still gangly then, and I could tell she had a lot more physical and mental growth ahead of her.  She's rounding into a serious racehorse.  Switch, who is probably best at a mile or less, is a good barometer; Tanda fits the top level competition.

If she runs again in Cali, I will make sure to make it to the track and see her!

10 May 2010 2:10 AM
merlinmerry

"Maybe you should consider getting a better TV. They make really good ones now. Nice big ones with high definition. Maybe you've heard of them?  

Zookeeper"

I have better things to do with my money than spend it on a big screen tv  just to watch this great mare wasting her time and talent facing off against plugs. Bt the way, the major tv channels do not carry horseracing on a regular basis.  To see Z run in these cream puff races, I am forced to go to HRTV.  On my new- fangled e-lectronic de-vice called a computer thingy.

10 May 2010 2:14 AM
rusty

Most of you should be ashamed of yourselves questioning Z's connections. They have the best interest of the Horse in mind, that is quite obvious.

Unlike RA's connections I might add.

You wonder why she lost her last 2 races????

Because she had 11 races in 11 months, that's why.

That's obscene for a claimer, much less a champion like RA. I'm surprised she can still walk and may not much longer. She needs to be retired NOW, before she breaks down badly, she has certainly earned it.

Give me the connections like Z's anyday over peeps like RA's that care absolutely nothing about their horse. Lucas did the same thing with Serena's Song. PATHETIC.

Keep up the good work John.

10 May 2010 2:38 AM
LDP

Kay,

No it's not her fault what competition shows, but again there is another double standard. RA goes to the Woodward, a open race that allows ALL to enter, and people bash the living heck out of the race. I've seen people call her competition mediocre, to put it nicely, when she ran in five grade ones last year. However, Zenyatta fans, will turn on a dime when question about Zenyatta's quality of competition and say, "she has no control over who shows up." Why is it that she is allowed that excuse, when some of the races she has run have been against over the top mares that would be better of in allowence races?

The two races you mentioned are grade ones on paper, but if people want to call the Woodward grade three the two races Zenyatta has been in this year shouldn't even be called graded.

I'm tired with the double standard crap is all. Both horses faced somewhere around the same level of competition last year. The difference, RA traveled to six or seven different tracks, making which allowed her to face different horses, unless they ducked her. Zenyatta didn't. She stayed in Cali in her own backyard with a campaign that was pillow soft, except for one race.

10 May 2010 6:04 AM
Exterminator

Shandler:

I think it was a mistake to put Rachel Alexandra on the track. Frankly, I don't think she was ever that good.

An over-hyped glorified miler at best.

10 May 2010 9:06 AM
Rechelle

Zookeeper, I am definitely NOT the same person.  In every blog I have used my name and have always stated that I live in Texas, near Lone Star Park.  I can answer any question you have about Texas or LSP if that will prove to you where I'm from.

10 May 2010 9:31 AM
draynay

224

I believe Zenyatta is the most overrated horse of all time

I believe Zenyatta is a poly specialist

I believe Zenyatta couldn't beat Quality Road on her BEST day

I believe a year from now NOBODY at Belmont, Churchill, or Saratoga will mention Zenyatta's name.

I believe Rachel is the greatest female horse we have ever seen

I believe come April Rachel will be at the Breeders Cup and Zenyatta will be a no show.

10 May 2010 9:37 AM
True Blue Blood

Here is something that will piss off all of the Zenyatta fans, including me.

If Big Z keeps running in the same boring races that she has raced in the last three years, and does not step up to face the boys in

Foster

The Hollywood Gold Cup

Woodward

Jockey Club Gold Cup

Pacific Classic

or any other race against the boys this year, preferably on dirt, she will not win the Eclipse Award AGAIN!!!

 Then maybe she can race at 7, try to beat fillies and mare on poly again, and as Dray said, be the best poly horse ever.

Like Afleetalex said above, get out of your comfort zone and ship the mare like a champion. If you are so confident that you should of won the Eclipe last year, and you have the best horse in the world, prove it. If she needs time to ship, fine. Run her in the Foster, (June), the JCGC( Sept) and the Breeders Cup Classic (October). You have months between races, they are all on dirt vs Grade 1 males, and they are all on a national stage for all to see. That is what Moss said he wanted, the world to see his mare winning against the best comp on a national stage. Not beating fillies in California on a track that they are getting rid of b/c it sucks....

It is disappointing they are playing so conservative, and at best, Zenyatta only races 5 times this year, AGAIN. UGH.

Don't get me wrong. She is awesome. She is the champ, and I am not taking that away from her. I love horse racing and the game, and would never talk bad on a horse, but her connections are BORING!!

Like Allen Iverson said, "we aint talking about a game, we talking bout practice! Practice" That is all Zenyatta is doing running on poly again, practice. They are like paid public workouts...

10 May 2010 9:44 AM
Rechelle

mz, if Super Saver doesn't win the Preakness for some odd reason (which I don't see happening, I think he's peaking this year at exactly the right time), then my bet will be on Game On Dude, the winner of the Lone Star Derby this last weekend.  He was pretty impressive in that race and I think he has the talent to run with the bigger stars now.  He's a Baffert trained horse, he's now won the Lone Star Derby 4 times.  I think if the track is not muddy (Game On Dude hates mud), then he should do well in any race he runs.

10 May 2010 9:51 AM
LAZMANNICK

Saratoga AJ

With the way the Vanity is shaping up.....extra weight, a couple of very good fillies/mares probably entering......it will be tougher for Zen than the Stephen Foster.  SORRY.

10 May 2010 10:32 AM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

Of course to compare the Vanity to the BC Mile and the Woodward is ridiculous, except for the 2009 Woodward.  Show me how last year's Woodward was a tougher race than this year's G-3 Alysheba or even the G-1 Donn for that matter which had only one legitimate G-1 horse.  Harp about Macho and Bullsbay being G-1 horses all you  want.  The simple matter is that they aren't.  They won G-1 races against themselves. In the Foster (watch the replay) Einstein was in constant trouble in the stretch or he was a sure winner.  In the Whitney, if an over the hill Commentator would have been half of what he really was in the past the race would have been no contest.  Go back and show me a weaker Woodward and even a weaker Donn.  It's hard to do.

10 May 2010 10:49 AM
Draynay

You Zenyatta fans better hope Rachel can beat Quality Road in the BC because if she can't Quality Road will be the 2010 HOY.

10 May 2010 11:10 AM
Bob Z

Also Monday, Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, breezed an easy half-mile in 52 seconds in her first workout since incurring her second straight defeat in the April 30 La Troienne Stakes.

Trainer Steve Asmussen has not committed Rachel Alexandra to a specific next race. "All options remain open," he said.

10 May 2010 11:44 AM
AngelaFrom Abilene

The reason no one can post a list of horses Zenyatta needs to face to be "great" is because there are none.  Zenyatta is in a class all by her lonesome.  

Personally, I'd like to see her bellydown just to see what she's truly capable of but, this mare only runs as fast as she has to to get to the wire first.  (That's a large part of WHY she's still running sound and winning at

age 6.)

What many of you fail to realize is as an owner or trainer, all you can do is enter YOUR horse in any particular race.  You have absolutely NO control over whom else is entered.  If a Grade I is "weak" it's only because of the horses that were entered...again, that is out of "your" control.  

Would you all be bashing the Vanity if hypothetically speaking, Ruffian, Personal Ensign, Paseana, Genuine Risk, Winning Colors, Bayakoa, Serenas Song, Mariah's Storm, Go For Wand, Rags To Riches and Rachel Alexandra  were all entered?  I didn't think so.

10 May 2010 11:52 AM
Zookeeper

Jason,

Maybe it was a mistake on the part of RA's connections but do we know  the real reason(s) for such a long time off? If we did, some on here might better understand what's going on right now and show a little more patience towards Rachel.

10 May 2010 12:10 PM
mz

GunBow: 2:05 am AMEN!

(Shandler: can we end it here?)

10 May 2010 12:13 PM
MonicaV

If Rachel is entered in the Stephen Foster, Zenyatta will be too.  They want Rachel and they will travel to face her.

10 May 2010 12:43 PM
Ted from LA

Rechelle,

You ended that provocative post with a preposition.  I sat with Todd Pletcher's mom at the Breeders' Cup when it was at Lone Star.  Sweet woman.

OFF TOPIC:  Super Saver-Caracortado exacta in the Preakness.  I hope I didn't offend anyone by talking about the triple crown here.

10 May 2010 12:49 PM
CV

LDP,

I realize you are angry about what has occurred with Rachel Alexandra this year, but I hope you will stop your generalizations about "all Zenyatta fans."

Just as "all Rachel Alexandra fans" don't criticize Zen, "all Zenyatta fans" don't criticize Rachel.

It is the virulent, venomous subset of both groups that persists in attacking one horse to pump up their favorite. If you read through their posts, it's always the same names who launch attacks. I cheered both horses as they raced in 2009 and 2010, and thoroughly detest this nastiness.

I also think it is regrettable that no one here questions what has become obvious about Rachel's condition this year -- she was purchased and campaigned for the HOTY trophy without regard to what that campaign would do to her. It was all about the spectacle. That's just sad.

10 May 2010 12:49 PM
Zookeeper

GunBow,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I didn't for one instant question your appreciation of Zenyatta. I know better. I was just surprised that, this early in the year, you joined forces with those in here who are already criticizing a *fictional* schedule. However, you did it in a very much more respectful and logical way.(no surprise there!)

Only her connections know what is in their own mind and what is in the best interest of Zenyatta. As to her legacy, mercifully horses do not know of such things as they are only for the humans' egos. I, for one, appreciate the fact that Team Zenyatta are not slaves to theirs.

10 May 2010 12:53 PM
SMTDL

Exterminator said...

"I think it was a mistake to put Rachel Alexandra on the track. Frankly, I don't think she was ever that good.

An over-hyped glorified miler at best."

I find this statement hard to understand.

1st filly in 83 yrs to win the grade 1 Preakness(1 3/16 mi classic race).

1st horse ever to win Preakness from 13th position.

1st filly ever to win Woodward( 1 1/8 mi grade 1 open race for older horses)

2nd filly ever to win( by 6 lengths) Haskell(1 1/8 mi grade 1 race for 3yo colts) in near stakes/track record time.

20 length winner of GR 1 Mother Goose (1 1/8 mi ) in stakes record time.

20 length winner of Gr 1 Kentucky Oaks in 2nd fastest time ever.

8 total wins,5 Gr 1 wins in 2009.

7 different racetracks in 6 different states!!!!

2 dominating wins on sloppy racetracks( Haskell/FG Oaks)

Glorified miler/not that good??Based on WHAT???

10 May 2010 1:06 PM
Zookeeper

CV,

Beautifully expressed! My feelings exactly!

10 May 2010 1:08 PM
Draynay

Lazmannick you prove over and over again you have no idea what you are talking about.  The Vanity tougher then the Foster?  Lol.  When will you people get it through your head it's tougher on DIRT !!! Restricted poly wins... who cares ?

10 May 2010 1:11 PM
Kay

GunBow:

Nice post. You even mentioned some older horses <g>. I understand where you’re coming from, but since when has travel become the crucial part of the equation when talking about HOTY? As others have pointed out, many HOTY winners traveled infrequently. And traveling on the East Coast is quite different than making one trip after another from the West to the East. It’s substantially more taxing. There’s a lot of evidence for that, too. So it seems to me that the major issue has more to do with the fact that West Coast horses need to prove themselves in a different way. There’s that bias again. Zenyatta won the American championship race of the year. That should mean more than it does, but then it only means LESS when it’s in California. As far as track surface goes (this is for the rest of you), there is no such thing as a completely fair race track. The BC has been run on muddy tracks that didn’t favor certain horses, but that’s just accepted because it’s not in California.

Afleetalexforever (Lord help me):

So you’re annoyed that Zenyatta has run in only one “open company” race, which would be the BC Classic. But Rachel Alexandra ran in only one open company race, too: the Woodward. All of her other races were restricted to 3YOs and the majority of them were restricted to 3YO fillies. She didn’t even face older females last year.

LDP:

“No it's not her fault what competition shows, but again there is another double standard. RA goes to the Woodward, a open race that allows ALL to enter, and people bash the living heck out of the race. I've seen people call her competition mediocre, to put it nicely, when she ran in five grade ones last year. However, Zenyatta fans, will turn on a dime when question about Zenyatta's quality of competition and say, "she has no control over who shows up." Why is it that she is allowed that excuse, when some of the races she has run have been against over the top mares that would be better of in allowence races?”

Because the Zenyatta detractors started it. See, if you say that Zenyatta only faced weak company, albeit in races that were GI, then it behooves those on the other side of the discussion to look at Rachel’s competition. And when you say that Rachel’s win in the Woodward means more than Zenyatta’s wins over older fillies, the Woodward is where we look.

“I'm tired with the double standard crap is all. Both horses faced somewhere around the same level of competition last year. The difference, RA traveled to six or seven different tracks, making which allowed her to face different horses, unless they ducked her. Zenyatta didn't. She stayed in Cali in her own backyard with a campaign that was pillow soft, except for one race.”

You just contradicted yourself. In the same paragraph. Nice going.

True Blue Blood:

“Like Afleetalex said above, get out of your comfort zone and ship the mare like a champion.”

By “shipping,” you mean thousands of miles, not vanning up the Eastern seaboard. Or that IS what you mean, because it’s what Rachel did, from one Asmussen barn to the next. So basically, Rachel was always at home wherever she was. But Zenyatta has to repeatedly get into a plane and fly thousands of miles. See, when I think about Zenyatta getting out of her comfort zone, I think about her running in the BC Classic. But that doesn’t count because she didn’t ship to run in it. You know that’s ridiculous, right?

10 May 2010 1:14 PM
Exterminator

2010 Breeders Cup Classic:

Zenyatta will "literally" grab Quality Road by his throat and not let him up.

Rachel Alexanda....well she won't be in the race. This filly has turned into a dirt miler at best.

10 May 2010 1:16 PM
Frank L.

The 2009 "Joke of the Year" should be entered into the Met Mile.

Why?

This is as far as she can go "effectively".

This filly "in her dreams" wishes she could go the classic distance of a mile and a quarter.

10 May 2010 1:23 PM
DJROSE

Why don't we lobby for Delaware Park to change the $1,000,000 Delaware HCP. to a weight-for-age race? I believe they run that race at a mile and a quarter too. This is something that Delaware Park ought to put some serious thought into. We might even be able to get Zen and Rachel to have a showdown in that race as well.

10 May 2010 1:25 PM
Leenz

The article by Hovdey simply points out that there ARE risks and disadvantages to shipping across the country. We ship our Thoroughbreds for horse shows and whether it's by plane or van, they need recovery time afterward. And he's not as big or as young as Zenyatta or prone to getting heated. The Shirreffs truly do have her best interests at heart. I think she would have competitive in Dubai, but would she have bounced back? Keeping her home now will have her fresh for the fall.

10 May 2010 1:31 PM
jayjay

GunBow : I do understand WHY people think Zenyatta should go to the east coast but as I've mentioned, if it's just QR out there, why risk travelling her just to face QR ?  QR can come to her.  She's not 4 yrs old, she's a 6 yr old mare campaigning for a Classic race in November.  I don't think the Mosses are scared of running in the east coast, I just believe they don't want to take chances as far as going over there just to face QR, then fly back home again.  Ang again, I believe their real goal now is to beat the win record so the HOTY may not be as important for them.

Why are the critics questioning her just because she runs on plastic ?  Before the synthetic tracks, how many HOTY horses ran on the same tracks and the same races year in and year out ?  They dominated those tracks and races.  But they're considered great horses.  Why is dirt considered the only legitimate surface to determine a "great" horse?

Afleetalexlover : "path with the least resistance", isn't that what RA did this year ??  and she can't win either.  If she's a true HOTY with all her greatness, she should've picked a G1, Zenyatta ran twice this year, started with a G2 and then a G1, and then another G1.

I know you hate Zenyatta because she won't listen to you lol, but you're not even close to being a true fan of horseracing, you're just one of those people who likes to criticize because they feel important when they do :) lol

It's easy to say her competitions were weak but it can't be helped, she's so great, and by that I mean the trainers and owners are avoiding her, that there's really no competition for her and that's why we've never really seen the bottom  of that tank.  She's very well taken care of and I'm hoping that all goes well on all her races this year and she comes back again next year, to RUN IN THE SAME RACES AGAIN so that it may just annoy you enough to go away :)

10 May 2010 1:33 PM
LAZMANNICK

Afleetalexforever wrote in response to my post:

Laz u have all of these technicalities, please advise me of Zen’s great competition last year, who did she face in the mare division that won graded stakes other than Life is Sweet?  Can I get an answer..  lol

Off the op of my head (without looking it up).....Briecat, Dawn After Dawn and Lethal Heat were graded stakes winners, but what does that matter, especially after she totally dusted the males winners of 19 G-1 and Group One races......To be fair to your question, Zen defeated the second best mare last year, the one who dominated the Lady’s Distaff, and she defeated her three times.  Who else was there that could challenge her.....Rachel?  Rachel didn’t show up last fall and she refused to show up this spring, which we all knew would happen after she lost to, heavens forbid, Zen’s second string stable mate......Here’s a technical explanation for you.....if A soundly defeats B, and B soundly defeats C, doesn’t it sound logical that A would soundly defeat C also?.....It makes sense to me......All Zen did to show her dominance was beat the best boys, those that had the nerve to show up and face her, and all those ultra tough fillies and mares that you say Zen didn’t face could have entered the BCC also.  If they were so tough then why didn’t they.......With regards to Moss’s statement that they were coming east.....have patience my friend.....the last time I looked it was only May 10th and we all know that baring injury Zen will be coming east for at least one race, the biggest race of the year......the one that really matters.

10 May 2010 1:34 PM
Citation

Kay, of course I would agree that Zenyatta has overcome obstacles, and I would be insulted if you thought that I didn't know what a champion was like. The word "detest" means the purest expression of hatred, and I'm sure you have noticed that Zen's races at Del Mar were almost identical to her races at other tracks. If she really detested the track, then one would assume that she would have to run her very, very best to win and set a track record on it, which would invalidate the statement from her connections that they have never gotten to the bottom of her. The legendary War Admiral probably didn't like Pimlico much, as his races at Pimlico were generally inferior to his races elsewhere. He was able to win even despite the dislike of track, but he didn't run identical-seeming races to his other starts. I assume that this "detest" talk from Sherriffs was just a little bit of exaggeration on his part, but I could be wrong. About Noble's Promise, I don't know if all of his owners will go. I wonder what they would think of it in England? I believe that a victory would make him the first American-trained horse to win a Group One at Ascot. Jayjay, here is a list of some good horses that Zenyatta could face on dirt:

Quality Road

Researcher

Summer Bird if he shows up

Battle Plan

Macho Again

Arson Squad

Bullsbay.

Whoever said that Macho Again wouldn't have won the Stephen Foster if Einstein hadn't been stuck, I have seen the replay for that race many, many times, and I think that Einstein's trouble was greatly exaggerated. He had a huge gaping hole for almost the whole stretch and just got outkicked by Macho.

10 May 2010 1:36 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

QR might be Horse of the Year but he'll never be jack-ass of the year.  That one is already a lock.

10 May 2010 1:39 PM
Kate Harper

It is interesting to read the interesting juxtaposition between Gun Bow's thoughtful and accurate assessment of Zenyatta and her future races at 2:05 am  versus the usual rantings from AfleetAlexforever in the following post.  I suppose the latter is just so flummoxed by the results of RA's last 2 races that he finds it imperative to continue to discredit Zenyatta regardless of facts.  Why would one say only 3 of Z's races had any competition?  Didn't she beat Life is Sweet, the BC winner, 3 times last year?  Or is LiS less than "mediocre competition" in his jaded viewpoint?  I guess beating the reigning Eclipse winner in the AB can be explained away by his skewed thinking because Ginger Punch wasn't "cranked" for that race.  Amazing.

What is interesting is his total inability to list any meaningful horse other than QR that he thinks Zenyatta should be facing.  More important, the year is hardly over and perhaps it is time to simply let the year play out before continuing to condemn Z's connections to say nothing of minimizing her past achievements.  Or, better yet, maybe he should be inquiring where and when his favorite horse will run next and whether it will be in another  allowance or G2.

10 May 2010 1:43 PM
Kauto Star

I do think people are being overly harsh on Rachel Alexandra's performances this year. She had a substantial amount of time off, and clearly needs more than just workouts to regain full fitness. Her trainer has even stated she needs more work as a larger, heavier four year old, as is true of most horses.

I notice she took a few races to reach her peak as a 2 year old, but once she got into the right form and frame of mind she kept winning. Furthermore, I believe she was kept in light training from Autumn 2008 to Spring 2009, so she always maintained a decent level of fitness. This in turn lead to her peak being around May/June/July, and she was tailing off by the Woodward. To race at the Breeder's Cup, whichever race, would have been folly in my opinion, as she was well overdue a rest. Why do you think Sea The Stars was not pushed to the Classic? Having been in fast training since March, he had done enough enough by October. Same for Rachel.

And it may be that due to her complete loss of race fitness, she will be slower to come to her peak this year, but hopefully will be able to maintain it until November. It's still early in the season, some top animals haven't even reappeared yet. I wouldn't be concerned until mid Summer. If she hasn't won and won well by then, then it may be safe to assume she hasn't trained on. Unfortunate, but it happens, and one cannot criticise her for it.

10 May 2010 1:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Bloggers

   Dave Johnson, way back on May 6th at 4:51 PM, a zillion posts ago, told you what is going on. Aren't you paying attention? Zenyatta will annihilate the field at CD in The Breeder's Cup Classic 2010. What she does before that is irrelevant.

10 May 2010 1:46 PM
jayjay

afleetofnonsense : You can't fault Zenyatta on who she raced against last year, she scared most of the graded stakes winners.  In fact, she scared the HOTY winner last year and this year.  Just like RA, her races were picked and spotted her because either the horses were not yet reached their potential or they were horses that were not G1 caliber.  I seriously doubt that RA can beat Arson Squad again let alone Quality Road.

You keep bashing Zenyatta's campaign this year, how about you talk and describe to us what RA's campaign like this year ?  Last year, she did great, let's talk about what she should be doing THIS YEAR to become back to back HOTY!!  I know what the first thing on the list should be...do you ?

It's...."WIN a race"

10 May 2010 1:54 PM
AfleetAlexForever

This blog is about Zenyatta and her connections failure to do anything other than the regular old blah, beat allowance quality fillies and say the mare is the greatest thing since "Big Red" which I actually saw One IDIOT say on a horse racing message board. You people keep talking about her doing things with her ears pricked. Lets think back to the 9 furlong Apple Blossom where she just cantered home, the time says it all, after watching the posted time of 1:50.71 I thought to myself, i've seen lower quality 2 year olds run that time, unfortunately for the Moss's I've also seen Quality Road run the same distance 3 seconds faster without effort, hmmmm, what does that tell you about the reason she wont ship again this year.  But thats in the male arena, for the past 2 years she's faced mares like, Music Note, Ginger Punch, Cocoa Beach, Hystericalady, Tough Tiz's Sis, and others who ran huge, let's not embarrass the connections by mentioning Careless Jewel and Rachel Alexandra.  I mean we are talking about horses that on the front end wont be caught by Zenyatta as Trevor Denman says if they "sprouted wings".  The weak timid calculated risk they took were all to her advantage, just like the Apple Blossom would have been this year if the top fillies and mares showed up, it wasnt a concrete race so you have Zen on one hand, 9 or 10 works and a victory in the Santa Margarita, the rest of the East coast top horses after taking their break, just like Zen did in 2009, remember 6 months off after the BCLC win, she didnt race again until the end of may, so the connections of a number of the top mares dont have their horses ready to run in that race but people ducked her. lol Stupid reasoning, lets ask of 2009 why did Zen duck Jan,Feb,Mar,April,and most of may, oh she wasnt ready, so we can take that excuse from Zen and her connections but no one else can claim to not be ready, lol. Pitiful, I like the horse but the connections are horrible, and i would hate to have to say that my fav horse is one that has faced legit competition on a level playing field 1 time in his or her career, i'd find another horse to like.  I just can't wait to see the rest of the campaign, CL Hirsch, Lady's Secret and then BCC, but this time a fit Rachel Alexandra waiting for her, a monster in Q.R. waiting for her, and a third place finish or worse waiting for her, just like in the HOY tally for this year. Oh I welcome the day, maybe if she loses early the connections will take more chances. Does anyone agree.

10 May 2010 2:04 PM
jayjay

I agree with Zookeeper GunBow, appreciate the response.

As for afleetalexlover, she's the type that would probably cheer on if a horse she dislike breaks a leg.  She seems the type that as long as the race is exciting and different, it doesn't matter what the consequence is to the horse since she doesn't own them, she just watches them.  

I would guess that's why she doesn't talk about RA of this year and kept talking about what she did last year because last year, RA gave her excitement, this year, pure disappointment.  I would bet she blogs on her under a different name bashing RA for her performance this year.  I wouldn't be surprised at all :)

10 May 2010 2:25 PM
LDP

Kay,

Where did I contradict myself? Zenyatta took one risk, the BCC, before and after that nothing. RA continuously raise the bar, allowing horses to come and face her and they did not.

Also, saying anybody in this whole fude started whatever is like trying to figure out who had head lice, chicken pox, or the flu first. You can seperate it.

10 May 2010 3:05 PM
Householder

"RAIL TRIP IS GONE!"  

QR's "monster status" has just been downgraded to "pesky."  

10 May 2010 3:15 PM
MonicaV

Kay,

The shipping of Cigar that took it's toll was the shipping to Dubai and it also took it's toll on Curlin.  That's a really long way to ship.

10 May 2010 3:17 PM
Householder

I don't think a big schedule is needed by Zenyatta for HOY awards.  Sunday Silence only ran 2x after the Belmont before the Breeder's Cup Classic.  She runs well fresh (beating Life is Sweet off a 7 month layoff).  Look for the Vanity and perhaps the Lady's Secret.  A good showing in the Lady's Classic all but cements HOY.

Zenyatta

Rail Trip

Quality Road

Super Saver

Cast your vote.

10 May 2010 3:30 PM
AfleetAlexForever

Unfortunately Laz, you should always do research before you speak because well when you don’t know what you’re talking about it makes you look quite naïve.  I’ve asked you to answer the same question quite a few times and now knowing that either you don’t know how to use the internet or are unable to do the type of research needed to carry on a meaningful discussion, I will not address you going forward in the future.

During the 2009 calendar year Zenyatta face 1 filly or mare that won a graded stakes race in 2009 her name as we all know is Life is Sweet. So of the 22 females that she faced in her races 1 won a graded stakes even that is 184 starts and 4 graded stakes wins by Life is Sweet, wow how awful you can look when you open your mouth and don’t have any facts available to be reviewed.  Lets look though at the horses that you mentioned

Briecat (8 starts 0 graded wins in 09)

Dawn after Dawn (10 starts 0 graded wins in 09)

Lethal Heat (8 starts 0 wins of any nature).

Anabaa's Creation (4 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Champagne Eyes(7 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Tidal Dance(6 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Cocoa Beach (5 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Made for Magic(16 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Allicansayis Wow(6 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Gambler's Justice(7 starts 0 wins of any nature)

Taste's Sis(15 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Hot 'n' Dusty(17 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Modification(8 starts 0 graded stakes wins)

Those are facts so where is the person that stated that they faced similar competition, lol are u serious or just a comedian, Rachel’s female counter parts

Peach Brew (Graded stakes winner)

Four gifts (Graded stakes winner)

Just Jenda (Graded stakes winner)

Gabby’s Golden Girl (Graded stakes winner Grade 1)

Malibu Prayer (Graded stakes winner)

Flashing (Multiple Grade 1 winner)

Hmmmm any thoughts about competition now, I didn’t think so, but class is out, thanx for participating Laz.  

10 May 2010 3:46 PM
jayjay

This blog was about Zenyatta but YOU were one of the ones that brought in RA in the mix, comparing the HOTY's accomplishments last year yet not discussing what she has done this year to compete at the highest level which is what to be expected from the HOTY.

I was the first one that requested Jason to create a blog about Zenyatta and RA discussion because people were talking about them in the other TC crown blogs but this is what he chose to discuss, Zenyatta's campaign plans because he knew there's nothing to discuss about RA at the moment.

He even said "this is not about RA and Zenyatta anymore" and at least he had the decency to admit that everytime RA loses, the gap widens between her and Zenyatta... but no, YOU and your cohorts keep going back to last year.  She won HOTY honor last year, let's see her prove it wasn't a fluke year, like I said, she's looking more and more like a one year wonder.  If she doesn't improve, she'll be the first HOTY winner that never won another race again and people will forget about her in the years to come whereas Zenyatta, if she beats the record for consecutive wins as well as being undefeated will be remembered forever not just in the US but around the world.

Cigar is not known as being a back to back HOTY, he is known as a great horse because he won 16 consecutive races and no one questions how he did it, just that he did it.

You're starting to sound like Draynay going back to run times, I never understand that fascination, if you know anything about handicapping races, the run times doesn't reflect how the horses runs the race.  I'd rather see a 1:50 cantering home rather than a 1:42 losing.  Coming in 2nd just means you're the first loser in that race.

You're starting to bore me with your Zenyatta bashing, come up with legitimate excuses for the HOTY and state on here what her campaign plans SHOULD BE for being the HOTY, you all think HOTY is great, so let's see an aggressive plan to showcase this super horse and stop picking soft races, it's an insult to those who voted for her last year.  Having beaten male horses in 3 G1 races, she should be running in nothing but G1 races this year, maybe start with a soft G1 in her division but she should stick to G1.  She set that bar last year right ??  We're tired of her running in G2, those are races we know she can win and we expect her to win those...oh wait, NEVER MIND.   I for one expected much much more, I was looking forward to her running against Z in the AB, if she's such a superhorse, there's no reason to back out of that race just because she finished 2nd, you all said "she improved" in that last race, that she's moving forward, that should be enough for a superhorse to continue on to the AP right ?  Nah, her CONNECTIONS got scared, not just of Zenyatta but the fact that she's NOT capable of winning anything right now.  Accept that and let's hear what her plans SHOULD BE :)

I'm sure the responses will again go back to last year's accomplishments :)

10 May 2010 3:47 PM
Kay

LDP:

Here's what you said: “I'm tired with the double standard crap is all. Both horses faced somewhere around the same level of competition last year. The difference, RA traveled to six or seven different tracks, making which allowed her to face different horses, unless they ducked her. Zenyatta didn't. She stayed in Cali in her own backyard with a campaign that was pillow soft, except for one race.”

You claimed to be tired of the double-standard crap. You said that they faced the same level of competition last year. Then you call Zenyatta's competition soft and Rachel's more difficult (implied with the shipping talk). That's a contradiction, in the same paragraph. See, you used a double standard there. Just because Rachel got into a van doesn't mean her competition was tougher. She never faced older fillies until this year, and she's 0-for-2. Any horses could have traveled to face Zenyatta, too, but they didn't. Why not?

Monica V:

"The shipping of Cigar that took it's toll was the shipping to Dubai and it also took it's toll on Curlin.  That's a really long way to ship."

Yup. Shipping can be tough on a horse. Thanks for making the point.

10 May 2010 3:47 PM
LAZMANNICK

AfleetAlexForever

The last time I looked, Zen ran 1-1/8M faster than Quality Road and without raising much of a sweat, or are you forgetting her 2008 Lady's Classic time when she beat a multiople G-1 field (including the reigning filly champ) not on a speed biased track that QR loves angainst G-2 and G-3 opposition......Your analogy about Carless Jewel and Rachel not being caught on the front end.....It seems to me that Carelss Jewel was considerably on the FRONT END in the BC Lady's and after LIS dismissed her she was considerably on the BACK END.....As for Rachel, it seems to me she had the lead against non G-1 winners in her last two races.....WHAT HAPPENED?  Do you realize that if that last race had been 1-1/8M Rachel might have finished as far as eight or ten lengths behind......And in your great analogy about race times, do you realize that Zen beat Rachel's 1-1/16M time in the La Troienne (her fastest at the distance) 7 times in the 9 races she had at that distance and tied it on another?  The only time she was slower was at DelMar on a surface that she absolutely hates.....I know that that mecha of horse racing Turf Paradise is off for the summer and you now have a lot of time on your hands.  Don't you think it's time for you to look for another angle.

10 May 2010 3:54 PM
blah blah blah

I believe Rachel is the greatest female horse we have ever seen

draynay 10 May 2010 9:37 AM

It's official nay nay is cetifiably insane. This is a horse who loses over 30% of the time. A horse who had one good year and the rest of her career to this point is a yawner. A Filly/Mare who has never won a race where there has been a previous G1 winning Filly/Mare in it. The Males she beat have done nothing since and none would be considered in the top 50 over the years anyway. She's a 2 time, 2 time loser this year in only two races and neither race was a G1 race to begin with. Until she wins again we shouldn't even be talking about her. She hasn't won a race in almost a year.

nay nay will never be happy unless Zenyatta falters on the track. First it was she will never win a second Distaff Championship, then she'll never win the Classic, now she'll never beat Quality Road or RA. It's been she runs only on the fake crap and who cares while RA runs only on dirt and gets beat. Blah blah blah the tune changes over and over. Throw enough darts and one might hit the board. Then if it does he'll be all over the I told you so crap even though he's been wrong so many many times already. Those predictions will be a forgotten thing in his mind. What a joke you are nay nay. You forget that Quality Road was lined up to face Zenyatta but when he hit the track and got a look at her he crumbled. He had a major meltdown and the Stewards had no choice but to scratch his chicken butt from the race. I'm sure RA doesn't scare him in the least. If she's so great send her out west to run in the Vanity. It works both ways ya know. RA's a proven loser on dirt many times over, maybe she needs a change in surface.          

10 May 2010 3:55 PM
Kate Harper

If Rachel runs in the BC Classic I think she'll have to "sprout wings" to A)stave off Z's stretch run and B)have any chance of running 1 1/4 in 2:00.62--you know, the time in last year's Classic.  

10 May 2010 3:56 PM
Zookeeper

Kay,

Your fortitude in trying to make the blind see and the deaf hear never ceases to amaze me.

I've learned a long time ago that the task is well beyond my endurance. You seem to be better equipped for it.

Keep in mind though that no matter how valid your argument, how logical your reasoning you will not convince any of the haters to abandon their idiotic ways.

However, I enjoy the heck out of your comments!  :)

10 May 2010 3:59 PM
BigDonOKC

I have notice most of you know AAF. He has a way of getting under your skin.

He talks like he knows all the owners, trainers and jockeys. But the fact is he got into horse racing about 5 years a go. He first show up on the MSNBC board and said he was new into horse racing and ask for help in understanding how horses run. He makes fun of any who know any thing.

He likes to act big and run down any one  who know more than he does and to tell you the truth  that just about every one. He is in love with two horse   Curlin and RA and he hates the west coast. He was right RA made HOY – big deal – he was wrong when he said she run Zen this year, In the day he was an  ok person  but he  has turn into a very hatful person.

Fact is RA will never run with Zen – RA will not be in the BC Classic – Zen will and again she will win. She does not have to come east till then but I look for one of here late summer races to be on the east coast.

10 May 2010 4:01 PM
Greg J.

Gunbow,

    Class as usual...

Afleetalexforever,

    The complete opposite...

10 May 2010 4:01 PM
Billy's Empire

Kay, you really think Zenyatta was out of her comfort zone racing on her home track,  a poly track that only a handful of her oppponents in the BC had ever raced on, and a van ride from hollywood? Rachel shipped from Oaklawn, to Churchill, to Baltimore( on a plane) to New York in 4 months. Yeah, she never left her comfort zone, and apparently will not until the BC. You know that is ridiculous, right?

All I am asking for is 3 races. That is it. If you can not have the supposed best race mare of all time take 5 plane rides in a 6 month period, twice to CD and once to New York, heck, even make it 3 plane rides if she races against the males in the Hollywood Gold Cup or Pacific Classic, and have her ready, you are a bad trainer or just making excuses. Sheriff's is a great trainer, so stop making excuses.

10 May 2010 4:07 PM
gw_bushwacker

Last year I made a bold statement that RA would lose at least one race this year to an older Mare and that Mare would not be named Zenyatta. nay nuggets puked his lunch when he read that and came out and ridiculed me for even thinking she wouldn't go undefeated again this year. In fact he predicted RA would break the record for consecutive wins and go all the way undefeated including a Classic win. He made the same prediction many times over and ridiculed any of you who dare question it.

Well it turns out I was right and it only took one race this year to prove it. Now she's lost 2 in a row and nay nuggets looks like a fool in his prediction so he's going back to the Zenyatta bashing to get the attention away from how wrong he was.

I'm going to make another prediction for you nay nay. RA will not win the Classic and i'll be surprised if she even shows up. Good thing for her they don't restrict it to the entries with the best win percentage for the year or she'd probably have raced herself out of it already.

Greatest Filly/Mare ever? RA is a 5 time loser in only 15 races over dirt or there abouts and has never proven to be a Graded winner over any other surface. Not the record of the greatest by any means.    

10 May 2010 4:14 PM
Billy's Empire

Heck, they vanned mine that bird across country and then to Baltimore, and he still did great.  A 4 or 5 hour plane ride is nothing compared to a 40 hour trailer ride, or a 10 hour trailer ride. Plus, do you think they just van the horses in Europe from France, Ireland, England and Germany for all of the big grass races? Nope, they fly most of the time. Over Mountains!! and Water!! AMAZING.

They are vanning Schoolyard Dreams to the Preakness the morning of the race. He has no shot.

Sheriffs even said, it takes a week to get her hydration back. GREAT, give yourself 8 weeks between races, 1 week to rest, 1 week to ship, and 5 light works, and bingo, race time. That is more than adequate time to have a fit racehorse ready. Ask D Wayne Lucas or his side kick Tim G. They race horses every 3 weeks...

10 May 2010 4:16 PM
Zookeeper

LDP,

Here's a clue: If the stiff competition not showing up to challenge Rachel does not speak badly of her, why doesn't the same apply to Zenyatta?

Rachel ran in ONE race where Zen could have entered. Zen ran in SEVERAL races where Rachel could have challenged her, well before the BCC. If RA's connections chose a different course why use their actions to beat up on Zenyatta. It makes no sense and you are smart enough to know that.

10 May 2010 4:31 PM
AfleetAlexForever

JayJay, first off imma guy and I have had the pleasure of watching Rachel run 5 times in person and wouldn’t trade those experiences including her last two losses for anything.  Rachel is a regal, beautiful princess who has taken the world of horse racing by storm.  The excitement in the different arenas that Rachel has run have been on a level of a Rock Star, the moment that she enters the paddock.  No horse has captured the imagination of the horse racing world and also the regular TC type fan or even no fan of horse racing at all. When walking down the street with my Rachel Alexandra hat or shirt on people stop me and ask questions about her, about her past races or when she will run next.  The reason for that, the millions upon millions that she captivated in the Preakness stakes last year, her spread in Vogue and the deserved HOY that she garnered in January.  No other horse can measure up to her, her losses this year have come against horses that have had to shoot career best bullets to beat her by a total combined margin of a little more than a head.  I and many others believe that a horse’s character is defined by means of a loss, not taking on zero competition and winning easily.  I compare it to the world record holder bolt, how would it look if he were to run against high school kids for the next two years, very similar to what Zenyatta’s connections have asked her to do.  The other division (males) Open company she can’t hold up to, as stated by her trainer who stated that “it was asking too much to run her against males” sad but true, so am I disappointed that Rachel has lost her races this year, absolutely, what is the feeling that I have with regards to the rest of the year, anticipation for her to turn the corner and regain the form that allowed her to break number records in 2009 in comparison with the horse that broke zero records in the same year.   Have a good one.

10 May 2010 4:35 PM
Kay

Zookeeper:

Thanks! As long as it stays fun, I’ll keep at it…

Billy’s Empire:

“Kay, you really think Zenyatta was out of her comfort zone racing on her home track,  a poly track that only a handful of her oppponents in the BC had ever raced on, and a van ride from hollywood? “

Yup. I love how you guys keep demeaning the competition in a race that was acknowledged to be one of the strongest BC Classic fields ever assembled. And before the race, nobody gave her a shot. It’s like you guys didn’t even see the race.

“Rachel shipped from Oaklawn, to Churchill, to Baltimore( on a plane) to New York in 4 months. Yeah, she never left her comfort zone, and apparently will not until the BC. You know that is ridiculous, right? “

I didn’t say Rachel had never left her comfort zone. I said Zenyatta HAD, in response to someone who said she hadn’t. As others have pointed out, however, shouldn’t the reigning HOTY (I’m now talking about THIS year and not LAST year) be coming back in GI races? They wrote a race specifically FOR her. If that’s not a comfort zone, I don’t know what is.

“All I am asking for is 3 races. That is it. If you can not have the supposed best race mare of all time take 5 plane rides in a 6 month period, twice to CD and once to New York, heck, even make it 3 plane rides if she races against the males in the Hollywood Gold Cup or Pacific Classic, and have her ready, you are a bad trainer or just making excuses. Sheriff's is a great trainer, so stop making excuses. “

Oh, okay. So it’s only three races. And you set those rules. If those three races happen, then you won’t ask for another. And then another. Well, yes. You will. Because nothing Zenyatta does will ever defeat the low regard in which you hold her. But that’s okay. There have always been biases in racing, and there always will be.  But really, the bizarre expectation that Zenyatta should be the one to ship to her competition is ludicrous. They all know where she’ll be. Come on over. Bring it. Basically what you want is to get her beat. And you want it a lot. Trainers pick spots for their horses. Good trainers pick the right spots. I find it strange that everybody else knows better than John Shirreffs. Do you contradict your doctor, too?

What’s amusing about this is that Zenyatta went to the Apple Blossom to meet Rachel. Rachel, coming off a decent second in the prep written specifically for her, was taken out of contention. Ergo, when Zenyatta DID ship, nobody came to meet her because they were scared away.

I’ll say this one more time: Shipping up and down the East Coast is NOT THE SAME as shipping – repeatedly – from the West Coast to the East Coast. It’s even hard on people.

10 May 2010 4:44 PM
AfleetAlexForever

This imposter this phony, BigdonKC, only comes out of his dungeon when the claimers stop running at his home track in Oklahoma.  I will say this it takes a very little person to come on and try to give a bio on another poster.  Let me give some background on Little DonKC, he is a follower of the KateHarper on this board, wherever she posts he post, I am sure he rec’v an email advising that he should post something here from his leader, they together in the last 3 years have managed to not only miss picking easy winners of HOY.  But Don is a bandwagon jumper, he liked Curlin for a while but then Kate told him to back BB and then it was all about BB, BB got hurt so they had to settle for Zenyatta to get HOY votes, 2007 & 2008 wrong, why because they don’t understand horse racing. In 09 Rachel was a great horse to these people but then Zen came off her 7 month layoff and scratching out of a race where they predicted rain and she won a few humble, races against optional claimers and the BCC and they just knew she had Horse of the Year wrapped up, Oh the naïve wrong again oh so wrong.  I love being right though, not hard to figure out what a HOY campaign looks like and it don’t look like 4 filly and mare races against the mediocre.  Sad these lowly classless people have to come into such a nice forum and spew nonsense.  But again West Coast Zen lovers, what do u expect , I’ll end by saying Don make sure to play nice and don’t make it a Racial thing like you’ve done so many times in the past.  Thanx

10 May 2010 4:48 PM
AngelaFrom Abilene

AfleetAlexForever 10 May 2010 2:04 PM  "You people keep talking about her doing things with her ears pricked.   Lets think back to the 9 furlong Apple Blossom where she just cantered home..."

If you have ever watched Zenyatta run, you will notice she is always running with her ears up.  Now, look at the rest of the field, their ears are flat back or switching.  

FYI "ears up" indicates that the horse is not working hard, easing along if you will.  "Ears back" is just the opposite.  The horse is really working hard.

The times that Zenyatta runs do NOT mean a thing as, AGAIN, she only runs as fast as she has to to get to the wire first.  That is what you call "Class."  A true "Class Horse" only works as fast/hard as they have to in order to get the job done.  In winning this way, they do not "demolish" the competition...they win with class.

10 May 2010 5:07 PM
jayjay

DRAYNAY : Zenyatta is in the same league as Citation and Cigar !! :)

10 May 2010 5:11 PM
Carlos in Cali

meow,meow,meow,meow,

meow,meow,meow,meow,

meow,meow,meow,meow--meow.meow,meow,meow.

10 May 2010 5:15 PM
jayjay

AAF : Really, could've fooled me :)  I really thought you were a female lol.

Her two losses this year were a combined almost a length not " a little more than a head", Zardana beat her by 3/4 of a length, so I'm not sure what kind of head you're measuring from, judging from your ego, it's possible you're measuring it with your head :)

And as I have guessed, you'd go back to last year.  You never answered my question which is state what her campaign plans SHOULD BE this year.  She set the bar last year right ??  She's such a super horse, with great talents ??  I'm asking a simple question, what SHOULD her campaign plans this year ??  She set so many records last year...she cured cancer last year....she fed and stopped world hunger last year...that was LAST YEAR!!!!  Stop avoiding the question and tell us what she should do to surpass or even match her accomplishments THIS YEAR, is that clear enough ??

If she's the great super invincible amazing horse, let's see her compete at the highest level, let's talk about RA and Zenyatta's campaign plans this year...you've already dismantled what is supposedly Z's plans so let's hear what great super horses plans should be.  

I will again bet that the response will be related to what RA did last year :)

10 May 2010 5:22 PM
AngelaFrom Abilene

CV 10 May 2010 1:32 AM  "...But shouldn't the ability to run and stay sound count for something as well? Eskendereya only ran six times before he was injured and retired."

Yes, the ability to actually run AND stay sound SHOULD be one of the top criteria for picking a stud horse.  The idea behind breeding should ALWAYS be to better the breed.  The quality of horses we see today as opposed to those of days gone by is sadly lacking, as evidenced by short careers due to soundness issues.  The fact is, 50% of the studhorses today should be gelded, as they have nothing to offer but a fashionable pedigree!

10 May 2010 5:28 PM
Kate Harper

Afleetalexforever: "what is the feeling that I have with regards to the rest of the year, anticipation for her to turn the corner and regain the form that allowed her to break number records in 2009 in comparison with the horse that broke zero records in the same year."

I guess you forgot Zenyatta became the 1st distaffer to ever win the BC Classic, to say nothing of the fact she is also the 1st to win both the Ladies' and the Classic back to back.  If she wins again this year, it will be an unprecendented 3 in a row.  Yes, I know, meaningless.

10 May 2010 5:34 PM
jayjay

"I love being right though, not hard to figure out what a HOY campaign looks like and it don’t look like 4 filly and mare races against the mediocre."

Can you please expand on that and actually tell us what a HOY campaign should look like ???  I thought RA's first 2 races were against mediocre F&M.  I'm sure everyone including you and all the RA fans knew that.  It was meant to be workout races, stretch her legs after a layoff ... that kind of race.

No ?  Sounds to me you're avoiding my questions because face it, you really don't know what they'll do with RA because they haven't figured out how to get her to win ONE race.

Here's what I think, find a really really soft spot race, maybe a nongraded stakes, if she wins, she runs in the Hollywood GC, then defend her Woodward win and then BCC.  This way we can see her run on plastic and beat Zen.  She doesn't need to run in CD, that's her home turf, we all know she can run there, let's see the HOY travel around and win anywhere, any surface, then I'll say she is a great horse until then, she's a one year wonder.

10 May 2010 5:37 PM
draynay

AFLEETALEXFOREVER, thanks for putting out the facts ! Zenyatta is still after all these years racing against girls.  The schedule last year was a joke and it's more of the same this year. More restricted poly races.

10 May 2010 5:39 PM
Citation

AfleetAlexForever, did you just insult Oklahoma? Shame on you! You know that the horses who ran second to Zen in the two Apple Blossoms that she won ran here, right? If not for Zenyatta, they would both be Grade One winners! It seems that people on both sides of the argument have degraded to less and less logical arguments as time goes by. AfleetAlexForever and Rechelle started with some good points about Zenyatta's schedule this year. Both were bombarded with insults from the other side. AfleetAlexForever has now resorted to petty insults on the Zen fans. Lazmannick and Jayjay, you appear to be drunk on Zenyatta. Apparently the detractors and supporters of Zenyatta are so offended by the opposing opinion that they cannot accept it without making petty insults. Can't everyone make their cases for whatever side they support fairly, kindly, and with the use of facts?

10 May 2010 5:42 PM
AngelaFrom Abilene

Here's a chance for all of you armchair/keyborad trainers to put your money where your fingers are.  Take a 2 y/o and make a champion out of it and keep it in top form for 3-4 years.  

The nominations are out for the Hollywood Starlet and the CashCall.  Both are GI, CashCall is $750,000 Guaranteed and the Starlet is $200,000 Added.  

I'd like to see some of you train a horse from now until December and win these two GI's.

(Nominations are only $250 by 5/14, $500 by 7/9, $5,000 to enter and $5,000 to start.)

10 May 2010 5:43 PM
Rail Trip

The only thing that Quality Road will be looking at is Zenyatta's (butt).

Note:

Quality Road cannot even beat "Rail Trip" at a mile and a quarter.

10 May 2010 5:59 PM
Zookeeper

jayjay,

I considered you a friend. Then you "peg" an idiot as "female". That tells me a lot about your general opinion of women. If I'm wrong, then maybe you should think about who gets punched as you swing your arms around in order to put down an unworthy opponent.

10 May 2010 6:00 PM
Ruffian

Zenyatta is the polar opposite of Ruffian.

Ruffian ran faster than Zenyatta in the early stages of a race.

Zenyatta ran faster than Ruffian in the latter stages of a race.

"Zenyatta is Ruffian in reverse"

They will always be remembered as the best filly and mare in the history of our sport.

10 May 2010 6:08 PM
HollywoodHit

Just some simple advice, whenever and wherever Zenyatta runs, make time to watch, on the TV, the Internet, at a simulcast, or go see her live. Each race could be her last, so take nothing for granted.

A month ago there was a blog entry stating that Esky was the star we've been waiting for.

Well Zenyatta is a star, one of the best ever, with personality and talent to spare.

It will be a sad day for racing when she really is retired. Appreciate her now, one day at a time.

10 May 2010 6:08 PM
Michelle

I really don't get the Zenyatta bashing.  In the BCC race most of the horses in that race were either turf horses who tend to do well on synthetic or horses who had won over synthetics before.  The only horse that I can give an excuse to is Summer Bird who is clearly a dirt horse.  So dray-naysayers what is the excuse for Gio Ponti, Colonel John, Rip Van Winkle, Einstien, Richard's Kid, Mine that Bird etc?  I guess she just got lucky that day.

10 May 2010 6:09 PM
it ain't easy being wrong as often as draynay

Rachael needs a surface change. Sh'e a multiple loser on dirt and beginning to embarass herself. I was an ardent backer of RA but I've seen the light. She's not in the same league as Zenyatta. One year doesn't make a career and so far RA is 2 for 3 in bad years. That defines her class more than one fluke year filled with wins against weak G1 horses. I'm sorry folks, I was wrong, RA just isn't what we all thought she was. At least I'm man enough to admit being wrong unlike others here particularly draynay who would rather die than admit he's wrong so he just comes up with a flood of new crap hoping you all miss how often he's way off base. I pity the poor little man.

10 May 2010 6:09 PM
sodapopkid

Zenyatta is still after all these years racing against girls.  Draynay

And my goodness, RA can't seem to beat the girls..........the older ones like Zenyatta keeps beating up on.........

10 May 2010 6:19 PM
Zenyatta

Zenyatta appearing on a billboard near you:

www.facebook.com/photo.php

This billboard appears on Hawthorne Blvd and 106th street in Los Angeles.

10 May 2010 6:24 PM
LDP

Zookeeper,

The ones who bash RA for taking a route that a three year old will normally take, and actually she differed even there. How many three year olds of recent years have gone to race their elders in early September in a Grade one race? The race of choice for 3yr old males is the JCGC, a whole month later. Why should RA be trashed for yet again doing something out of the ordinary, that not even any of her 3yr old peers had the guts to do?

Had RA pulled a Point Given season I still would lean towards her for HOTY, but many may not because none of her races were unrestricted.

I am not using the competition to bash her, though I feel she should go out and try to find better. RA was put in situations where she could be tested, the Moss's have yet to truly try that with Zenyatta, even though she had shown the year before how great she could really be. Now they seem to be doing it again. My issue is not with the competition, but more with her connections lack of desire to try and test their mare.

10 May 2010 6:37 PM
Greg J.

Carlos in Cali,

     OK, Out of over 700 comments, Your last comment made the most sense, Thank You!

10 May 2010 7:29 PM
Kay

Jayjay:

"And as I have guessed, you'd go back to last year.  You never answered my question which is state what her campaign plans SHOULD BE this year.  She set the bar last year right ??"

Apparently, that bar is only there for Zenyatta, which is totally confusing. Because no matter how much is said about where Rachel Alexandra is right now, her biggest fans simply refuse to discuss it. They keep going back to 2009 instead of focusing on 2010 because it's easier to defend Rachel's record of 2009 than it is to defend her now.

BTW, Jason, I know that is not what your article was doing. You did acknowledge where Rachel is now... just making that clear!!

Kate Harper:

"I guess you forgot Zenyatta became the 1st distaffer to ever win the BC Classic, to say nothing of the fact she is also the 1st to win both the Ladies' and the Classic back to back.  If she wins again this year, it will be an unprecendented 3 in a row.  Yes, I know, meaningless."

Completely. Only this year will count, unless there's some sort of a crazy track bias that only favors big, late-closing mares. Then they'll have excuses for the rest of the field. What Zenyatta has done in the BC has NEVER been done by ANY OTHER HORSE. But she did it at Santa Anita, so it doesn't count. Given that, I would like to throw out Sunday Silence's BC win over Easy Goer because it wasn't in New York.

We're looking at two completely different philosophies here. The Jackson/Asmussen philosophy (post-Curlin) is to win as many races as possible as early as possible, and skip the Breeder's Cup. Whereas the Moss/Shirreffs philosophy is to structure a year that culminates in the Breeder's Cup. Personally, I am more favorably disposed to the latter. I hated that Mineshaft didn't run in the BC. I don't like a HOTY that didn't run in the BC. But your mileage may vary on that. Which says that there is NEVER going to be an agreement here. But it's fun to argue about it!!

10 May 2010 7:31 PM
jayjay

Zookeeper : I consider you a good person also and possibly a good friend if we ever get to meet since I believe you are also based in the Bay Area.  

But...calling a female an idiot doesn't reflect on my views about women.  It was directed to AAF who I thought was a woman.  Just because I refer to a specific "female" as an idiot, doesn't mean my views on women in general is that all women are idiots.  I grew up with 3 sisters and the ratio of women in my family (clan) are about 4 to 1 .  My only child is a 4 yr old princess.  Not all females are classy or deserve respect.  Someone already mentioned Palin in these blogs, would you be offended as well if I call Sarah an idiot ?  Because I wouldn't be the first but it doesn't mean I'm disrespecting all women by saying that.  I'm actually surprised at your assumption based on what I said to AAF.

Apologies in advance to everyone for going off topic but ZK brought up a sensitive subject for me so I felt I needed to explain myself :)

Back on topic :  

I just read an article that it's official, Zenyatta will not be racing in the Gold Cup.  I'm sure the bashers will again come in full force LOL.

I'll say it again, come November, whoever is the best dirt horse out there will have to face the great Zenyatta and again, they will go home with their tails between their legs and saying "I wish she would retire", I'm tired of running for 2nd or 3rd or 4th, or with QR, stopping after 1 1/8th and finishing last :)  We will then again hear the quotes after the race from trainers and owners how great Zenyatta is and that she is in a level of her own.  No one can match up to her!

10 May 2010 7:42 PM
Civil War

Kay,

That was C-L-A-S-S-I-C!

Rachel Alexandra reminds me of another Easy Goer. The east still thinks both were better than their west coast adversaries.

We both know who had the better  head-to-head race record (Sunday Silence over Easy Goer).

The next thing the east will bring up is that War Admiral had better Beyer Speed figures than Seabiscuit.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

PS:

Andy Beyer was only a twinkle in daddy's eyes back then. LOL!

10 May 2010 8:01 PM
LAZMANNICK

Afleetalexforever

I answered the question exactly the way you asked it, your post at 2:07 am.

“Laz u have all of these technicalities, please advise me of Zen’s great competition last year, who did she face in the mare division that won graded stakes other than Life is Sweet?  Can I get an answer..  lol”

Here’s a question though.  Of all those so called graded winners Rachel beat, (A) How many won a G-1 race against older fillies and mares? (B) How many of them even considered running against a male (even a claimer)?

Another question.  How come Rachel never even considered racing against older fillies and mares?  I’ll give you a hint.  The answer is pretty obvious.

10 May 2010 8:04 PM
LAZMANNICK

AfleetAlexForever wrote:

I have had the pleasure of watching Rachel run 5 times in person and wouldn’t trade those experiences including her last two losses for anything.  Rachel is a regal, beautiful princess who has taken the world of horse racing by storm.  The excitement in the different arenas that Rachel has run have been on a level of a Rock Star, the moment that she enters the paddock.  No horse has captured the imagination of the horse racing world and also the regular TC type fan or even no fan of horse racing at all. When walking down the street with my Rachel Alexandra hat or shirt on people stop me and ask questions about her.

I can imagine your love affair with Rachel.  She’s quite the babe and I’ve posted those exact same words a few times.  However, when it comes to pure excitement and total adoration I take it you’ve never been to Cali when the great mare struts into the paddock.  And the feeling of pure exhilaration when she came back to the grandstand after the BCC (taking her time on purpose to make her millions upon million of adoring fans wait) all of whom just couldn’t wait to run to the gift shop and buy their Zenyatta tea shirts and Zenyatta hats.  And wasn’t she runner up for female athlete of the year in ’09?

10 May 2010 8:18 PM
jayjay

Citation : what petty insults did I throw at anyone ?  But you're right, I'm drunk on Zenyatta.  But she's way way out of my league.  My comments are mostly defending Zenyatta as a great horse, not just a great mare, a great horse because to me she has proven it.  So yeah, call me drunk on Zen, I'll take it as a positive remark :)

I'm not sure if you're the same Citation that posted the list of dirt horses that Zenyatta should face and apologies for not seeing that post earlier.  THANK YOU!!  Now, out of that list, I really don't see anyone worthy of Zen needing to travel to the east coast.  I can only see potentially 3 or 4 out of that list making it to the BCC this year :

QR : only because the field is really weak over there in the east coast

Summer Bird : but have yet to see a workout from him (he is potentially the only major contender in my opinion)

Battle Plan : He seems to be getting better everytime he runs but he is not quite in the same level as SB.

Einstein : His age may be catching up to him.

I'm probably responding to two different Citations but oh well...

Zookeeper : I didn't peg AAF as a female, I thought I read on one of the comments that AAF is a female so when he responded to my compliments of Kay, I thought "she" was thinking that I was also complimenting "her."

10 May 2010 8:34 PM
LAZMANNICK

Another Beyer wonder.   Rail Trip, after all the praise and ease with which he won his race in a very good time gets a 98 Beyer.  WOW.  I guess that this proves the theory that you should add about 8 points to a route Beyer on synthetics to compare them to dirt Beyers.

10 May 2010 8:39 PM
Zookeeper

LDP,

You are one of my favorites on here, but how can you say, with a straight face, that Zenyatta was never tested last year?

Have you become so angered by the idious attacks towards Rachel that you have joined the ranks of those who consider the BCC a walkover, just because Zen made it look easy?

Look, both horses are fantastic! They have different styles and they had different schedules last year and probably will this year also. To keep trying to elevate one over the other is not only stupid but it also does a great disservice to them both.

You said yourself that this blog's topic was about Zenyatta's proposed races, not about Rachel. The haters (on both sides) have caused it to degenerate into something that borders insanity. Don't let yourself fall into their trap. You are better than they are and you KNOW better then to lash out in anger (I know the feeling, believe me!)at a mare who doesn't deserve it. Hugs!  :)  

10 May 2010 8:44 PM
say it ain't so

RA=The real FLUKE!! It takes a fluke to beat a fluke. Too bad there are no more flukes for her to face so she's relagated to repeating her 1st year of racing and losing.

10 May 2010 8:51 PM
draynay

Tell Zenyatta to stay in California she is a average horse the minute she leaves and can't run in mud so stay on the poly.  We can't promise the weather will always be perfect for her.

10 May 2010 8:51 PM
Bob Z

True Blue Blood,

I agree with what you said in that Zenyatta coming (and winning) the Stephen Foster would put the Rachel issue to bed at least until the Woodward...

I don't know the dates for the west coast races but the Foster the Woodward and the Jockey Club Gold Cup would work....  and then its off to the Breeders Cup ...

Any time a horse steps on the track there is a chance of not winning.... but by going to the Foster it puts the heat on Team Rachel... to either put up or shut up ... and if its shut up ... then its stay shut up....

I think all Zenyatta needs to do is run at the Foster, (Kentucky) and then run once in New York,.. the Woodward or the Jockey Club Gold Cup ... thats only 2 more races  outside California...  

... she could still run in California once or twice for the home town fans... and then leave herself 6-8 weeks after her last race (Woodward or JCGC)to get ready for the Breeders Cup...

Its a great strategic move by Team Zenyatta to run her in the Foster...  to me its a no brainer...

Foster

The Hollywood Gold Cup

Woodward

Jockey Club Gold Cup

Pacific Classic

10 May 2010 8:53 PM
draynay

Cluck Cluck Cluck, hey Jason its getting more laughable every day...

www.drf.com/.../112840.html

I told you they would avoid Rail Trip what a COMPLETE JOKE. They won't race males??? Not even on the Plastic??? HAHAHAHAHA some HOY candidate.

10 May 2010 9:03 PM
draynay

Jason, I am sorry but that is just pathetic.  I now feel sorry for the horse.  Mr. Moss you become HOY by taking on the best and biggest challenges not running from them.  What a JOKE. 

10 May 2010 9:07 PM
draynay

WANTED....

One top horse in California willing to take me on.  Must be talented and willing to take on a budding star. The weak and scared need not apply.

Signed... Rail Trip

10 May 2010 9:09 PM
2:24

Jason, I am equally disheartened.  Why did they even bring her back?

10 May 2010 9:13 PM
draynay

Geez Jason this is UNREAL.  She won't take on Rail Trip and she won't run East of the Mississippi. She really is just a regional horse. So much for HOY.  I guess it's just a 3 horse race between Super Saver, Quality Road and Rachel.

10 May 2010 9:14 PM
Jason Shandler

Im not sure why 2:24. I guess to break Cigar and Citation's record. They are certainly taking the easiest path toward doing it if that was their goal.  

10 May 2010 9:15 PM
sodapopkid

So, Jason, that don't matter.  Thats not the end of the world.  She has some other races she can come east and prep in before the BCC.

 The one horse she came back to run and win against ain't doing anything worth talking about. So, my perogative is this,  Zenyatta can save the best for last, like she always does. She can prove herself in the BCC,  We know the other filly won't be there.

 Zenyatta came back in 2010 just to take on RA, and well, not much competition there , Right? as far as who is better on the tracks so far.........Everytime Ra raced this year she has tarnished her title a bit more and a bit more.

Zenyatta is Zenyatta, she is what she is, and she has came back every year the same way,  I can't say the same aboout the other filly.

I don't blame the Mosses, They don't have any real threatening competition out there right now, unless we have a triple crown......which is highly doubtful.............

The east coast biases will fault her no matter what she does........But who cares, the world is her oyster.

The world, not just her fans recognize how great a mare/racehorse Zenyatta is.

At this point in racing, she is the best race horse in the world..........

10 May 2010 9:17 PM
sodapopkid

Regarding your 8:53 pm post Jason, I am equally disheartened.  Why did they even bring her back?

Who cares? she is still racing at six, and winning.  

Question?  Why is the 2009 HOTY still losing races and is suppose to be shining up her award instead of wiping the tarnish off..........

10 May 2010 9:21 PM
Jason Shandler

Sodapop: Im glad you are such a big fan of hers. But you will be whining next January just like you were last January when she doesnt win HOY. There is no way she will win the award at this rate. I dont care if she wins the Classic again or finishes her career 20-0. If you dont embark on a challenging campaign the other 10 months of the year you dont win HOY. Call it East Coast bias, call it whatever you will. You have to face the best horses more than once to earn my vote. Why in the world wouldnt they consider the Gold Cup??

You keep injecting RA into the conversation. She has nothing to do with it. They are two seperate horses. But if it makes you feel better, so be it.

10 May 2010 9:22 PM
sodapopkid

I guess it's just a 3 horse race between Super Saver, Quality Road and Rachel.      draynay

"Lol," laughing too,   Rachel, you say, dray??   If she is looking like a HOTY this year in your eyes, You better head on over to the eye doctor soon as possible, dont waste a minute getting there either...........I'm choking, I'm laughing so hard.....

10 May 2010 9:26 PM
LDP

Zookeeper,

The BCC while a nice field was not the all star cast it was made out to be. I would've taken the Ladies Classic last year over the Classic field. I am not saying that in a bad way at all, just saying it wasn't all star power like it looked on paper. Almost every big name in the race had a legit exuse. SB and MTB have obviously are better on dirt and MTB detests the Pro Ride. Rip has bad feet an had a tough season before traveling here. Twice Over is a nice horse, no world beater, QR freaked at a helecopter, and Gio is a turf horse that belongs on just turf. Is he good on synthetics, yes, but not as good as he is on turf. Einstein, who I love, for some unknow reason clucked. Overall I think the field was good, and one of the better fields Zen has faced, but not World Class.

I think if she runs into some of the big time dirt horses this year in the Classic it will be much more of a test.

Besides the Classic last year she ran against a group of watered down mares over and over, not even attempting to go out of her comfort zone.

I say it with a straight face because I believe it. I'm anything but angry, maybe tire and a little irratated, but not angry. What I say I believe.

10 May 2010 9:26 PM
jayjay

Here's why I don't think RA will be back winning anytime soon.  Watch the La Troinne race again and you'll see CB hit her at least 8 times, from nearing the 8th pole to the finish and Unrivaled Belle was hit twice.

I'm thinking calling her a one year wonder is starting to become a reality.

As I predicted, the bashers are now coming out in full force in light of the article that Zen is not running in the Gold Cup.  This pretty much confirms my suspicion that they are after the record and not HOY.  

I don't doubt for a minute that come November, Zenyatta will showcase her talent, at CD, on the dirt and beating less than qualified horses like QR and Battle Plan.  Sadly, RA will be watching the races from the breeding farm.

ZK : No worries bud, I'm working on planning to go to HP for the Vanity, it all depends on the schedule.

10 May 2010 9:27 PM
draynay

Sodapopkid, what don't you understand?  She is not even the best horse in California anymore and THEY just ADMITTED it!

This is too funny and sad at the same time. 

10 May 2010 9:29 PM
Footlick

I have to say I'm disappointed also.  I can't understand them not running in the Gold Cup after prepping in the Vanity. It made more sense than shipping for the Foster.   Oh well.  Maybe plans will change.

10 May 2010 9:30 PM
sodapopkid

Jason, Personally,  I dont think the Mosses are really worrying about a east coast biased award anyway.  They have their satisfaction already this year.

Jason it is early in the year, so they have plenty of time to do some jaw dropping races.......the problem is Jason, is yall can't get any of your grade 1 filly's to take her on.   IF QR wants some of her , he can have it at the BCC.

10 May 2010 9:36 PM
Kay

Jason:

"You have to face the best horses more than once to earn my vote. "

So does this go for everyone, or just Zenyatta? Just curious, because I didn't see Rachel Alexandra facing the "best" horses last year. She was finished by September.

I do wish she'd run in the Gold Cup. I don't know why they've decided against it but maybe they've got something else up their sleeves. What I DO think, however, is that they are operating under the same plan they had last year, which was to use the year to work towards the Breeder's Cup. They DID say that the Classic is their plan. And after last year, they also know that this plan won't necessarily get them HOTY but it seems like they're okay with it. Maybe -- just maybe -- getting HOTY isn't as important to them as everyone thinks it is. I was VERY disappointed when she didn't win HOTY but even MORE disappointed that Asmussen got it over Shirreffs. That, to me, was the biggest crime.

So far, I don't see any plans for Rachel that culminate in the BC Classic. And it'll be interesting to see what happens if she DOES return to last year's form because Jackson ducking out of THIS BC would be (hopefully) unforgivable, regardless of his excuses. But could Rachel really point towards the Classic? That seems unlikely.

Personally, the fact that they're going for the record in front of the fans who've been following Zenyatta since her first race makes me pretty happy, but that's only out of selfishness <g>.

Zookeeper: I'm also closer to Santa Anita than HP but I'll be heading over there to see her run. I really hate that track...

10 May 2010 9:38 PM
Greg J.

Sodapopkid,

      Just a little advice, You don't need to show such a lack of class to build up Zenyatta.  Rachel is the reigning Horse of the Year, She had a hell of a campaign last year and deserved it, How about a little respect?  Is Rachel the same as last year?  No, Or not yet I should say.  The year isn't even half over, Alot can and usually does happen.  You can make a legit case for Zenyatta's campaign this year without your constant put downs of a great Champion in Rachel Alexandra...

10 May 2010 9:41 PM
THE Better Half

I see why the people who write on these blogs feel this is their only avenue of expressing their opinions. Because it is and they are only reaching each other with this nonsense. Even though I do not see the need for the same people expressing the same opinion 127 times each.

I am however somewhat puzzled why you Jason feel a need to try and challenge Jerry, Ann, John, Dottie on a thread like this. Just curious. It is a bit suspect and a dubious way to try and maintain any type of relationship with the racing world. I am confused at what you are trying to accomplish. If you would care to enlighten me and anyone out there who is asking themselves the same question.

Thank You

10 May 2010 9:41 PM
sodapopkid

She is not even the best horse in California anymore..

draynay

RE:  But she will be by the end of the year.  It don't have to come in the form of HOTY either.

10 May 2010 9:43 PM
jayjay

Jason : We all understand that you are a great fan of Zenyatta, you want to see her in a different campaign so that you can vote for her to win the HOY but it's obvious at this point that they are not after your vote, in fact, it seems to me that they are doing this just to let you guys know that they really don't care about the HOY.  I'm pretty sure it would be a different campaign if that's what they were after for.

As I've said before, HOY means you're the best horse for that year, THAT YEAR.  Whereas the record will stand the test of time, we are still talking about Cigar and whenever a horse goes on a win streak, the first mention is Cigar and Citation and now Zenyatta.  She's in a totally different level compared to the horses out there today.

10 May 2010 9:47 PM
Jason Shandler

The Better Half: I am simply giving my opinion, one that is shared by many others. Zenyatta is a champion but the campaign they are again embarking on is very puzzling.

10 May 2010 9:50 PM
sodapopkid

How about a little respect?  Greg J

RE:  When does Zenyatta get her respect?   Huh???

Greg J , No offense, but you must be a pure Rachelite....

I have said nothing no more than some I have read on here critisizing Zen, but thats OK right???  

10 May 2010 9:56 PM
Bob Z

Hope this lightens things up a little..

www.youtube.com/watch

10 May 2010 9:56 PM
sodapopkid

Jason, Maybe after the way Rachel came back this year after her campaighn to get HOTY, it scared them so they said to heck with it, it aint worth Zenyatta to end up like that, so they are opting for the BCC in NOvember. and a prep before on dirt....or who knows, maybae they arent seeking HOTY anymore , like someone said, Maybe they want to beat PP,  and leave it at that.  

10 May 2010 10:00 PM
Jasmine M

What has everybody so convinced Quality Road is going to get a mile and a quarter? If I remember correctly, his two attempts at 10 furlongs didn't end in dazzling, track-record performances. Maybe it was just the slop, but if he does turn out to handle the distance, I will be surprised.

If anything, I thought the Zenyatta skeptics would be touting Summer Bird, a proven distance horse on dirt. I know he's MIA right now because of the injury, but I thought I read an article a while back saying he was getting ready for a summer campaign. Maybe it was my imagination, but anyone know what's up with him?

Meanwhile, I'm a little disappointed to hear Zenyatta won't be in the Hollywood Gold Cup. I rather liked the idea of a Zenyatta-Rail Trip match up. But on the bright side, maybe that means she'll be going east later in the summer.

Kay,

I have to say I love reading your posts. You make great arguments against the doubters. Proving 'em wrong one by one.

10 May 2010 10:02 PM
sodapopkid

Bob Z,  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to cute............

10 May 2010 10:02 PM
Matthew W

They are pretecting her record--to a point--they would like her to remain unbeaten going into the Breeders Cup Classic, no doubt--but at that time, at Churchill Downs in late Fall, they will be risking everything, at 1 1/4 v males over dirt (fast I hope)...they are making sure they have a fresh horse for Fall--unbelievable Zen-bashing on here, but they have said, many times, their goal is The Classic--that is enough for me--Zenyatta, at 1 1/4 over dirt, vs Rail Trip and Quality Road....that is enough for me---lest I second guess a team that has fired cannon shots all sixteen times....

10 May 2010 10:03 PM
Zookeeper

LDP,

I give up. Even YOU cannot admit the obvious and continue with the same mantra: "Let's demolish the field to lessen Zenyatta's victory!" The same mantra used by people who wish to lessen Rachel's victory in the Woodward. Sad!

10 May 2010 10:06 PM
LAZMANNICK

Jason:

I agree with what you say and I find the decision disappointing.  However, in answer to your statement, why not consider the Gold Cup?  Go back in history.  I’ve stated before and I’ll state it again.  Only one filly or mare has defeated older males in a G-1 race on dirt at 1-1/4M in 42 years.  That mare was Zenyatta in the 2009 BCC.  The last to do it was Princessnesian in 1968.  It’s one of the toughest things to ask a distaffer to do.  To ask Zen to do that twice at six is really pushing it and if she did that would be three times in one calendar year.  I believe, all things being equal, she’ll be at the BCC, but why push it at that distance before?  Besides, it’s at Hollywood, not in the east.  To many it won’t prove much and if she did win then the next statement would be, well Quality Road wasn’t in the race, and then well it wasn’t on conventional dirt, etc. etc.  I think that the Moss barn is showing humility now, but like last year, they’re saving the best for last. LOL

10 May 2010 10:10 PM
Matthew W

I've not met the Cali horseman who's not in awe of Rachel Alexandra---and yet so many Easteners who just toss Zenyatta---and that tells me it's the surface she runs on...so why do they lament her last campaign, in which they have gone to Oaklawn, and promise to travel East again, for the big one?...Do they not want to see Zenyatta at her very best in the Fall? And is it, really--only about the surface?  

10 May 2010 10:10 PM
sherpa

IF Super Saver happens to win the TC this year, he's an automatic shoo-in for HotY.  Would you agree with that, Jason?  No matter what Zen does, the turf writers would vote for the TC winner over her.  

That being a given, why should her connections take chances with shipping their priceless mare until the TC question is answered?

10 May 2010 10:11 PM
Jimmy

(Shirreffs was asked if there was any chance Zenyatta would run in the Hollywood Gold Cup against males. Shirreffs responded, "No. We're not looking to climb the highest mountain possible. She's proven herself now.")

Wow. Look at the champion. Taking on all challengers. Oh yeah, she must be the greatest. What? She wins one win against males on a fake track and all of a sudden she has nothing else to prove? Ever heard the saying "talk is cheap?" Now they have a chance to prove Zenyatta as a champion, and they are taking the easy way out ducking Rail Trip. How pathetic is that. How many horses did Cigar duck? Citation? She may eclipse their winning streak, but she doesn't even belong in the same breath as those champions that took on all comers OUTSIDE of their home track and comfort zone. I hope Team Zenyatta isn't placing all their eggs in the Breeders Cup basket, because it will be reality check time when she has to run down the best horses that are not impeded by the track. Apparently, they are afraid of that same thing happening with Rail Trip. And if you say they are not afraid, why are they ducking him? Good luck with that answer.

10 May 2010 10:14 PM
Kay

Matthew W:

It's not just about the surface. The surface just makes the bias easier to justify. This is the same old East/West conflict that's been going on since there WAS a West.

sherpa:

Yeah, Super Saver winning the Triple Crown would shut us all up, unless someone would like to justify how the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 shouldn't be HOTY...

That being said, I agree with the people who say that Calvin Borel at Churchill Downs moves horses up. I like Super Saver and picked him, but I don't think he's going to win the next two.

Lookie! Triple Crown talk!

10 May 2010 10:23 PM
Greg J.

Sodapopkid,

      Fine, Keep making yourself look silly, Your perogative.  FYI, I have the utmost respect for both Champions, I just don't feel the need to beat one up to build up the other, It isn't needed or neccasary...

10 May 2010 10:23 PM
Footlick

LDP- I'm glad that there were so many fields run for 3 yr olds and up last year that were classier than the BCC that you can make that statement.   Some horses didn't fire, some did.  That's horse racing.  It happens in most races.  By the way, Twice Over is a legitimate Group 1 winner.  He was considered one of the top older horses in Europe and then went off form.  Cecil did a masterful job at getting his confidence back and having him ready to run the race of his life.  The Europeans liked his chances in the BCC.

10 May 2010 10:24 PM
Blind Squirrel

Could someone please help me? I've been searching for the criteria that needs to be met to be considered for Horse of the Year. Is there a HOTY rulebook that could be referenced please.

10 May 2010 10:29 PM
THE Better Half

Thank you for that explanation. It is just that you expressed your opinion quite clearly in your blog article. The engaging in the disparaging comments and back and forth that is going on here is what I am a wee bit stymied by.

I do not understand how racing fans can make these types of comments that I am reading on here let alone with such venom and repetitiveness.

It is really quite pointless at this point in time primarily due to the fact that the mare is not even scheduled to run until mid-June. Much can happen in that time frame.

Do those on here think they may be reaching those making the decisions regarding the mare?

Do those same people not realize that even though the owners want people to love the mare, they are doing what they want to do with their animal?

I can assure you if and that is a very big if, I were reading these comments about one of mine I would think some are very ungrateful and some are just nuts.

I must admit again that I am quite disappointed that one of the premier internet sites and publications representing my beloved racing is allowing this to go on and on unchecked.

Some of it is very hurtful and detrimental to horse racing.

This may not be what some wish to hear but it is heartfelt and what any number of those who are involved in racing feel about this type of continuing thrashing.

10 May 2010 10:33 PM
Draynay

Jimmy is my hero.  Ditto.

10 May 2010 10:34 PM
Citation

Jayjay, yes it was me who posted both of the posts you referred to. I didn't mean you with the comments on people making petty insults, sorry if it came out that way. You're welcome for the list. I think that Quality Road is a better horse this year than last, and I honestly think he can beat any horse running, but anyone who thinks Zen will win has many valid reasons to think so. About the drunk on Zenyatta comment, I meant it as neither an insult nor a complement, but if you want to take it as a compliment, go ahead.

10 May 2010 10:34 PM
Jason Shandler

The Better Half: The comments are monitored. People come on blogs to give their opinions.

10 May 2010 10:38 PM
Draynay

Sherpa, just so you know Quality Road is in the lead for HOY not Zenyatta.  And with the path he is taking Zenyatta will have little chance of passing him.  He is facing open company she is staying in restricted company.

10 May 2010 10:42 PM
Footlick

THE Better Half- This is how it gets with this topic on this blog.  I try to post as little as possible anymore.  Both sides get venemous and rude.  Owners and trainers ultimately will do what they think best for the horse.  If you are a fan you have opinions but accept their decisions because it's their horse.  But things get extremely heated here.  If it isn't what people want, they express it.  Some are more eloquent than others.  Some are more fair than others.  But better that there is a separate blog for this topic instead of it coming up on the Preakness blog, except knowing some of the bloggers it probably already has.   It really is a no-win situation.

10 May 2010 10:46 PM
THE Better Half

Understood. It is wonderful to have an outlet for fans and those in racing to express themselves.

When does it become redundant and purely for shock value and chest thumping?

900 comments? A thousand?

I believe after the same person has commented 20 or more times it is an exercise in ego.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion. I will retire from the blog as I have made my point and do not want to become redundant myself.

10 May 2010 10:47 PM
Jason Shandler

Nice having you aboard, however brief it was. I guess you could always go to the majority of other racing blogs that average about 12 comments per post. They are a blast :)

10 May 2010 10:56 PM
Mike

Sure enough, Shirreffs has just announced that they ARE NOT RUNNING IN THE HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP.

We could be talking about Zenyatta being in the same league as Man O'War but they would rather beat up on stiffs.

Moss and Shirreffs took the best mare in history and wasted her career running against second-rate females.

They should be ASHAMED of themselves.

Their 16-0 Mare will be the only undefeated horse never to win Horse of the Year.

What an outrage!

10 May 2010 11:02 PM
jayjay

Citation : Yes, I didn't say that QR can't beat any horse running, I actually said that he is probably the best in the east coast right now simply because the field over there is weak and Summer Bird was injured and I've not seen or heard any news about any workouts from him.

I even stated that QR is probably the only horse other than Battle Plan that will be there in the end but I certainly don't think they match up well with Zen at the distance.  QR ran twice at the distance and lost both to Summer Bird, I also stated that SB is the major contender because he has run the distance and won ...twice.  Not to mention that he won the Belmont going away but he's also quickly running out of time to get back into racing shape.

Thanks for the nice and decent posts, it makes a big difference having a discussion with someone who doesn't resort to insults just to prove their point.  I'm sure after all my posts, I probably came off as a Rachel hater but I'm not, I actually feel bad for the filly, I was never a fan of her but as I've mentioned before she did accomplish a lot for a 3 yr old.  No one can take that away from her, but people kept comparing Zen with her and questioning the campaign when the reigning HOY herself can't even get her campaign started in the right way.

Now that there's a blog for the Preakness, I'll probably spend more time reading that than the same "stuff" over and over again here unless someone messes with my Zenyatta and my future ex-wife Kay :)

10 May 2010 11:07 PM
Niatross

Jimmy,

...and then you woke up, right?

10 May 2010 11:08 PM
LDP

Footlick,

I am not saying the BCC field was bad, just not the world class field it was hyped up to be. I would say that on paper, and possibly even litterally, it was the best field put together last year, that does not mean, however, it was a star powerpacked field.

Pro-ride, or any synthetic really, skrews with how things are, which is why I dislike synthetic tracks. They are not an equalizer for both side, but actually seem to polarize the differences between turf or dirt. One synthetic I do like is Hollywood Park's track. It does seem to play more dirt based and I haven't seen a lot of the spikes in break downs that have occured at Del Mar and Santa Anita, happen their. If a synthetic track were to become nation wide I would graciously accept that one.

Personally had the Classic been held at Hollywood Park or a track that was dirt or played similar, I think there would be a huge amount of truth in the statment that the 09 Classic field was one of the best assembled last decade. Pro-Ride with it's weirdness, for lack of better words screwed it up.

If all come to this years Classic I would love to see the outcome. Can you imagine, RA, IWR, QR,SB, Zen,Rail Trip, LAL, SS and many more duking it out at CD? If all those horses can comeback to top form that will be the best Classic field I have ever witness in my short time of racing. It would truley be a Championship event IMO and the winner would have to be crowned as one of the best of the decade at least.

What I want is to quit second guessing, many of the synthetics have done nothing but allow us to do just that. The lack of competion, the lack of desire to go beyond a comfort zone has led the fans to become frustrated, and to second guess. We shouldn't have to second guess, we should have the right to know.

10 May 2010 11:12 PM
Kay

The Better Half:

This has been a pretty genteel discussion, IMO. The Internet can be a bit rough and tumble but these comments don't even hold a candle to those elsewhere. And hopefully, anyone connected with Zenyatta (and Rachel, for that matter) has the good sense to not read message boards. Sure, you can get curious... but it's always a bad idea to poke your head in if you're the subject of the discussion.

10 May 2010 11:12 PM
Frank L.

Mike,

Take a valium, pal.

Go watch Rachel Alexandra lose again.

We don't care about "Horse of the Year" out west.

It's an east coast popularity contest.

One thing I do know. Zenyatta is going to surpass the legendary "Eclipse" before her racing career is over with.

10 May 2010 11:12 PM
jayjay

Blind Squirrel:  I don't believe such a thing exists.  It seems it's all on how the writers/voters deemed as the best races throughout the year (only dirt and if it's a female horse, you have to beat the boys 3 or more times.)  That's where RA set the bar last year so from here on out, it's the only way a female horse can win the HOTY.  To me, that pretty much lost it's meaning.

10 May 2010 11:13 PM
Greg J.

     Now that Dominic Terry has been fired, I guess Calvin is next?  Then what?  Who will be next in line to blame?

10 May 2010 11:15 PM
LDP

Zookeeper,

You are not hering me I am not trying to lessen Zenyatta and I am not trying to take away from her win by downgrading the field. There were legit holes in that field that causes, not just me but many to take a step back and look at the true quality of the field. I don't think it was a bunch of world beaters, but I will not trash the horses who showed up either. It was a good, not great, good field, how is that "demolishing" the field.

I personally feel the same way about the Haskell and Woodward last year. Were some of the horses at their best in the Haskell no, but they were still good horses. Was the Woodward strong on paper, no, but the form the horses were in made the field "good."

I think Zen beat the better field of the two. I would like to see her do it again, but it doesn't look like we will anytime soon.

10 May 2010 11:19 PM
Citation

Jayjay, it has been a pleasure to have a conversation with you too. I think that QR failing to get the distance of 1 1/4 miles last year was more due to the mud than the distance, for I think that his performance in the Donn Handicap seemed to show that he could get farther with no trouble, and his sire was the sire of Smarty Jones and Raven's Pass, who are a Derby winner and a BCC winner, respectively. I will be monitoring the Preakness blog too, and I may post.

10 May 2010 11:30 PM
CV

From: draynay 10 May 2010 9:14 PM

"She won't take on Rail Trip and she won't run East of the Mississippi. She really is just a regional horse...I guess it's just a 3 horse race between Super Saver, Quality Road and Rachel."

I recommend you adjust your "3 horse race" names. Rail Trip is pointed toward the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic, where he will meet Zenyatta. And unless Rachel drastically improves, I doubt she'll be attending. I'm also not sure Quality Road's best distance is 1-1/4 miles.

10 May 2010 11:31 PM
CV

Greg J.,

Where did you read that Rachel's exercise rider Dominic Terry has been fired?

10 May 2010 11:34 PM
The West Could Care A Less

Right Coast,

Do you think the west cares about winning "Horse of the Year"?

Horse of the Year is an east coast popularity contest?

The west could care a less.

East Coast horses have won the "Horse of the Year" title 15 out of the last 20 years.

en.wikipedia.org/.../American_Horse_of_the_Year

The only horses to win "Horse of the Year" in the last 20 years (from the west coast) are the following:

2002: Azeri

2001: Point Given

2000: Tiznow

1993: Kotashaan

1992: AP Indy

Note:

Ghostzapper could be considered a west coast horse since he started his career at Hollywood Park, but we'll leave him out since a majority of his career was spent back east.

10 May 2010 11:48 PM
sodapopkid

LAZMANNICK 10 May 2010 10:10 PM

Amen Laz.  You are 100% correct.  

Greg J,  I see your point, but I have to ask you a question?  Had the shoe been on the other foot and Zenyatta came back losing two races , Where do you think the Rachelites would be?? Other than critisizing Zen to the hilts.

You know I'm telling the truth.  But do you pay attention to the fact that they continue to bash Zenyatta  because they are upset that RA has fallen from grace.

They are going to find fault with everything that concerns Zen and her connections,

And people cannot say not to bring RA into the picture, because RA is the reason for the picture, It was because of Ra that they brought Zen out of retirement. That was to face RA, and she would have had not JJ contiue to keep ducking the mighty mare like he did all last year,  IT is on Ra fans and connections that it is like this in the posts, because you all put her on a high pedastal last year acting like she was never going to be beat , ever, and  this year she has been defeated twice by grade 3 horses.............And the Rachelites are the same , every word they acknowledge about Ra and her fallen races they quickly disparge Zen in the same breath...........So it goes both ways.......silly or not, the Rachelites brought this on themselves...........And yes, every horse is beatable, even Zen, they just have not found one yet to beat her.  I don't think it will ever be a grade 3 stringer.  We'll see who can give her a run for the money in the BCC or before....Every 4 year old mare/filly is free to take her on.....they can travel to her or wait for her to come back east.  I hope they arent so scared the next time............

11 May 2010 12:00 AM
Blind Squirrel

Thanks jayjay. If there is no criteria, then what meaning is there for HOTY? Also how much prize money goes with this award? It must be significant.

I would think that for a potential stallion prospect a HOTY award would also increase his stud value a lot while for a filly it would have some effect but not as much. Simple economics. So I'm thinking the prize money must be huge.

11 May 2010 12:08 AM
sodapopkid

Greg J, I agree with your post about who the next in line to blame.  This is getting rediculous,  JJ has himself to blame,   If he takes CB off her, I would suggest that he will have be done made a serious mistake.........I dont think it is the exercise rider, the jockey ,  the problem lies within the horse herself..........and the owner and trainer........she stayed in the barn too long......Why did they leave her in the barn so long Jason?  They said she was coming back as a four year old???

They could have shipped her to Fla. or another barn were the weather wont so bad, and Steve A. has plenty of other barns she could have been sent to......

11 May 2010 12:09 AM
Rear View Mirror

Nothing like Zenyatta and a 17th victory.

Makes the skin crawl on the easterners (AKA: Saratoga AJ, Draynay, Jason Shandler, etc).

Bye Bye... Cigar!

11 May 2010 12:17 AM
Kate Harper

Yes, I heard that not only Terry removed as RA's exercise rider but that Borel was off as well.  Yes, I would certainly place the blame on her regression this year on her exercise rider.  No point in wondering if her all out effort to hold off Macho Again changed her competitive fire and she no longer wants to put it on the line to hold off lesser horses.  Perhaps it's her own sense of self-preservation to no longer dig down when another horse comes eye to eye with her down the stretch.  

It is really incomprehensible that posters could decry Zenyatta's competition and still herald RA as a one in a million runner when she has yet to beat allowance and G2 runners this year.  

As far as Afleetalexforever's comments about Bigdonokc, that's almost as laughable as his standard posts.  Don is one of the best handicappers I have ever known.  He has followed the sport for decades, unlike AAF who thinks his 4 or 5 years of experience makes him an expert.  Don has enough expertise in this game that he was interviewed by a newspaper last year for his insight, readily shares his knowledge with anyone and is not a follower of mine, only a friend.  And I guarantee he would never be so presumptuous to tell a trainer and owner, who truly care about the welfare of their horse, how they should campaign their runner.  If AAF is that concerned about a horse's legacy maybe he should start questioning what the connections of his favorite horse are doing to her well-being.      

11 May 2010 12:18 AM
Zookeeper

LDP,

So NOW it's the *form* of the horses competing, not their *quality*. Boy! You're really grasping at straws here. Sadder!

11 May 2010 12:21 AM
rusty

This whole blog is moot.

First of all, Zynyatta's connections never said they were gonna run her at 6 so she could win horse of the year, NEVER.

What they said was, she is still in race mode, sound, fit, chomping at the bit to run and hasn't missed a lick since the BC, so they wanted to give her fans the opportunity to see her run for another year.

HOY was never mentioned once, RA was never mentioned once. She still wants to run and they are going to let her, simple as that.

I'm sure that the 17-0 and winning the BC again was also in their mind and why not? They aren't worried about horse of the year, they are outnumbered in the voting 2 to 1 right off the bat(that being the voter disparigy between the East writers and the West writers).

So of course they are gonna take the easiest trip to get the 17-0 and win the BC again. Then they will be in the running for best horse EVER, not just HOY. Get it?

I said before, I thought HOY was a coinflip last year, my horse lost the flip, so what. She still went undefeated, spotted weight to older fillies & mares and beat all the top horses in the BC at 1 1/4.

RA will probably go down as best 3 YO ever and rightfully so. But it ends there. She will never be able to give weight or beat males or females at a mile and a quarter. So what, her accomplishments last year were tremendous and you can't take that away.

Z is still however working for the big prize and I for one think she will get it. We'll see.

BTW Dray:

I just read Ron Ellis say that Railtrip has the easiest route possible planned to get him to the Breeders Cup. Kudos to him, he's concerned with what he thinks is best for his horse, just like the Moss' are. He doesn't care what others think is the best plan.

BTW, when did it become the measure of a filly or mare to have to beat boys to be great? It's actually a rarity. And for some reason you think Z should race older males in every race she runs, idiotic.

HOY is not the goal here, Horse of a lifetime is.

GO Z.

11 May 2010 12:27 AM
Rechelle

Ted from LA, I wasn't able to get tickets when the Breeders Cup was at Lone Star Park, they were sold out. :(  I really hope that it comes back here soon, it's such a great track! Personally, I think all tracks need to have 3 surfaces: dirt, turf and synthetic.  That way, horses who are great synthetic horses can race at any track, and dirt horses don't have to make a switch to synthetic for any races.  

11 May 2010 12:31 AM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay and Jimmy, two peas in a pod.  Rechelle and AAF probably want in.  One more pea and you can set sail for Never Get It Land.

11 May 2010 12:32 AM
Rechelle

Citation, thank you.  I don't understand why people think I am bashing Zenyatta.  I have not said a single negative thing about her.  She can't tell the trainer what races she wants to run in. But her record should tell them that staying in Cali is too easy for her.  If the BC was in Cali again, then that would be understandable.  However, it is at Churchill and it doesn't make sense to me (and this is my opinion, which I am allowed, although a lot of people seem to think otherwise) to keep racing her in Cali in the same races.  If they want HOY, they really do need to run out of state.  That's why they missd it last year and the year before, in my opinion, of course. I am not going to fuel the fire any more by responding to those who insult me, it's just not worth it.  Contrary to popular opinion, I do know about horses having been around them my entire life from the time I could walk.

11 May 2010 12:37 AM
rusty

One last comment:

This was one of the happiest days of my life when I heard this:

www.youtube.com/watch

11 May 2010 12:41 AM
Kay

Kate:

"Yes, I heard that not only Terry removed as RA's exercise rider but that Borel was off as well.  Yes, I would certainly place the blame on her regression this year on her exercise rider.  No point in wondering if her all out effort to hold off Macho Again changed her competitive fire and she no longer wants to put it on the line to hold off lesser horses.  Perhaps it's her own sense of self-preservation to no longer dig down when another horse comes eye to eye with her down the stretch."

Is this really true??? Has Calvin been taken off and the exercise rider fired?? Does Jess Jackson work as a TV network executive? Because if this IS true, that's how he's acting. Yeah, don't actually go to the source of the problem, which might be that your horse is either a few races away from her best, or she's just not going to get there. The impatience is stunning, but then that's old Jess. I wonder if he'll take her away from Asmussen, too. My Lord.

Rusy:

"First of all, Zynyatta's connections never said they were gonna run her at 6 so she could win horse of the year, NEVER.

What they said was, she is still in race mode, sound, fit, chomping at the bit to run and hasn't missed a lick since the BC, so they wanted to give her fans the opportunity to see her run for another year.

HOY was never mentioned once, RA was never mentioned once. She still wants to run and they are going to let her, simple as that."

Not only that, but the announcement to run Zenyatta in 2010 was made several days before the Eclipse Award ceremony. I posted that about 5,000 posts ago but none of the naysayers (neigh-sayers, I suppose) responded to that. Shocking, I know. But when you live in a protective, fallacious bubble, it's scary to peer outside.

"BTW, when did it become the measure of a filly or mare to have to beat boys to be great? It's actually a rarity. And for some reason you think Z should race older males in every race she runs, idiotic."

Yeah, I'm not sure if it's because of what Rachel achieved last year, or Zenyatta winning the BC. I can't tell. And they won't say because if they did, then maybe they'd have to admit that Zenyatta's BC win was much more important than they think.

Rechelle:

"But her record should tell them that staying in Cali is too easy for her."

I'm a little confused about your reasoning here. Just because she's unbeaten means she hasn't beaten anything?

"If the BC was in Cali again, then that would be understandable.  However, it is at Churchill and it doesn't make sense to me (and this is my opinion, which I am allowed, although a lot of people seem to think otherwise) to keep racing her in Cali in the same races."

Of course you're entitled to your opinion. But there's a difference between a layperson's opinion and the informed opinion of an expert. That expert in this case would be John Shirreffs. Sorry, but I defer to him where Zenyatta's concerned. And it doesn't actually matter where the BC is. Prep races can occur anywhere and if the goal is to make the BC at the end of the year, then it stands to reason that the horse's campaign shouldn't be overly demanding. Look what happened to Rachel last year. Overly demanding campaign and not only did she not make the BC, she still isn't right.

"If they want HOY, they really do need to run out of state.  That's why they missd it last year and the year before, in my opinion, of course. "

Well, sure. But maybe that's not their goal. Maybe taking them at their word would be refreshing. They never said they were going to bring her back because they didn't get HOTY. I know you've never seen her run, so you've probably never had any contact with her owners, trainer, jockey and the people who care for her. So you don't get that first-hand look at how she affects them and what she means to them. This is beyond the hardscrabble business of horse racing. I do believe that if you had that kind of contact, you would get this a little better.

"I am not going to fuel the fire any more by responding to those who insult me, it's just not worth it."

If you think that people differing with what you say is insulting, then yeah. This is probably infuriating for you.

"Contrary to popular opinion, I do know about horses having been around them my entire life from the time I could walk."

That's fantastic. But based on some of the things you've said here, particularly about shipping horses, I don't get the impression that you are all that well informed about racing. That's not an attack, Rechelle. Merely an observation based on your words on this blog.

And as long as we're allowed to post YouTube links:

www.youtube.com/watch

11 May 2010 1:21 AM
dr fager01

If cali is too easy how come no one from back east wants to fly west of the rockies?

11 May 2010 2:07 AM
jayjay

Rechelle : The reason people "insult" you is because your reasoning although you say it's her connections, you keep forgetting that Zenyatta wouldn't be Zenyatta without her connections.  Her owners and trainers makes the call, they know how to manage their horse, it's their choice but instead of questioning it, you practically were telling everyone here what they should do, and you have every right to tell them but don't bash them like they don't know how to train a horse.  You even stated that they ruined Zenyatta because of where they run her and not running her against new competition or running her against the boys.  So your claim of bashing the connections does reflect on Zenyatta, it's ONE team, ONE family.  You also pretty much disregarded her accomplishments last year as being against allowance type companies yet, you won't say the same against Rachel so of course it would sound to us that you're bashing Zenyatta, I know it's hard to understand but I'm one of those that believes you use her connections to bash Zen, I'm not dumb :)

I've stated this way before the announcement that they are not running the Gold Cup, you can see my post yesterday at 10:52 PM where I said that I started to think that the Mosses' goal this year was to break the record because that would stand the test of time.  Cigar is not known as a back to back HOTY, he's known as a great horse because he won consecutive races and set the record at 16 (or tied it with Citation).  Does anyone question how they got it ? what tracks ? what competition ? Nope, they only talk about their record, and Zenyatta matched their records. Like it or not, she's in their class and that is a lifetime accomplishment already.  Poeople will forget that she didn't win HOTY, they'll remember her for being in the class of Cigar and Citation.

RA needs to be retired if she loses again because her value as a broodmare will drastically go down, losing 3 in a row in a G2 race means she doesn't have the longevity or durability in her and that's not going to sell.  Someone needs to mention that to JJ because at this time, his ego is what's running her campaign, he can't stand that his HOTY can't win 2  races set up for her as evidence of the firing of the exercise rider and switch to Shaun.  He's angry that Rachel can't win, he'll find a way to make her win.  And THAT is sad...

rusty : THANKS for that great link!!

11 May 2010 2:32 AM
Kauto Star

Footlick, I would never consider Twice Over a top class Group 1 animal. He got lucky in the Champion Stakes beating an over the top Fame and Glory, and Oaks winner Sariska running on too firm ground, both over too short a trip. The Classic was much more at Rip Van Winkle's mercy, so it's a pity he didn't fire that day. I would rate Goldikova, Conduit, Vision D'etat, Dar Re Mi and even Paco Boy ahead of Twice Over.

On another note, I cannot believe the fickleness of some 'fans' on here! Are you really going to dismiss a champion filly who has been beaten twice? Even if she never wins another race, she doesn't owe anyone anything and her record last year cannot be detracted from. Have a bit of class people.

11 May 2010 4:08 AM
LDP

Zookeeper,

I'm am getting rather annoyed now. Think what you want. I like both horses with a favorite. Form is a big issuse in races and if you can't see that through rose colored glasses fine. I beleive what I say if you don't like take it with a grain of salt. I've always felt this way about both horses, if you don't like it, sucks for you.

11 May 2010 5:53 AM
LDP

CV,

Dominic Terry has a FB page, it's up there. That is something now I am PO'd about. In fact right now I'm peeved at both connections.

11 May 2010 5:55 AM
sodapopkid

I would expect that there is some heavy tension going on with JJ and Asmusen.  After the La Troinne, SA said Calvin did everything perfect and he did nothing wrong.  Now the excercise rider has to be faulted too.  NO wonder RA is quitting her team, they are highly disfuntional,  The problem for RA is everything keeps changing , nothing stays the same, she has to get used to this and that on a daily basis,  That cannot be good all the time.........

For what she gave JJ last year, she should have been treated much better, she should not have to keep putting up with everything changing so much all the time........Thats why Zen is a happy horse, everything stays the same for her in her routines and her caretakers , ex. rider, groomsman, hotwalker, massage therapist.  and her trainer and his barn.......the way it should be........You would have thought JJ would have taken care of his filly like that......instead of constantly changing up.....I also cant' understand the fact that Calvin was good enough to win him his HOTY, but because of two races she didnt' win and now he is considered not good enough to ride her anymore,    Borel needs to quit that disfuntional bunch...

11 May 2010 6:14 AM
Saratoga AJ

And the ducking of real competition continues. This is getting comical.

At this point, I don't care anymore. Let them stay in California.

www.drf.com/.../112840.html

11 May 2010 7:47 AM
Bob Z

Dominic Terry was fired?  I did notice that he wasn't on her when Rachel worked out on Monday....

Was any reason given?

11 May 2010 8:10 AM
JerseyBoy

Rachel Alexandra against colts.

On a dry track against colts her record is:

-Rachel Alexandra, Macho Again, Bullsbay. Won Fully Extended.

-Rachel Alexandra,Mine That Bird,MusketMan. Won holding on.

Why does anyone think she is a great racehorse? How can anyone speak of Rachel Alexandra and Quality Road in the same sentence?

Get real.

11 May 2010 8:25 AM
Billy's Empire

KAY KAY KAY. Just to set the record straight, I have never once said a negative thing about Zenyatta. NEVER. All I want is for her to show she is the best of all time, and she will not do that staying in California running against the same state bred poly horses, PERIOD. If she wants to be considered the best, she has to do a few things, like beat males on DIRT. I am flabergasted that her connections are going to keep running her in the same races over and over and over again.

I have never said anything negative about her, just her campaign. Sorry that you do not have the reading comprehension skills to see that, and you automatically assume I am bashing Zenyatta.

The Most Logical race for Zenyatta to run in is the Foster. Here is why.

1. The BC is at CD. Get a prep over the track in a G1 race.

2. Quality Road is running the Met Mile

3. Kentucky is the Horse racing capital of the WORLD. You want to show off your mare to the fans, do it in KY.

4. I would be on the finish line watching her win (selfish reasons)

I guess I will wait until the BC Classic to watch Z line up in the gate against a monster named Quality Road. He will get the distance. He is not Commentator!!

11 May 2010 9:11 AM
Jimmy

Hey Lazmannick, can we join you in Denial Land? Can you explain why your great champion is DUCKING Rail Trip and the rest of the males that specialize on the synthetics? No one is saying Zenyatta is not terrific; we are saying her campaign is very disappointing and does not prove her greatness. Sorry, but the horse of the year does not compete in races that are limited to fillies and mares, especially when she has already proven her dominance over them for TWO STRAIGHT YEARS! What does a third year of beating the same weak competition on your same home circuit prove? It proves that you can have an undefeated career but never win horse of the year. And there is no east coast bias here; I live in southern California and have watched Zenyatta the past two Breeders Cups, and at Del Mar. She is a wonderful horse, but until her connections allow her to put her talents on display against the best, on a surface where horses are not as effected as they are with synthetics, she will always be a step below what she could achieve, simply because legends are not made by what they could do, they are made by what they DID do. Secretariat is a legend because he won the triple crown and set the Belmont Stakes record which will stand forever, not because he "would have won the triple crown if he were entered." Horses have been and always will be judged by what they do on the track, and unfortunately, Zenyattas connections are not giving her the opportunity. I guarantee you this, if Team Zenyatta stays on their campaign, and plays it conservatively, in 20 years, all people will think of with Zenyatta is what could have been. "Yeah, she was special, but how great could she have been." Choose not to like that statement, but it is true, and I think Jason would even echo those statements.

11 May 2010 10:27 AM
Draynay

Some of you people out West just don't get it.  The BC is being run ON DIRT this year.  Rachel and Quality Road have EXPERIENCE of running Beyer's in the 110 range and both seem to be heading that way again.  Rail Trip and Zenyatta have 0 experience running in that range on dirt.  So far THIS YEAR Zenyatta is 15 Beyer points away and Rail Trip hasn't been burning up the dirt either.  Rail Trip and Zenyatta are California poly horses and I doubt if either one will have the guts to show up on real ground to face the likes of Quality Road and Rachel.  By the way for the record Quality Road has NEVER lost a stakes race on dry ground.  Lastly, when you talk about the greats of the past like Citation, and The Bid they faced open company not restricted company like Zenyatta no one will EVER confuse her with the real greats of the past.  

11 May 2010 10:39 AM
Jerry B.

This article was written because Jason Shandler doesn't want Zenyatta to break the All-Time record of 16 consecutive wins in unrestricted competition (Citation and Cigar).

Nothing More. Nothing Less.

The east knows that they're at the mercy of Zenyatta and they do not like it.

Their ace in the hole (to beat Zenyatta) was Rachel Alexandra.

The "record book" is the only competion that Zenyatta has anymore.

11 May 2010 10:55 AM
Rachel Alexandra

Put Rachel in an allowance race.

Maybe she can win that and get her confidence back.

11 May 2010 11:04 AM
jayjay

I'll say it for the last time :

Team Zenyatta is NOT after the HOY, they're after the record, it's pretty evident.  I posted about this 2 nights ago.

The record will stand the test of time, but HOY??  That's for ONE year you are considered great and that's an insult to Zenyatta, she's one of the all time greats like Citation and Cigar.  It's officially in the record books, she has tied Citation and Cigar for the most consecutive wins!  So give it up folks, no one is listening to you guys babble about her campaign, she has a different agenda than your precious HOY, you can take that HOY now and be happy with it, you no longer need to worry about Zen taking it from you :)

11 May 2010 11:21 AM
MonicaV

JayJay,

RA's role as broodmare has no value to it as she is owned by Jackson and all her foals will be his unless he chooses to sell them.  Just because she has lost twice this year, being second 3/4 of a length and then a head is not shameful.  She lost 100 pounds after the Woodward.  That is a tremendous weight loss.  Her campaign was grueling and she has paid the price.  They kept her dormant for almost half a year and she has needed the two races and will only improve now that she has seen some action. I don't believe she is finished but her value as a broodmare means nothing.

11 May 2010 11:22 AM
LAZMANNICK

Jimmy

Read my lips.....show me any filly or mare in this day and age that will run in a G-1 race against males at 1-1/4M on dirt three times in one calendar year.....You won't see Rachel try it and I don't blame her connections for not doing so.  It is the most difficult thing a distaff horse can try.  When the season started the Zenyatta goal was to culminate with the BCC, on dirt, at 1-1/4M, against G-1 males, at Churchill.  Why go in the Hollywood Gold Cup, an equally physically demanding race?  I know that barring injury Zen will be at CD this fall.  Quality Road, Rail Trip and any other male or female can show up if they want.  Then we'll see what the next load of BS from the Zen knockers will be.......Just as an aside, if Zen would have run at CD last May (against a field she would have destroyed), then what would her detractors say.  And if Rachel would have faced a G-1 horse in the Woodward instead of struggling all out to beat a G-2/G-3/allowance field, would a lot of these arguments still be raging back and forth?  I don't think so. LOL

11 May 2010 11:23 AM
Billy's Empire

Jersey Boy-

Really? how soon you forget she was a 3 year old filly racing older colts.

How soon you forget she won the Haskell by 6 over Summerbird, who was the top 3yo in training at the end of the year.

How soon you forget that she broke or equaled track records in a hand ride last year, and won by 20 legnths twice!!

Rachel was HOY of the year in 2009, and nothing you can say or do will take that away from her. She jumped thru the hoops, did all of the dance's, and WON, no matter who she faced, 8 times.

JERRY B. This article was written b/c of Z's campaign. BORING!!!!!

11 May 2010 11:23 AM
John

Out west, we invite all.

Bring Rachel Alexandra to the Vanity.

We want to see her try to stop Zenyatta from winning the prestigious Grade I Vanity (which has been run since 1940) and setting the All-Time record of 17 consecutive victories in unrestricted competition.

What is the disfunctional family (Jess Jackson, Steve Asmussen, Calvin Borel and the "fired" Exercise Rider) scared of?

11 May 2010 11:24 AM
Big Whisky

Jimmy,

20 years from now, everyone will be thinking:

"This mare won the Breeders Cup Classic and we haven't seen another one like her."

This is all that people will be thinking 20 years from now.

11 May 2010 11:32 AM
LAZMANNICK

LDP

In answer to your analogy of the participants in the 2009 BCC perhaps you should ask yourself this question.....what was the toughest race last year.....the Preakness, the Haskell, the Stephen Foster, the Travers, the Whitney, the Woodward, the Jockey Club Gold Cup or the BC Classic?  I think it's perfectly obvious.  Of course all Zen's competitors were out of their comfort zone.  That's why they lost.  Let's see.....owners flew horses across the Atlantic and across the country so they could run in a race they obviously didn't think they could win because they didn't like the surface.  I don't know, but somehow I find that hard to believe. LOL

11 May 2010 11:33 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Doesn't anyone here know how to read. Kan't ye slackies get it. It's on DIRT. That's why Zenyatta will destroy them boys at CD in Da Classic. That ol gal loves the dirt, she tolerated that ol poly track but she looooves the dirt. Loves it. She really likes it. Really has a right strong fondness for it. Ye boy. That's some spanking she's gonna give them boys.

11 May 2010 11:35 AM
Greg J.

Jerry B,

    I give credit to Jason for allowing your idiotic comment.

"This article was written because Jason Shandler doesn't want Zenyatta to break the All-Time record of 16 consecutive wins in unrestricted competition (Citation and Cigar)."  

Jerry, Then explain why Jason voted for Zenyatta as HOY in 2008?  Idiot...

11 May 2010 11:39 AM
Zookeeper

LDP,

Yep, when one's double standard is exposed, one resorts to brilliant comments like "sucks for you". Thank you for proving my point.

11 May 2010 11:40 AM
sodapopkid

A great horse can run and win on all surfaces.  I cant' say they are perfect if they can't run on all.........When a horse is running , he is carrying his body and weight on its feet therefore, they must be able to feel a grip of tread for him to feel confident with what it is running on,  So therefore when a horse can run on all surfaces and win ,  that is a great horse.........whether it be dirt, synthetics , snow, mud, water, glass, grass or anything that it can glide its body over...and run...

11 May 2010 11:45 AM
Jett

Greg J,

It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

11 May 2010 11:49 AM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

Make up your mind. Last night Rail Trip was an absolute star.....today he's just another lousy poly horse.

11 May 2010 11:53 AM
sodapopkid

I would rather have the record istead of the HOTY.   To go down in history at being the only mare to surpass Pp and Citation and Cigar and being the first mare to win the BCC ?  PRICELESS.... instead of being a one year wonder , thats all the HOTY amounts too.   They are given out every year, but what Zenyatta is achieveing only if ever again comes just once in a lifetime.........Who needs the hoty, it sure aint a guarantee a horse will remain perfect is it????

Zenyatta has.....Bless the Mosses and Shirreffs for a job well done.........

11 May 2010 11:53 AM
sodapopkid

RA won the HOTY for last year.  But at this point in time, who has the best legacy...........

11 May 2010 11:55 AM
rusty

I keep hearing that Z needs to hook QR, WHY, for Pete's Sake.

Here are the horses that have run 2nd to QR:

Theregoesjojo----9th in his last 3 races. Beat QR

Dunkirk-----11th & 2nd in last 2

Capt. Candyman------11th, 8th & 4th in last 3.

Hold me back------9th in last, also beat QR

You & I forever-----7th & 1st(beat Movoto)

Dry Martini-----1 for 10 in his career.

Yeah, that bunch really strikes fear in Zenyatta, lmfao.

This allows me to rest my case if ya'll think QR is the biggest threat to Z. He doesn't belong on the same track as her. She'll totally embarass him at a mile and a Quarter, which btw, he's lost at every time he's run.

This should pretty much end this blog for you if you think QR is your best shot at beating Z.

Don't ever knock Z's competition again Dray. QR is a joke compared to her.

Oh yeah, Summerbird beat QR twice, guess who trounced SB. Yep, you guessed it.

Find a blog on Avatar or something, you sure don't know anything about horses.

11 May 2010 11:58 AM
Gene

Jerry B,

You hit the nail right on the head.

Couldn't be more true!

Jason voted for Rachel Alexandra last year for "Horse of the Year" (although he'll deny it). I have every article about his vote for "Horse of the Year" last year.

He's a worm.

11 May 2010 11:59 AM
Kate Harper

I suppose Draynay and his group of Zenyatta denigrators just blissfully ignore what Dave Johnson posted on this blog a few days ago.  I would guess Mr. Johnson certainly has insight into CD and how Zenyatta handled the track.  As for Zenyatta not running in the Hollywood Gold Cup, don't worry, she'll get to see Rail Trip in the Classic.  Wouldn't be surprised to see them run 1-2 with the undefeated mare on top to close out her tremendous career.

11 May 2010 12:01 PM
Lago

Jerry B:

Spot on! Great post.

It takes guts to say it like it is.

11 May 2010 12:02 PM
Aaron Franks

Jerry B -

I couldn't agree with you more.

11 May 2010 12:05 PM
Billy's Empire

Jersey Boy, go do some fist pumps, iron your laundry, get tanned, and go work out in the gym. GTL baby. Glad I do not live there any longer. Armpit of America! Nice beaches tho, Avalon, Sea Isle, Cape May are nice. Uncle Bill's is the fire...

11 May 2010 12:12 PM
Greg Jones

Greg J,

Do you believe that Jason didn't vote for "Horse of the Year" last year as much as he voted for Zenyatta in 2008.

He has you over a barrel.

11 May 2010 12:15 PM
jayjay

MonicaV : It's impossible to believe that Jackson will keep all her foals, he loves racing but he also loves the money coming from it.  He recently bought into Eskendereya and probably will breed RA to him eventually but believe me, he will make money off of RAs babies.

11 May 2010 12:34 PM
Jason Shandler

Gene: You are clueless and wrong. I did not vote for HOY last year, wasn't even a member of the NTWA in 2009. It's public record of who voted. Go look it up and stop wasting my time.

That being said, I would have voted for RA if I did have a vote. No problem admitting that. Get lost.

Greg Jones: You can look up the 2008 voting too smart guy. Follow Gene on your way to getting lost.

11 May 2010 12:37 PM
Matthew W

Draynay: I agree with you, Quality Road is a load--all the more reason to avoid the 1 1/8 races with him, or the one turn Met Mile race with him--all the more reason to wait for the 1 1/4 Classic, where Zenyatta will have a stamina edge over him--that is called race planning! That is why Laz Barerra avoided 'Bid in the Marlboro Cup, at 1 1/8 handicap weights and faced off and beat Bid at 1 1/2 scale weights and won HOY--race planning!  Quality Road, Rail Trip, even Rachel Alexandra--all tough cookies--but with Zenyatta, there is an added pressure--the unbeaten record, and that hangs over them like an anvil---they have stated clearly their intent of being in the starting gate for the Classic--enough!

Blind Squirrel: The HOY criteria is  strongly slanted towards Eastern based horses, there are more writers/voters back there--but with the advent of synthetic tracks, the bias has gone through the roof! Example: 1988, before the Classic, the commentators on NBC were touting Personal Ensign HOY, unless Alysheba WON the Classic....in 2008, Curlin got HOY, despite fading through the stretch/despite his best race being run overseas/despite Zenyatta's 7 for 7 season! Team Z knows they will have to defeat them all in the Classic for HOY--the SF Foster means NOTHING for HOY! Yet there is an abundance of of critical persons on this blog who seem to want her to be just like Rachel Alexandra, and just blow it all out there and hit the wall early! They are not lovers of this game, they want to be entertained by their favorite horses right now--but if Team Z were to do that and they didn't make the Classic--the same persons would be criticizing that! That leaves Team Z one option: leave it up to John Boy, like they always have done, like Team Rachel SHOULD have done with Steve-O! Leave it up to John Shirreffs, 16 for 16---and let them eat dust!

11 May 2010 12:49 PM
LDP

Zookeeper,

Just because I don't where rose colored glasses does not mean I have a double standard. I said the BCC was the best field put togeather last year, I just don't think it was the world class field everyone else does. If you can't understand that then I really can't help you, which is why I said "sucks for you."

RA upped the bar three times last year, Zenyatta did once. She has run outside CA, she beat colts, no lets see her travel and beat colts. I am not bashing her at all, if you think this is bashing then I advise you to look at all the other rediculous comments saying Zen is an allownence mare, she can only run on poly, she sucks on dirt, then tell me I'm being unfair.

11 May 2010 12:51 PM
JerseyBoy

Billy's Empire:

I have not forgotten. There was nothing to forget.

The following fillies beat older colts but do not appear on the Timeform All-Time Highweights list,my measure of greatness:

Goldiva,Zarkava,Detroit.

The following horses hold track records and are never referred to as great horses:

Kelly Kip, Artax, Left Bank.

Horses are judged by the horses they run against, not by their margin of victory. By how many lengths did Conquistador Cielo win the Belmont? He was Horse of the Year. Did that make him a great horse?

Ghostzapper and Cigar were great horses. Rags to Riches was almost there as she beat Curlin. Macho Again and Rachel Alexandra would have great trouble beating this year's top 3-year olds. I ignore races run on sloppy tracks.

Last year RA was a media creation. The bubble has now burst. People should just get over it.

11 May 2010 12:54 PM
jayjay

BILLY : Last year is last year, everyone knows what RA did last year, she won the HOTY last year, she was great last year....you see the pattern here.  It's no longer 2009, it's 2010...let's see RA continue to impress her fans and let's see her with an agressive campaign, one that would surpass what she did last year (or even match it), she set the bar so high because you claim she's a super horse...let's see some more of that this year.  How's she doing by the way ??

11 May 2010 12:57 PM
Matthew W

Kate Harper: Kiss me Kate! Yo said in a few sentences more than many here have said in "book form"! Show up in the Classic! I do not understand the haters! There isn't a single horse I have ever hated on! I love Rachel Alexandra so much, I pray for her spurt to come back/I fear the worst when I see her falter! I remember Go For Wand fighting Bayakoa! I had Bayakoa to win and I cried real tears! Tears for that horse who died a champion!  "More than the dying, is the faltering....." ...and I pray that Rachel wins again, and if she's just not the same, I pray for her retirement! But, please, do not cry foul over a horse who goes 16 for 16, always from far back---you will never see another like that---never, I said.

11 May 2010 12:58 PM
Footlick

jayjay- Jackson has said publicly that he wants to homebreed and race the horses he breeds.  It doesn't mean he will not sell some, but he will keep and race them too.  

11 May 2010 1:01 PM
Greg J.

Jason,

     Too funny!  I saw your comment to me, Then realized someone is using my last name in their idiotic comment, lol...

Gene, Jett, and my namesake, Goodbye and Good riddance :)

11 May 2010 1:09 PM
Kay

Kauto Star:

“On another note, I cannot believe the fickleness of some 'fans' on here! Are you really going to dismiss a champion filly who has been beaten twice? Even if she never wins another race, she doesn't owe anyone anything and her record last year cannot be detracted from. Have a bit of class people.”

Since you’re making every effort to diminish Zenyatta’s competition, you might want to take your own advice.

LDP:

“Form is a big issuse in races and if you can't see that through rose colored glasses fine.”

Yes. It IS a big issue. Because regardless of what horses have done or beaten previously, they still have to go out to the track and run. And so far, Zenyatta’s fired each and every time. That’s pretty spectacular. And using the excuse that other horses are mere mortals and may not have fired in races they’ve run against her actually makes her look all the better.

Billy:

“All I want is for her to show she is the best of all time, and she will not do that staying in California running against the same state bred poly horses, PERIOD.”

Oh. So now she’s only facing state-breds? Your hyperbole is showing.

“If she wants to be considered the best, she has to do a few things, like beat males on DIRT.”

I’m not sure she cares all that much. And I’m also not sure her connections do, either. Being undefeated for 17 races, yes. But how do you chase being the greatest racehorse of all time? Is that even possible? Don’t you just do the best by your horse and then what comes, comes? To me, that’s what the Mosses are doing. Now when YOU get a horse you think is great, then you can make the conditions for your horse. I’m a little confused about when the ONLY yardstick to greatness was beating males on dirt. And if she DID that, then there would be some other condition she needs to fulfill. And lest we forget, if she DOES break the 16-streak record, she’ll have an asterisk next to her name – for doing it while unbeaten in all of her races.

“I have never said anything negative about her, just her campaign. Sorry that you do not have the reading comprehension skills to see that, and you automatically assume I am bashing Zenyatta.”

Who is not at all connected to her campaign. Okay. Sure. That makes sense. You’re getting a bit hot under the collar, my friend. Take it easy there!

I’d like to think Quality Road can get 10F. I really like that horse. But in a super-tough field with speed, I’m not sure he’ll relax enough. When he freaked in the gate at the Classic, the people next to me were LAUGHING. Can you believe that nonsense?

11 May 2010 1:15 PM
Matthew W

I mean, if Team Rachel had left it up to the trainer, we'd already have had a dream match up in the Apple Blossom! We'd be looking forward to the next dream match up! They over did it with her last season, and I was one of the bloggers who posted about that last year--her head was down to the ground after the Woodward, I certainly did not know she would be so affected, but I surely knew fatigue when I saw it--my point is, why is everyone so critical about Team Zen--THEY, at least, have kept their end of the bargain--as it looks, Rachel Alexandra won't be in the Classic--and if she is, I hope it's because her TRAINER thinks she should be!

11 May 2010 1:17 PM
jayjay

Yes, I'm sure he'll run her babies under his flag but believe me, he'll make money off of them too.

If the Classic is running at Gulfstream Park, then yes, QR may have a chance at placing 2nd or 3rd because that's the only place he really excels.  The Donn doesn't really show how much he improved from last year, anyone can set a record when they are running that fast because there's no competition.  I don't know if QR can run the same way when there's another horse running with him.

I don't necessarily agree that he lost the races to SB due to the slop, TP is not stupid, if he didn't believe QR can handle slop, why would he try SB twice on the slop ?  QR got beat fair and square by SB, there's no question about that.

Here's a SURE thing :  Once Summer Bird starts working out and gets into racing shape with enough time to make it to the BCC, I would bet the WHOLE FARM and my neighbors houses that ...

Dray will pick him and forget about RA, QR and Rail Trip and will tout SB as the best dirt horse ever and that Zenyatta won't even come close and that he has fast times and high beyers and all that nonsense but I GUARANTEE you, he will switch for the 4th time this year as to who is the best out there ... he needs to keep finding one that can match up to Zenyatta come BCC LOL.

11 May 2010 1:22 PM
sodapopkid

Folks, Zenyatta does not need the HOTY title, IF you sit back and think about what she is unfolding  right before our eyes, its a gift, because it has not been done before, Yes. PP has 19 wins in her home state, but did she ever have both BC wins on her resume? NO,  Zenyatta not only has both but she stepped up to the plate and took on the best the world had to offer,and she done it like she has  done with every race, she gave them all 10 length start, and it wont' their fault she got them in the end,  It was to be expected....that is just Zenyatta !!!

RA was a great 3 year old filly and she got her 'One Year Wonder' title for it.  but she is proving she cant' stand up to it this year.  Zenyatta comes back every year doing what we expect her to do,  She can beat the boys, and the older mares,  but most of all, she is highy respected because if she wasnt't she would have had plenty of mares and fillies to take her on in the AB.. ...Zenyatta has earned the one of the top legacies in horse racing, she has earned her confidence , her fame, but most of all she has earned 'Respect' even though some don't want to admit it, they know it......she don't have to run all over the country to prove she can beat the best or the boys, she has proved that already,  when she beats the boys she does it on the world stage against the most impressive group of boys, she takes on the 'big guns' she takes them in the BCC............and any female or male that wants to try her, be there....Champions go to the world stages, thats were they prove they are the best, And in the US,its called the BCC........

11 May 2010 1:28 PM
jayjay

DRAYNAY / JIMMY / BILLY'S EMPIRE / AFLEETALEXLOVER / RECHELLE and KAUTO STAR :

Just give it up, no one really cares what you all think Zen's campaign should be.  Be a man (except to Rechelle but you know what I mean) and just accept the fact that team Zen will do what they want, they don't need advice from blog legends like you, they are pretty happy with their decisions so just accept it.

Zen is already part of a great history and is in the record books side by side with Cigar and Citation, she's not a one year wonder, she's a 3 year wonder and counting.  She will be remembered as one of the great horses of ALL time.  

I know it's a hard pill to swallow but there's no other way around it, it's already in the record books.  

Also, you might want to try and talk to Jackson, maybe talk some sense into him and tell him to do things right by Rachel, maybe she'll get a chance to get back in her form and run for 2 more years and win races.

11 May 2010 1:35 PM
sodapopkid

RA upped the bar three times last year, Zenyatta did once.   LDP

re:  And which one is standing taller at this moment??

And how does the world view them both right now, in 2010??

What legacy is RA accomplishing in 2010??

and how will this affect her legacy?

In ten years, which one will the world remember better?  We may see 10 more RA over the next ten years, but we will never see a filly/mare duplicate what Zenyatta is doing.............

11 May 2010 1:39 PM
Hoof Hearted

Keep talking about Zenyatta Mr. Shandler. As long as you keep calling her name and writing blogs about her, Zenyatta has won.

Anytime anyone is talking about you (negative or positive), their either "jealous" or "wish they were you".

11 May 2010 1:39 PM
Draynay

They don't want to face Rail Trip or any males in California and they don't want to race East of the Mississippi.  Jason, I don't think we need to even talk about the new Pepper's Pride anymore.  There is no way she is showing up to the BC. They will retire her undefeated after running a few more poly races. Yawn, who cares.

11 May 2010 1:42 PM
Zookeeper

LDP,

You are absolutely right, compared to some on here, your comments are a perfect example of unbiased judgment. Talk about lowering the bar!

If you're waiting to find a  "world class" field, to be assembled in the BCC, to give Zenyatta her due, I will resign myself to the fact that you will never do it.

11 May 2010 1:44 PM
Matthew W

Someday, we'll all be reminiscing about Big Z...and it won't be about her closing kick...won't be about the toe tapping...won't be about her size....or the white shadow roll....it'l be something like "I remember a horse who used to pull 1000 blog posts--even right after the Kentucky Derby!"    

11 May 2010 1:52 PM
oh brother...

Zenyatta certainly does inspire and energize.  Whether you use it for good or evil is entirely up to you.  LDP has sure worked up a full head of steam here, just like a bulldog that latches on and won't let go.

11 May 2010 1:59 PM
sodapopkid

Dominic Terry was fired?  I did notice that he wasn't on her when Rachel worked out on Monday....

Was any reason given?

Bob Z 11 May 2010 8:10 AM

RE:  In Jess Jackson's world someone or everyone else has to take the blame for his mistakes. So the blame will have to go on the ex.rider and the jock.

Jess Jackson needs to realize one thing, '  When you point your finger at someone else, you have three other fingers pointing right back at you'

11 May 2010 2:07 PM
Saratoga AJ

Here's what Shirreffs said yesterday:

"Shirreffs was asked if there was any chance Zenyatta would run in the Hollywood Gold Cup against males. Shirreffs responded, "No. We're not looking to climb the highest mountain possible. She's proven herself now."

"No highest mountain yet, anyway. That will be at the end of the year for a second straight season. Shirreffs and owners Jerry and Ann Moss have targeted the Breeders' Cup Classic as the year-end objective".

So there you have it. They won't meet Rail Trip. Or any colts for that matter. They are pointing to the BC. That's it. No Belmont. No Saratoga. No leaving California to expose her to racing fans at the great and historic tracks in NY. Or any other state for that matter. Just take the easy road and then try to win the BC classic.

You would  think that after losing the HOTY voting because of a risk free campaign leading up to the Breeeders Cup 2 years in a row they would have learned their lesson. Apparently not.

11 May 2010 2:14 PM
Draynay

Matthew W, I find it laughable that you feel Rachel Alexandra the Queen of Churchill won't show there when she has BEEN THERE many times but Zenyatta who has NEVER RACED there will be.  Give me a break.  The connections are having to dodge SO MUCH I find it hard to believe she can find a race.  She should be forced to carry 134lbs. in the Vanity any less is just silly.

11 May 2010 2:16 PM
Kauto Star

Kay, where have I diminished Zenyatta's competition? I've barely even mentioned her in my posts, I've been discussing Curlin, the Arc and Twice Over with other people.

But I stand by it. None of the other distaff runners in California can compete with her, so why not take on some tougher challengers? I don't understand why they're so reluctant to face males. She's in form, training well, big mare, why not take them on?

11 May 2010 2:17 PM
CV

LDP,

What could possibly be the reason they changed exercise riders? I understand horses generally like routine and Dominic Terry has been Rachel's exercise rider since she was transferred to Steve Asmussen's barn. I wonder if he expressed an opinion someone didn't like.

11 May 2010 2:18 PM
Householder

QR is certainly going to have to come out of his "Mile" comfort zone to have a shot at HOY. The Hal's Hope (Gr. III) and putting your name next to the likes of Divine Park and Silver Train ain't gonna do it.  Pletcher's plan for the "Big" races at Saratoga just doesn't muster an HOY vote. Unless of course only people at Saratoga get to vote.    

11 May 2010 2:40 PM
MonicaV

856 comments on this blog at this moment!  Unbelievable!

11 May 2010 3:07 PM
Jason Shandler

HoofHearted: If you are implying that I am jealous of a horse or wish I were a horse, I think you may have me confused with a different species. Though, I will say, if I was a horse I wouldnt mind being a prominent stallion. Not a bad gig--meet about 200 different women per year, no strings attached. Not a bad life.

11 May 2010 3:12 PM
DinkyDiva

Wow, so much reading material!  I have a question since this is "also" about the TC: Does anyone know what happened with "Devil May Care?"  I haven't heard anything about her since the Derby.  

Now, on to the main topic at hand: "Queen Z!"  I'm a bit confused myself when it comes to her campaign.  A week or so ago, they said that they were using the Vanity as a Prep for the Gold Cup, now it's not.  They said that after the Vanity, it's one race at a time.  Yah know, they used to be so public with how Z was doing, videos etc..  Now, we're lucky if we get a lil tid bit of info about her.  I love Z to death and I love Rach too but, come on people, make sense and a plan and stick to it.  Perhaps, there is some underlying reason why they won't be pointed towards the Gold Cup.  Then again, it is very early in the season so, who knows what the next plan will be for Z.  Only time will tell, right?!

As for Team Z: I personally think that they know what is best for the big girl and will always put her health, happiness and willingness above all else!  They LOVE their heavenly treasure and will do what they can as to not tarnish this Fabulous Mare!  I agree that they are no longer concerned with HOTY, they are going for the gusto!  HISTORY!!!!!

11 May 2010 3:17 PM
DinkyDiva

How about Blind Luck?  I think that would be a good race for Z since they have similar running styles.

11 May 2010 3:23 PM
Bill Parsons

Quote from Draynay: "Yawn, who cares"

You care Draynay...otherwise you wouldn't be talking about Zenyatta so much.

11 May 2010 3:24 PM
Matthew W

All I know is this: Zenyatta will be toe tapping her way through the walking ring, slow stepping into the post parade, angering up to the starting gate...and she will unleash holy hell at Churchill--YAY!

11 May 2010 3:27 PM
Kay

What's so amazing about Zenyatta for me is how other horsemen react to her. Her trip to Oaklawn was really quite the procession. People waited for her at the airport, and when she went to the track the horsemen all lined up for a look at her. I can't remember the last time I've seen other horsemen so affected by one horse. I think that's part of what her fans are reacting to here. You can talk about numbers and speed figures and form and competition all you want, but there's something increasingly intangible about Zenyatta. She's casting a spell here. And honestly, I think it's rather disappointing when some people can't see that.

11 May 2010 3:29 PM
Richard Gross

Rachel: To say RA is the greatest three-year old filly of all time merely betrays the fact you never saw Ruffian. Never beaten. Never headed.

Kauto Star: You are obviously very knowledgeable on the quantifiable side of racing. That said, there is an old saying in American football: "That is why they play the game." People here are spouting Beyers and Thorographs as if these mean something. They do, but not on a given day in a given race. That is why they run the race. I understand that people are frustrated by Zenyatta's not racing against "better competition," i.e., males. Well, firstly: the object of horseracing is to win the race; secondly: it bothers me not one wit if they are pursuing a win record - no one faults any participant in any sport who does this, it is celebrated; thirdly, the assumption one makes in saying Zenyatta should race against males is that females are inherently inferior - if not, why not suggest males should race against highly rated females? Finally, and we will never know this (which is good): I simply believe that the Curlin I saw race in Dubai was virtually unbeatable, certainly not by Zarkava. It was Curlin blowing by his opposition in the final furlong that year. Jeers to his handlers for screwing up the rest of his year; cheers to Zenyatta's connections for knowing how to manage a career. To BE the champ, you must BEAT the champ.

11 May 2010 3:31 PM
Matthew W

Dray I want her to be there--just maybe in the Ladies, and I am saying that as a lover of horses--Rachel Alexandra, because of her style, would get fried into the interior fractions of Quality Road and Rail Trip--she would have no chance with Zenyatta in the Classic and I would not need to see what was coming for her--doesn't mean I don't think Rachel could beat Zenyatta, say, in the Vanity?...I think she could beat Zen--just not in the Classic....and, no, Blind Luck is not like Zenyatta/couldn't come close to her...

11 May 2010 3:32 PM
LAZMANNICK

jshandler

And get paid for it.

11 May 2010 3:32 PM
Matthew W

Saratoga "so there you have it"--Zenyatta will run in the Classic--unless Super Saver wins the Triple Crown, Zenyatta will run in/and win the Breeders Cup Classic/and HOY...there you have it!

11 May 2010 3:36 PM
Draynay

I guess the connections for Zenyatta never heard the expression NO GUTS NO GLORY.  When the real racing begins this summer it's obvious Zenyatta will be hiding in California complaining about unfair weight assignments.

11 May 2010 3:41 PM
LAZMANNICK

To those who want to denigrate Zen’s career, think twice.

Regarding her so-called quest to win 17 races in a row, to me and many of her fans it’s meaningful and compares, at times favorable and at times unfavorable to Citation:

Citation’s win streak:

• 15 of the races were in 1948 and the 16th, 14 months later in 1950

• 3 of Citation’s wins were in allowance races (in two of them Bold Gallant finished 2nd)

• In 2 of these allowance wins there were only 3 competitors in the other 4.

• In 11 of his wins the most competitors he faced was 5.

• The average number of horses he raced against during the streak was 4.5 and the most competitors in any race was 8.

• The Pimlico Special (13th race in the streak) was a WALK-OVER.  He was the only horse in the race.

• Average win margin approx 4.5 L.

• Won from 6-F to 2-M

• Citations streak was like Joe D’s 56 game hitting steak.  He won 7 straight, finished second, then won 16 straight.

• Wired fields and also came from behind.

I’m not trying to diss Citation, no way, but when looking at this I think it puts into proper perspective what Zenyatta has accomplished and some of the weaker fields she has faced.  I would definitely put Zen behind Citation no matter how many races she wins in the streak because he obviously scared away a lot of the competition.  However, a second straight win in the Classic puts her in the top 3 or 4 fillies/mares all time.

11 May 2010 3:43 PM
Draynay

Richard, anyone who wants to throw up Ruffian over Rachel in a argument is not of sane mind.  Ruffian couldn't beat 1 G1 winning male.  Rachel beat many.  Just stop the nonsense.  This blog is about the connections for Zenyatta turning her into a poly California joke.  Try to stick to the theme.  Talking about Ruffian vs. Rachel isn't even a rational conversation.

11 May 2010 3:46 PM
Zookeeper

Jason,

Re: not minding being a stallion, I guess it's OK if one likes one's female tied up, with a twitch attached to her nose and padded boots so as not to get one's belly kicked out in the process. :) :)

11 May 2010 3:58 PM
GOD

Draynay,

This is god.

I give you one mouth and two ears.

Do you know why?

11 May 2010 3:59 PM
DinkyDiva

Matthew: I only mentioned Blind Luck because, like Z, she likes to come from behind.  I'm not for one minute saying that Blind Luck could be of any threat to Z noone is at this point but, it would make an exciting race none the less and Blind Luck is a good filly!

11 May 2010 4:04 PM
Ivan

I have spent more than an hour going thru all the comments in this blog. Of course I could not have read all of them, but I can say the majority of the bloggers think Z and her connections took the safe way going to the Vanity instead of the SF. However, I don't think this decision lessens Z in any way. The handicap division is very weak at the moment, and the fact that TP prefers to run QR in the Met Mile tells me he has some doubts in the colts ability to withstand the mile and a quarter distance. All along, The Z team has said they plan to defend their BC Classic title, and at that time, the best of the West, the East and Europe will be there to define who should be HOTY. QR has run some impressive races, no question. But there was nothing behind him. Rail Trip is intriguing, but his documented foot problems are against him to endure up to the BC. Summer Bird is nowhere to be found, and he already tasted defeat in the hands of Mighty Z. So, unless some European freak comes from the other Hemisphere (and I really doubt it, being the 2010 BC on dirt at CD), Z will have to beat only QR to stamp herself as HOTY and one of the best horses ever.

11 May 2010 4:06 PM
LAZMANNICK

Clowns to the left of me, intelligent people to the right......Draynay.....please go to the left.

11 May 2010 4:10 PM
Kauto Star

Well the Zarkava I saw racing at Longchamp was unbeatable never out of third gear. Anyway, it's moot. I don't even like the flat that much. You want a champion, check out my name sake!

There's no sexist slant to this argument, male horses are mostly larger and stronger than females, and there are usually more of them. Um, Zenyatta is mostly racing in female ONLY races, i.e. males cannot enter those races and face her. Ergo, she enter their races and face them. She'll probably win anyway, so I don't see the point in avoiding it.

The thing is, a champion has nothing to prove when they've walked every walk and faced all the key opponents. Some people may disagree but Zenyatta hasn't, and it's infuriating to watch her canter to victory against overmatched rivals when superior horses exist to race against. She may well beat Eclipse's win streak, but he only retired when no horse would face him anymore.

11 May 2010 4:15 PM
Listen Twice As Much As You Speak

Draynay -

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver.

Hope we don't have to use it in this blog.

11 May 2010 4:26 PM
Billy's Empire

Cheers!! It's Beer 30

the preakness is in 4 days

lets move on and do some handicapping.

we need to come up with a blog format where all posters post the top 4 horses in the preakness

10 points 1st

5 Points 2nd

3 Points 3rd

1 Point 4th.

tie breaker is winning time.

After the race, we will add all of the points up, and I will send the winner a sweet 2009 Derby Losers CUP with Flying Private on it. They are collectors items....

Ok jason, GO

11 May 2010 4:34 PM
Matthew W

Dinkty Diva I'm sorry! A little too blunt--but nothing to be ashamed about, the "Dinky Diva", aka Blind Luck, is some kinda honest race horse! Just that there are two fillies right now, one was best of her generation, male or female..the other was best of her year v older, male or female....it sort of eclipses that little bit of a chestnut, but Blind Luck is some kinda good in her own right....

11 May 2010 4:37 PM
draynay

God !!! Great to hear from you again. I am just doing what you told me to do.  Remember? You told me you blessed me with amazing looks and talent and it was important for me to share them with the world.  I am just following your word.  Oh, and thanks for making me really smart too.  It really added to the good looks and being tall.  Oh, and the blue eyes were a nice add on too. Oh, and...

11 May 2010 4:40 PM
Richard Gross

Draynay:  Ever SEE Ruffian race? Did you read the entire post? Oh, and learn some manners.

11 May 2010 4:45 PM
dr fager01

DRAY SHOULD HAVE A ONE MAN SHOW IN VEGAS BECAUSE HE IS PAST BEING A SILLY CLOWN WHEN IT COMES TO BASHING PROBABLY THE TOP 5 THOROUGHBREDS MALE OR FEMALE TO HAVE EVER WORN A BIT. I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU, YOUR STILL TRYING TO INFUSE RACHEL INTO THIS DISCUSSION. JUST GIVE IT UP, RACHEL EXCEPTIONAL 3 YEAR OLD, BUT SUBPAR 4 YEAR OLD. THIS NOT ABOUT UNPROVEN HORSES LIKE QUALITY ROAD OR RAIL TRIP, ITS NOT ABOUT FILLIES LIKE DEVIL MAY CARE OR BLIND LUCK, THOSE HORSES COME DIME A DOZEN. WHEN YOU PEOPLE MAKE THOSE COMPARISONS TO AVERAGE G-1 HORSES IT DIMINISHES WHAT ZENYATTA HAS ACCOMPLISHED. PLEASE STOP WITH THIS POLY CRAP, OR THE MALES ON DIRT BULL, I NOTICE IN TODAYS WORLD THEY OFFER THOSE DETRACTORS LIKE DRAYSAY THAT USE THESE FORUMS TO MAKE USELESS REMARKS ABOUT A HORSE WHO DONT EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS. YOU NEED THERAPY MY FRIEND, THIS FAR FROM LIFE AND DEATH. ITS OK TO LIKE CERTAIN HORSES EVERYONE HAS THAT RIGHT, I HAVE THAT SAME BELIEF, BUT I ALSO HAVE BASHED HORSES THAT BEAT MY FAVORITE THOROUGHBREDS,BUT YOU HAVE TO GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE, OR THEY SHOULD SHUT YOU DOWN. WE HAVE TO HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING THAT PEOPLE LIKE DRAYNAY IS TRYING TO HIGHJACK FROM THE FANS OF A PARTICULAR ANIMAL THE GLORY, AND ENJOYMENT THAT ANIMAL BRINGS, LET ME SAY ONE MORE THING. NO MATTER HOW LONG WE LIVE WE WILL NEVER SEE THE LIKES OF AN ORIGINAL LIKE ZENYATTA, IVE BEEN WATCHING SINCE THE EARLY 80S AND  AS A STUDENT OF THE RACING HISTORY, BUT IT SEEMS TO ME AND MANY THAT THE GREAT ZENYATTA IS INCOMPARABLE.

11 May 2010 4:49 PM
Matthew W

If it comes down to a brilliant but 0 for 2 horse at 1 1/4...vs a brilliant and Classic winning horse I'll take the latter...but I think Rail Trip is being equally conservatively prepped for the Classic--methinks it's a chess match, and the two biggies out here are gonna be saying "check mate"--in the Classic....

11 May 2010 4:58 PM
jayjay

Draynay : Listen to GOD and Ivan LOL.

You keep saying it's about Zen's campaign plans but then you mention RA in the same breath as one of the 3 that's going to be in the Classics WITHOUT Zen.

Matthew already schooled you on why RA will never win the Classics and he explained to you in terms that you should be able to understand, interior fractions, splits, run times.  QR will burn her up going up to the 1 1/8th mile marker, both of them will start to fade behind Rail Trip and then comes Zenyatta, zig-zaggin' around QR and RA, rollin' like a freight train with Mike on top with his netbook trying to start off his memoirs about the greatest ride of his life! :)

Question about Borel : I remember seeing a comment about the whip that Borel uses, that it's a new type of whip where it makes a louder sound but doesn't really hurt the horse.  I only asked because I wanted to know if that's what he uses all the time, I've been watching his races with RA and also with SS and Hurricane Ike and he does have a knack for hitting horses multiple times.  He whipped RA in the LA Troinne at least 8 times I think, just want to know if this is the new type of whip as I really like Borel and don't want to see him whipping horses that many times just to win.

11 May 2010 5:10 PM
jayjay

Never mind, I googled it and actually found an article about RA's run in the Woodward where they questioned Borel whipping RA too much...it's funny though that Draynay is one of the commenter's saying the discussion was a joke and to drop it LOL.

11 May 2010 5:14 PM
ETHAN

First of all the Vanity won't neccesarily be against the same horses it was in 2008 is she going to go up against Sealy Hill and Tough Tiz's Sis? No.

That said it would be a much weaker field and disapointing if she went there.

Why not go to the Foster, a bigger race that would Prove more. Zenyatta isn't improving her legacy whatsoever by going in the Vanity, Why bring her back for a 3rd season if this is all you're going to do with her.

I wouldn't mind see her go to the Hollywood Gold Cup to face rail Trip, but she can do that and the Foster. With wins in those to races she would be really adding to what she's already done not just waasting her time.

However if they want to go in the Vanity maybe it will bring on some of the real Filly/Mare Challengers, Careless Jewel is a horse that could get out in front to the point that even Zenyatta's end of race top end (which is by the way unmatched) couldn't catch her.

Zenyatta is a horse where it doesn't matter what the time and the nuyer on her race are because she only does what she has to to get past and win. She Jogged in the Apple Blossom, and worse than that she only had to jog the last 2-3 Furlongs of the race.

I don't think we even really know what Zenyatta's capable of yet.

11 May 2010 5:14 PM
sodapopkid

Lord Have Mercy,  practically 900 posts  since Friday morning, and we even gave Jason time away to go to a PJ concert..........Is this a record breaker Jason? or have you had them to do this previously in the years. In this short of time...........If so, Please tell us what other posts was like this one............

11 May 2010 5:18 PM
Matthew W

John Shirreffs, aka 16 for 16 John Shirreffs--is bringing his mare to the Classic, to defend her title, and it's going to be the most eagerly anticipated horse race in three decades.....

11 May 2010 5:20 PM
HollywoodHit

The Zenyatta that I've watched live at Santa Anita couldn't be beat by another horse. She lopes along at the back of the pack, gets into about 3rd gear for a 16th of a mile, gallops out, then proceeds to the winners circle, hardly taking a breathe. She is in a league of her own and no matter what the future holds for her, she has already accomplished enough to be held in the highest echelons of horse racing.

We may never see her have to lay it down, give it her all, because there is just no competition around that is good enough to make her have to use her top gear.

The greats make it look easy.

11 May 2010 5:22 PM
jayjay

RA does have one thing that she beat Zenyatta on, the number of times she gets whipped.  It's a runaway, Zenyatta wasn't even close. Here's the tally :

RACHEL ALEXANDRA:

2009 : Haskell (9 times)

2009 : Woodward (20 times)

2010 : La Troinne (8 times)

ZENYATTA :

2009 : Lady's Secret (1 time)

2009 : Breeder's cup (7 times)

2010 : Santa Margarita (0 times)***

2010 : Apple Blossom (0 times)*****

*** I don't know if this race actually counts as Mike didn't have the opportunity to whip Zenyatta, he was busy weaving his way right and left and by the time he's free, Zen has won the race.'

*****  I didn't see any excuse for Mike S not to whip Zenyatta, even though he's ahead. I think the Mosses needs to have a 1 on 1 talk with Mike S, this is the reason RA is so far ahead in this contest.

I only put 3 races for RA as I didn't want to humiliate Zenyatta, RA is so far ahead with just 3 races that it's a joke to put other races when she unquestionably beat Zenyatta on just one race alone.

11 May 2010 5:34 PM
Matthew W

Hollywood Hit--you can call the movie "Unbeatable"....

11 May 2010 5:35 PM
Aluminaut

Draynay,

Be good or Ruhlmann will be waiting for you in your dreams.............

11 May 2010 5:47 PM
LDP

CV,

I have no idea why he was taken off, he never said as to why, which to me shows his class. From his FB comment, I would judge that is wasn't Steve's decision and that it was Jackson's. Again I have no idea why, though I am extremely miffed.

11 May 2010 5:56 PM
LDP

Zookeeper,

I never lowered my bar, and if your disappointed I'm sorry, but I'm not going to change what I have always believed to satisfy another person, especially when I only know that person through blogging!

The Classic feild was good, not great, IMO, good. I am not waiting for World Class, but people last year acted as if she ran against the likes of Bernardini, Invasor, Curlin, Lawyer Ron, Zarkava, Sea the Stars, and every other big name from around the world. She didn't. She ran against a nice field that had some holes in it, at her home track and won with class and style.

I am not denying she is a great horse, that is stupid as can be for anyone to state that. Do I think she has been kept hidden and that her connections need to take some risks, despite the fact she could get beaten, yes. She has the potential to the greatest HORSE, not just filly, but HORSE anyone has ever seen. However she needs to be tested, and the fact that her connections are satisfied with just one spectacular performanceis flat out stupid and ignorant.

I want to not sit here and think well what could she have been, I hate to think that about everything, I want to know. And the only way to REALLY know, beyond a shadow of a doubt is to constantly do, and to constanly raise the bar. The connections have done that but once and it infuriates me that they are satisfied to let fans wonder.

11 May 2010 6:08 PM
BigDonOKc

I have try to post several times - but they have not been put up,

Will say only one thing you play the race not the horse if the time comes to bet a horse over Zen I will do so but till then I see no horse who can out run her in 1 and 1/8 of a mile or longer.

11 May 2010 6:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

HollywoodHit

  You said it all perfectly, and Matthew W is right about the anticipation for this year's Breeder's Cup. The only way it could have been better is if Esky didn't get injured. He's the one that could have provided competition for the Great Zenyatta. She will romp at CD. May have to shift into 3rd gear and a half to pass Quality Road.

11 May 2010 6:23 PM
Rachel Alexandra

Jason Shandler,

That post from "GOD" to Draynay is a crackup!

11 May 2010 6:35 PM
dbs

Thank you HollywoodHit. That is 100 percent true.

11 May 2010 6:58 PM
draynay

HollywoodHit the greats didn't become great by running in restricted races.  To even compare the greats like Affirmed or The Bid to Zenyatta would be an insult to anyone with a brain.  Zenyatta isn't even the best horse in California the trainer just told you it's Rail Trip.

11 May 2010 7:03 PM
draynay

Folks, if they are dodging Rail Trip you can bet they are going to dodge Churchill and the BC.  No horse can be expected to show up at Churchill having never raced on it to win against the best in the country.  Don't buy into it.  She ain't coming.

11 May 2010 7:07 PM
frangooch

I'd like to point out that she hasn't run in the Vanity and agree that the is unlikely to, given the likely weights. So what is this about then? What's with the anti-Z vibe? Since when don't they run on "real dirt" in Arkansas? Z beat better males (7 G1 winners)in the BC than Rachel ever dreamed of facing. She's also beaten 2 ladies Classic winners in Ginger Punch (on dirt) and Life is Sweet. She showed up for the big race, as planned. She has overcome horrible trips and huge weight differentials and Rachel has done neither. No contest.

11 May 2010 7:10 PM
Kay

LDP:

"I have no idea why he was taken off, he never said as to why, which to me shows his class. From his FB comment, I would judge that is wasn't Steve's decision and that it was Jackson's. Again I have no idea why, though I am extremely miffed."

It smacks of Jackson. He's looking to assign blame for Rachel's two losses and naturally, that blame should fall on the exercise rider. Um, what? You know, maybe there IS no blame to assign. Either she just needs more time to round into form or she's just been wrung dry. Jess Jackson's being impatient and trying to solve something that can't be solved by a lawyer. It's stupid.

Was Rachel REALLY hit all those times in the Haskell? Maybe I just blocked it out.

11 May 2010 7:18 PM
sodapopkid

LDP:   Who should Zenyatta be chasing all over the country to run against that cant' wait for her in the grand race of them all, the BCC?  QR?, he can have some of her in the BCC.  RAChel?, well she just came for her and she chickened out. Same goes for every other top grade 1 mares, they had their chance and didnt' take it on dirt.  So, whats the point?  If she comes east she scares away the competitiion, so they can square it out on the world stage, the $5million BCC in November, Zen is giving them all a head start as to training up to the big dance with her.  Believe you me, she will bring in one hell of a large crowd at Churchll Downs when she comes for the BCC.  The problem for most is going to be the distance 1 1/4 miles,  she can take it, how many can take her on it..............She saves her best for last......

11 May 2010 7:43 PM
Zookeeper

LDP,

Here's my last comments to you on this topic:

The only things Zenyatta NEEDS are water, oats & hay and the love and care she gets from everyone involved with her.

Only a very misguided person would call Team Zen's satisfaction with the mare's accomplishments "stupid and ignorant".

Zen & her connections purpose in life is NOT to satisfy your need to know, no matter how important you think it is.

11 May 2010 7:52 PM
jayjay

LDP : I think that point has been posted so many times and I think many has answered it like Kay and indirectly myself.

We are talking about Zenyatta, the pros and cons have already been posted several times.  The point is, somewhere, someone will always question Zenyatta.  If she runs in the east coast and beats the boys on dirt, sets the world record on the track, there will always be someone that will have an excuse to berate her.  It really doesn't matter what she did or does, there will always be people who will find a way to bash her.

Ask this yourself :  Why is the focus on Zenyatta ?  She's not the reigning HOTY, she's after what many of her bashers called a Pepper's Pride record but yet, check how many comments are on this post?

None of the bashers nor the author have questioned RA who should be the focus of everything this year, she should be under the microscope but the talk of the town is Zenyatta, they question Zenyatta because they all know how great Zenyatta is and they want to see the bottom of that tank but we probably never will, she'll save it for the future Zenyattas, who will then beat up on the boys at 3, 4, 5, and 6 yrs old.   Zenyatta will be one that would extend the racing lives of future superstars because of her durability, endurance and she was not used up in her racing career.

Accept that and enjoy her, she's a one in a million, she's an all time great :)

11 May 2010 7:54 PM
The Bid

Last year during Derby week I couldn't stand DRAY, due to the fact that he was dead on re: Friesan Fire. Now re: Moss's COWARDESS, you again are DEAD ON. I really do not get the thought process, except facing WEAK and BEATABLE competition, and the excuse is absolutely nauseating. Running "The Show" at Churchill prior to The Cup is exactly what a REAL OWNER would consider, but I guess Moss just wants Z to be etched in "The LORE" of one of the Greats instead of actually utilizing her Last 4 races to ACTUALLY PROVE IT!!!

11 May 2010 9:23 PM
dr fager01

DRAY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT RACHEL OR ZENYATTA? THE LAST TIME AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER IT WAS RACHEL THAT DID'NT SHOW UP FOR THE BCC. YOU SMALL BRAINED MAN.

11 May 2010 9:26 PM
jayjay

Kay : Since you asked the question, I had to go back to youtube and watch it again as I wanted to make sure I was watching the Haskell.  Yes, I've confirmed it and it was 9 times after she was ahead by at least 5 lengths.  This is why I asked about the whip he's using because I sure hope that was one of the new whips that doesn't really hurt the horse that much, just makes a loud noise to get them going.

If I get yelled at 9 times after I completed a project way ahead of schedule and confirmed everything is working fine, I would quit my job too :)

By the way, I didn't start this discussion about the whip to berate Borel, he's a great jockey and I'm sure loves RA like she's one of his own and he's doing his job but my point is, all this whipping MUST have some effect on RA...she's probably really tired of getting hit.  After an 8 month vacation, she gets back to work and she gets whacked 8 times her first race back then again 8 times on her 2nd race back when they know she's only 90%...I guess that pressure really got to them to win.  Sadly, all this affects Borel too.  I just hope he bails on her if Jackson keeps pushing RA's form to miraculously come back at his command.

Just to be fair, Zardana was whipped 16 TIMES!!! to beat RA, I never really thought about the whipping until I think it was CV that brought it up in one of his comments.  That must really HURT!!

I'm just glad that Zenyatta runs the way she runs, minimal effort, minimal beating, she will live a long prosperous life and her babies will be amazing, they will be the generation that will break a lot of the long standing records and set new records :)

11 May 2010 9:31 PM
Atthebarn2

"Folks, if they are dodging Rail Trip you can bet they are going to dodge Churchill and the BC.  No horse can be expected to show up at Churchill having never raced on it to win against the best in the country.  Don't buy into it.  She ain't coming.

draynay 11 May 2010 7:07 PM"

THIS has got to be the single most ignorant comment you've ever made, and you've made a he** of a lot of them.

What about Smarty Jones, Barbaro, Silver Charm not to mention your favorite Big Brown?

Not to mention Secretariat, Seattle Slew or any number of horses who went on to win the Derby without having run on the track.  Or Personal Ensign who ran only ONE other race outside of NY before winning the BC Distaff by an exciting nose over Winning Colors.

Most of the Triple Crown winners were running on at LEAST one track they had never run on before winning their big races.

There are so many out there that refute this statement it's embarrassing for you.

This goes to prove that of the 900+ comments on here about 600 have been made by around 20 people who are repeating themselves, pulling stuff out of their a** in an attempt to one-up each other over a subject that really only matters to the people who OWN, train and ride the mare.

11 May 2010 9:32 PM
Marty

JAYJAY I completely agree with you.

What is the reigning HOY doing? she's the only one that needs to prove that she deserved that title.

Why is Zenyatta always being asked to prove herself over and over.

Rachel hasn't even won a race this year and she's had two tries.

She lost by a head but to very inferior competition, so what does that make her. She used to be able to beat them by 20 lenghts. Now she can't even out run grade 2 or grade 3 competion. I'm so tired of all this Zenyatta bashing. She beats whoever shows up. Rachel can't even do that....

11 May 2010 9:35 PM
Secretariat

Quote from Draynay:

"No horse can be expected to show up at Churchill having never raced on it to win against the best in the country."

Draynay,

Did you by chance catch a glimpse of the 2010 Kentucky Oaks?

I think a filly named "Blind Luck" destroyed a field of 14 when she came from dead last and catapulted past the field.

PS: I think she's one of those California poly horses that had never raced at Churchill.

11 May 2010 9:49 PM
ALB

I know this has already been stated, but I actually cannot believe it!

From DRF, Shirreffs was asked if there was any chance Zenyatta would run in the Hollywood Gold Cup against males. Shirreffs responded, "No. We're not looking to climb the highest mountain possible. She's proven herself now."

REALLY?!!

11 May 2010 10:14 PM
sodapopkid

She ain't coming.

draynay 11 May 2010 7:07 PM

RE:  And you think RA will be there?  Pure class of denial...........

Zen can run the distance,  She will be there.  I bet the other one won't and possibly the miler QR may not show up either..........

I agree with the previous poster,  This should be about the HOTY and what she's doing.  We should be discussing her and whats going on with her at the present time.......she is the one the spotlight should be on........

11 May 2010 10:55 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

  Water, oats, hay, love and care. Thanks for your support. I got two hours work in today, finally. As you know, anyone that doesn't realize that Queen Zenyatta is the greatest needs to drink some water and eat some oatmeal. Obviously their brain is starved for nutrition and badly dehydrated.

11 May 2010 11:08 PM
Greg J.

Secretariat,

      Great Point!  But, You are talking to a person that said Rachel had a better three year old campaign then your namesake!!!  This man is NOT playing with a full deck, I am convinced...

11 May 2010 11:21 PM
sodapopkid

WOW, Jason, My good man, I have to ask you , When was the last time you had a blog that was going to hit the 1000 post mark??  In under a week.....UN*BEL*IEV*ABLE !!!

11 May 2010 11:32 PM
mz

Isn't everyone tired of throwing verbal grenades at each other?

IMO only interesting thing left to say in this blog now:  who's going to be post number 1000?

11 May 2010 11:39 PM
draynay

Atthebarn2, I'm going to give you a little lesson here.  You see you are confusing the Kentucky Derby with the Breeders Cup Classic.  Some how some way you seem to think they are the same race.  It is obvious that they are dodging Rail Trip because well they said they were.  So it is quite obvious she is going for a couple more poly wins and then they will retire her.  Zenyatta will be dodging the BC this year it's clear they have no faith in her on dirt and it's clear they have no faith in her racing Rail Trip.  What a shame, what a way for her to go out.

11 May 2010 11:47 PM
Kay

Jayjay:

"If I get yelled at 9 times after I completed a project way ahead of schedule and confirmed everything is working fine, I would quit my job too :)"

Great analogy!

"By the way, I didn't start this discussion about the whip to berate Borel, he's a great jockey and I'm sure loves RA like she's one of his own and he's doing his job but my point is, all this whipping MUST have some effect on RA...she's probably really tired of getting hit.  After an 8 month vacation, she gets back to work and she gets whacked 8 times her first race back then again 8 times on her 2nd race back when they know she's only 90%...I guess that pressure really got to them to win.  Sadly, all this affects Borel too.  I just hope he bails on her if Jackson keeps pushing RA's form to miraculously come back at his command."

I don't want to berate him, either. He has a gift for making horses brave. But when a rider hits a horse who's clearly going to destroy her field, well... that bugs me. Seems more like showing off than winning a race.

Secretariat:

"I think a filly named "Blind Luck" destroyed a field of 14 when she came from dead last and catapulted past the field.

PS: I think she's one of those California poly horses that had never raced at Churchill."

Indeed she was. During Derby week, folks on HRTV were making the point that synthetic-to-dirt was a pretty good angle. It sure was in the Oaks, with the first two making that move.

11 May 2010 11:56 PM
draynay

Do you guys know what regional California poly race they will name after Zenyatta?  How about the Santa Anita poly world female horses only championship?  Has a ring to it huh?

12 May 2010 12:02 AM
moodygirl

Jayjay, Calvin has been using that new popper whip for the past 2 yrs. It is the only legal whip in KY. I gave links on another blog but I'm too tired to remember which one. I think I Googled Calvin Borel popper whip to find the articles. One was in ESPN.

Sodapopkid and Zookeeper we need to keep asking the question "WHY DID THEY LAY RACHEL OFF FOR SO LONG WHEN THEY WERE PLANNING TO RACE HER THIS YEAR?" until someone

plays Rockford and finds out! Did something happen that we don't know about? Did someone screw up? What's the deal?

Billy, I think, was commenting on how the horses all fly to the races in other countries in Europe. That areguement really does not apply to this case because you can drive from one country to the next in one day. That's a short plane ride.

Drunkinbum, You comments are refreshing and to the point. When Zenyatta thunders by the Boys in the Breeders Cup Classic with a swish of her tail in their faces, none of this really will matter. That will truly be a historic moment. The season is early & she will race in the East on dirt again before the Classic, they said so. Everybody just calm down!

Footlick, good to see you dipping your hoof in here a little. A lot of what is said is not worth commenting on but I do hope it makes them feel better.

While discussing HOY 2010, whoever said "Jackass on the year was already taken" was priceless.

12 May 2010 12:18 AM
jayjay

To all the new bloggers : Draynay will always try to pull you in to discussing Zenyatta because he's an RA fan and he can't discuss RA at the moment so the only one he fears the most is Zenyatta.  He's an angry angry man because he wants one of the greatest horses in the history of horse racing to lose a race, just so he can again jump on the RA bandwagon.  I'm sure some of you agree with him but as with Draynay, you can post another 2000 comments on here and it wouldn't make any difference LOL.

The owners will go after the record, they will ignore the HOTY and will defend her BCC title come November.  Accept it as that is how it's going to be :)  She's already one of the greats alongside Citation and Cigar, with that honor, HOTY seems well, not that important!  You can be a one year wonder or you can be one of the great horses of all time, which one would you like to be ? :)

12 May 2010 12:37 AM
Tiznowbaby

Woo hoo Atthebarn2! Give 'em heck!

12 May 2010 12:50 AM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay:  Trainer David Fawkes is apparently targeting the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs for Duke of Mischief's first start since his impressive 2 1/4- length victory over Win Willy in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 3.  It’s interesting what he had to say:

"The Foster is our first choice but a lot will depend on who else is going there," Fawkes said. "If Quality Road or Zenyatta are heading that way, I won't go. We'll move to Plan B, which is the Lone Star Handicap and then the Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park."

Funny…..No mention about what they would do if Rachel entered.

12 May 2010 1:31 AM
Greg J.

      I think it would be fitting for Draynay to get post #1000!!!  What is the award the LAST person picked in the NFL draft is given?  This would remind me of Draynay, I think they call it Mr. Irrelevant???   Such a perfect Award for Dray...

12 May 2010 6:28 AM
sodapopkid

IMO only interesting thing left to say in this blog now:  who's going to be post number 1000?

mz 11 May 2010 11:39 PM

Re:  More of Draynay's rubbish.....

He don't neeed to worry about Zen, He needs to putting his attention to his HOTY and find out what is wrong with her and her connections.......Enquiring minds want to know........

I smell some stink stirring in that pot.........

12 May 2010 6:33 AM
god to draynay

I see you were one that slipped through the cracks when I handed out common sense and humility. I'm deeply dissapointed in you. We will meet again on your day of reckoning and I advise you to see the errors of your ways and correct them before your day comes.

I am the creator of all and to help you go along the right path will give you a piece of advice. You seem obsessed by certain of my creations. Make no mistake about it. When I created Zenyatta I created the perfect machine so mankind could enjoy the best ever. When I created Rachael Alexandra I left something out. She hasn't lost 5 races for nothing you know. Once you create perfection there is no reason to try and duplicate it. Win or lose Zenyatta is the pinnacle of my creations in the world of race horses. Try to show some humility and accept that fact. Enjoy the best I can ever do and DO NOT question my word on this!!  

12 May 2010 8:12 AM
AngelaFrom Abilene

sodapopkid 11 May 2010 2:07 PM  "RE:  In Jess Jackson's world someone or everyone else has to take the blame for his mistakes. So the blame will have to go on the ex.rider and the jock."

JJ is a trainers NIGHTMARE.  If he wants to call the shots, he should get HIS trainers license!  While I hate to see what has happened to RA, there is NO ONE to blame but JJ.  Will the man EVER learn?

12 May 2010 8:33 AM
BigDonOKc

blind luck will run in the Belmont Stakes in 5 weeks and win. She is the top 3 to 4 year old girl running in U.S. as of right now.

Where as Zen is the top horse in the world.

12 May 2010 8:53 AM
rusty

Here's mine Billy:

Looking at Lucky

Schoolyard Dreams

Super Saver

Paddy O'Prado

12 May 2010 8:59 AM
Bob Z

There have been a few comments about last years Haskell Invitational...

I happened to be there last year and it was crazy... between the weather and the excitement and the soggy hot dog rolls ... what a day...

So I've posted the race as well as a behind the scenes video which is pretty good if you can ignore  the goofy commentary...

Look at how Rachel is able to accelerate in the turn for home and just separates herself from everyone else.... that is what she is missing this year...

www.youtube.com/watch

www.youtube.com/watch

12 May 2010 9:52 AM
Citation

Hey, about Blind Luck, her most recent race was dirt, so she wasn't really a horse with the synthetic to dirt angle. Runner-up Evening Jewel was though. About whipping the horse, just about every horse in the country is whipped often to drive them to a victory, and I am almost certain Borel was using one of the new, softer whips. And the eight-race campaign? Tons and tons of horses run more times than that in a campaign, and they are just fine the next year. I don't think it was the whipping or the campaign that caused her decline now. Where is Zen going after the Vanity? Does anyone have any info on this, or is all the info we have Sherriffs's comment that they'll "take it one race at a time"?

12 May 2010 9:58 AM
Atthebarn2

You didn't say the BC Classic. You said a 'big race against the best in the country'. If you want to get technical about it, Ghostzapper won the BC Classic at Lone Star Park, he never ran there.

There were more but I don't have idle time on my hands like you do.

The Triple Crown races of the past, when Secreteriat et al were around were the biggest races with the best horses, far better than about anything going now. There WAS no Breeders Cup.

You are going to give me a little lesson, that's real funny. You couldn't even qualify to shovel my barn. I've seen the big races you babble on about. I've seen the big horses that you foam at the mouth about. Whatever they do with their horse is far and away more than any of you are doing with yours. Your virtual stables and your handicapping on line or that video game they came out with.

12 May 2010 10:49 AM
MonicaV

Atthebarn2,

Hey, good to see you!  It's been quite a while.  What do you think of this blog?  Unbelievable what is said on here.  How are things with you?

12 May 2010 10:59 AM
MonicaV

mz,

Good point!  Jason, will there be a prize for poster 1000?  I'm sure there will be another scathing poster somewhere to fill that.

12 May 2010 11:00 AM
MonicaV

Marty,

Rachel doesn't have to prove that she deserved 2009 HOY.  That's history.  That was for 2009 not 2010.  She had a long lay off, completely out of training.  Hopefully, she will soon be herself again.  That's a lot to ask of a horse.

12 May 2010 11:02 AM
Chalkbuster

I s'pose if the Breeders Cup settles on one location, Santa Anita for instance, the Zenyatta Breeders Cup Classic has a nice ring to it. Doncha think??

Dependant upon her victory at CD this year, of course.

12 May 2010 11:13 AM
MonicaV

Why does anyone pay attention to what Draynay says?  He only says those things to get a rise out of you.  That's how he gets  his kicks.  He loves to be outrageous.

Don't take the bait.  Just ignore what he says.  I have to admit that this blog is far more passionate than the BC blog.  Zenyatta and Rachel have no idea that people say all these things. It's amazing how others cannot stand anyone having their own opinion. As to bashing, I don't believe in it and there has been plenty on this blog.  It appears to me, anyway, that Rachel has taken the most on this blog.  A few on here absolutely hate that poor horse.  How sad is that?  It would seem that those few absolutely delight in their hatred of her.  Zenyatta has her detractors as well but she has far more supporters writing books inparise of her in their posts.  What puzzles me is why when writing about Zenyatta's greatness they have to then also write about Rachel's inferiority.

Zenyatta is an undefeated mare and that stands on it's own.  Belittling Rachel isn't necessary to make Zenyatta look good.  Zen does that all on her own and really, anyone who bashes another horse in favor of their favorite only makes themselves look bad and mean spirited not the horse you are destroying with your poisonous statements.

12 May 2010 11:19 AM
Draynay

God, you must have created Rail Trip a little better because Zenyatta is running from him like a scared little puppy.  As long as you are in California, a female, and will run on poly plastic Zenyatta will take you on.

12 May 2010 11:36 AM
Draynay

Again Atthebarn2 let me help you out. Zenyatta is no Ghostzapper! Lol. Not by a looong shot. But thanks for playing.  And can you name all the horses in the 2004 Classic that had extensive experience on the track that gave them an advantage?

12 May 2010 11:46 AM
Draynay

Citation, let me help you out. Seems like Zenyatta's team doesn't want to "climb the highest mountains" in California and they don't want to "CROSS the mountains of the Rockies."  That leaves her with few choices and few places to hide. A shame really. Maybe a allowance race sometime at Del Mar?

12 May 2010 11:49 AM
sodapopkid

Draynay:   You are really scared of the Mighty Mare arent' you?  You are as scared of her as JJ is. Two peas in a pod....

12 May 2010 11:58 AM
LAZMANNICK

Draunay

All the winners of the BC at Woodbine in '96 never raced at that track before.....Invasor and Tiznow won the BCC at CD without ever having raced at the track.  What's yur point?

12 May 2010 12:08 PM
AfleetAlexForever

Sadly some of you think that connections are scared of the mare, lets try to figure this out, are they scared of her 95 and 98 Beyer that she’s gotten for her 2 races this year,  that’s allowance quality Beyer speed figures,  or is it the 9 furlongs that she ran in 1:50.71 in the same canter that Quality Road completed 9 furlongs in 1:47.49, he only ran his race 3 full seconds and some change faster.  How many lengths is that hmmmm, the equation ¼ length = .25 seconds. 13 lengths, yeah I am sure that’s scaring Todd Pletcher, lmao.  What about Rachel the HOY that you are bashing oh so much, lets say she is out west and makes a comeback like with Zenyatta’s 6 month layoff  in 09, she faces Briecat, Made for Magic, Fleeting Heart, and Gambler’s Justice, yeah real competitive field huh, Zero for their last 28 starts, well yeah just like Zen she wins her comeback race, in her second race like Zen’s last year against the same horses she would have won that race also, see people common sense says if you run against nothing u should win, fields of horses that make up a 4% winning percentage should give you no problem.  Unfortunately in the east where competitive races are run you are going to run into a horse that can put together a career best performance and nip you at the wire.  This for the ignorant who cant figure out why if dirt is her preferred surface she’s only run on it twice, well duh because they don’t want to be bitten by that career performance.  Remember the race where Zen was all out catching Anaaba’s Creation, that horse would finish dead last in most races in the East, but Zen beats her by a nose with a photo finish, now on dirt replace that horse with Rachel, Careless Jewel or even on synthetics replace that horse with St. Trinians and that’s her first career loss.  But don’t worry the time will come, when your horse runs that slow even in a public workout, there is no confidence in going and facing better competition.  They were going to come to Arkansas because they promised that and try to beat Rachel, she didn’t show but Zenyatta performed like a good Grade III horse that day, so what do u do, go back home and regroup and rethink the shipping and facing quality competition.  You do the 08,09 dance, beat up on the fillies and mares in cali because there is only 1 piece of resistence, and believe me St. Trinians can and most likely will step up and bite them in the rear.  But don’t come east because that 95 beyer is not going to win many races because horses are not going to come back to the pack like they do on synthetics running 46, 47 or 48 second half miles, they will distance themselves and then your pursuit of the perfect career will end, and maybe just maybe at that time we’ll see her campaigned like a champion to garner the elusive HOY award in 2010.  Or else we’ll see a new record, HOY Runner Up for 3 straight years.

12 May 2010 12:30 PM
LAZMANNICK

AfleetAlexForever

Yawn!  Yawn!  ZZZZZ!  ZZZZZ!  Just like Draynay, you need some new material.  You're putting us all to sleep.

12 May 2010 12:56 PM
Chalkbuster

AAF: If you depend upon Andy Beyer to tell you who the winners are, then I would love to book all your bets. I will even give you a rebate after you tap out the 1st time.

Try to remember this...it's about winning races, not being awarded a number after a race based on whatever unprovable theory some promoter came up with.

I will give Andy credit for one thing...he learned early in life that there is a sucker born every minute...and he's taken that to the bank. Good for him, but his number does not decide who a champion is.

12 May 2010 1:00 PM
Kay

Bob Z:

“Look at how Rachel is able to accelerate in the turn for home and just separates herself from everyone else.... that is what she is missing this year...”

Yes, exactly!! Made sense she may not have had it in LA but it seemed like she ran the same exact race in the La Troienne. Where’s that acceleration? Is that something that comes with happiness and confidence? She just doesn’t seem to want it anymore.

Monica V:

“What puzzles me is why when writing about Zenyatta's greatness they have to then also write about Rachel's inferiority.”

That’s the nature of the sport – comparing horses to each other. And even though they’ve never met, Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra will be inextricably linked. When somebody criticizes Zenyatta for not running against colts, it goes like this:

Critic: She needs to ship and run against colts or it means nothing.

Defender: The goal is this year’s BC. Why wring her out before then?

Critic: She only had one race where she beat good horses, and even that was on plastic rubber car parts. Last year, Rachel shipped and beat colts in three –

Defender: Ima stop you there. We were talking about Zenyatta.

Critic: Rachel Rachel Rachel…

Defender: Sigh.

See, whenever it gets down to WHY Zenyatta should face males at 10F all year and ship all over the country, Rachel is inevitably mentioned. At least Affirmed and Alydar RAN against each other. But I don’t know if we’ve ever had THIS kind of a rivalry before. And no matter what you hope, it IS a rivalry. And in large part, it was started with Jess Jackson’s smack-talk about the Apple Blossom and the three races. Jackson withdrew Rachel out of the Apple Blossom the second Zardana passed her, yet Zenyatta’s the horse getting criticized. That’s a little unbalanced, don’t you think? Rachel gets a pass… why, exactly?

And when people talk about hating Rachel, they don’t hate the horse (well, maybe the crazy people do). They hate the connections and they hate how this horse has been managed. I know that’s how I feel.

12 May 2010 1:24 PM
rusty

Haha, a lot of what-ifs there Alex.

This is not FANTASY racing, it is what it is. Deal with it instead of making up.

If the Belmont was 10 yards longer, MTB wins it, it isn't.

Rachael did make a comeback, abeit wasn't out west, it was against inferior horses and she lost both, so she isn't just like Zen. I could go on and pick your what-ifs apart(especially your Beyer references) but everyone gets the idea, it's ridiculous.

Here's what is indisputable, Zenyatta is undefeated. If she had needed to run a 1:47.00 in 9f to win she would have, that's what she does. BTW her cantor is about 2 gears higher than QR's and several feet longer.

What if Secretariat had been in the RA Belmont, she'd have lost by 30. Get it? Don't demean yourself by posting what-ifs, stick with the facts.

We all know what they are.

12 May 2010 1:27 PM
Footlick

Duke of Mischief- 107 Beyer at Oaklawn last race- will be entered in the Foster and will run unless QR or Zenyatta are going to be there.  Funny since he must be how many lengths better than Zenyatta-lol.

12 May 2010 1:31 PM
Citation

Draynay, thank you for trying to help, but I really don't think Zenyatta's connections are going to put her in an allowance. Does anybody else have an idea?

12 May 2010 1:32 PM
Draynay

Afleet, Great post!  They can hide the horse from Rail Trip and from running against real dirt horses on real dirt out East the rest of the year because no one cares now.  She has been exposed for what she is.  I can't wait to see Quality Road and Rachel go at it with Super Saver for HOY. Zenyatta will have a nice seat watching from her stall.  Damn those Rockies.

12 May 2010 1:42 PM
Kate Harper

Are Draynay and Afleetalexforever related?  If not, it's a little scary to think that genetic pool is doubled in number.

12 May 2010 2:08 PM
Kay

Laz:

"Yawn!  Yawn!  ZZZZZ!  ZZZZZ!  Just like Draynay, you need some new material.  You're putting us all to sleep."

I'm impressed that you actually READ his posts! I see all those words bleeding into each other with the random punctuation and just think, Get a PARAGRAPH, man!

At least draynay's posts are short and quite easy to skip.

12 May 2010 2:16 PM
Householder

Secretariat.  I can answer this one for you.  Dray had Amen in the Oaks despite my plea to take a look at the 10 length win Blind Luck had over Amen at Hollywood and the screaming 1 1/8th pedigree.  All synthetic races are a complete toss for him.  Then people went back the next day and bet the "Devil" based on the Devil's 2 length "trouncing" of Amen (and some Pletcher comment) who finished 10 behind Blind Luck once again.  Go figure.  Dray's pick Amen was the key.

Once again tell me how Blind Luck did not win an Eclipse award?  The best 3 year old filly in training.

12 May 2010 2:18 PM
Atthebarn2

Draynay, How do you know WHAT the mare is? Have you seen her run?

First you wanted her to face Rachel who was a horse of Hal's making and now we see the real skill of her new trainer.

Well she tried to face her but they backed off because they knew they couldn't beat her. Now it's all about running on the dirt, facing the boys. I bet that's on the agenda and if it ain't so what. She doesn't win horse of the year, so what.

But I can tell you that a bunch of us who thought Rachel would take her on the dirt changed our minds when we saw her toy with em at Oaklawn.

Like I said if I had idle time like you do (idle time is the work of the devil) I could list all the horses and all the horses they ran against in the BCC. What their experience was on a given track. By the way what makes you think Quality Road will even be at the Breeders Cup? Or any other horse with extensive experience? Plus it's pretty danged hard for any horse to get extensive experience on a track that has a 3 month meet.

God may have given you height and blue eyes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and only skin deep. But I guarantee he left you out in the smarts department.

Hello Monica. Hope you're doing good? Things are okay, if we just get some help from the politicos.

Jay I'm not new, I had my rounds with the village idiot a year ago. Unlike him i have real horses that I take care of not the delusions that he deals with. He's been ruled off so many places lots of others recognize what a waste of space he is.

12 May 2010 2:20 PM
Atthebarn2

I'm startin to think that Draynay tried to sell Jerry on some scheme and he couldn't get past the front door. Why else would somebody who isn't in racing, doesn't own or train a horse, only bets on the favorite waste so much energy and hatred on a person and animal?

12 May 2010 2:24 PM
Draynay

Citation, I could ask around here at Beulah Park to set up a race for her that Rail Trip, Rachel, and Quality Road wouldn't be able to enter.  We could make it for horses that are female and names begin with Z.  I know flying across the Rockies would be a problem and crossing the Mississippi but I am sure we could keep out any horses with any ability to run so she could win. What do you think?  I mean it's not important who she beats or what race she runs she just needs to stay undefeated right ?

12 May 2010 2:25 PM
LAZMANNICK

I get sick of this BULL that Zenyatta has had only one race where she has beaten good horses.  That's a load if I ever heard one......In 2007 she beat the reigning champ in her division twice, culminating in the BC Distaff.  That one race means that she beat all the best fillies who had spent the year beating other top class fillies and when they faced her she dominated.....In 2008 she did the same thing.....she trounced all the top fillies who spent the year beating all the top fillies in their division.....In 2009 she beat LIS several times and LIS trounced all the top fillies (that showed up) who spent the year beating all the top fillies.......Instead of wasting her time with them, Zen took on all the top males and literally trounced them.  This race included the Handicap Horse Champ, the Three year Old Champ and the Grass Champ.......Then we get expert oopinions from people like AAF who reals off all these facts and figures and calls himself knowledgeable........WOW.  Like I stated earlier, go back and analyze Citation's 16 race win streak.  As gret as he was, there's a lot of holes there too.

12 May 2010 2:27 PM
Dribblenay

Jess Jackson must be wondering why racing secretaries, track managemant and track owners are not returning his calls.

Let's see last year he held extorted extra purse money out of some of them to run his filly. Then Fairgrounds even wrote a race just for him this winter and Oaklawn moved one of their biggest races and jacked it up $4.5 million dollars, just for him.

Ring, Ring...Jess here and I have a proposition for you...hello, hello?? CLICK.

12 May 2010 2:52 PM
jayjay

LOL, rusty jut about made AAF cry with his breaking down of AAF's what ifs.

Monica V : I can tell that you're probably an RA fan but also admire Zen.  There are almost 1000 comments in these blogs and you probably only read the Zen admirers talking about RA.  I would say that out of 100, 99 of the Zen admirers care about RA.  I for one has said that RA will never win a race again this year, she's done, she's not the same horse as last year and that she will be retired soon.  That's not bashing, that's my opinion ...why??  Because of their campaign last year to go "ALL OUT", they were scared of Zenyatta's undefeated record so they went for the price, at the cost of RA.

This blog is about Zen's campaign plans, but the Z bashers started commenting and comparing the great RA's campaign of LAST year, they don't comment about her 2 races this year, it always go back to what she did last year.

The thing is, Team Zen has not missed a beat this year, they're on target with their plans this year.  The RA fans can't accept that because their horses plan is currently out of whack.  JJ is trying to find the quick solution, which is to fire the exercise rider, he's probably already replaced Borel and is now shopping for the easiest spot where RA can win and look good.  RA is not motivated anymore, it takes more than training to get motivation back, only RA can fix that problem and maybe she doesn't want any motivation, maybe she just wants to play.  I really feel bad for RA, her accomplishments last year are getting tarnished with every race she loses.  That is the nature of the game, people will start to forget last year because she's lost 2 races this year.  Was it worth the HOTY honors, frankly, I don't think it is.

You seem like a practical person, tell us then why RA is not the focus of the discussion.  This blog, from the get go is criticism of Zenyatta and her team.  She's not even the reigning HOTY.  It just goes to show the respect (and fear as well) that Zenyatta gets.  People are eager to see her lose, they want her to fail because they think that if she fails, somehow RA's failure this year is justified or at least normal because Zenyatta is not immortal.  They have bashed everyone in Team Zen but have not mentioned one word against JJ, or Asmussen.  Why is that ?

12 May 2010 3:06 PM
Householder

Life is Sweet ducked Zenyatta when she ran a game third in the Hollywood Gold Cup to Rail Trip and then no one played her in the Breeder's Cup.  (Best Bet of the entire card). Why would Zenyatta suddenly be ducking Rail Trip?  Zenyatta beat Life is Sweet how many times?

12 May 2010 3:10 PM
Whirlaway

Check this video out:

www.youtube.com/watch

She's human!

12 May 2010 3:12 PM
GO ZENYATTA

What's so shameful about running in the Vanity? It's a Grade 1 race, and she is a female. I think it's huge to be aiming for a second straight Breeders Cup Classic win with a female horse. Who's ever done that before? That's the race they want to win, the biggest race in the country, and they know they'll have a big chance to win it if they manage her properly up til then and have her at her best that day. They want to keep her record perfect and win another Breeders Cup without wearing her out. Who wouldn't want that for their horse?

12 May 2010 3:20 PM
HollywoodHit

Kay, I want to let you know that your entries on this board are fantastic. However I do have a problem with your impiciation that there is a rivalry between Zenyatta and another horse.

Make no mistake about it, there is no rivalry. Rivalries take place on the field of battle.

As you mentioned: Affirmed/Alydar, can't say one without the other...raced each other. Ali/Frazier, Magic/Bird, Yankees/Red Sox, I could go on and on. These are Rivalries because they have two elements: a pair of worthy competitors who actually face off against each other.

I wouldn't dare say that Zenyatta is in any way part of a rivalry. She is in a league of her own.

I've enjoyed your commentary immensely, on this blog Kay. I just don't think that the term Rivalry applies with Zenyatta. IMHO

12 May 2010 3:32 PM
BigDonOKc

I for one see it as a waste of time to fight over who’s  better or who will not run who, Both horse have earn my support – but I play the race not the horse and that why RA last two out I played  her in second and third where as Zen has always been a single to win. Some would say you don’t support RA and you are running her down if you question any problem you see but I don’t care for they are the ones who will call you a bandwagon jumper if you don’t play a horse you like to win only because they have no real horse since. If Zen was in a 5 ½ F race I would  not play her to win on the other hand if RA was in a 7f long race I put her on top it is just common horse since.

You people who are fighting over these two horse are wasting a lot of time you should be looking at the next 2TC races – I have the Belmont in hand if Blind luck is in she my pick if not Ice is the next play for me.

12 May 2010 3:39 PM
Citation

Draynay, if you had offered to make that race only two years earlier, it might be quite a race if Zarkava showed up. Hey Jayjay, which of Zen's starts did you see first? Since it was before we had HRTV, I didn't see her first few races, but I did see the Apple Blossom on Bloodhorse. I remember that instead of thinking "wow, look at how good the winner was", I was thinking, "who makes a horse odds-on in a Grade One anyway? Not only did she lose to that Zenyatta horse, she lost to another horse too!". But of course, Zenyatta turns out to be a superstar. The horse who was second? Brownie Points. When my father and I went out to Remington Park one day, we were looking at the track program when my dad said,"Hey, look, this horse has run against Zenyatta and Ginger Punch!". So that was pretty exciting for us, getting to see a horse who ran against Zen and beat Ginger Punch run in Oklahoma.

12 May 2010 3:53 PM
BigDonOKc

"the equation ¼ length = .25 seconds"

aff where did you get this? - I have study time for over 40 years was taught whilw in my 20 by an 80 year old woman - one length is .05 most people who study time used this --If you don't have a stop watch I let you use mine so you can check to see if I am right.

Here is  a fact you should take to heart time means nothing - it is different for each horse - at each point of the race.

12 May 2010 4:01 PM
Billy's Empire

dray, is from ohio, which means

O UT

H ERE

I RRITATING

O THERS

if the shoe fits....

hey, you all let him, just sayin

12 May 2010 4:13 PM
Citation

Hey BigDonOKC, everything i've ever read says that five lengths equals one second, which would make the guy you are responding to correct. I really doubt that the dozens of books on horse racing I've read are all wrong. I am not trying to be rude, but I believe that you are wrong about one length=0.05 seconds.

12 May 2010 4:18 PM
mz

As you all already know, I've got absolutely nothing left to say about the (supposed) point of this blog.  

The reason for this post:  I only want to know if I am No. 1000.

(and if so, do I win $100k from Jason to bet on the BC Classic this year?)

12 May 2010 4:31 PM
jayjay

Citation : The first time I saw Zenyatta was the AP the first time she won it.  I was all over Ginger Punch that day, figuring she couldn't lose that race, then of course Zenyatta ran her down from the back, the same exact way she runs them down to this day.  I was so mad at Zenyatta that day because I had a lot of money on GP lol.  I've never seen Zen's races prior to that, just knew she was undefeated going into that race.  Oh, and that was the first time she ran on dirt!  I actually had Brownie Points boxed with GP in that race, and followed BP in her subsequent races, never made money off of BP though lol.

Atthebarn2 : I feel sorry for you only in the sense that you've been dealing with the clown for that amount of time but I'm sure that you've also had the pleasure of proving how ridiculous he is.  He's  desperate, he can't pick a winner if his life depended on it.

I wouldn't want him to go away though, that would ruin my blogging :)  It would be like someone taking away my punching bag when I look forward to working on it every morning.  Just like a punching bag, it doesn't know that I'm getting a lot of pleasure punching it...and it keeps coming back for more!!

BigDon : I totally agree, that's why these beyers and run times, they mean nothing at all to me.  To me those number only represent how they did in that race, has no impact on their next race at all unless for some miracle, the next race is the exact same conditions, tracks, opponents, weather and everything else.  I handicap based on the color of the silks, whether the horse poops or not during the post parade and only if my pick has the same number as the previous day winning mega number!! On a serious note, I'm pretty much the same, once I decide on a horse who I think has the best chance at winning, I load up on that pick, I don't spread my bets to multiple horses because that lessens your winnings specially if the favorite wins.

12 May 2010 4:31 PM
Jason Shandler

Here's the deal--Whoever becomes poster No. 1000, I will give away a valuable free prize:

I will send you Dray's picks for one full year free of charge.

12 May 2010 4:46 PM
Draynay

That's a 10,000 dollar value so step up rookies and take advantage like so many across the country.  Get in the know information from someone who many in Vegas consider the "only handicapping genius in America." Stop guessing who will win every race get the handicapping power of "DRAYNAY" on your side and always go home a winner just like "DRAYNAY". This 10,000 value is not transferable and may not be traded for lessons on how to be suave, cool, and good looking.

12 May 2010 4:59 PM
Greg J.

"I will send you Dray's picks for one full year free of charge"

Free?  Did you know how much those picks would cost me through the whole year?  Thanks, But, No Thanks...

I would rather use a dart board...

12 May 2010 5:05 PM
sodapopkid

Here's the deal--Whoever becomes poster No. 1000, I will give away a valuable free prize:

I will send you Dray's picks for one full year free of charge.

jshandler 12 May 2010 4:46 PM

Re:  Please spare us. If I'm poster 1000 YOU can just forward the prize to a RA fan?  they may believe in Drays fabrications.

12 May 2010 5:09 PM
mz

Hey Jason: you promised "valuable"!

12 May 2010 5:12 PM
MonicaV

Jason,

Wow!  What a great gift.

12 May 2010 5:14 PM
MonicaV

Jason,

Just another post to get 1000 and that great prize!  LOL!

12 May 2010 5:14 PM
sodapopkid

Jason, I am predicting this blog goes over 1000.  In less than a week, I know I said this before but I cant' believe it.

12 May 2010 5:16 PM
ruffianruns

GOD wrote:

 Draynay,

 This is god.

 I give you one mouth and two ears.

 Do you know why?

 GOD 11 May 2010 3:59 PM

GOD, I don't think he knows why.  And you also gave him FINGERS to type with!  OK, I know you created mosquitos and fleas because a lot of people are employed by OFF and other companies that kill mosquitoes and fleas.  But really, I just don't get why you created that one...

12 May 2010 5:28 PM
jayjay

Jason : I'm a little overwhelmed by the prize.  That's like the "Book Of Secrets" from that movie...are you sure you want to give that away ??

12 May 2010 5:31 PM
Tiznowbaby

Oh geez, Jason. I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

12 May 2010 5:31 PM
Draynay

Future odds on Zenyatta running on dirt East of the Mississippi before November just went up from 25 to 1 to 100 to 1 against.  I would say the odds should be 1000 to 1 because it is obvious she will not be coming to Churchill this year or any other year.

12 May 2010 5:47 PM
Zookeeper

jayjay,

What you don't understand is that the "punching bag" is a masochist and to keep punching him makes one a (fill in the blank).

The exercise is getting a little old. His absence would enhance my experience on these blogs. I know it won't happen though, because people keep giving him what he craves.

12 May 2010 5:50 PM
BigDonOKc

Thanks Jay Jay for the comment you need to read my post on the lead about time study you get a big laugh out of it.

I study time not as time but distance traveled in yard per second. 80 year old woman years ago taught me this.

Stop and thing about this if like Zen she is 12 to 20 l behind the leader in a race at the first 3 calls and ¼ L= .25 seconds then one L = 1 second and she is 20l behind the field

That 20 second on every call except the wire she always in front – then they are tell me one hell of a horse. But if one L is only .o5 of a second she only about 1 second behind the field – an she is. She covers more ground in the last 1/8 than any horse I have ever see.

I will stick with my .05 it has done a great job for me – gave me Rags over curlin – big brown in the derby – cat thief in the classic and of course red bullet.

The average horse TB runs 18.33 yards a second in most races 1 1/16 and above .

Have seen a few run 20.00 but those are Belmont winners.

12 May 2010 5:54 PM
BigDonOKc

I don't need any else to spent my money - if i am #1000 give them to aaf he needs them.

12 May 2010 5:56 PM
Citation

Jayjay, how did you go from that to being one of Zenyatta's number one fans? To clarify, I understand how that can happen, I just want to know the specific event that made you into a Zenyatta fan. That's interesting that you and I had the same first sight of Zenyatta. Were you actually there or did you watch the race on television or simulcasting?

12 May 2010 6:07 PM
rusty

Correct:

1 length=1/5 of a second.

12 May 2010 7:06 PM
CV

"Here's the deal--Whoever becomes poster No. 1000, I will give away a valuable free prize:

I will send you Dray's picks for one full year free of charge."

jshandler 12 May 2010 4:46 PM

I thought that was consolation prize.

As in, I'll need consoling if I win it!

Seriously, no betting money for putting up with the one who shall not be named? Nada? :(

12 May 2010 7:28 PM
Kay

Hollywood Hit:

“Kay, I want to let you know that your entries on this board are fantastic. However I do have a problem with your impiciation that there is a rivalry between Zenyatta and another horse.

Make no mistake about it, there is no rivalry. Rivalries take place on the field of battle.

As you mentioned: Affirmed/Alydar, can't say one without the other...raced each other. Ali/Frazier, Magic/Bird, Yankees/Red Sox, I could go on and on. These are Rivalries because they have two elements: a pair of worthy competitors who actually face off against each other.

I wouldn't dare say that Zenyatta is in any way part of a rivalry. She is in a league of her own.

I've enjoyed your commentary immensely, on this blog Kay. I just don't think that the term Rivalry applies with Zenyatta. IMHO “

Well, thanks for the compliment! And you’re completely wrong! Kidding. Maybe we need a new word, then. Speculative rivals? They’re being discussed in the same breath, almost as if it’s impossible to separate them. I think the reason, actually, is because they HAVEN’T met. I never discussed Zenyatta in context with Rachel Alexandra until Jess Jackson sniffed about the “plastic” at Santa Anita as the reason his exhausted, over-the-top filly wouldn’t be there.

By the way… there wasn’t much talk about Rachel ducking Zenyatta THEN, either. Intriguing…

Jason for the win:

“Here's the deal--Whoever becomes poster No. 1000, I will give away a valuable free prize:

I will send you Dray's picks for one full year free of charge. “

Now ensuring that this topic has officially been stabbed through the heart!

(please don't let this be 1000)

12 May 2010 7:29 PM
LAZMANNICK

Kay

What!  Do you think I'm crazy!  I only read every 7th line.  LOL

12 May 2010 7:32 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

Don't tell me you're that BIG BETTOR that Andy Beyer said can be seen haunting the grandstand at Beulah Park.

12 May 2010 7:35 PM
Swale

I had some thoughts on this subject but I see that thinking is against the rules.

i really hope I'm not number 1000.

12 May 2010 7:40 PM
Jason Shandler

Rusty: Looks you are the unlucky winner! You're No. 1,000 and you get Dray's top pick for a full year free of charge! Look at it this way, you now have at least one horse to throw out in each and every race for 365 days!!

12 May 2010 8:10 PM
Householder

Are we talking about the same Quality Road that got beat by Summer Bird?  The same Summer Bird that Zenyatta passed?  Why is this horse in the Met Mile?  Can't wait to get him on the tight 1 mile Churchill oval and away from all "sweeping turns" and one turn tracks.  He needs to ship out instead of hiding at Saratoga all summer. Oaklawn?  Seems like a strange HOY run unless the quarter cracks are not yet behind him.  

12 May 2010 8:10 PM
moodygirl

"Horse X loved to charge around the field on the stretch turn, giving up ground on the outside, but recovering it and more through his/her own theorem: At any distance, the vastly superior horse will run as fast as he/she needs to run to squash all the opposition."

I read this recently and thought how much it sounded like Zenyatta. It is actually a quote from Edward L. Bowen in The Blood-Horse, speaking of Secretariat (Horse X). I just wanted everyone to read it first before knowing what horse this is talking about.

I found this quote in the book "Etched in Stone: Thoroughbred Memorials" by Lucy Zeth. It's a great book for those of you who like to read about the great TBs of the past. Actually it goes up through the 1990s. She has taken pictures of all the great TBs gravestones and the famous farms cemetaries and then writes some very nice pieces about each horse. I've read a lot of TB history but I still found things I did not know. It's only $4.95 and a great item for your library. I managed to catch it with a free shipping discount. Click on the bookstore here or go to equine.com

12 May 2010 8:12 PM
Citation

BigDonOKC, 1 length equals 1/5 of a second. Zenyatta in the race you are describing would be four seconds behind. Think abut it, your formula would say that the horse who ran second behind Secretariat in the Belmont would have run 2:25 1/2, clearly ludicrous. I don't mean to insult your handicapping abilities, but you are mistaken about the lengths and time.

12 May 2010 8:23 PM
sodapopkid

Rusty: Looks you are the unlucky winner! You're No. 1,000 and you get Dray's top pick for a full year free of charge.     JS

Re:  Poor Rusty! My sympathies come with your prize.........

12 May 2010 8:30 PM
jayjay

LOL mz.

Jason : Does that include the 2nd to his last picks ?  Because his first pick are useless, he does really well with his last pick, when the race is over.  He never misses to claim that pick.

12 May 2010 8:34 PM
moodygirl

For those of you still concerned about Calvin Borel's use of the whip, here are 2 links that explain the new painless popper whip.

www.jockeysguild.com/.../givingsaferwhipsacrack.html

sports.espn.go.com/.../story

A Thought: It is OK for horse to skip certain Triple Crown races in order to maximize their chances of winning the next one; miss the Derby, enter the Preakness, skip the Preakness for the Belmont, etc.

What is wrong with Zenyatta's crew picking races to optomize her chances of winning the Breeders CC for an unprecidented 2nd time?

And Kay, your post on May 12th 1:24 really explains the dynamics going on here at this blog. It just goes round and round!

12 May 2010 8:45 PM
Draynay

Ghostzapper = Quality Road need I say more ?   RAIL TRIP.... RAIL TRIP.... RAIL TRIP! Lol. I just like to scare the connections for Zenyatta.... RAIL TRIP!

12 May 2010 8:49 PM
LAZMANNICK

Householder

You're right.  I think Quality Road is hiding also.  I can see him in a one mile race.  He's probably the best miler in the country.  However, there are only what, five G-1 races at 1-1/4M on dirt in the US this year.  Why isn't he and some of those other so called handicap stars out in Cali contesting the Hollywood Gold Cup?  The sceptics come down on Zen because she's not going in it and why should she if she's going in the BCC.  That would be 3 G-1 races at 1-1/4M against males in a calender year.  But there's no excuses for QR.  he hasn't even run past 1-1/8M in his life, but that seems to be enough to qualify calling him a monster.  I don't even think he's defeated a G-1 winner yet.  Before we call him a champion, let's see him earn it.

12 May 2010 8:54 PM
Draynay

Ummm Householder, maybe you better watch the Donn and notice the time Quality Road ran.  1:47.49 and the track record.  Look for him to run a easy sub 133 in the Met Mile.  I believe the record is 132.80 he can break that with a hand ride.

12 May 2010 9:01 PM
sodapopkid

Rusty, You won't be able to find a sucker any where that wants to take that prize off your hands..........

12 May 2010 9:02 PM
LAZMANNICK

In ranting on QR I meant to say he hasn't won at 1-1/4M yet.

12 May 2010 9:03 PM
sodapopkid

Jason, You can thank Zenyatta for all these posts on here, had it not been for her this post would have slowed down way back when,  like a blog was done on BH a month or so back about Rachel and Jess, and it didnt bring nothing to what this blog brought.  See how people light up with the pure mention of Zenyatta,  she has that effect on people .   Whether they want to love her or try to down her, she is so special......But they respect her...........and who couldnt' love her, she is magnificent.........One an Only, Zenyatta

12 May 2010 9:12 PM
Draynay

Rusty ! you're the lucky winner huh. Many have looked to me over the years for my handicapping expertise and now it is yours for FREE.  Thousands from all around the country seek out my professional handicapping methods now they are yours for a year for free.  I will start you off with the Preakness.  LAL is your sure thing winner.  Bet it all on Lucky number 7.

12 May 2010 9:15 PM
jayjay

Citation : I watched her via simulcast.  I bet against her I think a couple more times after that, the last being the Lady's Secret in 2008.  I had Hystericallady, the dorf horse.  I thought "It's payback time sweetie, come and catch the lady ! "....then...she did.  

I went home that day dejected and started watching her races, whatever I could find.  I watched her AP race over and over and realized that she was really running without any effort.  I fell in love with her when she won the Ladies Classic in 2008, I thought that was an exceptional campaign, she beat the previous year's champion Ginger Punch then wins the Ladies Classic again, very easy.  I thought then there's no one that going to beat her and I didn't want anyone to beat her, I wanted her record to stay unbeaten.

The biggest price I hit betting her was in the Santa Margarita this year, I hit that Exacta, Tri and Superfecta with the smallest bet I ever made which is $20.

Your turn...

12 May 2010 9:17 PM
Draynay

I give Quality Road credit for trying to run in the mud coming off injury.  If it came up muddy for Zenyatta she would be back in the stall waiting for the weather to clear.  Give it a rest.  Until Zenyatta runs in the mud give me a break.

12 May 2010 9:32 PM
Cat Lady

I must give thanks to Draynay for giving me a good laugh...Rail Trip better than the Mighty Zenyatta???

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! RA better than Ruffian???Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Oh, I can't catch my breath!!! Just like no living, breathing horse will ever be better than the Great Z!!!!!! My Top 3 racehorses of ALL TIME???

1. Man O' War

2. Secretariat

3. ZENYATTA

Need I say more??? But thanks for a good LAUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 May 2010 9:40 PM
Jason Shandler

Cat Lady: You actually just gave me a laugh. Zenyatta the 3rd best horse ever? lol. The horse has faced males exactly once and refuses to leave California. Or, stay in Californa and face the best male horse there. Geez. Learn some history.

12 May 2010 9:48 PM
Citation

That's cool, Jayjay, but what do you mean exactly by my turn?

12 May 2010 10:00 PM
Cat Lady

jshandler: I didn't know you were Draynay's DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think Zenyatta CAN refuse to leave California and IF SHE COULD she would, but...see these horses have whats called "owners" and "trainers" and THEY decide where they race...besides like her trainer said "She has NOTHING to prove"!!!!! She beat the top MALES in the CLASSIC and like it or not she is MAGNIFICENT. AND AS FAR AS HISTORY GOES, I've CLOSELY followed racing since the days of Northern Dancer and have been reading Blood-Horse since then when was being printed in black and white!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 May 2010 10:07 PM
Jason Shandler

Cat Lady

Question for you: If you put 20 exclamation points after your sentence, does that make your opinion even more valid? I mean, if that's the case, I've been missing out all these years as a writer on a valuable tool. Please get back to me on this. I need to know.

I love the "nothing to prove" statement too. That's always been my favorite. She's never faced males on dirt. Never won at Saratoga, CD, Belmont, Gulfstream etc. Wont face Rail Trip because they arent "trying to climb the highest mountains." Wont run on an off track. But yet, she has nothing to prove. Thanks for enlightening me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 May 2010 10:17 PM
mz

Hey Cat Lady: you're giving us cat ladies a bad name.  Stop with the capitals and the bunches of exclamation marks, please.

Hey Rusty: congrats for the big(?) win.

Everyone else: can we just agree to settle all of this stuff on an actual racetrack: Draynay v. Cat Lady, on dirt, at Churchill Downs, with Cat Lady getting 5 pounds?

Jason: is this over yet?

12 May 2010 10:23 PM
Pam S.

Jason and fellow posters (the good, the bad and the ugly), I gotta hand it to you, this blog is a hoot!!  If you have a lot of free time, some interest in racing and you like to type, it's just the most fun.

12 May 2010 10:26 PM
First time-- Long time

Correction Cat Lady, top three all time according to Jason.

1. Point Given

2. Rachel Alexandra

3. Mr. Fantasy/Christine Daae/Eskendereya & anything Pearl Jam.

Ummm, I like your's better.Way better,lol.

12 May 2010 10:28 PM
Tiznowbaby

Jason, it would help your writing, I think, if you would throw in a couple of OMG!'s every now and then.

12 May 2010 10:29 PM
Cat Lady

Never mind. Seems like I'm just talking to another fool. You and Draynay should get married. Two peas in a pod! I thought this blog was a "tool" to express my opinion. Thats ALL it is, an opinion. But since then, I've just been degrated. Do you really like dissing people who read your column? You can forget about me reading it again, you need to get your head out of the sand and realize what a great mare she is! Who cares WHERE she races, or if she races against males? She'll just beat them all! I wish she would come east so all you nuts can shut up!

12 May 2010 10:31 PM
sodapopkid

Rusty ! you're the lucky winner huh. Many have looked to me over the years for my handicapping expertise and now it is yours for FREE.  Draynay

Re: RUN RUSTY, RUN!!

12 May 2010 10:34 PM
Jason Shandler

Ok, yes mz, I agree. After this latest round, I am offically done with this blog. 1,035 comments. Wow. I finally admit there is nothing more to discuss on this issue. It was a great ride. Thanks to everyone who contriuted. Im glad we solved all we set out to do :)

Cat Lady. Take it easy. It's all in good fun.

And finally, First Time, Long Time: I would not put RA in that top 3. Point Given, yes. Pearl Jam, yes. The other is my son, hands down.  

12 May 2010 10:49 PM
sodapopkid

Ok, yes mz, I agree. After this latest round, I am offically done with this blog after 1,035 comments. I finally believe there is nothing more to discuss on this issue. It was a great ride. Thanks to everyone who contriuted. Im glad we solved all we set out to do :) JS

Re: Oh, Geez, Just when we were starting to have fun..............

As long as Zenyatta is racing, these blogs will go on and on...........Different day, different blog, but they will go on..............just like Draynay......

12 May 2010 11:03 PM
Draynay

Ummm Jason, what about me? Pearl Jam over me Jason? WHAT ABOUT ME !!!! Wahhhh Wahhhhh !

12 May 2010 11:19 PM
LAZMANNICK

Jason

Maybe we should have a blog about the oats that Zenyatta eats.  I hear that she eats those fine western grade oats grown in the finest synthetic soils.....none of those conventional oats grown in filthy dirt like those eastern based horses eat.  LOL

12 May 2010 11:28 PM
jayjay

Thanks for the links moodygirl!  I feel much better now about CB, I knew there was more to it.

In that first link, it was interesting what CB said comparing RA's run in the Preakness vs. the Woodward.  I think by the Woodward race, RA was pretty much dead tired from running and I don't mean after the Woodward, I meant before she ran in it.

12 May 2010 11:54 PM
Kay

Jason:

Thanks. This was fun! I feel like I'm leaving my high school friends... we've all grown so close!

Laz:

Zenyatta may eat synthetic-grown oats, but she drinks Guinness. It's quite adorable. I'll bet the great Rachel Alexandra drinks some sucky light beer. Setting up for the next 1000!

12 May 2010 11:54 PM
Citation

Hey Jason, does this mean you won't post any more comments here?

13 May 2010 12:03 AM
jayjay

I agree, all sides have been able to post their opinion.  I'm glad that Draynay and the Z bashers have accepted the fact that Zenyatta clearly is the better horse this year, and that Zenyatta will be in the Classic to defend her title and end her campaign with a perfect record, something that will stand the test of time, something that will put her in the same league as the great Citation, Cigar and even be acknowledged as the best racehorse of all time!  Thanks for allowing us to enlighten you, we're happy to have you all onboard the Zenyatta legend train :)  Good night and God Bless us all!

13 May 2010 12:18 AM
jayjay

Citation : By that, I meant, in which of her races did you become a Z fan ?

13 May 2010 12:23 AM
LAZMANNICK

Kay

I understand that Rachel used to drink draft beer but apparently now she's stuck on Shirly Temples.  LOL

13 May 2010 12:29 AM
Rechelle

JayJay, I agree that Zenyatta is one of the greatest horses of all time. I just think, in order to prepare for the Breeders Cup that she should run on the surface at Churchill a few times. I don't think that her connections are doing right by her at this time. That doesn't detract anything from Zenyatta and it is only my opinion.

As for Jackson & Rachel Alexandra, I actually think that he's not doing anything wrong by her, at least not now.  What he did wrong by her is lettting her have such a long layoff without keeping her in training and moving her to Louisiana instead of keeping her at her home track at Churchill. The way she improved from her first race this season to the last one, she has improved greatly.  I think she'll win her next one, which hopefully will be in late June.

13 May 2010 12:31 AM
Rechelle

Jayjay wrote: "Zenyatta wouldn't be Zenyatta without her connections"

Zenyatta is such a great horse that she would've done the same thing with any other trainer.  Shireff's a great trainer, but Zenyatta is talented enough & such a force to be reckoned with that she couldn't have been a bad horse no matter what.  

13 May 2010 12:34 AM
Rechelle

Kay, yes it is infuriating for me, but I am a readhead and have a redhead's temper. *grin*

After the way the connections of Zenyatta reacted when Rachel was announced as HOY, you can bet losing it twice in a row, especially to a horse they didn't think should win it because she didn't wshow at the BC races, you can bet that thorn is still sitting there.  They want to redeem themselves and they want HOY. I don't remember the exact date, when did they announce that Zenyatta was coming back, before or after the Eclipse awards?

13 May 2010 12:38 AM
Rechelle

Kay, sorry didn't notice this "Rechelle: But her record should tell them that staying in Cali is too easy for her."

I'm a little confused about your reasoning here. Just because she's unbeaten means she hasn't beaten anything?"

All I meant there is that entering her in the same races each year is redundant.  If they want to stay in California, then why not enter her in different races?  She's beaten the boys once, why not put her up against them some more? She's won the Vanity twice, why not try something different? I can't imagine any trainer entering their fillies & mares into a race that Zenyatta has won twice. She's beaten the same groups of fillies & mares for the last 2 years.  I don't understand the reasoning behind it.

13 May 2010 12:42 AM
rusty

Before you go I DEMAND A RECOUNT.

Nice blog Jason, thanks.

Preakness Superfecta:

Lucky

______

Schoolyard, Paddy, Super

Schoolyard, Paddy, Super

ALL

You're welcome.

13 May 2010 1:06 AM
Bob Z

Start up another blog when Zenyatta and Rachel announce where they are running... hopefully the Foster...

13 May 2010 2:20 AM
sodapopkid

Kay, When she was in Arkansas for the AB, I read they had her shipped in Figi water....Now, tell me that girl aint' pampered to the hilts..........

RA probably don't get a treat like that.  RA needs to go to the "Happy Barn" like Zenyatta,  she would probably run better, because she would be happier???

13 May 2010 6:22 AM
Brian

Jason,

Why nothing about your hero Rachel Alexandra racing in a non-graded stakes and a grade 2 and of course losing both.  But Zenyatta going for her third grade 1 in May is unacceptable to you?  Do you remember that Zenyatta did ship for her last race but your horse didn't show up?  Did you write anything about that?  Its laughable that you think RA would show up for the S.Foster and shows your lack of racing knowledge.

13 May 2010 9:45 AM
Citation

Oh, alright Jayjay. Here goes.

After the Apple Blossom, I saw Zenyatta win every start afterwards, but I was frustrated because she was being talked about like the second Man O' War or something like that, and I've always thought you shouldn't say something like that about a horse until they've proven themselves. So I wasn't exactly a fan of her's at first. When my family took a vacation to the Breeder's Cup that year, I remember that my dad bet on Hystericalady in the Ladies' Classic. He placed some bets for me, and in that race I had Music Note to show. The noise when Zenyatta won was incredible. I still wasn't quite a fan of her's yet, and I thought Raven's Pass was the most impressive thing I saw that day, but returning to point, I think the race that made me like her was the BCC last year. We were watching it on simulcasting from Remington Park (and my dad picked someone else again), but I knew watching the race at the stretch that she would win. My dad and I were impressed and decided that she had done enough to be considered a great horse. We both like Zen a lot now. So yeah, long story.

13 May 2010 9:53 AM
MonicaV

Moody Girl,

Tiznow won the BCC twice and so far is the only horse to do it so it isn't unprecedented.  It will be for a female to win it twice though.

13 May 2010 10:27 AM
sodapopkid

Laz,  RA probably has to drink old 'sour grapes' juice from KJ Whinery, She aint' performing because she knows Zenyatta is drinking the 'good stuff' Guinness, and she is stuck drinking old JJ sour mash.....

She wants a brew that has all the 'good stuff' in it......

13 May 2010 10:42 AM
BigDonOKc

Citation said

“BigDonOKC, 1 length equals 1/5 of a second. Zenyatta in the race you are describing would be four seconds behind. Think abut it, your formula would say that the horse who ran second behind Secretariat in the Belmont would have run 2:25 1/2, clearly ludicrous. I don't mean to insult your handicapping abilities, but you are mistaken about the lengths and time.”

Wrong L X .05    20 X .05 = one second not 4 seconds  

.05 = 1/20 of a second

.25 as aff call out is =  ¼ of a second

I said one l is = to 1/20 of a second  aaf said ¼ L is = to .25 second or ¼ of a second

To close to Preakness Stakes today to talk time – will be more than glad to talk time travel at a later date -

13 May 2010 10:48 AM
Draynay

Brian !  Welcome to the party. YOUR LATE.  RAIL TRIP !  RAIL TRIP ! RAIL TRIP !  Lol. need I say more Brian ?

13 May 2010 10:57 AM
MonicaV

jayJay,

You were not one of the posters I was referring to.  I give Zenyatta her due for to not recognize her greatness is ridiculous.  Undefeated is rare.  As to RA being done, that will not be ascertained until the next race.  Maybe she won't come back as she was because her 2009  campaign took it out of her but she's not a claimer.  So many talk about her as though she only beat claiming horses.  A few years ago, I lost the love of my life to cancer and I had no interest in anything.  It seemed that there was no joy in my life and no reason to even go on but you really don't have a choice there.  Curlin's World Cup victory was the first thing that gave me some joy and I loved that horse.  Then low and behold, came Rachel Alexandra.  Her Preakness and her 2009 year brought me back to life.  I love that horse and that's why I'm a fan, she made me want to live again.  I saw qualities in her that touched my soul and I experienced such joy watching her run.  The bashes I read about her not having beaten anyone and just the general belittling actually hurt me.  That horse was a life saver to me.  I realize that sounds ridiculous but when you lose everything and all the joy in living is gone, and this amazing filly fills up some of what is missing, it's just hard to explain.  I respect other's opinions.  Certainly, there will be people who don't think she's that good, that's their right but to say some of the things that have been said are really uncalled for.  I was unaware, until about a year ago, how much the internet is used for hatred because people can remain anonymous while spewing things out to get rid of their own demons.  RA was undefeated in 2009 and did amazing things.  Anyone can sit and rationalize that it was nothing as they do to Zen by saying the same things.  People worship Zenyatta because she has brought joy into their lives.  I know the feeling  I admire them both but Rachel will always have a special place in my heart and I will always defend that beautiful, courageous filly because she saved my life.

13 May 2010 10:57 AM
jayjay

Rechelle:  You still don't get it, and this is the last time I'll address your comments because obviously, you pretend that you want others to explain but you refuse to listen so here goes.

When I said Zenyatta wouldn't be Zenyatta if not because of her connections, I didn't mean they gave her that talent.  Is that clear ?  She's great because they managed her well.  Is that clear ?

Not a lot of trainers or connections have the patience that Team Zen does.  There are trainers and owners out there that would go all out just to win a one year honor, the HOTY.  You can't tell me that any trainer or owner can train zenyatta because she's that great, no, Zenyatta was able to run 16 times...undefeated because of this specific trainer John Sherriffs and her owners the Mosses.  

Do you understand the connection between the horse and the trainers/owners now?  I understand your way of thinking, which is pretty much Jess Jackson...let's see the horse's limits, let's push the envelope because we won't know until we do...without thinking about whether the horse wants to do it...Zenyatta does a lot of her running willingly, Mike S never had to whip her more than what is needed and most of the time it takes 2 or 3 whips to get her going but she runs willingly, she knows where the wire is, she knows how to win.  She's treated well, she's happy and she will be treated the same exact way as long as she's running happy.  

That's the difference the trainers and owners have on their horses, I hope you understand now but I won't be surprised if you reply back with anything more than just a "thank you for enlightening me" lol.

13 May 2010 11:16 AM
sodapopkid

Monica, If they retire her early and/or she loses her next race, you may want to stay away from the blogs.

You know how people are passionate about both girls and then we have the draynay who wants to constantly put down Zen, and Zen fans come back steaming, So, you will continue to see the backlash,  thats what blogs are for.  

I am so happy that Ra has made you so happy.  I know it must make you sick at the way JJ has managed her last year. Yes, she done great things, but at what cost??  Had he not been so hell bent on the HOTY, you probably would be enjoying her for another year, the way its going now, I'm not convinced she is coming back to that RAchel. I hope I am wrong, but we will see........

13 May 2010 11:41 AM
mz

la la la la la la la la

(this is the sound of the Fat Lady -- I believed I heard her many post ago but maybe this blog is just that that most annoying of other sounds: a kid or two in your car singing the song that never ends neverendingly)

13 May 2010 11:53 AM
moodygirl

Sodapopkid, not only did Zenyatta ship to the AB with Figi water, she traveled on Air Horse One.

MonicaV, thanks for the correction. I hesitated on whether to say Zenyatta's 2 or 3 Breeders Cup victories, since the one was the Ladies. Has any horse won 3 BC races?

13 May 2010 11:54 AM
LAZMANNICK

sodapopkid

Rachel used to drink a sucky light beer like Kay said.  I think the name of it was Grade Three Light, or maybe it was Grade Two Light.  Anyway it was too tough for her to swallow so they started giving her Shirly Temples with just a hint of sour grapes.

13 May 2010 12:20 PM
Citation

Ack, I meant hers, not her's, I wasn't paying attention.

13 May 2010 12:29 PM
jimmy redneck

Maybe they should skip the G1 races and enter Zenyatta in RA like races against the boys at CD, BEL, or SAR. By RA like races I mean Ungraded Races and G2 races like the ones RA has been whipped in this year. If they are good enough for the RA lovers when she runs in them then that should be good enough to shut them up about Zenyatta if she ran those types on the dirt against boys. Of course with the nay nay hangin out in ambush nothing Zenyatta will ever do will be good enough for him.  

13 May 2010 12:30 PM
Householder

What's Rail Trip done to suddenly get the Dray bash?  Are you really fearfull of this horse?  He loves Hollywood Park...and I'm not sure he gets a 1 1/4 on any other track.  

Quality Road:  Love this horse and thought he was the BEST looking  entered in the BC Classic.  I'm kind of wondering if his hoof issues are still lingering.  Why not ship to Churchill prior to Breeders Cup?  Why "summer" in Saratoga? Yes Ghostzapper won the Met Mile, but so have a lot of other horses that failed to show up come classic time.  Is he really on an HOY path?  It's hard to tell.  Perhaps Jason can talk to Pletcher after he wins the Met.

13 May 2010 1:39 PM
dr fager01

Rachel has tarnished her reputation as one of the top ten fillies or mares of all time, last year her the rachel fans kept on comparing her to ruffian but thats a silly argument now, if she continue to loose like she is currently doing, rachel would be lucky if she ends up as a top 50 filly or mare of all time. mine that bird, summer bird, macho again are horses that almost beat rachel last year ,these are the males that will never win another race unless they run them in claiming races for 50,000. rachel cant seem to win and those males she beat last year will never win again either, hint to jess jackson 50,000 claiming baby.

13 May 2010 1:39 PM
jayjay

MonicaV, I'm not sure why your last post was specifically to me.  Did I say something that upset you ?  I tried scrolling back and am not able to find any of my post directed at you.  I'm just curious...making sure I didn't offend you with any of my previous posts knowing now how RA means to you.  I've always maintained though that I don't hate RA, her last year is last year, she accomplished a lot as a filly (and seems a lot more than just racing with what she's done for you) but my responses about RA are basically questions to those who were bashing Zenyatta's campaign.  I said that if RA doesn't win her next race, JJ should retire her, you can't get a horse back to its form if it doesn't want to run anymore.  You can just hurt the horse doing that and I'm sure you probably won't want to see RA get hurt in anyway.

13 May 2010 1:46 PM
dr fager01

I agree with YOU cat lady, and at a mile and a half zenyatta is the only horse since secretariat that can beat secretariat that distance she would just reel the big red, and win in 2:23.4/5.

13 May 2010 1:47 PM
Kay

Rechelle:

“After the way the connections of Zenyatta reacted when Rachel was announced as HOY, you can bet losing it twice in a row, especially to a horse they didn't think should win it because she didn't wshow at the BC races, you can bet that thorn is still sitting there.  They want to redeem themselves and they want HOY. I don't remember the exact date, when did they announce that Zenyatta was coming back, before or after the Eclipse awards?”

It was several days before. You can look it up. And of course they were disappointed, but what I love about them is that they don’t let themselves get swept up in awards stuff. It’s always about enjoying Zenyatta. When you see them at the races, you can totally tell. If anything, they were more disappointed that John Shirreffs’ accomplishments weren’t recognized. With Zenyatta, there’s no such thing as redemption because we’re talking about something that just can’t be quantified – how people are going to vote. You can’t control that no matter what you do. Well. Unless you’re Jess Jackson and you actively campaign for it, I guess! But that’s not how the Mosses roll.

“All I meant there is that entering her in the same races each year is redundant.  If they want to stay in California, then why not enter her in different races?  She's beaten the boys once, why not put her up against them some more? She's won the Vanity twice, why not try something different? I can't imagine any trainer entering their fillies & mares into a race that Zenyatta has won twice. She's beaten the same groups of fillies & mares for the last 2 years.  I don't understand the reasoning behind it.”

There’s a pretty long list of horses winning the same race from year to year and I guess when it’s on the East Coast, then it’s awesome but on the West Coast, it’s redundant? Kelso won the Jockey Club Gold Cup five years in a row. That’s an amazing accomplishment. But winning the Vanity three times – something another horse has never done – isn’t, because she should be running against colts? I don’t get it, especially since nobody is demanding that Rachel – the filly who beat colts three times last year – run against them.  If the goal is the BC at the end of the year, then it makes no sense to demand so much of her that she’s done by September. Which is what happened with the HOTY. Just because it’s a different strategy doesn’t make it wrong.

And lest we forget, Zenyatta has done things NO other horse has done – the only female to win the BC Classic, and the only horse to win two different BC races. And why isn’t it incumbent on the best fillies in the country to ship to run against the champion? As we’ve already seen with Duke of Mischief (a colt, BTW), they don’t want any part of her. Who do you hold responsible for that? It can’t possibly be Zenyatta. Even if she shipped to run in the Foster, a lot of these colts would be ducking her. Then you’d complain about THAT competition.

Sodapopkid:

“Kay, When she was in Arkansas for the AB, I read they had her shipped in Figi water....Now, tell me that girl aint' pampered to the hilts..........”

Yup. She gets Fiji Water. And Guinness! But that’s just when she’s at home… can’t take that stuff on the road.

13 May 2010 1:48 PM
Carlos in Cali

Come rain or shine,Zenyatta will be entered in the BC Classic and win it in her usual style.I could care less when or where she runs beforehand,as long as she's in the Biggest & toughest race of the year,the Classic.Open to any and all---come get some.

Draynay is as played-out as American Idol...ZZZZzzzzz...I'm done.

13 May 2010 2:49 PM
Kate Harper

Kay and Jayjay,

I think you both have addressed the handling of Zenyatta in very accurate and straightforward ways.  There are few owners, and probably even fewer trainers, who would have given Zenyatta the time they allowed for her to develop.  The churn and burn ideology of too many connections still pervades the industry.  I am amazed at the continuous cry for Zenyatta to meet males, not run in the same races as in the previous 2 years, blah, blah, blah.  The end goal is the BC Classic.  Period.  Meeting and beating males at another 1 1/4 race, such as the Hollywood Gold Cup, might be a worthy endeavor but if their decision is to pass and go elsewhere, it's their call and at their discretion.  I suppose many of those who are casting such asperions at Z's career are probably stung by what has transpired with RA and perhaps  are hoping Z could be run into the ground as well.  True racing fans for sure.

Personally, I think the Mosses were more upset at the fact their trainer didn't get the Eclipse award last year rather than their mare didn't get HOY.  

The year is far from over, there is much racing left for lots of