Q & A With Quality Road Trainer Todd Pletcher

On Memorial Day, racing fans will watch as Quality Road--perhaps the most talented and exciting horse in the country--returns from a short layoff in the Met Mile at Belmont Park. After dominating wins in the Hal's Hope and Donn Handicap this winter at Gulfstream to begin his 4-year-old season, Quality Road rolls into the Met Mile as the expected odds-on favorite. Already with three track records to his credit, it would not be a surprise to see the son of Elusive Quality add another one to his name. Unlikely yes, but remember, he set the 6 1/2-furlong track record at Saratoga in the Amsterdam off a more than four-month break a year ago. He is that fast and that dominant. (For the record, the one-mile track record at Belmont was set in 2003 by Najran in a daunting 1:32.24).

In many people's opinion, including mine, Quality Road is the best older horse in the country. The Met Mile will be the first of three or four grade I races he will tackle in New York this summer and then he will ship down to Churchill Downs to try to exorcise his demons in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

It remains to be seen what the rest of 2010 has in store for Quality Road, but the talent is there for a campaign for the ages. On Friday, trainer Todd Pletcher took time to answer a few questions about his star.

JS: Judging by his works, it looks like he is ready to roll for the Met Mile. I'm guessing you're expecting a big performance?

TP: I certainly hope so. He's been training very, very well and has had some very good breezes. We're going into the race extremely confident.

JS: Entries haven't come out yet, but from looking at the probables there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of speed to go with him. Do you see him on the lead?

TP: We'll just plan on letting him run his race and find his rhythm. He's got good natural speed and can run on the lead if he finds himself there. But he can also run well from a number of different positions, so we'll just see how it plays out.

JS: I'm assuming the Breeders' Cup is the major year-end goal for him?

TP: Yes. We want a fresh horse for the Breeders' Cup and that's why we gave him a little break after the Donn. It seemed like the natural place to freshen him up. There isn't a whole lot going on at that time of year unless you are going to Dubai. Our plan was the Met Mile, the Whitney, the Woodward and the Breeders' Cup.

JS: Being that the Breeders' Cup is at Churchill this year and you had the Stephen Foster as an option next weekend there, was there serious consideration given to running him in the Stephen Foster instead of the Met Mile? I'm sure it crossed your mind to get him a race over at Churchill for the Breeders' Cup.

TP: Yeah, the Stephen Foster was our back-up plan. We just felt racing him a mile coming off a break made more sense than a mile and an eighth. And the Met Mile is such a prestigious race from a breeders' perspective. Breeders hold it in such high regard that we feel it's an important race to win.

JS: He's only raced twice at a mile and quarter without a win. Some people have reservations that he can get that distance. Do you?

TP: There is no doubt in my mind he can get a mile and quarter, especially after seeing him in the Donn. He didn't run badly in the Travers, but unfortunately he had to run over the slop in that race, as well as the (Jockey Club) Gold Cup.

JS: He doesn't like the slop?

TP: He tolerates it, but doesn't excel over it.

JS: You mentioned the Whitney, Woodward, and Breeders' Cup as the other three races you have planned out for him. Will it just be those three?

TP: We're still deciding if we'll give him a race between Met Mile and the Whitney. We wait until after this race to decide.

JS: Quality Road's brilliance in the Donn really opened a lot of people's eyes about how good this horse is. I know it's hard to compare, but can you rank him among the best you have ever trained?

TP: We've been fortunate to train some really good older horses. I would say Left Bank and Lawyer Ron are two I would compare to him. They were both champions and set track records. Left Bank's Tom Fool (in 2002) was tremendous and Lawyer Ron's Whitney (in 2007) was unbelievable. They were similar to what Quality Road did in the Donn.

JS: Last year's Breeders' Cup was obviously a disappointment. If he hadn't had gate troubles was he going to run a big race?

TP: He was ready to run as well as he could over a synthetic track. It was a guess as to how well he would handle the surface. I think some of the horses shipping in including the Europeans were at a big disadvantage. But there was no doubt in my mind that if he handled the surface he was going to be a factor in the race.

JS: And the gate problems are a thing of the past?

TP: It's the only race he's had an issue with it. I have a pretty good idea as to the reason why. But its something that we continue to work on so it won't happen again.

 

324 Comments

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Robert

I respect Todd Pletcher as a trainer, but he is seriously dreaming if he thinks Quality Road would have beaten Zenyatta.  The horse has not proven he can even get 1 1/4 miles.  Sloppy track or not, his physical make up is that of a miler.  He pedigree says he should be able to do it, but until he does it, he will still be a miler who can get 1 1/8 miles.  He probably would be tough in the Stepen Foster, but since he is not going to run, speculation on that is mute.

28 May 2010 12:36 PM
Draynay

The 2010 HOY for sure.  Everyone is racing for second when they face this beast.  Go QR go baby !  It's great to see a real champ show up to all the biggest races.  Somebody call Mr. Moss and see if they want to hook up with Mr. Quality Road. What? You can't find Zenyatta? Oh, I think she is still hiding from little ole Rail Trip. LOL...

28 May 2010 12:38 PM
kim f

I love Quality Road...I wish him all the best this weekend and more importantly come home safe!!!

28 May 2010 12:48 PM
anna

quality road would've ran in the bc classic had it not been for the stupid assistant starters especially the moron who whipped quality road several times when they was trying to lead him in with a damned buggy whip which caused he kick out each time then the moron hit him with it a couple more times after they got him in the gate blindfolded no less

28 May 2010 12:48 PM
Deby

I really love Quality Road too.  I can't wait to see him again at Saratoga this summer.  The Met Mile will be a cool race and so will the Stephen Foster if General Quarters runs.  Good luck to both of the boys!

28 May 2010 12:57 PM
Ann in Lexington

Quality Road is the type of hype horse which I instinctively dislike. Before we crown him the best of all time, I'd like to see him put together a full campaign with wins in handicaps (giving weight, like the great ones can do) and at 10f. (The Donn field was so pathetic, it would have been a surprise if he hadn't won a by mile.)  This is a horse who was beaten twice last fall at level weights by Summer Bird, remember. Away from Gulfstream, he hasn't done anything to make me think is the best of his generation, much less the best of the year. Yet.

And what is this interview doing in Triple Crown Mania?

28 May 2010 1:03 PM
STC

I don't think it's fair to say that QR is a miler that can get 9f. We haven't seen a horse "get" 9f like QR since GZ. With his pedigree in mind, I find it much more likely that he doesn't like slop than that he doesn't like 10f - and I think that the trainer's word on whether he can get 10f is worth much more than that of anyone here (mine being no exception). Also, it's not like his performance in the JCGC was poor - I don't think there was more than one horse that ran a better 10f dirt race last year (key word: dirt).

The WR/TR might be out of reach (the track was bizarrely fast on Najran's day), but Honour and Glory's stakes record could be in sight (1:32 and 4/5).

28 May 2010 1:08 PM
Jason Shandler

Ann: Wake up on the wrong side of the bed per chance? From time to time, I like to mix in a little non TC stuff on MY blog. That ok with you?

28 May 2010 1:14 PM
STC

@Gulfstream - Of his 7 dry track races, 5 of them were on Gulfstream. In the other two, he broke his maiden and broke a decades old 6.5f TR by 4/5 of a second - true, the track was very (very) fast that day, but it was still a phenomenal performance.

Also, I'm not sure if it was clear - I don't mean to suggest it's not a question that he can get 10f, but rather that I think it's unfair that so many believe so strongly that he can't.

@Competition in the Donn - The horses immediately behind him were multiple GII winners, and before the race I don't think anyone thought he would win by 10+. FWIW I think TG gave him a even higher figure than GZ earned, without giving any of the other horses in the race a career best.

28 May 2010 1:25 PM
Draynay

What is wrong with you people ? Did you not watch the Donn ?  Did it look like QR couldn't run another 200 yards ? Can't get 1 1/4 ? Sorry but that just sounds dumb and even Pletcher said watch the Donn! Duh.

28 May 2010 2:01 PM
Matthew W

Everybody wants Zenyatta to fly back and forth across country--but Quality Road is having a conservative approach to things, as is Rail Trip--looks like there will be some kinda Classic this year....

28 May 2010 2:02 PM
Matthew W

Hard to dislike Quality Road! He's a rubber necker--everybody turns to look at a horse like Quality Road--it's not often when the fastest horse on the planet can get two turns, and get'em good!

28 May 2010 2:05 PM
Terri Z

I have seen Quality Road race last year and this year at Gulfstream. He beat his own record in the Donn and the record of every horse who raced in the Florida Derby and the Donn. Those whose records he has beaten include Barbaro and Big Brown.

Seeing him run in the Donn was a surreal experience as he was effortlessly floating down the track like a mytical Pegasus.

It was disgraceful that a helicopter was used above the starting Breeder's Cup Classic. As QR is a great grandson of Secretariat, he has inherited his great talent and also his fear of mechanical engines. The only time Big Red threw a rider was when a car came up beside him.

28 May 2010 2:38 PM
Robert

I am not saying Quality Road "can't" get 1 1/4 miles, just that he can't get it in a strong Grade 1 race.  Summer Bird played with him in the Jockey Club.  Sloppy track or not, if he wants that Horse of the Year title, he more than likely is going to have to run over it again, and will have to win.  I know Draynay likes to stir the pot, but Zenyatta is not hiding from anyone.  She is going to kick the crap out of the boys again, and probably in more than one race.  Quality Road is breathing fire at the end of 1 1/4 miles.  Zenyatta is just getting started.  I would like to see Zenyatta try 1 1/2 miles.  With her running style, she might be an even bigger monster.  Quality Road with his pedigree, the sloppy track should not be a problem.  I guess thats why they have to run the races.

28 May 2010 2:55 PM
Secretariat

Rail Trip will not give Quality Road a breather in the Breeders Cup Classic.

Guess who's going to pass them both inside the 1/8 pole.

Yes, you guessed it. The 2010 "Horse of the Year - Zenyatta"

28 May 2010 2:58 PM
August Song

Ah, Jason, you had the perfect lead-in to pose the question to Todd, whether Quality Road could lose the Metropolitan Mile the similiar to the way Lawyer Ron was upset by Corinthian, since he opened the door by making a comparison to him. I thought the questions you asked were too predictable and soft.

Quality Road is vulnerable. Belmont Racetrack is not Gulfstream nor Saratoga. He hasn't displayed any of superiority for the Belmont surface that he has demonstrated on those other surfaces. He is a definite bet against as the prohibitive favorite that he will be. Convocation is the upset choice here. Let's see if the Jerkens/Jerkens exacta returns, just like when Corinthian and Political Force beat Lawyer Ron to return $285 to their backers, Convocation and Le Grand Cru. After all, Quality Road hasn't faced the Giant Killers yet, has he?

28 May 2010 3:01 PM
Jerry B.

Terri Z,

There's a helicopter above the starting gate in every Breeders Cup.

How do you think those aerial shots are streamed into your television set?

28 May 2010 3:04 PM
Jason Shandler

August Song: My goal was not to berate Todd with questions about how QR could lose the Met Mile. If you would like to wager on the race, my email is jshandler@bloodhorse.com. You can have your Jerkens horse. I'll take QR. Let me know how much you want to wager.

28 May 2010 3:11 PM
Spooktified

Every horse that shows up for the Classic will be running for 2nd,because Zenyatta will be there and she's going to win without a doubt.QR is a very good horse,but he's vulnerable @ 1 1/4 vs. top notch route horses,slop or not.

28 May 2010 3:40 PM
STC

@QR Pedigree + Mud - You can't look at a pedigree and say "this horse should be fine on mud." Some horses just don't run their best on it - Pletcher, the indisputable authority on all things Quality Road (and if he isn't at least up there he's not doing his job right), believes QR is an example. He has no reason to lie.

@Zenyatta's campaign - I think it's perhaps a bit too hopeful to believe Zenyatta will run anything but the same campaign she has the past two years prior to shipping for the Classic. The goal is for her to win that race, and if Shirreffs believes the best course is through the west coast F/M division (and, going by the campaigns he's set out for her, he does), that's where he'll run her. I would have liked to see in the Stephen Foster though - IIRC nothing in there would be threatening to a horse of her caliber, so it would look great as her number 17.

@QR FTL - Considering his performance in the JCGC was better than in the Travers, and that Saratoga + GS make up all but 2 of QR's races, I don't really see how Belmont should be a problem.

@2010 HOY - No horse is HOY yet, and I don't even think there's an indisputable frontrunner.

Forecast for Monday in Elmont is: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 3pm. Partly cloudy, with a high near 79. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Hopefully the track can stay fast through the afternoon!

28 May 2010 3:42 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

Every racing fan was disappointed when QR freaked out at the Breeders' Cup. However, I think the gate crew did an amazing job with a horse that was not going to go in the gate for any reason that day. The assisant starter with the buggy whip has had a lot of criticism but he didn't agitate QR any more than the colt already was. Doubters please watch the video again. QR kicked when his jock tapped him with his stick then he violently kicked at anything that came around behind him. Blindfolding is usually the fastest way to quiet a frightened or upset horse. As soon as QR felt the pontoons inside the gate touch his sides the fireworks began. I say bravo to the assistant starter who grabbed his bridle for then arresting a potentialy disastarous situation. QR isn't a bad minded colt, it just wasn't a good day to try putting him in the gate. Horses are sometimes that way.

28 May 2010 3:53 PM
OldDog

Ever since that BC gate episode, I've been quietly cheering on Quality Road, urging him to make his mark.  I am hoping for a fantastic trip in the Met, followed by at least 3 more this year.  

Come Monday, we should have a clearer picture.

28 May 2010 4:07 PM
goldfinger

It may be that the great rivalries of the past are gone forever, but if taking a conservative approach and dodging the stiffest competition will bring QR,Zenyatta, and any other contenders to the Classic in peak condition, we should be in for one of the greatest Classics ever. Add Rachael in top form and...wait... I'm foaming at the mouth...

28 May 2010 4:08 PM
Danylson

Quality Road is a freak, he stands 17 hands and this horse would have no problem winning the Belmont... he could have lapped the Donn  field and won by 30 it was awesome seeing that race life, it is a joke to say this horse cant get long distance races!!!!! Remember Pass the Point gave Curlin all he could handle in the Woodward and Quality Road just blew by him. Quality Road is a machine, this horse reminds me of Easy Goer,speed and Power, he will show it in The Met Mile!!!!

28 May 2010 4:31 PM
Danylson

Quality Road is the real deal!!

28 May 2010 4:33 PM
Kay

I'm a big Quality Road fan. Agreed about the assistant starters at the BC. The guy who grabbed that colt as he was lunging out of the gate saved him from serious injury. Quality Road just flipped out. It happens. I think he can get 10F but under his ideal conditions. There are others who don't need ideal conditions. That said, I look forward to him running this year. He's a delight to watch. Hope he runs big on Monday!

28 May 2010 4:41 PM
Ted from LA

Robert,

There is an unwritten rule on this blog that I get the first word on everything.  Please refrain from hitting your submit button until I have spoken.  If you have any problems with that, please take it up with Dr. Drunkinbum.  Speaking of which, where is the doctor?  Now that I think about it, who are all you people?  Dray and Matthew W are the only people I recognize.  Has there been a coup?  Am I on the wrong blog?  Do I have some sort of memory problem?  Is Gary Coleman really dead?  Is Willis a suspect?

28 May 2010 4:42 PM
Ranagulzion

"His Royal Highness" Quality Road is the kind of super star performer that races the clock if the competition doesn't show up.  We're in for another treat folks.

BTW Quality Road is not vulnerable at 10 Furlongs ...provided that he remains healthy his Breeder's Cup performance will be worth the wait.

28 May 2010 5:16 PM
ainabella

I want to know why QR freaked out; or why Todd thinks that he freaked out. Would it have been too aggressive to ask him to elaborate on that point, Jason?

This quote bugs me. "It's the only race he's had an issue with it. I have a pretty good idea as to the reason why. But its something that we continue to work on so it won't happen again."

It seems like Todd is dissembling and I, for one, don't know him well enough to trust that he is not.

Good column, Jason and thanks for being willing to discuss other topics besides the TC which is getting plenty of coverage this year in spite of the lack of TC candidate.

28 May 2010 5:20 PM
Runfast159

Didn't sound to me like anyone proclaimed QR the best of alltime.  However, he's clearly at the top of the male handicap division so far this year. Time will tell where he ends up at the end of the year.

Much seems to be being made of his losses at 10f to Summer Bird, but the latter was peaking late summer while QR was mounting a comeback. True also that Summer Bird just might be a better mudder than QR.  

I suspect the distance will not pose an issue.  The bigger question to me right now is whether Zenyatta or QR will be around for the BC.  It's a loooong way to November.....!

28 May 2010 5:29 PM
Runfast159

Funny Ted, very funny. Yes, Coleman really is dead but I think Willis is still in jail so that rules him out.  I also heard they finally plugged that hole.  The one on the ocean floor.  Not the one in the White House.

28 May 2010 5:34 PM
Danylson

I think if it wasn't for the injury prior to the derby

we might have been looking at the winner of

the Triple Crown. Three records... and more to

come!!Quality Road is a freak!

28 May 2010 5:59 PM
annie

What was done to Quality Road at the BC was horrible and wrong. Poor horse, the gate crew made everything worse.  Very strange, that he's never had a problem at any other track. The blind fold thing, really freaked alot of people out.  

28 May 2010 6:01 PM
L.Stein

What's with all the put downs and arguing over which horse is best. I have a favorite, Zenyatta, but it doesn't mean I don't love QR too. I am so looking forward to him running this weekend. I think it's great that we might have a good handicap group this year. Let's just try to enjoy all these horses. Just remember LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!!!

28 May 2010 6:06 PM
Karen in Texas

I'm hoping Quality Road runs well in the Met Mile. After last year's quarter crack problems during the TC and the gate incident at the BC, he seems to be off to a good 4 year old season. Maybe he'll break another track record on Monday!

28 May 2010 6:20 PM
Kay

Ted:

He's killed before. And he's the only surviving Drummond, so that's rather suspicious.

Funny that Quality Road gets only 124 lbs in the Met Mile. Wonder what Zenyatta will get in the Vanity. Seems that maybe the best male horse in training should get at least what he carried as a 3YO...

28 May 2010 6:46 PM
GunBow

Congrats to actual Hall of Fame horses, Azeri, Point Given and good old Best Pal.  The 3 were elected into the Hall today.  Azeri and Point Given were slamducks.  Best Pal had lost the vote something like the last 5 years but finally got in under new voting rules which allowed voters to choose multiple horses from a divison.

Best Pal was the first horse I followed from the very beginning, and watched him go from a skinny but fast 2 year old to full fledged star.

Best Pal was as fast as Quality Road.  That's right.  Everyone mentions Quality Road's big Donn Beyer of 121, but Best Pal earned a figure of at least 121 on 3 occassions, with a top of 123.  He also earned a 119, 118, and 117.  After his big Donn fig, Quality Road doesn't have another fig over 113 (something a proven great horse like Skip Away did 16 times!).

So, Best Pal was fast, elite-level fast in a number of races.  He was also accomplished, sustaining excellence for half a decade.  If one includes the then ungraded $1million Pacific Classic(which in 91' was in its innagural running and therefore ungraded), Best Pal won a gr.1 race at age 2, 3, 4, and 5 and then was 2nd by a length in a gr.1 at 6 and 2nd by a nose in a gr.1 at 7.  Even without counting the Pacific Classic, Best Pal won a graded stakes every year from age 2 in 1990 to age 7 in 1995.

Best Pal swept California's 3 major juvenile races, the Del Mar Futurity, Norkolk, and Hollywood Futurity as well as California's 3 major handicap races the Pacific Classic(91'), Santa Anita Handicap(92'), and Hollywood Gold Cup(93').  He also won Hollywood Park's major race for 2 year olds(Hollywood Futurity), for 3 year olds(Swaps), and older horses(Gold Cup) and won Santa Anita's big race for 2 year olds(Norfolk), 4 year olds(Strub), older horses(Big Cap), and was 2nd in its big 3 year old race(Santa Anita Derby).  Outside of Cali, Best Pal won the gr.1 Oaklawn Cap and ran 2nd in the Kentucky Derby.

What's amazing, especially when horses like Quality Road are proclaimed to be all-time greats and sure Hall of Famers, is that even though Best Pal was so fast and accomplished, it took him a number of ballots to finally make the Hall of Fame.  As it should be, the Hall of Fame is tough to make.  It takes more than winning 2 gr.1 races and running just one monster race to make the Hall. Nothing against Quality Road, and he does have alot of POTENTIAL, but he has a long way to go until his accomplishments are worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Finally, congrats to Randy Romero for also making the Hall.  Times are tough for Randy, but this had to feel good.

28 May 2010 7:27 PM
Footlick

Thanks Kay- I thought the impost was low also.

28 May 2010 7:35 PM
Assault

Anna,

You don't know what your talking about.

Those assistant starters did not whip "Quality Road".

Only one of those assistant starters had a whip, and he was "cracking" it to try to get Quality Road to move forward toward the gate.

The assistant starter's whip "NEVER" makes contact with the horse.

I have all of the ESPN footage if you would like to take a look.

You need to start looking at the facts and ask yourself why Quality Road refused to load.

28 May 2010 7:55 PM
Runfast159

Oh wait a minute, now Musket Man is going in the Met Mile.  He's a nice horse, don't sell him short.  I didn't know he was going enter.  He definately adds a little depth to the field...

28 May 2010 7:56 PM
Jim Medley

Annie:

Cry me a river.

28 May 2010 7:57 PM
Slew

To be honest, I simply have not been as impressed by Quality Road as everyone else seems to be.  Maybe I simply need to see him do more.  He was lightning in the Sprint at Saratoga, but was boxed in in the Travers.  The Fla races were okay...I still need to see more.  As far as the gate crew at the BCC, they did their best.  It was QR who was simply having a very bad day.  It happens.  Even Zenyatta was having a bad time settling in the gate.  The overhead shots are usually from a blimp.  I don't think QR is the only good 4 yr old out there...we just haven't seen the rest step up to the plate yet....plus we've got some mighty strong 5 year olds starting their season...should be interesting.  

28 May 2010 8:13 PM
GunBow

I do find it interesting that Pletcher's plans for Quality Road do not include a 10 furlong race until the Breeder's Cup.  Why not the Jockey Club Gold Cup?  And if Pletcher truly thinks Quality Road was going to run well in the BC Classic on synthetic, how about the Hollywood Gold Cup or Pacific Classic, 2 of the best 10 furlong handicap races?  

Quality Road definitely appears to have the Met Mile at his mercy, but Warrior's Reward and Musket Man are no push-overs.  I especially respect Musket Man, a horse that has proven repeatedly that he will fight to the end.  Musket Man is coming into the Met off some sharp sprints, but he's established at a classic distance, having run 3rd in both the Derby and Preakness last year.  That could serve him well in the final furlong.  Given he has been running in sprints, Musket Man should able to stay within range of Quality Road, and then try to turn that last furlong into a battle of wills.  

I would be surprised to see Musket Man just lay down and take a beating.  And the fact is, with the possible exception of Dunkirk, Quality Road has never beaten a horse the caliber of Musket Man.  Obviously, Quality Road is the clear favorite, but Musket Man should provide a good measuring stick.

No offense Jason, but how do people think that a horse which was absolutely freaking out could somehow compose himself and then go out and run the career-best performance needed to win a race like the Breeder's Cup Classic?Let's assume that the Santa Anita crew was somehow able to calm down Quality Road in the middle of his tirade, before he injured himself; are such antics the harbinger of good things?  Almost always not. Throw in that he was running on synthetic for the 1st time, running at a distance over which he was 0 for 2, and facing by far his toughest field, and Quality Road was really up against it.  

In any event, the fact is that Quality Road beat himself, and took himself out of the race. He was not in the right place mentally to run well that afternoon.  We can speculate what would have happened had he remained on his best behavior, but he didn't, end of story.

And Danylson, you must seriously check yourself.  Quality Road would have won the Triple Crown? How is it possible for a horse that wasn't able to remain healthy enough to make even one of the three Triple Crown events have the physical and mental durability to not only make all 3 races but win them all?  To win a Triple Crown a horse must not just be talented, it must be strong both physically and mentally and must remain sound throughout the entire spring.  The FACT is Quality Road didn't have the physical constitution required to win the Triple Crown.  That's FACT.  He couldn't even make one race!  

Triple Crowns are not won in fantasy races on a computer where we plug in numbers and stats and poof, we get an expected result.  Maybe, one could make the claim that Quality Road had the talent or potential to win a Crown.  But as I wrote, the Crown is about more than talent.  Horses have to actually go out and win the races, and to win they have to have the physical and mental constitution to first make it into the starting gate of all 3 races.  Quality Road didn't make it into the starting gate of any of the 3 races, and because of it won exactly ZERO Triple Crown races.

In any event, even if we speculate in the world of fantasy, I think it's a fairly big jump to assume that a horse that has never won a race over 9 furlongs could win 3 such races in 5 weeks.  Quality Road has won 2 races at 9 furlongs.  I'm not saying Quality Road can't get a classic distance, but on the other hand the fact is that he hasn't proven that he can.  And until he does, it's a big jump to assume that he could have won 3 in 5 weeks, particularly given that the Derby was run in mud(and he would have faced in Mine That Bird a horse that absolutely freaked over the mud), that he would have had to face an equally fast horse Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness, and would have had to face a true 12 furlong horse, Summer Bird, in the Belmont, a horse that beat Quality Road twice later in the year.

By the way Danylson, Quality Road needs about 7 more gr.1 wins to belong with Easy Goer.  Talent is one thing, now it's time for Quality Road to accomplish.

28 May 2010 8:16 PM
Householder

Musket Man's Carter looked good.  QR has to be one of the best looking horses I have seen up close (during the Breeder's Cup).  

28 May 2010 8:52 PM
Citation

To everybody who says Dunkirk is the only good horse QR ever beat; don't you remember Capt. Candyman Can? King's Bishop winner? Seriously. I love Quality Road, and I really believe that he is going to beat Zenyatta and everyone else in the BCC later this year. In the Met Mile, I worry about Musket Man and Warrior's Reward, but I think QR can win and win big all the same.

28 May 2010 9:15 PM
STC

GunBow, I appreciate your sentiments, but in this day and age, when a horse is sufficiently fast, people tend not to require the same bulk of races to proclaim them "great". For this reason, there is a lot of fantasizing about what horses WOULD'VE done, instead of what they actually HAVE done. IMO, GZ will probably end up a HOFer, and if QR wins out, he'll probably be in that category as well (especially considering his competition in that regard is Big Z).

As for the Belmont, I think he COULD have won that race only because the field was so weak. I think he wouldn't go well beyond about 10.5f, so winning the TC would be quite a stretch. To be fair to the horse, he was essentially running on concrete in the FL Derby and hasn't had foot trouble since then - heck, Pletcher said he's even considering running him between the Met Mile and the Whitney.

Pletcher made no mention of it, but I think it would be a mistake to enter the BCC off of a 2 month layoff with no distance prep. Hopefully he's still thinking about it.

28 May 2010 9:21 PM
Mike985

Todd Pletcher has a big year planned for QR and I am happy we are all going to see how good he is.  It has been frustrating with last year's K Derby pull out, and the gate scratch at the BC Classic.  The Florida races last year made everyone take notice and the Donn was a real eye opener.  But how good is he? What distances can he win? I don't think anyone knows yet but the Met will be interesting. Can't wait to see it. I get the feeling Pletcher senses something is going on.  Would love to see QR against Zenyatta in the Classic, but I don't want to anticipate too much.  QR has a lot to prove this summer.

28 May 2010 9:24 PM
Lmaris

The assistant starters at Santa Anita were moronic, and considering their usual professionalism, one must consider the possibility they wanted to take Quality Road out of the race.

He was returning to his earlier dominance, sidelined by foot issues.  His Donn proved he wasn't a flash in the pan, and Zenyatta's supporters who think he wouldn't have been a factor are deluded.  Of course he might not have liked the plastic surface, but we're not likely to find out since thankfully the Breeders Cup returns to its proper surface.

28 May 2010 10:00 PM
P{edigree Shelly

          I agree with Karen in Texas ! I have a good feeling Quality Road will win the Met ,in track record time or better !

28 May 2010 10:04 PM
Big Whisky

Lmaris-

...and then you woke up, right?

28 May 2010 10:30 PM
Tim G

LMaris that comment is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen on these blogs and with Draynay around I've seen a bunch.

Those assistants did nothing more than what we see every single day in racing with a horse that gives trouble at the gate.

A conspiracy theory? Assuming QR was the biggest threat to Zenyatta so take him out? PUHLEEZE

First, as Todd says who knows if he'd have liked the synthetics. The race was LAST year and the Donn from this year has nothing to do with that race. The JCGC probably had more impact on that race and he did what?

Pose that scenario to Todd and my bet is you'll get a look like 'that lady/man is a nutcase'.

Until QR gets the distance, wins at the distance? Todd is saying the right things but the proof is in the running.

Ted, the bad news is that 'Dr' Drunkinbum was being detained by the his State Medical Board for impersonating a Dr.

28 May 2010 10:32 PM
shuttleworth

Quality Road is the "Hoss"! He think will win handily this weekend, and I really look forward to watching him the rest of the year... he's going to do some big things... ;-)

28 May 2010 10:56 PM
jayjay

This is good info, at least now I know why the 4 months off.  I was seriously thinking it was related to the quarter and I'm really glad it was just part of the plan.  I like TP but I'm not sold on QR yet, I know people can't get over his track record performances.

It's funny how everyone was up in arms when Team Zen announced their campaign plans...but everyone seems politely quiet about QR's path to the Classic.  As GunBow pointed out (excellently I might add), if TP really didn't think the synthetic was a big issue, why not run him in the Hollywood Gold Cup ?  We would love to see him here in the West Coast whippin' some west coast plastic horses :)  It would accomplish two things, see him win at the distance and a win on artificial against the best west coast horse Rail Trip, that would surely make a big difference come voting time for HOTY, wouldn't it ??

Funny how no one is pushing for that with this great horse Quality Road, I thought the same folks that was questioning Team Zen's campaign plans would be all over it, since they really want to see the best travel and beat their opponents :)  Oh well...

28 May 2010 11:10 PM
Footlick

The Met Mile is his to lose.  He shouldn't lose to this field, especially while only giving up to 10 lbs on a 1 turn mile.  It's not much of a handicap.

28 May 2010 11:35 PM
Kay

Jay:

Horses on the East Coast don't have to travel. But all West Coast races are negated unless the horse who wins them travels East. Not once, though; several times. How many has yet to be determined, but my guess is that however many times Zenyatta travels, it'll be one more trip than that.

It's Bias Math. Easy, once you figure it out...

28 May 2010 11:38 PM
Draynay

More proof that you have no idea what you're talking about jayjay.  Quality Road wins the Met Mile, Whitney, and Woodward and he is HOY. He is running in unrestricted races unlike your favorite California poly horse.  I am convinced Zenyatta will not be showing up for the Classic or Mr. Moss is crazy.  You don't show up to the Classic at Churchill and expect to run well against the best males in the world after hiding out in California running against girls on a plastic track. Churchill is dirt and running her on poly against no competition does nothing to get her ready to face a horse like Blame or Quality Road.  Mr. Moss stay in California you're only going to get your horse whipped.

28 May 2010 11:53 PM
Will W

So, Jason, though Zenyatta is a more proven older horse over several years campaigning, beat the boys in the BC Classic, and won the 2010 Apple Blossom with consummate ease you feel Quality Road's spectacular last outing alone justifies touting the colt as the best older horse in the country ???  Maybe waiting for a little more proof in the Met Mile, the Woodward, and the Jockey Gold Cup might better seal your case. You don't want the older heads to be able to goad you with "Oh, the hastiness and impatience of youth" if you jump the gun with a premature judgment.

29 May 2010 12:08 AM
GunBow

jayjay:

I'm not a big fan of hypocrisy either.  I didn't want to mention Z, but now that it's out there, yes I find it quite fascinating that many of the people roasting Z's connections seem to be giving Pletcher and Quality Road a pass.  

Let's look at Quality Road's proposed campaign.  2 races already in Florida. 3 races in New York.  The Breeder's Cup Classic.  So, by the time Quality Road gets to the Breeder's Cup, he'll have run in just 2 states and at most 3 tracks.  

There's nothing wrong with this, but it isn't exactly pushing the envelope.  No races at a classic distance before the BC?  If Zenyatta and her connections are going to be criticized, and I personally believe some of it is warranted, then I think Quality Road and Pletcher should be fair game too.

I know the installation of synthetic tracks has changed the equation, but it does bother me that "demand" for Eastern horses to come West is basically non-existent(when the BC is not in Cali).  Synthetics have provided another layer of excuses, but Eastern horses have never been under the same pressure to travel as Western horses.  Jay Hovdey has an insightful article on the subject on drf.com.

When Eastern horses do travel out West, it is greatly appreciated.  Case in point, Forever Together in Saturday's Gamely and Karelian in Monday's Shoemaker Mile.  Forever Together has made the Gamely must-see, and Karelian gives the Shoemaker a much needed gr.1 winner.  

Money is money and grade 1 is grade 1.  California has alot of grade 1 races and offers good money. If Cali racing is as weak as many here proclaim it to be, then Eastern horses would be swooping in for every big Cali race and dominating.  Yet, reality is quite different.  As Hovdey points out, only a few Eastern horses have been able to successfully come West and take Cali's prized races over the last half century.  Especially over the last 20 years, not that many have even tried.  

Why, because Eastern horsemen recognize that the horses running out in Cali are every bit as good as those back East, and understand that travelling and facing these Cali horses on their home ground are big disadvantages.  So, they stay back East even when the alternative races there sometimes aren't nearly as rich or as prestigious as the races in Cali.  Would they do this if there truly was such an imbalance of talent?  No, they would be running out West in a New York minute.

The reality is that the horses at the major Cali tracks have been and still are just as good as the horses at the major Eastern/Midwestern tracks.  Given that purses at the major tracks on both sides of the Mississippi are roughly the same, the equality of talent leads to most trainers eschewing travel and keeping their horses home.  Again, if the purses are similar and the competition is similar, but for one race you can run at your home track and the other you have to travel a few thousand miles, the decision is straightforward.  And that's a big problem if you want to see more inter-regional clashes.

29 May 2010 12:40 AM
Sarah

Personally I am a huge QR fan. I don't think the other horses can touch him on Monday. He's got such class and his speed is just unreal. People doubted him the first time he set the record in at Gulfstream, but the second time proves it was not a fluke. This horse is the real deal. I really hope he stays sound enough to show off the beast he is this year.

29 May 2010 1:03 AM
CV

"The 2010 HOY for sure.  Everyone is racing for second when they face this beast.  Go QR go baby !  It's great to see a real champ show up to all the biggest races.  Somebody call Mr. Moss and see if they want to hook up with Mr. Quality Road. What? You can't find Zenyatta? Oh, I think she is still hiding from little ole Rail Trip. LOL..."

Draynay 28 May 2010 12:38 PM

Rachel Alexandra called. She's heartbroken that you dumped her for Quality Road just because she lost a couple races. How sad that you seem to have abandoned her in favor of the latest "flavor of the month."

jayjay,

So you noticed too, that the same people who whine about Zenyatta not shipping east or running a long campaign don't seem to mind Quality Road running in just 4-5 races and staying put on the East Coast. Do you suppose that's because he runs on the beloved dirt and is based in the East?

29 May 2010 1:04 AM
Ted from LA

"Ted, the bad news is that 'Dr' Drunkinbum was being detained by the his State Medical Board for impersonating a Dr."

Like the Doctor who gave Larry David advice on his mole on Curb Your Enthusiasm?

29 May 2010 1:19 AM
GunBow

This weekend is the first of 3 blockbuster weekends at Hollywood Park.  The meet, a little slow to kick in gear, is starting to get serious.

This weekend, there is the gr.1 Gamely on Saturday with champion and 4-time gr.1 winner Forever Together taking on streaking Tuscan Evening and others.  On Monday is the gr.1 Shoemaker and the gr.2 Honeymoon.  Don't look past the Honeymoon(9 furlongs on turf); it will have gr.1 Ashland winner and Kentucky Oaks runner-up Evening Jewel facing a solid group of 3 year old turf fillies including stakes horses Cozi Rosie, City to City, Andina, and In the Slips.

Next Saturday June 5th is the gr.1 Whittingham and the gr.3 Los Angeles Cap then on Sunday is the gr.2 Hollywood Oaks and 4-time gr.1 winner and Kentucky Oaks champ Blind Luck possibly going against her rival, Santa Anita Oaks winner Crisp.

Finally, on  June 12th it's the gr.2 Californian, likely to feature Rail Trip and on Sunday the 13th it's the gr.1 Vanity, Zenyatta's next scheduled start.

29 May 2010 2:24 AM
Gary Lynn

Million dollar purse / Zenyatta-Rachel / Monmouth Park     ?

29 May 2010 4:36 AM
Rachel

Hey Jason, I still "one-up" you on loving QR...only one other blogger and I were hot for him after he lost his second start...I still remember how you "tossed" him from future considerations...;-) I told you that race was a fluke...♥

Jayjay, I'll never push a dirt horse to run on plastic...it just ain't how God made 'em...dirt or turf baby...au natural'

...and the thing with Zen who I love? It'sd not the plastic...it's the same trounced competition that's wearing us out...

29 May 2010 7:09 AM
Trebloc

Nice Interview.  QR will crush this field, with convocation finishing second.  

Carlos in Cali,

How about those Celtics!  

29 May 2010 8:14 AM
Slew

Case in point....QR vs Rail Trip?...I'd take Rail Trip.  QR is fast and excels at shorter distances.  Summer Bird has beaten him x2.  I sort of remember a colt who didn't race at 2, was never in a Classic at 3 and did poorly that year...and then at 4..Wow!  Cigar ruled.  So I'm still waiting to see who really steps up this year.  I like Musket Man.  I'm looking forward to seeing Richard's Kid, Gayego, Gitano Hernando, etc.  Any one of them could rule the summer along with a few others.  What about sprints?? Then he'd have to deal with Kinsale King and Jeranimo.  But for people to keep saying QR is the best there is...I still have too many doubts.

29 May 2010 8:42 AM
LAZMANNICK

I love Quality Road and hope he romps in the Met.  However, if he doesn't then Draynay's going to be down to just just First Dude and once Ice Box takes care of him, who is he going to yap about for the rest of the summer?

29 May 2010 9:04 AM
STC

The reason why Z's connections are criticized is that, unlike Quality Road, she is running in restricted races with small fields against bad horses. If that trend continues, she will not face (until the BCC) a field as high (or much higher) in quality as the one that QR beat in the Hal's Hope, which I (and others) think is a poor use of Zenyatta's talent. That being said, I am a little disappointed with the 6-7 races that Pletcher has outlined for QR so far (including the Donn and HH). I hope he thinks about adding the JCGC and the potential race between the Met Mile and the Whitney that he mentioned. If I have my racing schedule right, I believe that would be the Suburban.

29 May 2010 9:06 AM
Ann in Lexington

I get it, Jason. My blog, my choice. Cool.

And I also get that some of you have fallen in love with Quality Road. That's cool, too. But it gets absurd when you start projecting past the actual form.

I 'grew up' as a fan back in the days when a horse had to run a lot and win a lot to be considered a champion. Ack Ack. Forego. Cougar II (My Own True Love). Ever heard of Bold Reason? He won the Travers, the American Derby (dirt then), and the Hollywood Derby (10f dirt) but he'd been beaten in the spring classic campaign often enough that folks knew that he wasn't the best of the lot. Quality Road is 0-for-2 versus Summer Bird. Live with it. And I thought the modern idea is that a 'fresh' horse should beat a battle-hardened one?

As a side-note, I do wish we would adopt the British method when it comes to reluctant loaders. If a horse is acting up, they will load the rest of the field, then give the horse 15-20 seconds, and then it's hasta la vista: the field is dispatched without him. Spending a couple of minutes wrestling a horse into the stalls is counterproductive, IMHO.

29 May 2010 10:21 AM
Kim

I don't know how someone can say that Musket Man is "established" at the Classic distance, and then turn around and turn right around and say that Quality Road hasn't proven that he can get a Classic distance. Quality Road has run just as well at the Classic distance of 10 furlongs as Musket Man has. Remember that Quality Road ran 3rd in the 10 furlong Travers, and then 2nd by a length in the 10 furlong Jockey Club Gold Cup. How is that worse than what Musket Man has done at the "Classic distance"? I'm not trying to denigrate Musket Man at all; I really like and respect that horse. But I'm amazed at the Quality Road bashing I'm seeing. What is it about this horse that people find so threatening?

29 May 2010 10:45 AM
Matthew W

Best Pal was fast and could get the 1 1/4, when he was on he was one tough guy, and he had a strikingly beautiful head, which exuded his ample class...fought and beat some tough guys....

29 May 2010 12:36 PM
Matthew W

Gun Bow when you reel off that extensive list of high Beyers from Best Pal, it does put things in perspective, they tend to reward star status too early these days, for more than just horse racing...

29 May 2010 12:46 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA and Tim G, you two are a riot and on quite a roll.

I love Quality Road. Have from the start. I have always thought he is the one that will give our Zenyatta a run for it at less than a mile and a half. Having said that, I will still go with my girl if they ever meet up. But they will have to run a different kind of race against him. I thought he was the one to beat at last year's Breeders Cup and was shocked when he had to be pulled (also relieved, I will admit it). He was Zenny's only real competition. I totally agree with the posters that feel if a horse loses a race, it does not mean they aren't great horses. We need to look at their body of work and not just individual performances. QR has bursts of brilliance that are undeniable. I also agree, that QR's connections have not run a particularly packed schedule and they are getting a pass where Zenyatta's connections are not. I have no problem with their scehdules, but I know some people do. So, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, so to speak.

29 May 2010 12:55 PM
CV

"His Donn proved he wasn't a flash in the pan, and Zenyatta's supporters who think he wouldn't have been a factor are deluded."

Actually Lmaris, I think you're suffering under a delusion yourself.

When Quality Road was scratched John Shirreffs told Mac McBride, Director of Media at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club who was standing beside him, he was worried they just lost the main speed in the race. As a deep closer, Zenyatta benefits from a fast pace.  

29 May 2010 1:17 PM
Aleine

I would LOVE to see this fellow Virginian, QR, at Colonial Downs in the VA Derby (July). Or...will we get the Nick Zito response of,"It's just too hot in Virginia in July, we're taking this horse up to Saratoga a little early." Yeah NICK, WE WON'T FORGET HOW YOU DISSED US a few years ago. Bowing out of the VA Derby with your horse at the last minute due to "heat" issues in VA. Duh...it's ALWAYS hot in VA in July.....like you didn't know that when you booked the horse for the race in the first place?? (I think it was Summer Doldrums  - bloggers correct me if that wasn't the horse). But I didn't forget that it was Nick Zito's decision. Disappointing the fans at the track who made the trip to see that specific horse.  At least Senor Swinger and Pat Day made the trip as promised back in their day. Guess Senor Swinger didn't mind the hot July sun here in VA that year. LOVE to see QR back at home in VA.

29 May 2010 1:29 PM
jayjay

Draynay : If you think QR is so great, then why don't you call TP and ask him to run in the Hollywood Gold Cup.  The truth is, TP wanted to run in the met mile because he thought the field would be soft for his first start back after his short vacation.  The field is not as soft as he'd like and QR will have to push himself to win this one I think.  He still needs to come west to show us he is the best before you crown him HOTY (I honestly don't care about the HOTY honor anyway lol.)   Why don't you just admit it.  I think maybe QR is scared of RAIL TRIP RAIL TRIP RAIL TRIP LOL.  He's hiding from RAIL TRIP, call Pletcher and ask him why :)

Kim : What QR bashing are you seeing ?  No one has said anything bad about QR, it's just an opinion about him hiding in the east coast afraid to run against a poly horse named Rail Trip.  The same was said about Zenyatta, I just thought we'd say the same about QR.  You all think he's the greatest right ??  Why not visit beautiful california :)   We also don't think he can handle the Classic distance, and that's being discussed because their ultimate goal is the Classic distance.  I've not seen any comments that bashes QR at all.  I think you're maybe a little too sensitive about him.

STC : No one from her division wants to face her, that's not her fault.  It's the same thing with the met mile.  There were some horses who didn't enter because they didn't want to face QR.  She'll beat them one more time this year in the Classic and that's all she needs to do, if the horses don't show up in the Classic, that means their trainer/owner don't think they're good enough to run with the best.

Rachel : I figured that's what most of dirt lovers would say, that's why Zen is special, she's won on both EASILY :)  She wins her race without effort...like...au natural :)

29 May 2010 1:35 PM
Shiznik

Kim,

What the h@ll are you reading?  This blog is a love fest for QR.  What, one or two comments not asserting QR is the best of the best and you don't like it? Tough.

The horse has done VERY LITTLE in terms of him being considered great.  Good is as far as one can go with QR. Is SB a ghost?  You did see him dominate QR, twice, right?  I can't believe how far down, down, down, our standards are for determining greatness or even goodness. Quality Road is a GOOD horse and there is nothing wrong with that.  Let him earn greatness.  You don't earn greatness by setting track records against glorified claimers. Winning against good and great competition is what makes a race horse great.  When has Quality Road EVER done that?  

29 May 2010 1:54 PM
thomas

Blame will be your older male of the year HOTY we will see.

29 May 2010 2:49 PM
GunBow

Kim:

My stance is clear.  Being great is more than just having great talent.  It's about accomplishment as well.  If people would just frame their praise of Quality Road to reflect this, I would have no problem.  For example, write that "Quality Road has the talent to be a great horse.  If he stays healthy, I think he could make a real run at sweeping the Met, Whitney, and Woodward.  If he does, he will be in a great position to win HoY with a BC Classic victory".

Instead we get "Quality Road is the best older horse.  Quality Road is the best horse period.  Quality Road is great, a beast, as good as Easy Goer.  Quality Road is going to dominate, he'll crush Zenyatta".

The problem with this is that it's all opinion.  It moves the debate from fact to opinion.  Talent is in the eye of the beholder, but accomplishments are something tangible.  Sorry, but no way that a horse which has won exactly two gr.1 races, both on the same track, deserves to be called great.  Yes, I agree he has the talent to be great, but he must now go out and actually win races.  

Can he do it?  I think he'll win the Met.  But given how precarious the career of each horse is, we just can't jump and assume that it's a forgone conclusion that in 4 months Quality Road will have the Met, Whitney, and Woodward to his name.  He first has to make it into the starting gate for each race.  One step at a time, horse before the cart, etc.

You have people criticizing Zenyatta for not running in unrestricted races, using Quality Road as the counterexample of a horse that does.  They point to the Met, Whitney, and Woodward as proof.  Folks, he hasn't run in those races yet!  In fact, Quality Road has run in exactly 3 unrestricted races, and he's won 2 of them.  Of these 2 victories, one was a gr.1.  So, Quality Road has won exactly 1 unrestricted gr.1 race.  Guess who else has won one unrestricted gr.1 race? Zenyatta, and her 1 win was in the $5 million Breeder's Cup Classic and not the Donn.

Enthusiasm is great.  I know how exciting it is to get behind a horse and then follow it as its career takes off.  I have no problem with people holding the opinion that Quality Road is a great one, a Hall of Famer.  What I have a problem with is when such opinions are represented as fact.

Instead of presenting opinion as fact, qualify with the words "in my opinion" or "I think that".  

And to STC's point that people are already crowing Quality Road as an all-time great because horses of today aren't durable and thus can't compile accomplishments, and as a result we celebrate talent.  What bothers me is that last year we had a 3 year old filly do things that had never been done, winning all eight of her races including 3 gr.1 races against males, becoming the first filly to win the Preakness in 80+ years and the first female horse ever to win the Woodward.  And yet, many on this blog disputed her greatness.  Then we have a now 6 year old mare that has won ALL 16 of her career starts including 10 gr.1 races, is the all-time money leader among females in North America by over a $1million, has carried weight in gr.1 races, has won a gr.1 at a classic distance, is the only horse to ever win two separate Breeder's Cup races, and the only female to ever win the Breeder's Cup Classic.  Yet there are those who continue to deny her greatness.  

And I'm supposed to just roll over and accept Quality Road being called great?  A horse whose greatest accomplishment is running a 121 Beyer?

29 May 2010 3:09 PM
GunBow

Kim:

To address your comment directly, when I wrote that "Musket Man is proven at a classic distance" I did so in reference to the fact that he is a horse stretching out from sprints going into the Met Mile but has run well at longer distances in the past.  I wrote this as past of an analysis of Musket Man specifically, and was not making any comparison as it concerns Quality Road's classic credentials.

By the way, I have never stated that I think Quality Road can't get a classic distance.  And those that did are simply giving an opinion.  However, the fact is, Quality Road has never won at a classic distance.

Yes, the same is true of Musket Man.  So, he is not a proven WINNER at a classic distance.  But he has proven himself tough at a classic distance; he is proven gr.1 stakes placed at a classic distance.  Perhaps that would have clarified things better on my part.  And yes, Quality Road has also proven himself tough at a classic distance, and is proven gr.1 stakes placed at a classic distance.

Again, though, my point in bringing up Musket Man's classic credentials was unrelated to the discussion on Quality Road.  You made that inference.

29 May 2010 3:18 PM
LDP

STC,

I was thinking the same thing. He would be racing a race per month with if he went Met, Suburban, Whitney, Woodward, JCGC and BCC. That, if he were to fire well for each, would be a very impressive resume for HOTY, even w/o the Classic.

BTW, does anyone know if MM is still pointed at the Stephen Foster? He was pointing there and then I see his name in the Met line up. For him to run here and then the Foster would be a quick turnaround by today's standards, which is why I'm asking.

29 May 2010 5:59 PM
Pedigree Shelly

          I'm a fan of Zenyatta's but,she really needs to come out of hiding from the west coast and start facing the boys ! Why couldn't her trainer maybe point her towards the Suburban or JC Gold Cup ? We all know her record is perfect but , she needs to put it all on the line to show she can handle conventional dirt as well as synthetics to be considered truly great ! Going to Oaklawn to run in the Apple Blossom isn't quite enough for me !

29 May 2010 6:03 PM
LDP

Gary,

If RA returns to form I do not think Monmouth would be a great place for the match up. It's a very fast track, and I belive the turns are supposed to be tighter, I think that is why Curlin had some trouble with it his first time. Then add that RA has already won there, and dominantly, and you have a perfect reason for the Moss's to back out. They won't want RA to have that huge of an advantage and neither would fans. Belmont IMO would be a nice track for them to run at. Big sweeping turns would aid Zenyatta's closing kick which may make the Moss's feel more comfortable with RA's experience edge over the track.

29 May 2010 6:05 PM
Draynay

GunBow  Quality Road is racing in UNRESTRICTED races come and get him.  He isn't hiding he is there for everyone to see and race.  Come to the Whitney and Woodward if you dare.  Racing at Gulfstream, Saratoga, and then Churchill.  Hey how many times has Zenyatta EVER raced at those tracks... oh that's right NEVER. Stay in California Mr. Moss there's real racing going on this summer at Saratoga like there has been for nearly 150 years and we wouldn't want Z to have to ship over the Rockies would we lol.  Somebody let me know when z races any male horse on dirt.

29 May 2010 6:24 PM
Matthew W

Kim, Quality Road has won most of his races--but he's a fading 0 for 2 at 1 1/4--that is not "bashing" the horse, that is stating a fact...I mean every horse "gets" the 1 1/4, it's just a matter of how long it takes to get it!

29 May 2010 6:26 PM
LDP

I see what a lot of the West Coast people mean right now about QR vs Zen. I think some of the reasons East Coasters and others are willing to exuse QR and not Zen is because he is running in actual open races and has run three track records in to the ground. He actually had two in a row last year, and this year  he beat his own. Zen has no had a record last year nor this year, yet, since her Del Mar performance as a 4 year old.

I personally have come to the conculusion that I do not mind Zen staying in Cali. The state takes up an entire coast and is much bigger than any state we have here in the east. However I would like to see her race in open competion. The Hollywood Gold Cup, the Pacific Classic and so on. I think it would've been fantasitic has she been the second horse and only female to win the SA Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Pacific Classic. I wouldn't have cared if she stayed in Cali because IMO if she did that she is HOTY unless some other horse tops that feat and really the only thing a horse can do to top that is to beat the horse who did.

I think she could've and would love to see her try and take the next to races in the triple. She also would have, by the end of the year, if she won the Classic, 3 10 furlong grade one races won, in one year. What horse in this day and age can say that! I can only think one horse that did that last decade and that was Curlin, who won his two starts in Dubai at 10 furlongs then the JCGC.

Another thing that would've been so impressive about that feat is that she would've won three in a row. Again the only horse I can think of that can match that from last decade is Curlin. He won the JCGC, BCC, and his Dubai races, which was four in a row. To me, her winning races like that, would end all the questioning about her ability to handle males in a grade one at 10 furlongs, especial if she manhandled Rail Trip in any of those.

29 May 2010 6:30 PM
Jodie

The one big thing that was not the same at the BC, as every other gate QR went into was Zenyatta.  Unusual for Zenyatta but they were both pretty agitated and reluctant to load.  Me thinks they had other things on their mind than racing.

29 May 2010 6:39 PM
Matthew W

At 1 1/4 Easy Goer would likely defeat Quality Road! At 1 1/4 Best Pal would likely defeat Quality Road--doesn't change my opinion that Quality Road is some kinda good--at a mile I would take Quality Road over most anything I've seen--not bashing him at all--but let's play fair, at least--that's why they run the races, and to say he's #1 over even Rail Trip is hard to take--Rail Trip gets the distance, and it appears he's just as nice as QR-- and the Classic will be tough as nails this year! I hope Team Zenny takes that into consideration, and has a fresh horse for those big boys!

29 May 2010 6:41 PM
Kim

Hey, I'm not trying to argue that QR will win at 10 furlongs -- he may or may not; I was merely pointing out that he's done as much as Musket Man, who was labelled as "established" at the Classic distance.

And I doubt that I'm being overly sensitive about him, considering that I don't particularly care for the horse (or rather, his connections). I was simply stating my opinion as I saw things. Pardon me if I stepped on anyone's toes.

29 May 2010 6:47 PM
Matthew W

LDP--considering Rachel Alexandra's two close defeats, a trip West seems like what the doctor ordered--the slower interior fractions of a filly-only race would give her the advantage--how many of Zenyatta's wins could Rachel have defeated her? I say many....Zenyatta has the advantage v males cuz she'd get pace, so why not come West--the way they're talking about staying home (Quality Road and Rail Trip) and keeping their horses fresh, I would be wary of shipping Big Z anywhere before Fall, and Rachel really doesn't figure to be even in the Classic--Jess should come out here, where he can whup Zenyatta--I'll get the 3-1 on her! I have lost so much $$ betting against the big mare, I'm due! Until then I'm just gonna kick back and watch Quality Road kick butt on Mon, Rail Trip kick butt at Hol, Zenyatta kick butt v fillies out here, but it all comes down to the Classic this year....

29 May 2010 6:54 PM
Kay

CV:

"When Quality Road was scratched John Shirreffs told Mac McBride, Director of Media at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club who was standing beside him, he was worried they just lost the main speed in the race. As a deep closer, Zenyatta benefits from a fast pace."

EVERYBODY said this. I'm mystified that some people think Zenyatta's job got easier when Quality Road scratched! The pace was greatly affected by his scratch, which makes Zenyatta's victory all the more impressive.

And maybe I've just been skimming here... but did someone seriously say that Quality Road is a better horse than Easy Goer? That's virtually sociopathic.

Gun Bow:

"And I'm supposed to just roll over and accept Quality Road being called great?  A horse whose greatest accomplishment is running a 121 Beyer?"

And to reiterate, a horse who is SO great that he's carrying 124 pounds in the Met Mile. Let's see what he does with Zenyatta's weight spread. I think people DO forget that Zenyatta is basically the only horse of the past few years who has been legitimately handicapped to the point that John Shirreffs needs to see what the weight assignments are before seriously committing to a race. Has anyone had to do that a decade or so?

Pedigree Shelly:

"I'm a fan of Zenyatta's but,she really needs to come out of hiding from the west coast and start facing the boys ! Why couldn't her trainer maybe point her towards the Suburban or JC Gold Cup ? We all know her record is perfect but , she needs to put it all on the line to show she can handle conventional dirt as well as synthetics to be considered truly great ! Going to Oaklawn to run in the Apple Blossom isn't quite enough for me !"

Of course it isn't. Because no matter what she does, it won't be enough for some people. People said she had to ship and then she was the one who showed up for the Apple Blossom. But then people amended the rules of the game and said that it didn't count. I mean, really?? Somebody (Gun Bow?) made a terrific point earlier about why horses don't ship West. If it was really easy pickings out here, they'd be coming out every weekend. But there IS talent here. And frankly, everything Zenyatta has beaten in California is better than what the entire East Coast and Midwest assembled for the Apple Blossom.

29 May 2010 7:22 PM
damion J

I like the way T. Pletcher is progressing as a trainer, keep up the good work!!!

To ANNA... why call someone names like that especially where they can't defend themselves? Gate work is a difficult job... what the guy did is nothing new to racing, so why dramatize it over QR? Horses were loaded and then reloaded with ease compared to the trouble they had with QR. I just dont like the way you said your bit.

29 May 2010 7:49 PM
jayjay

LOL, the clown sounds like he's hyperventilating from excitement about QR. QR is scared of RAIL TRIP LOL.

Shelly  /  LDP : As I've told Draynay, it doesn't matter what she does, she can fly to the east coast and beat everyone there, then fly to mars and run on dirt there and there would still be an excuse to dislike her.  We fans of Zenyatta are content with her great accomplishments, she is now in the level of Citation and Cigar, that's a FACT, and she didn't even have to set any track records LOL.

She has a place in history and she's not even done yet.  She is already one of the greatest horses to ever run.   QR can keep breaking his track records at GP everytime he runs and he will still not be in the same level as Zenyatta.  I don't see any male horses in recent years that have even come close to having a string of victories that Zenyatta has put together (Smarty Jones is the closest I can think of).  No one is making anyone like Zenyatta, the people that likes Zenyatta, understands that what she's done is great, that's the bottom line :)

In two years time, I would bet Draynay's win money on LAL (all $2 of it) that neither Quality Road nor Rachel Alexandra would be doing what Zenyatta is doing now at her age, winning with ease and being cheered on by her fans.

29 May 2010 8:13 PM
Tim G

So let me get this straight. The same people who are saying that Zenyatta is 'hiding out' were encouraging all of the connections of Super Saver, Lookin at Lucky and Dublin to bypass the Belmont, lay low and prep for races in almost 3 months? Practically accusing Wayne of being abusive for even CONSIDERING running Dublin in all three TC races?

The same people talking about a horse racing in a mile race, yet aiming for the Breeders Cup Classic, having taken almost 4 months off after having 2 races after a 3 month layoff running a couple of times every 2-3 months don't find this schedule a little odd? A little like hiding?

Are all of you saying that Rachel Alexandra is 'hiding out'?

There seems to be a real double standard here.

Heck if I were Jerry Moss I'd be going for 'all the money' like Woody Stephens used to say. Why not? Who knows how much longer it'll be available.

I also seem to recall most of you answering on the blog question 'who would you want to train your KD prospect' that most of you said you wanted a trainer who was stabled in your locale so you could go watch works, races etc whenever you wanted. The Moss's are from California.....

Paula, I had a good one about the fake Dr's name that HE chose: Drunkinbum. Jason apparently didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did...LOL

29 May 2010 8:31 PM
jayjay

Also Shelly, it's easy to say "put it all on the line" when you're a fan but if you were lucky enough to own Zenyatta, I would doubt it very much that you would be saying "let's put it all on the line" and just ship her everywhere.  Can you honestly say that you would do that to Zenyatta if she was your horse ?  

Everytime Draynay BEGS for Zenyatta to run against male, I can't help but smile because I see how he truly respects Zenyatta's abilities that it would take a run against the boys for him to acknowledge it.  That's unheard of from a fan of horse racing...Draynay proves that Zenyatta is at a different level, a level that matches the male horses, she is no longer known as a great mare but a great horse (Draynay wouldn't know the difference as Ted said, Draynay's a gelding).  So everytime I hear Draynay begs for Zenyatta to run against male horses, it's a great thing to read :)  I'm glad that he actually recognizes her accomplishments but shows it in a different way.

29 May 2010 8:35 PM
Draynay

Tuscan Evening has won 4 in a row with little problem.  Never bet against a horse who has won 4 in a row.  There is nothing in this race to press him and he goes on to a EASY win again.  Bet him big and place the General along with him on the exacta box.

Draynay aka handicapping LEGEND. 27 May 2010 9:46 PM

Now you know why I am a legend.  Kay why don't East Coast horses ship out West ?  Huh ? To race who? Zenyatta is running in restricted races and on poly who cares ??? Do you want to win a Saratoga G1 race or a Del Mar G1 please. Kay don't listen to GumBow he has proven he knows nothing.

29 May 2010 8:53 PM
Draynay

NO TIM, her trainer said she is hiding out.  As a matter of fact he is begging for a low enough handicap weight because if he doesn't get it he isn't going to let her race.  It has become pathetic.  It's not the horses fault but they have turned a Plastic Classic winner into a joke.  She is hiding from Rail Trip, she is hiding from Belmont, she is hiding from Churchill, she is hiding from Saratoga, she is hiding from too much weight.  Geez what a joke.  This is a Classic Winner ??? Really ???  MARK MY WORDS ZENYATTA WILL NEVER RACE ON DIRT AGAIN.

29 May 2010 9:23 PM
Draynay

Now I understand why trainers don't like to answer a bunch of questions from fans?  Can Quality Road get 1 1/4 ? Umm. Huh?  Did you see the Donn?  After watching the Donn and a horse run a 109 like it was nothing if he jogs home in 50 seconds that is a 159 !!!  Who on earth can handle that ?  Rail Trip? Zenyatta? Battle Plan? Who?  Summerbird? Really?  You need to come to grips that we are seeing a all time great in 2010 and while I believe Rachel is going to be all that and a box of chocolate on her next start, there is no beating Quality Road right now.  No horse in the present and none in the past could deal with this monster.

29 May 2010 9:39 PM
jayjay

Draynay just picked another Cali horse beating up on the east coast horse :)  Draynay is a closet cali fan, if I were a betting man, I say he's planning on moving to CA once his LAL winnings is spent.  He just loves the horses here in cali and I know for a fact that he would take them over any horse from the east coast.  He's a Tuscan Evening fan, an LAL fan, a Rail Trip fan and most importantly...a Zenyatta admirer :)  If he wasn't gelded, I bet he'd ask Zenyatta out ;)

29 May 2010 9:42 PM
Tim G

Dray, I seriously doubt that Zenyatta will run at Del Mar. John had serious reservations about the safety of that track last year. Me? Heck I'll take a G1 anywhere.

Are they paying in Monopoly money or something in California? Don't think it's that bad yet.

Tuscan Evening? Guess HE had a successful gender reassignment surgery in time to become a female and run against the other females?

Also,

"This time, it was not just the same California-based locals who were chasing her home" Woohoo, one horse who didn't even have her regular rider.

What is the deal with you? Some it's fine to run against the same company but it's not for others?

Tuscan Evening was the dead favorite. Amazing, such skill at picking these horses who NO ONE would ever guess might win.

This comment? "I am convinced Zenyatta will not be showing up for the Classic or Mr. Moss is crazy. Draynay 28 May 2010 11:53 PM "

Now that comment would concern me if I was Jerry because if anyone knows about being crazy it's you.

29 May 2010 9:56 PM
sherpa

Tuscan Evening's Gamely win was wonderful and expected; I love her! But at the same time, I feel really bad for my other favorites - Forever Together, Gotta Have Her and Well Monied.  I know, I know.. *somebody's gotta win*...but I love them equally and would rather not see my 4 favorite turf mares contesting each other.

Being a racing fan can really be tough sometimes. :-(

29 May 2010 9:59 PM
1800s

Draynay - Tuscan Evening is a Mare'

You calling Her a "him" is funny.

29 May 2010 10:00 PM
Tim G

LOL, no, trainers don't like to answer a bunch of questions from delusional fans like you, because of the type of comments you made about Todd just a few weeks ago. Plus, fans aren't usually asking the questions.

Try to follow along now. Jason works for a HORSE RACING publication. It is Jason's job to ask questions of people in the industry. It is one of Jason's jobs to talk about horses, connections, races and to pick horses on his morning line blog and on these blogs. You should know that, you steal enough of his picks.

Tell me WHAT do you expect Todd to say? I seem to recall you trashing the man for saying very similar things about his horses he had in the Derby.

You're the type of 'fan' most in the industry would get a restraining order against.

29 May 2010 10:31 PM
Paula Higgins

Tim G, "gender reassignment" LOL!!

Don't feel bad, I just got censored on another blog on this site and it was a perfectly legitimate post. I won't be posting on HER blogs anytime soon. Geesh.

29 May 2010 10:38 PM
Footlick

The statements just get worse and worse.

29 May 2010 10:47 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       I had a funny feeling I should have never sent my last blog

:(  To Jayjay and all - If I owned Zenyatta , I would have retired her after the BC Classic !!She had proved everything she needed to ! Being one of the greatest racemares of all time ! The only point I'm trying to make is , If she's going to continue to run why not run her against the best ,instead of running her in races she's already run in and risking injury !!!

29 May 2010 10:52 PM
Tiznowbaby

Off topic, but with Tizaqueena's win in the Matron, Tiznow now has two get that have won stakes on dirt, grass and synthetic. Pretty cool.

29 May 2010 10:54 PM
sodapopkid

I am a Zenyatta fan, always have been , always will be.  I have to admit one thing though?  If these two girls Zen and RA never ever raced again right now, even as they have made history,  I would expect that no two other horses in the future ever account for as much blog exposure as these two have.

Just Zenyatta's name alone stirs everyone up.  She is so goooooooood, thats why.........

29 May 2010 10:59 PM
sodapopkid

Draynay - Tuscan Evening is a Mare'

You calling Her a "him" is funny.

Re: Now, Drayneigh, If you were as smart as you proclaim to be, You would have known that.

Now we are suppose to put our money on who you pick? and put our trust in you , when you didnt' even know TE was a filly?  

I am glad you ain't on Team Zenyatta's side,  YOU stay on Team Rachel's side, You all have alot in common..............

29 May 2010 11:03 PM
Pedigree Shelly

      On the lighter side , Is it just me , or are we 'all getting a little cranky ? I think there's way too much time between the Preakness and the Belmont for us , but not for the horses sake :)

29 May 2010 11:29 PM
jayjay

Yeah I get your point Shelly but shipping her and then running her is more of a risk than running her at home, wouldn't you agree ?  One thing I don't understand is that, people pretty much assume that east is where the best horses are ?  I would like to see these best horses come west (throw in any older females in that group) and have them run in the Hollywood Gold Cup, the Vanity and the other races here in the west coast.  West Coast has the BEST horses in the country, even the HOTY connections of last year will agree to that statement :)

East coast horses are one dimensional horses, they only run on natural dirt, west coast horses can run and WIN on both natural dirt and synthetic so can someone tell me how the east coast has the best horses again ?  I have a feeling though that if they win the Vanity, then all the pressure's off and they might start thinking about going after the boys early here in the west coast.  It is my firm belief that they want to break the modern day record and be above Citation and Cigar :)  That would just be awesome!

29 May 2010 11:37 PM
jayjay

Shelly, I'm not cranky, I still like you and your posts.  I find them entertaining and educational :)  You'll see me respond to any Zenyatta "comments" regardless of who posted it.

The only one that gets cranky here is Draynay, cause as much handicapping as he does, he just can't seem to pick the right horse to go with the heavy favorite everytime a favorite wins.  I'm not sure but maybe he should turn his dart board counterclockwise before throwing his darts to pick his horse, might make a difference.  At this point, I'm sure he'll appreciate any help :)

30 May 2010 12:21 AM
GunBow

I love how in the same breath Draynay is trying to bash Cali racing with the rhetorical  why would any horse ship out to run in Cali, "to race who?", he points to the Gamely, a race in which the 4-time gr.1 winner and champion Forever Together shipped out from the East.  And she lost to Cali mare, Tuscan Evening.

And yes, that Tuscan Evening, HE certainly is something now isn't HE.  

30 May 2010 12:25 AM
Paula Higgins

Yes, I think we are getting cranky. Looking forward to QR's race Monday. Enjoyed Tuscan Evening's run but felt bad for Forever Together. Did anyone but me think Forever Together didn't get the best ride???

30 May 2010 12:26 AM
GunBow

In all seriousness, the Gamely was a fantastic race.

The complexion of the race was likely affected by the scratch of the improving Medalgia d' Amour, a filly with good speed.

Without her, Tuscan Evening certainly had a tactical advantage over Forever Together, although Cat by the Tale shook things up a bit by going to the lead.

Tuscan Evening has no problem stalking, however, and did so easily in the Gamely.  Bejarano on Tuscan Evening set her off moderate fractions of :24 and 1, :48 and 1, and 1:11 and 4, and then pounced on Cat by the Tale before the late runners like Forever Together could build momentum.

Cat by the Tale, a gr.2 winner, hung on well, but Bejerano had her measured.  The final challenge to Tuscan Evening would come from the valiant champion Forever Together.  Although Forever Together came into the Gamely on a 4 race losing streak, her trainer Jonathan Sheppard had commented that it was possible that her regular rider, Julien Leparoux, had ridden her too confidently and taken her back too far.

Under Rajiv Maragh for the Gamely, Forever Together was placed in midpack, and had moved into 3rd by the top of the stretch.  Forever Together came with her late run like she always does, but she once agaain was just a little slow hitting her peak stride.  By the time she did, Tuscan Evening had secured a clear lead, a lead she wasn't going to surrender.

It does seem fairly clear that Forever Together has lost a few miles off her fastball.  Still, she is very good and can probably win another gr.1 race. Her presence definitely made the Gamely the biggest race of the meet so far, and I was among a solid group of fans wanting to get a glimpse of her in the paddock and the post parade.  Like I wrote earlier, it's tough to ship and win gr.1 races.  I salute the sportsmanship of Augustin Stable and Jonathan Sheppard bringing Forever Together out for the race.

As for Tuscan Evening, the beat goes on.  She isn't spectacular and doesn't blow away her competition, but she's so solid, professional, and tough.  She's built like a small tank, but she has learned to relax so well, and it's enabled her to stretch her speed up to 9 and 10 furlongs.  While it was tough to see Forever Together come so close to winning a 5th gr.1, no horse deserved to win a gr.1 any more than Tuscan Evening.

Tuscan Evening has now won 5 races in a row, all this year, with 1 gr.1, 3 gr.2 races, and a gr.3.  She's won at 6.5 furlongs, 8, 9(twice), and 10 furlongs.  Tuscan Evening has won 6 of her last 7, having won the gr.2 Las Palmas on Breeder's Cup Ladies Day.  Her only loss over her last 7 races came in the gr.1 Matriarch when Ventura thumped her by almost 2 lengths(how good was Ventura?).  Since being transferred to Jerry Hollendorfer's barn, Tuscan Evening is 11 for 15 with 7 graded stakes wins.  

And congrats to Jerry Hollendorfer.  I know he wanted to get Tuscan Eveing a gr.1.  Hollendorfer was out in the paddock 15 minutes before the Gamely horses even arrived.  Although Tuscan Evening didn't win in 1:45 and change like Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward predicted, it probably doesn't matter much(In some great smack talk, Ward was asked before the race what Forever Togehter would need to do to beat Tuscan Eveing; he responded by saying "run 1:45 and change").

By the way, Forever Together was the 12th Eclipse champion to run in the Gamely in its 43 runnings, but the first since Fiji in 98'.  Also, with 4 gr.1 wins, Forever Together is one of the more accomplished horses to ever contest the Gamely.  But she still has alot of work to do to catch the top gr.1 horses in the history of the Gamely, Flawlessly with 9 gr.1 wins, Dahlia with 10(includes Europe), and Susan's Girl with 11(includes 3 races in 1972 which were then ungraded but were grade 1 when the grading system came into existence in 1973).    

30 May 2010 1:06 AM
GunBow

There was another performance of note in the race before the Gamely.  Twirling Candy, another Jenny Craig owned son of Candy Ride trained by John Sadler, won his 2nd race in as many starts, taking a 6.5 furlong allowance by 7.75 lengths in 1:15.08.  Twirling Candy was coming in off a 6 month layoff after having won his only start, a straight maiden with a 85 Beyer.  Unlike Sidney's Candy, Twirling Candy is a tall, rangy colt and is built more like a distance horse.  What he does have is speed, as he was right up on a 21 and 3 and 43 and 4 pace.

The one problem is that he might not been the most focused or mentally strong horse.  Before the race, he wouldn't allow assistant Benavidez to put blinkers on, and was, how should I say, sexually excited in the paddock.

30 May 2010 1:13 AM
GunBow

Matthew W:

I'll never forget Best Pal before the 92' Big Cap.  He had the look of eagles.  And then he went out and crushed tog horses like Twilight Agenda and In Excess.  And those 2 horses ran about 10 races each with Beyers between 115 and 120.

I also love Tuscan Evening's head.  Her head is just so sharp, refined, sculpted.  And she has the look of eagles too.

30 May 2010 1:18 AM
Randy

Why is Quality Road hiding from Rail Trip?

Come out west Todd Pletcher. We want you to run him in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

30 May 2010 2:40 AM
Aluminaut

Yes, like Jason said earlier, and many have said since--Tuscan Evening is a girl horse.

30 May 2010 2:53 AM
Assault

Draynay,

You see...it goes like this:

The Zenyatta connections have been railroaded the last two years in regards to "Horse of the Year" honors.

The "Horse of the Year" award has been given to an east coast horse 15 of the last 20 years.

So now the Zenyatta connections are going to make it quite miserable for you and the east coast bias.

They have decided to break Citation and Cigar's record of 16 consecutive wins in unrestricted competition.

After they rewrite the record books, they will head to Churchill Downs and kill 2 birds with one stone (destroy Quality Road and Rail Trip) in the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic.

Now Draynay, this could of all been avoided if they would of gave Zenyatta "Horse of the Year" last year.

Zenyatta would of been retired and we wouldn't be having this talk right now.

Now, Zenyatta's connections are going to make the east pay. She will go past the 17-0 mark. She will set the record of 7 consecutive Grade I victories. She will win her second consecutive Breeders Cup Classic.

The list of accomplishments will go on and on until your so sick of Zenyatta, you'll want to puke.

30 May 2010 3:07 AM
Matthew W

a great, and I mean great, Gamely! And if you look closer, Well Monied (4th) ran lights out, very wide into that soft pace, look for that lassie to compete at the top of the heap--but gotta hand it to Jerry, he has a way with those fillies...take nothing away from the classy Forever Together, she was up against it and she ran lights out! Gonna bet against the Cal bred in Shoe mile, why go on the cheap and lose GoGo, who rates a horse as good as any/better than most...for Rosario, who likes to gather back outta the gate---from the outside, methinks that big guy is a bet against...can you say Global Hunter? Stalk and pounce, and watch out for Gallant Son and his big move...gonna bet against the pace in the Shoe...

30 May 2010 3:10 AM
Matthew W

Fresh horse double Mon: Quality Road/Global Hunter stalk/pounce/collect

30 May 2010 4:09 AM
Draynay

Tim G, you continue to prove you have no idea what you are talking about.  I have said it before and I will say it again if I had a horse Todd would be my trainer except if I had a young 2 year old and wanted to win a Triple Crown race.  Dale Romans would be my trainer.  Pletcher is a very good trainer and we would both like to know how anyone can watch the Donn then possibly think that Quality Road has distance issues.  If you watch that race you shouldn't have any doubt.

30 May 2010 7:34 AM
Slew

It's one thing to be a 3yr old and face 3yr olds...but when a colt is 4, he'll face 4 year olds and UP.  Not only are there other good 4 year olds out there waiting for QR, there are some awesome 5 year olds.  It's one thing to like QR, it's a totally different story to proclaim him the "best" and HOY.  Hmmm, I wonder which horse won 2 Eclipse awards last year and came in 2nd to Zenyatta in the BCC?  We're just really getting started on the year.  I'll let you know who's the best come November.  Until then, QR is another strongly competitive colt.

Anne in Lex, I agree with your point that British loading is a better system, but it has led to some fine horses being banned in Britain due to their fractious nature in the gate.

30 May 2010 9:40 AM
Draynay

Assault what are you talking about? Zenyatta has raced in only 1 unrestricted race in her entire career.  She is not approaching any record by Citation or Cigar. And listen to me closely Zenyatta will never show in Kentucky.

30 May 2010 9:58 AM
Draynay

Gumbow ? We don't need a race recap we all saw it and I told you who would win long ago.  Some didn't even watch the race because I TOLD THEM who would win.

30 May 2010 10:00 AM
LH1216

Jason is at least 50% correct. Quality Road is one of the top 2 older(and younger)horses in training right now. If you have handicapped for more than a year, it's actually easy to see that. He is a phenomenal horse with ability beyond most any horse on the track currently.

I'm not a history buff, but I bet you won't find many horses that hold a record sprinting (6 1/2f) and routing (1 1/8f) - at two different tracks to boot. His ability should not even be in question.

The only question is how good is Zenyatta? I mean really think about it. She holds no track records, but she is a closer. Closers only run as fast as they need to typically to pass the front runners.

From what I can see, she's never been all out. So what happens if you put a record setting pace presser like Quality Road in front of her? Maybe she will grab a track record then...maybe not.

One thing I do know - if the track is dry and fast on Breeder's Cup day and both of these horses are in the Classic, then they will both be in the top two spots at the wire.

30 May 2010 10:46 AM
GunBow

Matthew W:

You are absolutely correct that Well Monied ran very well to be 4th in the Ganmely.  It was just her second start of the year.  She is grade 1 placed from last yea rhaving run 2nd in the 10 furlong American Oaks.  She could be a real contender in races over 9 furlongs, even the Breeder's Cup Filly+Mare Turf.

30 May 2010 11:17 AM
JerseyBoy

Over a year ago I said here that Quality Road is the best horse to race anywhere in the last 20 years.I still believe so. However, I do not see why anyone would bet on a horse who has to concede 10 pounds. Why is a Grade 1 being run as a handicap? This is more madness in racing. The horse should be scratched. Why is the owner allowing him to run?

30 May 2010 11:21 AM
Love Those Birds

The 2010 Met Mile belongs to the one and only Quality Road.

Cheers to QR!

30 May 2010 11:34 AM
Ted from LA

Gunbow,

I've been sexually excited in the paddock many times.  It's really no big deal.

30 May 2010 11:42 AM
Tiznowbaby

Draynay, even a blind hog finds an acorn now and again.

30 May 2010 12:00 PM
GunBow

On the subject of Zenyatta attempting to break Cigar's record, I have to admit that I'm a little old fashioned in how I look at fillies and mares vis-a-vis male racehorses.  

I side with the Bloodhorse Top 100 book, and basically agree that the top female horse of all-time, whether it be Ruffian, Personal Ensign, or Zenyatta, should be ranked in the 30s when compared to the best males horses.  If you look just at Ruffian, as brilliant as  she was, one cannot make the claim that winning the Triple Tiara is equal to winning the Triple Crown; the 3 year old fillies Ruffian beat in her 1975 Triple Tiara were not nearly as good as the top 3 year old males of that year, like Foolish Pleasure or Wajima, let alone the older male Forego.

What Zenyatta has done is truly remarkable.  In my opinion, she has done plenty to be ranked alongside the best females in North American history.  Afterall, Ruffian never beat males, and certainly didn't beat males in the most important race of the year.  Zenyatta has done everything the 3rd rated female of all-time, Personal Ensign, did, and more; Zenyatta has won 3 more total races(in a row) than Personal Ensign, won 2 more gr.1 races, and her Breeder's Cup Classic victory trumps Personal Ensign's one win against the boys(88' Whitney, a 3 horse field).

There's really only two females that beat top males more than a handful of times, Beldame and Gallorette.  However, Gallorette lost about 4 times as much as she won, and even Beldame was under .500 against males.  In an historical sense, Zenyatta, even with only one win over males, fits right with the accomplishments of the other great females in North American history.  Given no female horse (in North America) has ever been able to consistently and repeatedly defeat males in the top races, the fact people are demanding Zenyatta do so simply shows how much she has transcended the normal standards of a female racehorse.  

However, like the other great female horses in North American history, Zenyatta not having multiple gr.1 wins against males makes it difficult to rate her among the very best males horses of all-time.  Winning the Breeder's Cup Classic was an incredible achievement for a female, one of the greatest victories ever by a female.  However, there have been 24 other winners of the Breeder's Cup, all males, and winning the race did not make most of them all-time greats; Wild Again, Proud Truth, Skywalker, Archangues, Concern, etc all won the Breeder's Cup Classic but didn't even win an Eclipse Award let alone be considered an all-time great.

If we truly are to judge Zenyatta's accomplishments against the greatest males, we have to recognize that Zenyatta has won only one race against males, only one race against fully unrestricted competition.  How many of the all-time great males only won one race against other males, or one race in fully unrestricted races?  The criteria for being among the overall top 10 all-time great horses(males) is much higher than the criteria for greatest female horse.

As such, I just can't rate Zenyatta's streak as equal to Cigar's.  If we take into account that Zenyatta is a female, then yes I put the two together.  However, if we ignore the sex of the horses and look purely at the accomplishments, Ciagr's streak, all coming against fully unrestricted competition, is superior.

Make no mistake, however, Zenyatta's streak is leagues above what Pepper's Pride did.  Pepper's Pride accomplished her streak in races restricted to New Mexican sired or foaled horses while almost all of Zenyatta's wins have come in the elite races for females in North America, stakes races unrestricted in the sense that any FEMALE was able to run.

30 May 2010 12:03 PM
ctgreyhound

The tenor of dissing Quality Road has reached a level herein that could rival Big Brown. I believe I read that someone went as far as to comment negatively re: his connections. Really?? To read here you would think this horse is anything but, well, quality. There is an air of disgust here. If you believe this is an overstatement reread this blog in it entirety. One can hope that you similarly question the ability of government & that you VOTE in November.

30 May 2010 12:06 PM
Draynay

You're right Slew we could sit by all year and wait for all the races to play out or we could notice greatness when we see it and comment on it.  Do you think people waited until I was a adult before telling me I was great?  My talent was noticed early and often much like a young Quality Road.

30 May 2010 12:13 PM
Linda in Texas

Fuzzy Corgi- Don't forget the helicoptor flying/hovering around the starting gate also. I believe i am correct.

Thanks Jason, loved your questions and if others want to critique the subjects, let them get their own blog.

I always like the renegades, the unusual, the hard to control and the unexpected if no one is injured. I wish Quality Road only

success and have wondered how he was doing ever since he was scratched from "that race."

I am also an Eightyfiveinafifty Fan also, and on and on.

30 May 2010 12:49 PM
Tim G

Actually Dray, you were one of the ones grousing when Todd took over the training of QR. You were also one making comments about him running in a sprint race at Saratoga. Do you want me to go on?

You are sooooo funny. It's easy to tell when you can see that someone has more knowledge or hands on experience in the game (pretty much anyone who has saddled, bought, raised or even LOOKED at a race horse from less than 20 yards away). Same old story..."rank beginner, blah blah blah"  At least I have NEVER misidentified the gender of a horse.

Pretty easy to tell if you actually SEE one, not just talk about it.

You come up with a pick that isn't jumping on the bandwagon, stealing from Jason or is actually not the dead favorite and I'll think you have at least an ounce of ability.

We all have your number. You're a blowhard with an ego the size of an elephant. Overcompensating?

I've been around horses/race horses for my entire life. When you were still sucking on a pacifier I had already been around the race track for 10-15 years.

Good grief, now you're a fortune teller? You know what will happen in the future? Maybe apply some of that soothsaying to your business ventures. Tell me, if it turns up sloppy at CD, what do you think will happen with QR? Actually who cares what you think.

You may have your hangeron-ers fooled, mostly because they think you have money to loan them (you said that, I didn't). They probably laugh at your egotism (as unwarranted as it is) behind your back.

Paula, yes I know. That person seems to rile up others like a couple on here. Know-it-alls who would absolutely croak if anyone they talk about or read about ever even walked by them. Or would choke if people they disrespect asked them into the paddock or winners circle for a Graded stakes, heck a claiming race even.

Like Draynay, goes to Keeneland once and now he's the expert, he bets the favorite and he suddenly is the greatest handicapper. My bet is he lords it over people at Beulah, pretends he's a high roller, then returns his suit he wore for the day to the store he bought it at all while trying to figure out how to pay for what he spent at the track being a 'big shot' and tries to save another $2 to bet the favorite the next week. LOL

He reminds me of those Real Housewives shows that my wife watches and laughs at. Pretentious, ostentatious and total b.s.  At least he dropped the self annointed 'Legend' after he made a bigger fool of himself than usual and Jason called him on it.

Have a great day Paula and all the rest of you 'reasonable' people, enjoy the races, that's what I'm doing and God Bless all the Veterans who served our Country!

30 May 2010 12:51 PM
Tim G

Remembering especially all of those who gave their lives in the service of OUR Country!

30 May 2010 1:03 PM
Kay

Oh Lord... I can't believe I'm going to respond to it:

"Tim G, you continue to prove you have no idea what you are talking about.  I have said it before and I will say it again if I had a horse Todd would be my trainer except if I had a young 2 year old and wanted to win a Triple Crown race.  Dale Romans would be my trainer.  Pletcher is a very good trainer and we would both like to know how anyone can watch the Donn then possibly think that Quality Road has distance issues.  If you watch that race you shouldn't have any doubt."

So... it's PLETCHER'S fault that you perceive Quality Road to have distance issues? I say "you perceive" because I'm not convinced he does quite yet. But are you REALLY blaming a TRAINER for a pedigree? Gee, I think Pletcher's not forcing Quality Road into a box. He's letting the horse use his natural ability.

What's even more mind-boggling here is that from your little scenario, YOU have picked out the horse. And then you select the trainer. Um, isn't it MORE incumbent upon YOU to choose a horse with the pedigree and conformation to win a Triple Crown race? For a lotta years, Pletcher just didn't have that horse. ALL of his horses were bred to run well at two, and they DID. But THIS year, he got Eskendereya and Super Saver, two horses that ARE bred to go 10F. And look what happened there.

A trainer can only work with what he or she has. I mean, DUH.

30 May 2010 1:27 PM
Tiznowbaby

Wow Draynay, so adults told a little kid he was a great big horse's behind? :)

30 May 2010 1:35 PM
Mindy C.

I am going out on a limb, but ''Tizway''  pulls the upset... He received a huge beyer in his last race.... Hmmm....

30 May 2010 1:42 PM
GunBow

LDP:

Lava Man actually won 4 gr.1 races at 10 furlongs in 2006.  He won the Santa Anita Handicap(dirt), Hollywood Gold Cup(dirt), Pacific Classic(dirt), and the Whittingham(turf).  And he didn't even win the Eclipse for older male(went to Invasor, and rightfully so).

In 2007, Lava Man repeated in both the Big Cap(dirt) and Hollywood Gold Cup(synthetic), and had won the Hollywood Gold Cup in 2005.  Thus, all 7 of Lava Man's gr.1 wins came at 10 furlongs.

30 May 2010 1:43 PM
Jerry B.

LH1216,

You don't know what your talking about.

Zenyatta holds the track record at Del Mar.

Before making statements, make sure you know what your talking about.

30 May 2010 1:46 PM
Secretariat

Tim G,

Draynay didn't even know about www.pedigreequery.com.

He asked (about six months ago) where he could look up the pedigree of a horse online.

He's a joke.

30 May 2010 1:51 PM
Frank

Gunbow,

Ruffian is so overrated. She left the state of New York once. She went next door to New Jersey.

Even Zenyatta has left the state of California more than Ruffian left the state of New York.

Zenyatta air travel miles compared to Ruffian are not even comparable.

Zenyatta is a freak. Period. Plain and simple.

30 May 2010 1:59 PM
Andy

Assault-

Unbelievable post! You hit the nail right on top of the head!

30 May 2010 2:05 PM
Paula Higgins

I agree with Tim G. Lets remember those who have fought and died for this country. It puts life in perfect perspective when we think about them.

Gunbow, I can't believe I am arguing this point with you. In fact, you may want to swat me like an annoying fly, but I think ANY horse who wins 16 races that are almost all graded stakes, in a row, is below the number 30 on the list of 100 all time greats. Her one race against some very good male race horses in the Breeders Cup ALONG with the 13 other consecutive wins, sets her apart from other Breeder Cup winners. You cannot look at that Breeders Cup win in isolation. She isn't just like every other Breeders Cup winner. She proved that those 13 preceding wins were not all about just beating females. Then she goes on to win her next two. No, she isn't setting records, but on the other hand, she has never lost. Her competition is whoever showed up. It is interesting to me that not too many want to take her on anymore (see Apple Blossom). It's easy for them to say "come east and prove how good you are." When she does go east, let's see how many of the boys actually show up to take her on.

My other point is this, when you see her run, lengthen her strides and run by everyone, you see greatness right before your eyes, again and again. To paraphrase a Supreme Court Justice, it's like pornography, you know it (in this case greatness) when you see it. At the bare minimum, she is the greatest female of all time. In my book, she is one of the top five male or female. Sometimes distance and time (a historical perspective) give us a better idea about where a horse actually stands. That may work for or against Zenyatta. If she races against the boys and wins again, I bet it works for her.

One last point, sometimes in an effort to see how horses stack up against each other, we make statements like: she didn't run against competiton like Forego. Well, come on, let's be fair here. How do we know she couldn't have won against Forego or Secretariat on any given day (other than the Belmont)? She hasn't even hit all her gears in any of her races. She finishes with a smile on her face and her ears standing up. Her times are what she needs to win. Mike rides her to win, not to set records, and that has been a smart strategy and why she is still racing. She always does enough to win-against anyone. That shouldn't be undervalued. Many of the greatest race horses quit running after age 3, she hasn't and she is still winning.

30 May 2010 2:30 PM
Jason Shandler

Hey all: My grandmom passed over the weekend so I will be back in Philly for the services from tonight through Wednesday. I'll do my best to post comments periodically, but please understand any delays. I'll be back Thursday or Friday with a new Belmont blog. Play nicely!!

30 May 2010 2:41 PM
jayjay

Take your time Jason, we'll all survive here waiting for the comments to posts.  My condolences my man, safe trip and we'll see ya when you get back.

Regards,

Jay

30 May 2010 2:45 PM
Tim G

On my, whatever it is that allows me to post remote I'm not too tech oriented.

God Bless you and yours Jason, my deepest sympathies. You all will be in all of our thoughts and prayers.

30 May 2010 2:45 PM
Tim G

Draynay, I would give you a clinical diagnosis for your egotistical statements and being a braggart but Jason said play nice.

30 May 2010 2:53 PM
jayjay

GunBow : I still believe that Zenyatta is well above that list (#30), there's no way that you can compare Citation and Cigars races against Zen's.  It's just impossible, Zen took on who was willing to take her on, that's the reality.  It would be unfair to ask her to run against males only to be considered great.  It's like asking the best and greatest male horses to race against machines because they beat up on males.  The fact is, Zen has 16 straight wins, the same as Cigar and Citation.  That is now in the history books, when people talk about the modern day streak, they'll talk about Zenyatta, Citation and Cigar.  It wouldn't matter who they raced against, the fact is they hold the record.  When Z beats that record in the Vanity, there will be no asterisk alongside that record that says "her opponents were not as tough as Cigar's or Citation's."  I know you're a Z fan also but I just don't agree that their races should be compared to Z's.   We're discussing the record more granulary here but really, in 10 years time ... when people starts talking about the great horses, they will mention Zenyatta, they'll compare horses of the future to Zenyatta, when a horse wins 5 straight races, they'll be talking about Zenyatta's record.  They won't be talking about HOTYs unless it's part of a trivia question, the only thing HOTY is good for is on the resume and breeding.  Zenyatta will have no problems with her breeding fees and her resume is already legendraynay :)

Draynay, just quit your yappin', everyone knows the only time you're right is when you pick the heavy favorite.  Like I said you can't even pick the right exacta.  When you were young, people called you "crazy", not great.  There's a big difference.

Draynay's here for entertainment only, he's like the fans at the track that tells you his pick and then after the race, pumps their fist in the air and says "I got that one!  I told ya he can't get beat in that race!!"  and yeah, of course it wasn't the same horse he picked before the race and can't show you any winning tickets lol.  There's too many of them out there but Draynay is the King of all of them because he's the only one that does it at the track and on blog sites :)

30 May 2010 3:37 PM
Dori

..."talent there for a campaign for the ages."

Help me out here.

Hasn't Quality Road only beaten one Grade 1 winner, Capt. Candyman Can in the King's Bishop, whereas in comparison Zenyatta has beaten the winners of 45 Grade 1 races.

..."talent there for a campaign for the ages."

Is that some type of hype to get us all excited that there might be a horse out that can be mentioned in the same breath as Zenyatta.

30 May 2010 3:39 PM
Tiznowbaby

Condolences, Jason. Our best to you and your family.

30 May 2010 3:49 PM
Manny

GunBow,

You mentioned that Quality Road was not in the right place mentally to run that afternoon.

He wasn't in the right place mentally for awhile after that episode.

They couldn't even load him up in the plane, but instead had to van him all the way across America.

30 May 2010 3:50 PM
Paula Higgins

My condolences and sympathy Jason to you and your family. I am very sorry for the loss of your grandmother.

30 May 2010 4:42 PM
sherpa

Jason, I'm very sorry for your loss.  Have a safe trip.

30 May 2010 4:53 PM
Pedigree Shelly

            Sorry Jason ,My sincerest condolences to you and your family ! Take Care :)

30 May 2010 4:57 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

Linda in Texas - I hate to break the news to you but it wasn't a helicopter that got those great aerial shots of the Breeders' Cup. It was a blimp. It was hundreds of feet above the track and it wasn't just following QR around.

We would all like to know what set off QR that day. He was clearly agitated even before he got to the gate. Maybe he didn't like the large crowd. Maybe he didn't like the PA system. Maybe he was just having a bad day. Maybe he wanted to go to Disneyland. Until QR learns to talk we will probably never know.

30 May 2010 5:12 PM
CV

"I have a feeling though that if they win the Vanity, then all the pressure's off and they might start thinking about going after the boys early here in the west coast.  It is my firm belief that they want to break the modern day record and be above Citation and Cigar :)  That would just be awesome!"

jayjay 29 May 2010 11:37 PM

jayjay,

A commenter named Faith, who posts on Thoroughbredchampions.com and who said she regularly sees Zenyatta and is close to her connections, posted that plans are for Zen to ship east again before the BCC. She said the Delaware Handicap is one possibility.

Another commenter verified Faith visits Zen and is in contact with her connections, so I would say this info is legit.

Faith also effectively countered a multitude of ugly posts from Draynay, who brayed loudly over several pages of the blog that "Zenyatta would never race again on dirt."  

Faith said she had heard otherwise directly from Zen's connections and she challenged Dray to reveal his (obviously fabricated) source. He couldn't, so he just kept ranting.

It seems like everyone has Draynay's number.

30 May 2010 5:18 PM
Pedigree Shelly

     To Jayjay , Paula , and all - Thanks for understanding ! I seem to get a little antsy between the Preakness And Belmont ! Thank God the Met Mile is on tommorow ! Even my Mom ,when we talk says " All you talk about is horses ! Your just a horse nut " !!!  Well, I'm proud to say , I AM  :)

30 May 2010 5:29 PM
mz

Jason, we're all sorry for your loss.  

Grandmothers are very important links in a family and I'm sure that evreyone in yours will have wonderful memories of your Nonna.

30 May 2010 6:07 PM
Citation

Jayjay, there is a horse in Europe,still in training, named Overdose, who is 12 for 12, so there is a male of recent times with a streak comparable to Zen in number. Zenyatta is not above Citation, but this is not a denigration in any way, for it is my opinion that Cy was in a class by himself, the greatest ever to race. It is my opinion that Quality Road has enough talent to possibly beat Zen in the BCC, but Zen clearly has just as good a shot as he. GunBow, you forgot Princess Doreen, Black Maria, Imp, Regret, Myrtlewood, Conniver, and probably others as champions or champion-qualty horses who faced the males more than a few times. Yes, I am aware that Regret only ran 11 times.

30 May 2010 6:35 PM
LAZMANNICK

Jason:

My condolences through this difficult time.  LOL

30 May 2010 6:39 PM
STC

"Jason is at least 50% correct. Quality Road is one of the top 2 older(and younger)horses in training right now. If you have handicapped for more than a year, it's actually easy to see that. He is a phenomenal horse with ability beyond most any horse on the track currently.

I'm not a history buff, but I bet you won't find many horses that hold a record sprinting (6 1/2f) and routing (1 1/8f) - at two different tracks to boot. His ability should not even be in question.

The only question is how good is Zenyatta? I mean really think about it. She holds no track records, but she is a closer. Closers only run as fast as they need to typically to pass the front runners.

From what I can see, she's never been all out. So what happens if you put a record setting pace presser like Quality Road in front of her? Maybe she will grab a track record then...maybe not.

One thing I do know - if the track is dry and fast on Breeder's Cup day and both of these horses are in the Classic, then they will both be in the top two spots at the wire."

LH1216 30 May 2010 10:46 AM

Just wanted to say, I strongly agree with this (the TR thing is technically wrong; the new track hasn't actually been around long, but then again, Gulfstream reset its records recently as well). I think after this weekend we will have a much better idea of how good QR is than how good Z is. Z has never run quite as fast as QR, but she hasn't had to, and because of the way she's run, no one knows exactly how good she is. The Classic last year could be as good as it gets from her, but there's also a strong possibility that she could run right with QR in the stretch. Until November, nobody knows, and anyone who doesn't make it clear that their opinion as to who will win is precisely that, is putting a little too much worth into their judgment.

@Draynay - Just because Draynay makes sensationalist statements (i.e., that Zenyatta won't be remembered as one of the best mares of all time, which shouldn't really be an arguable point anymore) doesn't make what he's saying completely wrong - just hopelessly exaggerated to a point of absurdity.

@HOTY - I disagree that HOTY is not important. That being said, there are plenty of great horses that never one horse of the year: Alydar, Easy Goer, Ruffian, Gallant Man, Personal Ensign, Stymie, etc. Some horses just come along in the wrong year (Alydar being a great example of that). So far, Z has two "wrong years."

@Z's Position in GoaT - 30th place in the 20th century list would be between Exterminator and Sysonby, near Gallant Fox and Sunday Silence. A case could be made to put a couple of horses so far this century to be around or above that region (GZ, Curlin and Invasor would probably be below that area - wow, not many so far this decade I guess). I think she fits well around that spot - maybe 27 to 34 - assuming she wins all of her races up to the Classic. Remember, though, that Ruffian was 35 and Easy Goer was 34, so the competition around that area is tough. It kind of irks me that people say she is in the top 5 - what about Native Dancer, or Dr. Fager, or Damascus, Buckpasser, Affirmed, War Admiral, Swaps, Slew, Bid, Cigar, Count Fleet, etc. - All of those won many races against (relatively of course) better horses. She hasn't even beaten a field nearly as good as the one Ghostzapper faced in the 2004 Classic - featuring a BCC winner, a DWC winner, a HOTY winner, winners of 3 triple crown races - 3 or 4 graded stakes winners were at 50-1 morning line, and the winner of the JCGC was the fourth betting interest.

30 May 2010 7:31 PM
LAZMANNICK

Gun Bow:

Great analogy in your 12:03 post.  

I agree with much of what you say and why, but I still have a couple of comments to add regarding the streaks of Cigar, Citation and Zenyatta themselves.

I consider Cigar’s streak as being marginally the most difficult to achieve and maybe the most impressive.  His streak consisted of 16 consecutive 100 plus Beyers (ranging from 104 to 121) and included 10 G-1 wins.  His victories were over 5 different distances ranging from 1-mile to 1-1/4M (4 x’s), and at 9 different tracks including Dubai.  He did carry the most weight (130 lbs twice and 128 lbs. once)…..My criticisms are……many of these races (including some G-1 races) were against pussy cat opposition.  Most of the horses he defeated weren’t exactly dominant world beaters.  In his Dubai World Cup he defeated Soul of the Matter (one G-1 win) and L’Carriere (zero G-1 wins).  His 1995 BCC was one of the weakest Classics (L’Carrier 2nd and Unaccounted For (1 G-1 win) 3rd).  His two Mass cap wins were against who?  One of his victories was in an allowance race.  In stating this I’m not trying in any way to diminish Cigar’s accomplishments, but outside of a few horse like Dramatic Gold, Devil his Due, Tinner’s Way and an inconsistent Concern, all of which lost more races than they won, there wasn’t much else.…. However, when it was time to step up, Cigar did just that…..he stepped up.  He travelled the country and around the world and he defeated many top horses.

As for Citation, close examination of his winning streak reveals a lot.  5 of his races were against 3 other competitors; 3 of his races them were against 4 competitors; one was a WALK OVER and the greatest number of horses he raced against at any one time was 9 (twice).  The total number of horses he raced against (combined) in the TC was 15.  9 of his races were restricted to 3 year-olds and the highest weight he carried during the streak was 126 lbs…..Like Cigar, I’m certainly not trying to take anything away from Citation.  During his streak he won at 9 different distances (6-F to 2-M) and at 10 different tracks.  His most impressive win was the Derby when he defeated an undefeated stable mate Coaltown and probably his most impressive stretch was winning the Triple Crown in a space of 6 weeks with the Jersey Derby (1-1/4M) sandwiched in between the Preakness and the Belmont.  He also won his races by many lengths and set the pace in most of them.  But, two of his last three wins in the streak were in allowance races against virtually the same low quality horses and the other was the walk over Pimlico Special.

In many of Zenyatta’s races the quality of her competition at times has left a lot to be desired.  But this is what I like about her.  A)  The Apple Blossom when she defeated Ginger Punch in only her 4th start and on a new surface.  B)  The BC Lady’s Classic when she dominated a top field that also included Ginger Punch.  C) Last year’s Classic when she stepped up to the plate, faced as much or more adversity than either Cigar or Citation did during their streaks, faced her most difficult challenge head on, and simply dominated.  This to me strongly suggests that She could have defeated any tough field at any time and is why I consider her streak every bit as genuine as both Cigar’s and Citation’s.

There is one thing I would like to see Cigar do to validate his streak…..win on grass.  He was bred to be a turf horse, but failed miserably on the surface.  It was only when they switched to dirt that he excelled.

There is one thing I would like to have seen Citation do to validate his streak…..take on a full field of 12 of the top males at the time at 1-1/4M.  The closest he came was the SA Cap when he ran 2nd to Noor in an 11 horse field.  I would also like to have seen a horse of his stature win with 130 plus lbs.  The closest he came was 128 lbs., still a lot of weight but not that much for a horse that is often considered in the top two or three all time.

I think that Zen’s streak is what it is, and what it is, is still pretty amazing.  If there was a method or a formula to accurately compare the merits of males to females, she would be right up there.

30 May 2010 8:04 PM
Donnie

Speaking of the class of 2009...does anyone know what happened to The Pamplemousse?  He just fell off the radar before the Derby.  Where is he?

30 May 2010 8:09 PM
Ida Lee

OK Reality check!!! Quality Road is huge, beautiful and incredibly talented and I adore the Big/Bad boy. The Met is his!! But he's going to beat Zenyatta in the BC?  The only way Zenyatta will get beat in the BC is if she doesn't show up. Get Real People!!! Also, I did get a closer look at QR's BC meltdown and was horrified at how awful is was with him banging himself back and forth in the gate. It was a nightmare. Those gate folks did a great job in preventing him from getting hurt or worse. He also refused to get in a plane the next day so I really don't think his meltdown had anything to do with the gate or the personnel. Have a great Memorial Day everybody!!!

30 May 2010 8:42 PM
ForWhatItsWorth

I was surprised to read a comment that having put a blindfold on QR at the gate at the BC last year "freaked a lot of people out." Blindfolding a horse to lead it in the gate is common practice--anyone had the same misfortune I had once of being in a burning barn and getting the horses out? You blindfold them . . . .

30 May 2010 8:43 PM
sodapopkid

My condolences to you and your family at this time Jason.  Thanks for letting us know, so we know where you are.......we get worried when you are MIA and the blog is at a standstill.......

30 May 2010 9:04 PM
Max

GunBow,

With apologies to you because I DO know and understand what you're saying regarding the all time list, however, I agree with Paula and JayJay on this.

During Zenyatta's 15 race winning streak leading up to the BCC, she destroyed the winners of 23 Grade 1 races, some of them TWICE.

She also beat the winners of additional 12 stakes races for a total of 37 winners of stakes races she beat BEFORE the BCC.

Just because a horse has a F or M after their name shouldn't put their accomplishments in a lesser light.

Especially Zenyatta and the quality of competition she destroyed.

In the BCC, Zenyatta destroyed the winners of an ADDITIONAL 22 Grade 1 races and 17 more stakes races.

Therefore, Zenyatta has beaten the winners of 45 Grade 1 races and 76 total stakes races without tasting defeat.

Also, how many races did Citation and Cigar actually lose, something like 14 and 16 I think.

To review, yes, I believe that females horse are judged a little different, but Zenyatta will transcend this altogether.

Most turf writers I have read presently put her somewhere around #10-20.

If she remains undefeated and wins the BCC again, she should go in the top 5, perhaps as high as #3.

30 May 2010 9:41 PM
Draynay

Quality Road will dominate so bet him big !  Musketman up for 2nd. I have spoken.  Jayjay why don't you come to the Breeders Cup and you and I will have a little competition.  We will each start with 500 bucks and at the end the one with the most money wins 500.  Deal ?

30 May 2010 10:21 PM
tvnewsbadge

The latest World Rankings are in from the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and they makes for interesting reading.

Quality Road is ranked #1 in the world, with Zenyatta still in the #2 spot but this time behind Byword and Paco Bill.

Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver is ranked #15 and the Preakness winner Looking at Lucky is ranked #34.

30 May 2010 11:11 PM
GunBow

Jason:

I'm sorry to hear about your grandma.  Take care.

30 May 2010 11:56 PM
GunBow

Scared of Quality Road?

If I owned a top horse, you bet I'd be scared of Quality Road.  My criteria for greatness aside, I do think Quality Road is extremely talented, and believe he is quite possibly the most gifted horse currently in training in North America.  

Although I was deprived of watching him run, I did enjoy seeing Quality Road in the paddock of the Breeder's Cup Classic.  Physically, he is a beast, the only horse in the field that was able to look Zenyatta in the eyes.

By now, my stance on what it means to be a great racehorse should be clear.  To be great, a horse must not only have superior talent, it must also have superior accomplishments.  Thus, no matter how talented I believe a horse to be or how confident I am that a horse will win x number of races, until the horse actually goes out and wins these races I cannot fully commit to calling that horse great.  A case in point is Candy Ride.  There is no question Candy Ride possessed superior talent, and had the potential to accomplish great things and even go down as an all-timer.  And while Candy Ride did accomplish some nice things in both Argentina and the US, including blitzing the very good Medalgia d' Oro in the 03' Pacific Classic with a 123 Beyer, it wasn't enough for him to deserve a place in the Hall of Fame.

Clearly, there are some on this blog that are absolutely certain of Quality Road's talent, 100% confident that he will successfully complete the schedule of races Pletcher has outlined.  For these people, Quality Road going out and actually winning these races is a forgone conclusion.

I'm a little more circumspect.  First, Quality Road has to make it into the starting gate of all these races.  I know all to well that one can never be sure that a horse will actually make a race until the bell actually rings and the gate opens.  Hopefully, Quality Road will make all his scheduled starts.

Assuming Quality Road does make all these races, do I think he is talented enough to go out and actually win them all?  My answer is yes, but a qualified yes.  I think Quality Road has the raw talent to be Horse of the Year, and when at his best will be an absolute bear.  However, I'm not totally sold on Quality Road being able to reproduce his top effort 4 or 5 races in a row, at different distances, at different tracks, through different pace scenarios, under varying weather conditions, and against the very best competition.  Thus far, Quality Road has yet to prove that he can do this; but this doesn't mean that he can't.

First things first.  Quality Road will be facing some solid horses in the Met Mile, although the field isn't deep.  Unlike other runnings of the Met, the field doesn't feature a pure sprinter trying to stretch out.  Thus, the pace should not be as fast as in certain past runnings.  However, I don't expect Quality Road to be unchallenged early on.  Le Grand Cru, Warrior's Reward, Tizway, and Kensei all have good speed and should be right there with Quality Road early.  Musket Man also should be fairly close early, sitting right behind this first flight of horses, ready to pounce at the top of the stretch.

As with most, Quality Road is my pick.  If it's simply a computer game in which we program a race in which all the horses are at their absolute best, then Quality Road should win comfortably.  However, real races have many variables.  In the end, I think Quality Road will be able to out-muscle the other speed horses at the top of the stretch, and then stiff-arm any late challenges.  I don't expect it to be a blowout, however.

Should Quality Road win by a large margin, I will be certain to resist any revisionist tendencies.  Going in, the Met competition appears solid, especially if one believes Warrior's Reward, Musket Man, and Kensei are best as milers.  If Quality Road is able to dominate these horses at a one-turn mile, then yes, Quality Road is probably the most talented horse in training.  Of course, he'll still have to go out and win more races if is he to deserve the Horse of the Year or the label "great".  

31 May 2010 12:46 AM
GunBow

jayjay and Paula:

I so want to agree with you concerning Zenyatta's streak.  

I'm not saying Zenyatta's streak should have an asterisk(Pepper's Pride and Hollowed Dream's streaks should).  Personal Ensign's streak didn't have an asterisk even though she only faced males once, nor did Colin's streak, even though almost all of his 15 races(if not all of them) came in races restricted to 2 or 3 year olds.

With this said, if we stack Zenyatta's streak up against Cigar's, race for race, it's clear to me which one is more impressive.  Cigar won the Breeder's Cup Classic, Dubai World Cup, Hollywood Gold Cup, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Woodward, Mass Cap(twice), Pimlico Special, Oaklawn Cap, Donn(twice), Gulfstream Park Cap, NYRA(Cigar) Mile, and the $1 million Citation Challenge(at Arlington).  He won the best totally unrestricted races.  I know it sounds bad, but winning the best males races is more impressive than winning the best female races given the top male horses are just better than the top female horses(yes, there are a few exceptions).

31 May 2010 12:57 AM
jayjay

Here's what I'm playin for the met mile, going for the longshot :

$5 exacta box : 8,7 = $10

$2 exacta box : 6,8,7 = $12

$1 Trifecta :

8,7 / 8,7,3,6,2 / 8,7,3,6,2 = $24

8,7 / 8,7,6,1 / 8,7,6,1 = $20

6,8 / 6,8,7 / 6,7,8,3,2,5 = $36

$0.50 Supers :

8,7,6 / 8,7,6 / 8,7,3,6,2 / 8,7,3,6,2  =  $72

6,8 / 6,8,7 / 6,7,8,3 / 6,8,7,3,5,2 =  $56

Total $230.00

Hopefully I at least make my money back lol or hit the big one!  Good luck all!

31 May 2010 2:57 AM
Aluminaut

One of my employees has a daughter that was a teacher.  She joined the army to serve our country and loves it. Her children are proud of her and she is teaching in the army. Tim G, you're right--God Bless our service men and women.

All the best thoughts to you and your family Jason.  I actually played nice and edited my early morning comment last night.  Take care come back soon.

31 May 2010 3:07 AM
Footlick

Jason- my prayers are with you and your family

31 May 2010 8:06 AM
ForWhatItsWorth

Frank, with all due respect, Ruffian gave her life to race. Sticking with the facts impresses me; however, given the magnitude of sadness at how Ruffian's career ended, the black mark it put on horseracing, please do not insult that beautiful horse and let her RIP.

31 May 2010 10:32 AM
berttheclock

Er, Ted from LA, I trust those "events" had nothing to do with the horses entering the stalls.

31 May 2010 11:36 AM
Matthew W

Met Mile: Tizway looks live for 2nd....Holly: Race 7: I love Megastar....Race 8: I love Imco Spirit! Gonna play those three guys early, gonna BBQ with my sons, gonna play some basketball, gonna play some chess, gonna play some hot potatoe, gonna watch a movie--when the day is drawing to an end, I'll go back and watch how my horses ran....don't know how much better I can have it--maybe if they all win would be nice--but not necessary--I am blessed!

31 May 2010 12:12 PM
LDP

JayJay

Zenyatta took out whatever fillies were willing to take her on for 15 races. Only in one race was she put out there for ALL to come. That is Gun Bows Point. She is the Cigar of fillies, but until she openly races against all, males and females she will not be able to really break out to be called on of the best HORSES ever. One of the best FILLIES, that she can do.

31 May 2010 12:28 PM
berttheclock

@Draynay, perhaps, you slipped your fetlock typing GunBow, but, may I remind you the erudite fellow who uses that moniker, has selected a particularly apt moniker in that Gun Bow won the Met Mile and the Woodward.

But, as to the lesser horses from California, may I remind you of Olden Times, that descendant of Man O'War, shipping from California to win the Met Mile.  Or, Bertrando romping in the Woodward.  Perhaps Squirtle Squirt going from ye olde Pomona, er Fairplex to win the BC sprint, or the mare which, also, shipped east to win the BC sprint, as well.  Desert Orchid, perhaps?  Oh, did I fail to mention French Deputy galloping in the Jerome?  Had only Roving Boy, the son of Olden Times, lived to race in his 3 and up seasons, who knows, if, he would have raced and won at Belmont, as well.  BTW, another "lesser" colt was Saratoga Six, the speed demon by Alydar, of whom D Wayne had Cordero fly west to ride.  This was supposed to have been Cordero's Derby colt. Yeah, keep knocking California based horses.

My condolences to you, Mr Shandler.

31 May 2010 12:31 PM
LDP

Frank,

Ruffian set records in all ten of her starts, much more compared to Zenyatta.

31 May 2010 12:33 PM
Kat

Thanks for mentioning Ventura, Gunbow, I was going to right after the Gamely but didn't get around to it.  Surely Bobby Frankel is smiling everytime Tuscan Evening wins another one. . .

31 May 2010 3:05 PM
Kat

Ted - And at that point, how did you respond when they tried to put the blinkers on you?

31 May 2010 3:14 PM
STC

The track is blazing fast at Belmont. An also ran on the Derby Trail got 8.5f in 1:41 flat, and an AoC went in 1:21.75. It's as good a day as there's ever been for a sub 1:33 mile.

31 May 2010 4:50 PM
OldDog

Well, well, that should dispell any naysayers.  Quality Road just turned in a magnificent performance!

31 May 2010 6:03 PM
Pedigree Shelly

          Nice win for Quality Road in 1.33 flat ! I thought he'd win by a little more , Still  a great win for him ! The Met Mile looks good on his resume for a sire too !

31 May 2010 6:12 PM
STC

Relatively easy win, maybe a bit tougher than expected. Massive time, even on a fast track - although in retrospect perhaps I was too judging of the big winners of two previous races (Miner's Reserve and Driven by Success) - on further inspection, esp. given their winning margins, there is no reason why they couldn't have put up terrific times on an abnormally fast surface. Musket Man and Tizway probably ran as well as they ever will just to finish second and third.

31 May 2010 6:28 PM
PMAC14

Jason

Sorry to hear bout you grandmom. I know how you must feel as my grand ma just was diagnosed with bone cancer. (Outlook not so good)  Condolences to you and yours from my wife and I.

Paula

Well put !   Zen is a gift from God!!!  In my oppinion she is a top 5  racehorse of all time( maybe the best as long as the year goes as planned)

JayJay,

legendraynay....LMAO.....A real "CLASSIC" ................Just like Big Z

31 May 2010 6:54 PM
jayjay

Well that Met Mile sucked lol, it wasn't a good racing day for me!.

31 May 2010 6:55 PM
2:24

Great show by Quality Road.  Nice to see a horse of his talent stay around.

Some articles back, Dave Johnson posted something to the effect that in the Classic at Churchill, Zenyatta will collar Quality Road and step on his throat.  Despite his brilliance, and while looking forward to the match up a great deal, that was all I needed to hear to back Zenyatta.

31 May 2010 8:05 PM
Ranagulzion

Good warm up return by "His Royal highness" Quality Road in the Met Mile ...in near record time ...another stratospheric Beyer in the offing ...hmm.  It will be interesting to see who (apart from the clockers) challenges him from here on in.  Does anybody else smell a HOTY campaign here?

31 May 2010 8:36 PM
thomas

i was their today. the best looking horse was warriors reward but quality road was really something along with musket man.

31 May 2010 8:46 PM
thomas

i love the crowd at belmont their hilarious. this one guy was yelling during the met mile "THIS AIN'T ******* GULFSTREAM!!!" still didn't matter cause QR still won LOL sorry jason just had to post it.

31 May 2010 9:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

   You rang? I just got back from a sanity hearing for a blogger here who was committed after calling the police numerous times saying that Zookeeper is not really a Zookeeper, Runfast159 can't run a mile under 4 minutes, Blind Squirrel isn't a squirrel AND has 20/20 vision, Ice Box is really a refrigerator, and Quality Road isn't really a road. The judge told him that a rose by any other name is still a rose, a blogger with a pseudonym is still just a blogger, and to chill out. "I should throw the book at you, and if I see you back in this court again I'll send you to handicapping school again. It obviously didn't work the first time. Bailiff whack his, umm, next!!"  On a serious note, my condolences to Jason and family.

31 May 2010 10:04 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

   You're right, Quality Road is a monster. I followed your advice and made a bilateral incision as you suggested. Thanks. You're on a role. Since you're on a role, would you mind getting those protology reports on my desk on time for a change? If it's not too much trouble. Thanks again for the advice. Spunky is much happier now. You know what they say- "Two incisions are better than one."

31 May 2010 10:31 PM
jimmy lit

I too wish they would bring her east to beat up on the boys in the clark and whitney before winning her last race with her ears pricked at churchill but remaining undefeated and winning the bc classic with her ears pricked to sew up HOY will have to do !! can you say....FREAK !!!!

31 May 2010 10:51 PM
LDP

GunBow,

Thank you I knew I was forgetting one! I kept thinking it was PG, then remembered he didn't win the Derby or BCC! If there are anymore, just let me know, but I don't believe any other horses were able to win that many Grade ones.

31 May 2010 11:40 PM
GunBow

The two gr.1 races on Memorial Day, the Met and Shoemaker Miles, were both fantastic horse races.  They certainly don't just hand out gr.1s.

First, the Met Mile.  Quality Road delivered at 1-4 odds, but it certainly wasn't the cakewalk some had predicted.  However, it very well might have been his finest performance to date.

Much like Rachel in last year's Woodward, Quality Road was forced to run under pressure every step of the Met Mile.  First, it was Le Grand Cru, hustled up to ensure Quality Road would have company early, and the two went the first half in a solid :45 and change.  Once Quality Road had dispatched Le Grand Cru, there was gr.1 winner Warrior's Reward making a sharp move around the turn to engage Quality Road entering the stretch.  Quality Road, however, remained strong, giving Warrior's Reward the equivalent of a stiff-arm.  Rudely dispatched, Warrior's Reward made a quick exit to the back of the pack.

Ultimately, Quality Road's biggest challenge would come from the classy Musket Man.  As I wrote a few days ago, Musket Man is simply too classy, too game, and too talented to be humilated.  With Quality Road having been softened up somewhat by successive waves of challengers and in receipt of 7 lbs from that rival, Musket Man found himself in a position to take advantage.  And he almost did. Musket Man ran right up to Quality Road's flank inside the eighth pole, but in the end Quality Road was just a little too much horse.  The time of 1:33 was not a track or stakes record, but it was one of the 5 fastest in stakes history.  However, it is difficult to determine just how fast the Belmont main track was.  About half the races on the card were run on turf, and about half the dirt races were for cheap claimers.  Solid allowance horse ran 7 furlong in 1:21 and change, and the 3 year old, Miner's Reserve, ran a mile split of 1:34 and 1 in his 8.5 furlong race.  Thus, the 1:33 does not stand out as unbelievable, although I anticipate a Beyer of at least 110.

Even if the Beyer does not equal what Quality Road received for his Donn, I do think this was a more meaningful victory for him.  First, the competition was a definite step up.  In fact, in Quality Road's two prior gr.1 wins, he had beaten a total of zero gr.1 winning horses; none of the horses in the 09' Florida Derby or this year's Donn have ever won a gr.1 race.  And while Dunkirk probably deserves to be considered a gr.1 caliber horse, Musket Man has a much fuller resume and is now 4 while Dunkirk was but a young 3 year old when he met Quality Road in the Florida Derby.

While Quality Road and Musket Man deserve praise for their efforts, do not forget that Tizway only finished 1.5 lengths behind Musket Man.  So, by no stretch did Quality Road run away from this field.  Faced with stronger competition, the Met Mile turned out to be much more challenging than the Donn.  However, it is because of this stronger competiton, and because of the wave of attackers, that I feel this was a more impressive win for Quality Road.

With the victory, I can now fully agree that Quality Road deserves to be the #1 ranked older male.  I'm still not 100% certain that he is the most talented older male given my high opinion of Rail trip(especially at 10 furlongs), but he probably is.  More importantly, though, Quality Road is now clearly the most accomplished older male with 2 gr.1 wins.  Combine talent and accomplishment, and you start to get the total package.

One reservation I do have concerning Quality Road is his style.  Much like Rachel, Quality Road does seem to either need the lead or be sitting directly off a single pacemaker.  The one time Quality Road was rated, in the Travers, he never looked comfortable.  He seems to be a horse that needs to have clear space infront of him.  The only problem with this is that in races in which there is alot of other speed horses or the race unfolds where there are successive waves of challenges, I could see him getting softened up, especially at 10 furlongs.    

The Shoemaker Mile wasn't quite as dramatic as the Met, but is was a well run race with a fantastic finish.  The final time of the Shoemaker was 1:32.88, just .39 off the track record and a couple of ticks faster than Enriched ran last week when he received a 110 Beyer.  

The Shoemaker, like the Met Mile, was how gr.1 races are supposed to be.  Mr. Gruff ran a winning race, setting a 6 furlong pace of 1:09 and 1 before putting in his next eighth in :11 and 2 for 7 furlongs in 1:20 and 3.  This speed allowed Mr.Gruff to build a solid lead, but never having run further than 6.5 furlongs, he found the final sixteenth just a little too far.

Karelian most certainly also ran a winning race.  Now 8, Karelian was coming off a narrow win over dual champion Gio Ponti in Tampa and a strong win over Court Vision in a gr.1 at Keeneland. In the Shoemaker, Karelian set right behind Mr.Gruff early, then after appearing to be struggling entering the stretch, his competitive spirit took over and he rallied again to gain a lead only to then lose it on the wire.  As with Forever Together two days earlier, the race was made much stronger by the presence of Karelian shipping in from the East.

In the end, the victory went to the unheralded Victor's Cry under a confident ride by Corey Nakatini who was returning to his old stomping grounds. Victor's Cry came in having only won 4 of 16 lifetime, but he was 3 for 8 on grass.  And while his prior career best stakes placing was a 2nd in a gr.3, it did come in his last start, the 6.5 furlong (turf) San Simeon.  Trained by Eoin Harty, Victor's Cry was bred to be this good, being by Street Cry out of a Clever Trick mare, and physically he is a striking individual.

As for the also-rans, it seemed to be a fair race for everyone but Compari.  Riding a 6 race win streak, Compari waa forced to check on the far turn, and he lost all his tactical positioning.  While he never did re-rally, the only way he was going to run well was remaining near the front, and once he lost position the race was basically over for him.  It's too bad, because Compari looked fantastic in the paddock and was really on his toes.

Earlier on the card, Kentucky Oaks runner-up, Evening Jewel, beat a good field of local 3 year old turf fillies in the gr.2 Honeymoon.  Taking nothing away from Evening Jewel who is as game and consistent as they come, but her task was made much easier when she was allowed to get away with a pace of :50 and 1 and 1:14 and 2.  Given the pace, Cozi Rose did remarkably well to close and lose by only a neck.  City to City also ran her usual solid race checking in 3rd.  I have trouble seeing an outsider coming in and taking the gr.1 American Oaks, particularly since its purse has been reduced by 3x.

Finally, JP's Gusto easily dispatched the tiny favored filly, Belleofthebridle, to win the 5.5 Willard Proctor, the first 2 year old stakes race in SoCal.  It's way too early to get that excited about a 2 year old, but JP's Gusto is a WinStar bred(but not owned) horse, and his time was 8/5ths of a second faster than older male claimers($12,500) ran.

01 Jun 2010 4:12 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

    I'm thrilled that you've already recovered from your herniated biopsy. Since you were right about Quality Road I am taking your advice and betting the farm on Stately Victor in The Belmont. You are wanted in surgery to assist Dr. Kildare on those frontal lobotomies on people who degrade the accomplishments of Quality Road or Zenyatta, two of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time. Thanks again, I made a nifty 50 cents on my QR bet. Will buy baseball cards, ten packs, 5 cents a pack when I use my time machine to go back to 1960. I hope there's a Koufax in there.

01 Jun 2010 5:12 AM
berttheclock

Great run by QR, while Musket Man tried gamely to close.  Not quite Langfuhr - Not quite Honor and Glory, but, his time did beat some of the greatest.

BTW, did anyone else notice Calvin Borel, not only testing the track, but, winning at Belmont?

Wow! - Some finish in the Shoemaker, eh?

01 Jun 2010 8:20 AM
GunBow

Victor's Cry's time for the Shoemaker was just .29 off the track record and not .39 like I originally wrote.

01 Jun 2010 8:41 AM
Rachel

Jason ♥ on your loss

01 Jun 2010 9:19 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I have thought for a long time that Quality Road is a tremendous talent, and could end up as one of the all time greats. QR and Zenyatta are the ones to beat in The Classic. QR will get the lead and won't be easy to catch. Zenyatta needs to start her run early. 1st-Zenyatta in 1:59.3. 2nd-Quality Road in 1:59.8. 3rd-Mine That Bird in 2:01.9. The times may be a bit off, and QR may hold on for the win. It could be close. It will take a very good time to win. We need a dry track and you will see something phenominal. A spectacular performance will win it. Stately Victor might be pointed to it also after he wins The Belmont. Hopefully Rachel will be there also for added intrigue. It should be a strong field. I'm rooting for Zenyatta but it won't break my heart if Quality Road wins.

01 Jun 2010 12:05 PM
Householder

Probably another reason to avoid the state of California would have to be Evening Jewel who just picked up a grade 2 in her first try over the turf.  I see a Blind Luck Evening Jewel rematch on the California horizon.  

In other California news.

Lava Man, who is now a stable pony, will lead this year's post parade in the Hollywood Gold Cup a race he won three straight years (2005-2007).  

01 Jun 2010 12:34 PM
shuttleworth

Classy. Consistent. Quality Road! ...hmmm.... QR in the gate with Zenyatta, and hopefully Rachel Alexandra at the 2010 BC Classic... I love the ladies, but if QR gets the distance, he is going to be very, very tough...

01 Jun 2010 1:53 PM
Householder

I think Zenyatta's connections should be commended not chastised fot their decision to race her one more year.  Rather than breed her they brought her back for the fans to enjoy, with every start risking injury or worse.  They have nothing to gain and everything to lose.  Sit back an enjoy the rock concert and stop worrying if the Beetles were better than the Rolling Stones.  

01 Jun 2010 2:12 PM
PomDeTerre

Ummm, Frank- your comment about Ruffian was really, really in poor taste.  You do know that the filly was undefeated in all her starts except her last, where she fatally broke down?  Perhaps, IF she had lived, she might have been more to your liking as in better traveled?  What an assinine remark.

01 Jun 2010 2:12 PM
Runfast159

First and foremost, sorry to hear about your grandmom.  We'll miss you while you are away but trust that we will play nice (kidding about that last part).

01 Jun 2010 3:30 PM
Danylson

Gunbow: I said Qr is comparable to EG talent wise

he won the Met mile in extremely fast time

, do u think seriously he can't get 10 furlongs

???If the Jockey Club Gold cup was at 12

furlongs I think that would not be a problem. I do

agree he needs to win more Gr.1's but the talent

is their.... on his way..

01 Jun 2010 5:56 PM
Householder

Those lists make me crazy!  It took until 2010 to get Best Pal into the Hall of fame and both he and Winning Colors (how many fillies have won the Kentucky Derby?) are completely left off the top 100.  The gelding ran 47 times earning close to 6 million dollars!!!  Won the Pacific Classic, won the Santa Anita Handicap at 7. Keep your lists I'm going down to the track to watch some great horses.  

01 Jun 2010 6:34 PM
GunBow

After a down 2009, the handicap division is suddenly looking very strong.

Quality Road and Musket Man showed themselves to be the top Eastern older males.  In the Midwest and likely for the Stephen Foster, there is Blame and Battle Plan as well as Researcher and Arson Squad, and in California there is Rail Trip.  If champion Summer Bird and Big Cap hero Misremembered return, we could have some excellent summer and fall races.

1. Quality Road

2. Rail Trip

3. Musket Man

4. Blame

5. Battle Plan

6. Misremembered

7. Researcher

8. Arson Squad

9. Duke of Mischief

10.Richard's Kid

Because Summer Bird hasn't run yet this year, I do not include him.  Last year's champion older horse, Gio Ponti, appears to be focusing on grass.

02 Jun 2010 12:09 AM
Ghostzapper

No horse I can remember had more bad luck than QR did last year. From him missing the triple crown to running in the slop and the BC disaster. Strong powerful steeds will always lose something in the slop. The MET was spectacular and so is this horse.

02 Jun 2010 10:11 AM
MonicaV

When one loves a horse one doesn't have to justify anything for that horse.  Zenyatta inspires so much love and loyalty that it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or if they don't think exactly as you do.  Enjoy her and be glad you have this season.  It is truly a gift to see her running this year.  Another season of memories that will last a liftime.

02 Jun 2010 10:57 AM
draynot

QR is truly a monster. I've been on him since before his Fla. Derby win last year and my opinion of him hasn't changed. Right now he's the best in the world. I hope he gets to the finish line this year in the Classic. He's the one to beat, only Zenyatta has a chance.

02 Jun 2010 1:10 PM
Jason Shandler

Hey guys: Just returned. I really appreciate the comments from everyone. Thanks very much.

I will have a new blog on Thursday afternoon with Belmont picks. Tough race to 'cap...

02 Jun 2010 6:09 PM
CV

"Frank,

Ruffian set records in all ten of her starts, much more compared to Zenyatta.

LDP 31 May 2010 12:33 PM"

LDP,

I agree Frank's comment about Ruffian was in really bad taste. But I have to mention something in regard to your comment relating to Zenyatta.

Ruffian was a front-runner who could not stand to be behind another horse. Zenyatta is a deep closer who runs at or near the back of the pack.

Unless there is a fast pace (and there hasn't been for nearly all of Zen's races) it's nearly impossible because of her running style for Z to set track records.

As an aside, I read on DRF that St Trinians is running in the Vanity Handicap so it shouldn't be a cakewalk for Zenyatta. She'll be giving away probably a dozen pounds to St Trinians.

02 Jun 2010 6:40 PM
Ted from LA

I have seen many odd posts on this blog over the past year... mostly mine, but this one might take the cake.

"Jason:

My condolences through this difficult time.  LOL"

LAZMANNICK 30 May 2010 6:39 PM

I am guessing the LOL was a typo or it has two meanings?  My maternal grandma died in 1976 and I still think of her often.  One of my favorite people ever.  Welcome back, Jason.  I kept an eye on everyone while you were gone.  I almost got arrested looking in mz's window.

02 Jun 2010 6:42 PM
GunBow

Citation:

I most certainly did not forget anyone.  I am well aware of the exploits of the horses you listed.

My point concerned that fact that there hasn't been a female thoroughbred in North America that consistently and repeatedly beat males; that is, a filly or mare that beat males far more often than they beat her in the biggest of races.

Of those you listed, only Regret had more wins against males than losses, but they all came in races restricted to 2 or 3 year olds.  She never beat males in an unrestricted stakes race.

Princess Doreen and Imp only won about one-third of their races, Conniver was 2 for 14 against males in stakes races, and Myrtlewood was a sprinter who most notably defeated Clang at Hawthorne.

02 Jun 2010 7:23 PM
Draynay

Quality Road will dominate so bet him big !  Musketman up for 2nd. I have spoken.  Jayjay why don't you come to the Breeders Cup and you and I will have a little competition.  We will each start with 500 bucks and at the end the one with the most money wins 500.  Deal ?

Draynay 30 May 2010 10:21 PM

As usual I am right again !!!  Quality Road is the second coming of Ghostzapper in 2004.  It is going to look identical and to 2004 and capped with a Classic win.  Clearly there is no horse near as good.  GunBow QR's time was the 2nd fastest in Met Mile history and he won at 124 pounds do you know the last horse to win with a weight that high ?

02 Jun 2010 7:25 PM
Draynay

jayjay you couldn't handicap your way out of a wet paper bag !  Take up checkers or Backgammon.

02 Jun 2010 7:28 PM
GunBow

Laz:

You made valid critiques of the streaks of Cigar and Citation.  The critique of Cigar's streak is commonly repeated on YouTube.

I know your larger point is to show that anything, even the greatest accomplishments, are not perfect and can be critiqued.  Ultimately, you did it to show the foolishness of critiquing greatness, and specifically the  hypocrisy of critiquing Zenyatta.

I agree that the hostility to Zenyatta is shocking and misguided.  The people who cannot recognize her greatness, recognize her as one of the greatest females of all-time, and at least in the top 40 of all horses are almost laughable.  I frankly think many Zenyatta supporters just take this criticism too strongly and  feel they have to convince every last person to hold their opinion. However, that's never going to happen.  No one can ever get everyone to agree with them.  There are still people, probably numbering in the thousands, who refute the Holocaust or believe Obama is a member of Al-Queda.

In terms of comparing Zenyatta's strak with Cigar or Citation's , like I wrote, no asterisk will be needed.  However, I still feel that if the streaks are lined up side by side, Zenyatta's is just not as strong.  Yes, Zenyatta has defeated the best female competition there has been.  And yes, in one race, she beat the very best male competition.  However, while Zenyatta has defeated more gr.1 winners, most have been female.  And as good as Life is Sweet was, we saw in last year's Hollywood Gold Cup that she was no challenge to a top male like Rail Trip.

So, yes the female competiton Zenyatta has beaten(relative to past gr.1 females) is comparatively more classier than the male competition Cigar beat(relative to typical gr.1 males).  Yet, it is a huge stretch to claim Zenyatta's vanquished female foes are better than males like Tinner's Way, Concern, Best Pal, Dramatic Gold, Wekiva Springs, Devil His Due, Siphon, Formal Gold, L'Carriere, Unnacounted For, Thunder Gulch, Silver Goblin, Soul of the Matter, etc.  And don't forget, Cigar did run against a very, very good female horse in the 96' Donn, 8-time gr.1 winner Heavenly Prize, and he crushed her with ease.

02 Jun 2010 7:44 PM
GunBow

DANYLSON:

I can maybe, maybe compare Quality Road's talent to Easy Goer.  Now, just 6 more gr.1 wins to catch up with Easy Goer's accomplishments.  

Quality Road has won one-third as many gr.1 races as Easy Goer did(3 compared with 9).  And while Quality Road was impressive in the Met, beating off repeated challenges, giving weight, and running a fast time, Belmont was playing fast(3 year olds with a FRACTIONAL time of 1:34 and 1), and Quality Road only beat Musket Man by 1.5 lengths and Tizway by 3 lengths.

From the way some had been talking, I thought we were in store for a 10 length win in 1:32 flat.  Musket Man by 1.5 lengths?  Didn't Mine That Bird do that twice?

Ok, so I'm going overboard.  Like I said, it was a strong win, and in my opinion Quality Road's most meaningful win.  However, it wasn't the end all, it wasn't the greatest performance since Dr Fager(or even Ghostzapper), and it didn't redefine racing. If I had a top horse, I would certainly be respectful, but I wouldn't be ready to concede anything.  There is still much racing left.

And do I think Quality Road can get 10 furlongs?  And by "get" I mean win.  Well, against weaker competition, certainly.  Against gr.1 competition? Probably.  Against the very best gr.1 competition? Maybe.  I'm just not fully sold.  It would really depend on how much other speed is in the race, who this other speed is, the overall quality of the field, the weather, the track(it's not easy winning at 10 furlongs at Churchill, ask Bernardini).

And this is why I think people are getting way ahead of themselves when they start predicting the outcome of races like the Breeder's Cup Classic 5 months out.  And it doesn't matter if they're preicting a win by Quality Road, Zenyatta, Rachel, or some other horse.  The truth is, if we make a list of the top 10 contenders for the Breeder's Cup Classic right now, place it in an envelope, and then open it the day of the Breeder's Cup, we'll be lucky if HALF the horses on the list are in the Classic field.  Sad but true.

02 Jun 2010 8:05 PM
PomDeTerre

Householder, I believe, including this year, that 39 fillies have started in the Derby; but only 3 winners: Regret, Genuine Risk and Winning Colors.  If I'm wong, someone please correct.

02 Jun 2010 8:19 PM
jayjay

QR did show his class in the met mile as predicted, that was pretty impressive as I had some worries about him handling the deeper surface at Belmont.  Here's the thing though, Musket Man is not his main competitor in this year's race for the HOTY, yet Musket Man gained on him, and QR wasn't geared down against this bunch, he was pushed just as I predicted, he really had to run in the met mile to win the race.  Knowing that, I wouldn't crown him the HOTY just yet (just like what Draynay will be posting soon I'm sure), there's too many that would actually give QR a run for his money when he starts running the distance races.  He is definitely the best in the east coast and maybe even including the midwest but we need to see him run against quality horses in a distance race and show that he has the stamina to get that distance with enough to spare because come Classic, no one is going to give him a breather.  Like GunBow said, he won't be able to rate, he will need everything he's got to get that Classic distance and hold off the queen, seems a very very tall task if you ask me :)

CV : I'm glad to hear that my instincts might be right about Zenyatta.  I really believe that's their main goal this year, to break the modern day record and once that's accomplished, there's no pressure to take a loss, any loss will not diminish anything.

GunBow : Musket Man will be rested according to his trainer and will be focused mainly and sprint races (7 furlongs and shorter) at least that's what I read in the article following the met mile.

GunBow and Citation : I totally agree with you that Cigar's and Citation's races were much much tougher than the races that Zenyatta has won with her 16 wins.  My point was that we can't compare them to each other because there's no way to really definitively prove otherwise.  I always thought that the type of racing that Cigar had has long been gone, we don't have "tough" horses anymore, we don't see them anymore because most horses today are fragile or are babied because of their future in breeding.  My thing with Zenyatta's record is that it was accomplished with no cherry picking of races, they chose races that are normally tough G1 (female) races where if Zen didn't run, you'll see the best of the best of females running in them but Zen scares a lot of them from running.  The ones that runs against her are pretty much taking their chances and really are interested in running for 2nd.

The fact that we're debating Zenyatta's abilities compared to the great Cigar and Citation is enough for me to think of her as one of the greats.  There has been no female horse I can think of that has been compared to the great male horses as much as Zenyatta has.  The debate will go on forever but so will Zenyatta's legend. :)  (and yes, I'm pretty much biased towards Zen lol.)

Like I said, the HOTY honors a horse for that year, it would take much more than a HOTY to become a great horse.  The Mosses would take a HOTY honor as a bonus but they already have one of the great horses that has ever run, and that I believe means more to them than the HOTY :)

WELCOME BACK JASON, don't mean to be a spoiler but I have a feeling your Belmont pick will be Interactif since you've been high on this horse way before the Derby.  I like him too and now I really need help with 2nd, 3rd and 4th spot...I'm just really confuzzled now.  I'm still very high on IceBox and will invest about 250.00 on exacta and trifecta with him and MMFM, but I'm still not sure about Fly Down and First Dude...then you have Stately Victor and my longshot Stay Put.  I'll probably put in about a grand when i'm done betting lol, hopefully it won't be as bad as the met mile.  Tri paid a very sad 70.00 :(

02 Jun 2010 8:40 PM
jayjay

Jason, I'm not sure who responded to Draynay (posted Jun 2 6:27 PM) but it wasn't me.  I don't mind it though lol.

Draynay :  I handicapped that Met mile much better than you have.  You had the 1st 2, I had the trifecta. So why don't you try switching to cabbage patch dolls, at least you can talk your BS to them and they won't come back to prove you wrong lol.  I've never seen you hit anything higher than 5-2, anyone can hit a race with the favorite, that doesn't take handicapping skills, it just means following the people's bet.  You're a joke.  I would take you on with your $500 deal but knowing you, you won't even have $500 to begin with.   The thing is, QR winning at 1-9 doesn't do anything for me, he can win the next 20 races at 1-9 and it still wouldn't help me lol.  It's pretty evident how you don't have any handicapping skills because what keeps you going is being able to brag that you picked the HOTY early in a blog site, you can take your met mile exacta winnings to CD for the BCC and I would bet the farm you won't make $500.00 lol.

Here's a fact, the only time you picked a winner that's not a favorite....you picked a jockey, that's not handicapping lol.

02 Jun 2010 8:52 PM
Draynay

GunBow do me a favor let me know what horse you are betting in the Classic if it's not Quality Road.  I will gladly take the bet for you.  As long as he Quality Road is healthy there isn't a horse on the planet that can stay with him.  Musket Man a very very good horse got a DREAM TRIP and couldn't come close.  Giving 7 pounds and had not raced in months and he ran like that....WOW !

02 Jun 2010 8:57 PM
CV

"And this is why I think people are getting way ahead of themselves when they start predicting the outcome of races like the Breeder's Cup Classic 5 months out."

GunBow  02 Jun 2010 8:05 PM

Absolutely. It only takes a quarter crack (Quality Road), or a soft tissue injury (Esky, The Pamplemousse , or a fracture (Summer Bird), to knock someone out of the race season.

Let's hope all the horses in training stay sound and the ones that are recovering from injury do so quickly.

02 Jun 2010 8:59 PM
Jimmy the D

On The Road To Greatness - yeah, sure.

Please. Get a grip.

First, who was in the race. Was there a winner of a Grade 1 race besides Quality Road?

The race was full of east coast tomato cans. A bunch of unherald members from the infamous three year old class of last year that made a super horse out of Rachel Alexandra, then later we all found out it wasn't true.

Come on-Musket Man went from the Classics to finishing behind a glorified claimer from Emeralddowns in an undercard stakes at Churchill Downs.

And Tizway, please!

And don't give me the Beyer stuff. Are you really going to give Musket Man 20 points more than he really deserve.

The only people that seem to care about this race are the humilated and embarrassed fans of Rachel Alexandra that are seeking any horse that has four legs and breaths to beat Zenyatta.

And the discredited east coast turf writers that voted RA HOY.

Yeah, baby, on the road to greatness!

02 Jun 2010 9:01 PM
LAZMANNICK

GunBow

I’m not trying to say that Zenyatta would have defeated Cigar or Citation or tying to suggest that she is Cigar’s or Citation’s equal.  And I certainly agree that if you lined their streak races side by side, over all Zen’s would be third toughest to accomplish.  This in spite of the fact that like Zen’s, the streaks of Citation and Cigar had holes in them also, especially Citation’s.  However, that being said, I firmly believe that at no time did either Cigar or Citation face as formidable a field (depth) as Zen did in last year’s BCC.  They might have met more formidable horses at one time or another, but never in the same race.  Personally I never thought that Zen had a chance going into the race.  It was too tough of a field overall.  However, the way she handled adversity and ran away from that field validates her class and her ability to meet any field that could be assembled today at 1-1/4M and defeat them.  If that’s what it would take to continue her streak I would feel very confident that she would be able to win, even after Quality Road’s performance in the Met Mile.

02 Jun 2010 10:01 PM
jayjay

Thanks to LAZ, max and GunBow for providing more details about the streaks of the 3 horses we were discussing.  I'm not much of a history buff as far as the races and while I can research it, I was too lazy lol.  I learn a lot from reading this blog!

Also, THANK YOU JASON for sorting out the blog comments and posting them coming back from Philly, I'm sure you're probably still jet lagged.  You're a great blog admin !  Just to confirm, you'll have the live blog this Friday at noon EDT correct ?

02 Jun 2010 10:11 PM
LAZMANNICK

Ted from LA

"Jason:

My condolences through this difficult time.  LOL"

LAZMANNICK 30 May 2010 6:39 PM

It was meant in a good way (LIKE HAVE A SAFE TRIP).  I already expressed my condolences for his  and his family's loss.  Now you can go and police the remainder of the posts.

02 Jun 2010 10:13 PM
LDP

CV,

It was a rebuttle to Franks Grade one winner stat, relax, I know about all the possible reasons Zenyatta can't do this or that, and quite frankly, I'm getting tired of being told about it. I'm not trying to be rude, but to say something then spit out a stat, when someone can spit out another one that can have the same number of holes is stupid.

If he wants to go on the Grade on winning rapamage crap, I'll spit out that Ruffian set a record in every race she ran while under wraps.

02 Jun 2010 10:17 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA, you are freaking hilarious. You remind me of Groucho Marx. That is a compliment. I am hoping you are old enough to remember how funny he was.

Jason, glad you are back.

Gunbow, I do get your point about level of competition and toughness of races re: Cigar vs. Zenyatta. I understand totally. You are right. But I believe Zenyatta is one amazing AMAZON of a horse and despite the fact that she has only faced males once, I believe she could do it again and again if asked. So basically I am saying that she is one of the greatest of all time based on what I believe her level of talent is and not a comparison of races past and present. Yes, that's a dicey statement to make, and essentially a leap of faith, but it's what I think.

Quality Road is a very special horse and I believe he will be Zenny's toughest competiton if they race against each other. I have thought that all along. As I said above, when they scratched him at the Breeders Cup last year, I was relieved. I thought he was Zenyatta's main obstacle to winning. But he is a very gifted horse and when the girls aren't running, he is my favorite.

02 Jun 2010 10:29 PM
Assault

This is all I have to say about Quality Road:

He beat Musket Man by a length.

Do you think Zenyatta can beat Musket Man by a length?

Answer:

Zenyatta would crush Musket Man and set the track record at the same time.

I hope they soup up that track at Churchill Downs for the Breeders Cup (like they did for the Met Mile).

I can't wait when Ron Ellis has Bejarano position Rail Trip right on the throatlatch of Quality Road. This horse will fold like a cheap tent.

Two examples of horses who said "enough is enough":

Cigar in the Pacific Classic (when Siphon buried him in the first mile of that race) and Zardana/Unrivaled Belle (when they looked Rachel in the eye from the quarter pole to the wire).

Zenyatta is going to be eating the track come November 6, 2010 (all 1,234.5 feet of that long Churchill Downs stretch).

Zenyatta has been used to 919 - 991 foot stretches out west.

I can't wait when I see Quality Road waive the white flag down the stretch after being pressed by a "real" speed specimen, in Rail Trip. Rail Trip's Beyers will go off the charts once his feet hit real dirt.

02 Jun 2010 10:29 PM
Jason Shandler

Thanks Jayjay. Im pretty sure we're having the live blog. I will confirm it tomorrow when I get back to the office.

02 Jun 2010 10:30 PM
Pedigree Shelly

          Glad your back ! Looking forwards to the Belmont blog :)

02 Jun 2010 10:49 PM
Ted from LA

It was meant in a good way (LIKE HAVE A SAFE TRIP).  I already expressed my condolences for his  and his family's loss.  Now you can go and police the remainder of the posts.

LAZMANNICK 02 Jun 2010 10:13 PM

Easy, easy, Lazmannick.  I was just confused and was giving you the benefit of the doubt.  I do not police anything.  Considering I am probably the most inappropriate and censored poster on this site, I do not cast stones.  Although I did recently pass a kidney stone, but that is not relevant to this post.  Besides, casting is different than passing... ask any fisherman or quarterback.  If the quarterback happens to also be a fisherman, he could probably give you the best answer to the question.  Either way, I think you meant :) (internet speak for "smiley face") rather than LOL, but I think we can still be friends.  Why can't we be friends?  Paula, I never heard of this Groucho person of whom you speak.  Did he have any brothers?  These are my principles.  If you don't like them, I have others.

02 Jun 2010 10:55 PM
Dieter

Jimmy The D and Assault,

Brilliant posts! So true!

02 Jun 2010 10:55 PM
LAZMANNICK

I read that Quality Raod's Beyer for the Met was 114, very good, but not as great as Draynay seems to think when he says that QR is the best horse on the planet.

02 Jun 2010 11:00 PM
Larry G

OMG!!!

Jimmy the D. You cracked me up. You hit the nail on the head with your comment.

02 Jun 2010 11:01 PM
pas

Assault: I think perhaps you are remembering it wrong. Siphon didn't beat Cigar in the Pacific Classic. He did spend him up a bit, so Dare And Go could come in for the kill off a perfect come-from-behind trip. But Siphon was easily put away by Cigar in the stretch. I was a fan of Cigar in the day; you know, when ESPN actually showed every stakes race that was run.

But I agree with you about Zen. I've never seen anything like her. It's almost scary that we haven't seen her best yet. It's a bit hypocritical to assume the very best of horses that are beaten on by a jockey to get to the wire by a head, and then turn around and criticize a horse that wins so easily by coming from behind, regardless of pace.

And if that isn't impressive, go to YouTube and look at some of Forego's races. Everyone would put him in their top 100, but there were races that were perfectly set up for him, that he just couldn't fire in. I have great respect for Forego, even in defeat. So you can imagine my respect for Zen, given her perfection.

02 Jun 2010 11:54 PM
mz

Yoo hoo Ted: was that you?  If I'd've known, I would have put on my best Negligee and not left it in the Ice Box where I hope it would eventually Stay Put with the frost and beome useful in keeping up my Drosselmeyers.  I hope you still admired my Northern Jewels anyways.

Make Music for Me, my First Dude!

(and shoot! I couldn't figure out how to include Stately Victor, with whom I hope to continue my perfect record of never picking the winner)

03 Jun 2010 12:22 AM
jayjay

One last thing about the streak.  Regardless of who they ran against and who they beat, there are a lot of things that were different with what racing was and what racing is today.  Would Cigar or Citation run as well on synthetics the way Zenyatta has ?  Would they win as much ?  We don't know that and I'm sure that's just one of the things that will be debated and that's why I tried to put it as simple as I can.  All 3 horses won 16 races consecutively, Zenyatta did it in 16 races, while people would question the quality of the horses they beat during their streak, what track they ran at, what distances, what type of races, the fact is they won those races.  That's what the people will remember, when someone googles who holds the record for consecutive wins, Zenyatta's name will be in that list.  When a future horse starts to pile up wins whether undefeated or not and might have a shot at 16 consecutive wins, everyone will talk about the 3 horses.  I know that some people will think that Cigar and Citation's accomplishments might be seen as not as impressive by putting Zenyatta in the same level but it doesn't.  We already covered that here (in a civilized way), people who love Cigar will consider him the best of the 3, Citation's admirer will think Citation is the best of the 3 and Zenyatta freak fans will think she belongs.  At the end of the day, they all have 16 consecutive wins.

Now to Belmont.   Noble's Promise wins the race and held off Schoolyard Dreams, his beyer was astronomical and broke secretariat's world record for 12 furlong.  Zenyatta, the only 3 yr old filly to run in the race and coming in as undefeated came in dead last about "16" lengths behind NP, many have predicted that her beyer speed rating will be "16" for running so poorly.  The HOTY committee held an emergency voting because they believe that Noble's Promise have done enough and they don't need to wait, they crowned NP as HOTY the next day...

Draynay! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! it's just a bad dream!!

03 Jun 2010 1:28 AM
CV

Oh, no, Summer Bird is retired! I was looking forward to him getting back into training this year. I hope his fracture heals well and he has a good career as a stallion.

Paula,

In regard to your worries about Quality Road, John Shirreffs actually got worried WHEN Quality Road was scratched because he was the main speed in the Classic and Zenyatta benefits from a good pace.

For most of last year, her opponents tried to beat her by going slower because a slow pace is supposed to be the Achilles' heel of a closer. That's why it's so unusual, with her running style, that Zenyatta still is undefeated.

I think her odds are pretty good with Quality Road in a 1-1/4 race like the BCC.

03 Jun 2010 1:30 AM
GunBow

Draynay:

You want to congratulate yourself on the Quality Road-Musket Man exacta.  Fine.  Congrats.  But I posted that well before you did, and even predicted it would be close.  So, I not only predicted the order of finish but how the finish would look.  And I don't go around calling myself a handicapping legend.  It was a fairly obvious exacta; Quality Road was 1-4 and Musket Man was the 2nd choice. And don't talk about the 7lbs, the layoff or the pace scenario; didn't you recognize the weight spread BEFORE the race, didn't you know he had been off since the Donn BEFORE the race, and couldn't you do some pace analysis BEFORE the race and realize Quality Road was going to face some pressure?  Those are some of the reasons why I predicted it would be close.

As for the Breeder's Cup Classic, let's just wait for about 5 months.  Quality Road might not even make the race.  Or if he does, all the horses we now consider to be his top challengers may miss the race, under which circumstance Quality Road would be my choice.  

I could go ahead and predict who will win the Breeder's Cup now knowing most will have forgotten (how wrong I was) in 5 months, but what's the point(of course, I would remind folks if I was right)?  And by the way, I'm not set to pick against Quality Road in the Breeder's Cup Classic.  It will depend on who else is in the field, their form, the weather, likely pace, etc.  If Quality Road comes into the Classic unbeaten on the year and the form of everyone else is suspect, well then he'll probably be my selection.  We'll just have to see, in 5 months.

In the meantime, why can't Quality Road come out to sunny(meaning he'll never have to worry about an off track in July) California for the GRADE 1 Hollywood Gold Cup?  Evidently, Quality Road bounced out of the Met really well, and Pletcher is thinking about a race between now and the Whitney.

And Dray, before crying about synthetic this and synthetic that, recognize that Hollywood Park's Cushion Track is basically a dirt surface and nothing like Santa Anita or Del Mar.  Anybody watching racing around the country can see this; just look at how well speed has been doing at the Hollywood meet.  Horses are going out in 21 and change and 43 and change and not stopping.  In any event, if Quality Road could have won the Breeder's Cup Classic on Pro-Ride, then Hollywood Park should be no problem.

Instead of the Hollywood Gold Cup, Pletcher is only talking about the Suburban.  The Suburban?  It has a storied history, but it's only a gr.2 and half the money of the Hollywood Gold Cup.  Quality Road shouldn't waste time in a gr.2 (unless using it as a comeback race).  Criminal Type won both the Met Mile and Hollywood Gold Cup in 1990 and he had to beat Easy Goer(and Housebuster) in the Met and Sunday Silence(and Opening Verse and Ruhlmann) in the Gold Cup.

I might be biased because I could see the race in person, but how great would a Gold Cup with Quality Road and Rail trip be?

03 Jun 2010 3:48 AM
sodapopkid

Jimmy the D:  You are Dead On, dude,  You are absolutely 100% correct on your post(.02 Jun 2010 9:01 PM) .........great post,  you are telling it point blank, the truth............Thankyou

03 Jun 2010 6:30 AM
sodapopkid

QR, Rail Trip, are no match for the great Zenyatta.

I am so sorry to hear of Summer Bird's retirement, Damn, I liked him............

I am so happy Zenyatta has the fan support and fan base that she has. The big girl deserves it, she has worked hard to get were she is today..........16 races,  thats not easy to win, especially the BCC,  Going into a field of horses that are top notch around the world and having trouble at the gate, and still spotting them all 10 or more lengths,  Damn, nothing but a true champion could have done that...There is absolutly no other horse running today or last year that could have done what Zenyatta did in the BCC....................She is a big girl who always gives it her best but only what she needs to give to win..........I fear the horses on the track the day when we see her give it her ALL.

03 Jun 2010 6:40 AM
berttheclock

Er, Draynay, QR's time was the 3rd fastest Met Mile.  Honor and Glory has the record with Langfuhr running a 1:33 flat, which is .11 sec faster than that of QR.

However, another thread discusses the breeding prominence of Met Mile winners.  The writer of that thread forgot to include Langfuhr, the great son of Danzig, who sired Lawyer Ron and many other fine runners and broodmares.

03 Jun 2010 7:55 AM
Slew

I really don't believe as some who have jumped the gun, that Quality Road is the "best horse ever".  I've already seen some of the best horses ever...Secretariat, Slew, Affirmed, Alydar, Citation.  I believe just on sheer beauty and poetry of motion, Zenyatta can be comfortable standing beside them.  However, anyone who can downplay Quality Road's win in the Met mile just never saw the same race I did. I thought it was a spectacular race.  He had earnest competition, and rose above it.  Am I going to say he'll win the BCC?  Heck no!  I still believe he does best in 7-8f races...maybe 9f.  I'm going to watch this summer and just enjoy the competitions.  We have a long way to go to the BC.  I want to see what happens when some top 3 and 4 year olds get back to the track.  I want to enjoy the Belmont first (go Vic)...and then settle in for Saratoga.

03 Jun 2010 7:59 AM
it ain't easy being as wrong as draynay is

Cmon people quit pickin on Mr BS draynay,afterall he was correct in picking the 1-2 finishers in the Met Mile. Forget the fact that QR was the 1/4 choice (seriously who ever goes off that low?!!)and MM was the second choice in the race. When you are as pathetic in handicapping as Mr BS is you take any win you can. Clearly the dude has a serious inferiority complex or he wouldn't spout off how great he thinks he is while being wrong nearly everytime unless his choice is one of the top two public choices. As long as we see him for what he is ignore his BS and let him think he's mentally stable. The life you save may be his.  

03 Jun 2010 8:14 AM
mr pibb

QR's time was the 2nd fastest in Met Mile history and he won at 124 pounds do you know the last horse to win with a weight that high ?

Draynay 02 Jun 2010 7:25 PM

nay nay,

Once again you show your ignorance. In answer to your question about who is the last horse to carry 124 and win Super Saver won carrying 126#'s in the Derby and LAL won carrying 126#'s in the Preakness. Zenyatta regularly wins carrying more than 124#'s. I'm sure one could add many more who recently carried 124 or more and won. What a dumb question.

03 Jun 2010 8:29 AM
Saratoga AJ

I was reading the comments of Pletcher and his assistant regarding QR after the Met Mile. Both were in total awe. "Never seen anything like it". The horse wasn't even breathing hard after a 1:33 mile, second fastest Met Mile in it's 100+ year history! And the next morning? "He acted like he hadn't run a race in months".

A 114 Beyer? Now he owns the fastest Beyer awarded for distances up to one mile. He already has the best Beyer by far for over one mile (121).

Musket Man ran the race of his life, his best Beyer (111) ever by far, carried 7 less pounds, and was still beaten handily by a horse coming off a 4 month layoff.

Anyway you analyze this horse, you can only come up with the same conclusion. He is a freak, and will not lose another race if he stays sound. Deservingly   the #1 ranked horse in the world right now.

For the sake of Racing, and it's fans, let's hope all the big names, QR, Zen, RA, Rail Trip etc. stay sound until November.  

03 Jun 2010 8:52 AM
Billy's Empire

Sorry for you loss Jason.

Looking forward to your new blog about the Belmont. Did you get a chance to go to WAWA???

Peace

03 Jun 2010 9:09 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

   LOL also means "lots of love." In fact that was the original meaning of it before the internet.

03 Jun 2010 9:37 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

thomas

  Thanks for your post-"THIS AIN't &^%$#*# GULFSTREAM." I loved it. That's what we need more of here- Top notch on the scene reporting, good job.

Pedigree Shelly

   I thought QR would win by a lot more also. It just shows Musket Man's tremendous class. He's not as talented as some but has more heart than anyone.

Looking back, the track at Belmont was very fast when QR ran. That is the only thing that takes away anything from his final time. But still, to run those fractions and win in that time was great. I have no problem with Quality Road not wanting to run on the Pro Ride in The Classic. That's all it was. He did not like that track. Smart horse and in control of the situation if you ask me. He's the man.

03 Jun 2010 9:53 AM
mz

King Victor was having trouble with some of his lords (probably Republicans) and after a rebellion, was exiled.  His loyal subjects eventually were able to topple the usurpers and the King triumphantly returned to his kingdom.  All of his followers urged him to execute the rebels but the King would not do so, saying that the realm had already had enough deaths.

That evening, the Queen yelled at the King: "Don't be so Stately, Victor!  Don't you know that if you leave those rebels alive, they will immediately Fly Down and Interactif with Dave in Dixie and in a few years, it'll be Game On Dude and you'll be fighting another war!  Do you want the Spangled Star(s) and Stripes flying from the top of the castle?"

And the King replied: "If that happens, I'll retire to Belmont Castle.  I like it better because it's only 1 1/2 miles from OTB."

(and this is what I think about during the drive into work?

03 Jun 2010 10:19 AM
Tim G

Jayjay, not to worry. Draynay will not be at Churchill where he will be just one of the masses. He somehow thinks he's important.

He found out at Keeneland that he is a big zero as far as the real racing elite are concerned.

At CD on BC days? He's a big zero. He thinks he's important and can't bear to find out first hand that those in millionaires row or those in the boxes are in the rarified air. He has no chance of breathing that.

Watch, some business venture will pop up. He goes through more businesses than I do paper.

Easy to tell the people who never owned a race horse and are speaking as fans only. 5+ months out from the BC and you all are talking about who's going to WIN?

We get one that is a good Derby horse in Feb/March and we wrap them in bubble wrap to try and keep them healthy until the first Saturday in May and you all are talking about NOVEMBER?????

03 Jun 2010 10:42 AM
MonicaV

Jimmy the D,

I am a Rachel fan and I, for one, am not embarrassed or humiliated.  She had an extremely long lay off after a tough year and is just now showing signs of her former self.  She was not trounced.  I do believe she came in second in those two races one by 3/4 length and one by a head.  I love that horse and will always be a fan.  She had a fantastic year last year and I still think she will come back to form.  If she doesn't, I really don't care.  I will always root for her no matter what.

03 Jun 2010 10:52 AM
LDP

berttheclock,

These days, when talking in fifths of a seconds as it was with Langfur, who ran his Met before the use of hundreths, 1.33.11 is 1.33 FLAT, since it is not quite 1.33 1/5. So QR's time is tied for the second fastest Met history.

03 Jun 2010 11:56 AM
berttheclock

@GunBow, thanks for using the moniker for the great Gun Bow - Until, I checked the records for the Met Mile, I did not know he was such an incredible horse.  Geez, winning the Donn, the Met Mile, the San Antonio and the San Fernando, among others.  What a shipper.  However, it was his win at Narragansett in Rhode Island, which made me think of the Ray Walston character in "The Sting" calling the "live" races.  "And, from Narragansett, Shady Boy takes the lead..." or something to that effect.

03 Jun 2010 12:03 PM
Pam S.

Jason, belated condolences on the loss of your grandmother.

Quality Road certainly is a star, isn't he!  It's a shame about Summer Bird (was afraid he would not come back), but count me in as far as hoping the rest of 'em stay healthy and put on a show at the BC.  We all know who we want to see, and maybe this will be the year we see them in the same starting gate.  And if that's not possible, at least at the same track on the same weekend.

Guess we shouldn't forget little MTB, pursuing a comeback with his new trainer and two good works so far.  And Big Drama, who's supposed to run next weekend.  Ah, the anticipation ... sometimes it's better than the actual events!

03 Jun 2010 12:04 PM
Draynay

Mr Pibb ARE YOU SERIOUS ???? Who carried that much weight and won in the MET MILE !!!  THE MET MILE...hello McFly !!!

03 Jun 2010 12:11 PM
Draynay

Tim G, are you a tad jealous ? Opening day at Keeneland I was sitting in a private box with some of the top sports writers in the country winning money and sipping on Grey Goose chilled.  Yeah, I had it real rough huh.  If you ask nicely I will make sure to give you a pass to the front of the line for pictures and autographs when I fly up for the Breeders Cup.

03 Jun 2010 12:19 PM
Jason Shandler

The last horse to carry as much as 124 pounds in the Met Mile and win was Gulch in 1988. He carried 125.

03 Jun 2010 12:22 PM
LAZMANNICK

Ted from LA

No problem.  Just kidding you about your remark to Jason......"I kept an eye on everyone while you were gone."

Have a good one.

03 Jun 2010 12:25 PM
Assault

pas,

I remember it perfectly. Re-read my post. Siphon burned up Cigar from the gate to the quarter pole.

Jerry Bailey didn't want Siphon getting an easy lead.

The Result: Cigar and Bailey paid for it.

03 Jun 2010 12:46 PM
Draynay aka handicapping LEGEND.

That is correct Jason and I believe the only horse to run faster carried just 110.

03 Jun 2010 12:47 PM
LAZMANNICK

berttheclock

I don't know if Gun Bow mentioned the weight Gun Bow carried when he won his Met Mile.  I looked it up......130 lbs.

03 Jun 2010 1:01 PM
Tim G

Draynay, did you figure out that Tuscan Evening is a female? See you're back on the Legend thing.

No offense to Jason, who does a good job as a turf writer/blogger, but I seriously doubt Adam is one of the top sports writers in the country or anyone else you sat with for that matter. Adam said you bet the favorites all day.

I SERIOUSLY doubt that I'm jealous of you. Try getting to MY box at CD or Saratoga...........We keep out the riff raff. I'd say more but I know Jason won't allow it.

I know things about you dude.

03 Jun 2010 1:11 PM
Tim G

LOL, Jason, now the gender id deficient is telling you when you are right or wrong????

You had to tell him who ran faster at a heavier impost.

(that means the weight the horse carries Draynay. I know you're more familiar with impound)

The thing about Gulch? Once Wayne got him and shortened him up to 1 1/8 mile and less? He really showed his stuff.

The MM didn't do much to convince me that QR can sustain and get 1 1/4. Lets see how he progresses.

MTB's works were up to par with what he was doing last year, he fired a couple of bullets before the Derby I believe. I wonder if Dray wants to revisit that 'he'll never win another G1'?

03 Jun 2010 1:22 PM
Draynay

Lol. Dude if you know ANYTHING about me you know the party is ALWAYS where I'm at.  Ask Adam how many tickets he ripped up and how many I ripped up. Riff raff ? You better believe it baby I'm all about the Riff raff.  We party we laugh we make money !  

03 Jun 2010 1:26 PM
CV

"Tim G, are you a tad jealous ? Opening day at Keeneland I was sitting in a private box with some of the top sports writers in the country winning money and sipping on Grey Goose chilled.  Yeah, I had it real rough huh.  If you ask nicely I will make sure to give you a pass to the front of the line for pictures and autographs when I fly up for the Breeders Cup."

Draynay 03 Jun 2010 12:19 PM

Winning money & Grey Goose?

Jason, if only I had know turf writers have it so good I'd have made that my career instead of news reporting!

I write for a nonprofit now, but maybe it's not too late for me to change over and enjoy life in the lap of luxury? :)

03 Jun 2010 2:08 PM
Jason Shandler

CV: I was off that day :)

03 Jun 2010 2:26 PM
Tim G

Jason wouldn't print what I know about you.

Yes, he said you cashed tickets. Me? Wouldn't have my runner go to the window to cash a $2.10 win ticket. That's like fishing at one of those pay as you go lakes stocked with fish that jump into the net. The kind I took my kid to when he was 3. Even he said 'this is no fun'.

I have NOOOOOOO doubt you're all about the riff raff.

You watch too much Real Housewives of NY. Grey Goose? LOL

Speaking of flying 'up' for the BC?

Wouldn't it be flying 'down' from Ohio? Don't tell me you're in Florida this time of year, how gauche.

We have fun too. Just that it's a different kind of fun because it's also one of our businesses.

I'm sure the only people waiting for you won't be looking for autographs, although they'll probably be giving you documents. LOL

You're all talk we all know that. But you are so fun to bait. You look like the total fool, not that you need much help.

03 Jun 2010 2:28 PM
2nd Time--Long Time

LOL--- Tim G & Billy's Empire must be Fantasy Stable owners or part of a 20-30 man syndication.Not the "elitist" they portray themselves to be.Too funny!

03 Jun 2010 2:46 PM
Tim G

Long time. Nope. I am in partners on just a couple. With 3 other guys. I think most of us in this day and age are. Our trainer is even in on several.

No fantasy stable for me. Have enough trouble keeping up with the real thing.

Sorry if you're jealous.

I've never claimed like Billy, to be in on this horse and that horse. I don't even claim ownership of some my some of my relatives own.

03 Jun 2010 3:17 PM
LAZMANNICK

Pas

Like you I am a Zen fan, probably a fanatic, and I think that she will account for herself in any race she contests from here on in.  In my humble opinion, if they lined up for the BCC now, Quality Road might be the horse to catch, but Zen is definitely the horse to beat.  But that’s my opinion (it’s probably shared by a few million others).  Ha Ha

I was also a Cigar fanatic.  It really ticked me off when they ganged up on him in the Pacific Classic, especially since it was a home-coming so to speak.  His first 9 career races were on the west coast.  The only time he went back was for the Hollywood Gold Cup which he won in July 1995, and the Pacific Classic.  However, he did get beat at equal weights.  Still, they could have shown a little more respect.

Regarding Forgo, I find it hard to find fault with him in any of his defeats especially since he was a big horse and a gimpy one.  Sure he lost some races that seemed to be perfectly set up for him…..4-5 in the ’77 Whitney in the slop when he finished 7th by 16-L.  However, apparently he didn’t like the Saratoga slop although he raced rather well in the Belmont slop.  Perhaps toting 136 lbs. (the winner carried 103) had something to do with it.  His previous two races (1-1/2M and 1 1/4M) he finished second at odds-on.  But he was toting 137 and 138 lbs. respectfully and the winners were carrying 112 and 114.  As far as his placement in the top 100, it would be hard for me not to see him rated so high, he was that good.   His come from behind style was always dynamic (like Zen), and it is true, he didn’t always fire, but I think that circumstances had a lot to do with that.  The thing that stands out is that he carried between 130 and 138 lbs. 24 times in his career and won 13 of them and missed the top 3 only three times.  To put that into perspective, Secretariat never carried more than 126 lbs. (he was still only three) and Seattle Slew carried 134 lbs. at four in a G-3, the only time he was asked to carry more than 128 lbs.  

As much as I love Zen, she has a lot to do to compare with Forego's accomplishments. LOL

03 Jun 2010 3:27 PM
LAZMANNICK

Tim G

I think I saw Dray on opening day at keeneland in a private box.  However, I thought he was the one in the white coat serving the Grey Goose and those winning tickets he had were bets he made for the sportwriters.  He was just handing them their tickets.  LOL

03 Jun 2010 3:39 PM
Draynay

Florida in the summer time gauche? Lol...yeah maybe but I have work to do and the summer breeze off the beachs and palm trees is not all bad. What I'm really looking forward to is opening day at Tampa Bay Downs. I have been to about every track you can name including Dania Jai Alai but never Tampa Bay Downs. You may not envy it now but let me know in December!

03 Jun 2010 3:47 PM
Tim G

Laz, LOL, that was him? The glare from the dome blinded me.

Florida in the spring/early summer with huricanes. (it's beaches by the way). Summer in upstate NY is much nicer. Winter weekends in the high country for me. Vail, Durango, or warm days spent in the Southwest skiing in the mountains in the mornings and golf or tennis in the afternoons....Whenever I get time away.

YOU have to work? With your winnings and your vast wealth and resources???LOL

I seem to recall you saying you hadn't been to most of the tracks. Someone living in Ohio who had never been to Keeneland?

I like seasons and when I don't I go where I want. I don't mind the Keys or South Beach, St Pete's but not in the summer time.  

03 Jun 2010 4:27 PM
Tim G

My bad, 'hurricanes'. Not the kind on the field either...

I'm not a fan of tornado season but less hurricane season.

03 Jun 2010 4:48 PM
Draynay

I have been to every Ohio track except Riverdowns.  And what I am calling work no one else would.  The track I am looking forward to is the Spa !  The odds are 50-50 this year 100% next year.  

03 Jun 2010 5:31 PM
STC

@HGC - I think Pletcher doesn't want to move him around much, and the Suburban seems to fit better in his schedule. It would be best to run him as soon as possible if the Met Mile took so little out of him (from what TP suggested it sounded like he could be out running next week if necessary).

@Need the lead - QR doesn't usually lead in a race. Second or third with a clean view maybe, but, especially given his performance in the Amsterdam, it's just not correct to say he is a need the lead type.

@Impressive victory - I think the fact that the race didn't take much out of QR was really the most impressive thing about it. Going by TG figures, his last out was historically great (without giving any one of the other finishers a new top), so he really had no chance to match the Donn. The only reason anyone would call Dry Martini, second in the Donn, significantly worse than the second and third placers in the Met Mile is because he finished so much further back.

@Historical Beyers - I find it incredibly hard to believe that a horse like Formal Gold can be held to such lofty heights because of a speed figure. I don't think it's just a coincidence that horses have gotten "slower" on BSFs since the measure was instituted. Given that a breeder's job is to get the best horse possible, they would have to be monumentally horrible at their jobs for the breed to be declining. For this same reason, I think that the only acceptable reason that horses ran so much faster in the late 60s, 70s, and 80s is because the tracks were much, much faster (which they were).

03 Jun 2010 5:33 PM
Tim G

Okay so now the truth comes out. Your first trip to Keeneland-this year. You haven't been to Saratoga, how about Oaklawn, Lone Star, Sunland Park, Del Mar, Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Golden Gate, the now long gone AkSarBen, Centenial Park or the recently destroyed Bay Meadows? How about Turfway, Belmont, Pimlico or even CD? Arlington Park? My bet is you've been to Ohio tracks maybe a couple in Fla (what no Tampa??)

If things don't change in NY, Saratoga? Who knows next year?

 

03 Jun 2010 6:49 PM
James

GunBow,

Your comparison of streaks between Cigar, Citation and Zenyatta has one glaring difference.

Both Cigar's and Citation's streak came during the height of their racing careers.  Right smack dab in the middle. Mid season form.

Zenyatta's streak is her entire racing career, which includes the maiden race, an allowance for good measure, and a minor stakes.

She has had no room for error.

Citation at age six ended up losing four of his last seven races and Cigar at age six lost his last three races.

They both lost almost as much races that Zenyatta has raced.

Perfection.

03 Jun 2010 8:08 PM
LAZMANNICK

Tim G

I hear that Dray got lots of tips at Keeneland......the kind you get when you serve the patrons their Grey Goose.  He had his technique perfected......extend the right hand with the drink and then follow it up with the left hand, palm up, hoping for some paper instead of those aweful coins.  LOL

03 Jun 2010 8:23 PM
Tim G

Laz,he probably was 'sipping' ice cold Grey Goose from Jason's glass before he served it to him. As my kid would say ewwwwwwwww.

LOL.

03 Jun 2010 9:45 PM
Draynay

Been to Santa Anita more times then I can count.  Sitting there eating shrimp cocktail on the white table cloth is very nice and the weather is always picture perfect.  It remains my second favorite track but the best is still and will always be Hialeah.  There is just nothing else like it and the experiences there will last my lifetime.  Tampa Bay Downs will be my new home for a while but I will be at Gulfstream for opening day having lunch upstairs for sure !

03 Jun 2010 10:19 PM
LAZMANNICK

Tim G

He's sitting eating shrimp cocktail on the white table cloth.  That's funny.  It was probably after the races and someone left part of their shrimp cocktail and those white things bouncing around are seagulls fighting Dray for the spoils.  LOL

03 Jun 2010 10:38 PM
Tim G

Okay Draynay, whatever you say.

But I hope you just sit and eat and don't talk. For the last time it's THAN.

The weather ISN'T always 'picture perfect' either.

Now to ME Del Mar is much more beautiful. Sitting with Burt et al., seeing Charlie and all the rest back in the day.

Much more relaxed but the track is prettier IMHO.

SA was home away for home and the home track for a really long time.

By the way it isn't polite to eat ON the table cloth.

I'm just a skeptic I guess. I know you didn't go to the BC there, you said so. I still can't believe someone who lives so close had never been to Keeneland and I see no answer on the rest.....

03 Jun 2010 10:50 PM
Tim G

Laz, great minds think alike. I was just writing and giving him a grammar and etiquette lesson about eating on table cloths. LOL

03 Jun 2010 10:51 PM
Tim G

No, really, enough fun. Time to try and take the high road.

I just get irked when he tries to talk down to his betters and tries to school Jason especially. It's funny sad.

03 Jun 2010 10:56 PM
GunBow

James:

Yes, the fact that Zenyatta's streak represent sher entire career make it special and separates it from Cigar and Citation's streaks.  That's why if Zenyatta closes out her career by winning every race, her streak will incorporate two record:1)Longest winning streak in major races, 2)Most victories by an undefeated horse in North American history.

My comparison really focused on #1, the streaks, and didn't focus on the other races in their careers.  The fact Zenyatta's streak represents all her career races is amazing, and unique(only Colin and Personal Ensign compare).

04 Jun 2010 3:42 AM
Billy's Empire

2nd time long time and Tim. Thanks for keeping up with me and my ownership interests. It feels good knowing someone out there is thinking about me. Tim, you say you have a box at CD? I bet you are a 2nd level box type of guy where the elitist hang out, huh bud? Yeah, you and every other 2 dollar bettor... Good day.

04 Jun 2010 8:44 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Hialeah. I'm glad it's making a comeback. Despite the fact that there are so many tracks in Florida, I hope that Hialeah has some thoroughbred races again. That is the track I really wanted to go to. But I don't eat on white tablecloths. I'm usually too busy looking at the horses and I don't wear ties anymore. Gulfstream and Keeneland are the top meets now and I'm hoping to go to one. I'm always downstairs near the paddock so whatever food they have down there is what I'll be eating. Del Mar is another great one but I'm not a synthetics fan. I can't wait to see Zenyatta on dirt again. What a monster !!!!!

04 Jun 2010 11:18 AM
Billy's Empire

Dr Drunk,

Zenyatta V QR V Blame V Rail Trip V Rachel V General Quarters, Musket Man and the 3 year old crop will be an epic showdown... I hoping half of the above mentioned show up for the classic..

04 Jun 2010 11:58 AM
Tim G

Hey, I didn't bring it up. Take it up with the other guy.

I just mentioned it back a couple months ago because you kept talking about this horse, that horse and every one of them had different ownership interests. You said your cousins owned them.

Like that other guy Steve said, that isn't YOUR horse. I was just curious if I'd see you somewhere.

He was the one who called you, just like Long time did on here.

I sometimes WISH I were a $2 bettor.

04 Jun 2010 1:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Billy's Empire

   The first five you mentioned for sure. MM is going shorter, and GQ is probably going turf. All you need is the first 5 you mentioned and a few 3yo and Europe's best for an epic showdown and the most anticipated race ever. And I still think Zenyatta is the horse to beat. Her stride is amazing, and so is her heart.

04 Jun 2010 2:56 PM
helsbelles

Gunbow, not only was Mr. Hollendorfer waiting in the paddock area 15 minutes prior to Tuscan Evening's arrival for the Gamely Stakes, but earlier on the card he was one of only a few people leaning against the fence watching horses in the walking ring.  I blurted out some form of congratulations.  I hope it didn't sound too idiotic, because I was star struck when I realized it was him.  Imagine, if things continue as they are presently, he stands a good chance of being trainer to two Eclipse Champion female racehorses in one year... I hope so.  

It was one of those magical moments for me to have the opportunity to hang out with Forever Together, Tuscan Evening, and Gotta Have Her as they circled around in the saddling area.  I guess Tuscan Evening had the look of eagles, if that means she was focused.  Forever Together was not nearly as focused.  I could have sworn she was going to come right up to me and others who were standing along the fence admiring her.  I would say, and this is very non-technical, that Forever Together is one of the cutest and prettiest racemares.  It was funny that, at one point, Gotta Have Her stopped and posed, as if to say "Look at me, I'm no slouch.  Why are those two getting all the attention?".  

As much as I love Santa Anita, I really love Hollywood Park too.  I just can't see it being destroyed.  Why can't some obscenely rich person buy HP and maintain it as a historical landmark, at the very least.

04 Jun 2010 4:06 PM
Householder

I have always loved Santa Anita.  I often sit and think about the history and how many talented fillies and mares have won there.

Oak Leaf-Landaluce. Lady's Secret

BC Distaff-Lady's Secret (HOY)

Santa Margarita-Bayakoa

Santa Anita Derby-Winning Colors

Las Virgenes-Lite Light, Rags to Riches.

I was a little young to catch the last Triple Crown winner's performance but did catch some other Derby horses such as Ferdinand, Alysheba, Sunday Silence.

04 Jun 2010 4:21 PM
Householder

Hollendorfer...

We will just add:

Las Virgenes-Blind Luck

04 Jun 2010 6:31 PM
GunBow

helsbelles:

We must have been a few feet apart.  I was standing by the fence along the separate saddling enclosure as Forever Together and Gotta Have Her were walking by.  Tuscan Evening was walking on the other side of the enclsoure, separated by the path that connects the eclsoure areas to the main paddock area.  

I wish they would allow people to cross that path to get close to the horses on both sides of the saddling enclosure.  However, there's always this older man working the gate, a John Longden double, and he only opens it up when all the horses have left the enclosure for the main paddock area.

05 Jun 2010 2:01 AM
Niatross

If Quality Road was so spectacular in the Met Mile, Why did he only beat Musket Man by a length and why did Musket Man only beat Tizway by a length?

The top three finishers all finished a length from one another and they want me to believe that these three runners all ran one of the fastest Met Mile's in history?

How could the Met Mile Beyer speed figures increase so drastically for Musket Man and Tizway?

...and if Quality Road ran one of the fastest Met Mile's in history (1:33 and change), why wasn't he blowing away the field?

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Nah, it couldn't be a souped up track, now could it?

05 Jun 2010 4:28 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Niatross

  I believe it was souped up by half a second to a second. Tizway ran a great race. Musket Man is a star with a ton of class and will be great at 7f to a mile. The rest of the good looking field was annihilated. Even though the time was a little fast because of fast track conditions, it was still a great performance. Quality Road is a tremendous talent. He'd better slow down a little for a mile and a quarter though. He's one of those rare horses that sets track records at a variety of tracks and distances. I do believe he is best at a mile but still should run really well at a mile and a quarter. He's versatile. He doesn't like synthetic though. He probably will be retired after this year's Classic. His stud value will be too high. I do think he will finish in the top 3 if he runs in the Classic, and he could win.

05 Jun 2010 10:36 AM
Dick

Dr.,

Please, get a grip, dude.

Musket Man is not a star with a ton of class.

Musket Man is on the downside of his career.

Prior to the Met, he was beaten by horse called Atta Boy Roy, which later was beaten by a horse called Riley Tucker.

In the terms of Jimmy The D, the horse is an east coast tomato can.

Probably an empty can at that.

05 Jun 2010 7:32 PM
Nancy

Doc,

There WERE no good horses in the Met.

There wasn't a Grade 1 winner among mob besides QR.

It way an empty race.

The sad part of the race is that QR had to hang on to beat Musket Man.

Good Doc, QR has to do more to impress me.

05 Jun 2010 7:37 PM
Draynay

Nancy if you are going to post here can you should know what you're talking about.  Warrior's Reward is a G1 winner in the Carter.  QR shook him off like a bad flea and won by a length and a half over MM in 133 flat.  Give it a rest.

06 Jun 2010 7:49 AM
Max

Draynay,

You mean the Warrior's Reward that prior to his Carter win lost to a three time claimer named Flavor.

And even after the Carter got beat by a horse from Emeralddowns called Atta Boy Roy, whom just lost to a horse called Riley Tucker.

If I were you Draynay, I'd be embarrassed to bring up this Grade 1 Carter stuff.

06 Jun 2010 4:12 PM
Draynay

Max, do you want to pick on Secretariat for losing to a lousy horse like Onion ?  Don't knock G1 winners it sounds silly at best.  She said there wasn't a G1 winner in the bunch and she was wrong.  Time for you to drink more of the Zenyatta Kool Aid.

07 Jun 2010 7:50 AM
sodapopkid

I would rather be drinking Zenyatta Koolaid than "full of excuses " Rachel Koolaid.

07 Jun 2010 8:01 PM
Max

Draynay,

Secretariat didn't have to pretend to be a super horse.

Everybody knew it.

The Grade 1 one winners he defeated are in the Hall of Fame, not Hall of Shame...

07 Jun 2010 9:26 PM
LAZMANNICK

Max

There was actually two G-1 winners in the Met Mile (Warrior's Reward 7-F Carter and Captain Candyman Can DQ winner of the King's Bishop 7-F).  Notice that not one of the horses in the field other than QR was a G-1 winner past 7-F.  I agree with what you are trying to say.  However, what I find especially amusing is Draynay praising Warrior's Reward for his G-1 win as if it was something special and yet denegrading all Zenyatta's G-1 wins as if they were nothing.  LOL

07 Jun 2010 9:37 PM
Draynay

Let me know when Zenyatta runs on dirt against males.  I'll wait...and wait....and wait....

08 Jun 2010 12:21 AM
Assault

Draynay,

Let me know when Quality Road ships out west.

08 Jun 2010 12:11 PM
Draynay

Ship out West for what ?  Who would he race ?  Do honestly think Pletcher WANTS to race on that garbage out there ? Lol.  Right, just what he wants to do ship out West for the land of the 4 horse fields. lol.

08 Jun 2010 12:36 PM
Secretariat

Draynay,

Like Assault said:

Let us know when Quality Road ships out west.

08 Jun 2010 5:21 PM
STC

Shipping out west would be an unfortunate decision, as it would interfere with the schedule already planned for Quality Road, and pit him against inferior quality horses.

08 Jun 2010 6:22 PM
Frank

STC,

Bring that claimer out here.

We would like to take him out behind the woodshed.

Understood?

08 Jun 2010 7:37 PM
Exterminator

STC:

Quit using some random nickname like "STC".

Mike Watchmaker, is that you?

08 Jun 2010 7:40 PM
War Admiral

As the great turf writer Charles Hatton once wrote of Secretariat:

"Zenyatta’s only frame of reference is herself. She is just that good."

08 Jun 2010 9:59 PM

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