How many of this year’s four Breeders’ Cup winners nominated won Cartier Awards this year? Answer: none. Why? Because the Europeans obviously bestowed their end-of-year honors on horses based on their accumulated records, not a single race. In fact, points awarded in graded (group) races are specifically factored into the final decision, along with votes from racing journalists and fans. If only the Eclipse Awards process was as thoughtful and well-defined, then we wouldn’t be nonsensically talking about Raven’s Pass as worthy of an American racing award, just because he won the BC Classic.
Arc winner Zarkava took Horse of the Year, as well as Three-Year-Old Filly—over BC Turf Mile victress Goldikova. Epsom (Vodafone) Derby victor New Approach was selected over BC Classic winner Raven’s Pass and BC Turf victor Conduit in the Three-Year-Old Colt category, while BC Juvenile Turf champion Donativum lost out to Mastercraftsman for the Two-Year-Old Colt prize.
Just for the record:
• Undefeated Zarkava won four G1s (two against older horses) and a G3 before being retired this year; Goldikova won three G1s (all against older horses), and finished second and third in G1s—behind Zarkava both times.
• New Approach won three G1s, finished second (to Henrythenavigator) in two G1s, and third in another G1. Raven’s Pass won two G1s and a G2, in addition to second in three G1s and a G3, and a fourth place in a G1. In addition to the G1 BC Turf, Conduit won the G1 St. Leger, but his other outcomes included a G3 victory and a G2 second-place finish.
• Donativum had three victories after being gelded earlier this year, but ran in no group races; Mastercraftsman won two G1s and a G2 before finishing fourth in the G1 Grand Criterium.
• BC Marathon winner Muhannak wasn’t even nominated in the Stayer category, and rightly so as he only raced in handicaps and one listed race this year before taking down the horribly-misnamed “Marathon.”
Thus, these results beg the question, how can the Breeders’ Cup legitimately bill themselves the “World Championships”?
I have much to say about our meeting last week with the BC’s Peter Rotondo, Jr. and Peter Land (see Green but Game for recap), but right now work is completely consuming me. Plus, I want to chew on and digest more fully what was discussed—and what wasn't.