I believe anyone would be hard pressed to argue against saying that the fillies and mares provided us with the most breathtaking racing this year, both here in the United States and abroad. For that reason, a retrospective of 2008 thoroughbred racing must highlight their performances—but how to select the “best of the best” from so many worthy candidates? I’ll break it down by categories in several posts, and let you all vote, either for my selections or your own. Let’s begin with the most impressive performance on an off-track. The candidates are:
1. Proud Spell, in G1 Kentucky Oaks, Churchill—May 2
Nearly a mirror repeat of Rags to Riches' 2007 Oaks win, Proud Spell romped in the slop over a talented field.
2. Tough Tiz's Sis, in G1 Ruffian, Belmont—September 6
Tough Tiz’s Sis had never run well in three previous wet track attempts, but she relished the slop in crushing seven others including: G1 Go For Wand runner-up Copper State; G1 Princess Rooney and G1 Ballerina runner-up Miraculous Miss; G2 Distaff and G2 Bed O’Roses winner Rite Moment; G2 Rampart winner Spring Waltz; G1 Ashland winner (and G1 KY Oaks and G1 Coaching Club American Oaks runner-up) Little Belle; and G2 Top Flight third-place finisher Boca Grande. Not a bum in the field.
3. Cocoa Beach, in G1 Beldame, Belmont—September 27
Cocoa Beach took full measure of Ginger Punch over a sloppy Belmont track for the win.
So, who was best, or do you have other candidates in this category? Discuss.