Sometimes horses just make it look so easy, effortless. This year, that would have been:
1. Eight Belles, in G3 Honeybee, Oaklawn—March 16
Subsequent G1 American Oaks winner Pure Clan may have been the only real talent in the field, but Eight Belles won with ease.
2. Zenyatta, in G1 Apple Blossom, Oaklawn—April 5
Seriously, any and all of Zenyatta’s races fit here—especially the BC Distaff—but I’m going for her sole dirt effort, because it was her first time outside of California and on real dirt. She crushed a small but stellar field that included Ginger Punch.
3. Zaftig, in G1 Acorn, Belmont—June 7
After going one-on-one with Indian Blessing for most the race, Zaftig took her measure and rolled for an easy 4-1/2 length victory, with John Velazquez minus his whip.
4. Stardom Bound, in G1 BC Juvenile Filly—October 24
I love deep closers, and this gray ghost floated across the track late to win the G1 Del Mar Debutante, G1 Oak Leaf, and here.