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Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better

“That was probably the greatest performance I've ever seen. Fantastic. I'm happy and proud for Zenyatta and glad I was here to see that. I never saw Secretariat run but I've never seen anything like her. I'm really torn when it comes to the Horse of the Year. I'm probably Zenyatta's biggest fan, but it's also hard to forget what Rachel Alexandra did. If ever there was a year to split the award, this is it.”—Eoin Harty

“That was one of the greatest moments I've witnessed in my life and I'm not only talking about horse racing. She not only won but it was the way she won that made this so special because she did it with something to spare. We've now been privileged to have seen two great fillies in the same year, and it's impossible to say one was better than the other. For the good of the sport, they've got to give them both the Horse of the Year award because it just wouldn't be fair for one of them to lose. I know one thing, if they do split it, nobody will be mad.” –Angel Cordero, Jr.


Anonymous said...

FOR THE LOVE - split the award! They are both undefeated this year. Zenyatta and Rachel have captured a combined 9 grade one wins. They both took on the very best, including males, and captured the imagination of the world. An experience like this is once in a lifetime.

PEM said...

Missing the biggest point-Rachel did it on different tracks-against older-Zenyatta played all her games in her own backyard....and to me a great racehorse is one that can win on different surfaces-on different tracks.

Yes I was truly amazed--too bad Zenyatta was unable to win on anything outside of her own zip code.That's how you define the great ones. My vote-Rachel Alexandra..

Amateurcapper said...


I'm afraid you're missing the point.

RACHEL ran a championship quality '08...for 3y.o.'s. She won every big race for fillies and males, put an exclamation point on her year with a win in the Woodward. However, that race vs. males was not at a "classic" distance...she'd have lost had the race been 1 1/4 miles instead of 1 1/8 miles. RACHEL did not show up for the Championship weekend.

Also, RACHEL ran only on dirt so she didn't really try any other surfaces.

ZENYATTA was the Champion...she didn't need to go to RACHEL's stadium because the Super Bowl of horse racing was in her backyard. RACHEL needed to come to California, but her connections were afraid she wasn't enough horse to overcome her early season wins and race in the Classic. Jackson and Asmussen didn't even give her the chance...they have designs on the 2010 Classic. Therefore, they defaulted the chance to be Horse of the Year.

Laffit Pincay III said it best on the HRTV Pursuit of the Cup...(paraphrasing) it was like the Super Bowl when the New England Patriots went undefeated during the regular season but the New York Giants won the Super Bowl over the Patriots.

ZENYATTA won the Super Bowl, she's the Horse of the Year.

Anonymous said...

You don't leave home when the championship is played in your own backyard. Rachel's connections wouldn't send her westward. Zenyatta didn't need to leave.

Mike Smith said it best when asked by Jerry Bailey about HOY honors. "She isn't horse of the year, she's horse of the decade."

Anonymous said...

Splitting the HOY would be a travesty. It's singular. RA's connections gambled and lost--they have underrated Zenyatta all year.
It's time to acknowledge that Z BEAT ALL COMERS in the Championship race. She is the horse of the decade, our modern day Secretariat.

Anonymous said...

Zenyatta for HOY! Didn't all of you hear 58,000 fans clamoring?

No one mad if they award a dual award, wrong, wrong, wrong. There will be a hundred thousand fans mad.

Face it, RA ducked Zenyatta, just as she did the tougher Travers field for easier company--definitely not the sign of a Champion. Z was not even eligible to run in the 3 year old division that RA was running in. Zenyatta's connections agreed to go to NY to challenge RA, but the track was rained out and RA didn't race in that race.

Zenyatta's connections kept her in southern California because that was where the Breeders Cup was going to be held. The same reason some of her competitors, including Mine That Bird came to southern CA.

The sole reason RA did not run at SA in the BC was because Curlin lost there despite tailing off in form. Safety was not the issue, or RA would not have run on those sloppy tracks which are much more dangerous than poly.

Zenyatta beat the Derby and Belmont winner, and all of the best U.S. colts, and the best from Europe and Ireland, all in one race. That race was the BC Championship which determines HOY.

If it is decided to award a dual HOY award, it will be a slap in the face to the tens of thousands of new fans Zenyatta brought to horseracing and discourage potential new owners from getting into the game. Showing them once again that its a good old boys club. The club members win all the awards, while the lesser people help fund the purses. The little trainer gets a $25,000 fine for a drug positive and the big guy when his "A" sample comes back 10 times over the limit, gets his "B" sample accidently thrown out of the refrigerator so it cannot be tested.

Go ahead, award a dual award. Just don't be surprised when the Breeders Cup doesn't have enough funds for the purses and needs to eliminate all but the Classic Championship.

The_Knight_Sky said...

Amateurcapper wrote:

Also, RACHEL ran only on dirt so she didn't really try any other surfaces.


Why was Rachel obligated to try other secondary surfaces? For the sake of tradition she ran on various dirt tracks as a 3 year old filly, repeatedly beating the best of her generation and older males.

To roll the dice and lose against a specialist out in California would prove little about who is actually best at distances in which true Classic races are run on - that being 9 and 10 furlongs on the dirt.

As great as Zenyatta is, giving her the Horse of the Year award based upon beating a certified grasser in Gio Ponti, et. al is to snub decades of thoroughbred history while legitimizing funky, unproven racing surfaces.

We would not be having this discussion if the CHRB had not made the mistake of implementing their mandate. To award local specialist Zenyatta as American HOY would be another mistake. Two wrongs do not make a right.

PEM said...

Knight-just as surely as the greatest true dirt horse of 2008 in Curlin was beaten on that phony plastic trash (and yes I do have an axe to grind-had a healthy horse fracture a sesimoid on that filth-got the needle right at the beginning of the turn-horrible day) we were graced by a Californian who was smart enough not to risk his fabulous filly to that awful surface-- but luckily for us real fans he was brave enough to ship her down to Little Rock, down to New Orleans, Baltimore, New York City, The Garden State and finally the Spa. Took on all comers of open ages-in THEIR BACKYARDS!!

And I was lucky enough to be at Saratoga that day...

Anonymous said...

Zenyatta will probably win HOY partly becuase her history-defying Classic victory is fresh in all our minds, it still makes me tingle when I think about it. Rachel's campaign feels like it was runs ages ago. Both would be more than deserving of the award, and I would love to see dual-HOY's, but Zenyatta will most likely win.

Anonymous said...

Synthetic specialist my eye. We might well say that Rachel is a dirt specialist. The-Knight-Sky, your argument is flawed.

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

Taste's great...less filling.

This argument could go on forever.

The college football system would probably put RA on top for strength of schedule.

I don't care who wins HOTY. I'm just thankful for the Youtube clips they left!

the Source of the James said...

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but it should never be forgotten that while Zenyatta put in all on the line, Rachael never even left the barn.

In that respect, in term of courage and heart and love of the sport, Zenyatta and her connections showed us a heck of a lot more this year than Jess Jackson did.

I'm shocked that RA fans give that no credence, especially when this sport is on the ropes and in desperate need of a champion that's willing to put it all on the line, win or lose.

I don't care which horse wins HoY, but Jess Jackson sure does not deserve to be named Owner of the Year.