It rings true the most important four words in Horse Racing....
Kentucky Derby
Triple Crown
Without either of those the general public just doesn't seem to care... Shame on ESPN for not showing this historical race by Rachel Alexandra...  Are you telling me that they couldn't fit a half hour for this race, I know its football season now but they frigging only have about 8 channels...
I know I am fairly young but I don't think we or I will ever see something as big as Smarty Jones again... It only proved so with the non showing of the Rachel race on TV or the only 31,000 people who showed up at Toga to see her race.... A friend of mine was a racing exec at Philly Park during the Smarty tenure and I remember him asking me if I was going to attend the PA Derby which Smarty was going to run after his Belmont.  His exact words, "Brandon, you better stay at my house because it will be a nightmare getting here on Monday morning from Jersey"  First he explained how Philly Park was extremely worried that they were going to get a crowd of up to 80,000 people for the race, a number the track has never seen or will ever.  They didn't have the parking available nor did they know how they were going to fit that many people there for the race.  When there is 17,000 people at Philly its a zoo... times that by four and your looking at anarchy.  They were actually going to rent parking lots out in Jersey and bus people from there to the track who intended to come from Jersey and New York... The race was also going to be nationally televised, that's how big the Smarty Phenomenon was... Its a shame he never made it to the race because it would have been amazing to be there for that chaos...
The reason why I bring all this up is because that's what should have ensued for Rachel... It should have been chaos... She should be a Triple Crown winner because there was and isn't a three year old on the planet that could touch her... She is a once in a lifetime horse and the thing I love about her most is that she is bred by one of my all time favorite horses "Medaglia D Oro" 
I don't think there is any more hurdles for her... She has done it all, there is nothing left to prove for this horse... Their is not going to be a public outcry for this horse nor is she going out West or Zenyatta coming East, so retire her now whiles she sound and make Curlin and Rachel babies...


I am one of the biggest Rachel fans out there and if her and Zenyatta would hook up it would be a race for the ages.  I personally think Rachel would win and after the Haskell many people who once said that Rachel could not defeat Zenyatta have now jumped on the Rachel bandwagon especially after Zenyatta's last race at Del Mar. 

The biggest hit on Zenyatta is that she keeps beating up on the same horses and that is entirely true.  She has yet to step out of her comfort level and it is a big knock as it should be.  The reason I make this post is because I think the criticism Zenyatta has received is unfair.  For starters, her speed figures.  Zenyatta is not a horse designed to have gigantic speed figures.  She runs with one MO and that is to come from the back and run down the horse on the lead.  Put a horse on the lead with monster speed figures and Zenyatta will run to that figure.  The other thing about Zenyatta is she hates the Del Mar track, she does not care for the surface and you can tell how she runs when running on it.  She goes side to side more rather than her straight run and gun em style but she still gets the job done and gets another "W"

Like I stated I firmly think Rachel is a great and would beat Zenyatta but it would not be by open lengths.  It would be her and Zenyatta side by side and let the the one with the best nose win....


Unfair Criticism....

I do not understand why every person associated with Horse Racing is putting the onus on Jess Jackson to bring Rachel Alexandra to the West Coast to go against Zenyatta.  Let us not forget that this is a three year old filly and as the past has proven they can be very brittle.  Jess Jackson has already put her against the boys and she won.  He has already commented that he wants to race her as a 4 year old so why is he getting the negative press?  Because he's Jess Jackson. 


If anything, we should be beating up on the Moss's.  Why has Zenyatta yet to face the boys?  She beats up on the same bunch of horses race in and race out.  You could put Rush Limbaugh on Zenyatta and she would still win.  Now I have nothing against Zenyatta because she is an amazing horse but Jess Jackson has already taken a gamble with Rachel putting her against the boys, let the Moss's finally take a gamble and ship Zenyatta to Saratoga. 


Now, after the Vanity the Moss's stated that they have no problems shipping Zenyatta to the East Coast to set up the dream match and if they do than it's the right thing.  The bottom line is that Zenyatta is 5 year old and Rachel although heavily raced is still only a three year old.  Let us not forget that....






Utter Nonsense...

If you haven't had the time to read Pat Ford's recent column on ESPN.com than I suggest you do so because this is the utter nonsense that is being written by a guy who probably watches 30 races a year at max... Here is the link




Forde says in his post:


"We have to except the reality that modern 3-year-old horses, trained for speed and built for brief windows of brilliance, cannot withstand the rigors of three long races in five weeks at an early stage of their development. Forget finding a horse who can win all three legs -- that hasn't been done since 1978. It's hard enough finding horses who can even start all three legs."

Why is it so important for a horse to start all three legs?  Do I really need to see a donkey like "Flying Private" be more in the way during the race than an actual contender? Because these are the likes of horses that start all three legs if they haven't finished in the top four in the Derby and Preakness. 

He also throws in an excerpt of a piece written by Ragozin and Friedman...

"In our view, thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown is a tradition that was fine 50 years ago when, as horse people say with rare irony, horses ran on hay and oats. It is a dangerous grind in this era of chemically high-tech, high-powered training. ...

"With the heavy weight of evidence in our 50-year data base of thoroughbred performance to back us up we want to state the blunt truth: The Triple Crown is good for neither the horses nor the sport of racing.

"Our mathematically generated historical records of thoroughbred performance show that horses that run extremely well during the Triple Crown almost never get back to their peak ability again. ...

"The underlying reason is that thoroughbreds put out bigger efforts these days than their muscles, ligaments, suspension systems and bones can easily sustain. Their physical structure is tested to the utmost to maintain the speed they can now achieve with modern training methods."

The best part of that quote is the very last sentence...

"Their physical structure is tested to the utmost to maintain the speed they can now achieve with modern training methods."

That sounds like a training problem, not a horse problem to me...

Two key years 1948 and 1973... The time between Citation's Triple Crown and Secretariat's... That was 25 years and I wasn't around during those times but I'm sure these same arguments were being said back than as they are now... If you really take a look back dating to Silver Charm, was it really the horses fault or their respective jockey's... I think most would say their jockey's...

1997- Silver Charm- Bad Ride from Stevens

1998- Real Quiet- Too early of a move by Desormeaux

1999- Charismatic- Freak Injury

2002- War Emblem- Stumbled out of the gate and pushed way too early by Espinoza

2003- Funny Cide- By far not the best horse

2004- Smarty Jones- Busch League riding led to his demise

2008- Big Brown- Who knows


If you really want to take it even further than that, horses like Afleet Alex and Point Given should have won their Derby's... Why Point Given was next to that blazing pace is beyond me and if Jeremy Rose keeps Afleet Alex straight in the Derby he most likely holds on to the win....


I am 29 years old and if I understand the importance of the Triple Crown and its history than everyone else should... To hear D. Wayne Lukas even talk about spacing out the races is mind boggling... Especially from a guy who is strongly against letting jockey's being a little heavier because it would diminish the history of final times...


The idea of having the Triple Crown series look like this is preposterous:


Ky Derby- First Sat in May

Preakness- First Saturday in June

Belmont- First Saturday in July


I hope someone realizes that the schedule presented would absolutely destroy summer three year old racing... Races like the Haskell, Jim Dandy, and Travers would be severely hampered and there would have to be major schedule changes to adhere to that revised Triple Crown schedule...


Let's get something straight here... Horse Racings Triple Crown will always grab more headlines than hockey except if the Rangers or Kings ever have a good team, which they don't... And there was a time a few years ago that Poker Tournaments were getting better ratings than the NBA Playoffs but thanks to the likes of Lebron James, Dwight Howard, and Kobe Bryant they have reemerged. 


In my honest opinion, I could give a rat's ass what the public thinks about Horse Racing or if it's getting headlines... No matter what, the Derby will always grab headlines and draw huge crowds, so will the Preakness, and so will the Belmont if a Triple Crown is on the line... We as horse racing enthusiasts have to except that the general public does not care what stakes races are won if it's not the (3) TC Races or the Breeders Cup.  In all honesty the Jim Dandy and Haskell draw just as many people as the Belmont Stakes if a Triple Crown is not on the line...


To take it one step further, here were the field sizes of the 73, 77, and 78 Belmont stakes...


1973- 5

1977- 6

1978- 5

The problem has not been getting a horse with a Triple Crown on the line; it's been winning it...

They said there would never be another horse like Man O War and than came Secretariat and as we say their will never be another horse like Secretariat but someone will come around, they always do....




Random Thoughts

I love how the Steven Crist likes to break down fractions, Beyer Speed Figures, and his wagering for the day in his blog.  If you haven't had time to read his comical routine he posts every two days or so he goes on to talk about how low the Beyer Speed Figure was for the Belmont Stakes.  Earth to Steve, here is a little tid bit for you...




Final Time

Summer Bird







Summer Bird ran exactly to his bloodline.  Nothing more and nothing less. The race actually was almost identical to his Daddy's in that in 2004 Birstones's main rivals in the race Smarty Jones, Eddington and Rock Hard Ten were taken out of the race by their jockey's getting in a speed duel which led to Birdstone picking up the pieces.  In 2009 Summer Bird's main rivals in Mine That Bird and Dunkirk were taken out of their game as well.  For some odd reason Dunkirk found himself on the lead and Mine That Bird made a far too early move. 


To go on a little bit from what Rave had posted about breeding.  The two best classes of 3yo's which was 2006 and 2007 will be unleashing their babies upon us and the 3yo crops will get a much added boost.  Although the Sheik has a great stake in the most promising horses for breeding there are still horses like:


Showing Up- $7,500

Bluegrass Cat- $40,000

Lawyer Ron- $25,000

Curlin- $75,000

Circular Quay- $7,500

NoBiz Like ShowBiz- $7,500

GhostZapper- $75,000


Each one of these horses has the ability to produce a "Classic Three Year Old" 




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