Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Does the level of competition affect H.O.Y voting?

Does the level of competition have an effect on Horse of the Year voting?

There has been a great deal of debate about the level of competition that both Horse of the Year candidates faced. The body of work is very important when trying to understand the criteria that a voter should use to place a vote for Horse of the Year. Lets Break down the level of competition for each of the candidates:
Zenyatta raced 7 times this year. 3 times in Grade 2 races, and 4 times in Grade 1 level races. In the El Elcino Stakes, a Grade 2 race, she faced 1 Grade 1 horse, Tough Tiz’s Sis. The rest of the field was made up of Romance is Diane, Dawn after Dawn, Indescribable, and Fleet Caroline. In the Apple Blossom she faced 1 Grade 1 horse, Ginger Punch. The rest of the field was made up of Brownie Points, Lemon Drop Mom, Clever Strike, and Kettleoneup. In the Milady H, Zenyatta raced against Santa Teresita, Kris’ Sis, Romance is Diane & Double Trouble. In this Grade 2 race there were no grade 1 stakes winners. In the Vanity H, she faced 1 Grade 1 horse again in Tough Tiz’s Sis. The rest of the field was made up of Silver Swallow Silver Z, Sealy Hill, Fleetheart and andmoreagain. In the Clement L. Hirsch Zenyatta faced 1 Grade 1 winner again in Tough Tiz’s Sis. The rest of the field was made up of Model, Romance is Diane West Coast Swing, Silver Swallow, Silver Z, and Dawn after Dawn. In the Lady’s Secret, Zenyatta faced 1 Grade 1 winner in Hystericalady. The rest of the field included Santa Teresita and Super Freaky. And in the Ladies Classic, Zenyatta faced 5 Grade 1 winners, Cocoa Beach, Music Note, Carriage Trail, Hystericalady and Ginger Punch. The rest of the field included Santa Teresita and Bear now. So in 7 races Zenyatta faced 37 other mares of which 6 were grade 1 winners.
Curlin raced 7 times this year. 6 Times in Grade 1 level races. In the Jaguar Trophy he faced no grade 1 winners. In the Dubai World Cup Curlin faced 5 Grade 1 winners in Great Hunter, Happy Boy, Premium Tap, Vermillion and Well Armed. The rest of the field included Gloria De Campeao, Sway Yed, Lucky Find, Jalil and Kocab. In the Stephen Foster Curlin faced 2 Grade 1 winners in Einstein and Brass Hat. The rest of the field included Barcola, Grasshopper, Jonesboro, Delightful Kiss, Sam P High Blues and Red Rock Creek. In the Man O’ War Curlin faced 3 Grade 1 winners in Red Rocks, Better Talk Now and Grand Couturier. The other starters were Mission Approved, True Cause, and Sudan. In the Woodward Curlin faced 1 Grade 1 winner in Divine Park, the rest of the field included Past the Point, Wandering Boy, A.P.Arrow, Loose Leaf, and Out of Control. In the JCGC he faced no Grade 1 winners in a field that included 7 others. And in the B.C. Classic Curlin faced 7 Grade 1 winners. The other starters were Smooth Air, Fairbanks and Casino Drive. Curlin faced 55 horses this year of which 18 of these horses were Grade 1 quality. So to keep it quite short, if the body of work does have anything to do with Horse of the year voting and I believe it does this category goes directly to Curlin, hands down, he faced far better competition. Just a point to keep in mind.

3 comments:

Afleet Treet said...

Hey AAF!!!
Afleet Treet is in the house!!!! LOL! As for the topic of the day...I COMPLETELY think the level of competition SHOULD affect HOY voting. For me, it is the same discussion we have had about Zenyatta vs. Curlin for HOY...While I love Zenyatta and was thirlled to see her in person when she blew away the field in the Breeder's Cup, I think Curlin (although he lost the Classic) has displayed a MUCH more rigorous and versatile racing schedule and therefore he has the more impressive resume...he is undaunted by opponents and also undaunted by trying new races and surfaces and even countries!! Of course, that big boy was so amazing to see at the Breeders Cup up cl;ose and I have long loved him so much that he'd get my vote over ANY opponent he has!!!

Siren said...

Yes it should. HOY depends on so many things, and yes competition is one of them. This year however, Zen just didnt do what Curlin has!!! He deserves it.

Moose said...

Zenyatta deserves it this year. She went undefeated in the division that was unquestionably the strongest division in North America this year. No offense, but listing Brass Hat & Einstein as formidable Grade 1 foes for a dirt race at Churchill is a stretch. Curlin accomplished a lot with his travels. But the level of the older hanicap horses this year was lacking and pales next to the F&M competitiveness.