Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rachel Alexandra - The Grade 1 Mother Goose

Rachel Alexandra, Rachel Alexandra, Rachel Alexandra! She is the absolute darling of the horse racing world, and for the connections of fillies & colts & yes even for that monster out West, let me give all of you a clue about what is going on. "She is Still Learning", lets quickly break down the Mother Goose and see what actually transpired. Rachel A, broke very alertly and she ran the first quarter in approximately 23:37 seconds and then she followed with a 2nd quarter of 22:09 with a 3rd quarter breather of 24.20. These are extraordinary splits for a horse that is able to hit the Belmont straight and win by almost 20 lengths. Most horses would be gased after these type of fractions. Rachel Alexandra was hardly breathing in the winner's circle. Calvin Borel is quoted as saying: "She's Not Normal", I would tend to agree in every way shape form and fashion. Borel made an impressive request to his filly on the turn, and he split horses and urged the filly a few times to go on, and then the race was over. Just like a future hall of famer, Borel put his stick on the filly’s shoulder blade a couple of time to allow her to get something out of the race and that is where her public workout began. She was able to run what would seem to be 1/16th of a mile and then he put the brakes on her. She begin to slow up and when she stopped the timer it read 1:46.33. Pretty good time huh, well not if you are up on the history of the race, the time was .25 faster than the race run by Lakeway in 1994, and less than a second slower than the track record set by Secretariat. The margin of victory bested the previous record by more than 6 lengths. And again I state that Rachel Alexandra didn’t break a sweat in this race.
Lets break down the competition that Rachel Alexandra faced, in the filly Malibu Prayer she faced a Allowance horse that previously won an allowance race by 7 ¼ lengths in a time of 1:44 and change. In the filly Flashing, she faced a graded stakes winner who has won 4 races and has shown a great deal of ability. Enough ability that people actually wagered on her and thought there was a chance that she could upset Rachel Alexandra. It wasn’t in the cards for Flashing that day. Now in comparison Zenyatta was out west beating up on an allowance and optional claiming field of horses that have not come close to winning a graded stakes event, Zenyatta struggled to get past the field as Mike Smith had to vigorously go to the whip on Zenyatta . Did the weight have something to do with the lackadaisical effort, its very possible? Could it be that Zenyatta is just not the same horse, I really don’t know, she is still very impressive but has no credentials for Horse of the Year thus far.

Where should Rachel race next, at this point all plans to run her against the boys should be scrapped until a meeting with Zenyatta. How many people realize that if she is asked to extend herself as she did in the Preakness, let’s say in the Haskell or Travers, then that would set up a vulnerable Rachel Alexandra. The next stop on The Rachel Alexandra tour should be in the Coaching Club American Oaks on 7/25/2009 at 1 ¼ mile, and then possibly the Alabama on 8/22/2009 at 1 1/8th mile, this would set her up perfectly to meet Zenyatta with 6 weeks rest until the Beldame which is on 10/3/2009 and at 9 furlongs which is a distance both connections want to race their mares. Here is the catch though, Rachel would seem to get a bit of a breather at some point this summer again, the freshener that she received after the Preakness did her good, she seems very ready to put together a nice summer run, and that would be the real question for Jess Jackson to answer. Are you really not going to send her to the Breeders Cup, if so there is absolutely no reason to race her after her meeting with Zenyatta on October 3rd. That would be the end of her season and she could rest and get the winter off, come back to Oaklawn Park, and prep and get ready to run in the Apple Blossom. And then take off from there and try to possibly repeat HOY honors depending on what the rest of the year holds.

Comparing the 2 Champions – This is a touchy subject for some, there are certain members of certain message boards that feel that California racing is just as competitive and has the same quality of racing as the East Coast. Your heart may try to tell that because you are naive or just ignorant of the fact that California racing has been invalidated by the synthetics, but when a Grade 1 winner and defending Eclipse award winning mare runs against a field of optional Claimers, well facts are facts. California racing means very little in the overall scheme of things as verified by HOY voting in 2008. A horse winning meaningless races doesn’t have a shot at winning HOY and my statement is validated by what Mr. Jerry Moss had to say earlier today. As mentioned in the newly posted DRF: “"We can't do what we did last year," Moss said. "We have to find a bit of a variety. She ships very well and we wouldn't mind shipping. "If you're going to run against the boys, you might as well do it in the big one," Shirreffs said. "The Breeders' Cup is at Santa Anita."
At this point there is no reason for debate as to who the best horse is, we’ll let them figure that out on the track but at this point my thoughts go back to the class of competition that has been kept thus far by the 2 mares. Zenyatta has run against 1 Grade 1 winning horse thus far in 2009. Thus far Rachel Alexandra has faced 1 filly that is a grade 1 winner, a grade 3 winner, 3 Grade 2 winning and a number of Grade 1 winning males. The current record in 2009 Zenyatta 2-0 1 G1, 1G2. R.A. 6-0, 3 Grade 1, 2 Grade 2 races. And so I ask you thus far who is the front runner for HOY. That one is easy, but apparently not so much for those on the msnbc horse racing board. If the horse they enjoy has not won a race you can catch an argument for that horse and its HOY credentials. Sad but true. I enjoy being away from the California Queen of editing, but she doesn’t know anything about horse racing, you know who you are, I enjoy not having to deal with the hatred by the board follower, sad that your jealousy of Jess Jackson causes you to be such an idiot. And last I must say that I enjoy not having to deal with the meaningless that never really say much but want to chime in to the come to the defense of others. Please take some classes to try to learn and understand horse racing because you continue to embarrass yourselves with your idiotic statements. How far off were you with your HOY thoughts last year, amazing how the naive can keep that feeling as if they actually know something. Well you don't. You don't know much at all, there are some sites out there that can help the amateurs. View them, learn something. It may help you in the future, and yes that goes for you also Mrs. "I do bet on racing and have followed it for many decades." Rank Amateur at best is where you rank. As for the other member of the board that feels that they need to continue to mention my absence, it makes me feel good to see how bitter some menial people are. If by some chance you had business of your own Mrs. "thanks to the absence of a certain board member we can all enjoy these fillies in peace" maybe you wouldn't have to worry so much about what I do. Its great to see that you have not progressed much more than your usual rants about how great west coast racing is and how one horse is better than the other. Its lovely to see the credit I get for all of the immature statements made on the board within the last year or so during the Curlin vs BB saga. All my fault, sure, I'll take that but at the same time I'll take to the bank the fact that I have an opinion that I'll share at any and all times. You on the other hand, you are basically like the previous follower mentioned, a degenerate, someone who likes to hear a statement, certainly not an original thought of your own, but any statement and run with it as if it were yours. Some of you are sad people, hold your grudges, as long as u need to. But remember that just causes stress and a long hard life for people like you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rachel Alexandra HOY - Already? YES!

Yes you heard it here, she's done more against more and will continue to do more than any horse out there in the country, and no its not about running against and beating a nice set of sophomores in the Preakness Stakes. Its about a legacy, a challenge, and sportsmanship, things that have led Jess Jackson to be voted the most influential figure in the Sport of Kings. Owners and trainers the likes of Rick Porter, Mary Lou Whitney, Maggi Moss and others trainers like Larry Jones, Tim Ritchey, Steve Asmussen, Todd Pletcher, who will show sportsmanship and race their horses against the very best, these are people that can be respected. The same superlatives that Jerry Moss and John Sheriffs know nothing about, which naturally would lead them to receive absolutely no votes for such a prestigious award. That word chimes very loudly in the back of many people's minds eye. Why, because important or prestigious (DIRT & TURF) races define champions, they make a horse, whether a mare or colt, what they really are. What does ducking competition, scratching out of races when the weather and track surface are perfect, and hiding in California to run on a synthetic surface while beating up on fields or 3 or 4 horses that have accomplished little more than allowance company wins do for a horse and its connections. In my opinion it ranks your horse right up there with the likes of a Pepper's Pride, undefeated is what they want, but when you beat no one you wont be remembered.
What everyone will remember is the whining that Sherrifs did after his horse was embarrassed in HOY voting in 2008. Let's look at one interview where Sherrifs was quoted. The question: "The debate has already begun as far as Horse of the Year honors. It seems it may come down to a two-horse race between Zenyatta and Curlin. Make your case for Zenyatta."
The Answer:"The debate has already begun as far as Horse of the Year honors. It seems it may come down to a two-horse race between Zenyatta and Curlin. Make your case for Zenyatta."
It seems to me that John Sherrifs would have a marvelous career as a politician, as he spews as much crap as the big timers on Capital Hill. Seriously John, beating the likes of Dawn after Dawn, Double Trouble, Fleetheart Silver Z, Kris' Sis and Silver Swallow over and over again was a challenge for your horse. I am not sure I understand the dynamics of that statement. Beating a champion like Ginger Punch in the Apple Blossom now that was impressive and she received a great deal of respect from me for that win, as I was there live to watch her run her race. But then it was back to Cali to bury our heads in the sand I mean the Synthetics, and race against allowance competition fields for the most part for the rest of the 6 race campaign. Its incredible to think that Sherriffs feels that people with common sense are naive enough to believe that it was difficult for Zenyatta to beat allowance fields. And if that is the case then I would guess that he is saying that she is not that great a horse after all. I would love to be able to delve more into that statement but, lets not, it was a ridiculous statement by a man lobbying for votes for a horse that won 3 Grade II races. Just the fact that this horse, such a great horse was allowed to run and compete at the grade II level, says one of two things to me. Either she really isn't as good as advertised and they have to find the softest spots for her to run in all year long so they have a rested horse for the B.C. (which in my opinion is a debacle due to being run on synthetics) or the connections are so worried about keeping her race record perfect that it seemed better to continue to win Grade II races in comparison with the losses that Curlin suffered while being allowed to face new and exciting challenges. Oh by the way, Remember Curlin 2007 & 2008 Horse of the year by landslide votes each time. Jess Jackson is a man that impresses, he always does what is right by his horse and allows them time to recover from a race before jumping the gun and asking too much of his charge. He is a brilliant man who knows that to win championships that are deserved you have to step out of your comfort zone (he lives in Cali) and allow your horse to show what a truly great champion he or she is. How was he rewarded for that type of sportsman ship, do we all remember the final HOY tally. Curlin 153, Zenyatta 69, Big Brown 13. I would have voted B.B. HOY before I would have voted for Zenyatta as his campaign was stronger, and he faced much better competition. The same will hold true for Rachel Alexandra this year, she has already 2 Grade II and 2 Grade 1 wins under her belt, one a historic win that we mentioned in the Preakness against males. She will go forward in the Mother Goose a race with historic significance at Belmont Park next Saturday, and I am sure the connections of Zenyatta will continue to look on and wonder what could have been if they decided to ever ship their horse to a venue with the intent of actually racing her on dirt against other Great horses. Don't get me wrong, I hold no ill-will towards Zenyatta, I love the mare, again, I was privileged to watch her race live at Oaklawn Park. I question what the connections are doing, trying to develop a legacy, maybe someone should explain that having another Pepper's Pride does nothing for the game of Horse Racing, running only in your own state against claimers is 1 and I do mean 1 step above what the connections of Pepper's Pride did, but they did it even better as she is 19-19. I really hate it that she will never get to strut her stuff on the biggest stages on a true championship surface. Because the synthetics will never cut it. And I will again give a big Wet Willy Thumbs down to the Breeders Cup and their board members for allowing the B.C. to be held in California period on a synthetic surface for dirt horses but for allowing it to come back to California 2 years in a row, its as if children are running the show in the front office of the Breeders Cup, an embarrassment to horse racing in general. Put the championships back on Dirt where they belong, so we can really find out who the best are.