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.


Anonymous said...

LOL..they are ducking Zenyatta. endofstory..that is why Rachel will wont be hoy..

Anonymous said...

You must be part owner of Rachel!? lol. The competition RA faced is not even close to the 7 Grade 1 winners and multiple Grade 2 winners that Zenyatta has faced. Don't compare Rachel's claimers competition against Zenyatta's much season and much tougher competition. Everybody know why RA is not going to the Breeders. one word "ZENYATTA"