Sunday, August 15, 2010

Goldikova Loses, Yet more impressive than "ANY" Zenyatta Win

In all seriousness, as a true fan of horse racing, and a fan of watching a true champion give effort in a race, having to watch Goldikova lose her race today at Deauville was very conflicting. You never want to see a champion lose a race, but when that champion faces the best there is to offer after running in a supremely impressive and competitive campaign thus far, you have to smile and think to yourself, “This is what defines a Champion race horse”, not a race mare, but a race horse.
Goldikova came into this race on August 15th, with a pretty quick turnaround from her last race which she ran on August 1st. Fact is Goldikova was up against it today, and I am sure this caused her connections to think twice about running, but when you are confident in your charge, in the fact that she is a champion proven over and over again there was no doubt that she would represent herself well. In this race she was up against it on a number of different accounts, the going was softer than she prefers, one of her competitors was very fresh, and she was coming back off less than 2 weeks rest. All of these things makes her performance so spectacular, hitting the top of the stretch Goldikova’s normal acceleration didn’t show up in all its regular routine glory, she quickened but it just wasn’t the Goldi we were or are used to, Makfi & Paco Boy both went by the mare, who decided at that time to really show her championship resolve, beaten and with every right to slow down, what did Goldi do, she quickened again, made up ground on Paco Boy and ran a fabulous final furlong to nab 2nd place.Yes Makfi was the best horse on the day, the connections made no excuses, as classy connections don’t, but although disappointed, Goldikova fans have even more reason to love this mare ever more.
Watching her get passed in the stretch is not something that many of us are accustomed to seeing, a normal horse, even a very good horse would usually take that last 1/8th of a mile easy, but Goldikova dug deep and put forth the effort needed to get her second place finish. This is what makes and defines a champion, facing a number of Group 1 or Grade 1 winners, and giving her “ALL” in a race defines what a champion race horse is. Her connections don’t duck competition and place her in filly and mare events. They don’t take on horses that previously ran in the optional claimer ranks, grade III allowance races, to be assured of an easy win “with her ears pricked” this is not what her connections want to see as they are true sports man, they help to define what championship horse racing is.Sadly on our west coast we have a horse that is undefeated with plenty of *** by the name of that horse, plenty of debate about even how “good” the horse really is considering the path of the absolute least resistance that her connections are consistently pointing her to. This mare has not in her career faced the adversity that Goldi faced in just this one race. Never ran on a off surface that she didn’t prefer due to weather conditions, never faced a competitor at the Grade 1 level that had an obvious advantage of being a fresher horse, and NEVER EVER would this mare be run back in less than a 30 day span.What are we to take away from this. There is a vast difference in the two mares and how they are campaigned? One horse is a “Proven” consistently beating grade or group 1 horses in grade or group 1 company or competition. Never ducking and never scratching due to rain, a horse that doesn’t run to the filly and mare division to hide from competition in the majority of her races. These traits can be attributed to the connections yes. But there is a huge difference in what the fans of these two mares can say.
For Goldi, there should be no doubters or people questioning her campaign, for the other mare, the questions will persist basically forever. How good could she have been if tested during the season of racing alas just 1 race? That does not a champion prove, imagine Goldi taking on fillies and mares all year long and coming over and winning the BC, people would say it’s unfair due to the fact that she was so much better than her division and should have stepped up. Does this sound familiar, no hatred towards either horse or any horse for that matter, but the connections are who cripple the horse, I am sure if they could speak they would say, let me run against the best, the *** are not what they would want to see by their race names, they are thoroughbreds and competitive. It’s very sad that an undefeated record could ruin the state of competition during the season of horse racing and try to elevate the BC to status that is undeserving.Let me end by saying that I applaud the connections of Rail Trip, Looking At Lucky, Blind Luck and others that have come East to run in races that are nationally significant. Kudos to the connections of Quality Road and Blame, Devil May Care and Blind Luck Again. But also double kudos to the connections of Blind Luck, shipping her for the 4th time this year for the Alabama to have a face off of the monsters in the 3yr old filly and mare division. Coming to Arkansas, Kentucky, Delaware and now New York, shows you that any excuses that other connections make are futile. Excuses like the horse doesn’t ship well, the Rocky Mountains are too high, the horse lost weight last time he or she shipped, all of these are embarrassing.
All horses’ ship and all horses are affected in one way or another, some more than others, therefore you allow the horse to acclimate to these issues. First and foremost though it helps to not be so conservative with the horse in the first place to never ship the horse out of its home state for the first two years of its career. Again it is sad that the horse will always be questioned no matter the results of the BCClassic. Another year of soft cream puff competition to come into 1 race the freshest is something that we call “Cowardice”. I implore the connections in the industry going forward to keep the BC in perspective, yes it’s wonderful to win the big race but there are other big races that take place at the Grade 1 level each year nationally.

No comments: