Tuesday, October 19, 2010

John Sheriffs points fingers - but who are "THEY"

John Sheriffs finally sat down and took questions from a group of reporters at a media room at Keeneland race course, I wanted to take a moment to focus on a couple of questions and answers that he gave regarding his horse and decisions that were made with regards to her career and campaign.

On Zenyatta’s 2010 campaign, which was different than the one the Mosses talked about when they decided to keep her in training: “I think (the Mosses’ comments) were a little bit misinterpreted because we race in California, which is on the other side of the Rockies. So it’s a little different shipping around California than it is on the East Coast. We wanted to have the opportunity to let other people see her; which was obviously one of the reasons we went to Oaklawn Park with her. But when you have to decide where to go again, it’s tough to turn down a grade I race and take her somewhere else when California supports her and stables her and takes care of her.”

On whether he had second thoughts at scratching her from the Louisville Distaff (gr. II) last year at Churchill because of rain: “No, I didn’t have any second thoughts. It was a tough decision to make. I didn’t feel I should make the decision on my own. So at 10 o’clock that morning I went out there myself and I said if they open the track just a little bit I’d run her. But they went out and left it sealed and I didn’t know if they were exactly concerned about the horses because they just wanted to make sure the track is fast. All they had to do was just run the harrows over it a little bit to let a little air in it and I would have run her.”
It is amazing to see this man take a shot at Churchill downs like that, I believe this is classless and bush league in the best sense of the word. There are a number of trainers out there that if they had made this observation would have been berated, but i've seen people on blogs and message boards look at this comment and make statements like they respect him even more. To imply that the track is not looking out for the best interest of the horse, and those connections that ran their horses on the sealed track were not looking out for the best interest of their horse is a real slap in the face, but what seemingly is an immature person.

Let me say this, Mr. Sheriffs mentions they, and unfortunately there is a "They" that people should be pointing fingers at and the they would be the connections of this mare, viewed as overrated by many, and the second coming of Secretariat by others, the problem though is that not many people know of her, and even less care about her or horse racing or anything going on with or affiliated with the sport. Her connections are Cowards, and with the cowardice campaigning of the mare, put themselves and the industry as you say in this position. She had a chance to be main stream by racing against Rachel but they ran from Rachel in 2009 like the plague. In June on the day of the Mother Goose Moss was quoted as saying they were shipping Zenyatta east, unfortunately after seeing Rachel demolish that field in record fashion twice over, Moss ducked tail and decided the very next day to announce that they would stay in Cali. Her fans, her detractors, the media, everyone begged and pleaded with Mr. Moss to ship her to run in venues that would allow others to see her, they passed on races at Saratoga, Belmont, Monmouth, & Churchill and also turned down an invitation to go run on her favorite synthetic surface in Dubai. So the "They" would be Jerry Moss and John Sheriffs that caused this "Missed Opportunity". Listen carefully, "It was more important to the connections of this great mare to chase Pepper's Pride's win streak record" that is and was the one and only motivation when she hit 12 or 13 wins. HOY was secondary, they in 08 and 09 begged for the award but didn't deserve it by means of the campaign, and in 2010 have done the same thing, run an allowance quality campaign, and then stand in front of the media and say no matter what she should get HOY for her career accomplishments. Sad, and lacking of class in the worst way, taking shots at Churchill downs management and track staff because they wouldn't follow Sheriffs directions about how to deal with their track. Classless. And let me also chime in "Kudos" to the management or whomever it was that Sheriffs called at NYRA and asked about the stall application process, from what I hear he was advised that the application was online, to download and print it and mail it in. Wonderful to hear, the West Coast Hype horse and her connections want preferential treatment at all times, and have done nothing for the industry, or east coast racing. Moss has turned his nose and flipped the one finger salute to everything going on east of the Mississippi, therefore let the same thing occur when you want to be treated like you are better than everyone else. You can't ship your horse why, well one day you make a statement that Zenyatta ships perfectly, but when a race comes up that she can run in the excuse is that she gets dehydrated when she ships. WOW really now.

The only "They" that needs to be blamed is Moss and Sheriffs, they ducked and dodged races that would have put her on the map nationally. If they had run in races worthy of national attention maybe the viewing of the BC in 09 wouldn't have been an all time low of a .68 share, now compare that to the 17 share for the Preakness Rachel won. Pathetic, but they brought it upon themselves, remember the quotes earlier this year "we cant fly over the rockies, we can't climb the highest mountain, we have to play at home once in a while, and the best of all, she has nothing left to prove." I guess racing at home 17/19 times was once in a while and they went overboard with it, that's why again people in other parts of the country don't know her and really don't care. Mr. Moss and Mr. Sheriffs You, and you alone are the "Theys", maybe you should have shown faith and confidence in your great horse, enough to allow her the opportunity to prove herself from January - October, or maybe you shouldnt have ducked races at her preferred distance run on the same day as a race you entered her in that was very much shorter than her best trip, or maybe you'll learn from all your mistakes with your next big horse, and maybe one day actually be deserving of Horse of the Year and not have to beg for it. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Breeders Cup Breakdown

Breakdown of the BC Juvenile

1. Uncle Mo- Pedigree:Indian Charlie - Playa Maya by Arch
Maiden - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zS2VihuZS8
Champagne- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UdzmuG8moI
Full Profile and Race videos - http://www.horseracingnation.com/horse/Uncle_Mo

2. Boys of Tosconova - Pedigree Officer - Little Bonnet by Coronado's Quest
Maiden - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNBMCJnT1CM
Hopeful - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww8abRzZ7W0&feature=related
Full profile and Race videos - http://www.horseracingnation.com/horse/Boys_At_Tosconova

3. Jaycito - Pedigree Victory Gallop - Night Edition by Ascot Knight
Norfolk - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XIgGWAEp90
Full Profile and Race videos - http://www.horseracingnation.com/horse/Jaycito

4. J P's Gusto - pedigree Successful Appeal - Call Her Magic by Caller I D
Del Mar Futurity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYRw7xnIJQA
Full Profile and Race videos - http://www.horseracingnation.com/horse/J_Ps_Gusto

5. Stay Thirsty - Pedigree Bernardini - Marozia by Storm Bird

6. Pathfork - Pedigree - Distorted Humor - Visions Of Clarity by Sadler's Wells
Full Profile and Race Videos - http://www.horseracingnation.com/horse/Pathfork

7. Wine Police - Pedigree - Speightstown - Deputy Cures Blues by War Deputy
Full Profile and race Video - http://www.horseracingnation.com/horse/Wine_Police

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rachel, The Breeders Cup, Zenyatta and East & West Coast Peace

We only have a month left in this racing season that means something, yes the clark is later in the year but who really cares about that. Some people are objective and real lovers of the game of horse racing and the athletes that provide us the thrills that we see all year long and certainly what we'll see in November.
I for one will be there in my Rachel gear, but rooting on all of my Favs, Looking at Lucky, Quality Road, Blame, and yes although she's not my absolute fav horse, Zenyatta, because they will be doing what they love most and thats running. If Zenyatta wins there will be debate, if she loses there will be debate. I have been sucked into the constant bickering and going back and forth about the two great horses, both with different owners, both campaigned quite differently, but the major problem is that they never met, which honestly bodes well or better for both sides, no one has the upper hand in an one on one meeting.
Some say Raitch would have won, Some say Zen would have won, no one knows that.
We do know for a fact Raitch is the 2009 HOY, we know that Zen is undefeated, we know they both have beaten the best males of their generation that were running at some point.
What we need to do now is take a step back, be objective about one thing, thats the next few weeks and hoping that everyone is able to come out of their works and their travels to Kentucky Safely. All the rest of it doesnt matter at this point. When they turn for home I will root for my favs, but I'll also root for Zen to do something historic, because I like to be present during history making events. Thats why i was there for the Woodward, because that was history, I will be there on BC day both days to witness the coronation of a worthy BC Classic winner, not on a false questioned surface that has been down for 5 years or less, but on a legit surface that plays to all of the horses strengths, QR's Speed and pure brilliance, Looking at Lucky's pure grit determination and brilliance, Blames strong closing kick and brilliance, and Zen's even stronger closing kick and Brilliance from probably even further back.
Nothing that happens now or happened this year could change the love and admiration that I feel towards Rachel Alexandra, Nothing that can or does happen can change the respect that I have and we should all have towards the undefeated record of Zenyatta, who has defeated every horse that her connections has entered her to run against. Could that route have been different, yes certainly, thats not for debate because no one but Jerry Moss wrote that 60,000 check to pay for a mare that has skin issues that no one else seemed to want.
Loving horse racing is about the horse, not who is right and wrong, or better at handicapping, no one cares about that because no one affects the amount of money going in the others bank accts, but what we can agree on is that the BC is going to be an exciting event, one that will be remembered for a very long time for a strong field of competitors from the first gate break to the hitting of the wire in the Classic. There will be some history made, some horses going for history and some horses looking to make a name. Instead of bickering and arguing and making up stories and scenerios, lets now focus on the positives, Zen still running, Blame still running, QR and L@L still running, Goldikova coming, and possibly Work Force, lets embrace these things as a horse racing world and forget the East Coast West Coast battles and wars for a while and enjoy our favs, root for them and be respectful of horse, connections and ever horse racing lover, and try to find a way to enjoy and relish every moment that we have left in 2010, right around the corner we'll have a major lull with No grade 1 races or anything of mention going on.
I hope we can find a way to turn the page and go forward.
Just some things to ponder.