Monday, November 8, 2010

Funday Thoughts

There is a ton of fun reading this morning on the web and in newspapers across racing-ville.

Andy Beyer (most would say finally) gives Zenyatta some props. In his previous column he waxed on about synthetic surfaces (Jessica Chapel over and over again seems to be proven right) saying:

"When racing fans of the future look back at the record of a mare who excelled on long-forgotten substances called Pro-Ride and Cushion Track, they are apt to regard Zenyatta as a historical curiosity rather than an all-time great racehorse."

"Historical curiosity"? It seems that synthetic surfaces are something some people can not get out of their minds when judging horseflesh, or anything else for that matter.

Thankfully (although with two wins already on dirt; a surface she obviously likes as well) a dual surface superstar (the only mare to win the Classic last year and only mare to come second in it this year) like her can finally be trumpeted by everyone, including Ms. Chapel's old colleagues at the DRF. But I do not blame that on Zenyatta, her owners or her trainer - I blame that on people that can not see the forest for the trees.

Conversely, Goldikova is having no problem getting called the best mare in racing. Which to me is funny and hypocritical, because she is a single surface horse as well as a single distance horse, the same criteria people seem to have used to discredit Zenyatta.

Both are tremendous mares. Two of the best we have ever seen.

.....Although, Hitler might not agree on Goldikova.

Ed Fountaine (please allow me an LOL) says that you are a chowderhead if you don't vote HOY for Zenyatta.

Monday morning brings us (with apologies to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann) the worst person in the world award. Is there anyone with less class in racing than Seth Hancock, owner of Blame? After the race, John Sherriff's as expected said he was disappointed but "congratulations to Blame". Jerry and Ann Moss echoed that. However, Seth replied:

"Well, I thought the battle for Horse of the Year was fought about a half-hour ago, and Blame won it,''

Sports Illustrated put it this way.

"(On that day, winning trainer Nick Zito totally embraced the warring emotions of the afternoon, embracing Smarty Jones' trainer, John Servis, near the winners circle and saying "I'm sorry.'' The same could not be said on Saturday for winning owner Seth Hancock of Claiborne Farm, who, when given the opportunity to embrace obvious perspective, could do little better than, "Well, I thought the battle for Horse of the Year was fought about a half-hour ago, and Blame won it,'' as if the suddenly higher stud value of a horse that will stand at Claiborne is more important than the soaring presence of Zenyatta for the last three years. It was disappointing at best, unseemly at worst)."

Big Jim, Big Jim! Big Jim sets a world record at Woodbine on Saturday with an amazing display of speed. The track seemed hard and souped up, but it was a monster effort. Great drive by Phil as well. If you are betting on physicality in the post parade, this horse is a chuck each and every time. He looks like he wants to fall over. He is one of those really neat horses who seems to work through his issues (both mind and physical).

Crys Dream romped as well in a great performance. She had to move a little early, but Luc backed it down enough and sprinted home to win easily. She's the best filly trotter since Snow White, in my opinion (although she has a world to go to be better than her!).

Rock n Roll Heaven stamped himself as the harness horse of the year with another win in the Messenger. He deserves each and every one of his accolades. He is a tough, tough horse with awesome talent.

Handle was through the roof for the Breeders Cup. The BC is brand-building and doing it well (full disclosure - I was on their digital marketing committee this year, so I am biased as I like and respect Peter and the crew there) and this has to be paying off. Marketer Mark Hughes says you better have $60M and six years to brand build in this century. The BC is doing that, for much less cash. Racing has become as many of you always thought it would - a big ticket, big event sport.

Racing did well over the weekend with a great many google searches. R2 looked at them.

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