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Poll
Question: Who should be Horse of the Year? 2009
Rachel Alexandra - 27 (41.5%)
Zenyatta - 37 (56.9%)
Other* - 1 (1.5%)
Total Voters: 55

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Author Topic: WHO SHOULD BE HORSE OF THE YEAR?  (Read 34576 times)
brianwspencer
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« Reply #50 on: November 09, 2009, 10:05:35 AM »

Another convenient side-step. You're kind of pathetic, dude.

Where did I use my emotions to make my case? Go back and read that thread, and tell me how many times I made it clear I was talking about the voters, since we were talking about who would be voted HOY.

I know you're so eager to try to take me down that you repeatedly resort to willfully misreading my posts and misrepresenting my arguments, but I'm not sure that makes *me* pathetic.

Iz a gud reader at least.
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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2009, 10:10:21 AM »

No wins on dirt. Very few races. Suspect girls-only competition until the BC. Stayed home on her poly track all year. All negatives. 

The "game" will be over when the voters vote, not when anyone declares it on an Internet forum.

Suspect girls? Life is Sweet was a proven G1 winner and now Breeders Cup Champion. Who is the best female Rachel ran against? I rest my case. Remember one thing, to be considered the best, you have to beat the best. Zenyatta went to Oaklawn (dirt) to run against the best mare of the land, 2-5 Ginger Punch, and she left no doubt who the champ was. Rachel beat a bunch of "club fighter" and now you want to give her the crown. I just don't get it. Will any Rachel backer tell me the best female Rachel beat?
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mottoman
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« Reply #52 on: November 09, 2009, 10:18:15 AM »

It appeared to me that the general feeling in the media and horse racing world before the classic was that it did not matter what Zenyatta did in the classic because Rachel was already horse of the year.  Now it appears that feelings have changed.  Certainly if Zenyatta came second in the classic nobody would be talking about her for horse of the year.  Therefore feelings have really changed based on that last race.  I have no problems with them being named Co-Horses of the year as a case can be made for both.  Just think Rachel did more and beat more during the entire year.  This years classic field was certainly not great at all as there were no Curlin's or Ghostzappers in it.  
Mine that bird- has not won a race since the Derby and not a synthetic horse.
Colonel John - one win all year in restricted stake race.
summer bird - never raced on synthetic.
twice over - never raced on synthetic and third rate euro.
richard's kid- one impressive big win this year as a real long shot
Gio Pointe - one grade 3 win on synthetic
Einstein - Old, as his speed figures have been weak this year seen his best days
Girolamo - an allowance horse.
Rip van winkle - bad feet should have scratched
Regal Ransom longshot won a big race in UAE last year
Quality road - scratched
Awesome Gem -  won at Hawthorn last race AHHHHHHH!!!!!

My point is this was a very weak classic field this year!

Horse Voice who is your pick for horse of the year as I have not read much from you on the subject, thanks in advance.
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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2009, 10:20:31 AM »

Brian, what makes your position weak is that you always bring up the "one race theory" which is not accurate. If you take a piece of paper and list the best 20 horses they both ran against, you will see Zenyatta list dwarfs Rachel's. Give Rachel her 3 year old championship, let her come back and win a Breeders Cup race next year ( even the Lady Classic) and she will have a chance to win it.
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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2009, 10:28:40 AM »

Just think Rachel did more and beat more during the entire year.  This years classic field was certainly not great at all as there were no Curlin's or Ghostzappers in it. 

Motto, who is the best female Rachel Beat? While this may have not been the best Classic field, it was certainly a solid one with a full field, 10 horses sporting a Beyer fig of 100+ last out including the supposedly 2nd best Euro out there. Curlin got beat by a "suspect" horse. Gio Ponti ran the best race of his life in the Classic, lost, and he was a HOY candidate.
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ZENYATTA THE GREAT! NOT RA!
NIATROSS
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« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2009, 10:36:29 AM »

One last post on thsi forum.


The Breeders Cup Classic is the richest and most prestigious race in North America for 3 yos and up open to the world.The majority of the older open races have become preps for The Classic.Surface should not be an issue in the Classic as it is still the definitive race.This coming from someone who despises poly.

Rachel dominated the 3yo division the same way Zenyatta dominated her division.Rachel beat older horses in a race with substantially less talent than the Classic.Zenyatta dominated the Classic and beat all comers in the biggest race.

I was an idiot and bet against her and she proved me and many others wrong.I tend to agree with Mel she is IMO one of the greatest  mares if not horses of all time and deserves to be HOY.
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brianwspencer
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« Reply #56 on: November 09, 2009, 10:38:49 AM »

Brian, what makes your position weak is that you always bring up the "one race theory" which is not accurate. If you take a piece of paper and list the best 20 horses they both ran against, you will see Zenyatta list dwarfs Rachel's. Give Rachel her 3 year old championship, let her come back and win a Breeders Cup race next year ( even the Lady Classic) and she will have a chance to win it.

Well it seems to me that the majority of the case, the great majority, is based on the Classic. Beating Life is Sweet means something, I've never shied away from admitting that and did so earlier this summer before she had even won the Ladies' Classic.

And I'm just thinking it through, and have obviously tempered my position from earlier this summer regarding HOY -- I'm still firmly in Rachel's camp, but I completely understand the case for Zenyatta, even if I strongly disagree with it. That's why I'm thinking of the entire campaign, I'm just not incredibly impressed with Zenyatta's campaign up until Saturday. Again, I have no doubt whatsoever that Saturday was the single most impressive performance we saw all year, and I was pretty blown away by a few of Rachel's wins. I just think everything has to be taken into consideration and I place a heavy emphasis on the surface over which she beat horses, that matters to me -- it may not to you, and that's justifiable if you're consistent about it, but it matters to me. And to me, without that one race that comes with a brilliant performance over a group with plenty of question marks in my eyes, (ie winning what amounted to a Grade I turf race with some Grade I dirt horses in it) the conversation isn't even close, which is why I am placing such a heavy emphasis on the "one race" angle. I hope that makes some more sense of where I'm comgin from, even if you don't agree with it.

And the 3yo fillies this year were pretty weak, and Rachel was running against boys most of the summer, which means she didn't face strong females and didn't carry handicap weight, since fillies against the boys get a weight break. That's obvious stuff.
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ABBEY
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« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2009, 10:51:40 AM »

Very good post Brian, and I have to agree with you 100%.  Just think Rachel did more during the year with better competition. 
  RA only beat 2 of the horses that ran in the classic. Yatta beat them all on Sat.
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ABBEY
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« Reply #58 on: November 09, 2009, 10:56:15 AM »

I think it is a wash and would be a scandal if they were not co-winners of the HOY.  Rachel has not gone 1 1/4 yet, but, except for one race, Zenyatta did not show her long face outside of California.
  When she does run 1 1/4, maybe they will put a few more lbs. on her like they have on Yatta.
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Earl Sande
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« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2009, 11:38:08 AM »

Rachel Alexandra should be horse of the year, sorry Zenyatta.
Three more wins, two more wins against males and raced all over the country.
Zenyatta did not leave her southern-Cal plastic playground. She had a wonderful year but it just doesn't compare with Rachel's.
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jrstark
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« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2009, 12:01:03 PM »

Suspect girls? Life is Sweet was a proven G1 winner and now Breeders Cup Champion. Who is the best female Rachel ran against? I rest my case. Remember one thing, to be considered the best, you have to beat the best. Zenyatta went to Oaklawn (dirt) to run against the best mare of the land, 2-5 Ginger Punch, and she left no doubt who the champ was. Rachel beat a bunch of "club fighter" and now you want to give her the crown. I just don't get it. Will any Rachel backer tell me the best female Rachel beat?

The Oaklawn race was in 2008, it has nothing to do with who should be 2009 HOY.

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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2009, 12:09:09 PM »

The Oaklawn race was in 2008, it has nothing to do with who should be 2009 HOY.



Never said it had anything to do with it, did I? I was referring to beating the best horse to make the point like Zenyatta did. She left her comfort zone to do that. Rachel has dodged the Breeders Cup 2 years in a row. Zenyatta beat Life is Sweet 3 times, what is the best female Rachel beat?
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brianwspencer
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« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2009, 12:13:01 PM »

Never said it had anything to do with it, did I? I was referring to beating the best horse to make the point like Zenyatta did. She left her comfort zone to do that. Rachel has dodged the Breeders Cup 2 years in a row. Zenyatta beat Life is Sweet 3 times, what is the best female Rachel beat?

To be fair, Rachel "dodged" the Breeders' Cup last year if you're going to say twice, which is also not relevant. And it was with her former owners, for whom if she still raced, she wouldn't even be in this conversation because Jess Jackson took her all over to let her run against boys.
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jrstark
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« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2009, 12:17:52 PM »

Never said it had anything to do with it, did I? I was referring to beating the best horse to make the point like Zenyatta did. She left her comfort zone to do that. Rachel has dodged the Breeders Cup 2 years in a row. Zenyatta beat Life is Sweet 3 times, what is the best female Rachel beat?

Well if we're counting prior years, Zenyatta also "dodged" the BC as a 2 and 3yo.
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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2009, 12:36:34 PM »

Well if we're counting prior years, Zenyatta also "dodged" the BC as a 2 and 3yo.


Then in an effort to be even more fair, I will give Rachel the benefit of the doubt to see if she wins a BC Classic race, male or female, the next 2 years in the same fashion. I will then gladly give her HOY. Rachel beat 2nd & 3rd rate horses all year and does not deserve HOY in my opinion. I hope the people that vote will listen to the public and not give horse racing a black eye. How come no one will give me the name of the best female Rachel beat?
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2009, 12:45:24 PM »

Horse Voice who is your pick for horse of the year as I have not read much from you on the subject, thanks in advance.

I'm REALLY struggling with it.

I had RA written in stone weeks ago, because I was convinced Zenyatta was going to the Ladies Classic, and whether she won or lost that race -- so what?

Then, they announced she was taking on the boys, and again I said "Big deal -- she's never run fast enough to beat all but a few horses in that group".

And she hadn't done so. Until Saturday, that is.

I was already impressed with Zenyatta for what she has accomplished racing against her own sex, in protected company...but I'm not in favor of protected horses being HOY; same reason I don't think Favorite Trick should have been HOY -- the vast majority of the best horses around couldn't take their shot at a 2 year old.

So, Zenyatta was never on my HOY radar before. She is now.

The "game" will be over when the voters vote, not when anyone declares it on an Internet forum.

The "game" of HOY voting will be over, yes, but the real "game" -- the one where us armchair breeders, owners and trainers just "know" who is the better horse -- will be going on for quite some time. Some folks are still arguing Easy Goer vs. Sunday Silence. At the local level, I can't comprehend how anyone ever though Milwaukee Road was better than Khafji. Stupid Milwaukee Road supporters.
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brianwspencer
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« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2009, 12:48:25 PM »

Then in an effort to be even more fair, I will give Rachel the benefit of the doubt to see if she wins a BC Classic race, male or female, the next 2 years in the same fashion. I will then gladly give her HOY. Rachel beat 2nd & 3rd rate horses all year and does not deserve HOY in my opinion. I hope the people that vote will listen to the public and not give horse racing a black eye. How come no one will give me the name of the best female Rachel beat?

Well I already conceded that the best female Rachel beat is not as good as Life Is Sweet -- though I'm certain she's better than Briecat or Anabaa's Creation, neither of whom are any more than GIII punching bags on their respective best days.

There's no doubt Zenyatta beat a tougher gal than Rachel ever did, the 3yo filly division was weak this year, leading to Jackson running her against boys to test her. In Rachel's defense, she beat bad fillies the way they're supposed to be beaten -- embarrassingly.

That a filly winning HOY off the Oaks, Preakness, Haskell, Mother Goose, and Woodward would be a "black eye" for racing, however, is a bit over the top.
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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2009, 12:55:23 PM »

Well if we're counting prior years, Zenyatta also "dodged" the BC as a 2 and 3yo.


Forgot to answer this question. Zenyatta did not dodge, she was not eligible to run in the Breeders Cup those 2 years because she never ran in any race at that point. Her first race was on Nov. 22, 2007 and afler just 3 races she took on the top mare in the country on dirt at Oaklawn. Then that fall she won her first BC. Is that a good enough reason for you? Now, tell me again why Rachel did not show up.
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brianwspencer
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« Reply #68 on: November 09, 2009, 12:56:08 PM »

Forgot to answer this question. Zenyatta did not dodge, she was not eligible to run in the Breeders Cup those 2 years because she never ran in any race at that point. Her first race was on Nov. 22, 2007 and afler just 3 races she took on the top mare in the country on dirt at Oaklawn. Then that fall she won her first BC. Is that a good enough reason for you? Now, tell me again why Rachel did not show up.

For the same reason she didn't show up to the Flower Bowl?
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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #69 on: November 09, 2009, 12:58:20 PM »


That a filly winning HOY off the Oaks, Preakness, Haskell, Mother Goose, and Woodward would be a "black eye" for racing, however, is a bit over the top.

You are correct.
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ChitownSteve75
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« Reply #70 on: November 09, 2009, 01:02:17 PM »

For the same reason she didn't show up to the Flower Bowl?

I see you had no answer.
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brianwspencer
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« Reply #71 on: November 09, 2009, 01:08:51 PM »

I see you had no answer.

That's not a dodge at all because, to be perfectly honest, to me that was answer enough from the very beginning. Jackson said exactly why he wouldn't do it, and it's because Rachel is a dirt horse and he wasn't going to run her out West on a surface that routinely eats dirt horses for lunch and doesn't even give them a fighting chance. I never had a problem with Jackson saying he wouldn't go. Not then, not now.

To me, that bears itself out over and over again in the BC races run on the stuff the last two years, when no dirt horses won. To me, it's exactly like saying he won't run his filly on the grass because it's not dirt and she's a dirt horse and her success or lack thereof on the grass has no bearing on her as a racehorse. Further, the fact remains that the field for the Classic consisted almost entirely of synthetic specialists and turf horses (Gio Ponti would never in a million years have been in the Classic if this were at Churchill). Spectacular turf and synthetic horses, to be perfectly clear, but still, not a dirt championship race in any sense of the word that would be readily understood.

The great irony here, I think, is that were this race run on the dirt, Zenyatta probably still could have won it, and that would have put to bed any and all conversation on the topic. I'd concede my foolishness from months past faster than you could snap your fingers. Nobody can objectively say that the Breeders' Cup has given dirt horses a fair shake over the last two years. Whether that has any implications to your thinking is another story, it clearly does to mine, but it can't honestly be said that it was a level playing field for dirt horses, as the trainers of numerous turf horses seemed to agree, entering their horses in the "dirt" races.
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« Reply #72 on: November 09, 2009, 01:09:10 PM »

 flag

Two perfect records with courses charted by two completely different set of maps. Any and all arguments are really silly. While we'll be talking about these two awesome fillies for many years to come, unlike Easy Goer vs. Sunday Silence, we'll never have documented mano y mano race footage to back up our opinions.

Comment about Life is Sweet: Great win in the Ladies Classic, but still, another who didn't venture outside her state, and her only win away from "home" was a first-level allowance win on the grass at Gulfstream. Plus, it's not as if she was runner-up everytime she faced the big girl.

3 vs.4, sythetic, vs. dirt; throw in perfect records and historic achievements and you just can't seperate them. Those who try aren't really horse players, but 'fan'atics.
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #73 on: November 09, 2009, 01:13:16 PM »

Ever read or hear something, and say, "I wish I had said that"? I say that all the time.

Just happened again. Here's an excerpt from a Mike Welsch column just posted to DRF:

Angel Cordero Jr. has ridden some of the greatest horses in the history of racing and has seen history being made in the sport for over four decades. But he said he's never witnessed anything like what he'd just seen watching Zenyatta storm down the stretch to capture the Classic.

"That was one of the greatest moments I've witnessed in my life and I'm not only talking about horse racing," said Cordero. "She not only won but it was the way she won that made this so special because she did it with something to spare. We've now been privileged to have seen two great fillies in the same year, and it's impossible to say one was better than the other. For the good of the sport, they've got to give them both the Horse of the Year award because it just wouldn't be fair for one of them to lose. I know one thing, if they do split it, nobody will be mad."

***

Mr. Cordero, I wholeheartedly agree. Well said.

Full story at:

http://www.drf.com/news/article/108813.html
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mel4600
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« Reply #74 on: November 09, 2009, 01:35:16 PM »

HV, I read that article also and I know no one would be mad.

Have you ever read articles and said, man, he put his foot in his mouth? I believe it was you who said Andy Beyer was biased towards the East Coast racing scene and always gave larger beyers to those horses. I have studied that and you were correct! You can subtract a minimum of 5 or more depending on the level of horse. Here is his article from 11/6/09;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/05/AR2009110502549.html

Columnists | Posted 11/6/2009, 12:13 am
Toss the dirt runners - and Zenyatta
By Andrew Beyer
 
ARCADIA, Calif. - After Rachel Alexandra dominated much of the U.S. racing season, it is finally Zenyatta's moment to take center stage. The 5-year-old mare, who has won all 13 of her races with a powerful late kick, will face males for the first time when she runs Saturday in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Zenyatta is the biggest star in two days of racing at Santa Anita that include 14 stakes with more than $25 million in purse money. But there are substantial reasons to doubt that she can beat male rivals as Rachel Alexandra did in the spring and summer.

Trainer John Shireffs has given Zenyatta an ultra-conservative campaign this season, racing her four times on the synthetic tracks she loves, always against small fields of overmatched fillies and mares. Zenyatta didn't blow away this competition, and her speed figures were unexceptional. Her modest winning margins were partly the result of her catch-'em-at-the-wire style, but nevertheless she has not looked as impressive as she was in her best efforts of 2008. It requires a giant leap of faith to conclude, from her 2009 form, that Zenyatta can beat a Classic field that includes the best U.S. males - Summer Bird and Quality Road - and a pair of high-class Europeans. It is preposterous that she is the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
That leaves the two European entrants, Rip Van Winkle and Twice Over.

Rip Van Winkle won two straight Group 1 stakes in England after losing by a length to the continent's superstar, Sea the Stars. He - not Zenyatta - is the class of the Classic field.

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