Monday, September 21, 2009

Fantastic Fillies

As the year of 2009 wears on, it becomes more and more apparent that the fillies are taking over by storm. There has never been a year in, my recollection where the fillies, of all ages have been so dominant. In each division males have succumbed to females. Rachel Alexandra did it both to her own age group and against older horses. She has three wins in Grade ones, this year, total, against males. Ventura, on Sunday beat the boys a second time, this time in the Grade one Woodbine Mile. In the two year old ranks Necessary Evil beat her male counterparts. Even females who haven't sought out open competition are thought to be better than their male competitors. Zenyatta is a mare, and is thought to be the best in the west. We also have Seventh Street, Icon Project, and Swift Temper. These mares are thought to be either just as good or better than the colts, and they haven't ever sought to beat them. This year is truly a rarity.

In the past we have had consecutive filly Horse of the Years in 1944 and 1945, with Twilight Tear and Busher, but they were both from separate years. More recently Rags to Riches won the Belmont, but that year we had Curlin, Hard Spun, Street Sense, and Lawyer Ron to keep the fillies in check. It seems that every year we have a band of fillies that are tearing up the track there is a male around who is bigger,better, and faster. This is not the case in 2009.

This year the likely Horse of the Year will be a filly, Rachel Alexandra. Zenyatta could take on the boys in the Classic, and if she wins she will probably be nominated for Horse of the Year. Now I'm not quite up to date on this, but I don't ever think there has been a year when two fillies have been nominated for Horse of the Year. Ventura, now has many options open this year for the Breeders Cup. She won the Filly and Mare Sprint last year, so why not try the Sprint, or even better the Mile, against another star filly beating the boys, Goldikova.

Never, has there been a year such as this, where fillies and mares are so completely dominant. It is truly is a rarity, and though racing has gone through some rough times recently, this should not be overlooked. One day, those lucky enough to witness the year of 2009, will look back and tell there children and grandchildren about the Year of the Fillies.


  1. The year of the filly & mare indeed, It's a joy to see them succeed against the boys in such big races. We can only hope Zenyatta gets at least one try against males before retirement. Girl Power!

  2. Girl Power indeed. I too hope Zen's connections run her in the Classic, win or lose, it would be a great way to cap off her career.