Sunday, December 6, 2009

Could Ventura Have a Case for Champion Older Female?

Ok, I'm done being nice for now, it's time to get back to what I do so well, inspire controversy. Today I read something, stating that, maybe, Ventura has a valid claim on the female championship honors. At first I though, no way no how, not with Zenyatta's Classic win. Then, I started thinking, recalling what races Ventura has entered and how she had done, and then came to the conclusion, that yes, she has a very real case for Champion older female.

Like many think when looking at Zeyatta vs Rachel, I think the same when I put Ventura and Zenyatta side by side. Zenyatta's sole claim to fame this year is a win in the Breeders Cup Classic, where she was the first female to pull off the Herculean feat. Though, Ventura also was the first to accomplish something this year, she was the first to win the Woodbine Mile. In this field she beat Fernley, who was fresh off his Del Mar Mile win, Bribon, one of the most formidable milers in America, and the Woodbine loving Rahy's Attorney. In this race she was in a horrible position at the top of the lane, and didn't look to have any hope at coming anywhere close to winning. Then, it was like somebody had lit a fuse and she was the bomb. In the blink of an eye, Ventura went from zero to hero, flying up on the outside, like a bat out of, well you know where, to win the Woodbine Mile drawing away.

All of her races this year have been competed at the Grade one level, and unlike some this year, they actually included some Grade one competition. She has raced from California, to Kentucky, to Canada, then back to California, facing the best there is to offer, and never finishing worse than second. She raced over both turf and synthetics, racing over Pro-Rid, Poly, and Cushion Track. Her three losses were dealt by two horses, the likely turf and older male champion, Gio Ponti and the synthetic sprinting sensation Informed Decision. Two of those losses came by margins of a neck and a nose. She face males twice this year once coming in second, then next surging late to get up for the win.

When beaten by Informed Decision, one could say that she was running a bit below her best distance, since both of her losses came on the synthetic at seven furlongs, when Ventura, herself was best going a mile on the turf, where she lost once by a nose to Gio Ponti, out of three tries. She was classy as could be, versatile, and showed up in each and every race. In the Filly and Mare Sprint, she put in a powerful rally, but ran out of ground when trying to catch her speedball rival Informed Decision. To run in the races she competed in, and to remain as consistent as she has deserves a good look, when deciding the end of the year championship honors.

Zenyatta's fans will probably rip me apart for saying this but even with her unbeaten season, Zenyatta's overall campaign pales in comparison to Ventura's. The only real horse Zenyatta beat in her first four starts this season was Life is Sweet, who did come back to win the Ladies Classic, but other than that, there is not a single filly that Zenyatta beat, who came back to win another graded stakes. Zenyatta stayed in one state all year, racing on surfaces that everyone knew she was comfortable on. Her only real tough race was the Classic, and though that race was a fantastic race, one cannot win an award based off of one race, especially when others have dominated more.

Ventura's record weighs so much more than Zenyatta's, yet it is still a longshot that she will get the award. Ventura race more, and overall against more, on their turf. She did not wait for anybody to come to her. When looking at the seasons, Zenyatta's Classic was great, but before that, what did she really do to beat a horse as sensational and consistent as Ventura. I'm sorry to say, but I think Ventura deserve to be the 2009 Champion Older Female.


  1. Ventura has had a great year and has been spectacular since arriving to the United States and joining Bobby Frankel's Barn(RIP), but in no way, does she deserve the award instead of Zenyatta. Not even close!

  2. There are many benefits to being only known as "Anonymous" on the net. Especially for fans daring to point out that Zenyatta's record may pale in comparison to both Rachel's and Ventura's. And maybe Goldikova. Or Bambera.

    Where has Amateurcapper gone???

  3. I agree. There's no way. I won't try to change your opinion, it sounds like you're standing firm, but I'll tell you right now Zenyatta pretty much has Champion Older Female locked up. Ventura hasn't won past a mile has she? Zenyatta's 5-5 this season, with a win at the classic distance.
    I agree with you that Rachel should be HOY, but I really think Zenyatta deserves Champion Older Female.

  4. You're not controversial, you're delusional.
    You say you like Zenyatta? Please.

  5. So, you won't comment on the nice blog, yet you comment on this one, sheesh, and you all think i'm a negative nelly, lol. Nothing wrong with being contreversial. Tell me anon#2 what race other than the Classic did Zenyatta run in that gives her any claim on the award??? Sure she was dominating, but Ventura showed up each and every time against quality competition every time. She was not put in races where she had a 1 and 10,000 chance of loosing, she face Gio on his best surface, and was beaten a mere nose. You want to say Zen beat Gio, ok, lets see her do it at a mile on his favorite surface of grass. Could she, I would actually say yes, but did she, no, so we are left with guess work. Will I be devestated if Ventura does not win, no, do I think she should, yes. She faced better and proved each and every time she could handle it.

    Anon #3,

    No, Ventura has not won over a mile, but technically the mile is considered a short route. So when I look at the two seasons side by side, seeing one mare who took more challenges and faced better against an unbeaten mare who faced softer and only came out of her shell once, I would tend to go with the one who took more risks, even if they were beaten.

    Also, I may be passionate, but I can debate all day and night, it is one of my favorite things to do. So please feel free to debate. I will say though keep it clean. If there is one thing I'm tired of it's the petty name calling on both sides of the fence.

  6. What quality competition did Ventura beat?

    Zenyatta ran in G1's and beat those who ran against her. Didn't see you questioning the quality of Rachels races when she beat 2 horses or when the best of the fillies she beat in one race is still eligble for a non winners of 2.

    Even your nice blog was qualified.
    Christophe has said he may run Gio on the synthetics and it has already been publically declared that he is being pointed the Dubai World Cup on the new synthetic surface in Dubai.

    These awards are opinions. But usually they are based on some type of realistic information. It isn't about who lost more races but took the bigger risk. Maybe you're confusing this with the RPI's in college basketball? LOL Ventura may win some type of award, but older female isn't it.

    Also not sure but I don't think there was any name calling. Seemed kind of funny. You say yourself you're controversial, I think you TRY to be, sometimes you succeed and sometimes it comes off not very flattering.

  7. Hey LDP,

    How about VENTURA for Champion Older Turf Female? She won two G.1 races
    on turf in the U.S. this year, one vs. the boys, and was 2nd vs. the boys in yet another.
    The same argument many make for body of work (aka. the RACHEL factor) vs. one big BC win (aka. the ZENYATTA effect) applies with her.

    She defeated males in the WO Mile, won the Matriarch (G.1) last weekend. Also was nosed by likely Older Turf Male winner GIO PONTI in the G.1 Kilroe Mile.

    For the Eclipse award, I don't consider foreign form.

    GOLDIKOVA got the big BC win (aka. ZENYATTA effect), a repeat in the Mile vs. the best milers assembled in the U.S. this year. Her body
    of work in the U.S., just that one win. It came vs. a much better field than VENTURA defeated in the WO Mile.

    The question as it is w/ the HOY
    debate: does one win trump a more substantive campaign?

  8. Anon,
    I never said there was name calling, yet, just warning. You might want to look up what contreversial means. I wrote a nice blog, nobody came, then I write this and you all are back debating me again. It may come off as unflattering to you, but others do like this type of writing, and because of that I'll keep on doing it.

    You ask who did Ventura beat, well she beat Rahy's Attorney at his favorite track, she went up against Gio on his favortite (saying that he can run on synthetics does not mean he likes it better, just that her is versitle and can run effectively on more than one surface.) She beat Bribon who was one of the more formidable milers, and was barely beaten by Informed Decision while racing at her best distance on her best surface.

    You don't have to like what I say, I never asked you to, but when I compare the two race records, competition and overall season, Ventura win.


    Hmmmmm, nice point. There was no real dominant turf female this year so that would make a fantastic comprimise. Look at that, I can actually be persuaded to look at another POV, lol. Seriously, that is a great idea.

  9. "You might want to look up what contreversial means. I wrote a nice blog, nobody came" Sorry you might want to look up the word controversial yourself. You write pretty well but a bit of editing and less of what you perceive to be controversial or hard hitting would be advisable at this point in your career as a writer.

    I agree with whoever said it, Kris? The nice blog you wrote had a qualifying statement at the beginning of it. It was more of the same as far as a nice writeup with a bit of meanness thrown in. Think you have a career ahead of you if you can just keep in mind that controversy doesn't always sell and that is a dime a dozen out there. Take this as constructive criticism from someone who would like to see you succeed as a writer and has been published and NOT as a blog writer.

    As far as Ventura? I can see what most on here are trying to tell you. It isn't giving it the old college try, it's about winning races. Otherwise the award would be given to the horses that show up for every race, yet finish off the board or place. That's the same mentality that is hurting racing. The idea that everyone gets a reward just for trying. Not saying you, but a lot of younger people can't deal with the fact that in Little League everyone gets some kind of an award, but when you're gambling on horses you only get rewarded for finishing in the top 3.

  10. Anon,
    I do not have a paid edtior nor do I have the money to pay one, I go over as best as I can, so I'm sorry if I mispell or miss a comma, or a period. If I make a mistake like that and someone sees it, please tell me so I can correct it, otherwise I won't know. What meaness did I write at ALL in my last blog, Zenyatta, One in a Zillion? Pleas elaborate on that. Pleas elaborate, when I have ever been mean, which of course is matter of opinion. Mean to me mean calling somebody out, malicious name calling or whatever. I never, get that NEVER said that Moss did anything, I said I think that is what he is doing, which honestly is perfectly legal and fine.

    On Ventura, you call coming in second by a nose and by a neck to Informed decision, on a surface and over a distance that is her best a good old college try and just showing up? She faced overall better competition all year long, when if she had stayed on a mile against females on turf, in one state, she probably would've been unbeaten too. However she traveled more, she faced better, and raced males twice this year. That is not a good old college try. Also, I HATE the we give out condolence prizes crap too, but running in some of the top races all year and never finishing worse than second, when two of those were by less than half a length...That is not just showing up and finishing off the board.

  11. Maybe meanness was an incorrect term. A qualifying statement with an 'in your face' tenor to it. As I'm sure you know, being a blogger, a blog is a web journal stating opinions on subjects important to the blogger.
    It's not formal journalism as we know it, but it's a starting point.
    However, if you are truly interested in becoming an influential person in the industry, held in the same esteem as a Joe Hirsch, Steve Haskin, William Murray or any of the fraternity which concentrate on the genre of turfdom? A little less of the 'THIS is the way it is and if you don't believe it just ask me'. Now, if you want to be a blogger, who by the way reach a very limited number of readers, then just forge ahead with the same presentation.
    As far as an editor? That's not necessary for this type of brief story. Just keep the emotions in check, use spell and grammar check and you're in business.

    Now on to the subject matter at hand. What kind of CONSOLATION prizes are being given out?
    IF, and that's a big if, the voters are entrusted to vote correctly on the best of the best in awarding an Eclipse, there is a certain responsibility to weigh and measure the accomplishments and leave the heart out of it. If that becomes impossible, as some writers have said it will once the nominees are presented for their vote, then all that can be done is to abstain. There have been many instances of that in the past when a particular winner is inevitable and it goes against the better judgment of a voter to just mark the ballot.

    Now, if you like to argue just for the sake of argument or if it makes you feel like you have some input to the powers that be to continue throwing out these comments, which seem to be driven by your love of Rachel Alexandra and everything which may influence anyone towards her chief rival? Then by all means go ahead. Just be aware when this is over and done, the racing world has moved on to the next crop, exciting event or maybe even a horse that surpasses the two (a Triple Crown winner?), then you will be remembered as someone who is basing their opinions on what they hear, what they read and their own personal biases. Many will consider this as presenting you as someone who may be too opinionated for the fans or would be fans.

    Print this or not, your choice, but hopefully take it in the vein it is meant. Friendly advice from someone who would like to see you succeed.

  12. anon,
    How about taking a breath, lol. My emotions are removed, and I am not in your face. I have sent some of my stuff to writes, who will remain nameless, but who are great turf writers, and all loved what I write. On the editor, there was no emotions if you see something tell me, I will not be emarrassed and will appriciate it if you bring it to my attention. You say that I'm basically it's my way or the highway, yet if you look at my response to Ameture, you'll see I can be persuaded. The difference between him and you is that he presented his POV w/o feelings at all while you are trying to tell how to write on MY BLOG. Try doing that on Hangin With Haskin or Breeders Cup Chat and I'm sure they won't even to bother to put your post up.

    Consolation Prize are what you referred to in you last post, wher in other sports they are handed out even to losing teams. I did not say it was in horses, just that I hate it, since honestly you did not win or come in top three and should not take away from those who did perform well.

    I do not argue for the sake of argument, in fact, I post and you all respond in an argumentative way. Now I'm all for debate, that is why I post, but please do not turn my blog into a phyc report on me, I don't need it neither do I want it. My posts are not driven by Rachel in the least, it is my way of thinking with Ventura's season vs. Zenyatta's. Will I be heartbroken if she does not win, no.

    Also when racing finally shifts so will I, why do you think I gave you my derby top ten a while back? Just for kicks and giggles. No, I got tired of debating HOTY. Please, get off the bias crap, get of trying to phyc evaluate me, and just debate me over the topic. If you want an example of what I mean, look at Ameture's post.

  13. Okay, whatever. But look at your last post carefully.

    If you like I could edit it, but don't think you like constructive criticism. I'm not trying to analyze you in the least or phyc(sic) evaluate you at all. You say you don't get emotionally involved? That's bad as a writer, but getting overly emotional or angry? That is not a good trait in a writer.
    As far as the blogs? Wouldn't waste my time on BC chat. However, I speak frequently with Steve.

    How do you know who you are actually speaking with?
    Not that you care, I've seen you take on any number of people in the game whose knowlege dwarfs yours.
    I told you your didn't have to print it, that I was trying to give you a leg up and some friendly advice. But carry on, I know where this will take you.

  14. Anon,

    Where in my last post did I say I use no emotions? If I did somewhere else, excuse me, because I obviously had a lapse for better words or something. I am passionate, and blunt, which honestly could be used in racing. I get rather tired of connections and journalists, even blog host being way to polite. I am straight with people and will tell you what I think, nothing else, that is needed in racing, and obviouly needs to be seen more often since it's considered as in your face.

    Yes, exuse the errors in the last post, I am brain fried, and really will not catch anything right now, until I come back hours later. I don't mind constructive critism, I don't even mind being proven wrong, thing is you have to PROVE it, otherwise, I am sticking to what I think.

    You ask how I know who I'm speaking to, well I'm friends with those certain people on FB, have sent them copies of my stuff, and all have said they like it. That is all I will tell you, because in this aspect, I don't like to flaunt who I know. I'm not a name dropper (not saying you are.)

    Also, insulting my knowledge when you've never met me is not a good way to get me or anyone to listen.

  15. Gosh you can't be that obtuse...
    Anonymous is telling you that you don't know who you're speaking with as far as who he or she may be
    The person isn't insulting your knowledge, they're calling a spade a spade. You cannot possibly know as much as some of these turf writers who have been all over the world, seen all of these horses that you can only read about, spoken with the greatest in the game, personally. You also cannot possibly know as much as an owner or a trainer who are with the horses 24 hours a day, raised them from birth or work with them constantly.

    That person was trying to encourage you to write, but do so with a more positive spin and watch your spelling, which is atrocious by the way. Do you sincerely think that someone like that who you sent your writings to would trash you?

    Truthfully, you think this blog is just a tad more important than it really is.

  16. Jay,
    I never claimed to know more at all, but telling a person that I take on people whose knowledge dwarfs mine is rather insulting. The thing about blogging is that you don't know who your talkin to, therefore you are all essentially equal and should be allowed to express you opinion w/o being judged at all.

    The ppl who I sent my writing to are proffesionals and I asked the to critiqe me. Do I expect them to rail me, no, but I expect honesty, especially if that person is big into writing and into the racing industry.

    I do watch my spelling or try to, it's easier on a word document that has spell check, on these however, not so much. I know my spelling is off, mainly because I can't spell to save my life.

    Actually I know just how important this blog is in the whole scheme of things, and I can tell you right now I know it's small. Fact is that it is my blog, and I am doing what I can to build it up.

    Now to get off this topic, for anyone who want to read, my recognition blog is today.

  17. LDP: You should use firefox as your web browser; it has built in spell check, and is available for free for both Windows and Mac. I also spell horridly, and firefox makes it so much easier!

    About this weird attacking from people who are supposedly connected to the industry? You may take this as an insult, but I highly doubt anyone who writes with Steve Haskin or is chummy with Jerry Moss bothers to seek out this blog, let alone cares about the fact you are attacking Zenyatta/Moss. It's a blog for god sakes, and there are millions (literally) of blogs out there saying MUCH worse things about everything and everybody under the sun. Whoever these anon's are, they probably are not who they say they are, and really the easiest way to deal with people like that is to not engage them.