Saturday, July 10, 2010

2009 is Over, It's 2010 Now

"I'll bet Eclipse voters are really regretting their decision now." "Now what do the voters think of Horse of the Year." "Bet voters wish they could change their minds." This is not even a tenth of what is being said or what has been said, seven months after the Eclipse Awards were announced. Did you get that last bit SEVEN MONTHS.

Yet again, in 2010, we have not one, but two mega mares and all people can do is bash one or the other. Every single blog that mentions the name Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta deteriorates into a bunch of name calling and insult slinging. Steve Haskin, has now announced he will not be opening any of the pieces he writes on Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta to comments. Yeah, that is how bad it's gotten.

The constant bashing of these two magnificent mares has got to end. How can anyone with half a brain insult a filly who has run eight straight 100 plus Beyer speed figures in a row? How do you slam a filly who ran against males not once, not twice, but thrice in one year and never once tasted defeat? How do insult a filly who was so quick that she owns three stakes records and comes within fifths of setting track records?

By the same token how does anyone with half a brain insult a mare who is unbeaten lifetime? How do you slam her when she runs down every single horse in front of her, including those in the Breeders Cup Classic? How do call Zenyatta names like polyzen and Rachel Alexandra a miler when both have proven otherwise?

I know what each side wanted last year. I know the arguments and rebuttals for each side so well I could probably argue with myself which horse is better. I understand that Zenyatta's side was let down for a second year in a row and I understand that Rachel fans were shell shocked to see their champion lose her first two races back. What I don't understand is the need revert back to the past and slam Rachel for losing or rub in the fact that Zenyatta did not get Horse of the Year.I understand the questioning of connections, the defending of your favorite, pointing out flaws because that is what debating is about. It is not about who can come up with the most wildly, ridiculous insult.

As of 2010 we have both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra back. One continues to keep on trucking along, while the other is just starting to regain her form. So far both are taking rather bizarre paths toward their ultimate goal, the Breeders Cup Classic, but you can rest assured that both connections will have their mares at their peak to give us a show that will never be forgotten.

We need to forget the bitterness of 2009 and look at what we have now and what the future holds. Right now we have two superstars that are on a collision course to Churchill Downs. There they will meet the likes of Quality Road, Rail Trip, and Blame in one final race where winner takes all. People, 2009 ended seven months ago, it's time to move into 2010.


  1. I agree with you, totally. While I have my favorite, that doesn't mean that I don't see the magnificence of the other. Admitting that they are both fantastic is not a slur on either one - I just don't get it. Revel in our riches, people! When will we have this situation again?!?

  2. I , as a horse lover and horse- racing lover, am overjoyed that I live in the time of Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta.

    I hope I live to tell of them , that I saw them and couldn't believe my eyes. But they actually did race these races , they actually were that great.
    Anyone whose mind and heart is too small to appreciate both is to be pitied.

  3. Very well said Debbie. I confess that my favorite is RA, and even though I point out the flaws of Zen, I still respect what she has done.

  4. Anon,

    This is a great time. When was the last time 2 fillies thoroughly dominated the ranks such as RA and Zen? Both are great dispite their flaws.

  5. Only in horse racing, a sport that has struggled to capture the imagination of the sporting public and emulate the success of other major sports, would this be perceived as a problem. Any other sport - you know, the ones that are actually successful, would be celebrating the heated rivalry between the Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta camps because they know that such things are precisely what fuels the popularity of competitive sports.

    Our sport is so dysfunctional from a marketing and promotional perspective that it can't even recognize the golden egg, let alone the goose that laid it.

  6. Lost in the Fog,

    The crap the goes on in other sports is dispicable at times, b-ball is one of the worst. I agree that a heated debate is what the sport needs but go on to NTRA and go on to any artical that even mentions RA or Zen or is even remotely related to them and you will see what I mean.

    Fans will trash talk it's part of every game, but at some point there need to be a line drawn. We have two fantastic females and people can't even have a half-way civilized debate about them. As I said I like debating, I'm quite good at it and enjoy it, but to disparage these two great horses the way they are being now is disgusting. They are HORSES for crying out loud. What have they done to deserve such nastiness?

  7. Great article, LDP, and Amen! I am new to racing, having only seriously followed it for the past two years, and I read all the blogs. I am astonished at some of the venomous comments and personal insults to both horses. Yes, they are HORSES! And we don't need to sink to the depths of some of the fans following other sports. These blogs have almost put me off racing entirely and racing needs all the fans it can get. Thank you for a much-needed perspective.

  8. RachelAlex,

    Thank you very much. I really hope you decide to keep following racing. There are people like this everywhere unfortunetly and we have to look past them onto the the greatness of the horse.

  9. Rachel has ran and hid her whole life when it comes to facing Zenyatta.


    Zenyatta is the 2009 "Horse of the Year" if Rachel shows up to the 2009 Breeders Cup. Plain and simple. Enough said.

  10. John,

    The same could be said for Zenyatta, who stayed in Cali all year long only venturning out of her comfort zone once. This year she ran in the AB, in her only out of Cali start and has since then only faced fillies and mares, no colts. There are certain arguments that can be used against both mares and that is one of them.

    On your second comment, I really don't understand. 2009 is over, that is the point of the blog here. RA won HOTY last year and deserved it, my opinion on that is set in stone. If you meant to say if RA doesn't show up this year, then yes you are correct. If you mean that if RA showed to the Cup last year and was beaten, I will tell you now that because of the track the Cup was held over last year, many would've not held that loss against RA and still voted for her.