October 4, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different …

The Top 10 Performances of the weekend. Let’s count it down.

10) Tie - Varenar and Interpatation both pulled off shocking upsets over a couple of the best turf horses in the world yesterday. Varenar upset Goldikova in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp and Interpatation outlasted Gio Ponti in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Probably the biggest win that either horse will attain but worth a mention for the best of the weekend.

9) Kodiak Kowboy is one tough sprinter when he runs his best and yesterday in the slop of the Vosburgh he ran his best. With the timing of a fine Swiss watch, Kodiak Kowboy unleashed his powerful rally late to run by one of the best sprinters of recent years, Fabulous Strike, for a gritty victory.

8) Mastercraftsman did not beat much in his runaway victory in the Diamond Stakes Friday night in Ireland, but what he did do, was prep effectively for the Breeders' Cup. In his first try on a synthetic surface, Mastercraftsman said “yes” to his connections for a shot at the Classic

7) Awesome Gem was due. If ever a good horse was due for a stakes win, this was the horse. Awesome Gem had run so many good races with no ultimate reward, that you just had to root for him to finally break through for his first stakes win in more than two and a half years. I say good for the old boy, congratulations on your Hawthorne Gold Cup score.

6) Music Note did what she needed to do in a Grade 1 race that was decimated by defections. Her win in the Beldame against an overmatched field, was effortless and it sets her up perfectly for another try in the BC Ladies Classic.

5) Gone Astray is a horse I have been watching for some time and I am confident he is better than most people realize. Yesterday in the Ohio Derby, he met few horses of consequence, but he won authoritatively after chasing down a leader loose on the lead. Big things are in this colt’s future.

4) Pure Clan is pure class. After a tough pace scenario in her last start, the Beverly D, she was primed for her best effort and it was produced over the boggish turf course yesterday at Belmont in the Flower Bowl. She will see different turf conditions in the Breeders’ Cup, but she will be a major factor.

3) Careless Jewel was fantastic yet again as she absolutely toyed with her filly counterparts in the rich Cotillion Stakes at Philadelphia Park. She is now ready to step up and take on the big girls next because she is making a mockery of these 3-year-old races.

2) Summer Bird has taken a stranglehold on the 3-year-old male eclipse award with another huge win in the state of New York. His Jockey Club Gold Cup win was a workmanlike display of consistency and class as he methodically wore down Quality Road. This win places him firmly in the upper echelon of American horses in only his first year of racing.

Drum roll please…and the number 1 performance of the weekend was…

1) Sea the Stars was absolutely spect-Arc-ular in winning the world’s most important race on the grass. He traveled to France and met his largest and toughest field yet, but it made little matter as he verified his greatness with an electrifying two length victory. Stuck down on the rail and a little keen early on, Sea the Stars easily shifted out to get a clear run and then turned on the afterburners to easily dispatch the world class field. If this proves to be his final career race, he certainly leaves the world of racing on a tremendous note.

8 comments:

Jennifer Cook said...

Interpatation looked like he fell in a hole trying to get a grip on the turf in the stretch and still triumphed. Listening later I learned that was because he switched leads twice.... fascinating! Is that because he was running badly or because he was digging in to win? My husband would have won the pick 4 if Gio Ponti would have won. But I still got an underdog kick out of Interpatation's victory.

Celeste said...

For the first eight, I'm in agreement with you, Brian, but it's a toss up between the l and 2 in my book. The slop at Belmont seemed to make Summer Bird's triumph a litte bit stronger in my opinion, although I take nothing away from Sea The Stars. I thought he was trapped in the middle of the huge pack, but he got out of there and flew. Still....Summer Bird was awesome, so my indecisiveness appears to have me going back and forth between those two for the top spot.

Brian Zipse said...

Celeste,

I stand firm on my selection on #1. Sea the Stars beat so many good horses very easily and did it on one of the biggest stages in all of horse racing.

Brian Zipse said...

I totally agree Jennifer, Interpatation had some very strange action in the stretch, going back and forth between leads is a little bit like me trying to do the foxtrot!

LDP said...

Great analysis, I agree with every one of your placings. Sea the Stars proved he was the best in the world today IMO. Summer Bird in on the Turf would be interesting, but i'm not sure how he'd do, he, like you said methodiclly wears down his foes, he doesn't have a huge turn of foot. That would be an interesting race though.

Brian Zipse said...

Lookin at Lucky and Blind Luck won the Norfolk and Oak Leaf respectively after the writing of this blog. Both horses were impressive and deserve mention in the best of the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Everyday you keep us up to speed on everything going on at the races and you do it in such an entertaining way. This is by far my favorite blog!

Brian Zipse said...

Thank you Anonymous for your kind words. I am glad that you enjoy my stories and feel free to tell your friends!