December 5, 2009

Sir Barton Reincarnate

90 years ago, Sir Barton made his seventh start in the Kentucky Derby. Winless in his six previous starts, the maiden won that edition of America’s most famous race, forever becoming the most notorious maiden in the history of racing. Last night, deep down in the Louisiana Delta, a young filly entered the evening a maiden. By the time the night was over, Quiet Temper had become the winner of a half million dollar graded stakes. In smashing style, the Mark Stanley owned daughter of Quiet American, dominated the nine horse field and splashed home nearly eight lengths the best. In the process she earned first prize of $300,000 and now has one win and three seconds, in her four starts. Quite an accomplishment for a maiden, OK maybe not on a scale of Sir Barton, who went on to become our first Triple Crown winner in 1919, but noteworthy nonetheless.

Jockey Robby Albarado had plenty of horse early to get into a perfect stalking position on the outside. Quiet Temper looked relaxed and ready to pounce as Truth and Justice made the early fractions. She then quickly and decisively took command on the turn and drew away with every stride in the stretch. Final time for the one mile was 1:40.05 and her winning margin was an eye catching 7 ¾ lengths. The time sounds slow, but the sealed and sloppy Delta Downs surface was playing slow all night. Her time is put into better perspective when older stakes males ran only a few lengths faster in the very next race.

Maidens have won stakes since Sir Barton, but seldom so impressively and rarely in such a rich race as Quiet Temper accomplished last night. There were plenty of signs that Quiet Temper may be up to the task. In each of her three second place finishes in New York, she ran against very good fillies. In her last two races, Quiet Temper was beaten by the fillies that came back to run 1-2 in the Tempted Stakes. She also twice defeated Protesting, who recently ran 2nd in the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes. While they may have been maiden races on paper, they clearly had stakes race quality. Stakes quality is exactly what Quiet Temper displayed last night and she now becomes a filly that should be on everyone’s watch list for next Spring’s Kentucky Oaks.

With her impressive win, Quiet Temper became the third two-year-old filly to win major stakes for conditioner Dale Romans this Fall, as he also trains the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, Tapitsfly, and Sassy Image, winner of the Pocahontas and Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs.

On a sad note, last night’s Delta Princess was all to clear an illustration of the incredible highs and the devastating lows of our beloved sport.

Racing is a wonderful and beautiful game, but just like anything else in our world, it is not without tragedy. While the connections and supporters of Quiet Temper were thrilled with the victory of their promising filly, it can not come close to the heartbreak and sadness felt by the connections of Truth and Justice. Ridden by Joe Bravo, and sent off as the 2-1 favorite, Truth and Justice set the early pace and was beginning to tire when she broke down at the top of the lane. The daughter of Yes It’s True sustained multiple fractures in her right knee and was euthanized. Owned by George and Lori Hall and trained by Kelly Breen, Truth and Justice had displayed excellent speed in winning three consecutive stakes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. Unfortunately, tragedy’s like this one are a part of racing that we all struggle to deal with. I send my condolences to everyone connected to Truth and Justice.

4 comments:

Kerry M Thomas said...

Excellent and sincere piece here ZATT, I enjoyed this very much, thank you.

LDP said...

It is truly sad what happened to Truth and Justice. On a good note, where are all these talented two year olds coming from! Bear's Hard Ten, Buddy's Saint, Super Saver, Rule, etc. There just coming out of the woodwork right now. Keep this up and we might have one very competitive three year old crop.

Brian Zipse said...

Thank you for the kind words Kerry!

I agree LDP, the two-year-old colt crop seems to have a lot of depth to it this year. Leads to an interesting road to Louisville!

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