January 20, 2010

Twenty Ten Comes in Like a Lion

The economy is in the toilet. The Thoroughbred breeding business is dropping lower than a contortionist at a limbo contest. There is not much to smile about. Wait just one minute…you know me better than that. I am always smiling, and here is why any fan of racing should be smiling too: With the breeding business hemorrhaging dollars, there is a new trend starting to play itself out. Good horses are not being shuttled off to the breeding shed with hast, because, for the first time in a long time, there is the opportunity to make more money on the racetrack than they can in the breeding shed. Can you imagine that? All of a sudden, many of the best horses are staying in training. What does this mean for the fan, who loves to see great racing? 2010 has more promise for top horses facing off than any year since the glorious 1970s.

Here is a short list of older horses returning in 2010:



Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Gio Ponti, Summer Bird, Goldikova, Informed Decision, Quality Road, Mine That Bird, Blame, Vineyard Haven, I Want Revenge, Rail Trip, Macho Again, The Pamplemousse, Regal Ransom, Desert Party, Misremembered, Girolamo, Musket Man, Bullsbay, Richard’s Kid, Life Is Sweet, Careless Jewel, Stardom Bound, Justwhistledixie, Forever Together, Midday, Presious Passion, Cloudy’s Knight, The Usual QT, Courageous Cat, Battle of Hastings, Take the Points, Furthest Land, Dancing in Silks, Munnings, Custom for Carlos, Evita Argentina, and She’s Our Annie.


This group of older horses comprises the finest group I have seen returning in more that thirty years, and my apologies to all the good ones I neglected to mention. This, of course, does not include any of the promising newly turned sophomores who will be thrilling us on their paths to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. Every division is strong and deep. Grade 1 races should be just that this year. Rivalries will be born. I predict many fans who have been disillusioned with their favorite horses not sticking around, will once again find reason to want to be at the races and see these stars in person. Buckle up race fans, 2010 should be a fantastic ride.

12 comments:

Ciarán said...

Rip van Winkle, Zacinto and Fame and Glory still competing too, Rip = the highest rated 3 year old miler in 20 years...2010...won't be bad!

Ciarán said...

okay..highest rated in 13 yrs... 20 sounds more impressive :)

Brian Zipse said...

Thank you C, as always, your European perspective is greatly appreciated.

Sarah Grice said...

What an exciting year for racing fans! Thanks for the great list. It's getting me excited!!!

Brian Zipse said...

Sarah, I think there is every reason to be excited, I know I am...See you at Oaklawn!

Sarah Grice said...

Brian, what do you make of the whispers that RA won't be ready, isn't starting off her training well, and possibly isn't interested in racing anymore? Have you heard this from any credible sources?

See you at Oaklawn! *crossing fingers*

tjreyn01 said...

I must say of your list, the two I am highly awaiting a return from, besides Rachel and Zen obviously, are the Mousse and Revenge. The Mousse drove em into the ground and what else can you say about Revenge's Wood victory. That had me super pumped, like Jersey Shore fist pumping pumped, about him in the Derby. Hope to see them continue what they had started before getting sidelined.

Brian Zipse said...

Whether or not she is "ready" for an April 3 match up remains to be seen, but no, everything I have heard, has been just fine regarding the Horse of the Year.

LDP said...

I've said quite a few times that this will be one heck of a year. I agree with you on the best group returning in 30yrs. I wish we could add POTN to this list. He would've been such a great, consistent older male had he been able to race this year.

ja.raymond said...

I'm so excited..totally beside myself!!

Steve Munday said...

Hey Brian,
It's great to have star horses racing longer. Too bad it took a downturn on the breeding side for it to happen, but maybe it'll help the sport in the long run.

It's looking like 2010 will eclipse a pretty awesome 2009! All the best.

CJ said...

I hope I Want Revenge can return to form.

The allegations from the IEAH folks that Lanzman (and by extension, I suppose, Mullins) just thought they'd conceal his injury and try to train him through to the Derby on a torn ligament... it's just horrific and may well have ruined one of the most talented and gutsy performers we've seen in a long time.

His Gotham was pure joy of speed, his Wood Memorial was all heart. He was a colt who really had everything going for him except the connections (and that goes for IEAH for writing a sale-contract that would incentivize such idiocy and greed). He deserved better.