August 5, 2010

Ten Matchups I Need to See

Quality Road vs. Blame - 2010 offers the best older male set we have had in America in years, and Quality Road and Blame sit proudly on top of the division. The good news: we are only 48 hours away from seeing this clash of titans. Throw in Musket Man, and the Whitney is the race of the year so far. Let’s get it on!

Devil May Care vs. Blind Luck - The best two sophomore fillies, one based in the West, the other in the East, missed out on a meeting in the Kentucky Oaks when Devil May Care ran in the Derby. The two giants in the division, with seven graded stakes wins this year between them, are on a collision course for the August 21 Alabama. I can’t wait.

Vineyard Haven vs. Discreetly Mine - Yes I know there are at least a dozen interesting sprinters tearing up tracks around the country, but after their recent monster performances at the Spa, these are the two that I want to see face off. With Discreetly Mine likely to run against three-year-olds next out, Belmont’s Vosburgh might be the setting for this showdown.

Tuscan Evening vs. Proviso - I am not sure this one will happen, but the records of these two distaff turfers in 2010 is sterling. Mott says the Beverly D against Tuscan Evening is a possibility, which would make the Arlington affair the premier event for girls on the green, and one that would likely decide the Eclipse Award a few months early.

Boys at Tosconova vs. Kantharos - It is awfully early to start jumping on the juvenile bandwagons, but these two colts have been so impressive in their first two starts that I would love to see them race soon, even if they are not the best at the end of the year as the distances get longer. How about a showdown closing day at Saratoga in the Hopeful?

Lookin at Lucky vs. Rail Trip - This seems like a strange request, but they are two of the best horses in America, and they both have something to prove before the Breeders’ Cup. Can Rail trip excel on dirt? Can Lookin at Lucky handle older horses? Maybe, just maybe, we can answer these questions simultaneously in the September 4, Woodward.

Goldikova vs. Canford Cliffs - I venture outside of the borders of the United States for this one. Goldikova is an all-time great and the unquestioned top miler in the world. Canford Cliffs is the upstart on a roll, with three straight major wins. Let’s see the best run again the best; Canford Cliffs is eligible to give Goldi a run for her money.

Gio Ponti vs. Paddy O’Prado - Another example of the reigning turf kingpin taking on the new challenger. I have a ton of respect for Gio Ponti, but in this case I am siding with the young gun. Both horses will run on Arlington Million Day, but in different races. The Turf Classic, in the Fall, may be the opportunity for youth to be served.

Exhi vs. A Little Warm vs. Trappe Shot - While Lookin at Lucky has taken over the division, I believe it is in the non-Triple Crown participants that will provide him the stiffest competition the rest of the way out. In Exhi, A Little Warm, and Trappe Shot, you have three young colts who are becoming very good. Let’s hope all three put on a show in the Travers.

Rachel Alexandra vs. Zenyatta - You didn’t think I would leave this one off the list now did you? Two supreme queens. Two first ballot Hall of Famers. Two of the best I have ever seen. A win would cement the victor’s place in history, a defeat would take nothing away from the loser’s spectacular career. A meeting would be nothing short of the greatest matchup between female horses in the history of racing.


NJDerek said...

These are all killer matchups! Even though RA/ZEN is about as likely as Pacquiao/Mayweather it's great to know that some of these others will be happening this summer. My only substitution would be the Whitney winner for Rail Trip - Lucky is a pole better than him on any surface and the real test will be taking on more accomplished GS winners on dirt.

Brian Zipse said...

Pacquiao/Mayweather ... I knew I forgot someone! LOL

I think you underestimate Rail Trip, I see a race between him and Lucky as close to a toss-up.

Kimness said...

What about Exhi vs Concord Point? That's happening in the WV Derby on Saturday!!
I know how much you like sexy Exhi, guess we'll see what Concord Point is made of.

Love the rest of your match ups!

Keep up the good work Brian -

Steve Munday said...

You're absolutely right about the Whitney being the race of the year; can't wait to watch on Saturday. Plus, if things happen the way I envision, there's some money to be made.

One match-up to consider: Comedero vs. Majesticperfection. Most likely in the 2010 BC Sprint & it would be a barn burner.

Brian Zipse said...

Looking forward to that WV Derby, Kimness, and yes you know I like Sexy Exhi!

Steve, how good is the BC Sprint shaping up right now? There could be 14 horses in there capable of running 1:08.

LDP said...

I really hope all of those turn reality. The thing you should do now is tell us who you think would win each of these match ups, lol. That would be fun!

Brian Zipse said...

Well LDP, I think you need to look at the race when it happens to make intelligent selections, but ... If I had to pick one horse to win the Whitney it would be Quality Road, although considering the odds, Blame and Musket Man would be the plays. Devil May Care is the pick in the Alabama. The rest we will have to wait to see if they happen.

Brian Appleton said...

Great match-ups, it would be great to see them all come true.
I can't believe what a jack pot the Whitney turned into! It's going to be one incredible race to watch.

Nancy said...

Oooh, Gio Ponti v Paddy O'Prado... proven older horse against up and comer. Wow... these guys will light up the track if they meet in the BC Turf.

In the Whitney, don't count Musket Man out. He's got a penchant for finishing ITM, and you never know with him. He's the scrappiest horse ever, it'll take heart to shake him off in the stretch.

Lucky may have taken command of the 3yo division, but the non-TC contenders would very well bypass him if they race as 4 yo's.

Anonymous said...

Well said with Z and RA!! Great matchups!!