October 30, 2010

Breeders’ Cup Singles

I am about to offer four fantastic females for the Breeders’ Cup, and Zenyatta is not one of them??? Read on … Pick 3‘s, Pick 4‘s, Pick 6‘s, not to mention trifecta and superfecta keys, it is nice to have a horse, or a few horses, that you can count on to reach the wire first at the Breeders’ Cup. Along those lines, I would like to present to you my Big 4. The four horses that I will have the most confidence in winning out of the 14 race BC smorgasbord. Oddly enough they are all females, and believe it or not, Zenyatta is nowhere to be found on this list. You all know by now that I am predicting a Blame victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, right? The four horses who I consider the closest things to locks, in order are: Midday, Goldikova, Blind Luck, and Winter Memories. Here’s why: 
 ***The remainder of today's column can be found on Youbet.com*** Click Here
                  

40 comments:

markinsac said...

You claim you started this blog "For the love of horse racing" yet you pick against a great moment in racing history? How can you love this sport when you claim "Blame" will win? In this article you say "Zenyatta is NOT on the list" and then you repeat it again! Picking against Zenyatta is kind of like finding the fountain of youth. You are a sore individual who is mad Rachel isn't coming to the party. And if she was, there's no doubt she'd be on your precious list of "LOCKS". You are no friend of horse racing, i am done with this blog.

Jonathan said...

Put this on Youbet to show support.

Assume Markinsac is being ironic?

I'm not convinced at Midday's superiority. Love the animal and have backed her many times successfully and of course a Cecil/Midday win like Z and Goldi no one will give a damn what they backed.

However before the race....

Midday beat fast ground horse Plumania 3/4L on yielding ground last time. Plumania has won against colts - an unknown Debussy bt Midday easily before last year's oaks. Those getting excited because of Sarafina's next run should consider the 4th and 5th before getting too carried away. 1.5L 4th btn in a listed race after and won a listed dropped to 9F. 1.5L 3rd beaten in a G2 next time 1.25L. Arguably like the previous year's Opera Sarafina was prepping and the others after a G1.

If they go no pace (looks like a scenario in F&M Turf and Turf) she sits 2nd she wins but that might be true of Plumania or any of them.

Harmonious was very impressive last time. Eclaire de Lune is a legitimate G1 winner.

Red Desire if I had not seen her in the flesh at Belmont I could like. Clearly she has physical problems hence heading for Lasix. Nonetheless if the juice works and off her decent prep on the wrong ground (arguably) having beaten colts and Buena Vista she arguably has as good a form as any of these.

Worthy favourite yes. Mortal Lock nowhere near. Most likely to adjust and run her race yes. Definitely the best of these at peak form arguable.

Anonymous said...

to Markinsac:

You are very short sighted. There is room in the tent for all horse racing fans and horseplayers.

I love Zenyatta also, but I am not picking her to win. If she wins, great, but I believe Blame or Lookin at Lucky will win.

Some people like the Yankees, some like the Mets, but we are baseball fans, we are all horse racing fans.

Brian Zipse said...

markinsac, I love horse racing as much or more than anyone I know. I will however, not write that I pick someone to win, when they are not my true pick. It seems you want me to go against what I believe ... I refuse to be dishonest. I hope Zenyatta wins, and she is one from a group of four that I expect the winner to come from, but Blame is my top selection. I am not sure why that is so problematic for you.

Jonathan, None of them are locks ... they are my four most likely to win. I love Midday's chances, but I know that she is beatable. They all are.

True Anonymous, everyone is entitled to their opinions. People that try to bully you away from being true to your own feelings scare me.

markinsac said...

Im not trying to change your mind, Brian, I just don't like you making a spectacle of picking against Zenyatta. You did a whole article on what is going to happen to you because you picked against her. None of it true. It's like if she loses, should we award you a star? And you said you follow your head, not your heart. Then please answer this question: Why did you have Rachel picked #1 in the Ladies Classic before she retired? Isn't that picking with your "HEART"? Blind Luck has done so much more than Rachel this year. Please answer the question, ive asked it before, and you didn't answer . . .

Brian Zipse said...

I attempt to write entertaining and thought provoking articles. As I said, the horse I want to see win the Classic is Zenyatta. She is also without a doubt the most interesting horse at the Breeders' Cup, therefore I do tend to write about her more than anyone else.

As for the Ladies' Classic, yes, if Rachel Alexandra was in the field, she would be my top pick. If she were in the field, I would also project her as the favorite. These are my opinions. For a further reference point as far as my thinking right now ... if Zenyatta and Rachel were both in the Ladies' Classic, my pick would be Zenyatta. I also believe she would be heavily favored in that scenario.

markinsac said...

So you think Rachel did more than Blind Luck? It's ironic you would have Rachel on top and Zenyatta picked second. Isn't that following your HEART? Explain to me how Rachel trumped Blind Luck? The European Sports Books had Blind the solid favorite in the Ladies Classic, Rachel was the second or third choice. Rachel was NOT going to be favorite. She burned a ton of money this year.

hawkwins said...

You probably picked against Secretariat in the Belmont, too.

Equinetic Analyst said...

There are no locks (or singles) on Breeder's Cup Day! ... Plus, Brian, there is no value in saying that Zenyatta is not a single. Simply wish the horse and her connections the best. Even if she wins, it will be easy for her detractors to say that she beat a weak field. This year's Classic field is far from stellar. That said, I'd like to see her win, but that's not necessarily the way to beat.

Brian Zipse said...

Blind Luck has a had a much better year than Rachel Alexandra this year.

Glenn Craven said...

Another round of irrational complaints that occurs anytime anyone writes anything other than "Zenyatta is the greatest of all time."

Brian, you'd be nothing short of a sham if you did anything other than write your true thoughts about which horses you think will win.

Your blog is not the public relations wing of the NTRA, and certainly not of Camp Zenyatta (or Camp Rachel or any other camp).

The more I see of her, the more I think she will win. Shirreffs has never failed to have her in top form for the lone race the connections truly target each year.

If she gets beat, I think it will be by Lookin At Lucky. And if he wins, frankly, he has a claim to Horse of the Year.

Whomever wins, I hope everyone can deal with it like grown-ups. But somehow, I doubt it.

markinsac said...

TO ALL THOSE WHO MAYBE LIKE ZENYATTA BUT HATE HER OBNOXIOUS FANS, WE ARE SORRY WE CAME OFF SO STRIDENT. BUT WHEN YOUR HORSE IS 19-0, YOU HAVE REASON TO HAVE A SWAGGER. AFTER NIT PICKING ALL THE NEGATIVES ON THE "QUEEN" THE WHINING GETS A LITTLE OLD. IS ZENYATTA OVER-HYPED? NO! SHE'S 19-0 AND SHE'S COME ALONG AT JUST THE TIME WHEN HORSE RACING NEEDS SOME PUBLIC RELATIONS HELP. WHEN SHE WINS ON SATURDAY, MANY OF THOSE WHO PICKED AGAINST WILL SAY, "BUT I WAS ROOTING FOR HER!" IF ANYTHING, HATE HER FANS, BUT PLEASE DON'T HATE ZENNY, IF YOU WANT TO SEE HER IN PERSON AFTER THE BC, COME BY HOLLYWOOD PARK. JOHN SHERRIFFS HAS LET ANYBODY WHO SHOWS UP AT THE STABLE GATE COME IN AND MEET BIG ZEN. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE HIM AND HER.

AfleetAlexForever said...

Wow the Obsessive compulsive "Zenites" reared their ugly heads here again, taking shots at a very competent writer of a very respected blog who has spent a number of years at the track, on the track and on the backside. I guess apologies all around to any Zenite who doesnt get to hear every day from every fan of horse racing that Zenyatta is the greatest horse of all time or at least in the top 20. Unfortunately for those of us who have watched champion race horses actually campaigned as such, right now in the opinion of fans like us, Zenyatta currently would be place somewhere in the top 50, maybe. With a win in the Classic she could very well move into the top 35 or so. But here is the problem. Again true champions square off and race against other champions. Who in the last 3 year from Jan-October of the year did the connections of Zenyatta decide to take on that would have been considered a champion. 1 horse, Ginger Punch, they decided by means of being cowards with their horse that they wanted to chase a horse named Pepper's Pride instead of chasing horses like Secretariat, or Cigar, beating great horses over and over again through the year is more impressive than beating optional claimers for 9 months out of the year and showing up to the BC with the freshest horse every year.

AfleetAlexForever said...

Cont'
Ducking races that would have solidified her status in the mind of her doubters like the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic and the Goodwood only lends weight to what some of us feel, that her connections recognized that she is not good enough to deal with a championship caliber campaign during the duration of the year, therefore that is why she would be racing and beating mediocred fillies and mares in 17 of her 19 races and doing it on a false surface that is invalidated by the movement to dirt back at Santa Anita. Its sad and embarrassing that people would post such ridiculous things about the greatness of a horse that you would want to compare to Secretariat or Citation or Man O' War when the horse hasnt even won the top races in her own state. I feel sorry for people like you because you are naive about what it takes to beat quality competition each time out. You saw it in 2009 when a 3 year old filly stepped up and out of her division 3 times, all the while the connections of zenyatta were worried about beating Pepper's Pride, the comparison is much more appropriate. You can't compare the field of the BC with QR and L@L and Blame with Reinterval, taptam and cherryblossomiss. Shirrifs and Moss had their chance and blew it, how many excuses did they need to skip the big 4 races in Cali to run against optional claimers in the weakest division of horse racing. Here's what you should do, call Jerry Moss and ask him next time to campaign his horse as if she were the best horse, not the best filly or mare in the state.

AfleetAlexForever said...

cont'
Until then please get over whatever issues you have, whatever bitterness you have that its very likely your favorite horse will never win HOY, thats right, she will be perfection walking even if she loses the classic she'll be a 3 time loser of HOY. that has a nice ring to it because she never deserved it, due to not being allowed to earn it.

Anonymous said...

Well said AAF. The over the top comments made by the zenyattaites mostly shows their ignorance of horse racing history. Personally I am rooting for whoever i bet on in the Classic. Zenyatta winning or losing won't alter horseracing in the least.

Secretariat said...

AfleetAlexForever said it perfectly. The Zenyatta connections did decide that their priority was to beat Peppers Pride and they did!

Secretariat ran 24 times in TWO years at 10 different tracks and set track and world records! How dare any of them, Mike Smith included (see 60 Minutes Sunday), say she is better then Secretariat! LOL!

I am tired of the CRAZY REPLIES FROM THE ZENYATTA FANS. Thank you, markinsac, for the burst of capital letters.

Brian Zipse said...

Listen, Zenyatta is great. Saying she is not makes little sense to me. Where does she stack up from a historical perspective? Who knows, personally I have her much higher than AfleetAlexForever. I just prefer not to be told that I am no friend of horse racing because I am picking another in the Classic. Fair enough?

ja.raymond said...

Everybody is forgetting one thing:
Because Zen is over 17 hands (at least a whole hand taller than anyone in her race), she has more lung capacity and her stride is (probably quite a few) feet longer than anyone running. Smith, himself, has said on a number of occasions, that they've not even gotten to the bottom of her yet. They dont even know what her top speed is.
I feel that the only one that can beat her would be her own trainer, if he doesnt prep her well enough for this surface in the mud in the event that it rains this wk.

markinsac said...

Maybe the Zen Connections should have run her into the ground like the Rachel connections did . . . Quality Road and Blame ran 4 or 5 times this year and ran against each other once. Rachel didn't win a grade 1 race and only ran in 1 grade 1 race. This isn't the 1970's when great horses ran sometimes every two weeks, sorry to point that out to you. And what you opinion of her greatness is just that: YOUR OPINION. So what, MY OPINION carries about as much weight as yours, Alex. There are flaws everywhere. Secretariat lost to Onion. You can watch that race on youtube. Despite bad trips and slow paces, Zenyatta has lost to NO ONE! And if she only makes your top-35 list, Alex, I'll have no trouble sleeping at night. And since I'm obsessive-compulsive, I'm trying to figure out why it took 3 replies to say what you had to say, Alex. Hmmmm . . .

Brian Zipse said...

Jane, you may be right. We will see in one week!

markinsac, you make a good point ... I wish both Blame and Quality Road had run more this year.

markinsac said...

Brian, if you could look at past performances from the 1970's and older it is astounding that some great ones ran once a week! The prep race for the Santa Anita Handicap was the San Antonio Handicap and it was held one week before the Big Cap in the 1940's. A week before the KY Derby (brought to you by Yum Yum Brands) is the Derby Trial. Now days, no big trainer will touch the Derby
Trial, but in the old days it was a usable prep. The game has changed, and the Breeders Cup has changed the game. Why peak in August? Zenyatta's connections have set the template for peaking in November, criticize them, whatever, but Zenyatta is going for the 3-peat and she's the ALL-TIME money-winning Mare. And she's 19-0, so I guess the strategy has some merit?

SECRETARIAT, ZENYATTA WOULD HAVE BLOWN BY ONION, JUST LIKE SHE'S BLOWING BY SECRETARIAT RIGHT NOW . . . (HER MOVIE WONT TAKE 40 YEARS TO MAKE!)

Vivian said...

WOW....interesting comments today.
But I have to say comparing Zen to Secretariat is a little foolish. After all.....didn't Secretariat set a BUNCH of records, that to this day most have not been beat?

markinsac said...

First of all, i'm very upset at AfleetAlex's banter about Zenyatta's schedule. Think about this: If the titans of the turf faced each other every month, that would lead to more injuries and breakdowns! I didn't used to think this way, look at a couple of things here: Ruffian was undefeated beating up on inferior fillies (not a knock) but when she faced a real tough male horse, Foolish Pleasure, it wasn't so easy for Ruffian and she broke down while giving it her all. Go for Wand wasn't used to tough competition until she met Bayakoa in the BC Ladies Classic. Go For Wand broke down while facing the toughest competition of her life. Eight Belles broke down after the Ky Derby, the toughest competition of her life. Thank goodness Rachel survived the Woodward last year. It was her toughest match and she had such a strong will to win, but she may be smarter than we think, maybe she decided she doesn't want to put her life on the line anymore and didn't come back to her old form. Rachel would have been no match for Zen in the Apple Blossom, it's better they never met. The one good thing J. Jackson did was retire her with her dignity, she just wasn't interested in racing anymore. AfleetAlex wants these horses to battle EVERY month? Zen's owners LOVE their horse and they are doing everything to NOT put her in harms way. The NFL is thinking about going to an 18-game schedule, that will just lead to more injuries and less talent in the playoffs. Afleet, some of us don't think of horse racing as a gladiator sport. Zenyatta is showing up for her 3rd Breeders Cup in absolutely great health. Her connections should be thanked. And in the end, Zenyatta will have run in about the same amount of races as Secretariat, she just took her time and arrived there safely.

LetItRideMike said...

Afleety, as I recall, they decided to take on Rachel Alexandra. And Rachels folks didnt show up.

william said...

as much i as am a huge zenyatta fan, and truly believe that any criticism she receives is unwarranted it is also not necessary to start comparing her to secretariat..yes racing is different today from then..but if you look at secreatraiats career, not just the travelling but the times and way he ran..that is really the unbelieveable part and to be named horse of the year and top turf horse of the year in the same year???..now as for zenyatta, why didnt anyeone try to go to california to beat her, if i were the owner of a quality horse and i felt zenyatta wasnt the best, what better way to take her down...horse racing is more of a business now then ever, look at paddy oprados owners, his stud value will be worth more if he wins the classic not the turf, is that why theyre doing it or do they believe hes the best, if he loses the fallback is hes a turf runner...so i wish everyone would stop comparing apples, oranges and pears

markinsac said...

Vivian, each great horse set some kind of record. Secretariat's greatest feat was his awesome Belmont Stakes win by 31 lengths that set a world record for a mile and a half. You can watch that race on youtube. Secretariat was a Triple Crown winner, at the time, the first TC winner in 25 years. But he didn't set EVERY record. Here's some of Zenyatta's feats. She has the all-time record (shared with Pepper's Pride) for consecutive wins, 19. She's the all-time money-winning mare. She's tied with 8 others on number of BC wins, 2 (both her and Goldikova can break the record). She holds the all-time record for most consecutive Grade 1 wins, 9. She's undefeated. She can do her last quarter sometimes in 22 seconds and change, and was clocked her last sixteenth in 5.7 seconds. She has won Grade 1 races on both synthetic and dirt. Of her 19 races, 17 have been at Grade 2 or higher. She has a personality that is amazing. Go to youtube and search "Zenyatta bows" watch her bow when she hears her name announced. She is by far the most popular horse since Secretariat.

Secretariat said...

Yes, Zenyatta is the most popular horse since Secretariat, in California!

Brian Zipse said...

Secretariat? Is that really you???

Secretariat said...

Yes, it's me! And I'd like to know what the heck this internet thing is all about and why people get so crazy there!

Anonymous said...

I realize you're a handicapper and have your `system', but you need to consider a few things. Al Stall (who I happen to have much respect for) hasn't cracked the big win at the big show yet. Pletcher's BC record is horrific. Shireffs doesn't leave California without his guns loaded.....that alone, whether you're a Zenyatta fan or not says more than any speed figures or formulas you come up with....

Ya know, a lot of us on the backside kinda laugh at hardcore handicappers. I realize your money drives our sport, but very few of you are horsemen and can actually read the animal. Put the form down and LOOK.

See ya at Churchill ;)

Anonymous said...

AfleetAlexForever....

You can hold up last year's Woodward as the be all, end all and defining moment of Rachel's career. I saw it as the gutting of a very nice horse of human ego. It wasn't a stellar field either. It certainly wasn't as deep a field as the Classic last year. Her win against 3yr old boys last year was awesome, but that was a notably weak crop as well. I think Rachel's true greatness would have only been known had she stayed with Wiggins and her former owner. I can't even watch the film of her after The Woodward last year it was so heartbreaking. Yet, all the RA nuts keep crowing about it. THAT race was the end of her career whether you want to admit it or not, and for what? A controversial win for HOY? Jess Jackson has fed the public exactly what he wanted them to know and no more. Why is that mare, retired after a bullet work and on the cusp of actually winning a real race, still standing in the barn at Churchill more than a month after her announced retirement? Did ya ever consider they broke her down? Keep cheering.....rewarding that type of greed is what is wrong with horse racing. I love both her and Zenyatta...I appreciate any good horse, but I refuse to applaud or reward people that mishandle and beat up a potentially great horse for their own bloated ego. How sad that you haven't grown up enough to realize neither horse is going to have hurt feelings if you like another. To slag off a mare such as Zenyatta just shows how ignorant you are. How sad, that you're going to miss enjoying probably one of the greatest race mares to ever set foot on a track over such trivial issues.....

Brian Zipse said...

To the Anonymous before last, I have a feeling that you do not read my work very often.

Anonymous said...

Often enough to realize you're a handicapper and super fan. I don't question you love the game, I just question your ability to put down the form and actually LOOK. I question Al Stall's ability to get that colt ready enough to win THIS race under these conditions. Let's not forget there is a reason Blame is so lightly raced...

After watching Zenyatta's work yesterday and her knocking each 1/8th off quicker as she rolled along like she was out for a gallop, its going to take very bad racing luck to beat her. She does not know how to lose.

Anonymous said...

what's everyone getting so fired up about? Do you guys want more people to be betting on Zenyatta? Not only do I want her to win, but I'd like to make some money in the process. Praying for 3-1...or 4-1, but that might be too much to ask.

Silent Sunday said...

Brian,

I will be the first to admit that I could never write a blog. There are some amazingly simple minded comments that are unwarranted. I know everyone has an opinion and is allowed one, but that doesn't mean it is logical or has any sense to it at all. i will say that I am hoping Z wins. I want to be able to say I was there 20-30 years from now, but I don't think she will. I also believe Blame will win. But for people to come out and claim that they know what you "feel" about horse racing, is simply idiotic in my mind. There are numerous races I can't watch without crying, so will anyone say i don't love racing because I'm not picking Z? I honestly can't believe I wasted my time reading some of these comments. Brian, you always tell it as it is and lay your thoughts out there. In today's world, that is very well respected and much appreciated.

markinsac said...

I respect your choice of Blame, but to say that he's done more than Zenyatta or has a bigger will to win is not correct. Horses go through ups and downs in their form. Blame is coming in off a loss at a mile and a quarter race. Only 8 BC Classic winners won off a loss. I think Blame peaked in the race he defeated Quality Road. QR hasn't ran in a long time and it's hard to win a race of this caliber off a 2-month layoff. QR isn't fond of the distance. Lookin At Lucky is on a roll, he's easily wrapped up the 3YO Championship. And then there's Zenyatta. Last year Sherriffs shipped Zen to Louisville for a race but the track was sealed due to bad weather. Sherriffs said Zenyatta LOVED the Churchill Downs track. Zenyatta's wins on dirt have been her easiest yet and she trains on a dirt training track at Hollywood Park. Sherriffs has said she's better on dirt than on synthetic. She is SO strong right now, her excercise rider had trouble pulling her up on a gallop last week. Her workout on Saturday was absolutely perfect. She's 19 for 19, how many horses can you get at odds of 2-1 that are 19 for 19? Both Sherriffs and jockey Smith have said "she may be better this year than last (coming in to the BC Classic race)" She once again followed the same pattern: win the Vanity, Hirsch, Lady's Secret and then the Breeders Cup race for the last two years. She is physically more dominating than ANY horse in the race.

How can you pick against her?

Sarah Grice said...

I should have known better than to read the comments on this blog post. Thanks for writing how you truly feel, Brian! I'm disappointed that people shout that you are less of a fan if you even imply that a strong horse might beat Zenyatta.

Sarah Grice said...

Anonymous, RA's HOY win is only controversial to people like you who try to factor career stats into an annual award. I know plenty of Zenyatta fans who conceded that RA simply had a stronger year even though they believe Zenyatta is the better horse.

Christine said...

@Afleet PLEASE remind me never to allow you to manage my horse's racing career if I ever became an owner. Lemme see...Zenny's connections target specific races. So in your thinking her prep races should be tough races against the boys, etc. That would work out lovely. She would be body sore from being knocked around in the tougher races, that would put her in excellent form for the target races. Sheeesh

And you have the nerve to talk about ducking hosses? The world of racing knew well in advance where and when Zenny was entered. Why does she have to go chasing other horses around the country? If they wanted a piece of her, let them come to her. Funny, every time she entered a race--on race day the field was reduced to like 5 horses.

Your thinking and lack of understanding what a race takes ouf of a horse was DEMONSTRATED by what happened to Rachel in the Woodward. The race you rave about. Did you see how she had to fight down to the wire to win that race? She's a front runner, and she had to maintain an extended run waaay to difficult for her running style. That is what took her desire for racing out of her, and why she is retired to this day.

Some of yall act like you are running on a track 1 1/8 mile with a man & whip on your back.

Tell me who Zenny is ducking come Nov. 6th? Seems to me she could have been entered in the Ladies Classic. But that was never an option. Win or lose, at least she is showing up and gonna give it a try. That don't sound like ducking to me.