November 12, 2010

And the Horse of the Year is …

In an even more difficult decision than the one last year, I have made my choice for the 2010 Horse of the Year, and the winner is … Zenyatta.

First off, let me say that I believe the Horse of the Year to be a single year award. In no way did I let career records filter in my thinking for the 2010 honors. In the end, I only considered two horses for the award in Blame and Zenyatta.  While I believe that Goldikova and Uncle Mo were spectacular, they simply did not do enough, either in America, or against quality competition, to stack up against Zenyatta and Blame for the entire year. In selecting Zenyatta, I made a tough decision that goes against the grain for me slightly, as Blame was my pick to win the Classic, and I fully expected him to be Horse of the Year if he could win the Classic. Blame did win the Classic, but Zenyatta ran so well in defeat that I needed to rethink my position. Any less than the fantastic finish that carried her within inches of victory, and I would have stuck with Blame.

In comparison, I found many similarities between the two. Each horse was very consistent in 2010, if somewhat under tested. Both horses could have run more for my liking, but Zenyatta won 5 races with one 2nd place finish in 6 starts, while Blame took home 4 victories, also with one 2nd in 5 starts. These similar records became almost a wash for me as Zenyatta has more grade one wins, total victories, and came closer to perfection this year, but Blame took home the biggest race and was the winner in their only head-to-head contest. Zenyatta could have strengthened her portfolio with one more race against males. Blame lost points for running only five times. Zenyatta ran exclusively in grade one stakes, but this fact is tempered by the competition, or the lack there of, she faced. Blame won a big Whitney, but the race lost a little luster after seeing where the other three finished in the Classic.

Looking at their seasons on paper, I could not make enough delineation to make a decision. In most cases like this, I will side with the horse who won the biggest race. Not this time, as in my opinion, nothing was proven between the two in the Classic, other than the photo showed Blame ever so slightly ahead. If they raced again, I do not have a strong opinion as to who would win. In the Classic, they both strengthened my belief that they are the best two horses in America, and either would be a worthy Horse of the Year, but who is more worthy?

That question finally gave me the answer. As excellent as Blame was this year, he is simply not more worthy than Zenyatta. No lifetime achievement, no popularity sentiment here. In fact, I would have no problem going against the people’s choice, if I believed Blame was the more deserving. I do not. Zenyatta was the finest thoroughbred that we saw in 2010.

54 comments:

Vivian R said...

Wow Brian....looks lke she really won you over as well. I have never seen a horse win over so many people over with a loss. Long live the Queen!

SaratogaSpa said...

I believe Blame should win, but I understand your logic and you give a nice explanation.

One thing I feel Blame is not getting credit for is his trip. Watch the replay and just isolate on Blame-just as impressive as Zenyatta's trip.

Anonymous said...

You did not state WHY you chose the horse who lost. It was a great blog until you just waffled and picked the popular horse without backing your reason. Why is she more "worthy" than the horse who you stated had an equivalent season and beat her when they faced each other?

J. Renee Halling said...

Brian, your decision is entirely emotion based. Blame beat Zenyatta fair and square. She had a shot to pass him and he dug down and held her off. I'm sorry, but that horse gave everything he had to beat one of the greatest Thoroughbreds of all time. I'm not going to stand by and watch anyone take that away from him.

Blame won Grade 1 races against COMPETATIVE horses. Zenyatta won Grade 1 races against horses that were FAR beneath her, or Blame's talent.

Zenyatta didn't lose HOTY, her connections lost it for her. They lost it by keeping her away from the dirt and going for the easy money. Blame's connections stayed with the SPIRIT OF RACING! To take your opinion of his HOTY credibility away is a slap in the face of the spirit of our sport, and to the gut wrenching stretch run Blame put in, which turned out to be about a nose better than Zenyatta's.

Sorry my much respected friend, but I must STRONGLY disagree with you on this issue.

Brian Zipse said...

The final sentence sums it up for me Anonymous.

No waffling ... two great horses, tough decision, but my decision is Zenyatta.

I believe she was the leader going into the Classic, and did enough to retain it. I consider her the best horse of 2010, nothing more, nothing less. Sentiment played no part in my decision.

Anonymous said...

ZENYATTA....is da finest thoroughbred i have seen in over 40yrs.....bar none.......BLAME,is horse of da year;hands down,done deal!zatts all!

Michal said...

Great race but was sad after Smith drove thru traffic........On my blog I made around 8k for the two days with my picks..... a old surfer dude sometimes can find a gem or two

Keep up the good work about the talented horses........maybe talk about the horses that the regular bettors play day in a day out..... need more sites for those bettors who support horse racing Michael

tvnewsbadge said...

You can support Zenyatta without emotion... After all, Blame got his head handed to him in the Jockey Gold Club Gold Cup and Zenyatta was NEVER beaten that badly...

And while it's true that Zenyatta did not catch Blame in the BC Classic, Blame was unable to put her away either, certainly not like Haynesfield had Blames for lunch in the Gold Cup.

Silent Sunday said...

Still Blame for me. Here's my quick take on her trip. I don't see her going around QR slowing her down much..I've watched it probably 15times and I'm just saying what my eyes see, and before anyone asks if I'm blind, I have 20/20. The other part is so many people are making a huge deal about how far back she was. The first pack were pretty tight and pressing of each other, which is why they all came toiling back. So in reality she was sitting roughly 8-10 lengths off the second pack, which is who she had to catch. Blame did not exactly have it easy the whole way, he had to show guts and muscle to split horses coming to the head of the stretch to get his run going. I take nothing from her, in fact she answered any doubts I had, but they both had a great year and I feel Blame won the head to head so should get the award. Bottom line for me, as much as I enjoy both horses, she has the ultimate award...the hearts of millions and her name in history as one of the best ever. She loses nothing regardless if she gets HOY or not.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Brian 100%. I think Zenyatta's fans and connections are hurting her argument for HOY by constantly stating that she deserves it because of what she has done for horse racing....that is wrong she deserves it because of what she accomplished on the track...on the flip the Blame supporters only argument is he deserves it because he beat her...again wrong, with all the knocks Zenyatta has received for a conservative campaign his was even more conservative and he can be judged as a CD specialist that lost to an inferior horse (Haynsfield) by 4 lengths when you are talking about only inches for Zenyatta.....

Anonymous said...

I agree 110%! Thank, God, someone sees the light!!
Judy G

Big Ern said...

I voted who I THINK will be Horse of the Year, but I haven't decided for myself yet.

Jennifer Cook said...

So interesting! I arrived at the same conclusion several days ago myself, for some similar and some slightly different reasons. I really appreciate your thoughtful approach, Brian. I know you were a Blame man 100 percent going into the Classic. And you were right! Giving Zenyatta the tip for HOY for her gutsy performance shows you're a thinking man's blogger. This is so much not an emotional look, but a reasoned look, at two champion race horses. Thank you!

SusanW said...

I don't find this an emotional choice, I find it a well thought out choice. Thank you, Brian, for your great blog. And, of course, I agree with you.

Samantha P. said...

Thank you brian for this blog, it makes me feel better about how more people now agree that Zenyatta should DEFINATLY be HOY. Zenyatta has done so much for the sport and brought in more fans with her loss than any horse before, what has Blame done for the sport?

debbimar10 said...

I appreciate your article. And I think you are right on the money. Zen got knocked for racing on her home track in the prior classic--and she beat her competition far more convincingly than Blame beat her. That was his home track but no one seems to judge that an advantage for him. I wish Team Z had raced her against more males, since that seems to be the criteria----but by that token, it implies that all male horses are implicitly more challenging and better than all female horses--and that quite simply isn't the truth. I, too, also believe Zen earned the title because of what she has done on the track--not out of sentimentality.

ja.raymond said...

TY Brian! That's about the same reasoning I used last yr when I said Rachel should get HOY - she won more races and beat the boys two more times than Zen did.
Everyone on my friends list and anyone else that knows me personally, knows how Zenyatta-hearted I am, but facts are facts. And if Zen didnt get HOY last yr based solely on her BC win, then neither should Blame.
This sport has GOT to stay consistant yr in and yr out, or it's going to lose a LOT of people - horsemen and fans!

Equinetic Analyst said...

You're smart and insightful, Brian!

william said...

brian..very insightful into your reasoning, well thought out and im glad that you have seen how talented she really is...when it comes to hoy everyone is entitled to their opinion, they are not wrong or right, just entitled...to all the horse racing fans out there, be thankful you saw these two wonderful horses(and many more) and hope that the future will be as bright(also hoping zenyatta returns in 2011)

Jennifer said...

I enjoyed this article a lot, Brian. Very straightforward analysis of both horses and their accomplishments. It will be interesting to see which way the votes go this year! :)

Nancy said...

Wow, Zenyatta could likely be the first HOY with no wins against G1 horses. Blame's resume isn't much better than Zenyatta's, but at least he has multiple wins against G1 horses AND won the biggest race of the year.

Stacey said...

Disappointing.

If I had a vote I'd give it to Goldikova, but if I had to chose only between Blame and Zenyatta, I'd HAVE to vote for Blame. Blame BEAT Zenyatta. Zenyatta lost the race!

I don't want to hear about how she was having trouble with the track. Sherriffs himself said time and time again that she was BETTER on the dirt, and Team Z had plenty of opportunity to race her at Churchill before the BCC but they chose not to. And wasn't it Sherriffs who was quoted as saying, "She obviously likes the track here. The surface issue is a non-issue," the day before the race?

I also don't want to hear about the "bad trip" she got. Hello?! Have any of you seen her other races? She ALWAYS runs like that - from WAY far back. She had dirt kicked in her face in her two appearances in the Apple Blossom and managed to win. Was Mike Smith overly confident this time and left her with too much to do for real? If so, boo-fricken-hoo. That's horse racing!

And, I don't want to hear that if the race were just one stride longer Zenyatta would have won. I watched the gallop out. She NEVER got past Blame! Not for one single stride.

I don't want to hear about how many G1 races she won this year. All of those races were against fillies and mares, NONE of which had a G1 win to their name in 2010 at the time of the race and MOST of them ran mostly in allowance and claiming company before and after.

AND finally, I don't want to hear about all that Zenyatta has done for racing. How many of these "new" fans will be able to name a single starter for the Kentucky Derby, or the Oaks, or the BC Classic or Ladies' Classic next year. I'm guessing we'll be able to count them on one hand.

The bottom line is that her connections ran her in a bunch of restricted, powder-puff races in her backyard in order to preserve her undefeated streak. Then they put all their eggs in one basket in a final, desperate attempt to win the HOY award. They ranted and raved about Rachel Alexandra not "showing up" at the BC last year, pointing at Zenyatta's win in the 2009 Classic as the race that certainly should have clinched HOY for her.

But, oops, she didn't get it. And this year - in her first and ONLY try against a SINGLE, genuine G1 winner - she lost. So by Team Z's own logic she should NOT win the HOY, Blame should.

And he SHOULD because he WON the BCC and beat Quality Road earlier in the year all the while running in unrestricted company while Zenyatta was hanging with the girls in sunny S CA.(Yeah, I know, QR finished last in the BCC but that was an anomaly. It was the first time in his career that he finished off the board).

I despise hypocrisy and that's exactly what were getting from Team Z and the Zenyatta Zealots. I've never seen so many people about-face, back-pedal, whatever so fast in my life.

Jerry Moss was a bitter old geezer when he was interviewed after the HOY was announced last year at the Eclipse Awards, and this year the rumblings from Team Z are already starting to sound much the same. I can only imagine what sort of venom he'll spit if/when Zenyatta doesn't get HOY again this year. And Moss will have only himself to blame (no pun intended). They could have run her in the Goodwood, the Pacific Classic, the Hollywood Gold Cup, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Stephen Foster, any number of unrestricted G1 races in CA or not.

But they didn't. They put it all on the BCC and they lost.

Stacey said...
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Stacey said...
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tvnewsbadge said...

Boy, does anyone else get the feeling Stacy is pretty upset, posting the same endless rant three times?

But I do agree with her that Jerry and Ann Moss have only themselves to blame if Zenyatta does not get HoY.

Anonymous said...

I completely 100% agree with Stacey. I'm just not seeing a convincing case for Z to win HOY. Her camp put all of their eggs in 1 basket and treated the entire year as a prep for the BCC. If she had lost the classic by a nose to fly down or another less accomplished horse, I'd be cheering for her to win HOY too. But everybody knew she and Blame were in a dead heat for HOY going into the BCC and that if one of them won it they would have HOY in the bag. It seems to me like HOY was decided on the track last weekend, and I'm disappointed that so many people are letting intangibles cloud their decision. I'm not directing that towards you, Brian, but towards the people who make comments about how they think she should win because of how many new fans she attracted, etc.

Sarah G

Anonymous said...

If people remember Blame 50 years from now, it will be as the only horse that beat Zenyatta. She will never be forgotten; she is racing's most important horse in 2010.

Amateurcapper said...

B,

Wow, really surprised that you came to Z's side. Glad, but surprised.

As for the "didn't travel enough" arguments, realize East Coast homers that it is light years easier to travel on that side of the Mississippi than it is from Cali to nearly anywhere else. Will Floridians hold BLAME's connections in contempt because he never came south?

Ironically, RACHEL's selection without competing in the Classic last year will probably help ZENYATTA's selection this year. There is recent precedent to award a horse other than the Classic winner as HOY to go along with '08, '03, '02, '01, '99, '98, etc.

Until and unless the HOY vote stipulates that the winner must have competed only in open G.I races all year long, which only older males must do, the vote should go to the horse that carried the sport. Last year, RACHEL carried the year because of her devastatingly easy 20+ length Ky. Oaks win, followed 15 days later by her exciting Preakness win, and then her Haskell domination of Belmont winner SUMMER BIRD among other males.

This year, ZENYATTA was the story from the outset as the much-debated HOY runner-up, "unretired" from a populer '09 finish. She won five G.I races in 2010, including her second Apple Blossom despite Jess Jackson's antics causing the race to be delayed a week. The Classic came down to 1/2 a head, a photo finish which many have written could go ZENYATTA's way with just the slightest good fortune and if anyone but Gomez were on BLAME.

Welcome to Team ZENYATTA!

Anonymous said...

The voters need to put a little more thought into it than just comparing pps for the year.

Ann said...

I agree 100% and yes she ran in her own back yard this year but Blame ran in his as well. I saw were Ragozin did his thing and said it would have been a dead heat. No horse deserves it more than Zen.

Afleetalexforever said...

You know I have been a FB friend of Brian for a while now, and I have seen him take a number of different stances on a number of different topics, I have backed him at times and I have disagreed on others, unfortunately this is one of those times where I disagree and I am quite confused about his decision with regards to backing Zen. In the years past, a HOY has had to go above and beyond through out the year and show by means of great performance after great performance that he or she is deserving of HOY. Then there are times when no one in the older division stands up and a two year old or filly or mare sneaks in and gets the votes.
My reasoning is simple, the connections of Zenyatta made a statement earlier this year and that statement was, “WE are not chasing HOY”, unfortunately they are Liars and now are begging for HOY after running in ho hum unknown races, and taking the absolute easiest path possible to get to the BC. I do not EVER remember the connections of any top tier horse taking the unimaginative path that they did with this great, competitive, talented mare.
I think that unfortunately Zenyatta may get a number of votes for HOY due to the sentimental aspect of things, which would be the only way that I could see her getting the votes she gets. For anyone to compare the year that she had to that of Blame or Quality Road, or even Looking At Lucky you would have to think back to the argument that Zenyatta fans had for the last 2 ½ years, “She’s Undefeated”, well she’s not anymore and the luster on that statement is gone. Unfortunately the fact is these people had the ability to step out of the box more than twice in her 20 race career and they failed to do so, in 2008 they were scared of Curlin, who didn’t run as well on synthetics, in 2009 they were scared of Rachel which is surprising due to having a 5 year old and being scared of a 3 year old, and in 2010 they were worried about passing Pepper’s Pride. Pepper’s Pride, that’s right they were more worried about passing Pepper’s Pride, not Secretariat or Ruffian or anyone of importance, they were confused, let’s face Rachel head to head, that didn’t happen, Rachel lost and you know what, lets go back to Cali and get comfy again and try to get the HOY award in the back door like we tried in 08 and 09, taking 1 shot, that being the BCClassic. Let me tell you how I feel, I have enjoyed Zenyatta for a long time, actually April of 08 was when I saw her at the Apple Blossom at My home track, Oaklawn, no one knew her back then, but here is the unfortunate part no one knew of her up until about 3 weeks ago in the normal family home also, until the BC and 60 mins started their PR quest, why because they hid her in Cali for 18 of 20 races, and had the nerve to make the statement that “They had to play at home sometimes”, The Cowardice of Jerry Moss and John Sheriffs “IS NOT DESERVING OF HORSE OF THE YEAR” in any year, Zenyatta on her own merit is deserving of an award and that’s called the Hall of Fame, HOY is for horses that have run in ambitious campaigns all throughout the year, it’s not about the 5 or 10 thousand fans extra she brought out to the BC. She is an amazing horse, an amazing athlete and a wonderful ambassador to the sport, for the last month or less that she was giving the spotlight, is that HOY material, no absolutely not, not even close. Because nothing that was done on the track in 2010 by Zenyatta or her connections was in anyway even close to deserving of HOY. Here is an example of HOY thoughts from a filly.

Afleetalexforever said...

Personal Ensign facing and defeating males and going 7 for 7 in 88 that’s HOY material.
Winning Colors 1988 year Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita Derby 2nd in BC Distaff is HOY material
Rachel Alexandra 3 wins against males 2 races with a combined margin of over 40 lengths HOY Material
Zenyatta’s 2009 is way more impressive than her 2010 with the BCWin but a better horse with a better resume won, in 2010 she lost a race head to head and that horse deserves HOY due to his open company wins against the best available, Zenyatta’s connections ducked the best all year and put their eggs in the BC basket and she lost, sentimentality is the only way a person would in any way vote for Zenyatta for HOY, some will and others will be objective and award the connections who took chances and won the biggest races of the year with their horse. That’s what HOY is about. And I am sorry that some have let the heart strings be tugged to want to GIVE the connections of this horse an award that they are and “NEVER HAVE BEEN DESERVING OF”!!!!

Anonymous said...

From fencebored@Pa forum.


Here's a quick little thing I threw together. I'd appreciate mistakes being noted.

As of 11/9/2010 the summary of accomplisments looks like this.

Zenyatta 2010 Record
6 -5-1-0 (all grade 1s)

Defeated 23 unique opponents in her victories
Key races won: 0
3 next out winners (excluding subject)
2 next out stakes winners (0 Graded)

For the year those opponents combine for:
155-26-18-29 (17% winners, 47% ITM)

Stake win totals: 13 total, 5 graded
00 G1s
05 G2s
00 G3s
08 Ungraded stakes

===================================

Blame 2010 Record
5-4-1-0 (four Grade 1s {three wins} and one G2)

Defeated 28 unique opponents in his victories
Key races won: 2
6 next out winners (excluding subject)
5 next out stakes winners (2 Graded {both G1})

For the year those opponents combine for:
153-51-29-19 (33% winners, 65% ITM)

Stake win totals: 40 total, 30 graded
14 G1s
09 G2s
07 G3s
10 Ungraded stakes

Bloodstock said...

Funny how for two years I hear about Zenyatta's Synthetic home track advantage. Yet Blame is a far far better horse at Churchill then anywhere else he raced.Oh well. Truth is. Zenyatta lost because her Jock failed to warm her up pre race. He instead spent that time loving on her like a high school kid behind the bleachers.Every trainer on the west coast knows Zenyatta has problems behind. It takes time for her to warm out of her soreness. The chilly Ky afternoon only made things worse.If you watch the race. Her action the first half mile was horrible. You also have to wonder why she was out grazing all day? In 40 plus years on the backside. And another 20 plus years as a fan. That was something I have never seen on raceday.

Stacey said...
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Stacey said...
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Stacey said...
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Stacey said...

I am SO sorry for the repeat posts! I was getting error messages saying the comments didn't post!

I'm very sorry and very embarrassed!

Anonymous said...

afleetalexforever, how many times have you bet against Zenyatta and lost?

Anonymous said...

Zenyatta certainly did beat grade 1 winners this year, except she waited til the end to beat them, they were all running way behind her when she passed them in the BCC. I think they were the hottest colts in racing this year.
And she only came up inches short of beating the one colt in his own backyard on his on surface.
Quit being a Zenyatta hater.

Silent Sunday said...

Facts:
For those who keep claiming Blame had a homecourt advantage. Of the 5 times he ran this year, including the BC, only 2 were at CD. He still traveled to Maryland and NY twice. And Keeneland is where he was based at, on polytrack, not dirt at CD. Why can't he get that respect, that he is that good of a horse.

For those claiming that it is hard to travel east, ask Blind Luck and her connections. They did it 6....6...yes 6 times this year and she showed up everytime firing. L@L also traveled 6 times. I'm all for opinions, but when they are defunct of fact, they become nonsensical ranting. I hate that I got sucked back into this argument, as I really have become to not care who wins HOY, because ultimately as a fan I win...Z is in history and hearts forever, and yes too many, so is Blame and we witnessed their great race which is all as fans we could ask for. Go Z, Go Blame...HOY, go wherever.

Sarah Grice said...

Did somebody really just call anybody who thinks blame should win hoy "haters?" I think your blog comments just reached the lowest possible point, Brian! Lol!

markinsac said...

Brian, i've disagreed with you on many occasions. I called you "Biased", and criticized your "Blame" pick in the Classic. I was wrong on both occasions! If anybody is biased, it's me and the rest of the Zealots. But Zenyatta will do that to you. Winning the Classic is no slam dunk for HOTY. Look at the last 2 years. It was a great Classic, one that will be remembered for decades. I take nothing away from Blame, he showed true grit, much like Rachel did last year in the Woodward. But Zenyatta is a better horse, she overcame MANY obstacles to get into a photo with her rival, in doing so, she still beat 10 quality males on a foreign surface, that Blame seems to relish. I know that some EASTERN writers are agreeing with you. So I'll have to back off on the biased claim. As soon as Zenyatta retires, so goes the left coast. California is in shambles and Aqueduct will steal away our talent with the slots money. New York racing will be king. Congratulations, expect big things. I read your column every day and find it different and entertaining. Keep up the great work. And one of these weekends, come out and visit us! The weather is great year-round.

Brian Zipse said...

Mark, After all these months, don't tell me you are softening on me! LOL In all seriousness, I appreciate your comment, but please feel free to let me have it next time you feel I am way off base.

markinsac said...

I have to soften on this one, Blame won, and you picked Z HOTY. What do you think the odds are on HOTY? It looks like it will be as heated as last year! But if Zen wins HOTY, it will make a perfect ending for her movie.

Unless she DOESN'T RETIRE! The Mosses haven't said anything definite yet. Hey, can you get something started for a Rachel going away party, perhaps at Churchill or Keeneland? I think she deserves it. She and Zen made old horseplayers care about the sport again, not just what the tri payed. I just don't like her owner all that much. He's sneaky.

Anonymous said...

Blame may have won the BCC but he did not beat Zenyatta. If not for the head bob, he wouldn't have won either. No horse could have done what she did coming down the stretch that day.....

What people need to consider is that there is a lack of Grade 1 fillies and mares for her to run against because she has so thoroughly dominated her division for the past three years. She did run at Oaklawn and most chose to duck her. Blind Luck's connections even chose to ship out of her home state so as not to have to hook her in her final start before BC.

Blame gives the illusion of running against better company because his division is so average that they all took their turns. He was soundly and thoroughly beaten by Haynesfield with no excuses. Zenyatta smoked Haynesfield like a cheap cigar (as did Blame that day) in their only match up. Zenyatta has never been soundly beaten.

Lastly, with all things being equal, Seth Hancock's tasteless and crass comments immediately following the race should cost Blame the honors. Seth appears to be the only person at Churchill that thought Blame won easily that day. Everybody sitting in my section seemed to be under the impression that Blame got very lucky and the horse that truly beat Zenyatta was Quality Road stopping like he'd been shot in front of her.

I want to see Zenyatta's connections be rewarded for their horsemanship and great love of their animal and the sport. Her record may say 19-1, but for me, they were all perfection in any way you look at it...

Anonymous said...

"Lastly, with all things being equal, Seth Hancock's tasteless and crass comments immediately following the race should cost Blame the honors. "

If that's the case then the Mosses' tasteless reactions at the Eclipse awards last year should cost Zenyatta the honors this year. Do you see how silly this logic is? Why should cocky behavior from owners affect the cold hard stats from the year? Don't even bring crap like this into the argument. Brian clearly said that he based his opinion on Zenyatta's work this season vs. Blame's work this season. I disagree with his conclusion, but I can respect how he came to it. He certainly didn't claim that one horse should win because he likes their owners better, so please don't bring that to the table here. Let's stick to tangibles.

Sarah G

markinsac said...

Anonomous, many who vote for Blame HOTY will be doing so because they don't like the campaign Zenyatta took, a vote against Zen's owners. Zenyatta never ventured to the east coast and some will hold that against her. So the vote is emotional any way you look at it. And by the looks of things, it's going to get ugly.

Anonymous said...

So, if you want to stick to tangibles....here ya go.

She ran in more races this year
She won more races
She won more Grade 1 races
She raced over two different surfaces
She ran at more tracks

Like it or not she IS a female and she thoroughly dominated her division. HOTY is like a best in show win. She was the best horse running in North America this year. Period. Thirty years from now Blame will be little more than a footnote in history. She will be a first round HOF horse. Its doubtful he will ever be HOF.

Are those enough tangibles for you?

Anonymous said...

Those tangibles you collected about zenyatta sure look weak when you compare them to the # of grade 1 winners
Blame beat this year. And the small fact that Blame beat Zenyatta when they met up!

Anonymous said...

Also, the fact that zenyatta didn't travel is a tangible, not an opinion about something the owners said.

Anonymous said...

Difficult for Zenyatta to find a lot of Grade 1 winners in her diviosion to run against considering she has dominated it for the past 3 years......Seems that she beat the same Grade 1 winners that Blame did. He won the race but he hardly beat her as the photo just after the wire. Hardly a horse that was soundly beaten, but rather an unlucky head bob.

Nobody is likely to change their mind on the subject, but I am confident that 30 yrs from now that people will still talk about Zenyatta and compare others to her. Unless Blame becomes a star in the breeding shed, very few will remember much about him at all other than how people now remember Upset. Highly unlikely he will ever be in the HOF. How sad it would be for her to be in on the first vote and not have been HOTY. Even sadder for those of you that didnt appreciate her while she was running. I take comfort in the fact that real horsemen appreciate her and what she has done...seems to be the touts, railbirds and handicappers that can't pull their nose out of their forms long enough to recognize a great horse...

Sarah Grice said...

You do realize it's possible to have an incredible career but never have the best single season, right anonymous? And that it's possible for someone to "appreciate" Z but still think Blame earned HOY? My God, you're annoying.

Silent Sunday said...

ZATT needs a like button, so I can like Grice's last comment. I'd punch the button til my fingers bled!