November 11, 2010

Goldikova Streaks Towards Immortality

How great is Goldikova? Three consecutive wins in the Breeders’ Cup Mile speaks volumes. No horse has ever done it in any BC races, and my guess is it will be a very long time before anyone can match her. Remarkably, this story does not end at three for the fanstistique French mare though. Race fans were thrilled this week with the news that Goldikova will be back in training in 2011. Even better, she will be specifically aimed for Churchill Downs and the Breeders’ Cup Mile again next year. Three Breeders’ Cup victories makes her a legend, a fourth would place her in the realm of the untouchables of sporting lore. Take a look at a list I have compiled (in no particular order) of the dozen greatest streaks in American sports history, and decide for yourself where four consecutive wins at the Breeders’ Cup would place the great Goldikova.

*Johnny Vander Meer pitched two straight no-hitters in 1938.

*Kelso won five consecutive Jockey Club Gold Cups and Horse of the Year titles from 1960-1964.

*The Boston Celtics won eight consecutive NBA titles from 1959-1966.

*Cal Ripken Jr. played in 2,632 straight MLB games from 1982-1998.

*Byron Nelson had 11 straight golf tournament wins in 1945.

*The Philadelphia Flyers completed 35 games without a loss during the 1979 NHL season.

*Brett Favre has started at Quarterback in 293 consecutive NFL games and still counting.

*UCLA took home the NCAA basketball championship in seven consecutive seasons from 1967-1973.

*Alexei Karelin had a 13-year winning streak in Greco-Roman style wrestling.

*The Miami Dolphins' completed a perfect NFL season with a 17-0 mark in 1972.

*Joe DiMaggio hit safely in 56 consecutive baseball games in 1941.

*Zenyatta won the first 19 races of her career from 2007-2010.

Photo Courtesy of Reed Palmer Photography


Anonymous said...

Racing's gonna get awful boring if she's only gonna run in America once more. I hope the Mosses bring Zenyatta back for one last season. Now that the media has adequately spread awareness about these 2 mares to the non-racing world, it would be a shame for Zenyatta to not continue as well. They wanted a fairytale ending and you can't make a movie about a horse who's never lost because you need both ups AND downs to make it interesting.

Brian Zipse said...

In my opinion, racing is never boring. Would an Uncle Mo Triple Crown peak your interest? ... having said that, Zenyatta coming back in 2011 would be fabulous!

joe_depaolo said...

Roger Federer's 23 straight Grand Slam semifinal streak absolutely merits mention on this list (I believe Ivan Lendl set the previous mark at 9).

Oh, and I can't let this topic pass without mentioning that my Boise State Broncos are currently working on a 34 game regular season winning streak. They haven't lost a regular season game since 2007. (sorry, couldn't resist)

Goldi's three in a row merits mention with any of these fantastic accomplishments. If she got to FOUR in a row, it would be on a very short list of the great athletic accomplishments in the history of sports.

Brian Zipse said...

Joe, not everything is about Boise St! LOL. In all serious, the Federer semifinal run is a great addition, but not sure it would beat goldikova getting her 4th. Hard to compare, one thing for sure, Goldikova is in unchartered waters.

Silent Sunday said...

Joe! What if next year's Mile at CD is run on smurf turf?? LOL It was great meeting you at BC, hope you had a blast.

Goldi...a 4peat...would go very very high on the list!

darlene said...

4 consecutive Nascar championships to Jimmy Johnson 2006-2009 Never been done before

Brian Zipse said...

Impressive Darlene, but he is in the race every year, horses on the other hand ...

Guys, I can not believe I forgot Woody! Five straight Belmonts ... what was I thinking?!?

Anonymous said...

Only boring by comparison