I know I will not be well liked for saying this, but you can
ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you it is not about being liked for
me, it’s about telling it straight. So here it goes, what the heck is with the
West Coast double standard? Us, living in the East are constantly accused of
bias, yet I know plenty of people on this side of the States that loved horses
like Colonel John, Mr. Hot Stuff, Lookin at Lucky, Rail Trip, Lava Man, etc.
The current horse that is getting all the love is the small little filly, Blind Luck.
Blind Luck has run from one coast to the other proving herself
constantly against the best of the best. She has yet to finish worse than third
and has wins from distances as short as four and a half furlongs to 10
furlongs. She had wins over Polytrack, Cushion Track, and Pro Ride while also
winning at the most prestigious dirt tracks in the nation. Heck, the only thing
she has yet to do is race males, other than that she had done it all in 2010.
This year however, she started off the year with three
straight second place finishes that saw her left in the dust of a speedier
rival. Those two races did have excuses as they were run over an extremely
speed biased track and Blind Luck may have been slightly rusty after a two
month freshening. However, she lost again in the Azeri with absolutely no
excuse other than she was second best on that day. However, even after those losses she was still
held in extremely high regard and many still tried to make a case for her
as best in the nation. Here is where the double standard occurs, since if I do
recall correctly, it was not so long ago that another spectacular filly started
her season slowly after a grueling 3yr old campaign but was dismissed by many,
Rachel Alexandra, one of the best fillies to ever set foot
on an American main track, did it all in 2009. Nobody could possibly deny her greatness
that is unless you were blind, crazy or a Zenyatta Zealot –just kidding.- She
ran in six different states and over seven different tracks and could win over
a dry or sloppy sloppy. She broke the stakes record in the Martha Washington and Mother Goose,
scored by 19 lengths or more twice –both in grade ones-, and took on males an unprecedented
three times in one season, and she never once lost. In her final race of the
season she took on older males, just after beating her 3yr old male peers, and
won in an all-out 9 furlong dash. In that race she became one of only three
horses to lead at every call in a grade one route at Saratoga in the last four
years and the only filly to take the Woodward Stakes. A little side note, no horse has won a grade one route there it since.
After that race her connections laid her off for seven
months before they next raced her. In that race she was rushed to get ready, in
order to try and make the Apple Blossom showdown with Zenyatta. The result was
her being a short horse and noticeably rusty, as she was beaten half a length.
In her next start, she was still far from her best and was forced to rate. She
was beaten a head to Unrivalled Belle, who was that year’s Breeders Cup Ladies
Classic winner. It was after these two losses she was ridiculed and said to
have lost her edge, even after she won decisively in her next two starts.
My question is why the double standard? Why is Blind Luck
allowed over three races to return to form, the normal curve it takes a horse to regain its form,
and Rachel Alexandra who missed training and was off for seven months was
ridiculed? Rachel in the season of 2010 lost by a total of, maybe, a length. Blind
Luck has lost by several this year when her losing margins are totaled. Rachel
won her two races by 13 lengths total and Blind Luck has won hers by less than
a length. Yet, Blind Luck is a monster who should be in the running for
division lead and Rachel was a nag?
Do not get me wrong, I love Blind Luck and think she is
spectacular for the sport. She is a throwback and deserves her praise. What was
not deserved is the ridicule Rachel Alexandra received. Why is it that the
horse from the West is allowed so much leeway and the horse from the East is
practically stoned? As far as I can tell, the West complaining about how biased
we in the East Coast are, might as well be the pot calling the kettle black.