Ticker
  • Bayerd gets the job done in the Springboard Mile! Posted 3 days ago
  • Acceptance remains unbeaten in winning the King Glorious! Posted 3 days ago
  • Good Luck Gus best in the Damon Runyon! Posted 3 days ago
  • Mr. Z works 5F in 1:00.00 (2/24) at Los Al on Dec. 14Posted 3 days ago
  • Liam's Map gamely gets his first stakes win in the Harlan's Holiday! Posted 4 days ago
  • Micromanage over Vyjack in the Queens County! Posted 4 days ago
  • Sunbean does it again in the Louisana Champions Day Classic! Posted 4 days ago
  •  Merry Meadow gets up for the win in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl!Posted 4 days ago
  • Top Billing breezed 3F in :38.00 (4/10) at Payson Park T.C.Posted 5 days ago
  • Bayern worked 4f in :49 (41/87) at Santa Anita on Dec 11.Posted 6 days ago


HRN Original Blog:
Dead Heat Debates

Out with the Old, In with the New

 
Well, after all is said and done, the one word that I am left with, in regards to the 2013 Eclipse Award winners, is anti-climactic. All was relatively predictable, and most horses who received an award, deserved to win. However, while most of the awards could have been foreseen without the use of a crystal ball, there were some elements that were highly surprising.
 
First off, Beholder’s win in the Three Year Old Filly Eclipse, and not just her win, but a 207 to 42 score. I was on the side of Princess of Sylmar. She had the better season, making history by winning the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama, and Beldame consecutively. No other three year old filly has ever been able to accomplish that. She even beat Beholder, in the Kentucky Oaks, when both were at their best, over a neutral track.
 
Beholder, while talented, has never won a grade one outside of Santa Anita, and forewent the major stakes for her division, outside of the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders' Cup. Another recent California filly, Blind Luck, had the same options as Beholder, was not even close to the physical specimen that Beholder is, and yet was able to travel back and forth several times, winning the Kentucky Oaks, Delaware Oaks, Alabama, and Cotillion. When she ran out of options, she ran elsewhere and proved she didn’t need to take her track with her to run and win against the best. Beholder did not do that, and instead took off for months before returning to the races in a unheralded, overnight stakes, against allowance types. She faced nice horses in her Zenyatta victory, but she did not face Royal Delta at her best, she faced an overmatched Joyful Victory and a troubled Authenticity.

Beholder beat these again, including Princess in the Breeders Cup, and handily, but she did it while in the comfy confines of Santa Anita, fresh as can be, while others had been out campaigning all summer. To me, that is not an eclipse worthy season, and while I know the Breeders' Cup holds more weight than it should, in the Eclipse voting, it is a slap in the face that the voting ended 207 to 42. Beholder did not have the better season, and she is not hands down the better horse, as the voting would have you believe. The fillies, talent wise, are noses apart. The voting would not have you believe that.
 
Overall, that would probably be the only award that I had any major qualms with. I look forward to these two fillies, hopefully deciding things many times over, on the track, in 2014.
 
Speaking of 2014, this year could not be looking any deeper, in several groups. Just look at the males. The three year old males seem loaded to bear with talent. Managing editor, Brian Zipse released his Down and Derby rankings and I cannot say that any one of those horses look substantially better than the others. Right now, it would seem that there will be no shortage of quality entering the starting gates of the Derby.
 
The older males just saw the power of Mucho Macho Man, by his tour de force in the Sunshine Millions Classic. He didn’t beat much, but Gary Stevens was sitting statue still for a quarter mile, and the six year old stallion still hit the wire in a very good time of 1.48.76. Another one to watch for is Shakin it Up. The son of Midnight Lute is now two for two since returning in the races, and is running like gangbusters, out west. Late last year, he took the Malibu stakes in 1.20 and four fifths, four seven furlongs. Yesterday, he won the Strub, going two turns, in 1.41.86 for 8.5 furlongs.
 
It would seem that one of the very first grade ones of the year will be a loaded one, seeing at the Santa Anita Handicap could very well get the top three from the Strub, while also getting Will Take Charge, Mucho Macho Man and Game on Dude. The Donn Handicap could also end up luring the likes of Will Take Charge and Revolutionary, who by the way, looked very well in his return not too long ago.
 
In the Older Female division look no further than your eclipse nominees….You can expect all three Beholder, Princess of Slymar, and Close Hatches to be knocking heads over the year.
 
So, have I got your blood pumping yet? If not you might want to have some tests run, because there is no shortage of exciting prospects to start this year off. 2014, without a doubt, looks like one of the deepest, most talented years, racing has seen in a long, long time.
 

 

comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Out with the Old, In with the New...

heck if cutbacks continue year our big fall line up on the turf will be in trouble.
Judges, trainers, Hall of Fame members, to a man, do not want it here again as they ask too big a piece of the monetary pie
That's a bummer TV, would have liked the Breeders cup to come back to woodbine.
invitations are given out only after havig a few finalists and it is the track's acceptance of some really nutty rules that keeps some tracks from coming back. NO One in Toronto wants them back here.
Buds,does not matter to me and i am a New Yorker. As long as you have it somewhere where the weather will not be a factor.GO FOR IT.
The decision to host the BC is not made by tracks, it is made by the BC board.
Awesome news TV, I hope it stays in SoCal forever! Makes for a nice weekend getaway from NorCal.
the reason most tracks GET RID OF IT is the huge amount of handle and expense the Breeder's Cup heaps on the host track
Maybe when John Gaines make that statement he didn't know that the Breeders Cup is going to be station between two tracks instead of staying true to the old days when it was never at they same track. Look up the location for 2007 and prior, then look up 2008 to now and see what kind of picture it paint.
  • buds · I read that the BC people like to have it at Santa Anita because there is no traffic, nice facilities, good location as far as hotels, and most of all the PEOPLE at Santa Anita dont try and stuff thier sponcers down the BC throats. I also read that the BC makes more money at Churchill Downs than Santa Anita but the PEOPLE in charge are hard to work with. So maybe blame it on the tracks not the BC · 331 days ago
EP, I agree, it also brings in the euros and south american horses. The purse sizes and field sizes are the best of the year. I dont understand how a horsefan could think this is bad for the sport. Some think a Grade 1 in New York or Kentucky, has more prestige (sp) when it is ran with a field of 6-8 local horses and a purse size of 400K. I also think it is odd that the G1 in California arent looked at as top races because the horses are "beating the same horses" over and over.
What kind of cocktail where they serving at the voting? Were the voters on medical marijuana?
  • buds · yes, its good for blood flow to the eyes, so they actually watched the races clearly, not read about them on blogs · 331 days ago
As a California racing fan, I am used to the idea that eastern horses are assumed to be better than those from California. The California horses must prove on the track that they are better. I have no problem with this, in the old days this meant they had to travel to New York for the big fall races. When John Gaines thought up the Breeders Cup, it was to be a day of championship racing, where the question of who is the best horse would be determined face to face on the track. Like it or not this is what has happened to racing today, the Breeders Cup is dominate because it is usually the only time horses from all parts of the country face each other on the track. The connections of the California horses only want the chance to prove they are best on the track. Beholder did that in the Distaff. If Beholder didn't win the Eclipse Award then you might as well say a California based horse can not win an Eclipse.
Colorado Cocktails apparently :)
Winning at one track has more sway then multiple tracks and multiple G1's?
the twenty somethings have no idea what is going on in about 99% of things in the world so why is it typical for one of them to state that racing will make a big comeback. Want odds that it won't?
2014 will be the year racing makes a big comeback! pass out cigars to the twenty somethings!
I would have voted for Princess. I feel the Breeder's Cup carries too much weight these days. It is called a "championshio" race but it is not a "true" championship as would be referred to in other sports - the Breeders Cup just named their races as such... I figured Beholder would win the Eclipse but I was disappointed at the gap between the two in the voting. I feel the voters are being short sighted and are often taking the easy way out. Same goes for Game On Dude - I feel he deserved Champion Older Male and those who say different because he mostly won in California need only refer to Beholder to see that is garbage.... I was also diasppointed in the Jockey and Trainer awards. The voters are strictly making it a "numbers" game but I feel it should be about more than that.
I would have voted for Princess. I feel the Breeder's Cup carries too much weight these days. It is called a "championshio" race but it is not a "true" championship as would be referred to in other sports - the Breeders Cup just named their races as such... I figured Beholder would win the Eclipse but I was disappointed at the gap between the two in the voting. I feel the voters are being short sighted and are often taking the easy way out. Same goes for Game On Dude - I feel he deserved Champion Older Male and those who say different because he mostly won in California need only refer to Beholder to see that is garbage.... I was also diasppointed in the Jockey and Trainer awards. The voters are strictly making it a "numbers" game but I feel it should be about more than that.
Buds, you're hilarious. If it was August I would stand up and clap, but seeing that I had a long year, I'm too tired to clap. I'm still the best clapper though and should get the Clapping Eclipse.

Categories

Connect With Laura
Find 
Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter
Google+

Meet Laura Pugh












 

For as long as i can remember I have always loved horses and writing. The first race I ever watched was War Emblem's Preakness Stakes, but I didn't really start to get into racing until the next year where watched and cheered Empire Maker through the Derby, and yes, the Belmont.

I didn't begin writing until a few years later, when I created my own blog Horsin' Around. It didn't take long for me to realize that my niche was stirring the pot and creating heated debates, especially during the time of Big Brown vs Curlin and Rachel Alexandra vs Zenyatta. I was a Curlin and Rachel fan.

Now I am here under the name of Dead Heat Debates, and hoping to live up to that name. Have fun and let the opinions fly!