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Race Talk with the Girl Next Door

My Best of 2011

Havre de Grace and Blind Luck duel in the Delaware Handicap
As the end of the 2011 year draws near I decided to give you a list of my favorite moments of the year. Here is to remembering 2011…
 
#5—Havre De Grace romps in the Woodward
  • Since this is the second time a lady would win the Woodward it is not number 1, but since I never get sick of watching the ladies clobber the boys I have to put it on my list. Havre De Grace met up with the boys in this thriller and as expected it quickly became a paid workout for her. Larry Jones had his mare in such great shape she barely broke a sweat against the field. This was the first time she met the boys and she did it with such ease that it was one of the greatest watches of the year.
 
#4—Court Vision beats the 3 time turf champ Goldikova
  • The race was already going to be in the top 5 of 2011 moments because of Goldikova, but it is the exciting stretch run between Turallure and Court Vision that makes it such a great race. Having bet on Turallure, I held my breath as the judges reviewed the photo for what seemed to be an eternity. When the judges made their decision it was the 64-1 shot that denied our turf queen her 4th straight Breeder’s Cup.
 
#3—Mike Smith wins his 2nd Classic in Three Years
  • The racing gods that Mike Smith must have pissed off prior to the 2010 Breeder’s Cup Classic must have forgiven him prior to this year’s Classic. Mike Smith (aboard a horse that Nostradamus couldn’t have predicted a Classic win from) would dual with Chantal Sutherland all the way down the stretch at Churchill. Last year, Smith battled down the stretch but came up short and this year in my moment number 3 he came up on top. Nice to see Karma in action. This race is very significant as it was the ‘Battle of the Exes II’ and gave Smith the tie for leading Breeder Cup wins.
 
#2—Rapid Redux makes history
  • No list would be complete without this story. Rapid Redux is not a Cigar he is not a Zenyatta but somehow this claiming horse has made history. Last year, racing fans were lucky enough to see Z tie Peppers Pride for the longest win streak and this year, we were able to see it broken. He was never in a stakes race and I know you all can’t wait to shout about that below…but give this guy some credit, 20 wins in a row. Think about that; it had never been done before and he definitely deserves a spot on my list. Rapid Redux, the little claimer that couldJ
 
And the #1 moment of 2011 goes to……the Delaware Handicap! That’s right, the rivalry that has captured our attention for well over a year. Blind Luck and Havre De Grace have met many times, at many tracks all over the country, but it would be this race that stands out. The stretch run was superb. “Havre De Grace and Blind Luck as they turn from home…Blind Luck on the outside, Havre De Grace battling gamely on the inside…Havre De Grace…Blind Luck…” and so it went back and forth all the way down the stretch. In the end it was Blind Luck who would be victorious. This is my number one moment not only because of the dramatic stretch run but because unbeknownst to us that day in July it would be their final meeting. That race would be the end of what will be one of the greatest rivalries in horseracing.
 
Hope you enjoyed the list and I look forward to hearing about your favorite moments of 2011. Until next week, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!
 
 
 

 

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Older Comments about My Best of 2011...

I agree, the Del 'Cap takes the cake this year.
The Delaware Handicap is my #1 as well...nice list!!
Great list! The DelCap tops my top 5 moments for the year, also. Glad you gave RR his due. He certainly deserves it!
rr is a great horse and fun to watch. he is the master of his division!
Couldnt agree more with what you said about RR! he did great no matter what..
Best race ever for both BL and HDG, their Del Cap duel.
Good choice for moment of the year ... the Delaware Handicap was the Race of the Year in my eyes!
No one should begrudge the little horse that did! The Equine Rocky put a spotlight on the 85% of the horses in the sport...the low level allowance runners and claimers, and he did it with style and with grace and little fanfare. Any horse that brings positive for a sport crying for positive news deserves a tip of the hat, and possibly a special Eclipse award. Many of us are pulling for him to get the Vox Populi award...no horse is more deserving of that award this year.
Great 5 moments! Loved the Woodward romp by HDG
Glad Rapid Redux made it in there! His win streak has created a lot of interest and excitement!
Nice..And I totally agree with your # 1 moment!

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Meet Angela D'Amico
My horseracing journey and my quest to learn more about it has brought me to the University of Louisville Equine Program, but it began before I was born. My parents met when their parents shared ownership in a few racehorses. Although they did not own any horses when I was growing up, my grandfather still took me to the racetrack all throughout my childhood. In 2007, my stepfather introduced me to different racetracks and handicapping techniques, but it was not until the 2009 Preakness that I was really hooked.
 
A filly, Rachel Alexandra, venturing into a man’s world caught my eye and I fell in love with her completely. This was when my life changed. When it comes to racing and choosing my favorite horses, I have always seen perfection in what others would characterize as flaws. With this blog, I hope to show everyone that horseracing is not just a gamble, it is a passion.