All week I thought of the Whitney that was approaching, I thought about the Whitney’s that I had a chance to watch. The older versions that I had to search for and YouTube, all the way to the recent ones I watched live on TV. What a great race it is, one of my favorites! I read everyone’s commentary about their favorite Whitney champ, favorite Whitney race, favorite horse to come out of the Whitney, most shocking Whitney moment…you get the picture. I was reading everyone’s all time favorite from long ago and I thought about how much I would like to write about my favorite Whitney moment. I didn’t dare try since it was such a recent Whitney, everyone else was talking up Whitney’s of long, long ago and here I was with my favorite being just last year. Then I figured, “what the hell, even the recent past can be considered great!” So here is it folks, my favorite Whitney moment.
In the older male division there were two horses making the news all year, Quality Road and Blame. All year, talks of how great Blame was, but that he had never faced Quality Road…the future legend Quality Road. The funny thing was at the time I had never watched Quality Road race, but kept a very careful eye on Blame. I saw superstar in the son of Arch, the dig in and fight for it horse. I thought he was very impressive. I watched him as a three year old because I am a follower of Jamie Theriot and I stayed in his corner when he switched jocks. I usually lose interests after a jock switch, but there was something about Blame that I could not give up on. Glad I stayed with him.
Anyway, the lead up to the Whitney was puzzling to me, all these commentators and analysts backing the perfect Quality Road. He may have been something, but he was also something I did not see. I heard about the Beyer figures and the ease that he wins by, but I didn’t mind putting up my favorite male horse against him. As I thought more about it, and wrote about it, I said the Whitney was going to be the race of the year, the match-up of the year. I know Z was going to defend her title later in the year, but something told me that this Whitney would be better and….I was right. This race was going to be a great race between two horses that were worthy of each other. Read the explanation before you comment. I am not saying that Z or Blame are not worthy of each other, all I am saying is that there was no clear cut winner or favorite. In the Whitney, Blame could take it or Quality Road. I thought the matchup would be a dream matchup and I think I was right about that as well.
The field breaks out of the gate with no problems, Quality Road takes the lead and Blame is in the middle of the pack. They run first and fourth pretty much all the way around the track…then…around the far turn Gomez shakes the reins at Blame and he gives him a little. Blame goes to the outside to pass up Haynesfield and Musket Man.
Quality Road sitting pretty in front is almost even with Blame. As they are coming down the stretch, I have a front view of them and Quality Road who was in the lead the entire race is clean, not a speck of dirt on him. But my favorite, my fighter, my Blame is covered in dirt and gaining on the great Quality Road. If Quality Road was going to win this, Blame was going to make sure that it was not easy for him. It comes down to an exciting photo finish “that Blame got” as called by the announcer. It was so exhilarating to believe in a horse, against the odds, despite what the ‘experts’ say and to watch him dig in and win. Love that Whitney, love that horse.
We all know what happens to both horses after that, but we are talking about the Whitney right now. That was my favorite Whitney moment and dare I say it was my favorite moment of 2010.