You remember me, I'm the guy who stated in a less than subtle way that I am getting a little tired of all the California racing fans being so quick to throw around the "East Coast Biased" mantra anytime a horse from California, is in their minds, slighted in any way. Maybe I spoke too soon with that column. The reason for my sudden step back? I just read Steven Crist's latest column on drf.com.
In the piece, Crist gives his opinions on the 2011 Eclipse Award decisions, saying that some decisions are tight, and some are not. Fair enough, I agree with many of his assessments. There was one opinion in the column, however; that I found very strange. Here is the troublesome excerpt from the column :
It's these kind of silly statements that give any self respecting fan from California amunition to go after the rest of us. While there a couple in there that I do not feel are voting blowouts, I wonder how on earth could Crist possibly conclude that Cape Blanco is a virtually unanimous choice for Champion Turf Male, with little credible competition for the title? Has he not seen racing from California this year?
If he had, he would have noted that Acclamation won the Grade 2 Jim Murray, the Grade 1 Charlie Whittingham, and the Grade 1 Eddie Read on the grass, at distances ranging between nine and twelve furlongs in succession before finishing the year by capturing his fifth straight graded stakes of the season, the Grade 2 Clement L Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita on October 2. Before that final graded stakes win on the grass, he accounted for the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on Del Mar's synthetic main track. Granted that last one should not factor in the Turf Eclipse, but it does just go to show how very good Acclamation was this year.
I have no problem with anyone who says either Cape Blanco or Acclamation is the 2011 Turf Champion, but to say that one will win in virtually unanimous fashion with little credible competition, is just plain wrong.
Is Mr. Crist the reason that so many of us have been accused of being "East Coast Biased?" After reading his latest column, I am not so sure the answer is not, "Yes."