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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

NTRA Top 10, Snarky Kentucky Derby Dozen & The Final Four

One of the perks of having both a big mouth and happily working at Horse Racing Nation, is that I am asked quite frequently to put my impeccable reputation on the line by offering my opinions on a variety of horse racing topics. One of those that I enjoy the most, and take very seriously, is my regular submission for the NTRA national Top 10. What can I say, I’m a poll guy, and this one is the best that American racing has. 
 
1) Game On Dude – If the year ended today … the dominant 2-for-2 Dude would be my horse of the year.
 
2) Point of Entry – His only race of the year is my favorite performance of 2013 so far; turf monster.
 
3) Royal Delta – She is only getting better with age; I wish her well in Dubai.
 
4) Wise Dan – A deserving Horse of the Year last year has earned my respect even though he has not raced yet this year.
 
5) Fort Larned – I don’t quite know what to say about his one race this year, other than he looked good.
 
6) Groupie Doll – Hey, a little love for my favorite horse in training; can’t wait for the best sprinter in the land to come back.
 
7) Graydar – I am skeptical of his ability to do it away from Gulfstream, but the Donn earns him this high ranking.
 
8) Believe You Can – She may be Royal Delta’s top competition on the distaff set.
 
9) Verrazano – My current choice for the Derby is undefeated and untested to this point.
 
10) Itsmyluckyday – His two stakes wins this year are probably more than any other three-year-old has accomplished so far in 2013.
 
*************** 
 
Meanwhile, back on the all-important Kentucky Derby trail, I have the pleasure of participating in Steve Munday’s collaborative WirePlayer’s Derby Dozen. The rules are simple here; pick your current Top 12 for the Derby and pepper in a little snark in the comment line. Here are mine …
 
1) Verrazano - A bridge too far? Hell no!
 
2) Power Broker – Only one prep for the Derby seems ambitious, yet I still believe.

3) Itsmyluckyday - Loving all these strong works in the relative hush of Calder.

4) Orb - Doesn't it just seem right that Shug should have a Kentucky Derby win?
 
5) Revolutionary - I have a feeling they're going to like him down in Ol' N'Orleans.

6) Uncaptured -Will be taking a very synthetic path towards the run for the roses.

7) Flashback - Don't hold that speed duel against him; Zazu's little bro can go!

8) Vyjack - Is he speed? Is he a late closer? I don't know, but I do no that he is good!
 
9) Shanghai Bobby - The juvy champ is only my third choice in the Florida Derby; should be quite a race!
 
10) Oxbow - He's this year's Optimizer, with the convenient difference of being able to handle the dirt.

11) Palace Malice – All Dogwoods bloom in springtime … right? 

12) Will Take Charge – It’s D. Wayne’s world, we’re just living in it.
 
***************  

And finally, absolutely no one asked me, but I’m going with a Final Four of Louisville, New Mexico, Indiana, and Florida, with the Gators of Florida ultimately cutting down the championship nets over Louisville.
 

 

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Older Comments about NTRA Top 10, Snarky Kentucky Derby Dozen & The Final Four...

*pessimism
rafi, Here's what I think, if Groupie Doll does not look as though she will return to form as observed in her training, then she won't be back racing. Maybe your peesimism is based on other mares wanting to become mommies and losing interest in racing?
Nice KDD Brian, especially the "little snark". The one associated w/ Palace Malice is my favorite, but come Sunday night, you'll have to be Shakin' It Up.
Honestly, I don't think Groupie Doll will return to form, jmo. And Brian, here's my final four: Duke, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Florida. I have Florida vs. Duke in championship... Just like you, I predict the Gators to be the champions and cut down the nets! Go Gators!
Pretty good lists, Fort Larned will be much better this year I believe and Game on Dude will benefit from not going to Dubai. But Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA!
Guess the list would have to way longer than top ten for all of mine.
I'd include Hear The Ghost instead of the unraced in 2013 Power Broker, not sure of order at this point. For older horses, I don't have strong disagreements, but I'd squeeze in Mizdirection, Sahara Sky, Jeranimo, the new record setter Bright Thought, Comma To The Top. Hoping Caixa makes a list like this after a few months( I have plenty more favs, too, like Lady Of Shamrock, Data Link, Little Mike, so many others). I hope Dude has a great year. Funny that the amazing maiden winner is now the mare to beat.
I was unaware it was a list for HOY.
Animal Kingdom is great, but with only one U.S. start (and a losing one at that) planned for the year, I cannot justify having Animal Kingdom on this list either, Sullivan. My only change to the overall Top 10 list would possibly be to replace Graydar with Kauai Katie since I'm not completely sold on him just yet.
you can have dude. no thanks .
No wins in North America is not going to get Animal Kingdom votes. I did not vote for AK in the NTRA poll either and will not unless his plans completely change.
Animal Kingdom is as Australian as So you Think......0%.
The poll looks for the HOY? How many of the NTRA poll voters have HOY votes?
gators couldnt getvit done with beal last year. no shot without him this year.
How can he be on a poll that looks for the horse of the year, when he will likely not set foot in America the remainder of the year?
No longer an American horse... I won't create an argument on this thread, but I strongly disagree. Best I can tell it says (USA) next to AK's name.
Animal Kingdom is no longer an American horse ... I don't feel like he belongs on this list moving forward.
Miami to win March Madness.
Go LOBOS.... oh and Verrazano!
No Animal Kingdom?

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.