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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

No Shame for Goldikova

I come today to praise Goldikova, not to bury her. In a magnificent career that has now spanned five seasons, losing a race is nothing new to the great champion. In fact, today was her ninth career loss. To this defeat, and the eight others before it, I say, “so what.”
In three consecutive seasons, Goldikova has come to America as a conquering hero. She simply has proven to be too good for her Breeders’ Cup Mile competition. This is a feat that no other horse in history can match, in any of the Breeders’ Cup events. And each time she traveled to the States, she had been beaten during the season in Europe.  That’s what happens when you consistently run against the best completion in the world for the better part of four years. Sometimes you lose, and if you are good enough, sometimes you win.
Goldikova has won plenty. The daughter of Anabaa has been triumphant 17 times, and today’s race actually has me confident that there will be more to come.
The Parisian defeat today came in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, and against an extremely talented three-year-old colt named Dream Ahead. It briefly looked like she might be home free, as Goldikova surged to the lead early in the Longchamp straight, but she had little time to breathe as the second choice in the race, Dream Ahead, attacked from her outside. As the two stars exploded away from the rest of the field, it was clear that the younger male had a little bit more momentum. Goldikova battled every stride to the wire but could not hold off the rush of Dream Ahead. At the wire, Goldikova was a head behind, and the pair was six lengths clear of the rest.
A multiple group 1 winner, Dream Ahead completed the distance, of just short of seven furlongs, in 1:18.10 over an unusually firm Longchamp turf with William Buick in the irons. Unlike Goldikova, Dream Ahead thrives at shorter distances like the Foret. If the distance had been the same distance of the BC Mile, Goldikova’s favorite distance, who knows if her young rival’s closing kick would have packed the same punch.
After the race, Goldikova’s connections, including trainer Freddy Head, were not surprisingly disappointed, but despite losing for the third time in five times (she has finished second in each loss this year,) she ran an excellent race that should set her up perfectly for another trip to America.
The turn of foot is still there, the class is still there, and that big heart is most assuredly still there. Does she still have what it takes to win an incredible fourth consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile on an American style racetrack that she loves, and at a distance she prefers? My answer is a resounding and confident, “Yes, she can!”
 

 

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Older Comments about No Shame for Goldikova...

I think Head is correct, "the mileage is catching up to Goldikova". At what point are we expecting too much of a horse? Time and time again this mare has dug deep and given her all against the best, male and female, but she can't beat father time. I have nothing but absolute respect for Goldikova. She is a great thoroughbred. Losing without losing heart is the mark of a great champion. Goldi girl is that and more. I still believe that longevity defines a horse. Win or lose, we all know the depth of Goldikova's soul. As for the Breeders Cup, a 4th time? I wouldn't bet against her.
Her race today was way too "wham, bam, thank you ma'am". She was a tightly canned sardine on the rail, never looked comfortable, had her ears pinned, and never had the chance to settle. The jock moved her a tad to early just to get her comfortable and clear knowing full well she needed it! That being said, she had her burst of speed a bit too early and it was nowhere near as strong as usual. I believe she was a bit beat from humming along in that sardine can. She should come in strong to CD.
Medlocke. Actually Goldi lost her first three races in 2008, including the Prix du Louvre before the twolosses to Zarkava. She then won her next four including finishing off with the BC Turf Mile.
Time eventually catches up to even the greatest of the great one's. This is the first time in her career that Goldikova has been defeated 3 times in the same season, ever!! The great French filly, Zarkava, beat her twice in the French 1000 Guineas and the Prix De Diane(French Oaks) back in 2008. But until today, that accounted for the most losses in a single season for Goldikova. I'm at all saying that she can't or won't win a 4th BC Mile this year? But I do believe it suggest that she'll be more vulnerable this year than in any of her 3 previous BC Mile win's. TJMO.
Who will beat her? I think anyone that can isn't going to make the trip from Europe
Yeah right Goldikova is not what she use to be. she will not win in Churchill this year

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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.