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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Who’s the Champ, Beholder or Executiveprivilege?

How much value should the Eclipse Award voters place on the results of the Breeders’ Cup?

 

There are no easy answers to the above question, but we may gain a better understanding of how the majority feels on the subject according to how the voting for this year’s 2-year-old Filly Championship goes down. In the one corner you have the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, Beholder, while in the opposite corner, there is four-time stakes winner, and runner-up on Friday, Executiveprivilege (below). It would seem there could not be a more clear-cut delineation between siding with the Breeders’ Cup winner or the horse that accomplished more during the year, with this pair of young ladies.

 

If you believe it all comes down to the Breeders’ Cup, then you have to favor Beholder. She defeated her rival in the big one; case closed.

 

If you believe what happens during the entire year outweighs the result of one race, then you must love Executiveprivilege’s chances. She holds a 4-to-1 stakes wins advantage, and a 2-to-1 head-to-head advantage over Beholder; clearly she had the better overall year.

 

Of course, it will boil down to personal preference, and then a counting of the votes, to decide this one, but let’s take a look at this decision with a pair of similar historical references.

 

In 1979 (pre-Breeders’ Cup) the vote came down to the unbeaten Genuine Risk and the prolific Smart Angle. In their only meeting, Genuine Risk (left) won the Demoiselle by a nose in both fillies seasonal finale. Despite winning the showdown, albeit narrowly, and a perfect 4-for-4 record, the Firestone filly was denied an Eclipse Award, as voters sided with the Demoiselle runner-up, who had already won six stakes that year. Smart Angle won the championship, but would it have been different if the Demoiselle had been the BC Juvenile Fillies?

 

In 1999, Chilukki entered the Breeders’ Cup with a perfect six-for-six record, including five stakes wins. In the Juvenile Fillies, she put her winning streak on the line against a pair of D. Wayne Lukas fillies in Surfside and Cash Run. Surfside was the more highly regarded one, but it was Cash Run who impressively carried the day at Gulfstream Park over Chilukki (2nd) and Surfside (3rd). When it came time to vote on the championship, Chilukki easily reversed the Breeders’ Cup result with a sizable win to nail down the Eclipse Award over the $1.2 million yearling purchase, but winner of a lone stakes race at two.

 

While these two comparisons relate to this year’s decision, every Eclipse Award vote is like a snowflake; no two are quite the same. Should Executiveprivilege be rewarded for her body of work, including a solid performance when second on Friday, and two previous grade 1 wins, or did the Breeders’ Cup truly establish the better filly? Keep in mind that despite winning only a single stakes score, Beholder was only a scant nose short of Executiveprivilege in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, before running the biggest speed figure of the division in a romping allowance prep.

 

It’s an interesting question, and one that I, myself, am currently struggling in finding the correct answer, so … let the debate begin. Who do you think should be the champ, Beholder or Executiveprivilege?

 

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Older Comments about Who’s the Champ, Beholder or Executiveprivilege?...

Both horses are good and I can see how either one can win, but there is one thing about these awards that is interesting. I know there are no guidelines for how the voters are supposed to select the winners and as a result each voter decides what is important to them. It seems that most people posting here are in the "Body of Work" group, but it seems to me that some consideration should be made to which was the better horse. Beholder lost one race to Executiveprivilege by a nose and in the Breeders Cup it looked to me like Beholder was much the best horse. I think Beholder is the best 2 year old filliy to race this year and should win the Eclipse.
does not make a difference what anyone thinks........The voters will give it to Beholder
Needed: Eclipse Award criteria. First, "of the year" should be added to each category.
I gave the edge to Beholder.... because.... she was.... and still is...Improving
I think Beholder is the champion 2-year-old filly since she beat Executivepriviledge in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
The Eclipse Awards should be based on what you have done all year long, it's good for horse racing to have these talented runner's come out and run for the fans to see them display their talents, isn't that why we all go out to the race's to see these talented runners WOW us. Excecutiveprivledge hands down is your 2yr.old Champ.....
EP has the better body of work & holds the head to head advantage, that's where my vote would go.
EP won the most head to head match ups. She won more graded stakes and grade ones. Beholder got hot for two races and took advantage of a track that was playing to her style. She ducked EP in the only other spot at this track, and prior to that was beaten by EP, on two different surfaces. It shouldn't even be a question. If your a person who likes head to heads, EP wins. If your a person who likes a full season, complete, tough season then EP wins. The only way Beholder gets this is through flawed thinking that suggests that one races is the end all be all of the entire year. If that is the case then why even bother running your horse before the BC? In every fair and logical way of thinking, EP wins this hands down.
Executiveprivilege, or just call it the BC awards.
Well, in the case of these two, they did get the opportunity to race 3 times: Executiveprivilege -2, Beholder - 1.
Executiveprivlege has 3 graded stakes wins and a place in a G1; she ended the year 6:5-1-0. Beholder has 1 graded stakes win and a place in a G1, ending the year 5:3-1-0. I think it depends on how much value you place on the Breeders Cup, which is one race, even if it is the best of the best. Last year, a similar question lay between Union Rags and Hansen, though Hansen was undefeated. Voters clearly lie in favor of the first place finisher in the BC, but I believe that's weighting it too heavily. If it were up to me, I'd say EP, but I understand the argument that can be made for Beholder.
well who won the rematch, beholder. pretty simple
Mile in SB - agreed. Top horses in all divisions usually do not face each other often enough to gauge them. I am hoping that the new Kentucky Derby/Oaks qualifying system is a start to force the better three year olds to face each other multiple times, as before they avoided each other as much as possible leading up to the classics (and even in the classics if you look at how many skip one or more legs of the Triple Crown).
Today horses make so few starts and rarely face each other before the Breeders Cup and as a result the Breeders Cup is often the only time when horses from all parts of the country face each other on the track. This makes the Breeders Cup more than just another race. Beholder beat the best horses from each region in the biggest race of the year and I believe she should be champion 2 year old filly. I don't believe this dominance of the Breeders Cups is a good thing, racing needs to find a way to get horses to race more and face each other throughout the year. But it is not happening now, look at the 3 year old and older fillies this year. It was a strong and deep group, but how many times did they face each other before the Breeders Cup? Royal Delta faced Its Tricky and Awsome Maria, the top 3 year olds didn't face the older horses, Awesome Feather didn't really beat a top horse all year. The only time all came together was in the Breeders Cup. This is happening in almost every division. If horses continue to race fewer and fewer times the Eclipse will go to each winner of the Breeder Cup races.
My vote would go to Executiveprivilege based on the full year's performance.
I know, but that is my opinion, EP accomplished more in the span of her campaign.
In the Juvenile Fillies 25 out of 28 times the Breeders' Cup winner has been awarded the Eclipse. Chilukki 1999, My Flag 1995, and Family Style 1985 were the exceptions.
Well, Brian, I personally like voting for the horse that did better in the entire year. Sometimes, IMO, people take the BC to TOO BIG of an account. The award is Horse of the YEAR. Or Two Year old Filly of the YEAR. It is based , again IMO, on the ENTIRE campaign. The BC is the biggest, but you can not take away the other races. I would give my vote to EP.

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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.