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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Wise Dan is numero uno in my final Top 10

The Breeders' Cup has come and gone, and as usual it did not disappoint. Over the next several days, I will have much to say about my experience at beautiful Santa Anita, as well as, my take on the extraordinary equine performances I witnessed, but as I face a long travel day, I would just like to share with you my final submission for the NTRA Top 10 poll. I expect my choices should spur on a good amount of healthy discussion...

 

1) Wise Dan - The best horse in America; there should be no doubt.

 

2) Fort Larned - The Classic winner came so far this year.

 

3) Groupie Doll - The best sprinter in the U.S. of either sex.

 

4) Royal Delta - Back to back Ladies' Classic champ did it on the front.

 

5) I'll Have Another - The forgotten horse was our best the first half.

 

6) Shanghai Bobby - Distance limitations be damned; unbeaten champion.

 

7) Mucho Macho Man - He did everything you could ask but win.  

 

8) Little Mike - My wagering nemesis picked the right days to shine.

 

9) Point of Entry - Like the Macho Man, he was gallant in defeat.

 

10) Game On Dude - Would it have been different with a better break?

 

Honorable MentionAnimal Kingdom, My Miss Aurelia, Zagora, Beholder, Trinniberg, Executiveprivilege, The Lumber Guy, Flat Out, Obviously, Marketing Mix, Bodemeister, Include Me Out, and last but not least ... Paynter.


 

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Older Comments about Wise Dan is numero uno in my final Top 10...

Regarding Game On Dude, a really good horse makes their own breaks and Dude never fought back in the Classic.
  • buds · everyone needs to quit wining about his trip, he had nothing but dirt in front of him comming down the stretch, he just seemed to be tired as all the horses ran past him · 732 days ago
I would agree with most of these picks. I thinkk Fort Larned is a bit high only because FL, Mucho Macho Man, Flat out and Ron the greek all beat each other and all seem about equal, given the surface, distance day, etc. Move Royal Delta up to number 2. She is a repeat BCLC winner. Go through history and there hasnt been to many worses to win on BC weekend twice, that alone puts her near the top. Toss in a couple of Dubia trips and her resume is like no others in this top 10. However, I still think with the year Wise Dan had, he deserves the #1 spot as of now.
I agree, but i would switch Groupie Doll and Fort Larned.
Hell no he's a damn miler what's next sprinters for Horse of the year.
Wise Dan looks like, has the talent of, the conformation of, and the dominance of his great grandsire on both sides of his pedigree: Secretariat. I hope he and Animal Kingdom go to Royal Ascot next year and beat the pants off the Euros. Then he will be seen as the king.
What I don't get is how Wise Dan can so unequivocally declared the best when a horse like Little Mike did more in the country in which the American HOTY is awarded. Sure Wise Dan broke the course record, but Little Mike came within a few hundredths of a second of doing the same at 12 furlongs, which suggests Santa Anita's turf course was playing pretty fast, or at the very least means LIttle Mike is on the same level as Wise Dan in terms of talent within their own specialties. I still don't buy that Wise Dan can run his best race on anything. If he truly was the Lord of Versatility, he would have run in the Breeders Cup Classic pure and simple. I'm also surprised Groupie Doll hasn't been mentioned as a possible candidate. She's proven to have plenty of versatility, winning grade 1s on both dirt and synthetic. Wise Dan may very well win HOTY, but my point is that there are plenty of others, including I'll Have Another, who deserve to be in the conversation. After watching the trip Animal Kingdom had I'm not so sure Wise Dan was even the best horse in the race. I had my doubts about Animal Kingdom, but he made me a believer yesterday. Given everything he's overcome to run such a courageous race is just incredible.
Very good top 10. I like how you did your top two. I'm not sure many will be giving Fort Larned that type of credit, despite what a solid year he's had. Wise Dan has just wowed us all year and did it again yesterday. He deserves to be number one.

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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.