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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

ZATT’s Midseason Awards

Never one to wait until the end before anticipating what might come to be, I offer ZATT's Midseason Awards of 2013 to the horses that would win if the season ended today...

 

Three-Year-Old - Oxbow - The Derby winner would have been easy to select, but this gutsy little son of Awesome Again has beaten him in two in a row.


Three-Year-Old Filly - Princess of Sylmar - The Kentucky Oaks may have been a shocker to some, but just check her excellent record.


Older Male - Game On Dude - The old California to West Virginia route worked just fine for this glorious gelding.


Older Female - Tiz Miz Sue -  Until Royal Delta gets her act together, the leader of this division is the mare who has been the most consistent.


Turf Male - Wise Dan - In a virtual toss-up with Point of Entry, I have to go with the one who is healthy right now.


Turf Female - Stephanie’s Kitten - Two exciting wins, on some of our biggest stages, earn this Ramsey runner the top spot.


Sprint Male - Sahara Sky - Delaunay has been a monster this year, but this one has got it done against a bit better, and on both coasts.


Sprint Female - Aubby K - Nice four-year-old filly may only be a placeholder until The Doll returns.


Yes, I know it’s a little early for these, but let’s get an early start …


Two-Year-Old - Debt Ceiling - Two races, and two impressive wins in Maryland. I look forward to seeing him run against better competition.


Two-Year-Old Filly - Teardrop - Electrifying winner of a Churchill Downs maiden, she makes her stakes debut in next week’s Debutante.


They may not be categories of the Eclipse Awards, but maybe they should be … 


Loveable Loser - Cross Traffic - The only thing better than his losing Westchester performance was his second place run in the Met Mile.

 

Marathon Man - Calidoscopio - The 12 furlongs of the Brooklyn may have been a little short for him, but he flew home a winner anyway. 


Comeback Horse - Paynter - Do I really need to explain this one?


Drumroll please … 


Horse of the Year - Game On Dude - Three races, and three impressive wins. Bigger tests loom, but for now, The Dude abides. 

 

What the Nation is saying about ZATT’s Midseason Awards...

If GroupieDoll comes back to her old self, she should easily win the award again. Not a big GOD fan. I think there are other horses far more deserving.
  • benji · Agree, Groupie Doll is the best horse in her division that we've seen in years. GOD is an awesome horse but he's made a living beating California horses. He's definitely one of the best in his division, just not the best. · 380 days ago ·
    like
Game On Dude is going to have to beat the top horses at some point to be HOY and Charles Town is just not going to cut it!
  • On The Gallop's · It would be something to see him AND his brother Paynter in the classic this year. Both with frnt running styles. One can hope. · 387 days ago ·
    like
I love Marketi Mix- a true throwback- a female turf router, plenty of stamina, and a beautiful stride. I hit her in the Gamely and I had her in the Bc FM turf, I believe. Always bet her 1st of a layoff, as she is 3 for 3 on viewable races on PP's.... She is definitely in contention and I'd love to see her do it
It is hard to argue with these picks, but it seems like winning the Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth should count for something. I do think Oxbow is probably the better 3 year old this year and will end up as the Eclipse winner. The Travers might be the best race of the year!
  • On The Gallop's · I agree Mike. Orb is still the most accomplished 3 year old as far as this season is concerned IMO. Oxbow looks every bit the part of an Iron horse. He could be the next Shackleford. · 387 days ago ·
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Nice mention of Cross traffic, he is one I will enjoy watching again.
Good list, I cant argue with any choice, I do like Orb better as of now because of more graded stakes wins. When its all said and done I dont think finish 2nd in the Belmont is that much more powerful than finishing 3rd. We will be counting wins not who finished better in a loss, IMO
Marathon Man - Calidoscopio. Marathon races would I believe be welcomed by the fans. At least I like them. Maybe it's because of the rarity of them.
I maintain Oxbow was more consistent in the Triple Crown. Orb's non-threatening, just got 4th in a 3-horse photo in the Preakness was not a good race. At least Oxbow was involved in the Derby.
"...has beaten him two in a row." SO? Orb was the only one that ran in all three AND hit the board in all three. That kind of consistancy cant (or shouldnt) be overlooked. He was neither here nor there to me going into the Belmont, but now he's got my attention BECAUSE of that.
These are not picks for what will happen at the end of the year - they would be very different if they were - rather, they are only who I would vote for if the season ended today. As far as midseason HOY ... If we are talking about last year, absolutely. If we are talking about what may happen in the future, good chance. But as far as the first half of 2013, no way. Game On Dude has won more races, a more important race, and has beaten better competition. You cannot assume what might happen, or hold previous years against him, but rather only look at what has happened this year.
Think Dan is still HOY. Two grade ones and two dominant performances? Just because they are over turf shouldn't mean we ignore them. GOD has been very good, but just how strong is the Cali division outside of Dude? I think it will get a lot stronger after Paynter returns to grade one competion. Dude is a very good horse, like others have said, when things don't go his way he doesn't show the same brilliance.
Big like ^^
I think animal kingdom should sit at the top spot, unless we are totally considering him an Australian horse and this point. He has fought off better foes, and managed to not only compete well but win with ease in the DWC. GOD has yet to impress in big races.
Here's my bias again, but I think Marketing Mix will be the Turf Female by the end of the year. She ran an excellent race in the Gamely Stakes and appears to be even better than she was last year
***Switch my sprinter pick to Fast Bullet
Three year old male- Oxbow. I feel like he is the most impressive pace wise and he is improving. Three year old filly- Dreamig of Julia. Older Male- Wise Dan. Older female- Royal Delta (I think she'll get herself together). Turf male- Wise Dan. Turf female- Stephanie's Kitten. Sprint Male- Sahara Sky. Sprint female- Kauai Katie (admitted bias!). Horse of the Year- Wise Dan.... This early in the year, I'd put the over/under at 2.5, let's see which one of use does better, zipse! :).
The Dude reigns supreme!
I have been thinking, Oxbow is better than expected but Palice Malice without those blinkers could have won the Derby. Oxbow really did beat him twice and I am not arguing that point. I just think he might be top three year old by the end of the year.
Comma to the Top calls rematch!
Huzzah! Glad I've finally got you on board with Tiz Miz Sue!

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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.