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2013 Breeders' Cup Post Thoughts: Looking to the Future

Wise Dan repeats in the Breeders Cup Mile.
Photo: Don August
 
Another Breeders' Cup come and gone, and what an amazing one it was. The Cup of 2013 brought us to the lowest of lows before it delivered us to the highest heights one can imagine. We saw brilliance from every corner. We witnessed heartwarming stories, comebacks, and passion. The Breeders' Cup of 2013 embodied everything that racing is currently, and can be in the future.
 
First off I would like to say farewell to all of those leaving the track this year. For the fan favorites like Groupie Doll and Mizdirection, they may not have been as dominant as they were the year before, but they went out in style, leaving our memory banks brimming with excitement and thrills. Fort Larned also ran his last race, and it will be sad to see the complex, but brilliant old man go. His 2012 Breeders Cup Classic and 2013 Stephen Foster were races that will be remembered for years to come. The comeback kid, Paynter, also leaves us. He wasn’t quite the same as he was in 2012, but for him to make it back was a story in itself. After all he has been through, and after all he has given to us, retirement is well deserved.
 
The only one I am upset to see go, for the reason that is much too soon is Verrazano. The beautiful son of More Than Ready was one of the most brilliant horses of his era. Him at his best was a sight to behold, and I have no doubt that he could have given us several more dazzling, dominating, jaw dropping performances. Alas, he only ran one season. It is truly a crying shame we won’t see more of him.
 
The most tragic event of the Breeders Cup had to be the loss of the promising young filly Secret Compass. Blame whomever, whatever you want, the track, the trainer, it doesn’t change the fact that this filly was taken much too soon. She was a talented filly, full of potential, and will surely be missed.
 
Now that the good byes have been given, it is time to look ahead, to the Eclipse Awards and beyond….Game on Dude almost certainly lost his chance at being crowned Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male, when he faded to ninth out of 11. It is a shame as he was having a career best season in 2013. However, as he faded out, Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge surged into the light. In light of their courageous efforts, it is likely that both captured an eclipse award for their own respective division….however, Horse of the Year is far less decisive.
 
Right now it would seem Wise Dan has the best claim to the year-end Award, though there are several who will be hesitant to give him Horse of the Year because of his predictable season. Mucho Macho Man has a shot, as he has won back to back grade ones, beaten the best in his division, and was third in the Whitney….thing is he had a very inauspicious start to 2013, and missed a good portion of the season due to health issues.
 
Both Juvenile divisions could be up in the air, though I believe She’s A Tiger will garner most of the support, after a very controversial decision that led to her disqualification, after her narrow win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. On the male side you have to wonder who gets the honor. Havana has the best overall record. Two wins, a grade one win and then a grade one place, in the Juvenile…but New Year’s Day took home the big prize.
 
Three year old filly is now up in the air, after the sporting gesture by the connections of Princess of Sylmar led to her worst defeat this year, and at the hands of her main rival Beholder. Voters now must decide which win means more. A win by Beholder in the Distaff, over her home track…..or Princess of Sylmar’s Kentucky Oaks win, which was over neutral grounds. Both fillies have legitimate claims, but who wins and who has the better merits is in the eye of the beholder….no pun intended.
 
While the Eclipse Awards are exciting and suspenseful, what brings me the most excitement and suspense is what the New Year will bring. Rivalries that born this year will be continued to next, as several of the top three year olds are sticking around. Word around the track is that Mucho Macho Man is also going to hang around for another year. All in all, we should see the return of Revolutionary, Dreaming of Julia, Unlimited Budget, Palace Malice, Orb, Will Take Charge, Mucho Macho Man, possibly Cross Traffic, Wise Dan, Point of Entry….I’m sure I missed a few, but you understand.
 
2013 was an exciting year, a brilliant year….but at the end of the day I can’t wait to move forward into the New Year of 2014.
 

 

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Older Comments about 2013 Breeders' Cup Post Thoughts: Looking to the Future...

Well deserved win for Mucho Macho Man! But why no mention of Goldencents scintillating win in the Dirt Mile? Rafa Bejarano without a doubt had the best trip of the weekend, getting Goldencents into 2nd after breaking from the 12 spot. Really looking forward to seeing that colt in his 4th year...
Hear The Ghost is entered in a race on Thursday at Betfair Park. 6 and a half furlong event.
amdaman, Hear the Ghost returns to the races on Thursday.
amdaman, There's a thread on Hear the Ghost on this page.
To bad MMM had such a rough start to the year, between getting sick at Gulfstream, and then a quarter Crack when he shipped north, which forcedthe connections to skip the Foster and run an overnight stakes. A solid return run in the Whitney, and then two fantastic runs at SA to close out the year. Wise Dan will win HOTY and Older male and rightfully so. Just so happy big Mooch got it done though. I am still on cloud 9 from that race
This will probably be the 5th year in a row where the Horse of the Year is not a classic distance older male or 3 year old, and it is because these horses in the glamour divisions of the sport are not able to put together a Horse of the Year worthy campaigne. None of the older males except Game on Dude has won more than 2 Grade One races and the probable Champion 3 year old, Will Take Charge has only one Grade One win. There are some good 3 year olds coming back and two of the top 2 year old colts, New Years Day and Honor Code, seem better suited to the 3 year old classics than the top 2 year olds in the recent past. I am hoping for 2014 to be a return to the days of great classic distance older males and 3 year old males, and with these returning horses it could happen.
What a great breeders cup! Really hope mucho macho man comes back, but if he doesn't it's so great that he finally proved himself
Very nice, Laura. I share your enthusiasm for '14.
I agree 2014 will be amazing! I think that WTC will win HOTY next year. Just to make a very early prediction :)
I would like to see the return of Hear The Ghost, but it's been so long I'm thinking he never will. Does anyone know anything about this horse?
JordynB, Zenyatta won the Ladies Classic one year and the following year she won the Breeder's Cup Classic against the males. To date, she is the only filly/mare to win the Classic against males.
I thought Point of Entry was going to be retired after this race? Also, Zenyatta and Beholder are not the only 2 horses to win 2 different BC races...Secret Circle has won 2!
Crystal, there were a lot of implications that it was Baffert's fault. I believe their are quite a few variables involved, too many for one man to control. Hence my response. I don't think he should be blamed, but you won't convince those who are against him otherwise. Steve....only thing with New Year's Day is that he only has a maiden to his credit, outside the BCJ. Not sure if that is enough, especially when Havana won the Champagne courageously, and then came back shipped 3k miles to run so well in the Juvenile.
I would agree, manuel. However, a lot of weight is put on the BC. I hope she gets the credit that she was disallowed after the BC.
I can't believe the number of stars retiring this year.
The Breeders Cup Juvenile should carry more weight than the Champagne, plus having beaten Havana fair and square, New Year's Day is unquestionably the 2 year old champion.
Blame who you want for Secret Compass, really? Are you actually promoting the idea that it's someone's fault? It was a tragic ACCIDENT and nothing more. Making it more just leads to more people trying to dismantle horse racing - so please, no more....!
Shes a tiges hes to be champion 2 year old filly, she has been the best loosing 2 very close races, and a DQ wich was very questionable

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