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BEYER: Zenyatta not an all-time great

Californians have always loved their thoroughbred stars, but no horse in many years has excited them as Zenyatta has. They will roar for her at Hollywood Park on Saturday, when she makes her final appearance in her home state and tries to win her 19th consecutive race.


Zenyatta inspires fierce passions. When she defeated males in the Breeders' Cup Classic last fall, her fans hailed the performance as one of the best in the history of the event - and maybe in the history of the sport. When the mare subsequently lost the horse of the year title to Rachel Alexandra, her partisans reacted with white-hot anger. The blogosphere is regularly filled with sharp rebukes for anybody who demeans Zenyatta or even suggests she is not one of the greatest racehorses of all time.


Compiling an 18-for-18 career record is an extraordinary feat. Horse races contain so many potential pitfalls that no high-class U. S. horse has put together such a streak since Hindoo in 1881. Nevertheless (at the risk of inflaming the blogosphere), I could not put Zenyatta on a list of all-time great racehorses.

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Older Comments about BEYER: Zenyatta not an all-time great...

Kincesm 54 starts 54 wins against the best in the world at the time
HA-HA. I laugh so hard at egotistical people like this. Out of all artists (musicians, writers, actors) none have more of an ego than journalists! and why? Because they are sharing their thoughts and mind with you, and they of all people can't stand to be wrong. Don't you just love how they feel they speak for everyone? ha-ha... so funny. Ok, first of all, you know that there is no such thing as the greatest of all time don't you? It's IMPOSSIBLE to distinguish that. And I just love how when people talk about the greatest of all time, it tends to just be American horses again? An ego driven statement. You do realize we don't even have the richest race in the world? You do realize that they run on grass (A NON-DIRT SURFACE) in Europe? You do realize that so-called "weak competition" has been upsetting the field and winning big races day-in and day-out. You do realize that just because you run on dirt doesn't make you the greatest of all time. Oh I just love it when ZEN wins, because every time she does it kills those haters - like Mr. Beyer. Finally, sad but true, she is taking on the boys against the likes of: BLAME, HAYNESFIELD, QUALITY ROAD, LOOKIN' AT LUCKY, AND SOME EUROPEANS - and yet if god forbid she loses, egomaniacs like this writer, will be filled with joy saying, "I told you." Truly sad. You do realize that every great horse has eventually lost, and you do realize that many of those losses came to so-called "inferior competition" don't you? Why aren't you talking about Lookin' At Lucky's competition this past Saturday? Why aren't you talking about Rachael's weak competition during her run last year? It's a fallacy. THE BOTTOM LINE IS, NO MATTER HOW GREAT A HORSE IS, EVEN THOSE CONSIDERED TO BE THE BEST LOST, AND EVEN THEY DIDN'T ECLIPSE 19 WINS IN A ROW AND AN UNDEFEATED CAREER - yes, even Secretariat. To bad you can't just enjoy, rather, you do what is in your nature, create controversy that is ego driven. Sucks to be you.
She has won on Polytrack, dirt Cushion and Pro-Ride. Farily adapatable since these surfaces are not the same
I have to say that garden has made a good point in pointing out all the Grade One Horses that Z has beaten. All most all of them have one thing in common. They cannot handle the poly surfices. For sure Z is the greatest poly track horse ever. If that ever becomes a eclipse catergory she will win in hands down.
Greatest horse in our lifetime which leaves out Eclipse Flying Childers, Ribot, Kincesm etc
There is still hope for Andy Beyer. Here is an excerpt from his latest article (Zenyatta makes history with her 19th straight victory) - Yet after all of her achievements, the 6-year-old mare still has her greatest challenge ahead of her. Her performance Saturday was her final prep for the objective that trainer John Shirreffs has had in his sights all season: the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6. Having made her reputation by running mostly on California's synthetic surfaces, Zenyatta will be running against males on dirt for the first time. A victory would not only complete her career with a 20-for-20 record, it would cement her place in history as an all-time great-not just a synthetic-track specialist.
railbird33 - my comment was sarcasm. it is meant to counter one specific expert-in-his-own mind who seems to believe that just because Z is a deep closer and has an unbeaten record, that she's one of the greatest of all time. that is nonsense. any very good horse can be undefeated if they constantly avoid the best horses and constantly beat low-calibre horses, as does Z. i too believe that secretariat is the greatest of all time.
ll invite you back to apologize when the Queen wins again.
cugel, once again, if you want facts, take a look at finish times. Z has consistently finished same distance races faster than all of your precious boys. We Z fans have nothing to whine about, lest you forget SHE HASN'T LOST A RACE. It would be nice for you to finally shut your mouth. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, yes, but we have cold hard evidence backing our arguement. What do you have besides your own judgement and run-of-the-mouth tendencies? Why don't you find some other horse's profile to hang out on and pass judgement. We'
When one peuses the hallowed halls of the racing establishment, the Charles Hatton, European analysts along with those who acutally saw BOTH big Red's run or even Tom Smith, Australia's leading trainer stated in the 1973 American Racing Manual :"He is an incredible horse, an absolutely perfect horses, I have never seen anything like him." Hatton : His girth was so immense he required a custom made saddle girth.
When one peuses the hallowed halls of the racing establishment, the Charles Hatton, European analysts along with those who acutally saw BOTH big Red's run or even Tom Smith, Australia's leading trainer stated in the 1973 American Racing Manual :"He is an incredible horse, an absolutely perfect horses, I have never seen anything like him." Hatton : His girth was so immense he required a custom made saddle girth.
The greatest - set the high water marks, Cugel. The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness (let's ignore that little timekeeper goof), & The Belmont. The Stakes record times from 1973--- still stand!! (me too, Humphrey)
WHAT! How can you say that Secretariat is the greatest in your lifetime? He actually lost 5 of his 21 starts! This is a pathetic record compared to the all powerful Z! And, to make it worse, he even won the Belmont (and most of his races) on the front-end, unlike the amazing, great, and powerful Z who is a deep closer! How can a front-runner who lost the Whitney and the Woodward to mediocre foes possibly be better than Z!?!?!?!?!?
The greatest one in my lifetime died now 21 years ago today
humphrey, we do not always see eye to eye, but we are clearly on the same page when it comes to Zenyatta. I have been following racing since 1980 and I have never seen anything like her. She drops back to last and passes all of her rivals every time regardless of pace...amazing!
I really don't understand all the bashers...I feel Zen and RA should be praised seperately, they are both fantastic racehorses and we should enjoy them while they're here. I also don't understand WHY people are bashing Zen for racing on synthentics consistanly and the fields she's against. It's all about placing your horse where you think they'll perform best. You don't race a turf horse on dirt....If your horse is racing best on synthetics you race it on synthetics...period. What we all need to realize is we're NEVER going to see the likes of Zen and RA again they're here once, and we need to appreciate them while they're here racing in front of us.
ANYONE who has studied the history of this game learns a simple fact: DEEP closers never win their share of photo ops in the winners circle EXCEPT the Z girl. Any pace handicapper who is worth their salt has to drop back in awe of this one as being distinct in all of racing. NO horse has that much luck,no horse.....Talent and brillance fills in the gap.
curlin - you stupid idiot. all this proves is that there is a competitive and excellent group of male older horses currently campaigning who can, on any given day, beat each other. are you really so stupid as to think that blame is better than QR because of one race? or that haynesfield is better than blame because of one race? you're just like all the other amateur handicappers who think that a horse is only as good as its last race. keep on believing that because when Z finishes behind QR, Blame, Haynesfield, and LAL in the BCC, i expect you to tell me that they're all better horses than her.
LOL. CTC. QR got smoked by blame. Blame just got engulfed by haynesfield. They will all get demolished by zenyatta. Only horse that belongs on the same track as her is LAL, and even he will be a good 5 lengths back at the wire.
I have nothing against Zenyatta herself; I just get annoyed by her rabid, at times unreasonable, fans. And that, in turn, turns me off to the horse, no matter how hard I try to keep the two (horse and fans) separate. Same reason I disliked Big Brown back in the day -- nothing against the horse, just couldn't stand the owner and trainer. It's a shame, really. Will be glad when she is retired once and for all. Bad for the sport when both she and RA are gone, but good for my own sanity and personal enjoyment of it.

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