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Horse of the Year Rankings 9/04/11

After a slow beginning, things are finally beginning to heat up as horses begin to stake their claims in their respective divisions, turning in dominating performances left and right. The once muddled Three Year Old Male and Older Male divisions are finally starting to fall together with the likes of Tizway and Stay Thirsty putting together consecutive wins in stakes like the Jim Dandy/Travers and Met Mile/Whitney. However, one division, the most important division, Horse of the Year, still remains up in the air. Many horses from all divisions have their eye on the crown and all of them have strong merits to back up their claim. The question is who has the strongest?
1.
 
 
1.) Tizway- The son of Tiznow made us wait, but the six year old stallion is finally starting to assert his dominance, in 2011. Tizway ran well in his first two starts of the season, garnering a pair of third place finishes, after not running for five months, but ever everything finally came full circle in the Met Mile. Tizway stalked Tackleberry through a hot opening half of 45.57 before cruising past that rival before continuing to open up down the lane. He won the contest in a final time of 1.32.9, not for shabby for a six year old. Tizway followed that up with another impressive score in the Whitney Handicap. It was a double that had not been achieved for 20 years and with that performance Tizway put himself at the head of the division and race for Horse of the Year.
 
2.)   
2.) Havre de Grace- The bay miss proved what the entire nation was thinking when she soundly beat her male counterparts in the Woodward, that the females once again are right there with the leading males and perhaps even better. She started off her year with a dominating win in the Azeri Stakes, beating her arch rival, Blind Luck, by over three lengths. She followed that up with a scintillating performance in the Apple Blossom and an impossibly easy win in the Obeah. She the suffered her first loss of the season in the Delaware Handicap, but only a nose to Blind Luck.

After the loss, while still considered a top performer she was an outsider looking in on the Horse of the Year debate. So trainer Larry Jones and owner Rick Porter decided to take a step out of the box and test their filly against males in the Woodward. In a race that was supposed to gut her, Havre de Grace won in dominating fashion toying with Whitney runner up Flat Out. With that type of performance, she vaults into the discussion once again, with only Tizway keeping her from the top.

3.)  
3.) Acclamation- He may be a turf star, but a win in the Pacific Classic paired with back to back grade ones scores in the Charles Whittingham Memorial and Eddie Read, cannot be ignored. Before those two he won the Grade two Jim Murray. He now has four wins in a row, with three being Grade ones, which is better than what any Older Male on dirt has put together. The only reason he is at number three is because of the lack of respect his surface gets. If turf racing were number one in America, he would be your leader, no doubt about it.


Others that have thrown their hats in the ring are Stay Thirsty, Cape Blanco, and with a in the Goodwood, Twirling Candy could have a solid shot. However, as of now those the three above are at the head of a hotly contested race for Horse of the Year.
 

 

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Older Comments about Horse of the Year Rankings 9/04/11...

you are correct.....turf horses get short shrift from turf writers when it comes to hoty.
Acclamation equals a very good horse, but a turf horse and in America that doesn't earn you Horse of the Year.
Animal Kingdone
I Love Twirling Candy - therefore ACCLAMATION is HOTY. What a race in the PacClass! The track was against speed that day & he overcame to beat the best horse in the world (at one time :o) Acclamation ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.61, a track record for the Polytrack synthetic surface.
Year, All the Legends of American Racing are dirt based horses that is why Turf will never get the respect that Dirt Racing does.
Secretariat,Spectacular Bid,Alydar, Sunday Silence etc.... All Dirt horses all horse of the
Craig, there have been 27 runnings of the BC Classic, with 25 of those races being on dirt. The only foreigner that has won on dirt was Arcangues, so, the versatility is not apparent when they come to run on the dirt in the BC Classic.
shadowno, you are absolutely correct in what you are saying. turf horses and syththetic horses adapt to other surfaces much better than dirt horses, but their versatility is never taken into account by the 'turf' writers when they are throwing around accolades.
Acclamation & Cape Blanco have by far the best resumes and performances of horses who have raced in America this year. Turf horses just don't get the respect they deserve in America.
If the woodward was so bad with horses having won 124/364 or a winning percentage of almost 34% the PC must have been a claiming race wtih those horses winning 78/328 or a winning percentage of less than 24%. Just pitiful.
I like TIZWAY,for H.O.Y. but there are still more races and oppertunities for him and others out there to canter home with that Award.
i like Stay Thirsty or HDG to take H.O.Y award this year.
Thay Stirsty= EZ= JCCG then BCC =HOTY= SIMPLE
Winplacsho, I would agree with you on Acclamation, if his three grade ones were over a dirt track. Problem is turf racing is not taken as seriously here, which is why unless he were to win the Goodwood, I don't see him getting top honors.
Though I don't think he's the best horse, I think right now you'd have to give it to Acclimation, since he's the only 3-time Grade 1 winner. But if Blind Luck & Havre De Grace remain undefeated until they meet in the Breeders Cup, I think whoever wins that race will have to be seriously considered.
Rule is grade one place and a graded stakes winner. I mean heck i would rather have to try and run down Ritreval than him, especially after his last run. The top three in that race ran huge, finishing well ahead of the winners of quite a few graded stakes. Also, as i said before, if it was such a horrible field why didn't a certain filly come and take them on? Certainly if it was such an easy task she could have run them down? But no, she skipped not that but and even weaker PC. Silly me for not mentioning her in my top three for such a great campaign this year.
  • stevebiscuit · Deadheat, to answer your question about why Blind Luck didn't run in the Woodward, it's probably the same reason that Blind Luck hasn't had a workout since Aug 17. That means she's gone nearly 3 weeks without a workout which should be a big red flag to many. So before you go "calling out" Blind Luck's connections for not running, bear in mind that it's very likely that this is an issue of health, not ability. Blind Luck's connections have already proven they're not scared of Havre De Grace. They knew full well that the Delware Handicap was Jones/Porter's main Summer goal and that they'd have Grace in top form for that. They showed up anyway, despite the fact that Grace had both a hometrack and pace advantage(mostly due to the small field). Hollendorfer could have opted to stay in California and pick up an easy grade 1 in the Clement Hirsch. Instead, they shipped across the country and beat Havre De Grace fair and square. · 1057 days ago
  • DeadHeat · Then why has she never before? If they were so ripe for the taking surely a horse so experienced and talented would have gone against them sooner · 1056 days ago
dh - try as hard as you can but you declare the field for the 2011 Woodward as solid. Solid for a Grade 3 race maybe, but not for the Woodward. Actually I had to do some digging to find out what horses had won a Grade 1 and low and behold the most recent Grade 1 winner came seven months ago. In fact, horses the horses (Ice Box, Giant Oak) that somehow someway won a Grade 1 race in their careers went off at 12-1 and 8-1. So much for their history. By comparison the Pacific Classic, at the time of the running boasted three horses in NTRA's top ten. Now that what's is considered a Grade 1 race, not a race where you have to dig deep into a horse's past.
On this one .. ANYone who agrees with Steve Biscuit (NYV) it groups you into a very biased,bitter group who cant be reasoned with. Steve biscuit said on another post Zenyatta was better than Man o war haha Thats just funny.
  • stevebiscuit · And I stand by my statement! And tim, you can hardly play the 'holier than thou' card. You've displayed just as much bias as anyone. Your statement reagrding HDG below confirms that. You're telling me that a horse that has just 2 grade 1s all year should easily be ranked ahead of a horse who has won 3, including the Pacific Classic(which by the was against a much tougher field)? Havre De Grace must win the Beldame and a Breeders Cup to be considered, the same goes for Blind Luck. Now who's being biased? · 1056 days ago
HDG won the woodward has had a great year and IS a top consideration for H.O.Y . There is no denying it or debating it just is..
Graded? Who decides grade? What logic is used? I've seen grade 3 races with superior field than this Woodward. At least one good thing came out of this, they can stop kicking RA now, FINALLY. 1:48.0

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