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My Favorite Races of 2012


 

Many of 2012’s top horses squared off in races this year, such as My Miss Aurelia and Royal Delta. Many of 2012’s top horses tasted heroic defeat, like Animal Kingdom or Bodemeister. This is a look back at what I think were the top 10 races of the year in the sport of horse racing.


10: La Brea—Book Review

In this race, a brave Book Review out battled Reenesgotzip and My Miss Aurelia on December 26th at Santa Anita. This race grabs the number 10 spot in my top 10 list because of the heart and courage Book Review showed to beat out top competitors at the distance of 7 furlongs.

 

9: Breeders Cup Juvenile—Shanghai Bobby

Alright, he's had enough. In this race, Rosie Napravnik and Shangai Bobby battled on to win by a daring nose to He's Had Enough at Santa Anita. Going into the very last turn, Bobby had his ears pricked, knowing that the crowd loved him. Little did he know that other horses had set their sights dead on him. Luckily, Rosie finally got him back into gear after losing the lead to He's Had Enough and managed to hold off the grey, while Capo Bastrone finished 3rd

 

8: Travers Dead Heat—Alpha, Golden Ticket

Many thought this race belonged to one horse: Alpha. However, nobody told this to Golden Ticket, the 33-1 long shot upset. At the top of the stretch, Golden Ticket hugged the rail to take the lead and sprint for home. A few lengths back, Alpha was finding his best stride. As the pair neared home, Alpha was still 2 lengths back, chasing after what seemed to be the already set winner. But Alpha found his stride, and neared up to Golden Ticket's head in a matter of a few strides. Unfortunately, the wire came too soon for Alpha, who tied for 1st with Golden Ticket.

 

7:Breeders Cup Classic—Fort Larned

Its Mucho Macho Man, he's coming up, he's getting closer, he's not got it! He lost! That's what flowed through the minds of many who watched this race. We all thought we knew who would win: Rather it was Game On Dude or Mucho Macho Man, or even Handsome Mike. But no, it was always Fort Larned, right from the start. This son of E Dubai grabbed the lead from the start and set an easy pace, and then dared the others to catch him. Coming into the far turn, he opened his lead up to a few lengths while Mucho Macho Man and Game On Dude battled for 2nd and 3rd. In the homestretch, Mucho Macho Man, the horse with a history, came up to Fort Larned's flanks and tried desperately to catch him, only to fail in the end. It was the perfect ending to Brian Hernandez's birthday, who was the jockey of Fort Larned.

 

6: Haskell Invitational - Paynter

Many remember this race as Paynter's last and greatest victory of 2012, and some say he beat out his best competition yet. The field he beat included Nonios and Stealcase, whom finished 2nd and 3rd to Paynter, and Gemologist, who finished out of the money. When Gemologist grabbed the lead, Paynter was content to set right off of him. Into the far turn, he grabbed the lead while drawing off.

 

5:Kentucky Derby—I'll Have Another

In this race, many different factors contributed to this horse's win: in part, it was a skilled ride by Mario Gutierrez. Some people missed the fact that I'll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby over a tough Creative Cause; others played this into their winning bets on the first Saturday in May. When Bodemeister came into the stretch 3 lengths ahead, diehard supporters hoped he could have the energy to continue on and reach the wire in front. But then I'll Have Another showed up on the scene. He raced towards the weakening Bodemeister, and surpassed him just in the last strides to win America's best horse race

 

4: Diamond Jubilee Stakes—Black Caviar

This was by far Black Caviar's best race ever. Even though she sustained two muscle tears, and her jockey easing up right as her competitors reached her, she still hung on to win by a nose. Of course, this forced her to take a time off from racing, but her connections say that she is planned to return, and perhaps even better than ever.

 

3:Ben Ali—Wise Dan

"He is back and he is back in style!” Came Keeneland's race announcer while Wise Dan dashed down the stretch. Wise Dan was alongside the pace setter almost the entire race before he took command of the field going into the 2nd turn. Johnny Velazquez had to almost strangle him to keep Wise Dan from sprinting away too early. At first he was against it, but then the striking horse decided to leave his enery for the end of the race, in which he dominated by 8 lengths.

 

2:Belmont Stakes—Union Rags

The real Union Rags showed up in this race. As always, he broke not too fast but not too terribly slow. He had never taken the lead, and he didn't in the Belmont. Union Rags waited his turn until he could squeeze along the rail coming into the far turn. The courageous Paynter battled it out with the giant colt until the wire, where Union Rags barely prevailed. Many said it was the start of a new colt, and they believed it, until he retired after the Belmont, much to the dismay of his supporters.

 

1:Preakness Stakes—I'll Have Another

Another face off between the Kentucky Derby winner and runner up. This time, Bodemeister was favored for one reason: the distance. Many said I'll Have Another wouldn't have enough time to catch up with his rival: others said it was just a matter of the perfect ride. But when the time came, it seemed as though Bodemeister would end up winning this race, denying I'll Have Another's Triple Crown chances. But when Bodemeister did the same as he did in the Derby, I'll Have Another followed suit. He came up to catch his rival, causing a loss of breath to go through the crowd.

 

Well, here you go. These, in my opinion, have been the best races of 2012. Please, if you think I missed any, don't forget the comment box below!

 

Written by Madison Jackson

 

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Older Comments about My Favorite Races of 2012...

Yes the Met Mile too....
Decent List..... Definitely forgot the Met Mile
Great list, Madison. I have to say my favorite was the Met Mile, with the Preakness, Travers and Belmont rounding out the superfecta.
Once again, sorry if I missed any, it was just my personal favorites! Next time if I do anything like this I"ll be sure to ask your opinions first! :)
You are missing the Ladies Classic, Royal Delta unexpectedly took a very classy field wire to wire, l thought for sure her fractions were too fast, but she held..this race has to be up there!!
That is 10 really good races. Cotillion and Met Mile!
I think the Preakness and Derby were the two best. But this was a great read, kudos.
Love it that you included Ragsy. I loved that horse.
Very nice list of races compiled here, Madison. I also enjoyed the Churchill Downs Stakes' stretch duel between Shackleford and Amazombie on the Derby undercard.
I don't know if I saw a horse run that awkwardly at the stretch and still win! It was insane. IHA has a push-button right lead, truly incredible and awesome to witness.
Same, TBDF. Memorable moment.
My dad and I both were shouting through the television screen for IHA to go and catch up! "Oh he's going to make it!" "No, he's not! Maybe he will! GOO!"
IMO, the Preakness was the best this year. Bodemeister's immense talent just wasn't enough, as the talented, but inexperienced I'll Have Another, edged by him in the final steps to win da Preakness. IMO, that wasn't just one of the most memorable of this year, but most memorably of my life. That raced was filled with excitement, and I enjoyed every second of it, as I screamed IHA home (I had him WP).
It was your personal list and therefore cannot be wrong, nothing to apologize for.
And stupid auto correct on my computer doesn't know how to spell Shanghai in Bobby's name...sorry about that too!
Sorry about not posting the Met Mile and BC Sprint on here, I just did MY personal favorites and the ones I thought horses really showed strength and courage in...so sorry that those slipped my mind!
Good work TBDF. Hope you are feeling better. Nice list. Agree on the first one but am with Cocoa on the Met Mile and with Mary Z on Groupie Doll at the BC Sprint
Nice job, Maddie! (a.k.a TBDF)
Very glad to hear that you are feeling better. Nice list of the races you liked best. I have the feeling that you have a different favorite female than I do. Beldame, BCLC, for Royal Delta. Humana Distaff, BC F&M Sprint for Groupie Doll.(Don't forget that she won the Madison.) The Diana for Winter Memories, her final race. Those are my top U.S. female races of 2012, but I liked too many to list.
Aw you missed the Met Mile! By far in my top five favorites of the year.

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