Kudos for posting a blog about Count Fleet who, as I wrote in an earlier post, is one of the least talked about of the top five or six horses all-time in N/A. Champion at two and three as well as HOY at three, he was remarkable, but before I go on, you cannot compare his Belmont to Secretariat’s, whose time of 2.24 is I believe still a world’s record and was the fastest time since Gallant Man posted a time of 2.26.60 in 1957. Count Fleet did have the distinction of running the fastest Belmont when he won it in 1943, a time that would be tied by Citation 5 years later……..The thing about Count Fleet was his tremendous work ethic. The Derby was his 18h lifetime race. Leading up to it he ran in a 1-70 yard allowance on April 13……the Wood Memorial at 8.5F on April 17…….worked 4F on April 28, 10F the next day and 4F again on April 30…….The Derby was on May 1, he than worked 6F on May 5, 3F on May 7, ran in the Preakness on May 8, worked 5F on May 15, 7F on May 18, 3F on May 21, ran in the one mile Withers on May 22, worked 3F on May 31, a mile on June 1, 3F on June 3, and the 12F Belmont on June 5……………..Perhaps if Secretariat would have had to follow this work ethic he wouldn’t have run any faster than Count Fleet did in his Belmont……..Count Fleet, along with Secretariat, has the distinction (I believe) of the greatest combined margin of victory for all the TC winners at 36 lengths …..A great horse that sadly is not often mentioned by new comers to the sport.
Excellent story about one of Canada’s best horses all time. Speaking of grays, following With Approval’s Canadian TC in 1989, another gray came along and won the TC in 1990. Izvestia, who like with Approval was bred by Kinghaven Farms, won the Canadian TC and ran the fastest Queens Plate all time at Woodbine. Later that year ran in the JCGC and I believe was the favorite and finished third to Flying Continental. Unfortunately he broke down and was euthanized in the ’91 Rothman’s International, now Canadian International.
Awad……the horse that no one seemed to respect. A four time G1 winner of $3.2 million and yet in 70 career races was favored only 16 times and was even money or less only twice. His greatest win was that Million in 1995 when he defeated Sandpit and The Vid in 1.58.3 for the 10F, the course record. In June of that year, 10 weeks before the Million, he ran another big one winning the Manhattan at Belmont in 1.58.2 for the 10F. One of his greatest races was when he finished 5th in the Japan Cup in 1996 beaten by 1 ½ lengths by Singspiel in a 15 horse field. And to think he started his career in a maiden 50K claimer.
Icyhotboo………..would I lie to you? Of course what I state is fact.
Ruffian75……….I’m sure if any of us look hard enough we can find what we consider flaws in any horse…….Many horses have raced almost exclusively on their home circuit. Personal Ensign raced at Monmouth in the Molly Pitcher and in her final race at CD for the BC Distaff. Other than that it was strictly New York for her……Ferdinand the 1987 HOY, never race outside California at anytime during his HOY year. In fact, in 29 career races, 26 of them were in California with the three TC races the lone exception…….You talk about Zenyatta like she was bred to run on synthetics and Santa Anita was converted to the pro ride just for her. Then when she retired the track was converted back to dirt. That’s absurd if that’s what you are getting at. Zenyatta won a tougher race than any of the fillies you mentioned. When Zen won her BCC it was the first time that any filly or mare had defeated G1 males in a non-turf 10F G1 race since 1968. The following year she came the closest at doing it on dirt in that period, losing by a head.……Taking nothing away from Ruffian, but she faced two and three year old fillies, never ventured more than a couple of hundreds miles away from her home base, never faced older fillies and mares and never faced colts in a regular race. She might have excelled if she would have been entered in races to do those things, but the simple fact remains that she didn’t try races out of her element……Lady’s Secret was sensational, but many of the fillies she faced weren’t exactly household names. She didn’t win the BC Distaff in 1985 and she never entered a BCC. She was 1 for 6 against males, her Whitney win, beating a G1 winner in Ends well who won his G1 in the United Nations on turf………Rachel Alexandra raced against inferior horses. Her Mother goose was set up by two totally over-matched fillies with a single G3 win between than, running head and head in ridiculous fractions. As fast as the time was, it was around one turn and Etched, who Zenyatta humbled in the 2010 BCC when second, ran a faster 9F around two turns that year. Rachel’s 20 length score in the Oaks was against a group that barely beat 1.53 for 9F. Rachel only beat one quality horse in her life, Summer Bird, after that one was cutting back 3/8ths from his Belmont score. After that Rachel was steered away from racing against him in the Travers and faced a mediocre group in the Woodward, one of the weakest ever BTW. Rachel raced and won on synthetics and her previous trainer Hal Wiggins stated in a Bloodhorse interview that he would have taken her to the BC at Santa Anita in 2009, but not to race in the Classic. Why didn’t JJ send her?......If you want to talk about a horse that stayed put, why not talk about Azeri. When she won her HOY in 2002 she travelled outside Cali twice, the first time for the Apple Blossom (Zenyatta’s been there twice) and the last time for the BC Distaff, which was held at Arlington that year. Every other race was at either SA, Hol or Delmar. I can tell you that when it came to the Breeders Cup, it could have been held anywhere and Zenyatta would have shown up each time. And if you think her popularity comes because of exposure through TVG and HRTV, think again.
Tim. Maybe Frankel could have worn a dress and challenged Goldi in the Rothschild. The Sussex was the race and could have been the race of the summer with Goldi in it. They took another route. You don’t want to scold Goldie’s connections for that but want to scold Frankel’s if he doesn’t go to the BC. If Frankel’s connections are so afraid of Goldi, then they should have been really afraid of Canford Cliffs. I didn’t see them bail out, but to be honest, I was disappointed that Goldi’s connections shied away from the Sussex.
Of the top five or six horses in N/A, the one that people talk about the least is Count Fleet. He was a Triple Crown winner, champion two year old, three year old and HOY at three. He went into the Derby having started 17 times with 12 wins 4 seconds and a third and would sweep his remaining four races including the TC, winning the Belmont by 25 lengths, the second largest margin ever to Secretariat.
Dubby, let the record show that Zenyatta surpassed Rock of Gibralter for the most consecutive G1 or Group One wins. Hope your ribs don’t hurt when you throw up. Let the record also show that Zenyatta has also won more G1 races in N/A than any other filly or mare. Are your ribs sore from throwing up? Also, at least Zenyatta never lost to an optional claimer like another filly I know.
Whenever anyone trashes Foolish Pleasure it makes me wonder what are they thinking. Here’s a horse that was 7 for 7 as a two year old (Ruffian was 4 for 4) including wins in the G1 Sapling, Hopeful and Champagne, and he won these races by an average of just under 5 lengths. He won his first two races at three including the G1 Florida Derby defeating Prince Thou Art, then suffered his first defeat in a rematch against that one in the G1 Flamingo when losing unexpectedly at 1-5. He then won the G1 Wood and followed that with a win in the Kentucky Derby meaning that after the Derby he raced 12 times with 11 wins and one third. He then finished 2nd in the Preakness by a length and second in the Belmont by a neck. After the ill-fated match race he spent much of his career racing against Ancient Title, Forego, Wajima (3 year old champ) in 1975 who defeated him by a head in the G1 Governor, and many other top horses. He’s also a member of the HOF and lost the three year old championship to Wajima after controlling the first half of the year while Wajima would go on and with the Travers, Monmouth Invitational and Marlboro Inv. In the second half. To put it bluntly, Ruffian was great, but to put it just as bluntly, the three year old male division was lengths deeper than the three year old fillies in 1975.
Footlick........love your knowledge about Euro horses and Euro racing. You always bring it into proper perspective.
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