@LuvZenyatta: Would you Jealous-of-Rachel people get off of these forums? It's getting so old! Rachel's Beyer speed figures speak for themselves. Look them up.
Rossington, This is regarding your comment on Macho Again. When Rachel raced in the Woodward, she already had an exhausting year of racing in TWICE as many races as Zenyatta at that point. Give her a break. Also, Macho Again is not a machine, he doesn't have to be the same exact condition in every race he runs. Don't you ever have bad days and good days?
Jess Jackson is 100% correct.If justice prevails, Rachel will be HOY. She beat: more horses, in more races, against more males, over the competitions’ prefered track surface, in more race tracks, in more states, in faster times, with larger winning margins, while setting new stakes records, and coming within a second of track records. I think Zen would have had a chance had her owners campaigned her with males sooner or at least took her outside of California. Winning one race over competition that was not used to synthetic surfaces doesn't show much.
10 Reasons why Rachel should be Horse of the Year (by Brian Zipse)1) Geography - In many years, where a horse raced does not matter, but when there is such an interesting race as this, it needs to be taken into consideration. We are after all, looking for our National Champion. Zenyatta raced all of her races in the friendly confines of Southern California, meanwhile, Rachel Alexandra raced in six different states and at seven different tracks during 2009.Advantage : Rachel Alexandra2) Beyer Ratings - Like them or not, they are the best tool in American racing to place a quantitative standard as to how well a horse performed in a certain race. Zenyatta’s Beyers from this year are 103, 104, 99, 97, and 112. Rachel Alexandra’s Beyers are 100, 103, 101, 108, 108, 111, 116, and 109. Her average Beyer rating in the last five races (all Grade 1’s) is 110.4, which is higher than every Beyer rating than Zenyatta has ever run until her last race.Advantage : Rachel Alexandra3) Grade 1’s - A sheer numbers comparison: Zenyatta won four Grade 1 races in 2009, while Rachel Alexandra won five Grade 1 races this year.Advantage : Rachel Alexandra4) Overcoming Adversity - While many races tactically set up well for the two heroines, there were three races that notably did not. Rachel Alexandra overcame a 13 post and a speed dual (something never done in my lifetime) to win an American classic, the Preakness, by one length. She overcame a rabbit, and a fresh wave of challengers every step of the way to beat older males and win the Woodward by a head over Macho Again. In the Clement Hirsch Stakes, Zenyatta was too far behind a dawdling early pace and still managed to get up and win by a head. Her head victory was over a horse named Anabaa’s Creation. Advantage : Rachel Alexandra5) Total Races - Both horses were undefeated and raced exclusively in stakes races, so I will side with the horse that ran eight times compared to the horse who only ran five times.Advantage : Rachel Alexandra6) Versatility - Rachel Alexandra raced on seven different dirt surfaces (every track is a little different) and raced equally well on both dry and wet surfaces throughout the year. Zenyatta only raced on fast Pro-Ride surfaces and was scratched out of the Louisville Distaff due to an earlier rain. By race time the track was listed as good.Advantage : Rachel Alexandra7) Margins of Victory - Rachel Alexandra’s average margin of victory in her eight races this year, all stakes wins, was more than 8 lengths, including a 6 length win over our soon to be champion 3-year-old colt, Summer Bird. In many of these victories, she was being eased up before the wire. Zenyatta’s average margin of victory in her five races, all stakes wins, was just over 1 ¼ lengths.Advantage : Rachel Alexandra8) Horses Beaten - While it is true that both fantastic horses have beaten many top horses, especially in the BC Classic, Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward, one has beaten far more stakes winners, graded stakes winners and Grade 1 winners than the other one this year. Advantage : Rachel Alexandra9) Aggressiveness of Campaign - Zenyatta gained leaps and bounds when she became the first female ever to win the BC Classic in 26 runnings, but combined with her four relatively easy races prior, she falls short of the campaign waged by Rachel Alexandra, who ran against the boys on three different occasions. She became the first female ever to win the Woodward, the first female winner in 85 years of the Preakness, and only the second filly ever to win the Haskell. Advantage : Rachel Alexandra10) Quality Victories - Zenyatta has the biggest win of all, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but that one race does not trump all the prestigious victories that Rachel Alexandra racked up this year. The Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward are four of the most important races on the U.S. racing schedule. In elite races on the American landscape the sco
btw: Did you notice who came in 2nd and 3rd after Zenyatta? BOTH were TURF horses. The fact that synthetic and turf-running horses have a decidedly large advantage over dirt horses is clearly shown by what top racehorse came in the money and what top racehorse was out of the money in the Breeders Cup BOTH this year AND last year. Turf translates better to synthetics (because of the similarities), so the turf and synthetic-running horses did significantly better than the dirt-running horses. Synthetic tracks cannot be the medium for accurate comparison of true ability. THEREFORE, it would be UNFAIR to judge "greatness" in this year's (and last year's) Breeders Cup since many of the top horses were/are dirt horses! (Also the key fact that 2 of the top horses in the world: Sea The Stars and Rachel Alexandra did not even run in the Breeders' Cup this year!)
I like Zenyatta, she is impressive, but the Breeders Cup is the ONLY remarkable race Zenyatta has won all year, YET some of the best horses in the world did not race in the Breeders Cup this year: including Rachel Alexandra and Sea the Stars. Remember that this is where she beat competition that mostly was not used to the synthetic track. You cannot reliably compare true ability on track surfaces where one has raced all year (Zenyatta) and many others (like MTB, Summer Bird, etc) are not used to at all. IT IS NOT A FAIR COMPARISON. The 2nd and 3rd place winners were both TURF horses, not dirt horses. Dirt horses have a decidedly large disadvantage as clearly shown by all the "favored" dirt horses that LOST in other Breeders Cup races. Zenyatta won this year only because (except for 1 race on dirt) synthetics are mostly what she raced on in her entire career! Thus, ONE horse race (the Classic) where multiple HIGHER QUALITY horses (Two of the top race horses in the world: Sea the Stars and Rachel Alexandra) were not even entered, really does not a world championship make.
Rachel deserves HOY more than Zenyatta because:In this 2009 year alone, Rachel Alexandra:1) has set TWO stakes records for time in: Martha Washington, Mother Goose.... See More2) has set TWO stakes records for largest winning margin in: Kentucky Oaks, Mother Goose3) was the ONLY horse (male or female) ever to win the Preakness from the far outside gate4) was the ONLY female EVER to win the Woodward5) TWICE, came within 1 second of breaking the TRACK RECORDS (at Belmont and Monmouth)6) had the HIGHEST Beyer Speed rating this year of 116. (The Haskell)Rachel Alexandra beat:more horses, in more races, against more males, over the competitions' prefered track surface, in more race tracks, in more states, in faster times, with larger winning margins, while setting new stakes records, and coming within a second of track records, with higher Beyer Speed figures ... ALL YEAR ...
By the way she outruns all these horses with fuel to spare: I have a sneaking suspicion she might have a Secretariat-sized, freak-of-nature heart!!!!
Arazi,That was an astute comment you made:"In the end, the finish behind her was almost an exact inverse of the way the horses were at the half-mile.... showing how hot the pace was and how destructive it was to the other horses that raced near the lead. "VERY INTERSTING!!!!
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