I can't see another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime. I hoped Orb would win, not only because he was impressive winning the Derby but also because of his connection to Ruffian, but I wasn't surprised (or heartbroken) that he fell short. I doubted I'll Have Another would win all three races last year, and sadly, I was proven right. Winning the Triple Crown isn't easy. Right now horse racing needs a legendary beast to win the Triple Crown. This animal would need charisma to bring the fans in and incredible stamina to compete in and to win those races. And it would have to be a colt, a glamour boy like Secretariat. As much as I love females like Ruffian, Rachael Alexandra and Zenyatta, they do not get the respect in horse racing that the males do.
I was very impressed with the way Orb ran in the slop. Last year I was certain I'll Have Another wouldn't win the Triple, and unfortunately I was right. I would love to see a Triple Crown this year, but a lot can still happen, not all of it good. Stuart Janney Jr. (Orb's co-owner) knows all about that. He still remembers the heartbreak his family experienced when Ruffian broke down.
My dream race would have been Ruffian versus Secretariat. Yeah, I know, he was retired by the time Ruffian came along, but that's the stuff dreams are made of. As for Rachel Alexandra versus Zenyatta, I believe three year old Rachel would have run away from Zen in the stretch. She was a monster then. Why Zenyatta's handlers didn't enter her in the Woodward still puzzles me. That would have answered all questions. Four year old Rachel versus Zenyatta? I believe Zenyatta would have won easily. RA had lost her form by then.
Matt Shifman has an article about the Top 10 All Time Saratoga Champions. Ruffian is number 7. Pretty good for a horse that some folks on this site claim is overrated. She won the Spinaway there as a two year old. Her 1:08 3/5 was not just the fastest time ever for the Spinaway, it was also the fastest time for any two year old all season at the Spa. Ruffian also ran "the fastest six furlongs ever run by any two year old of either sex in the history of Saratoga. That included, in chronological order, such all time greats as Colin, Man O War, Equipoise, Tom Fool, Native Dancer, Nashua, and Secretariat." (Excerpt from Ruffian: Burning From The Start, by Jane Schwartz)
That was a sad day. We were at Belmont for the race, and after she broke down the fans left quietly. We saw people crying. The city went to bed thinking she was going to be saved, and when we woke up she was gone. People on the street were crying, and the general mood was sad, as if a human had died. Rest in peace, Sophie. You're still one of the greats.
Cocoa2, I'm not going anywhere, and I'm not going to engage in a flame war with you. Pick someone else, 'cause I'm not the one. The fact remains that Ferdinand was slaughtered because he was a dud as a stud, despite the fact that he was a champion. It is upsetting to think that a horse who was the 1987 HOY, who won the Derby and the Breeder's Cup Classic could be tossed aside like that, but that's exactly what happened. Too bad that upsets you, but you can't change what happened. Sunday Silence and Empire Maker are successful studs over there. It's still a toss-up whether IHA will be, and there is a very real possibility that IHA might end up like Ferdinand did, unless IHA's owners are kind considerate people who are not obsessed with the Almighty Yen, and IHA' sales contract includes a Ferdinand clause. Kinda rocks your world that it's all about the money, isn't it? Remember Exceller? He was in Sweden, and he was slaughtered for meat, so I guess you're going to accuse me of being racist towards Swedes too. There was no reason IHA couldn't have stayed here in the US, but Reddam can do whatever he wants to with the horse. And I never said eating horses was okay. Please stop putting words in my mouth. Whether that Japanese breeder paid one dollar or 10 million for the horse, the fact remains that if he is not successful at stud, and there is no return clause, IHA's future over there is doubtful.
Reddam has the right to sell IHA to anyone he wants to, but I would have preferred IHA went to the Saudis. Remember Alysheba? That Saudi king sent him back when he was retired from breeding. He didn't have to do that. On the other hand, over in Japan, Ferdinand was turned into dog food despite the fact that he won the BC Classic and the Derby, because he was a dud as a stud. Maybe Reddam insisted on a Ferdinand clause in the contract, so that IHA could be returned if he's unfit, but I doubt that. It's all about the cash. IHA will be out of sight, out of mind. Reddam and ONeil will not have to answer any more questions about the horse, since he will be out of the country.
I would have felt better about this if IHA had been sold to the Saudis. They have a reverence for the horse. Alysheba was returned to America by the Saudi king after the horse was retired from breeding. If Reddam loves IHA as much as he claims he does, I hope he insisted on a Ferdinand clause in that sales contract, stating that the horse will be returned to the seller if he is sterile or unfit for breeding, otherwise IHA will end up as dog food, just as Ferdinand did over there. The Japanese don't seem to be as sentimental about their horses.
I believe in Black Caviar. May she cross the finish line first, as always.
Nice speculation in the article. The thing is, they won't know until they test IHA. He could be sterile. And if his trainer has been doping him up, that might have an effect on him too. I'm sorry his story ended like it did. I really wanted to see how we would have handled the Belmont. I just hope he doesn't end up like Ferdinand: shipped over to Japan and turned into dog food.
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