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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
Kentucky Oaks Runner

Goldikova chases 15th Group 1 win in Marois

She may have hid in the shadow of the great Zarkava during most of 2008, but from the moment she exploded from behind a wall of horses to dismantle the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Mile field, it became clear that Goldikova was destined to become a star in her own right. Now, three years later Goldikova has cemented herself as one of the greatest female racehorses in history, and quite possibly, the greatest female miler of all time. Goldikova has raked in one of the highest Group 1 tally’s in history with a fantastic total of fourteen Group/Grade 1 wins on her resume.

After her effortless conquest of the Prix Rothschild two weeks ago at Deauville, her fourth consecutive win in the Group 1 event, Goldikova is aiming to score her second victory in the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard-Jacques Le Marois (Fr-1) on Monday. After capturing the 2009 renewal of the Marois and finishing second in 2010, the Freddie Head trained super-star is back to reclaim her title. Winning the Marois will be no easy task as a strong field of 16 other runners has been entered in the Group 1 event. Freddie Head has three entries, aside from Goldikova, including her pacesetting stable mate, Flash Dance. Also running for Head is Rajsaman, who finished out of the money in the Sussex Stakes, and Polemique.  Rajsaman is a dual Group 3 winner and became a Group 2 winner three starts back.

Dick Turpin enters the Marois off a victory in the Summer Mile Stakes, after finishing a well beaten ninth in the Prix d’Ispahan behind Goldikova on May 22nd. Trainer Richard Hannon stated that Dick Turpin turned in an excellent work on Tuesday in preparation for the Marois and could, “Ruffle Goldikova’s feathers” If he gets his [soft] ground. The four year old colt is also entered at Newberry for Saturday but is more likely to run in France as there is a greater chance of precipitation. Hannon has also entered Dubawi Gold in the Jacques le Marois but will most likely race only Dick Turpin.


Goldolphin has three runners set to face Goldikova on Monday, led by Duke of York winner, Delegator. Delegator has contested two Breeders’ Cup Mile’s, finishing 5th in 2009 and 8th in 2010, well behind Goldikova. He has shown flashes of talent and the ability to compete against the very best, but has failed to achieve a win in any of Europe’s Group races against classy competition. Emerald Commander is also entered for Goldophin and has won 5 of 13 lifetime starts. Rio de la Plata is the third Goldolphin entry. Four starts back he became a Group 1 winner, but has since finished no better than third.

Dual Group 2 winner and Group 1 winner, Planteur, is the sole entrant for trainer Elie Lellouche and enters off a disappointing 4th place finish in the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes. He will be cutting back to the 1 mile distance for the first time since his juvenile season in 2009. Before the Prince of Wales, Planteur won two straight races including the Group 1 Prix Ganay.

While it’s a well experienced field Goldikova faces, it’s nothing she shouldn’t be able to handle with ease. In fact, she has defeated a great deal of this competition before so this should be a fairly simple task. The champion looks well situated to win the 15th
Group 1 victory of her incredible career.

[Can Goldikova lay claim to the title of Greatest Female Miler of all Time? She currently ranks #16 on HRN's Top 250 Fillies and Mares of all Time page]

After Goldikova triumphed in the Prix Rothschild at the end of July, trainer Freddie Head stated his trainee would run two weeks later in the Jacques le Marois unless the ground came up soft. If the Marois comes up soft Head said his star would most likely prepare for the September 11th Prix du Moulin (Fr-1) at Longchamp. If that happens a meeting with Frankel in the October 15th Queen Elizabeth II is much more likely to happen, but still doubtful, as it will be run less than a month away from the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr.1) on November 5th.


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Older Comments about Goldikova chases 15th Group 1 win in Marois...

KyOaksRunner- Zarkava excelled at any distance she ran as evidence by her stakes record she set in the Pouliches at 1 mile. But thank you for recognizing her greatness.
In this age of racing it's hard to compare careers that are so drastically different from each other. Goldikova excells at 1 mile and Zarkava loved a "route" race. Longervity shouldn't determine greatness, it should only help define it if it's already in the horse. Zarkava was great and didn't need a long career to prove it, if she had continued racing who knows how great she could have been, but her stats are incredible as they stand now. Goldikova is great and has proven that many times over the course of five years worth of racing.
7 races really isnt a long enough career to proclaim her so fantastic. Who knows she may have been like R.A take time off and struggle the following year?
Footlick……….I was thinking the same myself about Zarkava that if she had raced longer, especially at four, that she would probably have gained a higher Time Form number…….I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Pebbles. I remember her BC Turf win in 1985, a tremendous run from the back of the pack and getting the 12F in 2.27 while smashing Aqueduct’s track record for the distance. Along with Miss Alleged, they are the only two fillies to win this race. That year Pebbles defeated males four times in stakes, three of them in Group One/G1, including defeating the Arc winner Rainbow Quest…….I was lucky enough to see All Along and Dahlia is person. Both had devastating runs from well back and tremendous bursts of speed. All Along defeated males five times in her career and in a span from Oct 2-83 to Nov 12-83 she won the 12F Arc in France, the 13F Rothman’s (Canadian) International in Canada, the 12F Turf Classic at Aqueduct and the 12F DC International at Laurel, four of the toughest races in the world in a six week span with the last three on tiring yielding tracks, and she won them by an average of just under 4 lengths……Dahlia defeated males eleven times including nine in Group One-G1 stakes. She was voted No. 50 on the Bloodhorse top 100, which puts her at fifth best filly-mare and the highest filly-mare rating on grass.
The reason I mention Graustark and His Majesty was as they were both sons of the great Ribot. Sorry for the omission.
Graustark 3yo 1966-His Majesty 3yo 1971 who were full brothers would have face Buckpasser and Hoist The Flag respectively. Only Buckpasser and His Majesty remained sound (somewhat). Except for injuries anyone of these four were potential triple crown winners
Laz- you would really need to research the ratings that those females had at 3 to make a valid comparison. Remember it took Goldikova two more years of racing before she achieved the same timeform rating. I feel it could have been stronger, but they have to weigh it in context of the other horses in the race and the weight that she carried also. Her raw rating was 127, I believe, and then they upped it because of her trip and the ease that she won. As far as Baeza, he said did say Graustark was the best horse he ever rode. But I thought you mentioned it first to me????
Hey Footlick……..I really enjoyed the way you tried to explain just how great Zarkava was. I still have a hard time accepting her Time Form Rating of 133, especially when All Along is rated at 135 along with Dahlia, Black Cavier and Peebles, all of whom are great, but are and were they better than Zarkava. People rave about Rachel Alexandra winning a G1 route race against older G1 males at three. What Zarkava did was significantly more difficult……a three year old filly defeating salty Group One males three and up in the Arc at 1 5/8 miles. This seems to be lost on many fans and like you, I don’t understand why. That’s horse racing I guess………………Graustark was another great one that unfortunately didn’t race long enough to move way up in that top 15 or 20 list where he certainly belongs. Wasn’t it you that said that his jockey Braulio Baeza, also the regular jockey of Buckpasser, considered Graustark the best horse he had ever ridden?
Laz- nice post. I guess I am just amazed at how people just summarily dismiss Zarkava. Also, another horse in the Hoist the Flag category, imo, was Graustark.
I don’t really know what farther time has to do with greatness. The ability to rise to the occasion in dominating fashion is what does it for me. Jean Cruguet who rode the great Seattle Slew through his Triple Crown victories, the same Seattle Slew who is in everyone’s top ten of the greatest N/A race horses all time, said that the best horse he ever rode was Hoist the Flag, a brilliant 2 year old that broke down just before his TC quest, and Hoist the Flag only ran 6 times, winning all six but being DQ’d from an easy victory in the Champagne………When Zarkava totally dominated Goldikova in the French 1000 Guineas and again in the French Oaks, they were both fillies 4th and 5th lifetime starts. She won those races with consummate ease, as easy as she won every other race in her brilliant, one for the ages, career. In her sixth race, the Prix Vermeille, she was left at the gate and was at least ten lengths behind the next horse before starting her run. She won the 12F race easy by 2 lengths in 2.26, tying the stakes record. In the Arc she once again trailed before making her run and winning by 2 lengths, the first filly to win the race in 15 years, and this against a very tough field. Her owner, the Aga Khan whose family was steeped in race tradition and who owned many of the world’s best race horses including Sinndar, Dalakhani, Daylami, Shahrastani, Blushing Groom and, Shergar, and whose family has won dozens of English and European Classic races, stated that Zarkava represented the pinnacle in his family’s 90 year in horse racing……….As for Ruffian, her record and her reputation and the esteem with which many old-timers hold her says it all. Her injury wasn’t a normal breakdown as she hit the gate, which started a sort of chain reaction that lead to her demise. Her total dominance, fast and powerful stride and her rare cruising abilities are what set her apart from most of the top fillies/mares.
I don't underestimate it at all. But I also realize that a horse can be greater even with only 7 starts. Time is one of many things to evaluate, but it cannot be the trump. Many Euros were sad that the Aga Khan retired Zarkava because they believed she would have become the highest weighted filly/mare of all time. But it didn't happen and they weren't surprised as he liokes to get his bloodstock inthe breeding shed as soon as possible. He breeds his own thoroughbreds and usually retires his Arc winners. But, the Euros have not reduced her greatness because of it. They love Goldikova's durability and longevity, but they knew they were watching something extremely special with Zarkava. All I am saying is that you cannot pemnalize a horse for runnoing only 7 races. It does not take away the greatness of the animal. On the paper doll comment, I assumed that you did not mean disrespect. I should not have commented on it and I apologize for that. I should have just let that go.
I used the term "paper doll" in reference to Ruffian, but meant no disrespect, perhaps a poor choice of words. She was great, and no doubt tough, but nevertheless succumbed to injury. Do you realize how many good horses and potentially great ones meet their demise by way of injuries? The list is a long one, I assure you. That fact only makes thoroughbreds like Goldi all the more special. The only point I was trying to get across was that time is a marker in determining how great a horse really is. That's not intended to take anything away from champions like Zarkava. I'm just saying, don't underestimate how much father time can wear down a horse and be a game changer.
I knew she came out of the Spinaway with a hairline fracture, but had to look up the time. I also read that she popped a splint in the race with Hot N Nasty, was it the Sorority??? Maybe that was why the race was closer than her others.
based on what your saying and your memory which I trust more than "google" as things get twisted I'll have to re-evaluate this filly. your right though she ran 1st quarters in the 21:. change category so as you say it should have happened then. ty
I'm only going by what her trainer was quoted as saying after they found out that she suffered a hairline fracture in the Spinaway. She was high spirited and considered more colt-like than feminine, if I remember correctly. But I could be remembering wrong, I guess. She won the Spinaway in 1:08 that day I believe, just to bring an example of her speed. I think she was hard-running as most speed horses are. As fast as she ran, if she was soft-boned, I doubt she would have survived racing as long as she did. Then it is generally accepted that the injury that eventually snapped her leg happened because of the starting gate incident.
footlick : That is really interesting as I always accepted the explanation she was soft boned and it would have happened eventually.
fonnerparkfilly- first, calling Ruffian a "paper doll" is sad. If you have ever read about her you would know she was a tough filly. Her leg snapped because she hit her shoulder on the starting gate at the beginning of the match race. It torqued her leg, which when put to extreme physical pressure snapped. Second, I am not going to go back and forth about Zarkava. You go head and believe Zarkava was only a mystery. I will remember that Goldikova was not in her league. You believe what you want about Zarkava and the other greats who have not run as much as Goldikova. I'm glad you are so passionate about her. Have a great time posting.
fonnerparkfilly: While I don't necessarily agree with your last post I admire the fact that you not only made a case for your prior thread but were passionate about it while remaining civil, something I have to work on. Have a nice day
WHY is longevity and stamina markers when determining greatness in a thoroughbred? I'll tell you why. Even the fastest, most talented horses who are seemingly "invincible" can only truely be tested by father time. First of all, "greatness" has many faces. Not all great thoroughbreds are created equal. Good horses can run great unforgetable races and great ones can lose races without losing heart. Zarkava was no doubt a great horse during her time on the track. How long she could've continued to shine, we'll never know. Some horses have had phenominal periods in their careers only to come up short later. Rachel Alexander 2009 for an example. Thoroughbreds get tired, body sore, and burned out. To overcome these things is a test of a true champion. For a champion who retires after only 7 races, it's not even an issue. I see stamina and physical endurance as being markers for greatness also. Ruffian was great, but she was a "paper doll". She broke down and left her life on the track as many other have. The fact that Goldikova is still in one piece is unmeasurable in value. How long would Zarkava have run without succumbing to physical problems? We'll never know, a champion who graced the track 7 times with her presence leaves too many unanswered questions. We know what Goldikova is made of, she's not a mystery, she's a marvel.
Thanks Laz. It just amazes me that Zarkava can be so summarily dismissed because she ran 7 times. Absurd. Thanks for posting the info onthe other "sparingly" raced horses. I'm sure someone will comment and refute their greatness also because of the amount of starts they had.

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 Meet Brian Appleton 

Thoroughbred Horse Racing is my passion.  It started when at the age of 9 I found a book called Come On Seabiscuit by Ralf Moody on my Mother’s shelf.  Reading that book was one of the most exciting things I ever did as a kid. I read that book so many times that I had entire chapters committed to memory and the dust jacket worn and ripped beyond recognition from so much use. From that point on I was hopelessly addicted, reading every book on horse racing I could get my hands on, especially racehorse biographies. In 2009 I began my own blog called Rail Runner on wordpress and have continued to blog there to this day.

Curlin is probably my favorite racehorse of all time. Being able to attend six of his races will always be one of the highlights of my life. Whenever I need to re-find some inspiration in my life all I need to do is watch one of his incredible victories and relive the memories. Rachel Alexandra ranks right up there too. As any horse racing fan will tell you it’s almost impossible to choose just one favorite and I am no exception. Phar Lap and Citation are another two of my all time favorites and the list could go on and on.

I was homeschooled my entire life by my parents and graduated High School in 2006 at the age of 17.  Currently I am completing my Marketing degree with the hopes of entering the Thoroughbred Horse Racing field as a writer/journalist , or in the marketing/advertising/promotions side of the industry.

It is my dream to someday become a thoroughbred racehorse owner and win major races across the United States. Who wouldn't want that, right?  For about 1 ½ years I was part owner in a racehorse, Lord Greystoke raced, and owned by Hibiscus Stables. I was able to attend one of his races at Belmont Park on Kentucky Derby day, May 2, 2009 and it was an incredible experience. While Lord Greystoke finished 7th in the race, being able to stand in an owner’s box not 30 feet away from Penny Chenery’s owner’s box was one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

Later in the year Lord Greystoke was finally able to break through with a 4 ½ length win which made me feel like one of the world’s most accomplished thoroughbred owners and further fueled my appetite. I think it would be rally neat to win the Appleton Stakes (Gr.3) at Gulfstream Park, even though I'm generally a bigger fan of dirt racing I can't help but think it would be neat for me to win a race with the same name as my last name.

That’s me in a nutshell, just a very passionate, driven young guy that wants to be a part of this amazing sport and share the adventure with other fans.

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