Ticker
  • Miss Sunset (3-1) grinds out the win over Chalon in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes.Posted 16 hours ago
  • Bonus Points (3-1) swings wide and draws clear to win the Maryland Million Classic.Posted 16 hours ago
  • La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 7 days ago
  • Rubilinda (6-5) finds the wire just in time to take the Pebbles Stakes.Posted 7 days ago
  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 7 days ago
  • Bolt d'Oro is the 12-1 favorite in the current Las Vegas line for Kentucky Derby 2018.Posted 10 days ago
  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 13 days ago
  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 13 days ago
  • Flameaway (5-1) wins a three-horse photo finish in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at a wet Keeneland.Posted 13 days ago
  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 13 days ago
Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

2014 Travers: Time to pull a Rabbit out of the hat?

 

In this world of all things politically correct, I have to wonder if entering rabbits in races is a practice that has come and gone. Specifically designed to screw with the speedy horses that are considered the ones to beat, the tactic of running a rabbit to help the chances of your come from behind runner has been going on for as long as there has been racing, and it has been done to some of the finest the sport has seen. The great Dr. Fager was harassed by that pesky Hedevar on more than one occasion. Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew was engaged early by Affirmed’s stablemate Life’s Hope in a race I affectionately call ‘The Greatest Loss There Ever Was’.



More recently, a pair of sprint types, Show Boot and Crafty Player, ran in the Woodward just to beleaguer good old Commentator. It may not be the most sporting thing to do, but more often than not, letting a rabbit loose in a big race has proved effective. If ever there was a race screaming out for the crafty utilization of a rabbit, this year’s Travers would fit the bill.



A few weeks out, the big 3 for the Mid-Summer Derby include the Belmont winner, Tonalist, the Jim Dandy victor, Wicked Strong, and the Haskell hero, Bayern. While Tonalist did flash some speed in the Peter Pan, and Wicked Strong did demonstrate newfound early interest with the addition of blinkers in his latest, in no way, shape, or form do these multiple graded stakes winners have anything near the early speed of Bayern.


 

As legitimate ten furlong horses, generally this would not be a major problem, but as of now, the list of speed horses pointing for the Travers begins and ends with Bayern. Handicapping the big race may well be as simple as: watch Bayern open up a lead in about 1:12 or so, and then see Bayern show his tail to his competition down the Saratoga stretch. That is unless the connections of his main competition dust off an old magic trick.



As the conditioners of Bayern’s top two challengers, will Christophe Clement or Jimmy Jerkens take it upon themselves to find some three-year-old speed in their barns that can throw down a :45 and change, and a 1:10 in the Travers? If so it would effectively reverse a huge tactical advantage for Bayern, into a good race set-up for their respective charges.



It may not be the most sporting thing to do, but in a race as important as the Travers, it would seem to be the wise choice … Or is this sort of thing just not done anymore?

  

 

comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages


      Connect With Brian
Google+
Find 

Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter

 

 ZATT's Star of the Week 

Bullards Alley

Meet Brian Zipse 


Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

  
The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.


Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

  
A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

  



Related Stories

Top Stories