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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

A Weighty Issue in the Delaware Handicap

Blind Luck and Harve De Grace in the Delaware Oaks
The Delaware Park Racing Secretary, Pat Pope, seems to be sending a few messages with his assignment of the weights for the track's premier race, the 2011 Delaware Handicap.

Here are the weights assigned for Saturday's Big Race:

Havre De Grace - 124
Blind Luck - 122
Life At Ten - 115
Payton D'oro - 115
Tiz Miz Sue - 114
Sweet N Sour Nina - 113
Sarah's Song - 110
The first message is clearly Mr. Pope sees Havre de Grace and Blind Luck as superior racehorses to the rest of the prospective field, as evidenced by the chasm between the weights assigned to the two of them versus everyone else in the field, including defending race champion, Life At Ten. Fair enough, I completely agree. The other message, that Havre De Grace is the deserving highweight by a two pound margin, is a much more interesting point to explore.

I can see why Pope has given two more pounds to the local charge, after all, Havre De Grace was nearly the Juvenile Filly Champion two years ago, and was named the Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of 2010. Wait a minute, it wasn't Havre De Grace who is a whisker from being a two-time champion, rather it is her rival, Blind Luck.

OK, so surely the reason for the two pound allowance, for the reigning champion, is due to the head-to-head record in the rivalry. With a 3-2 advantage in their five meetings, Pope had every right to put more weight on Havre De Grace. Uh oh, wrong again, the Californian based filly holds the edge in the head-to-head rivalry.

Perhaps it was based on what happened at Delaware Park last year, as Havre De Grace stormed by Blind Luck in the late stages to win the Delaware Oaks. No sir, it was Blind Luck doing the storming when she defeated Havre De Grace in last summer's Delaware Oaks.

Grade 1 victories, that has to be it. Havre De Grace has six to her credit, far outdistancing the total of one for Blind Luck … Or do I have that backwards?

You see what I am getting at here. I understand we live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of world, and Havre De Grace beat Blind Luck in their only meeting this year, in the Grade 3 Azeri Stakes, but whatever happened to respecting career credentials? Also, keep in mind, Blind Luck is coming off two impressive wins herself.

Blind Luck getting two pounds from Havre De Grace at this point in their respective careers is a farce. Although ... I understand her trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, was pleased with the assignments. Hmmm, come to think of it maybe that is exactly the reason the weights came down the way they did.
What say you, Mr. Pope?


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Older Comments about A Weighty Issue in the Delaware Handicap...

Are you going to get therapy for your obsession over me? LOL. At least I am going overboard in my praise of a horse as opposed to you going overboard in your discrediting of that horse. I already told" brother"-dear good night, so nighty-night, dear.Vin, I will be busy picking horses from tomorrow until at least Friday. When are YOU going to drop it?
mrsmary - you proven my point. I always thought you were emotionally driven by the tragic death of Ruffian. Just like some others here. You're consumed and obsessive behavior towards anyone that questions anything about Ruffian is actually disturbing and troubling. Perhaps therapy is your anwer.
NYV, sen, john?? I was going to drop this, but you just brought it back up. Are you talking about your contradiction? One thread you count the race, the other thread, you say you don't. Look up The threads under that horse's name. I'm not copying and pasting. Done.
Check out Blind Luck on youtube: Blind Luck hollywood Starlet; Blind Luck La Troienne; Blind Luck vanity. Blind Luck has brought me back to the races again after Zenyatta's retirement. Her heart is as big as Zenyatta's only her body is much smaller. Kick ass Blind Luck, show the east coast again that THE BEST HORSE IS ON THE WEST COAST FOR THE 4TH STRAIGHT YEAR.
andiggs - ok, I can see the analogy.
mrsmary - you are hopeless. Please don't accuse me of something I not guilty of. Please. Just the facts. I asked for an example and you give me accusations. Here's some advice for you...don't get into trouble because in a court of law you don't stand a chance.
I hope it's a close 1-2-3 finish with Life At Ten close up as well as Blind Luck and Havre de Grace. I'll be rooting Blind Luck.
All questions will be answered shortly. Go Life at Ten throw a wrench right into things.
This is the video of the 2011 Azeri Stakes. Look and see how far Blind Luck is at the wire. www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yz2qblkaL4
Check out Blind Luck on youtube: Blind Luck hollywood Starlet; Blind Luck La Troienne; Blind Luck vanity. Blind Luck has brought me back to the races again after Zenyatta's retirement. Her heart is as big as Zenyatta's only her body is much smaller. Kick ass Blind Luck, show the east coast again that THE BEST HORSE IS ON THE WEST COAST FOR THE 4TH STRAIGHT YEAR.
@New York Vinnie: Who's Awesome Maria? Pretty ironic that was the same question people were saying about Blame at this point last year.
I am for Life At Ten in this race. She must repeat what I did last year so easily.
NYV, Your contradiction? On one thread you include the race and on another you don't. And you already knew this. Back to HDG and Blind Luck. See ya.
NYV, I need more than that. No more disgusting, negative comments about Ruffian. I mean do you realize that you said Foolish Pleasure taught her a lesson? Or, I know you gave some graphic description of her injury to "prove" your theory or anti-theory that she was ahead. I don't care about that point, but your description was not necessary and not the words of an animal lover, and you know it. As far as "Senclair" trying to hide his well, hatred may be too strong of a word, I saw right through that months ago. "I liked Ruffian, BUT" I'm sure he only backed down after he saw he was in the minority. I don't respect that, either. I can respect truth without the disgusting negativity, but you over-taxed my limit of your "facts" this past anniversary week. Oh, yah, I just love the hit and run digs about the Yankees. Tell "Senclair" to stick around sometime.
Theoretical arguements are a waste of time as no proof can be offered pro or con just like religion.
mrsmary - however, you are right on one account. Perhaps we should slow down a bit when transfering information.
icy, It makes a difference if the horse you pick to win is carrying the higher weight and it loses by a small margin. Then, everyone will use that excuse, including me,lol.
mrsmary - please give me an example of contradicting myself about the 'match race'. Again, if facts offend you there's not much I can do to help you.
I don't think 5 or 10 lbs on an 1100lb makes any difference at all.I know ,Im an idiot right.Think about this though.How often is the high weight in a handicap not the betting favorite? Not often which says money players do not believe that weight is a big factor
You have a disgusting way of putting some of those "facts", NYV. You also contradict yourself for example including or not including the match race as it suits you. And it was very distasteful to disrespect Ruffian on the anniversaries. Brother? You both have computer programs without spell-check? Come on. I know you just don't want me to tell the ladies about this and I can't blame you. You don't have a good reason to continue your negativity and I just mean about Ruffian, so ?

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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.


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