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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Absinthe Minded is a horse for course

On paper, yesterday’s $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park looked like a two-horse race. Absinthe Minded and Tiz Miz Sue who had run one-two in the recent Pippin Stakes, were sent off as the 3-2, and 7-5 clear choices in the five-horse field. Looking at the past performances of the two it was clear that they were the class of the race and both were coming off a sharp effort, making them very deserving of being basically co-favorites. The next question would be how to separate the two. One obvious difference was Absinthe Minded had more speed than her main foe, which generally is an advantage in a short field. Probably more telling than that though, was a quick scan of the two mare’s lifetime record over the Oaklawn Park strip.
Going into the Bayakoa, Absinthe Minded had a sterling record of 8-4-2-2 at the Hot Springs oval, while Tiz Miz Sue was winless in seven starts there. Horses for courses is one of the more powerful handicapping tools a bettor can use when there is reason to do so, and yesterday was a perfect example. Some horses just like certain tracks better than others. Clearly Absinthe Minded loves Oaklawn Park.
Owned by Briland Farm, and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner, D. Wayne Lukas, Absinthe Minded ran what Lukas called the, “best race of her career” as she contested the early pace and then drew off at the head of the stretch to roll home much the best in the feature in front of 20,432 appreciative fans at Oaklawn Park. The Bayakoa victory was the fourth in the Apple Blossom prep for meet leading jockey Terry Thompson, who was also aboard the five-year-old daughter of Quiet American when the pair scored in this race last year. Absinthe Minded, who now counts five of her six career victories at Oaklawn Park, completed the 1 1 1/16 mile race in 1:44 over the fast track in winning by four lengths over Tiz Miz Sue.
“This is significant because this wasn’t just some waltz out there today,” said Lukas. “They hooked her every step of the way, and to pull away like that after that kind of pressure really says something about how good she is. I really believe this was the best race of her career. I’m very proud of her. We know the hill is going to get a little bit steeper, but she’s been running with the best horses in the country and a race like that, I think it shows she’s really turned a corner.” 
Last year Absinthe Minded had the Horse of the Year, Havre de Grace, to deal with in the Azeri Stakes and the Grade 1 Apple Blossom, which are the two stakes races coming up on the Oaklawn schedule for older mares. She finished third both times in 2011, but this year things may be a little easier as the big mare may stay in New Orleans this spring. If Havre de Grace does stay away, and from what I saw yesterday, the horse for course, Absinthe Minded will be very tough to beat here at Oaklawn and may well be poised to get her first grade 1 win in the near future.
Saturdays Feb. 18 and 25 are the last two days to qualify for the Beat The Host Championship on XpressBet!  
Photo courtesy of Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park 



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Older Comments about Absinthe Minded is a horse for course...

Race set up perfectly for this one as the co favorite did not have the win pattern fro that distance on that course
Seen lots of horses that moved way up on a single track, Noble Nashua was practically unbeatable.
I was really glad to see Absinthe Minded get back to her winning ways. I had just about gave up on her, but she does seem to really like Oaklawn. Hope she continues to do well there this year.

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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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