Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

Caleb’s Posse Retired

From a most modest beginning, Caleb’s Posse rose to such heights to be among the very best of American race horses. He was certainly never better than a Saturday afternoon last November when he inhaled the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile field to win as impressively as any horse that made it to the winner’s circle over the two day World Championships. Unfortunately, the racing ride has come to an end for the four-year-old son of Posse
The disappointing announcement was just released by Three Chimneys Farm. "We discovered a non-displaced fragment in his left knee after the Met Mile," said Caleb's Posse's owners. "We were hopeful that some time off would resolve the situation, but recent radiographs have revealed that surgery to remove the chip will mean that he could not return to the racetrack this year. He has proven his brilliance on the track, and now we want to give him a chance to pass on that brilliance in the breeding shed."
Despite being 0 for 3 so far in 2012, no one could doubt the class and excellence of the consummate one-turn closer. Running against some of the fastest horses in the nation, Caleb's Posse uncoiled his ferocious late kick without fail. First, in the six-furlong Tom Fool, he came just one stride late from nailing Calibrachoa at the wire. It was not his best distance, but the close was breathtaking, and it signaled that the horse that many considered to be the finest three-year-old in the land last year would be a force to be reckoned with this year.
Next came the seven-furlong, Grade Carter Handicap and as the favorite and highweight in the elite field of five, fans at the Big A were hoping to see the Donnie Von Hemel colt come flying. He did, but once again, his rally came tantalizingly short, losing by a dirty nose to Jackson Bend. Surely his third start, and in the most important of the trio, would be different and finally culminate with a Caleb’s Posse victory. It was not to be. For the third straight time, he would run into a horse running a great race, and he would lose by too small a margin to seem fair. This time it was Shackleford, getting a couple pounds from the late runner, who would keep a nostril in front at the wire. The pair finished the Grade 1 Met Mile in 1:33.30, in what I consider, along with the Preakness, to be the finest race run so far in 2012.
Caleb’s Posse had run three excellent races in defeat, and his reputation was in my mind not tarnished one iota. As of yesterday, I considered him the best miler going, and the proposition of him winning his second consecutive Dirt Mile a more likely outcome than any other horse winning. Now we know it will not happen.
A stakes winner at both two and three, Caleb’s Posse missed out on an Eclipse Award as Champion Three-Year-Old last year much like he did all three races this year … it was tight. In the end, voters went with the Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, by a slim margin. Besides the big Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile win, Caleb's Posse's also accounted for the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes, as well as the Amsterdam, Ohio Derby, and Smarty Jones Stakes last year.
Bred in Kentucky by Don McNeill, Caleb's Posse is out of the homebred mare Abbey's Missy, a daughter of Slewicide. It was not exactly the pedigree of your typical champion, but Caleb’s Posse sure ran like one. The winner of 8 of 19 lifetime starts, his earnings exceeded the $1.4 million mark. While his racing career and exciting style will not soon be forgotten, it is time for his second career to start at Three Chimneys Farm, where he will hope to emulate such superstar stallions as Seattle Slew and the recently deceased Dynaformer. Huge shoes to fill, but if Caleb’s Posse can pass on his immense turn of foot and strong will to win to his offspring, he will be a success.


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Older Comments about Caleb’s Posse Retired...

Gritty competitor. He leaves it all out on the track every race . I hate to see his talent on the shelf.
Tough horse and with a little luck would be undefeated this year, he was one of my favorite horses and one of the few horses I actually won money on last year.
I agree Tony...some will not though. wait for it ha
In my opinion he was the 3 YO Champion...
In my opinion he was the 3 YO Champion...
great article about how the breeding side has lost sight of horses in the long run. http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2012/07/12/sports/doc4ffe32d310b56434139295.txt?viewmode=fullstory
I watched this horse 3 times at saratoga and once and Breeders cup and this horse doesnt owe anyone anything.
Sad to hear, Caleb is one fantastic finisher
Dang , I love this guy. He was my Mortal Lock in the B.C. Mile and sure kicked some butt winning it. Thanks buddy.
This is a bummer. He was one I never got to watch live and always wanted to. So much fun watching him unleash those late drives to the wire. Good luck in the shed!
What a great performance in the BC Dirt Mile!! Tough for CP to measure up to that in 2012. The ranks of the top horses have thinned this week.

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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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