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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Competitive Edge Hopeful of Big Things

Competitive Edge maiden 615 X 400
Photo: NYRA

 

Among the many impressive horses that ran at Saratoga on Jim Dandy day was a first-time starter from the Todd Pletcher barn named Competitive Edge. The good looking colt, bet down to 4-5 despite the presence of a million dollar yearling purchase also making his career debut, would not disappoint. Making every pole a winning one, Competitive Edge could not have been more impressive, as he extended his advantage every step of the stretch to hit the wire more than 10 lengths in front of his competition. With only mild encouragement from John Velazquez, the Nancy Favreau and Kathy Psoinos owned juvenile completed the six panels in a snappy 1:09.89. Bred by WinStar Farm, and purchased for $750,000 at this year's Fasig-Tipton Florida March Sale, Competitive Edge will look to build on the big debut by stepping right up into Grade 1 stakes racing, in closing day’s Hopeful. As easy as he dominated his competition last month, you might suspect that there was not much behind him. Early results would say otherwise, though, and in fact, it might become looked at as a key race.


The two horses that battled it out for a distant second that day came back on Travers Day to make their second career start. Bayerd (Speightstown), who was third to Competitive Edge, won the race by a pole at 8-1, while Today’s Agenda (Monba) finished third after encountering traffic problems* that cost him second place. Their solid showing was more of the same for horses coming out of the big Competitive Edge win.


On August 6, Thirtysilverpieces (Badge of Silver) became the first horse from the race to make it back to the races. 6th to Competitive Edge, the Wesley Ward was dropped into a $75,000 maiden claimer, and won his second career start as the 5-2 second choice.


Ten days later, Sharm (Majestic Warrior) made his second career start after finishing 4th, beaten 14 ½-lengths by Competitive Edge. He did not win the maiden special weight at Saratoga, but his rallying third place finish at 13-1 was more than ten lengths closer to the winner at the finish than on Jim Dandy day.


None of the others left in the wake of Competitive Edge’s debut performance have come back yet, but with the first four to run again all having thrown in solid races at Saratoga, while for the most part, outrunning their odds, it makes you appreciate the romping victory all the more.

In preparation for the grade 1 test, the son of super freshman sire Super Saver has been working sharply. Since his sparkling debut performance, the bay colt has rattled off three solid works at Saratoga, including this morning’s four furlongs in :47.25. Competitive Edge looks to be in fine fettle just days before he seeks to become a grade 1 winner in only his second career start, which likely will be bad news for his Hopeful competition. 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* - Sadly the trouble encountered in the race was a direct result of Ludicrous breaking down in the stretch, and ultimately needing to be humanely put to rest.

 

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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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