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Zipse At The Track

Dear Coastal and Easy Goer, I forgive you

Spectacular Bid was a great horse. There are just no two ways about it. He had it all … all that is, except for a Triple Crown. Sunday Silence was also a special horse. After watching his 11-length runaway in the Santa Anita Derby and subsequent thrilling wins in the Derby and Preakness, I really believed he could become our 12th Triple Crown winner. Of course he did not. Of all the horses that hit New York with racing’s Holy Grail on the line since Affirmed did the deed, these were not only the two I felt were the best horses, but they were also my two favorites. I was crushed in 1979 when Spectacular Bid began to fade and Coastal rushed up on the rail. (Yes I know Golden Act also passed him late, but I am convinced The Bid would have held him off if it had been for the win.) Ten years later, I felt equal pain when Easy Goer enveloped Sunday Silence coming out of the turn on his way to a good old fashioned thrashing of my choice. Coastal and Easy Goer were my villains.  

They defeated my racing heroes in the one race that could have placed them on an even higher historic ground then their excellent careers took them to. I honestly held a grudge against Coastal and Easy Goer for years. Silly isn’t it? 
They were two excellent horses in their own right. Coastal was one of the most underrated horses of my lifetime. Among his stakes wins was a Peter Pan romp by 14 lengths in the race before the Belmont. Easy Goer was a champion that collected grade 1 wins in New York like little boys collect baseball cards. But to me, the pair was like the Red Sox to a Yankee fan and the Cowboys to a Redskin fan.
To younger fans, replace Coastal and Easy Goer with Touch Gold or Victory Gallop or Birdstone and you know how I felt times two. But notice I used the past tense there. You see, I’ve let my bad feelings melt away. They may have stolen Triple Crowns from this young race fan, but I no longer cringe at hearing the name Coastal, or bristle when Easy Goer is mentioned.  

It’s kind of cathartic in a way. After 34 years I am more than ready for another Triple Crown winner. I now fully appreciate how very difficult a proposition this is. In the seventies, I did not. I have also shed my resentment to Coastal and Easy Goer, the horses that denied my heroes of the ultimate immortality for a racehorse. They were not villains. They were excellent horses who just happened to be the rivals of my favorites. They won the Belmont, and they desereved to do so.
If I’ll Have Another wins the 2012 Belmont Stakes, I will happily welcome him with open arms because he earned it. If another horse beats him on Saturday, sure I will be disappointed, but I will also respect the winner for his accomplishment. The Triple Crown should be extremely hard to win, that’s what makes it so special.
Dear Coastal and Easy Goer, I forgive you. 


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Older Comments about Dear Coastal and Easy Goer, I forgive you...

Harris also detailed all the problems Bids owners had with the racing establishment. After Franklin was replaced by Shoe and the stud farm and fee issues were resolved, Harris wrote an article entitled All is Forgiven about how Bid was now the darling of the establishment
Putting it more bluntly and in my opinion only, Cordero and the other jockeys in that race made sure Bid lost and took steps to insure that. The fighting both literal and figurative, name calling etc. between Cordero and Franklin was covered in explicit and gory details in every NY newspaper in the weeks leading up to the Belmont. I remember Russ Harris writing about the poisonous atmosphere in the jockeys room between Franklin, Cordero and the other jockeys.
Franklins problem other than the cocaine use was not bait and switch. It was a dbl teaming. Cordero sat on the rail with Shake Shake Shake. Hernandez sat right behind him with Coastal. Cordero moved over and gave Coastal the room he needed to come through, basically it was enough space for Patton and the third army to go through. Franklin and his little war with Cordero cost Bid the TC in my opinion. Also the powers that be we're not terribly happy about Bid winning the TC. There major issues with where the horse was going to stand stud duty and the owners were heartily disliked by all in racing.they were glad Bid lost the TC. Sunday silence would never have beaten Easy Goer at Belmont
That's what I love about the Jockey's of the 60s n 70s they practiced the art of defensive riding unlike today where people think Calvin B. is great because of his three Derby victories. In those decades no way he would have gotton up the rail or off it as in the case of Street Sense.His career would have ended in an allowance race, the highest attainable for a jockey of his caliber.
have you never heard of defensive race ridcingÉ Laffit on Cryoptoclearnce fooled McCarron on Alysheab. Day tried to get Valenzuela into a blind switch on Easy Goer at Baltimore etc. etc.
As to the Bid, you should in my opinion forgive Ron Franklin, Bids jockey for fighting with Cordero days before the Belmont and creating lasting and bitter enmity with Cordero who did everything possible to destroy Bid's TC. Cordero said in an interview before the Belmont that he would make sure Bid did not win. After the Belmont Cordero and all the jockeys in the race celebrated Coastals victory and when interviewed in the midst of the celebration Cordero kissed Hernandez on the top of his head and said "Ruben has won one for Us and all of Panama". Sunday Silence would never have caught EG as he loved Belmont and raced his best there.
If I'll Have Another wins, I think it will be easier for me to forgive Birdstone, but as of right now, I'm still upset about that race. Time for me to grow up and forgive the spoilers, too.
Winning the Belmont is the true test, it is a long sweeping track, it takes patience and stamina on both the horse and jockey, many a race has been lost by the jockey, we will see how it goes on Saturday!!!!
Good one, Brian! See you Friday.
AT Belmnt, at that distance Easy Goer was a monster. Sunday SIlence did not have it at that distance. It was obvious

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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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