Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

I Am Not East Coast Biased!

East Coast Bias … I don’t think I have it, but if I do, how did I catch it???

Truth be told, I am not even sure what it means. Perhaps I should I pack up my bags and move to a residence on the Eastern Seaboard as soon as humanly possible? Do I secretly envy any person lucky enough to live within 100 miles of New York City? Is it time for me to pin up a few pictures of sunny California to the business end of my dartboard?

Maybe it would help if I told the people who have accused me of ECB the past few years, that I love the West Coast. I lived in California and Washington State, and enjoyed my time in both places immensely. Or perhaps they would be moved if they knew that two of my three favorite horses of all-time were based in California. Yes, I loved good ol’ Sunday Silence and Free House.

Perhaps if I reminded folks that I was the guy who just a few short years ago campaigned in my writing for Blind Luck to be the Juvenile Filly Champion over She Be Wild. Keep in mind that Blind Luck was a Californian filly, while She Be Wild was from Chicago (the town which I have called home for the past ten years.)

You see what’s happening here, don’t you? I feel obliged to defend myself against those who choose to sling the dreaded ECB tag in my direction. Is this the time that I should also renounce communism?

I know I am not the only person that has been accused of this malady. Is malady the right word? It seems of late that whenever a horse that is based east of California is in anyway selected ahead of another horse that is from California, the only possible reason is that the evil doer is East Coast Biased.

It has gotten so bad that the last time I visited the doctor; I needed to tell him about knee pain, a chronic cough, and you guessed it … that I might have become inflicted with the dreaded ECB. He took the 'give it some time, and we keep an eye on it' approach, but I can only imagine what he will say when I tell him that I believe Havre de Grace deserves the Horse of the Year award over Game On Dude.

You know what? Knowing the fair-minded, objective thinking Midwesterner that I believe him to be, I think he will agree with me on this one.

After all, doesn’t Havre de Grace have five graded stakes wins against strong competition in only seven starts, while Game On Dude only has two such wins, also against strong competition, in eight starts this year?  The fact that the latter beat the former by a length-and-a-half in a race which both horses lost does in no way trump those kind of full-season statistics.

Continue to point you finger and yell East Coast Bias if you must, but know this … I will just keep calling it like I see it.


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Older Comments about I Am Not East Coast Biased!...

Where have you gone, Albert Pujols, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Albert Pujols has left, and gone away. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey hey.
I agree with your choice of Havre de Grace for Horse of the Year and I have been reading your blogs for a year or so and do not believe you have shown an East Coast bias, but as someone who lives on the West Coast I do believe some California horses have sometimes been denied awards they deserved because they did not race in the east. A big part of the problem is that some people have not accepted that racing has changed from the 1970's. In those days the championship races were run in New York in the fall, a horse did need to win in New York to be a champion in those days. But today we are in the Breeders Cup era of racing and unfortunately many of the big championship races in New York have been diminished in importance as a result. Today I don't believe winning the Woodward or Jockey Club Gold Cup necessarily means they are a better horse than the winner of the Goodwood or Pacific Classic, but too often the eastern horse gets extra credit for winning one of the older historic races, even though the fields in New York are not noticeably better than the ones in California.
we all have views that tend to be slanted one way or the other, but we all love the sport in the end, or we wouldn't bother to be here.
I have often been accused of this, even though I have like several west coast horses. The time when this is brought up the most is when there is a rivalry and the other side honestly runs out of facts. Of course it doesn't always happen, just look at Sunday Silence vs Easy Goer and Affirmed and Alydar. However, during the RA vs Zen, Blame vs Zen, Curlin vs Zen, all you heard after a while was anybody that was for RA, Curlin, or Blame was called ECB. Didn't matter if a person lived there, if they liked other west coast horses, they were just biased. It is amazing how bitter somebody can get when their favorite does not win a race or an award, it's sad, but that is a side of racing and every other sport, you just have to try and turn your head the other way.
IMO Andrew Beyer is West Coast Biased.
IF there were more tracks west of the Mississippi, there would be more trackmen, more DRF writers and more voters and as a result there would be a west coast bias. There are just more votes, more racing and more breeding in the East.
I always chose Blind Luck over Havre de Grace, not because I don't like HDG (which we all know that I do), but because I knew Blind Luck would win the match up more often than not. With that being said, I can see how it would be easy to become biased towards horses one is more familiar with. I will admit to having never heard of several really good horses until they ran on the East Coast, but I have since fixed that issue. It is what is.
  • Floridaf · I think I beat around the bush a bit here. What I mean is that being biased can sometimes be understandable, but you can't ignore head-to-head match ups. The match-up will almost always prove who really is the better horse. · 2235 days ago
So do the people that accuse other of have East Coast Bias secretly have West Coast Bias? Just sayin....its funny that we've never heard of that sickness. I guess everyone in the Western time zone at totally impartial on all topics.
Hey, Zipse clearly does not have ECB. That is spoken by somebody who has lived in NJ his entire ;ife.

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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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