• La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 6 days ago
  • Rubilinda (6-5) finds the wire just in time to take the Pebbles Stakes.Posted 6 days ago
  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 6 days ago
  • Bolt d'Oro is the 12-1 favorite in the current Las Vegas line for Kentucky Derby 2018.Posted 9 days ago
  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 12 days ago
  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 12 days ago
  • Flameaway (5-1) wins a three-horse photo finish in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at a wet Keeneland.Posted 12 days ago
  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 12 days ago
  • Separationofpowers (9-5) impresses in the Frizette at Belmont Park.Posted 12 days ago
  • Roy H (4-5) lives up to favoritism in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.Posted 13 days ago
Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall … Who's the Fleetest Filly of them All?

With all the talk lately about who will win Horse of the Year, or who is the best three-year old in the nation, I've decided to do a 180, or maybe it's a 270. I'm not sure. Either way, I choose to shine the light of this blog on a division that is seldom talked about. Today, the ladies have their day. And not just any fillies mind you, but only the fleetest of the fleet. Who will follow in the footsteps of Dubai Majesty and become the 2011 Female Sprinter of the Year? Too early to tell for sure, but the goings on at the Spa may have a lot to say on who has the inside track.

Saturday's Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes features a match-up of two of the best female sprinter in the land, in Hilda's Passion and Sassy Image. The lightning fast Hilda's Passion can look absolutely unbeatable at times as evidenced by her overpowering wins in graded races like the Raven Run, Hurricane Bertie, Inside Information and the Vagrancy. Those wins make her uncharacteristically dull run in her last start (the Bed O' Roses) all the more puzzling. She is doing well now, and all will be forgotten if the real Hilda's Passion shows up in the Ballerina.


Meanwhile, all Sassy Image has done is win three consecutive graded stakes, including two grade ones, since returning to races at less than a mile. Her devastating closing kick has proven to be quite the asset in sprint races with a healthy early pace. A scenario she is likely to catch again on Saturday. A third grade 1 win would make her the clear leader of the division.


The Ballerina is far from a two-filly affair though. I mean, have you seen the most recent race for both Tar Heel Mom and Tamarind Hall? Tar Heel Mom has long been knocking on the door of tops in this division, and her win in Honorable Miss was one of the best performances of her career. Tamarind Hall is more of an unknown, but if she keeps running like she did in the Bed O' Roses, look out.



As good as this bunch in the Ballerina is, I must admit I am partial to a younger speedster.
Turbulent Descent is my early pick to win at Churchill on November 4th. Considering she has already won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks, Grade 2 Beaumont, and Grade 1 Test Stakes, she may be in the enviable position of hunting not only the Female Sprint Championship, but also the 3yo Filly Award as well.

And I haven't even mentioned the California contingent yet. Tanda looks like her old self and was impressive in winning Sunday at Del Mar, and don't forget about Switch. It sounds like John Sadler has finally decided to bring her back to the sprint game, in which she is undoubtedly most potent.

Enjoy the Ballerina with an eye on what might happen in ten weeks. It may not get the most attention on the fabulous Friday/Saturday combo that is Breeders' Cup, but the Filly & Mare Sprint is shaping up to be one beauty of a race.



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Older Comments about Mirror, Mirror on the Wall … Who's the Fleetest Filly of them All?...

I like Turbulent Descent!
TD would be my choice. Her last race was ultra impressive.
I have a lot of respect for Tar Heel Mom but, I think Turbulent Descent is just a phenom.
Sassy's Image and Tar Heel Mom
I like Turbulent Descent and Sassy Image.
I will be watching them too see if any step up and jump into my top 3!
I think a lot of people would agree with you, Tim, but there are several in the Ballerina who are eligible to come up big in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint.
I like Turbulent Descent and Switch.

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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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