Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Super Saturday, or … Too Many Preps?

I was all prepared to write that there are simply too many prep races today. I was going to say, whether it is for the Kentucky Derby or the Breeders’ Cup, the proliferation of prep races, spread out over numerous racetracks, and all occurring at virtually the same time, is not for the overall good of the sport.

I was going to recall when the best horses used to run against each other on a regular basis. Outside of a few select days, it doesn’t happen like that anymore.

I was going to use the Beldame, Cotillion, and Lady’s Secret as an example of keeping top horses apart. Havre de Grace and Royal Delta are in New York. Blind Luck, Zazu, and Ask the Moon are in California. It’s Tricky, Plum Pretty, and Buster’s Ready are in Pennsylvania. What does that leave for the $200,000 Indiana Oaks, which is also taking place tomorrow? Arguably the eight best three-year-old and up fillies and mares, who run a distance of ground on the dirt, are all in action tomorrow … shouldn’t they be running against each other? Is what I was going to ask.


Can you imagine if those eight were in the same race? With Havre de Grace likely to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the field would be better than the Ladies’ Classic.

I was going to lament that there are too many races, too many tracks open at the same time, too long of a racing season at most places, too many rich races being run in opposition of each other, and probably too many racetracks period.

I was all prepared to discuss these things, but then I opened my form for tomorrow and saw the names Havre de Grace, Royal Delta, Shackleford, Caleb's Posse, It's Tricky, Plum Pretty, Buster’s Ready Blind Luck, Zazu, Ask the Moon, Game On Dude, Coil, Dubawi Heights, Drill, Creative Cause, Stay Thirsty, Flat Out, Cape Blanco, Stacelita, Uncle Mo, Jackson Bend, Big Drama, and Trappe Shot, and stopped myself. All are ready to run tomorrow and whether it is happening at four different places or not, a day of racing like this is worth enjoying.


























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Older Comments about Super Saturday, or … Too Many Preps?...

I loved Super Saturday, followed by the Arc races on Super Sunday morning and then a few lesser races Sunday afternoon! But this was my first such Super weekend! I came up with my own version of “speed watching” wall-to-wall races. I discovered how to watch all of this action without getting overwhelmed. With a little organization and a couple of online services, it was a snap. After experiencing racing online, I actually prefer it to the slower pace of watching on national television primarily because I can tailor the viewing experience to my own tastes and pace! This type of action has to appeal to younger fans, I would think, since their attention span is about 20 seconds! Once all the services get up to speed with HD, I think watching horse racing online is the best way to experience the sport. Am I the last one to know this and do others "speed watch" the races this way? Am I weird?
I think that the concept of Super Saturday is great. It always has been. I was really looking forward to the day, but came away feeling kind of empty as if to ask the question, this is it? One concern is that the top level talent is spread very thin. The Beldame with five fillies, the favorite and one with a possible upset chance, and others that didn’t belong including LAT. Not much suspense. The Kelso scratched down to four entrants. There was possibly more suspense in wondering if Mo would move forward from the King Bishop and some suspense with J Bend because that one is an improving sort. Mo definitely was the highlight of the day. The Turf Classic maybe gave American Turf racing a bit of a shot in the arm. Cape Blanco was certainly all out to beat Dean’s Kitten and yet that one wasn’t all that far behind him when third in the Million. The Flower Bowl was a romp for Stacelita with the others all running for second money. The Vosburgh was the best race on the card in terms of depth of talent with some good sprinters and yet Giant Ryan dominated. Maybe the trouble at the start where Euroears and Apriority were taken out made it easier for him. What’s up with Trappe Shot? The JCGC was an extremely weak field for such a revered race. No G1 wins in a so called open G1 race. Flat Out’s first G1 win was dominant IMO. Stay Thirsty was a bust against older on a track he ran well on in the Belmont. Super Saturday used to be just that, but not anymore I’m afraid.
Amen to that! This is exactly what a "super saturday" is supposed to look like!! Belmont alone is holding a super card. The only downside is not being able to catch all the action at one time in one place.
Glass is more than half full. Look these races are historic, particuarly the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The one thing this industry has over all other sports is its history. Make use of it.
You are right Brian, I think most racing fans are really optimists and this is a great weekend of racing. For example I am hoping that Santa Anita has finally got a safe and fair track and Uncle Mo is back to his 2 year old form, should find out tomorrow.
Agreed Mike, but ... a glass that is half empty, is still half full.
Brian I think you should have stayed with your original idea, there are too many preps. It would be better for racing and the fans if the top horses faced each other more than just in the Breeders Cup.

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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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