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Zipse At The Track

The Best In Racing – May 23, 2011

3-year-old Males
 1. Animal Kingdom Deserves this spot after Derby win and Preakness place.
 2. Shackleford Moved way up my list after another tough as nails performance.
 3. Nehro He hasn't won anything yet, but his potential gets him a high spot on the list.
 4. Uncle Mo Latest news on his health is encouraging; His talent is undeniable.
 5. Premier Pegasus I really thought he might have been a Derby winner if not for the injury.
 6. Mucho Macho Man Please, someone get this colt some shoes that stay on.
 7. Astrology No stakes wins in 2011, but he is running well enough for this ranking.

3-year-old Females
 1. Turbulent Descent I know she looks like a miler, but that doesn't mean she still can't be the best of the bunch.
 2. Plum Pretty From Sunland to Kentucky Oaks heroine, an impressive jump to be sure.
 3. St. John's River Improving filly was so close in the Oaks, two more jumps and she's a winner
 4. Royal Delta She hasn't beaten much yet, but the way she is doing it looks awfully good.
 5. R Heat Lightning On the sidelines right now, but she showed a lot down in Florida already this year.
 6. Zazu Consistent filly continues to run good races against good fillies.
 7. Joyful Victory Oaklawn star ran decently, but could not get it done in Kentucky.

Older Males
 1. First Dude Looks like the Dude is finally starting to learn how to get to the wire first.
 2. Twirling Candy Loaded with talent; it will be interesting to see what he can do away from Kentucky.
 3. Morning Line Carter winner was flattered by Apriority's fine effort; Met Mile next.
 4. Haynesfield I threw out his 2011 debut, it just did not set up for him that day.
 5. Sidney's Candy Not sure what his surface is, but I know he is a threat in any race.
 6. Game on Dude Baffert's second Dude could be as good as anyone on this list.
 7. Successful Dan Last fall's Clark has me expecting big things from this talented colt this year.

Older Females
 1. Havre de Grace Last year she was very good; this year she is even better.
 2. Blind Luck Champion returned to form at Churchill; hard not to admire racing's energizer bunny.
 3. Awesome Maria She romped and rolled in Florida, but Shuvee win showed true grit.
 4. Switch She can sprint and go two-turns equally well; classy filly.
 5. Unrivaled Belle She succumbed to Blind Luck's rush, but she is rounding into top form.
 6. Sassy's Image After a long layoff, her 7 furlong score points out she is back in style.
 7. St. Trinians Despite the DQ, the Milady was more like it for the English import.

 1. Big Drama Not sure why he has been away since season debut, but he is the champ until someone knocks him off.
 2. Morning Line Versatile colt grabs this spot with impressive win in the Carter.
 3. Apriority Nothing but topnotch performances of late; liking him more every race.
 4. Capt. Candyman Can Premature move at Churchill may have cost him a big win.
 5. Smiling Tiger Last was not his best, but he still merits big respect on this list.
 6. Aikenite Two straight big wins, but I question whether he can do it at 6 furlongs.
 7. This Ones for Phil Doesn't get much ink, but at 6 furlongs he is as tough as they come.
Turf Males
 1. Paddy O’Prado (retired today) This division suffered a big blow today.
 2. Gio Ponti Looking for three straight awards in this division; the one to beat now.
 3. Get Stormy Has taken things to a whole new level with two Grade 1 wins in Kentucky.
 4. Sidney’s Candy If he sticks to grass, he would be a major player in the division.
 5. Champ Pegasus Ran big in the BC Turf last fall and looks good so far this year.
 6. Bourbon Bay If you like #5, his main rival in California must be on your list too.
 7. Banned Looked awfully good and like the best sophomore in his recent win at Churchill.
Turf Females
 1. Aviate Win on Derby day points her out as a major player this year in the States.
 2. Aruna Lost to top one, but I still like her as much as anyone on this list.
 3. Keertana Underrated filly keeps on running big races at any distance.
 4. Winter Memories Yes she is only 3, but the feeling is she is going to be special.
 5. Shared Account BC winner did not do much in return, but I am willing to give her a pass.
 6. No Explaining Getting better and better; Gallorette win was a big performance.
 7. Hibaayeb Yellow Ribbon winner looks to be sitting on a big race this week at Belmont.

 1. So You Think Australian superstar looks absolutely unbeatable so far in Ireland
 2. Goldikova Is it time to say she is the best Miler in the history of our sport?
 3. Black Caviar Undefeated mare is way too much for her competition down under.
 4. Workforce Looking forward to the Arc winner's return this week.
 5. Frankel How good may this one be? A little disappointed they are not trying the distance.
 6. Victoire Pisa Japanese star won the richest race in the world this year.
 7. Midday She may have been upset in the BC Filly & Mare Turf last fall, but her return score underscores her class.


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Older Comments about The Best In Racing – May 23, 2011...

The older female list is nails! However, can any horse be ranked higher than Goldikova?
These lists point out that the state of American grass racing is more than a little depressing.
I like your list for 3 year olds...PrePeg was definitely my Derby Pick since his first start at Del Mar at two...hope he comes back later this year.
hadn't heard about Paddy until just now...definitely a tough blow. Was hoping to see him in the BC Turf where he belongs this year. Hoping that Morning Line continues his ascent as a top notch horse. and Goldi is, well, Goldi. what more can you say about her. Almost 7 month layoff and going 1 1/8 beating a solid field.
Canford Cliffs was hard to leave off, Ciarán ... very hard! It's hard not to like Turbulent Descent, Brian ... looking forward to the Acorn. We are all hoping for a healthy Uncle Mo to come back when he is ready.
Excellent rankings Brian! I just got finished saying in my recent post that I was shocekd how low Mike Watchmaker had Turbulent Descent ranked at #6 among 3-year-old fillies and came over here and saw you had her #1, that's perfect! I love your top three International's. Goldikova continues to impress while So You Think has really made a believer out of me. Black Caviar is incredible! I heard that Uncle Mo has put on more than 30 pounds since being sent to WinStar, hopefully that means he'll be 100% soon an back to the track.
I think it might be time to let Canford
  • Marshal's Memory · I think it may be time to let Canford Cliffs on to these international lists Brian- Ciarán here btw. And glad you had an International list!! · 2377 days ago
Wow Great list.... Goldikova #2 Why... She been a beast for so long now that she deserves #1 . Love reading lists like this one.
Thanks, Angie ... lots of tough calls had to made, and Goldikova was among the biggest, but that is how much I think of So You Think!
Love your lists! Of course, I would also love to give my two cents...I don't know if anyone is better than Goldikova right now. She is a 'workforce'. I jumped on her bandwagon last year before I got to see her live at the Breeder's Cup and they will have to use a crowbar to get me off. Love her. The best three year old, well after a few disappointing defeats from Dialed In, I am all about Nehro. A horse never looked so good in defeat, time and time again. Blind Luck, despite the rocky start her fight makes very close for first.

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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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