Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

The Eclipse Awards: Very Early Predictions

While the racing world eagerly awaits to find out who will, and who will not, be voted in as the 2012 Eclipse Award winners, I’ve decided to put a little different spin on things. I’ve fired up the ZATT time machine and jumped forward just a little bit. Call it a fool’s mission if you must, but I’m only trying to have a little fun with some reasonably well thought out projections for the 2013 racing season.


Clearly my juvenile picks are shots in the dark, but they represent a couple of yearlings that I was very impressed with at their respective sales…


Champion Two-Year-Old Colt(Curlin – Leslie's Lady, by Tricky Creek)

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly – (Street Sense – Charming Lauren, by Meadowlake)


Going against conventional thought here, but I believe Power Broker was the best two-year-old I saw this year, and I'm looking for the good looking son of Pulpit to come back even better in the spring for trainer Bob Baffert as he puts it all together. Speaking of Pulpit, I did not give a second thought to tabbing my favorite juvenile filly of this year, Sign, as my choice to win the Kentucky Oaks and then just keep on going in 2013. 


Champion Three-Year-Old MalePower Broker

Champion Three-Year-Old FillySign


Admit it ... you want to be a Mucho Macho Man too. I expect the big boy to be at his very best as a now fully mature five-year-old. No grade 1 wins yet? No problem, just watch his dust in '13, including going one better than his BC Classic runner-up finish at Santa Anita. I gave strong consideration to My Miss Aurelia on the female side, but in the end, R.D. is just too good.

Champion Older Male HorseMucho Macho Man

Champion Older Female HorseRoyal Delta


No surprises on the female set, as I already felt that Groupie Doll was the finest sprinter of either gender this year. It will be hard to knock her off her throne next year. On the male side, this may surprise many, but I believe Comma to the Top is close to breaking through in a big way next year as a professional sprinter and a five-year-old geding.

Champion SprinterComma to the Top

Champion Female SprinterGroupie Doll

After watching his powerful close in the Breeders' Cup Turf, I am now of the belief that Point of Entry has the potential to be America's best 1 1/2 mile turf horse in many years. Keeping in mind that the World Championships will once again be in Southern California next year, I could not go against Lady of Shamrock, who was close to being the best this year as a sophomore.

Champion Male Turf HorsePoint of Entry

Champion Female Turf Horse - Lady of Shamrock

You already know my early pick for the Breeders’ Cup Classic…

Horse of the Year Mucho Macho Man

There you have it, eleven predictions sure to entertain a least a ghost of a chance for 2013 glory. Don’t laugh, this was not easy … Have any very early predictions of your own?


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Older Comments about The Eclipse Awards: Very Early Predictions...

Some of the names came as a surprise! I wanted Little Mike to be on the list. He's my little hero!
Or shall I say THIS year, my bad.
*million likes*
He's gonna kick butt next year.
Yes rafirox, trinni is coming back. I love that horse.
I must say some of your choices are a surprise, but I sure hope MMM comes in with an upset for HOY! Would warm my heart, for sure. You obviously took the subjective approach in your choices -- nothing in the rules (hint: there aren't any!) that says you can't use whatever criteria you want in making your selections. While others are putting the candidates under a magnifying glass and examining their Grade 1 races, looking at their competition, ad nauseum, I think I like your approach best!!! Happy New Year, Brian!!
Does anyone know if Trinni is coming back next year? I sure hope so.
Comma to the Top could not run circles around Trinniberg!.... Absurd statement Here here....there were a few others
Comma to the Top could not run circles around Trinniberg!.... Absurd statement
more of an connection to DOJ that is.
I agree with your sprinting choice. I love Trinni. While I love My Happy Face I just have more of an emotional connection to her.. since her first start. I believe our three year old choice is *spot on* so to speak. (Yes, I know I have been going crazy with the little stars recently, LOL)
Thank you for criticizing my prediction! :) Much appreciated! Normal Cocoa.
Of course I don't. But, you would not have phrased it like that if it weren't me who posted that. You (As Armada Constantly Says) are trying to start an argument.
It isn't criticizing... did you think the point of this forum was for the world to praise your opinion?
Comma To The Top could run circles around Trinniberg
3 yr old male champ- Bern Identity 3 yr old female champ- My Happy Face. Male Sprinter- Trinniberg (If he is coming back?) if not, Comma to the Top. Female Sprint Champ- Groupie Doll. Horse Of the Year- Mucho Macho Man.Turf Male Champ- Point of Entry. Turf Female Champ- Lady of Shamrock. @ZATT: I agree with many of your picks, actually. @Andy: I bet the over :).
I only have 3 year old and horse of the year picks. 3 year old male Bern Identity 3 year old filly Dreaming Of Julia and HOY Animal Kingdom.
Very brave indeed. Hopefully half of them will at least still be running.
I say this because I think Wise Dan wins the classic this year, and if he ends up on the turf all year, he will win 7 Grade 1's. I also pick Groupie Doll because I think she wins the Sprint and not just the F&M Sprint, but I hope she runs and wins the Dirt Mile as well!
3YO Male: Brown Almighty---3 YO Female: Beholder---Older Male: Wise Dan---Older Female: Groupie Doll---HOY: Wise Dan (Again)

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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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