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Zipse At The Track

ZATT’s Star of the Week, is … Princess of Sylmar!


Super Saturday more than lived up to its name, not only the star-studded cast assembled at Belmont Park, but at Santa Anita and Churchill Downs, as well. On a day littered with memorable performances, selecting one as the best over the rest can be an unenviable task...

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Fort Larned turned on the speed to roll over his Homecoming Classic foes. Not to be outdone, the BC Turf champ, Little Mike showed he still has it with a brave and determined win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. While the news broke today that one Juvenile Champion retired, another dazzled yesterday at Santa Anita, as Beholder blitzed her competition while running against older for the first time. Tiz Flirtatious and Laughing continued their winning turf ways on respective coasts, while Private Zone proved resolute on the lead. Bond Holder finished with a flourish, and Graydar reminded us what we had all been missing the past several months. But none of them are this week’s leading star. 

The decision only became tougher from there. A majestic looking steed who seemingly had lost his way, Ron the Greek uncoiled his powerful late kick at Belmont Park like we had not seen since he won the Sunshine Millions Classic by a pole. The result was a massive victory over Palace Malice, Flat Out, and all the rest in a strong Jockey Club Gold Cup. The 6 ¾ length romp in the 1:59.70 was one of the best performances of the year … but was it enough to be tops for the week?

A few races earlier on the Super Saturday card, the showdown that we were all waiting for materialized as two fantastic females came together when the Beldame field turned for home. Royal Delta, the undisputed queen of female dirt racing the past few years, was on the inside. Princess of Sylmar, a Pennsylvania-bred who has gone from maidens at Penn National last fall to dominating the most prestigious three-year-old fillies races of the year this year, was on the outside. The battle lasted only briefly, as youth was soon served. The little three-year-old filly powered by her decorated opponent in emphatic style.

Then last, but certainly not least, Mucho Macho Man returned to the scene of his narrow loss in last year’s Classic with an overpowering victory in the Grade 1 Awesome Again. Looking right at home on the same Santa Anita track that will once again host the Breeders’ Cup Classic in five weeks, the five-year-old horse finally earned his first grade 1 victory, after four seasons of being a factor in big races. His 4 ¼ length victory over Paynter in 1:48 and change points him out as a real contender in the Classic again this year.

Let’s face it, all three performances were off the charts, and anyone of the three are worthy. In the end, I decided on the performance that I deemed the most important. Ron the Greek was great, and it was nice to see him at his best again. Mucho Macho Man’s win not only demonstrated that he is back to absolute top form again, but finally getting that long overdue grade 1 win was a needed cherry on his career. But even above both of those, in my eyes, was the winner of the showdown. Presumed to be a champion already at year’s end, Princess of Sylmar proved something when she took it to a whole new level yesterday. By beating by far the best older mare in the country yesterday, and in convincing style, she not only clinched an Eclipse Award, but she also became a real player in the Horse of the Year race.


ZATT’s Star of the Week, is … Princess of Sylmar. 


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Older Comments about ZATT’s Star of the Week, is … Princess of Sylmar!...

@good sense of humor Sullivan...LOL
After a breakup, it is best to ignore the other person, sword...
One more thing..Why don't you go off on Travel Vic when he is making all his rude comments to kids, woman and men?
Get some help if you think "Clouded mind" is rude. Second, get back in the box because it is just an expression, nothing personal against the horses(BTW..Orb is my favorite so whats your problem?). Third, I'm glad you didn't see what rafi say about you a couple weeks ago, HRN would have to get a whole new section for you to rant. BTW..I don't need any buddies to like my comments. Everyone can see that you go overboard to defend Travel_vic(maybe rafi comment was correct) or you get way too emotional when it comes to Royal Delta.
Let's see. Okay, first, ad hominem, but true, but not seeking that here. 1. Your comment was rude anyway. 2. Still don't see who was saying the top two weren't in it to win, but that doesn't mean others cannot have a different opinion of how the race looked to them, and I don't "trip", in the manner you most likely mean. I don't use human competitors phrases like ass handed to them for horses. And, finally, I am delighted that you were thinking about my "knickers". Must be a slow day since your buddies haven't "liked" all over your comments yet. Maybe I'll give you a like or two.
Mary you need some serious help. 1) My comment was not directed to you. 2) "Clouded mind" for those who think Royal Delta wasn't there too win(Maybe you think he was there as a prep, could that be the reason why you're tripping?) Yes, I'm still a fan of Royal Delta but that doesn't mean I will make excuse for her. Same as I won't make any excuse for the Princess if she was to lose. Same goes for ORB, he got his ass handed to him with no excuse. Don't get your knickers in a twist.
How is "clouded mind" not rude, zx?
Look how he puts it now, after saying he became a fan of Royal Delta. Interesting change.
clueless and proud of it. my goodness
This tells it like it really was. LITTLE MIKE three wide around both turns, was patiently handled all the way to the end of the backstretch, advanced in unison with KING KREESA departing it, overhauled the spent former pacesetter near the midway point, edged away with the advantage to lead the field into the stretch and was set down, had a pair of rivals in hot pursuit a furlong down the road, dug in gamely to fend off the running....WELL STATED by those who know how to state what ws obvious
In addition, I don't need you to tell me that Little Mike and Big Blue Kitten or Private Zone and Justin Philips run a game race.
There are fans and there are idiots. I'm a fan, you fill in the blank which one you are? Where is it again that I declare that I was evaluating anything?
No evaluating what a poos sense of the game you have, always di
^and emotion too?
Yes, it was the highlight of my weekend. So now you are interpreting my thoughts and feeling? Get a freaking life...BTW..the Vosburgh Invitational S. was equally the Joe Hirsch.
One filly coasts and another animal showes a degree of grit and determination I have rarely seen since another good long ago, SUnshine Forever....NOT EVEN COMPARABLE
Highlight of the weekend??? Then you could not have seen Little Mike!
Hi Mary, My comment was not directed at you. I was referring to kait comments about everyone making excuse for Royal Delta lost and not crediting the Princess. She got beaten by a better horse on that day. I don't get your comment about you restraining yourself to my rudeness. If I was being rude by agreeing with kait comment then I don't know what to say about your interpretation.
tomollios you're too much. You respond defensively to a post of mine that had nothing to do with you. Nowhere in my post did I mention you or refer to you so why would you think the post is about you? Put your ego in your hat. It's obvious my post was referring to hannah's post that the jockey wasn't trying. It may come as a shock to you but not all posts are about you.

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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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