Saturday, November 7, 2009


(From the NY Times / Harry How, Getty Images)

I've said many times this week whilst draping, lighting, and decorating that less is more. And while I generally think that is the case...sometimes a little hyperbole and hoopla is well earned and much deserved. Zenyatta is one of those cases.

While I'm mostly in the Rachel Alexandra camp for HoTY (to be fair, she's the one I've seen in person, so I think that's part of why I'm so taken with her) I have to say I was thrilled when the big lady Z worked her magic in today's Breeders Cup Classic. She was a Woman among boys and showed us all what great heart and will to win she has.

After Quality Road's pre-gate drama, it was hard to say who would prevail in the Classic. I always think it's like a false start in an Olympic sprint or swimming race...super hard to recover after you've used up that adrenaline rush. But recover they did and a splendid race was afoot. Kudos to Mike Smith for showing yeomanlike patience during the opening furlongs. I've sometimes been critical of Mike for not being as patient as I thought he should have been (and let's face it, my criticizing him is utterly laughable, but yet I persist) but this time he really made good on all Zenyatta's great promise. And I have to add at this point how impressed I was with Gio Ponti's performance. For such a fantastic turf horse, he sure seemed happy on the Pro-Ride today. Well done to Gio Ponti and his connections as well.

Oddly, I wasn't skittish before this race as I always seem to be when Rachel runs. Part of it could be the NyQuil and cold meds that are dulling all my senses (and I'm thankful for that, really) but as much as I love Zenyatta, she simply inspires me a little less than Rachel does. And that's okay...I love them both, just Rachel a little more. What a quandry to find oneself in, right? Choosing a favorite between two of the best fillies/mares in the world is a pretty nice dilemma to have and one I'll happily mull over my "vote" for HoTY.

And here's my one small moment of schadenfreude...Mine That Bird bringing up the rear. Now I know that since he  won the Derby he should be the horse to cheer on. I'm sorry, but he just never captured my imagination. Sure, I was probably just unhappy about I Want Revenge's situation and overwhelmed by Rachel's Oaks win...but the little bay gelding never got to me. Nothing against him, but I never thought he was all that and a bag of chips, so I'm not surprised at his poor finish here.

A wonderful weekend of racing and I'm just glad I got to see so many wonderful performances. Huzzah to one and all who competed and made the 2009 Breeders Cup races such fun for the fans. All hail Zenyatta, for she truly won the day.

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