Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

No Blessing, It’s A Curse!

Posted by Brian Appleton on October 26, 2009

IndianBlessingJuvFilly2007

Indian Blessing

IndianBlessingPrioress2008

Indian Blessing

   breederscup2Well, it’s official, Indian Blessing will skip the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, trainer Bob Baffert made the announcement Sunday. I know the subject of a “synthetic Breeders Cup” two consecutive years has been done to death but here it goes.

   I think it was very irresponsible of the Breeders Cup to run the championships at the same track for two years straight. They should have seen the major fall out in domestic entries and realized that many fans would lose interest. I think the main reason they kept it on synthetics for two years was to attract the European runners, and while that has certainly happened, I don’t think it has expanded the viewing audience any, and it certainly hasn’t warmed the hearts of American fans who get left in the dust, denied the thrill of seeing their favorite dirt horses run. There are so many big name horses bypassing the Breeders Cup this year because of the synthetics that it is beginning to affect field quality in some cases. A horse as brilliant as Fabulous Strike should not be sitting out the premier sprint race of the season, nor should Indian Blessing be denied her “swan song” just because it’s on a track she doesn’t like. Nobody can change it, but at least we can make our opinions heard.

Indian Blessing

Indian Blessing

  Indian Blessing has been a personal favorite of mine for the last two years so I was sorely disappointed to hear she would not be pre-entered in the Breeders Cup but understood the reasons why and can’t say as I blame the connections for this decision. She ran a subpar race last year when passed in the stretch by a victorious Ventura in the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (who returns to defend her title this year) and most, including trainer Bob Baffert and owners Hal and Patti Earnhardt, attribute her lackluster performance to a dislike of the Pro-Ride synthetic track.  Baffert stated that Indian Blessing has shown a dislike for the synthetic track while posting her recent workouts. “”She just doesn’t like the track. What can you do? She looks good. It’s frustrating. I’m not going to pre-enter (in the Filly and Mare Sprint) because I don’t want the temptation to change my mind.” He told the Daily Racing Form. Baffert also said that Indian Blessing is scheduled to be bred next spring and is unsure if she will race again this year before she retires. I’m hoping out of pure selfishness that she does run at least once more so I can say a proper goodbye in the form of screaming myself hoarse while cheering her down the stretch one last time. Whichever way the decision goes, she has had a stellar career thus far and if she retired now it would be on a very high note off her impressive victory in the Gallant Bloom (gr.1) against Sara Louise. A fitting ending for deserving champion. To date, she has won 10 of 16 starts, was named 2007’s Juvenile Filly of the Year and the 2008 Champion Female Sprinter, and has earned $2,995,420, just shy of the $3 million mark. One of the most consistent runners of her sex for years, she has certainly proved to be a blessing to this fan.

 

Einstein1

Einstein

   You have to take the good with the bad but there’s always some measure of joy to be found.  Mine came when I read about Einstien’s work and soon departure for Santa Anita and the Breeders Cup Classic. Einstien went the fastest of 54 works at the five furlong distance over the Churchill Downs track today getting the distance in :59:80, a splendid time. Jockey  Julien Leparoux was extremely pleased with the work as was trainer Helen Pitts who said her seven year old star will be shipping out on the 27th for Santa Anita. This horse has managed to fill some of the void left by Curlin’s retirement from racing, and has won me over just by the way he consistently gives his whole heart in the run.

 

Summer Bird2

Summer Bird

   Summer Bird also worked five furlongs between races at Oak Tree today, getting the distance in 1:00.45. Trainer Tim Ice said “The work was great, this was exactly what we wanted. He looked super getting over the track and he’s been getting over it very well ever since we got here.” Regular rider Kent

   Desormeaux was aboard for the work and said the horse “enjoyed it and galloped out super.”

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2 Responses to “No Blessing, It’s A Curse!”

  1. Carla Ruth said

    I am also a big fan of Indian Blessing, in fact if the Breeders’ Cup had been run on dirt this year she would be my top pick for the Filly and Mare Sprint. As for having the BC at Santa Anita two years in a row; I think another reason might have been to encourage the “Hollywood” crowd to attend to provide more publicity for horse racing. Whether or not that has helped, I can’t tell.

    • Absolutely Carla, I was still going to choose her this year even on synthetics. She came in second by open lengths last year, granted there was no Informed Decision and Ventura, but I still think she would have done well against this years group.
      The “Hollywood” crowd is a very good thought, I actually thought of that at last years Breeders Cup but it didn’t seem to bring to many big names out. The Kentucky Derby is the only race that seems to do that.

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