Back On Track
Posted by Brian Appleton on November 30, 2010
My apologies for taking such a long time in returning to post once again. Computer issues kept me from finishing my Breeders’ Cup postings and coving the Cigar Mile and Clark Handicap but I think the computer problems are behind me…or at least the majority of them I hope!
In what has become a yearly tradition a slew of champions and some of the nation’s most talented runners were retired soon after the Breeders’ Cup Championships were over. Leading the list of high profile retirees was dual Older Champion Female Zenyatta who is a cinch to win the Championship title for a third consecutive year. She is now dead-locked in a heated Horse of the Year battle with Breeders’ Cup Classic victor and arch nemesis this year, Blame. During her undefeated 2008 and 2009 campaigns Zenyatta lost the coveted title mainly due to almost exclusively racing in California. This year was beyond a doubt the year of Zenyatta but her chances are once again teetering on a precipice after a somewhat conservative 5 race campaign prior to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. For what it’s worth I am in her corner this year, after the things she achieved both on the track and in the hearts of millions of racing fans across the globe she deserves this special award. Blame may have the better record this year but more than just the black and white should be taken into account this year.
This weekend seemed to fall victim to long shots and disqualifications. Both the Clark Handicap and Japan Cup were won by solid favorites who were both taken down from the top spot for interference, while the Cigar Mile was won by a streaking Jersey Town at odds of 34-1 and the Citation was won by Victor’s Cry at odds of 11-1. On the other hand favorites ruled the board in Remsen, Gazelle and Golden Rod. To Honor and Serve served notice with his easy front-running Remsen victory that he could be a force to be reckoned with on the 2011 Triple Crown trail. Kathmanblu, fresh off a close third place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf absolutely toyed with field in the Golden Rod at Churchill Downs, romping home a winner be more than 8 lengths. Her goal for next year has already been set, the Kentucky Oaks and after her Golden Rod performance you have to think she is going to be a huge threat. Trainer Cindy Jones received the fairy tale send-off she had been dreaming of when No Such Word won the Grade 1 Gazelle as the final runner in her short, but brilliant, training career. In 2011 husband Larry Jones will come out of retirement and begin training again after a lengthy break.
More to come soon.