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Tuesday Metapost | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Tuesday Metapost

I spent much of Saturday glued to TVG (now a TBA sponsor) since the Powers That Be did not see fit to otherwise televise more than one of the eleven G1 races featured this weekend between Belmont and Santa Anita (not to mention the overseas races). Before the star performances, however, there were a few upsets along the way.

First, Henrythenavigator finally saw the back of Raven’s Pass — a horse he has beaten three times. They may face each other once more this season in California; one imagines that the weather and firmer ground would favor Henrythenavigator — after last year’s nightmare with George Washington, I wonder if they would be so keen on trying the Breeders’ Cup if this year’s installment were at a muddy Belmont. Ginger Punch was not so lucky against Cocoa Beach in the Beldame and Street Boss was also outfinished in the Ancient Title, but neither could really be said to have run a terrible race — they both just seemed a bit tired.

The new surface at Santa Anita proved no impediment to superstar Zenyatta (pictured); she’s (almost always easily) beaten the best fillies of her generation, and Saturday’s Lady’s Secret was no different. Hystericalady gave it all she had, but when jockey Mike Smith asked Zenyatta to go, she loped off, leaving the few who dared to face her in the dust. Her consummate ease in the Distaff division suggests that she might take a crack at the Classic – but perhaps next year. Let her win the Filly & Mare Classic this go-round, let the dust settle and swoop in for next year’s Classic Classic. If she’s this good at 4, she could be even more of a monster at 5 — and I would not be surprised if retirement was an easy excuse for some top colts to duck her.

Curlin’s record-breaking Jockey Club Gold Cup repeat was almost coolly professional; he clearly knew just what he had to do and dispatched his rivals with no trouble once called upon. He’s earned his place in history while the rest of his agemates sat on the sidelines watching — and I doubt they would have matched his success. I was not a Curlin fan during last year’s Triple Crown series; I didn’t like the path he took to the Derby, I didn’t like his jailbird owners and I especially did not like that he was switched from Helen Pitts to Steve Asmussen. I give a lot of credit to Jess Jackson for trying to iron out the ownership situation and even more to the horse himself for proving what he was capable of — count me on the bandwagon. Here’s hoping we see him in the Classic – and, if we are lucky, next year. We’ll see how he settles in at Santa Anita.

Of course, there were many other fine performances — Wait a While’s Yellow Ribbon was another confident victory by a star, although her effort is being somewhat eclipsed by Curlin and Zenyatta’s stories — but having watched Zenyatta win, it’s easy to see why others seem to pale in comparison.

Check back later this week for more on last weekend’s races (which will likely involve a discursion into folklore — you have been warned) and a preview of Sunday’s Arc, which should see Zarkava take on Duke of Marmalade

1 comment to Tuesday Metapost

  • Anonymous

    Zarkava is sublime. Zenyatta the usa’s qualifier for sublime. Distaffers ain’t no ladies. They’s the real mulligan!

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