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Let Me Count The Ways

If you’re a regular reader, you know how much we love Einstein here – and how much we appreciate his Big Cap victory over the weekend. It’s amazing how much he’s accomplished (and how much he’s been through) with so little respect accorded (which is why we chose him as ‘most underrated‘ for 2008). His Saturday success (much hoped for here on Friday – note our mentions of the rest of the trifecta as well), which made Helen Pitts-Blasi the first woman to train a winner in the historic race, should finally put him on everyone else’s radar.

Our interest in Einstein dates back a few years (something it’s increasingly difficult to say about a racehorse today) – his frightening fall in the Dixie on Preakness day in 2007 and his subsequent return from injury the following January was only one element that endeared him to us; being perceived as the leftovers from a Curlin smorgasbord made him the ultimate underdog.

We’ve mentioned previously what we like so much about his breeding – and the Brazilian-bred son of Spend a Buck (the Derby champion who famously skipped the Triple Crown to take the then-larger Jersey Derby purse, leading to the now-defunct Triple Crown bonus) continues to prove that it’s possible to win going short, going long, on dirt, on turf, on synthetics – you name it. It seemed like poetic justice that Einstein became the first east-coast invader to win the Santa Anita Handicap since Broad Brush – another stellar all-around performer whose sturdiness and versatility seemed to become less fashionable in American breeding.

While his dodgy owners dragged Einstein into endless litigation and annoying licensing issues, Helen Pitts-Blasi continued to bring him along patiently and put him in all the right spots (even finishing a memorable second to his ex-stablemate Curlin in the Stephen Foster, on a surface he didn’t love).

Whether by design or by accident (see ‘litigation’ above), to have a stallion of Einstein’s obvious quality continuing to race at the age of 7 and earning great wins under so many different circumstances should be applauded by everyone in the sport – he’s proof that stars can continue to run and win, if only someone paid them a little attention. Here’s hoping we see him back at Santa Anita in the fall for the Breeders’ Cup Classic – he deserves it.

3 comments to Let Me Count The Ways

  • Handride

    Why celebrate the owners for doing the right thing when they are doing the same thing as other owners? All these owners are making a financial decision. What is Einstein’s value at stud? With the way he finished last year the owners knew he’d be a favorite for many of these early year older horse races w/ great purses and small fields. Plus the fact that he’s good on all surfaces gives him more chance to pick and choose where he’ll run.

    The lone exception that comes to mind is Curlin and Jess Jackson. He’s the only owner I know who has continued to race when breeding made more economic sense.

  • Superfecta

    I’m not celebrating his owners – just the horse and his trainer. I seriously doubt his owners are legally allowed to do anything to change Einstein’s status at present anyway – hence the point about the ongoing litigation.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for celebrating this wonderful “older gentleman” ~ I’ve always been a fan on Einstein, and I was so thrilled to read of this victory!

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