Secretariat

The Horse That Won’t Leave Me Alone

Here are my thoughts, afterthoughts, and somewhat whimsical thoughts of this year’s Breeders’ Cup, which, as usual, had plenty of storylines, both good and bad. ~ Steve Haskin

The Horse That Won’t Leave Me Alone

By Steve Haskin

 

After the Kentucky Derby I wrote a column on how I, or dare I say my wife, blew an opportunity to own a micro share in Authentic through one of the colt’s co-owners MyRacehorse.com. But micro or not, sometimes a strand a horse’s tail is worth more than a strand of golden pearls.

But that’s OK, there are no regrets, especially since I have said all year that Authentic didn’t fit the profile of a Derby winner. Then he got beat by a filly in the Preakness and all seemed normal once again. He wouldn’t have the audacity to rebound from that and beat the best older horses in the country as well as Tiz the Law once again under far better conditions for the runaway Travers winner.

But I noticed something in the Preakness. Authentic’s Thoro-Graph figure was a sensational negative-3 ¼, which was a great deal faster than the winner. That figure also made him the fastest horse going into the Breeders’ Cup Classic, faster even than his illustrious older stablemates Improbable and Maximum Security.

We witnessed in the Derby and Preakness just how far Authentic had progressed mentally from his races in the spring. That progression manifested itself in his gutsy performances. Whether he won or lost he had become a fighter, a mentally tough pro who no longer believed in waving a white flag as he did in the Santa Anita Derby when he let Honor A.P. sweep by him without a fight.

So that gave him credibility in the Classic, but would they let him dash out to a clear lead and control the pace as he did in the Derby and the way he wants to run? Certainly Maximum Security wouldn’t allow it, nor would Global Campaign. And you knew for certain that Derby runner-up Tiz the Law would be tracking him like a bloodhound chasing a drag. He was not going to let the scent fade this time. And how about Higher Power bringing his California speed east well before the Breeders’ Cup and turning in five spectacular works at Keeneland?

But then something happened. Keeneland, or whoever was in charge of such things, decided, as some racetracks tend to do on big days, that track records equate to quality, and on Breeders’ Cup day the track had somehow turned into a paved highway. There were no fans in attendance, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t break track records all day. And break them they did. Six-furlong record…gone. Seven-furlong record…gone. One-mile record…gone.

And now came the big finale. When I covered the Classic for the Blood-Horse I usually had to write 3,000 to 3,500 words. In this space I can accomplish that with far fewer words. Authentic goes to the lead. The others decide to become merely spectators and are content to just watch his Big Ass Fanny get smaller and smaller. Just like on the old Keeneland conveyor belt, Authentic bounds away in isolated splendor as if in a morning workout. The result: the mile and a quarter record…gone. Speedway closed. Breeders’ Cup over. Horse of the Year decided. Story written. And to rub salt in the wound, he had the audacity to tack on a million-dollar bonus by winning the Haskell, Derby, and Classic.

It didn’t take long for my Facebook page to explode with comments about the track like: “Infuriating,” “a total farce,” “ridiculous,” “shame on them,” and to sum it up, someone resorted to Woody Allen’s classic line from the movie Bananas: “It was a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.” One veteran horsewoman wrote: “On Friday morning, standing on the apron, my first thought was ‘Well, I hope they put the cushion back on. It sounded like thunder out there.’”

This is not a knock on Authentic by any means. He has proven himself to be the fastest of the fast with a warrior’s attitude and the ability to outrun his speed-oriented pedigree.

Not owning a snippet of his flying mane is well behind me. I can appreciate the horse for what he is and what he has meant to the thousands of people who did cough up the $206 to be part of this magical adventure.

But now that the Classic is over I can finally rid myself of the spectre of this horse. My wife couldn’t care less because she isn’t the one who feels compelled to write about him. Well, actually neither do I if I don’t want to. We all know that the ownership, headed by Spendthrift Farm, is not going to resist the siren’s call of the breeding shed and all those big bucks the shareholders will be able to start raking in.

In fact, to show what a sport I am and how much I feel the racing fans deserve another year of Authentic to see what further growth there is, and to possibly allow him the chance to get inducted into the Hall of Fame, I dare, no doubledare, no doubledogdare, Spendthrift Farm and partners to keep him in training next year even at the expense of me having to endure his presence hanging over my head for another year. Either way I win. But I am thinking of the sport we know as horse RACING. The sport needs Authentic to race next year. So does Authentic’s legacy.

So I have thrown down the challenge. Let’s stop retiring our stars when they are still basically teenagers. Now, you may ask yourself, does he really want this horse to hang around another year and torment him or is he really serious about keeping him in training for the good of the sport?

Just remember, I grew up in this sport watching Buckpasser, Damascus, Dr. Fager, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and Spectacular Bid remain in training at 4 and solidify their greatness. I know the joy and excitement of seeing a horse reach his full potential, just as the younger generation has seen the potential of Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify and other 3-year-olds go unfulfilled.

If Authentic leaves us after eight lifetime starts, racing will have chipped away another piece of its already eroding structure. As for me, I will miss seeing what he can accomplish next year with even more maturity and I will feel badly for all the deprived fans. But at least I won’t have to write about him anymore.

Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to sell their share at a profit, I can go up to $207.

The Rest of the Story

Robert La Penta wisely decided to stay home and watch the Breeders’ Cup on TV rather than cheer on his Sprint runner Whitmore and Mile runner Uni in person. As much as he wanted to be there, especially to say farewell to his beloved 7-year-old Whitmore, who was making his fourth attempt at the Sprint, he decided not to take any risks.

“I was seriously considering going,” La Penta said. “It’s not the same there with Covid, and I am high risk, being only 80 to 90 percent back from Legionnaires disease (that nearly killed him several years ago).”

By watching on TV, La Penta was able to see something that lifted his confidence level. As Whitmore was being loaded, he lashed back in full force with his hind legs and didn’t miss the assistant starter by that much.

“When I saw him kicking, I thought, ‘I’m good.’” La Penta said.

After Whitmore drew off to win the Sprint, capping off an amazing career and chalking one up for the oldtimers, La Penta could not hold back the tears. “I’ve been crying since he won,” he said. “What a legend. What a hero.”

And that is what racing needs more than anything – heroes.

Before the Breeders’ Cup, Jill Baffert, wife of trainer Bob Baffert, admitted the trying times the family have been going through, especially with the two positive drug tests from Gamine this year, both attributed to contamination.

“We’re just trying to stay down and avoid all incoming missiles,” she said. “Thank God for the horses… they are the bright spot in hard times.  We’ll get through it. I’m praying so hard for Gamine to win. That sweet little thing has so much going on around her. She’s such a love, so beautiful and kind. It crushes my soul; all of it.”

So, as if to show just what a sensational filly she is and to silence the doubters, she went out and crushed the fastest filly sprinters in the country to remain undefeated around one turn. Beautiful and kind, she has proven once again she is a freakishly fast filly who can run the proverbial hole in the wind.

And, of course, a salute to the great Monomoy Girl and all those who were willing and able to bring her back after 18 months, having already won a championship and an Breeders’ Cup race. It was so wonderful to see such a sporting gesture get rewarded. Now she can retire as one of the truly great ones.

What a shame that the amazing campaigns of Swiss Skydiver and Starlight Jubilee had to end so ignominiously, with the indefatigable Swiss Skydiver stumbling badly at the start of the Distaff and dropping back to the rear the field where she had no chance. She did put in a strong run along the rail, but could not sustain it, especially on such a speed-favoring track. And then you had the 7-year-old Canadian-based former claimer turned Horse of the Year Starship Jubilee, who was coming a Grade 1 victory over the boys in the Woodbine Mile, stumbling so badly at the start she threw her rider. A sad ending for both fillies.

And finally a shout out to the remarkable Irish-trained filly Magical, who once again finished second in the BC Turf. The 5-year-old mare concluded her career with 16 consecutive races against the boys, 14 of them Grade 1, and finishing in the money in 15 of them. She will be missed.

Make of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup what you want. It came at a tumultuous and trying time in America and, except for the racetrack, brought two days of excitement and sanity to racing fans.

OK, I’ll go up to $208 for that Authentic share.

11/9/20 Postscript:

Authentic retired — what took them so long?

There are two sounds I am hearing today:

“Ka-ching” — the sound of a cash register 

“Bang” — the sound of another door slamming in the face of racing, and the sound of the door of the Hall of Fame slamming in the face of another horse whisked off to stud at 3.

Photo by Eclipse Wire courtesy of Breeders’ Cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

59 Responses to “The Horse That Won’t Leave Me Alone”

  1. Carolina Corl says:

    Condolences for your lost micro share. I too am in that club. However I am still claiming bragging rights of the “almost” kind. Horses run great races every day even when they don’t win. The advent of technology has made it much easier to keep up with the thoroughbred industry and make comparisons between horses, trainers, jockeys, stables, breeders, and tracks. For that I am glad and forever hoping for the best from all involved.

  2. dance with fate says:

    ‘..ignominiously’ ~ surely not in the same sentence as valiant ‘Swiss Skydiver’ or ‘Starship Jubilee’. Imperfect ~ a part of why we take our equine heroes to heart. (Your article on ‘Vox Populi’ gives justly deserved praise for Swiss Skydiver ~and all the fine candidates.). Brilliant Gamine, sweet victory for Whitmore, cheers for Magical, Australia’s son shining ~ but also thoughts of every runner, especially those who give all, like Absolutely Aiden. Such courage, generosity & trust in their natures.

  3. Matthew Wohlken says:

    FOUR track records…..in one day!….somebody on the Keelerman blog compares Knicks Go to Dr Fager(yep)….

  4. Davids says:

    Friday’s card of the Breeders’ Cup carnival appeared perfect, apart for those with outside posts but that’s Keeneland, you’re lucky with the draw or youkre not. Front runners and closers seemed evenly matched, the day was exciting and fun. Your mind drifted away from political acrimony and the fear of COVID-19. You looked forward to Saturday’s races with keen anticipation.

    Alas, within seconds of the first race starting the spell was broken – the track was now a speed favoring, bias track. Is this fair? Why does this happen so often? The Breeders’ Cup Classic, with all the hype of being one of the best fields in ages, turned into a boring conveyor-belt ride. If this is US dirt racing at the top level then what future does US racing really have?

    Whitmore, Monomoy Girl, and Tarnawa saved the day. Glorious triumphs. Steve, an excellent summation

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thanks, David. When you have so many fast talrnted horses running you have to make sure that track is fair and not scraped. Breaking four track records in one day is not normal and closers seemed to be at a disadvantnage epecially in the two tiurn races

      • Davids says:

        That’s right, Steve. These ‘assisted’ track records at the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday equate to advances in running shoes, tennis racquet/balls, racing bicycles, swimming pool design etc which aided some athletes to improve their time/game dramatically. However, it’s not the actor who is ‘special’ but the technology.

        If the the track was fair on Saturday would Improbable have been the winner, more than likely.

    • perimeister says:

      Tarnawa was indeed glorious and a complete surprise – to me anyway. She seemed to emerge from nowhere, like a bat out of some dark, hot place. Whitmore and Monomoy Girl also glorious, yes, tho’ less surprising to me.

  5. Deacon says:

    Bummer on Authentic being retired. It is certainly not unexpected. Looks like most bloggers believed he would be retired as you did Steve. Another nail in the coffin for horse racing.
    I now wonder if Charlatan, Maxfield or some of the other 3 year old’s will come back. What a promising year we ONCE had.

  6. Kara says:

    Hey Steve… I just saw your Postscript. Couldn’t have put it any better !!! (I wonder if they thought keeping Monomoy Girl and Got Stormy racing would lessen the blow)! Personally, I thought MG looked tired and I think her trainer said he’s stressed every time she races. Thought Got Stormy has proven her all. On Authentic, their ‘excuse’ is very UNauthentic, non-sporting, and bad for the horse who should race now and spend one year less covering a zillion mares (honestly, there should be limits as per scientific evidence re: health of the horse and quantity of breeding)

    • Steve Haskin says:

      It’s all anout money. Authentic is worth more as a stallion and Monomoy Girl is worth more as a racehorse, potemtially earning millions on the track.

      • Kara says:

        They could play the song “Mo-ney makes the world go round….” from Cabaret as the horses come onto the track for the BC Classic. Sorry, that’s sad, but this is truly a sad situation. The NYTimes putting the Sports section inside the Business section really spelled it out. How do we revive the ‘sport’. Does the same happen in the U.K. and France….

      • slewcrew7778 says:

        The equation is really that simple. And it’s a sad one for the ‘sport’ of horse racing.

  7. Derek Manthey says:

    You are so right. We need heroes. Authentic not running at 4 leaves a hole in his legacy and no joy for us. I thought that the Preakness gutted Authentic and Swiss Skydiver. but no ,not Authentic . They named him right HE IS AUTHENTIC.

    • Kara says:

      Hi Derek, From my seat, Swiss Skydiver was tired, not only from the Preakness but her whole campaign. What was it that she ran.. about twice as many races as Authentic (plus the travel and settling in that was involved). Seriously a tough year for her in comparison to any others. I don’t believe the losses are so terrible; I wonder if Toms D’Etat had a race in that gap, maybe he would have fared better.. Agree totally that Authentic should race on; let him compete! Two races do not a champion make!

      • Steve Haskin says:

        Remember, she stumbled badly enough at the start to fall to the back of the field, costing her all chance

        • Kara says:

          True. I can’t imagine a human falling to their knees and getting back up to race on, and as spirited as SS was to get through on the rail. Quite a feat, really.

  8. Ethan says:

    I know this won’t be a popular opinion but I had no problem with the track and I thought it was an amazing weekend of races. I genuinely had a blast watching it and I am so thankful for streaming because I did not miss a single race even though I couldn’t be at home for more than half of them.

    I knew Maximum Security had a really tall task to get up there with Authentic from the outside, but once they made it to the first turn I was pretty sure no one was going to run Authentic down. As you said Steve, he has really matured and he proved himself to me in the Preakness. That was an amazing race and he was flying. It took the fastest Preakness other than Secretariat to beat him that day so I was pretty confident that he would hold up on that track. I really want to see him race at 4. He really can’t hurt his legacy if he does as no one will care if he loses a race compared to what he has already done. I doubt they do it, but it sure would help racing if they let him run one more year.

    All of that said, the micro-shares of Authentic did a lot for horse racing this year and that is going to be a very popular option going forward. It was brilliant marketing and I think it will help grow interest in the sport. No one could have dreamed of a home run on the first try with Authentic, but they go it and it should pay off.

    Lastly, hats off to Improbable who ran a big race as well. He just didn’t have a chance on that track with that speed in front of him. But he has been special the past year and will be a very popular option in the breeding shed I believe.

  9. Coldfacts says:

    I find the theme of your essay interesting. Is it a case of horses that you will not leave alone as opposed to horses who will not leave you alone. The former appears to be the case.

    Would you consider Tacitus as a horse who will not leave you alone? You specified that the Tapit colt can win a G1 on any given Saturday if conditions are right. I disagreed with you then and now. But I fully understand what the theme of your essay represents.

    I try not to bet to committed horses but I will question the dismissal of those whom I perceived merit attention. There are horse that I am unlikely to forget. Those are the horses that provided me with lucrative ROI. The little knowledge I posses about thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred Racing, I used to make money. As a result a $5K claimer will be firmly in memory if it provided a major ROI.

    On Breeder Cup Day I was high on a few horses. Global Campaign and Valiance were amongst them. Valiance’s 2nd place finish in the Distaff returned $180 exacta for $1. How often does short price favorite wins and the exact pays $360 for $2. I made a handsome ROI from that race. Global Campaign finished 3rd. I was willing him to be 2nd as my tris and exactas would have been better I made no money on the exacta but had the tri to propelled me above break even for the race. I knew nothing of Oder OF Australia but he will live on in my memory as his win BC Turf Mile provided me with a $2,000 exacta.

    I try not to be too sentimental about horses. Those about which stories are not written are as significant and meaningful as those about which stories are written. A $5K claimer can be as impactful as a G1 winner.

    Whilst not being sentimental, I can appreciate your passionate disclosures above.

  10. 1JoeP says:

    Hello Steve- wish I would have included Authentic in my late P3. Shame is Improbable rallied well but wasn’t going to reel in the talented loose on the lead Authentic. I needed Rushing Fall to hold of Audarya in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint to win the P4. I was feeling good about my chances after Glass Slippers at 10-1 pulled off the upset in the Turf Sprint. Onto Derby 2021 Steve. All of us are looking forward on your take of the crop of 2021 three year olds in the run for the roses.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Yes, I am looking forward to finding the next 3-year-old who will be retired early 🙂

      • Paula Higgins says:

        One of the best comments ever “I am looking forward to finding the
        next 3 year old who will be retired early.” That is spot on. It is pretty
        much a business now and not so much about the joy of racing and keeping
        the sport going. There are exceptions and I am thankful for them.

  11. Deacon says:

    I watched both Friday & Saturday’s Breeder’s Cup races. My big takeaway was witnessing Gamine’s 7 furlong 1:20 1/5 in the filly & mare sprint. That was eye dropping. Maybe it is me but I felt that the purity of the Breeder’s Cup has lost some luster.
    I truly Monomoy Girl’s great performance as my standout race. I was very disappointed in Maximum Security’s performance as well as Tiz the Law. I believe that if the Derby was run in May then Tiz would have won it. I don’t think Swiss Skydiver runs in the Preakness if it is held in May as well, but not sure. This year all around has been a total fuster-cluck.
    Nevertheless Steve I real loved reading this synopsis of the Breeder’s Cup.
    I know it happen but I am firm believer that these races belong at Santa Anita. Not Del Mar, not Keeneland, not Monmouth or Churchill Downs. Belmont Park would be OK with me as well.
    Churchill Downs has the Kentucky Derby, Monmouth has the Haskell, Del Mar has the Pacific Classic but that short stretch & sharp turns make it very difficult for a closer. Obviously Keeneland has many big races including the Blue Grass Stakes.
    Santa Anita has their Derby & Handicap but both races have lost a lot of luster through the years.

    Anyway, this was a great write & I was sharing sharing some thoughts.

    • Coldfacts says:

      Now are you Mr. Deacon?

      I hope all is well.

      • Deacon says:

        I am fine, thank you.
        I should stop writing late at night here on the west coast. I make way too many typo’s, I apologize for that.

        As far as the Breeder’s Cup races go I am starting to not enjoy these races anymore. I thought the track was very favorable to front runners and there were too many turf races and 2 year old races for my liking.
        My wife put $20 on Glass Slippers and she won’t let me forget it, ha ha.
        Of the 2 days I had 2 winners, Monomoy Girl (who didn’t pick her) & Whitmore (Breeder’s Cup Sprint).

    • Paula Higgins says:

      I am laughing my head off at “fuster-duck” and those are
      my sentiments exactly. We feel exactly the same Deacon.
      I was disappointed about Max but I felt like this was not going
      to be a race he could win. I have no idea if it was being off whatever
      Servis was giving him for his knees, Baffert’s training methods didn’t
      suit him, or he was just tired and done. Love him regrdless. He owes
      no one anything. Tiz the Law, his ride lost him any chance whatsoever.
      So disappointed for him. Let’s see what he does in the Pegasus with a
      new jockey.

      • Deacon says:

        We both agree Paula. Max & the Baffert training of him seemed to be an after thought.
        One thing to mention, yes Baffert is a great trainer but its not like he doesn’t get the best horses from the prominent owners.
        I felt like he put his efforts into his 3 year old’s & Max was left out.
        Yes FUSTER-CLUCK, I can’t say those other words nor would I.
        Authentic ran a great race and he deserved to win. He was one of my favorites for the Derby in the spring.
        It’s just me but having the Breeder’s Cup at Keeneland is just not the right setting. Larry Colmus did a great job of calling the races. He is the best in the business along with John Dooley I believe.
        Oh well, now we wait for Steve’s Derby Dozen to get us through much of the window.

  12. Laura Lanham says:

    Well one thing you failed to mention was Adrien after all these years having his horses come in 1,2,3 and the winner went off at 70-1. The turf course was very good that day.

  13. Paula Higgins says:

    Once no one really challenged Authentic for the lead, that was all she wrote. I think Tiz the Law
    was the best bet to do that but the ride he got from Manny
    was simply awful. I doubt he will be riding him again. The post position was not great and did not
    help, but Manny had opportunities to either let him run along the rail or
    move over and then run. So what could have been a real
    horse race, wasn’t. Swiss Skydiver showed that when you try and run with Authentic, you
    just might win. Tiz the Law was never given that chance.

    Monomoy Girl was once again her breathtaking self and I am so glad she is going to be running
    again next year. What a gift.

    Whitmore, what a feel good story that was. Made a lot of us happy.

    • Kara says:

      Totally agree with you. I vote for Ferrin Peterson.

    • Davids says:

      Paula, as much as I agree with your sentiments/frustration with regard to Manny Franco’s ride on Tiz the Law, the track bias at Keeneland favoreds Authentic to the extent that, unless other jockeys were willing to ‘sacrifice’ their mounts, Authentic was a shoe in unless Johnny V fell off.

      Time and time, again you see in major carnivals US tracks turned into ‘speedways,’ as Steve mentioned above, so that track records are broken. Why, it’s beyond me. Watching conveyer-belt racing is utterly boring.

      Wasn’t Whitmore’s win fantastic and Kurt Becker’s best call ever?

      • Paula Higgins says:

        Davids, you are right, it was a speed track and it certainly favored Authentic. It was pretty
        much a given as you said. I do not like conveyor belt racing at all and that was an excellent
        observation. I am beginning to think you have racing totally right over there in Britain and
        we have a lot wrong. Our track surfaces are all over the place and results can sometimes
        reflect that.

        Whitmore made a good day for me. I was so happy to see that and yes, the call was great!
        Monomoy Girl was brilliant also.

        So, Authentic is being retired. How expected, how typical, and how unfortunate for the sport.

        • Paula Higgins says:

          Meant to add Gamine too! She was a speed Queen. Happy
          to see her do so well at a shorter distance.

        • Davids says:

          Paula, don’t be too hard on Spendthrift, they may be taking Authentic on one hand but with the other they are giving racing another year of Monomoy Girl. Albeit, through a staggering $9.5 million bid. That’s pretty generous.

          Just in passing, all the 2 year olds managed to compete perfectly without the assistance of lasix. There is something else to be cheery about for the future as well.

          • Steve Haskin says:

            No instant financial gain with fillies. They can earn more on the track than at stud producing one foal a year. Authentic is worth more now than he ever will be. It’s all about value and profits and no longer about the sport

  14. Sarah McCarthy says:

    I saw a video of Authentic galloping or working late this Spring or early Summer. I think it was after I procrastinated and did not buy an Authentic micro-share, so I feel your pain on that score. My impression of that video was that whatever Authentic was going to do this year, he would be a MONSTER next year! I still believe that, he humbled a great field in the Classic, but I still think he has not matured into what he can be. Right now he has shown he is really, really, good, maybe even great..next year I think he could show himself to be a superstar.

  15. Karen Estis says:

    Another wonderful column. I have to say, I had no winners yesterday. Nada. But it was a great day of racing except for the breakdown. FAST track… Would like to have fractions for the Classic, but it is what it is. I knew when the first quarter showed :17.19 the timer wasn’t working. Hopefully Authentic will run next year. Maybe I will warm up to him…

  16. Lisa Richmond says:

    I’m pretty sure that I heard that if Authentic comes out of the Classic ok they plan to run him next year, and the same for Swiss Skydiver. Let’s hope so.

  17. Steve Homer says:

    A couple of errors:
    Magical did not lose to Order of Australia. OoA won the Mile, not the Turf.
    Its Starship Jubilee, not Starlight.

  18. Linda Rowell says:

    Thanks again Steve for an entertaining writing and as a shareholder in Authentic, I can tell you the excitement was amazing and the dream of a lifetime for me! I , too, hope they run Him next year for as a California chrome fan also, I so enjoyed watching him grow up and win big! We do need a few to keep some horses out to keep our sport exciting and bring in new fans! Have missed your columns. Please keep them coming. No one can stir emotions in writings like you can! Happy holidays to you and yours!

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thanks so much, Linda, and congratulations. You couldnt ask for more thrills from a single horse. Happy Holidays to you

  19. Dale Hager says:

    Thanks again Steve for a fine Breeders Cup wrap. I don’t care what others say or write about it, that was the most fun I’ve had watching big races in a long time, they’ll all just have to get over the track bias. I’m glad you mentioned Whitmore’s kick while being loaded, I laughed out loud then held back tears, yelling like a mad man as he came down the stretch and not just because I had him to win. Tacitus disappointed again but I still love the horse and he made it into the super after a dismal start. What do you think? Authentic in the Pegasus?

  20. Kara says:

    Thank you, Steve…. I (and I know I speak for many) needed that! Your analyses are spot on! Your afterword to the races are what got me hooked to your writing on BloodHorse… You always get to the kernel of the truth, minus the hype. This is it – as (un)believable as it may be. Oh, for horse racing to be sporting, for the horses to be appreciated and treated wholesomely and as individuals. I was all for Tiz the Law and will never get over what I saw, the restraint (his jockey looked so unbalanced with his heels in full brake mode) – surely Tiz lost all energy an momentum; the race was lost when the jock looked and waited. Didn’t anyone see how Swiss Skydiver was able to beat the Derby winner! I read Barclay’s comment that he can’t ride for them – That says it. First, Listen to the horse; last, Listen to the horse. Thanks, again!!

    • Steve Haskin says:

      I appreciate it, Kara. Thank you. And I think Barclay has every right to be upset over the ride. I thought for certain Franco would make sure he put pressure on Authentic and not allow a repeat of the Derby. He had a razor sharp horse and made him look flat.

      • perimeister says:

        I would swear that Tiz knew his instructions were to put pressure on Authentic. He must have been so confused and frustrated at being held up and prevented from doing what he must have known he needed to do to win. I’m glad Johnny V is going to work him before riding in the Pegasus. It’s probably the best way to help Tiz unlearn whatever he learned from his ride in the BCC.

  21. Delrene Si s says:

    I loved Whitmore and his Kick! I think he did it twice. Love the fire in him. The guy with that little whip \crop or whatever it’s called should now know he no likkeeeee! Keep away from my back end people. I’m ready to strike!
    I knew that he was going to win. Crazy I know.
    Thanks for your synopsis. My Maxi and Tiz the Law…… there were great moments and a terrible tragedy in the undercard. I was so hoping it would be a safe 2 days.

    With all the Covid mess and the election. All in all a nice diversion. Some fun surprises too. And some pretty grays that always makes me happy.
    Have a restful Sunday and we shall hope for better days ahead. We are the UNITED States of America.

  22. Lynda King says:

    Steve, when I got to Whitmore my eyes starting tearing up. I remember the year he was in contention for the Derby and recall thinking he had a chance to win it. He had a good beginning to his racing career and I was disappointed when he placed 19th. But I did not give up on him. Every time he was entered in a race after that I always cheered for him. When he won Saturday I was over the moon with joy.
    I love these “Old Warriors” like Whitmore and Starship Jubilee. I think they are the heart of this sport and most assuredly “heroes” that as you said, so desperately needed in racing.
    I had posted that it would be happy regardless if Monomoy Girl or Swiss Skydiver won and I found myself jumping up and down when Monomoy Girl won.
    Rushing Fall is I think going into the Keeneland Sale this coming week. She was another of my favorites. And Magical, I will miss her.
    One more horse I would like to mention is Tacitus. I just love him and hope he comes back at 5. I was looking at his race record last night and he has never placed lower than 4th.
    Totally agree about retiring the 3 year old colts. Guess I have to add that it is kinda getting old that they are retired and sent the breeding shed and never reaching their full potential.
    Thank God for horse racing this year It has been, at least for me, the only “sane” thing about this year.
    Hope you and your family stay safe and that you have a Happy Thanksgiving! (sending a hug for Theo).

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Lynda. And you are so right about Tacitus. I dont believe he will command a lot of attention at stud or at the sales, but I do feel he can have a huge year next year and establish his worth as a stallion.

  23. Linda Daly says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this whimsical wrap up. Though I will confess that between my husband, daughter and i, we have 5 shares. I believe there are just over 5300 “owners” who may have 1 share or multiple shares. Backstory: I bought a share thinking I would give to my horse crazy granddaughter (bought at first offering). When he won, there was a small return to initial group-in the mid $50.00s. And then they did another offering, and then another. I was upset for about a minute, as in the second offering, my daughter who likes to occasionally handicap and bet on big race days, decided she wanted to buy a share. Then during the 3rd offering (maybe marketing push is better way to say it…I was getting a bit miffed at MRH), in fact on Derby Day, my husband, who is a very peripheral fan, through osmosis from being around me, decided he was not to be undone and bought 3 shares. We watched the Derby in amazement together. What a feeling to experience together! Preakness was just as exciting, even in defeat. And then the BC–we were over the moon. My daughter, who is a PA and loves statistics, actually read all the documents and kickers etc. And did the math. And explained that, though we were not in it for money, there is money to be made in the back end
    stud deal. ie: $75K x 200 mares x 5yrs. We know his fee will go down (or up?) after 2nd crop. He may shuttled to southern hemisphere. It was made clear in subsequent MRH communication that any money to be made for the ownership, is through his stud value. And boy has that increased! An into Mischief who get the classic distance. Any way Mr. Haskin, thank you for reading, if you got this far. Just wanted to share my perspective! Signed, your biggest New Mexico fan besides Mind That Bird.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      I certainly read that far, and thank you Linda. But if you have five shares in Authentic you are banned from commenting in the future. Lol