Secretariat

Corniche’s Speed a Matter of Record

With one of the most unusual Breeders’ Cups in memory in the books, it is time forget this year’s rather bizarre and relatively formless event and start looking ahead to the Kentucky Derby trail, as we have already done with our Derby Sleepers series. The one lingering discussion that should create a stir for a while is who should be the 3-year-old male champion, and we’ll get into that as well. But first let’s take an early peek at the Derby trail in regard to the horses we saw in the Juvenile, but only after we give a brief overall look at the event in general. ~ Steve Haskin

Corniche’s Speed a Matter of Record

By Steve Haskin

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup will be remembered for many things, most of them bizarre and even embarrassing. But at least we were able to crown a legitimate Horse of the Year in Knicks Go, who is like a snowball rolling down a mountain, getting bigger and faster the farther it goes until it becomes an unstoppable force. No matter how fast you are, you can’t outrun it and you sure don’t want to get in its path.

In a race where it looked as if a couple of the 3-year-olds, especially Medina Spirit, would at least put pressure on Knicks Go, no jockey made even a feeble attempt at it, as if they conceded that running with him would be suicide, and to do so it would cost them a placing and a possible shot at a 3-year-old Eclipse Award. In short they all seemed afraid to take him on and were content to just finish ahead of the other 3-year-olds. And just for good measure, Joel Rosario, on Knicks Go, came in on his stablemate and main threat Essential Quality at the break, forcing him to drop back to sixth. To Knicks Go’s credit he did run is opening half in an eye-opening :45 4/5, and there isn’t a 3-year-old in the country who can or would dare go that fast and take him on in a mile and a quarter race.

So Knicks Go merely shrugged off the three talented but overmatched and overwhelmed 3-year-olds futilely chasing him down the stretch, as if he were teaching them not to mess with your elders. Like a throwback to a different time, he showed what a horse (not a gelding) can do when given time to reach its peak by competing in three different Breeders’ Cup races, winning two of them and finishing second once, culminating with a Horse of the Year title at the age of 5 after a fairly major injury at 3.

We all saw the bizarre aspect of this year’s Breeders’ Cup with the crazy incidents surrounding the Godolphin horses, which had two of its best horses scratched at the gate after nearly killing themselves only to win with another horse. We won’t get into the embarrassment of the first incident or the thrashing our grass horses received from the Europeans and for the first time from the Japanese, who beat us on grass and dirt. And we won’t get into why our two sprinting superstars, Gamine and Jackie’s Warrior, both laid the proverbial egg at 2-5 and 1-2. We did have two of the tightest finishes in Breeders’ Cup history, one involving a 49-1 Japanese horse coming out on top, with the 8-5 favorite Letruska, a candidate for Horse of the Year, getting beat 32 lengths. And then there were the powerful contingents of Chad Brown and Aidan O’Brien both coming up empty. And Del Mar isn’t a quirky track? It’s time to leave the salty ocean air and get back to Keeneland, where the turf meets the turf.

We also have to mention the number of horses who were scratched the week leading up to the Breeders’ Cup, with Chad Brown losing two likely favorites, one them who would have changed the entire complexion and possibly the result of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The only sense of normalcy was Wesley Ward winning both grass sprints. What was good about this year’s Breeders’ Cup is that it gave the Japanese, the Europeans, and longshots a chance to shine. They just did it at the expense of the Americans and the heavy favorites.

So that wraps up Breeders’ Cup 2021. Now we can settle back and look ahead to next year and the continued exploits of undefeated 2-year-old champions Echo Zulu and Corniche, as the latter hits the Derby trail, bringing with him a pedigree that is unmatched when it comes to speed. Now the big question will be, how far can he carry all that speed?

Corniche’s family rivals Elvis when it comes to number of records. Now it’s just a matter of how he gets to Kentucky with the current ban of his trainer Bob Baffert by Churchill Downs that excludes Baffert’s horses from accumulating Derby points. But that is a topic for another time.

Right now let’s look at Corniche’s amazing pedigree. To begin with, his sire, Quality Road set a new track record of 1:47 2/5 for 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream winning the Donn Handicap, eclipsing his own record of 1:47 3/5 set the year before in the Florida Derby. He also set a new track record of 1:13 3/5 for 6 ½ furlongs at Saratoga that still stands and ran a mile in 1:33 flat in the Metropolitan Handicap. Quality Road’s sire, Elusive Quality, set a new world record of 1:31 3/5 for the mile on the turf at Belmont Park in the Poker Handicap. Elusive Quality’s sire, Gone West, is by Mr. Prospector, who set a new track record of 1:07 3/5 for six furlongs at Gulfstream Park and a new track record of 1:08 3/5 at Monmouth Park. Gone West’s dam, Secrettame, is by Secretariat, and we don’t have to go into all the track, American, and world records Big Red set on dirt and grass. Mr. Propector’s sire, Raise A Native, set a new track record of :57 4/5 for five furlongs at Aqueduct, then equaled it, and a new track record of 1:02 3/5 for 5 ½ furlongs at Aqueduct. Quality Road’s third dam is by Bold Bidder, who ran a mile in 1:32 4/5 at Arlington Park, one-fifth of a second off Buckpasser’s world record.

On the female side, Corniche’s dam Wasted Tears set a new course record of 1:32 4/5 for a mile on the grass at Lone Star Park that still stands. Wasted Tears is by Najran, who equaled Dr. Fager’s coveted 35-year-old world record of 1:32 1/5 for a mile, winning the Westchester Handicap at Belmont Park. That record has not been equaled on dirt since. Wasted Tears’ dam is by Greinton, who set a new track record of 1:32 3/5 for a mile at Hollywood Park and a new track record of 1:58 2/5 for 1 ¼ miles at Hollywood Park. Wasted Tears’ second dam is by Beau’s Eagle, who set a new track record of 1:40 3/5 for 1 1/16 miles at Golden Gate. Wasted Tears’ third dam is by Raise A Cup, who set a new track record of 1:03 for 5 ½ furlongs at Belmont Park. Also in Corniche’s female family is Conquistador Cielo, who set a new stakes record of 1:33 flat in the Met Mile.

So, in Corniche’s pedigree, you have horses who have run a mile in 1:31 3/5, 1:32 1/5, 1:32 3/5, 1:32 4/5 twice, and 1:33 flat twice. Now it is up to Corniche to show he can carry that speed a mile and a quarter. We just have to see what the future holds for him as he embarks on the Derby trail.

So who is the 3-Year-old Champion?

We will lay this out in very simple terms and you and the Eclipse voters can take it from there, whatever your thought process may be.

Knicks Go has in a way exposed all of the 3-year-olds, but mainly Essential Quality and Medina Spirit as Horse of the Year candidates. But believe me there is nothing to be ashamed of getting beat in a two-turn race by a brute and a speed freak like Knicks Go, who destroys his competition with his ability to accelerate on the first turn, take a little breather, and then accelerate on the second turn before pouring it on again in the stretch. That is why he is a far different horse in two-turn races than one-turn races.

But enough of Knicks Go. What about the 3-year-old championship that at one point looked like a virtual lock for Essential Quality with victories in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn, Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, Belmont Stakes at Belmont, and Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes at Saratoga. But Medina Spirit returned to win the Shared Belief Stakes and easily defeat older horses in the Awesome Again Stakes to go along with his victories in the Robert Lewis in January and the Kentucky Derby that for now he still owns.

After the Breeders’ Cup Classic, in which Medina Spirit finished second and Essential Quality third, do you look at Essential Quality’s impressive body of work running all over the country or the fact that Medina Spirit has finished ahead of Essential Quality the only two times they met? If you are more impressed with the latter, then you have to at least give a second thought to Life is Good, who defeated Medina Spirit the two times they met in the Sham Stakes and San Felipe Stakes early in the year and then closed out the year with victories in the one-mile Kelso Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, which he won for fun by almost six lengths. But the fact that Life is Good won only one Grade 1 stakes and never ran farther than 1 1/16 miles likely will prevent him from challenging the top two, especially with the BC Dirt Mile having arguably the weakest field in the Breeders’ Cup with only eight starters and very little depth to it.

Whatever slim chance Hot Rod Charlie may have had for an Eclipse Award disappeared when he finished fourth in the Classic. But he is still to be admired for his toughness, consistency, and ability to turn in powerful performances all year, racing seven times at seven different tracks.

So, let the discussion begin. I still have to ponder the situation more carefully, especially with the Derby result still up in the air. But after watching Medina Spirit demolish older horses in the Awesome Again and then run a bang-up second in the Classic coming from several lengths off the pace, you have to believe his Kentucky Derby victory was well earned. But you also have to consider that Essential Quality was basically taken out of his game plan in the Classic by his stablemate and was forced to come from seventh, closing well to finish three-quarters of a length behind Medina Spirit, who to his credit had a much wider trip. So you have to decide who ran the better race, and in the long run, who deserves the 3-year-old championship based on their accomplishments over the course of the year. I admire both horses and what they have achieved in the biggest races of the year, but right now, only a day after the Breeders’ Cup, I’m still befuddled and will let everything sink in before making a commitment. Oh, wait, I don’t vote any longer, so what I think doesn’t matter.

Photo courtesy of Washington Newsday


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346 Responses to “Corniche’s Speed a Matter of Record”

  1. Coldfacts says:

    Corniche was very impressive in the BCJ. It appears lost in the accolades showered on the Quality Road colt, is the performance of the 3rd place finisher Giant Game.

    There were 3 last out MSW winners in the BCJ Field. The remaining 8 entrants had previously contested at least one graded stakes. Two of the 3 last out MSW winners finish 9th and 10th. Giant Game finished 3rd by 3 1/4L. Finishing ahead were two previous graded stakes winners.

    Giant Game won a MSW over 8 1/2F in 1:45.69. He had to run approximately 3 seconds faster to get within 3 1/4L of the undefeated winner who was contesting his 2nd G1 stakes. Of the top 3 finishers in the BCJ, Giant Game exited with the highest speed figure adjustment.

    Giant Causeway the sire of Giant Game has never been associated with a KD winner, despite being represented by many starters. His best chance to have been associated with a KD winner was probably Eskendereya who didn’t contest the KD due to a career ending injury suffered in his romp in the Wood Memorial.

    Could Giant Game from Giants Causeway’s last crop be the one to win the KD for his late sire? I think there is a strong possibility. From a pedigree perspective Giant Game should excel more on turf than dirt. He was produced from a More Than Ready Mare. Given the surface at Churchill Downs is friendly to turf types. Giant Game could find it to his liking and show significant improvement at the venue should he make the KD cut.

    In the up coming KD Future Pool. This betting intertest could be a good investment. The stallion, ownership group and trainer are overdue for a KD win.

  2. EddieF says:

    Has the next Derby winner debuted? Recent history says … Not necessarily so!

    Medina Spirit debut: Dec. 11, 2020
    Authentic debut: Nov. 19, 2019
    Maximum Security (DQ) debut: Dec. 20, 2018
    Justify debut: Feb. 18, 2018

    I’ll pass on KDFW1. 🙂

    • Davids says:

      Country House, 2018 Kentucky Derby winner, debuted on turf at Belmont Park on October 6, 2018. Mandaloun, who ‘probably’ will end up the Kentucky Derby 2021, made his first start in a maiden race on October 24 in Keeneland…

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Carry Back made his debut in January….of his 2-year-old campaign! Lol

    • Nelson Maan says:

      This is another divination you seem to have in mind.. Lol

      The following histogram shows the number of KD winner by month of debut SINCE 1980. I am excluding an outlier named Justify:

      April 1
      May 1
      June 5
      July 9
      August 6
      September 9
      October 6
      November 2
      December 2

      • EddieF says:

        Interesting, but…you seem to be ignoring a powerful RECENT trend. 🙂

        • Nelson Maan says:

          A Canadian Sorry there…! Not ignoring … but complementing your Sunday comment.

          I highlighted the word “since” just because I got the stats since 1960 … it was saving time in adding the numbers there

          and there is no better trends then the long term …

          just hope I am not accused of not “contributing anything” here…

          • EddieF says:

            LOL. Remember when it was wise to stay away from speed horses in the Derby? Favorites? History isn’t a straight line, right?

            You are nothing if not a stellar contributor.

    • Point Unforgiven says:

      I don’t know, EdddieF. Sitting out that first pool might not be the best strategy. I’ll leave it up to Steve to sort out the pros and cons of several of these runners in the weeks ahead. My opinion, there’s already a list of potential Derby prospects, at least as long as what Churchill will be offering up this Thanksgiving. Besides the obvious candidates (Corniche, Commandperformance, Jack Christopher, Pappacap, Rattle N Roll), there’s these 2-year-olds who’ve also made very positive initial impressions: Classic Moment, Epicenter, Giant Game, Howling Time, Major General, Messier, Mo Donegal, Octane, Overstep, Shipsational, Simplification, Smile Happy, Tiz The Bomb, Trafalgar, Varatti, White Abarrio, Zandon and the sensational filly, Echo Zulu.

      • EddieF says:

        Hey, Point U. In a way, your excellent list of 2yos strengthens my resolve to wait for more racing. I can’t separate so many horses off of 2 or 3 career races. But I like your inclusion of the fine Florida-bred Octane. He’s one that is on my watch list!

        • Point Unforgiven says:

          Your caution is understandable, Eddie. Definitely a crapshoot to have faith in two-year-olds so lightly raced. Thanks for the thumbs up on the list. Although, I would have omitted Simplification had I noticed he failed to live up to his 3/10 odds at Gulfstream on Saturday.

  3. Matthew W says:

    The Pegasus is expecting to have Knicks Go, Life Is Good and Hot Rod Charlie…..after blowing away a solid field in the Classic, and being the defending Pegasus winner……you would think Knicks would be favored, but I don’t know about that….could Knicks AGAIN, be 2nd choice in betting?

  4. Matthew W says:

    Something I had not thought about…..Medina Spirit was wrangled back out of the gate—was running for 2nd place after that—PERHAPS—after the poor attempt at wiring the Distaff, they changed plans, for the Classic? 2nd money in the Classic is a LOT!

    • EddieF says:

      Speed duels didn’t work out well for either combatant in several earlier races. Maybe that influenced the decision to hold MS back, or maybe they made the decision long before the first race on Saturday. There’s a world of difference when you compare the ride out of the gate in the Derby to the beginning of the Classic. It wasn’t that MS couldn’t run early with KG. As you and other have postulated, they WERE running for second. Beating EQ and HRC, in their minds, would serve MS well in the 3yo championship voting.

    • Nelson Maan says:

      Yes Matthew… that is the advantage of having John Velazquez piloting your horse. Some thing similar happened with Authentic in the Derby. The HOF Jockey took Authentic masterfully and gradually to the lead after a slow break… and it paid out just because the son of Into Mischief was the sole speed …

      jockeys have split seconds to make tactical decisions on the fly and I believe JV was right to immediately assess that his greatest chance was for second against known rivals…

  5. pro vet says:

    Yes……i didnt even see Septres post that gave him the rude response……….that response was uncalled for…..
    He posted truth…….

    Agree with the mob?…..or go somewhere else?……..unbelievable ………this was wrong….

  6. Nelson says:

    Hey Eddie F… how come you own a horse and you don’t tell us here… what is the story behind number 11 Dream Central running in the 6th at Aqueduct in 5 minutes…?

  7. Steve Haskin says:

    Sceptre, if you believe this — “Lastly, it is only he, and very few others, that have anything meaningful or informative to say.” — no one is twisting your arm to come on here. Feel free to find another place that has more meaningful and informative things to say. And if you dont feel he is rude by calling people dumb and constantly saying they dont know anything then that is your problem, not ours. You obviously agree with him from your words. Bloodhorse banned him years ago under the name Ky Vet. I have welcomed him here and let him say what he wants and have never censored him, because he is knowledgeable and knows the game. If you don’t like it when I call him out for attacking the intelligence of people on here that’s too bad.

    • Mike Relva says:

      He’s a clone of pro.

    • pro vet says:

      You can say what you want…..i say ignorant……and if you bothered to check, i was right….you act like that doesn’t matter……Demonize all you want. That is subjective….
      You let people be rude to me. This is true…..because i say ignorant?……they directly are way more mean .. Do i respond?…..no….
      Because i dont carre.
      Again……if i say something like “ignorant”…..that is not a bad word……everyone is free to debate…..
      This is a huge over reation……me BAD……everyone else good……

      Septre has disagreed with me many times……he is very knowlegable……now, people are saying he is like me?……this is ridiculously unfair…..and what you wrote is very rude rude…..i have never seen him get out of line ever…..

      The post below says a clone of Pro?…..are you joking?…..what has he ever posted that was even close to rude?…

      I give a horsemans view ………..info that is right……

      Your reputation, is that you are grumpy……it is…..i’m not breaking news……i happen to like it……it is real…….

      Leave Septre alone man…..

    • pro vet says:

      He obviously sees the truth……how about i don’t retaliate when called names?……you of course don’t notice that….
      I treat everyone the same…..i am not rude, you just think i am….they say Idiot, stupid, worse…..i say ignorant. Which is not a mean word…..you should go back and look…..

      • Steve Haskin says:

        This is the last word on this. The fact that you say ignorant is not a mean word tells me all I need to know. Ignorant is a terrible word to call someone. Did I delete it? No, ,but when you call someone that, be prepared for the repercussions. How about in the future I just delete your post when you use that word? This way way no one will be rude to you. And tell me who called you an idiot on here? And worse? really?

        As far as sceptre, when he or anyone says most people on here have nothing meaningful or informative to say I’m not going to ignore it, and I am going to tell him he is free to leave if he believes that. So dont tell me to leave him alone. One person said he is like you, not “people.” You just say and see things the way you want and never listen to anyone. This discussion is now closed. How’s that for grumpy?

  8. EddieF says:

    English Channel passed away. 🙁

    • Nelson Maan says:

      Sad news… he was 19 … not that old. He leaves a great legacy of turf horses.

      Do you know the specific illness that kill him? Not much detail there in the press…

      • EddieF says:

        None of yesterday’s stories gave any specifics. Just the day before, the farm announced that he was “diagnosed with multiple health issues” and was “unlikely to cover mares during the upcoming 2022 breeding season.” No specifics in that announcement either.

  9. Deacon says:

    I am late to this party as I have been working a lot.
    My first big thought is that these BC races should never be held at Del Mar. The short stretch and sharp turns make it much more difficult for the closers. Albeit the track is by the beach and the weather is great, Santa Anita would be a much better option.
    I don’t believe that Gamine or Essential Quality like the surface of Del Mar. Both horses appeared to me to be struggling with the footing somewhat.
    I ended up betting Medina Spirit to win & place so I almost broke even. Knicks Go had the race won at the clubhouse turn.
    I liked Corniche & Pizza Bianca, those 2 races were special.
    All in all I would rate the telecast a “C” & the actual races about the same, except for the 2 I liked. Larry Colmus was his usual great race calling self. Having those 2 guys try and handicap each race just before it starts was a real waste of time.
    Maria Taylor was awesome, she sparkled on the TV screen. She has great energy.

    Thank you Steve for the forum to express my opinion. Can’t wait for the Derby Trail, see you then.
    Happy Thanksgiving & an early Merry Christmas.

  10. pro vet says:

    Don’t understand the love about Corniche’s race……it was a 91………very bad field….fav scratched…..3rd fav ran horrible……
    I DO like this horse……but he ran slow……was there a slower juvy ever?……..REPORT WHAT HAPPENED ……TRUTH….

    The slow race is GOOD FOR THE HORSE………..but it was slow……

    • Ms Blacktype says:

      Hi Pro Vet:

      Storm the Court ran an 87 Beyer in 2019.

      • EddieF says:

        The easy answer is “YES, many times.” LOL

        • pro vet says:

          you dont understand a 91 is slow?

          • EddieF says:

            Make a point. Slow for BCJ races? Slow for future success? You asked a question from which you implied there was never a slower BCJ in regard to BSFs. You got an answer. Do you understand that Nyquist had an 89 in the BCJ? I believe that he was fast enough to win the Kentucky Derby. Do you understand that many triple-digit winners did not turn into stars on the racetrack? Nevertheless, you can wait a few days and maybe the 91 will become a 94.

            Your most recent posts are relatively civil. Keep it up!

            • Steve Haskin says:

              You talk about not responding to him, his knowledge of Beyer figures and how to use them is childish, with no thought process whatsoever. If Corniche had run a 105 Beyer he would already be a toss for the Derby. It’s like he puts blinkers on for Beyer figures as if this race defines the horse. See even I am wasting my time giving his inane Beyer comments a second thought

              • EddieF says:

                Ha! But I differentiate between the civil, though certainly not well thought out, posts and the insane tirades that we’ve grown accustomed to. We need to reward the better behavior. 🙂

              • pro vet says:

                The 91 is slow…………i’m right……why are you crying?……..i said the slow race was good for the horse……you hype horses too much……..report what happened………and i do not go on ratings………….im taking about how fast the race was……use brisnet or any others……SLOW………..
                I NEVER SAID IT WAS SLOWEST EVER…..I SAID IT WAS SLOW………THE QUESTION WAS TO SHOW HOW SLOW……why you guys cry when im right is beyond petty

                • Steve Haskin says:

                  If we cried when youre right we would flood our houses, because everyone know you’re always right. And you claim you never said it was the slowest ever, but youre cleverly slick by saying “and was there a slower juvy ever?” At least you know how to say something without actually saying it. That’s another way of never being wrong.

                  • pro vet says:

                    that is not saying it was……im glad you arent on a jury……i was making a point that shouldnt be argued…..who doesnt know the race was slow?……..
                    You want to pretend im not right?…..go ahead………..
                    Report what happened………thats what i said……
                    Every horse race is not GREAT

                • EddieF says:

                  Not sure if this sinks in because you rarely respond when I prove you wrong on factual matters…but I’ll keep trying. You’ve already been given some BSF history. So you said “use brisnet or any others.” OK.

                  BRISNET SPEED IN BCJ
                  Corniche 102
                  Essential Quality 101
                  Storm the Court 102
                  Game Winner 103
                  Good Magic 105
                  Classic Empire 108
                  Nyquist 97
                  (I don’t have the figures for Texas Red and New Years Day, but the numbers for horses behind them seem to indicate that they ran the BCJ in about 101 and 102, respectively)

                  So what do these figures say about anything of significance? Very little, actually. But they show Corniche’s figure is in the ballpark of past winners. Do you know how many BCJ winners won the Derby? Two! Street Sense, who had a 111 in the BCJ and Nyquist, who had a 97 in the BCJ. That sure tells you a lot.

                  Some people give too much significance to final times (particularly when comparing times at different tracks), other assign too much significance to speed figures without any further analysis. One more thing…

                  THERE’S NO CRYING IN HORSE RACING!

                  • pro vet says:

                    YOU JUST USED BRISNET…… this shows your knowledge…..you dont even know how they are made…..
                    free…..

                    • pro vet says:

                      This is what i mean…….you take the wrong side again……everyone knows it was not fast……….YOU THINK ITS FAST………you are…………the word

                    • EddieF says:

                      Provet, this is THE LAST TIME I REPLY TO YOUR NONSENSE. Of course, you’re free to reply to my posts, but I would rather you didn’t.

                      This reply of yours is a perfect example of your contradictory and fabricating nature. In a previous post, after I shot down your contentions about Beyer figures, you wrote…

                      “use brisnet or any others”

                      So I replied with the Brisnet figures that YOU ASKED FOR to refute your initial statements. Then you wrote,

                      “YOU JUST USED BRISNET…… this shows your knowledge…..you dont even know how they are made…..
                      free…..”

                      Then you wrote,

                      “YOU THINK ITS FAST”

                      No, I never said that. Your posts are filled with misrepresentations like this. I think you understand how sadly humorous your attempts to argue points look to other people reading this blog. You just hope they accept what you say as true and don’t notice the lies and misstatements.

                      So I say again, this is the last time I reply to your nonsense. All previous responses were, regrettably, a waste of time.

    • Mike Relva says:

      Numbers aren’t always know all/be all.

  11. Kara says:

    Hi Steve, Thankyou! Your post race commentary is must-read (as is all your well researched and insightful writing).. I agree with you on time helping to sort out your thoughts ~ tho’ in my case, the disappointment just seems to cement itself regarding the Classic and Essential Quality who I grew to love (also thanks to your insight on his character).. He looked to me like he was ‘looking around’ after getting side swiped, and then there was nowhere for him to run. He made up ground when he finally could!.. And now we don’t get to see what he really can do – I’m sure if someone ‘listened to him!’, he’d communicate his desire to Run!! It’s the same post-race feeling as last year, watching Tiz the Law hopelessly try to run. Both very smart animals

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thank you Kara. I just hated a horse like him, who always ran hard and was always right there, go out with such a dull (for him) effort. That makes me even more upset he’s been retired already.

      • Kara says:

        See, Steve, you expressed my feelings exactly. It’s a conundrum to me why EQ’s ‘people’ don’t see it this way

        • sceptre says:

          I assure you, EQ’s connections understand his strengths and weaknesses better than you or I. If they truly believed his reputation would be enhanced by another year of racing they would probably go for it. I say probably, because chance for injury is also to be considered. Sheikh Mo does have the sad memory of his greatest racehorse of all, Dubai Millennium, who fractured a hind leg in training at 4, leading to an extended recovery period (albeit able to cover mares) during which he contracted “grass sickness” and succumbed.

  12. John Goggin says:

    Just noticed the recently released Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (November 11-today)….
    Knicks Go leads among ‘American’ horses with a ranking of 128 followed up by a tie between Medina Spirit and Life Is Good both at 123….Essential Quality at 122 and Hot Rod Charlie at 121.
    Prior to the BC Classic in their final Classic ranking they had EQ on top with 290 and Knicks Go in second with 286….HRC with 269….Medina Spirit with 189.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Any poll that has Life is Good ranked over Essential Quality is a joke. Life is Good won one grade 1 beating arguably the worst BC field ever in a two-tun mile that is basically a mile and 70-yard race.

      • pro vet says:

        Awards yes….LIG not………..polls are different………of the 3 who do you think would be favored tomorrow?……To say the poll is wrong is subjective……..

        LIG would probably be lower in odds…………that is not a joke……

        • Steve Haskin says:

          Yes it is

          • pro vet says:

            you think EQ is way better than LIG?……so much it is a joke?

            • sceptre says:

              Yes, Life Is Good would be favored over EQ in any race up tp 9 f.

              • pro vet says:

                Why does everyone cry about my posts?……….you agree….there is not a big difference?……..he commented it was a joke……a big difference………
                All i am is right……the dont ever say where i was wrong………
                I posted Search Results showed bad signs……i was mocked……what happed?
                I posted Gamine showed bad signs all year……all i see is posts that she wasnt the same all year….
                All my bad signs horses went away…….yet always mocked……

                When and what am i wrong on?……..they are rude to me…..i don’t say anything rude back…..
                How many opinions do i post?……when am i wrong?…….

                DON’T RESPOND?………DON’T RESPOND?………BECAUSE I’M RIGHT?

                • EddieF says:

                  How many horses have you said had “bad signs”? Probably in triple digits over the years. I doubt that anyone pays attention because you NEVER say what the BAD SIGNS are. So on the occasions when one of your BAD SIGN horses runs poorly or suffers an injury, you are sure to post, “See, I told everyone the horse had bad signs.” It doesn’t matter whether or not the BAD SIGNS had anything to do with the loss or the injury because you know that you were right about BAD SIGNS. LOL.

                  • Steve Haskin says:

                    It’s funny how a person sees himself. He says he’s mocked with his bad signs and you say you doubt anyone pays attention to him. He pays attention to himself so he assumes everyone else does. The sad part is that he is knowledgeable, but he doesnt know the proper way to convey that knowledge. The dumber people are the smarter it make him feel. He has a lot to offer about the sport, if only he knew how to play well with others.

                    • EddieF says:

                      It’s nearly impossible to find the knowledge through all of the unintelligible writing, the ellipses, the insults, the unfounded boasting, the contradictions (sometimes within the same post!), the lies and exaggerations about the things that “people” say, the lack of historical perspective, the illogical arguments…Jeez! That’s just a start. 🙂 Frankly, I learned more about horse racing from just a day sitting at the track with my grandfather and his buddies than in all of this guy’s posts over the past few years.

                    • sceptre says:

                      Relatively sure this will fall on (some) deaf ears, but here goes:

                      As you may know, I don’t always agree with pro vet, but I can’t say I find him rude. Rather, several on here, including yourself, Steve, are far less civil to him, than he to you. Lastly, it is only he, and very few others, that have anything meaningful or informative to say.

      • Davids says:

        The IFHA ‘insult’ World Best Racehorse & World Best Jockey have the arrogance to state that ‘their’ opinions are ‘based on performances of horses in elite races.’

        There is only one US jockey, John Velasquez, in the world 10. Three Japanese jockeys and two Australian jockeys are in the top ten. Mind you, Oisin Murphy never made the grade.

        St Mark’s Basilica, Cartier European Horse of the Year, in the IFHA rankings is only equal to Mishriff and Adayar. Go figure. I bet the bookies enjoy taking their money when they put their ‘opinions/money’ on the line. Bunch of twats. Lol.

        • sceptre says:

          The Longines’ Awards (for horses) is based solely on each horse’s highest rated single performance for a given year. So, apparently, according to them, Mishriff’s best performance in 2021 equaled SMB’s best performance in 2021. All still subjective, but one should understand their method which may differ from the traditional way end of year honors are chosen. It is certainly not based on body of work, but there is a case to be made.

    • pro vet says:

      Although interesting……….this doesnt matter………nothing matters except wins, accomplishments…….EQ won more better races…..MS won the derby…..those other races were not big

    • Lynda King says:

      2003 134 Hawk Wing (USA) Ireland Lockinge Stakes
      2004 130 Ghostzapper (USA) United States Breeders’ Cup Classic
      2005 130 Hurricane Run (IRE) France Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
      2006 129 Invasor (ARG) United States Breeders’ Cup Classic
      2007 131 Manduro (GER) France Prince of Wales’s Stakes
      2008 130 Curlin (USA) United States Dubai World Cup / Stephen Foster Handicap
      130 New Approach (IRE) Ireland Champion Stakes
      2009 136 Sea The Stars (IRE) Ireland Irish Champion Stakes
      2010 135 Harbinger (GB) Great Britain King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
      2011 136 Frankel (GB)[4] Great Britain Sussex Stakes
      2012 140 Frankel (GB)[5] Great Britain Queen Anne Stakes / Juddmonte International Stakes
      2013 130 Treve (FR) France Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
      130 Black Caviar (AUS) Australia T J Smith Stakes
      2014 130 Just A Way (JPN) Japan Dubai Duty Free
      2015 134 American Pharoah (USA) United States Breeders’ Cup Classic
      2016 134 Arrogate (USA) United States Breeders’ Cup Classic
      2017 134 Arrogate (USA) United States Dubai World Cup
      2018 130 Cracksman (GB) Great Britain Champion Stakes
      130 Winx (AUS) Australia Queen Elizabeth Stakes (ATC)
      2019 128 Crystal Ocean (GB) Great Britain Prince of Wales’s Stakes
      128 Enable (GB) Great Britain King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
      128 Waldgeist (GB) France Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
      2020 130 Ghaiyyath (IRE) Great Britain International Stakes

      • Lynda King says:

        The reason I posted this was to show all of the winners of the Longines Horse of the Year winners since 2004 when the award was first started.
        I do not think that the award has been off the mark in most cases though I am not as familiar with some of the Turf winners.
        As to awards in general, unless there is a specific criteria to measure against such as breaking a dirt record or money earned etc, I think they are all somewhat subjective and that includes the Eclipse.
        Since members in 34 countries are represented in the voting it is certainly a feather in the cap on the resumes of both the stallions and the mares when they go off to the breeding shed.
        This is of course just my humble opinion as a horse racing fan.
        Longines used to (not sure they still do) had a list of eventing horses. Points were assigned to each competition and the winner of that competition earned the points and it was a cumulative total that resulted in the award winner.
        Brad Cox was certainly over the moon when he announced the ranking for Knicks Go on his Facebook page.

        • Davids says:

          This may surprise you but of the 12 European winners of the “IFHA Longines Horse of the Year” only 7 of them were also Cartier European Horse of the Year which IS the prestige title for Europe winners.

          Cartier winners that don’t match with IFHA winners:
          2003 Dalakhani
          2007 Dylan Thomas
          2008 Zarkava
          2010 Goldikova
          2018 Roaring Lion

          IFHA winners:
          2003 134 Hawk Wing (USA)
          2005 130 Hurricane Run (IRE)
          2007 131 Manduro (GER)
          2008 130 New Approach (IRE)
          2009 136 Sea The Stars (IRE)
          2010 135 Harbinger (GB)
          2011 136 Frankel (GB)
          2012 140 Frankel (GB)
          2013 130 Treve (FR)
          2018 130 Cracksman (GB)
          2019 128 Crystal Ocean (GB), 128 Enable (GB), 128 Waldgeist (GB)
          2020 130 Ghaiyyath (IRE)

          • Lynda King says:

            I admittedly do not know as much about European racing but I am learning and becoming more appreciative of it each year.
            The Longines is, as you know, based on an individual race and is not cumulative. It is simply one of the many awards handed out.
            Yes, I am familiar with the Cartier award. I have not reviewed how the recipient of the award is determined but it sounds very much like the Eclipse.

      • sceptre says:

        Arrogate’s #1 ranking in 2017 pinpoints the disparity between their ranking and, say, an Eclipse award. It also pinpoints their methodology: a #1 ranking equates to a singular best performance for that given year. By their standards Arrogate achieved that in his early year Dubai World Cup romp, never mind his dismal performances thereafter in 2017.

        • Lynda King says:

          If I am not mistaken, Arrogate stayed at the top of the ranking for an individual performance for that year based on that race. I personally felt that Arrogate’s performance both at Dubai and in the Classic were his best two races. Rarely does my husband sit and watch a race me (he actually hates horse racing and thinks it is cruel) but even he was impressed with Arrogate in the World Cup.
          As I commented before, the Longines award is only one of many awards handed out annually. Each person is certainly within their right to agree or disagree.

          • sceptre says:

            Yes, your first sentence essentially repeats what I had said. Actually, much of this is about how one defines “the best horse” for a given year. Longines best horse is the one that had the singular best performance. Most other awards define it as the best body of work for the year in question.

  13. Lynda King says:

    Knicks Go at the top of Longines World Best Racehorses (published today).

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Not surprised. No one else to put there.

      • Davids says:

        Steve, I have to protest. Knicks Go came 4th in the Saudi Cup and 4th in the Met Mile while winning three Grade 1 races. St Mark’s Basilica was undefeated the whole year while winning four Group 1. Who has the better record?

        • Steve Haskin says:

          The Euros are the ones who voted. I couldnt care who they ranked No. 1. It means nothing. I can see St. Mark No. 1 just as easily,

        • sceptre says:

          Davids, see my explanation, above. The other races you mentioned re- Knicks Go mean NOTHING relative to their methodology.
          I, though, would object to Knicks Go’s BCC being deemed best single performance of the year. That said, it (this award) is not about who had the better record.

          • Davids says:

            Yes, I know the methodology, which is subjective. What irritates me is that they conflate a supposed ‘best race performance’ into the best racehorse in the world. “ The LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.”

            A Longines sponsored race won by a horse in Macau, as an example, could be so spectacular for IFHA voters that the Macau horse gets their top ranking and conversely the best racehorse. Lol. Forgive the hyperbole but it explains the flaw in their methodology.

            • sceptre says:

              In the big picture, none of this matters much, but there’s actually two separate issues here-

              1. Are their “subjective” judges (of race performance) as “credentialed” as a Timeform judge?

              2. And more importantly, there is a credible point to be made that the judged (let’s say by all credentialed parties) most optimal single performance by a horse in a given year is, at least, something quite meaningful to note. What does it say about that particular horse’s abilities as compared to all others? What does it say about their phenotype, for example? Not easily answered, but worthy of discussion.

              • Davids says:

                Good points. With reference to point one, yes, you would have to agree that judges attached to IFHA are credentialed in giving a valid opinion. However, does the ‘judge spread’ have equal value among the major racing nations, no. Self-interest is always prominent in thought, no matter how revered the person. Is an Australian judge, as an example, going to disregard the top races in their country in respect to those in the US?

                Yes, you make a good argument in your second point. At present, the voting is determined by running in a Longines sponsored race and on which racing country has the most votes. Oddly, the jockeys standings don’t seem to coincide with the horses chosen.

  14. EddieF says:

    Steve, any thoughts on Saturday’s 6th race at Del Mar? Simon Callaghan sends out Sir London for his second start. Sir London (Malibu Moon out of a Seeking the Gold mare) debuted against an odds-on Baffert colt that won gate to wire. (What a surprise!) He broke a bit slow from Post 1 and wasn’t intimidated when the favorite came over to the rail to establish position. He ran well to finish second. There’s a lot of black type in his pedigree and Seattle Slew is on the top and the bottom. The 2nd dam was a multiple graded stakes winner and produced a graded stakes winner. Several first timers in the race, including two from the BB barn. (Another surprise!) Looking forward to seeing Sir London stretching out after this one.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      I saw that race. I liked the turn of foot he showed to close in on the leader. He never changed leads in the stretch and was basically being eased at the end. He’ll have to learn to change leads, but horses often do in their second start. I’d like to see him two turns. There are actually 3 Baffert firsters entered unless one has been scratched.

      • EddieF says:

        You’re right! Three! LOL. Thanks for your thoughts on the colt.

        • Matthew W says:

          I work out of my head–don’t have the charts—(some people say I work out of another body part!)…but I’m almost certain Sir London was a program scratch, and disn’t run his debut race for at least a month later…

          • EddieF says:

            The only gap in his workouts was an 11-day gap ending the middle of August. Couldn’t have been anything serious.

            • Matthew W says:

              Am playing a 15-1 longshot for Ron Ellis named War At Sea in that race, and boxing him with Sir London and Bron and Brow, leaving all three Bob B’s out.

              • Matthew W says:

                Very next race (Dmr R7) #2 See Through It (5-1)….has a big shot in there .

                • Matthew W says:

                  UPDATE! See Through It got his head down onthe line for a $20 win, and I had a bunch on him! Also had singled him in the pick four, and you always like a longshot single to win…alas, I was knocked out in the first leg! Too bad, cuz I had the 2,3,4 in the first leg, and was closing with six…..

              • EddieF says:

                That’s an interesting longshot, Matthew. The horrid running line will discourage many from betting on him, but the comment line may attract some interest. Good luck!

    • Nelson Maan says:

      Good observations Eddie…Sir London is the most expensive horse in the field (700K) and should be improving in his second race with Flavian Prat persisting …

      But, as per usual, Baffert horses got first-class pedigrees and connections and well trained for superior debuts. I see Newgrange (Violence) exhibiting perhaps more precocity than Air Combat (Blame) and Wesleyan (Curlin); and the last with more propensity to be better with maturation and more distance.

      Meanwhile in the East I will be watching some prospects with powerful connections as well:

      In Saturday’s Churchill 8th race: (9)Hornbeam ( UNION RAGS – PRIVET HEDGE, BY FIRST DEFENCE ) debuting for Juddmonte and Brad Cox

      and in Saturday’s Churchill 11th race: two Brad Cox prospects: the regally bred (1)Almanzo (Tapit – American Story by Ghoztzapper) and debutant (8)Quick to Blame (Blame – Haraka by Medaglia D’Oro)

      All of them are among a good bunch of 2-year-old running this weekend…!

      • EddieF says:

        Thanks, Nelson. I’m looking at the CD races now. Nice group of youngsters. What do you think of Mask Control in R8? Hard Spun, Smart Strike…With a race under his belt, he should love the added distance.

        • Nelson Maan says:

          I am with you there Eddie…Mask Control also with A.P. Indy and His Majesty should relish the mile. I am keying the son of Hard Spun in my trifecta… (I am betting exclusively on 2-year-old races lately…)

          BTW Eddie the Great is trying turf tomorrow at Aqueduct (5th race)… interesting seeing Jose Ortiz piloting the New Yorker… 15 to 1 on the ML …

          • EddieF says:

            Re: Eddie the Great. Munnings is a decent turf sire, and the dam won a NY Stallion Series Stakes on the turf. I’m wondering why Chad Brown has first-timer Order of Magnitude in a turf race. He’s a half brother (the horse, that is, not Chad Brown) to BC Sprint winner and champion Drefong, and the second dam produced BCJ winner and champion Action This Day. But maybe Brown does this often. Kitten Mischief looks the best, pedigree-wise, but the post…argh!

  15. Derek Manthey says:

    My question Steve why you don’t have a vote any longer?

    • Steve Haskin says:

      I dropped out of the National Turf Writers years ago. I must have had a good reason but to be honest, I cant remember what it was.

      • Derek Manthey says:

        I personally would like and I’m sure others you to have a vote as the fans advocate vote. You certainly do write about the turf and we do read. In my book that qualifies and I’m not trying to blow smoke up your butt. I do have one other question. How much behind the scenes politicking is therewith the votes?

        • Steve Haskin says:

          I appreciate it, but voting isnt that important to me and not being a member of NTWA any longer I dont get a vote and I’m not about to apply for membership again. I’m just a semi-retired freelancer now. Lol

  16. pro vet says:

    Mattress Mac is eccentric LOON……..his article going around is a joke…..yet people are loving it…….
    2 yr ban 1st medication over?…..really?……this is so stupid…….owners should be at fault?…..what?…

    All meds are not the same…..all athletes need therapeutics! ALL………..the track is a CONTAMINATION ZONE……

    100s of ways……for contamination….how do you clean a stall? Anyone?……shovel it into wheel barrow?…does every stall have a shovel and wheelbarrow?……do the grooms change shoes every stall?….what are they cleaning?….WASTE!
    Does anyone understand this?…….there are 100s of ways….

    Again……MAKE THE PEDS failed tests……make therapeutic OVERS a different name….

    The public hears failed tests on these therapeutics, and they think CHEATING……..
    cALL THERAPEUTICS OVERS……with fines………

    Solved……the optics problem……
    2 yr ban for therapeutic picos????……….GARBAGE……

  17. Nelson Maan says:

    Hey Eddie F …! Since we dead heated for the silver medal in the BC Longshot contest here, lets settle the matter with guessing Eclipse Winners. If we dead-heat again the closest number of votes for 3-y-old champion will be taken to untie.

    My selection below:

    Horse of The Year: Knicks Go
    Older Dirt Male: Knicks Go
    Three Year Old Male: Essential Quality (with 214 votes), 30 votes for Medina Spirit, 5 for Life is Good
    Two Year Old Male: Corniche
    Older Dirt Female: Letruska
    Male Sprinter: Jackie’s Warrior
    Two Year Old Filly: Echo Zulu
    Three Year Old Filly: Malathaat
    Male Turf Horse: Domestic Spending
    Female Turf Horse: War Like Goddess
    Female Sprinter: Gamine

    Are you in?

    • EddieF says:

      Of course I’m in! I need to do a bit of study, though.

    • EddieF says:

      Okay! So you got the jump on me by coming up with this challenge and picking first, and I generally agree with your predictions. But I don’t want it to come down to a Beats the Heck Out of Me guess on vote totals. So I’ll make contrary picks in two categories (in all caps).

      Horse of The Year: Knicks Go
      Older Dirt Male: Knicks Go
      Three Year Old Male: Essential Quality (with 200 votes), 40 votes for Medina Spirit, 9 for Life is Good
      Two Year Old Male: Corniche
      Older Dirt Female: Letruska
      Male Sprinter: DR. SCHIVEL
      Two Year Old Filly: Echo Zulu
      Three Year Old Filly: Malathaat
      Male Turf Horse: SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT
      Female Turf Horse: War Like Goddess
      Female Sprinter: Gamine

      The Best Sprinter competition could be decided in the Malibu Stakes. But I’ll go with the colt that lost by a nose to Aloha West in the BC Sprint: Dr. Schivel. I’ll take the 7-race Smooth Like Strait over the 3-race Domestic Spending. SLS won a G1 and had five CLOSE seconds: two G1s and three G2s.

      • Nelson Maan says:

        Nice roster… are we missing another category?

        there are not “Turf 2-yo-sprinter” or “Turf 2-year-old champion” … right?

        some one was mentioning Golden Pal for championship …

      • pro vet says:

        Dr shivel didnt win…….its not gonna happen….

        • Matthew W says:

          It’s happened…Seattle Slew won 3 gr1’s in 1978, Exceller won7—-Slew got the Eclipse running 2nd in their final race…..Schivel beat the pants off of Jackie’s, and he beat older–three times–he lost by a nose in the Sprint, I think he will win.

      • Steve Haskin says:

        Voters shouldnt forget about Yibir who was very impressive winning the Jockey Club Derby and then the BC Turf. And he also won a Group 2 and a group 3 earlier in the year, including the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, which has always been regarded as the leading prep for the St. Leger.

        • Lynda King says:

          Thank you Steve for mentioning Yibir. Since he is a gelding hopefully he will continue to race for several years. I for one really enjoyed watching the successes of the international horses this year.

    • Davids says:

      Horse of The Year: Knicks Go
      Older Dirt Male: Knicks Go
      Three Year Old Male: Essential Quality
      Two Year Old Male: Jack Christopher
      Older Dirt Female: Letruska
      Male Sprinter: Jackie’s Warrior
      Two Year Old Filly: Echo Zulu
      Three Year Old Filly: Malathaat
      Male Turf Horse: Domestic Spending
      Female Turf Horse: War Like Goddess
      Female Sprinter: Ce Ce
      Steeplechase Horse: The Mean Queen

      • Nelson Maan says:

        Wow ! you are pitting the Champagne against both the American Pharoah Stakes (Gr. 1) and the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile.

        and giving more weight to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (Ce Ce) than to Las Flores Stakes (Gr. 3), Derby City Distaff S. presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (Gr. 1), Great Lady M Stakes (Gr. 2) and the Ketel One Ballerina Handicap (Gr. 1) wins by Gamine.

        Interesting stance…

        • Davids says:

          I thought Ce Ce had luck against her in the Ballerina but when everything appeared equal in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint Ce Ce trounced Gamine. Gamine will no doubt get the Eclipse but on the track Ce Ce showed her superiority in their last meeting.

          I believe the Champagne Stakes was a tougher race to win than either the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or the American Pharoah Stakes. Jack Christoper doesn’t appeal as a Derby contender but is the best 2 year old male. Again, Corniche will no doubt win the Eclipse but are his performances as good as Jack Christopher’s performances?

          • Nelson Maan says:

            Fair enough… Jack Christopher was really impressive in the Champagne and it was unfortunate he had to be scratched for the big dance. The only thing I have to make a semblance of an assessment is Commandperformance.
            Jack Ch was 3 lengths ahead of him in the Champagne.

            I put Corniche above Jack Christopher just because Comandperformance finished more than 5 lengths behind the son of Quality Road. I expected the gray to be closer to Corniche specially at 1 1/6 mile… so, with this (only) yardstick I have to me Corniche appears to be a bit better …

            but we may never know as it is not a sure thing that they will facing each other ever again… you know the drill from now on…!

            • Matthew W says:

              Corniche had the better year–nobody saying he’s better than Command, who had an awful trip outside, getting an early bump into the first turn…and he even hung in for 4th….but Corniche won the race, he won all of his races—Eclipse —Corniche!

            • Steve Haskin says:

              Commandperformance got a terrible ride

              • Matthew W says:

                Totally agree! He was on the outside, of a wall of horses, there was several lengths of room behind the wall. He could’ve taken back and over, saved ground and enter the backstretch 3 lengths back in a pocket—instead they stayed wide.

    • Matthew W says:

      Male sprinter will be Dr Schivel–who won a couple GR1’s v older, nearly winning a third—Jackie only beat three year olds…Male turf horse is Yibir, hands down…..Femaale sprinter Ce Ce—why not not??

      • Matthew W says:

        Ce Ce won won stakes in Florida, and Cali–in addition to the Filly Sprint, which she won convincingly—she traveled back east twice–and aquitted herself nicely—and she won the big one–Ce Ce for the Eclipse!

    • eric rickard says:

      After the Dr wins the Malibu, he should be given a shot at the best Sprinter.

  18. Lynda King says:

    Official announcement from Doug on FB, Hot Rod Charlie will be back next year. Also Shedaresthedevil (sold last night at FT sale will remain in training. Good news!

  19. Ken says:

    This debate over the best Three Year Old deserving of the Eclipse honors is what makes racing so fascinating. After reading and studying the results and opinions of several different views I still can’t make up my mind. I think EQ will win because of the Derby cloud and the final vote will be influenced politically instead of the merits . I think this debate will be ongoing for a long time.

    • Lynda King says:

      I agree except I think the vote could go Medina Spirit’s way of those who think Baffert got a raw deal from CHD.

      • Steve Haskin says:

        I really think Essential Quality will win. Too much going on with the Derby.

        • Lynda King says:

          I will rooting for EQ. MS overcame and accomplished a lot, just think WQ had better overall record based on the races he won. Read somewhere (might have been from you) that MS will be next years. If so could be interesting match-ups (with HRC).

        • Davids says:

          The Eclipse for champions sprinter is the real puzzle for me.

          • sceptre says:

            Golden Pal could get some consideration. I don’t believe there is a separate Eclipse for turf sprinter, and he’s 3/3 (G I II and III) in the US in 2021. Should they run Life Is Good in the Malibu- which they won’t- and he wins and defeats Flightline, he would surely be the deserving champion.

            • Davids says:

              If Golden Pal had won the Nunthorpe Stakes, he’d get my nod. I think. Nonetheless, in dealing with realities Jackie’s Warrior, akin to Essential Quality, deserves to win by merit. One race on a ‘foreign,’ quirky track doesn’t cut it for me, except when it comes to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Ha ha

              • Matthew W says:

                Dr Schivel won three races vs older,, and lost a fourth by a nose…..Jackie’s ran exclusively vs his own age, ran the one v older and finished up the track…

          • Steve Haskin says:

            Not much to choose from . If only Jackie didnt run that badly. You really think Life is Good is deserving winning only one sprint race in late December. Even his Dirt Mile was two turns and against arguably the weakest BC field ever.

            • Davids says:

              That’s the thing though, Steve, Jackie’s Warrior is in jeopardy of not being given an Eclipse because of one bad race on a quirky track.

              • Steve Haskin says:

                That has nothing to do with Life is Good. To me Jackie’s Warrior is the champ no matter what happens. 6f isnt even his best distance. But he can win 5f, 7f, and one mile, and he beat Life is Good, who looks better suited to the Cigar Mile.

                • Steve Haskin says:

                  I meant 6f, not 5f.

                • Davids says:

                  Steve, I wasn’t referring to Life is Good, that was sceptre. Mind you, Life is Good has to be in the discussion. I was thinking simply that Jackie’s Warrior may not win the Eclipse because of one bad performance. It does happen on occasion.

        • EddieF says:

          The only way that MS could win is if there’s a determination in his favor before the votes are cast, and the possibility of that happening is slim to none. And even if it did occur, MS still might not win. Ergo, EQ wins. It doesn’t really matter to me which way it goes. Both are deserving. I believe the only purpose that the awards serve for fans is to give them something to argue about. What’s important is what happens on the racetrack.

        • Mike Relva says:

          I’m 100% convinced EQ prevails for award.

        • Matthew W says:

          There’s another thing to consider— some voters might leave Medina off of their ballots completely, refusing to even consider him for 2nd…for 3rd….for any placing.

  20. John Goggin says:

    Del Mar isn’t a quirky track? Yep, especially in November. Been to Del Mar starting back in the 60’s….had a signed program by Desi Arnaz. Still remember Charlie Whittingham, Farrell Jones, Ron McAnally etc….used to take their horse down to the beach which everyone saw on tv and let them gallop in the surf….I believe that’s what gave Bing Crosby the idea of the song “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” when Crosby first saw it happening when the track opened in 1938.
    Side notes….did anyone notice Baffert taking another two year old, Rockefeller, to NY and winning the Grade 3 Nashua the other day? Was this a statement or just racing?
    That said, nah….Medina Spirit should be the three year old champion. He proved it on the racetrack.

  21. pro vet says:

    WHY NOT THIS?……………..Bob agrees to 1 year derby ban only NO OTHER RACES……he loses the 10 % from derby….which is a couple hundred grand…….
    BOTH SIDES AGREE……..
    This would be good for racing………
    All of these overs where not an attempt to cheat….they did not effect the performances, no matter how dumb these fans are…..
    THIS WOULD BE GOOD FOR RACING……BOTH SIDES WIN
    yOU ARE HURTING THE SPORT……..

  22. pro vet says:

    A few things……MS is DQ’d…….it does not matter if it was the cream……why do people not understand this………the only thing that is at stake is the PUNISHMENT……

    THE 21 PICOS……..THAT BS about its way more in the whole body is hilarious…….it is 21 picos per……….this number is tiny….very tiny…..they are trying to twist the facts……it is very tiny….

    How do you guys not know the DQ is not going to be reversed………?

    You only need to fail the test once……..the split sample is not required…….the split sample is up to the owner of the horse to give a chance to reverse the DQ……..if owner doesnt want to test…..the horse stays DQ’d
    There is NO RULE about mistakes, or how……it does not matter……….it SHOULD though when it comes to punishment….
    I feel the 200k or 3ook or whatever Bob’s % was…..is enough of a loss……
    How about an agreement to split the difference?….1 year ban from derby only?……..this would be good for both sides….
    But no……this sport is run by dumb people……that think they know more than they do………about horses

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Whether he will or not, he still has not been officially DQ’d until the purse has been taken away from him and Mandaloun is recognized as the Derby winner. When Peter Fuller fought Dancer Image’s DQ in the courts there was still a chance it could be overturned

    • Coldfacts says:

      “this sport is run by dumb people……that think they know more than they do………about horses”

      A few questions.

      Why are race day medication thresholds in place place?
      Why is there zero tolerance for certain synthetic components in a horse’s system on day?
      Are certain rule in place to protect race horses?
      Is there a pattern of drug overages associated with Bob Baffert?
      Is Churchill Downs trying to cancel Bob Baffert?
      Was Bob Baffert banned from entering horses after Gamine was disqualified in the 2020 KY Oaks?

      The reasons for the 2 years ban impose on BB by CD Inc., was detailed in organization’s press release on the matter. It covered more than just the drug overages. It highlighted what the oganization viewed as a pattern and practice issue with Bob Baffert. His pattern of drug overages is associated with his practice of providing outrageous and ridiculous excuses, consistent with the dog eat my home work.

      Many of BB’s fans have indicted CD Ins., for its decisions. But have not held BB responisble for the overall pattern of violations that led to said decisions. Bob Baffert is view as the face of the KD. The likes of Wayne Lukas and Ben Jones were once viewed as same. Should those assigned this status be afforded exemption from the consequence of rule violations?

      Bob Baffert went on a media bliss after he was advised that MS returned an overage. This was in an effort to project himself as a victim of an envious system that had suddenly adopted the cancel culture. Watching BB on these various programs, the impression was given that he wasn’t a trainer with a longlist of violations and one constantly under suspicion.

      The CA based trainer is viewed as being above and beyond all other trainers in the KD series. As as a result, it would be a travesty to excluded his horses from participation in the race. Why would it be a travesty? Whilst one man can be viewed the face of the sport. No one man can be viewed as one of the pillar of a sport and whose exclusion will inevitably cause said sport to collapse.

      Todd Pletcher holds the record for the most number starters in the KD. He has fulfilled owners’ desire to have a KD starter, more than any other trainer. In this respect he can be viewed as the face of the KD as well. Banning TP’s horses from the KD would likely impact 20% of the starters. Such an exclusion could impact as much as 4 ownership group.

      Bob Baffert history as a trainer has dark side. One which his fans have chosen to ignore. This isn’t his first major scandal. He was under a major investigation for the sudden death of 7 horses under his keep and care. In what was considered a very short window for off the track deaths. Whilst he was cleared, the investigation revealed that he was using a thyroid drug on all his horses. It is unlikely all his horse had thyroid issues. He discontinued the usage of the drug after the investigation.

      There can be a lot of spin to reflect the face of the KD. Be it number of winners or number of starters. But what isn’t subject to spin is the true pillars Thoroughbred racing. The breeders, owners and the betting public. There are many lobbying for either a ban reversal of ban relief for Bob Baffert, sighting his indefensibility to the KD. But there is a silent majority who believe the sport would be better of without him.

      • pro vet says:

        Because too many are not educated enough about horses…….like you…….they are business people, or owners or breeders…..the think they know more than they do……Barry Irwin is the head of the Hay oats water morons…..that is proof there……he posts bad info

  23. Matthew W says:

    I can’t wait to see Life Is Good run.
    I can’t wait to see Flightline run.
    I can’t wait to see Mandaloun run.
    I can’t wait to see Hot Rod Charlie run.
    I can’t wait to see Medina Spirit run.
    I can’t wait to see Subconscious run.
    I can’t wait to see Yibir run.
    I can’t wait to see Express Train run. But thats just me, I love the horse, but he would’ve been clobbered Sat, by 15 lengths….ALL FOUR Classic favorites ran lights out, I think Beyer was way low, that was a 120 by Knicks Go….Medina 112, Essential 110, Hot Rod 108….
    In my book.