Monday, May 24, 2010

Leading Ladies

The two finalists for Horse Of The Year were both back in action this morning, workout-wise. Let's discuss the leader in the clubhouse for Horse Of The Year in 2010, Zenyatta, first. Zenyatta worked in company with a maiden today, covering six furlongs in 1:13 flat at Hollywood Park. This time actually bettered her last six-furlong work last Monday, when she went six furlongs in 1:13.20. Everything seems to be in order for Zenyatta to dazzle the racing world again when she goes gateward in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 13.

As for the 2009 Horse Of The Year, Rachel Alexandra, she also worked out on Monday morning at Churchill Downs. She covered five furlongs in 1:00.40, which is considered an improvement over her more recent Monday morning workouts. The story on the work even flat out says, "Rachel Alexandra Picks Up The Pace". This time was significantly better than the five furlongs she went on May 17 in an almost dull time of 1:04.20. Where Rachel Alexandra will run next is still up in the air, but that story mentions that she could be pointed to the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap or the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis Handicap, both to be run on June 12.

I discussed the Horse Of The Year race numerous times on this blog last year and had many spirited discussions with friends of mine and co-workers at Turf Paradise over who should have won the award last year. I still feel Rachel Alexandra was the better horse in 2009 and did more to prove her case over the course of the year, not just on one day in the autumn. However, right now, Zenyatta is so far in front of the field for Horse Of The Year in 2010 that if she remains perfect (right now, she is 16 for 16), I don't see any way Rachel Alexandra can catch her for Horse Of The Year, even if Rachel starts another epic streak herself. As a matter of fact, I don't see any way anyone else can catch her for Horse Of The Year either. The final voting might just be a walkover.

Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!


tencentcielo said...

While personally i am not a Quality Road fan, i would say that he is actually a slight favorite compared to Zenyatta for Horse of the Year. If he were to remain undefeated heading to the Breeders' Cup Classic, he would win it with a victory.

(Though I think that Blame will win the Breeders' Cup Classic.)

I felt Rachel earned HOTY in 2009, and that Zenyatta earned it in 2008. Whomever wins it this year will have earned it. But will the voters correctly value the respective victories?

Michael Chamberlain said...

Your last question in the comment is the big one since it would be human nature for the voters to try to "make it up" to Zenyatta and her connections for not voting her HOTY in 2009. Not I think they have anything to "make up", but if Zenyatta rolled through another season unbeaten, I just think she would be a tough vote against for the honor. Thanks for the comments. Keep 'em coming.