Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gold Standard

We cannot overlook the most impressive accomplishment from the 2010 Breeders' Cup, even with all the hoopla from the dramatic Classic, the revelation that was Uncle Mo in the Juvenile and his Triple Crown chances going forward, and the unfortunate circumstances that have led to controversy with Life At Ten, who should not have run in the Ladies' Classic. No, the most impressive accomplishment from the 2010 Breeders' Cup is that we now have the single greatest performer in Breeders' Cup history right in our midst. Goldikova made it three in a row on Saturday with another epic victory in the Mile, becoming the first horse ever to win the same Breeders' Cup race in three consecutive years.

Her trainer, Freddie Head, has now been connected with the winner in five total Breeders' Cup Mile races. He was the jockey on the great Miesque in 1987 and 1988 when she went back-to-back in same race. Now, as a trainer, he has gone himself one better. Goldikova broke well in the Mile and settled into mid-pack on the outside. This was a departure from her win in 2009, when she came from well out of it to run down the rest of the field and win going away. This time, she was in the clear with a furlong to go and when rider Olivier Peslier asked to go, did she ever go? She absolutely flew past everyone in what many called the best overall field to go the post that day and won by about two lengths. She really could have called out whatever reasonable margin she wanted to and done that also.

Here is the best part of the story, folks. She is coming back to try in again in 2011. That's right, even after making history, her connections are coming back for more. Her owners waited to make sure she came out of the race OK and when they found out she did, they announced to the world that we will be able to see her try for a FOUR-PEAT in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Considering that she has only missed the top three in just one of her twenty-one starts and was the winner in fifteen of them, she certainly has given us a lot. I think we are just happy to still be able to take from her for another year. By the way, maybe Seth Hancock was right and the race for Horse Of The Year was won by Blame on Saturday night in the Classic, but I think there was another realistic candidate that had run just a couple of hours before and she now has won just one less Breeders' Cup race in her career than Blame has won just races this year. Goldikova would be a tremendous choice for Horse Of The Year, even if it was her only start in North America in 2010. She deserves it as much as anyone else.

Here is the link to watch Goldikova win her third straight Breeders' Cup Mile:
Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now I am Gone.., GOODBYE!

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