Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lucky Number Thirteen

Thirteen has long been considered a most unlucky number. Friday the 13th, triskaidekaphobia, and even Thirteen Women (long-lost weirdo thriller with two of my favorites, Myrna Loy and Irene Dunne, that pops up occasionally on TCM) are just a few of the the examples of why thirteen is a number no one wants a part of. However, if you are like Goldikova and you just won your thirteenth Group or Grade 1 race, then thirteen should be welcomed with hails and hosannas.

The connections of the three-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner invigorated the racing public when it was announced after her record-setting win at Churchill Downs last November that she would be returning to try and make it four in a row. The first step on that arduous journey to immortality was taken this weekend in France, while the North American racing public was centered on the Preakness Stakes and Animal Kingdom's try to become the twelfth Triple Crown winner. That effort ended up falling just a bit short, but Goldikova's effort was another of her classic performances.

From the article on the race on Racingpost.com, trainer Freddie Head described her win as "a brilliant and courageous seasonal debut". She won the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp in France over 1 1/8 miles, holding off the charge of Cirrus Des Aigles and won at generous odds of 3-5 on the French Tote system. Those odds are generous if you consider the greatness of the horse we are talking about here. Head refused to commit to Goldikova's next race, which many are hoping would be the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. Wherever they elect to return her, the six-year-old Goldikova emphatically drove home the point this weekend that she is finest horse in training in the world right now, we now have a baker's dozen of examples as to why that statement is true.

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

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