View Full Version : Eclipse Awards

December 17th, 2008, 12:45 PM
Not sure if I'm the only horse racing fan on here or not, but let's find out! Let me know what your thoughts are if you follow racing, and feel free to PM me to chat about it - I'm always open for conversation.

How about opinions on Horse of the Year? In my opinion, there are two horses that deserve it - Curlin and Zenyatta. Why not Big Brown you ask? *cough*becausehesucks*cough* Ahem... sorry about that. lol Big Brown didn't show up on the day that mattered. There is absolutely no proof that he is better than Curlin or Zenyatta. He is by and far the best three year old of 2008, but he, in my opinion, is merely a good horse in a mediocre crop. Yes, he beat Shakis(RIP) and Proudinsky. No, that doesn't make him an awesome horse. No offense toward those two, but they are not the best turfers in the world, they are not horses that could be considered great, and, in my opinion, niether is Big Brown. I think he could have won the Triple Crown and gone down in history, but I also believe he is completely overrated. I'll admit one thing that I was wrong about concerning Big Brown - prior to the Haskell, I was certain he had no heart at all. He proved me wrong with that victory over Coal Play, but he by no means won impressively, and at the top of the lane he looked beat. So props to him for coming back to still win, but what did he beat in that race? What decent horses has Big Brown ever defeated? If you still argue that he's better than Curlin, look at his Beyer numbers. 106, 106, 109, 100 before the Belmont. I'll throw out his Belmont - he was the best horse by far in that race - and though I couldn't find a Beyer for the Haskell, he ran a 105 in the Monmouth Stakes. They aren't horrible, no, but Curlin ran the same 105 Beyer in the Stephen Foster and he never tried. This year's Jockey Club Gold Cup number was a 111, and Big Brown hasn't been able to touch that. I won't mention last year's Beyers, which would have dominated Big Brown, because this is horse of this year, not last, which Curlin already won.

Kay that was a big rant about Big Brown! lol Now the real reason I posted this: Zenyatta should win Horse of the Year over Curlin. Now that I've finished dogging the Derby and Preakness winner, I'm going to explain why I think Zenyatta deserves HOTY more than Curlin. One word to describe Curlin: professional. One word to describe Zenyatta: freak. Curlin wins his races, of course, but take a look at those races. How does he end? No he isn't running his heart out, but he's not just out for a walk in the park. Zenyatta, on the other hand, has never put her ears back in a race. She always crosses under the wire with her ears pricked, simply laughing at the competition. Sure, she's never dominated her races, but she's never tried. As soon as Mike Smith asks her to go, she revs up and just sails past the leaders with absurd ease. Curlin, on the other hand, is obviously not the horse he was last year, and I honestly don't think that he could beat Zenyatta in a race. Zenyatta makes up more ground in her races with more ease than Curlin, and she's beaten more than Curlin has this year, as well.

The European dominance in the Breeder's Cup is a sign that the American horses aren't so great. The males haven't been so great this year. However, Curlin, and believe me, I'm a fan of this horse, has beaten most of them, and so he is by and far the best older male in the country. However, he, like Big Brown, hasn't beaten much this year. I think the effort that proved his worth the most this year, next to the Dubai World Cup, was the Man O' War on turf. He was beaten by a Breeder's Cup Turf champion, and beat another Breeder's Cup Turf champion. And he'd never started on turf before. That, to me, was his most impressive effort in the States this year. So Curlin's beaten some great turf horses. What has Zenyatta beaten? Well, you've got Distaff champion Ginger Punch, who she simply dominated in the Ladies' Classic, you've got Cocoa Beach, who also beat Ginger Punch, and GI winners including Hystericalady, Romance Is Diane, Sealy Hill, Carriage Trail, and Music Note.

She also did something that is very hard to do in a race, and most notably done on multiple occasions by Secretariat, in the Lady's Secret Stakes this year - she ran each quarter faster than the one before. Her splits were :24 4/5, :23 4/5, :23 1/5, :22 3/5, and a final sixteenth in :06 flat. She also, unlike Curlin, is undefeated in all of her nine lifetime starts. She ran a 104 Beyer in the Apple Blossom in only her fourth start. Now this may be lower than either male's, but taking into account that she has never tried in any of her races and that was her fourth start(in which she destroyed multiple GI winner Ginger Punch), it's pretty comparable. Her highest Beyer was a 108, which she did twice, and while that's a few ticks off both Big Brown and Curlin, I think that because she has passed every test and done it all with ease, she deserves Horse of the Year.

Whew. I just wrote a novel didn't I? lol Haha I'm passionate about this stuff. Don't feel obliged to write that much. lol