Monday, August 10, 2009

Zenyatta Wins Clement L. Hirsch but Rachel is Still the Queen

Zenyatta won the Clement L. Hirsch on Sunday at Del Mar, but Rachel Alexandra is still the queen.  Simply put, Zenyatta was all out to beat a field that Rachel no doubt on a dirt surface, would probably have beaten by between 10 to 20 lengths.
I was a bit embarrassed, actually, for both the connections of Zenyatta and Zenyatta's fans as I watched them gush over the brilliant filly.  Yes, Zenyatta is still brilliant, 12 victories in a row means something, but she has yet to run against Rachel Alexandra on a traditional dirt surface and I doubt that her connections will do so claiming, as they have before, that if Team Rachel wants to go out west and take on Zenyatta on an artificial surface than they would be more than willing to tackle her.
It's a ridiculous notion in my mind since I do believe that the artificial surfaces give closers like Zenyatta a huge edge over front-runners like Rachel Alexandra who are prone to tiring much more easily on concoctions like Polytrack or cushion track or Pro-Ride.  Rachel Alexandra has taken on the boys while Zenyatta has run against females.  Rachel Alexandra has won a Triple Crown race while Zenyatta's connections, while she was a three year old, kept her away from any horse that could challenge her.
Rachel's connections have been bold and even though I have said in the past that their boldness was unfounded, I have to give them credit now.  I was wrong.  They were right.
Zenyatta is brilliant.  Rachel Alexandra is special.  Zenyatta is Bobby Charles, the brilliant songwriter/musician from central Louisiana who almost never leaves the swamps of Cajun Country and plays a particular brand of music.  Rachel Alexandra is Bob Dylan who travels the world and changes direction musically every time he steps into a studio.
Who would you rather be?
I'd rather be Rachel Alexandra and I doubt anyone would argue against that.  Zenyatta is brilliant, but she isn't special.  If her connections wish her to go down as a very special horse, then she has to travel out east to take on Rachel Alexandra.
Otherwise, she will end up being spoken about in the same breath as Azeri not Ruffian.


  1. Very well written and very much true.Rachel Alexandra will be spoken about with the Greatest Philly of all time Ruffian while the connections of Zenyatta seem to be letting her be forgotten. In a few years after they retire her she just become another horse that ran well. Horse's like these don't come around to often and when they do they need to be put out there for all to see not just the west coast.Horse racing has been dying for years now and you would think the people who run our great sport would do everything in there power to bring them together so we the fans and hopefully the new fans would want come out once again. Anyway, Great Article.

  2. LMFAO. Is that why Rachel is ducking er..skipping the Breeders? Rachel's handlers already answered this question months ago. "we are not going to the breeders because of the plastic"


  3. IF Zenyatta wins the Ladies two years in a row or somehow gets in the Classic and wins the only thing that is going to be remembered about Rachel is 'so that is why Rachel duck er skip the Breeders'

  4. Rachel is definitely ducking the Breeders' Cup. But, my position is that I don't blame her connections for doing so. Artificial surfaces, from what I've seen, aren't any safer than traditional dirt surfaces. So, what is the point for them? I saw Indyanne break down on the Hollywood cushion track (or ws it the Santa Anita Pro-Ride?) a few months ago.

    The only thing artificial tracks usually do is hurt front-runners. Again, this is just what I've seen.