JC / Railbird

Not Like the Other

One last post about Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra (for a couple days, at least), as I can’t help noting that the reasons both trainer John Shirreffs and owner Jerry Moss are giving for ruling out shipping the mighty mare to New York for a race at Saratoga or Belmont is the detention barn and Giacomo’s meltdown before the 2005 Belmont Stakes. Interesting how they’re citing the one thing that makes NYRA tracks different, just as Jess Jackson did with his mentions of Curlin’s Breeders’ Cup Classic loss and the Santa Anita Pro-Ride when he said Rachel Alexandra was unlikely for the Breeders’ Cup. Excuses to duck? Or legitimate concerns for both camps?


I noticed that too. Why not Churchill then, they already shipped Zenyatta there once and we know Rachel likes it. Is there anything appropriate for them in the fall after the BC?

Posted by dana on June 30, 2009 @ 11:03 am

Someone also suggested Keeneland fall meet (Spinster?). Maybe next year in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn? Plenty of neutral sites to choose from.

Posted by Kevin on June 30, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

Fear of the NYRA detention barn?

Is this horseman using “cough syrup” too ?

Posted by The_Knight_Sky racing blog on June 30, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

Spinster is out, it’s run on plastic.

The Falls City G2 for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 is typically in late November at Churchill. The BC is a week later this year though, so it might be only 3 weeks between races for Zenyatta.

Read another bit from Sheriffs saying his biggest problem with Giacamo in the detention barn was that his stall was in a noisy corner “near the ESPN cameras” NYRA needs to accommodate him somehow.

Posted by ljk on June 30, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

The only appropriate grade 1 or 2 races at sites other than NY or CA from now until year’s end are:

G2 $1million Delaware Handicap (10f) on July 19
G2 $300k Molly Pitcher (8.5f) at Monmouth on August 30
G2 $500k Hawthorne Gold Cup (10f) on October 3
G2 $300k Falls City Handicap (9f), or G2 $500k Clark (9f), both at Churchill in late November

Both have won at Oaklawn, but, unfortunately, their next meet doesn’t begin until January 15. However, the Fair Grounds starts November 6. What I would like to see is the Fair Grounds write a stakes race specifically for them (a la Big Brown’s Monmouth Stakes). Make it around December 5—exactly 4 weeks after the Breeders’ Cup, if that’s were Zenyatta is destined.

Posted by Valerie on July 1, 2009 @ 2:49 am

The Molly Pitcher comes up in Haskin’s latest post:

Now, comes the possible solution; one option that hasn’t been discussed, but is worth mentioning, just for the heck of it. But if the two parties involved really…I mean really…want a showdown, what if Monmouth Park moves the date of the Molly Pitcher back a week to Sept. 5, giving Zenyatta four weeks from the Clement Hirsch, instead of three? If the 1 1/16 miles is too short, Monmouth has proven to be one of the more accommodating tracks and can easily move it to 1 1/8 miles.”

But I like the idea of a year-end race written for both at the Fair Grounds. That would be a great way to close out the second season and settle HOTY.

Posted by Jessica on July 1, 2009 @ 10:20 am