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View Full Version : RA and Zenyatta...Match Race?



Acertainsmile
Aug. 11, 2009, 10:40 PM
Has anyone seen this one?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/race/6567868.html

Laurierace
Aug. 11, 2009, 10:45 PM
The guy is a flipping genius! Either way he wins big. He gets tons of publicity as in front page news in some cities for nothing. If by some miracle it does happen the two million dollars buys him more publicity than the same amount spend on ads ever would. But that isn't going to happen.

Acertainsmile
Aug. 11, 2009, 10:49 PM
Your right Laurie! Just reminded me that I need a new bed...wonder if he gives discounts to racing peeps? :lol:

Blinkers On
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:09 PM
Tough guy to train for, but isn't worth a mint because he's a dummy. I wish he could get it done!

EponaRoan
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:25 PM
I'm not a big fan of match races. Probably because of Ruffian.

DickHertz
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:49 PM
Isn't this the clown who has fired about 40 trainers including Bob Baffert ?

dressagetraks
Aug. 12, 2009, 12:02 AM
I cannot see a match race between such different styles being any kind of true indication of the "better" horse.

I'd love to see them in a field race, but like Steve Haskin said, I'm enjoying watching both without it.

Blinkers On
Aug. 12, 2009, 12:37 AM
Isn't this the clown who has fired about 40 trainers including Bob Baffert ?



I dunno about clown, but yes he fired Baffert( Wimbledon is a horse of note of that relationship), Hines, and I think has a relative training for him now. Has had the unfortunate luck to have Alemeda buying horses for him. He is learning the had way to say the least

jengersnap
Aug. 12, 2009, 08:22 AM
“Gallery Furniture would sponsor the race,” said McIngvale, better known as Mattress Mack. “The winner would receive $1.2 million. The other would get $800,00.”

I read that $800,00 as $800 :lol: Bad place for a typo. Interesting concept, but I still would prefer a real race with other horses to a match race. They are very different mares though.

danceronice
Aug. 12, 2009, 12:12 PM
I would love to see a match race. I also dont' get the Ruffian-based resistance to one. So, she broke down in a match race. She could have done the same thing in a normal race and given her breeding it's even likely. Swaps, Nashua, War Admiral and Seabiscuit were all none the worse for wear. Go For Wand broke down at the Breeder's Cup--do we get rid of that?

It's a way to see how two horses do against each other while removing some of the woulda-coulda-shoulda potential excuses a larger field can always provide.

Though I can imagine if Rachel and Zenyatta both entered a race it might end up a de facto match, with maybe one other trainer sending someone out to pick up the show money....

Glimmerglass
Aug. 12, 2009, 01:02 PM
As cited - this offer has been rejected by Zenyatta's trainer in the press. No match race is going to happen anywhere with her. They have no interest in that type of race.

kcmel
Aug. 12, 2009, 01:22 PM
No, I don't want to see a match race. It just wouldn't be fair with their completely different running styles. Has nothing to do with Ruffian.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 12, 2009, 02:22 PM
No, I don't want to see a match race. It just wouldn't be fair with their completely different running styles. Has nothing to do with Ruffian.

I'm really curious - what does this mean? I'm somewhat baffled as to how running styles relates to winning a match race.

If a 1 1/8 mi race on dirt should be at 1:48 (or so) for these two higher-caliber horses it shouldn't matter if one's style is that of a closer and one enjoys a win on the lead.

Rachel is exceedingly flexible - she can win on the lead, she can easily rate, and she also has won via closing. Logically she would however take the lead against Zenyatta and most likely happily Zen would conceed her many lengths for the first 1/2 of the race.

Zen clearly has a nice closing kick and I've yet to see (nor has there been a need) a late explosion by Rachel near the wire.

So where is this "unfair" to either horse?

Video: Match race 1991 Santa Anita a TB vs QH at 1 mile (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMEPg0Rqp8I)

MintHillFarm
Aug. 12, 2009, 02:44 PM
I am against match races and feel they are a set up for one thing and that is publicity

Taking 2 extremely competitive horses and pitting them against each other to me serves no purpose. I think the race setting in a field of horses where there is likely a pacesetter, different running styles and other factors is the best test.

Two hard triers (to say the least) battling it out is not a race, in my opinion.

SuperSTB
Aug. 12, 2009, 04:58 PM
I think a match race would be HUGE to the racing industry. Secretly everyone wants it but there is also much MUCH to lose for either camp so I can clearly see why they would not want to match race.

I mean if I owned either horse- I wouldn't match race either- but it still "sounds" awesome.

On the Farm
Aug. 12, 2009, 06:52 PM
Forget purse money, I think a "Pinks All Out" format would make a match race REALLY interesting.

Pronzini
Aug. 12, 2009, 09:38 PM
Forget purse money, I think a "Pinks All Out" format would make a match race REALLY interesting.

Is that the same as "racing for pinks"? :)

Now that would be claiming taken to a whole new level.

Pronzini
Aug. 12, 2009, 09:45 PM
I'm really curious - what does this mean? I'm somewhat baffled as to how running styles relates to winning a match race.




The slower you go up front the harder it is for a closer to close. Zenyatta is so slow early and Rachel so tactical that theoretically Rachel could walk on the front end, making it necessary for Zenyatta to close with something mathetically impossible to do. Remember that Zenyatta not only has to match Rachel the last 16th, she'll probably have to run a few ticks faster and that's tough to do.

Alternatively Rachel could go out and blitz leaving Zenyatta 20 lengths behind early. Not every horse can close without the benefit of picking off other horses and Rachel could get awfully brave on the lead.

Blinkers On
Aug. 12, 2009, 10:33 PM
Zenyatta has never needed a rapid pace to close into.

Piney Woods
Aug. 12, 2009, 11:09 PM
I love watching both of these fabulous mares as winners and don't want to see one of them have to lose. Can't we just enjoy them as is, without having to see which one would lose on any given day?

Vitriolic
Aug. 13, 2009, 12:05 AM
I love watching both of these fabulous mares as winners and don't want to see one of them have to lose. Can't we just enjoy them as is, without having to see which one would lose on any given day?

Yes. Spoken as a horseperson, not someone who doesn't appreciate what a loss could do to either.
Both should run where they excel. :)

MintHillFarm
Aug. 13, 2009, 11:01 AM
Originally Posted by Piney Woods
I love watching both of these fabulous mares as winners and don't want to see one of them have to lose. Can't we just enjoy them as is, without having to see which one would lose on any given day?


Yes. Spoken as a horseperson, not someone who doesn't appreciate what a loss could do to either.
Both should run where they excel. :)


Absolutley right!

GreenMachine
Aug. 13, 2009, 11:59 AM
Yes. Spoken as a horseperson, not someone who doesn't appreciate what a loss could do to either.

I'm honestly curious: what, exactly, could a loss do to either? Both are great mares, and I don't think a loss to one or the other would damage either's reputation. Rachel has lost before, so it's not as if losing would crush her spirit.

I'd rather see them meet in a full field than a match, but I would like to see them face off. Isn't that the point of horse racing: to race the best against the best?

On the Farm
Aug. 13, 2009, 01:51 PM
I'm honestly curious: what, exactly, could a loss do to either? Both are great mares, and I don't think a loss to one or the other would damage either's reputation. Rachel has lost before, so it's not as if losing would crush her spirit.

I'd rather see them meet in a full field than a match, but I would like to see them face off. Isn't that the point of horse racing: to race the best against the best?

I'm curious of that attitude too. Wouldn't a good comparison be keeping a grand prix jumper at 3' because one would be scared of taking down a rail? Not wanting to see a horse lose has nothing to do with being a "horse person."

Blinkers On
Aug. 13, 2009, 02:42 PM
No HOY is involved. Something needs to be decided

Glimmerglass
Aug. 13, 2009, 03:11 PM
Worth noting as an aside - although neither has yet vaulted to be on peer with either of these horses - is that War Admiral's loss to Seabiscuit didn't impact his overall status. Per the late 1990's panel that determined the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century War Admiral ranked 13th and Seabiscuit, who over his career accomplished more then just win that match race, ranked at 25th.

All of this is moot as again neither party will agree to match race. As someone else cited they could meet however, post Breeders' Cup*, in say the Clark Handicap or the Fair Grounds proposed Dec 19th race (http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/racing-news/2009/August/11/Fair-Grounds-aims-big-with-Louisiana-Derby-potential-showdown-race.aspx) tailored for both horses and it likely would turn into a defacto match race.

Rachel does love both the Churchill and Fair Grounds surfaces in any form. Wet, fast, sloppy - she's dealt with it.

* worth noting on the Breeders' Cup the Zenyatta camp is mum on it being the Ladies' Classic or BCC. Frankly they very well might skip taking on the boys and Zenyatta for her whole career.

cloudyandcallie
Aug. 13, 2009, 03:21 PM
I think they should meet, but not in a match race.
It should happen when both horses' interest choose the same race for reasons best suited for their horses, not because the other horse is in the race.

(My deceased mare's relative), War Admiral's feat of winning the triple crown is historically overshadowed by his defeat by Seabiscuit. (thanks in part to the book and the movie.)

Let the girls run their races and if they both are entered in the same race, great. If they never meet, that is ok.

Vitriolic
Aug. 14, 2009, 11:16 AM
I'm curious of that attitude too. Wouldn't a good comparison be keeping a grand prix jumper at 3' because one would be scared of taking down a rail? Not wanting to see a horse lose has nothing to do with being a "horse person."

A jumper doesn't get his heart ripped out when he hits a rail or gets beaten in a jump off. A racehorse going head and head with another gives it everything they have. The adrenalin and competitive spirit cause them to run through pain, even through life threatening injuries to get to the wire. (Watch Go For Wand for an example) If they get beaten, the super successful ones know it and may never try again. You will see horses run over their heads get 4th or 5th over and over while running their guts out. By the time the owner runs them against easier, they have already given up and don't try as hard. Horses they should have romped against earlier, now beat them. I hate to see a horse win, but be so exhausted they takes weeks or months to recuperate. It is like watching human marathoners collapse at the end of marathons. At least they know what they are in for. If you want a horse to survive, have a long career, go off to the breeding shed like they deserve, they shouldn't run their guts out. A match race is a huge physical risk for undefeated mares.

On the Farm
Aug. 14, 2009, 12:18 PM
A jumper doesn't get his heart ripped out when he hits a rail or gets beaten in a jump off. A racehorse going head and head with another gives it everything they have. The adrenalin and competitive spirit cause them to run through pain, even through life threatening injuries to get to the wire. (Watch Go For Wand for an example) If they get beaten, the super successful ones know it and may never try again. You will see horses run over their heads get 4th or 5th over and over while running their guts out. By the time the owner runs them against easier, they have already given up and don't try as hard. Horses they should have romped against earlier, now beat them. I hate to see a horse win, but be so exhausted they takes weeks or months to recuperate. It is like watching human marathoners collapse at the end of marathons. At least they know what they are in for. If you want a horse to survive, have a long career, go off to the breeding shed like they deserve, they shouldn't run their guts out. A match race is a huge physical risk for undefeated mares.

We're not talking about the circumstances that you've described, we're talking about the two best distaff runners in the country. Using your logic, RA and Zenyatta should only do solo public workouts since other distaffers racing against them would be in over their heads and have to run their guts out.

Vitriolic
Aug. 16, 2009, 01:09 PM
We're not talking about the circumstances that you've described, we're talking about the two best distaff runners in the country. Using your logic, RA and Zenyatta should only do solo public workouts since other distaffers racing against them would be in over their heads and have to run their guts out.

None of the horses they are beating are in a match race going head and head against another. None are champions. You obviously can't protect them all and still have horse races, but I think since Z excels on poly and RA on dirt, one is going to be tormented in a match race. Who enjoyed watching Curlin on poly? I would have preferred to see him stay home.

rcloisonne
Aug. 16, 2009, 02:15 PM
Who enjoyed watching Curlin on poly? I would have preferred to see him stay home.
I did enjoy watching him battle it out with Rags To Riches in the Belmont. Didn't seem to take the heart out of him when he lost to her. He went on to several important wins after the Belmont and a HOY title. ;)

OTOH, the win did seem to take the heart out of RTR. She was never the same. :(

Glimmerglass
Aug. 18, 2009, 01:45 PM
NYRA is trying to get both of them in the Grade 1 Beldame on October 3rd (at Belmont Park) (http://www.ntra.com/content.aspx?type=news&id=41154) and with it bumping the purse up from $600k to $1 million. The race is at 9 furlongs - 1 1/8 miles - the same as the Haskell was.

It appears that both camps are thinking about this one more seriously and not dismissing it as unworkable. As cited above with almost any race it likely would become a defacto match race as I doubt you'd see but maybe 3 other foes willing to step in and race for show money.


John Shirreffs, the trainer of Zenyatta, who is 12 for 12 lifetime, confirmed Monday that he spoke with NYRA's racing secretary, P.J. Campo, about the race and said, "It's something to consider."

Does it work into the Breeders' Cup schedule? That is the thing we are focusing on," Shirreffs said. "We'll have to see the calendar and how it works out. It's something to consider."

Shirreffs, who had previously expressed concern about shipping Zenyatta to New York because of NYRA's race-day security barn policy, said he's not against shipping her east.

"As far as going to New York, I'd love to take Zenyatta back there and have her be seen there," he said. "I'm from Long Island. One of my wishes in life is to spend some time at Belmont Park."


"It would be extremely exciting to get them together," Asmussen said of a potential race.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 21, 2009, 01:04 PM
Betfair (parent of TVG) is the identified partner who would pony up the extra money ($400,000) to boost the Beldame to $1 milllion - if both stars are in the field.

TB Times 8-21-09 (http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2009/August/21/TVG-Betfair-boost-Beldame-purse.aspx)


The purse increase would only take effect if both stars start in the one-turn, 1 1/8-mile Beldame.

“TVG-Betfair and NYRA are thrilled to offer the owners of these two great horses the chance to participate in a Beldame for the ages,” said Gerard Cunningham, president of Betfair US. “Racing fans have been clamoring for Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta to square off all year and the Beldame presents the best opportunity for the two ‘Horse of the Year’ contenders to meet at one of racing’s best venues.”

Trainer John Shirreffs and owner Jerry Moss have both expressed reluctance to subject Zenyatta to the New York Racing Association’s mandatory detention barn, but Shirreffs told Daily Racing Form this week that he would be open to considering her for the Beldame.

“We are very excited to partner with TVG-Betfair and provide the venue and opportunity for fans to see the race of a lifetime,” said NYRA President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Hayward. “Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta are two of the most talented females that thoroughbred racing has ever witnessed, and Belmont Park would be the perfect setting for this dream match-up. We would expect the race to draw a stellar field to be part of racing history."

Beezer
Aug. 21, 2009, 02:24 PM
I could honestly see this working. Which means it won't. :p

Glimmerglass
Aug. 21, 2009, 04:00 PM
What are the chances of a rabbit being sent in? A lot of cracker barrel speculation on this one. As such NYRA's racing secretary is proposing (http://drf.com/news/article/106568.html) that it become an invitational which could shut that "bunny fear" down.


Currently a weight-for-age race that requires nomination and starter fees, the New York Racing Association would consider switching this race to an invitational if it looked like both fillies would run.

"If this happens to go forward I'd like to change it to an invitational," P.J. Campo, NYRA's racing secretary, said. "No fees, and I can put out two lists, one two weeks before and one week before."

Hopefully those with some knowledge will grasp the weight-for-age aspect and understand that Zenyatta would get more weight then Rachel.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 27, 2009, 07:26 PM
Texas won't let go and due to the racing calendar they might actually have a small window of room for his.

NYRA/Belmont/TVG's Beldame is October 3rd while the Breeders Cup is Nov. 6-7th and Zenyatta will certainly be there. To race in a hard fought run one month before? Seems dubious.

And as such the initial Sam Houston Race Park proposed race for December 5th almost seems more feasible. Further the Moss connections have not dismissed it (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/race/6588861.html):


The Moss camp has consistently opposed a match race against filly Rachel Alexandra. The race developing at SHRP — the Dec. 5 Gallery Furniture Distaff — would seek the two stars and additional entrants.

“We've been consistent in not wanting a match race,” said Dottie Ingordo, who manages the Moss racing interests. “But that (the Gallery Furniture Distaff) would be a race of consequence. The Mosses (Jerry and his wife Ann) have left the door open to races of consequence.”

Zenyatta's trainer, John Shireffs, and several members of Rachel Alexandra's team could not be reached for comment. Jess Jackson, Rachel Alexandra's owner, wants his filly racing on only dirt tracks. SHRP meets Jackson's requirement and also serves as a neutral site.

Wayne Hodes, an SHRP senior vice president, said track officials are planning in-person recruitment for the Dec. 5 race. For example, an SHRP contingent will attend the Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, where undefeated Zenyatta will run.

An SHRP contingent will probably travel to Rachel Alexandra's next race, the Sept. 5 Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga.

ETA: the The Gallery Furniture Distaff, with the two leading ladies plus other fillies and mares, would be worth at least $1.75 million.