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Starting racing .. at 10?

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  • Starting racing .. at 10?

    No I'm not talking about a jockey, but rather a horse making his maiden at 10! Perhaps I should make the effort to go to Hawthorne in person tomorrow although me thinks this won't be some Hollywood feel good tale. You have to wonder what the horse will be thinking after years of not being a race horse to suddenly be expected to run.

    Daily Racing Form 1-9-08 "Belated debut for 10-year-old"

    Sovereign Sigh might be making his first career start in the ninth race on Friday at Hawthorne, but the horse has seen plenty of this world. That's because Sovereign Sigh makes his racing debut days after reaching the crusty age of 10.

    If Sovereign Sigh somehow should step up and win, could he be labeled precocious?

    Sovereign Sigh is a son of the obscure sire Harriman and the mare Lil Donna Pearce, a daughter of the equally obscure sire Mr. Cinder Man. Like Breeders' Cup Mile winner Kip Deville, Sovereign Sigh was bred in Oklahoma. The fellow that bred him, Mark Steven Osko, still owns Sovereign Sigh, and called up to Chicago last month looking for someone willing to take the horse. That someone turned out to be trainer Manny Perez.

    "He's been here about three weeks," Perez said. "I don't care what people say about it. I had no problem with taking the horse. The people are excited about getting him in a race. I haven't had any trouble with him."

    Sovereign Sigh had several works at Blue Ribbon Downs in Oklahoma, but the horse still was not a fit animal when he arrived at Hawthorne.

    "He was a little fatter when I got him, but I put him on a strict diet," said Perez. "He has lost a lot of weight. He looked like an old warhorse when he came in - now he looks like a racehorse."

    Perez said he had heard a litany of ailments that delayed Sovereign Sigh's first start: sickness at 3, bucked shins at 4, this, that, and the other thing. "But once you get them over that hump, you're good to go," said Perez.

    Sovereign Sigh got in a six-furlong gate work on Jan. 4 at Hawthorne. Now, Perez sounds a lot like many trainers with more traditional first-time starters.

    "This horse can run, but I wish I had one more work in him," he said.
    Best O' Luck to him - it is supposed to be a high of 35 degrees with some flurries.

  • #2
    Perez said he had heard a litany of ailments that delayed Sovereign Sigh's first start: sickness at 3, bucked shins at 4, this, that, and the other thing. "But once you get them over that hump, you're good to go," said Perez.
    What was his excuse for the other 6 years of his life between 4 and 10?

    Best of luck to him tomorrow! They should have had put Hawthorne's 40 year old female apprentice jockey on him. That would have really made for movie of the week material if he won.

    What's Illinois laws regarding horses racing over the age of 10? I know some states get screwy... horses over 10 can't run if they haven't started in X number of years, or haven't had a win in a certain timeframe, blah blah blah. I guess I'll google it...
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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    • #3
      I couldn't find any age restrictions for Illinois, so I'm assuming there aren't any.

      Although I do understand now why Sovereign Sigh may have made the trip from Oklahoma to Illinois. From the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission Rules of Racing:

      325:25-1-11. Age Restrictions
      No maiden six (6) years or older shall be permitted to compete in a race with the pari-mutuel system of wagering.
      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

      Comment


      • #4
        this makes no sense whatsoever. dont most tracks have a rule about maidens being over a certain age ??? one would think at this point why bother ??? horse show diva dot com has a message board and a racing section
        horse show diva dot com

        Comment


        • #5
          Maybe they wanted to make sure he had fully matured?

          His works have been fairly decent & consistent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Remember that poor horse called Zippy Chippy? Wasnt he a 9 yr old maiden who got ruled off Finger Lakes for not leaving the gate? They kept racing the poor thing.
            horse show diva dot com

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by hipsdontlie View Post
              Remember that poor horse called Zippy Chippy? Wasnt he a 9 yr old maiden who got ruled off Finger Lakes for not leaving the gate? They kept racing the poor thing.
              Poor thing? I have to totally disagree and a lot of folks on this board would agree that age and even the number of starts means nothing. It is the care, soundness, and metal state of the horse which should dictate if a horse should be continued to run.

              Zippy Chippy was rulled off the Finger Lakes track as he was determined to be uncompetitive. He landed a few years - and closed out - the Berkshires summer county fair races. Nothing was wrong with him running in those races. Zippy had a fan base, cheers when he ran, and never went a day without a meal or a good place to rest. He wasn't made to run for his dinner, or run into the ground and was even retired a few times. That only resulted in his depression and anger with being left in some pasture so he was brought him back. So what if he didn't win - I think the thrill for him was being part of the action.

              Today he is a lead pony and stil a part "of the action".

              Now on the opposite end is Dona Chepa who is 10 yrs old and not sound, not winning - not even close, and while folks in PR might think its funny it makes no sense. Again neither age nor the number of starts is pertinent, but soundness is the key.

              Regarding the Hawthorne starter Sovereign Sigh I don't object to him running at 10 yrs old. A few excellent old timers have been ruled off tracks in Texas which in theory was well intended but in reality dumb. Sovereign Sigh's workouts have been decent and I assume he's passed his gate certificate, has learned to rate, and can deal with running along the rail and not running out. I just don't think suddenly they'll have found the next Exterminator picking up with the Iron Horse left off at the age of 9.

              Comment


              • #8
                One of the biggest differences being that Zippy had 100 starts in his card-filler career, whereas to date Sovereign Sigh has done, well, zip.

                Supposedly Zippy is a cranky SOB and was miserable with farm life during a try at retirement, so back to the track he went. I think he was still being used as an outrider or pony horse at FL. He was rightly banned from several tracks. Though he should have been retired a lot sooner than he was, at least his owner/trainer cares enough about him to provide a home for life, a lot more than can be said for many owners (not just in racing but ALL disciplines!) unfortunately.

                Comment


                • #9
                  All things considered, a 10 year-old maiden is more suited to life at the track than a 2 year-old.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My 2004 Racing Almanac tells me that Zippy is the second losingest horse of all time. But, he did win $30,034!!! Zippy lost 97 times out of ...it doesn't say. But the losingest horse of all time was Thrust (1950); he lost 105 times! But Zippy holds the record for the length of time he tried and failed...10 years

                    Interesting side note, right below that is the leading horses of all time by starts. A horse called Hiblaze (1935). He raced for 14 years and had 406 starts! Holy cow!! He won 79 times!!! Interestingly enough all the horses on this list are from the 30's, except one, 1925.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by miss_critic View Post
                      My 2004 Racing Almanac tells me that Zippy is the second losingest horse of all time. But, he did win $30,034!!! Zippy lost 97 times out of ...it doesn't say. But the losingest horse of all time was Thrust (1950); he lost 105 times!
                      The cited mare from Puerto Rico in my prior post holds the world's record for most losses. She even won a plaque for 'breaaking the record' previously held by an Aussie horse I believe.

                      Anhow Zippy's last race was Sep 10, 2004 and his 100th call to post. His final record 100 starts 0-8-12 earnings of $30,834

                      Equidaily.com's chronicled last race for Zippy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The whole Zippy Chippy thing used to piss me off royally. It's just another way of having a negative slant on racing news when someone captializing on having a life long loser made headlines.
                        That was all the local papers used to pick up on around here. You could have horses run incredible races,nada about it. There were local connections who had horses that won at bigger venues such as Saratoga, and all they would write up was ZippyFreakingChippy losing again.
                        I was glad when they retired him finally.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                          I couldn't find any age restrictions for Illinois, so I'm assuming there aren't any.

                          Although I do understand now why Sovereign Sigh may have made the trip from Oklahoma to Illinois. From the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission Rules of Racing:

                          This is no longer true, each racetrack has the authority to determine eligibility and at BRD it could race.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gallupgirl View Post
                            This is no longer true, each racetrack has the authority to determine eligibility and at BRD it could race.
                            Ah, good to know. Thanks for the correction. Can't say I know much of anything about Oklahoma's specific racing laws aside from what was published in their online rulebook.
                            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              One of Sovereign Sigh's last workouts was last Firday (1/4/08) at Hawthorne: 6 Furlongs in 1:18.20 putting him 5 out of 6 horses working at the distance

                              His first start was going to be at Blue Ribbon Downs (Sallisaw, OK) December 1, 2007 when he was 9-yrs old in the 1st race at 6 Furlongs but was scratched

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                So has he raced yet today??
                                "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I looked it up, and seem to remember post time being 5:22 or 5:27 CST.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    DRF results: 9th race at Hawthorne ... alas he finished last of 10 starters.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Chart says he hit the gate. That couldn't have helped.

                                      Certainly not something one would like to see, wiping up the field's behind, but there's gotta be a certain amount of "WTF?!?!" going on in the mind of just about any first time starter regardless of age.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Here's the link to today's race.

                                        Video
                                        "fighting stupidity; one step at a time" -- a wise COTHer

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