Too Much?

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 4, 2009 in General Discussion, Other Events | 8 Comments >>

Are we asking too much of our runners? Has the clamor of the crowd and year-end honors blinded us to reality?

I guess Rachel Alexandra has me scratching my head. She attempts to be the first filly or mare to ever win the Woodward. She is already being compared to many of the great gals; Ruffian is one of the first to enter my mind. Are they asking for too much? Or, is this the right race for her?

Far be it from me to question, but from a fan’s perspective, I have to wonder if facing the boys this much will be trouble for her. I am aware that she is the overwhelming favorite, and she looks like she has never gotten to her bottom gear. I ask the question: maybe she should wrap up and face her own? If they are not going to the Breeders’ Cup, there is no reason to put her to the task.

I have read as you have, that J.J. plans on bringing her back to the races next season. I think we have seen something special, and I would love to see her stay in the game as long as possible. For the first time in a long time, an owner wants to keep her in the sport. I support this plan, and there has never been a time when we needed a champion so badly. But keep her running against her own.

There are many trainers who believe that horses have just so many races in them. They put them to the task early and often, and off they go to the breeding shed. I have heard that many are not as healthy going this route. Many farm managers would like to keep them fresh, keep them in the game, and decide an appropriate time for the shed. After all, that is where the money is made for big rollers.

In the end, where will she be rated?  Will history treat her kindly as Beldame, Ruffian, and many others? I think she has made her mark, and we need to keep her in the game as long as possible.  There have only been 13 three-year-olds who have won the Woodward. The last filly to have attempted the feat was four-year-old Lady’s Secret in 1986. She finished second to Precisionist. There have been only ten fillies to have beaten older males on the dirt. That is an incredible number for the years.

I guess after Saturday we will know the truth. I hope the toll is not too heavy a price to pay for such a talented creature.

8 Responses to “Too Much?”

  1. Ryan says:

    I could see your point if she was a normal filly, but she isn’t normal. She will go down as the best filly to have ever step on the track; period.

  2. Horstradamus says:

    I sure hope you are right….

    We love the game, and watching her has been a pleasure.

    Good luck !

  3. Ryan says:

    She did it. Horse of the Year.

  4. Dan Moore says:

    Id put her up for the year. what a treat to watch her race.

  5. Horstradamus says:

    That may have been the most exciting race I have ever seen..

    No doubt, she is the real deal.. I think the Zenyatta debate has been put to bed !

    H.O.T.Y !!

  6. Sandy in Marin says:

    The Woodward was awesome, no Rachel was Awesome! The DRF has some good stories about this race as well as the controversy about the artificial turf that Jess Jackson wants to protect Rachel Alexandra from, and I don’t blame him. Remember the tragic week at Del Mar where 10 horses were hurt and had to be put down? That to me is just shocking. I also heard that the officials there kept telling the press how great the surface was supposed to be for preventing or minimizing injuries. Sounded like the guy was reading the brochure that came from the manufacturer. Geez.

  7. Horstradamus says:

    She was AWESOME !!

    I think she deserves a long rest…. J.J saw Curlin last year spin his wheels. I think he is trying to keep her healthy. Gals like this come around once in a great while. I would really think about going to California. There is not enough data to understand about the breakdowns.

    No matter what track. That is the hardest part of the game. The DRF always has great stories. Many of my friends write for them, and they love the sport just as we do.

    Best of luck !

  8. miles says:

    Her real test was to face the world class horses showing for the Breeders. JJ putting her to rest will keep the buzz on her going. I don’t really think she is that good to handle the horses coming to the Breeders. Best filly to step on a track??!! This industry hasn’t seen a triple crown winner for almost 40 years. I guess the crowd will just latch on to anything but the males she beat this year are mostly mediocre horses.

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