Category Archives: Racing

Omak vs. Redstone: Am I Being Too Sensitive?

As an equestrian, I have to wonder what kind of horse sports ESPN is supporting with their recent choice to profile the Chilcotin Nation’s downhill race. In the wake of plenty of other horse sports shunned by the Humane Society of the United States, America’s ‘Suicide Race’ phenomenon is among one of many that are quite unsavory to watch. It seems the ESPN loves writing about speed, speed, and speed when it comes to horse sports, but doesn’t seem to care much for tactical merit and adrenaline rush of show jumping or cross-country (I genuinely understand that dressage would be too slow). In a recent article, the tagline reads, “Mountain racing riders only know one way to go: all out” but what exactly is meant by “all out”?

Although not as steep as the famed (and feared) Omak suicide races, the horses are still galloped top-speed down rocky hills that are awe-inspiringly steep and quite precarious. The race, exactly like the Omak suicide race, involves galloping in and out of a body of water, and a lot flat gallop home over even terrain. So is this race comparable? Unlike the Omak, this race is only run with 4 horses (the Omaha is run with more than 10). Additionally, the inclined running space is remains the same width and incline for the entire ‘mountain’ portion of the race. I’m not actually sure how deep the water is where the Redstone Stampede mountain race is run, so I cannot speak to that, however there is no “chute” that racers must funnel through and the race is only held once a year (rather than 3 nights in a row). You’ve seen the Redstone stampede, now here is what the Omaha suicide race looks like:

So I guess what I’m wondering it, is ESPN unknowingly promoting an inhumane sport? Or are the two races distinctly different enough that I’m just being too sensitive?

Let me know in a comment!

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Black Caviar Now 22-0 After Ascot Win

Black Caviar.Image courtesy of Daily Mail

You may have read previously that Black Caviar had been the horse to watch at the Royal Ascot Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Well, though America didn’t ‘have another‘, England celebrated  the monumental 22nd win for the Australian mare. The 6 year-old is now ranked 2nd behind Queen Anne Stakes winner Frankel, who amazed fans by winning by 11 lengths. Though it has been discovered recently that the mare hand endured some serious injuries after her win, sources have confirmed the mare will be resting and well-treated until she is race-ready again.

Frankel. currently ranked as the top racing mare in the world. She doesn’t just look fast, she IS fast. Image courtesy of Bet365.

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Preakness Time Finally Acknowledged

Secretariat at the Belmont. Image courtesy of Champions Gallery.

In 1973, Secretariat clocked in at 1:53 flat on the Preakness track the day of the Preakness Stakes. Initially, this time was clocked incorrectly at 1:55, as the electronic equipment had incorrectly recorded the colt’s time to be slower than the hand-clockers had recorded. However in a hearing at Laurel Park, The Maryland Racing Commission ruled that Secretariat had in fact run faster than he’d initially been clock, and that 90-year old owner Penny Chenery had been correct in assuming there had been an error in the records of her beloved horse.

“I didn’t know if it was appropriate to cheer but I couldn’t help myself,” Chenery said. “This is a big day.”-Penny Chenery, The Herald

With this new distinction made, Secretariat now holds the all-time record for all three legs of the Triple Crown, a feat that took a four-hour hearing and extensive evidence. Secretariat passed away at his home stable Claiborne Farm in 1989 at the age of 19, the proud father of over 653 foals and is now the proud bearer of of a legacy.

Secretariat is now immortalized at the Kentucky Horse Park in this elegant statue. Image courtesy of About.com and Cindy Pierson Dulay.

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Frankel Vs. Black Caviar

Frankel. Image courtesy of Dear Racing Fans.

Endorsed as the “world best racehorse”, onlookers at the Royal Ascot should expect a lot from Frankel as he faces off against thus far undefeated Black Caviar in the 1,200-metre Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Thus far, Frankel has proven to be tough to beat,  with 10 back-to-back wins in the Queen Anne Stakes over 1,600 metres. Ten others will face off against these titans in the lineup, but sources say Black Caviar will be the horse to watch when these two take to the field.

Black Caviar. Image courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald.

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Trainer With Ties To Cartel In Court

Allegedly, Eusevio Huitron was being paid unusually high amount to train horses, and has since been accused of laundering money for  Mexican drug cartel. Huitron, who trains racing Quarter horses, has been accused of laundering money for the Zeta cartel through a real-estate business and trained their horses for competition. Authorities confiscated property from Huitron,including one of his prize racing horses, Tempting Dash. This horse had won several races such as the Dash for Cash at Lone Star Park race track in Grand Prairie, Texas, in October 2009.

Tempting Dash, one of Huitron’s winning horses. Image courtesy of 440 Post.

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Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol’s New Investment A Nose Short

Initially purchased at a Lakers charity auction by basketball stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, Siempre Mio finished in second by a nose to Valkyrie Missile at the Betfair Hollywood Park this Sunday. After the race, Siempre Mio changed hands after five offers were made on the gelding. Now Siempre Mio is owned by Donkey Island Racing, a group including New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Bees.

Pau Gasol poses with Siempre Mio at the Betfair Hollywood Park. Image courtesy of Betfair Hollywood Park.

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UPDATE: No, We Won’t Have Another

As you may have already read, I’ll Have Another was unable to run in the Belmont, ending his shot at the Triple Crown. Looks like the racing world will have to continue to grit their teeth for an upcoming Triple Crown champion.

I’ll Have Another bows out of competition. Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

On a less professional note, it should be noted that this author is incredibly disappointed.

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Will We Have Another?

Since 1978, the racing world has not seen a Triple Crown winner. The last great horse to achieve this feat, Affirmed, was also a chestnut youngster. Like I’ll Have Another, he was a force to be reckoned with and an early favorite to win.

I’ll Have Another. Image courtesy of The Guardian

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Expecting Again!

Zenyatta prepares for her second foal!

Zenyatta, the incredible mare that won the 2008 Breeder’s Cup Ladies’ Classic and Breeder’s Cup Classic in 2009  is expecting again! This time, owners Jerry and Ann Moss bred Zenny to Tapit, a race horse who is the sire (father) of 2011 juvenile champion, Hansen. On Tuesday May 8th, an ultrasound revealed that the mare was pregnant at that Zenyatta’s unnamed colt would soon have a sibling. It will be interesting to see how these superstar foals fair once they hit the track, and if they will be able to fill their mother’s very heavy shoes.

Pictured: Zenyatta in her racing days. Image courtesy of BloodHorse.

As mentioned in an earlier article, Zenyatta boasts a very veritable pantheon of achievements, most notably 2008, 2009, 2012 American Champion Older Female Horse, 2012 American Horse of the Year, 2010 Secretariat Vox Populi Award, 2011 William H. May Award. Additionally, Zenyatta also won the 2008 and 2009 NTRA Race Moment of the Year Award, Has since had a stakes race at Santa Anita named in her honor, and made the top 10 list of Sports Illustrated Female Race Horses of All Time.

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‘I’ll Have Another’ Upset Please

In yesterday’s Kentucky Derby, racing fans watched as the favorites to win, Bob Baffert’s Bodemeister and Michael Matz’s Union Rags struggled to make an impression on the field. Leading the pack in the last big push for the win, Ill Have Another, an extremely long shot nosed ahead for a stellar finish. Ill Have Another is the first horse to win from post 19 at the Kentucky Derby,often referred to as the ominous  ‘long long shot’ spot racing.

Image courtesy of the LA Times.

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