Everyone, we don't have to castigate people with differing opinions on this issue. Good arguments can be made for both horses.
The only thing I'd add is, it doesn't require a "popularity contest" to do so.
"Sinclair Lewis aptly predicted in It Can't Happen Here that if fascism came to America it would come wrapped in the flag and whistling The Star Spangled Banner." ~Harrison Evans Salisbury
Blame ran in choicer male races against not too much in his division . His plum races were the JCGC which he lost very clearly, the Whitney in which he beat the over rated and fading miler whatsisname, and the Classic in which he benefitted by a slow 26 second third quarter and Z did not .
I will always hold that she missed in that race--rather than Blame defeated her, and I don't have unicorn wallpaper in my bedroom either .
It was a misfortume that Z's connections did not take a few more little risks, as it is my opinion that she was the equal or superior to anything running out there this year, last year, and the year before ...
For me, they were almost equal going into the Classic, (although in hind-sight, Quality Road just isn't a classic distance horse, so hmmmm.) Comes down to who ran the best race there: Blame had the better trip, Zenyatta overcame 20 lengths and traffic trouble.
And if losing the Breeder's Cup Classic means losing Horse of the Year, Zenyatta should have had that award in 2008: which strangely enough, still bothers me more than the 2009 nod to Rachel.
I'm just not the type of person who looks for the excuses to base my opinions. As far as the Classic goes....putting herself over 20 lengths behind early was her choice, no one elses. To me that was her undoing = too much to make up. As far as that "over rated miler" that you mention, he was the NOW horse both on this forum and in the media for a large part of the year. Again to me, facts that should not be over looked.
Strangely, prior to BC, it was Quality Road that was being offered up as her stiffest competition for the HOY award and Blame was barely a blip on the HOY radar. The mentality of giving him the award based on a headbob is ridiculous. Almost anybody that saw that race will admit she was the best horse that day, including Blame's jockey. Its unquestionable that she will be in the HOF the first year she is eligable, yet highly doubtful he will ever be. Based on her track performance alone, she should be a lock for HOY, but if you factor in her historical marks and everything else she brought to the sport this year, to not give it to her makes this award worth nothing. She was, without a doubt, the best horse in training the past year. She is arguably, the best horse we will see for several years to come. I'm not sure that some people realize how rare it is for a horse to show up and fire every single time they are lead over. Even more rare for a late closing horse like her to find a way to win, 19 out of 20 times with the only loss being the most remarkable race of her career, only falling mere inches short...
I really liked Blame's Arab type head, too, Stuff.
Hey, at least I didn't equate Z to a dog's "Best in Show" award, right?
But let me know if you need Gogo's number to ask him "who was the best horse THAT day?" WE may think it was Z, but I don't think HE thought it was. Guess it might depend on whether he has already sold his breeding right in the horse yet for 2011?
ps Blame was widely considered more likely to beat her in BCC than QR any time past August, especially at the distance and at CD. HOY was widely thought to be between any of the top four if they won the race.
Last edited by Hermes; 12-27-2010 at 11:12 AM.
A " now " horse may be a fact as a now horse--doesn't make it a fact that said horse is that good, nor does it make said horse able to stay .
Plenty of NOW horses are over rated--crowned prematurely as freaks and such , then time proves they are not in fact, any such thing.
" putting herself over 20 lengths behind early was her choice "--that a fact ??? Her choice to be uncomfortable early on ??? But yes, her style is to be far back, though not that far . That would be a fact, based on 20 repetitions .
We do agree that facts should not be overlooked--they weren't , because you mentioned none .
I also wouldn't dismiss Quality Road too quickly as an overrated miler. He certainly "struggled" beyond 8f, but still managed a career record of 7 3-2-1 in G1 races of 9f+; I think his completely uncharacteristic finish in the Classic is more likely due to unsoundness than to distance limitations; and if he had run back to his best race of the year, I think we would have had a very different finish, perhaps even a different outcome.
I think, however, that Blame's record in the "open division" is open to question on grounds of company faced, which is a charge more usually levelled against Zenyatta, once you take weight into account. The only 2010 G1 winner Blame faced was Quality Road, and he needed 5 pounds to beat him in a photo; Zenyatta gave 2010 G1 winner Switch 3 pounds and beat her by daylight in the Lady's Secret. Once you get past Quality Road that Whitney field leaves something to be desired: Blame was giving his 3 pounds to Mine That Bird, who ran fifth in what was the best finish and the most inflated paycheck of his season. He was giving 8 pounds to Jardim who managed to finish behind Mine That Bird (while pocketing $15,000), after losing a condition allowance at Indiana Downs in his prior start; Zenyatta gets flack for giving 9 pounds to Saint Trinians in the Vanity. He was giving five pounds to Haynesfield, who smashed his head into the gate and ran an uncharacteristic race, and then game back and beat him soundly at level weights in their next starts. And he was giving 4 pounds to Musket Man, who earned $75,000 by finishing behind Quality Road and ahead of the rest of that field; and whose lone win on the year came in a $75K listed stake at Tampa in February. No one would want to give that race a G1 ranking based on anything except the top two finishers.
I don't really think that there is a lot for Blame to gain (and maybe something for him to lose, considering he never showed he could carry and concede weight) by emphasizing company before the Classic. But I do think he has a powerful argument by beating Zenyatta on the track.
Yeah, knocking Quality Road really builds the case for Z. TBC Logic.
The horse tails off, runs an unusually bad race and ends up eased in the Classic, and we ask him to give back the Florida Derby track record, the Amsterdam track record, the Donn track record, and his Met Mile, Woodward, and 2nd place in the Whitney giving 5 lbs to the winner?
You know, if the horses were half as ill tempered as some of the posters here we'd have to geld all of them.
Obviously, Quality Road is a wonderful horse, but in all honesty, even his biggest "now" fans were debating if he could win past a mile and an 1/8.
Blame beat a terrific horse in Quality Road, but (in my opinion,) he beat a terrific miler.