Friday, November 19, 2010

Schooling Travis Stone

I almost signed up on Facebook today, just to comment on Travis Stone’s blog. I said ”almost”. I don’t really have a need for Facebook, so my comments will appear in this format.

Mr. Stone,
It is astounding to me that you describe Zenyatta’s finish in the Classic, as “she ran her race, but she came up short." Yes, in one sense, saying she came up short is a nice way to say that she lost the race. And maybe that's what you meant.
However, it’s interesting , that as a race-caller, you think this. Because in true racing terms, coming up short has always meant that a horse did not have the fitness, the conditioning, the “bottom, or the “air” to persevere to the finish line.
Zenyatta most definitely finished up strong, with her sustained and powerful long strides - one long stride to Blame’s two; she was getting to Blame - she just ran out of racetrack.
Blame was courageous to hang on, but Mr. Stone, I know as a racecaller you have watched a lot of races, but you need to go back and take another look. Zenyatta was NOT a short horse.

Ok, so in a fantasy world, let’s pretend both horses were running back in a few weeks, under the same conditions and you were handicapping the race. Who actually finished up stronger ? From watching the Classic, who do you think would have "more in the tank"? I know who my money would be on.

Blame prevailed by inches; Zenyatta needed  those few inches to grasp victory.  The race is over. Blame got there first. It's one race .It's inches.
And because everyone's perception of reality differs, the debate will rage on.


  1. The debate will continue...Blame kept running through the finish line and never let Zenyatta pass him.

  2. I'm sorry that you and many others are having trouble coming to terms with the fact that Zenyatta lost. I know how you feel. I was a huge Alydar fan. No matter how many times I see the replay of the 1978 Belmont, I still think Alydar will win. But, he didn't. Affirmed won the Triple Crown.
    Blame won the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic. It doesn't matter how many words are spilled or how things went after the wire. In the Breeders' Cup Classic, Zenyatta came up short. She lost. Instead of trying to change that reality, why not cherish the 19 races that she did win?

  3. To SS and V,
    Thanks for stopping by,
    I'm really not trying to change what happened.On the one hand, I may be a little more invested than some because I followed Zenyatta from her first race. And because of that I really do cherish her whole campaign. Trust me, I'm very good at turning the page. As I have said before, regardless of the Classic finish, we see a couple of "Blames" every year. We will not see another Zenyatta for a long, long, time.
    BTW, I was a big Alydar fan as well, I was at his Blue Grass and I'll admit, back then, it took me a while to get over all of that.

  4. Your title is very arrogant. If you have a disagreement with someone then you can go about airing your different opinion without saying you're "schooling" them.

    I've yet to find the reasoning behind your post. Was it to take one iota of a blog that had over 1,000 words and create a reply based on that single item?

    Talk about grasping at straws, you bring up who someone would bet on if these two ran against each other again? Sadly, there will be no more rematch, the scoreboard will forever read:

    Blame 1, Zenyatta 0

  5. Dear "blamethewinner"
    You are waytooserious. "Schooling" is a term horse people use all the time. I'm sure Mr.Stone could school me on a couple of things too.I wanted to make the distinction between a horse coming up "short" and a "short" horse, for those that might not know. I have my opinion, he has his, and you have yours.
    About that scoreboard, you are right about that, but the scoreboard won't matter at all when Zenyatta goes into the Hall of Fame.
    Thanks for visiting...

  6. I appreciate your bringing attention to my blog post. I'm not sure how anyone could assume that by saying "short" I meant unfit, or out of shape, especially given the rest of the article in which I clearly recognized Zenyatta's talent and performance. That all said, it is rather curious how you title your blog post "Schooling Travis Stone" -- as if you have something to teach me? You're right, I've watched many races in my lifetime, and I've even announced Blame before... but it didn't take a mountain of knowledge to recognize that on the wire, he was the winner. Fair and square.

  7. Mr. Stone,
    My sincere apologies to you if you were offended. I thought I made it clear at the beginning of my post just what you probably meant. That Z came up short. I went on to make the distinction between that, and a short horse. Evidently, that wasn't apparent, I guess. And you are right Blame won fair and square.By inches. And again,IMO, not the Super Star that we look for for HOTY. Opinions differ, even as the results stand.
    My title was supposed to be a little tongue in cheek, maybe I came up a little short.
    In any event, thanks for your input...

  8. I did not find this title offensive towards Travis Stone. Anyone who posts blogs etc. knows that these writers post articles that represent their opinions and their opinions only. The schooling lead in can mean educating one on another point of view... nothing more and nothing less. Isn't that what Travis was doing? Susan was doing the same.
    We have all seen the replay of this race a zillion times. People with little stop watches have posted different numbers for where she was here and there. Where he was enjoying himself with a perfect trip noted Al Stall, Zenyatta's jock was still considering pulling her up... She at some point in time told him to knock and off and let her run. Yes, it was a different track "feel" than the mornings but she figured it out. From there is was weaving and stopping for tired horses. One being Quality Road. By the time she was clear the race was just about over. What she did from there on out was unheard of. Missed by a whisker. Right after the race, Mike Smith was talking to Gomez... hence he was pulling her up... so therefore Mr. Stone's and others with the she didn't pass him after the finish need to realize this fact. Lots of horses even if they win don't continue to run out unless the jock allows it. Some trainers who use the race for a maintenance work even though it is a race, may ask the jock to ride them out. So, as far as, Blame being horse of the year, this race can not be counted. And...why should it, it certainly didn't count last year and she made history!
    Keep up the good work, Susan. Refreshing to see headlines that grab the reader that don't begin with Blame, Horse of the Year...that one is just plain silly.

  9. Anne,
    Thanks for your input and your kind words. I don't believe the HOTY debate will taper off any time soon!