Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Biggest Loser 2008 Edition

I no particular order here are some of the biggest disappointments of the season to date.

Awesome Gem - From third in the biggest race of 2007 to winless in 6 tries. Awesome Gem has had a pretty depressing fall from grace. He was never a win machine but he was a G-2 winner and multiple G-1 placed. His best finish in a graded stakes this year was a second in a G-3.

Idiot Proof - Another horse who is winless in 6 starts in 2008 after a very solid Breeders' Cup performance to punctuate last years campaign. Idiot Proof had such difficulty this term connections even decided not to run in the BC Sprint preferring the Turf Sprint where he finished poorly anyway.

Breeders' Cup Telecast - Quite simply the worst BC telecast ever. Not many people watched and very little outside the actual running of the races would have compelled them to watch. From the Dutrow sexist remarks, to the unemotional Bill Nack the telecast lacked positive atmosphere. There were fewer NBC style inside stories about the lives of key individuals unless they happened to be involved in the Classic. All in all it was terribly done.

Precious Kitten - It's harsh to include a G-1 winner who performed with some credit in the BC Mile but let's face facts. Coming off an Eclipse worthy 9-4-4-0 season the Jackson's will have envisioned more return on their purchase than a single win in five starts. She actually finished off the board more often than she finished on it.

War Pass - Many people have forgotten completely about War Pass. The juvenile champion and fastest 2yo we've seen for more than a decade. He never even managed to win a stakes race in 2008.

Dream Rush - How does a filly with 6 wins from 8 sprints go 0 for 4 the next year? Dream Rush was a monster in 2007 much like Indian Blessing was this year. It really was sad to see her regress this campaign and struggle against horses she would have beaten for fun a year ago.

Unbridled Belle - She was one the top 3 older females in 2007 and it looked like she was better than ever when she returned to dominate a minor stakes at Delaware. But the positives stopped right there. she never won again and her connections didn't even bother to try the Ladies Classic.

Daaher - The would-be challenger for Curlin was thoroughly exposed as a fraud. The world ws at his feet after an explosive Cigar Mile in 2007. He completely failed to return to that level this year with two listless performances.

Country Star - Indian Blessing was the champion two year old but consensus was that Country Star was the horse you really needed to look out for. She was deadly in allowance company but dead money against stakes horses. Maybe circumstances just conspired against her and she'll be better later on under Godolphin's care but she really was a flop this year.

Big Brown's Belmont - Big Brown had a great year but when the spotlight was most intense he turned in the most bizarre effort of the year. None of his races before or since have resembled that pathetic affair. It will definitely be remembered as the worst loss by a favorite this year.


Anonymous said...

how about Chemical Steve and the Pirates From The Midwest getting buried by a turf horse on poly and whining about the misfortune of it all

kevin morris said...

If you're going to include BB's Belmont you also have to include Curlin's Breeders Cup.
My biggest disappointment is the untimely retirement of Zarkava. This horse may be the greatest filly of all time, but we'll never know because his owner has decided to breed her NOW. So we'll all lose the opportunity to see this horse run one more year and in return get (hopefully) one foal that may or may not ever see a racetrack. At least when a male retires early we get a hundred or more foals. This decision makes no sense to me.