Horse Racing Passion Blog
Horse Racing Passion Blog
Horse Racing Passion Blog

In a Kentucky Derby Galaxy, now not so far away…..My Top 3 #kyderby @mubtaahij




We can start an endless discussion regarding the field he beat in Dubai, some may say it was an honest field, some may say that it wasn’t, but regardless if it was arguable tough or not, if he repeats that moooooonster turn of foot he showed in the UAE Derby, he will be without any doubt in my mind, the winner of the 141 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Mike de Kock, has run 6 times in the USA in 5 Graded I Stakes and 1 Grade III, he has won twice (although “The Apache” was placed second after an objection in the G1 Arlington Million in 2013) trainer Kock’s worst performance in the USA was a single third place. Now that’s a stat to respect.


2American Pharoah

American Pharoah

Freaky good, almost scary the way he could go fast and finish even faster with seemingly no effort at all, but he’s never been tested on the lead with a lot pressure behind him and although he can rate, he shouldn’t, his only logical place in the race, will be in the lead, he will be as vulnerable as Bodemeister was, he’s chance will depend on how slow he can lead the field in the first 6 furlongs. Great champion without any doubt, but in my opinion, vulnerable for the first time. One little stat that might mean nothing this time, but it’s there, Bob Baffert is 0-6 with Kentucky Derby favorites.

3Firing Line

Firing Line

He’s peaking at the right time, his easy record breaking performance in the Sunland Derby, his style of running, and the speed that should develop in the race, gives him in my opinion the edge over his nemesis “Dortmund”, some might say that he’s already lost to him in the past, but today, is not yesterday, and if the race develops as it should be, a fast pace race, this horse will not be beat by “Dortmund” at Derby day.

Trainer Mike de Kock on Champion ” Mubtaahij “

Mubtaahij the X Factor in Kentucky Derby
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins


“A variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome…a noteworthy special talent or quality… an indescribable quality; something about a person that you cannot put your finger on.”

Those are all definitions of the term “X factor,” and they all could describe Mubtaahij in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) run May 2.

Perhaps the most relevant of those definitions in describingMubtaahij and his chances at Churchill Downs is the last…”something that you cannot put your finger on.”

Yes, he could have a “significant impact on the outcome,” and, yes, he definitely could be “a special talent,” But if only we could put our finger on just how talented he is and where he fits with a group of Derby horses people are calling the deepest and most gifted in many years.

Americans, both fans and horsemen, seem to be pretty much split down the middle on whether we have a potential superstar on our hands who has a big shot to knock off this year’s illustrious group of 3-year-olds or whether he simply has been beating up on a slow bunch of horses at Meydan and will not be able to match the speed of the Americans, while competing in unfamiliar surroundings in a 20-horse field with a French jockey on his back.

And that is why no one can really put their finger on how he is going to perform in the Derby. And that is what makes him so intriguing.

The son of Dubawi currently is stabled at Arlington Park and had his first three-furlong blowout over the Polytrack surface this morning, April 21.

Just look at some of the intangibles we are dealing with:

* He will be the only horse in the Derby racing without Lasix.

* In Dubai, he resided in an outdoor barn to get fresh air because he had been prone to lung infections as a young horse, but appears to have grown out of it and has been fine this year. But trainer Mike de Kock said one can never sure and has continued to stable him outdoors just in case.

* He trains without shoes and will not be shod until race day.

* He is the only horse other than 1971 winner Canonero II to come into the Derby having already raced twice at a distance farther than 1 1/8 miles, winning the last two legs of the United Arab Emirates Triple Crown (the Al Bastakiya and grade II UAE Derby), both at 1 3/16 miles.

* He has already competed in a Triple Crown series and has twice defeated a Triple Crown winner, the Southern Hemisphere-bred 4-year-old Sir Fever, winner of the Uruguayan Triple Crown.

* When he broke his maiden on the dirt at Meydan as a 2-year-old, he defeated 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds, something unheard of in this country.

* Unlike the majority of the American horses, he has raced five times in the past four months, and keeps improving.

* In the UAE Derby, Mubtaahij displayed a spectacular turn of foot and burst clear of his opponents, winning by eight lengths, with jockey Christophe Soumillon looking back twice in the final furlong. In winning the UAE Derby, he defeated horses from England, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, U.S., and Dubai.

In summation, we have an Irish-bred horse, owned by an Arab sheikh (Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum), trained by a South African, and ridden by a Belgian. And you’re surprised you can’t put your finger on this horse?

One thing you can depend on, a lot of people will be putting their finger on his number when they punch out their tickets, either at the track or on their computers. And many will be doing so because of that intangible called the unknown.

And that unknown also includes how the colt will perform without his regular (and special) feed that is not registered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be permitted in the U.S.

“I think that’s the most significant thing with all the traveling,” de Kock said on a national teleconference April 21. “It’s something that’s out of our control, and I understand where they’re coming from. But no trainer would like to change a regular diet going into any sort of event. The diet I’ve changed to is something I do know a little bit about and have used before. But the fact is, it’s not what he’s used to regularly. How much bearing that would have on his performance, quite frankly, I’m not that sure. But from a trainer’s psyche it’s not ideal, let’s put it that way.”

As for the decision not to use Lasix, de Kock said. “It’s purely about bleeding. As I understand things, Lasix is there to assist known bleeders and there has not even been a suspicion of this horse ever bleeding. I’m not sure what he’ll do if given Lasix, and because he’s never bled, I’m not prepared to gamble on his performance being altered with Lasix.”

In discussing his decision to use Christophe Soumillon instead of looking for an American jockey, de Kock said, “I believe he will have a game plan in his mind and I don’t like to interfere too much with jockeys because I don’t want to hold them to any tactics. I believe if one employs a jockey, you can sit down and have a game plan, but there’s no race ever run on paper. So you have to really have faith in your man, and if the game plan changes in the first 400 meters (quarter mile) of the race, well, so be it. One just has to accept that. The reason why I have Christophe Soumillon riding the horse is because I trust the man, I think he’s a very good jockey, and I’m going to live by the decision he makes.”

What makes this story all the more fascinating is that Mubtaahij’s career on dirt nearly never happened, and most likely only did because he was such a disappointment in his first two starts on grass at Newmarket and de Kock had no idea what to do with him.

“He was showing us a fair bit at home, so we were quite disappointed with his first two starts in England,” de Kock said. “I think he was kind of immature and just wanted a little bit of time. In fact, there was a great debate amongst us whether to take him to Dubai or not. We almost left him in England just to do the winter there, and then I thought, ‘What the hell, let’s get him to Dubai, get a bit of sun on his back, and see what he does.

“When he got to Dubai he just seemed to mature and enjoy himself, so we thought let’s have a crack at a maiden race (on dirt) and he goes and wins that and just keeps improving. So it all happened by chance and we’ll just accept the result as it is.”

De Kock said he is confident Mubtaahij can handle all that is being asked of him because of his temperament.

“With his demeanor and the fact that he’s an easy horse to travel and won so well in the UAE Derby, it gave confidence to take a crack at it,” De Kock said. “But I probably picked the worst year when it comes to the opposition, but at the end of the day you never know. It’s a sporting event and there are never any guarantees.”

Some people in America also are skeptical about a horse traveling this far and being able to win a grueling race like the Kentucky Derby. But to de Kock, this is old hat.

“In South Africa, we train in Johannesburg and we race in Cape Town, which would roughly be 18 to 20 hours by van, and it’s something we do very regularly during the Cape Town season. I’ll do it multiple times and the horses win group I races regularly. I’ve shipped to Hong Kong to win multiple group I races there, which is about 12 hours door to door. It’s not something that’s actually foreign to us. I’ve put horses on a van for eight hours and race the next day and have been successful.

“I think the key to transporting horses is, a) the horse has got an appetite, and b) the horse has got to take in fluids. If you can get the balance of the two right, you’ve got half the battle won,” de Kock said. “An 18-hour or even 24-hour journey to a destination to race is something that does not put us off.”

As for Mubtaahij as a traveler, de Kock said the trip to Arlington Park was about 24 hours door to door (with a stopover in Amsterdam), and when the colt arrived he just didn’t look quite the same as when he left Dubai, according to assistant trainer Trevor Brown.

“Trevor just felt that he looked a little bit tucked up, so I decided not to travel him down to the (Skylight) Training Center near Louisville as originally planned. Why put him on a van two or three days later and another eight hours shipping. Let’s just stay in Chicago and let him recover and get used to his surroundings. We’re very comfortable with that track and we’ve raced very successfully at Arlington.

“So we switched plan in midstride and I think we did the right thing, because within two or three days the horse was just bursting out of his skin and he hasn’t stopped eating and drinking, and whatever weight he lost he put back on really quickly. As horsemen, we have to be flexible when it comes to these kinds of things. I think the horses talk to us.”

In looking at the Derby and how Mubtaahij’s running style would fit the likely pace scenario, de Kock said, “Given the little I know about the horses that are in there, the emphasis in America does seem to be on speed, and he’s a horse who can relax fairly well off a hot pace and has a big kick and will be doing his best running toward the end. Certainly I’m not there to match the American horses for speed; I don’t think we have that ability. But I do know we have the ability to get the 10 furlongs and we have the ability to come home strong the last three or four furlongs.”

De Kock feels Mubtaahij has all the attributes to handle anything that is thrown at him in the course of the race.

“I think he needs the speed to be on and he’s a horse who has courage enough to deal with the kickback, although I probably wouldn’t want him down on the rail. We might just want to give ourselves the easiest passage sitting a little off the gallop, maybe a little wide away from all the trouble. In Dubai there was a fair amount of kickback and I think if he can deal with that, he can deal with most dirt tracks. He’s got a lot of courage and a real competitive spirit and can deal with adversity. He never lays down in a race and I never work him in company because he’s so competitive.”

De Kock, however, admits the UAE Derby set up perfectly for Mubtaahij because of the hot pace.

“They went a little too quick early on with four horses taking each other on at a suicidal pace,” de Kock said. “It was a little crazy up front and that’s why his acceleration possibly could be a little flattering. The two Japanese horses really took each other on and he was able to relax behind them and get the perfect trip. He does have acceleration, though, and he does get the 10 furlongs and runs hard to the (finish) line.

“He has the ability to sit off a lot of speed and accelerate off that, and that’s probably in his favor. However, in America I think we’re taking on a different animal in that they can lay the speed down and keep going. So, we have to accelerate; we can’t wait for them to come back to us.”

Even coming from South Africa, de Kock not only appreciates what the Kentucky Derby stands for and the prestige it holds around the world, it is a race in which he has always dreamed of competing.

“It doesn’t matter what country you come from, they Kentucky Derby has proven it’s the greatest, and if it isn’t, you tell me which one is. To be part of that is something very special to us. We’re not going with a 100-1 shot, and it would be fantastic if he ran well. It is mind-boggling to think about it and I don’t believe it will all settle in until we’re actually there and see the real scenario and all the spirit around it all.

The name Mubtaahij translates to “elated,” which is most appropriate, considering what de Kock feels having a horse like this and being able to embark on such a special journey.

“I don’t think I’ll be disappointed and I hope to gain everything out of it that I expect,” he said. “It’s something that has been an ambition and a dream since I was a very young man in this industry, and I’m really honored and privileged to realize that dream.”


In a Kentucky Derby Galaxy, still far far away….. my current Top 3


We can start an endless discussion regarding the field he beat in Dubai, some may say it was an honest field, some may say that it wasn’t, but regardless if it was arguable tough or not, if he repeats that moooooonster turn of foot he showed in the UAE Derby, he will be without any doubt in my mind, the winner of the 141 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Mike de Kock, has run 6 times in the USA in 5 Graded I Stakes and 1 Grade III, he has won twice (although “The Apache” was placed second after an objection in the G1 Arlington Million in 2013) trainer Kock’s worst performance in the USA was a single third place.
Now that’s a stat to respect.

2Firing Line

He’s peaking at the right time, his easy record breaking performance in the Sunland Derby, his style of running, and the speed that should develop in the race, gives him in my opinion the edge over his nemesis “Dortmund”, some might say that he’s already lost to him in the past, but today, is not yesterday, and if the race develops as it should be, a fast pace race, this horse will not be beat by “Dortmund” at Derby day.

3American Pharoah

Freaky good, almost scary the way he could go fast and finish even faster with seemingly no effort at all, but he’s never been tested on the lead with a lot pressure behind him and although he can rate, he shouldn’t, his only logical place in the race, will be in the lead, he will be as vulnerable as Bodemeister was, he’s chance will depend on how slow he can lead the field in the first 6 furlongs. Great champion without any doubt, but in my opinion, vulnerable for the first time. One little stat that might mean nothing this time, but it’s there, Bob Baffert is 0-6 with Kentucky Derby favorites.

Entendiendo los diferentes niveles de competencia en las carreras de caballos

“Maiden” o “Debutantes  y/o  No Ganadores”

Se sub dividen en varias categorías, siendo la mas fuerte:
* “Maiden Special Weight” o “Inaugurales de Peso Especial”, aquí los ejemplares no pueden ser comprados por terceros y mientras mas alto sea el premio, mejor es el lote.
* “Maiden Claiming”o “Inaugurales de Reclamo”, aquí los ejemplares pueden ser comprados o reclamados, antes de la carrera por un tercero con licencia de propietario del estado correspondiente, una vez mas, mientras mas alto sea el valor del reclamo, mejor es el lote.
* “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.

“Claiming” o “Reclamos” (Categoría de compra y venta)

* “Claiming”, aquí todos los caballos inscritos, están a la venta y podrían ser comprados por terceros con licencia de propietario del estado correspondiente, mientras mas alto sea el monto del reclamo, mejor es el lote.
* “Opcional Claiming” o “Reclamo Opcional”, aquí el propietario del ejemplar participante en la carrera, decide si pone o no, en venta al ejemplar, son carreras de un mayor nivel y una vez mas, mientras mas alto sea monto de la carrera, mejor será el lote.
* “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.

“Allowances” o “Condicionales” y “Handicaps” (Aquí nadie esta a la venta)

* “Handicaps” o “Especiales”, aquí los pesos de los ejemplares, se distribuyen de manera que los ejemplares con mayor oportunidad de ganar, lleven mas kilos, que los que en teoría, tienen menos chance de salir ganando.
* “Allowance”, condicional especial, mientras mas alto sea el premio, mejor será el lote.
* “Starter Allowance”, para caballos que hayan corrido en carreras de reclamo y viene en ascenso.
* “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.

“Stakes” o “Clásicos”

Aquí compiten los mejores, se sub dividen en grados, Grado 3 siendo el menos fuerte de los tres grados, Grado 2 y el mas alto de todos, Grado 1.

Como en todas las categorías, también existen, “S”‘ o “Estado”, solo participan caballos criados en el estado donde corren, son de menor nivel, ya que no son abiertas y solo sirven para promover la cría del lugar.


Understanding the Different Levels of Competition at the Racetrack

Maiden races: Where it all begins

Each year, more than 35,000 Thoroughbred racehorses are foaled (born). Every foal starts out with the hope that he or she may become a future champion. The reality, however, is that some racehorses are destined for a much brighter future than other racehorses, due to pedigree and training. Every young horse does have one thing in common, though: They all begin as maidens, meaning they’ve never won a race.

Logically enough, races for maidens are called maiden races. Within the maiden ranks are different class levels:

Maiden claiming races: In maiden claiming races, the horses are eligible to be claimed (purchased) out of the race by other horsemen. Horses beginning their careers in maiden claiming races have failed to show their connections (owner and trainer) enough talent during training, so they begin their career with a lower level price tag.
Maiden special weight races: These races are the highest level of the various maiden races. Horses entered in maiden special weight races are protected in that another horseman can’t claim them out of a race. Maiden special weight races come in many conditions based upon age, sex, surface, and distance. A trainer should be able to find the right spot for his maiden to win — whether it’s in a sprint or route race, dirt or turf race, and so on.
The owner and trainer prefer that their horse breaks its maiden (wins for the first time) in a maiden special weight. Doing so proves the horse has some quality and may develop into a nice runner. If a horse struggles to graduate (win its first race) in a maiden special weight race, it’s dropped down in class into maiden claiming races.

One thing to remember as a budding handicapper is not to give up on young horses too soon. To catch long shot priced horses, you need to be a forgiving handicapper and forgive a bad race or two. Horses throw in clunker races now and then — especially maidens. To catch good mutuel prices, you need to forgive those bad races and project when the horse will run its best.

Horses run in maiden races to create a larger pool of winners for the next condition. After a horse breaks its maiden, it moves one step up the ladder towards the top of the pyramid to face winners that have broken their maiden and a whole new set of race conditions. Depending on the horse’s abilities, it either moves on to claiming races or non-selling races.

Claiming races: Where every horse is for sale

The meat and potato races in horse racing are called claiming races. Every horse entered in a claiming race is eligible to be claimed, meaning bought out of the race. All you need is an owner’s license in that state and money on deposit in a horseman’s account. Presto — you can claim a racehorse.

Common sense rules in claiming races, so the competition remains fairly equal. For example, if you own a horse worth $30,000, and your trainer enters it into a claiming race for $10,000, chances are you’ll win the race and have the horse claimed from you. The winning purse amount won’t be enough to make up the difference of the value of the horse you just lost. In essence, you sold a $30,000 horse to another trainer for $10,000. Make enough negative cash flow transactions, and you’ll soon be out of the horse-owning business.

Some of the best races to handicap could be called hard knocking veteran claimers. These are older claiming horses that keep running every few weeks. Usually, there are full fields to handicap because the class level is populated with a lot of horses. Depending on the price scale at the racetracks near you, it may be a $35,000 claimer in Southern California and New York, a $20,000 claimer in Kentucky and Florida, or a $10,000 claimer at Philadelphia Park and Mountaineer. This class level is around the median for those racetracks. You’ll see a lot of geldings that run every few weeks and grind out purses for their owner and trainer.

You see a certain amount of gamesmanship among the owners and trainers in the claiming game. Claiming a bad-legged racehorse is like buying a lemon of a used car. You need to kick the tires a few times and check under the hood before you buy or bet. Most horses usually run to their true worth. Improving horses move up the claiming ladder, and those horses that don’t show improvement drop in class.

Non-selling races: Another step up the ladder

If a horse that broke its maiden shows real promise, the preference is to skip the claiming races and move forward into non-selling races — races where the entrants can’t be claimed. After all, the owner and trainer have a lot invested in each horse and want to protect that investment. Successful claiming horses can also move up to this level if their trainers and owners think they have a shot in this new category. The three categories of non-selling races are:allowance”, “optional claiming”, and “starter allowance” — allowance being the highest level within this category and starter allowance being the lowest.

Stakes and handicap races: The top of the pyramid

At the top of the horse pyramid are the best runners on the grounds — the stakes horses and handicap horses. These horses have gone up the ladder, breaking their maiden and winning through their allowance conditions, and now they’re tackling the best horses at the racetrack. They also face invaders who ship in from other racetracks to try and steal a rich purse.

These are the kind of horses and races you see at the racetrack or OTB and on television in the feature races on weekends and holidays. The racing secretary cards overnight stakes, restricted stakes, non-graded stakes, and stakes graded 3, 2, and 1. These stakes horses are the crème de la crème, the kind you’re willing to spend good money to see run.

Here are explanations and examples of each category of stakes race:

Grade 1 stakes: These stakes exemplify the very best races in the country. For example, the Triple Crown races — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes — are grade 1 stakes. In races of this caliber, you expect to see champion racehorses competing against the very best in their respective divisions. The richest purses tend to be grade 1 stakes, because the best horses follow the money.
Grade 2 stakes: These stakes are considered a cut below grade 1, but they attract a very talented group of horses. A stakes race can move up or down in grade depending on the caliber of horse that runs in it. For example, if a grade 2 stakes has horses in it that normally run in a grade 1 stakes, the race may be upgraded the following year to grade 1 status.
Grade 3 stakes: Another level down from grade 1 and grade 2 stakes, these stakes have a noticeably smaller purse because they attract a lesser caliber of stakes horse. Still, the competition is keen, and the field sizes can be large because the race draws starters from a bigger pool of horses. There are more grade 3 caliber stakes horses than grade 1 caliber horses.
Non-graded stakes: The vast majority of stakes races don’t have grades 1, 2, or 3. However, that doesn’t mean the horses aren’t any good. Quite the contrary. At a major racetrack, a non-graded stakes may be a stepping stone race to a graded stakes. At a smaller racetrack, a non-graded stakes can attract the best horses on the grounds. Any stakes race at any track attracts a very good caliber of racehorse.
Restricted stakes: These stakes are written for horses born in a specific state. For example, there are programs for horses born specifically in California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, to name a few. So, for example, in a California-bred stakes race, only horses born in California can compete.
Overnight stakes: These stakes are written with three days advance notice. In a way, these are high-level glorified allowance races. They carry a higher purse than allowance races. For most stakes races, a horse has to be nominated (pay a fee to become eligible) a month or two before the date it’s scheduled to run. This nomination process allows horsemen to point for a race and the marketing and publicity departments at the racetrack to promote the race.
The top stakes are awarded a grading of 1, 2, and 3 to let everybody know what the most important races are. Every racing office has a person called a stakes coordinator assigned to recruit horses for these stakes. It’s a matter of pride for racetracks to card a big stakes race and have the best horses in their region, and for that matter in the country, participate.

SECRETARIAT awarded Preakness record at 1:53 after review !!! Justice was Served for the greatest of all times, the mighty “Big Red” !!!

Penny Chenery (center), Secretariat’s owner, at the hearing Tuesday when his time for the 1973 Preakness Stakes was recognized as 1:53.

The Maryland Racing Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to change the official time of the 1973 Preakness Stakes won by Secretariat from 1:54 2/5 to 1:53, a time that will give the two-time Horse of the Year the record in all three of the Triple Crown races.

The commission approved the change after two hours of testimony at a meeting at Laurel Park, the sister track of Pimlico Race Course, where the Preakness is held. Penny Chenery, the late horse’s owner, requested the hearing on the basis of analyses conducted by companies she had hired to review the videotapes of the race.

The vote resolves a controversy that has dogged the race since Secretariat crossed the Preakness finish line more than 39 years ago. The official electronic teletimer clocked the race in 1:55, one second slower than Canonero II’s record for the race at the time, but that time was revised after a review of the film determined that the timer had malfunctioned. Two timers employed by Daily Racing Form had hand-timed the race in 1:53 2/5, three-fifths of a second faster than Canonero II.

DRF , which had officially recognized the 1:53 2/5 mark for the race since it was run, will now recognize the 1:53 mark established by the commission. In addition, Mike Gathagan, a spokesman for Pimlico’s operator, said that the track would adopt the new time as the official mark for the 1973 Preakness.

Since Secretariat won the 1973 Preakness, three horses – Tank’s Prospect in 1985, Louis Quatorze in 1996, and Curlin in 2007 – have run the race in the 1:53 2/5 mark previously recognized by the DRF . Secretariat will now be the sole Preakness record holder, although the record for the 1 3/16-mile distance at Pimlico will remain in the sole hands of Farma Way, who won the 1991 Pimlico Special in time of 1:52 2/5.

Prior to the hearing, representatives of Chenery had said that they had hired three separate companies to perform “forensic analyses” of the videotape of the race. According to the representatives, the companies had established a time for the race within an accuracy of 0.03 of a second, but the representatives at that time declined to provide a specific time they would seek to establish during the review.

Leonard Lusky, one of Chenery’s representatives, said after the hearing that they were “very pleased” with the ruling.

“We had five analysts look at the video, and all five said that it was 1:53 flat,” Lusky said. “We are cautiously optimistic [the new mark will be recognized]. We definitely felt fortunate that everyone was saying the same thing.”

The record breaking race for the ages !!!!!

SECRETARIAT… el mas grande de todos los tiempos !!!

Son muchísimas las hazañas que conquistó este majestuoso purasangre durante su campaña pistera, muchas de ellas son todavía referencias mundiales para la historia, que nadie ha podido igualar y tal vez ningún ejemplar lo logre hacer jamás. Hoy quiero compartir con ustedes, la que para mi, fue la mas grandiosa de todas, el Belmont Stakes de 1973 !

El 9 de junio de 1973, a las 5:38 de la tarde, el mundo entero esperaba ver como el gran Secretariat, rompía la sequía de triplecoronados, que desde 1948 con el triunfo de “Citation” existía. Secretariat, intentaba lograr la hazaña de convertirse en el noveno triplecoronado de la historia hípica norteamericana.

Ahora bien, lo que jamás nadie imagino esa tarde, es que el hecho de lograr la triplecorona, se quedaría pequeño, ante lo que termino ocurriendo para el asombro de todos aún hoy. La carrera fué algo mucho mas allá que otro Belmont Stakes y un nuevo triplecoronado, a las 5:38 de esa tarde del 9 de junio de 1973, se estaba dando la partida, de la carrera cronometrada, mas rápida jamás corrida por un purasangre de carrera, en la historia del hipismo mundial !!! Algo sin precedentes y que hasta la fecha, ningún purasangre de carreras a podido emular y lo mas probable es que ninguno jamas lo pueda hacer !!!

En esa sola carrera, se batieron 5 récords de pista, 4 de ellos, marcas mundiales !!!, estando la de los 2.400 metros aún vigente, 41 años mas tarde !!!………y los que faltan !!!

Aquí les dejo las marcas impuestas por el gran Secretariat, en esa carrera:

Los parciales para 2.400 metros

1) 200 metros 0:12 1/5

2) 200 0:11 2/5

3) 200 0:11 2/5

4) 200 0:11 1/5

5) 200 0:12 ( iba mas rápido que los legendarios, “Man O War”, “Citation” y “Count Fleet”, a los que a este punto de la carrera, les hubiese sacado casi 15 cuerpos de ventaja ! )

6) 200 0:11 3/5 ( a 2/5 del record de pista para los 1.200 con 69 4/5, el legendario “Bold Ruler” (su padre, paso los 1.200 en 70 2/5, pero no aguanto y en la recta final, prácticamente camino hasta la raya), sigue siendo el parcial de 1.200 metros, mas rápido de todos los tiempos en la historia del Belmont Stakes )

7) 200 0:12 1/5

8 ) 200 0:12 1/5 ( 94 1/5 los 1.600 mas rápidos de la historia del Belmont Stakes a 1/5 del record de pista, aquí le llevaria una ventaja de 13 cuerpos a “War Admiral”, 12 a “Citation”, 9 a “Seattle Slew” y 11 a “Affirmed” )

9) 200 0:12 ( bate el récord mundial para los 1.800 metros con un crono de 1:46 1/5 )

10) 200 0:12 4/5 ( pasa los 2.000 metros en 1:59 exactos !, 2/5 mas rápido que su tiempo en el Kentucky Derby de 1:59 2/5, el cual sigue siendo de paso, el récord para el Derby de Kentucky, hasta el sol de hoy !!! )

11) 200 0:12 1/5 ( bate el récord mundial para los 2.200 metros, los pasa en 2:11 1/5, 3 segundos o 15 cuerpos mas rápido que el record mundial anterior impuesto por “Man O War” en el Belmont Stakes de 1.920 )

12) 200 0:12 4/5

Para así batir el record mundial de la distancia, el cual se mantiene hasta el sol de hoy y tal vez se mantenga para siempre, con un increíble crono de 2:24 !!!

El cronometrista Sonny Taylor, cronometró a Secretariat luego de cruzar la meta por 200 metros mas, cuando ya estaba parando, y logro registrar el tiempo extra oficial de 2:37 3/5 el cual batió el record mundial para la distancia de 2.600 metros, impuesto por Swaps, bajándolo en 3/5 !

En la carrera, y fuera de carrera a 31 cuerpos! Llegaron, segundo “Twice a Prince”, tercero “My Gallant”, cuarto “Private Smiles” y quinto y último “Sham”, “Knightly Dawn” fue también inscrito para correr y ser el compañero de llave de “Sham” con el numero 1 en su gualdrapa, pero fue retirado, ya que sus propietarios esperaban correr en pista fangosa, cosa que nunca ocurrió.

Una frase celebre de Charles David “Chic” Anderson, quien narro la carrera, al ver que los demás llegaban fuera de carrera en una actuación casi vergonzosa, fué: “Yo supongo que no se puede estar realmente avergonzado de haber sido vencido, por el caballo mas grandioso que ha visto la ultima centuria”

Mas del 80% de las 70.000 personas que presenciaron en vivo la carrera, jamás cobraron sus tickets ganadores, para así guardar por siempre, un pedazo de la historia irrepetible de esa gran carrera.

Y para cerrar, una frase que engloba la grandeza de este irrepetible pegaso de las pistas, dicha por el gran escritor y analista del deporte, de todos los tiempos, Charles Hatton: “para Secretariat, el único punto de referencia, es el mismo…….nadie jamas lo podrá comparar con ningún otro caballo” !!!

Aquí les dejo el video de su hazaña……………….


La inmortal ” GOLDIKOVA ” hoy va por lo imposible, 4 triunfos en la “Breeders Cup Mile” consecutivas !!!!!

Toda la suerte del mundo, para esta espectacular yegua, que de lograr esta hazaña, se convertiría en la única en la historia y posiblemente nadie más la pueda emular ! Estaremos desde aquí con nuestro corazón abierto enviando las mejores energías para que lo logre ! TODA LA SUERTE DEL MUNDO SUPER CAMPEONA !!!!!!!!!!

Aquí les dejo el video de la hazaña del año pasado, donde consiguió su tercera Breeders Cup Mile consecutiva y el momento en que su cuidador emocionado hasta más no poder, corre al lado de la pista en los metros finales aupando a su muy amada yegua !!!! Un momento muy conmovedor sin duda y que refleja lo que significa esta yegua para el hipismo mundial !!!!

King Juancho para rato !!!

Felicitaciones a nuestro buen amigo Jose Zajia por tan merecido triunfo !!!!

El seisañero King Juancho sorprendió por la vía legal y se llevó el Clásico “Natalicio del Libertador”, la prueba central de la jornada nocturna celebrada el viernes en Valencia, que se disputó en recorrido de 2.000 metros con Tío Llamal como favorito principal.

La carrera se dio con 6 aspirantes y con bolsas de 107 mil bolívares a repartir, Tío Llamal, controlado por Marcos Meneses salió a dominar la competencia desde los primeros metros con la presión de Aspaviento y de Sambuca, que fue desde Caracas para tratar de derrotar a los locales. Detrás actuaban King Juancho, New Gesto y Mr. Guerrero.

Así pasaron los primeros 400 metros en 22”2, mientras que los 800 los pasaron en 46” para dejar 71”3 en los 3 cuartos de milla y 97”2 en los 1.600 metros.

Al pisar terreno de los 700 metros finales Tío Llamal lucía cómodo en punta, pero el experimentado Andry Blanco Goitía llamaba a correr a King Juancho y pasaba al segundo lugar.

Desde entonces y hasta la meta la carrera se resumió en ambos ejemplares, el punto más emocionante fue justo cuando giraron la última curva, ahí King Juancho buscaba pase por dentro, pero Tío Llamal bloqueaba adosado a la baranda interna, el rematador por inercia trataba de buscar el pase por fuera, pero Blanco Goitía insistía en la baranda, hasta pisar terrenos de los 150 metros finales, a la mitad de la recta final, donde Tío Llamal cargó fuerte hacia adentro cuando King Juancho lograba ponerse a medio cuerpo, obligándolo a buscar la parte externa y a perder largo y medio de terreno.

No obstante esto no mermó la atropellada de King Juancho y el animal insistió en los metros finales pero la raya estaba próxima y el espejo sentenció ganador a Tío Llamal con pescuezo adelante.

Sin embargo el foul evidente hizo que el Comisariato pusiera la carrera en observación y a esto se le sumó el reclamo de Andry Blanco Goitía quien alegó “Vengo buscando el pase desde la curva y me bloqueaba la línea de carrera, si no me dan el tropiezo, King Juancho ganaba galopando”, dijo el jinete.

La Junta de Comisarios observó el material captado por las cámaras y deliberó durante unos 15 minutos, luego distanciaron al ganador y dieron el triunfo oficial a King Juancho.

King Juancho es hijo de Robertocarlo en Step Shine, tiene 27 actuaciones para 10 en positivo y más de 400 mil bolívares en premios a favor del Stud “Beauty España”. La preparación está a cargo del eficiente Bernardo López Coutenye y por la crianza figura el haras “Vista Hermosa”. El tiempo global de la carrera fue de 125”2 para los 2.000 metros.

” Frankel ” mantiene su invicto 8-8 y se posiciona como el mejor millero del mundo !!! En una demostración INCREIBLE de poder locomotivo !!!!

CANFORD CLIFFS versus FRANKEL, quien da más. No cabe duda de que con este enfrentamiento, el Sussex Stakes (G-1, 3 años y más, 1.600 metros) se convertía en una de las carreras que más interés habían despertado en los últimos años. Por fin el invicto potro de Khalid Abdullah, siete de siete, ganador de las 2.000 Guineas (G-1), del Dewhurst Stakes (G-1) o del St. Jame´s Palace Stakes (G-1), se enfrentaba a sus mayores, y no a cualquiera, nada más y menos que a CANFORD CLIFFS, ganador de las 2.000 Guineas Irlandesas (G-1), el Lockinge Stakes (G-1) dos años consecutivos, el Queen Anne Stakes (G-1) donde superaba a la gran Goldikova, o esta misma carrera, el Sussex Stakes, que ya ganara el año pasado. Es cierto que la última carrera de FRANKEL, aunque la gano, dejo un cierto sabor agridulce, y es que el hijo de Galileo solo gano por ¾ de cuerpo, y claro, acostumbrados a verle ganar por un puñado de cuerpos, empezaron el descontento, las elucubraciones, y las dudas. Aunque también hay que comentar que en esa actuación su jockey Tom Queally, realizo una monta desastrosa. Del resto poco, pues solo dos ejemplares más iban a tomar la salida, pero daba igual, salvo Goldikova, ningún otro rival hubiera quitado un ápice de protagonismo a estos dos auténticos portentos. Los osados que intentaban sorprender eran, el francés RAJSAMAN y el Godolphin RIO DE LA PLATA. Otros como ZOFFANY o DICK TURPIN, reusaron el enfrentamiento.

De salida el ritmo no es muy rápido, FRANKEL toma la cabeza seguido por CANFORD CLIFFS, RAJSAMAN y RIO DE LA PLATA. Ambos favoritos se vigilan de cerca, seguramente que antes de mostrar sus cartas, querían ver que hacia su contrincante, pero a los pocos metros el pupilo de Sir Henry Cecil se deja de inventos y comienza a galopar de verdad, como nos tiene acostumbrados, aumentando el ritmo y tomando un par de cuerpos de ventaja sobre el de Richard Hanond. Así desembocan a la recta final, FRANKEL sigue manteniendo la distancia, y es en el poste de los trescientos metros donde Tom Queally comienza a pedir a su montura, el tres años con su tranco demoledor comienza a despegarse con una facilidad asombrosa, yéndose a por el poste de meta con una voracidad inusitada y disipando cualquier duda que hubiera surgido tras su última actuación. A cinco cuerpos y sin respuesta posible, finalizaba CANFORD CLIFFS, que en los últimos metros se fue abriendo hacia el exterior, perdiendo algunos metros, aunque nunca hubiera podido con el ganador. Por detrás RIO DE LA PLATA superaba a RAJSAMAN.

Vea como Frankel aplasta a los mejores de Europa en las 2000 Guineas