Yeah I still love watching this race. Had I not been working at my god-awful part-time job and had been able to watch the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Marathon live, I probably would have looked away when longshot win pick Calidoscopio [ARG] was lagging far far back early. Then boom! Winner by 5! The BC Marathon has become one of my favorites in recent years, and this big guy just made it better.
Instead of being boring and posting who I think should win an Eclipse (obviously, I’ve been saying on and off since summer that Wise Dan should get HOTY, and others from there are pretty uncontentious), I present to thee an even better ceremony: THE HAT RACK AWARDS, the most prestigious racehorse awards on the web! Or maybe Tumblr… I don’t know. They’re pretty important though, and I make it a point to recognize some of the most essential individuals from this year to be my honorees.
Think blaze face, your thoughts ought to shift to Union Rags, who has been killin’ it in the overall good looks department since forever, and the big blaze certainly helped. Shall his immortality and chrome be passed on to his foals now that he is [unfortunately] retired.
Looks aren’t everything on the racetrack, but when you’ve got a skunk tail, flaunt it! Lucky Chappy [IRE] only got more handsome as a three-year-old, with his gorgeous roan coloring, handsome expressions, and unique tail he flashed quite often to his opponents. Now if only Royal Delta gave her admirer a chance…
A lot of ponies could have gotten this award, but few got as handsome as Animal Kingdom behind their generic black set of blinkers. The Kentucky Derby champ has a pretty face on his own, but focuses to a T behind his hood wherever he goes.
A very tough award, but it has been decided: Wise Dan! I recall watching him enter the gate of the very prestigious Canadian International (I) at Woodbine earlier in 2012, and despite being in a talented field, he stood out so much from a physical point of view. He just looks so much more fit than other top runners, it’s a shame he has to be a gelding. His butt literally has dimples!! Look at it next time!
Best Use of Tongue
(edit: Okay the embed doesn’t want to work so here is the direct link)
Some racehorses keep it in cheek, others let it all hang out! The award for best tongue-hanging-out action goes to The Thinker, a front-running turf horse I saw and adored at Saratoga on Whitney Day this past summer. Coming down the stretch, his tongue darted out with every stride! I can only guess that’s his style of running… he races again tomorrow (January 21) at Aqueduct! I have a video clip of his race so you can see for yourself. (I just realized Kharafa is also in this race! Omgz)
Most ‘Tude Award
Not too many get to see, never mind kick a Hall-of-Famer trainer, then go on to win a stakes race. Hamazing Destiny did both on Preakness weekend at Pimlico, giving D. Wayne Lukas a nice gash on his legendary head.
Most Disappointing Horse I Thought Was Going To Be Awesome Award
After unfing over photos of him breezing at the Breeders’ Cup, I had Asmussen trainee Sabercat down to win the Delta Jackpot in 2011 and win he did. The dark handsome son of one of my favorite stallions, he did little on the Derby trail and while he made some progress, he ultimately disappointed me and hasn’t run since (although he is back to breezing at Fair Grounds and looks pretty good).
Purple Egg. Elusive Cookies was close, but c’mon. PURPLE. EGG. Best of all he’s a talented gelding I don’t have to worry too much about retiring early *knocks on wood*
Horse of the Year
He used to be a longshot, used to be a Derby has-been, and now he’s the country’s best sprinter and an Eclipse winner to boot! Trinniberg kept us all guessing in his ups and downs this year, culminating in a Breeders’ Cup Sprint championship where he led the whole way through lightning fractions. Stylish in the post parade with his blinker hood and red pom-pom and from humble origins as a cheap auction horse, Trinni gets the gold!