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Horse of the Year, Yearlings and Bobby Frankel

November 17, 2009 · By · Share

Another week closer to the end of the year.  The debate rages on in the horse industry about who should be horse of the year – Rachel or Zenyatta?  I know it will be close and one set of connections will be upset after the winner is announced in Beverly Hills late in January.  Who do I think should win?  Well, at first I was intrigued by the thought of making them both co-HOY.  But after some thought, I realized that’s not the way we play this game.  We have a finish line in racing and the first one there wins.  The filly with the most votes for HOY should win. 

My vote – Rachel - by a very small margin.  Both ladies had great years.  Taking the ownership connections out of the process, Rachel’s body of work over the entire calendar year was more substantive.  Just my opinion.  Oh, by the way, I don’t have a vote but do have some thoughts on why owners (who put up all the money and take all the risk) don’t have a voice in the awards voting…more on that later.

Just got back form a quick trip to Ocala with the team to check up on or yearlings in training and also several of our older horses coming off layoffs.  Watching these young horses laying the foundation for their racing careers under a beautiful Florida sun is heaven.  Ask anybody in Ocala who breaks and trains young horses – “how is your group this year?” and I guarantee nine out of ten will render the same basic answer “this most likely is the best group we’ve ever assembled”.  So, how did the West Point yearling look? – see the previous sentence. 

Bobby Frankel died early this week.  I never got to know him very well.  We exchanged hellos all the time at the races.  He certainly was known as a complex guy and one who loved his horses like few others.  I read his hall of fame credentials in a DRF story last night.  What a career.  Jay Hovdey really captured the essence of Bobby Frankel’s life in his Racing Form article.   Take a look - http://drf.com/news/article/108986.html

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