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I guess we're not talking about only Breeders' Cup performances here. Which means you're putting her performance among the top 5 of all time. I will assume for the moment, we're only talking about American runners, in the U.S.
Off the top of my head, before I rank any horse's performance that high, I would go back in my library and take a very serious look at what some of the other greats have done. Granted I'll admit I thought Zenyatta's performance was one of the greatest I've ever seen, and that's true, because I didn't see any of the greats except later in films and Youtube.
Secretariat's Belmont Stakes I'd put on top. After him, possibly Dr. Fager's world mark in the mile under 134. I can't remember which race it was, but it seems that Swaps had one really phenomenal performance. Man o'War's Potomac Handicap, under 138, when he set a track mark stands out to me, as does his Lawrence Realization, not because he beat Hoodwink by 100 lengths, but because he set a world mark for 1 5/8 miles that was not equaled for 40 years, until a descendent of his by the name of Kelso did it in 1960. Kelso must have had some incredible performances to be HOY five years in a row.Take a look at Citation's win in the Kentucky Derby. He let his stablemate Coaltown get the lead by six lengths, and Coaltown was a real speed burner, and if I'm not mistaken a world record setter. Citation let's a speedster like that loose on the lead by a half dozen lengths, then he runs him down and draws away to win by a few lengths. And he probably wasn't even working all that hard.
Forego's win in the Marlboro Hcp., under 137, where he came from far out of it has to be in the top five, as was Spectacular Bid's world setting mark at 10 furlongs at Santa Anita, albeit perhaps on a fast track. Not sure though about the surface, but knowing Southern California dirt tracks, it wouldn't surprise me. And let's not forget Personal Ensign's come from behind win against Winning Colors in the BC Distaff.
I'm sure there are a lot of other huge performances that I'm overlooking, but these come to mind right away.
Big Red #1, then a toss among the next 4, being Zenyatta, Seattle Slew(Belmont), Sunday Silence BC, Affirmed-Alydar Belmont.
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Seattle Slew's loss to Exceller in the Jockey Gold Cup. Slew ran Kentucky Derby winner, Affirmed, into the ground early with splits of 45 for the quarter
and 1:09 for six furlongs while continuing to fly on the lead. Shoemaker had to be over 20 lengths back at the 1/2 mile pole and closed stoutly to
come inside of Seattle Slew turning into the long stretch of Belmont. Cordero had mysteriously given up the inside to allow Shoemaker through
and these two brilliant horses fought it out to the wire with Exceller prevailing by a nose. One step after the wire, Seattle Slew was back in front.
Cordero to this day blames his ride for the loss. Most unbelievable courage by a racehorse that I have ever seen.
didn't Affirm's saddle slip in that race???
i better hit youtube.
good stuff RS.
supposes the question was modified to performance by a filly or mare in the U.S.
what's your opinion?
Good stuff, but personally I'd shy away from any special performances that are based on raw times, i.e. Dr. Fager's mile, not saying it wasn't great, just too many factors to add with track variants, wind, tire marks, golden rails etc.
When Trevor was asked about the best race he'd ever called, his answer was always the Preakness featuring Sunday Silence and Easy Goer, but that Zenyatta's Classic would now top his personal list.
Affirmed and Alydar
Sunday Silence and Easy Goer
It really don't get much better than that whatever order you want them in, at least here in North America. I'm certain those outside the boundaries also have their favorites, congrats.
And remember...Things work out best when you make the best of the way things work out.
Thanks, Scorequick. To answer your question, I'd still have to go back through the books and look at some of the other great fillies and mares. I'd have to think Personal Ensign's win over Winning Colors is right up there. Winning Colors smoked the boys in the Santa Anita Derby by seven lengths, then beat them again in the Kentucky Derby by over three. There are so many great ones, it's really tough. Ta-Wee always has to be considered. She whipped males carrying weight. Genuine Risk is another, and I'm sure going further back to the 1940s, we can look at some of Busher's races as well as Twilight Tear. These two gals were Horse of the Year in successive years. Regret has to be discussed because her win, the first by a female, in the 1915 Kentucky Derby, gave that race the prominence it enjoys today.
Zenyatta's race on Saturday is certainly up there, but again I think we're caught "in the moment" which is OK, but I'd want to really take a look at the books before I ranked anybody.
This is a great thread, because it gives us a chance to remember those horses in the past and look at what they've accomplished. Regarding those "outside the boundaries", Sea-Bird's win in the 1965 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is right up there with Secretariat's Belmont Stakes, and maybe surpasses Big Red's race, IMO.
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