They were once inexorably tied.. the mediocrity of Zenyatta as compared to the REAL great horses, and racing on synthetic surfaces. Horses who raced on fake surfaces were pretenders.. or so said some of the industry voices.. But for whatever reason, Steven Crist has changed his tune. (I think he has been taking a pounding on some of the blogs - particularly his own).
The quote below was lifted from the anti-synthetic blog he wrote about the World Cup. In other words. Crist still hates synthetics, but he's tired of listening to respectable handicappers and fans tell him he is full of sh*t about Zenyatta..
"This has nothing to with Zenyatta, a transcendentally great horse who handles everything and is probably as good or better on dirt than on synthetics."