Saturday, November 7, 2009

Slap Hitter: Ladies First--Racing's Best are all Girls

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Zenyatta started last but finished first today at the Breeder's Cup Classic, horse racing's biggest day of the year. The five year old mare came from way out to beat the boys; all eleven of her opponents were male, and made clear that the fastest horses in the land in 2009 are XX.



The fact that the girls are beating the boys in mixed company is big news. You could count the distaff Triple Crown winners on one hoof, and the sport holds a special race just for the fillies, on the grounds, that at least the l'il things should get something for trying.

But this year's Preakness saw the freakness of Rachel Alexandra, a three-year old bottle rocket who won the Kentucky Oaks by 20 lengths, and then took apart male rivals all summer. Her nine race winning streak is impressive, but the tag lines following the race results even more so. Fastest time ever....Largest Winning Margin...Only Female Ever to Win. But her crew declined to have her run today, hating the synthetic track surface, so instead the grande dame of racing, Zenyatta took the bit between her teeth and romped to her almost unheard of fourteenth straight win.

The $5 million prize is the biggest in the sport. Now to make the biggest race will require getting the two gals together on the same track. There is a biological clock on this race, as Zenyatta has a date to be bred in 2010. Both horses' people say they will try to make it happen before then, and if they do, let's make it a match race, with no boys allowed. The quickest thoroughbreds in the land deserve a stage all to themselves.— Kibby Kleiman

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