Horse racing's worst bet will be viewed over 13 million people on Halloween and she won’t be asking for Snickers, Kit-Kats, or Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups. Zenyatta will breeze onto CBS for a piece on 60 Minutes.
Who gets the by-line? Morley Safer? Steve Croft? Anderson Cooper? It doesn’t matter because this will be seen by more people than the World Series.
The Paulick Report, always eager to slip a ‘Z’ into a headline broadcasted the news “Zixty MinuteZ.” Almost as good as “Zeventeen.” Gives me a craving for FroZted FlakeZ.
This is bigger than “Secretariat.” This is because it’s topical. She’s alive. She’s racing and she will stomp on the throats of her competitors.
She’ll run into some, ahem, quality horses, namely Quality Road. My feeling is that everyone is waiting for this colt to explode and put it all together on the biggest stage, but something happens to him. If a horse has the capacity to choke it’s Quality Road. He’s like Mitch Williams in the 1993 World Series, Scott Norwood in the Super Bowl, Calvin Borel in the 2009 Belmont Stakes.
Paddy O’Prado’s entry in the Classic confounds me. What’s worth more? Finishing fourth in the Classic or winning the Turf. Let’s do some math.
Zixty percent of $3 million is $1.8 million. Okay. That’s if he wins.
Fourth place in the Classic? $300,000.
A win in the Turf would make him the unofficial winner of the Grand Slam of Grass and would put him right in the mix for Champion Three-Year-Old Male. Sure, he finished third on an offtrack in the Kentucky Derby but that was against Super Saver and Ice Box. What have they done? Trick. Mine That Bird has a better shot at winning the Classic than Paddy.
(Could that have been the worst trainer change in the history of racing? You mean to tell me that Bennie Woolley was doing a worse job than Wayne Lukas is doing with the 2009 Derby winner? Hey, Mr. Allen and Dr. Blach, how’s that day rate treating you?)
If Mine That Bird wins the Dirt Mile I will write my next column in the nude and be the cover model when I launch The Carryover Body Issue just like ESPN The Magazine did. I can pull that off. Now to get the baby boomers involved ... Don’t forget the hand sanitizer. (Now, there's no complete nudity, but there are de-robed athletes so if there are sensitive eyes now's the time to skip this link. Baby.)
From dirt mile to grass mile, I can’t wait to see Goldikova set the table for Zenyatta. The Mile will be endlessly exciting should Gio Ponti point there. (Him running in last year's Classic over Santa Anita's schizophrenic track was one thing, but REAL dirt. Stick to the sod, buddy.) But there’s no beating Goldikova. Talk about two great singles in your Pick 6 tickets with Goldy and Zen. I can’t talk for all the chalk in my mouth, but you’d be a fool not to have them singled on at least one ticket.
I hope Mike Smith turns Zenyatta loose. This is it. When she straightens out for the final time two weeks from today we may be privy to the most historic quarter mile in the history of racing. And may her hooves whiff over the dirt as quiet as a whippoorwill in flight.
For the readers of this off-beat blog I call The Carryover 2.0 I’d like to announce that I have signed a book contract to publish “Six Weeks in Saratoga: How a Three-Year-Old Filly Won the Woodward Stakes and Became Horse of the Year.”
After some fifteen rejections I found a willing publisher and I am very excited to share this story with readers across this niche and beyond.
Brendan O’Meara is the author of “Six Weeks in Saratoga: How a Three-Year-Old Filly Won the Woodward Stakes and Became Horse of the Year.” It will be published by SUNY Press in the summer of 2011. You can read more at The Blog Itself or visit http://www.brendanomeara.com.