Steve Crist to IFHA over Rachel, Zenyatta: Anyone home?

6 thoughts on “Steve Crist to IFHA over Rachel, Zenyatta: Anyone home?”

  1. As usual, Mr. Crist knows what the hell he is talking about. I know I got sucked into the whole “this horse must be good because he only lost to Sea the Stars by two lengths” hokum.

    Thanks Sid.

  2. He’s got a point there, although a racing journalist of Steve Crist’s stature should be aware that horses are subject to form changes, especially this late in the season, especially in an unknown environment.

    The Delegator and Mastercraftsman who showed up at OSA weren’t up to the form that earned them their ratings. Both Rip (who really is overrated) and Delegator have a history of faltering.

    I do believe that the quality depth is much better in Europe than in North America, but Crist’s point that the IFHA rankings show a Euro-centric bias over horses from all other continents (look at how they rate outstanding Japanese horses!) is correct and has been ever since the inception of those rankings.

    Even more importantly, they are notoriously bad in updating their data. RA’s 125, f.e., has a lot to do with the fact that, according to the IFHA, her last start was in the Haskell. Goldikova hasn’t run since August either, STS never competed in the Arc, and Rip Van Winkle has been out to pasture since Glorious Goodwood.

  3. Malcer,
    I think Steve is aware of form changes, etc. It’s not his first rodeo. Steve is not concerned by the Eurocentric bias against the rest of the world — only as it applies to the US. He has a point, too. And to address one of your points, the IFHA, actually, is aware that horses have run since you note, and they note it on their website, which I have reprinted below:

    There have been a number of important races run worldwide since the last WTR update, most notably the Breeders Cup series of races in North America. ZENYATTA (USA) [128] created history and continued her fourteen win unbeaten sequence in memorable fashion by becoming the first filly or mare ever to defeat the males in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), in the process establishing herself as the top horse on any surface in North America. She defeated two colts who put up career best performances : GIO PONTI (USA) [125] (who has been the dominant Turf horse in North America throughout 2009) and the improving British colt TWICE OVER (GB) [123] who had earlier annexed the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket defeating MAWATHEEQ (USA) [121].

    Both CONDUIT (IRE) [125] and GOLDIKOVA (IRE) [130] managed to repeat their Breeders’ Cup winning performances from 2008 in Santa Anita. Conduit defeated PRESIOUS PASSION (USA) [123] and DAR RE MI (GB) [120] in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) while Goldikova affirmed her high standing in the rankings by defeating three year old American colt COURAGEOUS CAT (USA) [122] in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). MIDDAY (GB) [120] also put up a career best effort in winning the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1).

    Elsewhere there have been a number of notable performances at the Melbourne Spring Carnival in Australia. SO YOU THINK (NZ) [122] established himself as the top three year old colt in Australasia when beating the older horses in the Tatts WS Cox Plate (G1) at Moonee Valley and reaffirmed his ranking when second recently in the Emirates – Cantala Stakes (G1) at Flemington, while VIEWED (AUS) [122] carried top weight to victory in the BMW Caulfield Cup (G1). Meanwhile in Japan, the evergreen eight year old COMPANY (JPN) [121] has defeated top Japanese mare VODKA (JPN) [120] twice since the start of the autumn season of racing, most recently in winning the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1).

  4. This sounds like a lot of sour grapes on the part of Mr. Steve Crist.

    After all, we didn’t see him complaining last year when Curlin held the number one spot for almost the entire year and ended the season tied with New Approach for top honors world wide.

    And If there is a Euro-centric bias, don’t you think there might be a good reason for that given the equine industry in the US is built on dirt and drugs?

  5. I don’t believe it’s sour grapes on Steve’s part. I actually spend a lot of time following international racing — scan my blog and you’ll see — and his points are valid as far as Rachel and Zenyatta are concerned. This has nothing to do with “the equine industry in the US is built on dirt and drugs?” comment that you make, which is off topic.

    On a side note, I went to your blog for the first time today and found it interesting, including the post where you roasted Andy Beyer’s “chestnuts.” Good stuff. Here’s Andy’s column on how Zenyatta would fare in the BC that you linked to:

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