Even Bobby Frankel, who trained the 2007 Eclipse Award-winning filly Ginger Punch, couldn’t believe she received two votes for the 2008 top older female after losing to eventual winner Zenyatta by a combined 15 1/2 lengths in their two meetings — one on dirt and the other on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface.
“That don’t make any sense,” he said Saturday in the winner’s circle after Ventura returned to the races following a 14-week layoff to win the $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita. Ventura was racing for the first time since her Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint victory.
Frankel didn’t have a problem with Indian Blessing winning the Eclipse as top female sprinter, even after Ventura ran her down in the Breeders’ Cup.
“I was disappointed with myself because I didn’t run Country Star against Indian Blessing in the La Brea,” he said. “If she had beat her, maybe I would have had a chance. But going in and talking to the press, (Indian Blessing) had a whole year and a lot of good races.”
On Curlin winning the Horse of the Year vote over the unbeaten Zenyatta, Frankel said: “That was OK. You could have gone either way.”