Jackson’s a little bit off on his homework

Jess Jackson, co-owner of Rachel Alexandra, did his best to try to convince national turf writers that skipping this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita is the right thing to do during a teleconference this week. Problem was, he was a little off on some of his facts.

Example #1: When explaining why he did not want Rachel Alexandra to run over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface even though she won by 3 1/2 lengths over the Polytrack at Keeneland as a 2-year-old, Jackson said: “She had no competition, it was a maiden race and she did it mainly on her athletic skill. With no relative competition it was an easy win for her.” Actually, it was a first-level allowance race, not a maiden event. Who knows, Rachel Alexandra might be even better on synthetics than dirt. It’s possible.

Example #2: Talking about Rachel Alexandra possibily running as a 4-year-old, Jackson said the lure of racing in the Breeders’ Cup on dirt at Churchill Downs in 2010 would be a huge incentive to keep the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro around for another year. “I’d love to be there, and maybe that’s where Zenyatta can meet us someday,” Jackson said. Uh, Jess, Zenyatta is a 5-year-old and her connections have already said this is her last year of racing.

I can’t blame Jess Jackson for doing what he thinks is best for his filly, but to hide behind Curlin’s loss last year in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, saying it was the track that got him beat, is just plain wrong. Curlin had never run on a synthetic. Rachel Alexandra has and did quite well. I can understand Jackson not wanting to stable his filly at a venue that has an artificial track and race her continually over synthetics, but a one-time deal? During the Super Bowl of horse racing? Not going is the wrong decision.

2 thoughts on “Jackson’s a little bit off on his homework

  1. Thank you so much for this. Jess has come close to totally spoiling a wonderful horse named Rachel for me and he did spoil Curlin for me. He actually started the trash talk last year and then when Dutrow responded Jess acted like ‘see they are lower class’ until one reporter reprinted what Jess had said and said first. The synthetic tracks can be debated–a lot of things in racing or sports for that matter can be debated. Nick Zito is fond of saying things like “God made them to run on dirt” and even quoating the Bible and blamed the surface for why he didn’t take a horse to BC last year–really Nick?? So did God make them to run juiced on steroids as you did?? Could THAT be the real reason you didn’t take a horse to BC last year–they hadn’t come off the juice? It is time for the hypocrisy to stop. Yes Zito talks about horse rescue and good for him-people are capable of doing something good for a horse and also something not so good for a horse. Jess and what he said about Zenyatta last year and is keeping it up this year is classless and do remember according to Jess the only reason Rags to Riches beat Curlin was a “jockey conspiracy”. Yes Jess’s big money talks-he is regularly listed on Forbes list as one of the 400 or so richest men in the world but wants us to be impressed by his $20k donation to breast cancer this week and not realize it is his pandering to women and a lot of us don’t like it-anyone remember his nauseatingly cloying statement on mother’s day about RA? Curlin and Rachel are his ego surogates and not the wonderful horses they really are. We as fans need more BC’s run where there is no George Washington breaking down in the slop at Monmouth and that is nothing against Monmouth-I felt for those people who had done such a spectacular job getting their track ready. However it is my overridig memory of that BC and btw Baffert didn’t whine about the surface when he brought Midnight Lute there and he ran off with it. Or how about the BC before that at Churchill when we saw the wonderful Pine Island break down? For some of us it isn’t all about the moneyor the gambling-it is about the horse and all in the know seem to believe the people in Dubai love their horses and their new state of the art track? Turf course and SYNTHETIC. Debate is good and a BC without Jess Jackson’s insatiable need for the spotlight just might be refreshing as heck.

  2. Thanks for your views, Badlands … I used to be on the fence regarding the synthetics, but after sitting back and taking everything in the past couple of years, you can now count me as part of the anti-synthetic crowd. I’ve heard too many trainers’ tales of new injuries popping up that never surfaced before these artificial tracks hit the scene. They have really not been what they were advertised. Take a look at a guy like Zenyatta’s owner, Jerry Moss, whose horse has won 10 of her 11 races on synthetics and yet he still doesn’t like them. If anyone had a reason for liking them, it would be Moss. Throw Zenyatta and Rachel Alexanada into the same race and I think Zenyatta wins — dirt or synthetic. She’s older, bigger and stronger and one of her most impressive victories came on dirt in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April 2008. Even though 10 of her wins have come over synthetics, she’s hardly a horse that needs an artificial track to win. Quite the opposite.

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