Bill Christine talked to Jess Jackson, owner of Rachel Alexandra, about the Horse of the Year race this week and got some interestng observations from the 79-year-old billionaire who, to his credit, called Zenyatta owner Jerry Moss immediately after the Breeders’ Cup Classic to offer his congratulations.
How about the two female stars sharing Horse of the Year, Jess?
“You wouldn’t have two Heisman Award winners, would you?” Jackson told Christine in an interview that was published on drf.com Thursday. “You wouldn’t have co-winners of the Most Valuable Player Award in baseball. It would be silly, and wouldn’t prove anything, if these two horses shared the title.”
So, Jess, why does Rachel Alexandra deserve Horse of the Year over Zenyatta, a mare who became the first female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic in its 26 runnings?
“She did things that a female horse has never done,” he said. “The Kentucky Oaks, by more than 20 lengths, biggest margin in the history of the race. The Preakness, first filly to win it in 85 years. Mother Goose, biggest margin, breaking Ruffian’s record, and fastest time ever. Haskell, beating the boys again, and second-biggest margin and only two-fifths of a second off track record. Woodward, first filly ever. In the Mother Goose, she was eased up, and still only missed Secretariat’s 1 1/8-mile track record by four ticks.”
Christine covers a great deal more subjects with Jackson in the story, including who he thinks should and shouldn’t be voting for Horse of the Year, why the sport needs a commissioner and why there should be separate awards for synthetic horses and dirt horses.
I sorta get the feeling that Jackson still considers Zenyatta a synthetic freak, despite the fact the second most impressive race of her career came over Oaklawn Park’s dirt surface in the 2008 Apple Blossom Handicap.
Let us know what you think, and please add some of your own comments on the Horse of the Year debate.