Hmmmm, I think I smell a double standard here.
Through much of last season and all of 2010, I’ve heard cries from the East about Zenyatta’s “hand-picked” schedule against “the same old tired fillies and mares.”
I’ve heard and read the criticism despite the fact that she’s raced in seven consecutive Grade 1 races and beaten all-comers, becoming the first female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic last fall when she blew past double Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti in the stretch.
I’ve listened to the protests despite the fact she just beat a very good mare in St Trinians and spotted her nine pounds while carrying 129 herself. St Trinians, by the way, had beaten 2009 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic champion Life Is Sweet in her previous race.
But it’s funny and quite amusing how I hear no cries of dismay from the East today as Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, attempts to beat six nondescript rivals in the Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park — a race that is not even graded.
In fact, Rachel will race for the fourth time this year today and two of those four starts have come in non-graded stakes. The other two were Grade 2s. When was the last time the reigning Horse of the Year had such an easy schedule?
I hope she wins by 20 today, but how can she get away with facing a field that includes only one other filly that is even graded-stakes placed? None of her six rivals today have won a graded stakes.
Where is the outrage, the cries of protest over such an easy campaign from the same folks who have lambasted Zenyatta in the past?
Double standard? The silence from the East is deafening.