Goldikova sets new record winning three consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile races
Goldikova -- no Thoroughbred race horse does it better. Winning her third consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile victory, Goldikova put away the field. She bided her time at the back, then heading for home, whoosh. Goldi's turbo kicked in. Digging those dainty hooves into the turf, she rocketed past her vanquished adversaries. The great news is Goldikova remains in training and is expected to campaign in 2011. Can the European miracle mare make it four Breeders' Cup Mile's in a row? Cross fingers and get your tickets for next November at Churchill Downs.
Thoroughbred racing has an It Girl: Zenyatta. Her fan base spreads far beyond hardcore turf aficionados. She's a phenom athlete, with the showmanship of Baryshnikov. Oprah, 60 Minutes, and Sports Illustrated affirmed her success. Her rivalry with 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra remained untested, but it sparked dialog and passion throughout the horse loving community. Following Zenyatta's "Last Dance" farewell tour, the question is "Who's going to be the baby-daddy?"
Some relatively new, relatively young race horse owners' commitment to the sport paid off. Big time. No strangers to enormous success in their respective careers, Bobby Flay, Kevin Plank and Mike Repole have experienced horse racing triumphs beyond imagine. Flay (celebrity chef, author, restaurant magnate) owns More Than Real winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Plank (Under Armour) purchased Shared Account as a yearling and she won the Breeders' Cup Fillies Turf. Mike Repole (Vitaminwater, Energy Kitchen, Pirate's Booty) campaigns 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo. Nice work fellas. Best of luck in 2011. FYI, Flay's wife Stephanie March deserves high marks for her inspired race day ensemble.
This year advocates for the welfare of horses stepped up their game. Madeleine Pickens and her cohorts continue to press the Bureau of Land Management's wild horse management program to provide improved care and a holistic paradigm for horses and burros taken off of their home rangelands. The lowest points were the roundups of the mustangs and burros by helicopters; causing injury and death to too many of the animals the BLM is charged to protect. Despite BLM prevaricating and barriers, thank you to the heroes who work to save our wild horse heritage.
Finally, in October we were treated to knock-your-socks-off horse racing footage in the film Secretariat. The Disney version of the story of Secretariat's and his formidable owner Penny Chenery Tweedy's path to win the 1973 Triple Crown brought back the excitement and wonder of Big Red. Both times that I saw the movie, the audience was clapping, calling and cheering with each of Secretariat's wins. We all knew the ending, but what a fun ride!