Trash Talk: The Race Is On For Zenyatta

It is trash time, and we are going to have a first here because I am leading off with horse racing. Yes, horse racing! Because there is potential greatness in our midst. Zenyatta. Don’t believe me? How about Penny Chenery, the owner of Secretariat, perhaps the greatest racing horse to ever walk the planet; from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“I just think Zenyatta is wonderful,” Chenery said this week on a conference call in which she discussed the new movie about her Triple Crown winner, “Secretariat,” set to go to post Oct. 8. “She’s like Secretariat in that she’s a great showoff. She’s well aware of who she is, and when she prances into the ring, she swells herself up.

“Secretariat used to do that. He’d come into the walking ring and blow himself up to intimidate the competition. And with her dance, it’s her opening number to prance into the walking ring. She’s so gorgeous and with such dominating speed. I’m crazy about her. She’s going to run this Saturday, so I’ll get to see her again. She’s just a blessing to the industry.”

Zenyatta, undefeated in her incredible 18-race career, makes her last start in California today [Saturday] in the Grade I, $250,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park. She’ll try and win the race on Cushion Track three years in a row and use it as a final prep for her defense of the Breeders’ Cup Classic against the best male horses in the country next month at Churchill Downs.

Yes, Zenyatta has really been that good in her undefeated career. If you did not catch her run from behind, over the best male horses out there, to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic last year, maybe the biggest non-Triple Crown race there is, you should watch the clip I have attached; she was simply remarkable. If she can win these last two races, Zenyatta will go down amongst the greatest horses ever. Tall order, but this is a special horse. ESPN Classic will air a 90-minute special from Hollywood Park from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Lady’s Secret is expected to air on ESPN between college football games at approximately 4:15 p.m. (all times are PST/FDL time, so if you are on the east coast, add three hours). Bet you never heard the Dead cover George Jones before, but The Race Is On!

Okay here is a picture taken by Rosalind live this afternoon at Hollywood Park of the magnificent Zenyatta just before the start of the Lady Secret Stakes:

NCAA Football – Two huge games this week and a bunch of also rans. The first big game is Florida at Alabama. The first, and most important thing you need to know is the game is at Alabama. That means Tuscaloosa, not Gainesville and that is simply huge, especially when the Gators are featuring the inexperienced John Brantley at QB and the Tide have the heroes of last years National Championship, McElroy and Ingram, lined up on the other side. If the Tide were going to get taken out, I think it would have been last weeks rumble at Arkansas. Thing is though, these same two teams might be meeting again in the SEC Championship game, and it may be a different game on a neutral site and a more experienced Brantley.

The other big time tilt is the Tree at the Quackers. Honestly, for my money, this looks like a far more interesting game than the SEC clash above, and both are pitted against one another on the prime time Saturday night schedule, with the SEC on CBS and the Pac-10 on ABC. Stanford QB Andrew Luck is the talk of the nation, and he indeed has mad skilz that will translate to the pro game. But we are still in the college ranks and Oregon’s Darron Thomas is not far behind him in production so far this year. Both teams are very high scoring and play surprisingly tough defense. Oregon has simply killed the Tree over the last four meetings when playing in Eugene’s Autzen Stadium, winning by an average of almost 27 points a game. That is the winning margin, not their point total mind you. And, as I have said before, if you have not been a visitor to Autzen Stadium before, you just do NOT know; the place is fucking unbelievably insane and intense. A good game, but the Ducks win again, and take the driver’s seat in the Pac-10.

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  1. rosalind says:

    wha? betting against my card tree (aw hell, any team name that doesn’t end with an “s” is freakin’ lame, isn’t it?) insult to injury, making me look at that logo for that band causing me to flashback to their picky fans on the other side of the glass complaining to me about…well, just about anything during their band’s loooong long sets.

    i predict the mighty Tunnel Workers Union shall prevail!

    all is forgiven, however, for turning me on to the magnificent Zenyatta. a quick google search reveals H’wood Park is in fact not so far away and – my social life being what it is – I may just have to mosey on down to the track tomorrow to see the little filly in action.

    and i have a whole new insight of – and appreciation for – the lovely mrs. bmaz.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, shit, I know. The old saw is on a good night the Dead can play forever, but even on so so nights, they still do. So true. But I was literally gonna post up George Jones and this seemed a better option. Halftime at Aussie Floyd. Okay, but I probably needed, um, more additives in me.

  2. Peterr says:

    Operating at an entirely different pace than Zenyatta is the International Cycling Union, in re ICU v Alberto Contador:

    More than two months after Alberto Contador failed a drug test at the Tour de France, officials from the International Cycling Union are clearly taking their time to investigate the matter before determining whether Contador should be charged with an antidoping violation.

    Douwe de Boer is the Dutch scientist Contador hired to write a report explaining how the consumption of contaminated meat might have caused Contador’s positive test for clenbuterol, a potent weight-loss and muscle-building drug. In a telephone interview on Friday from the Netherlands, de Boer said the cycling union’s steady and deliberate action could be taken as a good or bad sign for Contador.

    “I think that they are thinking about my explanation of meat contamination very seriously and wanted to investigate it thoroughly, and I applaud them for that,” de Boer said. “But it could also mean that they are looking for another explanation because they are not satisfied with the one I gave.”

    I’m sure the ICU thought that stripping Floyd Landis of the Tour de France title would have been a strong enough warning to other cyclists that they felt they’d never have to go through that again. Obviously — whether Contador is condemned or absolved — they were wrong.

  3. Argonaut says:

    What Rosalind said. Go, mighty Tunnel Workers! Unfortunately I am being dragged to another game by my University of Second Choice sweetie (mixed marriage, what can I say?). Tivo will save me. She wants to see USC’s last game undefeated before they fall into that Malay Man-Trap (dug by TWU Local 13-0) in Palo Alto next week.

    Championship Game: Stanford 37, Alabama 24. Bookmark that, libs! (and cons and fundies and twerps and pups)

  4. Garrett says:

    An arbitrary list of interest and affection:

    Go for Wand, Miesque, Personal Ensign, Zenyatta, Ruffian, Rachel Alexandra.

    A female turf miler, beating horses in England and France, but not always winning, would be pressing all the right buttons.

  5. nomolos says:

    Pedrosa broke his collar bone and no mention from you…gracious. Isn’t the Breeders Cup the one where all the horses get killed?

  6. BayStateLibrul says:

    “This may be the year New England finally falls out of contention, but we know full well these fucks will pull a 12-4 season out of their ass somehow”

    The Onion

  7. radiofreewill says:

    Good morning, bmaz!

    Did you sleep with this tune cranking away in the back of your mind?:

    Time – Australian Pink Floyd

    On the Gators-Tide game tonight, I think you got it right on – winning in Tuscaloosa is going to be really hard! The Gators are 9-point underdogs, and we’re going to need an error-free game to keep it close. All that being said, Arkansas torched the Bama defense for 421 yds last week, and had every chance to win that game. Gators 31-24.

    I also think the winner of the Ducks-Tree game – if they remain undefeated through the rest of the season – will likely end-up in the national championship game.

    Back in the day, I used to think Secretariat was so good that he could win running backwards. Favorable comparisons between The Great One and Zenyatta says a lot!

    • bmaz says:

      Interesting show. Very good, but they certainly are not Pink Floyd. For one thing, they must pay their Woo Woo Girls by the woo, because they were not onstage much of the time (and inexplicably not during Money) and were marginally lame when they were. All in all, not bad though; was worth the fairly cheap ($18) ticket.

  8. Jim White says:

    Heh. I’m watching Joker vs. Nutt.

    Looking forward to the SEC showdown tonight. I think the Gators have a good chance if they show up loose and with an aggressive game plan. If Meyer closes it down like he did in last year’s SEC championship game, it could be a long day for me. They can win by putting in a bigger package for Trey Burton getting touches outside the red zone and getting Andre Dubose involved for more than one series. The big key is that they have to throw the ball down the field. They haven’t done much of that yet this year, but that was how Mallett damaged Bama last week.

    • dakine01 says:

      Yeah, the local cable company has fecked something up as I should be watching that Joker v Nutt game as well and only have a black screen. Of course, all the other games and channels are coming in just fine but when I call the cable company, they say “well, we’re getting it OK here so we’ll send a technician out to tell you it’s a problem on our end sometime between now and 8PM)

      I told ’em not to bother since the game would probably be over by 3PM

      Edit: Ah finally, there it is. Go Cats!

  9. rosalind says:

    H’wood Park Weather Alert: our week of wacky weather continues here in L.A., with more thunder & lightning moving through today. Ingelwood has already had a couple cells move through this morning. Don’t know if the horse racing will be affected…

      • rosalind says:

        i was half-way through my excuse for why i wouldn’t make it when i realized “this is history, idiot, get off your lazy butt and down to the track”!

        Sooo, the latest radar report showing the thunder & lightning is not due at Inglewood until 6pm, and a quick call to Customer Service confirming i can bring in my Ipad, i’m jumping in the shower and heading out the door.

        Unofficial Trash Talk Roving Reporter signing off for now. Will check in upon arrival.

        p.s. who do I bet on?

        • bmaz says:

          Whoo Hooo!! We have an Official EW Roving Reporter going to cover Zenyatta live! Awesome!

          Well, if this joint can live blog Sharktopus, we sure as hell can live blog Zenyatta. So we shall!

          • cregan says:

            I think Secretariat was the best ever, and I still get emotional when I see playbacks of the Belmont.

            So, you’ve got me tuned into Zenyatta!

  10. radiofreewill says:

    bmaz – Congrats on your neighbor, Alice Cooper, and his back-up band, getting nominated for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame!

    JW – What I don’t get is Brantley has a cannon for an arm, but they’ve held him back? I certainly think the combo of Brantley and Burton could really stretch the field tonight!

      • john in sacramento says:

        Yea, I ran across that movie a week or so ago and it reminded me of the match race with Foolish Pleasure that I watched as a kid. I had a fuzzy memory about it because I thought I’d remembered her going down at the Kentucky Derby

        Really sad; Whitley (the trainer) warned them about the danger

  11. Mary says:

    How come this droid didn’t fix my typos like it promised? Plus it keeps tossing in periods. I think bmaz programed it so i would have to keep it short.

  12. rosalind says:

    Ok, didn’t say I was a speedy roving reporter. Arrived at Hollywood park, got my free Zenyatta hat. Clouds have cleared, blue skies, hot, and v. Muggy.

    Race four ? Just went off some horse won. Dixie something? Promise to get better at this liveblogging thing as soon as I get my dog and beer. Zenyatta due in the area the horsies hang out in prior to race about 4:15.

  13. rosalind says:

    3G being glitchy – damn you Steve jobs! Race 6 just finished horse 7 passed at end for win. One horse took a wrong turn at last turn and thre his jockey. Thing another horse followed. Ambulance following the race on scene immediately.

  14. rosalind says:

    Surrounded by people who have never been to a race, many sheepish “do you know what an exacta is”? I am among my people.

    Oh yeah, beer: bud. Only choice.

    • bmaz says:

      The good ones know it. Watched an hour long show on Secretariat earlier today; said the same things about him. Doesn’t look like a big field though, so cluttered traffic on the track should not be an issue.

  15. rosalind says:

    Z. Also works it on the track. She’s padding the ground furiously, like she wants to get it on.

  16. rosalind says:

    I know she is supposed to be the biggest horse in the race, but the guy that came in the paddock behind her seemed taller.

  17. rosalind says:

    Yes, she made her pass right in front of me, I was having palpitations. The horse in front looked like he was pulling away, but then she just kicked it up a notch.

  18. rosalind says:

    It was worth it just for the moment she walked into the paddock with that strut and pawing the ground like ” bring it!”

    Thx for making me aware this was even going on.

  19. rosalind says:

    ok, stanford, shake it off. you got sc at home next week, the same team that just lost against the huskies.

    go card!

    • bobschacht says:

      Stanford owned the first half, but the Quacks owned the second half, as they usually do. They were impressive.

      But I watched the Michigan/Indiana game earlier. Great high scoring game. Michigan’s offense is awesome, Denard Robinson in particular. Certainly a Heisman candidate.
      Two minute drill? No problem. One minute drill? We got it. Michigan has a “Quick score” offense, and used another last minute drive to secure this victory. Indiana clobbered Michigan on time of possession, but mostly Michigan just didn’t need much time to score.

      But Michigan’s “D” needs some a lot of work.

      Bob in AZ

    • rosalind says:

      my pleasure. my first surprise of the day was when i arrived at the parking entrance with my $5, $10, $20s ready to go for whatever ridiculous parking fee they were charging and was waved right through. Free Parking, in L.A.?

      the second surprise was how friendly the crowd was. had great discussions with folks in the concession line and in the stands throughout the day. lots of newbies like myself there to see Zenyatta in action, lots of track veterans happy to share their knowledge.

      it was like the anti-“Crash”.

  20. Mary says:

    pssst – Rahm has started a new website. ChicagoforRahm.com

    I’m sure that was only bc someone had snatched up the rahmforchicago.com option /s

    • PJEvans says:

      I have to admit that I’m hoping he comes in somewhere like third or fourth.
      I think Chicago deserves a mayor who won’t be looking for a bigger job in a year.

  21. Mary says:

    Zenyatta fans are a great group. They have one that wrote a song for her and they have a clip where they let her come sing to Zenyatta. Z is busy eating grass but she does take a moment to reach over and nuzzle her fan, then back to eating grass.

    Free parking in LA though – that’s so amazing it almost distracts you from the race.

  22. Mary says:

    I’m having a good horse wkend.

    Here’s the race for anyone who missed it

    Just watched one of the most perfect cross country jumping rides I’ve ever seen, going out to visit my own rehab horse this afternoon and he’s cleared to be ridden now. Fall is in the air – it’s a good day.

    • bmaz says:

      By the way Lugnuts, Mary has been working on a series on the Keith case, that has been mentioned here several times, and how it impacts our domestic surveillance law now. Probably be starting tomorrow, and I think you are really going to like it.

  23. bobschacht says:

    The Chargers are mauling the Cards, and Anderson has 2 INTs, but it’s not really his fault. The whole team is not playing well, on offense or defense.

    Bob in AZ

  24. mrwebster says:

    Zenyatta is truly amazing. I watched bunches of other races online where she came from behind and not once did Smith ever apply the whip down the stretch. The other jockies are furiously urging with the whip, and Zenyetta on her own just ran them down.

  25. brendanx says:

    Betting horses is not for the sentimental, so I’m waiting eagerly to bet against Zenyatta at this year’s Breeder’s Cup, which will not be run on the black turf.

  26. bobschacht says:

    Monday Night Football!
    Its the clash of the Michigan Quarterbacks! The North vs. the South! The Tried and True vs. the Maybe Ifs! Who will triumph?

    Bob in AZ

  27. bobschacht says:

    It got called back due to a hold, but did you see the Pats 85 fake the Dolph’s cornerback(?) out of his shoes? Left the Dolph guy grabbing grass while the receiver waltzed around him.

    Bob in AZ

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, sure buggered up that call on the Fish defense didn’t I? Jeebus. Hard to play defense after a while if you are always on the field though. Pats looked good tonight.