Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Greatest Ever?

"Ever" is an awfully long time. Even harder is a comparison across eras when 'ever' encompasses over 100 years of thoroughbred racing. I will go so far as to say that Rachel Alexandra is the most impressive of her breed that I have seen in my 25 years of really watching races.

I've heard the argument that the great undefeated Cigar was the greatest. He was awesome and his winning streak was impressive. But he did everything that was expected of him. Not that he was expected to win every race he entered, no horse can possibly be expected to do that. However there was not a race he was entered in where folks said, "Well, THAT just can't be done." Rachel's done it twice. She beat the boys handily in a Classic event, did it again for fun in the Haskell and then beat the older fellows as a follow up ("She'll get trounced against older males", I heard from several). In the meantime she also showed that no 3-year old filly is near her class in the Oaks and Mother Goose. Take a look at these races again over at SuperfectaBlog and feel the goose bumps.

Believe it or not, I've also already heard the "but who has she beaten?" line. Stunned as I am that victories in the Preakness Stakes, the Woodward and the other Grade 1s against all types listed above were not enough, I'll let Macho Again's jockey, Robby Albarado answer that question:

“Champions show different dimension. She is in a league of her own. She has beaten every top division we have in racing. Older horses, her age, it doesn't matter. No matter what they throw at her, she'll beat them."

So while "ever" may be too much, the best I've ever seen is a lock.

1 comment:

SaratogaSpa said...

I can't comment if she is the greatest ever-I was not there to see the greats of yesteryear-Man o War, Native Dancer, etc. , but I was at the Spa and saw the Woodward and I will say this filly is a Championship Athlete.