Wednesday September 13, 2006
Talkin' Breeders' Cup 2006
Mark your calendar for this exciting opportunity to pick the brain of the man known as "Mr. Kentucky Derby" as BloodHorse.com kicks off its 2006 Countdown to the Cup.
Senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse since 1998, Haskin is an award-winning Turf writer renowned for his Kentucky Derby commentary. During his nearly three decades at Daily Racing Form, Steve made a name with his "Derby Watch" columns.
Haskin--who has won five Red Smith Awards for his Kentucky Derby coverage--is the author of Horse Racing's Holy Grail - The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby and biographies of Dr. Fager, John Henry, and Kelso—all published by Eclipse Press.
San Diego, CA:
What is it with Funny Cide? I picked him after the Wood to win the Derby, and he did so quite nicely, along with the Preakness. The horse puts in some nice morning workouts, but he just seems to blow it in the afternoon races. What in the world would or could cause such a scenario? I know that he has had some health problems in the past. I am thinking that they should just retire him. No Forego or John Henry, or even Best Pal, is he - which is a shame for horse racing. We need some good horses to continue past their 3-year-old campaigns if they are still sound. Anymore the best older horses are the "girls". Thanks for your time....
I don't think anyone, including Barclay Tagg, can pinpoint what's wrong with Funny Cide. Let's face it, he was never in the same class as the geldings you mentioned. He did have a solid 4-year-old campaign, winning the JC Gold Cup and running well in other stakes, but since then, he hasn't been grade I caliber. It may be a combination of back problems, a dislike of hot weather, and a sensitive mouth, caused by pulling so hard on the bit. He has also changed physically as much as any horse I've ever seen. He used to be a lanky horse, but since his first winter vacation when he gained a ton of weight, he has carried a lot of flesh, especially in the girth. His coat looks great and he still enjoys going out to the track every day, so as long as he's sound and is having a good time out there, there is no reason to retire him. He'll win his share of lesser stakes, and may pop in a big-time win on occasion when he's feeling good and everything goes his way. In the meantime, let's just enjoy him for what he is. If you had heard the cheers for him in the paddock at Saratoga before the Woodward, you'd realize how much people still love him.
Hello Mr. Haskin. I think your articles are very insightful. What are the chances of seeing a mile dirt race in the Breeder's Cup in the future? I can think of several horses who weren't quick enough for the Sprint nor had the pedigree for the Classic, but would have been very strong at a mile. (Aldebaran comes to mind).
Thank you. Although there should be a mile dirt race, I don't know that there are enough dirt milers in this country to warrant the Breeders' Cup adding one. Plus, it would be strictly an American race, because the Europeans have an alternative, and on more familiar ground. If we are going to have a mile dirt race then we need to have more mile prep races. All we have is the Met Mile in May. So, even though we have horses whose best distance might be a mile, what races are they going to use to prep for a Breeders' Cup race? It would be a pretty tough race to handicap, choosing between seven-furlong horses stretching out and 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 horses dropping back. But again, let me say, I think there should be one, because milers, unlike in Europe, are a forgotten group here, with no place to show off their true talents. Let's card some preps for them and maybe we'll see it happen.
To read the complete transcript of this chat, along with many others, check out Best of Talkiní Horses.
Best of Talkin’ Horses features provocative “chats” with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most prominent names. Adapted from “Talkin’ Horses,” the popular weekly online chat series hosted by Bloodhorse.com, this edited collection provides additional insights by Ron Mitchell, editor and moderator of “Talkin’ Horses."
Editor's Note: BloodHorse.com moderators retain editorial control over Talkin' Horses discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests; guests may decline to answer questions. Opinions expressed by guests of Talkin' Horses are those of the guest and do not represent the opinions of Blood-Horse Publications, its employees, associates, or affiliated organizations. Guests, dates, and times of Talkin' Horses discussions are subject to change.