Zenyatta Loses Breeders’ Cup to Blame by a Nose (Picture)

Who could have figured that the horse to end Zenyatta’s perfect record would have a name with such a fitting negative connotation?

That was Blame edging out Zenyatta literally by a nose at the Breeders’ Cup. Zenyatta was 19-0 entering the race and was expected to be retired afterwards. Jockey Mike Smith somewhat blamed himself for the loss, saying he allowed Zenyatta to fall too far in the back of the pack and left her with too much to do. Additional factors that bothered Zenyatta was a dirt track and the wall of horses that made it difficult for her to come back from behind.

She’ll go down as one of the great horses (please, spare me the female athlete of the year nonsense), but the one blemish will keep her from reaching truly elite status. It’s just a shame.

Jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano Fight at Breeders’ Cup (Video)

When jockeys fight, we here at LBS laugh.  We laugh because it never happens.  We laugh because, frankly, it’s hilarious.  With all due respect — and I’m saying with all due respect — seeing two jockeys go at it kind of gives us of what a disagreement between two of Santa’s little helpers might look like.  After all, it is getting close to Christmas.

At the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs on Friday, Calvin Borel was apparently angry at fellow jockey Javier Castellano for cutting into his path during a race.  Castellano was disqualified for the act, but Borel didn’t seem satisfied with the penalty.  The two decided to handle the situation like men on pit road after the race.  That’s what they call it, right?  Here’s the Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano Breeders’ Cup fight video:

In case you were wondering, Borel checks in at 5’5″ and Castellano stands 5’1″.  Both jockeys weigh a whopping 110 pounds.  Enjoy it while you can, folks.  Play it over and over as many times as you need to in order to get your fix, because you could never see something like it again.

Video Credit: YouTube user nickrock23

Stud Birdstone Has Some Super Sperm

If the names of the Kentucky Derby winner this year and the Belmont Stakes winner sound familiar, it’s because they should. There was some sibiling rivalry action going on Saturday in New York when Summer Bird won the Belmont Stakes beating Dunkirk and Derby winner Mine That Bird. As I referred to following the Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird’s father is Birdstone, the winner of the ’04 Belmont Stakes. Birdstone also sired Summer Bird, who just won the ’09 Belmont Stakes.

Not only does Summer Bird have a strong pedrigree on his father’s side, he also has some excellent lineage from the mare. Going a couple of generations back, Summer Bird is the product of Secretariat, a previous triple crown winner, and Alydar, another one of the best horses in history. The mare for Mine That Bird is Mining My Own. I’m guessing there are some horses of note from her family otherwise they wouldn’t have mated her with Birdstone, but none of the names stand out to me. So if anyone asks the question what had the biggest impact on the Belmont Stakes, it wasn’t the length of the race, it wasn’t the jockeys, and it wasn’t the trainers — it was Birdstone. And man, does he have some super sperm.