Breeders' Cup winner is being retiredAssociated Press www.STLtoday.com | 1 Comment | Posted: Monday, November 8, 2010 12:10 am
Andy Lyons Nov. 6, 2010 -- Blame (right) with jockey Garrett Gomez aboard edges out Zenyatta (left) to win the Classic during the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs in Louisville. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. • Breeders' Cup Classic winner Blame has crossed his last finish line and is headed for the breeding shed.
Trainer Al Stall Jr. says the 4-year-old Blame will stand as a stallion at Claiborne Farm, which co-owns the horse with Adele Dilschneider of Ladue, starting in 2011.
Blame ended 6-year-old Zenyatta's 19-race winning streak Saturday, edging her out by a head despite a late rush from the previously undefeated horse.
Stall, before heading home to New Orleans, said the Classic shaped up just as he hoped it would for Blame and that Zenyatta is still the best racemare anyone has seen.
Dilschneider owns several horses with Claiborne Farm. Dilschneider's grandmother, Adele Rand, was also a prominent owner. Her grandfather, John Olin, won the 1974 Kentucky Derby with a horse named Cannonade. Olin was an industrialist whose company owned chemical and munitions plants in Southern Illinois.
Zenyatta, meanwhile, was proving just as popular in defeat as she was before Saturday's race.
"She won everybody's hearts," an onlooker told his companion outside her Churchill Downs barn on Sunday.
Whether she wins Horse of the Year is another issue.
"It was a fairy tale and it didn't end the way everybody wanted it to end," her trainer, John Shirreffs, said. "That's what I feel badly about. However, Zenyatta is pretty happy out there and she will be happy."
Several yards away, Zenyatta nibbled on frost-covered grass dotted by golden fall leaves while about 50 fans poked their hands and cameras through a steel fence to get close to her. One woman held up a hand-lettered sign reading, "Zenyatta You Rock." Another woman chanted, "We want Horse of the Year."
So does Shirreffs, who stands by his pre-Classic comments that Zenyatta has earned the honor, to be announced in January. She narrowly lost out to filly Rachel Alexandra last year, a vote that upset Shirreffs, owners Jerry and Ann Moss and jockey Mike Smith.
Zenyatta's win against the boys in the $5 million Classic last year wasn't enough to sway voters to her side, and now her loss makes it less likely they'll back her this time.
"For what she's done for the horse industry over the last three years, I would have to say that would be a real slap in the face," Shirreffs said last month.
Voting is done by members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers Association and the Daily Racing Form.
"They'll have to give it to Blame, unfortunately, but I wish they could give her something else, a special award," Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito said. "They should create a special award for horses. She should get it."
Jockeys are fined
Jockey Calvin Borel has been fined and fellow rider Javier Castellano has been fined and suspended for six days following a fight in the winner's circle Friday at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Board of Stewards fined Borel $5,000 and Castellano $2,500 for their fight following the conclusion of the Breeders' Cup Marathon.
Castellano was also banned from riding Nov. 11-14 and Nov. 16-17 for causing interference aboard Prince Will I Am during the race that nearly sent fellow rider Martin Garcia tumbling and blunted Borel's momentum aboard A.U. Miner.
Awesome Feather sold
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Awesome Feather cashed in again, this time going for $2.3 million at auction.
Owner Fred Brei put the winning filly up for sale Sunday at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale — two days after Awesome Feather won at Churchill Downs.
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November 09, 2010