09/21/2008 10:44PM

3F Title Talk


The three most accomplished 3-year-old fillies of 2008 all raced on one of the last two Saturdays, but not against one another. Instead, they went their separate ways at very short prices: Music Note won the Gazelle Sept. 13 at 1-20; Indian Blessing won the Gallant Bloom at $2.70 Sept. 20; and Proud Spell was 2-5 when she ran second to Seattle Smooth the same day in the Cotillion.

If the racing season ended today (perish the thought), who would deserve the 3-year-old filly championship? It's a squeaker.

Download IndianBlessing.pdf

Download MusicNote.pdf

Download ProudSpell.pdf

Indian Blessing and Music Note have never been in the same starting gate, but each has split a pair of decisions this year with Proud Spell. Music Note leads in Grade 1's by a 3-2-2 tally (Mother Goose, CCA Oaks, Gazelle) over Proud Spell (Kentucky Oaks, Alabama) and Indian Blessing (Prioress, Test); but all three of Music Note's came at Belmont, and her three Gazelle victims did not include a stakes-winner of any kind.

At gunpoint, I think I'd vote for Proud Spell -- Kentucky Oaks-Alabama is a powerful pair, and the memory lingers of her victory over Music Note in the latter -- but you can put down the gun. There's the race-that-should-still-be-called-the-Distaff still to be run. Music Note is likely, though Proud Spell's camp is understandably undecided about more synthetic racing given her subpar effort on Keeneland's Polytrack in the Ashland. Either way, while either would of course win the divisional title with a Ladies' Classic victory, that may be a tall order in a year when Zenyatta, Ginger Punch and Hystericalady are still on the scene.

As for Indian Blessing, she's headed for the BC F&M Sprint, where she'll have to beat Intangaroo to nail down the Eclipse as the nation's champion filly sprinter. Intangaroo has won all three of the Grade 1 races this year for older fillies at seven furlongs, and from coast to coast: the Santa Monica at Santa Anita, the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs, and the Ballerina at Saratoga. If she takes the fourth, the F&M Sprint, how can you deny her the title? While Indian Blessing is more brilliant and has run faster figures, her two Grade 1's were against 3-year-olds.

If Indian Blessing won the F&M Sprint and neither Music Note nor Proud Spell ran or ran well in the LC, Indian Blessing might get some support for the 3-year-old filly title as well, a la Xtra Heat in 2001. (Back then, though, there wasn't a filly-sprinting Eclipse.) There may also be at least some token support for Eight Belles.

[Update 9/22: Proud Spell is in the clubouse: She's done for the year.]

Ruben More than 1 year ago
Proud Spell's campaign speaks for itself.She ran in 8 different racetracks,earned over $2 million,ran every month from Feb-sept.Broke Indian Blessing's undefeated streak.Won the FG OAKS.Del OAKS.Kentucky Oaks & Alabama.that's equal to winning the KY Derby & TRAVERS.Beat Music Note with no excuses for either. PS has never been worst than 3rd in her career. The times she did get beat there were legitimate excuses.After she broke her maiden she ran in all STAKE races. HER RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF,YOU DECIDE. LOVE YOU PROUD SPELL!
Wayne C. More than 1 year ago
With all this talk about the great 3YO filly crop, let me bring up another one. What ever happended to Zaftig? She crushed IB!
SamG More than 1 year ago
Indian Blessing deserves consideration,Music Note is talented and hopefully will be back next year but it`s Proud Spell by a nose.Championships should not be decided on a synthetic track.
Steve T. More than 1 year ago
Pro-crap, Phony-Ride, Polycrap, Polygoop, blah, blah, blah. Instead of whining about the surface, I've got an idea - learn how to be a better handicapper, oh wait nobody can handicap that synthetic stuff. Or just stay away from Arlington, Keeneland, Woodbine, Turfway Park, Del Mar, Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Golden Gate and Presque Isle. Not only are they easier on the horses they allow racing when the weather is bad - Arlington raced after getting 4" of rain. Of course who would want to do away with the Aqueduct/Belmont/Saratoga slopfests. It is called change, deal with it.
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
I don't think we have to worry about Music Note taking the distaff. Famous last words, to be sure, but still, that's a jump up in Class, if you ask me. Is she ready for that? Maybe next year with normal development?
Dennis Tiernan More than 1 year ago
Subject: EIGHT BELLE’S PRESS RELEASE FROM HORSE HEAVEN Wow! What a run! I’m sorry that I had to leave earth so abruptly. I only wish that I could have hung around long enough to give that BIG BROWN another run. Man, can he run or what? First of all, I want to tell you not to cry for me. I want each and every one of you to remember me as a champion. Each time I stepped out onto that racetrack, I gave 150% and it eventually it took my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Racing was my life. I was bred for this and I lived for the competition each and every day. Next, I wish to thank everyone involved in my day to day care. From the moment I was born, humans have done nothing but pamper me. I would like to thank my breeders Robert Clay and the folks at Serengeti Stable. I would like Larry Jones and his fine staff for giving me the respect and care that all thoroughbred racehorses deserve. And again thank you, Larry, for helping me tap into the championship ability that I displayed on that fateful day in May. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve decided to retire. To my jockey, Gabriel Saez, it wasn’t your fault. My fate was not in your hands. It was my spirit that led me to my fatal breakdown. I just tried too hard to catch that BIG BROWN character. Finally to PETA, layoff man!!! If you people would just have spent one day in my horseshoes you’d know how good I had it and how much love and care was giving to me right up to Derby Day. Why don’t you send a letter to Ben and Jerry and try to get them to stop milking cows for their ice cream. I hear human breast milk would be a good supplement. That is all for now. I have to go. I have a race against Go For Wand and Ruffian. Winner gets a date with Barbaro. He’s such a stud!!! Much love, xoxoxoxoxo EIGHT BELLES
Seeking the Gold More than 1 year ago
Steve, I just received a W2 from my nyra rewards account on a pick 4 that paid $664 for a 2 dollar wager. I had it for a buck and have a gross winnings of $332. If I had bought this bet with a paper ticket i would not get a W2, but because i am account member i do. When did they start doing this?
ccpdpio More than 1 year ago
Normally I am a positive guy who wishes only for good things to happen. So why I am wishing for the new Pro-Crap/Phony-Ride surface at SA to fail and for the BC powers to wake up and move the event to a facility with a REAL running surface? I think any championships decided on synthetic surfaces are tainted and invalid.
scaredmoneyneverwins More than 1 year ago
Anyone know where to find the wagering menu for the Breeders Cup?
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
No one seriously ranks Curlin with Cigar, right? That money thing is a joke, for all the obvious reasons. I really like Curlin, but he hasn't faced any truly great older horses, and that's not really his fault. He's still a very good one, though, imo. And he traded punches with some good 3yos, to be sure. Not sure one or two of them wouldn't have been better, however, at 4, than Curlin. Conjecture of that nature gets us nowhere. Curlin did what he was able to do in his short time, and some of those achievements are excellent. Where do we rank Dubai? Where have we ever ranked it? It seems to me that Dubai has always been about the money (and the first class treatment, which is high, even among the jet-set crowd). It's nice to know that we're getting something built, somewhere, anyway. Filler'up.