11/11/2009 2:55PM

All Along


Let's take a look at the past performances of the last three female Horse of the Year winners along with those of 2009's Big Two:

Download All Along

Download Lady's Secret

Download Filly Stars

Let's go back to 1983 and relive All Along's championship campaign through the words of the legendary Joe Hirsch from his "1983 Racing in Review" column from the 1984 American Racing Manual.

"There was just a modicum of doubt remaining.  The Grade I, $585,700 Turf Classic at Aqueduct Race Track on October 29 drew a moderate field of 10, and none of the others had really distinguished themselves this season.  The French filly had signaled her class by winning the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October 2, and had confirmed her fine form by capturing the Grade I Rothmans International at Toronto's Woodbine Race Course on October 16.
Still, New Yorkers are inclined to be skeptical about horses from out of town until they prove themselves in the Big Apple.  And so the 22,439 on hand at Aqueduct made All Along the 9-10 favorite, but maintained a bit of reserve in their assessment of her quality.
With young Wally Swinburne in the saddle, All Along stalked the early pace set by Sprink, who opened a four-length lead.  When the stakes-winning Sprink began to run out of gas, after the first half-mile, it was Thunder Puddles, another stakes winner, who took over the leader's role."

"All Along began to move on the turn and, with eye-catching acceleration, flashed to the lead at the head of the stretch.  The crowd roared its appreciation as she quickly opened a four-length lead at the eighth pole, and this acclamation built into a crescendo of applause as she went on to win by eight and three-quarter lengths with Thunder Puddles a distant second.  Erins Isle, winner of more than $1,000,000, was third.
The French filly was indeed something special, and after she went on to capture the Washington D. C. International at Laurel, her fourth Grade I victory in the space of six weeks, there was no question that this filly was a champion.  Although she had run only twice in America, she was, at season's end, voted this country's Horse of the Year 1983.
The Horse of the Year poll, originated by Daily Racing Form in 1936, was merged with the TRA poll in 1971, at which time the National Turf Writers were also invited to participate in the balloting.  In the 47-year history of the poll, All Along became the first thoroughbred, based in a foreign land, to be voted America's Horse of the Year. 
Despite her limited campaign in the United States, she was so impressive in what she did, and the way she did it, that she was a solid choice in the balloting over two other formidable contenders for this coveted honor:  the undefeated 2-year-old, Devil's Bag, and the hard-hitting 3-year-old, Slew o' Gold, who won two of the three NYRA championship events, and who was probably the best horse in the third of those events."

"When she captured the International at Laurel on November 12, All Along also earned a $1,000,000 bonus hosted by the management of Laurel Race Course, Woodbine and the NYRA for the horse who could complete the sweep of the Rothmans, the Turf Classic at Aqueduct, and the International.
The bonus increased her earnings to $2,439,299, based on a career record of nine victories in 17 starts with three seconds and a third.  All Along was literally a world-class horse, but the world didn't know about it until she was 4, and late in her 4-year-old career at that.
She raced only once as a 2-year-old, this strong-looking bay daughter of Targowice out of Agujita, by Vieux Manoir.  Owned and bred by Daniel Wildenstein, an international art dealer with galleries in Paris and New York, she was trained by young Patrick Biancone, 31, and ridden during the award-winning portion of her 4-year-old season by 22-year-old Wally Swinburne Jr.
All Along showed signs at 3 that she was going to be a good one.  She won the Grade I Prix Vermeille at Longchamp and later that fall journeyed to Tokyo where she finished second in the Japan Cup."

"Her people, anticipating an outstanding 4-year-old season, gave her ample time to recover from the arduous Japan trip and All Along didn't make her first start as a 4-year-old in 1983 until June 12.  She raced only twice during the summer and then was second in the Grade III Prix Foy, a traditional prep for the Arc de Triomphe.  Despite her good form as a 3-year-old, French bettors regarded her no better than 17-1 when she went postward in a competitive field of 26 in the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 2.
The weeks prior to the Arc were eventful for All Along.  Lester Piggott, England's greatest jockey, had been engaged to ride the filly in the Arc.  However, he subsequently received an offer for what appeared to be a better mount, and availed himself of that opportunity, leaving All Along riderless.
It was then that Biancone made an offer to young Swinburne, son of the great Irish jockey.  With Swinburne in the saddle, All Along was always well placed in the Arc de Triomphe, and with a strong bid through the three-furlong run in, prevailed by a length from the highly regarded Sun Princess, to whom she conceded seven pounds, with the speedy Luth Enchantee third. 
Immediately following the Arc, All Along was flown to Toronto, where on October 16 she contested the Grade I $520,380 Rothmans International Stakes.  In a field of 11, she was the 8-5 favorite.  Far back during the early stages on a yielding course, it took her more than a mile to get in high gear.  In the meantime, Half Iced, the 1982 Japan Cup winner, was setting the pace while Nijinsky's Secret, the Hialeah Turf Cup winner, was a solid second, ahead of Thunder Puddles."

"All Along launched her bid on the outside around the far turn, picked up horses with alacrity, and was in front at the eighth pole.  She went on to win by two lengths, beating Thunder Puddles, with Majesty's Prince third and Nijinsky's Secret fourth. 
Her victory in the Turf Classic on October 29 stirred interest in the International and the $1,000,000 bonus that would accrue for a sweep.  In a field of eight at Laurel she was favored at 2-5, and proceeded to remove all doubt early in the race. 
Reserved off the pace set by Lovely Dancer, she rushed to the front after the first mile, accomplished in a tedious 1:43 1/5.  Swinburne, to his credit, saw no point in choking her to death behind those kind of fractions - a quarter in 26 3/5, the half in 51 4/5, the six furlongs in 1:17 3/5 - and so she went to the front and proceeded to cashier her field.
With a quarter of a mile remaining she was more than three lengths in front, increased her lead to six lengths at the eighth pole, and cantered home to resounding applause to win the International by three and one quarter lengths over Welsh Term, with Majesty's Prince third, just ahead of the good mare Hush Dear.  The yielding nature of the course was best illustrated by the winner's time of 2:35, more than 11 full seconds off the course record."

"'Her race in the Arc de Triomphe was excellent,' Wildenstein said after the International.  'She seems to do even better in the United States than in Europe.  She loves your small racetracks with their tight turns.  Here at Laurel she went to the front at the half-mile pole and had never done that before.  She really enjoys your racing, which is why we are planning an almost exclusive season in the United States for her in 1984, with the Breeders' Cup her major goal.'
Wildenstein, and his sons, Guy and Alec, have raced many outstanding fillies, including Allez France, winner of the Arc de Triomphe; Pawneese, winner of the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in England; Madelia, winner of the French Oaks; Flying Water, winner of the English 1,000 Guineas, and Waya, an outstanding filly both in France and the U. S.  But none of their fillies had ever done as much in such a short time as All Along.
In addition to being voted Horse of the Year, All Along was also voted champion female grass horse of 1983."


Hey Dan-
just wondering if you happen to know what the highest synthetic beyer for a route is? The highest beyer of any synth race I can think of in the last few years in Cali is Minight Lutes 112 in the B.C. sprint....

Here are the top synthetic route Beyers in history:

1.  Zenyatta - 112 - Breeders' Cup Classic
2.  Rail Trip - 111 - Hollywood Gold Cup
3.  Gio Ponti - 110 - Breeders' Cup Classic
4.  Twice Over - 108 - Breeders' Cup Classic
T5.  Richard's Kid - 107 - Pacific Classic
T5.  Einstein - 107 - Pacific Classic
T5.  Life Is Sweet - 107 - Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic
T5.  Summer Bird - 107 - Breeders' Cup Classic
T5.  Ball Four- 107 - Mervyn LeRoy Handicap
T5.  The Pamplemousse - 107 - Sham Stakes


Interesting angles on Twice Over...I'll have to look at him a little more on race day and will include him on some saver bets at least.  I'll be there Saturday and I can't wait.
HG BC Classic 2009:
80 dollar exacta 4-7(Zenyatta over Gio Ponti) and
20 dollar exacta 7-4
I think these are the best two horses for the course, the distance, the moment.  If Zenyatta wasn't in the race I'd be all over Gio Ponti, but I think she will sustain her kick through the wire and as long as she has a target I think she'll pass that target.  I think the draw hurts Rip Van Winkle, as Girolamo, Regal Ransom and Quality Road could all hurt his chances early.  I will cover up to 7 horses in the pick 4 in this race but for just this race I like the forty seven the best.

Congrats to wilson for finishing first in the Breeders' Cup HandiGambling contest.  He chooses race five at Hollywood Park on Friday night for HG 159.  Here are the past performances:

Download HG159

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."   Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but let's remember why we began the HandiGambling races in the first place.  The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses, and why we're betting them the way we are.  I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

Talk to you soon,