10/24/2013 9:49AM

Captaintreacherous or Bee A Magician?

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In every walk of life there are hot topics. Trending right now in the standardbred world is the ongoing debate for Horse of the Year. The majority of fans and voters are divided between two corners – Captaintreacherous and Bee A Magician. It is worth noting that waiting just on the outskirts for misfortune to strike the top pair is I Luv The Nitelife.

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Does Horse of the Year really matter? As a voter for the United States Harness Writers Association, it matters to me. I’ve listened to the connections from both camps play down the importance of the honor, but everyone wants to win an award.

As someone who gets around from track-to-track, and an active participant on Twitter and Facebook, I’m privy to more opinions than I can stomach on Horse of the Year. Everyone, as is their right, wants to put in their two cents. While I understand having a view and I certainly have my own, I utterly dismiss those that have planted their feet in the sand and don’t even see the other side.

Let’s make one thing crystal clear, the Horse of the Year battle is very, very close. I couldn’t fault anyone for selecting either horse. I wouldn’t even stone someone for selecting I Luv The Nitelife, though despite her spectacular season, she is a bit of a reach at this moment.

Leaving aside those that are adamant in their choice, I have disdain for the few who are A) badmouthing the other horse and trying to find faults where none exist and B) those that would purposely downgrade one of the top two just to make the other one look better. Judging by some comments I have seen, I wouldn’t be shocked if is a voter or two out there, among the 35 in the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown poll, has placed either Bee A Magician or Captaintreacherous third to lift up the horse they prefer.

For the record, my vote is currently with Captaintreacherous. My reasoning is simple. While both horses have met or exceeded expectations on the track, Captaintreacherous has faced and overcome more adversity. I don’t diminish Bee A Magician’s wins because they have come easily. I applaud her for passing every test in her current 15-win perfect season. I am marveled by Bee A Magician’s speed and dominance, but I am enamored with the heart Captaintreacherous has displayed on countless occasions when he had every reason to quit.

Captaintreacherous is expected to race three more times this year and Bee A Magician once. The final start of the year for both horses is anticipated to be on November 30 at The Meadowlands. Captaintreacherous, a 3-year-old, will take on older horses in the TVG Free-For-All final. Bee A Magician is to face the same sophomore fillies she has been crushing all year long. Should both horses win their remaining starts, despite her 16-for-16 record, I would have a hard time making a case for her against a colt that went 15-for-16 and beat older foes.

Say what you will about Captaintreacherous skipping the Little Brown Jug this year, but for my money, taking a shot against the best pacers in North America is a much bigger test than the Jug. Though I will admit the Jug was a riskier spot since “The Captain” really has nothing to lose by facing older foes. If he fails to win, he was simply in too tough. If he wins, he takes his place among the greats of all time.

Now if Captaintreacherous loses any of his three remaining starts, well, the title and my vote could certainly swing to the fabulous filly. And if they both lost, I might even swing some “Luv” to “Nitelife”.

There are still races to be contested, thrills to be felt and excitement waiting to be unleashed. We are blessed this year with a great race for supremacy in the sport.

May the best colt or filly win.

Interesting Foiled Again facts

Foiled Again moved into second on the all-time money-winning list with his Breeders Crown victory at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs. His current year and career accomplishments are astounding. Here are some interesting facts from 2013.

•          Foiled Again is the only million-dollar earner in 2013 that is older than 3.

•          He is the only horse over 4 that is in the top 14 in earnings this year.

•          Despite his advanced age (9), he has more starts (25) than any other horse in the top 50 in earnings this year.

•          His career earnings of $5.65 million identically matched the amount of Breeders Crown purses given away when he won the BC Older Pace on October 19.

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Craig DiBattista More than 1 year ago
If BAM is such a great horse why not prove it and run against the boys? She could have run in the hambo? Agreed she is the best filly trotter.. Can she be older horses? Check me out ? Maven? Somebeachsomewhere the greatest horse ever and CT second best.. I guess when the captain runs at the meadowlands against older horses we shall see who the greatest is. Maybe putting to rest all the calms of him ducking horses on the 1/2. Last time I looked Foiled again the toughest horse has never won at the meadowlands.
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
If you say so Craig......
Craig DiBattista More than 1 year ago
Nice response Blaine
The Big B More than 1 year ago
My vote for Bee A Magician. Connections of CT blew it for me in showing their only concern is their profit when they bypassed the Jug and all those loyal and some new fans. They want to reap from the sport what others have so unselfishly worked so hard at in trying to insure the future of our sport. Yet, they didn't want to give back. My feeling is there's more to The Horse of The Year than just the wins. It's the overall quality to the sport they project.
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
Derick, The award is Horse of the Year. It's about OVERALL body of work in your classification. It's about winning and more often than not, the most dominant horse in said classification is your HOY. I've never heard of overcoming 'perceived' adversity as a criteria in voting for HOY. Is Captaintreachous more popular than Bee A Magician, without a doubt. But he has one on track loss and he skipped the Holy Grail of harness racing, the Little Brown Jug. Bee A Magician has no losses and participated/won all of her starts at her division's premier events, and outside of the Elegant Image Final, in absolutely breathless fashion. As of today, as great a champion that Captaintreacherous has been and is, he is NOT the 2013 pro-tem Horse of the Year. Just my rusty lil 2 cents. Peace.
Derick More than 1 year ago
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are no rules for how a voter must proceed. As far as race selection, it is a two-way street. Bee A Magician shows no starts on a half mile track this year and skipped a few prominent 3yofilly stakes, including the Kentucky Filly Futurity and Hudson Filly Trot to instead race for similar money against Ontario breds. I don't hold it against her. I judge the path taken, not the path that could have been traveled. Yes, Captain skipped the Jug because the negatives for the horse and connections outweighed the positive. But everyone forgets the good things - the promotion at the Meadowlands for 1% of the horse; the Captain Cam so people could watch the horse. Bee A Magician stopped at three tracks this year while Captain will visit seven. As I said, may the best horse win.
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
Well skipping the Kentucky Filly Futurity was more about it being 6 days before BC Elims than anything else. As for her not racing on a 1/2 mile oval, that's a legitimate argument that applies to Captaintreacherous as well. As for her skipping the Hudson Filly Trot, she ran for equal money at home.....Non-Issue. Don't get me wrong DG, I respect our differences in view and choice. But there's one thing we both must agree on, Bee A Magician has been the most dominant performer in harness racing in 2013. The voters will speak to HOY in due time.
Tim Wells More than 1 year ago
I would have to say that if you duck the Jug you should not be considered for horse of the year. No Burke horse should ever be considered since they are not just racing on pure ability and are being enhanced with illegal methods. No Trainer is as good as he appears. I admit that the stable is good but when you take every single horse that you acquire and step them up 4-5 seconds questions and methods should be asked and taken to watch every single move this stable makes and if the stable still performs at the same high Level then I say pronounce the Burke Stable the Greatest Stable in the History of the Sport. Oh, By the Way Bee A Magician should win Horse of the Year in a Landslide after all she Dominated her Competition every single race
bob More than 1 year ago
Foiled again was a beast...Miller put a nose in front near the wire and he came back...haven't seen that much in my day
Dante Sindori More than 1 year ago
What makes you think that Bee A Magician's heart is smaller than the Captain's? She has used it when necessary...just check out that mile At Mohawk where Zeron Hung her out to dry and she had to dig in down the stretch when not at her best. Simply because she is so talented that she crushes her opponents with regularity, including the best 3oft on the planet without getting her hocks kicked and a whip shoved up her privates doesn't mean she is less determined than the Captain, in fact I think the latter is true.
Derick More than 1 year ago
Bee A Magician may have a huge heart. We can only judge by what we have seen on the track. Through no fault of her own she has never been tested. I have nothing but respect for the filly.
Dante Sindori More than 1 year ago
All the power to you. Keep the faith.
Dante Sindori More than 1 year ago
"Trying to find fault where none exists"? I have disdain for those who would have disdain for someone's well thought-out opinion lol. Captain Treacherous has now missed 2 legs of pacing's triple crown for fear 1/2 mile tracks and has been beaten. If these are not faults, tell me, what are they? Captain Treacherous is a very good horse....Bee A Magician is a GREAT horse. I don't get to vote but maybe I can do my share and influence you a little. Please don't look at passionate opinions with disdain. At least we have people interested enough to HAVE an opinion. That should be cherished.
Derick More than 1 year ago
Dante, Sad to say but the Triple Crown in harness racing has little to no meaning anymore. Simply put, the connections of horses just don't aim to win it.
Jeff Mcintosh More than 1 year ago
NO LITTLE BROWN JUG NO HORSE OF THE YEAR. THIS REALLY ISNT EVEN CLOSE
Arch Glenn More than 1 year ago
Jeff McIntosh is correct. The Captain's connections failure to "risk" the rigors of half mile track racing, and skipping the premier event on the pacing side of the sport, the LBJ, have had me voting the same top three for weeks on end now in the Hambo/Breeders Crown poll. 1. I Luv the Nitelife 2. Bee A Magician and 3. Captaintreacherous. I Luv the Nitelife only further cemented my 1st place vote by showing up in Delaware and simply overmatching hers foes in both heats of the Jugette.
BornFunny More than 1 year ago
i agree with your stance DG...and should the captn falter agree that he adds a blemish to something that no matter what was an outstanding season...what a treat to have such a debate...the real concern as a fan is that you want the debate to continue on...if only they could all be foiled again or more realistically how about half foiled again...