10/24/2013 10:49AM

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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