10/23/2010 10:36AM

Goldikova's Attempt At Three Straight BC Miles


Like everyone else, I am eager to see if Zenyatta, who, make no mistake, is the star of this Breeders' Cup, will make it 20 for 20 by beating a better group of dirt males in the BC Classic than the group she beat in this race last year. I am also eager to see how Uncle Mo handles two turns in the BC Juvenile, if Midday can make like a certain other European mare and win a second straight BC Filly & Mare Turf, and if Winter Memories can prove she's the monster I think she is in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

And then we come to the BC Mile which, thanks to Goldikova, is in a special category all its own.

There have been seven repeat winners in the same Breeders' Cup race. They are Miesque (Mile, 1987 and 1988), Bayakoa (Distaff, 1989 and 1990), Lure (Mile, 1992 and 1993), Tiznow (Classic, 2000 and 2001), High Chaparral (Turf, 2002 and 2003), Midnight Lute (Sprint, 2007 and 2008), and Goldikova (Mile, 2008 and 2009). No horse has ever won the same Breeders' Cup race three straight years. Lure is the only horse to have attempted it, but he finished ninth in the 1994 Mile.

Clearly, Goldikova's attempt to win the Mile for a third straight year is packed with historical meaning. And the fact that she will be strongly favored to succeed means that we have an excellent chance to witness a racing first that will be one of those records that will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to match.

Think about it. With the lure of breeding money a constant pull in the other direction and injury an ever-present danger, how many horses actually stay in training three straight years after their 2-year-old season? That's what you would have to do at the very least to attempt to win the same Breeders' Cup race three straight years. How many horsemen really want to keep their best charges in training through age 5?

Beyond that, how many of those horses maintain sufficient form over that time to merit three straight starts in the same Breeders' Cup race? Moreover, how many horses achieve and maintain form of a high enough level to actually give them a chance to win those three straight Breeders' Cup starts? I know. It's ridiculous. And while some might say, "Well, hey, how about Zenyatta?," don't forget, she's an extreme aberration, too.

If Goldikova achieves this feat by winning the Mile a third straight time, it seems to me that with the way the game is today, the only type of horse who could possibly match her accomplishment would be a super gelding on the order of a Forego or a Kelso or a John Henry. The problem with that is we just don't see as many star geldings as we used to because horsemen are understandably more reluctant than ever to make that "final cut." And even if a standout gelding did come along, he would probably have to be a specialist such as a sprinter or turf horse, because it is inconceivable to me that the Classic could be won three straight years by the same horse.

The only thing I can think of that would keep three straight Mile wins by Goldikova from being in the same sphere as a no-chance-it-will-ever-be-broken record like Cy Young's 511 career wins in baseball is the lack of quality depth that seems to plague the sport today. Okay, so then Goldikova's feat would fall into the merely unobtainable category of Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hit streak. Because let's not forget, for Goldikova to win three straight Breeders' Cup Miles, it also means she will have had to have cross the Atlantic three straight times to do it.

UPDATE: As El Angelo pointed out, I overlooked Conduit, who won the BC Turf in 2008 and 2009. My apologies.

brian cornell More than 1 year ago
dont forget that she has beat the boys twice and goes for the hat trick this year this makes it more impressive
RoMo More than 1 year ago
Mr. Perry ... Thanks for the heads up .. I must say, Round Table was already a favorite of this 12 year old kid .. after an 11 race win streak finishes third to Bold Ruler and Gallant Man (giving Bold Ruler weight) .. after turning back in 8 days .. Starts another streak.. Who's folks had been going to the So Cal tracks since the 40's .. One not to warm Jan. day I see the smallish Brown Horse go 10f in 1:58+ hauling 132 and win a stakes race .. Gate to Wire and winning by open lengths.. .. I saw his 1:59+ Big Cap in 58 hauling 130 .. but that 158 @ 132 G to W .. just hangs in mind.. That and is 66 th race .. his last race .. at 2 miles second to Sword Dancer and giving him weight ..?
john innocenzi More than 1 year ago
Think were also missing LURE from the 2 consecutive list. I'll be rooting on Z for sure, also Goldikova, both will have there hands full,l but if i had to would single Gold. She has faced the best of the best in the world. Would love to see it in person. (MW: Thanks, but Lure was one I managed not to miss on my original list of consecutive winners of the same BC race)
mike long More than 1 year ago
i cant wait till the most overrated horse in the history of horse racing loses so we can put to rest all of this nonsense how special of a horse she is, she is a good horse and that is about it, she beats up on weak competion, in her own backyard, and the grade 1 races she has been winning they should be called classified allowance races, the mosses and john sherriefs lied to the public, saying they were going to tour the world with her this year, go to belamont saratoga, yeah right they went to oaklawn, to face her usual 5 horse field in, it is impressive that she is 19/ 19, but her wins are against mediocre competion, they always protect her, well if they run in the breeders cup classic, get your kleenex"s ready zenyatta fans, she wont hit the board, too tough a field for her, a easy toss in your pick 4"s. one other thing, when she loses the breeders cup, with all her self proclaimed greatness, she will have never won horse of the year, take that all you zenyatta fans, blame will win the breeders cup, best horse, and loves churchill
Johnny D. More than 1 year ago
What about Da Hoss? (MW: This is about consecutive wins in the same Breeders' Cup race)
Greg More than 1 year ago
Goldikova is hands down the true star of the breeders cup, even though zenyatta is probably fan favorite..... She has beaten males several times, and crossed the pond 3 straight years now! And I can't wait to see her
RoMo More than 1 year ago
.. Interesting Blog for sure .. What I find most interesting is that the same people that discount "Z-Queen" for not enough "dirt" wins or wins against "males" .. don't mention G-Queens "restrictions" as a means to discount ..? Both Queens are trying to win three straight BC races.. .. Would be nice if we could just appreciate the quality of their efforts and not find some way to turn it into some political type .. "less filling, tastes great" .. paradox.. .. Being human and not without sin .. I get a case of the "red bottom" when my favorite runner/tops my list of "greatest of all time" is never mentioned .. The all time, any surface, any weight, over several years, has as many sub 2:00 10f runs as anyone .. Round Table never gets a shout out ..
John C. Perry More than 1 year ago
RoMo, Any fan of Round Table needs to get acquainted with Ellen Parker of "reines-de-course" fame. Probably, a Google for Reines-de-course will help you find her. She lives in/near Paris, Ky. Had the pleasure of taking her and her husband out for dinner at Malone's in Lexington, Ky a few years ago. An evening I will never forget. A brilliant, intriguing and captivating woman......and Round Table's biggest fan.
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
We as fans are blessed to have these stalwarts. The last was most likely John Henry. Cigar was a treat, but not for 3 years in a row. We need these stars to help our sport. The tracks and owners need to band together and promote these beasts. Racing is awesome; but we have to market the sport smarter. Give families a choice. Have "kid friendly" areas. If we don't attract the youth, the sport is dead. We must showcase our super stars like the NFl or NBA. Go Goldikova and Zenyatta. Let's hope that "lucky" comes in second and than stays in training for next year.
Furio More than 1 year ago
Other than Midnight Lute, all of the repeat BC winners have been consistent, high class horses. Along with 11 or 12 grade 1/group I wins, if Goldikova can win a third BC Mile in a row. she should be considered a great horse. Her longevity and record will be memorable and remarkable in light of today's fragile breed.
Owen More than 1 year ago
I hope that Gio Ponti ends up running in the mile. Goldikova vs. Gio Ponti would be very interesting. I've always been surprised that Gio Ponti has been so successful at longer distances, when his pedigree says sprinter or miler. I think that the mile may be his best distance.