11/28/2008 12:00AM

Letters to the Editor


Eclipse candidates receive judgment in different light

In regard to Mike Watchmaker's Nov. 19 column, "Eclipses not all done deals," about awards for this year, I just wanted to make a couple of comments.

First, I agree with him that Raven's Pass should at least be considered for champion 3-year-old male. I take it further and say he should win the award. The only criterion for the award is that a horse must start at least once in North America. Nothing says that the award goes to the most accomplished but to the best, and in his one U.S. start, Raven's Pass showed he was the best.

Watchmaker made this case in his argument for Conduit as champion grass male by mentioning the fact that numerous Europeans have won the award with only one start here. Since precedent has been set, Raven's Pass is deserving.

Second, how can Intangaroo not be in the discussion for champion female sprinter? She has three Grade 1 one sprint wins this year, as many as Ventura and Indian Blessing combined. Unlike both of those two, she doesn't need any asterisks.

Ventura's biggest triumph came on a synthetic track. Indian Blessing won hers in races restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Intangaroo won the Humana Distaff and Ballerina on dirt in addition to the synthetic Santa Monica. Indian Blessing has a clear edge over Intangaroo in the speed-figure department, but Intangaroo's advantage in terms of quality of competition beaten is even more pronounced. She beat multiple-graded-stakes-winning horses (including Hystericalady and Sugar Swirl) while giving them weight.

Her wins don't match up with Indian Blessing on speed figures, but more than match up with Ventura's win in the Madison. If voters who are deciding between Indian Blessing and Ventura are giving Indian Blessing a pass because the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint was on a synthetic surface, Intangaroo deserves that same pass. In my opinion, it's either weigh synthetic-track results equally and award the title to Ventura, or don't consider them and award the title to Intangaroo. Indian Blessing, who just may be the best on dirt, is the odd one left out here.

Reggie Evans - Beaumont, Calif.