Hovdey: A few ‘what-ifs' kept Flores from Hall

David Flores has hung up his tack after a career that began at Agua Caliente in 1984.

On Friday morning in Saratoga Springs, for the first time in nearly 60 years, three riders of contemporary vintage will be welcomed at the same ceremony into the Hall of Fame of the National Museum of Racing.

Cozmic One, Zenyatta's first foal, to try turf

DEL MAR, Calif. – After a 106-week layoff, Cozmic One, a 5-year-old horse out of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, will have his turf debut in Sunday’s ninth race at Del Mar.

Zenyatta in foal to Into Mischief for 2018

Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta has been confirmed in foal to Into Mischief.

Hall of Famer Zenyatta is in foal to Grade 1 winner Into Mischief for the 2018 foaling season.

The 13-year-old Street Cry mare was covered June 3 to produce what would be her sixth foal. She delivered a Medaglia d’Oro filly on May 9.

Zenyatta delivers Medaglia d'Oro filly

Alys Emson/Lane’s End Farm
Zenyatta, the winner of the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic, with her newborn foal.

Zenyatta, a Hall of Famer and the 2010 Horse of the Year, produced her fifth foal on Tuesday night, a Medaglia d’Oro filly.

The mare has been boarded at Lane’s End in Versailles, Ky., since her retirement from the racetrack at the end of her 2010 campaign. Zenyatta and her foal are owned by Jerry and Ann Moss.

“Both mare and filly are in excellent health,” read a statement on the horse’s official website, Zenyatta.com.

Stallions Deep Impact, Galileo, and Tapit ruled 2016

In a year of international synergy in the ever-more-global Thoroughbred bloodstock industry, three stallions dominated their corners of the globe: Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact, the world’s leading sire due to staggering purses in his home country; the ineffable Galileo in Europe; and Tapit, who keeps setting the bar higher for himself in North America.

Asmussen shows vulnerable side during Hall of Fame induction

Alternate title: 
Hall of Fame: Asmussen shows softer side
Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Steve Asmussen, posing with his family at the ceremony, was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Steve Asmussen often exhibits a hardened exterior, never truly revealing what he’s thinking, to the point where sometimes it’s not easy to tell if he won or lost a race.

On Friday, however, Asmussen showed an emotional side rarely seen publicly as he was formally inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Asmussen got choked up sitting in the front row as Julie, his wife of 19 years, introduced him. Later, when talking about his parents, Keith and Marilyn, Steve Asmussen had to stop.

Hovdey: Close to perfection, always magnificent

Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta is being inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame based on victories such as the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic over males.

Zenyatta was born on April 1 – no kidding – and she made her racing debut on Thanksgiving. You’re welcome.

After such delightful coincidences of the calendar, anything was possible. So, why not 19 straight wins and nearly a 20th, three championship seasons and Horse of the Year, international fame and adoration, and a place on the Hall of Fame wall in Saratoga Springs in her first year of eligibility?

Dominguez enters Hall of Fame as part of elite class

Barbara D. Livingston
Ramon Dominguez rode 4,985 winners in a 17-year career from 1996 to 2013.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – For the first time since his forced retirement in 2013, Ramon Dominguez has spent a large amount of time at the racetrack this summer at Saratoga.

His apprehension has been replaced by the realization that the track still has the comforts of home.

Rachel Alexandra vs. Zenyatta: The debate rages on

Chocolate or vanilla? Ford or Chevy? Mantle or Mays? The Beatles or the Stones? These are topics that can be debated for hours, and of course there is no right or wrong answer; it’s mostly just a matter of personal preference. For horse racing fans in recent years, there’s a topic that has joined that list: Who was better, Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta?

Sparkman: She's Not Here from pattern that produced Zenyatta

Benoit & Associates
She's Not Here wins the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap for the second straight year.

Breeders love to repeat successful patterns.

This is totally understandable, both from a commercial and logical viewpoint. The long history of nicks in Thoroughbred racing has convinced breeders and buyers alike that horses bred on the same pattern as great racers of a previous generation are more likely to be good horses themselves. Genetic logic is far less certain, but in the commercial realm, it is perception that matters.

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