The HOY Debate
CURRENT ODDS FOR HORSE OF THE YEAR
The way I see it, Havre de Grace, Blind Luck and Tizway are co-favorites at this point in the race for the 2011 Horse of the Year title. These are my current Horse of the Year odds:
5-2 Blind Luck
5-2 Havre de Grace
8-1 Stay Thirsty
10-1 Cape Blanco
30-1 Twirling Candy
50-1 Flat Out
15-1 All Others
Here is a closer look at the leading Horse of the Year candidates:
At the moment, the Blind Luck camp has indicated that she will run in the Lady’s Secret rather than the Beldame and BC Ladies’ Classic rather than the BC Classic.
If Blind Luck wins both the Lady’s Secret and BC Classic, I am quite certain she will be voted Horse of the Year.
If Blind Luck wins both the Lady’s Secret and BC Ladies’ Classic, she still could be voted Horse of the Year as long as Havre de Grace, Tizway or Stay Thirsty do not win their remaining 2011 races.
Blind Luck worked five furlongs in a sharp :59 1/5 this morning (Sept. 14) at Hollywood Park.
HAVRE DE GRACE
If Havre de Grace wins both the Beldame and BC Classic, I am quite certain she will be voted Horse of the Year.
In a different scenario, if Havre de Grace wins the Beldame and then the BC Ladies’ Classic over Blind Luck, she still could be voted Horse of the Year as long as Tizway or Stay Thirsty do not win both the Jockey Club Gold Cup and BC Classic.
TIZWAY and STAY THIRSTY
If Tizway wins both the Jockey Club Gold Cup and BC Classic, he probably will be voted Horse of the Year. The same goes for Stay Thirsty. However, even if either of them do win those two races, Blind Luck or Havre de Grace also could get a fair amount of support for Horse of the Year should either of them win their remaining 2011 races.
The reason I have Stay Thirsty a higher price than Tizway for Horse of the Year is my feeling that Tizway has a better chance to win both the Jockey Club Gold Cup and BC Classic.
ACCLAMATION and CAPE BLANCO
Bud Johnston, owner-breeder of Acclamation, has indicated Acclamation is more likely to run in the BC Turf than in the BC Classic if he runs in the Breeders’ Cup. Currently, Acclamation is not nominated to the Breeders’ Cup.
In order for Acclamation to become Horse of the Year, he probably needs to win his remaining 2011 races, including the BC Turf, and for Blind Luck, Havre de Grace, Tizway and Stay Thirsty to all get beat between now and the end of the year.
By far the best chance for Acclamation to become Horse of the Year is for him to win his next race, whatever it is, and then run in and win the BC Classic instead of the BC Turf. That would make it difficult to deny Acclamation the Horse of the Year title in that he would have demonstrated impressive versatility by winning two Grade I on the grass, the Grade I Pacific Classic on synthetic footing and the Grade I BC Classic on dirt.
For Cape Blanco to become Horse of the Year, he probably needs to win the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and BC Turf, plus have Blind Luck, Havre de Grace, Stay Thirsty and Acclamation all get beat between now and the end of the year.
It tends to be more difficult for a grass-only horse like Cape Blanco to be elected Horse of the Year, but it can be done (All Along in 1983, Kotashaan in 1993).
by Jon White