Race Crush?

I love you Las Virgenes!* (Charles Pravata)

Sure, we all have a horse crush (or two!), but do we also have race crushes? I’m pretty sure we do, or at least I do. I validated this concept with a friend who said:

Interesting, I think I have a similar thing for the Alabama. If I’m not already a fan of the winner, I become one. If I am a fan, I become a super fan.

My race crushes? The Las Virgenes and Risen Star. These races sealed my super fandom of Stardom Bound, Blind Luck and Pyro and made me a fan of Friesan Fire and Ron the Greek. So far things are validating this theory as I’m now a big fan of Zazu and should Machen win the Risen Star I’m sure to be a super fan.

And speaking of the Las Virgenes, here’s what I had to say about it in the Derby Prep Alert mailing for Hello Race Fans:

There’s plenty of speed in this race as May Day Rose, California Nectar, Plum Pretty and Tiz the Route all have wire-to-wire wins to their credit. Of these, California Nectar has proven she can sit off the pace and still win, but with this many front-runners, there could very well be a speed duel. This would set the race up well for Turbulent Descent, and it’s certainly her race to lose, but it also sets the race up for Zazu, Bluegrass Chatter and possibly California Nectar if she doesn’t throw down with May Day Rose. On the other hand, Santa Anita has been more than kind to speed horses, so perhaps the advantage goes to whoever gets and keeps the lead.

Zazu or California Nectar looks the most likely to pull the upset if Turbulent Descent doesn’t get the job done. Like favored Dancinginherdreams in the Forward Gal, she might need a race. If Zazu can improve upon her last effort and stay focused in the stretch, I think she can score her first graded win.

And here’s how it unfolded:

The Derby Prep Alert is mailed every Friday.

But back to the question at hand, which are your races crushes?

* Super fan note: I own Stardom Bound’s saddle towel from the Las Virgenes!

15 thoughts on “Race Crush?

  1. Valerie

    I’ve always crushed on the Wood Memorial (blame Foolish Pleasure for that), as well as the Kentucky Oaks. Also, I’m nuts about the Melbourne Cup (could you guess?).

    Great job on calling Zazu!

  2. dana

    How could I forget the Kentucky Oaks? It’s really grown on me and I really think last year’s was one of the best races of the year. And I hadn’t noticed re: Melbourne Cup (snicker) 🙂

    Thanks! I rarely make an actual pick in previews but I was feelin’ it this time. I plan on talking about using replays for handicapping in the upcoming mailing as they were crucial in coming up with that pick.

  3. MH

    The Hollywood Futurity and the Frank E. Kilroe Mile. Every year it seems like a future star(s) runs in them, even if they may not be famous at the time. Check out the entrants in those races the last ~five years and then look what they did afterwards.

  4. Jamie

    I guess you would say I have a race crush on the Alabama, as well. This would be due largely in part to what I think was one of the most exciting races of the year in 2008, when Proud Spell put her guts on the line to defeat the talented (and frequently unlucky) Music Note. What a finish! Ahh I just got chills rewatching it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4_OyLjPC9U My friend, who is a fellow racing photographer, also is in love with the Alabama and says it’s his favorite race to shoot. I think it has a little to do with the perfect time of the season for Saratoga, and there’s usually some great fillies putting on a show for us at this point of the year. I’ve never seen the Alabama live, but I hope to one lucky day. 🙂

    Aside from that, I love the Mother Goose, the Kentucky Oaks, and now the Haskell.

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  6. Ted Grevelis

    Mine has less to do with a horse than it does with the sentimentality of the race for me: The Preakness.

    When I interned in Washington DC during college I went to my first major race, which was the Preakness. It was there that racing captured me. I knew it was real love when I passed up al the goings in in the infield to try and find a spot to actually see the race.

    I helped pay my way through a year of grad school at the University of Maryland at Pimlico puching tickets and worked a couple of Preakness Days.

    As an owner, I would give nearly anything to get back to Maryland win that race someday.

  7. Brian Appleton

    I love the Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, Alabama and Travers, though it’s incredibly hard to narrow it down, the Jockey Club Gold Cup is definitely in the top three.

    That’s awesome you picked Zazu! I picked her just three days before the race and had been a solid Turbulent Descent supporter up until then. She ran a beautiful race!

  8. Nature Boy

    The San Juan Capistrano Handicap (GII) 4 & UP 1 3/4 M (T)

    Always run on the last day of the Santa Anita meet. Def my fav.

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