Todd Pletcher's two most bubble wrapped to run on Saturday

Shock and AWE! Rags to Riches AND The Green Monkey are set to both race on saturday, Rags in the Gazelle, TGM in a 6f MSW.

Jeez horse racing has become so pathetic, Rags is pulled out of work due to a temperature…approaching 102. It is August for cripes sake…all horses temps are around 102! 103 is a slight temp…105 is when you worry!

Oh and let’s not forget Discreet Cat worked and is due to race in the Vosburgh.

We wrap these horses in anymore bubble wrap they just might suffocate.


isn’t it September?? lol. Anyways, I love Rags to Riches lol  ;D

I bubble wrap my horse too. He may not be a race horse, but he is my eventer :slight_smile: Stable bandages, poultice, cold hosing, liniment, chiropractor… etc! LOL  :-*


You wont bring in new fans if the most recognizable horses hardly ever race or retire next year like I believe Hard Spun and Curlin are set to do. The stars need to stick around for 2-3 years, not for their 3 yr old season and then off to the stud farm.

I mean horse owners always say they would like to bring in more fans, but then their greed for stud fees prompts them to take the horses off the track, thus decreasing fan interest. I mean how big it would be if 2 Kentucky Derby winning horses faced off against each other. That would sell and bring excitement.

Even this season, we should’ve seen Street Sense vs. rags to Riches already or at least another rematch with Street Sense & Curlin. But instead, the horses get bubble wrapped and led to races which avoid the serious challengers.

Not to mention, I don’t even think this weeks’ races are going to be on television. So what good does that do me?

Just so many things about horse racing should be changed and it would be a much more popular sport and definitely more exciting, but as long as greed makes the decisions, it will just be  a sport that is only noticed once every year in the mainstream during Derby time.


According to the article I just read, Tabor is planning on bringing Rags to Riches back next year as a 4yo.

While I agree we coddle the horses an awful lot, does anyone really want to see another Barbaro?  Those owners and trainers saw what happened to him and are understandably going to be protective and cautious of their horses.  If the trainer even suspects that the horse might not be 100% then they shouldn’t run the horse.  Would you rather see them race Rags to Riches when she’s not 100% and have her do poorly or worse yet, fatally injure herself?

Hard Spun’s been sold to the Sheiks and I’m pretty sure all they care about is trying to get high stud fees (or perhaps rather they care about winning the Derby more than anything else and so once a horse has lost his chance to win the Derby, they want to bring him home to breed him in hopes his offspring will be Derby winners).  Curlin’s owners have legal issues which may play into their decisions about what to do with the horse.

I agree horses should race longer and be expected to hold up to the rigors of racing, but I don’t think that’s the sort of thing you can force on them.  I’d love to see a race with Hard Spun, Street Sense, Curlin, and Rags to Riches in it, but that’d only end up being a good scenario for the connections of 1 of the 4 horses, so it makes sense to not really aim for it.  With Invasor out of the Classic I think Rags to Riches connections should consider the race for her, but if they want to give her another year to mature and maybe take it on next year, I won’t complain.  I mean, these horses are 3.  If they weren’t on the racetrack they’d be just starting to get ridden this year and if anyone jumped them over much more than cross-rails then people would have a fit.  Asking them to gallop as fast as possible for a mile and a quarter is much harder on them than jumping a course of 3’ fences.

People are worried about seeing another Barbaro situation which is understandable but at the same time what happened to Barbaro was a freak accident…up to the Preakness this horse was 100% sound and then a bad step and snap…that’s just the nature of the beast. It is a terrible result of horseracing but it is a part of it, what they really need to start doing is stop breeding to horses that have broken down on the track themselves or have progeny that don’t hold up…::cough:: Jazil ::cough::. But asking for this to happen is like asking the sun not to shine.

The other thing that rubs me is that there are plenty of horses that are hardknocking tough old runners who aren’t coddled and race more than twice a year and past the age of three…shock and awe, fear and death…the thought of it!

Does anyone else think the blood of the Racehorse is thinning here?

What I mean is… It seems like the horses of nowadays are not even CLOSE to the legends–Seattle Slew, Man O’ War, Secretariat, Seabiscuit, Ruffian, etc. Why is that? What was it that made those horses so… perfectly set in their time and in their moment… to win, and to become the legends they are? Why isn’t ANYONE hitting on what that is, and why is it that the horses that DO come close, seem to just… fall short somehow? Barbaro came close, and then… that  “freak accident” happened. Then there are the horses that WEREN’T injured, but simply… didn’t make it. What is that about? Why aren’t we any closer to triple crown material? Is the blood thinning? Are our horses just… not what they used to be? Or is it the trainers? Is it that our potential winners are shipped off to breed too early? Or is it the methods used to train them?

Just thinking out loud I guess. :confused:

EDIT: I’ve come to one conclusion–It’s a conspiracy. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, as it turns out, “bubble wrapping” Rags to Riches didn’t do any good… She has a hairline fracture in her… pastern?.. and is out for the rest of the year.  Her connections are reportedly still committed to running her again next year, so we’ll see.  She’s getting 6 weeks of stall rest and then going to have the leg re-x-rayed.

Though if Jazil is an example of what’s wrong with racing, Rags to Riches isn’t a good choice for racing’s heroine since she’s his half-sister :wink:.

A lot of things going on here from a non-horse persons point of view :wink:

I have to agree with Andrea I have no problem with people protecting their valuable investments.

As far as the blood running thin how often does a truly great horse come along? And a better question is how often should he/she come along. The fact that we don’t have a single horse dominating the scene on a regular basis just may point to the fact that we have a lot of fine horses and it’s difficult for any one horse to dominate. That’s a good thing. So when one horse does dominate, and I don’t mean just through it’s 3 yo year, it means he’s truly a great horse. Not just a good horse better than a bunch of average horses.

How many people outside the horse racing enthusiasts know who Skip Away is which goes to show where our values are, and why we breed horses the way we do.

I remember watching some really good horses race in the late 70’s early 80’s,(i was little then) i even picked a few of the winners. Though none ever went on to race very long it is very disappointing. I think something is happening to make them more fragile than they used to be, maybe its the way they are kept, the bloodlines, I don’t know, but I  agree It would be nice to have another Great One.

In general, the horses today don’t seem to be as tough as they used to be…look at the horses back in the 20’s and 30’s, War Admiral was raced sometimes on a weekly basis.  Horses today may be faster(that’s up for debate of course) but they’ve been bred away from soundness in my opinion. That’s what I like about FF, the horses here seem to follow the toughness of the horses “way back when…” It wouldn’t be so much fun if they had to be as lightly raced as today’s horses.

Sure wouldnt.  My 7 and 8 year olds would be trashed! D:

Exactly. But what are they going to do…breed them so we can have some more unsound progeny that will race maybe…just maybe half a dozen times if they don’t break down before that…retire at 3 due to unsoundness and the cycle starts all over again.

I know it isn’t all due to weak bloodlines, Rags injury is a common one and it is regrettable…she is one of my favorite fillies, but her getting injured just once again proves to me that these horses aren’t being bred to last anymore. The breakdown rate has NOT gone down, people are going to have to face eventually that it isn’t ALWAYS the track that is the problem…sometimes it might be the breeding…or the overworking that causes these animals to break.

I hope people don’t assume that swapping to Polytrack and the various other artificial surfaces will completely solve breakdowns, but they will help.  Beyond the initial improvement on the horses running now, I think we’ll see a change in breeding strategies as the horses that are successful over Polytrack are not the same that are successful over dirt courses for the most part.  From what I understand (which is based primarily on Jerry Bailey’s racing commentary on ESPN :wink:), artificial surfaces handle much more like turf courses in terms of speed and strategy.  It’s almost impossible to win by running on the lead the entire race and the fractions tend to be much slower until the final furlong or so.  Hopefully as horses succeed on these surfaces we’ll see people breeding for this style of running which I think will reduce the emphasis on insanely fast breeze times as a 2yo which seem to be driving the market now.  People breed for the auction ring, not the race track.

I think we’re all just sad that we missed the 70’s (at least most of us :wink:).  During the 70’s there were an insane number of racing greats (Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Ruffian, Foolish Pleasure, Forego, etc).  There were 3 triple crown winners in the 70’s, but none in the 50’s or 60’s.  But there were 4 in the 40’s.  So it really seems like every couple of decades there’s an amazing string of horses, and in between there are lots of nice horses who just aren’t quite great.  So hopefully racing is on it’s way into another one of those stretches with horses like Barbaro and Invasor and maybe even Rags to Riches. 

I agree. Plus it’s not like are horses aren’t coming close. Silver Charm lost by like a neck and a centimeter literally stopped us from having a TC winner in Real Quiet. Not to mention Charismatic, War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones. It’s gonna happen we just need to be patient and if anything it just goes to show there’s more competition and it is harder to win.

Yes I think there’ll be a TC winner once again when there are more than 2-3 “good” horses in the fields of the races. Yes they are all good, but when the horses have challenge they gain the desire to win, even when pushed to their limits and beyond.

I also agree-the bubble wrapping gets to me a little, but it also seems like the horses from the 30’s, etc had worse breakdowns b/c the veterinarians, etc couldn’t do as much.

But I think that if we trained racehorses a little more like event horses there may be less injury-the hilly rides, etc (instead of many just running in ovals for 20 mins/day; or every other day, every 3rd day, get the pic?) then they would be less prone to injury i believe. You see event horses at the Advanced level competing are quite often and training nearly everyday, and they are put through the same pounding as racehorses, if not more. Also, when you cool a horse out walking on say asphalt or concrete many say that it helps to strengthen tendons and tendon sheaths. 

So idk, thats my opinion on the whole horse in a bubble thing.