The Brock Talk

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Jon White Horse of the Year Rankings

While perusing through the Paulick Report yesterday, I happened upon Bill Christine’s Horse Race Insider blog entitled A Poll For What Ails You. In the blog, Christine wrote about another blog posted by Jon White on ranking every Horse of the Year since the Eclipse Awards were established in 1971. White then asked 31 other turf writers to do the same and came up with a concensus. That consensus is in Christine’s blog, but don’t look yet.

Christine provided all 33 horses in alphabetical order that have been honored with the golden Eclipse Award statuette. Some of them have won the title more than once.

What a great exercise, I thought. Just the kind of task that one looks for when freezing rain, ice and snow are dominating the news here in Arlington, Texas, despite the fact we’re hosting a pretty big football game here Sunday. That game has been preceded by multiple events and parties located throughout the massive metroplex in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLV. Needless-to-say, most of those events and parties do not fall within my financial nor my emotional budget, but those that might, have fallen down on the need-to-do list as a consequence of the local weather.

And just as Christine wrote in his blog, “But in the spirit of the thing, why not do your own rankings, then compare them with the rest of us? No peeking at the consensus, though. I'll list the 33 horses (some of them were champions more than once) in the next paragraph, then stop reading for a time and go do your assignment: Rank them from 1 through 33, in order of greatness. A deal? OK, here's goes:

Ack Ack, Affirmed, All Along, Alysheba, A.P. Indy, Azeri, Black Tie Affair, Charismatic, Cigar, Conquistador Cielo, Criminal Type, Curlin, Favorite Trick, Ferdinand, Forego, Ghostzapper, Holy Bull, Invasor, John Henry, Kotashaan, Lady's Secret, Mineshaft, Point Given, Rachel Alexandra, Saint Liam, Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Skip Away, Spectacular Bid, Spend a Buck, Sunday Silence, Tiznow, Zenyatta.”

Use any criteria you like. I did not cloud my judgement by looking up specific past performances or any other research. I went by memory and instinct alone. But that doesn’t mean you have restrict yourself from looking up races and information. Heck, that might be half the fun for you.

Hope you enjoy a little winter puzzle and let me know your rankings. My rankings are below. Don’t peak until you're finished with your list though…

Consenus Poll, Christine Rankings, White Rankings

Jon White blog

The Brock Talk HOY rankings.
1. Secretariat
2. Seattle Slew
3. Forego
4. Affirmed
5. Cigar
6. John Henry
7. Spectacular Bid
8. Zenyatta
9. Ack Ack
10. Tiznow
11. Curlin
12. Lady’s Secret
13. Skip Away
14. Azeri
15. Rachel Alexandra
16. Ferdinand
17. Alysheba
18. Sunday Silence
19. A.P. Indy
20. Point Given
21. All Along
22. Kotashan
23. Holy Bull
24. Ghostzapper
25. Invasor
26. St. Liam
27. Mineshaft
27. Charasmatic
29. Conquistado Cielo
30. Black Tie Affair
31. Criminal Type
32. Spend A Buck
33. Favorite Trick

I matched the consensus with #1 Secretariat, #4 Affirmed, #6 John Henry, #27 Mineshaft and number #33 Favorite Trick. The horses on which I differed the most with the consensus were, ironically, among my favorite horses, Alysheba, who I hand ranked #17 while he was #10 on the consensus; and Sunday Silence. I had Sunday Silence ranked #18 and he was also a top ten among the consensus pollsters at #8.

I ranked both Lady's Secret and Azeri much higher than the consensus poll, missing on them by eight and nine slots respectively. Although, two more recent female stars in Zenyatta (my rank #8, consensus #9) and Rachel Alexandra (my rank #15, consensus #19) I ranked a little low, but not far from the consensus.

Horses on which I missed the consensus by just one slot were Seattle Slew, Tiznow, Curlin, Skip Away,


David said...

Apparently people drastically underrate Ghostzapper. No horse in the last 20 years has been nearly as versatile or brilliant as Ghostzapper. During his HotY campaign he was simply unbeatable, really untouchable, regardless of distance. He won the Vosburgh, the Tom Fool, the Iselin, the Woodward, and the Classic...then capped it off with a romp in the Met Mile. That is unheard of. It is absolutely ridiculous how talented Ghostzapper was. In my lifetime the only American horse that I think might have been as good is the ill fated Left Bank.

Brock Sheridan said...

That's the kind of comment I like, and was hoping for David. I was very hesitant to rank him as low as #24 and the consensus had him at #17, so I missed quite a bit on his ranking compared to the consensus.

Thanks again David.