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Friday, 11 January 2013

Who should be World Champion?

Much like Thoroughbred racing's current debate about whether Horse of the Year should go to Kentucky Derby & Preakness winner All Have Another or Turf-mile Superstar Wise Dan, the title for World Champion Quarter Horse is up for grabs.The candidates: One Dashing Eagle, who took 3 Grade I Futurities, including the All American Futurity, or Rylees Boy, a now 8 year old who won the 2 major Invitational's for older horses, the Bank of America Challenge Championship and the Champion of Champions.
     Now there are several arguments for both.
One Dashing Eagle wins the $2.4 million Grade I All American Futurity
     One Dashing Eagle earned $2,079,065 this year alone, which is over $700,000 more than what Rylees Boy has made in his entire career. One Dashing Eagle also sports a record of 6 wins in 7 starts, only being beat in his debut. His major Futurity wins were all Grade Is, the Ed Burke Million & Golden State Million, both at Los Alamitos, and Quarter Horse Racing's richest and most prestigious race, the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. These victories make him the one to beat in the running, and if I had to bet I'd put my money on him, but there are arguments to be made for Rylees Boy.
     Rylees Boy ran against older, well raced horses all year as opposed to the lightly raced 2 year olds the One Dashing Eagle faced. So while the horses One Dashing Eagle faced may have been trial winners, Rylees Boy was running against multiple stakes winners. In the Bank of America Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows, his runner up was a horse called Llano Teller, who in 2011 won the Ruidoso Derby and the All American Derby, both at Ruidoso, both Grade Is, and 2 out of 3 legs of the Derby Triple Crown. In the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos, Rylees Boy defeated 2011 World Champion Cold Cash 123, and Super Derby winner Deniro. It shouldn't be forgotten that Rylees Boy also notched a Grade II win in the  New Mexico Challenge at Sunland Park, which was the race that qualified him to run in the Bank of America Challenge Championship.
Rylees Boy wins the $750,000 Grade I Champion of Champions
     So who does it go to? The young superstar with massive earnings and more Grade Is, albeit against (arguably) easier company, or the veteran, who who earned considerably less money and less Grade Is, but faced the classy, older runners?

     Now like I said earlier, I put my money on One Dashing Eagle to win, but I'm hoping Rylees Boy gets the title. Either way, it should be interesting to see how the 2012 World Champion fares in their 2013 campaign.

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