After another successful year that brought him wins in the Suburban Handicap and Jockey Club Gold Cup along with a near miss in the Cigar Mile, HAYNESFIELD will certainly be named New York HOY. Buth with many of the top horses retiring after this year, is there an opening for the son of Speightstown to compete for an even higher honor in 2011?
This year’s Cigar lineup was one of the deepest in years. It included four Grade 1 winners (Bribon, Girolamo, Hanyesfield and Vineyard Haven); Musket Man, a Grade 2 winner who has placed in five Grade 1’s; and long shots Friend Or Foe, Half Metal Jacket, Jersey Town and Soaring Empire.
Caught in the final strides, Haynesfield was runner up in what wrapped up a strong second half of the year for the 4-year-old New York-bred. During the past four months he won the Suburban Handicap by nearly three lengths; finished fourth in the Whitney after breaking through the gate prior to the start; ran away with the Jockey Club Gold Cup by four lengths; and was nipped at the wire in the Cigar Mile. his only stumble came in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he ran 11th after getting caught up in a torrid early pace.
In fact, Haynesfield’s 2010 campaign has been one of the most ambitious – and successful – ever undertaken by a New York-bred horse. Funny Cide’s Triple Crown run in 2003 and the turf campaigns by Win in 1984 and Allez Milord in 1986 are others that come to mind.
A second New York HOY title will no doubt follow this year. The question is whether the son of Speightstown will try for a third in 2011. With Zenyatta, Blame, Quality Road and Lookin At Lucky retired, the handicap ranks are lacking in proven stars. Who knows? With continued improvement, Haynesfield could find himself a serious contender for honors that extend beyond New York State.
Sources: Paulick Report 11/30/10 & The Saratogian 11/30/10