In his latest post on the high-flying blog, Sid Fernando + Observations, the blog-meister Sid has drawn a line in the sand over whipping.
As Sid and other commentators have pointed out, jockey Calvin Borel would have drawn stiff penalties in most other racing jurisdictions for his use of the whip on the star filly Rachel Alexandra through the stretch run of her success in the G1 Woodward Stakes.
In presenting the evidence (video of the race, plus other materials), Sid has opened the discussion even-handedly, but for whatever reasons, the question of the whip stirs deep feelings among some commentators, including some on Sid’s blog.
One of the most telling pieces of evidence is the tape of the race, where Rachel Alexandra, flat to the boards throughout the stretch, is giving all she has, and despite this, is getting a steady right-hand and left-hand thrashing from Borel.
The Woodward was not the best effort for either jockey or race filly. She dumped Borel before the start, was keyed up and perhaps unwilling to relax in the first half of the race, and then was stretched thin, winning on guts in the stretch.
Was Borel likewise frayed and upset at the situation, but taking out his frustrations with the whip?
You be the judge.