Rabbits in racing

What are your thoughts on rabbits?(a rabbit is a subpar but speedy horse entered to run the hooves off of the competition for his/her better stable mate.) To me it shouldn't be allowed. I ask because there will be a rabbit in the Breeders cup Longines Turf. Shining Copper is a rabbit for Big Blue Kitten.Same connections and since BBK and copper have been entered in the same races, BBK has improved tremendously. If you look at Shining Copper's race record he went from finishing 3-4 in AOC's to finishing 4-5 in G1
Shining copper's race record:http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=8873820&registry=T

BBK race record:http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=8331418&registry=T
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Comments

  • KMMKMM Member
    Frankel's full brother was his rabbit.
  • KMMKMM Member
    Bullet Train?
  • The use or rabbits is one of the lesser 'legal' cheats utilized by trainers and owners. They're not exactly unknown elements, so other trainers/riders can ride against them as necessary.

    There are a lot bigger ills that need to be addressed and regulated before rabbits even break the top 20.
  • KMMKMM Member
    Not in any way dangerous to the racing horses. Not good for the racing record for the rabbit.
  • What are your thoughts on rabbits?(a rabbit is a subpar but speedy horse entered to run the hooves off of the competition for his/her better stable mate.) To me it shouldn't be allowed. I ask because there will be a rabbit in the Breeders cup Longines Turf. Shining Copper is a rabbit for Big Blue Kitten.Same connections and since BBK and copper have been entered in the same races, BBK has improved tremendously. If you look at Shining Copper's race record he went from finishing 3-4 in AOC's to finishing 4-5 in G1
    Shining copper's race record:http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=8873820&registry=T

    BBK race record:http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=8331418&registry=T

    Well, there is the original Triple Crown winner who went in the Derby as a rabbit...

    At three, Sir Barton made his season debut as a maiden in the Kentucky Derby. He was supposed to be the rabbit (pacemaker) for his highly regarded stablemate, a horse named Billy Kelly. However, Sir Barton led the field of 12 horses from start to finish, winning the race by five lengths.[3] Just four days later, the horse was in Baltimore and won the Preakness Stakes, beating Eternal by four lengths. Again he led all the way.[4] He then won the Withers Stakes in New York and shortly thereafter completed the first Triple Crown in U.S. history by easily winning the Belmont Stakes, setting an American record for the mile and three-eighths race, the distance for the Belmont at the time. Sir Barton's four wins were accomplished in a space of just 32 days. He has been retrospectively honored as the 1919 Horse of the Year.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Barton

  • IMO Shining Copper could probably be very competitive in at least G3 races. His performances in the Arlington Million and UN Stakes were extremely impressive.

    BTW, Shining Copper has run 3-5 since he's become BBK's rabbit. Finishing in front of multiple G1 winners, and running 3rd in the Million.
  • The use of Bullet Train as Frankel's rabbit is the reason the latter just leaves me cold. Frankel just feels diminished in my eyes. I feel guilty about it; he's just a horse that had no say in his trainer's and owner's choices. I wish Bullet Train all the best as a sire; he deserves it.
  • I figure a horse named Big Blue Kitten needs all the help he can get to be able to hold his head up in public. hahaha How embarassing. I know, horses don't know about names. Are you sure? :)
  • edited October 2015
    I figure a horse named Big Blue Kitten needs all the help he can get to be able to hold his head up in public. hahaha How embarassing. I know, horses don't know about names. Are you sure? :)
    It's Kentucky--being named "Big Blue" anything is a badge of honor! In the bluegrass, it's all about the UK Wildcats.
  • Not in any way dangerous to the racing horses. Not good for the racing record for the rabbit.
    Lesser horses are 'sacrificed' every day in the name of a better competitor. El Vino and Sarbonne are two examples close to the heart of this board. They were reduced to Zenyatta's whipping boys for exercise work, a practice I have a very personal issue with even as I accept that it's a very standard training tool.

    Rabbits in races is a delicate balancing act. The rabbit has to genuinely fit the race conditions or at best you're courting the scorn of your peers, at worse a discussion with the stewards/racing secretary.



  • EriNCEriNC Member
    edited October 2015
    IMO Shining Copper could probably be very competitive in at least G3 races. His performances in the Arlington Million and UN Stakes were extremely impressive.

    BTW, Shining Copper has run 3-5 since he's become BBK's rabbit. Finishing in front of multiple G1 winners, and running 3rd in the Million.
    He has raced on his own in G3 races he placed 3rd and 7th. My personal belief is that Copper only finished as well as he did in the Arlington Million and UN was because he tired most of the competition out. If you watch the race replays the horse's that hit the board in those races were placed at the back of the pack for most of the race.
  • Responding to the last sentence of ErinC's post above.

    This was true in the Pacific Classic for sure. Bayern and Midnight Storm finished next to last and last.


  • I figure a horse named Big Blue Kitten needs all the help he can get to be able to hold his head up in public. hahaha How embarassing. I know, horses don't know about names. Are you sure? :)

    It's Kentucky--being named "Big Blue" anything is a badge of honor! In the bluegrass, it's all about the UK Wildcats.
    Thanks for that explanation, lauraj. It's amazing how many little "in" jokes and traditions are strictly regional and not well-known outside the region in this day of coast to coast media coverage. I had never heard the "Big Blue" reference. So actually this Kitten has a pretty clever name, and being from Kentucky himself, I guess he doesn't mind. I guess it's like "wicked" being a Bostonian expression meaning "very" as in the horse named Wicked Strong. I did know about that one, being more familiar with Boston than I am with Kentucky, and so having heard "wicked" with the Bostonian meaning before I heard about the horse.


  • He has raced on his own in G3 races he placed 3rd and 7th. My personal belief is that Copper only finished as well as he did in the Arlington Million and UN was because he tired most of the competition out. If you watch the race replays the horse's that hit the board in those races were placed at the back of the pack for most of the race.
    Bolding mine.
    The point is he DID tire them out. If he had been entered as a... oh I don't know, real competitor... wouldn't he have done the same thing? Isn't that the whole point of racing? Out run and out last the other horses? Maybe he had just as much "right" to be there as any other horse.

  • He certainly has a right to be there, and I personally think he could've smoked them and placed higher (even won) if he didn't set quite as blistering a pace.

    I'm pretty sure BBK is retiring post-BC, so hopefully this talented guy can shine on his own. He's only 4 after all.
  • . . . Or 5. Can't remember.
  • Wasn't one of the most famous uses of a "rabbit" by Damascus' connections to defeat Dr. Fager? Worked a couple of times.
  • KMMKMM Member
    Did Damascus have a rabbit? Never came across that. My retired mare is a granddaughter of Damascus on sire line and I have done a lot of research on her pedigree over the years.
  • ZenyenZenyen Member
    edited October 2015
    In the Woodward. I believe it was a horse called Hedevar.

    http://www.horseracingnation.com/blogs/furlong/The_Race_of_the_Century_123#
  • KMMKMM Member
    I think you are right.
  • KMMKMM Member
    He was not used very much. Maybe Metropolitan Handicap.
  • Fun fact: Hedevar was in the field the day that Dr. Fager broke the mile record in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park.
  • KMMKMM Member
    Haha. Mare is related to Hedever on dam side.
  • IMO Shining Copper could probably be very competitive in at least G3 races. His performances in the Arlington Million and UN Stakes were extremely impressive.

    BTW, Shining Copper has run 3-5 since he's become BBK's rabbit. Finishing in front of multiple G1 winners, and running 3rd in the Million.

    He has raced on his own in G3 races he placed 3rd and 7th. My personal belief is that Copper only finished as well as he did in the Arlington Million and UN was because he tired most of the competition out. If you watch the race replays the horse's that hit the board in those races were placed at the back of the pack for most of the race.
    So what? That's the whole point of speedball frontrunners. Liam's Map does and my boy Moreno did the same thing. Closers, like Honor Code and Tonalist, often benefit from those guys. That's why Liam's Map running in the Dirt Mile has changed the complexion of the Classic so much.
  • It wouldn't work well if the whole field was in the back of the pack....
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