By Ray Paulick
Radio host Steve Byk, whose New York-based At the Races show has been bumped from Sirius/XM and has only been available online recently, had a meltdown Wednesday after veteran handicapper and author Steve Davidowitz called unbeaten, two-time champion Zenyatta “the best older racemare I have ever seen.”
Davidowitz spoke glowingly of Zenyatta's victory in Sunday's Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park, though stopped short of saying he would bet her to beat top 4-year-old colt Quality Road in a head-to-head matchup. “There's a very unusual dimension to her, and there are to all great horses,” said Davidowitz, the author of the recently revised handicapping Bible, “Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century.” “They have something different.”
Byk wasn't buying it, and as Davidowitz continued to sing the praises of Zenyatta, the radio host lost his cool, constantly interrupting Davidowitz and finally shouting at him. “The horse is three inches away from being Best Pal,” Byk shouted. “She's about two inches away from being Best Pal or Lava Man. She's been confined to California for her entire career. …You seem to think this is the greatest racehorse of all time. It's laughable.”
Davidowitz kept his cool despite Byk's interruptions and complaints that Zenyatta has only raced outside of California twice, and with those two exceptions (both at Oaklawn Park in the Apple Blossom) has run over synthetic tracks her entire career. “I described exactly what I saw,” said Davidowitz. “I trust my instincts.”
“That's fine,” Byk shouted, “this series of these repeated performances on the same racetracks over the same bunch of rather ordinary fillies and mares.”
Davidowitz asked Byk about Zenyatta's victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic over males.
|”She beat a bunch of turf horses and a bunch of…they were ordinary grass horses,” Byk continued to shout. “Twice Over and Gio Ponti? She Beat Twice over and Gio Ponti! … This is crap, Steve, this is ridiculous. Run her outside of California. Steve, we'll talk to you next week.”
And with that, the interview abruptly ended.
The radio show archive is here. The exchange takes place just before the midway point of hour two.
Byk's show, formerly on Siriux/XM from 4-7 p.m. EDT, is expected to return to satellite with a new time slot, from 9 a.m.-noon Eastern.
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