Friday, January 30, 2009
A super video with an up-close look at I Want Revenge working at Santa Anita. Another great insider's view from Zap. Also, take some time to read the latest press release on Larry Zap, below.
Larry Zap Bringing a Unique Perspective to Thoroughbred Racing
As Thoroughbred racing looks for its place in the world of advancing technology, it is increasingly apparent that the key to reaching a new generation of fans lies in the latest technology – Internet videos, forums, and blogs. Larry Zap, known as “the eye” on the Southern California Thoroughbred scene, has tapped into that technology in a big way, managing to bring a fresh perspective, and the thrill of an insider’s view of the racetrack, to thousands of viewers through YouTube. A recent Zap video post on Zenyatta, for instance, has been viewed nearly 2,000 times.
Zap has used a video recorder since 1998 to study the physical makeup of horses and can be regularly seen with camcorder in tow. “I believe in what I see,” he said. “But when I can slow it down and measure the geometry and physics and answer the questions why this one is better than that one, and so on, it completes the deal.” Much of the footage has been made available on his personal YouTube channel, “Larryzapeye.”
“My goal is to excite people all over the world about the wonderful world of Thoroughbred racing,” said Zap. “My videos are my own slant on what makes this such a great game, and if people can learn and be entertained by my videos, it is all worth it for me.”
Far from a newcomer to the sport, Zap has been a fan of racing since attending the races the day Secretariat won the Belmont. He has been on the Southern California scene full time since 1997, spending his first five years at the track up in the stands as a private clocker, working closely with well-known private clocker Toby Turrell on his Winners Card.
Since 2003, he has co-hosted the San Diego based and Internet driven horse racing show, Race and Sports Radio, with Felix Taverna. Airing weekends at 9:00 a.m. on XXSportsRadio.com, the show covers timely horse racing news and provides insight to picking winners by handicapping many of the day’s races.
Since 1997, Zap has attended Thoroughbred auctions locally and in Florida, Kentucky, Washington and Maryland as a bloodstock advisor and agent. Zap measures and evaluates horses using a mathematical, Da Vinci type approach. He says, “Most great horses are born; and through countless hours of studying the best that the breed has to offer, I have been able to look for common physical traits necessary to be the best. Balance, symmetry, mental framework and how a horse is geared, plus conformation, are key components to being able to be one of the ones,” he continued. “When you can see a horse has it even before a rider gets on its back, it is the greatest feeling possible. And then when they go and do it in a race years later, it leaves you speechless.”
Zap’s bloodstock business will be in the limelight this weekend, with two of the horses he picked out for purchase running in important Grade 1 stakes: Bullsbay in the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park and She’s Cheeky in the Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita. Zap found Bullsbay, a son of the great Tiznow, for Eric Kruljac and his clients at the 2005 Keeneland September Sale, for $130,000. Now trained by eastern-based Graham Motion, Bullsbay, who has thrived on the conventional eastern dirt tracks, takes on some very legitimate Grade 1 types in Einstein, Albertus Maximus, and Arson Squad.
“Bullsbay has never run a bad race, and has never been better,” Zap said. “A tibia injury prevented this big boy from making the Triple Crown, but he has just thrived at four, and now five years old. He came out of the same sale as Curlin, and I hope he picks up where Curlin left off.”
She’s Cheeky was a two-year-old purchase at the 2006 Ocala April sale, purchased with trainer Peter Eurton for $67,000. “I get there early and scout them out, and then Pete and I go over my short list and try to pick out the cream. We have a limited budget and have been outbid on some real nice runners, but the ones we bought together are no slouches.” She’s Cheeky will take on the mighty Breeders’ Cup winner Ventura. “She’s Cheeky has really come into her own and deserves this shot in the Grade 1 Santa Monica,” said Zap.
“I bought a filly for $26,000 a few years ago with my partner at the time, Toby Turrell, named Secret of Mecca, and ran a huge third in the Santa Monica to superstars Affluent and Sightseek,” Zap said.
“Pete and I have had a nice run in the last few months, also winning two in a row with Euroglide, who we purchased for $30,000 and who is pointing for the Daytona down the hill next month against Breeders’ Cup winner Desert Code,” said Zap. “And we just had a nice maiden winner in Dish the Dirt, who we bought for the same price, at the same sale as Cheeky.”
To view Zap’s videos, go here.