Many champions in the world of racing become legends but not all legends are champions. One such horse is Zippy Chippy. Although he had ancestors that were champions, neither of his parents ever won a race. Perhaps he was destined to become the worst racehorse in America.
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Zippy Chippy’s career on the racetrack began in his home state of New York at the prestigious Belmont Park in the fall of 1994 as a three year old. He finished an uneventful 8th place in a field of 10 in a maiden special weight. Ten days later the little brown gelding finished a respectable 3rd on a muddy track, beating eight foes.
By the end of the year Zippy Chippy had managed a few 3rd & 4th place finishes while competing 11 times at three different tracks in just three months. The grueling schedule continued throughout the following year. He started in 26 races during 1995, mostly at Finger Lakes and finished 2nd or 3rd on only six occasions.
During his frequent trips from one track to another, Zippy Chippy had several different horse trainers until one day in early June 1995, Felix Monserrate traded an old van for the little horse. They remained together for 15 years.
Zippy Chippy did get a short break from the racetrack in 1996 but once he returned he was raced often. The last five months of the year he managed a pair of third place finishes in 15 tries. 1997 was a repeat of 1996. Zippy Chippy ran 20 times in five months finishing 2nd once and 3rd once.
In 1998 after 13 unsuccessful races at Finger Lakes, officials there banned him from further races because he dwelt at the start of the race three consecutive times. Zippy Chippy was finally retired in 2004 at the age of 13 after he lost for the 100th time.
Although Zippy Chippy retired from thoroughbred racing as a maiden (a horse that has never won an official race) he did manage to outrun a minor league and a major league baseball player in publicity races at 40 and 50 yards as well as besting a harness racing horse in a match race. source.
After a short stint as a lead pony at Finger Lakes, the Zipster was purchased by Old Friends Retirement Home. Now 24 years old, Zippy Chippy has many friends and fans who visit him on a regular basis. Who says a horse has to be a champion to be famous?
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