Zippy Chippy Drops 88th Straight Horse Race

ByABC News
September 17, 2000, 12:00 AM

N O R T H A M P T ON, Mass., Sept. 17 -- Not even starting the race as thebetting favorite could get Zippy Chippy his first win in a careerof futility.

The 9-year-old gelding finished third Saturday in the eighthrace at the Three-County Fair, extending Zippy Chippys record asthe losingest horse in American thoroughbred history to 88 races.

It wasnt for a lack of trying. Zippy Chippy, who has a habit ofstalling at the start of races, led out of the gate and wasneck-and-neck with second-place Miners Claim for much of the race.

But the winner, Sadlers Claim, overtook both horses down thestretch.

That produced groans from the crowd of about 100people in the rickety wooden grandstand. Zippy Chippy had startedthe race as a 2-1 betting favorite.

Tired Down the Stretch

He ran good and he got tired toward the end, jockey JuanRohena said of Zippy Chippy. He was real sharp and he tried realhard.

Owner and trainer Felix Monserrate, who has remained optimisticdespite his horses career-long losing streak, said he would bringZippy Chippy back to the Three-County Fair next year.

The fair, where Zippy Chippy set the record for losingest horselast year, is the only track that hasnt banned him from racing.Years of losing, bad behavior and his habit of stopping at thestarting gate have soured tracks on him.

Before the race, Monserrate was optimistic, despite the fact hishorse was starting on the outsidea position he doesnt like. Hesaid Zippy Chippy was relaxed and happy.

A Lot of Fun

I dont care if he doesnt win. Its just a lot of fun,Monserrate said of training a horse that has never won. If youhave a bunch of kids and most are successful but one isnt, youdont kick him out of the house.

The race was a maiden special, an event for horses who havenever won a race.

A week ago, Zippy Chippy, running against a field with acombined record of 0-132, finished second by a neck. It was thebest result in the career of a horse which, earlier this summer,lost a 40-yard dash to a minor league outfielder in Rochester, N.Y.