|Zippy Chippy is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Listen Lady by Compliance. He was born around 1991 in the USA, and was bred by Capritaur Farm.|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on July 7, 2008|
With a pedigree full of famous horses, among others: Buckpasser, Tom Fool, Northern Dancer, Bold Ruler, Round Table, Count Fleet, War Admiral, Native Dancer, Man o' War, Nasrullah, Busanda, Ben Brush...as well as the greatest "blue hen" broodmare of the Twentieth century, La Troienne, then all the way back to Glencoe and Diomed—both very great sires, Diomed producing Sir Archy, grand sire of the amazing Boston, Glencoe producing great daughters, the greatest of which was Reel, not forgetting Blue Larkspur, Black Toney, Domino, Lexington, Eclipse, Leamington, Norfolk, Lecomte, Sweep, St. Simon, Spendthrift, Phalaris, Nearco, Princequillo, Lady Lightfoot, and Reigh Count), Zippy Chippy should have been a star. But Zippy Chippy couldn't win races. In 100 starts, he lost 100 times.
Owned and trained by Felix Monserrate and bred by Capritaur Farm, Zippy Chippy is New York bred. Tom Gilcoyne, a retired historian for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, said that Zippy Chippy "...hasn't done anything to harm the sport. But it's a little bit like looking at the recorded performances of all horse races through the wrong end of the telescope."
Felix Monserrate acquired Zippy in 1995 in a trade for an '88 Ford truck. Monserrate was already boarding Zippy Chippy and knew his temperament. He'd been bitten many times. Eventually, Zippy Chippy would be banned for infractions of every Thoroughbred horse racing rule in place. The only track not to ban him was at the Northampton, Massachusetts' Three-County Fair.
"I don't care how old he is, he's trying and trying and trying, and those things really made me feel happy," Monserrate said.
In August 2001, he came home first against a minor league baseball player in a 120-foot (37 m) race. (Although there are sources that say he lost this 40-yard dash. It seems there may have been two races. On August 18, 2000, Rochester outfielder José Herrera outran Zippy Chippy in a 40-yard race.) Zippy also won against a harness racer called Paddy's Laddy. He squeaked past Paddy's Laddy and his rig to win by a neck in a publicity stunt in which he spotted the trotter a twenty length lead.
After his win, Felix said, "It feels good to win but it doesn't count until we do it against thoroughbreds. Who knows? Maybe winning will give him a little heart."
Monserrate refused to enter his horse in a claiming race just to get a win. "I don't want any crazy people claiming him. He's like a member of my family. He's mean, he kicks, he bites, but he has a home forever with me and my daughter."
His 100th loss came on Friday September 10, 2004 in the Northampton Fair at the Three County Fairgrounds. He went off at odds of 7-2 making him the second betting choice. A host of fans were there that day to cheer him at the start and to take his picture. Said his jockey, "It would be nice if people took photos at the end of the race too." Zippy came in last.
In December 2004, he retired to become an outrider pony at his hometown track, Finger Lakes racetrack in Farmington, New York, where he'd also been banned from racing on September 8, 1998 after failing to leave the gate with the rest of the field for the third consecutive time. As an outrider pony, he will escort horses in the post parade and lead them to the gate.
In 2000, People magazine included him on its list of that year's most interesting personalities. An English ad campaign used his name and image to convince kids to stay in school.
"Say you have three children," Felix said, "One is a lawyer, doing well. The other a doctor, very, very successful. But the third one, not so smart, so he's working at McDonald's. What do you do? Ignore him? Course not. He's the one who needs your help. That's Zippy."
Zippy Chippy's lifetime record is: 100 starts = 0-8-12, with earnings of $30,834.
Michael Blowen, founder and president of the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Kentucky, made an offer of $5,000 to Felix Monserrate for Zippy Chippy to live at Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division of Old Friends near Saratoga Race Course in New York. "This is the first time we've offered money for a horse," Blowen said. "Believe me, $5,000 is a lot of money to us, and we can use it many other ways if Mr. Monserrate decides to back out of the deal."
Zippy Chippy arrived April 22, 2010 at Old Friends at Cabin Creek. The 19-year-old gelding joins Cabin Creek’s seven other retirees and is expected to live out his life there, where he will be permanently pensioned. Cabin Creek is the first Old Friends auxiliary farm and is located just outside Saratoga, New York in Greenfield Center; it is owned and operated by Joann and Mark Pepper.
For the worst track record in the world, one has to look to Japan and their beloved racehorse Haru Urara. And then there's England's worst racehorse, Quixall Crossett. By the age of 16 in 2001, he had lost 98 consecutive starts.
A horse called Dona Chepa's penchant for losing (0 wins out of 125 starts) beats other notable marks for futility including Ouroene (0 for 124), Gloria Springs (0 for 106, Japan), Thrust (0 for 105, North America) and Quixall Crossett (0 for 103, Britain).