NORTHAMPTON -- Zippy Chippy, thoroughbred racing's all-time loser, lost his 100th race in 100 career starts yesterday, finishing last in an eight-horse field at the Three-County Fairgrounds in Northampton.
The 13-year-old brown gelding's awful record has made him something of a celebrity. He was a crowd favorite in Northampton, where plenty of brave bettors wagered on Zippy Chippy at 7-2 odds, including Al Supple of East Longmeadow, who picked him on a $6 trifecta ticket.
"I think he'll be in the money," Supple said.
He was wrong. Zippy never recovered from a slow start in which he bumped shoulders with Patuxent Wind coming out of the gate.
"He was dead last. Poor thing," said Jean Douglas of Pawtucket, R.I., who also bet on him, as did her husband.
"We've seen him run three years in a row," Jim Douglas said. "We bought Zippy Chippy shirts and everything."
The horse, stabled at the Finger Lakes Race Track in Farmington, N.Y., tied the mark for thoroughbred futility in 1998, losing his 85th straight race. Soon after he was banned from his home track for failing to leave the starting gate for a third time.
Zippy Chippy's only successes have come against human competition. He's twice won footraces against minor league baseball players.
Despite the milestone, owner-trainer Felix Monserrate says he has no plans to put Zippy Chippy out to pasture. In fact, he'll be running in Northampton again next weekend.
"He got a bad break today," said Monserrate, who acquired the horse in 1995 in exchange for an old van. "He will come here next week again."
A horse named Biggs won the race, the second of the day at the Three-County Fair, followed by Patuxent Wind and Big Shoulders.