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Carter Handicap – Famous for Fantastic Finishes

The 1944 Carter Handicap, which was run on June 10th, produced racing’s first triple dead heat in a stakes race. On that day, Bossuet, Wait A Bit, and Brownie hit the wire as one.  The 1977 Carter was run in two divisions and resulted in a double dead heat between Quiet Little Table and Gentle King. 
This year’s elite field of six has the makings for another historic finish. The horses have impeccable records at the Carter distance of seven furlongs. Jackson Bend (3 for 3), Caleb's Posse (2 for 2), Calibrachoa (1 for 1), and Emcee (1 for 1) have perfect win records at seven eighths of a mile.  Shackleford (1 for 2) and Tahitian Warrior (2 for 4) have both been victorious at this distance.
Not only are these horses seven furlong specialists, but they are also fast. Jackson Bend ran five consecutive 100+ Beyer Speed Figures prior to his third place finish in the March 10th one mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2). Caleb’s Posse has posted a 110 and 111 BSF in his last two graded stakes. Calibrachoa ran a 111 and 106 in his last two races. Emcee has only three career races and the most recent pair produced 108 and 107 BSFs.  Tahitian Warrior had 105 in his sloppy Feb. 10 win.
Their running styles are the final piece that could cause a blanket finish. Shackleford, Emcee, and Tahatian Warrior like the front end. Calibrachoa can go out early or stalk and Jackson Bend and Caleb’s Posse like to come running at the end.
* * * * *
Nine champions have won the Carter Handicap going back to 1953 when Tom Fool became Horse of the Year. 1999 champion Artax set the stake and track record with a time of 1:20.04. Bold Ruler (1954), Star de Naskra (1979), Gulch (1988), Housebuster (1991), and Kodiak Kowboy (2009) also won championship honors.
Forego took Horse of the Year honors in 1974 and 1975, both years in which he won the Carter. Forego, who had just won the mile and a quarter Widener Handicap, defeated the great Mr. Prospector in 1974. Enjoy the video of the 1974 Carter.


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Older Comments about Carter Handicap – Famous for Fantastic Finishes...

Chris, sounds like I'd like to play cards in that club! Carter and Cards. Ponies and Poker.
i remember this pic in a club where my dad played poker
Thankfully, I don't remember the 1944 edition, but I do remember the 1977 divisions well ... should be another excellent Carter on Saturday!


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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


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