I agree with you about a zero tolerance for any in gate shenanigans. Years I remember Kelso reared in the gate before the Brooklyn Handicap and banged his head. He was not scratched and he had a concussion and some facial injuries that necessitated a significant lay off.
There was also a deal reported in Bloodstock Racing Post in February 2016 where they were giving a deal of two mares to AP for $200,000, so your 20 million might be less depending on how many owners took advantage of that deal. Here is a link to the article. http://bloodstock.racingpost.com/news/bloodstock/two-for-one-deal-on-pharoah-revealed/2030695/
Thank you for the kind words.
I wasn't too surprised to hear this. Both Ron Ellis and Christina Blacker spoke about how thin Nyquist looked to them going into the Preakness. They also talked about how long it took Nyquist to bounce back after a race, something Exaggerator didn't seem to have a problem with. Because of the noticeable weight loss, I began to wonder if Nyquist wasn't ill. Sadly he was. Hopefully he will return as planned in the summer.
One of the biggest upsets in harness racing was Niatross falling over the rail in 1980 at Saratoga and losing. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest if not the greatest harness horses in history
It is certainly one of the most famous, but I would say others like Jim Dandy's victory over Gallant Fox and Whichone in the 1930 Travers and Upset's defeat of Man O' War at Saratoga and Secretariat's defeat in the Whitney would certainly rank at the top.
And then there upsets that were considered monumental at the time, but have been largely forgotten today, such as Sysonby's loss to Artful, Morvich's loss in the 1922 Carlton Stakes to Whiskaway ( Morvich went into the Derby with I believe an 11 race winning streak ) and Gallhadion's defeat of Bimelech in the 1940 Kentucky Derby and many others.
While I agree with everything you wrote, I do think that horse racing needs to take steps to deal with several issues that do not help its image. First is the issue of race day meds and their abuse. Some track owners, like Jeff Gural, are very proactive on this issue and refuse to have various trainers and owners on their property with violations. Other tracks do little or nothing about drug violations. Many racing jurisdictions are not protecting the integrity of the sport as they should. Another issue is the after care of the horses. There needs to be a way in which funding through sales, registrations and stud fees goes to insure all thoroughbreds have a safe retirement that doesn't include a stay in a kill buyer's pen on the way to the slaughterhouse. I have always found it ironic that our foal crops are too small to insure that races have a large number of entries but are too big to insure a safe retirement for all our equine athletes
I believe one of the reasons they met before the KD was because of the one million dollar bonus on the table that Nyquist could earn by winning the Florida Derby.
If your term Classics refers to the Triple Crown races, Damascus won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and was third in the Derby. Years ago when you had the important owners breeding their own horses, then racing itself was more important. Today we race to breed as the money is made in the breeding shed and the sales ring and not on the track.
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