He could have been a champion if the trainer hadn't broken him down at such a young age. RIP, Bob.
I think conformation just doesn't tell you what a horse can really do. To me, most thoroughbreds are not very "pretty". I think Andalusians are about the prettiest breed there is. Other people like Arabians. Others like Thoroughbreds. But the conformation desired for racing tends to be specific, and Man o' War had it. But look at Seabiscuit. He had it all wrong, but was one of the fastest horses to ever hit the dirt. I used to rub a horse who was considered quite unattractive, but if his trainer hadn't broken him(Yes, I'm bitter) Cryptic Skier,would have grown into a champion, no doubt. That said, I think Jess's Dream is a nice looking horse. With his pedigree, he has every advantage. It will all depend on his training and what's in that heart of his. I can't wait to see him run.
It's a shame more people don't know about this horse. His end was tragic, but his racing career was amazing. He was an incredible animal and a true champion!
It isn't ironic that Man o' War died less than a month after Will Harbut. It is merely an interesting happenstance. I blame Alannis Morissette for people not understanding the word "ironic".
There are several excellent documentaries about Seabiscuit that are available through different sources. Netflix is one of them. Sometimes you can catch one on public television. I highly recommend the book by Hillenbrand. It has amazing info about the horse, but also about racing life in general back then. The anecdotes are fascinating, and there is so much great information that was very painstakingly gathered. Whatever you do, don't watch the movie with Shirley Temple in it, though. Dreadful film!
I'm surprised he isn't higher on the list. He wasn't the equal of his sire, but he certainly was an incredible champion. The way he won the Belmont Stakes with a severe hoof injury showed the speed, stamina, and heart of a real champion.
Note: His record for the Lawrence Realization was equaled, but never beaten, and he was merely hand-ridden in setting that record.
The truth is, all thiings being equal, Man o' War would beat Secretariat. His so-called "walkover" was not against a cheap claimer. No other owners wanted to be humiliated by Man o' War. He had a 28-foot stride (where Sec's was 23), and he had tremendous power. Not only did he win against everything they put against him (barring the single loss due to a false start and jockey error where he still only lost by a head) he was never pushed to run all out. This is commonly agreed upon in newspaper articles that describe the races of the time. Put the original Big Red up against Sec, and MoW will win every time. Don't get me wrong. Secretariat was an amazing horse. A true champioin. He just is not the freak that MoW was.
The original Big Red is easily the most amazing horse ever. With an incredible 28-foot stride, he beat the best of his generation, as well as older champions, and he was never even allowed to run all out. Anyone who doesn't believe it hasn't read the newspaper articles and things written by people who saw him race. His only loss was due to a bad start and jockey error. His retirement came only because he would have had to carry so much more weight than every other horse, they would have risked a breakdown. At any distance, Man o' War could run every other horse off it's feet. All things being equal, there's no horse in history who could have matched Big Red.
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