Agree that 10f looks long for him. Cutting back to sprint races for awhile, as you say, might be just what Bayern needs. They can extend him later.
A few points for the debate: Man o' War carried 130 pounds six times at two. He carried 131, 135 and 138 at three. Secretariat never carried high weight, but ran against more and better competition. As Allen commented, “No one knows which one of these greats would have prevailed had they met on the track. To say otherwise is not being honest with yourself.” As far as I'm concerned, they were both the best of their era. Who was the best in America? How about Citation, if his owner had stopped at 30, instead of running a horse on three legs just to make make a million. Risen Star was a good one, but a Secretariat offspring better than any that Man o' War sired? Lady's Secret would have something to say about that. As far as Man o' War's offspring, Blood-Horse rates the uncle of Seabiscuit at #13. Maybe you've heard of War Admiral. Man o' War and War Admiral are by far the top father-son combination.
Congratulations to the Jerkens barn, who must have smiles all around. For the historians in the group, when was the last time the favorite led most of the Travers, only to finish dead last? Baffert has some big decisions to make with Bayern.
No doubt Najran ran the race of his life in that Westchester Handicap. Similar to the one Prove Out had
his 1973 Woodward. I like books on horse racing, and will have to read
Justice's sometime. Dr. Fager had one of his best races in his last, the
Vosburgh. John Nerud knew his horse could handle weight, and asked
racing secretary Tommy Trotter to put 145 pounds on his runner. After
only getting 139, Dr. Fager proceeded to go 7f on a slow, heavy
winterized Aqueduct oval and break the track record by a full second,
missing the world record by a fifth. If the Doc had 25-30 pounds less on
him, could he at least have equalled the record? If he had 150 on him,
like Roseben used to carry, would that have made him any faster? I will
never believe that theory. Racing secretaries over the years have added
extra weight to the horses with the best records to slow them down and
give the rest of the field more of a chance. That's what extra weight
does. I'll go with Allen on this one.
Hannah, I don't believe that Dr. Fager, or any horse in history, ran faster the more weight they carried. The Doc ran with 134 and 139 in his two best performances. Younger sister Ta Wee carried 142 in her last race. They were simply the best weight carrying brother/sister sprint duo of modern times. As you know, Dr. Fager's mile dirt record was tied by a horse carrying 21 less pounds. If Najran had run with 134 as Dr. Fager did, maybe he would have been a fifth slower? Maybe the Doc would still hold the record himself? When you can tell me what Belmont was doing to “juice” the track for Najran that day, as you say, do tell.
You were lucky to spend time with maybe the greatest rags to riches story in horse racing, Judy. I would have liked to see the cantankerous John Henry and other champions at KHP. One day. Were you there when Chris McCarron came to say goodbye?
Wise Dan's and Lexie Lou's halters, the Somebeachsomewhere and Northern Dancer prints, Secretariat's photo with the Derby program and the CD entrance poster I imagine were valuable auction items. Nice to see Canadian TC champion Wando recognized.
Hannah, Native Dancer did have the longest stride, measured at 29 feet. I highly doubt that the exercise
rider that day, the LIFE Magazine photographer who snapped the pictures, or even the horse himself thought that he was not fully extended as he was flying down the track at Churchill Downs. What do you consider his real stride, 31 feet? Can you tell me where the basis for your comment “not fully extended” comes from?
I like Charlie Lopresti's work with his horses. If Wise Dan won the Bernard Baruch, Woodbine Mile or Shadwell Turf Mile, and then the BC Turf Mile, how would that stir the pot for Horse of the Year? Huge ifs, of course, and it depends on what California Chrome and the rest accomplish, but it would be fun to see the gelding go out on top. Traditionalists who like American horse racing on dirt would be dismayed once again. If he was retired tomorrow, after the career he has had, that would be okay, too.
At three, the horse with a foul disposition who bit, kicked and stomped his feed buckets flat had been through seven owners. Sam Rubin wanted to own a racehorse and bought John Henry sight unseen for $25,000. He was the owners only horse, who would go on to win every single vote for HOY at six. The smallish knock-kneed race horse who came from humble beginnings proved he had heart in beating The Bart at Arlington. Beneath the bronze at his grave site at the Kentucky Horse Park, is the inscription “John Henry, A Lasting Legend”. Sam Rubin was one lucky owner.
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