Thanks. I'll miss the Dude. I know you will too. Lava Man probably does need that assistant.
Guys – I try not to make up too much stuff. Here's Trevor's call of the race: http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/10575749/game-dude-captures-record-third-santa-anita-handicap The splits are 22.91/45.39/1:09.39/1:31.02/1:58.17. Sullivan is the teletimer wrong? If so, what are the real splits?
Bob Baffert was on At The Races with Steve Byk Friday. Baffert considers Steve Haskin the nation's best thoroughbred writer, and was honored with Haskin's story of Game On Dude's career and retirement in Blood-Horse. Always a speedy one, Game On Dude silenced his critics with a blistering 2014 Big Cap that came close to Spectacular Bid's 10 furlong record, while running the legs off of Will Take Charge and Mucho Macho Man. Maybe lost in the win was his time for 8 furlongs, 1:31.02. Dr. Fager's dirt mile record is 1:32 1/5. Mr. Light's turf mile record is 1:31.41. Game On Dude shattered these times, while still holding off WTC to win his third Santa Anita Handicap. The gelding had heart that day. He knew only one way to run – fast. Funny that ex best buddies Chantal Sutherland and Mike Smith both had big wins on the same horse.
Buckpasser, the weights assigned today seem rather minuscule compared to what horses ran with years ago. Are racing secretaries afraid of breakdowns, as more trainers administer drugs to mask the aches and pains? Curious what the highest weight assigned is this year.
He would have a better record, Allen. The greats of the past carried weight. Forego carried more than 135 pounds nine times. Damascus ran in six consecutive races with 130 to 134 pounds. Seabiscuit carried 130+ thirteen times. Dr. Fager carried more than 130 in his last eight races, with the last outing at 139. Sister Ta Wee carried 142 in her last race. Then there is Kelso, who carried 130 or more in twenty four contests. These days weight variances are nowhere near what they used to be. Ta Wee carried 29 more than Hasty Hitter in her last Interborough. You saw Secretariat win the Belmont. What were other memorable races?
Kelso has never sat at the top of this list in three years until now. It's no wonder the public adores geldings like Kelso, John Henry, Forego and Wise Dan, who come back year after year and keep on winning. They don't just disappear after their three year old campaign. Kelly didn't have anywhere near a perfect record, but beat so many good horses on firm, sloppy, grass or dirt tracks that he was revered in the 60's. Some folks on this site had the good luck to see him race. My pick for best all time in America.
I almost made the same error, Mike. While he won at two, Easy Goer may be the best three year old who did not receive an end of the year award. Winner of the Swale, the Gotham, the Wood, the Belmont, the Whitney, the Travers, the Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup. His 1:32 2/5 time in the Gotham was the fastest mile for a three year old ever and only 1/5 off Dr. Fager’s world record. To finish their great rivalry, Sunday Silence prevailed to take Champion 3 Year Old Colt and Horse of the Year honors. Another one born in the wrong year, and #118 on this site, behind many lesser horses.
Your favorite stable. I went on the hunt country stable tour of Middleburg/Upperville farms Memorial Day. Rokeby has not participated since the John Edwards scandal, as Bunny Mellon was a big contributor. One of the locals told me she was so embarrassed that she never opened Rokeby up to the public again. Too bad, as it is a farm I would like to see. I drove by and saw the private mile long airstrip, and the local 7f training track Paul Mellon built, that Wicked Strong worked on. Paul Mellon was a true horseman, and the only owner to win the Kentucky Derby (Sea Hero), Epsom Derby (Mill Reef) and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Mill Reef) with homebreds. Michael Tabor did it also, but mostly with runners bought at auction. Rokeby is up for sale for $70 million. You too could own a piece of history. Is Sea Hero the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner, at 26?
Belair Stud's red polka dots on white of Damascus, Nashua, Omaha and Gallant Fox were easy to recognize going around the track. What other favorite silks were easy to pick out?
Agree with you on Cigar. I've given him a well deserved 10. Blood-Horse ranks him #18, to be the highest ranked horse of the 1990's. Members on this site have relegated Cigar to the third page, at a lowly #138. When Wise Dan is retired, I hope Morton Fink sends him to the Kentucky Horse Park, along with a hefty donation. It would be another reason for me to visit Lexington.
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