Charlie LoPresti is to be congratulated for his smart decisions in Wise Dan's career and retirement. Some will argue that the gelding did not equal a John Henry or a Round Table. With turf wins in his last 14 attempts, and a grass record of 16:15-0-0, Dan is easily the best turf horse over here in a long time. A winner in his first turf race and a winner in his last turf race, the fan favorite proved his versatility with his first win ever on synthetic, and more on dirt. Wise Dan had heart, coming from the middle or back of the pack many times to stick his nose in front at the wire. Maybe Charlie LoPresti would consider some time for his champion to stay at Kentucky Horse Park or Old Friends?
HRN mods - It is well past time to ban this person permanently. Absurd get rich quick schemes have no place on this horse racing site.
With all the track and stakes records that she set, Frank Whiteley was very protective of Ruffian. He purposely had Jacinto Vasquez and Vince Bracciale hold her back in every race, for fear of the girl hurting herself. His fear was well founded, of course. In the match race she banged her shoulder hard, almost turning sideways, and still zipped a
:22 1/5 first quarter, pulling ahead of Foolish Pleasure in her finest performance. Ruffian simply had more speed than the racing public ever saw in her first ten. Like Dr. Fager with the colts, Ruffian is the fastest filly that many will ever remember. At their best, Zenyatta would never catch the Janney filly.
Much like Personal Ensign, Rachel's daughter went from her maiden right to a G1 race win. Wishing her much success.
John Nerud brought 1959 Champion Sprint Horse Intentionally to Tartan Farms as the foundation sire of the farms dynasty. From Intentionally/Aspidistra came 1969 & 1970 Sprint Champion Ta Wee. From Rough'n Tumble/Aspidistra came 1967 & 1968 Sprint Champion Dr. Fager. From Dr. Fager/Expectancy came 1978
Sprint Champion Dr. Patches. From Dr. Fager's competitor and stable mate In Reality/Sunny Smile came 1986 Sprint Champion Smile.
Dr. Fager and Ta Wee may be the fastest brother/sister racehorses ever. Both could carry huge weight and still blister the field. 15.3 hands high Ta Wee carried 142 pounds in her last, the Interborough Handicap, giving 29 pounds to runner up
Hasty Hitter. Of Dr. Fager’s place in history, Nerud said, “I’m not saying he was the best mind you. But God, he was a big, beautiful, thundering ball of fire.”
Without Keen Ice in the mix, the commentators would be gushing about how American Pharoah dominated his class once again, turning back the charge from Frosted down the stretch. Honor Code, Beholder and other speed horses will be pressing Pharoah to tire him at Keeneland. Let's hope that he is well rested to show his best, and that the early retirement talk doesn't happen. Looking forward to seeing the filly do well against the boys.
Dr. Fager was the best dirt miler in American history. His record carrying 134 has not been broken in 47 years. The horse could carry weight, and has by far the heaviest burden of any record holder on the attached list. Kelso, by contrast, was the best dirt two miler in history and still holds that record after 51 years.
As Braulio Baeza remarked, Dr. Fager was so fast he could punch a hole in the wind. He was incredible out to 10
furlongs. He never raced past a mile and a quarter, so we really don't know what his stamina would be going long. I have no doubt that Kelso would do well with another half mile added onto 16 furlongs. I like both these guys, so it would be a good contest, short or long. Steve Haskin had the pleasure of writing the Thoroughbred Legends book on both. http://www.horsehats.com/horse-racing-records.html
Silky's most baffling race was his 6 1/2 furlong allowance at Santa Anita in 1958. 40 lengths back from the eighth horse down the backstretch, and 15 lengths behind at the half mile to still win. A $10,700 purchase who won the Santa Anita Derby, behind at one point by 28 lengths.
Sullivan, I'm not sure you meant to say 20 furlongs, as Dr. Fager was never raced past 10. You and I are big fans of Kelso, who won from 6 furlongs to the two mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, winning five years in a row. In my mind, Kelso is the epitome of the racehorse who could sprint or route, on dirt or turf, in the slop or on a fast track. One thing is for sure – both these guys carried 130 or more many times and still whipped the rest of the field. They were good.
You'll like the book. Only three ever finished ahead of Dr. Fager - Horses of the Year Damascus and Buckpasser, and Champion Two Year Old Colt Successor. Steve Haskin has some good BloodHorse articles online on the three Horses of the Year.
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