Besides being responsible for the first loss, Vasquez was the rider in two of the remaining three races when Secretariat did not cross the wire first. Just a simple fact. You have postulated for years here that jockeys are mere passengers, as if the thoroughbred is completely responsible for the end result. I'll never believe that a 110 pound sack of concrete has the same effect on the race outcome as an experienced jockey. Buckpasser and others have posted that champion trainers through the years estimate the jockey is responsible for 10-20% of a race result, good or bad.
In 50+ years of being a race fan, you've seen the good, the bad and the ugly in rider competence. Jockeys make blunders daily on tracks across America. Eric Guerin's Derby ride on Native Dancer. Shoemaker standing up early on Gallant Man. Ronnie Franklin chasing Gallant Best to ruin Bid's chance in the Belmont. The best also have a skillful way of finding victory. In the 1973 Preakness Ron Turcotte shocked the crowd when he gunned Secretariat from last to first around the first turn. The horse didn't know it was time to make this move. Turcotte was an active passenger who sensed a slow pace and made a difference. There was no lifeless mannequin on board Red that day.
Jacinto Vasquez was aboard Quebec, the horse who plowed into Secretariat in his
maiden race to produce the fourth place finish. Coincidentally, trainer Lucien Laurin was French-Canadian from Joliette, Quebec. Vasquez was also the only jockey to defeat Secretariat twice: in the Wood Memorial with Angle Light, and in the Whitney Handicap aboard Onion.
1-2-2 in the Triple Crown series. Many think it should be 1-1-2. Superb performances from this talented filly.
Citation had been an exceptionally good 2-year-old champion, but there was no reason to expect anything more from him at three that was expected, say, from Pavot or Bimelech, both of which were unbeaten at two. Citation’s first two starts at three, however, suggested a greatness the Turf had not seen since Man o’ War…
Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, who has seen Hamburg and Sysonby and Colin and had trained several nice horses himself, including a couple of Triple Crown winners, was asked what he thought of Citation: "Up to this point, Citation has done more than any horse I ever saw." He paused: "And I saw Man o’ War." - From Kent Hollingsworth's The Great Ones
He's one of my favorite riders also. Fred how about asking Braulio Baeza about his stretch run in Dr. Fager's world record mile. Baeza is quoted as saying he looked back at the quarter pole, saw no one coming, and eased the Doctor the rest of the way. If the Tartan colt had been pushed all the way at Arlington, how much more spectacular could the time have been? 1:32 1/5 has not been bested on dirt since that day in 1968.
I like a horse who runs consistently through the year, Laura. Yes, California Chrome was beaten twice by Bayern. The PA Derby comes down to a bad race for Chrome, a good one for Bayern. We will never know what the result could have been with a clean race in the Classic. Your post on twinspires reminding folks
that Bayern's three G1 losses were by a combined 46 ¼ lengths is telling. Is this the kind of performance that a Horse of the Year should display? For me, I'll take a horse who missed being the Triple Crown champion and Classic winner by a mere two combined lengths, as well as the only one with G1 wins on dirt and turf. California Chrome is the best overall racehorse of 2014.
Mods - Please remove superfluous stuff like this when it pops up. This is a horse racing site, not craigslist,
I would like to be there also, but live in Virginia. Chrome's is a storybook tale with the Art Sherman and Swaps connection. The fact that his dam Love the Chase is inbred 5x5 to 1955 Derby winner Swaps adds more allure to the 2014 Derby winner's adventure. Well deserved.
Steve Byk was debunking this theory last month on his show, listing many races across the country, all with 10-12 entrants each. What are the actual numbers of average field size this year compared to 1979?
Shug had a good one, Ex. She and Randy Romero were an unbeatable pair. I suppose it is a sign of recognition when owners/trainers are afraid to race against you. Spectacular Bid received the ultimate acknowledgement of pure talent in his last race.
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