You also need to remember there wasn't year round racing. Many horses finished their fall two yr old season and went to the farm and came out in March. Hialeah and Santa Anita didn't begin until the 1930's. As to Bimelech, he was considered so dominant that Bradley proposed a match race for him as a two yr old with older horses and no takers. When he won his first two starts as a three yr old, Pimilico was looking at a possible walkover for the Preakness.
Exterminator. First race of 1918 was the Kentucky Derby on May 11. Last time he raced before the Derby was on July 26, 1917 and the race was a five and half furlong allowance up in Canada at Kenilworth
Needless to say I was a big Buckpasser fan. Saw many of his races including his come from behind heart stopping Suburban. He and Graustark would have made an incredible rivalry as good as Kelso and Gun Bow or Dr. Fager and Damascus. I remember Buckpasser was scheduled to meet Damascus in the Aqueduct Handicap but developed heat in his foot and was scratched. Always felt he was really hurting by the the Famous Woodward that year of 1967
You're right about Kaui King wouldn't have won two thirds of the TC with either Graustark or Buckpasser in the mix. And the Phipps family would certainly have sent out a rabbit to help Buckpasser's chances too.
Great. If you are at all interested in Exterminator and racing in the 1920's this is a new book that just came out: Here Comes Exterminator: A Longshot Horse, The Great War and the Making of an American Hero by Eliza McGraw.
Bimelech was 8 for 8 going into the 1940 Derby. Native Dancer was 11 for 11 withe Derby as his 12th start.
With the discussion of slow times, one should note that one of the fastest times for 1 1/4 miles was 2:00 4/5 set by Sarazen at Latonia in 1924 in the International against a top field including Epinard, Princess Doreen, Mad Play and others. A lot of the slower times for races do have much to do with track composition. For instance War Admiral posted a nice number at the Preakness even though the track had seen a great deal rain. The Turf and Sport Digest July 1937 spoke of the track being composed of heavy clay not sand underlaid by gravel through which water moves quickly. The better time for the son of MOW was laid at the door of greatly improved drainage and the liberal use of the harrows for six to seven hours prior to the opening of racing that day.
You can add Exterminator to the mix as well. He also carried well over 130 lbs. and raced over two miles on several occasions at numerous track here and in Canada
Coming from someone as knowledgable as you that is quite a compliment.
True about European classic races excluding geldings. The first gelding to run in the JCGC was Buckpasser's half brother Bureaucracy. There has always been some research that Exterminator could of run in the JCGC by virtue of his birth year. Also Exterminator's stakes career was hampered by the exclusion of geldings. Several stakes races that he competed in one year, he was excluded from the race the next year. Much of the American exclusions came in because of the first WW. Also there were many people like Vosburgh who wanted all American stakes races to exclude geldings.
La Troienne one of the greatest foundation mares had seven starts no wins a second and a third and earned only $176. Some of the best race mares, Beldame etc. were poor broodmares.
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