Monday, April 8, 2013

Man o' War: Two-year-old Season

After his win of six lengths in his first race, held at Belmont Park, Man o' War moved on to win five other stake races. They include the Keene Stakes at Belmont Park; the Youthful Stakes at Jamaica Park, the Hudson Stakes at Aqueduct Park; the Tremont Stakes at Aqueduct Park; and the US Hotel Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse(click here for race record).

 However, he did not perform too well in his next race, which was to be at Saratoga.

 Often known as "Graveyard of Champions", many great racehorses have been defeated there, including Man o' War. That race of August 13, 1919, is most remembered by his fans because it is the only race that he had lost.

  Just before the rope was raised(they didn't have starting gates back then), Man O' War backed up. Because of his slow start, he ended up losing, but only by the meager distance of half a length! I find that really incredible.

Man o' War(left) ironically lost to a horse known as Upset,
the only loss of his career. 

 Ironically, his defeater's name was Upset. Upset's victory gave the word "upset", which at the time meant "to capsize", a new, more figurative meaning: an unexpected outcome. Sports commentators began using the phrase "pulled an Upset" whenever the outcome of a sport event was unexpected.

 Despite his single loss, Man o' War remained a favorite among racing fans, and won all the other races he ran that year, giving him a victory of 9 out of 10 races.

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