Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Affirmed: Four-Year-Old Season

 After spending the winter in California, Affirmed returned to the track for his final season. He had a new jockey: Laffit Pincay, Jr. He began his season with an almost effortless ten length victory in the Charles H. Strub Stakes. Next he won the Santa Anita Handicap with 128 pounds on his back, running the mile and one quarter in the record time of 1:58 3/5, as well as defeating the son of champion racehorse Exclusive Native by four and a half lengths.

 That May, he went to Hollywood Park for the California Stakes. Many worried about the burdensome weight of 130 pounds that he was required to carry, but it didn't affect his performance; he won by five lengths.

 Because of his victory, he was then required to carry 132 pounds in the Hollywood Gold Cup. In that race, he met the Italian champion Sirlad, who forced Affirmed to run at a tremendous pace considering his burden. Affirmed managed to hold the lead long enough to win by three-quarters of a length and to run the race in 1:58 2/5, missing the American record for that distance by only 1/5 of a second.

 Affirmed rested for two months following his victory in the Hollywood Gold Cup before going to New York to win two more races. However, trainer Laz Barrera kept him out of the Marlboro Cup since he was assigned 133 pounds, while the young champion Spectacular Bid was assigned only 126 pounds. He did race in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, though. Each horse was weighted according to its age.
Affirmed won the Jockey Club Gold Cup after battle
for first place with several different horses, including
Spectacular Bid.(credit)

 The race was incredible! All throughout, many horses moved forward to challenged him for first place, including Coastal, the 1979 Belmont Stakes winner, and Spectacular Bid, who challenged him four times. Affirmed won in the end, but Spectacular Bid was far from disgraced. Few horses can repeatedly challenge the leader like he did and not come close to last.

 Affirmed retired after that. He had earned a grand total of $2,393,818 in his lifetime, was made the world's Current Leading Money Winner until Spectacular Bid took his place in June 1980, and once more earned Horse of the Year honors. This time, no one questioned whether he deserved the title or not; he had proved himself many times that year.

 He first served as a stud horse in Spendthrift Farm, the Calumet, and finally Jonabell, where he passed away in January 2001.

 Some racing fans believe he failed as a stud horse since he never duplicated himself at stud. Despite those beliefs, he actually sired several noteworthy horses, including Peteski, winner of the Canadian Triple Crown; Charley Barley, the successful Canadian turf racer who earned $922,943; Bint Pasha, who became France's 1987 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly; Tibullo, who was successfully enjoyed his career in Italy; Easy to Copy, who won in Ireland; Trusted Partner, winner of Irish One Thousand Guineas; Buy the Firm, a good handicap mare; and the mare Flawlessly, who won the Eclipse Reward twice and earned over $2,000,000 while under the racing colors of Harbor View Farm, the same as her sire.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Affirmed: Three-Year-Old Season

 Despite an unusually long rest due to uncharacteristically rainy weather in South Carolina, Affirmed began his three-year-old season with a victory at Santa Anita, followed by a win in the San Felipe Handicap.

 After that, he defeated Balzac by eight lengths in the Santa Anita Derby. There was then only one race to win before he traveled back east: the Hollywood Derby. However, with little competition since Alydar was racing in the east coast, Affirmed began to develop bad habits. Whenever he was in the lead, he would mess around and waste time. This worried trainer Laz Barrera since the same thing had cost Affirmed the Champagne Stakes the year before. In spite of Barrera's worries, the Hollywood Derby proved no problem, and Affirmed, though slightly bored, managed to win by two lengths. After that, he went east and defeated Alydar in three classics.

Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, with Alydar second and
Believe It third. Credit
 Then came the Kentucky Derby. Sensitive Prince took an early lead, setting a fast pace while Affirmed lingered in third place. Just as the pack entered the backstretch, Believe It took the lead, followed by Affirmed, who quickly replaced him. Alydar gave it his all, but only managed to beat Believe It for second place money. The roses belonged to Affirmed by one and a half lengths.

 In the Preakness, Alydar was more on top of things. When Affirmed took the lead at the half mile mark, Alydar followed close behind, waiting for the right moment to make his move. As soon as the two entered the homestretch, they fought hard until Affirmed won by a neck. Believe placed third for the second time.
Affirmed won the Belmont Stakes by a head in the closest
Belmont victory since 1962, when Jaipur barely defeated
Admiral's Voyage. 
 Only one more race remained, and only one horse stood between Affirmed and the Triple Crown: Alydar. Affirmed took the early lead, followed Alydar, who opted not to wait to make his move fairly late in the race like the two previous times. This time, with more than half a mile left, he began to battle his rival, doing everything in his power to steal the final Triple Crown jewel from Affirmed. Yet it was all in vain. After a long and hard-fought battle, Affirmed won by his head in the closest Belmont Stakes since 1962, when Jaipur barely defeated Admiral's Voyage.

 After a long and well-deserved rest, Affirmed once more won a race. In the Jim Dandy Stakes, he came from behind to beat Sensitive Prince, despite the slick track, carrying his winning streak to eight. However, he was unable to continue his streak to nine, as his fans had hoped. Although he came first in the Travers Stakes, he was disqualified for bumping Alydar.

 Next, he raced Seattle Slew, the previous Triple Crown winner, in the Marlboro Cup. To his fans surprise, he hardly gave Slew a challenge. Later, after a vet inspection, his owner, jockey, and trainer found that a throat infection had been the cause of his poor performance.

 In the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the two met for the second time. Affirmed failed to win once his saddle slipped after battling with Seattle Slew for an early lead. Seattle Slew, though, also failed. He was in poor condition considering the length of the two mile race, so Exceller won by a nose, becoming the first horse to defeated two Triple Crown winners, let alone in one race.

 Despite the fact that Affirmed had lost three times in a row: once because of poor health, another time due to to disqualification, and another due to tack failure, he was voted horse of the year. Lots of arguments followed that decision. Some people were outrage, thinking that Seattle Slew should have had the honors since he had defeated Affirmed---twice. Others believed that Affirmed had fair excuses for his failures. Nevertheless, Affirmed was 1978's Horse of the Year, and no argument could change that.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Affirmed: Two-Year-Old Season

 On February 24, 1975, a chestnut colt with almost perfect conformation was foaled on Harbor View Farm, Florida. His sire is Exclusive Native, winner of the Sanford Stakes and the Arlington Classics. Won't Tell You, sired by Crafty Admiral, is his dam. His pedigree on his dam's side traces back to War Admiral, 1937 Triple Crown winner, and Fighting Fox, full brother of Gallant Fox.

 Affirmed began his career with a victory in Belmont on May 24. Not wanting to waste time, trainer Laz Barrera entered the young colt in the Youthful Stakes, where he would race quality horses. Affirmed came from behind, crossing the finish line for a victory by a neck. 

 In the Great American Stakes, Affirmed met his rival: Alydar, who won their first race together. Next, Affirmed headed west to win the Hollywood Juvenile by seven lengths before returning east to win the Sanford Stakes with his new jockey, Steve Cauthen. 

 Ten days later, he met Alydar in the Hopeful Stakes, this time winning by half a length. A few weeks later, they met in the Futurity. The pair battled down the homestretch until Affirmed came out victorious by a nose. 

 Next came the Champagne Stakes. The track was sloppy, and Affirmed didn't notice that Alydar had passed him until he was too far gone, winning by one and one-quarter lengths.

Steven Cauthen explains what had happened when he said, "My horse had plenty left, but he was too busy playing games with Darby Road Creek he never saw Alydar until it was too late."

 One last time that season, the two raced, battling for victory in the Laurel Stakes and the Champion Two-Year-Old Colt title. They fought long hard down the homestretch at a tremendous speed, with the third place horse some ten lengths behind them. At last, Affirmed won by a neck, earning the title of Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.

Seattle Slew: Four-Year-Old Season

 After recovery from a respiratory infection and a near-fatal virus, Seattle Slew returned to the track in winning condition. His previous trainer, Bill Turner, had been fired, so he had a new trainer: Doug Peterson. Slew won two allowance races in Saratoga and Aqueduct, then lost by a neck in Meadowlands' Paterson Handicap.

 Then came the season's highlight: Slew and Affirmed, the 1978 Triple Crown winner, were going to race in the Marlboro Cup. Not long before the race, Slew's jockey was changed from Jean Cruguet to Angel Cordero, Jr. when Cruguet commented that Slew wasn't ready for the Marlboro Cup. Despite the change, Slew defeated Affirmed by three lengths. 
Seattle Slew running in the Marlboro Cup(credit).

 After that, Slew led from start to finish in the Woodward Stakes, defeating Exceller and It's Freezing by four lengths in track record time of 2:00. 

 Then came one of the greatest races of his career. In the Jockey Club Gold Cup, he battled Affirmed early on in the race, but failed to win, losing to Exceller by a nose. Affirmed was boxed in and ran fourth. Because of his victory, Exceller became the first and only horse to defeat two Triple Crown winners.

 In the Stuyvesent Handicap, his final race, Slew led from start to finish, winning by three and a quarter lengths. He was then retired. By then, he had won fourteen out of seventeen races and had earned $1,208,726. After he was bought for twelve million dollars as a stud horse with a fee reaching $100,000 dollars, he became an excellent stud horse with many notable offspring.

 Among his best is Swale, the 1984 Three-Year-Old Champion Colt. As a two-year-old, though, he stood in the shadow of his stablemate, Devil's Bag. Both were trained by Woody Stephens. While Devil's Bag was hailed as a wonder horse, Swale was just considered "Stephens' other horse." However, things changed when Devil's Bag retired due to a hairline fracture. Swale became the Derby's top contender. 

 The favorites were Althea and Life's Magic, two fillies trained by D. Wayne Lucas. Swale won then Derby by three and three-quarters lengths. Although he failed to win the Preakness, he almost effortlessly won the Belmont Stakes by four lengths. By the time he retired, he had won nine out of fourteen races, earning $1,583,661. Several days later, the racing world was stunned when Swale mysteriously collapsed and died after a workout. He was later buried on Claiborne Farm.

 Also among Seattle Slew's notable offspring are Slew o' Gold, a Hall of Fame colt; Landaluce, and undefeated who died of a viral infection as a two-year-old; A.P. Indy, 1992 Horse of the Year and Belmont Stakes winner; and many more. Even his daughters produced great offspring. The most famous is Cigar, two-time Horse of the Year. One of his descendants, Itsmyluckyday, raced in this year's Triple Crown. 

 During the months leading up to his death, Seattle Slew was in poor health and was beginning to recover from surgery. Then, in May 2002, twenty-five years after being named the tenth Triple Crown winner, the great champion passed away.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Seattle Slew: Three-Year-Old Season

 Seattle Slew, known as the "People's Horse," began his three-year-old season as a favorite for the Kentucky Derby. He first won a seven furlong race at Hialeah, running in the track record time of 1:20 3/5, followed by victories in the Flamingo Stakes and the Wood Memorial Invitational Stakes.

Seattle Slew after the flamingo Derby.
 By the time the Derby rolled around, critics were saying that the lightly raced three-year-old wouldn't stand a chance. Seattle Slew was agitated during the post parade, and was foaming around the mouth, proving to the doubters that he would tire easily. 

 Seattle Slew banged his face on the starting gate right at the beginning, nearly throwing jockey Jean Cruguet. For the Moment took the early lead. Despite his slow start, Seattle Slew caught and passed the leaders within the first quarter mile, leaving the early leaders to fade away.

Seattle Slew winning the Kentucky Derby.
"He broke slowly. He was shut off immediately. He had to overcome adversity. And then he went on to do what he was supposed to do. That's the sign of a racehorse," said Billy Turner, Slew's trainer. 

 Seattle Slew won the Preakness in the same manner two weeks later. He ran the fastest opening mile on record, easily passing Iron Constitution, Run Dusty Run, J.O. Tobin. After that, he almost effortless won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first Triple Crown winner to win all of the classics as well. Furthermore, he became the first Triple Crown winner to be purchased at an auction. Eight others had been raced by their breeder and Sir Barton had been sold privately. 

 After his impressive victories in the Triple Crown races, many people offered to by him, including a $14 million from someone from Texas. Slew became so popular that his owners made tee-shirts, cocktail glasses, and rings featuring the young star. Companies, wanting to gain popularity, featured Slew in their advertisements. 

 However, the star didn't remain undefeated for long. Mickey Taylor and the rest of the crew raced him in the Swaps Stakes two weeks after the Belmont against Billy Turner's advice. Consequently, Slew lost to the English champion J.O. Tobin.

 The Taylors and the Hills took a lot of criticism for Slew's defeat. When Bill Turner told the press that the star should have never entered that race, Mickey fired him. Then Slew suffered from respiratory infections and a near-fatal virus. Even so, he was name 1977 Horse of the Year. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Seattle Slew: Two-Year-Old Season

 On February 15, 1974, a dark bay colt later named Seattle Slew was born on Ben Castleman's White Horse Acres. His sire was Bold Reasoning, Bold Ruler's grandson, and his dam was My Charmer, a descendant of the great mare Myrtlewood.

 Since Seattle Slew was neither the son of Northern Dancer or What a Pleasure, leading sires at the time, he was purchased for the bargain deal of $17,500 at Keeneland's Yearling Sale. Mrs. Karen Taylor, her husband Mickey, and Dr. and Mrs. Hill(the four shared ownership of Seattle Slew) named the colt in honor of their hometowns. The Taylors came from Seattle, and the Hills came from an area in Florida with lots of swamps, called slews. Hence the name, Seattle Slew.

 Seattle Slew was sent to Billy and Paula Turner's training facility in Maryland. He was clumsy, never got anything right, and swerved to the right when galloping, since his right foreleg curved to the outside. Because of that, Paula nicknamed him Baby Huey after an ungraceful cartoon character.

 However, he soon grew out of the name after several fast workouts in New York. A minor injury kept him out of the Futurity and the Cowden Stakes. Even though a horse named For the Moment dominated the juvenile division, people who had seen Slew's exercise rides knew that he would possibly be the star of the season.

 Seattle Slew won his first race, which was at Belmont Park. He easily repeated the performance before meeting For the Moment in the Champagne Stakes. Despite Billy Turner's belief that Slew needed more experience before entering a major stake race, Slew won by nine lengths, running 1:34 2/5, a new record. Because of his undefeated streak and his impressive victory in the Champagne Stakes, Slew earned Two-Year-Old Championship honors.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Assault: Four-Year-Old Season

 During the winter between his three-year-old and four-year-old season, Assault underwent some changes. He matured a lot, gaining good looks that he lacked as a three-year-old, and his personality made a positive change that would make him more vicious on the track. However, the change negatively affected the time he spent at his stable. He was constantly hungry, impatiently throwing tantrums and attacking handlers if he did not get his food on time.

 Assault, dubbed the Club-footed Comet because of his injury as a young horse, began the season 1947 by winning Grey Lag Handicap, with jockey Warren Mehrtens in the saddle. Eddie Arcaro rode him six days later in the Dixie Handicap. Assault then defeated Natchez and his old rival, Stymie, by two lengths in the Suburban Handicap.

 After that, he defeated Stymie in the Brooklyn Handicap with 133 pounds on his back. With that victory, he surpassed Whirlaway's earnings and became the world's leading money winner. He came close to winning America's unofficial Triple Crown, the Suburban Handicap, the Brooklyn Handicap, and the Metropolitan Mile, but Stymie ended up winning the Metropolitan Mile.

 Next, Assault entered the Butler Handicap, along with Stymie and the great mare Gallorette. On the homestretch, he was boxed in behind the two other champions. Incredibly, he managed to squeeze into an impossibly small opening, beating Stymie by a head.

 Assault's seven race winning streak was put to an end when he came third to Stymie in the International Gold Cup at Belmont. Even so, the third place prize was enough to keep his status as leading money winner.

 Then a match race with a purse of $100,000 was proposed between Assault and Calumet Farm's top gelding, Armed. When Assault was injured during a race, the match race was postponed from the original date of August 30 to September 27. Assault pulled up lame on the September 22.  Many people, including Eddie Arcaro, strongly believed that Assault shouldn't race. In spite of that, Robert Kleberg decided to race his horse since the race was for charity anyway. Assault was much too sore to come close to winning, and lost by eight lengths.

After that, Assault went to rest in South Carolina. With him out of the way, Armed earned 1947 Horse of the Year honors and Stymie became the new top money winner.

 A few months later, Assault was back on the track, but not in winning condition. After coming fifth in the Widener Handicap, he rested another few months. In August he tried once more to win. However, he came second by a nose in the Brooklyn Handicap. In the Massachusetts Mile, Assault's performance was even worse, and he came fourth as well as developing a bleeding problem.

 He won the Edgemere Handicap, yet it wasn't enough to compensate for his losses in the Manhattan and Grey Lag Handicaps after that, so he went into retirement in Texas.

 Tests showed Assault to be sterile, so he was turned out with eight Quarter Horse mares. Surprisingly, he had two sons and two daughters in the spring of 1951. Also, he raced three more times, coming first, second, and third, and earning $675,470 in his lifetime. Though they tried breeding him with thoroughbred mares, he got no more offspring. After passing away on September 2, 1971, he was buried on King Ranch, Texas, where he was born.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oxbow Upsets Orb in the Preakness Stakes

 In the Saturday's Preakness Stakes, Orb got stuck in traffic, leaving Oxbow to take the lead and win. Itsmyluckyday was second, followed Mylute and Orb.

Assault: Three-Year-Old Season

 Assault began his three-year-old season with a victory at the Experimental Handicap, followed by the Wood Memorial Stakes. 

 In the the Derby Trial, he placed fourth, with Rippey, Spy Song, and With Pleasure in front of him. Fans began to doubt whether or not he had it in him to win the Derby. 

Assault in the winners circle(photo credit).
 The Kentucky Derby came not long afterward. Lord Boswell was the betting favorite, and Assault was the fourth favorite. When Spy Song took and early lead, Assault followed close behind, catching him and winning by eight lengths, a distance that equaled the Kentucky Derby's longest length victory. However, he missed Whirlaway's time by over five seconds, running only 2:06 3/5.

Assault was made the betting favorite when he ran against Lord Boswell and eight others in the Preakness on May 11. Assault was boxed in early in the race, and was forced wide in the backstretch as he passed Natchez. All the way down the homestretch, he held the lead, with Lord Boswell four lengths behind him. Despite fatigue, he crossed the finish line a neck ahead of his rival. 

 Lord Boswell was the favorite in the Belmont Stakes in spite of Assaults victories. Fans believed that he was more suited to longer distances because of his near victory in the Preakness, especially since Assault had been exhausted at the end of the race. Assault was the second favorite. 

 Assault stumbled at the start, so Hampden took the lead right away. Assault didn't make his move until he neared the first turn, when he gave all he could, passing Natchez and winning by three lengths. Even though the race had been exciting, fans still doubted the seventh Triple Crown winner.

 Two weeks later, Assault won the Dwyer Stakes, but his time was unimpressive, and fans just thought he was the best of that group of of three-year-olds. He next lost the Arlington Classic. When he returned to the barn, he was diagnosed with a kidney infection.

 A month later, he was back on the track. He finished third behind Mighty Story in the Discovery Handicap, then second behind Mahout in the Jersey Handicap. On September 25, he met Stymie for the first time. Stymie was famous for winning from-the-behind, and his career had begun with cheap races, until he became Champion Handicap Horse in 1945. A rivalry was born from the day they first met.

 Stymie won their first meeting, the Manhattan handicap, and Assault cam third. After losing by a neck to Bridal Flower in the Roamer Handicap, he once more challenged his new rival, this time in the Gallant Fox Handicap. Once again he came third.

 In the Pimlico Special, the two met again. Eddie Arcaro, who was riding Assault for the first time, was told not to make a move until Stymie did. Assault ended up winning his first race since the Dwyer Stakes, beating both Bridal Flower and Stymie. 

 Assault won by two lengths in his final start that season, the Westchester Handicap. Despite his losing streak, he earned Horse of the Year honors and was named leading money winning. He had earned $424,195, and had won eight out of fifteen races that year.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Assault: Two-year-old Season

  On March 26, 1943, a chestnut colt was born on King Ranch, a large Texan ranch owned by Robert Kleberg Jr. He sire, Bold Venture, had won the 1936 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, while his dam, Igual, was an unraced mare. However, her sire is two-time Horse of the Year Equipoise. Her dam's dam is Masda, Man o' War's full sister.

As a young horse, the chestnut colt, named Assault, stepped on a stake, permanently crippling himself. When Assault first trotted before trainer Max Hirsch, the man doubted whether he would ever be able to race. He raced four times before winning a race.

Because of the war, travel was highly restricted, so the Flash Stakes was held on at Belmont on August 5 instead of at Saratoga. he ended up finishing in a four-way photo finish.

 Next he finished third in the Babylon Stakes, with Southern Pride and Tidy Bid in front of him. In the Cowdin Stakes, he finished fourth behind Knockdown, revoked, and Southern Pride. After winning only two out of nine races that season, he was sent to South Carolina.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Count Fleet: Three-Year-Old Season

 Count Fleet began his three-year-old career with an easy victory in the St. James Purse, a mile and seventy yards long race. Then he won the Wood Memorial, a mile and three-sixteenths long race, with a time of 1:43, making quality horses like Blue Swords and Slide Rule look cheap. However, in doing so, he banged his left hind leg, threatening his chances of entering the Kentucky Derby. Even so, he did race. Johnny Longden held ice of the wound the whole time, and Count Fleet won despite his injuries. Once again, Blue Swords came second and Slide Rule third.

 The Preakness told the same story: Count Fleet first and Blue Swords second. The Blood-Horse magazine said, "If Count Fleet is the spectacular comet in the racing skies of 1943, then Blue Swords is the comet's tail."
Count Fleet in the winner's circle at one of the tracks
he raced on(photo credit).

 Count Fleet ran in the Withers stakes between the Preakness and the Belmont. He won by six lengths, with Slide Rule, who had skipped the Preakness, second.

When the Belmont finally came, the owners of Blue Swords and Slide Rule decided to skip it, not wanting to be humiliated one more time. Count Fleet only had to beat two horses, which he did easily. In fact, he won by six lengths, becoming the sixth Triple Crown winner.

 Count Fleet retired due to an injured fetlock soon afterwards. His retirement came as a relief to the owner of Blue Swords, who had been beaten several times.

 He enjoyed great success at stud, producing stake winners and the 1952 Horse of the Year. Count Fleet passed away on December 3, 1973, and is buried at Stoner Creek.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Count Fleet: Two-Year-Old Season

 When a chestnut colt bit another horse during a race in the summer of 1927, John Hertz became interested in it. He soon bought the spirited young horse. Reigh Count, the colt, became rather successful the next year, winning the Kentucky Derby and Horse of the Year honors. Later, he was retired to stud. At first, when he failed to produce promising offspring, Hertz limited the number of mares he could breed with to four each year.

 In 1937, Hertz bought a mare named Quickly, who had won thirty-two out of eighty-five races, all of them in sprints. Furthermore, she was related to an English stallion known as The Tetrarch. On March 24, 1940, she produced a brown colt that proved difficult to handle. Hertz put him up for sale as a yearling, but no one was interested in such an ill-mannered colt. Only one man thought the horse was worth it: Sam Ramsen, a stablehand. He talked with the manager, insisting that the colt would one day be a fine racer, especially because of his long legs.

 Hertz decided to keep the colt. However, it didn't have as much to do with what Ramsen had said as it did with the lack of buyers. The colt--Count Fleet--was sent to trainer Don Cameron. During his first race, which was at Belmont, Count Fleet bumped into another horse, and ended up coming second. when the same thing happened in his next race, he was once more put up for sale.

 Johnny Longden, the colt's jockey, thought highly of Count Fleet. When he told that to Hertz, however, Hertz said, "The colt's dangerous. Someday I'm afraid he'll do you serious injury."

 "I'm not afraid," Longden replied. Once more, Hertz decided to keep the colt.

 Count Fleet won his third race, a five and a half furlongs long one, by four lengths in 1:06. In his next race, he ran the same distance a fifth second faster. After that, he raced in the East View Stakes, but lost to Gold Shower, adding to his list of seconds. Count Fleet then won the Wakefield Stakes, with Gold Shower third. Next, he raced in the Washington Park Futurity, getting caught in traffic early on. Amazingly, he managed to get out of the pack, catching the colt Occupation, but losing by a neck.

 Next on his long list of losses was the Tremont Stakes, where he lost to Supermont. He then won two races. After that, he went to get revenge for his loss to Occupation. Unfortunately, his victory remained out of his grasp, and he placed third behind the filly Askmenow.

Count Fleet, ridden by Johnny Longden(photo credit)
 Then, after winning the Champagne Stakes by six lengths with a track record time of 1:34 4/5, Count Fleet once more attempted to defeat Occupation, this time in the Pimlico Futurity. Occupation led for the first five furlongs, but Count Fleet soon caught up to him. Count Fleet won by five lengths, equalling the track record of  1:43 3/5. Finally, In the Walden Stakes, he won by an incredible thirty lengths! It seemed as if he had stolen Occupations championship honors.

Whirlaway: Four-Year-Old Season

  In 1942, Whirlaway raced mostly in handicaps, never finishing without placing. He first won the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, then the Dixie Handicap, the Brooklyn Handicap, the Garden State Stakes,  and the Narragansett Handicap, carrying 130 pounds.

Whirlaway after the Dixie Handicap(credit).
 Meanwhile, and bay colt named Alsab was enjoying great success. Though he had only bought for $700 at he Saratoga Yearling Sale, he had won many races that year, including the Preakness Stakes.

 On September 19, the two met at Narragansett for a match race. The distance was a mile and three-sixteenths, and the prize was $25,000. Alsab, the younger horse, took an early lead, with Whirlaway right behind him. The Flying Tail followed for the first mile before making his move. The two battled for the last three sixteenths of a mile, ending with a photo finish. It was hard to who one at first. Later, however, photographs revealed that Alsab had one by the tip of his right nostril. Even so, Whirlaway had passed the younger horse just inches after crossing the finish line.

 Whirlaway later avenged his loss in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, winning by three-quarters of a lengths.  He also won the Washington Handicap and the Governor Bowie Stakes. By that time, no one dared to oppose him, and he won the Pimlico Special in a walkover. He then finished the season with a win in the Louisiana Handicap, earning Horse of the Year title for the second time and becoming the first horse to earn over half a million dollars.

 However, he had bowed a tendon in the process. Although Ben Jones tried to bring Whirlaway back to the track in winning condition, he was unsuccessful.

 On July 5, 1943, Whirlaway made his last public appearance in Washington Park. Several days later, on July 13, he returned to Kentucky. Fans named that day Whirlaway Day in his honor.

Whirlaway at stud, standing beside Warren Wright(credit).
 Whirlaway sired many stakes winners, including Rock Drill, dam of Champion Three-Year-Old filly Lady Pitt.

 In 1950, French breeder Marcel Boussac convinced Warren Wright to lease him the horse for breeding purposes. Later, he bought the horse. On April 6, 1953, Whirlaway died of a rupture in his nerve tissue. He was buried on Boussac's farm in France before being returned to his home at Calumet.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Preakness Stakes 2013

Just two weeks ago, Orb came from last to first in the Kentucky Derby, just as Secretariat always has done. Now it is time for the Preakness Stakes this weekend. Lots of talk has been going around about whether or not he will win the Triple Crown. If you're a racing fan, or are just interested, it is important to know what he is up against(to learn about the pedigrees of the horses that were in the Derby, see Kentucky Derby Part 1, Part 2).
Itsmyluckyday(photo credit)
Itsmyluckyday did well as a two-year-old. He came second
in his first race, a five furlong one, and won his second,
a four furlong race. Then he placed third in the Tyro Stakes.
Next he won both the Fasig Tipton Turf Dash and the
Foolish Pleasure Stakes before coming sixth in
Delta Downs Jackpot. He finished the season fourth in the
Dania Beach Stakes. This year, he debuted with a victory
in the Gulfstream Park Derby, followed by a second
victory the Holy Bull Stakes. He then came second
in the Florida Derby. Most recently, he came
fifteenth in the Kentucky Derby.
Govenor Charlie(photo credit)
Govenor Charlie never raced last year, and was
lightly raced this year. He only raced three times this year.
His first race was a six furlong one at Santa Anita in which he placed
second. The next was a one mile long race, also at Santa
Anita, and he placed first. His most recent race is the Sunland Derby,
one and one eighth miles long. He won that one, too. Though he doesn't
have the experience that the others do,  he certainly has the talent.
His sire and dam are Midnightlute and Silverbulletway.
Oxbow(photo credit)
Last year, Oxbow only raced five times. He came seventh in a five and a half
furlong race at Saratoga. Following that, he ran three seven furlong races,
coming fourth in the one at Keeneland and third and first in the two at Churchill
Downs. Afterwards, he placed fourth in the CashCall Futurity.
He started this year's season with a victory in the LeComte Stakes.
Then he placed fourth in the Risen Star Stakes, second
in the Rebel Stakes,  fifth in the Arkansas Derby and
sixth in the Kentucky Derby.
Will Take Charge(photo credit)
Last year, Will Take Charge came fifth in a five and a half furlong
race at Saratoga before winning a seven furlong race at Keeneland.
Then he came thirteenth in the Kentucky Jockey Club. Next
he finished second in the Remington Springboard Mile.
This year, he won the Smarty Jones Stakes, came sixth in
the Southwest Stakes, then won the Rebel Stakes. He came eighth in
the Derby.
Mylute(photo credit)
Last year, Mylute began his career with third place in a five and half
furlong race at Churchill Downs. Then he came second in the
Praire Gold Juvenile, another five and half furlong race,
and first in a six furlong race at Arlington Park. After that
he came fifth and second, respectively, in the mile long  Arlington-Washington
Futurity and the Jean Lafitte Stakes. He then came third in the
Delta Downs Jackpot, first in a mile and seventy yards race,
seventh in the Risen Star Stakes, second in the Louisiana Derby,
and fifth in his most recent race, the Kentucky Derby.

Departing(photo credit)
Departing is one of the three horses entering in the Preakness
that never made it to the Derby. He raced only once last year,
coming first in a six furlong race. This year, he came first
in a one mile and seventy yards long race, and in the mile long
Texas Heritage race. After that, he came third in the Louisiana
Derby. In his most recent race, the Illinois Derby, he finished first.
His sire and dam are War Front and Leave.
Titletown Five(photo credit)
Titletown Five never raced in the Derby. Maybe it is because he has
not won a single race this year. He did, however, come fourth in the Derby
Trial. He came ninth in this year's Louisiana Derby and
second in a six furlong race in Oakland. Last year, he was
luckier. He came second in a seven furlong race at Saratoga,
and fourth in a five furlong race also at Saratoga. Before that,
he came third in a four and a half furlong race at Churchill.
His sire and dam are Tiznow and D'Wildcat Speed.

Goldencents(photo credit)
Goldencents is the type of horse that takes and early
lead and tries to hold it wire to wire. However, he
failed in the Kentucky Derby and placed 17th,
with only two horses behind him. Most of his races
have been done in California. He placed first
in both the Sham Stakes and Santa Anita Derby
at Santa Anita, but came fourth in the
san Felipe Stakes, also at Santa Anita.
In 2012, he came first in the Delta Downs Jackpot
at Delta Downs and in a five and a half furlong
race at Del Mar. His only race besides the Derby
outside of California was the Foxwoods
Champagne, at Belmont.
Orb(photo credit)
Orb has an excellent percentage of wins. All of them
are at distances over a mile, which greatly affects his chances
of being a Triple Crown winner. Three of his races are
at Gulfstream, in the Florida Derby and the
Fountain of Youth, while the other is at
Aqueduct. He has place third in a
seven furlong race, and fourth in a six and a half furlong race and
in a one mile race at Belmont. And, of course, is his incredible
win in the Derby. It was amazing to see him zip from last to
first place in the mile and a quarter race to win by
two and a half lengths.

Whirlaway: Three-year-old Season

 Whirlaway returned to the track in 1941. In his two races before the Kentucky Derby, he bore to the outside, afraid of the inner rail, which cost him the races. Because of that, Ben Jones trained him at home by running him between the rail and another horse. This may have made all the difference in the Derby.

 Equipped with a modified one-eye blinker and an experienced jockey, Eddie Arcaro, Whirlaway ran a somewhat straight line, winning by eight lengths and running 2:01 2/5, a new track record. Then rumors that Whirlaway had been using drugs began to spread. Even the usually calm Ben Jones was angry at the serious accusations.

Whirlaway in the Kentucky Derby winner's circle(credit).
 Nevertheless, Whirlaway proved himself in the Preakness Stakes. He was far behind the other horses after leaving the gate, and it seemed that he would not win. Then he made his move. He sped down the backstretch, passing every single horse for a win of five and a half lengths. It was incredibly breathtaking.

 By the time the Belmont Stakes rolled along, people were scared of Whirlaway's bursts of speed, so only a field of four horses ran that day. Whirlaway's three challengers tried to upset his strategy by setting a slow pace early on, but Eddie Arcaro had anticipated that, and cruised along right past them. He became Calumet Farm's first of two Triple Crown winners(see Citation).

 Whirlaway won several races after that. He beat Market Wise in the Dwyer Stakes, then won the American Derby, the Travers Stakes, defeated War Relic in the Saranac Handicap, and won the Lawrence Realization.

 However, oddly enough, the best race of his career is considered Jockey Club Gold Cup. He and Market Wise had battled throughout the race at a tremendous pace, until Market Wise finally won by a nose, setting a new American record of 3:20 2/5 in the process.

 Near the end of the 1941 season, Whirlaway was sent to the west cost to race there, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor cut the season to and abrupt end. He couldn't return home right away, because World War II travel restrictions. It wasn't until March the next year that he could finally leave.

 Despite the restrictions, he was still successful, and was named 1941 Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Colt.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whirlaway: Two-year-old Season

 On April 2, 1938, Whirlaway, a chestnut colt with a beautiful tail, was born out of of Dustwhirl on Calumet Farms. His sire Blenheim II, was a Thoroughbred from England. Blenheim II had won the Epsom Derby in 1930.

 Ironically, another foal who shared the same markings had born around the same time. Trainer Ben Jones and his son JImmy had a hard time telling the two apart until they finally began training.

 Jimmy claimed that Whirlaway "gave the impression of being tireless, able to gallop all day if we didn't stop him." Unfortunately, with his gift of stamina came a rather unpleasant trait: he had trouble running in a strait line, and would zigzag around the track when he was in the lead. Consequently, he barely won his first, which took place on June 3, 1940, though he was the superior horse.

 Whirlaway was not only the most promising colt that year horse, but also the most difficult to train. Because of this, Ben Jones focused his attention on Whirlaway while his son trained the other horses.

Whirlaway standing beside
Ben Jones, his trainer(photo credit).
 In the Arlington Futurity, jockey Johnny Longden tried unsuccessful to get Whirlaway to run in a straight like other horses do. As a result, the pair placed third behind a horse called Swain. He had a little more luck in the U.S. Hotel Stakes, this time placing third. Then disaster happened.

 In the Saratoga Special, when Whirlaway was continue his usual zigzags, he crashed into the outer rail, winning despite his injuries.

 Ben Jones called Whirlaway the dumbest horse he had trained, but he knew that he was also the fastest, so he spent time with the horse to break him of his bad habits. Even turf write Bill Corum had faith in The Flying Tail(name for his bushy tail), and predicted the he would win that year's Hopeful and Futurity Stakes, as well as the next year's Triple Crown.

 True the prediction, Whirlaway won the Hopeful Stakes, but not with out injury. While on the track, a piece of debris flew into his eye, yet he continued despite the injury, proving that he had the heart to win.

However, he had to leave the track for two months while veterinarians and eye specialists treated the eye, finally managing to save it. Once he had returned, he won the Breeders' Futurity in Keeneland, followed by the Walden Stakes at Pimlico.

 By that time, he had become the season's top money winner, and shared the title of Two-year-old Champion with Our Boots.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

War Admiral: Four-Year-Old Season

 In 1938, War Admiral returned to the track with a victory in the McLennon Memorial Handicap. Then he raced in the Widener Handicap, carrying 130 pounds, yet coming second to a horse weighted only 104 pounds.

  Racings fans raved about organizing a match race for War Admiral and Seabiscuit. Finally, after much disputing, it was decided that the two would race in Belmont Park on Memorial Day for a purse of $100,000, the biggest of any match race to this day. However, Seabiscuit scratched six days before due to leg injury.

 So War Admiral went to the Queen's County Handicap instead, and defeated the great horse Snark by a length. For some reason, he failed to go the post in the Suburban Handicap, supposedly because he would have to give four pounds to his rival, Pompoon.

 Ironically, Pompoon didn't even how up at the Suburban Stakes, and went to the Massachusetts Handicap instead, failing to place for the first time of his career.

War Amiral, too, wasn't doing so well. The right forefoot that he had injured back in the Belmont Stakes was bothering him. Consequently, lost to Snark, drawing a lot of attention from his fans. However, he was back in tiptop form in the Wilson Stakes, winning by eight lengths, despite the muddy track.

He then raced in the Saratoga Handicap, beat Esposa, the mare he had defeated in his previous race, by a neck. Despite her losses, Esposa tried and failed to beat War Admiral in the Whitney Stakes and the Saratoga Cup. She at least managed to place second. After that, War Admiral won by three lengths in the two mile long Jockey Club Gold Cup.

 Meanwhile, Seabiscuit was winning in the west, and had just won the Hollywood Gold Cup.

Then, the public thought it was high time that the two heroes, Seabiscuit and War Admiral, had their long-awaited match race. This time, however, it would be in the Pimlico Special, and the purse a scant $15,00 compared to the $100,000 they had been offered at Belmont. Even so, the two sportingly raced.

 They didn't use starting gates, since War Admiral despised them. The race was finally decided to be a mile and three-sixteenths, since both horses had won a that distance before, and the two carried 120 pounds each.

After two false starts, the race was on. Seabiscuit then used an unusually strategy: instead of coming from behind, he took and early lead, followed closely by War Admiral. The two battled into the homestretch, with Seabiscuit the victor by four lengths.

 War Admiral then went on to win his last race of the season, the Rhode Island Handicap, and Seabiscuit was named Horse of the Year.

 War Admiral raced only once as a five-year-old. He defeated Pasteurized, the 1938 Belmont Stakes winner, before an injured ankle brought an abrupt end to his racing career.

 He retired to stud at Faraway Farm before being moved to Hamburg Place in 1958. He sired many champions, as well as successful broodmares. One of his daughters is Busher, the mare who had beat Calumet Farm's champion Armed in the Washington Park Handicap, and was named 1945 Horse of Year. Another example is Busanda, winner of several stake races, including the 1951 Suburban Handicap.She is a two-time winner of the Saratoga Gold Cup. Among her offspring is Buckpasser, 1966 Horse of the Year.

Monday, May 13, 2013

War Admiral: Three-Year-Old Season

 In spring of 1937, War Admiral began his three-year-old season with a victory in a six furlong(1320 yards) at Havre de Grace. Then, after delaying the start of the Chesapeake Stakes by seven minutes, he easily won by six lengths.

 After that was the Kentucky Derby. Once more, he delayed the start, this time by eight minutes. Even so, War Admiral took off, defeating a rival from his two-year season, Pompoon, by one and three-quarters lengths. Just after that, War Admiral headed to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes.

 In that race, Pompoon put up a fight. He caught up to War Admiral on the first turn, and the two battled it out from there. War Admiral came out victorious, winning the black-eyed susans, and that years Preakness is considered one of the most exciting in history.
War Admiral won the Preakness after battling
for first place with Pompoon, a rival from his
year as a two-year-old(photo credit).
 Then came the Belmont Stakes, the ultimate test for a Derby and Preakness winner. Then, while War Admiral was battling into the starting gate, disaster struck: He had sliced of part of his right heel in his fight. His injury made him even less likely to win. However, despite his injury, he led from start to finish, tying the American record for one and half miles with a time of 2:28 3/5 and becoming the fourth Triple Crown winner. He made it look effortless.

 Later that fall, after recovering from his injury, he easily won at Laurel. Then He and Seabiscuit, an older champion, were going to match race in the Washington Handicap, also at Laurel. Racing fans all over the U.S. eagerly anticipated the match race. Yet it never happened. Seabiscuit, who was poorly trained, was scratched at the last minute, and War Admiral was given the desired victory. He finished the season with a victory on the Pimlico Special.

 War Admiral received Horse of the Year honors that year, but it was Seabiscuit who became the year's leading money winner. Seabiscuit had won just $2,080 more than War Admiral's $166,200.

Friday, May 10, 2013

War Admiral: Two-Year-Old Season

 In 1934, War Admiral, one of Man o' War's greatest sons, was born out of Brushup on Faraway Farms. He was a full hand smaller than his sire, standing only 15.3 hands high. Even so, he was ready to defeat any horse that stood in his path to victory.

He was raced by Samuel Riddle, just like his father before him, and was trained by George Conway.

 War Admiral also seemed to share the same fiery temper as his sire. He was high strung, and a pain to exercise. "He would jump three times every time you took him out," explains Tom Harbut, son of Will Harbut, Man o' War's groom. He also despised the starting gate. Despite that, War Admiral's season as two-year-old was very promising.

 He won his first race hands down, and the next one after that before moving up to the stakes races. Next, even though he failed to beat divisional leader Pompoon in the National Stallion Stakes, he placed third, proving that he could hold his own against the best.

 After that, a new jockey came to be War Admiral's regular rider: Charley Kurtsinger. War Admiral held the lead well into the backstretch in the Great American Stakes at Aqueduct, but once more failed to go all the way, this time coming second to the chestnut gelding Fairy Hill. Just after that, he had to have an eleven week layoff due to cough.

 In his first race after is layoff, he lead wire to wire in the Eastern Shore Stakes, winning by five lengths. Then he finished the season with second place in the Richard Johnson Stakes. By the time the season of 1937 came, his racing would be even more promising than before.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Omaha: Four-Year-Old Season

 Once Omaha arrived in England, he impressed racing fans with his large size and good looks. He spent several months conditioning before he made his debut in England, which was in the Victor Wild Stakes on May 9th, 1936. He won the mile and a half race by a length and a half. Next he won the two mile long Queen's Plate carrying 130 pounds, and began to gain popularity.

 After that came the most remembered race of his English career: the Ascot Gold Cup. He battled it out with Quashed, England finest long distance runner, up the tracks uphill homestretch, losing only by a nose. In the Prince of Wales Stakes, he similarly lost to Taj Akbar by a neck. What makes the race even more incredible is that he had been weighted 138 pounds, and Taj Akbar only 120 pounds. The British loved Omaha's courage.

When Omaha severed the left tendon on his foreleg while trainer, he was sent back to America to retire on Claiborne Farm. He sired seven stake winners. In 1943, he was sent to the Jockey Club's Lookover Stallion Station in Avon, New York, but was later relocated to a midwestern farm near Omaha, Nebraska. He passed away in 1959. Today, his grave can found at the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack in his namesake, the city of Omaha.

 In remembering Omaha, one man said, "In action he was a glorious sight; few thoroughbreds have exhibited such a magnificent, sweeping, space-annihilating stride, or carried it with such strength and precision. His place is among the Titans of American turf."

 I agree whole-heartedly with this statement. Omaha was a great, courageous horse, and the races he has lost are few. That says something about him. Most of his losses were by a neck or even a nose, which further shows how great he really was.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Omaha: Three-Year-Old Season

 In 1935, Omaha began his racing season at Aqueduct, where he won, then moved on to the Wood Memorial. He came third by only a nose. Next he went to the Kentucky Derby as the second favorite, the favorite being Man o' War's daughter from Calumet Farms, Nellie Flag.

 Also racing was the victor of that year's Wood Memorial,Today, and Hopeful Stakes winner Physic Bid, and Boxthorn, the third betting favorite. Omaha ended up taking the lead in the backstretch, winning by a length and a half. Nellie Flag had been caught in traffic, and consequently finished fourth behind Roman Soldier and Whiskolo.

 The Preakness came a week later. Omaha almost effortlessly won by six lengths, with a horse known as Firethorn second and Physic Bid third. By the time the Withers Stakes came along between the Preakness and the Belmont, people began to question Omaha's ability to claim the Triple Crown, like his sire before him. Things became worse when he lost by a length and a half in the Withers Stakes.

 On the day of the Belmont Stakes, when the track was slick and muddy, and the cloudy sky drizzled rain, making track conditions less than satisfactory, Omaha made an attempt to follow in his sire footsteps. The horse named Cold Shoulder took an early, followed by Firethorn. Firethorn led well into the backstretch. Then, in one last desperate drive, Omaha gave his all, passing the leaders and becoming the third Triple Crown winner.

In the Brooklyn Stakes, Omaha lost some of the respect he had just earned, as well as Horse of the Year honors. Then he won the Dwyer Stakes, equalling Man o' War's time of 1:49 1/5. After that, he defeat Black Helen in the Arlington Stakes, and broke Sun Beau's record with the time 2:01 2/5. He had finally gained the status of national hero. Yet in the process, he pulled up lame at Saratoga. He was later sent to England for his next season.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Omaha: Two-Year-Old Season

 On May 24, 1932, a blaze-faced chestnut colt was born at Claiborne Farms. His sire the great Gallant Fox, the second Triple Crown winner, and his dam was Flambino, winner of the Gazelle Stakes and third placer of the 1927 Belmont Stakes. As you can see, he had quite a bloodline.

 Omaha, the chestnut colt, was owned and bred by William Woodward's Belair Stud. Sunny Fitzsimmons was his trainer. Hopes were high for Omaha, Gallant Fox's first son, and no one knew at the time just how amazing he would become.

Omaha standing as a young colt.
 Omaha's racing career began when he lost to Sir Lamorah in a maiden race on June 18, 1934. He then finished fourth behind Balladier in the U.S. Hotel Stakes, and fourth a second time in the Saratoga Special behind Boxthorn. In the Sanford Memorial, he got luckier. He managd to pass Boxthorn, beating him by s length and a half, but failed to catch Physic Bid, who placed first. Physic Bid also won the next race, the Hopeful Stakes. Omaha finished a head behind Esposa, who placed third.

 His best two-yeaar-old race was in the Champagne Stakes. He was neck-and-neck with Balladier, the season's top juvenile, throughout the race, and pushed him to a neck track record. Omaha lost only by a nose. After placing fourth in the Futurity Stakes, he went to his last race: the Junior Champion Stakes. Once more, he just barely failed to win, losing by a head to Sailor Beware.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Will We Have a 2013 Triple Crown Winner?

  Every year, I wait in eager anticipation for the Triple Crown races, hoping that the day would come when we have a new Triple Crown winner. No horse has accomplished that feat since Affirmed in 1978. Even so, I'll Have Another won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 2012, failing to grab the third jewel of the Triple Crown: the Belmont. This year, I hope Orb will be luckier.

 Just last weekend, Orb came from fifteenth place to come out victorious in the Derby. His feat was something reminiscent of Secretariat, who always began in last place, charging to win in the final stretch.
Orb has avery promising pedigree. I believe he will likely be
Triple Crown winner number 12!

 Orb comes from a well-balanced bloodline of both stamina and speed. His sire, Malibu Moon, is a fast horse who excels at shorter distances, while his dam, Lady Liberty, performs best in distances over 1 1/2 miles. Because of this, his pedigree is very promising.

 Orb is owned by Ogden Phipps, the same man who had won the coin toss with Penny Chenery, Secretariat's owner. Phipps is an excellent breeder, always making sure that his horses have the perfect combination of speed and stamina.

 Furthermore, Orb's race record shows great potential. During his two-year-old season, he had raced eight times, came first five times, and third once. The two other times, he failed to place. This year is even better than last year. He only raced four times, but won all those races! His chances of winning are great.

 Yet the question still remains. Does Orb have what it takes to grab the Preakness and the Belmont? Can he win the Triple Crown, something that hasn't been accomplished in 35 years? I want your opinion. Please comment below on what you think will happen.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Orb is 2013's Kentucky Derby Winner

 In this year's Kentucky Derby, Orb came from fifteenth place to capture the Triple Crown's first jewel. It was amazing to watch!
See Kentucky Derby Contestants, Part 2

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kentucky Derby 2013, Part 2

Here are the rest of the horses entering this year's Derby. Comment on which horse you think/want to win.
Charming Kitten(for credit, click here)
Charming Kitten's sire, Kitten's Joy, was an excellant turf runner
with lots of stamina. The question is, how will he perform on
dirt? All of Kitten Joy's foals we are turf runners, so Charming Kitten's
performance on dirt is questionable. His dam's side is even less
promising. Iteration failed to win eleven races. Charming
Kitten's ranking is eighteen.
Orb(for credit, click here)
Orb has a very promising pedigree, with a balance of both
speed and stamina. Malibu Moon, his sire, gives him speed.
He is infused with tremendous stamina from his dam, Lady Liberty.
Lady Liberty excelled at races over 1 1/2 miles. Orb is ranked 1.
Will Take Charge(for credit, click here)
Will Take Charge is sired by Unbridled's
Song. Unbridled's Song, son of 1990 Derby
winner, Unbridled, was not bred for long
distances. Take Charge Lady
also ran in the shorter races. However, she
won or placed in 16 stake races, and earned
$2.4 million. Will Take Charge is ranked
Java's War(for credit, click here)
Java's War inherits plenty of stamina
form his dam, Java, but Java was a turf
horse. Already, he is showing that
he does not like to run on dirt.
War Pass, is his sire.
Java's War is ranked 4.
Frac Daddy(for credit, click here)
Frac Daddy has great potential, and a lot of stamina from his
dam's side. Scat Daddy, his sire, performed well in 2007,
his only poor performance being the Kentucky Derby.
Skipper's Mate, his dam, performed anywhere between 1 1/2
to 2 mile over hurdles in England. Frac Daddy is ranked

Itsmyluckyday(for credit, click here)
Itsmyluckyday is by Lawyer Ron, a champion who
performed best at 1 1/8 miles. His dam, Viva La Slew, however, was
better at speed. Her grandsire is Seattle Slew, the 1974 Triple Crown winner. Itsmyluckyday is ranked 10.

Falling Sky(for credit, click here)
Falling Sky's pedigree does not look
too promising, given the Derby's 1 1/4 mile
distance. Lion Heart, his sire, always took
early leads, and consequently came second
in 2004's Derby. Sea Dragoness, his dam, never
won in races greater than 5 1/2 furlongs.
Falling Sky is ranked 17. 
Lines of Battle(for credit, click here)
Lines of Battle is another one of those horses
with a well-balanced pedigree. His sire, War Front,
was sprinter. Black Speck, his dam, has
produced three other stake winners, including
Homebound and Battle Paint. Lines of Battle is
ranked 7 this season.

Verrazano(for credit, click here)
More Than Ready, his sire, never excelled at distances
greater than a mile, but was a great sprinter. He will rely on his dam,
Enchanted Rock, for stamina. Verrazano is ranked 2

Vyjack(for credit, click here)
Into Mischief, Vyjack's sire, never had a lot of stamina.
His three-year-old season, in which he ran only seven furlong
races, was cut short due to injury. Life Happened, Vyjack's
dam, never raced. Her bloodlines carried speed. Vyjack
is ranked 8.
Giant Finish(for credit, click here)
Frost Giant, Giant Finish's sire, was most famous for
his two victories of 1 1/4 miles. His dam is Apocalyptic. Her
sire, Hickman Creek, is son of Seattle Slew. Giant Finish is
ranked 20.

Kentucky Derby 2013, Part 1

The 2013 Kentucky Derby is right around the corner, and, as usually, I am excited to watch it. It always helps to know which horses are participating, so here you go:
Normandy Invasion(for credit, click here)
Normandy Invasion has a fair chance of winning. His pedigree
is mixture of both speed and stamina. Tapit, Normandy Invasion's
sire, has great stamina, while the speed comes from
Boston Lady, his dam. Normandy Invasion is ranked 13.
Overanalyze(for credit, click here)
Overanalyze's pedigree offers some
encouragement, but not much. His sire is Dixie Union, who is noted for winning the
1 1/8 mile Haskell.His dam has not been raced. Overanalyze is ranked 5.
Palace Malice(for credit, click here)
Palace was bred for longer distances.
His, Curlin, was Horse of the Year---twice.
Palace Rumor, his dam, has produced
three registered foals. Palace Malice
is ranked 12.

Black Onyx(for credit, click here)
Black Onyx's sire is Rock Hard Ten, and his dam is Kalhari Cat.
It is very likely that he inherits enough stamina from Rock Hard Ten
to perform well in the Derby. He has a ranking of 11 this season.

Mylute(for credit, click here)
Most people pass Mylute off as a sprinter, but there is more than
what meets the eye. Midnight Lute, his sire, mostly ran
as a sprinter. Even so, his trainer claimed that he was
something more. He may have inherited stamina
from his granddam, Winning Move, daughter of
Strike the Gold. Strike the Gold was 1991's Derby hero.
Mylute is ranked 15.
Goldencents(for credit, click here)
Goldencent's pedigree leaves most people uncertain
whether he will perform well in the Derby. His sire,
Into Mischief, only raced in seven furlong races
as a three-year-old due to injury. Golden Works, his dam,
only raced in a few six furlong races. Goldencents is
ranked 3.

Oxbow(for credit, click here)
Oxbow, too, is well suited to run a mile and a quarter. His
pedigree is marked with Breeder's Cup Classic
winners, such as his sire, Awesome Again.
Awesome Again is an outstanding sire,
and has sired four Breeders' Cup winners.
Oxbow is ranked 16.

Golden Soul(for photo credit, click here)
Golden Soul is good at the mile and a quarter, but his pedigree
is marked with turf champions. Perfect Soul, his sire,
was champion Canadian turf horse in 2003. On his dam's side
are many European horses. Golden Soul is ranked 19
Revolutionary(for photo credit, click here)
Revolutionary is a favorite among experts, and he inherits
stamina from his dam, Runup the Colors. From his sire, War Pass,
(War Pass was an undefeated two-year-old champion)
he receives blazing speed. He is ranked 6.