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.

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